Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

A big welcome to readers who found us through the R Home mention!

I know, I promised an additional before and after's post months ago.  Time got away from me, as it often does.  Stuff has been happening at the Domus, just not on the blog.  Now that Christmas is over, I'll try and take some pics and get them loaded this week.

In the mean time, here's my list of events for the following year.  Don't ask me how I'm going to afford to do this, I haven't figured that all out yet.

Domus Improvements To Be Accomplished In 2011
1. Blog more often (let's aim for weekly, shall we?)
2. Get stairs painted.
3. Install master bath.
4. Buy living room furniture (the old stuff met a nasty demise due to a seriously pissed off cat).
5. Get gas fireplace installed.
6. Get plaster moldings in foyer fixed.
7. Paint vestibule and foyer.
8. Install the rest of the moldings in the guest bedroom.
9. Rehab at least two windows.
10. Paint stairwell and hallway upstairs.
11. Master Google SketchUp to post fascinating and interesting imaginings about the Domus.

That seems ambitious enough.  Anyone want to chime in with paint colors?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Before and After

Lots of projects going on but not much photo department.  I stenciled the dining room, but it doesn't show up well.  I mostly have been focussing on cleaning up the basement.  Built two work benches which provided the workspace I needed to refinish a cabinet, which as yet to be installed in the dining room.  

So, last month was our one year anniversary for closing on the house.  I was planning to do a big massive before and after post, but was too busy with actual projects to get it done.  So, I will do it now.  

Front of House
Ours is the unit on the right hand side.  Big ugly bushes, dark green shutters.

Bushes gone, some landscaping done.
Living Room
Note the shag carpeting, cornice boards, striped paneling, mirror, and all that gold.
Painted mostly.  Carpet gone. 

Dining Room

Yes, that's a wall of mirrors.  And all that gold.


Sunroom/Powder Room

Back Yard

More to come next week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Update and a Fanbook Page

Hello Summer!

The school year is finally over.  Grades are in. Seniors are graduated. And I am free!  Free to throw myself into housework once again.

My Summer Projects (yes, it does need to be capitalized) include finish painting the downstairs, rehab downstairs windows, removing/recovering plastic tiles in kitchen, painting kitchen, stripping and painting front door (hello Mr. Dip and Strip), stenciling dining room (still yet), stripping/painting/installing glass front cabinet in dining room, building desk for under glass front cabinet in dining room, and going on vacation and not thinking about the house for two weeks.

Who's taking bets as to what will get finished by August 15?

Don't be too quick to bet against me.  It's only the second day of summer vacation and I've already stripped, primed, and painted the skylight window; primed and painted the back door, stained the terrace decking, and stained and installed a fan trellis for the climbing rose a friend gave me.  Not bad for a day and a half.

And we have created a Facebook Fan Page.  You should be able to see it on the right hand side.  Hope I did that right.  We also have a new email address:, if you have any questions about our renovations.

Now for the good stuff, pictures!
Fence is stained!
Don't mind the minimalist landscaping.  I went with the "food or free" method of gardening.  I only bought herbs and veggies and everything else was practically given to me by gracious and wonderful friends who were willing to share their own garden bounty.
Front yard a bit more filled in.
Terrace after one coat of stain.  I don't love the color, but I'll live with it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yard Work

Since going back to work, inside projects are on hold until summer break.  Of late, we have been working on the yard.  Over spring break, we built a privacy fence in the back yard.  I love it!

This is the back gate leading to the alley. The pergola over the gate matches the shape of the eaves on the roofline.

All told it took us three girls four days to build the whole thing.  I'm right proud of us.  We had three different guys come up and ask us for the name of our fencing company.  HA! 

Additionally, we've installed a doggy/kitty door and we have now gotten rid of the heinous catbox! Yeah!  All the furbabies love being able to come and go at will.  It also gives us a bit more leeway as we no longer have to rush home to relieve the animals.  Of course, it does mean that the neighbor cat had to make a couple of midnight visits, just to check out the place.  

Here's my front yard.  I'm slowly starting to replace the grass with herbs.  This hill is south facing and gets beat with the afternoon sun.  I'm not busting my hump trying to keep grass alive and then mow it on a hill.  So, my solution, low maintenance perennial herbs, like a true Tuscan garden.  So far, I've got lavender, thyme, oregano, mint, and a couple of oddball peppers thrown in there.  As I get more cashola, I'll strip out more pieces and plant herbs.  The pots up above are filled with basil, as I find it does much better in pots than in the ground.  

My grumpy neighbor doesn't seem to appreciate it, but oh well.  I think once everything starts to fill in and the smell fills the air, it will be freaking awesome.   

Monday, April 5, 2010

Living Room Painted

I got the living room painted last week. Used the same Silver Sage from Benjamin Moore. I'm in love with this color, it's moody and changes subtly throughout the day. I also rearranged the furniture layout for more comfortable conversation. Took out one chair and the bookcase. The orange patterned chair needs to be replaced but no money to do that for now. I like it!

I'm starting to win the war against the god-awful gold trim. I only have the vestibule, foyer, and stairs/stairway downstairs! Those will have to wait until summer. I'm not painting again until summer break. My two major projects for summer are painting and rehabbing the windows. They will be painted black which is why I didn't tackle the gold on the windows.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dining Room Update

I finally got the dining room finished!  Or at least, mostly finished.  I think the term "finished" is relative.  The walls and trim are painted.  Took me forever!  I still need have to stencil above the chair rail, but that will come later.  Window mullions will be black when I redo them this summer.  Walls are Benjamin Moore's Silver Sage.  It's a soft grey green.  It looked awful against that gold, but once I got the trim painted, I was thrilled with the color.  The dining table needs a rug and the bar stools need recovering.  Always more to do.  AND, the last pic shows the newly painted fireplace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finally an Update

Okay, so apparently once a month was a stretch even. Oh well. Part of the reason I've been so absent is multifold. Part of it was a surgery (I'm fine) and a moratorium on house projects for a while. Part of it was snow (we've had lots of it), part of it was work, part of it was pure cussed laziness. Well, all that's over. I'm back in the swing of things.

Powder room is done with construction and is fully functional, if not fully decorated, so no pictures yet.

Upstairs bathroom has been painted finally. I used the same light blue ceiling paint I used in the sunroom. I had lots of paint, and the light blue mitigates some of the yellow a bit. But, it does not photograph well and simply looks white, so no pictures of that either.

Dining room currently in a state of disassembly as I'm trying to get some paint on the walls and the moldings. I'll finish base coat today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to start the stencil. I'm going for a damask effect by using semi-gloss with the stencil. Hope it turns out. So far, I love the color. Painting all this trim is going to be pure misery however. Some of it will be stripped, some of it will be painted over. Oh the agony. It's going to take forever. Oh well.

Plans are in the works for a backyard fence. That will be a welcome change. I also settled on a plan for the front as well. Eventually, there will be a columned pergola dripping with grapes and wisteria. I'm going for an edible Tuscan garden feel. That will happen a long ways down the road though.

I will leave you with one photograph however. We have some crocus pop up in the front yard.

And, we had this visitor in the backyard.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunroom Make Over

Okay, so originally, my plan was to blog daily. Then it got pushed back to weekly. Now, I'm aiming for one monthly update. Life is too busy for regular blogging, and I think that's a good thing.

Over the two week winter break, I worked long hours to give the sunroom, just off the dining room, a complete make over. My friend Andy came and helped and so the first week was spent doing the necessary carpentry work. We put up the real beadboard around the powderroom (v board actually), trimmed out all the windows, installed beadboard panels on the ceiling (to hide the old asbestos tiles), reinstalled crown and base. Then I started priming, then painting. It was a huge paint job and it felt like it took forever. I think I painted for five days straight! So much trim in this room. I finally got the painting done yesterday in the afternoon. Found a couple of wonderful Craigslist rattan couches and voila! I love the fresh spring green against the crisp white of the trim. The ceilings are a pale shade of blue perfect for a beadboard ceiling, and so traditional.

Here's the before pic from when we bought the place:

Please note the dark paneling, dusty rose shag, and the radiators.

This is how it looked last night:

and in the daylight:

Pretty cool, eh? I'm tickled with the way it came out. I'll be back next week (hopefully) to post about the powderroom which should be installed soon!