Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
In the closet? Out of the closet? I say all that really matters is that there's a door on that closet.
Here's a look at what the closet looked like when we moved in (eww):
Dave installed the new shelves and racks in October and we were just waiting for that door to arrive...
The closet opening needed to be lowered slightly for the closet door to fit:We decided on a mirrored door with trim the color of the floors andd here's the finished product:
Monday, December 7, 2009
Here's a few before pics:
Our handy friend Sean came over to help us with the demolition and he quickly discovered another old house mystery. Not only was there a lathe & plaster wall but there was sheet rock over the lathe & plaster...double the strength, double the fun?
David having a manly power tool moment.
Here's where we crossed our fingers. While we knew the wall wasn't structural, we didn't know if any pipes or electrical were housed in it. Lucky for us, it wasn't hiding anything unexpected in that department!
We saved the trim and door from this wall to use between the master bathroom and bedroom which the house was missing when we bought it. I'm so ready to get this door reinstalled in its new home so we don't have to use a blanket as a bathroom door anymore.
I haven't seen David this happy in photos since our trip to Panama. He is REALLY happy to be removing this wall!
And here's the wall all gone:
We ended up with around 36sq ft of additional space but it feels like twice that! The next phase will be to patch the ceiling and walls, and trim it all in. When we have the floors downstairs resurfaced, we'll have the gaps in the floor left by this project filled in.
Thanks again to Sean and to Paul who also came over to help us with this project. You guys are the best. :)
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Now I just need a perfect console table for the far wall under the photos. The work is never done. :)
And just for the record, this is what the hallway looked like when we bought the house in April. My how far we've come...
I am loving these curtains in contrasting damask-ish fabrics. Curtains couldn't be that hard to make, right? Maybe I'll try my hand at something like this...
I LOVE dark navy/charcoal spaces. Also loving these flowers, might have to grow them in my garden...that doesn't exist yet.
I have never been a fan of wallpaper in the past, but lately I've been digging large patterned wallpaper in subtle colors. I think it would look fantastic above the woodwork in our dining room.
Loving the shelf idea in this bathroom because it creates so much more 'counter' space which would be great in our small master bath! This crib is incredible.
(images: Sally Conran)
Friday, December 4, 2009
The attic floor only has 7" of dead space which meant the highest rated insulation that would officially fit is R-19. However, we decided to squeeze in R-30 which officially needs about 9". By condensing it we will lose some effectiveness but it should still give us more insulation than R-19 would have. We were hoping to get some Energy Trust credits for this project but that doesn't apply unless you install R-38 or higher which wouldn't fit.
This project was SO anti-climatic because you can't see anything is different. The attic floor looks exactly the same as it did before. The only proof was the rolls of insulation that were in our entryway and are now gone. Hopefully more proof is coming in the form of lower heating bills!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
As we'll be knocking out a wall and gaining a window in the master bedroom, we needed to match the third window treatment to the other two we already finished. Pottery Barn to the rescue...got one more velvet panel in pewter. I also had to have the coziest throw EVER in white to keep me warm this winter. I can't wait to curl up in it by the fire with my babes.
I also have my eye on two other fantastic PB finds that are over the budget for now (here's hoping for a sale!):
-The velvet curtains in espresso for the living room. We need two 100" x 96" panels and PB actually carries this size.
-The new Cecil rug. Love it! Love it! Love it!
The design is such a unique take on the Arts &Crafts style, combining beautiful shades of greens, oranges and reds in a graphic yet sophisticated pattern.
57" Mission Bronze Advan Touch Ceiling Fan
Tahoe 6 Light Chandelier in Bronze
I can't get enough of House of Antique Hardware. They have the most wonderful period items and they ship from a warehouse in Portland so local buyers can pick-up their items.
I look forward to seeing how this pathway garden shapes up come Springtime!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
In the hallway, the floor was a bit far away from the bottom of the baseboards due to some floor sag around the chimney. This gap maxed out at nearly 1 ½ inches at its worst, so we couldn’t use the standard quarter round we used elsewhere. Instead, we decided to use casing, and we selected a style that tied in to the trim above the baseboards.
Eighty-six cuts and forty-three piece installations later, we finally have finished trim in our guest room, upstairs hallway, office, and two of our upstairs closets. It really does make a huge difference – the gaps between the baseboards and the floors are gone, and the rooms finally have a clean, finished look to them. Hooray!
Enter the French drain. French drains are very effective at intercepting and diverting water, and they’re fairly simple – all you need is a sloped trench, a perforated drain pipe, and a bunch of drainage rock. For less than $90 in materials and a day of labor, we now have a 60-foot French drain and a dry basement. C'est fantastique!
Trivia note: You might think it’s called a French drain because it originated in France, but think again! It is called a French drain because it was invented by Henry French, a judge and farmer who lived in Concord, Massachusetts, in the mid-1800s. Rumor has it he also made excellent fries.
The first of these was a closet remodel for Kelly and myself. When we moved in, the closet configurations upstairs were a very inefficient use of space - each had a single shelf with a dowel under it stretching the length of the closet. Given that the closets have nine-foot ceilings, they had SO much more potential. I'm a big fan of utility and options, so I decided to go with the ClosetMaid system, which is available at all the big box hardware stores. It allows easy configuration, and is pretty straightforward to install. And, best of all, kits were on clearance at Lowe's, so I picked up everything I needed for about $85 per closet.
Step one - tear out the existing stuff so you have a blank canvas to work on.
Step 2 - Find the studs and set the hang strips. Finding the studs is pretty easy in a “normal” house (where they’re spaced 16” on center), but of course our 100-year-old house has them irregularly spaced, and we have plaster walls so a studfinder wouldn’t work. I ended up rapping my knuckles around to find them and drilling holes with a 1/16” bit to confirm. Grrr.
With the studs found, enter my Hilti PML line laser. I love working with lasers. So precise, so time-saving. The laser shoots a straight line right up the whole wall, which allows you to easily hang the strips straight and even/level with each other (which is important if you want your shelves level, and if you want to make sure that the sheer load on the shelves is evenly distributed across your anchors).
Step 3 – throw that sucker up. The kits are modular, so you can configure the whole closet system however you’d like. Given our high ceilings, I was able to create two rows of hanging space and several shelves, and still have room left to push my dresser in there. Finally, no more retrieving my clothes from piles in the basement. Not bad for a couple of hours of work!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We got some killer deals at City Liquidators. If you haven't been there, they have awesome deals on furniture. We got two bookshelves that match the floor and tie in the bamboo shades.
Another City Liquidators find was new barstools for the kitchen island. They're super comfy and the brown leather matches the leather on the dining chairs. Only $45 each! Can't beat it.
Browsing through City Liquidators you find a lot of crap, but some crap can be made pretty with a little work. I found this plastic gold 24" x 36" beveled mirror for only $19.95!! I took that sucker home and spray-painted it my favorite color (oil rubbed bronze). It lives above the fireplace.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Chim chim cher-ee!
We are as lucky
As lucky can be
Chim chim cher-oo!
Just one more fire
And our house mighta gone ka-BOOM!
(And the cleaning was just $90
So that's lucky too)
Now as the conditions
Of chimneys ar' strung
The state of our chimney
twas on the bottommost rung
25 pounds of creosote
Seems like a lot
An' said me good sweeper
If 'at stuff gits hot
It'll blow up your chimney
And burn your house down
And out in the drizzle
You'll slap on a frown
So heed my good words friends
'Tis worth spending a buck
If your creosote ignites
You'll be shit outta luck
So call your good sweeper
Have him bring his broom
And scrape sweep and chisel
Out potential doom
Now that our house won't be reduced
To ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world
There's no 'appier bloke
Chim chim cher-ee