Sunday, April 29, 2012

new lawn furniture.

We had much action at the new house again this week... but mostly during the wind storm.  We got a call from our neighbors at 1:17pm on Friday that one of our big trees in front of the house snapped off into the street.  In God's good providence, it landed in a perfect spot to do no harm - toward the street and between the neighbor's trees.  (We are profoundly grateful that there were no cars parked across the street and no pedestrians walking by.  It was a big tree.)

We had all of our trees trimmed after we bought the property and tree specialist Ned Boyle had told us that the tree was "hollow" when he trimmed a large dead limb with his bucket truck.  We are learning that it is not uncommon for Sugar Maples to have hollow centers as they age.  We had plans to remove both large trees 'sometime soon' after we planted two new trees in their place.

City worker Bryan Johnson was on the scene shortly after Mike and I arrived to push the limb out of the street.  Mr. Chainsaw was on the scene to "dissemble" the limbs for easier cleanup.  In one hour the three of us pretty much had things cleaned up and out of the street.  Mike bribed Bryan with two loaves of his homemade bread if he hauled the biggest part of the trunk away for him.  (You can see that Bryan took the bride by the photo above.)

After we moved the brush out of the street, Mr. Chainsaw had some fun.  With a few quick swipes of the saw and the finishing touch of a "B" monogram - we have a new custom lawn chair!
Note: It is fun being married to this man.

Friday, April 20, 2012

master bath done!

 This is one of the rooms in the house that we are definitely most excited about - and not only because we have been sharing a bathroom with up to six teenagers over the past seven years...  No, it is because of the beautiful transformation this room has had.  I wanted to include ALL of these shots and angles because a couple just don't do justice to the room.  This Master Bathroom is the genius of our architect, Gary Bishop, who managed to "create space" for a whirlpool tub, walk in shower and toilet - with storage space to boot.  This is the only room in the house where we moved a wall and I believe that Mike birthed that brilliant idea.  Anyway, welcome to the wonderful room we call Dad & Karen's Bathroom.

Should we take a quick walk down memory lane to see what this bathroom looked like when we moved in??  Both windows were actually covered up - the large one with a shower stall. In the top photo son Baker is removing the shower stall and other fixtures.  Mike tore out all the walls down to the plaster and lathe... and the rest is history.

office space.

Ask me if I am excited about my new office room? I wonder if I will get very much work done... Just saying.


I think I might like fresh, dark mulch too much.  I love the smell.  I love how defined all the spaces become.  I love knowing that the weeds that I painstakingly pulled before the mulch was applied will have a wee chance of survival with this sunlight barrier.  I love having an energetic strong husband to help me apply it.

Last weekend we spread two yards of mulch (a pickup full) and we are not even half way done - but it is a start!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

bedrooms ready.

I just had to include these photos to show off Jens Anderson's work on the hardwood floors.  (I hope you can remember what they looked like when we moved in - NOT like this.) The top photo is the Guest Room, which will soon be complete with a crib and queen sized bed... always ready for friends & family to visit!

Second photo is our bedroom... the room that charmed me the first time I saw it.

The bottom two photos are the Girls' Bedroom which will sleep six with the twin trundles.  And isn't this little sink in the Girls' Room the cutest thing you have ever seen?  It is the Parisian Single Pedestal Sink from Pottery Barn.  As we have told you before, this room had the plumbing in the wall from somewhere in its history, so we restored it.  Note:  Our girls spend a lot of time in front of the mirror every night poking at non-existent pimples, so this is the perfect addition to the room.

I love how the upstairs looks "naked" just like this.  I am actually kind of nervous to start "dressing it" with our furnishings.  In spite of my reservations, I plan to start moving some furniture upstairs this weekend.

master closet - done.

Last week Dave also finished out the shelving in the Master Closet. 
Top Photo: Karen's Side  Bottom Photo: Mike's Side
Mike has a favorite dresser that he refinished that he is putting under the sconce on his side, and I have a bench for my side.  We are excited to finally get a closet together!

electricians & plumbers are the job!

 Last week we had a full crew of electricians, plumbers and painters at the house.  I counted 11 men last Tuesday!  We were bustling to finish all the details in the upstairs so that Jens Anderson could put the finish coat on the hardwood floors upstairs this week.  And we did it!  Carpenter Dave instructed me to put colored post-it flags on everything that needed attention.  The Renz crew had blue tabs and the Larry Shelly crew had orange tabs - and we got the upstairs DONE.
In the above photo, Justin is working on light fixtures in the Girls' Downstairs Bathroom. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our work crews, and how patient they are with me and "my ideas".

 I just had to show you our "control panel" for the Master Bathroom.  Justin: "Would you like your exhaust fan in the bathrooms to be on timers? This way it will automatically turn off at 5/10/15 or 30 minutes." Answer: Yes.  And the can lights above the tub are on a dimmer switch!  This little panel is too exciting for words to me.

 We got the fixture hung on the Master Bedroom Balcony.  Those are 4 watt bulbs so I am only using 20 watts for a great effect!  Dave also did extensive repair work to this porch last week.  We basically rebuild the substructure and re-paneled the floor.  Water will never be an issue on this porch again.  Guaranteed.

 We asked the Renz crew if they could fish the electrical wires so we could add some wall lighting to our large living space.  They said yes!  (Is there anything they cannot do?)  We loved these new PB Clarissa mini-lights which are perfect for the spot.  People always ask if they are old. smile. The details on this light fixture are amazing.  We are putting the coordinating PB Clarissa Chandelier in our dining room.

There were a hundred little projects for them to do, among which was hanging our PB Jillian Chandelier in the hallway upstairs.  This is the chandelier that formally hung above our kitchen table at Casa Blanca.  It likes its new home.

decisions. decisions.

So much has happened since I posted last.  Life keeps getting in the way of my blogging!  Yesterday I knew it was time to tackle the question of "how to arrange furniture in our very large 16' x 30' living space at the front of the house".  I am not good at judging spaces (just ask Mike and he will confirm) so consequently this is a task I have put off.  Yesterday was the last day of the Pottery Barn Slipcover Sale which is what forced my hand on the project.  Fortunately, most of our furniture will transfer beautifully to the new house but since we are inheriting more space we knew we needed another seating area. May I say we are excited for more living space?!

I had the sofa style picked out... but the color.  Color is such a big deal to me so the decisions loom large.  Let's consider the wall color (Jute AF-80)... and how will it work with Mrs. Kerl's original crewel? (which I salvaged and had made into a pillow)... how does it work with our existing rugs & furniture?... Decisions. Decisions.  The answer is Linen Fabric in Oatmeal on the PB Basic Sofas. We saved our Christmas money and the cost was spot on.  Glad to have this done.  For some reason this loomed larger than most of the decisions that have been on my plate.