Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Things are still happening!!!

Sorry i've taken such a long break from house updates! things are still moving along and there are several more updates to give.

We took a break from house work and went on an amazing vacation to Greece.  We wanted to get away and celebrate the 17 month long process of house hunting, house buying, and house renovating. Here are some pics from our trip!

Our first meal in Milos

on our amazing terrace

seriously, this room was incredible

shower with a view

we could see the whole town of Pollonia as well as neighboring islands from our room

this is where i would relax and read every morning #thanksjetlag

we walked to a vineyard to taste some wine

the hotel had an amazing pottery display, custom designed by the architect

pool view

more wine in Milos #4eurohalfliter

we went to 5 beaches in one day and i was feeling too much sun :)

yummy salad with a sea view

seeing some artifacts in Plaka, Milos

our hotel in Sifnos

we rented a boat for a day in Sifnos

walking around the beautiful town of Artimonas and Appolnia in Sifnos

another amazing salad

back in Athens we went to the Acropolis

Scrippsie at the Temple of Athena
in small news, we've done some decorating for Halloween and finally installed a handrail in the stairs - or rather hired my handy friend to install it :)

also, we are starting to 'break ground' on the scary basement.  that is the major reno project in the works.

also, somewhat house related - we have a puppy! i'll give a quick tour of how we set up our home to welcome her.

She is the best sweetest pup ever!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Painting the stairs

Been a long time since the last post.  Here is a quick update of a project i finished a while ago. When we refinished the floors we had them only refinish the tops of the stairs because i planned on painting the risers and stringers.  I finally got around to it a weekend Jon was out of town. It was a much longer and more involved project than i anticipated but i'm very pleased with the result. 

before - with some wood filler added and sanded

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Garden Edge

we put in a nice little edge to the garden last weekend.  It looks SOOO much better to have that defined edge, i think it's the most dramatic difference in the space.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

inside update

we are much more moved in now.  about 99.9% of our stuff is unpacked and placed where it belongs. The real accomplishment of the week was that we cleared out the garage enough for us to get both our cars in. It's still a mess - maybe i'll take a picture of it some day for you - but they are in and the door closes so i'm satisfied.

At any rate, i know the masses have been wanting more pictures of the place so, here are the photos you've been waiting for Mom!

view from the front door in the foyer

Friday, August 5, 2016

front garden

Our cute little house has a pretty sad looking front view.  The house itself is quite filthy and the parkway and front flower beds were over grown and neglected when we bought the place.

Luckily Jon's mom is a gardening enthusiast.  She both pumps us full of advice on plants that would be happy in our garden AND actually offered to help do some work in our garden.

This week she became our 2nd official houseguest and got to work on the front bed and parkway.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kitchen Shelves!

The open shelves were installed today. They are looking great! I'll be loading then up with practical dishes, vintage cookware and a too-large collection of cake stands.

Hanging Art

This weekend some talented and helpful friends came over to start hanging artwork in the house.  It is probably one of the biggest steps in making a house feel like a home.  It was also really fun to see our art in a new context and hang it in new places.

Here is the view from the front entrance of the house.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Light Times

There are some highs and lows in the lighting situation.  First the highs

these lights i wanted to save from the house

i cleaned up the glass and bought a replacement fixture to go with them.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

so moved

Tuesday was moving day.  lucky for us all it was about 95 degrees with 95% humidity - GROSS

the movers were not fans of our 4 flights of stairs.  They arrived at 9 am and complaints of the stairs promptly commenced at 9:23 am.  I stopped listening after a while.  there's only so many times i can say, "I'm sorry" for the structure of a building i didn't even build.  ALSO i lived there for 5 years so i know exactly how many stairs there are.

2 hours into loading

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

7 Difficult and Tedious Steps to Paint Baseboards in a Room with Carpet

For our epic weekend of painting, i was primarily in charge of baseboards.  Most pressing was painting the baseboards in our bedroom, because we wanted that room most ready for move-in. The whole task was exhausting, back-straining and took HOURS to complete. But i eventually found a technique that worked for me.

The real best way to paint baseboards in a room with carpet is to do it BEFORE the carpet goes in. But if like me, you are a mild idiot at times, and need to do it AFTER your lovely new carpet has been installed, or even if you are painting in a room that already has carpet i'm here to say i tried a variety of techniques and this one is the winner.

First the different techniques i tried

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Prior to Moving In

here's a nice little photo dump before we move in - this is the calm before the box-filled storm.

The project isn't finished - i mean, is any house ever really FINISHED, but our contractor isn't done with everything - however it's done enough for us to move in TODAY!

they put paper down for the movers - we also still have to repaint that wall to the right of the door - it needed more evening out after the painters had gotten to it. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Painting Progess

We spent the weekend painting, and i mean the WHOLE weekend - 11 hours Saturday and 9 hours Sunday.  Fortunatrely we had some helpers to make it all easier.

Teamwork in my office

Ewa working hard - and even came back Sunday to do MORE

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Moving advice

Hi folks, Jon the husband here.

After only 147 months of planning, looking, crying, eating, building, complaining, painting and packing - moving day is finally here!

Our house is almost ready, and by almost ready I mean the toothpicks and silly putty have dried. The well is dug, the lumber is baked, and the neighbors are hungover in the wrong backyard. We thought it would never happen, but we are moving into our new (121 year-old) house.

Moving from one home to another can be challenging. Besides the basic physical labor needed to move the Silverson House of Antiques and Tootsie Roll Pops, there are some hidden aggravations. Packing is hard enough without extra "fun"waiting for us. For example: the museum of interesting urine smells left by the previous owner has extended summer hours. See this -

All of our fantastic possessions have to be out of the condo this week, so despite the whack-a-mole game that is our our office wall, we are organizing best we can to at least have a bedroom finished. Kate and her friends did a great job of keeping baseboard paint off the carpet, I had hissy fits in the living room trying to fix the A/C, which apparently is the Russian word for "furnace".

So my big advice - before moving into a house, live in a dank alley for a few years to get used to it. After years of eating garbage from dumpsters and showering in mud, anything will seem like a palace.

All the challenges aside, the house is coming along nicely. Like a boat designed by the Astors, nothing could go wrong. It's unsinkable!

- Paint fumes

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mini update

here is a little update - to keep y'all in the loop.  Things are chaos here with the finishing of projects and the packing of EVERYTHING.  Here are a few quick pics to show you what i mean - with the promise of some real blog posts to come.

testing some spray paint on kitchen brackets - don't worry, this is the primer :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mirror Options

Jon was out of town this weekend, and gave me leave to make the mirror decision myself, so i spent the time focused on finding some solutions.  I hit up HomeGoods and a few thrift shops in search. Here is what i found.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quickie Update - Kitchen

Cabinets are going in! This kitchen is starting to resemble a kitchen!

Floor stain UPDATE update

So i peeked in to the house for the first time in over a week.  because the floors has been curing and we had to stay off - also, I've been super busy and just didn't have time to snoop around.

I had been a bit concerned about the floors because the photos our contractor had sent us of the applied darker stain, once drier than the pic Jon sent,  looked really blotchy and streaky - just showing too much of the wood grain - making the floors look high contrast and super textured.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Floor Stain UPDATE

so it turns out we had to go a bit darker than we had originally wanted. we had first liked this golden honey shade for the floors.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mirror Hunt!

OMG it is hard to find a bathroom mirror!  I mean, i'm only looking for something spectacular, unique, fun, classy, period-appropriate and functional - why should that be so hard?

ok, so i am perhaps being overly particular about this selection but i strongly feel that in BOTH of our bathrooms we have made simple, elegant, classic selections for all the things like tile, faucets, vanity, light fixtures etc.
Upstairs Bath

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Silver Waves

that is the name of granite we picked for our countertops on Saturday.  It's pretty dark but has lots of white veining running through it - giving it an overall lighter look.   Lot's of drama and contrast - but not too dark overall.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


We are picking a wood stain for the floor, which is exciting! it will be so nice to have them all uniform - really feel like one unified house again!  

But in the process i have learned something perhaps troubling about myself.  You guys, i am racist ...