Thursday, April 30, 2009

the makeover moment

i don't know if you caught this article last week in the new york times, but i have to say, it isn't far from what our experience has been through this entire renovation process. i just feel very lucky that we got our mortgage when we did.  everything else has fallen in place since.  phew...

more stripping

just when we thought we were done with stripping and refinishing, we were handed a new project from our lovable contractor.

Cleaning Faceplates

there are twenty some odd doors in the house. all of which had been painted multiple times - including THE HARDWARE. ugh. why people do such things bewilders me.

Faceplate (before)

so in order to save a some bucks, we set aside a couple of hours to clean 'em up.

Cleaning Faceplates

here's what the faceplates look like after our first pass.


next up are the knobs. why paint a doorknob? WHY PAINT TWENTY DOORKNOBS?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

it's always fun when we have an excuse to leave the house

i'd like to thank ron and michelle for paying us a visit. they were so sweet and didn't complain very much even though dabney and i dragged them around with us as we ran our endless house errands, begged them to ooh and ah at our refinished doors, and not to mention, made them watch our dog while we packed up.


Auntie Michelle

Family Portrait

though we did manage to squeeze in some fun stuff including a trip to the arch...

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

... bruising our knees as we crawled around the mazes at the city museum.


... indulging in deliciously decadent soul food at sweetie pie's.

... and imbibing beers at the royale.

The Royale makes us happy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35

how does six herman miller chairs (circa 1968) in mint condition for a $100 sound?

#30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35

HM Label

let's just say that dabney reached her "everest" of craigslist deals, and this is what she looked like after the sale was complete.

Chair Dance

Monday, April 27, 2009


above the garage is a hayloft.

at some point, someone installed an actual door with a knob and everything. you can see the little yellow door below.

garage & hayloft
the doorknob always bewildered me.

in keeping with the building's hayloft history, a barn door has been installed.
Hayloft door
notice - no doorknob.

soon, it will get painted, which means we finally agreed upon colors!  even though we changed it up a bit from what we were thinking, it's no surprise - it's still gray.  however, it's a warmer gray now.  (there's an oxymoron for you.)

we've also decided against highlighting all the wood details. too victorian for an old hardware store.
Test Swatch - door

Exterior paint
instead, all "moveable" parts (doors and windows) will get the dark charcoal gray. casings and trim will be the lighter gray. anything made of cast iron will be painted black. pictures soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

when skaters grow up

i love this house.

kitchen in process

we're nearing completion of the kitchen. the appliances were delivered today and everything is getting properly installed over the next few days.

Fridge ready for install

here's the fridge we found at our local sears outlet. the outlet features many close-outs and ding and dent specials. it's hard to tell in the photo above but this fridge has two small dents on its side. 

the sides are now buried in cabinetry anyway, so those dents don't bother us one bit.  plus, it still carries a sears guarantee.

Fridge in

in a few days, the gap below...
Kitchen Cabinets

... will be filled by this little italian number.

for two people who love to cook, entertain, and most importantly eat, this was one decision that did not come easily. we searched high and low to find an oven larger than a standard 30" stove that didn't break the bank. it's amazing what adding six measly inches can do to a price. along the way, we discovered that all the high-end ranges and stoves out there do pretty much the same thing as the more budget-friendly versions. what to do? go italian it turns out. two excellent companies, fratelli onofri and bertazzoni, produce ranges that have the look of high-end vikings and thermadors, but are much more affordable.

and if you're wondering - yes, one even comes in ferrari red.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

wellesley, wellesley only to be there...

i always loved "marathon monday" when i was in college.

Friday, April 17, 2009


over the last few weeks, we've discovered that when friday is fully relaxed her wrinkles come out in full force. and because all the skin around her head becomes looser, her ears really droop and even appear to dangle by her knobby little knees when she's sitting.


when she is nervous, her eyes become the size of quarters. witness below. the gentle leader (we call it the supreme dear leader a la kim jong-il) was recommended to us by many of our canine-loving friends and our great veterinarian. she is a joy to walk when it's on, but the trick is actually putting it on her. we're hoping that she'll soon make the connection that "supreme dear leader" = fun walks out and about (and not an evil north korean dictator).

Gentle Follower

since feidler passed, i had supressed the memory of drool being ever-present in our household.


let's just say, drool is back with a vengeance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

vanity fair

before puppy class last night, we decided to go by the house to see what's new. lo and behold, the bathroom vanities and the master bath closet had been installed!

at heart, our general contractor is a master woodworker. we discovered this fact when we took a tour of his home and laid eyes on his gorgeous kitchen with its handmade butcher block island. so when we negotiated the house, we did our best to negoiate a deal on cabinetry. in the end, it worked out to be more expensive than ikea but about the same price as cabinets from s-lowes or homo depot. plus, they're custom.

Master bath closet

grant it, friday is still very small, but this closet is really as huge as it looks in the photo. in fact, the top of it stands at 9' 8. it took us a little by surprise, but talk about storage!

something tells me that we'll be looking for ladders next on craigslist...

Guest vanity installed

our contractor suggested the veneer be placed horizontally for a different look and i love how it turned out.

Master bath vanity installed

once, the hardware from ikea is attached and the stone and sinks mounted on top, they'll be done. this exact style will be used in our kitchen, which is up next.

Monday, April 13, 2009

easter weekend

it was another nice weekend chez superette with lots of family, some baseball, and one easter egg hunt.

@ Busch Stadium

all shiny and new with its escalators, dozens of private boxes, and multiple bars, the new busch stadium is a far a cry from fenway. i guess once it builds up a decades-old beer and peanut shell veneer, the place will start to feel like home again. nonetheless, the cards won and everyone was happy.

Busch Stadium

Dabney & Diane @ Forest Park

dabney's mom was in town to see the puppy, the house, and of course, us. it was nice to spend time together. on easter sunday, we all enjoyed a delicious brunch a la dabney, complete with huervos rancheros, johnny cakes, mimosas and strong coffee.  by then end of the day, we were all vegging out in front of a marathon of "america's next top model."

Easter egg hunt

and yes, there was the easter egg hunt. sponsored by a local dog bakery and benefitting the dog scouts, the hunt was attended by about fifty furry friends divided into a small, medium, and large categories. friday managed to sniff out enough cookie-filled plastic eggs to fill a paper bag.  with so many dogs around, i thought mayhem would surely ensue, but all the dogs were so well-behaved, including little friday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

good friday


the end of mellow yellow

alright, dear reader, this just maybe the pinnacle of TMI.

for the last few years, dabney and i have been practitioners of "if it's yellow, let it mellow." our close friends and frequent houseguests know this about us, but we see it as water waste issue. you can call it disgusting, if you want to. i don't care.

so with this opportunity to start anew in a house catered to our own quirks, dabney and i long made the call to install dual flush toilets.

Dual flush mechanism

less water for no. 1, more for number 2.  makes great sense, no?

we first encountered these toilets when we traveled to australia five years ago and thought they were genius. turns out they're pretty popular in many parts of the globe, except the u.s., but are slowly gaining favor.  why we are always reluctant as a country to adopt such things i'll never understand.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


we recently found a table for our workroom at a local metal shop that was trying to do some early spring cleaning.

Shapiro's Metal

we couldn't believe what an oasis of steel, tin, and aluminum we had come upon. there were bins, shelves, lockers, carts, pipes, drums, mixers, fans... if it's made out of metal, this place had it somewhere in its arsenal.

Shapiro's Metal

here we are trying to unload our treasure into the garage.  luckily, we enlisted a few guys from the construction crew to give us a hand.

New worktable delivery

New worktable

ok, it's not the prettiest thing with its rust and dings, but it's sturdy and big. it's HUGE, in fact, at over ten feet long. my plan is to clean it up and put it on casters so we can roll it around.  cutting fabric will never be the same again. hooray!

stone island

there are a puzzling number of choices in this world when it comes to kitchen countertops: laminate, wood, steel, tile, concrete... for the island that forms the majority of our counterspace, we knew we wanted to go with a stone of some sort with the hopes that it would narrow the field somewhat.

well, it turns out there that there are tons.

visiting a stoneyard is like visiting museum filled with blown-up aerial maps and giant other-worldly specimens.

A Trip to Bedrock

Amazing Onyx
the yucatan peninsula?


the sheer size of the island itself steered us away from dark colors which seem to comprise the majority of the granites out there.  after careful deliberation though in a surprisingly short amount of time, we settled on a large slab of calcutta gold marble.   its gold veins have just enough warmth to work with all the wood cabinets and floors.

here's a close-up of the its veining:
Calcutta Supreme Marble

plus, it has this huge river of gray running through the middle of it for interest.
Calcutta Supreme Marble

off to the fabricators it will go for sizing and shaping. we'll see it again in a few short weeks with a hole large enough for our sink.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

not a lobster

i guess, now that i have moved away from new england, it should be no surprise that this will be about as close as i get to fresh lobster sadly.

Crawfish Boil

actually, that's a very large crawfish which i presume was brought up from the gulf of mexico.  if there is anything that my parents love better than spending time with family, it might be eating seafood. no, that's not even a contest - seafood definitely wins, but if there is a way to combine the two even better. over the weekend, we all ventured to the broadway oyster bar, so we could indulge in their favorite pastime.

Crawfish Boil

upon hearing our long list of appetizers and entrees, our server even commented, "are you sure? that's a lot of food." to which we all responded in unison, "not for this family."

Crawfish Boil