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Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 | 2 comments

Dawn and Tim’s Port City Rental

Dawn and Tim’s Port City Rental

A few weeks ago, we shared the first in a series of posts about Tim and Dawn’s outdoor living space renovation. Things are moving along with the project and we’ll be back once there’s more to report. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the inside of their house, specifically the second floor apartment which they rent out through Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO). The house is actually divided into two 2-bedroom units with a shared entryway. When they bought the house, they originally planned to convert it into a single family house and even had local contractor Mary Denby stop by to provide an estimate. The conversion was going to cost more than they were ready to spend, so they decided to keep the house as-is for now and gradually make improvements such as renovating the outside and finishing the basement. Dawn took advantage of a break between tenants and gave me a tour of the bright and sunny apartment last week. The rental apartment has a...

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 | 12 comments

A Surprise Teachers’ Lounge Makeover

A Surprise Teachers’ Lounge Makeover

For teacher appreciation week at our local elementary school, Mount Vernon Community School (MVCS), we wanted to do something BIG to thank our teachers for all their hard work during the year. The plan: Completely overhaul the teachers’ lounge. The MVCS lounge is typical of many other school lounges with a hodge podge of furniture and a lack of personality. A group of us decided that had to change. Our teachers deserve a warm and welcoming space to take a break during a hectic day, a place to gather for informal meetings other than in a classroom, a room that is truly a teachers’ lounge and not just a place to store and reheat your lunch. To start, we visited the lounge one morning before school to take the before photos that would help us brainstorm design ideas. Then, a group of us met one evening and based on our budget, figured out what needed to go, what we could keep as-is or repurpose, what new pieces we needed to...

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 | 4 comments

Home Sweet Home: Katie’s Living and Dining Space

Home Sweet Home: Katie’s Living and Dining Space

My living and dining room is a space I’ve been working on for years. Constantly revolving, we’ve painted the walls at least four times (now on Benjamin Moore Laguna Blue), rearranged the furniture too many times to count and although it’s not perfect, I feel like it’s finally in a more comfortable place. I don’t think I have a particular design style, but most of the things we put in our home are family hand-me-downs and gifts, consignment pieces and sentimental favorites. The sofa is one of a few relatively new purchases, with blankets on the arms as cat scratch deterrents (I’ve lost several sofas due to the heartbreak of feline destruction, the leather is a step-up from past Ikea models). Several items in the room come from the old Potomac West/Not Too Shabby (now Evolution Home) including the coffee table and soda crate in the window. I love having the piano in the house. It was in my parents’ house when I was growing up, and they gave...

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Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 | 2 comments

Katie and Andrew’s Autumnal DIY Decor

Katie and Andrew’s Autumnal DIY Decor

For fall decorating inspiration, I checked in with my neighbors Katie and Andrew Moore. Katie is a local interior designer and Andrew is a talented DIYer and together they have created a warm and inviting home mixing sentimental family heirlooms with new and handmade furniture and accessories. As you walk in the front door, you’ll immediately notice the first of three large rooster statues, which belonged to Katie’s grandparents long ago. After her grandparents passed away, the roosters made their way to Katie’s house. She keeps one out all year long, the others make an appearance just for the season. They’ve got a sort of vintage farmhouse chic quality which says autumn to me. The concrete coffee table is one of several pieces Andrew made. Katie loved the version on sale at Crate and Barrel, but didn’t love the price, so Andrew figured out how to make one (here’s more about how he made it). A glass shelf underneath provides extra out-of-sight storage. Another one of Andrew’s projects is this shelf which spells...

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 | 0 comments

Making the Most of Small Space Dining Rooms

Making the Most of Small Space Dining Rooms

We’ve featured several fabulous kitchens on the blog since we launched in July, but the dining rooms have gotten the short end of the stick. So this post is all about the room that, in many houses, plays multiple roles — a place for meals, a place to play games, a place to work on projects and school assignments. Del Ray’s dining rooms are notoriously small. And if you’ve renovated your kitchen, you may have sacrificed dining room space to add much-needed kitchen square footage. Take, for example, Amy’s house — the peninsula is so wide it leaves little space for a table. She opted for a banquette style table, pushed to the corner, but with ample seating for six. Similarly, Sara and Paul pushed their table to the side after adding a large peninsula. The table seats four, but there is room for two more at the barstool-height counter. Peter and Elin really wanted a large peninsula to house their Italian espresso maker, but that left no room for a...

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