Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Ugly Duckling

When we first purchased the Arizona Condo it was definitely an ugly duckling but I knew it could and would turn into a place we would love...a beautiful swan if you will. This time out we wanted to get one major project done, either the kitchen, new garage door, the backyard along with the neighbours large trees which are growing into our yard and over out house.  

Our kitchen is dated but the cupboards are in pretty good shape and we don't really want to replace them, might paint or re-stain them one day but for now they are staying the way they are.  Colour NEEDED to get put on the walls but I was having a difficult time finding that perfect colour that would reflect the bit of southwestern flare in the house.  I had rubbed a terracotta colour on the one large wall last year but every time we came back I disliked it more and more so it had to go.  Good news is I found the perfect historical colour at Lowe's called Hubbell House Rio Grande Mud, it's a deep rich colour. You know it's the perfect colour as Craig went into the kitchen the following morning and said "Did you paint the kitchen because this colour feels like it has always been here." We wanted to get a new counter top installed this time but by the time we picked the colour our time here was limited so next time we will head to Home Depot as soon as we arrive to order our quartz counter top,  Sienna Ridge.  We did purchase a stainless steel farmhouse sink, a new faucet and the back splash so we will be ready to go next time.  I had all intentions of getting a barn wood look back splash but once the paint went on the walls and after we picked the counter top we went for a pewter back splash instead. 

A couple before pictures of the kitchen before I painted

You can see the difference in the old colour and new
and of course Blitz had to get in the picture

Painted but without the new counter top and back splash

Another GSP photo bomb picture

A close up view of the wall colour, back splash and a sample of the 
new quartz counter top.

Larger view of the back splash panel

We wanted to redo our backyard as 95% of it is cement so I found a company that is working with us to get it completed before we head back north.  Today the work began by removing the 2 large cement pads in the yard, we are keeping the cement that is under the awning and about 2/3 of the yard will be artificial turf (mostly for the dogs) and the remaining will be pavers.  We also had the base delivered by a large truck and looks like things are underway.  We are both excited to get this project done so that all of us can enjoy it.  I'm thinking Blitz and Molly are going to love the turf and our neighbour's cat will not be using the outside edge as her litter box.  Here are some before and from today pics.  Will keep you posted.

The before view - facing east

The before view - facing west

The two concrete slabs that will be removed


Our neighbour beside us (different HOA) has a huge tree, a couple of fruit trees and a large flowering bush in her backyard.  The large tree is over grown and has come into our yard and over our house and the others have done the same thing.  Craig spoke with the president of their HOA and we have come to an agreement that we will trim whatever is coming into our yard.  We are so happy that this will be done next week and here are some pics of what we are dealing with. UGH!

The fruit trees and bushes over the fence
and into our side walk

The large tree that not only drops leaves but also small buds
which makes a mess in our yard daily

As you can see this branch is into our yard and over the house

Besides painting the kitchen I also tackled the front door.  All of our outside doors had been painted on the inside of the condo so I decided that the front door needed to be stripped and re-stained.  So now the backdoor and the front door has been stripped of their paint, sanded and stained and the master bedroom door is the only one left to do...but not this time.

This was the colour of the door with the paint remover working

Did not get all the sanding done but the door had 
to go on for the night

Sanding completed and ready for the stain

Dark walnut stain being applied

Finished door!
I love that it turned out looking like an old door which 
matches the beams in the living room

We have taken a few drives with the dogs to watch the sunset or just to explore Yuma.  We haven't done too much or exciting just a lot of relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous Arizona weather.

Sunrise a couple of days ago from the backyard

Taken on the way to Picacho Park
facing east at sunset

Same day facing west

Someone is really enjoying this warm weather, 
must feel good on her old bones

Sitting on the front porch

Miss Molly at sunset

Blitz at sunset

Blitz is loving the long ottoman in the den as the
sunlight is directly above him.

Talk soon!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Can't wait for it to be finished.

  2. It's going to be your refuge when it's done. Love the colors. And the door looks so good. You'll need a vacation from your vacation when you get back up north.

    Quick word, make sure you water down the artificial turf before you let the dogs on it, it gets really hot. I almost burned my feet at a Vegas hotel that had it around the pool deck. Don't want to hurt delicate puppy feet.

    My little guy is almost 11 and he likes to lie in the sun on half a bath mat that's out there on the front patio. We had it on the steps to our spa tub and replaced it, so Duff claimed it.

    1. Thanks I will keep it in mind to water the grass. Seems weird to water you artificial turf. lol

  3. This looks so nice. I love the color and the kitchen is going to be gorgeous. You have a true talent in decorating.

    1. Ahhh thanks Bobbie - I think I missed my calling for a interior decorator.