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Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 | 0 comments

A Green Roof Shed Grows in Del Ray

A Green Roof Shed Grows in Del Ray

I had admired from afar the green roof shed I saw my neighbors, Melissa and Bruni, building by hand a couple of years ago. When DIY Del Ray came into being, I leapt at the chance to interview them. I met with Melissa and we admired the finished shed and talked about how she and Bruni designed and built it. Melissa and Bruni wanted a green roof on their shed because “they’re adorable and effective for retaining stormwater runoff,” says Melissa. A green roof is also known as a “living roof,” and, in addition to reducing stormwater run-off, the plants can create a habitat for wildlife, lower urban air temperatures, filter pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air, and insulate buildings from sound. The Alexandria Duncan Library is the first green roof in Alexandria, VA. It was sown in 2005 with a variety of sedum, the same landscaping you can see on the grounds. Melissa and Bruni started by defining the needs for their green roof shed. They wanted...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 | 5 comments

He Says Antique, She Says Modern: Couple Creates Thoughtful, Unique Space

He Says Antique, She Says Modern: Couple Creates Thoughtful, Unique Space

Danielle and Phillip chose a style for their home that is the result of a monumental marital compromise. Phillip prefers 19th century antiques and Danielle loves mid-century modern. They settled for a decidedly in-between look – leaning toward a classic American and contemporary mission aesthetic, but with a funky industrial edge and details that reflect Danielle’s vocation – teaching knitting and running fibre space, her bustling knit and crochet shop in Old Town. Here’s a shot of the lounge in fibre space where Danielle fulfills her love of midcentury modern decor. As a small business owner, it goes without saying that Danielle spends most of her days running fibre space, but she still found the time to do much of the hands-on renovation in her home over the course of a couple of weeks. A Move-in Ready-ish Townhouse The blank slate Danielle and Phillip started with for the main floor looked like this when they moved bought their townhouse in June. They kept the columns, didn’t touch the floors, although...

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 | 1 comment

How to Make the Perfect Backyard BBQ: Interview with a Local Aficionado

How to Make the Perfect Backyard BBQ: Interview with a Local Aficionado

My husband Matt makes a mean BBQ. On Labor Day, while enjoying a pulled pork sandwich hot off the grill, DIY Del Ray editor Katie urged Matt to share his backyard BBQ knowledge with our readers. (Much more exciting, I think, than the post I was contemplating on Matt’s DIY handiness in the house with regard to hemming drapes, sewing buttons, and ironing.) DIY Del Ray: What ingredients are needed? Where’s the best place to buy in the area? Matt: Good quality meat and hardwood charcoal are the basic ingredients. Del Ray’s Let’s Meat On The Avenue butcher shop is great; they’ve got great, fresh local meats, and can order whatever they don’t have in stock. Whole Foods’ meat counter is also pretty good. Everyone should make friends with the guys at their local Whole Foods meat counter. You can get hardwood charcoal almost anywhere they sell charcoal. Avoid charcoal briquettes, as the binding agents tend to impart a bad taste in a long cooking process. DIY Del Ray: Can...

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Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 | 5 comments

Need a Tree Stump End Table: No Problem!

Need a Tree Stump End Table: No Problem!

I think this DIY project falls under the category of “I’d do anything for the sake of the blog.” One afternoon, I was looking for ideas for a new occasional table or end table for next to the couch – something small and contemporary in style. When I saw this trendy tree stump table from West Elm ($199), well, it was all over. “I can make that,” I announced. And so it began: 1. First, I find this rather humorous how-to and I decide it will work, apart from adding the legs. I’d rather have the plain stump. I measure the arm of my couch to get the correct height for the stump. 2. Next, I make a request on Freecycle: WANTED: tree stump, 20” tall. 3. Freecycle, as always, comes through. I tell my husband about our fabulous new end table. He replies drily, “Um, can we talk about this.” One other problem — the stump is 150 lbs. How am I going to get it home? Katie,...

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 | 6 comments

A Restored 1920s Bungalow Goes off the Grid

A Restored 1920s Bungalow Goes off the Grid

You know when you see a house and beyond all reason, you want it with all of your heart? Sherrie had the very same yearning 18 years ago when she saw what she called “a neighborhood eye sore” in Del Ray — an uninhabited 1926 Del Ray bungalow that had been on and off the market, on triple lots of untended gardens. Sherrie walked by it with her friend who had just moved to the area, looked in and fell in love with an arch between two rooms. “It called to me,” she says. The 1920s bungalow style reminded her of the home she had grown up in the Shenandoah Valley. Sherrie came again with an agent whom she says “fled in horror.” Another friend who was very skilled in DIY home renovations said it had good bones and told her she’d help her fix it up. And so Sherrie bought it, against the advice of everyone except for her DIY hobbyist friend, Leslie. After a lengthy debate on which room was...

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