Monday, February 23, 2009

Running to Keep Up!

Whew, every time I manage to get these photos online, they are already out of date. The kitchen cabinets, for example, are now painted a dark, chocolate brown - well, except for a few places that need a third coat. It looks so beautiful! As soon as they're dry and the white knobs are on, I'll post a new photo, but this is from a week or so ago.

A few other things happening around here...

The new siding got primed... still haven't decided on an exterior color.

The study is perpetually a mess because it's functioning as our living room, office, and dining room, but once the living room is done (soon!) we'll whip it into shape. In the meantime, it's a pretty cozy space. Click to see the panorama larger.

Yesterday the new living room windows went in!! Barrio has this funny trick where I'll come home from some errands or a meeting, and as I get out of the car he'll tell me that there were major setbacks (materials shortage, something's uneven, something broke, etc.), and then when I go look, some huge project is actually DONE, in about half the time I expected! Then he giggles a lot and tells me to trick Matt, too. I'm catching on, but Matt believed me yesterday when I told him we had to entirely redo the windows because Barrio broke one. Barrio loves this.

This is my neighbor Jennifer, who bought the house immediately next to ours, and is about to begin her own renovations! I am really excited... the folks who owned it before her never did a thing and I can't wait to actually have an active neighbor making her house beautiful. She and I are also working on revamping the neighborhood blog, with a new interview about ready to go up, and some design changes underway. Anyway, this is Jennifer standing in her house, considering things.

And this is a reminder that not so long ago, almost all the houses on our block sat empty and unloved, and squatters were not deterred by a stupid locked door in the way of getting inside.

(Actually, this print may have been left by a realtor who forgot his keys.)

While I was at Jennifer's, I caught a glimpse of our house that I don't usually see:

Here's Jennifer interviewing Rich, who lives in Jackie's house across the street from us.

Rich's awesome dog, Bucket:

Some asshole neighbors' contribution to Ellerbee creek:

And this is Bronx. He actually lives around the corner, but at the moment he has no fence and no shelter, only a short chain. Matt and I, bleeding hearts that we are, had been slipping him food on our walks (he's pretty skinny), but on a morning last week that dumped freezing cold rain on the poor guy, I offered to take him into our yard for a while, where there's a dog house. He's been her about 5 or 6 days now. Not sure what's going to happen or whether his owners are going to be able to get a proper setup for him soon, and give him adequate care. We're looking into ways to help. Cleveland does NOT get along with Bronx (which makes sense, given such differing locale names), and wants his yard back. But Bronx, while a little nutty, is sweet as can be.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


It's hard to remember what it was like living in the kitchen, now that we have the whole entire bedroom and study essentially finished. Eventually, the plan is to get that couch reupholstered in a similar blue to the filing cabinet (in a double-oops a few months ago, Matt stained one of the cushion covers with a pen, and then I took it off, put it in a plastic trash bag to take to mom and dad's to wash, and then... took out the trash). I wonder if we'll spend as much time in here once our living room is done and complete with furniture. For now it's a pretty great all-purpose room.

Speaking of the living room... here are some photos from this morning. Note the newly installed french doors, the completed wall opening, the built-in shelves, and the awesome morning light.

The first shot is taken with the front door behind me, looking slightly left.

This one is standing in the living room looking into the kitchen; the sunroom is directly behind me, and the hall is to my right:

Here's the opposite view, taken from the kitchen; note my attempts to find the perfect green (I am having some trouble):

A couple kitchen shots... the insides of the shelves will be painted green, and the front painted in chalkboard paint for writing lists and notes. And poetry.

The cabinets will be a dark chocolate brown; apple green below. Not sure about the bigger walls yet.

Here's a panorama for ya. I'm standing with the living room window behind me, facing the hallway. Obviously a little distorted, but you get the idea.

Ahhh, look at that gorgeous light! I can't WAIT to finish those floors! Shouldn't be too long now.

Donna and her team have pretty much finished the siding on the outside of the sun room. Now we just have to decide on colors and try them out!! Soooo much pressure, and this was supposed to be the fun part! I dream in color schemes.

Looking into the sun room from the porch. We still have to paint the walls and floor and trim out the windows inside.

And a picture of Barrio, standing in India's house, just 'cause.

Coming soon: final paint colors, new living room windows, and... and... oh dear. So much more to go.

My neighbor Jennifer and I (her construction blog is now linked on the right) are going to be reviving the Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood blog soon - I'll let you know when there's a new profile up!

One last thing: our wonderful little neighborhood is most likely about to be included in a historic district. Here is the description of our house from the application - can you believe we have the oldest house on the block?? Can't wait to have a centennial celebration in 2011!