Category: Overall updates

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!

Taking stock – updates to the grand plan

Because we hit the 12 month mark, it seemed like a good time to take stock on what we’ve accomplished and update our master plan (original found here). This will give you a snapshot of what we have planned and how far along each room is. (Spoiler: most rooms are still at 0%). To make it a little easier to read, I highlighted any changes that occurred since we drafted the list. At the end of this post, I also highlighted the projects that are on our radar for 2014.

Basement
10% done
% change: +7% for installing the freezer, assembling some shelves and starting on the workshop
Plan changes: The functional bits are the same, but a layout redesign really maximized the space.

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  • DryLok walls
  • Replace the sump pump
  • Create a cover for the sump pump hole
  • Run electric and build a platform for the chest freezer
  • Add shop lighting
  • Assemble shelving and organize our personal stuff and business materials
  • Add a light to the stairwell
  • Build a door for the stairwell
  • Build a wine cellar
  • Build a workshop <– Going on now!
  • Paint the stairwell

 

Studio
85% done
% change: +20% for crossing a bunch of items off our list
Plan changes: None

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 Entry cube
0% done
% change: 0% This space gets vacuumed occasionally, but that’s it.
Plan changes: None

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  • Replace the fire hose lights
  • Finish the drywall
  • Paint
  • Hang art

 

Dining room
1% done
% change: +1% The fire pole was secured in time for our Open House!
Plan changes: None

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  • Secure the fire pole at the bottom with more bolts
  • Patch all the holes, including the large one that was possibly a coal door
  • Finish the duct work
  • Run more electrical outlets
  • Put the dining room lighting on a different switch than the studio lighting
  • Build a new door for the basement stairwell
  • Paint
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Build a light fixture that’s been floating around in our heads for years
  • Build a large dining table
  • Hang art

 

Downstairs living room
0% done
% change: 0% This space has really come in handy for staging other projects, like the time we had to build a new bridal show booth. It’s currently holding some overflow from the workshop that will (hopefully) get stowed away in the next few months.
Plan changes: None

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  • Finish the duct work into the bathroom
  • Patch the holes
  • Paint
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Add a cool, modern fireplace
  • Buy new seating (couch and chairs, some of which may be vintage)
  • Add a window or door to the yard
  • Hang art
  • Find a spot for a bar

 

Kitchen
2% done
% change: 0% We haven’t made any changes to the kitchen, but we are noodling some options (like the wall removal and flooring) as we head toward a total overhaul (hopefully starting later this year)
Plan changes: We’re tinkering with the layout. My desired island is off the list, but I’m still excited about the additional counter space we’ll be able to squeeze into this space

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  • Replace two of the bricked over windows
  • Add a new lighting fixture
  • Buy appliances
  • Open up the kitchen to the rest of the first floor
  • Build a new backdoor
  • Vent the range hood outside
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Basically completely gut the kitchen. We’re still figuring out what this looks like. It will definitely have more cabinet/counter space, an electric wall oven and built-in microwave

 

Half bath
10% done
% change: 0%
Plan changes: None

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  • Replace the bricked over window
  • Cover the Swiss cheese ceiling
  • Add a new light fixture
  • Paint
  • Restore the slop sink
  • Restore the toilet paper holder
  • Restore the door
  • Add art and accessories, like a mirror and storage

 

Stairwell
0% done
% change: 0%
Plan changes: None

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  • Decide whether to keep the original door, if so, refinish it
  • Patch the walls and paint
  • Paint the railings and refinish the banister
  • Add new lighting

Upstairs living room
0% done
% change: 0%  Despite being the second most used space in the house (the studio wins because Aaron is in there every day), this space has seen very little love. We’ve cleaned it up and set up a bar, but that’s it. We have our sights set on a renovation in the downstairs space, so we’re planning a help-us-live-with-it upgrade this spring in the form of paint (white, obviously).
Plan changes: None

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  • Tear down the plaster on the west side to expose the brick
  • Make the roof hatch usable
  • Fix the plaster on the ceiling
  • Remove old fire alarms
  • Run more electric and add outlets
  • Hide the electric panel
  • Replace the closet doors
  • Insulate the furnace sound deadening material
  • Refinish or remove the hall door
  • Run new flooring throughout the second floor (some sort of old factory-weathered wood is our dream option)
  • Add windows on the west wall (maybe)
  • Investigate the ceiling ducts to determine if we can add a skylight
  • Replace the lighting
  • Paint
  • Build a “mega couch” for ultimate TV and movie viewing
  • Hang/hide a projector and screen
  • Hang art

 

Captain’s bedroom and bathroom
1% done
% change: +1% The fire pole was secured in time for our Open House!
Plan changes: Originally I thought we would keep the closet, but with no hopes of replumbing the bathroom we’ve decided to make that space into part storage, part vanity. We’ll keep the mirror and build an area where someone could do their hair or makeup. You know how a wet bar doesn’t actually have any plumbing? Kind of like that. We also added a reading nook to the plans thanks to some Pinspiration (follow our ideas on Aaron’s pinterest page).

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  • Secure the top of the fire pole with more than just electrical wire
  • Replace/add screens to the windows
  • Fix the duct work
  • Refinish the original door
  • Refinish the window sills
  • Use the water connections (maybe for a coffee bar?)
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add a bed, dresser, side tables and other necessities for a guest room
  • Hang art (maybe a large pull down map)
  • Demo the closet
  • Turn the bathroom into part storage, part vanity
  • Build a reading nook

 

Awesome bathroom
-5% done
% change: +5% for narrowing down the leak
Plan changes: None

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  • Replace fixtures as necessary to make sure everything works
  • Replace the lights over the mirrors
  • Redo/cover the plaster walls
  • Paint
  • Build a storage solution for towels and other necessities (maybe a rendition of pipe shelving)
  • Build an LED drop ceiling
  • Build a new door
  • Add a Mojo washing station in one of the showers

 

Hallway
95% done (for now)
% change: +95 for painting
Plan changes: This space didn’t even make the original list. After the coat of white paint, I’ll call this space mostly done for now. Eventually we need to decide on some layout changes, which could affect the door and the lighting.

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Workout bedroom/extra bedroom
5% done
% change: +5% for eliminating the stage and actually setting up the treadmill
Plan changes: We’re leaning toward giving the closet space and a window to the laundry room and relying on the Murphy bed/storage wall to serve as the closet for this space.

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  • Remove the “stage”
  • Remove the pole closet
  • Build a Murphy bed and extra storage along the south wall
  • Extend the laundry room by stealing the closet space and a window
  • Fix the window sills
  • Finish the trim
  • Build out the exercise area (mirrors and a weight rack)
  • Mount the TV
  • Replace the flooring
  • Fix the plaster
  • Paint
  • Replace the fan and add lighting

 

4th bedroom
0% done
% change: 0% Technically I organized this space, even though you can’t really tell in the picture.
Plan changes: None

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  • Build the old pole closet and furnace into a proper furnace room with a door leading to the hallway
  • Close off the existing door and turn the space into a closet for the master suite by adding a door between this room and the master bathroom
  • Paint
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add new lighting and electrical as needed
  • Add a window (maybe)

 

Laundry room
0% done
% change: 0%
Plan changes: None

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  • Expand the laundry room by stealing space from the workout room
  • Build storage and a clothes drying rack
  • Paint

 

Master Bedroom
0% done
% change: 0% While we haven’t done any renovations to this space, the facelift should keep us happy for a few years.
Plan changes: None

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  • Remove the half wall
  • Remove the double closets
  • Seal the brick
  • Adjust duct work
  • Build a new door
  • Update slide dimmers to something more modern
  • Replace the flooring
  • Redo the lighting
  • Build a platform bed
  • Buy/build side tables
  • Add a fireplace (maybe)
  • Buy additional furniture as needed (chairs, dresser, etc) – maybe some vintage pieces
  • Paint
  • Add light blocking window treatments
  • Hang art

 

Master Bathroom
0% done
% change: 0%
Plan changes: We took a look at the original ceiling and realized the plaster is in really good shape. Instead of installing a new drop ceiling, we plan to expose the original ceiling, patch it and paint it.

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  • Extend the wall of the shower so we can add a steam feature
  • Replace the jacuzzi tub with a claw-foot tub or an uber modern tub
  • Replace the vanity/storage with something more modern
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add a door into the new master closet
  • Add a window to the west wall (maybe)
  • Paint
  • Remove drop ceiling and fix plaster
  • Add new lighting

 

Exterior
40% done
% change: +10% for cleaning up the front (we still owe you a good update, but here’s a peek.)
Plan changes: The mulberry tree is here to stay thanks to the electric company hacking the other tree to bits.

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Overall updates
10% done
% change: 0%
Plan changes: We realized our main electric panel will need some reworking. It’s not pressing (or fun money).

  • Activate the new security system
  • Incorporate home automation, including smart thermostats
  • Investigate on-demand water, especially for the upstairs bathrooms
  • Rework the main electric panel

Of course, we can’t focus on ALL of that in 2014. Here’s what we (reasonably) expect to tackle throughout the next year:

  • Build the workshop
  • Finish the fence and carport
  • Build a shed
  • Paint the upstairs living room white
  • Start a kitchen remodel

There are lots of other smaller updates on our list and we’ll keep you informed as we go.

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