Tagged: photography studio

New desk and new(ish) conference table

I’ve hesitated to call the studio completely done because we’ve been reserving a space in the rear for a conference/work table. Exhibit A

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We’ve even been hoarding a table base for it since late 2014. (Should I be embarrassed by that??) But as you probably know, 2015 didn’t leave much time for extra projects.

We can cross this need off the list thanks to Ikea, which opened just down the street from us last autumn. We used our first free weekend from weddings to check it out and walked out spending just over $100, which is a massive feat and probably deserving of some sort of medal. The trip reminded us that Ikea is offering sit/stand desks, and after mulling over it all night I told Aaron just to go get one. So the second trip to Ikea was not as easy on the wallet, but it resulted in this new set up.

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Ikea has a cool powered base for around $400, but we opted for the cheaper, man-powered Bekant frame that came in at just $119. After installing a white top, some cable organizers and a felt half wall that hides some of the mess, Aaron was up and running (standing?) with a new office.

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So far we’re really happy with the quality of the desk, and he has yet to lower it to a seated position. This may be because I stole his desk chair… but to be fair I’m rarely in the studio during normal business hours so he could take it back anytime he wanted.

That left us with a spare table. (Here’s a tip: if you need a big desk just buy a table. It’s usually cheaper than an oversized desk.) And we had the perfect spot for it.

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Ultimately, Aaron will probably still build something to sit on the other table base, but for now this works great. It also makes this area look less like a chair graveyard. Those beauties are in a holding pattern and destined for the dining room.

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We are dangerously close to calling this space finished! According to the list, we only have a few items left:

  • Build a cool light fixture to hang over the conference table <– Probably will get scratched because we don’t really need more light here
  • Build a new front door <– We need a workshop for this. Any guesses as to what is at the VERY TOP of the list for this year?
  • Design and build a screen door for the garage door <– Interesting concept…. I would give this a 5% chance of actually happening

 

Video tour 2015

I liked the first video so much when I stumbled on it back in July that we’re back with an update. I’m a little sorry that it is 16 minutes long, but it’s a big space! So kick back and watch me awkwardly talk at the camera.

A few notes:

  • There are two new projects, one big (fireplace) and one small (Aaron has a new desk), that have not hit the blog.
  • 1:50 – Yay Mojo!
  • 4:03 – I don’t know why there is a saw sitting at the bottom of the stairs… which is literally what I am thinking while Aaron walks down.
  • 6:38 – Hank!
  • 6:46 – Hank jumping in Aaron’s face!
  • 7:08 – Hank playing with a log. He’s a nut.
  • Also, sorry our backyard is a mess. We have extra ipe under the tarp out there and the wood for the fire pit is a mess. Clearly Hank doesn’t mind.’
  • 11:10 – Argh plaster issues! Remember how much time Aaron spent on that?!? Yeah it is already falling down. The only solution is to take it out. So it’s on the list….
  • 13:03 – Aaron pointed out that we just put in a new light bulb in the pole closet, not a whole new fixture.

So what do you think? We hear that floor plans don’t always explain the space, so maybe this helps?

Last week and an addition to the firehouse (4 more paws!)

Last week was one for the history books. And I’m glad that it’s finally history. It was a rough one.

Let’s start with the good stuff. The highlight by far was bringing a new addition to the firehouse. Meet Hank!

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When we moved into the firehouse (after a few cocktails one evening) we got it into our head that with so much space we could totally handle another dog. Mojo is AHmazing, but sadly she won’t be with us forever. She has always been great with other dogs and puppies so we reasoned that we should get another dog (Great Dane was an easy decision) while she was still around to help an maybe instill some of her good qualities. Plus we figured having a playmate would keep her active.

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Thus far she isn’t quite sure how to handle Hank. We think the size difference is making her leery of any sort of playing. Mostly she tries to sleep on a different bed than him, even if it means wedging herself into his puppy-sized bed. He’s doing his best to play with her, but is appeased with the million toys we’ve pulled out from her younger days.

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He is absolutely adorable, which totally makes  up for all of the pee I’ve cleaned off the floor. But seriously, he’s really smart and already doing great in the kennel overnight.

Unfortunately, he (and we) walked into the most chaotic week we’ve ever shared as a married couple. I owe you SO many posts, but we started some of the contractor-fueled parts of the living room/dining room makeovers. First up was cutting holes for three new windows! Working through three layers of brick stirred up a lot of dust and a tear in the plastic + complete oversight at blocking the top of pole closet left our house a complete disaster. (In case you don’t know/remember the floors in the picture below are actually dark brown.)

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When we filmed our House Hunters: Where Are They Now episode, they asked for any and all crazy renovation stories. The only one we could come up with (which I talk about briefly in the episode) was when the paint started melting off our studio walls. That was bad. This was so much worse.

Not only did we not see this coming, it totally ruined (albeit, temporarily) most of our second floor. I’ve talked about it briefly before, but I firmly believe the way we get through renovations is by creating a sanctuary. It’s any no-reno zone that we can retreat to. Usually it’s our living room and on Tuesday it was coated in a 1/16 inch of dust.

Our newly refinished guestroom actually took the brunt of the dirt. It was basically like the dust dancer from Adele’s Rolling in the Deep video… except with less dancing… and more tears. Basically it was horrific.We were both completely overwhelmed. And the dust wasn’t done. Wednesday, Thursday and even Friday created a cloud that really couldn’t be stopped even when we doubled down on plastic and tape. The stairwell, the kitchen, the guestroom, the outdoor patio and garage were all coated. Not to mention the scene of the crime – the living room/dining room.

We kept the upstairs living room at a tolerable level and opted to tackle the living room/dining room/construction zone ourselves on Sunday. For the rest, we called in reinforcements. Today (literal) angels  from Green Angels descended on the firehouse and restored peace and order. Over the course of a day, they cleaned nooks and crannys that would have taken us weeks to address. My kitchen has never been so clean. I keep noticing things they touched, places that sparkle and being amazed. And, for the first time in a week, we are both able to breathe a sigh of relief.

I owe you SO many posts (more puppy pics, plans and windows in the living/dining rooms, more pics of furniture in the guestroom now that is has been cleaned), but I wanted to drop in and document this moment, even if it’s only for us to look back on. We’re doing so many things (puppy, new windows) that will pay off over time. I want to be able to look back and say “That really sucked, but it was really worth it.”

House Hunters: Where Are They Now? March 9

Where ARE we? Well, right here, of course. But I guess all of TV land doesn’t follow our blog. So the kind folks at House Hunters offered to have us back on national television. We said, “Yes!” and then promptly made a bunch of updates in the fall (like making the courtyard come to life.)

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This round of taping we spent one really easy day with the same producer (Hi Darcy!), same video guy (Hi Kevin!) and a super nice, new sound guy. Because our segment is only part of a half hour show and the focus is squarely on what we’ve done around this place, we spent more time off camera than on. That was fine by me! Less pressure, only one wardrobe change and potentially less time where my face literally fills the screen. (Yikes!)

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Anyways, I digress. The whole point of popping in here is to tell you that we have an air date: March 9th at 9 pm CST! So set your DVR and grab your favorite snack, because the firehouse is coming to the big… err little screen! If you’re a regular reader you won’t be surprised by any of the changes, but we always hear that it’s easier to grasp the firehouse once you’ve seen it in person. So this is a great way to invite all our virtual friends into our humble a(fire)bode.

Oh, and because I’m sure everyone wants to know whether Mojo will make an appearance, she did get in on some of the taping. But mostly she spent her time like this (because being a TV star is hard, guys):

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Seriously, she slept on her bed in the studio (behind the couch you see in the middle picture) for most of our interview. Occasionally we would have to stop shooting if she sat up because you could see see her over our shoulder. What I wouldn’t give for footage of some of the bloopers from this whole experience…

Our principles for buying art

Ever since we started thinking about the finishing spaces in the firehouse we’ve been pondering and pinning and discussing art. There is so much out there, especially when you consider price points and style. We landed on two principles to help guide our search.

While we’d love to have all original pieces, we really still need money for food… and a firehouse renovation. Still we see authentic art (original works or limited edition, numbered pieces) as an investment in artists. As artists ourselves we care that artwork is valued. We want to own unique pieces that may have value down the road. That led to principle one: We will only buy original signed pieces or limited edition (numbered works.)

We are so fortunate that we agree on most aesthetic choices for our living space. When it comes to art, there’s a little more divergence. I’ve long been a fan of impressionism, especially Claude Monet, and that’s just not Aaron’s jam. He often gravitates toward sculptural pieces and I rarely think those work in residential spaces. Luckily there’s still a huge middle ground. We both love moody work (show us just about anything with fog and we’re captivated.) We also have a huge appreciation for mediums that we have no skill in, like drawing. And, thankfully, he likes some impressionistic work 🙂

This drove our other guiding principle: We both have to like any piece we purchase. That doesn’t mean we both have to be heads over heels about each piece, but we both have to appreciate it and want it in our house.

Obviously, this is going to be a process. We’re not running to a big box store to grab something to hang on the wall just because we want a room done. But we appreciate the process. We love that it gives us a reason to walk through an art fair (and maybe walk away with one of my favorite pieces of art to date – the guy at the end of this post who really deserved his own feature. Love him! ) while we envision different works in our space and discuss what we like (or don’t) about a work.

Sometimes that discussion and the decision to buy is really, really easy.

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In a recent jaunt to the Green Shag Market this piece instantly caught my eye. I didn’t say anything because I wanted to see if Aaron noticed it as well. It took less than 60 seconds for him to say “Woah! Look at this piece.”

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So, yeah, we both like it. It’s a relief print, which may be a little hard to see in the pictures. It has lots of movement and obviously a huge burst of color, which offers some nice contrast.

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It’s an interesting piece because it’s understated and bold at the same time, quiet and loud, a great juxtaposition.

And it’s named, signed and dated. “Release” by M. Dean, number 9/50 from 1978.

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We did a quick check via Google just to see if we had stumbled upon a gem. We think it’s a piece from Meredith Dean, an artist who studied at Washington University in the late 60’s and late 80’s. She’s been heavily involved in the art world and currently is a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. We think it’s one of her early pieces. We reached out to her but haven’t heard any response.

None of that really mattered, we were happy to tote this piece home with us. (Although if we ever run across an awesome, piece like Yellow Brick Home did, I’ll do a seriously nerdy, white girl happy dance in the middle of the store.) It doesn’t have a home quite yet, but it’s ready and waiting for the right space.