Catching Up

22 Sep

There’s quite a bit going on around the house I’d like to document and catch you up on. Here we go!

First of all, I think 95% of the people who find themselves on this site did so by researching how to bind their own rugs and carpet remnants. You can see my tutorial on how I did it for my hallway rug here.

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So here’s an update on how it’s holding up. In a word: beautifully! I kind of cut corners by using pressure sensitive seaming tape to seam the rug instead of heat activated tape. In the 8 months we’ve had the rug down in a very high traffic area of our home, it hasn’t presented any issues.  I also added a rubber backing beneath the carpet to protect the floors. I think this helps the seam by keeping it all in place. A few times a little strand of carpet has worked its way loose from where the binding is, but I snip it with scissors and all is well so far.

We recently had to roll the rug up to cut the linen closet door down so it could clear the rug. When I rolled it back out, the seam was really noticeable and very messy looking. I smoothed it out with my hand and it looks good as new again.

Speaking of the linen closet, it’s been basically unusable for as long as we’ve lived here, but that’s quickly changing. A previous owner outfitted this tiny space with the necessary connections to add a stackable washer/dryer unit here. It’s an impractical use of space for us (no room for storage, would only accommodate small units, we have an actual need for a linen closet, etc), so we do laundry in the basement using the existing hook ups there.

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So we’ve been stuck with the space hogging laundry hook ups and no shelving. We don’t want to remove the hook ups because we feel like it could appeal to someone wanting to buy the house in the future. So we’re working around them. Additional eyesore to the space includes this vent on the left:

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We’re not sure why it was left in the open in the first place. Maybe because the builder didn’t think it was worth the effort to drywall it in for a storage space? Clearly they didn’t realize that in 50+ years a homeowner would come along with a weird obsession with pretty closets and this stupid vent would inhibit her ability to paint around it. Inconsiderate.

So I had Steve frame it out and dry wall it.

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And I spackled and sanded.

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And painted! Stripes!

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Still need to add some base boards around the new drywall, build a cover for the hook ups on the right, add supports for more shelving, and actually add shelves.

Moving outside, I’m happy to report that the plants that we planted during Plantapalooza 2012 are thriving! I diligently watered them all last year and have been adding a few scopes of worm castings to the base of all the plants twice a year in addition to mulching.

Here’s a look at the bed on the right of the house in May, 2012:

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And September, 2013:

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The arborvitaes are close to 6 feet now!

This Spring I added a row of dwarf butterfly bushes in front of the boxwoods.

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Aren’t they lovely? They’ve put on a show all summer, and true to their name, butterflies (and bumble bees!) are always paying them a visit.

And here’s an update on this bed that got super weedy and sad last year. Before:

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In April:

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And now:

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I’m thinking about adding a few more of the asiatic jasmine plants so it will fill in faster, but I’m really pleased with the progress regardless.

Here’s a full shot of the front today:

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We’d like to remove large portions of the lawn (weeds) this fall and reseed. We’ll see if it happens. We’re having sewer issues in the back that the county is working on now. We don’t want to do anything until they’re no longer driving their trucks through the yard. And who knows how long that will be or even when they’ll show up again.

I’m also making slow but steady progress on the ivy removal front. I removed almost all of the ivy from the side yard over the last few weeks, and I’m having some success with chemical weed killers on the stuff in the back. Much more to do. I’d also like to note that my poison ivy incident count has increased from 2 to 5. I can’t even complain about it at this point. It’s my fault. But I’m persevering.

Moving back inside, we discovered a popped nail in the roof that led to a pretty serious leak in out master bathroom. The paint was starting to bubble which tipped us off. So I started peeling it:

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Which led to some exploratory holes:

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And now this:

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The good news is the leak was fixed as soon as we realized it existed. The bad news is I think more of the bathroom walls need to go in order for it to all dry out. More to come, I guess. For some reason fixing all of this just doesn’t seem like a priority right now. Maybe we need to readjust our priorities?

Moving on to the master bedroom, I’m very pleased to report it’s almost done! Unsurprisingly, it looks nothing like the plans I laid out a few months ago. Here’s a few peeks:

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The plan morphing started when I scored a truly ridiculous deal on the chair in the corner. Then I re-upholstered the headboard. Yes, the one I had just finished. Really, Steve wanted to kill me. Then I added the pillow out of the fabric I thought I would use in the guest room but didn’t. More on this space when it’s really done. Still to finish is a rug and new night stands. Both are in progress. I happened upon another carpet remnant for the rug in here.

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And we’re using this tutorial from Take the Side Street to turn cheap-o Ikea Rast night stands into something a little more special and pretty. We’re just about done putting one of them together:

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Then I’ll paint them Sherwin Williams Link Gray (which is a pretty close match to the lamps on the dresser):

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Lastly, we recently had an electrician in for a few updates. One update was adding an outlet to the entry hall for my lamp:

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The other was to add an overhead light to our formal living room. Which we’ve never really used. Since it’s the last remaining untouched room in the house, we’ve been putting a bit more thought into what to do with it. We still plan on enclosing our screened in porch and adding a small dining and sitting area there. Since three separate living spaces (the family room, sunroom, and a formal living room) is a bit overkill for a 2,000 square foot house, we decided not to use this front room as a formal living room.

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Instead, we decided the space would better serve as our dining room since the current space for the dining room is teeny tiny. We’re about to inherit a few pieces of furniture from Steve’s grandmother, including a beautiful old chest that would be perfect for dining storage. It would swallow our current dining room whole, so making the move makes a lot of sense for us.

So what to do about the old dining room? Well, Steve has used our third bedroom as an office since we moved in, but we feel like creating a study for him in the old dining room is the way to go. He plans to build built-in bookshelves along the back wall. All of the bookshelves we currently have in the house are bursting so we truly need the storage space. He’ll also build a nice new desk that will hopefully be a huge step up from his beat up Ikea one now.

And when we are using the dining room, I think we use the study as a staging area for food and such (since the kitchen is on the small side anyway) which will also gap the awkwardness of not having the dining room right off the kitchen. Once we finish up some of the projects mentioned above, our focus will turn to these 2 spaces. More to come!

Whew. I think we’re all caught up for now, guys!

6 Responses to “Catching Up”

  1. elizabeth September 23, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    things are looking great!!

  2. CSR September 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Really do think you missed your “calling”……both your design and descriptive narrative!

  3. Karen September 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Wow, you have been busy! The closet looks fantastic! And you’re very smart to keep the plumbing, even though I know how much you must have been tempted to remove it. You’ve made the space look SO much better. Your plants are looking great! And I really love the way your lumbar pillow looks on your bed….there is just something so clean about that…thinking about doing that also. Super smart idea to use the larger unused room for a dining room. How awesome to be able to seat a lot of people for holidays and family gatherings. Really love your home! And I agree with CSR above…you have missed your calling…(haha, whatever your real job is!)….you are a great designer :) xo

    • house185 September 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Karen, you are so sweet! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! For the record, CSR is my mother (hiding behind her initials), haha :). But it’s really nice hearing this from someone outside family! The effort I put into our home and yard is a much needed creative outlet given my relatively stressful career in banking. Helps keep me sane :) Again, thank you so much for your kind words!

  4. Drywaller October 11, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Hi!

    Your master bedroom leak really doesn´t look that good! Seriously, think about prioritising the bathroom walls. I don´t want you to have mold all over there!

    By the way: I really like your front porch, love to have that here ;)

    • house185 October 11, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      Thanks Drywaller! The leak has been fixed since the day we found it. It’s just the walls that need to be repaired now!

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