Thursday, September 30, 2010

Canton here I come!

This weekend is First Mondays in Canton, TX.  For those of you who don't know, this is a huge flea markety kind of place.  I haven't been since I was a little girl, so I'm super excited just to go and experience it again as an adult.  Also, really hoping to score some cool finds!  I'll try to remember to take pics of interesting items/art/furniture while I'm there to blog about later.  So fun!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Cumberland

So I found a couple pictures of the upstairs bathroom in the Cumberland house.  The vanities and mirrors are reproduction pieces that were already in the house, but I painted them black and we laid a new tile floor that was common in bathrooms of the era of when the house was built.  The sink faucets and light fixtures were replaced as well.  This was my son's and guest bathroom.  I thought they made good before and after pics, so enjoy!

Maple "After" office

Okay, so this is the only picture I could find of the office after we were done with the house.  It's kind of a lame picture...sorry.  In this room we removed all the dingy shutters and replaced them with sheers.  This room suffered from the same problem of lack of light.  Obviously, the problem was solved and the office was bright and airy, which is what I like in an office.  Other than that, I didn't even have it fully furnished at this point, but I would like to point out the orange accent wall.  I came home and told my husband I was painting the wall pumpkin orange.  He is not one for visualizing before doing, so he said, "I'll just trust you on this one" (which always makes for a good husband!!).  And yes, that is a pillow in the fireplace...courtesy of my then 3 year old...

Also, the globe you see here lights up and I actually am interested in selling it.  Make me an offer, anyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fighting the good fight.

I try to make my house pretty and an enjoyable place for me to live and friends to visit.  I'm alone in this endeavor.  These people that live with me (husband and two boys) put up a fight...or at least they subconsciously put up a fight.  The boys are too young to know better, and my husband tries his best to pick up and put things back where they go, but sometimes it feels like I'm the only one fighting the good fight to keep our home nice....

Exhibit A: this tissue box cover.  How cute is this cover that I ordered from Pottery Barn?  Or maybe I shoudl ask: how cute is this cover if it were put on rightside up??  It conceals ugly tissue boxes (because I have yet to find a nice tissue box for tissues with aloe...I have a sensitive nose...) and I even had it monogrammed with a B for Blackwell.  My hypothesis is that one child took off the cover and one husband put it back on, but did so upside down so that the kleenex are easier to get to.  Um, great, but the B is upside down and backwards. 

Maple "After" Dining room

Here's the dining room updated.  Fresh white paint on all the walls made this room much brighter.  Since it was in the middle of the house with rooms on either side of it, there were no windows in the dining room. I even used white slipcovers for the chairs (which I don't like anymore, but oh well).  That's my dog, Brodie. In every picture I've realized you will either see him, one of my children, or one or more of my childrens' toys--definitely not catalog living like Gary and Elaine...
That antique piece of furniture that you can see through the doorway into the living room is one of my favorite pieces of furniture that we own.  The old owners of the Maple house actually gave it to us because we said how much we liked it. We still have it in our new house and I think it is a great contrast/balance to the more modern feel of my current home.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maple House Before and After Living room

I forgot to post a before pic of the living room, so here is a side by side comparison of the before and after.  We just painted the walls and the trim (HATE painting trim).  My wonderful husband refinished the wood floors in the ENTIRE house by himself!  They were beautiful when he was finished.  I was so proud of him!

I removed the upper shutters on all the windows.  We still had basic privacy, but it let in so much more light, which the house desperately needed.  I guess if you walk around nekkid in your living room, you shouldn't do it--by all means, keep the shutters closed, but I choose light over nekkidness. :)

PS-I changed up the style/design of the blog.  This one suits me for now.

Don't take yourself too seriously...

Here's a link to a blog/website that offers commentary on Pottery Barn (and other) catalogs.  It's hilarious!!! "Elaine and Gary"  :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maple House "After" Kitchen

Here are some pictures of the "after".  Looking back since it's been almost two years since we did this remodel, I can say I have mostly good memories of this.  That's the biggest drawbacks about remodeling:  the time when you are in the thick of it and you can get overwhelmed with all the little details that need to get done but keep piling up.  The end is what you have to keep in your mind to keep yourself focused and energized to keep going.  It also helps if you have to move in within a certain period of time!!

As you will see, the cabinets are the same shaker style cabinets that I used in the Cumberland house and the same ones that I actually had built for my new, current house.  They are my favorite style, so why fix it if it ain't broke??  Plus, it's a style that is so simple that it can go with virtually any kind of decor, so it's a great option for a house that you are flipping.
As you can see, the kitchen is rather large for such an old house.  The cabinet boxes are actually the original ones to the house, but we saved money by just having new doors custom made for the drawer fronts and cabinet doors.  A side note about the cabinetry:  inside one of the drawers, we found a note from one of the original homeowners or contractors that said "this house was completed in September 1925"-- pretty cool!

New black granite replaced yellow tile countertops.  The walls are painted Kilim Beige from Sherwin Williams, which is my go-to beige color.  I think we've used that color on 5 houses!  The floor is a slate colored porcelain laid in a brick pattern. 
This is the wall where those two broken double yellow ovens were.  We took them out and replaced it with a small secondary pantry area.  I love to cook, but really, who needs 3 ovens??  Also, we replaced the range with a Jenn-Air professional series gas range, which is my favorite stove that I wish I could take with me to all my houses.  The range is a testimony to the "thriftiness" of my husband.  Those ranges usually cost around $4,000-$5,000, but this was a floor model that was on sale for $3,000 because the store was changing up their display.  My husband, being the cheapskate that he is, but knowing how is wife loves some of the finer things in life, asked if they would take $1,200 for the stove. They said yes!!  And here it is!
Note:  The race car is not original to the's a reproduction ;)

One more note about appliances:  You should NEVER pay full price for appliances.  There are simply too many good deals to be had if you just take a little time and look around.  Floor models at big box stores are a great place to find appliances; also, look online--a lot of times, they will include free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, and when you are shipping something as big as a major appliance, that's huge savings!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Maple House

The Maple house is the house we owned before we built the one we are living in now. It was built in 1924 by a wealthy family in Waco. The walls are plaster and the roof was slate tiles (which, by the way, to replace that roof today would cost upwards of $100,000.00. Not a cheap house to build, especially back then. There is also a garage apartment where the "help" stayed. We rented it out to a college age guy that worked for my husband's business.
How did we find this house?
The Maple house is actually one street over and one block down from the Cumberland House. I always walked by when taking my child and dog for a walk. It's one of those houses that makes you want to see what the inside looks like when you see the outside because you know it has to be cool. Well, it came for sale one day, but it was overpriced, and seeing how we just moved cross country and went through a total home remodel, we were really in the market...or so we thought...
Anyway, a couple months later, the house still had not sold, but the owners were moving out. My husband was driving by as they were loading their stuff in a truck. He thought they might be ready to just be rid of the house, so he stopped and asked what they'd take for it. They gave him a tour of the home, and it turns out they were only the second people to ever own the home. (which means that most things were probably untouched, which is great news in the remodeling world: less junky renovations to tear out). To make a long story short, my husband came home that day and told me that we needed to buy this house. I thought he was crazy and that he might need a good slap upside the head...until I went and checked it out. It was a one of a kind house. I was sold. So, we purchased it and started remodeling right away and put the Cumberland house on the market 5 months after we bought it and renovated it. The original plan was to get them both on the market and whichever one did not sell, that's the one we would live in. Well, God had it in His plan to sell the Cumberland house in two weeks. It turned out we were on a stricter timeline than we thought with the Maple remodel. Crazy, yes.

Here are the before pictures of the Maple house:

This is the lovely yellow kitchen with flowered "wallpaper" that was really more like contact paper because it peeled off like plastic contact paper, which turned out to be a blessing, for those of you who have ever tried to take off wallpaper. Oh, and the double oven did not work.

This is the "jungle room" upstairs. It was covered in this jungle wallpaper that was terrible to remove. We ended up using a textured paint to cover all the imperfections left by removing the wallpaper. This room even had a chaise lounge covered in fabric that exactly matched the walls. I didn't even see it the first two times I visited the house because it was so well camouflaged. The windows here were all rotted out, so we had to replace them, which made the biggest difference in the feel of the room. It felt so much cleaner and cozier afterwards.

This is the very center of the house, the dining room. It was in good shape, but like every other living area, it was painted a dull, dark shade of gray. The chandelier was original and perfect for the house. Minimal work in this room.

This is the room we ended up using as the office. No structural changes needed here. Just major cosmetic cleaning up. Everything in this room was painted a yellowish cream. The color that seems to be the most popular color for walls and mouldings for houses built in the 20s and 30s.

"After pictures to come soon"

All things turquoise

So, turquoise is the new 'it' color for me in home decor. I can't get enough of it, if I can just find it reasonably priced.

My signtaure house colors have always been browns with deep rusty oranges and rusty yellows. This, has gotten tiring for me after 8 years of this, so a couple years ago I was looking to freshen it up a bit. I was choosing between adding either an earthy green, a limey green, or a turquoise/teal color. The turquoise won out because it was a little more of a modern feel than the others.

This color just gives a good pop that gives the eye a break from the oranges and browns. I'm still on the hunt for an entry table or chest that I can paint turquoise!