Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flashback to moving day

A lot of bloggers seem to be moving these days and their posts have me thinking about how much my little place has changed since I moved here in 2005. For fun, I thought I'd show you what my condo (at the time a rental unit) looked like when I got here.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Not small. Not chic.

Today's blog post didn't get written last night because we had no power from about 4:45 PM until 6:00 AM this morning. I'm thankful there was power this morning, though. I know there are still plenty in the area who are without it.

Apparently, we had a "microburst" which is a tornado's little cousin. This is the second time recently that I've been at work and seen wind that seems to blow straight down from the sky. It's pretty strange to see it, so I grabbed my camera and started to snap pictures. I kind of wish I had my Flip camera on me, too. Luckily, the only damage at my community was a few pieces of trim coming off the top of one building and one little piece of a drainage pipe falling down to the sidewalk. We were definitely lucky.

So here are a few pictures of the aftermath around my office and on the UVa Lawn. Amazingly, the grounds crews are out in force this morning and have all of the walking paths clear.

Thanks to Jane from The Borrowed Abode for tweeting about how long my food would be safe in the fridge. We didn't open the freezer at all and there's no sign of anything having melted. I opened the fridge once to pull out hummus and salsa for "dinner", so I think I'll have to toss a bit of food. Oh well. It could have been much worse!
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Where are the Charlottesville design blogs?

I may have mentioned this before, but I'm lonely! I can think of four design bloggers in Charlottesville.

Pillow Mint owner/Dreamer's Den blogger

Sharon Manering
Quince owner/Musings from Quince blogger

Colleague/Abode writer
(his blog card is dangerously close to being revoked)

Gibson Design Group/Gibson Design Management/
Left Brains for Right Brains blog/Good Taste Purveyors blogger

Where is everyone else? If you are in the Charlottesville area and are a design blogger (blogging about interior design, architecture, DIY projects in the home, etc.), please let me know you're out there! I'd love to expand our little blogger network!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baxter turns three today!

It's hard to believe that three years ago, Baxter looked like this:

When I first met him, he looked like this:

It's already been three years!

Thanks for tolerating the times when I take a moment to gush about my little bear.
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Dria's amazing trim work, Part 3

Are you ready for the final installment in the series about Dria's amazing trim work? If you live in new construction, the before pictures will feel very familiar. They show a nice, contemporary bathroom. But remember, Dria is the daughter of a master carpenter. She can do better than nice and contemporary, right? Check this out...

My final molding project that I am sharing with you is my latest project the downstairs bathroom. This bathroom, like the upstairs one, left much to be desired and while I initially painted the room in a medium taupe color, changed out the hardware, lights and faucet I lived with it that way for a few years.

A few months ago, I started growing tired of the look and had come across a photo of someone's dining room with craftsman style wainscot that I had to copy. My grandparents had craftsman style wainscot in their house, it has always been one of my favorite types of wall moldings. This type of molding is a bit more labor intensive and time consuming then the "lazy man" style wainscot I did in the dining room, hall and living room, but it's worth the time and effort.

All that I have left to do is add a tilting mirror and to add a cap molding to the top of the wainscot rails. I also repainted the upper walls in Sherwin Williams Sea Salt.

I made the mistake of not using my graphic software to determine if I wanted the vanity in this bathroom painted white or refaced in wood. Unfortunately I painted it white but this mistake just gives me the opportunity to reface the cabinet and make new craftsman style wooden doors and drawer fronts.



After vanity painted white which will be refaced:

Thank you for letting me share my passion for moldings with you all! And thank you Jeannine for your continued inspiration, your transformations keep me going to achieve that top of the line decor that you have achieved.

I know Dria's a little disappointed with the white, painted vanity, but I think it looks just fine. Of course, she's making lemonade out of lemons and sees her disappointment as an opportunity for another project!

Are you hooked on Dria's projects? If so, there are even more on her website. She's also blogging as she makes changes to her home. The latest project was a huge change on the exterior. Go check it out...the difference is amazing!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dria's amazing trim work, Part 2

Weren't you impressed by Dria's fantastic wainscoting and arch in yesterday's post? Well, get ready to check out another fantastic set of before and after pictures from her bathroom.

After the dining room was completed I moved on to the upstairs bathroom. I knew I wanted a vintage looking bathroom so I started with beadboard. I purchased two beadboard kits and got to work.

The beadboard was so simple to install it only too an hour or two to get it all up. A few coats of paint, a new medicine cabinet, hardware, light and shower curtain and this bathroom was complete.

I have to admit the transformation of this bathroom and my other bathroom still amaze me. While it wasn't a complete gut job like I would have loved to have done I had to do what the budget dictated!

Here are the before pictures:

and this is the after

Did you catch the scary wallpaper border and the mauve window sill in the before pictures? I'm not sure I'd have the vision to see that after during an open house or walk through.

The way Dria talks about these projects makes me want to jump in and tackle a few myself. I think most would agree that she has a gift!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Dria's amazing trim work, Part 1

A few years ago, I spent a lot of time on an interior design message board. The user group was small, but enthusiastic and within weeks, I felt like I knew most of the members and their homes quite well. One woman had stunning before and after pictures. It seemed as though every week, she was sharing another amazing carpentry project.

Today is the first post in a three part series about Dria's fantastic home. If you live in new construction, you're going to love these pictures.

I'd like to say how honored I am to be a guest poster on Small and Chic in Cville. I have to admit I have had bathroom envy for a while now. ;) Jeannine's taste is very similar to mine especially when it comes to classic character of older homes.

Growing up outside of the city of Boston I, like Jeannine, have an appreciation for the pride of craftsmanship you find in old homes. Fortunately I grew up in a home that was filled with detailed moldings, beautiful heart pine floors, cast iron claw foot tub and an old cast iron farm sink in the kitchen. When I moved an hour west of Boston I was not impressed with the lack of details in the new homes but having some carpentry experience I was confident I could bring in the character that my home lacked. One of the easiest, most inexpensive and fastest ways of doing this was to add moldings. I suppose the fact that I love moldings, any and all kinds, helped get my fire started. This week, I'm sharing with you three of my "molding" projects.

The first room I added moldings to was my dining room. The dining room before was quite boring as you can see from this before photo taken when the house was on the market before I purchased it.

It was too country for my taste and lacked character in a major way. I'm not a very patient person nor am I a perfectionist like my father was (I guess a master carpenter had to be a perfectionist?) so I took the easy way out and installed "lazy man" wainscot. Since the chair rail was already there all I had to do was purchase some picture molding and start cutting!

Aside from installing bead board, this is the easiest form of wall molding to install. It's simple box shapes that go up pretty quickly, I completed the wainscot in my dining room in one day. The wainscoting was a great start but it still lacked character so I installed a box using the same picture molding on the ceiling and painted inside the box the same color as the upper walls, you can see the ceiling "box" here:

After I installed my arched mirror, the corner china cabinet and my parents chandelier, I felt one thing kept the room looking too contemporary, it was the opening to the kitchen. There was only a small two foot wall that separated the two rooms, so I decided to have the opening made slightly smaller and had a wooden arch installed.

This is the completed room (all that's left to do is replace the furniture once I figure out what will work the best).

taken from the kitchen

The whole room was fairly inexpensive to do and came about pretty quickly (aside from the arch since that was professionally installed).

Pretty amazing, huh? The fact that her father was a master carpenter makes me think these results are partly due to genetic gifts. I'm not quite sure my results would be as beautiful as hers!

What do you think? Have you tackled any projects like this?
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Deal of the Day websites for the design blog crowd

"Deal of the Day" websites aren't new. Woot.com debuted in 2004 and a slew of tech sites followed in the following years. In recent years, the deal of the day crowd has gotten more diverse and there are a slew of sites that appeal to the design blog reading/writing crowd.

Here's a run down of my favorites. If there's an invitation required to join, I've embedded it in the clickable logo. Once you join, remember that some sites will give you rewards for referring your friends.

If I'm missing any sites, please comment about them and feel free to add a link.

We all know this one. Exclusively home furnishings.

Gilt is mostly clothing, but they have a nice home section.

Gilt recently closed Gilt Fuse (a lower end version of Gilt),
but opened Gilt City, which has deals specific to New York City.

Lots of clothing, but some home items

Clothing, accessories, and home items

Lots of clothing and accessories plus some home items

I don't go to these stores very often and they are usually mostly clothing and accessories:

Have you purchased from these "Deal of the Day" sites? What have your experiences been? Aside from a few blips here and there (a purchased item out of stock, for example), my experiences have been positive.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's my first blogiversary!

A year ago, I started this blog with some skepticism about my ability to keep it going. I had just done a guest blog post on Mrs. Limestone's blog and in her comments, she wondered why I wasn't blogging. I wasn't sure I could handle a personal blog (I have been writing a business blog since 2005), but Mrs. Lime's little comment gave me the encouragement I needed.

Since then, I've written 340 posts, shared 1,756 photos, and two videos (I hope that number will increase in the next year). I made it through my "busy season" at work just fine.

One of the best things that has happened as a result of this blog is that I feel as though I have a blogger family, a subset of the huge design blogsphere, that I know will cheer when a project turns out well and sympathize when one doesn't. Because of these people, I feel no pressure to be perfect, something I worried about when I first decided to throw together a blogger account.

Here's a quick look back at the five most popular blog posts I've written over the last year:
1. The Bathroom "post-model"
(before and after pictures of my bathroom)

2. Did I do that?
(when I bought my ghost chair on Legend Brewery inspired whim)

3. The search for dining chairs
(a run down of all the options I considered)

4. The Glidden vs. Benjamin Moore paint test
(Benjamin Moore won)

5. Converting rod pocket to pinch pleated drapes
(I hope no one considers me an authority on this...I'm not!)

Honorable mention: I Love Ewe, when I wrote about the purchase of some art.

Anyway, thanks for reading, following, RSSing, and commenting over the last year. I think the plan for the next year is to do more videos and possibly move the blog off Blogger and onto it's own URL. Does anyone have any strong opinions about that?
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shop Tour: Quince

How would you feel if this was your store front?

Sharon Manering
from Quince Designs in downtown Charlottesville posted that picture and a few others yesterday on the store's Facebook page. A condo project has been happening around her for almost two years and it's close to complete. You may remember a not so pretty picture of the area next to the store from a post I wrote about Quince last year. Well, that was nothing compared to this.

I decided to run down to see the scene for myself (and to look at what was new and fun in the store). Coming from the other side of the building, this is what I saw:

I'm not even sure people can see the doors into the shop from across the street!

We love our local stores here in Charlottesville. I especially appreciate the fact that we have access to brands like Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams through Quince (there are only three independent sources for their furniture in the entire state). I so, so hope people are able to ignore the container in front of the store because there are so many gems inside...

Check out the scene outside...someday soon, this will be a beautiful spot. Can you imagine how often Sharon must be dusting and cleaning with all that dirt out there?

The tables in the store right now make me want to clear out my house and start over.
I love the mixed materials. I love the mix of rustic and sleek.

I love all the bad vases that are around the store. The colors are great...as are the prices! They'd be great little housewarming or hostess gifts.

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