Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Energy boost

greatest thing. my black and decker firestorm bit the dust. So wimpy so weak no battery life. is finally replaced by the mighty beast released by milwaukee. This beast is so fast so powerful and half the size/weight of my old drill. So good.

Friday, November 13, 2009


funny thing happened after that last post. In our only bathroom the toilet was a little sluggish on the flush. So of course rather than call on a plumber (read: expert) Michael (read: genius. read: sarcasm) decides to take it on himself. After an entire weekend spent with the snake, switching out toilets, three wax rings, two plungers and this crazy pressurized spray clog release as seen on TV thing, we are left with a clogged toilet that then backed up into the shower. Hooray. We break down, call The Plumbing Doctor (read: expert) and he is the nicest guy with all the right tools who fixes it right away. After that fix he looks around the house declares the rest of the plumbing completely out of code and gives us a fair estimate on repairs and we are set. If we ever write a book about remodeling it will be called Anything but Plumbing.

Friday, October 30, 2009


My dad will never claim to be a great handyman. But my sister, brother and I we know the truth... we saw him fix the mower, the roof, the door, the attic, the car, that squeaky step and even build a desk. Every fall, religiously, he would clean out the gutters. Scraping out the mucky leaves he'd complain about this loathesome task but I knew there was a deep love in those activities. He would often turn to me and say:
"Michael, sometimes it's better to just pay the money and hire an expert…" he would pause and laugh. "Sometimes, it's just not worth the hassle."
The funny thing about this statement is that every time he said this he was in the middle of one of jobs doing it himself.
I would add this conditional to his statement:
Sometimes, it's better to just pay the money and hire an expert. But, sometimes, it's better if you roll up your sleeves and struggle through and teach your hand how to do the job.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bathroom Tearout

I want this out there for everyone to know and realize as honest truth: Natalie and I are Monsters. Bathrooms don't stand a chance against us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bathroom Sketch

proposed bathroom:

little pieces of normal

The kitchen (although the cabinets are dumpy) is our current normal zone. My dad did an excellent job painting the walls this beautifully soft yellow. Natalie hung the shelves. We find in the spaces a haven from all the work and all the dust. A place where we eat and enjoy company. Without zones of normalcy I would go crazy.

This whole DIY thing really takes a long time

When Natalie and I began this project (we are almost two months in now) we had lists and dates of when different projects would be finished. Of course prior to move in we were going to have everything painted. Sure. Apparently you need walls to paint walls so here we are WAY behind schedule and beginning to accept the time that it takes to create a home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Attack Cat

Our life is a little upended. Everything is still in boxes and Natalie is having to follow me around the house with a broom. There are footprints everywhere, and if you know Natalie and I you know that it's quite easy to distinguish my monster feet from her pixie size toes.
Mine aren't the only footprints around though. Maceo, our cat, used to have white legs... they are currently grey. He walks around the house lost, confused and dirty. The meows are constant and pleading. Thankfully he is strong and is adapting to his strange new place. I am of course still waiting for him to help me put up the ceiling, you know "carry your weight around here"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pocket doors or Sliding barn doors?

Which one for the main bathroom? The picture for the sliding barn door is more flattering (apartment therapy) but functionality wise I am uncertain which one would suit our little home better.

Moroccan decoration

I'm thinking we wrap the entire house in this patternwork. its amazing

Friday, September 11, 2009

Drywall and electricity

I've been redoing the drywall in the office. During this pulling down of the old and putting up of the new I've been redoing some of the electric work. I find both of these processes almost soothing in their methodicalness. its like a lullaby for my soul or something.

Blow Job

We picked up this cellulose insulation from the Green Depot over on Pulaski and Diversey. National Fiber Cel-Pak Cellulose Insulation Made from 100% recycled newspapers. Normally the stuff you pick up from Green Depot lives on the expensive side of life but for $7 a bale its a nice deal. We rented the hopper from them and went to town. Here's a shot of Evan putting in the insulation:

We Closed

Natalie and I are homeowners. we are completely excited/exhausted/overwhelmed/industrious/energetic and on it. we are making this house happen.
We sat down in a small office for about 5 hours and signed 2 inches of paperwork. Get a good lawyer one you trust and can stand listening to for 5 hours straight as they decipher all the terrible real estate jargon.
we had champions working with us for this house.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


We are two days from closing... I can't sleep I can't focus. I feel like a child the day before his birthday eager with anticipation constantly asking the time constantly wondering whether it's tomorrow or not. Except that this child also has the small fear building underneath him that he won't get a birthday this year that he'll get to tomorrow and they'll inspect the birthday cake and find a flaw in the frosting and toss it out the window or mom will find the birth certificate and realize: "Sorry son your birthday was actually last week guess we'll have to wait until next year to celebrate, too bad."
I want my birthday house.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

collage views of the house

Living room. Note gorgeous mirrored wall on the right

Kitchen. Not a fan of red.

Dining Room. The chandelier has got to go.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shou Sugi Ban

A great post on shou-sugi-ban. (burnt cedar/cypress boards)

office wall

replace a wall with a bookshelf. Is this a bookwall or a wallshelf?

current wall

The real stuff

We have posted on ideas and notions that we have about the space we live in. We have put up pictures of how people have made their spaces beautiful. Now, it is our turn. Of course a house is a journey and every journey has its beginnings.
We begin here...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Laundry Room

Entry way

Images that make me smile.

Thank you Martha.

a few fine details

how to make a temporary wall

we found this idea in Dwell covering Cat Macleod and Michael Bellemo's Australian home. Full of wonderful ideas one of which is creating a thin woven wall. see enclosed picture:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walls and drawers


More inspiring objects

Nakashima Chair

My hope is that everything we do exists in this manner and knows itself in this way.


We see these objects as inspriation towards a certain aesthetic.


Core-ten (a steel that rusts immediately to seal itself from weathering) meets grayed wooden barn. Gorgeous

Built in the wall shelves

IKEA bathroom.

IKEA always tears me in half morally. i love cheap furniture. i love love good looking cheap furniture. i hate when my chair falls in two pieces due to its high formaldehyde/cheap pressboard/low wage construction/expendable consumerist support. But i do believe they've been getting better.

The Molger Bench

The Molger Stool
I love this little guy.

Molger wall shelf
$4.99 steal

Sink faucet with strainer

I couldn't find the fancy medicine cabinet or the sink i like. but there's a start.

Monday, July 13, 2009

bathroom ideas

these sinks are more than sinks they are the place i lean on; i find myself with sinks every day. they hold my hopes, dreams, aspirations and saliva. viva sinks...