The Row House

The Beauty of SIMPLE

Raise your hand if you like simple, clean and bright! I see you…thanks for agreeing. 🙂

Mark and I definitely lean toward the minimalistic sense of design. We like clean lines and favor simple accents over lots of stuff and overly fussy design.

The master bedroom in our first renovation is the perfect example of simple, clean and bright.

Our exposed brick fireplace is a central feature of the bedroom. Mark used extra bricks from downstairs to make a cool hearth that’s a bump out on the floor in front of the fireplace.

We chose a light pine floor and sanded it just a little before putting a clear protectant on it. The protectant let the natural color come through without too much shine.

A sleek ceiling fan, dark chocolate wood blinds and just a few accessories finish off the space! I love this bedroom…the only thing it needs is a bigger closet!

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The Row House

The Road Guy’s Room

Every night, we sit in Henry’s room and make forts and play with his favorite animals, Hal and Mr. Polar Bear!

 

We were playing the other night and I said to Mark, “I can’t believe this room was such an ugly space filled with tons of junk and now it’s one of our favorite rooms in the house!

Before he was born, Henry’s room started out as a catch-all space when we were renovating this house.

how to organize your bedroom

It stayed like that for awhile and we just always kept the door closed and ignored it. HA!!

When we found out I was pregnant, we got to work making it into a baby’s room.

what to paint a baby's room

Since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, we went with a neutral, gray and brown palette.

master bedrooms

It was a simple space to do. Some new drywall, paint and a fresh carpet did the trick.

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I love how it turned out. Henry calls it the “Road Guy’s Room” and absolutely loves it!

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The Grand House

It’s Ugly But It’s PROGRESS!

I know we all prefer to look at pretty pictures, but SO MUCH of the home renovation process is ugly.

To us, the ugly pictures mean PROGRESS!

We had a company come in this week and put spray foam insulation through the whole house.

We felt it was the best decision in terms of energy saving costs for heating and cooling a home of this size.

Now that the spray foam is in, we have a little bit more of electrical work to complete and then we’ll be able to drywall!

I remember when the drywall went in at our first renovation, it just really made us feel that we were getting close to the end!

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Family

Birthday Boy!

My husband is not the same person I married.

For one, I did not know he was so good at demo-ing houses.

He never told me he knew how to build stud walls.

Nor did he share that he could hang drywall…

And mud and tape it.

He knows how to wire a house for electrical.

And he built me a brand new kitchen.

Oh…and he’s also passing all this good stuff on to our son.

Happy birthday babe! You make life fun and you are easy to love!

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The Grand House, The Row House

We Have This Thing For Exposed Brick

Maybe Mark was a mason in his former life because he (and I!) LOOOOVE exposed brick.

It’s was a main feature in our first home renovation.

The small rowhouse we gutted and totally redid had fireplaces EVERYWHERE!

Our second renovation will feature exposed brick but not as prominently, because we’re going for a different style with this house.

As Mark exposes the brick, some of it is in decent shape and some of it is not.

The brick in the kitchen had to be cleaned and repointed.

In our first house, we used a light coating of muriatic acid on the brick to get the plaster completely off.

We used a sprayer and then a coarse brush to get all the pieces off.

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We haven’t had to use acid in the second renovation.

We’re hoping the exposed brick in this house will add a modern twist to an otherwise classic Victorian house!

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The Grand House

Our City Backyard

We love living in the city.  We love the noise and the traffic and the walkability of our cool little neighborhood.

Henry is a total city kid…he runs up and down the sidewalks like he owns them, waves to all the bus drivers and loves the banana bread at our local coffee shop.

Backyard space is hard to come by in Lawrenceville. At our #RealLifeReno, Mark really wanted to make our small yard a nature oasis in the city.

He planted a tall Bloodgood London Planetree in the far back of our lot.  We call it “Henry’s Tree” and planted it shortly after he was born.

We’ve got 3 smaller trees that are called Hornbeam plus some sidewalks trees that we got from Tree Pittsburgh.  They really add shade, beauty and charm to the normal concrete-jungle that is city living.

Mark decided on Arborvitae Nigra for our “natural fence” that borders our neighbor’s yard and planted Yew hedge as filler for the rest of our backyard space.

The backyard is right off the French doors that lead into the kitchen.

We wanted to create a place where Henry can dig in the dirt and push his trucks around while I’m in the kitchen cooking…(really I’ll be drinking coffee and heating up food in the microwave.)

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The Grand House

How Did He Do That?!

One of our favorite things about our #RealLifeReno is that we’re honoring the history of this grand old house!

When we were looking to buy it, one of the first things we noticed was a beautiful curved wall right at the entrance of the house that leads into the first living room.

That curve makes us think that this house was a funeral home or doctor’s office at one time. Perhaps the curved wall separated a waiting area from the rest of the house.

We absolutely LOVED that curved feature and knew that we would rebuild it after we demoed the entire inside of the house.

Mark tackled that project last week. He first drew the curve in his CAD computer program to make sure all the measurements were correct.

Then he used a jig saw and cut the curve from plywood because there’s no way to get that curve from a stiff 2×4.

Just wait til it’s drywalled and painted…it’ll be a real beauty!

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