8am on a holiday and I’m sanding and painting radiator covers. I’ve turned into a monster. Bradley and I have been crazy busy working in the hallway and both bathrooms and we owe you guys a serious update. We’ll tidy the place up, take some pics and be back soon. In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of radiator covers to sand…
We haven’t split up. And we haven’t given up working on the house either. Quite the opposite. We’re done with the living room, made a few pieces of custom furniture, and started work on the half bath / laundry room…the inside AND outside!
The reason we haven’t posted in a while is because we’ve been crazy-busy with life. In order to make time for the stuff we need to get done, we have to give up a few things. Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end is usually the first thing we’re willing to give up. Plus we haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and sort through hundreds of photos and then write something.
Don’t worry though. We’ll be back to posting soon enough. We’ll skip the overwhelming task of catching up and just jump right in with how our house looks these days.
Sorry for keeping everyone hanging. We’re almost ready for our triumphant return.
Hey peeps, just a quickie post to show you something Bradley’s been experimenting with at the shop:
This is his first stab at making a sink from a mold, and it’s been a huge success so far. If all goes as planned, we’ll have a couple of these in our bathrooms. Maybe even one in our kitchen. And we might even make a few extra for sale if anyone’s interested.
Beats the crap out of a standard Lowe’s sink, amirite?
Our plan for the day: finish off some built-in cabinets for the dining room and office.
Our reality for the day: plumb the eff out of our sewer line.
Turns out our old cast iron sewer line has eroded over the years and some tree roots finally managed to dig right through them. These are the joys of owning a 130-year-old home — sh*t happens.
Long (and gross) story short: we’ve got a smelly situation on our hands. Mostly all over Bradley’s hands. This city girl does not do anything with the word “sewer” in it.
We’ll be back soon with all the details of those built-ins. In the meantime, here are some lessons we’ve learned from our very interesting weekend:
- Invest in a good pair of waders. Bradley has some industrial ones he picked up during last year’s flood. I have some cute fashiony ones that look great while stomping in puddles.
- If it’s yellow, let it mellow. For all other, uh, situations…drive to the nearest chain store. They always have bathrooms. (Thanks, Dunkin Donuts!)
- Offering your plumber a Snickers bar while he’s ankle deep in nasty — highly recommended.
Some time ago, we found this old piece of barn wood:
And it made our hearts sing.
The aged grey tone. The weathered and worn grain. But most of all, the realization that this piece of wood is completely one of a kind. Nowhere on this planet is there another piece of wood that’s exactly like this one. Not even this other piece of barn wood we found to go with it:
Each piece is a unique thumbprint.
They’re so different, but close enough in look and feel that we were inspired to make a set of nightstands for our guest bedroom.
Here’s a rough mockup Bradley did on the back of a piece of MDF while working on another project:
The nightstand will be a basic white box, no back, sitting on four little legs, with one drawer set into it. The drawer will be made from the raw piece of barn wood. The rough sketch above shows a handle, but we’ve decided not to have hardware. Instead, we’ll make a little cutout in the face so you can pull out the drawer with a finger. That will help keep the focus on the gorgeous wood face with no distracting hardware.
The juxtaposition between clean white cabinet and raw, grungy drawer face will — there’s really no other way to say this — look mad hot. We love the way clean elements look when contrasted with raw elements. It’s a look we’re trying to carry throughout the house with our brick walls and rafters butted right up to our textureless walls and trimless windows. We think the nightstands will fit right in.
That’s our plan, man. What do you think? We’ll share the step-by-step instructions for DIYing a set of nightstands in a couple of weeks. We can’t wait. We’ve been stashing all of our bedside stuff in trays on the floor…for the past year.
It’s getting old fast.
Yowza, it’s been a while since we updated with a project. It’s been so long, in fact, that we’re now in a completely different season. (Uhh…when did winter happen??) We’ve always been pretty awful at updating regularly, but the biggest reason we’ve been super sporadic lately is because we’ve both been working more. I started a new gig, and Bradley’s taken on some freelance projects. Plus we’re still working on the house every weekend.
We might not update 2 or 3 times a week anymore, but rest assured, we’re still working away. Check out what we did a couple of weeks ago:
Boom. We painted our dining room floors white. Here’s what they looked like before, for comparison:
And here’s what the same corner looked like a year ago:
Major upgrade, amirite?
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you already know that we painted the floors upstairs black:
We love the black upstairs, but the rooms on the first floor tend to be a bit on the dark side. We decided to go with white to brighten things up. The entire first floor will have white floors, and the second floor will have glossy black. To tie the two floors together and make everything flow seamlessly, we’re going to do a two-tone staircase. Here’s what we’re thinking:
Source: reevesinguam.blogspot.com (found on Pinterest, of course!)
We’ll paint the treads black, and toekick area white. Easy peasy.
We went to our supplier in Brooklyn to pick up a 5 gallon bucket of oil-based glossy white paint:
It didn’t look so white when we opened up the can:
But that was quickly remedied by mixing the paint with a drill outfitted with a mixing attachment:
Mmmph. If that image doesn’t make you crave a latte, you don’t know what’s what.
We followed the same process as when we painted the floors upstairs (you can read all about it here). Our first coat was a mix of 50% paint and 50% paint thinner to encourage the paint to soak into the wood rather than sit on top of it.
Our paint guy told us to do this and we highly recommend it for anyone painting soft pine floors. It helps make the wood harder — less likely to gouge under, say, the claws of an easily excitable 2-year-old doofus:
It doesn’t look like much, but that first coat makes all the difference:
The second coat — undiluted oil paint — went on after a light sanding:
We gave the floor one last sanding and then gave it another coat of undiluted oil paint:
We still need to paint the black metal under the stove, but we won’t get to that for a while. Regardless, we love how it turned out. The dining room’s always been the darkest in the house. The brick wall and rafters make it so much worse. With the white floors, the room feels super bright, even at night with dim mood lighting. We also dig how it adds a crisp, clean feel to a room that has a lot of industrial, raw and gritty elements.
It has all the character and charm you’d expect from 130-year-old floors but it looks a lot less grimy.
While we had the paint can open, we went ahead and took care of a couple of projects we’ve been waiting on for a while. This is some sliding door hardware we snagged from an old building:
The hardware would have ended up in a landfill, but instead, it ended up in our garage. What can we say — reclaimed stuff is our jam. Now that we’re almost done with the dining room, we pulled out the hardware to prep it for installation.
We started by scarping off the remnants of brown paint. Here’s how it looked after a little elbow grease:
And then we gave it a coat of oil-based white paint. We don’t have after pictures yet because we have to give the hardware at least 2 more coats of paint.
We also painted one of the frames we made 3 months ago.
We have plans for that sucker. It needs another coat and then we’ll share a really fun, really cheap DIY project that anyone can do. Super geeked about that one!
Remember this dorktastic magazine Bradley scored at a thrift shop a few months ago?
He matted and put it in one of the frames we made. We haven’t figured out where we’ll hang it yet, but it’s done…3 months after we started. Whee! Gotta love home renovation timelines!
Hope you dig what we’ve done with our dining room floors. We’ll be back to share some built-in cabinets we’ve been working on for the past couple of weekends. Stay tuned!
Hey guys! We’re just checking in to say we’re alive and well. Superstorm Sandy missed our house completely. We didn’t lose our power or get any flooding in our basement. Some others in our area weren’t so lucky. And our hearts are aching right now for the city that will always be our home to some extent. New York really took a beating. But as usual, when NYC is down, she gets right back up and starts kicking ass — buses are already running and everything.
We have quite a few readers from areas affected by the storm. If you’re one of them, we hope you’re doing OK and that your cities are back in working order soon. Hang in there!
It’s weird to segue from something so monumental to something so trivial, so we’re just going to throw it out there: sorry we haven’t updated the blog in a while. When you spend 50+ hours a week sitting in front of a computer, you sometimes need a break. Rest assured updates are coming soon. We’ve been working on some built-in cabinetry for the office and dining room, and those are almost finished. We’ll be back with more updates soon.
(And thank you to the readers who checked in on us. You guys are the best.)