Travis is a bit like Ron Swanson in that he has no online presence (except through me), so I imagine this is his coworker's way of learning more about him and perhaps teasing him a bit. I am happy to oblige! ;)
We have a few house projects going on right now (what else is new?!). The layout of our house isn't very open, as is popular right now. I actually really like an open layout too, so we're doing a few things to open it up. One of my first ideas was to tear down the wall between our living room and dining room (making sure it isn't load bearing first, of course!)
Travis' dad came down several weeks ago and they had at it! Turns out it wasn't load bearing, hurray! We didn't take down the whole wall, but make the opening quite a bit larger. Here's a few pictures. It gets dark so early, it's hard to get ones with good light!
This is taken from the dining room (note the pile of baby shower bounty we have yet to put in the baby's room!) They even put up the trim, but it still has to be painted. I wish I had a "before" picture, because this is such an improvement! So much more open and airy.
And this is taken from the living room. No trim yet, but we'll get to it. I almost could have gone for an even bigger opening, but this is great. The phase two plan (whenever that might be) is to take down a large portion of the other wall in the dining room there, opening it up even further. That probably won't be for a few years though.
In other news, we just got one of these:
What's that, you ask? Yeah, I wouldn't have known either. It's a fireplace insert (not installed yet, of course!). It is an insert that goes into the fireplace (obviously) that heats your house using wood. We have multiple dead trees on our property so we have enough wood to last years. The insert is sealed off and has a blower on the front that sends out hot air. Apparently you can turn on the blower of the furnace and it circulates the heat from the insert somewhat. Travis is pretty pumped about it. If you're curious, the brand and style is Jotul 550, I believe. We bought it from a super nice lady in Indiana from Craigslist. I am very intrigued to see our heating bills after this thing is installed!
The thing weigh 500 pounds (!!!) so Travis slowly hoisted it up on these wood pieces and will easily (hopefully!) be able to move it back onto the mantel when we have all the pieces needed to install.
Finally, speaking of the mantel, I know you are all in suspense about the mantel decor situation ;) (See here for a previous update of the saga). Well, I am happy to report I found a new mirror and I really like it!
God bless Hobby Lobby. I like that it looks like a window! We are thinking of perhaps painting it a dark shade so it's not quite as stark, but we'll see. Not a super high priority.
Plus, I guess you're not supposed to have things quite that close to the fireplace insert, so we might be removing that wooden piece for safety and adding a new one that is higher. It would still be safe to hang the mirror though, granted it's high enough. We'll see!