Our Baby’s One Today!


Earlier this week, we realized that today is the blog’s first birthday.  My, how time flies!

We then wondered how one goes about celebrating a blog birthday.  I mean I’ll take any excuse there is to bake a cake but that doesn’t really fit the virtual theme of the blog.

Chris thought we should revisit our favorite projects from the past year.  Not bad, but then I had the problem of selecting one.  I’m 100% more excited about my future project list than I am our past accomplishments and with Chris, vice versa.  When we’ve finished a project, he tends to take a step back, admire our work, and relish in its completion.  With me, it’s a little different.  I take a step back, admire our work, then start narrowing down my future projects list to the next contender, and usually want to start on it immediately.

Thus, we concluded that Chris would focus on his favorite 3 past projects and I would divulge my favorite 3 future projects.  Besides, settling on a blog topic that would (finally) be uniform wouldn’t be our style anyway.

So here we go…

Julie’s Top 3 FUTURE Projects:

1. Doors.

While this may not sound that glamorous, I am OBSESSED with the notion that our doors will one day all be upgraded from the current flat panel, yellowing doors from the 70s to freshly painted white, two panel doors.  Not to mention, a change from the odd, old brass door knobs to new satin nickel ones.

We have already started the process of replacing doors (more on that here).  We’re currently 3 for 13… so yeah, we have a ways to go.  Obviously, this is a more long-term goal but still, the day the last door is replaced is the day I throw the largest celebration the world has ever seen… for a door.

For the doors, we’re going from this (excuse Chris’ creepy head):

To this:

Source: Home Depot, Steves and Sons

And for the door knobs, we’re going from this:

To this:

Source: Home Depot, Kwikset

2. Headboard

I’ve been wanting to build an upholstered headboard for the guest bedroom for quite some time now.  It’s really the only thing that needs to happen before we reveal the room on the blog (patience young grasshopper).  The hold-up has been finding the perfect fabric.

A few weeks ago, as I was wandering around West Elm, I found it.  THE fabric.  Here it is on an ottoman.  The fabric’s called Rosette in platinum.

It spoke to me.  It said, “Julie, if you don’t buy up three yards of me right now, you’re an idiot.”  Done.  I rushed to find a sales associate to ring me up.  Little did I know, my heart was about to be severed in half.  She said the two little words that sent shockwaves through my shop-a-holic self: “Sold. Out.”


Her only words of encouragement were, “well, we still have it in Blue Stone” (seen below).

A word of advice to all sales associates: a different available color does not immediately rectify everything.  *Sigh.

So then I contacted West Elm to see if they would be restocking inventory in the platinum color.


So then I asked if they could supply the manufacturer’s name so I could order directly through them.


So, now I’m back at square one.

3. Wood Floors

I have been yearning for the day that my new wood floors will enter into my life.  It’s not only a cosmetic change, it’s a necessary change.  And here’s why:

Reason One.  Our kitchen floors are NASTY.  Not because they’re not clean.  We sweep, we swiffer, we scrub, but to no avail. What we originally thought was tile (later we discovered it to be linoleum) was once a bright white color… in the 70s.  Over time, the color has yellowed and the years of constant foot traffic have worn down the surface to be a breeding ground for permanent stains.

Reason Two.  We currently have six different floors in our house.  Red brick-patterned tile in the office and powder room, white(ish) linoleum in the laundry room and kitchen, oak laminate in the dining room, 18″ beige tile in the living room, hallway, and guest bathroom, gray twist carpet in the bedrooms, and a wood-look tile in the master bathroom.  Yup, six.  And that seems like a lot for a three bedroom house.  If we at least laid down wood in the kitchen and dining room that would slim the list down to five (I would probably use the same wood-look tile from the master bathroom in the laundry room so the linoleum would be completely gone).  So, still a lot of floor options but, hey, it’s still one less.

Reason Three.


Right image: Mayflower Sundance Handscraped Hardwood from Lumber Liquidators

Left image: Virginia Mill Works Engineered Potomac Plank Handscraped Hardwood from Lumber Liquidators.

Enough said.

So, Chris, what’s up first?


For the record, I never thought the linoleum in the kitchen was tile. Ever.

Anyway, I was shocked to find out the blog was only a year old… maybe because I’ve been doing these projects for so much longer (you didn’t think it was written in real-time, did you?).  So, I’ve decided to recap my favorite projects thus far.

Chris’ Top 3 PAST Projects:

1) Half-bath

Honestly, this project wasn’t really a big deal, but it was the first project we did, besides painting a few rooms. What’s more is that we did it together, on a really low budget. It was a fun, productive way to spend time together and the payoff was HUGE (the old bathroom was hideous, in case you don’t remember, read about that transformation here). We were elated with a feeling of accomplishment, and we eagerly showed it off to everyone who entered our home.

This project turned out to be a double-edged sword, though, as it resulted in Julie being bitten by what us car guys call “the mod bug.”  Effortlessly transforming a powder room had betrayed my handyman skills, and Julie’s eyes were filled with renovation greed.  I was doomed to a weekend life of labor.





2) Master bedroom

I’ve cheated a little bit with this one, as it’s really an ongoing project. But it’s probably one of the most important ones- it’s the last room I see before I go to sleep, and the first one I see when I wake up. It’s quiet, relaxing, and private. It’s also constantly changing- painting, repainting, curtains, chairs, lights, etc. It’s also the site of the project where I PUT A NAIL THROUGH MY FINGER (read the gruesome tale here).

Normally, I hate Julie’s habitual indecision, but I have to admit that I don’t mind too much here. We’ve created a really great piece of the house that’s just for us, and I really enjoy spending time there, even if half of it has been painting.


Attempt One.


3) Front door

This may be our (read: my) latest project, but it’s probably one of the ones I’m most proud of because it took a considerable amount of skill… and a sickening amount of mind-numbing labor.  Staining and finishing wood is something of a dying art, and I’ve been dabbling in it for a few years.  I think I finally managed to find the right combination of chemicals, methods, and personal touch to get the results I’ve been looking for (read the full story here).

I also felt like Hercules after mounting a solid wood door by myself.  Twice.




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