Category: Overall updates

Let’s get real

It’s been a little quiet around here because real life has taken over. Lately that means we’re funding repairs and replacements. Welcome to the un-glamorous part of home ownership.

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First up: The basement is leaking AGAIN? Le sigh. Apparently the repair near the stairs didn’t do the job. In the midst of ALL the rain (seriously, can we share some of this with California?) we were left with a veritable waterfall.

The original repair came with a warranty. A few phone calls and the crew was back out for a one-day repair. So far, so good.

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About the same time, we also noticed some water on the floor of the awesome bathroom. The very first thing we addressed when we bought the building was patching a seam in the roof. We thought that fix would last for a few more years, but our patch needed a patch.

Thankfully this was a relatively inexpensive and quick fix. But we’ve moved “replace the roof” up the list of renovations. Let the saving commence.

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And because bad things come in threes, one of our air conditioners bit the dust. In case you’re not creepily tracking our HVAC situation, the firehouse is zoned in quadrants. That means 4 air conditioners and 4 furnaces. It’s a great set up because we can cool or heat the area we are using and dial back the other sections. It also helps keep our utilities in check. The downside is that we have FOUR systems to maintain and ultimately replace. A large chunk of Aaron’s time over the last week has been shuttling HVAC companies through the firehouse to get quotes. We have a solution that we are happy with and a company we’re excited to be working with… well, as excited as we can be considering what this costs. If all goes smoothly, we’ll have cool air pumping through our kitchen next week! I’ll share all of the details once the job is done.

In in the meantime, we’ll be hanging out in the cooler areas of the firehouse and celebrating America’s birthday. I hope you have a cool and safe holiday that is free of major home repairs!

Two years in

Are recaps annoying? If so, I won’t blame you for skipping this post. I’m doing this for me and for him.

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Yeah, that guy. That guy who does amazing things around here. That guy who works tirelessly to make this place amazing. He rocks.

But sometimes he forgets (so do I). We forget how much we can do and do do in a year. So this post is a good time capsule of what the firehouse looks like RIGHT now, a sweet reminder of what changed in the last 365, and a peek into what we have in store for the coming year.

Exterior

The front stayed pretty much the same all year.

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But the back had a radical transformation! We finished the fence!

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Then we spent more hours than I’d like to remember transforming the carport into the sexiest garage known to man.

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We also realized we built something that basically resembled a courtyard and made it pretty!

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First floor

The studio remains our most finished interior space… although it got a little junky this winter when we decided to bring the the trailer in to get it done.

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The future living and dining rooms have descended into complete chaos thanks to the trailer work and lack of a workshop (more on that at the bottom of the post.)

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Rounding out the downstairs, the kitchen and the half bath remain the same, functional-but-not-pretty spaces.

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Upstairs

Painting the stairwell offers a nice visual transition from “construction zone” to “where we spend most of our time.”

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It’s easy for us to forget that about a year ago the living room looked like this:

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and then this…

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before finally becoming a serene place to relax, complete with a new paint job, new lighting, some new furnishings, a bar cart and some art!

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The captain’s bedroom also got upgraded from “theoretically a guest bedroom” to “actual place where people could sleep” thanks to the addition of a bed.

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The hallway’s paint job straddled the “this year vs last year” line. It also got some sweet new art.

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The rest of the upstairs rooms remained untouched this year.

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Basement

Despite our intentions to work on the workshop last year, we only got as far as framing out some of it.

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Personal

Since this is a bit of a digital scrapbook post, it’s worth noting that we took a CRAZY AMAZING vacation to the Pacific Northwest in August and launched our print shop! Yay!

 

You made it this far?! Good job. Extra points if you are not related to us. Speaking of, if you are my parents and have some sort of bet going about what we’ll be tackling, time to lock in your wager and put your money where your mouth is.

So what’s next?
1. The trailer is moving closer and closer to the finish line each day. We owe you an update.
2. You know what goes great with a project? Another project. We decided to tackle the captain’s bedroom… and we owe you an update.
3. The workshop: It’s not anyone’s favorite project. We both just want it done, but we’re less excited about the actual doing. I can’t wait to get the tools off my floor.
4. The downstairs living room, dining room, half bath and entry cube are slated for a complete overhaul!! We have huge plans for these spaces! (And, of course, we need more white paint.)

Those are the definite projects and will probably last us most of the year. There’s still a chance we’ll tear in to the awesome bathroom to make it more functional or build out our wine cellar. Only time (money and energy) will tell.

Speaking of posts I do even if you don’t care about them. Does anyone like the updates to the master plan? Without YHL as a guiding force, I have no idea what blog audiences want to see.

Testing, testing

Lest you think all we’re doing is buying random antiques (exhibit A and B), I dug through my “to be posted” list and came up with this safety reminder. As with any “pre-owned home” that was built in the mid century, we had a few concerns about potentially hazardous materials lurking within. Three materials were causing us to worry a little.

Upstairs the original paint (see red and beige in the living room) made us wonder what kind of lead was within.

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We also had a few asbestos concerns. The plaster in the upstairs living room:

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And some original pipes in the basement:

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Before diving into the upstairs living room overhaul, Aaron took to the internet and found a company that would economically test all of our materials. (We have since lost our reports and the name of the company… because renovations.) He grabbed a few samples of each area for testing.

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A few weeks later we had our results. Paint in the living room:

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Lead free!

Plaster in the living room:

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Asbestos free!

And pipe wrap in the basement:

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Womp, womp! We’ve got asbestos.

Honestly, this was the material we were most worried about. The good news is we have no plans to disturb these pipes, so we can coexist without fear. The bad news is that if those plans change, we’ll be in for a hefty asbestos removal bill.

At Home in the St Louis Post-Dispatch

Just popping by on a busy Memorial Day weekend to give a shout out to the St Louis Post-Dispatch for our feature in their Home & Away section in Sunday’s edition. It’s on stands now if you’re local and want to grab a copy. The link to the actual article isn’t online yet, but I’ll be back with an update when it is. [UPDATE] Here’s a link to the article.

We’ve been featured a few places, but this may be our favorite article so far. Susan, the writer, did a great job capturing quotes and taking note of some of the features and furnishings that we love the most. She also said some lovely things about Aaron’s DIY prowess. (I’m so proud of that man.)

Mojo had more than one cameo, which probably makes her more famous than us. She’s certainly cuter.

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Photo by David Carson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

They also shot a bonus video in which we blabber on for two minutes when they only wanted one. #talkers Here we are trying not to look awkward.

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Photo by David Carson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Our House Hunters episode is online!

UPDATE: The House Hunters site was refreshed and our episode is no longer available. But you can check it out on Netflix. Look for the episode titled “St. Louis Cool.”

One of our awesome photography clients pinged me last night on Facebook to let us know that our episode of House Hunters is online! If you haven’t had the chance to catch it on TV or want to relive it over (and over and over) again,here’s your chance!