Design phase, Heavy lifting

Orange is the new black

“Orange is the New Black” is the coolest, hottest show on Netflix…and we have the coolest, hottest wall in the ‘Burgh.

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That is 100% our opinion. Feel free to disagree. 🙂

My husband, Mark, LOVES the color orange, and I once had a makeup artist tell me that it was my color. (I immediately went to the mall and bought like 10 orange tops.)

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Using good ol’ Google, I read a bit about what the color orange means. One website said “the color orange radiates warmth and happiness.” Good. I’m ALL about happiness and warmth in this house.

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The article went on to say that “Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair.” Another bonus. Now, when life presents us with challenges, Mark and I will just plop ourselves in front of this wall and cry and hug each other.

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But, the number one reason why we love our orange wall is because Mark’s family is Dutch and we think it’s very appropriate to have a wall dedicated to Holland in our home!

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Design phase, Heavy lifting

I picked our paint color because of Touchdown Jesus

We’re at that stage where we’re ready to paint the upstairs walls. While I hate the actual act of painting, I don’t mind picking the colors.

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Designer Steve helped us figure out what paint suited our tastes and complimented our house. Mark would like the rowhouse to have a modern, industrial feel, but we didn’t want just white paint on the walls. We went for a color called “shark.”

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It’s more of a cool, gray neutral that Mark loves. I will say that my husband has quite the eye. I think the color is perfect and just what we were going for.

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Our next decision was to pick a color for an accent wall in our upstairs hallway. We were going back and forth between orange and blue (I went to Syracuse University but that literally has nothing to do with this choice). We settled on orange.

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Here’s where it gets tricky. Our exposed brick isn’t red, it’s a pumpkin color. So, we want to compliment that while still making the wall stand out.

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We decided to go with a shade called “Indiana Clay.” I feel okay about that because Notre Dame is in Indiana and I’ve always had fun when I’ve gone to ND football games.

And now you have some insight on how we choose our paint colors. If I like the name and can connect it to a fun memory, I’m sold! 🙂

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Design phase

Meet our designer!

This is Steve Shorthouse.

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His resume is wayyyyyy too impressive and long to help us with our little rowhouse, but Steve is also awesome and thinks every project is worthwhile!

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We met at our house in Lawrenceville and Steve immediately had like 7 great ideas for furniture placement that Mark and I would never have thought of. Since we’re not ready to buy furniture yet, the conversation moved to paint.

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I don’t know who thinks up the names for paint, but hats off to that person. There were like a thousand paint colors in this box. Seriously, “Bermuda onion” — who comes up with that??

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Steve taught us that it’s important to look at the paint color sample against the brick and not directly by itself…you get a truer idea of how the color will look in the room.

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We want to be pretty neutral with the paint because we’re going for a modern industrial vibe in the house. Steve ordered a bunch of large paint samples that will be sent to us so we can play around with them.

Right now, we really like this color called “Shark.”

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I know the name doesn’t sound welcoming, but Mark loves the cool gray undertones. Maybe it’ll give our house the BITE it needs! 🙂

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Awesome finds, Design phase

One of a kind

I swear my husband, Mark, has the golden touch when it comes to this home renovation stuff.

Not only is he re-doing the entire house from the studs up…but he’s finding the COOLEST stuff to put in it. Case in point —>

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Mark picked up this old elevator door that used to be in a saw mill near 60th Street in Lawrenceville.

A local artist who takes “throwaway pieces” and refurbishes them couldn’t figure out what to do with this door and was giving it away.

Mark immediately thought that we could put it on the downstairs ceiling, wire lighting around it and use it as a feature piece. I also saw this picture on Houzz.

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I love that they did a big art piece above the fireplace. Maybe we’ll do something like that with the elevator door instead of using it as a light.

By the way, if you’ve never been to Houzz.com is it AMAZING. You can search pictures by room, decor, style…it’s a great place to go for decorating ideas!

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Demolition, Design phase, Family, Heavy lifting

Marriage isn’t what I thought it was going to be

Today is my 2-year wedding anniversary which means I have accumulated LOTS of wisdom that I’m now allowed to disperse to others. 🙂

I had no idea when I walked down the aisle that I was not marrying Mark, but a superhuman who is the epitome of Bob Vila, Ty Pennington and Scott McGillivray all in one person.

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When we tied the knot, I figured we’d have a nice house in the suburbs with a garage and maybe a pool. Now, I’ve got dirty, dusty rowhouse in the city that needs new plumbing, a new roof and a TOTAL REHAB of the inside…and I couldn’t LOVE it more.

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As a new wife, I thought I might have to help out cutting the grass and changing the lightbulbs. I never imagined my wifely duties would include hanging drywall, chipping off plaster and mastering a table saw.

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When we got married, I knew that Mark was cool and funny and liked to fix stuff.

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Never, IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, did I know that my husband was capable of building an entire house from the studs up and that he would work tirelessly and never complain. At our wedding, Mark said that he was the lucky one…but now we know that I am. 🙂

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Design phase

Snap decisions

During the week, Mark and I are both SO BUSY and we kind of have opposite schedules…so we are like ships passing in the night.

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Or in this case, we are a Honda and a Volvo passing on the road.

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When you don’t have a lot of time, you make decisions quickly. Like in the picture above, we had 5 minutes to spare so Mark showed me a booklet of bathroom tiles on the hood of my car.

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We discussed our options quickly, compared them to our model layout that Mark had drafted and made our decision in about 30 seconds.

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See? All done. Okay, babe, I’ll see you when I see you!

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Design phase, Family, Heavy lifting

Will my stilettos puncture our floor?

That is the question of the day…will these killer heels put a hole in my new floor?

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See all the important things you have to grapple with as an adult?!

We want to put bamboo or cork floors on our second floor. The cork (far right) is definitely softer on our feet, but I seriously think my high heels (and the fact that I walk around like a linebacker) will puncture the cork.

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Mark suggested the gray and I wasn’t into it, but then I started seeing all these pictures of homes with gray bamboo flooring and they are FABULOUS!!

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I should always just trust my husband. Let’s repeat…I should always just trust my husband! 🙂

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Demolition, Design phase

We have a leak. Actually, we have 3.

It rained like a dickens in Pittsburgh last weekend and our roof couldn’t handle it.

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Mark made me hold that bucket there for four hours. What a guy! 😉
As the rain continued, we grabbed more plastic buckets from the basement.

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Our roof leaks in 3 places in the back bedroom. I’m not happy about it, but at least we know where the holes are and we can fix them before we spray foam insulation.

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Mark then got worried and went up in the attic to see if we had any leaks. So far, so good…maybe we’ll just hang out up there…we’re totally short enough to fit. 🙂

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Demolition, Design phase

Our VERY IMPORTANT orange notebook

This trusty orange book basically holds every detail our life right now.

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I guess it’s more of a butternut squash color. Anyway, we use it to track our expenses. We write down how many hours we work on the house each day…

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Our crew is small, but dedicated!! We also put in where we buy breakfast, lunch and how many adult beverages we purchase. 🙂

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Before we started this project we did 2 things…DESIGN and BUDGET. I already shared with you Mark’s awesome designs (if you missed it, CLICK HERE) and our budget is something we watch VERY CAREFULLY.

We also save every receipt…EVERY SINGLE ONE. This was my husband’s habit before we bought the house (I think it’s totally weird) and it’s carried over into this project…

But my mom (our accountant) says those receipts will be great to have for tax breaks…THAT’S ALL I NEEDED TO HEAR!

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Demolition, Design phase, Heavy lifting

Our first VIDEO blog because who doesn’t love a shaky iPhone video?!

Welcome to our first VIDEO blog!! What did we do before iPhones…seriously, how did we survive??

I thought it would be cool to show you how our upstairs is shaping up. Now that we’re putting stud walls in it’s much easier to visualize how it will look. Hope you like the quick tour…cheers!

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