Category Archives: Before and After

Indigo Vintage Pillow Slips

I have a lot of vintage linens that are “precious” and I don’t mean that in a nice way.  They’re not my style; just too cute for me.

These are heavy cotton hand-embroidered pillow cases.

These are heavy cotton hand-embroidered pillow cases.

I decided to dye some of them.  The rage now seems to be grey and indigo so I started with indigo.

I would prefer a less lively color palette.

I would prefer a less lively color palette.

The choices of dye are vast and it’s difficult to know exactly what color you’re going to end up with.

Rit dye comes in liquid and powder.

Rit dye comes in liquid and powder.

I stopped by JoAnn and picked up 2 bottles of liquid Rit dye: one in Navy and the other in Evening Blue.  Going to The Rit Studio Guide was helpful to understand the undertones of each color. Navy has a violet (red) undertone while the evening blue has an aqua (green) undertone so I mixed the two to try and tone down (ha!) the undertones.

I used one bottle of Evening blue and a half bottle of navy.

I used one bottle of Evening blue and a half bottle of navy.

My recipe for indigo dye is 1 part navy to 2 parts evening blue.  Mix the dye as recommended on the package.

The dye color, even diluted, looks black.

The dye color, even diluted, looks black.

I used my kitchen sink for dying and left the clean, pre-wetted articles in the hot dye bath for about 45 minutes stirring and swishing them around from time to time.

I found moving the items around by hand easier than swishing with a stick so I wore rubber gloves.

I found moving the items around by hand easier than swishing with a stick so I wore rubber gloves.

.After everything was well-colored I ran each item under cold water until the water ran clear.

I carefully rinsed each item.

I carefully rinsed each item.

After rinsing I wrapped the items in an old towel to absorb much of the water then threw them in the clothes dryer.

The color came ourt as a true indigo without any purplish tinge which I found difficult to photograph.

The color came ourt as a true indigo without any purplish tinge which I found difficult to photograph.

The thing I really like is that the colors of the embroidery have also been muted.

I must have learned something from the last time I tried to dye something.

I must have learned something from the last time I tried to dye something.

I can picture these sturdy embroidered cases in the décor now.

I'm not planning to use them on the sofa but I could.

I’m not planning to use them on the sofa but I could.

What old item are you repurposing?

The House To-do List – An Update

I used to organize the house to-do list in one long list that I added to as I thought of something new.  Here’s the updated room by room view.

The living room before the renovation.

The living room before the renovation.

The living room

The living room today.

Living Room

  • Move living room window
  • Move living room door
  • Patch walls
  • Paint walls
  • Paint fire place and trim
  • Clean floors
  • Clean shades
  • Make curtains or shades
  • Rehang all artwork
  • Clean rug
  • Clean furniture
The dining room has lots of changes in store.

The dining room has lots of changes in store.

Just now the dining room is in a bit of chaos.

Just now the dining room is in a bit of chaos.

Dining Room

  • Clean paneling
  • Paint paneling

    The paneling in the dining room is partially painted.

    The paneling in the dining room is partially painted.

  • Paper top of walls
  • Clean floors
  • Paint chairs
  • Get a rug
  • Finish cushions
  • Move piano
  • Paint trim
The new kitchen need many tasks before it is ready for use.

The new kitchen when it was just framed.

The kitchen is beyond the piano wall and in full daily use.

The kitchen is beyond the piano wall and in full daily use.

Kitchen

Kitchen island and cabinets

Kitchen island and cabinets

  • Take down ceiling fan
  • Remove cabinets
  • Remove pantry
  • Move and replace lighting fixture in mud room
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Decide on storage – closet, bench, doors
  • Repair holes in ceiling
  • Paint and move dining room table to kitchen
  • Make curtains
  • Buy rugs and runners
The new pantry will be drywalled. painted, lit, and fitted with shelving and cabinetry.

The new pantry will be drywalled. painted, lit, and fitted with shelving and cabinetry.

The pantry is fully built.

The pantry is fully built.

Pantry

  • Add shelves
  • Add counter

    Counter in the pantry

    Counter in the pantry

  • Add cabinets
  • Paint wall and ceiling
  • Hang lighting fixture
  • Organize pantry food and tools
The conservatory has many details that need to be finished.

The conservatory has many details that need to be finished.

The same view today of the conservatory.

The same view today of the conservatory.

Conservatory

  • Paint floor
  • Lay rug
  • Hang drywall
  • Paint walls
  • Move furniture
    • Love seats
    • Bistro set
    • Oak dresser
  • Get TV
  • Move file safe into closet
  • Drywall window
  • Paint closet
Besides roughed-in electric and plumbing the conservatory bathroom needs everything.

The conservatory bathroom framed.

The back wall of the conservatory bathroom is Hardiebacker.

The back wall of the conservatory bathroom is Hardiebacker.

Conservatory bathroom

  • Choose tile
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose sink
  • Get shower installed
Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.

Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.

Powder room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Add paneling at bottom of wall
  • Paper top of wall
  • Paint lighting fixtures
  • Rehang towel bar
  • Fix hole in wall
The stairs and landing to the powder room.

The stairs and landing to the powder room.

Stairs

  • Paint risers
  • Paint walls after all construction is finished
  • Stair runner
Looking down the hall from the bathroom to the far bedroom, the doorway on the left will be closed in to become a long wall.

Looking down the hall from the bathroom to the far bedroom.

The doorway was drywalled back in December but the hall still needs to be painted.

The doorway was drywalled back in December but the hall still needs to be painted.

Hallway

  • Repair wall where door was removed
  • Paint wall
  • Hang gallery
After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.

After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.

Laundry Room

La buanderie means either laundry room or utility room in a house

  • Finish floor
  • Hang closet door
  • Add hanging pole to closet
  • Add baseboard trim
  • Add chair rail trim
  • Paint and install inside shutters
  • Paint and install old kitchen cabinet above dryer
The master bathroom needs lots of decisions and lots of work.

The master bathroom needs lots of decisions and lots of work.

The master shower is almost 8 feet long.

The master shower is almost 8 feet long.

Master Bathroom

  • Choose tile
  • Choose sink
  • Choose shower
  • Choose vanity
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose placement
  • Design linen closet
  • Buy toilet
  • Have shower installed
Lots of finishing details for the master bedroom.

Lots of finishing details for the master bedroom.

The ceiling is painted in the master bedroom.

The ceiling is painted in the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom

  • Tear out closets
  • Erect bookshelves
  • Patch holes
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • Lay rug
  • Make bed rustic
  • Refinish tall dresser
French doors in the master bedroom lead to the second story private deck.

French doors in the master bedroom lead to the second story private deck.

the exterior of the deck off the master bedroom has been finished.

The exterior of the deck off the master bedroom has been finished.

Master Deck

  • Rug
  • Paint vintage garden furniture
  • Have railing built
  • Have deck surface finished
A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room

A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room

Diva Room

  • Paint trim
  • Add shutters or curtains
  • Clear out boxes
  • Refit closet after ductwork
The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.

The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.

Treetops Room

  • Clear out boxes
  • Wash windows
  • Move large painting to living room
  • Reorient bed
  • Paint lamp and refinish shade
  • Paint door
The front porch is coming along.

The front porch

Front porch

Front porch

Front entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose blue stone or paving
  • Make planters
  • Add landscaping
  • Paint door
  • Door mat
The side entrance is changing both inside and out.

The side entrance is changing both inside and out.

Side porch

Side porch

Side entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose bluestone or paving
  • Make planter for front edge
  • Make wood box
  • Bench or chair
  • Door mat
The stairs are utilitarian for now. Load of details will be added in the near future.

Conservatory

The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

Back entrance

  • Paint railings
  • Stain steps
  • Plant grass
  • Lay stepping stones or temporary deck
  • Door mat
The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.

The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.

Garden

  • Make a plan for foundation plants
  • Plant grass
The shed is both charming and useful.

The shed is both charming and useful.

Wee Little House

  • Organize tools
  • Paint shutters
  • Clear work bench
  • Organize garden items
The Cottage in November

The Cottage in November

Glade Cottage

  • Clear up unfinished projects
  • Move paint to house
  • Install kitchen sink
  • Move tools to shed
  • Move and repair drafting table
  • Clean up old lumber and flooring
  • Vacuum well
  • Dust and wipe clean
  • Rent
Once shingled both the siding and trim will need to be painted.

Once shingled both the siding and trim will need to be painted.

Exterior

  • Paint shingles
  • Paint trim
  • Hang gutters and downspouts

We’ll be adding and crossing off as time progresses.

How do you manage your lists?

The Elephant is Gone

I know that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time but we shipped our elephant away one dark night with the help of a couple of strong young men.

The old refrigerator in the old kitchen which has since become the mudroom.

The old refrigerator in the old kitchen which has since become the mudroom.

Ever since the old kitchen was torn out last November we’ve been moving our old refrigerator around the house to “get it out of the way”.

We moved the old fridge here, there, and everywhere.

We moved the old fridge here, there, and everywhere.

In May a new fridge was delivered but we still had the old one.

First it was in the mudroom closet which was technically the old kitchen.

First it was in the mudroom closet which was technically the old kitchen.

For a while it was in the geographic center of the new but unfinished kitchen.

Old fridge was the only kitchen appliance for many months.

Old fridge was the only kitchen appliance for many months.

It hovered between the dining room and living room in various positions.

The refrigerator straddling the space between the dining room and living room.

The refrigerator straddling the space between the dining room and living room.

Finally our son came with a buddy to pick it up and take it to his place.

Full-size side by side refrigerator that danced around the room with every upgrade.

Full-size side by side refrigerator that danced around the room with every upgrade.

Unfortunately they came in the dark of night so no photos of the move.

Before -- the refrigerator loomed in every shot of the living room or dining room.

Before — the refrigerator loomed in every shot of the living room or dining room.

 

After -- Now that the refrigerator is gone I can recommence work in the dining room which obviously needs it.

After — Now that the refrigerator is gone I can recommence work in the dining room which obviously needs it.

Only before and after. Check it off.

What did you check off your list this week? No list!

In a Few Minutes

Last evening I did a small amount of painting after working all day.  First I needed to touch up the front door in a couple of spots.

Sparrow on the front door.

Sparrow on the front door.

While I had the brushes dirty I painted the sideslip on the fireplace.

The exposed brick which had been painted to match the old wall color is sometimes called the "sideslip" of a fireplace.

The exposed brick which had been painted to match the old wall color is sometimes called the “sideslip” of a fireplace.

Ultimately I’d like to tile it with herringbone soapstone or slate but until then it’s painted Benjamin Moore Sparrow like the front door.

LivingRoomFireplace

Tonight our buddy is supposed to come over to help Charlie get started on putting Hardie backer in the showers.

The incredibly heavy 4 by 8 sheets of Hardie backer are leaning againt the closet in the conservatory waiting for someone who knows how to use it.

The incredibly heavy 4 by 8 sheets of Hardie backer are leaning against the closet in the conservatory waiting for someone who knows how to use it.

Yippee!

What are your plans for tonight? This weekend?

Can I Be in Love?

I walked down into the barren living room and am in love with the color, Revere Pewter. The cornice and baseboard molding are nicely bold in the space.  Of course I would like to beef up the front door trim and paint the door.

I'm itching to move the furniture into this spacious and serene room.

I’m itching to move the furniture into this spacious and serene room.

It used to look like this (same viewpoint).

The living room door has exchanged places with the window on the right in the picture above.

The living room door has exchanged places with the window on the right in the picture above.

Was it genius to move the door or what?

I’m glad to have you weigh in on the door color.  Or wait until the furniture is in place.

What are you loving lately?

 

Window to Wall

In the renovation lots of small but essential changes happened in the living room.

This living room window which looked out over the backyard has been removed.

This living room window which looked out over the backyard has been removed.

In addition to the front door and a window changing places we also removed a window.

From the conservatory side the window ended up in the closet.

From the conservatory side the window ended up in the closet.

After the conservatory was built on the other side of the living room, the window backed up to the conservatory closet.

Studs were added to the window opening so a piece of drywall could be added.

Studs were added to the window opening so a piece of drywall could be added.

Our contractor filled it in with drywall. He had to add a small strip of wood on the studs to make the almost 70 year old drywall at the same level as the new patch.

The window filled with drywall.

The window filled with drywall.

The drywall crew came back especially to mud the seams so it could disappear.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

Yesterday I painted that wall Revere Pewter. The ceiling is Edgecomb Gray.

The room is considerably darker with that window removed.

The room is considerably darker with that window removed.

Since we now have a very bright and sunny conservatory the living room is more moody and cozy.

This very large painting won't seem so high off the ground when the furniture is moved back into the room.

This very large painting won’t seem so high off the ground when the furniture is moved back into the room.

I also am happy to finally have a wall big enough on the first floor to hang a favorite painting which has been hanging in the back bedroom.

Do you find change exciting or exhausting?

Diminishing Returns

Even before our formal renovation began Charlie started to demolish our stone terrace, concrete porch, and brick walkway.

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The result of all that jackhammering was a 40-ton pile of rubble.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Both our excavator and contractor thought I was crazy when I said I would get rid of it by listing it on Craigslist.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Over time the pile has reduced

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

and reduced

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven't paid anyone to take it yet.

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven’t paid anyone to take it yet.

and now I would estimate half a ton left — almost nothing.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we're saving to spread on the driveway.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we’re saving to spread on the driveway.

I think I’ll list it one more time before we call it gone.

What have you given away for free?

 

 

 

 

A Little Touch Up

These 2 rise-and-fall-pendants hang over the island.

These 2 rise-and-fall-pendants hang over the island.

When the electrician put in the lights over the kitchen island he had to adjust the position of the fixtures and therefore we have had two white patches on the ceiling.

Rise and fall fixtures hang over the kitchen island.

Rise and fall fixtures hang over the kitchen island.

While I was painting the living room ceiling I pulled out the almost-empty can of kitchen ceiling paint in the same color, Edgecomb Gray.

The white spots have been covered (the bright spot in the photo is a reflection).

The white spots have been covered (the bright spot in the photo is a reflection).

I also had the bright idea of painting the bright white ceiling air registers, too.

The air register in front of the kitchen window pendant was annoyingly white and shiny.

The air register in front of the kitchen window pendant was annoyingly white and shiny.

I painted them 2 light coats with a brush.

Before

Before

 

After

After

Next paint project: living room walls. I bought paint yesterday with a 20% discount coupon. Yippee!

Have you done any touching up lately?  Annoying? Satisfying?

Dogwood and Door Mats

Charlie mentioned to me that “we” should trim the dogwood tree near the Cottage away from the wall light.

Charlie would like to trim the dogwood from around the outdoor light hanging over the window in the middle of the wall.

Charlie would like to trim the dogwood from around the outdoor light hanging over the window in the middle of the wall.

Since he is a heavy-handed an enthusiastic pruner I did the deed myself.

One branch down and the job is finished.

One branch down and the job is finished.

It wasn’t a tough job.  Just like cleaning the muddy door mats wasn’t tough.

I scrubbed and squirted with the hose these indoor small rugs.

I scrubbed and squirted with the hose these indoor small rugs.

Although squirting them off was not really enough.

It took some scrub brush action to remove the sticky mud from the rubber door mats.

It took some scrub brush action to remove the sticky mud from the rubber door mats.

Charlie had to take a scrub brush to them before we could put them back on our impeccably clean porches.

A clean door mat keeps a lot of dirt outside that might be tracked in.

A clean door mat keeps a lot of dirt outside that might be tracked in.

And in front of the Cottage.

What was your weekend project?

 

So Jealous

Every time I read a blog post about decorating a porch I am was envious.

The building process of the side porch.

The building process of the side porch.

Even after our porches were built we had to wait for the bluestone decks to be professionally acid washed before we could truly call them finished.

I love the blue stone porch decks.

I love the blue stone porch decks and the electrical outlets near every exterior door.

Using outdoor furniture we already own I have given porch decorating a try.

From this .  .  .

From this . . .

To this.

To this.

The fun thing is that the items on the porch aren’t necessarily dedicated to the space.

French garden chairs and metal folding table. Since this photo I've switched out the galvanized vase for some potted mint as a mosquito deterrent.

French garden chairs and metal folding table. Since this photo I’ve switched out the galvanized vase for some potted mint as a mosquito deterrent.

If I want to change something, no problem, just move it or replace it.

A shady haven on a sunny day.

A shady haven on a sunny day.

For now I’m smitten with the yellow flowered pillows (which I had been storing in the attic) on the blue bench.

Didn't buy a thing for this space.

Didn’t buy a thing for this space.

Additional planned upgrades to the porches:

  • Paint the house (and therefore the porches) medium grey (probably).
  • Paint the trim white (not the Azek only the wood trim).
  • Paint the doors dark blue.

    The old back door was blue so I think I'll continue with blue for the doors.

    The old back door was blue so I think I’ll continue with blue for the doors.

  • Paint the beadboard porch ceilings light blue (maybe).

    The side porch ceiling primed in white.

    The side porch ceiling primed in white.

  • Add more plants and planters to the whole scene.
  • Landscape the yard (oh, yeah!).

    A little curb appeal would go a long way.

    A little curb appeal would go a long way.

  • Change the door hardware.
  • Put house numbers on the wall.

    I've won 2 of these signs: one for the front and one for the side doors.

    I’ve won 2 of these signs: one for the front and one for the side doors.

Wow, it really hurts to see the list in writing.  Only thing left to do is to get started.

What’s your next project?