I can hardly keep track of all the home decor magazines that Sherry reads. Domino, Elle Decor, Cottage Living, Better Homes & Garden, House Beautiful, O at Home and a seemingly endless list of other titles with the word “house” or “home” wedged in there somewhere. Any attempts I’ve made to share this interest with her have left me feeling somewhat confused and emasculated. Thank goodness the editors of Men’s Health came to my rescue and just introduced Men’s Health Living, the self-declared “world’s first home magazine for men.” I think this calls for a chest bump – who’s with me? I snagged the premiere issue on our way out of town last weekend, which
This not having a functioning kitchen thing is getting old. It may sound strange, but we were too lazy to go out to eat tonight. Instead, we mustered the energy to attempt cooking in our counterless and sinkless kitchen. Fortunately, the meal itself (chocolate chip pancakes) was relatively easy to make using a cabinet top as our work surface. We also confirmed that our stovetop still functions after almost 3 months of dormancy. It’s the already annoying task of clean-up that reminds you how frustrating it is to not have a kitchen sink. Let’s just say doing dishes in the bathroom doesn’t exactly inspire me to play chef again anytime soon.
And now for one of many posts about fun & fabulous holiday gifts. Here’s what we got at a local gift shop (Mongrel) for our cousin who loves to camp: a ceramic campfire that you can really set ablaze with a tea-light. Bring on the mini-marshmallows! Ironically it was also for sale on Fred Flare, along with a bunch of other quirky gifts like these: Who doesn’t want a throwback boombox with an updated twist (it blasts tunes from your iPod), some fabulous garland in 2-D (it’s tape with a sparkly tinsel pattern) and a make-any-bottle-a-menorah (it’s a cork with the candles attached). Brilliant. And you gotta love how affordable stuff on that website is.
We’ve returned from our Christmas in West Virginia just in time to grace you with the third and final part of our “Places We Used to Live” video series. This time it’s a new city (Richmond, VA) and a new arrangement (cohabitation). Ooh la la. Our First Apartment Together in Richmond was a pretty cookie-cutter one-bedroom in a pretty cookie-cutter suburban apartment complex. That didn’t stop us from being over the moon about finally sharing a home together AND getting way more space for less than half of our combined rent in NYC. Here are the goodies to watch for this time: The giddiness in Sherry’s voice as she excitedly points out features we’d probably
Is it painfully obvious that we’re trying to keep everyone entertained while holiday celebrations are distracting us from working on the house? We thought so. Now that you’ve seen my little space in the big city, it’s time to show John’s Apartment on New York City’s Upper West Side. It’s second in the series of videos I shot for Kitty, my BFF who lived in Iowa at the time. John actually edited this one down a little bit so you don’t get to see the living room. That’s because it was only a living room for a few days before they had walls built to create a third bedroom in order to accommodate a third
First things first – Merry Christmas everyone! We’re busy enjoying some quality family time in WV, so here’s a pre-prepared post for everyone to enjoy in the meantime: The other day we set out to clean up our poor little iBook’s overloaded hard-drive. It quickly turned from a mass-file-deleting to a mass-let’s-reminisce-about-this-and- then-keep-it-for-the-memories. So, the bad news is that the hard-drive didn’t get much relief. The good news is that we found fun things to share. The best of our re-discoveries was a series of video clips. Between the many clips of puppy-sized Burger we actually found a few home-related ones. Our favorites being video tours of some of our old NYC apartments that Sherry
As mentioned in our “acceptance speech,” we planned to give a portion of our prize money from RemodelingMySpace.com’s contest to a local housing charity. So when our check arrived on Saturday it was finally time to spread the love. And this time the love went to Richmond’s Better Housing Coalition. The Better Housing Coalition has been working in Richmond for 20 years to revitalize communities in our area, primarily by taking neglected homes in historic neighborhoods and turning them into affordable housing for low-income families. For instance, they do work in Union Hill, the neighborhood featured in the TLC special “Flip It Back” we reported on a few weeks ago. We’re still learning about the
I am rarely excited by anything from JC Penney, but we just got the most amazing area rug for the living room. It has this great pattern (they call it “honeycomb”) and it’s real wool, which makes me feel like such a grown up. It was a steal for around $200 (the detail, the quality, and the coloring is totally reminiscent of a thousand dollar version I saw a while back- yessss). Plus since I ordered it online, I was able to use a promo code to score an additional 20% off AND free shipping (tip: google the name of the store along with the words “promo code” to save a bundle of cashola- in
We got our second guest bedroom ready for its close up just in the nick of time (we’re hosting some family tonight). A few days ago we showed you the new daybed and reading corner, but now we get to share some pics with more personality thanks to a bunch of punchy accessories. Much to my surprise, John okayed two fuzzy leopard pillows (he’s not really crazy about animal prints in general… now that’s love). The addition of a woven basket of books, some furry leopard slippers, and a splash of turquoise (in the form of a throw on the chair and a book on the ottoman) made the room practically scream “be our guest”
After 15 painfully slow days of waiting impatiently, our kitchen remodel picked back up again this Monday with the arrival of our replacement corner cabinet. Which means that the installer could come over yesterday (right at 8am, no less) to put in the final cabinet (which had to be reordered from KraftMaid due to the fact that the first one was BACKWARDS). Mike The Install Guy also took care of a few other finishing touches while he was here: adding toe kicks & shoe molding, venting the hood up through the attic and attaching the last part of our hood- all little things but they made a world of difference (proving that the devil really
The third bedroom (also known as our second guest bedroom) has finally come together. And not a minute too soon since we’re hosting a gaggle of guests on Friday night. As a reminder, this is the former dining room that we converted into a bedroom by closing off the doorway that connected it to the kitchen (we didn’t miss the dining space since we moved it into our jumbo living room). Lucky for us, the old dining room already had a closet, so other than ripping down the chair rail and switching out the light fixture it wasn’t much work at all (after the doorway was closed by a professional). Here’s a picture of the
For the most part, Richmond is a classy city: Jeffersonian architecture, cobblestone streets, Sunday brunches, etc, etc. Even during the holidays, areas like historic Monument Avenue keep their Christmas decorations full of class- like this fancy little tree below. But I’d be lying if I told you that Monument Avenue Christmas decor was the norm around Richmond these days. This is actually the time of year where other parts of the city are happy to embrace their tacky side. Hence our beloved and famous (infamous?) Tacky Light Tour. I can’t claim to be an expert on the Tacky Light Tour, but what I do know is that it’s basically a list of homes in the
As the wait for that last cabinet continues, we’ve found another way to keep ourselves busy: holiday cards. We’re not typically holiday card people, but with a Target coupon offering up some free photo greetings we couldn’t pass up the chance to spread some cheer. Here’s the pic. It stars Burger, who fell victim to our idle hands, over-active imaginations and some photoshop: In case we forget to say it later: Happy holidays to everyone from John, Sherry and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Chihuahua.
We spent Sunday afternoon doing what people do best. Being nosy. This time (as we alluded to on Monday) it took the form of invading strangers’ homes as part of the Woodland Heights Holiday Tour of Homes. We had never heard of Woodland Heights before Sunday, but apparently I drive through it every morning on my way to work. It’s on a section of road where a visible mix of historic homes and dilapidated buildings always made me think “aww, it’s a shame such cool, old houses are in such a rough neighborhood.” Apparently my assessment was way off. In fact, Woodland Heights is a very polished neighborhood, based on what we saw on the
Our house has never looked more festive. We decked the halls (well, more like the living room, the den, and the front door) with all things sparkly and even though it was 82 degrees yesterday (!) it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Our silver themed tree came out really well, and a few strategically placed silver balls made other objects around the house feel totally Santa-ready. My favorite new ornament holder is a giant clam shell from Z Gallerie that John surprised me with for my last birthday. The different toned silver ornaments inside twinkle like oversized pearls- but glass balls also look great in vases, on platters, and even hung from fishing
What better way to ring in our five month wedding anniversary than finding out we won five grand? As many of you know we entered the Remodel, Blog & Win contest by RemodelingMySpace.com a few months ago. But never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d actually win the $5000 grand prize- especially when the competition was so fierce (there were 46 other blogs in the running). In fact, it seemed like such a long shot that when I requested that we put dinner on hold until the winner was announced, John gently suggested that I shouldn’t “get my hopes up.” So I wrestled to keep them down until the phone rang. And the
So gorgeous it’s unfair. The cabinets came a long way today. In fact our installer is done with everything except for that reversed corner cabinet which is in the process of being reordered (and the baseboard, which he’ll put in once that cabinet arrives). He hung the microwave, put up all the doors and the brushed nickel hardware, and added all the crown molding- which really was the icing on the cake. Bellisimo. But enough chatter. Here are the pics. This is the view of the kitchen from the doorway that we widened in the living/dining room: And here’s the right side. We especially love that glass door in the corner- it keeps things open
Richmond got its first taste of winter yesterday in the form of some light snow. Sadly, nothing stuck and life went on unaffected (no snow day for John). Well, mostly unaffected. The precipitation kept the installer inside all day, instead of outside sawing the crown molding and cabinet baseboards. That meant progress was limited to getting the last couple cabinets in, sliding the dishwasher into place and getting 99% of our range hood hung (he still has to add the stainless steel “chimney” which will cover the big pipe that goes up through the ceiling). Admittedly, they’re not the most exciting update pics, but here they go anyway. Note: the dishwasher and hood are still
They’re notoriously difficult to work with. Yesterday was cabinet installation day 2 and, not unlike Monday, it came with its fair share of ups and downs. We’ll start with the ups this time. Almost all the cabinets went in, including my new favorite thing: the built in refrigerator! Totally makes our existing fridge look like some fancy schmancy custom appliance. And that opening to the right of it will make our microwave look built in as well. Yippee skippy. Here are photos of yesterday’s progress: Ok, now to play Debbie Downer. The minor hiccup of the day was discovering one of our existing wall outlets is too high and needs to be lowered so it
As in, they take their sweet time. Yesterday was installation day 1, and it didn’t quite go exactly as planned. But then again, nothing in home improvement ever does. It can best be compared to Christmas morning as a child when you can hardly sleep the night before, anxiously awaiting the crack of dawn so you can rip into all of those carefully wrapped gifts from “Santa.” John and I stayed up late and woke up early excitedly chattering about the long awaited installation. Remember, we’ve been completely kitchenless for close to two months (no cabinets, no counters, no sink, no nothing) so imagine our excitement at the prospect of seeing all of our cabinets