Friday, April 11, 2014

Exterior Paint Color Combo #1


Here is our first attempt at a color combination. The Collonade Gray will be the wall/main color, the Origami White for trim, and the Fawn Brindle for the skirting and porch. They look great on screen and on the paper samples, but we'll see how they translate on the house. The lower left corner of the above image was left blank to show what no color looks like in comparison.

I'm going to get sample pints of each of these this weekend and begin testing on the house. This means it's really happening! Gulp!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Summer's Project: Exterior Paint


The house had just been painted when we bought it 7 years ago, but the paint hasn't held up very well. As with any old house, there are cracks that have been filled in over the years with material that probably can't stand up to the rain and sun on the south-facing side of the house.

In addition, the painter missed a few spots (quite a few, actually!). We didn't notice this until after buying the house and moving in. I guess he didn't much like going up on ladders!



This is a blessing in disguise, because we wanted to redo the color scheme anyway! The current pink and brown are fitting for a Victorian, but two of my least favorite colors!

We've gotten a few color samples. We're thinking a warm gray or taupe with white trim, and leaving the door its natural wood color (at least for now). I'm crazy about gray as a base color with earth tones in the foreground (dare I say, "pops of color"??).

Here's a sample paint inspiration on a much fancier house than ours:

Photo credit here.

You may be wondering, after all of our hands-on success with the Patio Project: will the Strubgrasses be the ones to pressure-wash, scrape, fill, brush, spray, and roll this paint on? Hell no! We are currently taking bids and excited to hand this project off to someone who knows what they're doing (and who likes going up on ladders!).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keepin' it Rustic


I take a great deal of inspiration from DesignSponge.com and recently read a feature on fireplaces. I was surprised that many of the Interior Decorator photo worthy fireplaces are non-functional like ours. This is why I love DesignSponge - nothing has to be perfect, it just has to be well-designed and loved.

I dream of a functioning fireplace or woodstove, which would be BRILLIANT in our (chilly, high-ceilinged) living room. That project is a little daunting, however. We'd be looking at tearing out the wall, ripping out the coal chimney brick by brick, and installing either a woodstove or gas line. Although I prefer woodstoves, gas log fireplaces are actually pretty great, too. I used to scoff at them until I stayed at a place that had one. Honestly - they put out consistent heat and are super cozy.

In the meantime, we've kept the historically accurate mantle half-finished (full story on that here) and fitting of the period.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fall Plantings: A few Natives


I usually think of Spring as the time to plant, but I read somewhere that Fall can also be good because you don't have to worry about watering new starts. This must apply only to hearty plants - probably not for annuals or something will freeze easily.

I planted these guys in September and they are still tiny, but hanging in there! The grass is from the Samara Restoration folks at Farmer's Market. This was part of their concept for a Rain Garden, using native plants that can help soak up the run-off and thrive in wet conditions. I've seen these grasses all over, mostly in the bottoms or forest edges. The little guys are Coral Bells propagated from other starts around the Manor.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Excess Patio Materials Finally Find a Good Home



Although the new patio has been complete for months, the project hasn't felt finished because the backyard still looked like a construction zone. Of the 3 pallets of Basalite pavers we bought, we used a little more than half. The excess pavers have sat there, and sat there. They have been piled on pallets smack dab in the middle of the yard, irking me. For 6 months they sat there while we passively thought about what to do with them. I am not proud of this. That's the problem with D.I.Y. projects - you can't blame anyone else for taking a long time to clean up the worksite!

I posted the pavers on Facebook to see if any friends would take them - no luck. What lousy friends I must have to not help solve this heavy dilemma (kidding!). I asked my dad - who said he would take them, but I think he was just being polite.

Finally, we got our act together and posted them on craigslist. We figured we would have to negotiate and deal with a bunch of people. We did have a couple of fake-outs early in the week - people who had questions about the pavers, but didn't really want them. Hey, that's ok - such is the way of craigslist and trying to move awkward, heavy objects off your property.

But then the magical offer came in: "Have Trailer and Cash, interested in pavers". A day later, we were helping our customer load the rest of the pavers and sand into his trailer. I'm not sure how he made it home with what was likely over a ton of concrete pavers and sand in the back of a converted truckbed trailer. I remember learning a valuable lesson when towing some of the equipment we used to install the patio: it's not the hauling, it's the stopping of the vehicle in front of a heavy load. I didn't read anything on Lost Coast Outpost about a guy with an overloaded trailor wreaking havoc on the freeway, so all's well that end's well!

And now the grass can finally start growing back. It's a beautiful thing!