The Kitchen Reveal

After months of renovations, including a full on gut of the entire original house, I can happily say we are settling nicely into the new kitchen. My camera was a little MIA during much of the renovations, and so was I from this blog. To say things were a little hectic would be an understatement. In addition to only taking photos with my phone and posting them to Instagram most of the time (which you can see if you feel like scrolling – a lot – and trying to pick them out), I replaced my phone and ultimately lost the vast majority of the photos that I thought were uploaded to iCloud.

The long and short is this – it’s almost impossible to even fathom the old house from the new house. The best I can do right now (at almost 10pm on a Sunday) is this:

Before:

Kitchen Before

After:

Kitchen After

The renovation also included four rooms off of the kitchen, which now include:

  • A small guest room.
  • A bathroom/laundry room
  • An entryway/mudroom area
  • A dining room

Each of these spaces still have more work to be done in them, but the drywall is complete (with the exception of an extra patch we need to make in the dining room but you wouldn’t notice it on first glance), and the flooring is all refinished. It was too dark to take photos tonight of these spots, so I’ll get them soon! Overall it’s coming along well, and the kitchen is just about complete minus some window trim. The bathroom is all plumbed in and I love having our washer/dryer where the closet was (and hot water running to the washer for the first time in 8 years). The new entryway is so nice, giving us a good spot to take off our shoes and coats before we come into the rest of the house from the door yard. This is a view from the entryway into the kitchen.

DSC_5902

If you’re looking close, you’ll see something special in the back right of this photo. After years of dreaming about it, Andy and I finally bit the bullet and got a wood cook stove for the kitchen. Specifically a Glenwood K. We absolutely love it, and use it at least a few times a week. We’ve already had a pizza party with friends and have made quite a bit of meat in the firebox broiler system on the side (I’ll explain this in an upcoming post!).

The wood cook stove meant we sacrificed some more storage, but as you can see in these photos I think we’re all set. We also have a Viking range and a Gaggenau double oven.

If you’re counting, that means we have a total of 12 burners and four ovens – four and one respectively which are wood driven only. Admittedly the Viking oven does not work with the exception of the broiler. That’s what you get when you get it for $0.00 dollars through the magic of reclaiming items other people don’t want. Seriously, a broken oven and we got it for free. Truthfully we aren’t planning on fixing the oven anytime soon since we use the Gaggenau’s quite a bit. All six burners however work and I absolutely love cooking on it.

Overall we are beyond happy with this renovation, and are so happy to finally be at a point in this house where we have nothing big left to do. The rest is all small – including installing the downstairs bathroom. Once you’ve been through as much renovation as we have, on as large of a scale as we have, in addition to building a garage and barn, it turns out that finishing off the installation of a bathroom feels like a cakewalk.

There’s more to come, and now that my camera is back in action I hope to write a little more about a few things going on including an on demand water heater Andy has been working on installing, a little more about the wood cook stove, a few things we’ve been doing around the homestead, and general updates about things going on.

I hope life has been treating you guys well over the last six months or so, and you had a wonderful holiday season and are so far having a great new year three days in!

Here’s to 2016 – full of many big and small changes around here, but that’s nothing new.

xo,

Heather

Renovation Recap: The Living Room Reveal

There are those moments in life when something happens and you look back on it and realize the work to get there was worth it, and that is exactly how I felt when we finished our living room 99% and moved into it this weekend! It was such a surreal moment. I came home tonight and immediately walked into the living room, sat down and just enjoyed everything about it. I can’t wait to show you the reveal, but I will because there were a few steps before we moved in and a few photos you just need to see first.

This is a pine trim which Andy milled from strapping he received with the delivery of another product. It was clear, it was perfect, and it was free. I married well.

DSC_3909-01The baseboards are also a beautiful routed pine. It’s a fairly traditional style but that’s right in line with our craftsman/shaker/farmhouse preferences.

DSC_3896-01 Once Andy finished putting the Danish oil on the trim, we let the room air out and did the final cleanup consisting of cleaning windows, scraping the windows, vacuuming and in general relishing in the room before we moved furniture in.

DSC_3966-01 DSC_3969-01Then we took all of our furniture junk, and moved it into our really nice new living room. Actually, only the couch can be referred to as junk as all other furniture pieces are handmade and are actually quite nice.

DSC_3975-01The photo above sums up how we’ve been living for months, so let me just say I’m a little more happy that view now looks a lot more empty.

DSC_3998-01Someday I’ll look back on this photo and be like, “ahg, I can’t believe it used to look like that, and I was totally cool with it.” Truth though, I honestly don’t care.  I am just so darn elated with this accomplishment which was no small task, considering this room from the other direction used to be a falling in porch which I once power washed an old toilet on.

pictures1 327Now, that old fallen in porch is long gone and our new living room is a cozy, warm, friendly, loving space.

DSC_3986-01DSC_3992-01It might look a little plainly decorated in photos, but in person it’s so nice. I love the layering of woods, the neutral walls, the open and airy feel to it. There are obviously still some interior design type things we need to do like get a light shade for the center of the room, upgrade the lamp on the table, add some art, maybe some window treatments, and get a new sofa but I don’t even see those things at this moment. They just don’t even matter. No interior design is going to really matter until the house is complete and we can see it in one piece. We have a few sentimental items up now, and I brought in my baskets of yarn, but besides that we’re good as is.

DSC_3991-01You can see my kindle charging next to the sofa, which brings me to another awesome thing Andy did in this room for convenience purposes. He put outlets on either side so we could each plug in our electronics without always tangling them around each others stuff. For Andy this simply meant a laptop. For me, it’s a laptop, my camera battery, my phone, my kindle, the lamp—you get the point. So needless to say I have a double outlet on my side and he has a single on his. On my side two of the plugs are also operable by switch. If you walk into the room from the kitchen area, you have the option to either turn on the dimming overhead lights or flip on the lamp. It’s definitely not a “need” and it never was, but when Andy mentioned the option without a lot more work it was a no-brainer. It’s a nice convenience to have, and it means I have three other outlets I can leave my other chargers plugged into if I want.

DSC_3990-01The other “design element” I did in this room was to re-organize the bookshelf so it was more visually appealing. I know what the books look like I use the most (i.e. cookbooks and gardening references) so I can grab them quickly. I hesitate to call this a “design element” only because it was more of a “dust your shit once in a while and make things look nice”. I did this by organizing every book by color family. I used to do this with my clothes in my closet in high school sometimes and I loved it. Turns out, I now love it on a bookshelf. I think this was a thing like two years ago. I seem to remember seeing people organize things by color on some design show a while back. Consider me up to date and totally hip to trends (*nods head in a sarcastic “yeah, that’s it” manner*).

DSC_3977-01 DSC_3979-01What, you didn’t think we’d be highlighting a hand turned vase, a chainsaw book and a sawmill book on our bookshelf? Come on now. Oh, and to the far left is a book called American Brassiere. It’s a cook book that I don’t work out of a lot but I still thoroughly enjoy none the less. Just throwing that out there.

DSC_3981-01Andy and I were both wowed and loved how the bookshelf looked in the room for the sheer fact that all of the natural light made the wood grain glimmer. It never looked like this in the darker room before so we’re happy to see the fine grain in all of the glory it deserves. Well played natural light, well played.

At the end of the day, we are incredibly happy with this room and how it turned out. It’s so nice to have one room you can come into and not have to look at the items that still needs to be done. At this point, window treatments, etc. don’t feel like things that need to be done. Finishing the flooring in the other rooms are on the need to be done list, so as far as I’m concerned right now this room is done. OH and as it turns out, when you have nice things you want to take care of them. Guess who’s going out to get felt pads to put on the bottom of the coffee table? I guess I’m officially that adult. At least I’m not putting tennis balls on the legs. Did anyone else have to do that to their chairs in elementary school or know what the heck I’m referring to?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reads this post and/or as followed my blog. I know there are a lot of people who read and never comment and that’s totally okay (though I would love if you said “hi!”, I’ll say “hi!” back!). This blog really is a cathartic place to get some of my feelings and thoughts out and I absolutely love sharing our little life with you. I wish you could all just come and sit in here and feel how relaxing it really is. Then again, if ALL of you were in here it wouldn’t be relaxing at all, so let’s just do it one at a time. I’ll put on some tea for you.

xo,

Heather

P.S.) I’ll be back within the next week or so with an update on the other parts of the renovation we’re still working on! There’s also been some talk up at the farm, and some gardening underway so I hope to write about all of that soonish too. Have a wonderful day everyone!

The {Untimely} Secret Orchard – Part II

I woke up yesterday to 0.7 degree weather, which promptly dropped to 0.0. This morning I woke up to snow and a sore throat. I’m happy to say January is finally here. I was a little concerned whether it would show up, considering January 1st was almost 60 degrees. We don’t do 60 degrees in January here in Maine, it throws our entire internal clock off. While I was suppose to be hibernating and crocheting by the wood stove, I was outside raking the leaves surrounding the blueberry bushes and feeling like I should be planting my garden soon. It was entirely awkward and while my brain knew what time of year it was, my body had an innate reaction to the seasonal warmth. So while I sat here eating sorbet and feeling content that all was right with winter again, I started organizing a file of miscellaneous photos I took within the last month.

I was confused why I had photos of our planted orchard, since it was clearly from the fall. Then I remembered I took these photos on January 1st after Andy told me I needed to update you guys on how we planted our orchard I wrote about here and here. It’s amazing how different it looks. Maybe it doesn’t look too different to you guys, but in person it’s way different. It’s still not complete. I want to plant about 4-7 more trees for an even 9 to 12. We currently have 5 planted in this area (which we lovingly call The Orchard even though it’s the smallest orchard in history).

As a reminder, it actually looks like this layout wise. A really out of scale ghetto layout.

We also have these three we planted a few years back. From right to left it goes plum, cherry, pear. I think they are all dwarfs. The plum and cherry are supposedly self-pollinating but after reading up some more we’ll need to get two more of them for better fruit to grow. The pear will never grow without another pear, which is why our orchard now has a few more pear trees.

As far as the orchard area goes, each tree was about $20.00. I was admittedly hesitant at first thinking we were only going to find crap, since we paid close to $40.00 per tree for the three above. As it turned out they were very healthy looking trees. I was impressed. So, now we have the following in our yard which includes the orchard and the three trees above.

  • 3 pear trees : one bartlett dwarf, two keiffer semi-dwarfs
  • 1 cherry tree : black sweet cherry tree
  • 1 plum tree : santa rosa
  • 3 apple trees : one yellow delicious semi-dwarf, one red delicious semi-dwarf, one liberty semi-dwarf
  • 10 blueberry plants: two blueray, two earliblue, two brigatta, two bluecrop, two bluegold

That’s where we are now with the whole process, since most of it has a snow or ice cover right now. After writing this and looking at my other two orchard blog posts I just realized I never even showed you the actual planted blueberries. Son of a bee sting.

We’ll be getting some more trees and fruit plans in the spring. I promise to update you before 2018.

Much Love,

Heather

 Update: Andy has informed me that a good portion of the wood we sawed, in this recent post, actually came from the orchard when he first started it here. He thought I knew but nope, totally in the dark on it. I apparently missed him skidding them across our lawn and out to the hayfield. I was probably too engrossed in eating pie.

 

 

Livingroom Update

I left you hanging like a Naked Gun movie. You just know there’s going to be a sequel. It has been over a month, almost 2 months *eek* since my last post on painting. Here’s the thing, I like things to be perfect {like is key word here, reality = almost never}. I painted the colors, wrote a post – deleted it. Thought, “I’ll post when it’s 100% complete with all the finishing touches.”

I realized I would never post if I went by that thought. We painted the room simply so we didn’t have to live in a cave another winter before we start renovations. We’re not painting the Sistine Chapel here. I’m not even an interior decorator, or pretending to be. I’m just a chick who didn’t want to spend another Maine winter in a dark room with a party of colonial picnic buddies.

 



You know what the absolute best part is? This feels like a “practice run” to me. Since we’re going to renovate the entire house this is the perfect time to test colors, test out my “style” and realize how terrible I am at making decisions on my own house and decorating. I’m not even disappointed to find this out about myself, I’m actually pretty happy because I’ve been learning all along the way. And I get to tear it all down with no guilt.

I didn’t pick up the room before I took the photos either. There is literally nothing staged about these photos. I’m oddly proud of myself.

We picked up all of our paint from Sherwin-Williams {who in no way sponsored this post. They don’t even know this exists and would likely decline to admit their paint is on our walls}. The boards are Copen Blue, the drywall part is Reflection and the floor & stairs are Anonymous. Yes, I know I missed painting part of the stairs. I’ll get to it.

To bring it back even further, this has been the transformation of our living room over the last four years.

Take a look at the first photo again, and then look at this. Is it perfect? No. Is it a serious improvement I’m delighted with? Absolutely. Yes. Positively. Whheewwwwwww.

Of course there are still a few things to do.

  • Take the burlap curtain down, it’s not working for me.  It’s such a high weird window it doesn’t even need a curtain really.
  • Figure out covers for the other three windows. I like curtains at night, but it also helps retain heat in the winter. These aren’t the new high-end windows that they so clearly look to be.
  • Finish floating art above our new (to us, and free) solid cherry entertainment center. Someone we knew didn’t have room for it and gave it to us unexpectedly. The style fits nowhere in our house yet – but what does? It’s gorgeous. It’s solid and it’s the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever felt in my life. I love it.
  • Get (or make) a rug.
  • Paint the side of the stairs on the bottom.
  • Get that couch a cover.
  • Paint the ceiling, sort of (this is years away). We’re not sure where a closet will be, what we’ll have to cut, etc. A ceiling is a lot of work. Correction, this ceiling is a lot of work – so I’m doing it once and once only. It will eventually be totally white though.

Overall though, this room is pretty much finished. I’m painted out. We’re debating on painting a few other rooms in the house as well but for now – fuhgettaboutit.

Happy Perfectionism (Hardly),

Heather


Poplar + Cherry Bookshelf With A Side of Martini

flickr *0ne*

With the acquisition of the new bandsaw and jointer, the very talented Mr. A has set out to make us a nice curly poplar (aspen) and cherry bookshelf. I am very excited about this as it is a win-win situation. I love when he makes furniture and we will be able to toss two other shoddy bookshelves. I also love cherry wood, it’s absolutely beautiful. My relationship with poplar is slightly different though. It’s not poplars fault, really.

Get in your Delorean, we’re going back in time.

Mr. A and I were living together in a rented house and decided to have dinner with our friends. Long story short, I made the mistake of trying a dirty martini. What possessed me to drink vodka tainted with olive juice I will never know remember.  It was a rough night.  I learned from my mistake and have not touched a martini since (and it took a good year before I could eat another olive).

A few months later we bought our house and realized we had a lot of poplar trees around us, thus constituting some of our firewood that first winter. We (Mr. A) chopped down and stacked the green (i.e. moist) wood on our deck to dry, poplar included. Did you know moist poplar smells like a roughed up dirty martini? I didn’t.  I clearly remember an Elaine – Seinfeld-esque dance and gagging when I first placed foot on that deck after the stacking had finished. Just. Too. Soon.

Delorean back to 2011.

Thus I forever associate the smell of wet poplar with a very long not so awesome night. Thankfully poplar has no smell when dried leading me to be very thankful the bookshelf poplar is bone dry. It is also absolutely gorgeous.

He took the wood from looking like the board on the left, to the board on the right.

Here’s a better photo of the “curly” grain.

In a rare, sasquatch like sighting, here is a photo of Mr. A himself putting the frame together.

I can’t wait to see what this looks like when finished. He gave me a sneak peak of the cherry moulding and I have to admit this thing is going to be incredible. Yes, bookshelves can be incredible (nerd shout out).  Since I do this blog in real time, I’ll post more on this later!

Happy Building,

Heather