How to: Reclaimed Wood Counter (part I)

When we took the house apart, our friends had suggested that we keep the old wood joists for all sorts of salvage projects. Such as a table.Or a kitchen island top. Brilliant, thank you friends! Reclaimed wood has become rather fashionable as of late, which gives me a bit of a pause in using it on such a focal piece in the kitchen. Reclaimed wood is definitely a trend, and maybe even a fad, that won’t stay.… Read the rest

Construction Days 53-57

Its been very hectic around here, and not necessarily VIB related. Though the house always adds another layer to whatever else you have going on. Anywho, its been five working days since our last construction update, and what have we got to show for it? That’s what:

the beginnings of our finished tile floors! but before we get to this point, this also took place:

yes, the entire kitchen as well as half bath will have heated floors.… Read the rest

Fashion is Cyclical & New is Old

Bottom line on stripping original wood moldings in a 1897 house? New looks old. And by that I mean that after a process of stripping, sanding, priming and painting, the refurbished moldings (aka new) don’t look that much better than the old ones. Probably because I don’t have enough patience, and also because I just can’t seem to commit the hours it would take to do it right. So here’s before and after, and you can skip reading any more (unless you would like to find out about the fashion bit).… Read the rest

Construction Day 49-52: Here and There

and Everywhere – a bunch of small things got done in the last four days. This can feel little progress, but I choose to look at it as indication that we are closer to the finish line than we know.

walls went over framing on the outside of half-bath (this just might be the first room that is done, done in this renovation):

Also the lay-out for heated floors is confirmed and is ready for thinset.… Read the rest

Level undertakings

Lest anyone thinks that we haven’t been doing much work outside of documenting the contractors progress, we have. its just not very glamorous, and its slow to boot. (Well and we also had a few visitors, who blissfully distracted us from drudgery of renovation – thank you friends :)

In the last two weeks, Sergey finished up preliminary work on our little dirt patch outback – soon(ish) to become an urban garden oasis.… Read the rest

Construction Days 46-47: Our bad

So we are on to downstairs bathroom. In the last two days the contractors have finished drywall and primed all of the 2.5′ by 5′ space.


Entrance, with a door frame:

and sink wall:

Except this part they had to do twice. And it was totally our bad. The plumbing lines in the first iteration of this wall were not centered but closer to the entrance. That’s because on the other side of that wall there is a stack and we had palnned to do a bump out for it.… Read the rest

Construction Days 43-45: 1,700

That’s the magic number – for the single pieces of subway tile in our bathroom. I don’t think either us or our contractors anticipated quite what that entailed when we set out on this adventure of tiling the whole room floor to ceiling.

We both absolutely LOVE it. It looks great, and the guys did a great job with keeping striaght lines. Which is why it probably took so long.

And, check this out: a door!… Read the rest

A Day in the Life of a Renovator

We are by no means DIY all the way kind of renovators. I have no patience for that, and Sergey has absolutely no desire to go to any home renovation extremes, such as tiling a bathroom (contrary to the impression you might get from this blog).

And yet, we are still constantly doing, deciding, and figuring out the details. And that, is no piece of cake. A day might start something like this: wake up at 6 am and have a meeting of sorts to discuss what Sergey needed to tell contractors, such as where we wanted the light to be positioned in the bathroom, which piece of molding to use for the window, how deep the recessed shelves should be, which pieces of tile to use for recessed shower shelf etc, etc.… Read the rest