Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
When it comes to remodeling, I'd describe myself as a prenovice. Despite my "adorable little tool box" (Rob's words), I have no clue when it comes to tools, construction or home repairs. The condo I recently sold was a model unit, with brand new appliances and every upgrade in the book. I purchased a condo because - at the time - I preferred to pay association dues instead of worrying about maintenance.
I wish I had a photo of my parents' faces when they first saw Our Care-free Home. We're so impressed that you have a vision! It wouldn't be our choice, but good that you can see beyond [insert major home flaw here]. After all, my parents knew then what I know now - I was in wayyyy over my head. Add to that my recent major surgery, newly-launched side business and upcoming wedding... whaaaat was I thinking???
Fortunately, my dad (who, in partnership with his wife Karen, has completely transformed his hobby farm over the past decade+) is retired and has been helping pick up my slack. At times, given I work a 9-to-5 job, we are like two ships passing in the night - he the battle ship that accomplishes great feats during the day, me the puddle jumper that feels proud to simply get from Point A to B without breaking down.
Yesterday, after a weeklong doctor-required break from manual labor, I returned to the house and discovered a treasure trove of fatherly advice... left in the form of short notes, similar to those my dad has left me throughout my life. I'm lucky to have a dad that will give me good advice rather than bark angry orders when my painting technique is clearly terrible or I ruin yet another $15 paint brush. (Not to mention a future husband that doesn't freak out when I purchase more than $100 in custom paint in the wrong finish, but this blog post is not about you, dear).
So this post, dad, is in honor of you. Thanks for all the great advice, for your help and encouragement, and for bestowing upon me DNA that could see an architectural gem through the dirt and code violations . I love you.
Friday, May 13, 2011
|Our treasure trove from the kitchen demo.|
They're adorable and oh so retro - but what the heck are those stamps with a "cash value of 1 mill?"
In the 1960s, Gift House Stamps was among the leaders of the multi-million dollar stamp industry in the US. As people purchased items from retailers, they often earned one stamp per evert 10 cents of the sale price. Consumers would paste the stamps in to booklets, and trade the full booklets in at redemption centers for household items or appliances.
Who knew - the previous owners were stamp collectors!
The stamps were such a cool find, I had to do a little more research. After a little Googling, I uncovered the photo below photo from the Minnesota Historical Society website. Dated January 27, 1959, it shows a Gift House Stamp Redemption center in Saint Louis Park - not far from where our house is. Very cool!
|Photo credit: Minnesota Historical Society|
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Here are some great finds that we uncovered during a recent trip to Bachman's. Which will we choose? Even we aren't sure yet... but I guarantee you they'll be featured in the big exterior reveal. Which is only a few weeks away!
|Mint Julep Ponpon Juniper - grows 4'-6' with attractive mint green foliage. It's trained as a ponpon and can stay a manageable size as long as you tend to it over the course of the year.|
|Dwarf Scotch Pine - our current favorite, and of course the most expensive. Has rich blue-green needles and an attractive reddish bark. You can maintain the present size and shape with pruning, which is a bonus.|
|Mugho Dwarf Pine - grows 6'-8' tall and up to 10' wide. It's got a mounded shape with dark green foliage. It needs to be pruned to maintain its shape.|
|Morel-red Pine - a dwarf form of Red Pine that grows up to 6' high. It maintains a dense, rounded form with long, light green needles.|
Monday, May 9, 2011
|Yep, we have four tons of wet landscape |
rock sitting next to the house. We're those people.
We stopped by their Plymouth location to check out landscape rock for the front of the house. We're going to pull up the cheap plastic edging, move the garden border closer to the house, create a rain garden, and cover the edge of the house in rock.
Add this to the painting and staining of the exterior, and it's getting easier to imagine our little eyesore becoming a thing of beauty once again!
Friday, May 6, 2011
|Prep really is the worst part of painting...|
Although it was an original feature of the home, we decided to remove the wallpaper and add some color to the room with paint. Removing wallpaper is never fun, but with a careful approach we were able to get a great finished result.
Removing the grass cloth was actually fairly easily. All we needed was a spray-bottle with warm water, a good paint scraper, a ladder and plenty of drop cloths.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
|Three test strips of stain cover the current rust-colored wood.|
We've tried out three different colors, and think we've made a decision... but I'll keep it a surprise for the reveal!
The stains we're working with have completely covered the red using only one coat, without any preparation. A great sign, as we'll be able to save a significant amount of time by skipping the bulk of the prep and getting right to staining!
There are some parts of the wood exterior that will need to be replaced, but unfortunately we're going to have to identify those areas and replace the wood as we go. It seems as though every time we focus more on the house, we find more damage. Arg!
But taking time to enjoy the cosmetic choices we're making does help us to get through the more frustrating projects.
Here's a closer look at the exterior stains we're considering. Any opinions out there?
|Option 1: Gray Cloud|
|Option 2: Harbor Gray|
|Option 3: Stonehedge|
Sunday, May 1, 2011
|Hello little panels - soon you will be painted and we will|
stop hating you and laughing behind your back.