Posted 25 November 2016 at 9:43 PM | Comments (0)
Lights! We have lights! They weren’t installed per my instructions, so unfortunately they will have to be redone, but relatively speaking, it is not even a setback—it is actually the smallest problem we have had. So, celebrate with me. Lights! You can also see that the plywood walls are going back up. We are making progress.
In the next photo, you can see the water on the floor where our ceiling is leaking (the other leaks have been fixed, so these are new), and you can see the bathtub outline through the closet, where we continue to have a rat problem. Pest control comes on Tuesday. I am not an aggressive or violent person, but it would not disturb me if the rats… er… perished.
Posted 12 November 2016 at 7:59 PM | Comments (0)
So many problems plaguing us this week. We pulled off the drywall in the kids’ closet and had a perfect view of the bathtub barrel through the wood frame. That “perfect view” was sullied by loads—LOADS—of rat droppings, all the way around the bathtub. Oh man, it was gross.
We also realized the roof had a leak, because after a heavy rainfall, the kids’ bedroom floor had a big puddle of water.
It was not our best week. I am tempted to tear this entire house down and start over, but that is not in our reach right now.
Going to wallow with a piece of cake.
Posted 5 November 2016 at 9:14 PM | Comments (0)
Whoops. I forgot to take a picture of the second bedroom before we started working on it, so I had to pull one off of a website.
We finally pulled down the cheap, wood paneling off the walls, which exposed the plywood underneath (this house is too old for sheetrock, apparently). Gone are the tiled ceilings, too, so we can’t get out of that now…
If you’re wondering what’s going on with the masking tape on the window, that’s me brainstorming a stylized, larger window, so that we’re up to code. Time will tell what ends up on that wall. Probably not jail bars, though. My husband said no.
Posted 4 November 2016 at 8:31 PM | Comments (0)
There have been many setbacks, but we’re pressing on. From the pictures it looks like we haven’t done anything at all, but that’s because most of our work has been under the house:
1) We replaced the pipes under the house that were leaking sewage. (Gross.)
2) We cleaned up the rat infestations both above and under the house. (No more rats, but no more insulation, either.)
3) We replaced all of the rotted posts that support the house from below. (They weren’t doing their job before, but now they are.)
4) We lifted the house slightly to try to level it. (It kind of worked. Well, not really.)
5) We made a lot of improvements so that moisture and rodents under the house are no longer a problem. (We hope.)
So finally, we’re back to working on our bedroom. That means the ugly, tiled ceiling is gone! We are currently trying to decide if we want a basic, sheetrock ceiling, or if we want something with a bit more pizzazz—in the modest, lake house sense of the word—which basically means wood planks.
We can now look directly at our nude roof, which, as you can see, has no rats, no insulation, and no dignity left.
Posted 24 July 2016 at 6:37 PM | Comments (0)
Now that walls are coming down, we are coming face to face with our limitations. Everything we want to do is dependent on something else that we can’t do, so each step forward feels like a few steps back.
I should be concerned, but I am having a blast.
We continue to remove wallpaper and wood paneling, with the help of our two troublemakers (ages 5 and 8):
My husband stripped the closet and now we can look straight into the living room. That’s where we found new problems, like a cracked chimney and rotted floorboards:
We did find a treasure trove of vintage trophies in the attic, and the kids think if we sell them, we might be able to afford this renovation after all:
Good thinking, kids.
For Day 1, click here.
Posted 11 July 2016 at 8:42 AM | Comments (0)
One of my favorite architectural details is something you may have never even thought about: the depth of a window. When it is deep, it captures light. Pay attention to it. Even as the sun is moving away from that room, making it dimmer and dimmer inside, the light will reflect upon the deep frame and make it glow. Suddenly you realize you have architecture there.
It is one of the many ways that form and function work together in a home—the idea that what is useful can also be beautiful.
Here is a random photo of a window with barely any depth at all. Obviously, the window itself brings light into the home, but it is not contributing to the architecture in any way (the windows in our new house are just like this):
And then there are these windows. Even without trim, and even in the midst of a total room overhaul, you can see how the light around them adds luminosity:
This window is not quite as deep (I’m guessing four inches?), and it has a sill, but you can see how it is framed in light:
This one does have trim, and the light has the same impact:
And this one has a wood jamb and still the light is beautiful:
We will lose a few inches in our already small bedroom when we deepen the windows, but I know the change will be worth it. My husband is on board, too—not as much for the visual impact, but for the extra space for thick insulation. Form and function. Win-win.
*All photos are from a random Web search.
Posted 10 July 2016 at 5:33 PM | Comments (1)
A couple of weeks ago, we closed on a house! We haven’t owned a home since our Chicago condo, so we are part newbies and part experienced homeowners.
Our new house is a small, 1959 ranch and close to the lake. For now, I’m calling it “the lake house.” It needs a lot of work. A lot. On our first day of demolition in our bedroom, we discovered a little bit of everything I feared: zero insulation, critters, rotting wood, and mold spores.
We have only minor experience with renovation, but we’re about to learn. All we know right now is that 1) it’s going to take a while, and 2) we won’t be able to afford what we want to do. So where to start? With the part that’s free, of course! D-E-M-O-L-I-T-I-O-N.
Here’s what we did today in our new bedroom.
Posted 9 July 2016 at 9:45 PM | Comments (0)
I know you’re trapped in your beige living room. Beige carpet, beige sofa, beige armchair. Or maybe it’s a cross between beige and gray (greige). Whatever you call it, it’s a lot of neutral and zero personality.
A friend in Dallas e-mailed me a picture of her very beige living room and asked for armchair suggestions. But you can’t send me a picture like that and expect one measly little armchair! She needed more than an armchair. She needed color.
So I made it super easy. The terracotta armchair below is so muted that it’s practically a neutral. To keep it sunny and joyful, I added some muted yellow accents, and to bring in glamour and shine, I added gold.
Now wasn’t that easy? Terracotta, corn yellow, and gold don’t go very far out of a beige comfort zone. This color combination is super palatable, and it looks great in Texas. So, y’all ready to embrace color?
Posted 8 July 2016 at 9:24 PM | Comments (0)
I’ve mentioned before how much I love illustrated projects. When a client actually wants me to spend my time doing Photoshop brushstrokes, you can bet that I am in project bliss. So I guess you could say that baby Angelina* was introduced to the world with bliss from all sides—from her family, obviously, but even from this stranger, who pretends to be an artist from time to time.
*Names will always be changed.