All posts filed under: our house

And then there were walls

Oh, it’s been forever since I last wrote here (I say that almost every time I post, don’t I?) and so much has happened in our lives during these past four months. It was mostly due to the fact that I left my establishment job to go out on my own and start a boutique consulting firm, but my partner has also been traveling a ton for work, the kids are keeping us on our toes, the renovation is ongoing… you know, the list goes on. During it all, there has been an incredible amount of progress over at the house and I’ve decided it’s high time to share a little. So, we have plastered walls now, the kitchen is being installed, shelves are going in closets, and apparently tile will be installed next week! It’s not much to see in photos, but it’s really amazing to behold on site. I’ve had to pick lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, wallpaper, paint colors, the list goes on and on. It’s even time to pick the new furniture since …

Tearing Down and Building Up

I popped by the house the other day and was a little taken aback to see it as a shell (literally) of its former self. There it was, almost naked on a very cold, gray, New England winter day. The siding had been stripped away, revealing haphazardly placed darkened wood. Where there were once windows, there were now gaping holes that stared back at me like empty eye sockets. Partly because of the historic restrictions on changing the facade and partly because our contractor had suggested the windows would go in the previous week, I just hadn’t been expecting the bare bones that I came upon as I rounded the corner of our street and glanced the house for the first time in weeks. To give you a sense of the change, I quickly sent a photo of the house to my partner and it was so different that at first he didn’t even recognize it. And yet, as I wandered around the site, squelching through mud and trampling the small crunchy mounds of snow, …

Decisions, decisions and a touch of fun in the kitchen

If you know me, you know I love a good kitchen backsplash. In home design, I often think of the backsplash as an empty canvas just waiting to be explored (exploited?). It’s a great place to show the personality of your home, with a touch of color, pattern, or texture. With that in mind, it’s now time to decide on the backsplash for our new home and I need your help. You’ll remember that in our last apartment, we had a beautiful vermillion back-painted glass backsplash. It really stood out in our apartment and was a great focal point in the expansive kitchen. This time round, as we’ve talked about before, the plan is for a Scandinavian modern house with some punchy geometric accents. Along these lines, I have a reference image that I love, and that I had hoped to use as the basis for our new kitchen. As you can see below, it’s this incredible geometric patterned wall paper by Minakani set against light grey cabinetry. And I had big plans for a really bold backsplash …

A photographic rewind: before the demolition

So sometimes I like to do things backwards (read: life is too hectic to think far enough in advance to allow me to do things in the proper order). So today, by popular demand, I’m sharing some pictures of the house from before the demolition. Yeah, I know, the “before” pictures should really precede the demolition and construction pictures, but that’s just not how it happened here. So, in no particular order, here are some of the photos from the real estate listing. It’s worth noting that the house was in perfectly liveable condition, and it’s only because of our aesthetic priorities, our interest in energy efficiency, and a desire to create a space better suited to our family needs that we are gutting the house and building the interior from scratch. Starting at the property’s front door, above is the entry hall or foyer, which in many respects is quite beautiful. But since it’s definitely not my style, we’re saying goodbye to the dark wood and will see it replaced with simple painted plastered walls, modern casework (cabinetry), …

Exterior of federal style home under renovation

D is for Demolition

A couple of weeks ago they started demo on our house. All the talk, all the plans, all the contracting, but I don’t think anything ever prepares you for the magnitude of feeling that accompanies such a massive demolition. I’m part-thrilled and part-terrified, and these two emotions make rather strange bedfellows. I’m excited for everything this means in terms of the possibility of living in a house that I have such a strong hand in designing and also for what this means for our family to live in a new, larger, carefully crafted space. And yet, I’m absolutely frightened by the reality of it all: the timeline, the effort, and mostly, the expense. When you’re placing all your cards on a house in the way that we have (both in terms of hopes and dreams and pure financial resources), it’s pretty shocking to wake up one morning to pictures of a newly-skeletal interior. And that’s just what happened to me. I was in Oregon for work, woke up one morning and somewhere between getting out of bed and brushing …

More than just a mattress

When we sold our house we received one of the best compliments that a design-crazy homeowner can ever hope to receive. The buyer’s agent said “the buyers really like your house as it is, and feel like they could move in today and not have to change a thing. Would you be interested in selling your furniture and decor?” Now most of the pieces we want to come with us — most particularly the live-edge walnut dining room table and steel-topped walnut bar my brother built — but we were certainly open to passing along some of our other pieces, and particularly those that are harder to move. One piece that we’ve agreed to sell to the buyer is our bed, The W Hotels Clive Bed, which we love. It’s really solid, great for sleeping and reading, and is such a nice example of understated contemporary furniture. So now I’m on a hunt for a new bed and I wanted to share the beds that are on my shortlist. To set some design parameters, let …

Grand life changes

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There have been just a few changes in our house these past two weeks: our twins were born, we made an offer on a new house (and it was accepted!), and we started showing our apartment in the hopes of a sale. Because apparently we like to take on a lot of change all in one fell swoop… Anyway, while the sweet babies sleep, I’ve been trying to figure out how we’d like our new house to take shape. We had originally thought we’d buy a piece of land or a tear-down house and have the chance to dream up our perfect property: open and airy single-level, L- or U-shaped, enclosing a courtyard and lawn with a pool…. Yet a confluence of circumstance led us to this home — a grand old Federal-style house built in 1895 — which we’ll renovate extensively. So now we need to begin to think in renovation terms, to reflect on how to use this particular space, and to conjure images of what we want our new home to look like. And despite …