Saturday, April 14, 2012

We are baaack!!!

Wow, I have 3 followers. So sorry to have been disappointing all of last year. We now have the hang of life in our 92 year old bungalow with our two kids and two bunnies and I will post more good stuff very soon.

We just had an energy audit on the place and have loooots of room for improvement. Details on
that next week.

The garden is already sprouting three kinds of lettuce, mustard greens, peas, oats and buckwheat (cover crops/for the bunnies). Also have garlic, carrots and parsley from last year. It's going to be an amazing growing season, if we can keep up against all the bugs and weeds that did not die off as much as usual over our unseasonably mild winter.

Early heads-up, the annual plant sale at Cheney Mansion in Oak Park will have tons of native plants. They usually do more veggies but the greenhouse is down for repairs so they are selling stock from Natural Garden Natives. Can't wait.

More VERY soon, with pix! (hey, what happened to houseblogs.net, it just went away last year? bummer...)

Happy Spring, everyone.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

So many to-do's not yet too-done

I unfortunately reread my short/medium/longterm house to-do list
from almost three years ago, and feel very unworthy as a houseblogger.

So far, we have taken down bathroom wallpaper, but still need to paint the temporarily white walls a cool color, probably something in the salmon vein.

Took down lace curtains in the living and dining rooms, leaving sheers, but still want blinds instead. Soon, I hope. We have a paint scheme in mind for later this year. At least we got a nifty blue oriental area rug, an 80-year-old quartersawn oak rocker (on ebay) and an art-glass ceiling light from Two Fish Art Glass in Forest Park--great folks!

The kitchen has been treated to a new light fixture and butcherblock cart.
The plan is for Marmoleum linoleum flooring to replace the scary '70's tile.

We have resolved our plumbing issues for now, with some serious rodding to the kitchen and bath drains and replacing the basement p-trap that sprang a leak.

The next major purchase may be a gas water heater, since ours is over 20 years old and barely hanging together. We are looking into tankless to see if it is justified. And it looks like a lot of new highly efficient products are just coming out, hopefully in time to take advantage of tax credits. Hoping to get enough research in before the old decides for us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our latest home improvement...

Not to be too off-topic but it seems like LOTS of folks have been posting on this topic lately....

This is why we have been too busy to do anything major with the house since last spring.



Almost 4 months of baby fun so far. We are hoping to finally start re-doing the third bedroom soon, so it's ready when she moves there from our room. That will probably involve more posts about bad 70's wallpaper and carpeting.


And Ooh, I see I have two followers. Cool, I hadn't realized it. So sorry for being down for so long and hoping to catch up soon.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Then And Now...




This is how our house looked in 1976, when the previous owner bought it. I think it's pretty much also how it looked in 1919 when it was built. The photo was from the real estate listing page. It was nice of them to give us that, along with the manuals for the 20+ year old appliances.

You can compare it to the current photo:


The roof used to be diamond-shaped red shingles we gather from pieces found under the bushes. The previous owners replaced the windows and added the white siding, alas, including filling in the decorative roof brackets. That won't stay forever. They also bricked up the bathroom and two kitchen windows, ditto. But that will be major work, redoing the cabinets, bathtub and more.
We'll start with more manageable things like stripping the white lead paint off the stone trim.

The spirea shrubs in front are the same and the lilac bushes were there until the next door neighbor cut them down last summer. I feel a little bad but it does give a much better view. :)
And the original urn planter in the old photo is in the back yard awaiting its own paint stripping.
Gonna be a busy spring once it kicks in. It's already been over 70 but we are due to get a couple inches of snow tonight. We love the midwest.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wide-ranging wallpaper wonders

What was it about people, 30 years ago, that made them pick such a "variety" of then-attractive wallpaper, all in the same portion of the color spectrum?

Here is the delightful stuff in the kitchen, with bonus dirt from 30 years of pictures in the same place (the bunny is ours, for temporary contrast).


Here is the smallest upstairs bedroom, with matching curtains and water stains.


This is our room in all its bamboo glory. That paper may be even older and we don't hate quite as much since it's sort of arts-and-craftsy and the picture molding helps.


Our favorite in the heinous race is the stunning front hall disco effect stuff. At least it's not foil, too.

All unpapered walls are either white or beige and from what we can tell around the edges of doors and windows, always have been.
We are planning to come up with some nice schemes involving actual colors and hoping to get a lot more painting done this year than last, when all we managed was stripping the floral striped (beige of course) bathroom wallpaper and priming the walls.
It will be fun to see what shape the plaster is in and if walls were strategically papered for a reason...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Floor archaeology

Way too long since posting. We actually did do a few things, mostly decorative, but were too busy with birthdays and holidays to post to the blog; will try to catch up.


So, in the first floor bathroom, looking very carefully into the space between the beige tub and oak vanity, both from the mid-80's, you can see that the original 1-inch unglazed porcelain hex floor tiles are still there, under the far larger beige hex tiles that later covered them. We may find out more soon, if our chronic plumbing problem requires tearing into walls as one plumber thinks, and we take out the vanity, which is obviously set on top of the old tile, with the new
cut off around its edges.

Is there any hope for getting a later layer of ceramic tile off an older one or am I just kidding myself? I can be very patient with a scraper, hammer, chisel, etc.....
Perhaps worst case, we could add in new unglazed porcelain hex tile if the original is in too bad a shape.

We also want a nice retro-looking sink, such as from Vintage Tub or perhaps an older one from Salvage One. We'd most like a spiffy new dual-flush toilet that looks old, though those seem to be harder to find that just regular 1.6 gal low-flow models, at least if we aren't able to spend $1000+ just on a toilet.

More to come after further plumber consultations...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Help us match this garden fence, please!

Still 'tis the time for spending more time outside the house than in, and that's ok, except for collecting dust, bunny fur, laundry, etc. Anyway...




We bought these garden fence panels last year at either Home Depot or Lowe's, I forget. They are 2 ft. wide and 9 in high, not counting the stake/legs. No place seems to have anything remotely similar now, and we need a bunch more, maybe 10+. If anyone has seen any, or something similar, in the Chicago area or on-line/mail order, any tips would be greatly appreciated. We'd happily do something even more Craftsman/bungalow style but can't seem to find much of that either, aside from way pricey custom made things which we're not quite up for yet.

Thanks!!