Friday, January 13, 2017


This summer, I found a pin on Pinterest that looked almost exactly like our living room. It was almost eerily similar.

Pin that looks like our living room

I really liked the way the furniture was arranged in this living room. All of the furniture was basically in the exact same place as our living room but the couches and chairs were more at an angle towards the walls and the dining room table is turned so that longest side of the table is not parallel to the longest side of the room. So, on a whim, I decided to rearrange our furniture. It was just a test and I really didn't think I would keep it. But, my husband liked the change so for now it is staying.

This is our new living room arrangement. It is almost the same angle as the living room in the pin
except you can't see the dining room table or the kitchen across the way.  
The dining room table used to go the other direction 
Looking at the room from the other direction. The amber lamp on the table has been destroyed by
our new cat who knocked it on the floor. A glass lamp falling on a cement floor doesn't have a
chance. The lamp had belonged to my great aunt who died ten years ago at the age of 96. 

I still need to write a blog about the envelope we got from the daughter of the people who built our house. It was full of ads they used to make decisions for all kinds of fixtures and appliances when they built the house. Some of the things we have ads for actually made it into the house. On February 13, work will begin on our bathroom. If you have been following along you know our bathroom has been quite an interesting topic. You can read several posts about our bathroom here.

Concerto for Piano & Orchestra

In September of this year, we purchased a new painting to go above our bed. We found it at the same antique shop where we got the electric fireplace. The antique shop had this painting and another painting by the same artist named, Nancy Ortenstone. We had been eyeing both of these paintings for a while. I wasn't really sure where we could put them and I didn't really like the price. After quite a long time, I became more and more convinced that one of the paintings would look perfect above our bed. We went to the shop and asked them to take it off the wall so we could have a closer look.

After I saw the back of the painting, I knew it was meant for me!! Since I play the piano and violin, it just seemed perfect. But, the painting is about 6 feet wide and there was no way it was going to fit in our car. Over Labor Day weekend, I had a friend visiting with a large car. I was convinced the painting would fit in her car. So, we decided to finally buy it while she was here. Except, it didn't fit in her car!! We ended up having to rent a moving van to get the painting to our house. I'm not sure if the photo below does it justice but we are happy with our decision!

Guest Bedroom Furniture

At some point during the past two years we got new/ old guest bedroom furniture. A childhood friend was having an estate sale and we bought her parents' bedroom furniture. I like that the front of the furniture is raised which makes it stand out and look more interesting against our wood walls. Some of these photos have a brown bedspread and some have a yellow bedspread. The yellow bedspread is what we have in the guest bedroom now.

I like the way the mirror is not centered on the dresser.

In addition to the dresser with the mirror and the bed, there is also a night stand and a tall dresser.
This is the bedspread on the bed now. It needs an ironing! If you look closely, you can see my
husband's giant amber Blenko bottle in the background. My mom thinks it looks like something
from a bad dream. It's too big she says.
This poster on the wall is from a circus my grandparents took me too when I was about 3 or 4 years
old. My grandpa got the poster for me from a shop in town that had the poster in the window. 

Electric Fireplace

About a year ago we were driving by an antique shop. I saw out front this very beautiful olive green mid-century something. I wasn't sure what it was but I liked the color. We decided to stop and check it out.  It turned out to be this awesome electric fireplace. We didn't have a great place to put it and make it a center piece on the wall but we do have a very chilly family room and guest room in our basement. There was a side wall available in our family room where we could put the fireplace. It helped us make the decision to buy this, knowing that it was something we actually need and would use. We had been using a space heater in the depths of winter when we wanted to sit downstairs in the family room. But, this fireplace looks a whole lot cuter! I'm pretty impressed with how real the fire looks for an electric fireplace. It also warms up our family room quite nicely. I love it!

New Exterior Paint

One of the most exciting things we have done to the house over the past 2 years is painting the exterior. I didn't mind the original colors of our house but I was anxious to have the trim painted more like the original trim which can be seen in the architect's rendering.

Architect's rendering of our house

I really like the way the architect's rendering has the brown trim around the windows and only the panels above the windows are not brown. If you look at the photos of our house when we bought it the entire area around the windows were colored. The windows looked like one giant color block instead of separate smaller color blocks.

The exterior paint when we bought our house

While trying to pick out colors for our house someone on a mid-century modern message board pointed out that the windows in the artist's rendering are noticeably taller than the windows our house ended up being. I had never noticed this before! It was even suggested to me that after the house was built someone took out the taller windows and put in smaller windows but we can see no evidence that this was actually the case.

We spent a lot of time trying to pick out colors for the house. Even though I didn't mind the colors we had, I felt the brown was very faded and wanted a more chocolatey brown. And, instead of the cream color I wanted something that was more stylistic of the time period. We talked about turquoise, mustard yellow and olive green. I ended up being scared to try turquoise. I knew it would have to be just the right color to look retro and modern at the same time. I just couldn't decided what that color was and didn't trust myself to pick the right one. I really like mustard yellow but we ultimately decided on olive green.

I liked olive green because it is close to the blue family which I believe was the original color of the colored panels on the house. And, I thought the green also fit in with what I feel is the philosophy of the our house's architecture of blending in with the landscape. I think we are quite happy with how things turned out. Right now, I only have a photo of the paint job from last winter when snow was on the ground and another taken at night. I need to get one on a bright sunny day. You might also notice that we pulled out all of the bushes along the front of the house when we put in the new sidewalk. We have since planted some low, ground hugging juniper bushes that will allow the brick to still be seen.

I will add a photo of the house on a sunny day with no snow just as soon as I can. I'm looking forward to having our leaning light post straightened out! You can also see our new sidewalk in the photo above. We had to get a new sidewalk after our new sewer line was put in which you can read about here. By the way, I have spent tons of time Googling trying to find out the name of the colored panels above our windows. This architectural characteristic must have a name but I can't find one anywhere. I know these colored panels were popular in the mid twentieth century and influenced by the artist Piet Mondrian. If someone can tell me what they are called, I would be so grateful!

Where Have I Been?

I have been away from the blog for a long time but I haven't forgotten about it. And, that doesn't mean there haven't been new and exciting things going on with the house. I just started serving my third and final year as president or our local teachers union. This has been taking up a large portion of my time the past two years. I have spent a lot of time doing things like this......

And, this.....

 along with many other activities for the union that are keeping me busy. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Knock On The Door

This morning at about 10am there was a knock at our front door. My husband has a horrible cold but I have this policy about not answering the door if I don't know who is on the other side. So, he got the job of answering. It ended up being the second owner of our house standing on the other side of the door! She wanted to know if she could come back later today with her family to see the house. This is the lady who happened to be very good friends with my mother's best friend and we have emailed about the house several times. I had not heard from her in quite some time. So, we set an appointment for 2pm when they returned.

At 2pm the owner showed up with her daughter, husband, granddaughter-in-law and grandson. It was so interesting to hear what they had to say about the house. They seemed to like the things we had done to it. I am going to type some of the things they told us about the house so that I don't forget. We started in the living room. She said when they moved in, the living room floor had just been carpeted with wool carpet for the sale of the house. We speculate this may have been the same carpet that was in the house when we moved in. She said the living room windows had white sheer panels when they lived there. We think they were the same ones on the windows when we moved in. They also told us they used the fireplace. We were told by the inspector that he thought there was no liner in the fireplace and we shouldn't use it until we know for sure. We haven't had it inspected by a chimney sweep yet but we suspect it does have a liner!

The kitchen was still terrazzo when they moved in but they covered it in linoleum. She thought the kitchen cabinets were white when they moved in and they had been painted due to damage. I was told that the cabinet that divides the living room and kitchen was moved further into the kitchen by them because they thought it went too far into the living room. She said the kitchen had a gourmet freezer/ fridge that was very large and had wood surrounding it. It was not very efficient and when it broke they couldn't find anyone to fix it so they replaced it. We think that was the original fridge for the house. She said it was very tall and flush with the kitchen cabinets. That is what I had speculated. The original owners had a laundry off the kitchen with a washer/ dryer all in one unit. That was removed and the laundry was added in the basement by these people.

The hallway leading to the family room.
The laundry room is on the left. The laundry
room and door leading into the family room
were not always here.
The pink and blueish/green carpet that was in the two smaller bedrooms when we moved in sounds like it was here when these people lived here. The pink was added by them. One bedroom has funny marks in the floor and ceiling right above and below each other. (I have been meaning to do a post about these to see if anyone knows what they are.) All I can think is that some kind of tension unit was in this spot. Maybe a lamp or a shelf. They said they don't remember having anything like this. I had suspected these were the owners who put the wallpaper in both of the bathrooms but they said they did not. The basement bathroom has tile on the floor that was also in the entry way. They said they don't remember this tile. They think the basement hallway and bathroom had carpet when they lived there.

This is the same floor covered in white splotches
at the "floor problems" link  below.
They used our guest room as a den which is also what I think the original owners used it for. The biggest surprise of their visit was learning about the rest of the basement. The rest of the basement had originally been a dog kennel. I know these people had removed the dog kennel. So, I assumed they had also refinished the basement and turned it into the laundry room and family room. But, they were not the ones who refinished the basement. They left it unfinished with a cement floor. What is now the laundry room and family room were all one big room. At one time the entire basement had a long hall that went from one end to a door that went outside. They said that hall was still there when they lived in the house. This was a very big surprise to us.

When you walk in the family room this divider is in front of you.
We assume it's there as support instead  of the original wall. You
can see the door to the carport past this divider.

I haven't included many pictures of the basement. That is where a large part of our floor problems happened. (Remember the story about the floors that got stained purple on accident?) I figure it is about time to post some photos of the basement. I'm sorry I didn't take them in the day when there was more light. We are just about moved in down there. For those of you wondering, our other house still has not sold!! So, we aren't completely moved into this house. We still have furniture at the other house. We do have an offer on the other house. It is supposed to close on June 24th. Hopefully everything will go through without any hitches. We are now in the process of moving the last of our furniture to the new house.

This is the divider from the opposite side.
The right side of this divider was where there
was a wall that ran the length of the family room
and created a hallway.
At our old house we had a lot of built in shelving in our family room. We were wondering how we were going to make up for all of that lost space. This past winter we got a shelving unit for the family room that comes in two pieces. They are supposed to be stacked on top of each other but we separated them. One unit is being used as an entertainment center. The other unit is being used as shelving for books. The unit was originally a beverage rack. I will have more photos soon of our guest bedroom. It has also been neglected in my photos. A new bedspread comes this week and we should be about done with that room. We finally had our front yard repaired after the new sewer line. So, be watching for more landscaping photos. We also have some new patio furniture.

It is our hope to paint the exterior of the house this summer. Choosing colors is not fun!! I wish someone could just tell me what will look great.

More to come soon!

This is the new storage unit we got in the winter. The piece on the left is actually supposed to stack on top of the piece
on the right. The top of the piece on the right is actually from our old house. My cousin built it to serve the same
purpose it serves now on top of a built in shelving unit where our TV sat. The two pieces on the right are not attached.