Thursday, July 29, 2010

Art? Or "Butt F-Art"? Butt F-Art Indeed!

In our little mini bathroom on the main floor, we have one of our favorite pieces of art hung up, it is our Butt Fart Art, a gift that Alex recieved from his sister on Christmas of 2008. Anyone that knows Alex and I well knows that we both have a ridiculous sense of humor and nothing really offends us, so this was a perfect gift! It is a real original piece of artwork from an artist in my hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan that illustrates... butt farts, interesting I know. I remember when Alex opened the gift, he held in it portrait orientation instead of landscape, so flipped around I thought it was hills with a tree, haha! Once he turned it I was like, "ahhhh it is a butt!"

We loved the gift and knew it would be perfect to frame and hang in our bathroom (where else would it be appropriate?). It is quite a conversation piece! We also chose our paint color for the bathroom based on the, well, fart shimmer I guess you would call it? Our bathroom is Medieval Gold, and compliments the artwork, but is without a doubt the strangest room in our house, but we have to have at least one!

The Porcher Elfe Sink has been ordered!

I never thought I would feel so excited about a sink, but I REALLY am! Alex and I just ordered the Porcher Elfe sink, why is this so special? It is really small! See below image:

Our smaller bathroom on the main floor has a small pedestal sink, but it is still too large for the space, so if you are on the toilet, the sink is basically right in front of you, you could lean on it, which makes the space really awkard! The Elfe sink is wall hung with the faucet on the side, so it only comes out from the wall 9 inches! Crazy! This will really make the bathroom more usable, and better for the resale of our house! I will post another blog of the small bathroom once we get started installing the sink!

Here is the sink by itself:

And here is the single hole faucet we ordered, we didn't want anything too modern for our old home, so we thought this one fit the bathroom the best (fingers crossed since we haven't seen it in person!):

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Little Charms of an Old House

Alex and I always knew when we were ready to buy a home, it would be an old home that was filled with character and charm... the whole idea of doing a ton of work rennovating took a backseat when choosing the 'perfect home with the perfect charm'. Which is a little funny to both of us now, to be very honest, buying an older home that needs work is, well, A LOT OF WORK! We take a lot of pride in what we have done to our little charmer home, and more so because of the fact that we injected life back into this tired old house. It now feels warm, cozy, fresh, and still filled with the history and character!

So here are our favorite original characteristics that made us fall in love with our home, some took some refinishing, but look amazing now!

Our front door has a small foyer, since it was built in 1924, we have to assume the purpose was to keep heat in the home when people would enter. I just love the glass pane door with the antique glass knob, you don't see that in any houses built after the 1940's, so unique!

Here is a view of the glass door when you walk into the house, faces the staircase with the dining room on the left and living room to the right.

And a close up of the staircase banister, I wish I had the 'before' picture, it took a lot of sanding to be able to refinish and paint to make it look fresh. This is one of my favorite parts of our house, nothing like original woodwork (but of course had to be painted).

Here is another old charm, one of the radiators. When we first started looking at homes, most of the historic ones had radiant heat, which is something I knew nothing about and haven't seen inside a home ever before. But I like that they add architectural interest in most of our rooms. Alex plans to build a cover on one in our sunroom to create a window bench seat.

Another fun characteristic in our house, the ceiling. Whenever we have guests they always ask us about it. It is original to the house and is in our living room, dining room and kitchen. Appears that someone used a trowel and created a repetitive circular pattern, we like it and think it adds fun detail to our rooms.
Next, the laundry chute! Who doesn't think laundry chutes are fun? We have this little door in the 2nd floor hallway, there is also a door in our kitchen. Makes it nice to not have laundry baskets around the house, just goes straight to the basement (even nicer that Rocco and Sadie never have a chance to pick up random clothes off the floor, which is something they LOVE to do).
And the doorknobs, I LOVE antique doorknobs! The glass knob and keyhole scream history and character. Did you know that Home Depot sells knobs like this? They start at $50 for the knob, which seems crazy to me, you can find them in antique stores, but not sure if they would actually function.
And the doors themselves, they remind me of my grandma's house, I just love the center framed antique look.
I will follow up with more little charms once I get more photos! There are plenty in our house, but of course some need a little TLC!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Master Bedroom Inspiration- Finally!

Alex and I have changed EVERY room and hallway in our house, except for our own room, isn't it weird?!? We have been in our house with an empty bedroom aside from the furniture since the day we moved in- blank walls, no window treatments, nothing that made it very 'us' or cozy. We both agreed that we wanted to get the common areas up to date first so that it would look nicer when we have company, and no one else would really be in our room, so we were okay to wait on it.

Now that it has been almost a year since we have tackled a big indoor project, I am getting a little anxious to do our room, but the problem always was what do we want OUR room to look like? We both wanted it to be special for us and an expression of us as a couple and our life, so what the heck should we do? We looked at lots of pictures of rooms, but nothing really jumped at us, until I found this:

FINALLY! INSPIRATION! We both saw it and said 'Yep' that's it! The color palette matches the flow to the rest of the house and it has a classic elegant feel, and not too masculine or feminine (which I thought was pretty hard to find common ground on when decorating a master bedroom) I know we will put our own spin on it to make it a little more 'Zidarevich' but I can't wait to get the walls painted and find (or make) the rest of the decor in the coordinating color scheme!

Oddly enough, I found my inspiration in the strangest place... Billy Joel's $12.9 million West Village townhouse that is listed for sale........ thankfully, I don't really think 'Billy Joel' when I look at this picture.... I hope I don't when we get the room together (HA).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Yard After: Right Side

We started redoing our yard at the beginning of May, so it sucked up about 2 months of work for us, and it was the hardest project we have worked on so far with the house, this one was HUGE! Here is our first yard blog:

So again, here is the before:

And After! Crazy how much hard work it took to just have grass in our yard! The dogs love it, no more woodchips or plants all over the place and in the way, and our neighbors were so thankful we did an overhaul on this eyesore!
Now facing the house, the yard before:
And After! Ahhhh, so much better! I can't wait to plant more flowers and get the lattice up on the deck!

The Deck is Done! well... almost

Our goal was to have the deck completed by the Fourth of July since we had family coming to visit, and we did reach our goal... minus having the lattice up all around and applying the wood seal/ stain (which we have to wait until next year to do anyway). We started the project in this blog when we had to tear apart the old deck:

So here is the after:

Here is the patio set we got on clearance at Ikea, it is has nice features, the chairs recline and the table folds in half (as shown), and I picked up some patio pillows at Target, I love them!

Here are the stairs that connect the two levels

And this is the top level, we aren't complete here either, we would like to add a bench around the border instead of a railing so it would feel a little bigger and add extra seating, we (Alex) will probably do next year.

And in this picture you an see more of the new yard! We still can't believe we have grass on that side of the yard, it was a disaster before. I will post a new blog on the yard 'after' next.
I have also had a lot of fun adding flowers to the yard, still working on keeping them alive though!

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Chalkboard Made From An Antique Window

I finally finished making my new chalkboard out of the antique window from our basement (the inspiration is in this previous post).

So once we got the window out of the basement, it was time to break the glass out. Since this can be dangerous I wore my trusty Liberty of London gardening gloves and safety glasses.
Alex ended up helping me break a couple of the panes because I was a little afraid and not using enough force.
Then after carefully picking up the broken glass, I ended up with just the frame.
I painted the frame white, left the edges a little rough to give it a shabby look. We picked up some light wood boards from Home Depot and painted them with 3 coats of chalkboard spray paint. (I didn't get photos of those parts, boo!). Alex attached the board to the frame with some small nails, then we mounted it in the kitchen nook!

So here is the nook now with the chalkboard. The nook still isn't done yet, but I am so happy with the chalkboard! Turned out perfect and I love that it is an original piece of our house that we can use!

***UPDATE: The nook is even better now with our antique ladder and refinished table!***

Here are a few more updated pics!
One for my 'Nomi Homies' :)

The Lettered Cottage