Thursday, July 31, 2008

Going on Hiatus. . .

Well, it looks like I will have to wait until the dog-days of summer are over to begin any new projects. So, I am taking a hiatus for the month of August.

See you in September!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Train Racks

When I started looking around at bathroom hardware, something about the vintage train racks caught my eye. I'm not sure if I will have space for one in either bathroom, but I still love them.

Here are some options I have found:

The mercer train rack at is $169. A definite splurge for a fancy towel rack.

The Ashby train rack from Restoration Hardware is coming in at a cool $249, however it is currently on sale for less (and by less, I mean, still not affordable).

So, we head down to Stacks and Stacks, which carries a less lovely, but equally functional style for $18.99.

Then, you can zip over to Wal-mart and pick one up for $15-27, in several styles. If you're not into installing a new piece of hardware, you can just fit this expanding shelf unit into your current towel bar for less than $20, thanks to linens 'n things.

I guess it comes down to the budget. Ugh, the budget. "Budget" is becoming a four letter word to me. Then the question comes in, just because I "can" afford it, "should" I purchase it? Some of these home improvement shows have startled me when showing people improving their homes with no hope of return. Now, I get that a $200 towel rack is nothing to fret over, but a 35k kitchen might be. It all adds up . . .

Friday, July 25, 2008

Design Conundrum

Here is my situation. I want and will replace the bathroom in our bedroom bath, it is not only ugly but it had some pretty big chips in it, and it's ugly (did I say that?). Although, I do get that I can't just throw everything away at will - I'll try to donate it. Now, the bathroom is L-shaped and the small part of the L is where the loo portion of the room is. It is generally thought that one would like to get there with ease. Also, probably want some legroom there too. Now, this is what the bathroom looks like now:
Now, let's not waste time talking about how I should have been an architect - we need to get to the task at hand. The sink is now a pedestal sink. I need a little more space for my stuff and would like to have a cabinet/vanity sink there. Which would make it look like this:

The red arrow obviously is the place where walking back and forth to the commode would take place. I also don't want to make the room look like a boxy space with no place to manuever. Here are some sink options I have:

Ah, the potterybarn single console hotel sink. I have always had my eye on this one. Now, it might be too big for the space. But, it would provide me with that vintage modern feel and some pretty nice storage space.

Next up

The American Standard. It's sort of a pedestal sink, but not. I actually stayed a hotel with this sink and I thought. . . hey, this could work! But, is that bowl big enough? I don't want to have this tiny sink bowl. What am I going to use it for? No idea, for some reason I am stuck on this thought of getting the perfect size sink. This model also has a nice glass shelf where I could perch a basket of useless items, or towels...

What do you think? What do you look for in a bathroom sink?

I dream of. . .

My own bathroom. Ah, the joys. Soon enough. Here is my idea board (OMG, are you sick of them yet?). Oh, and I already bought the chandelier, mainly because I am impatient and somehow thought this would magically turn my bathroom into this:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The best advice

Since, I am on hiatus from doing any huge renovations. . . I might as well plan!

One of the best piece of marriage advice came from Shaquille O'Neal's wife (yes, I know, they are getting divorced) on an episode of MTV cribs. She mentioned that having your own bathroom is a "must have". Since we have two full baths upstairs, it seems this should already be happening. It isn't. For some reason, we don't use the hall bathroom. I think the lack of light has something to do with it, the room is in desperate need of a sky-light. It is a priority. After that, we plan to renovate and make it into Dan's bathroom. Need more of an idea? Check out the idea board:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

kitchen idea board

I have discussed some ideas I have for my kitchen before.

There are a few pertinent pieces to the new kitchen: new hardwood floors, white shaker cabinets, a white farmers sink, cabinets to the ceiling, black granite counters, and new stainless appliances. Here is my idea board:

After looking around, I found some other kitchen pieces that became a "must have": pot filler, wall-mounted faucet with cross handles, vintage cabinet latches, schoolhouse lights, and white subway tile with gray grout. As of today, this is in my budget, when it comes down to it. . . who knows! I am sure by then, living without a kitchen will drive us to a place where we agree to spend more money. Living off pop-tarts and pizza should help stop this madness (probably because we will enjoy this diet of champions). Let's hope there is some dough left for a gym membership.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Adding Art

Oddly enough, the first "renovation" purchase for the house was a stained glass numbers piece for the glass space above the door. Little did we know then this would require a reframing of the door itself. This project started in December of 2007. So, about 8 months of designing and reworking and reshaping. Its finally in! It makes a big difference!
I have no idea why these pictures are crooked. Perhaps I should have my leg lengths checked. . . Oh, and of course, the spray-painting is to protect our "real" house numbers

Monday, July 21, 2008

Closet Case

All of our closet doors are those folding hollow doors that run on tracks. Like this:

Except, not really like that because those are nice. My doors have no trim and the metal track above is bent and twisted. Out of five closets, one of the doors works. I think it's time for an upgrade. The plan is to install new double-door styles like this:

In order to do this, I will need to custom fit them myself. The openings for the closets are 48" wide. Which, would be fine if I didn't have to add any trim on the sides. So, I will need to see if I or someone (like the nice people at Lowe's) will cut down the doors for me.

The next step after that is to add some crystal doorknobs! I have picked out these:

I think I am going to go with "Satin nickel" for the color.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The beginning of the end

On Friday, I came home and was pleased to see this:

Remember what it used to look like?! Saturday, the guys came back and added the gate for the fence and some last details, I put the table on the patio and we enjoyed breakfast there on Sunday. It was great!:

The, you walk up the fantastic steps to see this:

Gross splintered weathered floor boards. Ah, the projects never end. I wish we could have had someone come out to replace the floor boards and put in a new railing, but it was way, way over budget. In the end, demolishing the planters ourselves cost us 10% less than to have the landscapers do it. It was NOT worth it. But, I had no idea. All part of the learning process I guess. The landscapers who did our yard are Diversified Contractors. You can reach them at Diversifiedcontractors at yahoo dot com. They were timely, professional, willing to work with out budget and our specifications. I would use them again for sure!
At 30% over budget on the yard, and still more work to be done, this turned out to be quite the project, in the end we will probably be 50% over budget. Oh, and that is what I say now, by the time we are done . . . who knows! I now see how everyone on home renovation shows go over budget. Or, if they stay in the budget - it doesn't look that great. It wears you down. You end up just saying "OK, go ahead" to an upgrade or more hired hands to do the work. Oh, and home renovations are EXPENSIVE!! Also, there are so many cool things to do. I think I ended up thinking along the lines of "we're going to do it, so lets just make it awesome". And, it is. It will be. We both feel like we have doubled our living space. Next up, plan a party! We should probably have some grass first though. . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ding Dong the yard is done!

The yard is done! OK, almost done. We still have to get some storage closet things and put down the sod (which will have to wait until the cooler month of September). But, we have a fence and a kick-ass patio! It was finished on Saturday and we had a great time hanging out there Sunday morning. Then it rained and ruined my chance to take some good final pictures. That will have to wait until later.

Though this was the major step, there are still a few things left until the yard work is completed:

- Replace floor boards and railing on deck (October)
- build lattice cover for air conditioning unit
- make a storage section
- lay sod (September)
- flower boxes (September)
- waterproof and paint (late October for fence and stairs/late March for deck boards)

The guys who were working on the fence and patio were amazed by the transformation and noted our yard looks twice the size of our neighbors (though it is the same).

Hopefully I will have some pics tomorrow or tonight!

Friday, July 11, 2008


This D*mn house gave me an award! Weee! But, there is some work involved with it so it may take me some time to accept. Oh, and obviously there will be a speech and a dress and hair. . .right?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dylan, Nina and Penny in action

Generally, Dylan follows me to bed. Often, Nina follows too for about a minute and then sleeps somewhere else. Here is a video of a typical night and how it has changed . . . (oh, and there is some wicked lame audio of us too).

More Yard Photos . . .

I know, it looks like a disaster. But, it is coming along quite nicely! We have some fence up now. . .

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yard Photos. . .

Here are some pictures of the yard. Before the patio looped out on the right side, we added more on the left to make it a square pattern. The fence is going up and the flagstone has begun. Also, you can get a gander at the new stairs! It looks funny with the old deck, but the boards will be replaced there as well.

Here are some Penny pictures . . .


We got a dog! You have already seen her. Thanks for all your great name suggestions! We decided to name her Penny. So now we have essentially a petting zoo in our house with 2 cats and a dog. Dylan, Nina and now Penny are our fuzzy friends. She is a black lab mix we adopted from a rescue group called Hart. She is about 6 months old and is very energetic. The cats are not as thrilled about her as she is about them. She just wants to sniff them, they want to slap her. So far, she is a lot of work, hopefully the training will go well and we will end up with a great dog! I took some pictures and some video of her that I will post. But, since she has me running around at all hours of the day and night - I have been too busy to post them just yet.

Back on the work front, the yard is taking shape. The concrete has been poured for the flagstone and it is making me giddy to see my vision taking place. the new stairs look amazing and then fence should start to go in today! Again, Penny has been insisting we play catch 24/7 so I will try and post some photos this evening.

Monday, July 7, 2008

America's Birthday

Being that it was America's birthday and all, we decided to celebrate with a little vacation. However, don't you worry, work was still being done. We just weren't doing any of it. The stairs are done and it was an annoying process. The guys who did it did not take away any of the materials so we are left with a pile of scrap lumber. Is that par for the course? I don't think so. Anyway, he is coming over for the final payment soon, at which time I will discuss that with him.

The fence/patio people did not show Monday as they are "under the weather". Which is fine with me because I didn't want to get up early and go over the job again and discuss the new developments, etc. Also, shelling out dough day after day can get a little overwhelming - I like to space out my check writing.

Pictures to come later. . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yo estoy estupido . . .

Here are some shots of the backyard as of last night (Oh, and I think the dumpster is finally leaving today). There was some breakdown in communication and when I said "move the stairs over here" what I meant was: "take down crappy stairs, put up new shiny safe stairs". Which is what I said in the first meeting, but there was somehow a breakdown in communication in the subsequent conversations. This is what happens when you meet with a deckmaster six weeks or more before the job starts and you don't speak his language. Anyway, its all resolved and the new stairs will be up in the next two days . . .

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bedroom Furniture

Here are some horrible pictures of our new bedroom furniture. The bed is messy and the shots are unclear. I will re-shoot down the road when we have more done in this room:

Dining Room decor

Now that I have re-arranged the living room/dining room into two distinct areas, its time to think about how to decorate it. I moved the table we had in the kitchen into there for now and it is a good size. Here is what I have picked out so far:

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Carlisle Chandelier, Linen Shades shopping in Crate and Barrel Chandeliers,...

Kipling Dining Chair, Cushion shopping in Crate and Barrel Non-Upholstered...

Kipling Pedestal Extension Dining Table shopping in Crate and Barrel Round,...

The chandelier is not the one I have already purchased (yes, I know, a little early on that one), but it give the idea. I have no idea what to put down for a rug. Ideally I would like two coordinating rugs - one for this area and one for the living room. Taupes and greens I think. Anyway... this is what I have so far.

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many