The Never Ending Story (of the dining room)

We took a few days off back in mid- February to get started on the dining room.  Which I thought would be done three years ago!  We got started on stripping trim,  but then we had to go back to life,  so the room is currently in a state of “kind of a disaster mess” but I swear we will get it done before the summer!

One of the best parts was when Chris found the original bathroom door (there’s a small bathroom off the dining room that needs a full gutting. That’s on the Getting Budgeted, Demo’d and Done Soon List,  too! Oy, there are a lot of things on that list!!). I started stripping it,  which is oddly slow going for an easy, flat piece of wood,  but I’m super duper excited about the doorknob! This is my life now!  I get really excited about doorknobs!

Stay tuned for what I promise will be very dramatic “after” pictures. Someday!


The exciting doorknob! We're going to shine it up. Someday...


Beautiful trim...


Messy Before Photo




The door!

Saying goodbye to summer

I don’t know about you, but I’m forcing myself to adjust to Fall.  I mean, it’s here, dropping that sun before 7 at night, so it’s not really like there’s a choice.  But the leaves are starting to change, the evening breeze has a little bite, I’m forcing myself to hold off on buying Halloween candy for a few more weeks, thinking about wtf I did with my slow cooker and why wouldn’t I just keep all the parts together like a normal person … you know regular early October stuff.

And I got SO FAR BEHIND in posting!  And I’m going to work to catch things up over the next few days and get back to real time.  Real Time….  That sounds more serious than Current Time. Either way, it turns out I’m not fully ready to say goodbye to summer.  So here, for one last hoorah, is the amazing picnic table that Chris made for us.  I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves …

Next summer it will have its own umbrella and patio of some sort to sit upon!

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Benches for which I can take no credit (Part II)

A while back, I started this fun series about benches Chris makes.  And, you guys, I haven’t even posted the amazing bench he made for the kitchen that ALSO holds books and magazines and I here I am posting about a whole other set of benches.  Can you stand it?!?  Wild, wild stuff.  But wait … there’s more …

So Chris keeps getting better and better at the woodworking stuff – -a hobby SO much better suited to life in the suburbs than life in a teeny railroad apartment in Manhattan. That was getting rough.  First it was cute, then it was comical, then it was rough, then we moved.  So, here I am, in Peekskill, with a husband who now has a basement full of saws and I say things like — “Hey, I saw this on Pinterest, isn’t it cool?”

Picnic table with drink chiller


And next thing I know he’s making one.  It’s almost done — big reveal to come …

But today, I helped!  I was only allowed to help with the bottom of the benches part.  But, still — I totally helped. I’m not taking it personally.  The bottom of the benches is a very important part.

I sanded!  I haven’t used the electric sander in a long time and it is my new bff.  AND i learned to stain!  Why was I so afraid of staining?!?  It’s so much easier than I thought!  Why did I think staining was complicated?  Well, my eyes were opened and my mind was changed.  Check it out!



Happy Second Anniversary!

We celebrate two years in our beautiful house this weekend.  Like so many things, the days can sometimes feel long, yet time has flown by.  I’m proud of all we’ve gotten done to date and excited about  (and daunted by!!) all that lies ahead.  So … just another weekend, really 🙂

Much like how we celebrated our first anniversary with a work-related nod to the past, we are also celebrating this anniversary with a little bit of living like we just moved in:

Living with our mattress on the floor, as we are FINALLY tackling the bedroom!  We had so many things that had to take priority, then we were deciding about stripping the trim, then we were paralyzed by our decision to strip the trim, then we were terrified of  how long it would take to strip the trim …. Then, we just started stripping the trim.  The wood is too beautiful to leave it painted, and we figure if we’re tearing it up, we might as well just tear it all up, right?!?  So here we are.  Sawdust up our noses and bed on the floor, but progress is being made.  And so YEAR THREE begins ….

Snowy weekend projects


Finishing my sewing projects left and right may be the only upside to this weather…. I’ve been working on this pillow for a while and finally finished it in time for our wedding anniversary on Friday. It’s the date we moved into the house 🙂 The back of the pillow is the same green flowered fabric I made the teeny pillow out of (I like to try to use all the parts…) and just having a couple new, bright pillows in the couch is making me so excited for spring!! The lettering is the Sublime Stitching epic alphabet and I made up the numbers to try to match…

I also finally finished this:

And it’s now hanging in the kitchen. Chris made the frame this morning out of scrap wood with his kreg jig, and in a happy accident, had to sand it a little where it got dripped on after it was painted, and the effect made it look distressed, a little old and perfectly matching the chalkboard in our kitchen. I love it!!

Benches for which I can take no credit … (Part I)

I think I mentioned that Chris has been going crazy on the woodworking lately.  I have found myself saying, “You know, we could use a (bench/shelf/stool) in the (kitchen/dining room/ attic)” and then he disappears to the basement for a while and comes back with something like this:

black bench, a la Chris (design from Ana White's page)

black bench, a la Chris (design from Ana White’s page)

And while the dining room is nowhere near done (we are going to strip that woodwork, I already have the wallpaper I’m putting up, and a couple walls will be dark green) I’m pretty impressed with the price tag so far:

1) Dining Room table made from a door we found in the basement.  Original to the house, it’s priceless to us, but the hairpin legs were $100 and purchased online

2) the Windsor-esque chairs were a Tarrytown antique store find — 4 for $129.  Can’t beat that!

3) the bench was probably around $200 in wood and paint, maybe less

4) The credenza was a gift from a friend who was relocating

5) The rug is a temporary fix, but also a great hand-me-down from Chris’ sister

6) The mirror is really old– it’s  a window frame we got for $5 in Provincetown, and Chris added mirrors to it.  We’ve had it forever.

So, we have a ways to go until the dining room is “done,” but in the effort of documenting progress, and bragging on Chris’ bench-making skills, I thought I’d make a little post to share where we are so far.  Thanks for stopping by!


Bathroom Cabinet

Designed by Chris and me, executed beautifully by Chris!

The doors are shutters we bought at an antique fair for $20.  The knobs are from Anthropologie.  (Like, who knew I could love a selection of knobs so much!!?  haha, knobs…)

The wood for the cabinet is recycled from the old bathroom cabinet

Et viola!  What do you think?


Bathroom Trim

Not the most exciting of titles, but any step closer to getting the bathroom done is a good step, in my book!  Chris made trim!  The baseboards in the house are tall, so he wanted it to match.  There is a piece of quarter round at the bottom, a piece of plywood above that, and decorative trim on top.  It has all been installed, now just needs to be painted.

Happy June!

Fact:  I’m a person who has been killing house plants in various NYC apartments for almost 20 years, and now I’m learning to garden.  After the fabulous folks at  Hilltop Farms  worked some magic last spring, our front yard shrubs and backyard Leyland cypress trees are coming along nicely.  My brother-in-law has given me some plants that are taking and my mother-in-law helped me dig out a little flower bed and herb garden area in the backyard.  I’m getting better at weeding and not being afraid to move plants around, and Chris has been keeping the lawn in great shape.  So things are greening up around the old place!

I have so many projects to catch up with on the blog!  While the bathroom is still on hold (but not for much longer), Chris has been finishing the lattice and I have been attempting some new craft projects (stenciling, anyone?!?  Still remains far messier than it looks!)  Stay tuned for photos and posts.  I’m working on it!  In the mean time, here’s a picture of the place from this morning– quite possibly the nicest day yet of 2013 — perfect blue skies, zero humidity, temperature in the ’70’s.  The lighting here may not be great (half the front is in shadow…) but I like this pic nonetheless.

Record Shelves

My husband has a lot of vinyl.  Like, a lot.  And he made some shelves in our old apartment that worked but …. I’ll just leave it at that.  And they got pretty banged up in the move, and have been a wobbly, messy, unorganized section of an otherwise very cute room for months.  But all that has changed with Chris’s new Kreg Jig and plans by the amazing Ana White.  Painted with some of the many gallons of paint we have in the basement, tags from Amazon and hand-stamped (by moi!) by category and alphabetically, the shelves are one of my new favorite things at home!  What do you think?