May 28, 2009


One of my biggest heartaches during our whole gut-rehab adventure has been that my dad wasn't able to see any of the major work completed. He was diagnosed with cancer soon after we purchased the house and within 2 years he was pretty much bed-ridden and unable to communicate very well. We had just started the major work on the second floor when he passed away... My dad gut-rehabbed 2 houses on his own... I learned from him and his work, but I cannot count how many times I have asked and continue to ask myself "how would dad detail this?" or wish that he was still alive so that he could come and critique all the details I screwed up (Jesus Christ... have you heard of a level? Who the hell hung the drywall? I'm getting motion sickness from the waves... (then with a smile and pat on the back) Looks good!!!!)

My mom has put their Michigan/summer house on the market... so I've been busy taking photos of the house whenever I go up there to visit... During my last visit I took lots and lots of photos of the front deck... lots of great little details to keep in mind when constructing our own deck (hopefully this summer). My dad had all these elegant little details/solutions stored away in his brain... God is in the details, right?

iron ore

Since our existing front door is and has been in extremely bad shape, howling wear, tear and age... since we can't afford a new door this year... since our house looks a little schizophrenic with dark trim on the second floor and light trim on the first... since it's time to get things a little more 'finished'... we decided "for the time being" to spruce up the front door and downstairs window with a fresh coat (or 3) of paint...
BEFORE photo of the front door and downstairs front window, with cracked and peeling cream colored paint:
AFTER photo, with 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Eggshell Paint (1 or 2 more coats to go, plus a little detail painting at the door jamb and window screen trim):
I was toying with the idea of maybe painting the house numbers a pop-y color... If the door frame was chunkier, I'd say the door frame stays Iron Ore grey however the actual door gets painted a deep aubergine... but it is what it is for now, so for now, I've got the numbers... maybe.

cuckoo clock round-up

Cuku City Clock

May 27, 2009

coat trees and hooks

We have an Eames-Hang-It-All (I got it about 10 years ago), but we could still use some additional coat storage around the house... a few that have caught my eye:

Off the wall hooks at MOMA
Belleville Metal Coat Hanger
John Lewis Stamford Coat Stand

...and my favorite...

for those who just can't lie still while on the beach...

... take a hint from Jim Denevan. His work reminds me of some of Andy Goldsworthy's pieces...

May 7, 2009

what's up?

... not much. We have been kind of in a holding pattern... examining our list of 'things to do, complete and/or work on', then trying to figure out what we can actually afford to work on. Reality blows.

Anyway, during the past month, we've managed to:
+ stain the back door, door trim and window trim (Minwax Ipswich Pine 221 with protective top coat finish)
+ install can light fixture trim pieces
+ finish drywalling and mudding the basement stairwell and doorway/soffit (next up: priming and painting)
+ start on a temporary paint job for the living room stairs (since we won't be rehabbing the living room anytime soon, we'd like to at least 'clean it up ' a bit)

So what's next...

We're trying to figure out if we should:
A. Clean up the basement a bit and set up a laundry zone. Currently the clothes burning and energy hogging 1979 washer and dryer are located next to the furnace way way away from the basement stairs and in the area we'd like to use for storage and a 'workshop'. The thought was to move the NEW washer and dryer next to the basement stairs.
B. Start fixing up the backyard (see
previous post).

Our front yard is really lovely and we definitely use it, so it's not as though we are lacking outdoor space... but with a backyard, we could bbQ, Charlevoix would have (a little bit) of space to roam without a leash. Only problem is, the backyard project will run us about 3K + more than the basement laundry project.

With warm weather here (kind of), I'm really aching for the backyard... who cares about clean clothes, right??? Sigh.