Category Archives: home improvement

Can’t find what you need? Make It Yourself.

If you are wondering where we’ve been for the past year…up to our eyeballs in a big renovation of our house. Something we had talked about for years finally turned into a real plan last April. We spent hours deciding exactly what we wanted to do; changed plans drastically once and ended up with a great plan. For several months we visited lots of vendors to pick out tile, counter tops, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, vanities, etc. etc. 

Work began in November. First the kitchen was gutted to the studs.  Then on to the two bathroom — also down to the studs. We learned to live with very little. We basically lived in the office (the one room that wasn’t being touched during the reno). We made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years living in a ripped up house. By the end of February most of the major work was done and we had a fully functional kitchen again.

Fast forward to today. With only one bathroom left to finish, we are enjoying what feels like a brand new house. Deb took on the challenge of renovating the office, so now every room has been redone. Now we are left with the fine tuning. The first project was to redo a storage space off of the kitchen. It’s our tiny pantry space. We knew we wanted a barn door, but couldn’t find anything that we loved. And the hardware for a barn door ain’t cheap. So in true MacGyver form, Deb set about to create the door herself. And she fashioned her own barn door hardware from things she found at the local hardware store.

20170620_125421.jpg  20170611_143940

Every bit of the door is made from found and collected bits — all having some significance and meaning. Here are some detail pics.

20170620_125527  20170620_12544820170620_125505  20170620_125512

20170620_124734  20170620_125519
Now that’s done on to installing another barn door on the guest room. For that door we are using a found door. A neighbor had placed a beautiful old wooden door with three glass panels on their front lawn as trash. We saw it on our way into Boston one day and decided if it was still there when we came home we would pick it up. It was there and now it’s getting a makeover and clean up and will be installed as a working barn door soon. Check back to see the results of that project soon.

Winter Projects

Snow, Snow & More Snow
It’s no secret that we have had a ridiculous amount of snow this winter.
Enough already!
Last summer we bought an enormous snow thrower which was going to make our lives so much easier than using the old school snow shovel. As luck would have it half way through the snow season our snow thrower broke. After much back and forth with customer service and numerous visits from the service technician — it’s still broken 😦

Winter Feathered Friends
Winter brings us some interesting visitors. Several times we have seen oodles of wild turkeys walking through the yard (our highest count was 20 or more in one visit.) On several occasions we have also seen Downy Woodpeckers (both male and female.) Other feathered friends include: chicadees, tufted titmice, nuthatches, blue jays, hawks and others.

Bluebird House
One of this year’s Christmas gifts was a bluebird house built using the wood from a tree that had fallen in the back yard a couple years ago. Hopefully some bluebirds will take up residence this spring.

Staircase Redux
A while ago we decide to redo our staircase. We hated the carpeted stairs and couldn’t stand the country spindles.

We now have a much more modern staircase with cable railing. All done with materials found at our local home improvement store. (We weren’t too keen on spending a ridiculous amount of money for the cable railing systems that are out there.)

Kitchen Cabinet Redux
Much like the stairs, we didn’t like the country look of the kitchen cabinets. We decided it didn’t make sense to replace the cabinets (because they are perfectly good cabinets) instead opting to paint them.

It’s amazing what a little paint can do. The kitchen has a much more contemporary look now. Now we need to redo the counter top. We plan on making a beautiful concrete countertop.