26 January, 2011

Windows Make a World of Difference

This is a long overdue post about our windows.
There were a few that were still the old wood ones.
The rest were old aluminum single pane.
Somewhere along the line the house had been painted using a spray gun, and there was overspray on most of them.

I changed this one and the one on the other side of the door out myself.
That's when I decided I wouldn't be able to do the rest by myself.
The aluminum windows were difficult to remove, and the new windows were so much heavier.
The new windows are single hung low-e vinyl.
They are so much better at sound proofing.
They definitely help with the heating/cooling situation here in Texas.
And now I can see out the windows!
So much more light comes in too!
Here's an in progress before & after.

While we were at it, we changed up the wall of windows in the Dining Room.
We went from this,

to this,

and finally, to this!

We added a window to the garage/family room.

The new windows have added so much charm and coziness to our home.

Money well spent!
ann marie

18 January, 2011

Architectural Antiques!

Just a quick post about a pretty interesting place.
This is the room you walk into, it's the only heated spot in the whole place.
It was cold the day Taylor and I stopped by.

All kinds of hardware, door knobs and hinges.
They strip the pieces and you can purchase them and stain/paint them yourself.
There's lots of wood columns and balustrades.

What I loved the most were the doors.

They have vintage bath fixtures too.

Lots of lighting and things related.

They have the same windows we got at the Restore for $25 each.
Their price was $210 each!

If you're in the market for a safe, they have a doozy!

There were lots of other really wonderful things, I just forgot to get pictures of it all.
I'll get them next time.
ann marie

14 January, 2011

Sneak Peek

I have 3 sneak peeks.
One good, the other...not so good.
The third-so special.

This is the dining room.
The good.

The bad.

The cottage kitchen.
Looks like subfloor, then original red linoleum and finally, 2 layers of peel & stick tile.
The good news is it's coming up very easily.
Also, the hump we had in the middle of the kitchen was only some one's poor attempt at levelling the floor.
They used some mortar like stuff that just disintegrated when the dry vac was used.
I guess this will be the next project I'll do when I get back from Boston in a few weeks.
I have more important things to do in the next two weeks...

Sweet Caroline arrived this morning!!!

Cottage project on hold for a few weeks.
It's not like it's going anywhere any time soon.
ann marie

10 January, 2011


Remember this?

And this?

It was a little difficult for me because I really like doing the work myself,
but I took the advice given, and hired someone to refinish the floors.
It really was easy to rationalize the cost.
I would have to rent the sander, buy a bazillion sanding discs, hope that I got the staining part right, and then buy the Poly for the topcoats.
And did I forget to mention I may have spent days on end accomplishing what these guys did in a couple of hours!
This is how Saturday went.
The "magicians" arrived at 10:30 after picking up the supplies they needed from HD.
We took care of the last carpeted room.
They were going to tear it out for us, but we got bored and did it ourselves.
This is Taylor doing the "Happy Dance".

A picture is said to be worth a thousand words,
so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The floors were sanded 3 times.
Coarse, medium, and fine grit papers were used.
They had sanders that were used right up against the baseboards.
Then, the staining began.

All of the sanding and staining was done in 6 hours!
They were back 24 hours later for the first coat of semi-gloss polyurethane.

Again, they were back in 24 hours to do the second coat of poly.

First, they hand sanded the entire floor to remove any imperfections in the first coat of poly.
Then vacuumed.
Then applied the second coat of poly.

The transformation is truly amazing!
We used a dark walnut stain.
Both the stain and poly are oil based.
The company we used is
Best Wood Floor Sanding.
They were courteous, professional and knowledgeable.
They offer free estimates too.
So if you need some work done and are in the San Antonio area you should definitely check them out!
We had a little over 500 square feet refinished.
3 sandings
1 coat of stain
1 coat of poly
1 hand sanding
1 last coat of poly
All this for the measly sum of $700.
In my book, money so well spent!!

ann marie

04 January, 2011

Habitat ReStore Treasure Hunting

We stopped by our local Habitat Restore yesterday.
We were looking for a vintage front door for the new project.
Taylor spotted 2 of these windows.
One side is green.

The other side is white.
They're about 36"x48" and in perfect condition.
$24.95 each.
We couldn't pass them up.

She also got these two vintage medicine cabinet doors.

They'll probably be used as decorative mirrors in the bathroom.
They really made things so much better back then.
I guess that's why they're still around and in wonderful shape.
And remember this chippy painted corner cupboard.
It looks like it has a new home in the guest bedroom.

And, last but not least, I picked this table up.

It had been on CL for quite some time, and the price just kept going down.
I finally called on it yesterday and it was still available.
I love the base of this table.
Oh, and because it was only $25,  I love it even more!!

The decision now is, do I paint it or leave it the way it is.
It's not like I'll be doing anything to it any time soon.
I'm on baby (Caroline) watch.
Today is Andrea's due date.
I'll be up in Boston freezing my toes off any day now.
At least we hope it's any day now!

ann marie

03 January, 2011

Sticky Situation...

Once upon a time, in a cute little house, a crime was committed!

was glued down all over these!

and these,

The only place we haven't found glue residue is in the hall closet.
Here we found a wonderful example of ugly.
Just ugly.

Sooo, in order for this little house (ok, me) to live happily ever after,
I need help.
Not that kind of help.
Not yet at least.
I need help/advice/magic with this...

Glue residue.
Have any of you ever had to remove this?
Did you just sand it or did you use a chemical/solvent to remove it first?
I'm trying to not reinvent the wheel and save myself a few white hairs in the process.
The only wood floor we haven't uncovered is the dining room,
and what are the chances they didn't use glue there too?
ann marie