Monday, July 19, 2010

Baby steps

As of last night we cleared out the rest of the concrete and laid a path just to make sure we were keeping enough aside. We probably wont even need this much. The plan is to recess it into the ground and have grass grow between...

You can get a glimpse of the shutters we added to the garage last week.

Wow, this is going to give us so much more grass! I still can't believe someone built a garage on the opposite side of the yard all the way back there...

An idea of what I am envisioning
(photo found in google images)

I should have posted an exterior shot of the back of the house...but here is an idea of what we are going for. We'll have a small area of pavers for a yard level patio-the stairs will inset like those do on the right to the back door. We will also have a set of inset stairs on the other side to our side door.

Their porch wraps all the way around. Ours will go to the corner of the house then a small one from our side door will tie into the mail deck. And the pergola.....sigh...

Another beautiful pergola. Couldn't resist. the plan is to have a long skinny farmhouse table undderneath as well which is why I've saved this photo for all of this time.

It's been really difficult to "see" how it will come together. Now that all of the white concrete is out of my eyesight I'm starting to see it... ;)

On the agenda this week: removing the sidewalk by the side door. I will then call the gas company to have them come move the gas meter to a better location. I'll also need to line up a visit from the a/c people to talk about moving our air unit as well. Exciting-lol.

Last 3 pics courtesy of Country Living.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bye bye driveway!

Wow, it's been a long time! Not that we haven't been busy with house projects-that's a constant with old houses...I've just been lazy keeping track of things and getting pictures on here.
The project of the moment (well, 1 of 3-lol) is finally getting rid of the driveway that ran diagnal across our backyard. We had flipped our garage door over a year ago to the alley for rear access so we'd have a large yard once all of that concrete was removed. It's a bigger, harder and heavier projet than we bet on-but isn't every project like that?
You'd never know that Chloe actually offered to help out by that look she's giving me. The kids have been great at picking the smaller chunks out and wheeling then to the pile with their kiddie wheelbarrow...
Doesn't look like we'll be parking inside the garage anytime soon, huh? That's about 1/4 of the drive-waiting for the city to come pick it up to use it for around the lake.

The best for last :) lol
The arial view of our backyard. It's ridiculous how much more room/grass we'll get once all of that is gone!There is still a good 5 ft toward the house you can't see-all the way over to that rickity fence-(replaced soon hopefully) and about 15 ft or so down the rear of the driveway next to the house.

Unfortunately we're at a standstill to haul until the city comes to haul away the 1st load.

If you look closely you can see the window boxes we just hung on the garage. We made some shutters that I need to finish sealing today and they'll be ready to hang :) Will show that soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring fever

Oh, I've been sitting here daydreaming about spring right around the corner...Haven't we all?This has been THE longest winter and I am so glad to see it GO.

Today I flipped through some Pottery Barn books (yes, and I took pictures of the pages cos that's just how I am...) and wanted to post some things inspiring me today!

We're planning to start a patio/deck/pergola area in the backyard (hopefully) this year so I've been busy trying to find a good layout that will work with our space. I thought this was nice-but I'm not sold on the concrete patio...(our pergola would be white, btw...) here's a nice white pergola. And that smoofy daybed...too bad we live in Illinios. That wouldn't fly here.

But I AM in love with that simple white and blue striped quilt-I want it for Gabe's new bed. Anyone know the name of it? I must have it! hehe. Obviously, it's a PB one but don't recall seeing it-I bet it's an old one...

Another small shot of the pergola~ My dream is to actually have a long handmade (by Trav, of coarse) farmhouse table to put under the pergola and have it stung w/ lots of white lights in grapevine balls........can you see it? ahhhhh.

Ah, and I dream of the day we'll have fluffy, mature hydrangeas around the perimeter of the yard. With this huge house remodel the poor yard hasn't had much done to it. The edges get so much shade they're a muddy mess. These would look lovely.

This has me thinking about that old icecream table and chairs we used to have in the was heading towards the garage sale pile last week. I'm thinking about carrying it to the front porch to see how it fits in our funny little nook by the front door. This might work?!

Not sure what this one was about-I guess the mature landscapinig, pea gravel and fun metal stool spoke to me. I have black chairs almost just like that...

Saved the best for last. A little inside joke for Kim...cute idea with that mini colander, eh? :)

I'd love to see other's spring inspiration! Does anyone have anything they're itching to do once the weather breaks? Any fun links? Share them with us! :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book review

A couple of weeks ago when Travis and I were being "interviewed" about our home restoration project by our neighborhood historian for the newsletter-he said "You guys could write a book about all of this!"

That made me go "hmm"

The next time I was at the library I decided to see if I could run across any books on the subject of old home restoration..... I came across this.
All the Way Home. Building a family in a falling down house by: David Giffels

This book. Wow.

Ok, I've to say~this is the first time in our 13 married years that I've seen Travis finish a book. lol. We tag-team read it and finished within a day of each other. I must's almost like we could have written it. It's been done. Guess no book authoring is on our horizon...David Giffels has said it all-and much better than either of us could express in written word.

I totally recommend this book to any DIY'er or old home owner. It makes you think about the history, the original owners, what these walls have seen....Too bad we didn't find 17,000 hidden in one of our walls like he did (not for lack of looking!!)

{The newsletter has come out now-but unfortunately isn't online yet. I'll post a link once it is online......}


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From one boys room to another

Looks like we'll be tag teaming little boy bedrooms on here for a bit!!

It was time for our 3 1/2 year old to move on up to the big boy bed! I don't think I've seen him so excited in quite some time... Then it was a crib switcharoo for the littlest guy...

I plan to do an overhaul on the room. I never finished it like I wanted and have lots of ideas.

Here is from the doorway looking left. He's got 3 nice windows but it makes it difficult to arrange furniture in there--at least with a crib...I'm hoping that with a twin bed will be easier! These 100+ year old houses make furniture placement so hard!

And looking to the right. The antique lawyers bookshelf was given to me from a friend. Love it.
This crib is now in Sawyer's room.

The plan was to bring the antique twin bed down from attic storage and paint it while waiting for a mattress order to come in. Surprise...mattress was there and ready to be picked up the same day. You'd think Gabe got a new toy-I can't keep him off of the thing!

Actually I can't get any of them off of it-I finally got one of them laying still.

The bed is about 1/2 way painted and hopefully will be ready to put together this weekend. I can't wait to rearrange and find some goodies for the walls. For Christmas Travis gave Gabe 3 of his old 80's skateboard decks and will be making shelves out of I need to figure out where to put them and what goes on them. I love that Gabe is wanting to be involved with this as well. He's been saying he wants to help put the bed together-he'll probably be hovering with his plastic drill and screwdriver ready to Love that kid :)

I'll be posting progress as it happens...



Friday, February 12, 2010

The best kind of inspiration

I've been slacking big time and I'm really feeling the pressure since Amanda has been working hard on her desk project. It turned out great, btw :)

I think I (sort of) have a good excuse for not doing anything around the house lately. After a very long and difficult journey, we now have the best inspiration for a decorating project......

Our little guy.
Due to arrive in April.

Let the fun begin.........

We have an empty room with 2 windows and 2 closets.

As you can see it's a blank slate.

We're expecting a boy but we're not crazy about using blue. It really would make it easier since it seems like almost everything out there for boys is blue. We also don't really want a theme, per se. After a lot of browsing we finally decided on a green & brown color palette.

Here are some paint paint and fabric samples..........

(Sorry, I'm not a photographer nor do I have a great camera so my pics leave a lot to be desired. I think you get the idea though)

We've been browsing through a lot of pics for wall treatments. Stripes are a definite possibility but do we want....

vertical stripes ?


horizontal stripes??

(picture from Design Dazzle)

I almost forgot, this is the crib we have on order (along with the matching double dresser).

So there you have it, the project we've been waiting to work on for more than 7 years.

If you have any ideas or inspiration pics, please do share. Thanks for looking and I'll try not to be a stranger on my own blog. I plan on updating throughout the process.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All wrapped up!

And I've gotta say~ I looooove it! One last little thing I'd like to do is add some high shelf lights-but that will have to wait til our next trip to Ikea...I do plan to eventually add a rug and maybe a sitting chair and table where the plant is but this will all come in time...

I rearranged the shelves a bit. Here's a closer peek at those scrapbooking book plates now that they're up...

I took a quick trip to Goodwill the other night to see if any little treasures jumped out at me. I came across a cook square glass vase/container thing for $1.50 (in the top photo you can see on the shelf-I filled with old wine corks) and then I came across these 2 little silver bowls~~~

I loved the colors of the patina running through them....There was weird little labels laminated and scotch taped to the bottoms that said "wheels" with no prices. The lady sold them to me for .75 each.
Once I got home I washed them and concidered polishing them~ then realized I bought them because the colors called to me~so I left them alone. After removing the labels I saw the Gorham stamps on the bottoms with numbers. I googled the stamps and turns out antique dealers are listing them for $25-30 each online. Makes em even cooler!!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bulletin board=Happiness

Part 3 of the desk nook...
This is where is all starts coming together-finally!
Ok for months I've had these strips of paper taped underneath each rattan box cubby telling me what each is for...

They seriously looked crappy. I've had an idea in my head all along-and ran into them the other night when shopping for the bulletin board...
2.99/yard for burlap at Joann Fabrics. I needed just shy of 2 1/2 yds.

Scrapbooking bookplates. $4.Found them at Joann's 40% off. Ended up having to buy 2 packages since I didn't realize there were assorted sizes...

Since the silver handles on the drawers are brushed silver I'll probably hit these with fine sandpaper. They'll be screwed on under the 6 basket cubbies where the papers were.

Trav installed 3 spacer boards on the wall to attach the board to give it stability (well, more like he added 2-there was already one up above that you can't see that is helping support the shelf bottom) so he just evened it all out.
I think the board we used was called homasote board. (?) We found it at Menards and is about 1/2 inch thick and pretty heavy. Note that I had to cut it down and rig it into 2 pieces to get it to fit the area I needed. I glued them together with Goop and those paint stir sticks for a little stability-lol. Stapled the burlap on just like I'm upholstering a chair...The back is never pretty-but who cares-no one will ever see it once it's up, right?

Tah dahhhhhh!
I cannot believe how MUCH I love it! The texture really warmed up what was kind of a cold space. I still need to hang the little silver plates after some minor paint touch ups today. Still need to attack those shelves above-but will have to wait for another day. One is just getting over the stomach flu here and another one has started and the 3rd is out of school today and going absolutely stir crazy!

Off to go play Go Fish.....Have a great one!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting there~Desk progress...

So close...We got so much done this weekend!! (Shocked since the 3 year old must have a stomach bug and we're zombies from being up all Saturday night) but we *mostly* completed 2 big projects!

First up: the desk nook.......

So I'm continuing this from the previous post~ I ordered the glass top~it was the wrong size. hmm. The girl typed the order up as 2 inches too short. Not happy. Luckily she re-ordered it no problem...but there was a slight problem. They decided to skimp on polishing the edges this time around. Again-not happy. Decided not to mess with it-it's too much of a pain to haul an 8 ft piece of glass in a minivan. Moral of the story? Make sure your husband checks each little thing and measures before leaving the place.

Drilling the hole for the cords-I opted for 2 holes at each end of the desk.

Hole at the left side.

Wah lah-with the white desk grommet in place...
Looks better already!

The under cabinet lights (3) were installed. We picked them up at Ikea on our last time dirt cheap.

Close up of a light.
Exciting-I know...

The little cord catcher things Travis picked up and screwed along the under edge of the shelf to keep them nice and hidden.

This is the kind of help he was getting-along with plastic drills and screwdrivers. See why these projects of ours seems to take a wee longer than norm?

A good shot of the cord holes at either end of the little wall inset. The switch for the lights will be tacked up to the wall-not just hanging there like that...

And from farther back. The old desk (to the left) is now carried out. Yesterday I spent gobs of time upside down and twisted around hovering over the glass top to prime and paint the underneath of the shelves where the lights were. (I could slightly see under there from the couch and it was driving me NUTS!) It looks so nice and clean now. Edges caulked and smooth...Love it!

I can't wait to re-arrange the shelves so it doesn't look like such a jumble!
Next update: the bulletin board for the back wall.....