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Friday, April 18, 2014

welcome to my hell....

so, i was sort of kidding about titling the post as 'welcome to my hell'...but once you see what i'm talking about, you might agree with me. don't get me wrong, i LOVE our house...but oh my gosh, this part is going to take forever. and i mean, forever.

we're getting to the point where the 868 pieces of trim can be put back on upstairs. and just looking at it all is so daunting. it makes me wonder what i got us into. maybe because i'm sort of responsible for most of the 'finish' work from here on out. i'll have to scrape and sand down ALL of trim before we get it back on and then repaint it. i would love to strip it, but i would be at that for years. there's just way too much. and it has about an 1/8" of paint buildup on it...thats years and years of paint. i dont have the time to strip each piece, unfortunately. its fir, it would be gorgeous...but i digress. anyways, with taking the plaster and lath off and then putting sheetrock up, the trim is going to fit back together differently. the plaster was 1/4" thick in some spots on the wall and almost 2" thick on other parts. the husband tried furring the walls out so they would at least be flush with the window frames and door frames...which took forever and a huge pain in the butt! some of it worked, some of it didn't. SO, we'll have to be retrofitting some of the trim to get it to work properly. and there are places where there wasn't trim, that we need trim and vise versa. so it'll be a long drawn out puzzle to get it back. and we'll still have to go to some architectural salvage places to find some trim to match.

this is a photo of the trim JUST for the upstairs. and the room that its in is about 16' x 12'....and its piled about 3-4' high. just looking at this picture scares me. i have to say, once its up though, and painted, its going to be beautiful....

the second part of my hell, is this.....since the siding was put up on the house, i don't think it was ever repainted the right way. im thinking there was never scraping the old paint off before the new paint went on. the outside is ridiculously alligatored and peeling and chipping and in general, scary as hell. it is going to literally take me ALL spring and summer to prep and paint the exterior of this house.

do you see this? some of it scrapes off, some of it doesn't.

heres a photo of one of the architectural detail pieces on the exterior. you can see how bad the paint is! on a happy note, i love the shade of green peeking out here.....i wonder what all the combinations of colors the house was painted in?!?!

and the third part of my hell is this....the windows. yes, we're keeping the original windows. people have tried to talk me out of this....many many times. one things is the cost factor, one is the 'look', one is the efficiency. i did a TON of research on using original windows in old houses. and found that the air basically escapes out the cracks and out of the frames. the glass isn't exactly the culprit. IF they are insulated well around the window frames, and the glazing on the windows themselves is air tight, the windows are going to be almost as efficient as brand new ones. this made me feel good....but then i realized how much work it was going to be to get them to that point. the husband did a great job of insulating really well around the frames, so that will help tremendously. but the windows haven't been touched in decades. most of them are painted shut and most dont have screens on them. most of them do however have storm windows. which also have to be scraped, repainted and reglazed. AND about half of them have been broken during the demo...which actually makes me sad, because you can't just go to the store and get the old, wavy glass anymore. if i wanted to put that kind of glass back in, i'll have to go to salvage places, find old windows, take them apart and use the glass...hmmmmm. so besides doing all of that work on the exterior of the house, i am going to have to scrape, sand, repaint, and reglaze every single window. oh and there are around 40 windows. i think maybe 36 to be exact...? PLUS a storm window for each window, PLUS building new screen windows for each window. sounds fun, right?!

this is the shape every single window is in...BAD, HORRIBLE shape. and i'm sure its layer upon layer of lead based paint. so i've had a mask on the whole time while scraping. i'll have to look up the symptoms of lead poisoning...this house could kill us. it could.

so to end the post on a HAPPY note....our bathroom sinks JUST arrived. i had to unpack them and put them on the vanity to see what they look like! i think they're going to look great in there! a nice pop of white on the vanity to bring the room all together!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

another FIND, and bathroom update

we've been so busy at the house! and when i say 'we', i really mean my husband :) i JUST started doing some things this last week. its finally MY turn to get in there and do things that i'm able to do. but he's been so busy and done such an amazing job on everything!! AND i don't want to forget to mention all the friends and family that have been such great help as well....we are so very appreciative!

OK, on to the new 'find'. during demo upstairs we realized that the house was originally built with all vaulted ceiling upstairs. can you imagine?! first of all, design wise, gorgeous. but practicality wise, that house had to have been FREEZING! the vaults were actually built right into the roof framing....meaning that there was no airspace between the vault and the no space for any insulation. not that they had any insulation anyways...but still...COLD. we also discovered that the upstairs was maybe only 1 or 2 rooms when the house was built. the vaults were sort of all connected and it seems like the guest bedroom and our dressing room area were all one huge vaulted room at one time. and emma's room may have been tied into it as well. i SO wish i had photos of that house when it was built! i have to do some digging and find something.

we (and again, when i say 'we' i mean the royal we...which means the husband...but 'we' in the sense that i made the design know, so i can be included in the 'we'!) decided to re-build the vault in the guest bedroom because there was a window in the attic which was included in the vault. it didnt work out to have the vault in the our dressing room area, because i'm a symmetrical fanatic and the vault would've been off center in the room....and it would've look weird. i am SO happy with how it turned out...and the 'guest' will have the coolest room in the house..

here's a photo of the ceiling...hard to tell what it is, but the 2x4's are actually the dropped ceiling someone put in at some point, over the vault. not sure WHY they ever covered it the original vault was plastered and had a few layers of wallpaper on it...with some glorious water damage spots.

and here's the original vault before the husband rebuilt it. structurally it needed some reinforcement and needed to be pulled up a bit and leveled out. so that little window on top, was covered up at some point when they put the dropped ceiling in

and here it is after it was rebuilt. LOVE it!

and look at this...PROGRESS!!! this was just taken last week. this room is going to be pretty cool!

you remember the bathroom, right?! well last time i posted, i was lamenting over the tile and color selection. after about 7 trips to the store, i finally came up with the tile selection. and guess what, they didn't have enough in stock. so its on order, but should be here next week so we can get it laid. the husband and i were however able to get the tile set in the shower. and i am loving it. its classic, clean and fresh. i tried to chose most things that would be period to the house and added a few fresh updated pieces....but still in the traditional scheme.

i originally was thinking of doing a sort of 'rug' or center design in the bathroom floor, in one tile and then doing different tile. well, that didn't come together. i couldn't find anything that i liked together. so i ended up going with a marble hex tile for the entire floor. which i think will look lovely. we're also doing a sort of border around the floor in the pencil tile, so it brings in the subway tile look down to the floor, from the shower. i chose standard white subway tile for the shower surround....and added a cut marble tile border, just to break it up a little and to add some marble to connect everything in the bathroom.

this is the marble hex i chose for the flooring, along with the subway tile pencil trim

here's the shower surround detail next to the flooring

the progress. and i learned that we work really well together :) he did the cutting, i did the tile install

here's a photo of it finished

 oh and how could i forget to give an update on the bathroom vanity....its been finished now for about a month. i chose a deep navy for it. i used milk paint, to give a nice chippy finish and i turned out perfect for the bathroom! and i ordered two rectangular white vessel sinks to be installed on the top.

here it is! don't mind the huge shiny thing sitting on top..thats just our kitchen sink that got delivered yesterday! whoohoo!


Friday, February 14, 2014

the upper level bath in the 1870 victorian

its been AGES since i've written a post on the victorian!! SO much has changed since the last post...and once i get all of the new photos downloaded, there will be another post on the construction part! husband has been so busy there getting the upstairs and kitchen gutted and now its almost time to start putting it back together!!!! so with that, my job finally starts...the design part....the fun part...

the major things i've been getting figured out are the kitchen and upper level bath. lighting, color scheme, furniture pieces, sinks, tubs....all SORTS of good things!

i've decided on a pretty neutral color scheme for the walls and add pops of color with window coverings, rugs and pillows. in my last house it was the i wanted a change. and i want the architecture, moulding and details in the house to speak more than the 'color'.

i 'think' i've decided on everything for the are before pictures of it...


the wall that juts out next to the toilet is the old chimney...we took that out and gained a ton of new space!

it's a pretty good sized bathroom, so it gives me room to do a few special things in there. with us getting rid of the old chimney's, it gives us an extra space of about 3' x 4'. which i love, because now theres definitely room for a big soaking tub!! my one of two MUSTS for the house. one we got into the demo, we realized there were tin ceilings and moulding UNDER the awful dropped, wallpapered ceiling. they sort of hacked into it, when they installed the bath fan in there, which made me sad.

bathroom ceiling tin crown

bathroom ceiling tin

its a little rusty from an old huge basin that was placed in the attic, that dripped onto it. i'm guessing this basin was to catch rain water at one time, to bring water into the bathroom. but over the 150 yrs...its leaked, rotted and ruined part of the tin ceiling. we also found tin ceiling in the kitchen!!! another great find :) its cut into down there as well, but we'll be able to re-use enough of it to do the ceiling in the bathroom again. its a little different pattern than the tin pictured above, its really pretty...

the kitchen ceiling tin

so the plan as of now, is to use the tin ceiling from the kitchen in the bath upstairs. unfortunately, the wood flooring under the layers of linoleum isn't salvagable. its pretty rotten and there were actually big holes cut in the floor to accommodate the old plumbing. so we'll have to either find some old plank flooring to put in there, or tile. if we tile, i want to keep with the period and style of the house, for the most part. so i'd want to possibly do a basket-weave pattern...possibly marble???

something for sure in the white/grey color family with accents of black!! im doing a light blueish/silvery/greenish color for the walls in there...

and i found these really fun, industrial/glam sconces and light fixture...

i LOVE having the exposed edison bulb. it gives the fixtures a more 'period style' to the house. and of course, doing what i do...i'm not going to just go to a big box store and get a stock bathroom vanity....i was looking through my inventory this week to see if there was anything that would work for the vanity....and i FOUND it! and the best part is, its perfect size for 2 sinks. we're actually moving the tub to the other side of the bathroom and putting the vanity where the old tub was. its gives the space such a better flow, and allows us to have a larger tub and vanity...

here it is!!!! i'll find 2 rectangular white, vessel or drop in sinks to put in/on it and then have 2 mirrors above with the sconces! so the dilemma now is.....what do i do with it. the tub is going to be white...flooring will be light with black accents...and i MIGHT do beadboard halfway up the walls, which will be painted the trim color (which is a chalky white), and then have the blueish/silvery paint on the top half of the walls. im THINKING of painting it black....a little distressed...and stripping and restaining the top. its sitting in my workroom at the shop...we just brought it up this morning. and i'm just anxious as heck to start working on it!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

vintage desk....PANTONE color of the year '14

i love color...and love PANTONE'S color of the year 2014...orchid! so i wanted to do something in this color! i found this fun paper with coordinating and complimenting colors and thought it was perfect! love the little splash of gold..AND the owl knob!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

new 'basics painting workshop' dates!


2 different sessions:

~ saturday feb 1st @ 9am (8-10 person max, 5 person min)
~ tuesday feb 4th @ 6pm (8-10 person max, 5 person min)

~classes will be around 1.5-2hrs in length...and yes there will be times where we are sitting there watching paint dry :) 

 what you'll learn:

~ a basic distressing technique
~ a color wash
~ a 2 color technique

what will be included:

~your own sample paint pot....when you sign up you'll let me know a color you love and want to work with during the workshop and i'll pick that up. (you'll take left over paint home with you)
~ a paint brush (you'll take home with you)
~ sandpaper and cloths
~ 3 sample boards to practice on (can take home with you if you'd like)
~ snacks and drinks :)

what you will need to bring: 

this will be a basics class, and bringing a small item will ensure you'll be able to finish your project and it'll be small enough to get an idea of how to use the techniques.

~ a small accessory....possibly a wooden picture frame, a cool box, a decorative wall piece. (something wooden)
~ wear painting clothes or bring an apron....don't want your nice clothes to get stained!!

what the cost will be:

~ the cost will be $50 per person. please only commit if you are for sure you're able to make the class. there has been alot of interest, so i want to make sure the class is filled with people that will be here. payment due day of class.

how to sign up:

~ please send an email to and let me know which class you'd like to attend, and what your color choice is for your little paint pot.

i'm SUPER excited...these will be really fun!! and something fun to get a girlfriend to do with you!!

Monday, January 06, 2014

this dresser was so fun to research! i LOVE it when they still have the original tags on the back! the gal that i got this from lives in chatfield, and after researching the was actually sold IN chatfield years and years ago. she said that when she was little, her and her sister shared this dresser! they each got their own top drawer and shared the bottom drawer...can you imagine that today, with all of the clothes kids have?!?! the tag on the back says it was sold at 'hans jorgenson' furniture in chatfield! i did some checking and his original store around 1910 was at 220 south main street. RIGHT next door to my shop..which is now the chatfield news building. love that this was sold right next door to my shop about 120 years ago and has stayed in the town ever since! its a special little piece :)


vintage deco vanity

i used this color on a custom project for a client and absolutely love it! its a very very dark deep blue, almost black. its a beautiful color! i wanted to leave part of the wood tone on the pretty details of the piece. the pulls are original! this would be a great desk or entry table!



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

lath and plaster and trim...

the victorian is coming right along...the roof is FINALLY finished! it looks so cool seeing part of the house done...and it looks great! makes me so excited to finalize the exterior paint colors. i was thinking of doing a nice neutral palette on the exterior, with maybe 3 or 4 colors...but i think i've decided to do a more bold color as the main house color! and i've chosen about 4 or 5 colors total to finish the exterior! the main color, the window trim color, the storm window color, the fascia and soffit color, and then detail color. i ALMOST have them finalized!

we've (and when i say WE'VE, i really mean my husband and everyone else working on the house...i haven't been able to do anything there YET..) gotten alot done on the interior the last month or so, which is so exciting AND a little overwhelming to see! every time i walk in there, it just reminds me of how much work this house is going to be...yikes! the trim itself, is going to be a nightmare...there are hundreds, maybe thousands of feet of trim to be restored. i think its fir..which would be gorgeous in its raw wood state. but everything has been painted with several layers of paint through out the years and to strip all of the trim would take years to do. so it'll be painted again, which in itself will be a HUGE job. its obviously original, which is about 150 years old...and with that, its very fragile and dry. so taking it off upstairs has been a challenge. there will be some repair work on some of the broken pieces and we'll have to go to some arch salvage places to find some replacement pieces. we've tried to label each and every piece, so it goes back somewhat nicely...and then bundled each room together...look at this nightmare:

this is only a portion of the trim from the upper level...and as you can see it takes up almost the ENTIRE living room downstairs! the big piece on the right hand side, is part of the wainscoting that goes on the main staircase. the rest are pieces of base and crown, door and window trim. AND some longer pieces of lath that we'll need to fir out the walls upstairs, so the sheetrock is flush with the window and door jambs.                                   

i was hoping we would find some cool things hidden in the attic or the walls...and we've found a couple little things...two signatures (i only have one photographed right now) of possibly the men that built the house?? its a little hard to read...but i think its so cool!! it was under all of the lath and plaster in the exterior boards. i'm thinking if possible, i'd like to cut this board out, save it and frame it!

here are a few other photos of the 'gutting' process. we've already filled up 2- 30 yard dumpsters and just ordered another one today! its crazy how much lath and plaster is in this house! and this is ONLY the upper floor!

bathroom, looking into what will be the new laundry room

a wall in the bathroom. have i said how excited i am to have radiators in the house, especially in the bathroom!! i LOVE that i can put my towel on there while i shower and then have a nice hot towel when i'm done!

this is the guest bedroom, looking into the master

this is the upper hall

in the next post, i'll tell you about two of the MOST exciting things from the 'gutting' process so far!!! it's been so fun seeing whats UNDER parts of the walls, ceilings and plaster!!

stay tuned!!