In case you missed it: here is part 1 of the stair saga. Above are the stairs with all the staples and carpet padding bits fully removed. Pretty scuffed up.
After some thought, we decided to simply paint the stairs and call it a day. We decided on black treads and hot pink risers. Yes, that’s right, hot pink. Sometimes I blurt out design ideas that I think Matt will never go for, and then he agrees and says he likes it. So, I do not ask twice. I go to Home Depot and purchase Behr Hot Pink and ROLL WITH IT! I wonder when this will come back to haunt me, like when Matt decides to acquire yet another bicycle, and I start to protest, and he says “Remember that time I said it was ok to paint the stairs pink?” yeah.
I finally finished up the last bit of painting this morning. I have now learned to never underestimate the amount of time it takes to do house projects. I thought that the weekend would be enough to accomplish this, but it took twice as long as anticipated.
I did all the pink risers first, starting from the top and going down. Two coats of paint for this part. I started with painters tape here, but quickly realized that was going to be worthless. There is nothing about our staircase that is even remotely smooth or at a right angle, so I decided that freehand was the way to go. Next, I did half the treads, skipping every other step, so that the upstairs would still be accessible by jumping over the dry stairs. Man, I am so smart. I had to box Bowser out for awhile with some furniture, he was really curious about what was going on, but the last thing I needed was him trying to charge upstairs on the wet paint.
Luckily, there were no incidents or accidents with the black paint, making me the first Wasilewski offspring to successfully paint the surfaces as intended, without destroying any carpet and/or requiring the use of a wet-vac to clean up.
Finally, I did the remaining treads yesterday afternoon and let everything dry overnight. Today, I finished up with white trim on the sides and also repainted the handrails. That was super tedious. I admit I had moments of skepticism as I was going along, but now that it’s done, I love it!!
I have been tired of our gross, dirty, ugly-shade-of-tan-carpeted stairs for awhile now (I’ve been daydreaming about this, this, and this if you really want to know….)… but yeah right!! so I decided to do something about it this past weekend. And by that I mean I pestered Matt for long enough that he flew into HULK MODE and ripped all the carpet out. I kid, I kid. Kinda. I was really just initially scared of what was underneath, and kept hesitating to look for fear of another home project sitting around unfinished forever. Plus, Bowser really likes to lounge on the soft, warm steps and monitor the goings-on outside on our street through the window view he gets from either step #5 or #6. Given his inclination towards the soft and cozy, I was afraid that hardwood stairs would not suit him. Though I’m still not sure how he feels about the change, I myself was pleasantly surprised and happy to find more than just basic plywood underneath. We actually have a tread with a rounded edge and the risers have a bit of trim detail to them! Definitely better than I pictured. After Matt did the major tearing and ripping, I spent the next few hours plying out all the staples and remaining bits of carpet padding. Not the most exciting way to spend the day, but now the surfaces are at least pretty smooth. I gave it a good vacuum, then a wash-down and scrub with some hot soapy water.
Now, to decide how to repaint them… I’m thinking black treads and white risers to play it safe. Though I really adore these other ideas (1) and (2) and (3), maybe it’s too much. Repainting them normally, plus all the handrails too, is going to be a big project as it is. Need to think on this one…
We had a nice, relaxing weekend. On Friday night, it snowed and sleeted here a tiny bit – just enough to make us want to stay in and cozy-up inside. We made shrimp linguine and enjoyed some red wine for dinner, and had a chocolate eclair for dessert. We spent some time thumbing through a signed copy of a Shepard Fairey book that Matt got that day from a co-worker, commenting on his incredible artwork and stencils and picking the pieces we’d hang on our walls. Afterwards, we watched some Parks and Recreation, the best show ever. I love Netflix.
On Saturday morning, we took Bowser to the vet for his annual check-up. All was good. He barely even squirmed for his two shots. We spent the rest of the morning debating back and forth how to proceed with the office “renovation.” We’re having a hard time deciding what to do with the floors, which were covered in paint splashes, scratches, and holes when we tore up the carpet. Paint the original wood white? Add a brand new floor overtop? We had a guy come out to look at it, and suggested that we don’t try to sand it down, so that option was out.
We decided to take a trip to our favorite place in the world, Community Forklift, to see if we could find enough reclaimed wood flooring to lay overtop what is there now. Most of what we found were smaller amount of scraps, not enough to cover the approximately 8′ x 12′ room. So after that, we were back to the painting idea, which, yes, I am in LOVE with, but I still have my skepticisms about getting it to turn out right. Many of the tutorials we’ve read online make it seem slightly harder than it seems. Here are some of my inspirations.
This is the greatness that is Community Forklift.
What you might find there.
We decided to take a break from thinking about the floor, and drove over to National Harbor to visit the Peep store, which has been high on my list of things to do forever now. It was everything I imagined and more. Pure marshmellow heaven. I bought some green duck Peeps and some orange rabbit Peeps since I have never even seen those colors before. I was thinking about purchasing some Peep art, but the prices were kinda high, and I think I would just want to eat them all off the wall.
now THIS is a great door handle
look at all that Peep goodness
Peep, and The Awakening.
I miss when The Awakening statue was on Hains Point. I’m still kind of sad that it was relocated to National Harbor, and wish that it had stayed in DC. Yesterday it was all roped off, so you couldn’t even get up close to it. Bummer.
Today we went to Home Depot, and bought all the painting supplies we needed to do the floor. I just finished up with the first steps – gave it a good sanding, first with 150 grit then with 220 grit, and then gave it a good soapy water mopping. Going to let it air out overnight, give it one more mopping tomorrow to get the rest of the dust up, and then onto the primer. Before and after pics to come soon!
Hope everyone had a great weekend! Everyone except for Ravens nation…
We took down all the Christmas decorations, but the boxes are still sitting out everywhere. Our tree is still up, and though it has been de-ornamented… I just feel bad throwing it out on the curb when it’s still so pretty and makes the house smell all pine-y. I guess we’ll leave it up a little longer. It’s hard to put the holidays away, sometimes.
Other than those loose ends, I’m feeling energized about the new year. Work is super busy, and we’ve started tearing apart the office to make a new, improved work space for me. The carpet has been pulled out, and we’re working on fixing the wood floors, which were covered in splashed paint. It’s a mess now. But, after the floor is done, we’re talking about designing some built-in shelves along one wall. I will share some pics of it soon.
It was super hot and sunny this Memorial Day weekend and that means summer is finally here!! Break out your white pants everyone. Woo hoo! We had one of those great summer storms on Friday evening, the kind that sneak up really fast with huge, fat raindrops and gusts of wind. Matt was playing basketball in the street with the neighborhood kids and I was reading in the window seat, when all of a sudden the sky turned dark grey and it looked like the end of the world outside. It poured for about 20 minutes, and then passed on by, leaving somewhat cooler air behind. There was a pretty good lighting and thunder show as well.
On Saturday, we did some work in the backyard — cleaning up weeds and some of the empty pots and things that were left here by the previous owner, and Matt finished painting the alley-side of our back fence with random green stripes. We also pulled out the two old windows with white-painted frames that have been leaning against the fence in the backyard since we moved in here. We were thinking about putting them up inside, or maybe mounting them on the fence with some artwork behind the glass. I like the idea of black silhouettes of something behind the panes of glass, but I need to keep looking around for some inspiration. Finally, I also managed to invoke a million mosquitos out there while I was weeding, so, yeah, summer is really here.
On Saturday evening, we enjoyed some BBQ and watched the Maryland semi-final lacrosse game at Keith and Brigid’s house. I made a strawberry shortcake in my new trifle bowl and it actually came out pretty good! Jill would have been so proud of me, making whipped cream all AND I also experimented outside the lines of the recipe, adding a layer of cream-cheese frosting in the middle. YUM. Anything with fresh strawberries screams sum-sum-summatime!
On Sunday, we ventured to Home Depot for green paint and settled on Limeaid (!!!) for the front door. I finished the third coat tonight, and it’s quite bright and loud, just the way we wanted it. We are on such a green kick lately! We also picked up some flower boxes for the front yard along with marigolds (I learned this is Matt’s favorite flower) and white vinca, and some chicken wire, which Matt lined the fence with. The front yard is now Bowser-puppy-proof. What a productive weekend already!
Today, we spent the day in HoCo with my parents just relaxing and enjoying that crucial third-day off of work. We drove into Baltimore too for a bit, to check out Second Chance, Inc, a non-profit architectural salvage warehouse. There are all sorts of reclaimed materials like kitchen cabinets, doors, mirrors, fences, chandeliers, stained-glass, furniture, artwork, patio sets…. You name it, they have it. If you need home design inspiration, this is the place to check out. JJ introduced me to it a few months ago, and I was really excited to go back with Matt. We didn’t get anything this trip (the giant, metal, multi-colored garden rooster was vetoed by Matt, as were the ridiculous gold and purple couches I found: “we already have one of those”) , but we definitely got some good ideas for future projects. It’s always fun to look, right?
Hope everyone had a Memorial Day as relaxing and enjoyable as ours and also took a moment to remember and appreciate our soldiers and veterans.
What a fantastic weekend! On Saturday morning we ran the inaugural Met Branch 5k. It was a pretty rainy, misty mess, but everyone was still in good spirits for the quick, 3.1 mile run. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to some Crunkcakes at the H Street Bake Sale outside of the Argonaut. Boozy cupcakes = brilliant! We popped by the Farmers Market as well, and picked up some kettle-popcorn hot off the cauldron, apples, and some fresh rhubarb. Then we had an actual breakfast at the Cap City Diner, biked over to Chinatown to do some shopping at Urban Outfitters, and finally came home to relax around the house.
Today, we checked out The Taco Experiment at Rock and Roll Hotel with JJ and Jaime. What a great concept! We tasted 26 bite-sized tacos that ranged from your basic pulled pork in a tortilla shell, to sweet potato tacos, dessert tacos, pork-belly tacos (not a fan), duck tacos, and every combination in-between. In the end, I cast my ballot vote for The Tacosaurus taco, which was a combination of beef, guacamole, and a delicious orange-colored sauce. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, mostly because we were too busy scarfing down tacos, and I didn’t have any free hands. But picture the most delicious looking tacos you can think of, and that’s what it looked like.
This afternoon, Matt decided to paint the outside of our fence with the random leftover paint colors we have stacked in our storage closet. He only got about half-way done before the rain came, so the rest of the painting is to-be-continued. Updated pictures to follow.
Meanwhile, I attempted to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Not sure I even had the right kind of rhubarb for this — it was very green, and I thought it was supposed to be red — but I went for it anyways. The result was pretty-looking, but a little on the soggy side. Oh well.
+ strawberries + sugar + flour + butter + crust… (here’s the actual recipe)
…and lastly, Bowser was sleepy after a long weekend of playing with Tiki dog.
Now that I’m wrapping up this post, I realized it was a very food-centric weekend. Not that I’m complaining!
Bowser loves photography. He was jumping up and down and barking (making gremlin noises) excitedly in front of this print in our upstairs hallway for a few minutes. Finally we realized the smoke alarm on the ceiling directly above it was chirping to indicate that it’s time to change the batteries. It’s more fun though to think that our dog really likes artwork and not just beeping noises. Little guy has ups!!
A mardi-gras-themed housewarming party seemed like the best way to break in our new house on Orleans Street, plus, I’ve been wanting to try making a King Cake recipe forever, so this was a great excuse! Jill and I were busy in the kitchen all morning getting ready… making pralines, muffalettas, Cajun Caviar, and of course gumbo! Mix in some Abita, the Rebirth Brass Band on the iPod, and lots of great friends who came to celebrate, and it made for a great time! House is now “officially” warmed!
Food coloring + sugar for the King Cake!
Jill braiding the dough…
Wait an hour for the dough to rise…
Covered in glaze.. and purple, yellow, and green sugars.
In progress… Gumbo ingredients were just added to the roux.
A few weekends ago I decided to take the lifeless kitchen walls into my own hands and add some color. Luckily, there’s a paint store just a few blocks from our house, and just enough room in Matt’s bike basket for two cans of paint. We went with Overt Green for the rear kitchen wall, hoping to pick up some of the light greenish tints in our table and chairs, and Portabello brown for the downstairs bathroom (still yet to be tackled.) The exciting thing about paint is you never know what you’re going to get. Sure, we held up the little swatches in the store, but the fancy light tester where you can view your swatch under different conditions was broken. Maybe it’s best that it was, because we probably saved ourselves another 10 minutes of color discourse. I then asked the mixer guy if he liked my color choices, only to get a confused look and another question as my answer. “Well do YOU like them?”
So yeah, the 2×2 swatch of green just doesn’t help show what it’ll actually look like on a whole wall… which makes me wonder why paint gets a bad rap for being boring to watch dry. I actually enjoyed seeing it go on and dry into its actual color. All in all, we were pretty happy with how it looks and now the kitchen is much prettier. Next kitchen task – curtains. Ooooh the excitement!
Matt’s new year resolution to become more handy is off to a great start! Over the weekend, he and Dad put together a new (partially anyways) dining room table for us. We were looking for something big and solid feeling to fill the big space we have there in our kitchen/dining room, and the end result certainly fits the bill.
It started with some counter/island bases that were leftover from the apartment units of the construction project Matt has been working on for the last few years. He acquired two of these, and we decided to go in search of an old door to make the table top. Hardly an original idea, but we knew that finding the right door would really make or break it.
We took a trip to The Brass Knob Back Doors Warehouse, an old architectural salvage warehouse on New York Avenue, not too far from our new house. Holy cool place!! There were literally thousands of old doors, fireplace surrounds, mirrors, columns, trim, windows, EVERYTHING you can imagine, packed in this old, dusty, two-story building. So much potential for these things!!
We spent about an hour sifting through the old doors, which were loosely arranged by height and size, until we found the one we settled on. Just the right amount of history (and chipping paint) to it and the right size, too. For $20, a guy and his pickup truck delivered it to our house on the spot.
Leaving the warehouse with the door.
It’s home… uh, now what do we do?
Lining it up.
Minor alterations to fit.
The next step is to do some sanding, and then decide upon either a glass top or a resin top, but we need to do a little research into those options. Then, the fun part will be picking out some counter-height dining chairs to go with. Take that, HGTV.