Saturday, April 20, 2013

Long time, no post

It's been a long time, like almost a year. We tackled a few projects in the past few months, new backsplash (Lowes), new island (larger countertop from Lowes and added two legs), dining room light fixture and painted the master bedroom.

Also included in no particular order are a few pics from the holidays too. We were able to fit 6 full-sized Christmas trees and 4 mini trees in the house (I love having lots of space for decorations).

Hope everyone is enjoying their new homes!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Making Progress

Lately we've been slowly adding things to the walls which has helped to make the rooms feel less empty.  After mounting the family room tv on the wall, I had to get something else so that it wasn't so alone (and to hide the view of the mount/wires when you enter the room from the kitchen).  I found the wall fixtures to the left of the tv in the Pottery Barn catalog, and after trying a few different combinations, I think I found one that works. 
The one of the left is a vase, so I'll be filling that with flowers soon.  I ended up moving the prints that I had initially hung above the loveseat because I replaced them with the scroll piece (votive holder- also from PB).  Dan initially thought this was going to be too much, and at one point compared the family room to an Applebee's with a million things hanging on the walls.  But now that everything is up, I think he likes it.
I'd been having a hard time finding artwork for the house.  I had decided to leave the walls blank and wait until I found pieces I really liked.  A few weeks ago we went to the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival and did some major shopping. 
The first thing we were both originally drawn to was a gorgeous oil painting of mason jars by Harry Jarmon (Kernersville, NC).  It was amazing, but also way out of our budget.  As we looked around his booth we came across a set of 4 fun prints that were framed beautifully.  By the time everything was wrapped and ready to go, I had added on the corkscrew print too.
For the dining room, we bought 2 pieces by Philadelphia artist, Nicholas Longenecker.  Although his work is contemporary, the technique used (acrylics over lace) was really interesting.  The lace gives the pieces a romantic/traditional feel that goes really well in our dining room.
Now that we have artwork here I think I'd prefer just plain white drapes.  I haven't decided whether to go with linen (light and airy) or silk (heavier).
I used matching sconces (Pottery Barn) to fill the wall with the smaller piece.
This one is 4'x4' and fits perfectly on the wall. 

Finally, the room that I've hardly posted any pics of...the game room.  After a rough start, this room is most definitely Dan's favorite.  The layout of the basement was one of the reasons we chose a Milan (instead of the Naples).  We have a decent amount of furniture set-up and it doesn't feel crowded at all (and you can see the tv from pretty much any spot in the room).  
This bar was a craigslist find that Dan and his friend refinished.  Closed it's about half the size and looks like a solid wood cabinet.  It opens to reveal a marble top and expands to almost 7' wide.  To the left of the bar is Dan's humidor (converted from a wine fridge) and in the corner to the right is a speaker.
Dan finally has a place for his Scotch collection, although he thinks extra space is an excuse to buy more.  I disagree.
Near the bar we set-up a small pub table and on the other side of the stairs is Dan's desk.
The table-top is constructed entirely of old hockey sticks (and about 25-30 coats of lacquer).  We bought this at a recent art show (if you're in Pittsburgh I'd definitely recommend checking out the annual Art All Night event in Lawrenceville).
 On the other side of the room Dan plans to hang his dart board (we had a 3'x10' section of laminate wood installed for the "dart area").  I hate that from behind the couch, you can see underneath of it.  But since the recliners are super comfortable, I've gotten over it.
There's still a lot to do; the loft and 3rd bedroom are completely empty and there's no paint or decor on the 2nd floor at all yet.  We're starting to get the garage a bit more organized, and once that is finished we'll move on to organizing the basement storage rooms. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Overdue Update

 I can't believe how long it's been since my last update (or since we've been in the house, just over 3 months).  Everything is still a work in progress, but it's coming along. 

Prior to the landscapers starting the work here I had requested a different tree for the yard; the kousa dogwood was planted today.  I knew that I didn't want all of the standard plants, so I had purchased several things from a local nursery.  We ended up buying a fringe tree (in front of the window), topiary, hostas, a round arborvitae and some ornamental grass.  I really like how everything turned out.  We painted the white pipes that stick out of the ground to blend in with the mulch (they're brown right now, but I might repaint black so they blend in a little more).  The only thing I wish we could have done is laid landscape paper before they put the mulch down (we already have mushrooms, grass, etc growing through).
 Our front and back yards were seeded in April, and although it is still very patchy, the grass seems to be coming in pretty good.  I did buy extra seed to fill in some of the empty areas, but I think I just need to be patient and give it time to grow.
 This pic is taken from the common area behind our house that was just recently seeded.
We were going back and forth between deck and patio, but I think we're leaning towards a paver patio.  I got tired of the patio furniture taking up space in the garage, so we just stuck it in the grass last week.  I'm hoping to get something installed by mid-summer so that we can actually start using the back yard. 

We had a service call with Guardian last week to address the volume of the outdoor speaker.  It's definitely not what I was expecting, and from what the tech said they don't want it to be super loud and disruptive to neighbors (not that I want to blast music outside, but if a neighbor is running a lawn mower you pretty much can't hear anything).
 Our street has really filled up this spring.  I believe at this point there are only 5 lots left.

 Ok, now onto my new favorite part about the house...our new bamboo floors.  I love, love, love how they turned out.  If you're curious as to why we would rip out brand new oak floors throughout the first floor and replace with bamboo, check out this post.

The dining room still looks empty.  I ordered an area rug for the dining room from Ballard Designs in March.  It's still on back order so I've been waiting to buy window treatments and artwork until the rug arrives.
 The color is very similar to the original gunstock, so the banister looks good with the floors still.

 We love the wide planks and the variation in the color.  It's definitely less orange than the gunstock and more modern looking.

 The basement is also repaired and repainted.  Dan is still getting things set-up, but I'll take pics soon to post.  Congrats to everyone that's closed recently and just getting started with the building process!