Monday, May 30, 2011

Memory Lane: The Exterior of Our Old Home

A year ago this week, Chris and I made the exciting (but scary) decision to put our house on the market to pursue our current home on Hazard Ave. Thinking about what we were doing a year ago has gotten me feeling nostalgic for our old home and all the work we accomplished on it. 

This is what the exterior of our old house looked like when we moved in. 

The first order of business was to have those monstrous looking shrubs removed! This not only improved the curb appeal, but flooded the main floor with afternoon sunlight. Soon after, Chris risked his life on a ladder to hang the shutters.

The following Spring, my Dad painted the front door red.

A few years later, we had the whole house painted. You'll also notice the window boxes that Chris installed, and the new window on the far left of the house.

Finally, here's the photograph that was used for our listing. By now, the shrubbery had grown in. We also removed the awkwardly placed rhododendrons and planted new flowering pear trees. 

Reminiscing the transformation of our old house's exterior has gotten me excited about the changes we've yet to make in our current home on Hazard Ave, like new paint, roof, & exterior lighting. It can only look better from here!  

Linking to The DIY Showoff

Friday, May 27, 2011

Powder Room Reveal!

I thought this day would never come.

When we started this project, this is what the room looked like.

Chris demolished the room

 and framed up a new wall to hide the plumbing stack in the corner.

We hired an electrician to do the rough wiring,

then Chris installed a sub-floor.

We called in a plumber to do the rough plumbing.

The wallboard was installed,

then taped and mudded.

Finally the fun began! Chris hung the beadboard,

installed crown molding,

Ready to see what it looks like now??? Here's the "before" one last time...

and here are the "afters"...

We have to say, it was worth the wait!

Update:  If you think this project is worthy of your vote in the JDR Annual Industry Awards - Remodeling Category, please click here to show us some love! Voting is open until April 18, 2012. For those who have already voted for us, thank you! Thank you!

Source info: Chandelier, Sconces (since sold out), Sink, Mirror (spray painted antique find), Wallpaper, Faucet & Hardware

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Wallpaper Guy Shares His Secrets...

Exciting things are happening on Hazard Ave.
Our Chiang Mai Dragon wallpaper was installed in the powder room last weekend!
Here's a sneak peak, and stay tuned... I promise to have FINISHED pictures of the powder room in my next post! Yes! Our powder room is thisclose to being completed!

While the wallpaper hanger was around, I asked him for some wallpaper removal tips because we have a TON of it to remove in the rest of our house. 

I learned that there is a different technique for removing fabric backed vinyl wallpaper than for removing paper based wallpaper.

Fabric Backed Vinyl Wallpaper - He said that wallpaper made with fabric backed vinyl isn't that common these days, but we seem to have a lot of it in our house. To remove it, he said to start at the ceiling, take a wallpaper scraper, and pick open a seam. Rip the corner away from the wall and pull. The paper will come off in huge sheets. No steaming, no chemicals, no scoring necessary. Who knew?
After the paper is down, there will be a bumpy glue residue left on the walls which can be removed with a wall sander.

Paper based - He actually laughed at me when I told him it took me 3 days to remove the paper based wallpaper in my bedroom using a steamer. He suggested using a commercial product like DIF, and apply it (mixed with water) using a low pressure sprayer over the entire room. Wait 10 minutes for it to be absorbed by the paper and repeat. In fact, he said to repeat this process until the paper stops soaking in the water. He said that the walls need to be soaking wet (his italics, not mine). Then starting from the ceiling, use the wallpaper scraper to get underneath the paper and scrape downward. Again, he said it should come off in huge sheets. (he also said it should take hours, not days, but I'll believe it once I try it).

Do you have any tried and true wallpaper removal methods?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mudroom Inspiration

You've seen our mudroom in its current state,

and's the vision.

What??? It could happen :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm Decorating With the Dog

Don't you just love a good Before and After? If so, be sure to swing by Decor and the Dog, where Michelle is hosting a weeklong guest series of Before and Afters. 

In fact, visit me there today as I relive the process of renovating our Home Office! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

And the Award Goes To...

I'd like to thank the super talented and sweet Michelle for thinking of little ole me to pass on two awards to this week. Michelle is an artist, interior designer, and DIY extraordinaire who shares her secrets and tutorials on her blog, Ispirato Design. If you aren't already familiar with Ispirato Design, please stop on over to say hello!

First up is the Versatile Blogger award. As the recipient of this award I need to share 7 random things about myself and pass it along to other bloggers I've recently discovered.

1. I hate feet. Except my own and cute little baby feet.
2. It could be 150 degrees in my bedroom at night and I still need to be covered by a sheet and blanket while I'm sleeping.
3. Spring is my favorite time of the year.
4. I'm a morning person.
5. My astrological sign is Gemini.
6. I am afraid of heights.
7. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was obsessed with Van Gogh. I can't explain this.

I'd like to pass on the Versatile Blogger award to the talented bloggers of these fabulous blogs
1. The Design Pages
2. Interior Design Musings
3. Newly Woodwards
4. Strictly Simple Style
5. Classic Casual Home
6. Pewter + Sage
7. The Bright Life
8. J and J Home
9. A Flair for Vintage Decor
10. Home Bunch

Next up is the Liebster Award. If I hadn't almost failed out of German in college, I might be able to tell you what "Liebster" means.  All I know is that it recognizes blogs with fewer than 300 followers and that I get to pass it on to 3 deserving bloggers.

I'd like to pass this award on to...
1. Decor and the Dog
2. A Graceful Home
3. Simple Dwellings

Thank you so much for your daily inspiration.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ring, Ring...

"Hello, Carrie?"
"This is 1978 calling. I'd like my ceiling fan back now."


So clearly time is up on this brass beauty, but it will need to be replaced by another. Although ceiling fans get a bad rap, one is absolutely necessary to make it through a hot & humid New England summer in our un-airconditioned house.  This fan is in our family room, which is our next major project on the "To Do" list, so there's no better time like the present to get a new one.

I came across a couple of interesting options by Matthews Fan Company

But...I think they might be a little too interesting in my house. I don't exactly want our ceiling fan to be the center of attention.

So that brings us to the standard issue white fans with an attached light readily available at Home Depot and Lowes...

But before going down that route, we might try what Jenny suggested in recent post which is to spray paint the fan the color of the ceiling so that it almost disappears. Then add a drum shade over the light fixture to update it. In fact, there's a drum shade kit available at Shades of Light that might do the trick.

Now imagine it all white.  What do you think?

Or have you come across any good looking ceiling fan options?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Looking for Moi?

Meet me over at Strictly Simple Style today where I'm guest posting about our Master Bedroom as part of Karen's My Favorite Space series.

I'll be sharing updated photos of our bedroom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Les Indienness

I was recently introduced to Les Indienness, a fabric and wallpaper retailer, in a recent post by Katy Elliot.  I was immediately drawn to the vivid colors and bold Indian inspired graphics.
#35 Elephant

#82L Large Cosette

#2 Marie
When I investigated further, I found that in addition to fabric and wallpaper, Les Indienness also sells table linens, bedding, and even upholstered furniture available through their online shop.

Aren't these beautiful?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Master Bedroom

  Our Master Bedroom was the first room we tackled shortly after moving in. Like most people, we wanted a calm and serene space to retreat to at the end of a long workday. We also wanted a finished room in our home where we could escape all the construction debris and dust that comes with renovating a house. 

When we moved in, our room had nautical themed wallpaper and wallpaper border that I didn't waste any time removing. 

 It also had this strange light fixture in the hallway that we promptly got rid of.

Chris hung crown molding (which was a challenge due to the slanted walls), and I painted the walls light gray. 
I had been drooling over this Draper Stripe bedding from Dwell Studio for months. After the three days I spent stripping wallpaper, I decided that I in fact, deserved it for all of my hard work! Our rug is a $79 remnant that I just happened to find in the exact shade of gold as the bedding. It is almost like the rug and bedding were meant for each other.  Don't you just love when that happens?

Just recently, I found an old wingback at our local Salvation Army and had it recovered to match our headboard.  Seems Harry thinks I put it in our bedroom just for him.

I filled two pre-matted Target frames with inexpensive wrapping paper and hung them over the nightstands. This is supposed to be "temporary" art until I find something better to put in these frames.

We fell in love with this house because of all the old school charm and character it has. The stained glass in the door and the transom window above it is a good example. This door opens onto a back staircase that leads to the mudroom and kitchen, which has been pretty convenient for getting up for a glass of water in the middle of the night!

I still consider this room "a work in progress" (really, is a room ever done???), but it has already come a long way.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Need a Bright Idea...

If you take a really close look at this "light fixture"...

You'll appreciate just how ugly it is.

As part of our mini mudroom makeover, I'd like to come up with a low cost solution for replacing/disguising/accepting our only source of light in the mudroom. You'll notice that the pull chain, external wiring & socket presents somewhat of a challenge. It is going to be hard to simply replace it with an ordinary wall sconce.

Any ideas?
Or should I just give that jumbo lightbulb a good spring cleaning and accept it for what it is?
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