remodel

welcome shaniqua

Shaniqua: Designing Ideas for our New Home

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At some point in the house hunt, the dude and I started referring to the blue paned house, aka Silver Springs as Shaniqua. It is a reference to the street it’s on, but really it’s more about personifying the home that we couldn’t get out of mind. The name has since grown on us, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even Heffe’s kids have taken to it. We got to take them over on Saturday and get a few measurements. Part of our negotiations allowed the previous homeowners a leaseback for 30 days after closing. We had to make formal arrangements to see the home, but we were thrilled to find it mostly empty. It feels more real than ever now, and we’ll be glad to finally have full access at the end of the month. Step into her little foyer, where you are immediately greeted with a set of stairs! I’d really like to…

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Mt Vernon House

A Historic Renovation Introduction: The Mount Vernon House

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Everybody, meet the Mount Vernon house… Years ago when the real estate market didn’t have a monster face (remember those days?) and I had already cut my remodeling teeth on my own home, an old boarding house went up for sale. The Mount Vernon house is an imposing structure, built in the Queen Anne style at the turn of the century. It was originally a boarding house which actually served as a sanitarium called Pineshire Sanitorium. I’ve been told that the residents staying at the Pineshire would go up into the cupola where they had a clear view of the railroad station and could see when their friends and family arrived into town on the train.  Its unclear how long Mount Vernon was a boarding house but I understand that it was separated in to apartments sometime in the 1930s. The Mount Vernon house changed ownership a few times in 105 years and sometime in 2004…

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Spring Hill kitchen plan

Spring Hill: Working Plan

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This is the plan I’ve worked up for the Spring Hill kitchen project. Its a general conception of the classic white kitchen with a farmhouse and industrial influence.   We’re using some classic elements that you probably see a lot and that’s because they work and they look great for a long time. Some of the elements that make for a timeless kitchen are: white shaker style kitchen cabinets hardwood flooring in kitchen white subway tile backsplashes bin pulls subtle wall color Something that’s missing from this design concept that also stands the test of time is marble countertops. We love marble but we’ll save that expense in this project.  

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green cabinets

White Appliances on a Comeback?

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Speaking of a comeback, have you watched or are already a dedicated viewer of The Comeback on HBO? We recently watched 2 or 3 episodes and it was almost entirely too painful and awkward to watch. But Val is a train wreck and you have to return to see if she ever gets a break. I’m working on two kitchen remodels right now, the Spring Hill kitchen and the Bennett kitchen. We are keeping our gaze firmly locked on a budget for both projects but more so for the Bennett kitchen. Because we’re keeping a budget-minded approach here, a more economical choice would be to re-use the existing gas range because it isn’t that old and is still in good working order. The existing range is white, as are the other existing appliances. We will need: a new fridge add a dishwasher We will be re-using existing: microwave range For…

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bennett before

Bennett Kitchen: Introduction

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Not too long ago you were introduced to the Spring Hill kitchen, well I’m also working on another kitchen remodel project called the Bennett kitchen. The Bennett kitchen needs a lot of help! It’s a small kitchen with wooden cabinets from the 1950s or possibly earlier, a linoleum floor with a parquet pattern that has long passed it’s prime and a refrigerator that just hangs out by itself on the middle of that long wall and thats just the start–this kitchen has got issues. The Bennett kitchen definitely has a college dude look happening. The counter/bar will be eliminated to open it up and provide more space for the banquette. See the fridge just chillin’ on that wall by itself, hanging off the wall a big clunking 33″. Also that superficial board on the wall that covers a wall joint is unnecessary. There are trim details around this kitchen that will…

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sconce kitchen6

Sconces in the Kitchen

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If possible the best approach is to have different levels of lighting in a room to gain a good balance. Different levels of lighting can include recessed ceiling or can lights, sconces, decorative ceiling lights and table and floor lamps. Using varied levels of lighting can reduce the hard and direct light that recessed lighting can sometimes create when they are used on their own. Also consider it a standing recommendation here at TEOT to always install dimmers on everything in every room. So we’ve already talked about lamps in the kitchen which we decided was undoubtedly a good thing. Now let’s talk about something that I want to make happen sooner rather than later which is installing sconces in a kitchen. Sconces lined up in a row mounted on window molding or above a bank of windows is very appealing to me,   So are sconces mounted on either side of the range hood,…

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kristan inspire3

Spring Hill Kitchen: Inspiration

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I’m starting a new project; the Spring Hill Kitchen project. I’ll be helping the client with remodeling and adding some character to a little house that’s only about ten years old. Important things to know about the client – likes to stay organized and tidy not afraid of DIY projects, taking on parts of the project to cut costs enjoys cooking & baking (a good kitchen is kind of important) likes the farmhouse/industrial style The lady of the house is ready to kiss her honey oak cabinets, black appliances and popcorn ceiling goodbye. Also-there’s no love lost over the laminate countertops and electric range. Builder grade kitchen be gone. It’s time to press the classic white kitchen in to service (when is it not time?) with max storage, a banquette and some cottage style spernkled on top. Let’s see what we’re working with,   This is just the start of things that we’d like to change,   After…

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Grout Interior Paint

Grout Cottage: Interior Paint Colors

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I stayed relatively neutral with all of my choices because it’s not my living space– it was made to be attractive to all sorts of prospective tenants. I got to try out some new grays, Classic Gray and Moonshine. I especially loved Moonshine. Simply White is my new go to trim color and Woodlawn Blue was great for the bath in Apartment B. If you’re looking for a “greige” I’d test Classic Gray. If you’re curious about which colors went where, they will all be labeled on the posts about the individual rooms.

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Grout AptB Day 2 Head

Grout Cottage: Apt B Bath & Bedrooms

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This is the bathroom in Apartment B before the demo and expansion. It leaves umm…much to be desired. This was in use and although a sight for sore eyes it was operational. The biggest changes to this bathroom were 1) the addition of a window and the gain of natural light and 2) the creation and installation of a custom storage cabinet with glass doors to fill an awkward nook.     The wall color in this bath is Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, I’m 99% certain that this color would perform well any where. The best place to install our towel bar was here, One of the best parts about this bathroom renovation was the addition of a custom cabinet to fill this nook next to the shower. We put a vintage styled latch on the glass doors not long after this photo was taken. The bedrooms were a relatively easy…

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Grout AptB Day 6 Head

Grout Cottage: Apartment B

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This was the only entrance to the upstairs dwelling, Apartment B. Scary exterior stairwell on the side of the house, There was already an existing porch up there but the stairwell was literally sitting next to the porch, it wobbled when you stepped on to the landing and then if you made it up the stairs of death you were met with a small porch that could’ve fallen through on any given day. The entire porch and the stairs were completely torn off and rebuilt. When looking at any of the before images of Apartment B, keep in mind someone was living here not long before the demolition began. It was fun to re-configure the living area, kitchen and bath in this space. We had the bath in a couple of different spots initially but ultimately kept it in the same place but enlarged it. After the Indiana project was posted, some…

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Grout AptA Bath Before After

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Bath

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We started with a shell of a bathroom. When I say shell I mean just framed walls with plywood because the previous owner had at some point demolished the entire bathroom and was in the beginning stages of putting it back in. The shell of a bathroom that we had to work with was not quite big enough so we widened it and gained a few more feet. I also added a window in the bathroom because I just don’t like bathrooms without windows–that really goes for any room, natural light is always a good thing. I had a little fun and tried out a vanity in a color other than white in this bath. I waffled for a while about doing a gray vanity or a camo green vanity but finally settled on blue. The vanity is Benjamin Moore’s Stratton Blue mixed in Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint line.  …

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Grout AptA Day 4 Head

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Hall & 2nd Bedroom

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When we began this project, the hallway in this apartment was a dark corridor with some wood paneled closets and some dirty and old beadboard wainscoting. The hallway is worth mentioning and taking a gander at because it’s no longer a hallway straight out of a horror movie. Peeling back some of the layers in the old hallway,   Again we salvaged the little stained glass window that was existing to add some character in our revamped hall. But we enlarged the window and had it made to match with the dimensions of the stained glass window to make it appear as though it was all one window but in fact it’s two separate pieces trimmed together to look like one. We also salvaged all of the old doors but in order to make a custom door for our linen closet, the carpenter cut down one of the old paneled…

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Apt A Living Rm Entry Compare

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Living Room & Bedroom

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Apartment A is the downstairs apartment of the historic Grout Cottage. It is a two bedroom apartment with an eat-in kitchen, one bathroom and a laundry/mudroom combination. In addition to the interior transformation, we also added a deck on the back of the house for the residents of Apartment A to hang out on and enjoy. In the beginning, Apartment A had a pretty odd layout. The apartment had two entrances from the front porch, one that entered the bedroom and the other that entered into a living room. Originally, if you wanted to go to the kitchen and you were hanging out in the living room you had to walk through a bedroom to get there. Obviously one of the first orders of business was to re-work the layout of the apartment. This is the future living room originally functioning as a bedroom with a small existing closet, a…

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Grout Queen of Hearts top

Grout Cottage: Exterior Reveal

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The Grout Cottage was built in 1895 for the Grout Family, who actually utilized it as their guest house. C.B. Grout and family used the early resort cottage for their guests in the early part of the 20th century. The house was converted to apartments some time in the 1930s. The earliest photograph that the Moore County Historical Association has of the Grout Cottage looks like its from the 1960s, so we can’t see it in the early 1900s to determine what parts were original and what was patched over time but we have a pretty good idea that those clipped gables, sunburst motif and paneled cornices are original. We bought this “fixer upper” in the fall of 2012 and before Christmas of 2012 we had started demolition. When we bought the Grout Cottage it was a duplex with two apartments, with an old dilapidated carriage house in the rear,…

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West Conn color samples

Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Exterior Paint Selection

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Lately I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual state of paint color selection. It was time to begin the color selection process for the Connecticut Avenue Duplex project. You might recall we’re giving a rancher a Venice Beach bungalow inspired facelift. I knew I wanted to go dark because the trim work and arbor we’re adding to the front will really stand out on the dark house. Set that dark house and white trim up with some more green in the landscape and maybe a white flower here and there and we’ll have a solid outcome. Here are the lead off colors (all Benjamin Moore), In this image, we’re looking at these colors in the harsh morning sun in a spot on the house that gets the most direct light. The reason I put the samples up here is to ensure that I choose a color that has enough…

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