Constructions Days 118-121: Bits and Bobs

We are inching along here. I had made a list of everything that needs to be caulked in the kitchen – its actually quite lengthy. I guess I would rather do that than have contractors do less or more. The other big items are baseboards and the last molding pieces to frame the door to the basement. Those should look much better with a coat or two of paint.

But the biggest item over the last week has been plaster.… Read the rest

How to: Built-in Shelves (Part III)

It’s really starting to feel like we are pretty much done with the Big Project, aka phase II renovation. Because there are no more construction materials all over first floor. And no more fridge and electric plates in the dining room. AND! The built-in-shelf is done!

* Done is a relative term of course – the walls around it obviously need some work, and we still need to make a toe-kick, which must allow air flow as the A/C return valve is under the cabinets.… Read the rest

Book for Book, Reception for Reception

So funny story – yesterday I was all set to go to a book reception for one of my professors – a respected scholar on Russia and its energy riches. Serious (fascinating) stuff, people. So i got in my car2go (first time user!), got to Georgetown, managed to find a parking spot, ran in 45 minutes late, and all I got was a bunch of empty chairs. Ack, the reception is on Thursday, not Tuesday.… Read the rest

Old Artifacts, New Uses

I have been wanting to try out this idea – a pretty kitchen dish washing liquid bottle – for awhile now. In fact since before the whole kitchen project started. But these small type of projects always seem to get away for some reason. Finally! after removing the cap from our current dish washing bottle one too many times I remembers to order the bar pourers.

The bottle is from Anthropologie, I probably picked it up with this exact purpose in mind – it’s been so long I don’t remember.… Read the rest

Mount Vernon

This was our third Thanksgiving hosting at the VIB – and it was my favorite yet. I suspect the new kitchen and bathrooms have something to do with it. But I think its also a certain level of comfort that comes from living in a house for awhile, and really getting to know it. We’ve cooked, we talked, we wined and we dined. We’ve had such a good time that I have no pictures to show for it.… Read the rest

Constructions Days 116-117: Cornice

Dudes – the cornice is up. All around the kitchen ceiling. We are like a hair from being done in the kitchen!!! Do people hug their contractors? Cause I want to (maybe its my thanksgiving mood).

*Ignore the cheetah like moldings – that’s the wood filler covering the nails.

From the pictures its quite obvious that the cornice and the ceiling panels are not entirely flush. it still looks quite good, so if it stays like this I would be ok with it.… Read the rest


Ah Thanksgiving week = random surges of gratefulness. Like for the husband, who makes delicious breakfast to start off a Tuesday.

I am grateful for our contractors putting up with us so that my kitchen is *perfect.* I am very grateful for a working dishwasher. Doesn’t hurt that its pretty too. )

I am oh so grateful for my cat, who loooovvveees flowers. Although that doesn’t exactly prolong the flowers’ shelf life, he is just oh so cute sniffing and chomping away at the bouquets.… Read the rest

Construction Days 112-115: Birthday Edition

So we were really really hoping to be done with the renovation in time for Sergey’s birthday. We had even planned a get together for the occasion. you know convenient – celebrate birthday and the end of renovation projects. Well, we weren’t done – despite our contractors’ promises. But its very close – enough to give our guests a pretty good idea of what it is supposed to be.

All of the cabinet pulls (but two – above the fridge) are in.… Read the rest

How to: Seal Whitewashed Brick

The whitewash brick really looks amazing in the kitchen. I am so glad that we went with this option, rather than plaster or tile — as pretty as those would have been, the brick looks at least just as great and cost us almost nothing, which is a big plus. One thing about white-wash is that unlike paint it tends to flake a little bit. It’s also not that great for clean up with water and soap, something that we need to be able to do in the kitchen.… Read the rest

How to: Be a Paint Master

I have been doing a lot of painting. A lot. Doors, moldings, sashes, walls, ceilings, touch ups, here and there and everywhere. So I thought I would share some of my researched knowledge, trial by error, and never would have thought of that tips.

1) Painting almost never stands on its own. Particularly for any woodworking projects or touchups. In the first case, wood filler is your friend. Our contractors introduced me to Elmer’s carpenters exterior/interior wood filler, and it is great for filling in nail holes.… Read the rest