Category Archives: Before and After

Changing out the Dressers

Eons ago I refinished Charlie’s grandparent’s all wood dresser for our bedroom.

Charlie's tall dresser (the one with the TV on top) has been against the wall in the master bedroom but didn't really fit according to my esthetic.

Charlie’s tall dresser (the one with the TV on top) has been against the wall in the master bedroom but didn’t really fit according to my esthetic.

I’ve been wanting to move his other tall dresser (above) to the back bedroom where the matching long dresser is located.

The finished I created on Charlie's tall dresser.

The finish I created on Charlie’s tall dresser.

What I really love about the refinished dresser is that although it’s bluish, against the brighter blue wall it looks French grey.

I have more plans -- I'll look through our artwork.

I have more plans — I’ll look through our artwork.

A full wall of shelves is planned for the wall perpendicular to the dresser.

Charlie needs to fill this up with his clothes which we've been storing on the floor!

Charlie needs to fill this up with his clothes which we’ve been storing on the floor!

And of course we’re still waiting to trim out the doorways.

My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother will also get a surface treatment.

My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother will also get a surface treatment.

Before putting the drawers in I ran a candle along the central runners to help the old drawers work smoothly.

How do you keep the horizontal surfaces in your house clear?

House To-Do List – How We’re To-Doing in 2015

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 at the halfway point of 2015.  Lots done; lots to do.

Living room

Living room

Living Room

Living room

Living room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining Room

Transition between dining room and living room

Transition between dining room and living room

  • Clean paneling
  • Paint paneling

    The paneling will remain white but the area above definitely needs some color.

    The paneling is primed but needs 2 coats of semi-gloss white paint.

  • Paper top of walls
  • Clean floors
  • Paint chairs
  • Get a rug
  • Finish cushions
  • Move piano
  • Paint trim
Caffe bar kitchen peninsula

Caffe bar kitchen peninsula

Kitchen

The kitchen

The 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
  • Finish the toe-kick on the island

    The toe kick needs to be faced with some dark luan then shoe molding attached.

    The toe kick needs to be faced with some dark luan then shoe molding attached.

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

The conservatory

Conservatory

The conservatory

The conservatory

  • Paint floor or lay flooring
  • Lay rug
  • Hang drywall
  • Mud walls
  • Paint walls
  • Move furniture
    • Love seats
    • Bistro set
    • Oak dresser
  • Get TV
  • Move file safe into closet
  • Drywall window
  • Mud closet
  • Paint closet

    The conservatory closet has been drywalled, painted, and shelved.

    The conservatory closet has been drywalled, painted, and shelved.

  • Get doors for closet and bathroom  

    Conservatory doors are in place.

    Conservatory doors are in place.

Conservatory bathroom

Conservatory bathroom is ready for waterproofing and tiling.

Conservatory bathroom is ready for waterproofing and tiling.

  • Choose tile

    Conservatory floor tile -- white on white basketweave.

    Conservatory floor tile — white on white basketweave.

  • 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

Upstairs hall

Upstairs hall

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
Master bathroom

Master bathroom

Master Bathroom

  • Choose tile

    I like this marble basketweave tile for the master bathroom floor.

    I like this marble basketweave tile for the master bathroom floor.

  • Choose sink
  • Choose shower
  • Choose vanity
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose placement
  • Design linen closet
  • Buy toilet
  • Have shower installed
Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

  • Tear out closets
  • Erect bookshelves
  • Patch holes
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls

    Blue master bedroom

    Blue master bedroom

  • Paint trim
  • Lay rug
  • Make bed rustic
  • Refinish tall dresser
French doors open from a private second-floor terrace into the master bedroom.

French doors open from a private second-floor terrace into the master bedroom.

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

    The furniture is painted and in place on the master deck.

    The furniture is painted and in place on the master deck.

  • 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
Front porch

Front porch

Front entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose blue stone or paving
  • Make planters
  • Add landscaping
  • Paint door
  • Door mat
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 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

Cottage in summer

Cottage in summer

  • Clear up unfinished projects
  • Move paint to house
  • New water heater
  • 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

Exterior

  • Paint shingles
  • Paint and install shutters
  • Paint trim
  • Hang gutters and downspouts

    The old exterior woodwork needs to be painted.

    The old exterior woodwork needs to be painted.

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

How are you doing so far this year?

Pantry Plastic Panoply

Our pantry has been in serious disarray for awhile now.

We can never find an appropriate container and lid when we need one.

We can never find an appropriate container and lid when we need one.

For months if anyone needed a plastic container from the pantry a pile of them would plummet to the floor.

Paint worthy containers.

Paint worthy containers and the giveaways in the bag.

I spent half an hour on Sunday morning taking out all the containers, bagging up the ones we won’t use for a church donation, matching bottoms and lids for the ones we’ll keep, throwing away some of them, and keeping just a few in the paint supply box for paint mixing and brush cleaning.

A colorful array of containers and matching lids.

A colorful array of containers and matching lids.

I’m trying to think how we can keep things orderly.

The back of the island has become a catchall for a variety of stuff.

The back of the island has become a catchall for a variety of stuff.

Next project: Kitchen island shelves.

What’s your next project?

Neglected Chores

Our house stays fairly cool in summer even though we don’t have central air conditioning.

One unit cools the entire master suite.

One unit cools the entire master suite.

We do have a window unit in our bedroom which has been running fairly regularly at night for the past few weeks as the weather has been hot and humid.

The entire insides were wiped down with Clorox disinfectant wipes.

The entire insides were wiped down with Clorox disinfectant wipes.

Charlie noticed that in addition to a dusty filter some dark spots (mildew?) had appeared on other parts of the unit.

It's important not to pry the plastic parts too vehemently because they might break.

It’s important not to pry the plastic parts too vehemently because they might break.

He took the front off (held on by two screws) and vacuumed the coils.

After a good vacuuming the coils are much cleaner.

After a good vacuuming the coils are much cleaner.

Then he used some Clorox disinfectant wipes to wipe down any exposed parts.

We're back in business.

We’re back in business.

The unit is working better and cleaner now.

What small but necessary chore have you been avoiding?

Constant Effort

Because we have not yet landscaped the house after our major renovation, the yard nearest the house is loaded with weeds.

The lush green grass was seeded in the fall of 2013, the rest of the yard is haphazard weediness.

The lush green grass was seeded in the fall of 2013, the rest of the yard is haphazard weediness.

When Charlie seeded the back lawn we should have done the entire yard.

The olive tree looks fine but the yard near the house is patchy with plantain, crabgrass, and clover.

The olive tree looks fine but the yard near the house is patchy with plantain, crabgrass, and clover.

The areas that were left undone are now covered with crabgrass.

The large American boxwood and 3 hydrangeas are staying -- everything else must go.

The large American boxwood and 3 hydrangeas are staying — everything else must go.

In the east corner of the house are the only original plants from before the excavation. Due to the lovely hot weather and regular rainfall the unwanted vegetation is taking over.

I'm hoping to eventually have a hedge of hydrangea on this side of the house mainly to hide the parged foundation.

I’m hoping to eventually have a hedge of hydrangea on this side of the house mainly to hide the parged foundation.

The hydrangeas had been pulled up and transplanted back to their original spots.

The blue and pale green looks so fresh.

The blue and pale green looks so fresh.

Three Nikko blue hydrangeas are blooming again this year.

The choke cherry trees and tall weeds have taken over the children's garden.

The choke cherry trees and tall weeds have taken over the children’s garden.

Our children’s garden which was created a few years ago has been overcome with the dreaded choke cherry tree — loads of saplings.

With some vigorous weed pulling the border starts to emerge.

With some vigorous weed pulling the border starts to emerge.

While Charlie was mowing he took some time out to chop down (actually pull up by the roots) these cherry trees — I cannot tell a lie.

Variegated liriope edge the bed which hold daisies and day lilies.

Variegated liriope edge the bed which hold daisies and day lilies.

This area already looks more civilized.

I hung a mirror on the front of the shed in which I caught reflection of Charlie clearing out the herb square.

I hung a mirror on the front of the shed in which I caught reflection of Charlie clearing out the herb square.

He also stooped down to pull the unwanted weeds from an herb bed near the wee little house (our shed).

A patch of pink Joe Pye weed and yucca spears grow under a Japanese maple in the east yard.

A patch of pink Joe Pye weed and yucca spears grow under a Japanese maple in the east yard.

It is a constant effort to keep things tidy in the yard but we’re trying.

Do you chop it down or pull it up by the roots?

From TV Tray to PB Tray

I had the bright idea of changing my repainted TV tray tables to look more like the Pottery Barn version of a similar table.

My grandmother's TV trays (from the 1960s) went from faux malachite (original finish) to faux marbre (my finish).

My grandmother’s TV trays (from the 1960s) went from faux malachite (original finish) to faux marbre (my finish).

Using my favorite spray paint, Metallic Charcoal, starting with the tops I sprayed on multiple layers of paint.

The key to great spray paint coverage is building up thin layers.

The key to great spray paint coverage is building up thin layers.

The legs were already black so I just gave them a light covering of chalkboard spray paint (which I had on hand).

Black chalkboard paint covered the dings on the legs and supports.

Black chalkboard paint covered the dings on the legs and supports.

After doing the legs and under-supports I hit the tops once again.

Even the first wet coat of Metallic Charcoal over the lightly sanded TV tray looks better (to me).

After spraying the tops I sanded them lightly before giving them additional coats.

After the first couple of layers I lightly sanded the tops.

Metallic charcoal dries to an enamel-like sheen.  When sanded and wiped it looks more like slate.

Metallic charcoal dries to an enamel-like sheen. When sanded and wiped it looks more like slate.

I was looking for the sheen to be the final coat from the metallic paint.

Metallic charcoal is dark grey like gunmetal.

Metallic charcoal is dark grey like gunmetal.

These trays are as useful as ever, just a little updated.

Carter table on left; Glade table on right.

Carter table on left; Glade table on right.

Thanks, PB, for the inspiration.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Lever Door Handles

I found out why contractors don’t want to use old stuff.

Our contractor put in this Schlage door handle which is a Dexter Seville.

Our contractor put in this Schlage door handle which is a Dexter Seville.

We have chosen lever-style handles for all our new doors for ease of opening. Many of our old doors have crystal handles which also have a good grip for opening.

The display at Lowes -- this lever now called the "Accent".

The display at Lowes — this lever now called the “Accent”.

First, I bought 2 new Schlage privacy door handles: conservatory bathroom door and master bathroom door. I looked around the internet for the cheapest price but ultimately bought them at Lowes so I could 1.) get them right away and 2.) take them back if they didn’t work.

The door was perfectly pre-drilled for the handle set.

The door was perfectly pre-drilled for the handle set.

Since we had purchased pre-hung 6-panel doors for both rooms, the doors were already perfectly drilled and routed to receive modern doorknobs. I’m pretty sure the drilling and routing are the time-consuming if not the most difficult part of putting in a door knob. That’s why contractors like using new stuff.

Latch

Latch

The latch plate and strike plate fit in the routed spaces perfectly.  I drilled small holes to get the screws started.

Strike plate

Strike plate

I screwed both in tight.

The latch goes on first then the spindle.

The latch goes on first then the spindle.

Then  I lined up the outside and inside knobs making sure the lock button was inside the bathroom and used the machine screws to connect them together.

Machine screws fit the holes above and below the handle.

Machine screws fit the holes above and below the handle.

When the latch didn’t click into the strike plate I backed the machine screws off just a little and it closes beautifully.

The conservatory doors before handles.

The conservatory doors before handles.

Every little detail makes the house more livable.

Every little detail makes the house more livable.

Now we must finish the bathrooms.

Have you ever put in a floor?