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Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 | 1 comment

Removing Ornamental Columns in a 1920s Bungalow

Removing Ornamental Columns in a 1920s Bungalow

Ever since we moved into our current home – a 1920s bungalow – we’ve been underwhelmed with the two white columns between the living and dining rooms. We wanted to open up the space and we wanted the general style in the home to be more in keeping with a vintage bungalow style. After determining that the columns were not load-bearing, we watched a few YouTube videos, and over the course of an hour, took them out. Here’s how it went: Matt borrowed the neighbor’s saw and (yes, he’s not wearing safety glasses as he should be), he sawed through the middle of the column. They’re made of nice mitered wood pieces, but are hollow in the middle. He then wiggled the column until it broke free. My daughter Nadja put the four separate broken pieces on the front porch. We later put them on the curb for someone to hopefully take to use as garden decor or some other upcycled project. As the column split away, it left...

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

I did a double-take the first time I drove past Brad and Heather’s home and noticed their handsome gleaming wood porch. Later, I learned that they designed and built it themselves and were willing to share their experience with us. Here is the porch the way it looked when they first purchased their home. Brad initially did his planning on paper and with computer software. He went through many drafts before​ c​oming up with the perfect design. Once they had the final plan, Brad spent several months ​drawing the interlocking wood panels using a key to indicate the differen​t e​lements. They then ordered enough white oak to build the railings and to replace the ​five original pillar​s that were removed. They salvaged the old yellow pine for other DIY projects.​ While Brad worked on the wood pieces, Heather prepared the flooring by removing many layers of paint by using a floor grinder and pressure washer​. They installed slate tiles, a choice they admitted to regretting since they said it...

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 | 1 comment

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

We first met the Canel family when their home was a stop on the 2014 Del Ray House and Garden Tour. Their handsome farmhouse, completely renovated with personal touches throughout, was a standout on the tour. But the Canels had more in mind for their home. If you were lucky enough to participate in the 2016 tour, you got to see the unexpected structure in the backyard. Just this past year, the Canels finished building a modern guest house/office/garage, the work of architect Robert Larson of Larson, Koenig, Hendricks and interior designer Lindsay Boudreaux of Shotgun Double, LLC. The style is completely different from the main house, but it’s complementary and we were thrilled to get a second private tour. The Canels love to throw big parties – they often set up another long table on the patio – so it’s great when they can use their outdoor kitchen, which also now serves as a convenient spot for kids to fill their Nerf spray guns. The main living room...

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Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 | 0 comments

Converting a Wall into a Dining Peninsula

Converting a Wall into a Dining Peninsula

One of the downsides of buying a home that has just been renovated is that you are left with the previous owner’s design choices. This was the case with the kitchen in the house we bought earlier this year. While we liked the kitchen’s stainless appliances and granite counters, one thing stuck out like a sore thumb — the bar height wall dividing the kitchen from the front living space. What’s the point of a wall this high and narrow? For us, it became a dumping ground for recyclables on their way outside and mail waiting to be sorted. It was too narrow to eat on and there wasn’t enough space to put a table on the kitchen side. We also faced another issue — where do we eat? There really is no dining room in the house. It’s a sideways cape with a very compartmentalized layout. Some of our neighbors have transformed one of the two main level bedrooms into dining rooms, but we needed both of the...

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Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 | 5 comments

Before and After: Amy and John’s Rowhouse Bathroom Reno

Before and After: Amy and John’s Rowhouse Bathroom Reno

After Amy and John renovated their kitchen two years ago, the only room left in their rowhouse to update was the second floor bathroom, a relic from the 1940s with little storage, mismatched fixtures, dingy tile and a tub that had a tendency to flood the kitchen below. They hired local contractor MW Construction to do the total gut job, resulting in a stunning transformation. Amy and John selected classic fixtures with modern style — a marble vanity, chrome accents, grey and white hexagonal floor tile and white subway tile for the tub and walls. They didn’t gain any extra floor space, but by selecting a larger vanity and medicine cabinet, they have more storage making the room less cluttered and more open. All the tile comes from The Tile Shop. We love the splash of color with the blue stripe and recessed shelf. They extended the tile in the shower all the way up to the ceiling. Thanks Amy and John for sharing your latest home renovation project...

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