Friday, June 9, 2017

Repotted my Fiddle Fig aka Ficus Lyrata

This is Fike (Ficus Lyrata) on the day he came home from the nursery two years ago. Isn't he beautiful? He did beautifully and grew lots of new leaves, despite me never repotting him. Oops. 

Then his parents went on holiday...

He dropped most of his leaves and barely came back from the brink of death. 

Below is a photo of Fike on moving day - see him on the right?  Shadow of the young plant he formally was. I'm sure the movers were wondering why we even bothered. Poor Fike!

Below:  this was Fike before I repotted him. Already bouncing back and looking good. Only six months between the photo above (winter) and the one below (now/June).

And voila! In his slightly bigger new pot! Doesn't he look handsome?

I'm sure the real gardners out there are cringing he doesn't have a drainage hole, but I put some filler at the bottom of the pot as well as using potting soil that helps manage over and under watering, so I'm optimistic Fike is on to better days. 

And if you happen to like this planter, I bought it online from Overstock here. It took me forever to find an indoor planter I liked and even longer to click "buy" and spend so much on them. 
After a coupon the price was reduced to $123 for 3 pots (small/medium/huge). Now that I've seen them in person, I don't have any regrets and am very happy with the value.
The "large" size is really HUGE so if you can put them to good use, I think the quality is worth it. Sorry I the small one didn't make the above photo, I had left it downstairs when I took this photo.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Historic home: basement door before and after

This is what it's come to. Redoing a basement door makes me so very happy!

It was done out of necessity. The threshold was allowing water to leak in and some old wood rot had been poorly patched (that gray patch in the lower left corner of the outside door jam). And ewe, that faceplate for the doorknob had seen better days. And it was not original, a historic replica, so easy enough to replace with the same.

Now the door looks so spiffy, I'm thrilled with the difference and almost glad it was leaking!! Otherwise I might have gone on thinking this "before" door was decently acceptable. I think a new manual doorbell is also in order since this one is on its way to become like the door knob plate. It's so fun to ring, you turn the key and a bell rings on the other side.

Photo of the door before and after

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Historic home: peek at recent past

Just when I came to terms with the fact that I'll never be the historic homeowner who finds the cool original doors to the house in the attic (namely because our attic is more like a crawl space thanks to a flat roof); I was totally shocked when I found a new snippet into the past today.

I was honestly just wiping up a little spill off the floor, when I noticed the baseboard also needed a wipe down. Then I figured I ought to wipe down the area behind the cover, where the knobs are.

Can we keep it a secret that this discovery highlights the fact that this is the first time I cleaned inside there? Shhhhhh. But I was pleasantly surprised to see a snippet of the 1980s wallpaper behind the baseboard cover.

So now I'm fairly certain the kitchen I bought, was renovated by the previous owners as it had a stripped wallpaper. And the paper sort of matches the wallpaper under the office's silk cloth tapestry they added.

Kitchen wallpaper before (tan and red stripes):

It's just so interesting to me. Just when I was thinking I had seen all of our home's surprises - boom! I get one!! Okay. It's a little one. And it's just from the 80s... but it's still super fun to me.

Lately we have learned tons about our attic and HVAC system lately. Our rooftop unit went out (ahem, the bedrooms, of course). Now we are wait for the weather to be nice enough to have a final diagnosis on the A/C; so that may be another adventure on its own. As of now, we are grateful that the cooler weather makes it bearable while we wait.  But now I live in fear that we might need an entire new unit, which isn't the end of the world, but when they mentioned a crane would be required, it freaked me out a tad.  Luckily the hubs is ultra cool and is absorbing it gallantly so I have been attempting to emulate him.

And in the last 5 ish months since I last posted?? Our kitchen was finished early March.
Contractor Chris wrapped everything up and gave his key back to me in April.
Designer Elizabeth is on maternity leave, (it was a boy!) so that gives us time to recover from the renovation and start to consider some new furniture pieces.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Move In Day aka Week 15 of House Renovation

We moved house today! Oh yes we did.

We are so excited by the new home (even though we know we are moving into a semi-construction zone and won't have a kitchen quite yet!). Seriously excited our top floors are done!! 

In fact, we are too busy, and too happy to notice the "to do" list or even make much of a blog post. I just wanted to say WE MOVED IN.

Below is the floor that needs the majority of the remaining work! Oy!

 The very super duper original light fixture! Circa 1880s. Wow, right?!?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weeks 9-13

I'm starting to be able to see what the house will actually look like finished and I'm getting excited!!

Been averaging a visit to the house about every 5 days which has been good. Hubs gets more stress about all the work left to do when he visits the house too much. There's times where I refuse to go over with him because I know there won't be enough changes to warrant the visit. Weird. I know.

Real life outside the house seems to take up most of my time these days. And because I tend to over research sometimes, it's taking me longer to make decisions. It's a curse, but then, it's pretty cool when your SIL is on the way to the store and asks what brand washing machine she should get since she knows I already did more reading on it then she ever would. We went with Electrolux brand if you're wondering.

Week 9-10
The house wounded up needing tons of plaster work to repair walls after wallpaper removal. Especially the dining room. Oh that poor dining room. Then the plasterer didn't show. And then finding a new one became it's own challenge. And then I had to leave town for two weeks.


Week 10-11
The weather turned cold, so it was a relief to when the radiators started up without any problems. Finalized all paint colors! Okay, a few I totally asked Elizabeth to pick my kitchen wall color. I think because I want the kitchen to be perfect, I couldn't make any decision. Frozen. Plus it was weird to worry about colors about while traveling. Hubs and I joke about the scene in Lost in Translation and the package his wife overnighted him. We can't be like that! Ha!

Below: Kitchen & family room flooring & cabinet colors (squares) with paint samples.

Week 12
Looked at lights with Elizabeth in person, cause online was so uninspiring. It was hard to connect to any until I saw them in person.
Photo below; current thoughts for house (sorry it's a pic of a pic, life is crazy hectic these days).
Antique chandelier below is being considered for our dining room. They are re-wiring it this week so we can go see what it would look like lit.
Mover bids & giving away random house stuff.
Selling a few things on my condo's bulletin board has helped us purge.

Week 13
Finalizing light fixtures, still. Hubs took an interest, it's been more of a negotiation between us. He prefers way more traditional lights and while I tend towards the juxtaposition of modern fixtures in historic homes. It took time to find ones that we agree on, fit the budget, and work for the house. Yeah. It's an annoying trifecta.

Haven't ordered them, but this is the idea:

Upcoming week:

  • A radiator specialist is removing a long baseboard radiator in the basement because the new built in cabinets are going where it sits. And then we are thinking to replace it with a smaller one. Heat wise we should be good since we are adding heated floors. 
  • Calling antique store to request they go ahead a re-wire a light fixture we are potential interested in for the dining room. Then hubs and I will be able to see what it looks like lit  we like it off, so fingers crossed  
  • Working through the "to do" list for the move. Seriously so many annoying details. 
  • New car search. The timing of this is the worst. And Hubs and I have different ideas of what we should get next (we only have the 1 vehicle), so we are kicking tires and getting to know what's out there now. I test drove one and loved what cars are like now. 

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