Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moving Time Has Come

We have now competed all the major renovations for the house! We are thrilled, exhausted, and relieved.

We move out of our apartment this weekend. And while we are sad to leave our old stomping grounds, we are excited about the new adventures we will have at our new place. If anyone wants to buy or collect any stuff for their house, please let us know. We are having a moving party on Thursday if any of you want to come see what we have to get rid of. If anyone want to help move.... come on over! We dont have much stuff, really.

I have attached some photos for you all to see what we have to give away/sell.

Also, some news to share. Our current roommate Sara will be our first victim as I like to say. Sara will be our first tenant on the first floor unit and we are lucky and excited to be her slumlords, I mean, landlords. I have known Sara since Kindergarten and she has been such a important part our lives these past two years in helping us make this transition, and we are so thankful. Sara will be moving in this spring. Luckily for us, the first floor had been previously remodeled and gutted by the former owners. So there will be minimal work needed in unit 1. THANK GOD.

We want to thank you Victor and Jose for the AMAZING job they did on our home. Although I think the word amazing does not describe the great level of work and craftsmanship these two brothers have. Thank you guys, truly.

We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to our friends and colleagues. Jerry helped us in so many ways and are very lucky to have his sick sense of humor around and his handiness. Thank you to our many friends and colleagues for their ongoing support and words of encouragement. We are very lucky.

Lastly, thank you Dave and Clark at Enterprise Car Rental on 850 N. State Street. What turned out to be a one week car rental in January, turned out to a one month rental. It is very humorous when the guys at Enterprise know you by name and automatically know you are calling to extend the lease by another week. Thanks fellas.

We will make sure to post pics of the home once everything has been moved in and situated. Thank you all for reading!

Cheers(in every sense of the word),


Monday, February 22, 2010

New Pics Posted!

Short Post. We are moving in this week and things are slowly coming together. TJ is kicking ass! He tiled the backsplash and it looks amazing! We also stripped and restored the homes original door hardware and it they look amazing. We put up our fireplace, but we are still not sure what color to keep for the base. As you can see, we have stuck pretty close to our original ideas. It is so rewarding to see your vision and ideas come to life.

It hard to believe that we got the keys to the house on January 23. Its been exactly 4 weeks and the house is unrecognizable. It is starting to feel like home.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

There Is Light At the End of the Measuring Tape

We apologize for not posting anything this week. TJ and I have been busy dealing with the home renovations, work, and family matters. My grandfather passed away on Tuesday and I want to thank everyone for their support and condolences. It is so nice to have great friends and colleagues who are their to support you during rough times. I dedicate this entry to my late grandfather, Jose. :)

Speaking of another by the same name. Jose, our contractor, wrapped up on the entire project on Saturday. In two weeks, he managed to:

1. Seal, Finish, and Prime Entryway and Bedroom Wall
2. Tear Down Wall Between Living Room and Kitchen
3. Reroute All Gas, Electrical and Pluming Lines in the Kitchen

As soon as Jose left on Saturday, TJ and I began the clean up process. We knew we were a week behind on our timeline, so we wasted no time. As soon as we finished, we moved on the priming the entire house and began hanging the kitchen cabinets. Surprisingly, the cabinets we super easy to put up and encountered only a few bumps. All weekend, we primed, sanded, and prepped for painting. We ended up painting the kitchen on Sunday and it looked fantastic!

TJ has become quite the handyman and electrician. As of today, TJ has replaced ALL of the light fixtures and ceiling fans in the house. He has been such a champ and I could not be any prouder. He has become so confident in dealing with household issues and feel a sense of security that he is also able to accomplish these tasks head on.

As for me, aside from being the official cabinet hanger, stylist and project manager (yes, you heard right, I have been called everything from a tyrant to over demanding), I am trying to keep us on track and delegate tasks here and there, which is such a crucial element in project management. Someone has to be the leader, and yes, that leader sometimes has to take more breaks than others. :)

On Tuesday, Jose's brother Victor came in to measure for the granite counter tops. If you and or anyone you know needs granite, this guys is great and his prices are unbeatable. Victor will have the counter top ready to install this Saturday. The new stove and refrigerator we ordered online will also arrive on Saturday. The kitchen will then be ready to begin tiling the back splash and will be near completion.

After much consideration, TJ and I have decided not to get rid of the extra room that would have become eventually our closet and bathroom addition. We thought that having the potential for a guest bedroom would not only increase the value of the house in the future, but could also serve for many purposes,i.e. storage, guests, and an extra office. Because the bathroom renovations will not be done during this time, we felt that keeping the room was a better option. As for closet space in the newly converted bedroom, TJ and I once again turned to IKEA where we splurged on a massive closet that will look like wall unit. We are excited about our decision!

Every night, TJ, Sara and I have gone to the house and painted a different room. All that is remaining are the baseboards and trim and we will be done with painting. The bedroom and living room are 90% completed.

So here is run down of where we are:

Entryway: 80%
- Trim, Molding and detail frame installation needed.

Bedroom: 90%- Trim, crown molding, candlelight paint texture application, and closet installation needed.

Living Room: 85%- Trim, crown molding, fireplace installation and decorative plaid application needed.

Kitchen: 70%- Trim, counter top and back splash installation, fridge and stove installation, and plumbing connections needed.

Below are a few pics of the our progress. I hope you all enjoy! Again, Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Sara, thank you for helping us so much! We you owe!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Strange Neighbors

So it turns out our street used to be home to one of the weirdest houses in Chicago. Directly across from our new home used to sit the “House of Crosses”, a home owned by a man named Mitch Szewczyk who began hanging crosses on his home in the late 70’s to ward off troublesome gang members. The cross worked in deterring the crime so he continued to add crosses to the exterior. He started dedicating each new cross to various deceased celebrities.

The house was a Weird Chicago landmark until Szewczyk died and the house was sold in 2007. The House of Crosses is sadly gone, but its memory loves on.

Szewczyk’s biggest regret upon his death bed was not finishing his King Kong cross. So we are toying with the idea of making one to put outside in the his honor.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day: too many.

So it's Monday, February 8th and it feels like we have a long ways to go. The house has consumed our every waking and sleeping moment. There has been a lot of progress made on Jose's end, especially in regards to the walls and rewiring/repiping of electric and gas lines in the kitchen. To think TJ and I wanted to do the kitchen wall on our own is a joke. I think it is safe to say that for the sake of our relationship and sanity, we did the right thing. As of right now, Jose is about 80% percent complete. After Jose is done, TJ and I will begin the clean up and painting preparations, as well finally hanging the kitchen cabinets.

I estimate painting will not be too hard. I think the most time consuming part of painting is always the prep work and clean up. Our goal at this point is to have everything ready for painting by the end of this week. We have chosen a lot of interesting colors for the home and hope we do not resent any of them. Especially the one we are planning on using in the entry hallway. A few weeks ago, TJ and I went on a shopping spree at Home Depot and got Ralph Lauren Paint for $13 bucks a gallon. It is being discontinued at home depot, so we could not pass up the offer.

Below is the color palette we are intending on using and some ideas for the walls.

Entry Way: Island Brights:Beach Yellow
TJ and I are going to Buenos Aires next month and fell in love with the hotel we are staying at. Our plan is create the white panel on the bottom and use the yellow/green above.

Living Room: Urban Loft: Neutral Brown and Washington Square (accent wall) Ralph Lauren also has this paint that gives walls some texture called candlelight. We got this stuff on clearance too. My plan is to do a monochromatic plaid effect of the eggplant wall with the coats of the candlelight paint.

Bedroom: Urban Loft: Soft Earth This color is beautiful. We searched everywhere for it.

As for the Kitchen, we think we will incorporate the same Neutral brown color from the living to room to make it flow and incorporate the entire living area.

We are so anxious to start painting and get the ball rolling. More pictures to come soon. As requested, here is a picture of the front of the house.

Hope everyone has a great week!


Amhir & TJ

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The February 20-21 Deadline is Set

So we realize that February is a very short month. Not only do we want to have all of the renovations and painting done before then, but we also have to pack and move from our old place. We lived in our past apartment for almost two years and we somehow manage to collect, junk. We hope to begin packing and and throwing/giving/selling a lot of our stuff. If you are interested, we are currently selling an elliptical, full 18 piece set of free weights with rack(Up 100 lbs), and tons of household junks. Please let us know if you are in the market for anything.

We visited the house Wednesday night and we were surprised to see how much progress Jose had made. This man is diligent and amazing. We are so lucky and fortunate to be able to work with him. Thank you Jose. Thank you Antigone and Yvette for the recommendation!

I have included new pics of the house for you guys to see. Sara, TJ, and I went to Ikea this weekend and we splurged on not only kitchen hardware, but we made a pit stop at McRonald's. We really hope to begin the painting process this weekend and have the cabinets up as well. Enjoy the new pics.

Thank you all for the encouraging words and positive feedback! The house is slowing coming to together.


Amhir & TJ


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Days 5 through 10…The Devil is in the Details

After our misadventure in covering the old entry-way door, we spent last Friday assembling the remainder of the cabinetry. We also began prepping things for future painting: covering old holes with plaster and attempting to restore some of the house’s original hardware. Sara deserves a shout-out for her willingness to scrub the kitchen floors in an attempt to restore the wood to its original color, parts of which were black with dust and debris.

We got a lot of feedback when we announced we were knocking down a wall, which was mostly concern that we were going to destroy a load bearing wall. We took your advice and, on Friday, hired a contractor, who offered us an unbeatable deal to demolish the wall between the kitchen and living room.

We found two brothers Victor and Jose. Victor is a granite counter top specialist and Jose is a contractor. Jose started on Saturday morning and I must say he is amazing. Victor is looking into getting us an incredible deal on new counter tops. If you ever plan to do renovations on your home we would certainly recommend these guys.

The projects should be done by the end of the week. So now we are playing the waiting game. We can’t move forward on any projects until Jose finishes the wall. For the time being we are gathering supplies and ordering furniture which should arrive soon after the construction.