Archives For OUR HOME

Old Windows

June 20, 2013 — 4 Comments

thirdfloorwindow
Sorry for disappearing. Life has been much more hectic than I would like. I’m still not sure how I am going to get everything done on my ever growing list, but I thought I would update my lovely readers on the house. The good news is that we have air conditioning! Kind of crazy for our old beauty. We like to think of it as a 125th birthday present. I’m still not completely convinced that it will be able to keep up when the hot weather really shows up, but fingers crossed it will do the job.

Meanwhile my roofer is almost finished except for 2 important spots. The current hot spots are the old windows on the back dormer. The sill was completely rotted, so my roofer handed the work off to my carpenter. He had to disassemble the frames and sill on both the inside and outside. He has replaced the sill but we are currently left with a large hole and some important decisions to make.

house-backdormer-before

I had planned on restoring the 3 small casement windows, but they are in pretty bad shape. I also talked to a window restorer who warned me that they charge by the linear foot of glazing putty. And we have 31 panes just back here! Eeek! He also said that he had a 3 month backlog! For the the front of the house there is no doubt that we will restore, but back here it isn’t so clear. I’m in the middle of weighing the options, while a piece of plywood holds the spot.

house-backdormerwindow-before

Mr. S. has left it up to me to make the decision. Currently I am leaning towards replacing them with a single awning window. Before you roll your eyes or think I have lost all of my old house cred, I am looking at a custom wood window by Jeldwen with a similar mullion pattern. We went over to the showroom to get a better look.

windowoptions

I am pretty torn since I am always telling people to keep their old windows. Over the years we have replaced some windows, due to sizing issues but never one strictly to be replacing it. Of course the third floor windows have been taking a beating for the past 125 years without storms. Above are a couple of patterns that I am considering. The thinnest mullion that they make is 5/8″ wide. Our current ones are about 1/2″. The smallest that they can make the pattern is 4″, our current ones are closer to 3″. I am leaning towards the middle one right now. What do you think?

house-backdormer-rendering

PROS For New Window

-Single awning window will actually increase the visible glazing.

-Awning window will allow for us to keep the window open in the rain to help exhaust out out hot air in the summer.

-It will be less expensive than restoring the existing windows

-I can get it clad in aluminum in a matching color so I won’t have to repaint it for a long time

-I won’t need to install an interior storm

-We can still reuse the existing interior window trim to match the other windows.

Cons For New Window

-Not Historically accurate.

-The window will still look different than the original windows.

I am off to give the supplier a call to get a quote. Stay tuned!

4 Comments

crazyrain1

I hope everyone had a great weekend. It is raining here AGAIN! We had 5 1/2″ of rain on Friday and it looked like this. Yuck! The only one who didn’t seem to mind was Sam. His preference was to get his head as WET as possible.

crazyrain-sam

The weather was actually nice on Sunday, but it is back to pouring rain this morning. Fortunately the roofers fixed most of the leaky spots on the roof on Thursday. They still have a bunch of little stuff to do, but at least we are making headway. I keep trying to get some photos of the garden, but the weather is not on my side!

ikeapaxhack-whitedoors1

In the meantime we did manage to install the Ikea PAX Hemnes doors (painted white) this weekend. I think that they look great and I no longer feel like I am sleeping in a walk-in closet. A longer post is in order, but we did need to do some hacking with the PAX because it is designed so that a drawer and it track can’t overlap with a hinge, and when there are 4 hinges per door that is a problem. Fortunately the internet came to the rescue and we literally hacksawed some drawer slides.  I also still need to decide on knobs/handles. I was originally planning on going industrial.

pull1

But now I am feeling like maybe going a bit more vintage in style like this porcelain knob with a wood finish ($9.99):
porcelainknob-woodfinish

Or this Milk Glass Knob ($9.99):

milkglassknob

I also love this Eastlake ring pull ($6.59). Unfortunately it is only about 1 3/4″ tall which I think will look too small:

eastlake-ringpull

Does anyone have any suggestions? I think I am still suffering from decision fatigue. We have a crazy week ahead. It is the last week of school and we have kindergarten graduation (part 2) coming up. Needless to say there have already been a few tears shed as my little guy starts to grow up.

2 Comments

UmbraCrunchCansRectangleStripe-thecontainerstore

Life is still pretty crazy here. The air conditioning guys are going into their 4th week (and are ALMOST done) and the roofer finally showed up today. Nothing like being in your pjs at 6:40 am and realizing that they are ready to get up on their ladder right by your bedroom window!

pax-hemnesdoors

We also decided on doors for our bedroom closet. We were all set to order custom doors from Barker Doors, but found that Ikea is now selling an all wood door (Hemnes door in gray-brown, $80). Of course it is in pine in the wrong color, but that hasn’t stopped us before. The style wasn’t bad and the price was a LOT less than we were going to pay for custom doors. Granted the custom doors would have been nicer quality, but in this case we decided these doors were a good savings measure. We may even try and use more of these doors on the third floor.  In between birthday parties, swimming and generally trying to avoid being in our unbearably hot house, we managed to buy 7 doors and get them primed and mostly painted. Mr. S. took the opportunity to buy a paint spray gun from Harbor Freight. The fronts now have 3 nice coats and the back have 2 coats of white paint. They will need a little bit of touchup (we had to move them before the rain).

Okay so back to one of my new favorite purchases for the bedroom. We have been in need of new laundry baskets for a long time. Did I mention that I think some of our old plastic ones are from college? Anyway, most of the plastic baskets in addition to being ugly, are too big for our not so big house. Plus I have to carry them down 2 flights of stairs. It has always been an issue. I was determined to come up with a better solution with the new closets. Previously we had a 3 bag hamper system that didn’t work very well. So I went on the search for something that would fit in the PAX system, with minimal wasted space, but could be picked up and brought down to the laundry without having to change containers.

Since we went with the deeper PAX for the laundry section we had about 23″ of depth to work with and 37″ of width. Unfortunately Ikea didn’t have anything that seemed workable, which is strange since they have a lot of other boxes and bins that fit perfectly. I ideally wanted 3 baskets: one for whites, one for bright colors and one for darks.

umbra-crunchcanstriped1

Needless to say when I found these awesome laundry baskets I was excited. These are by Umbra and are called the Horizon Rectangular Crunch Can ($19.99) and are available in 4 striped colors and plain. They appear to only be available at the Container Store. I bought the red, green and blue. They are perfect for going up and down our narrow stairs and they look pretty cute in the closet too. I’m not sure why I waited so long to buy these. Did I mention that you can collapse them when not in use? They will probably never happen in our house, but it is a cool feature. The sides stay up quite nicely and I have been able to fit a whole load of laundry in one. Anything to help make laundry more appealing!  You can see we haven’t started the bottom shoe drawers or trim yet, but we are getting closer.

2 Comments

masterbed-bestpanels1

Hi All! I hope everyone enjoyed their three day weekend! Sorry I have been MIA. Life has gotten the best of me. I have been busy working and spending time with my family. We managed to get some nice quality time together over the 3-day weekend. The kids even braved the very cold pool on Monday. This of course means that we have not made very much progress on the house. We did also do some important brainstorming and thinking through how we are going to finish out the closets and trim. I think we also have a better handle on what work we are going to do verses the contractor.

I’m without the nice camera right now and I didn’t stage the photo (i.e. the level is behind the side table) but I did want you guys to get to see the Best Showroom Panels on the wall above our bed. It involved 2×4 being screwed into the studs at the top and bottom of each panel and carefully installing the panels over them and screwing them in. Fortunately it went well after some initial “finessing”. These are actually hung sideways, although the beauty of this is that with the pattern it doesn’t matter.

Here is the building that these came from:

best01

BEST Showroom by Venturi & Rauch.

Can you find our panels? I am quite smitten with how they look on the wall. I really helps to highlight the ceiling height. The bed is pretty low, so I think the scale really helps. I am also loving our new bedside lamps them from Joss and Main. They are made by Krush a division of Luminance and called the Elle Table Lamp in satin gray. The only downside is that I have to stretch to turn it off.

masterbed-bestpanels2

It is making me think that maybe I need some more modern art in the house.

Leave a comment

masterbed-PAX-closet2

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Things are moving along here, in fits and starts and some late nights. We actually have all 4 Ikea PAX Closets assembled, in place and fully fitted out (minus the doors). I had to do some last minute rethinking on the closet layout. I drew out the elevation in Autocad to make sure that everything fit. I will have to do a more detailed breakdown on how to best layout the PAX units, since it is a bit of mystery until you get into it. I was really particular about maximizing the space to meet our needs, which included setting the shelves to fit the Ikea Skubb boxes perfectly. Now I feel like I am an expert on all things PAX.  I can assemble a drawer in 10 minutes flat!

Fortunately it is relatively easy to move stuff around on the units. I made a stop to Ikea on Thursday to get everything we needed. I was the crazy lady with 2 carts trying to get to the checkout.  The goal is to be able to store almost all of our clothes in here, and actually give the kids their closets back. Can you tell we are busting at the seams here?

ikeapax-closetprogress1

Here is how it is looking this morning. I’ve manged to shove a bunch of stuff in here last night. Not exactly how I wanted to start off using our new closet, but it is already proving to be useful. I did organize Mr. S’s shirts by color and replace most of his hangers with the huggable hangers, which are nice and thin (although they did shed quite a bit making it look like one of our cats had decided to hang out in the closet). I need another pack or two to finish it off.

masterbedroom-pax-progress

Considering we started last Monday like this, we have actually made some good progress! I do feel like a little bit like I am living in a walk-in closet at the moment. Some doors should fix that problem, but we are probably looking at a 4-6 weeks before we have those, since I need to double check some measurements before I order them.

Our air conditioning guys have been working in the house and we have been trying to stay one step ahead of them. This meant that we needed to get these closets up so we could empty the kids’ closets to allow for the new ductwork to go in. If all goes well they will be done just in time for Memorial Day (which was our goal).

What did you work on this weekend?

Leave a comment

masterbedroom-vercelliceilingfan

I hope all the Moms out there had a great Mother’s Day! When I envision my ideal Mother’s Day, I picture sitting around in the backyard sipping mimosas with Mr. S., while my kids happily play nearby. Of course reality is quite different, but I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful family who I adore, temper tantrums and all.

We are making slow but steady progress in the bedroom. Mr. S. has left the critical path, but now we have an actual functioning ceiling fan complete with a ceiling medallion! I know that fans are often frowned upon in the design and blogger world, but for comfort and energy savings they are hard to beat.

VercelliCeilingFan-HomeDepot

Hampton Bay Vercelli Ceiling Fan in Brushed Steel, Home Depot $209

I also think this one is pretty good looking. It is definitely on the modern side, but I like it. Our cats are VERY suspicious and Spike won’t even come in the room, which is very unlike him. We also incorporated a ceiling medallion. Previously we added plaster ones in the Living Room and Kitchen but decided to give a lightweight urethane one a try this time. This is the Reece Ceiling Medallion from Architectural Depot, $24.45. I’ve never ordered from them before but the price was right and it shipped the same day I ordered it. It was easy to cut and Mr. S. was able to use longer screws on the ceiling fan bracket to make everything work with the added depth. I think the quality is pretty good and after some primer and ceiling paint I think you would be hard pressed to know the difference.VercelliCeilingFan-ControlsThe ceiling fan installation had a few small hiccups, but overall wasn’t too bad. I was going to have our contractor install it, but with the hot weather coming later this week, Mr. S. was growing very impatient. The wall control that comes with the unit is pretty fancy and so far works well. The light can even be dimmed. I give it the thumbs up! We may order the same one for the kids’ room.

Now onto the closet wall (i.e. the unfinished side of the room)…

masterbedroom-pax-progress
The Ikea PAX unit is looming at the moment, but I think once we get doors and install the floor to ceiling curtains on the other side of the room, I think everything will balance out. As you can see we have installed one of the four units. The base on the right one is ready to go, but our AC guys are going to be running a duct to the right and I was afraid if I put it in, they wouldn’t be able to get it in, so I am holding off temporarily. Almost all of my clothes are now piled up in the closet, not quite a girl’s dream closet yet, but at least it has potential! I am going to start the bases for the middle tonight now that the old cabinet is empty and can be brought out to the garage. Then we should be able to empty out the playroom enough to allow the AC guy to get into the closet in there. As you can see it is all a giant puzzle, that gets harder and harder to solve as we move along.

I have to say that the PAX was pretty easy to put together. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it didn’t take very long and Ikea has a new plastic “tool” that helps you properly space the nails for the back piece. It is interesting that the pins for the closet shelves screw into place. Clearly the shelves and the rails help stabilize the unit. I wasn’t expecting that, but putting those in really tightened it up.

How was your weekend? Did you cross off anything from your to do list?

P.S. I will be back with an update from the Scott Arboretum Plant Exchange later this week. It was a lot of fun and my garden is a little bit fuller.

Leave a comment

masterbedroom-graywalls1

Things are still a little crazy and stuff is piled up high in almost every room, but 3 walls in our bedroom are painted! Fortunately I really like the custom gray color (which is a modified Classic Silver from Behr Ultra). And the white trim is looking good! Part way through the priming I was regretting our decision to paint the stained window trim, because well primer looks like crap. But now that they have had a good coat of paint, they are looking nice. We definitely still need to do another layer of caulk (since there are weird little gaps all over the place thanks to 125 years of use and settling) but the room (at least on one side is starting to take shape). The ceiling trim and ceiling paint still need to go on (which will be by our contractor after the air conditioning goes in).

marthastewart-graybedroom

The wall color was originally inspired by a picture from a Martha Stewart magazine that I literally had taped to the wall for years. She calls it “graceful gray” and has it listed with sophisticated neutrals, so I will pretend for a minute that I exude sophistication. I do actually think it is a pretty good match to the inspiration, although I plan on having a lot more color mixed in.

paxcloset-basedrawer

So while one side of our room looks somewhat organized the other side is a giant mess! I did manage to finally start the bases for the Ikea PAX closet systems. We are going to add a shoe drawer below that will be built into the floor molding. This has been a careful balancing act, trying to fit a drawer while not making the closets too high and still leaving enough space for a duct above. Hopefully my AC contractor will agree when he gets here at the end of the week. These pieces took hours to get leveled and set. Nothing in my house is remotely level, but anywhere near the fireplace is even worse. This location is not only next to the main chimney but also sits partially on the fireplace box in the kitchen below.

I started by installing a level piece to the back wall. Since it is screwed to the wall I didn’t need to level it at the bottom (phew!). But the two pieces coming out (which will support the majority of the closet) had to be cut at an angle to work with the sloping floor and then carefully tweaked around uneven floor boards. It took a bunch of tries with the jigsaw (because for some reason our circular saw has gone missing), but they are finally in.  I also installed the blocking at the back and one piece on the front. I don’t know if you can see in this photo or not but the front 1×2 is level left to right. It is tight on the right and has over a 1/4″ gap on the left. Yikes! I am hoping that this is square and level enough that I will be able to make the drawer work. This is my first try at making a drawer from scratch, so we will see! I am leaning towards making the drawer with the Kreg pocket screw system and routing out for the drawer base. I figure if it is a complete bust I can order some pre-manufactured dovetail drawers.

My goal this week is to keep ahead of the AC guys, so we get the ducts in place, without compromising too much of our closet and ceiling spaces. Fingers crossed!

2 Comments

masterbed-bestpanelmoodboard

Our Master Bedroom may still look like a giant mess (fingers crossed we will get some paint on the walls this weekend), but I am making progress on selecting products for the space. I have the carpet, ceiling fan, fabric for the curtains and new bedside lamps, not to mention a bunch of Ikea closets in the garage. I decided it was time to update my mood board so I could show where it stands. I feel like we are finally getting close to the aesthetic that I was going for, even if it has been a couple of years in coming together.

urmlamp

Besides the new ceiling fan the other new items that arrived this week were a pair of lamps. I am quite smitten with them. I ordered them from Joss and Main and they are made by Krush a division of Luminance and called the Elle Table Lamp in satin gray. They are nice and tall but flat. They have a very Venturi feel to them, which is fitting sitting in front of the Best Panels. We were planning on using a more industrial looking lamp, but I actually think these will work out really well.

Another unexpected change is that the large metal panels for the behind the bed (from the Best Showroom) won’t fit like I thought they would. They have been sitting in the garage for about the last 8 years and I thought I had checked my measurements, but well I didn’t! Instead of 4 panels we are going to have 2 panels going vertical instead. I still like the abstract pattern (part of a flower) but now I have 2 more panels to find a home for (maybe outside?).

I still need to decide on a chair (the current one is a place holder). I also need to make the curtains, which I am not particularly looking forward to, but will hopefully go okay. I am going to order pleat tape, which should hopefully make the pleating part fairly straightforward.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! We are suppose to have lovely weather here, too bad I will be spending most of it inside.

Leave a comment

coolsky-behrpaintchip

Unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of exciting stuff to show. You are welcome to come over and watch my primer dry if you like. The electrician has been working away and hopefully the AC contractor will start in the next week or two. My regular contractor is done until the AC contractor is finished. In the meantime though I needed to pick out a paint color for the hallway and a ceiling fan for the bedroom, and prime and paint the bedroom and hallway. The paint samples required 4 testers, but we have a winner! Cool Sky by Behr it is! I would say that it is a light gray blue. If left to choose by myself I would have chose something slightly darker, but since Mr. S. and I have to agree (and both live with it) this is what we are going with. One of the few downsides to my other half being an Art Director is that we spend a lot of time discussing color. The good thing is that we usually come to a consensus after a few rounds. The lights in the final space with be halogen and LED so the color should feel more blue and less gray once those are in (currently there is a sad incandescent bulb hanging in the hallway which give a yellow glow).

coolsky-behr

I am having a hard time getting a good picture of the color. It is less gray in person. And yes all of the trim in the hallway will eventually get painted. The white trim is pretty dingy looking at the moment.

So it is on to the Master Bedroom Ceiling Fan. We chose this one for the hallway:

acquaceilingfan-bronze

Acqua Ceiling Fan in Bronze from Matthews Fan Company, purchased from Joss & Main but available at Lamps Plus

We had been planning on installing a silver colored fan for our room, but then I started to doubt my choice with the oil rubbed bronze in the hallway. I went on a long tangent of searching for the perfect fan (with a light) and in the end I pretty much ended where I started, but not quite. Clearly a Ceiling Fan Round Up is in order.

I first pinned this Acero fan over a year ago. I still like it and its slightly industrial vibe. The price was a little bit more then I wanted to spend, but given all of the ugly ceiling fans out there I was pretty much resigned to go with it until…

I came across this almost identical one at Home Depot for half the price! The only difference I can find is that it has 5 blades instead of three and the blade shape looks slightly different. It is on its way now! It should be here tomorrow.  I am just relieved to cross this off my list. Hopefully I will like it in person!

Does anyone else have any ceiling fans to recommend?

 

7 Comments

closetwall-progress

Things have been moving along quickly here! I feel like a GC coordinating all of the trades. It may not look like much but we are one step closer to air conditioning. My electrician should be done with the new sub panels for the air conditioning and third floor today (Yeah!) Our bedroom ceiling is also drywalled (No more cracks!) and there is even an electrical box waiting for a ceiling fan. By the weekend we should be able to paint 3 sides of our bedroom and actually start putting a few things back. I actually need to order all of the stuff that I have been busy pinning on Pinterest for the past year including a couple of ceiling fans and barn door hardware. I also need to head over to Ikea to order the closets (fortunately the kids are more than willing to go to the “ball pit” any time).

secondfloorplan-closets-elevation

Try and picture the future Ikea PAX Closets and custom doors. There is still some bits to figure out, like whether I want to install a laundry drawer, but you can get the general idea. Fortunately I can put in the closets before ordering the doors, so I can tweak everything. I am also planning on installing drawers in the baseboard for shoe storage. If all goes well I might be able to start installing the blocking for it this weekend.

secondfloorplan-closets

I think the biggest surprise for us after our contractor finished demolition was how open the space felt after taking the tiny closet out. I now wish I had done that years ago, since it was generally useless in its old configuration. Of course we will be filling that in again, but this time with a much taller unit that I think will feel much better in the space.

Does anyone have any advice on installing PAX closets? Anything you like or don’t like about them? 

 

Leave a comment