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Posted by on Nov 14, 2011 | 3 comments

Reader Submission: DIY Murphy Bed

Reader Submission: DIY Murphy Bed

The Murphy Bed is the ultimate space saver, so we were so excited when we received the following story from a reader about making his own Murphy Bed. Landall is a pretty handy guy (see how he built his basement workbench) so the project wasn’t too difficult, but he does caution that this is not a project for a beginner. My wife and I bought our townhouse in Del Ray after we’d found out we were expecting our first child. We knew we’d turn the second bedroom into a nursery and would need a place for guests, namely grandparents, to stay when they came to visit. We didn’t really want to continually offer our guests a fold-out sofa or air mattress so we started to look into Murphy Bed options. There are a lot of Murphy Bed options out there but we settled on this style from http://www.wallbed.com/ because of the lack of vertical space in our basement. We need the bed to fold down horizontally rather than vertically, and...

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 | 2 comments

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Undoubtedly, the subject comes up in all of my conversations with folks from the Del Ray area — I can’t get organized because I don’t have STORAGE!  Well my friends, I’m here to report that we have options! We have had the great opportunity to tour many houses in the Del Ray area and have gone through our own houses to offer you some easy solutions for organization and storage.  So sit back, take notes and apply: Books What to do with all of your books (because we’re all smart, we have so many). This is a built-in bookshelf in the entryway, jammed with books, DVDs, and CDs. A great use of space. Why not color-code your books while you’re at it and make it a piece of art? We’ve seen this idea fulfilled in two home tours, the perfect book shelf for small homes. In one, the homeowner took out the upper railing and installed a bookshelf with a new railing. In the other, the stairway has become a...

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 | 2 comments

Gardening Tips for Winter Color and Spring Blossoms

Gardening Tips for Winter Color and Spring Blossoms

Last month I sat down with Eileen Powell, a local gardening guru, and learned all about interesting and unique plants for early fall. Now that it’s getting colder and closer to winter, I wanted to get some more seasonal tips from Eileen. Here’s what I learned: What to Plant Bulbs — Tis’ the season for planting spring bulbs. You have to be careful though, squirrels love the taste of crocus and tulip bulbs, so watch out for your investment. Keep squirrels away by spraying bulbs with Ropel animal repellant before planting. When choosing bulbs, think about the color of the flowers and what will bloom alongside them. Purple usually goes with everything in the garden. Pansies — With the temps steadily below 70 these days, pansies are ready to go into the ground. Shrubs, Trees and Perennials — You can still plant these now, but make sure to mulch well to protect the roots and keep plants warm. Swiss Chard — For your vegetable garden, this will last a good part of the...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 | 0 comments

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

One year ago, my son Henry was born.  He was 3 months early and had a loooong road to recovery.  Now he’s a healthy little baby whom we’re so proud of. Saturday we hosted an open house for his 1st birthday to show our appreciation for the many people who helped us through those difficult months.  I also used it as an excuse to hone  my DIY party skills using a blue, teal and orange color palette.  Below are shots of the party.  Enjoy! Balloon walkway — so easy and fun to do! After the party the kids had a great time with them. Birthday banner and first glimpse of the food stations: Our fun balloon garland. We took a needle and threaded string through the balloons — so easy! The food mecca. It’s hard to find orange and blue food so of course I had to rely on goldfish, cheese balls and other fantastically terrible food for this party. The cupcakes are compliments of our fantastic friend, Jill Agudelo....

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Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 | 2 comments

A Small House with a Big Heart and a Handy Owner

A Small House with a Big Heart and a Handy Owner

We met the owner of our next house tour while out and about at First Thursday on the Avenue back in September. What we didn’t know at the time was that she is a big time DIY’er and not afraid to tackle a woodworking, electrical, gardening, culinary, or craft project. Walking in the front door, you see the first of many projects — this custom-built radiator cover. She built this herself with scrap wood. No directions were needed, she just looked at other covers as a model and “winged it.” It turned out great and doubles as a shelf for family photos. Kind of makes me wish I had clunky old radiators in my house! The rowhouse (one of a set of five) was built in the 1930s and the entire set was gutted and rehabed in 2004 with refinished hardwood floors, neutral paint, and updated fixtures. The kitchen was completely updated during the renovation, treated with granite counter tops, travertine floors, and cabinets that make use of every inch in the room. We love this...

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