Monday, November 14, 2011

Summer tasks wrap-up

At the beginning of the summer, we made a list. We kept adding to it. And we did knock a number of items off the list.

Here's the list, crossing off the tasks that were completed:

Pull carpet off front stairs
Repaint stairs (interior)
Repaint lower half of DR
Paint front hall + upstairs hall
Refinish front hall window
Powerwash front walk
Put #s on front walk stairs
Fix kitchen porch - wash, paint, new stairs
New light in front hall and front porch
Paint Beechnut#2's room
Paint Master BR Hall
fix hole in downstairs Bathroom
Paint exterior trim
Prune Cherry tree
Get rid of toddler climber in the back yard
Get rid of old patio table and chairs
Call to get kitchen sink fixed
Get rid of treadmill
Get gutters on the kitchen porch
Fix gutter on back of house
Paint screened porch exterior wall
Paint trim of deck
get rid of old maple stump
Call Bartlett tree service
Motorcycle sold/plates returned
Replace playroom light switch
new outlets in Beechnut#2's room

Monday, October 31, 2011


We were lucky with this early Nor'easter. Only about 4-5 inches of snow.
We didn't lose power and had very few branches down.

The Beechnuts were hoping for sledding, but settled for hanging the Halloween decorations instead.

We added a guillitone this year,

I think the decorations look extra creepy against the snow.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tree concerns

The Beech tree hasn't been looking very good this year.  Our friends and neighbors have commented on its sparse appearance. We've noticed lots of dead branches. So we called an arborist. He confirmed its not doing so well.
It turns out Beech trees do not do well in a drought. And we've had a dry summer. So we started watering and they came out to prune it.

Keep your fingers crossed. It would be a shame if we killed a 200 year old beech tree in just 7 short years of owning it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Porch progress

 The floor is on.
The columns are up. The landing feels huge without a railing. We're contemplating keeping it this way, it feels more welcoming and less cramped.
We still need to finish the concrete pad in front of the stairs and put the pavers back in place. We also need to add some trim to the columns to make them pretty. But its getting there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Irene Wake-up

Luckily, we were fine after Hurricane Irene. But we did decide to add a little more water protection to the porch while we had the stairs pulled up.

Jeff pulled up the old pavers, dug a trench, and he added a concrete pad to funnel some more water away from the house.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kitchen Porch


It looks fine right? But get a little closer...
Fall 2010

The decking has been coming apart on the kitchen porch for a while. The stairs were nailed in, so we're constantly pushing the nails back into the boards with our shoes. The steps are loose and the posts are showing signs of rot. Then someone pointed out that the posts weren't actually holding up the roof, the ceiling was just resting on it.

Here's the porch mid-demo.

We found the old concrete slab steps under the porch.

The plan is for new square columns to match the formal front entrance, mahagony floor and stairs, and to widen the stairs.

I also want to replace the railings with a more victorian-styled balustrades, but we'll do those at a later time. The porch is only a few inches off the ground, so the railings aren't a code requirement.  The goal is to finish this before the "First Day of School" photo.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Number 14

One of the things on the list was to hang the house numbers on our front porch. We went to LA in Feb and I found these numbers at Liz's Antique Hardware, which is a really fun store.
I thought it would be cool to have them on the stairs, but they were too tall, so it went above. And Jeff power-washed the moss off the front walk. 2 items checked off!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Summer List

June seemed quiet, but it was a month of planning, door shopping, family, end-of-school, and making a list. Above is a photo of the current list of things to do this summer. It has big projects and little jobs and we're trying to knock it out between trips to the beach and vacations.

I'll post pictures soon of some of the improvements, but I didn't want you to think we were doing nothing over here!

Monday, May 9, 2011

School's in session!

Got new lights for the playroom from Lamps Plus. They were on sale.  They really brighten up the room, which is good since they are off-centered in the room. Some day when this room bubbles to the top of the priority list we'll move the lights, but for now they are an upgrade.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mini Bathroom Update

It started with a small crack in the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom.

So we did what anyone would do, and we make a big hole to see what was going on.

We found evidence of water dripping from a pipe.

Despite the fact that I secretly wanted to redo the Beechnut's bathroom, we were able to fix the leak with a new wax seal.

But since we had the toilet pried off, might as well do a little updating.

I found a nice light fixture at a going-out-of-business sale and we bought a new toilet. The vanity was existing and it'll do for now.

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore's Bridal Pink. Its a bathroom for little girls. They like pink.
We added a curved shower rod for a little extra roominess and hooks for towels or robes.

You can see the blue-gray fiberglass surround peeking out. Its just not in the budget this year to gut this bathroom, so I'm ignoring it.

The Beechnuts are excited, they love the pink bathroom. The total for the update came to just over $500, the majority being spent on the Kohler Memoirs toilet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bathroom Plan

I think the Beechnuts are going to get a new bathroom shortly. There is some water damage showing in the room below that we need to investigate. I am looking on the bright side, thinking this is great because the bathroom is really old and decrepit, but bad because I really wanted a new front door and french doors in the living room.

We're not going to move any plumbing or walls, but we might need a new window.
Here's the plan for the items we need to purchase. I'm going to keep it simple with hexagonal tiles on the floor, white subway tiles on the tub surround, and maybe go crazy with pink paint on the walls.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest Room - Before and After

This is our new Guest Room. Well, not really new but updated. The room is small, just 8 x 9 feet with a small closet.

This is what it looked like before, pasty-peach colored walls from the previous owners, super cheap curtains to just have something up.
I decided it was time to tackle this room so our guests have somewhere nice, albeit small, to stay when they visit. After all, its only been 6 years that its looked that way.
I started by buying the Pottery Barn Weston sconces (got a deal on Ebay!) to have wall-mounted light.

We painted the room C2 Haddon Hall.

We created a headboard using some MDF, spare gray fabric and nailhead trim.

Rehung some old curtains from Pottery Barn. Yes, I know they are too short, but they'll do for now.

I found the royal blue rug a home depot in the super-clearance section. Changed up some artwork (the 2 florals were a wedding gift).

 And ta-da! 1 bedroom complete!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where's that sound coming from?

When we had the kitchen gutted, Jeff made sure to run speaker wire into the ceiling so we could have surround sound some day in the future when we could afford new speakers.

When I was out doing the weekly shopping, Jeff decided that day had arrived and he ran out, bought speakers, and then called to inform me he was about to drill holes in the ceiling, since he didn't remember where he had left the wire. (Really? Why would he make that call?)

I was a little nervous arriving home, I was certain it would be a disaster, but he found it on the first try!
The rectangles are the new speakers, on either end of the island
And now, we have music wherever we go. Well, at least while we're in the kitchen.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Greetings from Alaska

No, I'm not really in Alaska, but it looks like it. 

We've had a lot of snow. In the photo above, the snow is almost even with the kitchen porch. A porch with 3 steps up from the ground! I'm nervous about what's going to happen in our basement when this melts. But until the, the Beechnuts are enjoying the winter wonderland!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

French doors, french fries, french dressing

I had been thinking about french doors for a while. Specifically that I want them in my Living Room. More specifically, I want more french doors in the living room.

There is a wall with a small door between our front entry hall and the living room. Here's the pretty staircase in the front hall, albeit camouflaged with rosy carpet and butter-colored walls.

We want to stare lovingly at the pretty staircase from the comfort of the sofa, but we need to be able to close the doors to stop the draft from coming into the living room and to stop noise from traveling up the stairs to awaken sleeping children.

Our solution? Move the doorway to the middle of the wall and create pocket french doors.
Like this:
No children were harmed in the creation of this photo
It will add some architectural interest to the room, we can show off the staircase and we can catch small children who sneak down to listen to the TV after bedtime. Win-win!


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