Sunday, March 16, 2014

Better pictures of the Orange Room

I have been struggling with the orange room.  It's our bedroom and it's also kinda dark.  We had quite a bit of sun today and I turned the lights on.  Let's see if these look a tad better.

I just love the combo of orange and purple.  This quilt is from an antique shop.  Just love this room.

We bought some new bed linens to better match the room. I love the combination of orange, purple and green.  The wall hanging on the right is from China.

View from the door looking straight in.  I realize that feng shui dictates that the foot of the bed not aim for the door, but it's all we can do for now.  We will change it when we convert our master bedroom.  This is the guest room/my office.  The picture on the wall is of Assisi, Italy, from Assisi.

A better view of the room without as much blur.  Of course I have a broom hanging on my wall.  You may also see my antique schoolmaster's desk.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

We are in an HGTV Renovation Show!

Jamie and I both love to watch HGTV.  We love Love it or List it, House Hunters, Property Brothers, you name it.  We always giggle when people get upset during a renovation when they uncover something unexpected.  This usually happens in basements, but not always.  Someone will take down a wall and realize there is a plumbing issue or something isn't built to code.

We think it should be expected.  You are doing a renovation - particularly on an old home - and you are going to hit one snag or another that requires time and money.

We hit a snag.

Our living room had this horrible paneling all over the walls.  Originally we were going to paint over the paneling.  Then we discovered that the paneling was textured so if we painted over it we would get the underlying texture.  That wouldn't be a bad thing except the underlying texture is farmhouses, water mills, and fences.  It's quite rustic and in keeping with our surroundings, but we are getting rid of the paneling for a reason.  We don't care for it and it isn't our taste.

So Jamie ripped the paneling down.  Being good renovators, we expected to have to repair some of the underlying plaster.  We did.  What we didn't expect:

Water damage underneath a window.
Jamie said to me, "Come take a look at this wall.  Does it smell musty to you?"  This was before he ripped the plaster and lathe out.  I told him it did smell musty and also felt a tad damp.

We had two choices 1) not worry about it and just paint over it or 2) rip it out to see what the problem is and fix it.

Whenever you are remodeling an old home, option 1 isn't the best option.  Hell, in any home, option 1 isn't an option.  You really do need to figure out what's wrong and fix it.  Jamie did some searching, as you can see.  It seems that the roof overhang outside does not have gutters and the water is falling directly on this window and then getting into the wall.  It should be an easy fix, but it is setting us back a tad.  We are entertaining next Sunday and hoped to have this room finished by then.  Perhaps not, but my colleagues will not mind....I hope.

He will fix the inside.  We need some bleach to take care of the mold.  When the weather breaks a bit, he plans to install gutters on the outside roof to redirect the water to an appropriate place.  Egads.

It's a good thing we do our own work.  And it's a good thing Jamie knows how to fix these things.  I can help with the renovations, but I am afraid of power tools and don't know how to do some things.  I don't screw around with plumbing or electrical.  In fact, I don't let Jamie play with electrical either.  We call in an expert.  Anything that could burn the house down is relegated to someone else.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Dining Room

Dining Room
The next victory is our dining room.  While not 100%, it is close enough to do some comparisons.  We do love renovating our home.  We get to use our own colors and our own style.  We live in an old farmhouse built in 1869.  Why wouldn't we use period pieces or faux period pieces?

Notice the carpet in the dining room.  But also notice the window nook and built in cabinet.  I am looking into the room from the kitchen.

This is a view from the hallway into the dining room.  The light fixture also has to go.

Please take a look at the door to the left and also behind the dresser. 

The walls in this room were not wallpapered nor were they paneled as was the case in every other room.  We removed the carpet, painted the walls, and replaced the light fixture.  We also removed both doors.  The door to the left leads into the hallway.  We removed the door and left the "doorway."  Now it is just an entrance/exit into the hallway.  The door behind the dresser leads to the front porch.

A word about the front porch.  It was the original entrance to the house and was an open porch.  It had been enclosed and broken into a room and two closets, one of which was accessible from the hallway and one accessible from the front porch.  We gutted this room.  Right now this front room is a mess and is loaded with debris.  We hope to redo this room in the spring.

We installed French doors into the front room.  One set may be seen in the after photos below.  The other set is in the hallway and will be shown in a separate post.

Notice the hardwood floors.  Also, notice the French doors at the back.  We haven't painted them yet, but they will be Snowbank as is all of the trim in the house and the built in cabinet to the right.  Also notice the light fixture and furniture.  The furniture we brought from our house in Alden.

This is the "door" to the hallway.  We removed the door and just left the space.  Nice view of the French doors also. If you look closely, you may see the other set of French doors through the open doorway (to the right).

Both sets of French doors are visible (partial view of the doors through the doorway).  The photo on the wall is a piece of art we brought back from Assisi, Italy. It depicts the olive tree fields.  It's a black and white drawing.

Notice the wine cabinet to the right.  It gets used....
View is into the kitchen.  There is a swinging door that Jamie would like to keep.  I would like to get rid of it, but am not going to fall on sword on that one.

This is the window nook.  We have quite a few plants here and Christmas decorations at the moment.  We ordered curtains for it.  They should arrive this week.  You can see our red barn and my Honda Fit through the window.

The built in cabinet, window nook and floors.  We are going to have the trim custom-made so that it mimics what would have been in the house.  Notice the art on the right.  I brought that piece back from Uganda, Africa.  It depicts three women taking care of their homes.

The floors:
We removed the carpet in the entire house.  Under most of the carpet we found stunning hardwood floors that required no maintenance or repair.  This is an example of that.  The kitchen and hallway, however, require some work.

Main wall color:  Coffee Rose (Olympic)
Window Nook color (also the color on the walls of the built in cabinet):  Gooseberry (Olympic)
Trim: Snowbank (Olympic)

Other pieces:
Light fixture:  Shaynor Electric, Orchard Park
Furniture:  Company no longer in business so it doesn't matter (sorry)

I found the cord! Let's get started...

Bedroom One
I found the cord to the camera.  Woo hoo!  The bad news is that the camera is on its last legs, I think.  I've started taking pictures with my cell so those should work out a tad better.

The first room was our bedroom.  Right now this room serves as the master bedroom/my office, but in the future it will be a spare bedroom/my office.  It was the easiest to work with.  The room had carpet and wallpaper.  We removed the carpet and painted over the wallpaper.  Not idea, but it works.

Orange is one of my favorite colors.  It was one of our wedding colors.  I had to have an orange room!  My argument was that this would soon be my room.  Also, a little piece of me thought it might make the master bedroom redo move a bit more quickly if my husband had to sleep in an orange room all the time.

This is the room before we painted and removed the carpet.  We also removed the window treatments and added our own.  Notice the built-in closet.  There is a better picture of it below.

Ignore the stuff still in the room.

Here is the built in closet.  Awesome!

After (Warning, these photos are a tad blurry.  I will find better ones.)
The orange walls are clearly visible. The desk is a 19th century school masters desk.  It is fabulous!  The quilt was purchased at an antique store near Leroy, NY. Not sure if you can see the hardwood floors or not.

We had a color book from Lowes that noted that purple is a great color to complement orange (as are deep greens and reds).  Jamie was skeptical, but I think it works.  Can you see the hardwood floors?

The window treatments are a tad long.  I will hem them.  I just haven't felt like doing so.

There are a couple of other areas in the room I would like to capture. There is a brown chair in the corner that I use to read and relax.  It is so comfortable.  When Jamie watches TV, I escape to this room to read and relax.  So nice.

Wall color:  Orange Ochre (Valspar)
Trim: Snowbank (Olympic)

Other Pieces:
Bedset: No idea, it belonged to Jamie before we got married.
Desk:  Antique store
Butterfly quilt:  Antique store
Window treatments:  Bed Bath and Beyond (I think)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year, Happy New Home

Happy New Year!  We've been in our home since mid-September after going to hell and back to get it (no need to dwell on that now).  Since that time we have been updating the house and making it ours.  I will post before and after shots and note what we've done, what we've added and what we've deleted.

Right now I am not able to post the before pictures because they are on our camera, not taken with my camera phone.  We can't find the damn cable to upload the photos to the computer!  Alas, we will solve that problem soon enough.

Until then, please enjoy......

This is the front of the house with our first snowfall a few months ago.  Very nice old farmhouse built in 1869.

Because we have dogs, we had to fence the yard so they could run and play.  This is Maggie, the St. Bernard relaxing in the backyard.  We used the split rail fence and lined it with a wire fence.  From a distance all you see is the wood, not the wire.  It looks amazing!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stand Tall

I knew that being tall had advantages.  For example, I believe that the tallest presidential candidate in the last number of presidential elections has won the office each time.  People seem to associate being tall with being able to do a better job.

When I applied for my current job, I made a point of wearing high heels to the interview.  Keep in mind that I am 5'11" without any heels whatsoever.  Adding 3-4 inches makes me taller than most men.  I have no idea how tall my competition is, but he must have been shorter than 6'2-6'3".

While reading the June 2012 issue of Whole Living magazine, I noticed a snippet regarding being tall.  "Research has shown that taller people are more likely to get promotions."  AMEN!

It did also note that "vertically challenged folks who feel powerful will believe that they are taller than they are - as will the people around them."

As the article pointed out, this is "another reminder to think tall when you're feeling small."

I am just happy that I don't have to think tall.  No offense to my vertically challenged friends.

I do have to say "thank you" to my vertically challenged friends for enjoying the 6" wedge shoes.  Because of you, they are making the inseam of jeans longer.  I almost don't have to buy the tall version of pants anymore!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How's the Food by You, Part II

I had lunch with a friend today.  She is a former student who is heading to Charlotte soon to work with Teach For America.  We had a great conversation about the foods we would miss if we left Buffalo - and the foods she will miss.

I told her that Charlotte has horrible pizza and wings.  She was not happy about that.  I told her things may have changed since I last tried pizza in Charlotte, but I doubted it. 

People have a hard time believing that Buffalo has some damn good foods.  Buffalo is a very diverse place.  We have all sorts of ethnic restaurants and all sorts of really, really good restaurants.  I often say to people that if a restaurant is bad in Buffalo, it won't be open long because people will just go to a better restaurant which won't be far away.

What foods would I miss if I left Buffalo:
  • Pizza and wings absolutely.  No one does either the way we do.  It's a shame.
  • Sahlen's hot dogs.  I don't eat hot dogs that often, but when I do it has to be a good one.  Sahlen's are the best.
  • Beef on weck.  I could make my own damn weck roll and could cook my own beef, but it wouldn't be the same.
  • Frank's hot sauce.  I think I can get this other places, but I am not entirely sure.  And I would have to take the big ass bottle with me when I left.
This isn't a huge list, but it is Buffalo.  Buffalo has many other unique items, but I could live without them.  For example, I prefer fun mustards made locally that I purchase at art and craft shows.  Weber's doesn't do it for me.  I've just made a few enemies with that comment, but if your mustard glows in the dark, you should question it.

What favorite Buffalo foods would you miss, or do you miss?  What are some of your favorite foods in your area?

Monday, May 28, 2012

How's the Food by You?

That is a question that was asked in today's Parade Magazine.  The food by me is damn good. 

Other questions noted in the article with my responses:
  • Who's the best cook in your family?
I am.  I know that sounds arrogant, but honestly, I am the best cook in the family.  Most people will probably say "my mother."  My mother is a horrible cook which is why I am the best.  Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Which supermarket aisle do you spend the most time in?
That depends.  Most of the time it's produce.  Sometimes it's seafood.  Sometimes cosmetics and toiletries.  Sometimes cleaning.  Sometimes dog food.  I usually stick to the perimeter of the store unless I need toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning supplies or pet food.
  • Which famous chef would you like to whip up dinner for you?
Cat Cora.  I admire her a great deal as the first, and I believe only, female iron chef.  From what I've read about her, she seems pretty down to Earth.  She also does some amazing things in the kitchen, it seems.
  • How would you rate your family's table manners?
That depends.  If we are expected to have them - holidays, fancy restaurant - we do.  If not, there are no rules!  (It's not as bad as that.  We do have table manners.)
  • When you're dieting, are you most likely to cheat with chips, candy or alcohol?
First of all, I never consider alcohol cheating.  Red wine is a perfectly acceptable "diet" beverage.  If I cheat, chips are the way to go.  I am trying not to eat chips since I was told I have high cholesterol and need to get it in check, but chips all the way.