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Showing posts from 2014

Kitchen Renovation (Phase 1)

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It seems, no matter how awesome and welcoming the rest of a house may be, inevitably, the kitchen is where guests will gravitate. So, it's no surprise that we have been focusing a lot of our time and energy towards the kitchen. We love to entertain, John loves to cook, I love to bake, and when I am forced to actually prepare a meal, John pretends whatever I have produced tastes delicious.
And speaking of John, can I just pause to acknowledge the wonderful that is my husband. I often talk about the side project I'm fumbling through, while here in reality, slow and steady, without complaint (or tears) John is the one getting shit done. Demo, framing, electrical, wood-working sorcery. There's nothing he can not do. I am truly, the luckiest girl in the world. It is because of John's thoughtful demeanor, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that Content. will be restored to her former glory. (cue the singing angels). I love that manly-man!
Ok, now back to the show. The …

About last night. Our basement flooding nightmare.

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So, what'd you guys do last night? The weather was yucky; rained a lot and flooded here on the Jersey Shore. Noreasters are the pits!

Hopefully, you were snuggled up on the couch, with a cup of hot chocolate, watching an ABC Family Christmas movie staring Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart. No??? I guess that's just mine and my girl Kyle's idea of the best night ever.

In the spirit of one of those cheesy made-for-TV holiday movies, lets flash back (queue the smoke machine and squiggly fade out lines) to a better time. To my last post perhaps, were we laughed about wine and windows. Ahh, isn't that nice?

Remember, at the end of that magical post, I asked for volunteers to help crawl around my creepy basement and replace a sump pump... Let's just say, your responses were, well, nothing the Red Cross would be high-fiving about.

Just kidding, you guys are great! I think your cocoa needs a refill though.

What isn't great however was the 8 inches of water in our gia…

Window(s). How to restore old window weights.

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Thursday's train ride into the city, for my other, not DIY weekend warrior princess, job goes something like this. Get on train. Check Instagram. Check Pinterest. Get inspired. Check Google for "How To's" in order to realize new found inspiration. This has been the case since we purchased Content. but there has been one ongoing project that may never entirely start or finish. Windows.

Google search: "Restoring old windows". In this instance, Google churned out a ton of This Old House articles and this is what I learned,  "Single-pane double-hung windows from the 19th ­century don't have the best of reputations. They can be notoriously drafty, full of rattles, loose in the joints, or can simply refuse to budge. But as a number of studies have shown, when these windows are properly weatherstripped and paired with good storm windows, they can match the performance of new double-pane units for much less than the new ones cost."

Basically all I reta…

Old Is the New Black.

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What once was old, will eventually be new again. At least, that's what they say... I mean, right now take a look at the mid-century modern furniture trend. I happen to love this trend with its simplicity, clean lines and organic forms but let's flash back to the actual mid century which I can relate to in the form of Nickatnite reruns.
I cannot say as a child I would have watched my favorite episodes of Bewitched and though, "Now there is some amazing interior design I can see my future husband and I living with." At 10 years old, I was certainly more impressed with Samantha's nose twitching/spell inducing powers, not her living room credenza. But now, looking at some set photos from Bewitched, I'm seriously jealous of Samantha and Darrin Steven's fictitious home décor.
And don't even get me started on the mid-cen-mod wet dream that is Mad Men. That's a can of worms for another post.
The point is, John + I are big proponents of reuse and recycli…

Running the Numbers. Starting the Home Performance with Energy Star program.

Here's a little run down of Content. by the numbers: Dated: Pre-1900
Floors: 1, plus attic & basement
Rooms: 12
Square Feet: 3,150
Windows: 50 (shoutouttomysisLuluforhelpingmecount)
Exterior Doors: 11
Chimneys: 5
Fireplaces: 10 In a perfect world, these numbers would simply add up to (1) totally awesome house. But it's not a perfect world, and in reality these numbers equate to a huge carbon footprint and high utility bills; to the tune of $3k per winter just to heat it. Yikes! Luckily, for us though, our families have had their fair share of home heating  experiences over the years. My family forever perfecting our pre Civil War home's radiator / wood burning stove combination, and more recently John's father's great success installing a heat pump for their CT beach house. But, what's the right answer for our home? There are so many tried and true methods, and lots of new technologies. Opinions can get youfar, but look at our numbers. Content. is no ordinar…

Demoed.

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We knew the second we saw Content. that we had to buy it.  The day we went house shopping, with our realtor Jennifer, was the hottest, most humid day of the summer. And I admit, by the end of the grueling day, we were probably dehydrated and delirious, but nevertheless Content. was a beautiful, quenching spring in a desert of highly priced, badly renovated homes.
But even with all that initial rose colored glory fogging my reality, its was hard to picture some of the rooms in any other light than the way I'd first met them. Specifically, I fell in love with Content. and quickly developed a strong, deep seeded hatred for the kitchen.
Based on an design article I read explaining how the color red brings out aggression and hostile emotions, I blame this hatred fully on the red, painted fireplace sitting smack dab in the middle of the room.
Why would someone paint beautiful, century old brick fire engine red? What was that odd, triangle stainless steel corner piece, and why on eart…

Welcome to Content.

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This is not a simple story about buying a house.
This is a story about realizing a dream, and having the dedication and heart to never let that dream go. Its about surrounding yourself with people who would never let your failure be an option, and who will work for beer and pizza.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me start from the beginning. John and I met at work, and were friends for over a year before we started dating. We have lots of common interests like music and nature, but the one trait, that I think, will keep us together forever (besides our love for each other) is that we love to keep busy.
I remember my friend Sarah jokingly saying, "Oh, you guys are such doers". As if we wore a scarlet "D" as a badge of one too many home reno projects.
So, what is a "doer" you as? Take a look at this list of common "doer" characteristics to see if you too wear the scarlet "D":
1. You are currently working on 17 different pro…