Archive for February, 2009
When Jessica sent us her amazing attic makeover pics we couldn’t believe how she took her third floor from unfinished to fab. u. lous. Here’s her letter:
I’ve been a reader for some time and I love your before and after posts. I recently renovated my entire 1910 house in order to allow us the modern amenities, yet keep its character. Our proudest accomplishment is the attic. Before we moved in, it was a completely unfinished space. And a waste of valuable space at that! Now, it’s our hangout room where we spend most of our time watching TV or reading. I thought I would share the pics with you all and see if you enjoy the before and after as much as I do. -Jessica
Enjoy it? We live for it. You guys did such a fantastic job and we’re so glad you sent the pics our way. If only our attic was more than 4 feet tall, we’d be calling the contractor tomorrow…
You guys may have already caught wind of the Sproost quiz over at Odi et Amo or Bower Power, but who are we not to jump on a quiz bandwagon? The Sproost quiz is another thirty second questionnaire that promises to pinpoint your personal home design style (kinda like last week’s Ikea quiz) based on your rankings of differently designed rooms. It uses a simple “Love It” to “Hate It” scale and calculates your top home design styles based on your picks. Here are my results:
Last week Sherry was the one who registered high on the country (or as she argues, cottage) scale. But as you can see, this week I’m taking that cake with my three country/cottage-influenced styles. I was very skeptical of my analysis until I read the description of my top ranking Rustic Revival style: ”You…love a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic/vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind.” I can live with that diagnosis. It’s pretty accurate, actually. But what about Sherry’s…
Her highest ranked style was still in the country slash cottage zone, but it was offset by a much beachier Nantucket Style and a more contemporary Vintage Modern. Like me, Sherry thinks her top-ranking description is pretty spot on, the Nantucket one is fairly close (minus the part about light wood and wicker) and the Vintage Modern has some hints of accuracy in there (loves flea markets and clean lines).
In comparing notes, Sherry and I realized that we each got different photos to choose from during the quiz. So we each took it a second time, got totally different rooms to choose from, and ended up with very different results. Nantucket Style and Arts & Crafts crept into my diagnosis and Sherry suddenly had only two top styles – Rustic Revival and Cottage Chic. Interesting…
Click here to take the Sproost quiz for yourself. It’s definitely worth going through it more than once if you have the time. If nothing else you’ll get an extra dose of eye candy and find a few more inspiration rooms that you can copy to your desktop before clicking through to the next image. And as always, we’d love to hear what shows up in your results, if you think they’re accurate and if they change each time you play. Happy clicking everyone…
When it comes to our cleaning routine, we get a surprising amount of inquiries about how we keep house. Well, allow me to introduce my bff when it comes to tidying up. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Dirt Devil Kurv:
No this is not a paid endorsement. Nor did Dirt Devil send me one for free. I paid for one just like the rest of the world, and let me tell you that it was the best money I ever spent.
See, before the Kurv came into my life I spent about an hour a week feebly cleaning up crumbs in the kitchen and dust bunnies on the hardwood/tile floors of each of our nine rooms. My three failing methods were these: a dustpan (crumbs and dust flew everywhere but were never all collected), a vaccuum cleaner (far to bulky to maneuver easily and plugging it in everywhere I went was a drag so it took forever and scared the bejeesus out of the dog), and a swiffer duster pad (great for grabbing dust at first but they so frequently need to be replaced once they’ve maxed out in the dust-grabbing department that I easily went through ten to clean the whole house- what a waste!).
And then this baby came to live with us. Now I can un-crumb and de-dust our entire home in less than five minutes. I am not exaggerating. It’s probably closer to three minutes actually. Say someone’s on their way over but there’s hair on the bathroom floor. No problemo. In the time that it takes your forthcoming friend to arrive you can clean the whole house instead of spending five minutes trying to pick up those aforementioned bathroom floor hairs with your fingers.
The power suckage, cordless design, and long skinny nose get into every corner and cranny- I can even slide it along the base of the kitchen cabinets in a second (where all those crumbs hide under the cabinet lip). I simply walk through the house aiming the nose at each corner, along the baseboards, under the table, etc. And with one pass dust is hasta la vista, baby. It’s even great for sucking up little fern leaves that my plants decide to drop when they’re done with ‘em. And things like heavy duty kitchen crumbs are no match for this stronger-than-most-real-vacuum-cleaners contraption. And this is coming from someone who always had a dustbuster laying around and hated the thing more than the vacuum. The Kurv is not a dustbuster, it is a godsend.
So for anyone with hardwood and tile floors looking for something a bit less cumbersome than a vacuum and a bit more thorough than a swiffer duster pad or a dustpan, feel free to court the Kurv. If you don’t wanna marry him I’ll be seriously surprised. Of course we still rely on our vacuum for the area rugs throughout the house, and give the wood floors a good scrub every few months. But for maintenance there’s really nothing like the Kurv.
Oh and although it’s hardly ugly, it isn’t really pretty either. So we don’t buy into the whole “it’s like sculpture, have it on display” suggestion. Ours charges behind our white armchair in the den, so no one’s the wiser but it’s always on hand. The only thing we’d change would be the capacity (it does need to be emptied with each use- but that’s not the biggest deal considering I could empty it about a hundred times in the time it saves me when it comes to cleaning).
And while we’re on the subject, I thought I’d ask you guys for your favorite cleaning tips and tricks. Has any product or technique improved your routine so majorly that you want to shout it from the rooftops? I’m definitely looking for more shortcuts in this whole housekeeping game, so by all means feel free to come clean.
Product shot from amazon.com