Author Archive

Calling All Experts: Critter Control?

When Rebekah emailed us with a doozie of a question we were pretty much left scratching our heads. Here’s it is:

Q: I’ve become an addict of your blog – just ask my husband! I can’t help but check it multiple times a day. Your posts are always so informative and they keep me motivated to keep working on our 1960′s home. Anyway, my husband and I purchased the brick ranch with a lovely yard about four months ago. My only problem is that we’re starting to see more pests (i.e. roaches… ewww!) due to the weather getting colder here in Georgia. I can’t live in a house and accept that the pests will always be there. We woke up at 4am last night because one crawled up my husband’s arm. Help! I was hoping you or your readers had some recommendations for in-house pest control. I know that pests might come with the territory of living in an older home, but I have to believe there’s a cure out there. I’m an uber-clean person (vacuuming & dusting once a week) plus we don’t leave food out and we keep everything off of the floor as much as possible. I hope my only option is NOT to hire a pest control company but if it is then so be it. Any advice? – Rebekah

A: Yup, we were stumped. Luckily (knock on wood, oops that spooked the dog and now he’s barking) we’ve never had to deal with roaches or other pests like (shiver) mice as of yet. But we did suggest that Rebekah try google-ing around for “natural pest remedies” or “getting rid of roaches” or even hanging out in the pest control aisle at her local home improvement store to see what she can find (maybe even asking an expert there what they recommend). We’re thinking there are little things like roach motels that can poison them or trap those creepy little buggers, so they might be nice to hide behind things and in corners- but Rebekah would definitely have to be careful that pets and kids don’t get into them!

In short, we tossed out a few paltry common sense ideas but wondered if any of our lovely readers had more tried and true advice to share. After all you guys were so helpful when it came to our annoying bathroom drain debacle (which we gleefully solved here), so we’re hoping that a few of you have some great ideas to toss out for Rebekah. Any natural remedies or not so natural cures that work like a charm? Any specific products or treatments that did the trick for you? Any ideas for finding the root of the problem (ie: holes? cracks?) and sealing things up at the source? Feel free to chime in and save the day. We’re hoping that regular “Calling All Experts” posts like these will become a great resource for anyone with common issues like clogged drains and pesky pets- and we definitely plan to rely on them whenever we need help right along with the rest of you!



Reader Redesign: Second Time’s The Charm

When Totty sent us photos of her almost unbelievable bathroom makeover we just had to share the big transformation. Here’s her letter:

My husband and I are fellow Richmonders and have been following your blog for quite a while. I wanted to share some pics from our newly renovated bathroom. This poor room has had 2 makeovers in 4 years. It hadn’t been updated since the 60’s so it was in dire need of one and we unfortunately chose a bad tile guy who did a HORRIBLE job, hence the 2nd makeover this summer (I posted the full story on my blog). We were definitely budget conscious when planning this redo, but knew that re-tiling the shower & floor was beyond our skill level. We interviewed multiple contractors and felt confident in the one we chose. My husband and I did the remainder of the work- new paint, new woodwork around the window, lighting, electrical, etc. We chose CHEAP basic bone tile from Home Depot for the shower room walls and floor and then got the shower floor tile on clearance at Mosaic Tile. The wall color is Valspar from Lowe’s in Natural WV37001 and the wallpaper is a commercial brand called Wolf Gordon- Wave, Champagne. The storage boxes are from Ikea and originally came with a white terry cloth covers. I just picked up a half yard of fabric from a local shop (Williams and Sherrill) and used my staple gun to create a new look. I think they might be my favorite part of the makeover! Hope you love it! -Totty

Here’s the dated looking before shot:

And the amazing after pics:

Is that not a fantastic bathroom makeover? They definitely made that room like like a million bucks with surprisingly affordable items like cheap tile and even a staple gun! You can read more about their process on their blog, and of course feel free to tell them your favorite part of their big bathroom redo right here. We can’t decide between the reupholstered storage bins or the amazingly subtle wallpaper behind the sink. Lovely!