Friday, September 30, 2011


Yesterday was awesome! My parents visited and my mom and I worked on the dining room sheers. We found some gorgeous stripe-y sheer fabric:

And we stitch-witched everything together. The amount of fabric we got JUST fit.

The other side of the room - let's pretend the AC isnt in...

It looks much more finished now!

We also managed to squeeze in a trip to the paint store. Putting on my painting clothes right now...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have a thing for herringbone, also I have been on-again, off-again wondering what to do with our hearth. Some kind of tile, but what?

I saw this recently in the Water Witch Club. Not sure about the color, but I really like the pattern...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Last Saturday was an... interesting... day

I started last weekend thinking that this would be THE WEEKEND OF THE PAINTING OF THE FRONT STOOP!!!

Fate had it another way. But I did manage to paint the front door.

Before - this looked worse in person
The blue paint looked dull and the brass hardware was majorly rusted

After - this looks better in person 
I was hoping for a little more color difference between the black paint 
and oil-rubbed-bronze spray paint, but overall does look much more cleaned up!

As for my weekend:

Remove all the hardware
Spray hardware with Rustoleum's Oil-Rubbed-Bronze
Let hardware dry 
Paint the front door
Replace all hardware
Call it a day
Paint the stoop on Sunday

Remove some hardware
Get stuck removing the doorplate with lock attached
Change plans and try to put lock back together FAST!!!
Lose random screw inside locking mechanism
Call locksmith
Delay painting because I don't want the locksmith to get covered in paint
Locksmith comes, all is restored $140 later...
Line the surrounding area with plastic and spray paint the lock directly on the door 
Wait for it to dry
Paint the door
Replace other pieces of hardware
Pass out on couch for 2 hours
Wake up and force John to accompany me to Lowe's
Realize at Lowe's I forgot the blue cement piece I need to match for tomorrow's project!!
Realize I have a sore throat!!!
Wake up Sunday am with excruciating pain in my throat and a 101 degree fever!!!!
Miss most of work this week thinking I have strep throat (I don't)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Upstairs hall bathroom closet

One of the things gnawing at my OCD for a long time was our bathroom hall closet. It came to a head after last week, when I was spending way too much time digging around for everyday basics like dental floss and deodorant, and coming up with empty bottles of Listerine and hand soap. 

So, after a thorough cleaning and dumping...

Yes, I have striven and dreamt about this all my life - baskets that match, and a closet that rivals those in the Pottery Barn catalog. Sort of.

I'm hoping to someday replace the shelving, and patch and paint the inside of the walls. But really, that's a project for Spring 2017. Too many other things in the works!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Step 2 - front step rehab - painting the steps

Our house is blue and white. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I think it's a little too country.

I like blues, but I like teal more than denim blue, and I would prefer an all-over, shades-of-grey house and much less white on the exterior.

The thing is the foundation is also painted blue. The blue is just fully-integrated into the whole thing. And to re-paint the entire house when we think it's ok, it just seems like we'd be spinning our wheels, at least for now. But I am willing to paint the front door!

So now time for some Photoshop fun:

My mom suggested we paint the steps charcoal grey:
Paint the door and bench black, paint the stairs charcoal grey, add lime green planters

I think it's just a little weird to have a slightly different color on the steps than the foundation. It also contrasts too much with the house.

Then I mocked up a "crazy" color door:
Paint the door lime, paint the steps and bench blue

So, we're leaning in this direction:
Paint the door black, paint the bench and stairs blue.

Hoping this weekend is dry and sunny!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Front steps update!

One of the unfortunate things about being a homeowner is having to spend a bunch of money to fix very un-glamourous aspects of the house.

Case in point:
Our front steps had some nasty cracks that got very bad over the winter. So bad, there were weeds and moss growing out of holes in the cement. Yeah, time to fix.

The funny thing is, it was very hard to find someone to come out and fix the stairs. One company in our town was very reputable and constantly advertising. I called them no less than 10 times over the course of 1 month - each time they said someone would be over the next day, or possibly over the next few days. I actually had to call them to tell them I no longer wanted to do business with them because it I was getting no response from them, the receptionist was kind of like "Sorry, I know, this is weird".

It's a small town and I wonder what the deal is with them, because I would see their truck around town, like, ACTUALLY doing work. And they wouldn't even come over to meet us. I think they had some issue unbeknownst to us? About our house in the past or something? Because it was all very strange and very unlike every experience we've had with other companies around here.

And searching for "cement workers" on Google usually turned up companies who were like "we don't do stairs, only flat surfaces like sidewalks or driveways" or "we don't speak English" or "maybe we'll come around sometime in a few months"

I finally reached someone who immediately set up an appointment and responded very quickly to all my requests. He also seemed very knowledgeable about masonry and cement. And I think he is Italian. So you know, all that stuff about brick and marble and cement and stuff. (Hello Great-grandfather and sons!) So I just went on my intuition that this one guy who would show up and wasn't asking for a deposit* would actually be able to complete the job.

And in one day the job was done and we were able to walk on the steps. It looks great! And I can actually, you know, walk up and down the stairs without worrying I will trip and break my neck or something.

So this week I hope to update you all on my ideas for re-vamping the entry-way with paint, plants, etc. And my goal is to work on this over next weekend. I need to finish this before (gulp) the winter comes! Yikes!

*Since owning this house we have never paid a deposit before a job was complete. I have to say, we have had some pretty good experiences with all the contractors we've hired - everything from our floors, to carpentry, tree trimming, lawn care, electricians, and now cement workers - everything has worked out fine and we usually pay in full within a day the work is complete
, but no sooner. I like to share this information and be as up-front about this because I would like people with less experience to know what to expect. Also if anyone in the North Jersey area needs services and doesn't know where to start, please contact me and I can recommend some people!