We finally have put the laundry space all together. I’m anxious to get a cabinet (home made) put in above the washer and dryer, but otherwise, it feels much better. Cleaner, organized and a space I can really utilize. I love the mini shelves Bill put in (which you can see to the right of the sink cabinet), and the sink itself is both rustic and completely original.
This is the grain cabinet we found at a local antique store, along with a faucet I ordered from VanDyke’s Restorers. We use VanDyke’s a lot for reproductions of Victorian hardware. The hammered copper sink was one that I purchased through Etsy. I’m so thrilled to have a useable and beautiful space, just a little sad it is so hidden from the rest of the house.
The new washer is a dream to use and doing laundry is a whole new joy. I’m one of those odd people that has always enjoyed it, but now, even better.
The front porch has long been the glory of our home, in our minds. It spans the length of the front and down half the east side of our home, with a slate walk all the way around, two sets of stairs, and entrances on both sides.
The first thing we did upon moving into our home was to prune back all of the vines and branches reaching up around the edges and onto the roof. The protective shield of greenery did keep the porch clean from the street dirt, and provided a load of privacy, but also hid this gorgeous porch from view. In the above photo, you can see what we saw upon viewing our home for the first time.
Almost ten years later, we find that we need to not only repaint, but also rebuild sections of our beloved porch. After chopping down the vines, a year later we put on gutters, which dried out the porch significantly. But, that also meant that the porch now was able to dry rot, which it did in sections. It began slowly and we noticed significant damage two summers ago. We can no longer put off repairing our porch.
In the process of repainting the back porch, I have learned the best products to use to coat the front porch and have begun the sanding process. Bill has used beams to prop up the front edge and will begin tearing out the rot this coming weekend.
We will need to replace the wood footings under the columns and many floor boards, but hopefully none of the spindles.
I will begin repainting the floor and ceiling in sections, hopefully coating at least half the porch before winter. The weather, cold and rain, will determine how far I’m able to go. By next summer, we hope to finish painting and repair.
This was the second room we worked on in our home, after the dining room. It had a lot of pink, wallpaper and woodwork that we decided to change. When we looked at the house, this room was being used as a pool table room, but we know from neighbors that it once held a piano and was a parlor of sorts.
Originally we called this room the Library, as we intended to put shelves around the two full walls, possibly putting in a gas fireplace and room behind the shelves for a hidden safe. Ah, how plans change.
When Bill came home full time to start his business, b2coaching, we decided he needed an office of his own. This room is perfect for his work, and allows him some privacy, or space for in-home visits with clients. The solid cherry pocket doors both work for this space, too. You can see Bill’s desk is a beautiful wooden table that he built to match our cherry wood work. I found the Steampunk light on Etsy and the odds and ends are Bill’s decor, (except for the unattractive AC unit.)
However, he needed shelving. Lots of shelving. We made a 3 hour drive to Ikea last year to find some good shelves. All wood, but user assembled, here they are. We decided that just the one wall would be shelves and the back wall would hold Bill’s whiteboard, as he prefers to write out thoughts and ideas large scale. Below it, I found a curio at HomeGoods for his birthday back in January. We outfitted everything with attractive folder boxes and files and some old lights above the shelving. Eventually, we will replace the ceiling light with a vintage fan, and possibly paint the woodwork a brown-black.
Been working on this project now for 3 years, maybe more? I can’t remember at this point. Sometimes I’ll start a project when Bill is happily woodworking on something and then it stays in limbo for several years while I do other stuff. Since pulling down wallpaper in quarter size pieces takes a while, this project has been on the back burner. Besides, the hallway looks slightly like old world antiquity this way and I don’t mind it, as long as it stays clutter free.
I’ll pick the work up once we’re back in the fall and Will is in school. And also once the laundry room, dining room and front porch have their say. It’s all about prioritizing in an old house like this, right?
But, here is what it looks like now. Floors (soft pine) were redone back in 2012 and the piano was a good price from an auction. The hardwood woodwork is ALL cherry and has been unpainted. I clean and polish it from time to time. It has wear, but still resonates beautifully.
The hallway has strange walls, with a slight texture surface. As I’ve peeled back the wallpaper, I’ve discovered what appears to be original stenciling in a chocolate brown color. The original paint appears to be a caramel color with multicolored sponging, but I cannot discern what was really happening there. I’m going to try to recreate the stencil pattern, though. Don’t want to lose that gem!
Bill had the deep desire to create a coffered ceiling in our home since we moved in. The dining room ceiling has already been patched and replastered twice, and repainted twice. . . which is a lot in less than ten years. We think that the plaster or paint has had trouble sticking for a few reasons. . .primarily old adhesive from either a wallpapered ceiling or odd sorts of old paint. Either way, these ceilings crack and flake like nobody’s business. It’s the one thing in the house that we’ve had to compromise on and go with sheetrock because we just can’t keep doing them every two years. What I mean by compromise is that we had ideally wanted to keep the house pure of modern insulation and sheetrock as much as possible.
So, Bill’s coffering plan has come to fruition and he began planning out and making the coffered look happen this past winter. A project this extensive takes forever, partly because I have no carpentry skills and partly because taking up the whole room with scaffolding and tools omits use of the space, in this case, the largest room in our home. That is hard in the winter when we need a big table for kid projects and play. So, I am dying to have this project finished. Especially because the new lights will be stellar, and the newish curtains will be cozy for the winter.
I’ve just finished priming the coffers and I have a plan for how this will all be painted, but Bill still needs wood around the edges and to finish the nail heads. It willl be a few more weeks/months before completed photos are ready.
I’m a painter. Its what I do. Literally, I’ve been painting for 30 years, and 20 of that has been decorative and home painting plus my own artwork. So, when it comes to choosing color, I like ALL of them. It is super hard for me to choose just one and stick with it for any length of time. I already want to repaint the living room and dining room, and they’ve only been painted for 6-8 years the way they are. So, I can get my kicks by repainting smaller spaces and testing color palettes in confined quarters.
I repainted our downstairs bath last summer, and just now am finally telling you about it. It was a soft robin’s egg blue. . . I thought it would be bright and clean looking. But, we have so much glorious woodwork in the house, that I needed to make it warm and rich to match the rest of the atmosphere. So, I chose a deep eggplant. The thing is, this isn’t just paint, its a metallic plaster. It feels like velvet to the touch and is super easy to apply using a Venetian Plaster trowel. The downside is that small people can easily scratch it if they find it compulsive and interesting to touch. But, it isn’t hard to repair and it is easy to paint over, too.
With the new wall color, I painted the ceiling to match the woodwork and put in a new mirror, also painted with copper undertones and charcoal gray. And lastly, new-ish towels and a side table for necessities.
Much delayed sharing on this one. . due to life, work, etc., albeit. . . I bring you our back porch project.
Basically, the floor and rails, siding, ceiling were all painted when we purchased the house in 2009, but the floors haven’t worn well.
In order to get going on this project, I started by painting the ceiling a pale blue. Recently, I learned that ceilings are or were painted blue as a deterrent to prevent birds from nesting in the rafters. I just thought it was a beautiful old tradition, so I chose a soft robin’s egg color and transformed our ceiling from a dead white.
Next, I sanded off the old paint layers. It took me 3 years to refinish the floor on this small area and now the stairs are peeling after just one season. (I blame the harsh harsh weather and the fact that the stairs have absolutely no shelter.)
The wood on the stairs is new, but so is the primer and a high quality porch paint. We had thought a stain would work, but the system we used on the front of the house was no good after one year, so I was hoping the paint would do better. Since Bill and I both know paint pretty well, and have refinished loads of things, we really thought we nailed it. I’m going to hunt around for something better to topcoat and I’ll be sanding the rough spots this late summer to repaint those stairs.
After sanding the floor, both Bill and I chipped away at the railings. We finished that in only a day and began priming. We have been partial to the XIM primers for exterior. They look like an adhesive, but are thick and go on clear. They bond to everything and hold on to the exterior house paint we are using.
Once the rails were primed, two coats of fresh exterior white applied, I primed and coated the floor. I chose a slightly darker taupe color to hide the dirt more. I will likely put on a fresh coat this season just to help the wear. Our winter weather is quite harsh on exterior wood, and we want to do all we can to preserve these porches.
In the meantime, I have been enjoying the freshly painted floor, ceiling and rails of the back porch. And, we moved my adorable, albeit rusty glider back here last fall. I put up a few lights and a fan, and its my current favorite outdoor spot. Makes it easy to watch Will in the pool and our backyard is lushly green and quite private for being such a small space with close neighbors.
This summer, we are facing into the front porch. It has some rough damage due to lack of gutters, but it will be a doozy to redo on our own. Plus, we have interior projects to finish and show you soon. 😉