Quantcast

Modern life and design in our historical American Foursquare home

Subscribe to get new posts instantly by email:


[ 6 ]

State of the House: First floor

By on January 7, 2015


Happy 2015! With a new year beginning, we thought we’d put together a kind of “State of the House” report. We’ve already done a lot of home improvement, renovation, DIY, and overall re-designing of our home’s look and function, but there’s still so much more that we want to do. So I thought taking stock of our progress so far would help inspire and motivate us to keep going.

This is (hopefully) our forever home, so we’re not in a huge rush to get everything finished and perfect. We’re working on our project plans for 2015 currently and we’ll share those (and how well we did with our ideas for 2014) in the next few weeks. Taking a slow-but-steady approach to fixing up our house helps as we also try to balance daily life, family and other priorities. Now that Baby T is four months old (!) and things are settling down a little, we’re ready to look forward.

So let’s take a look at each room/area to review what’s we’ve accomplished and what’s still on our to-do list. Here’s where we are with the first floor of the house.


Living Room

Built-In Bookcase: Intentional Style | Rather Square

Living Room (Sunroom Play Area) Progress | Rather Square

Completed!

Still to do…

General thoughts:

This is the room where we spend most of our time, so it needs to stay organized and functional – not just pretty! – to fit our growing family. And with six windows, it gets a lot of nice natural light… but the current dingy old mini-blinds kind of spoil the view. Hopefully, we can replace those with something bright and happy soon.


Entryway

Entryway Progress | Rather Square

Entryway Progress | Rather Square

Completed!

Still to do…

General thoughts:

Another room that needs a lot of functionality and a big dose of style. Right now it’s an unorganized catchall for shoes, bags, and mail/packages, but we’d like to create a custom mudroom area here (next to the front door) to efficiently store seasonal outerwear and accessories.


Office

Paper Shredding | Rather Square

Designing our Home Office | Rather Square

Completed!

Still to do…

General thoughts:

We had such grand plans for this room in 2014, but they were largely put on hold for more pressing priorities that came up. We’ll have to see how (and if!) the remaining office re-design projects fit into our schedule and budget this year.


Kitchen

Kitchen Progress | Rather Square

Kitchen Dishwasher

Completed!

Still to do…

General thoughts:

There is A LOT on the kitchen to-do list! We’ve replaced a few appliances and fixtures, but haven’t really made any aesthetic design changes yet. Everything is so brown in this room – it needs to be opened up with some contrast and a brighter color palette. Last year we talked about possible future plans for a big kitchen renovation, so we need to decide if that’s still in the cards/budget for 2015.


Dining Nook

Padding under new carpet | Rather Square

Overgrown Smoke Tree | Rather Square

Completed!

Still to do…

General thoughts:

We envision this little room getting more and more use in the coming years, as the kids get older and we start having regular family meals here. It’s a small space, so we’d like to maximize its efficiency by re-imagining the eating area and creating a back-door mudroom (a mini version of the one we’re planning for the entryway). And the striped faux-texture wallpaper has got to go!


So that’s the renovation recap of our first floor as of the end of 2014. It’s come a long way from red walls and bad carpet, but there’s still plenty of projects left to keep us busy. And next we’ll take a look at the second floor. .. stay tuned!

Check out our recaps of the second floor, basement, garage, and exterior as well:
State of the house: Second floor
State of the House: Downstairs, outside and more

January 7, 2015

[ 4 ]

Our last-minute DIY Christmas tree

By on December 23, 2014


We were just going to make do with our little cardboard Christmas tree again this year, but then this happened…

Our Last-Minute DIY Christmas Tree | Rather Square

Even though we’ve been really busy with holiday activities and family gatherings this month, John still found time to build us a full-size Christmas tree! He designed and made this over the course of a few evenings after the kids were in bed, using scrap wood from our basement. Not bad for a last-minute DIY project, right?

Our Last-Minute DIY Christmas Tree | Rather Square

Our Last-Minute DIY Christmas Tree | Rather Square

We wrapped it in white lights and silver garland, and hung our growing collection of new and old family ornaments. And, of course, we left room on the bottom for Santa to leave us some gifts.

Our Last-Minute DIY Christmas Tree | Rather Square

You’ve probably noticed that things have been a little slower on the blog in the past few months – we welcomed Baby T in August, and since then we’ve put our usual home improvement schedule on hold while we adjust to being a family of four. It’s actually given us a chance to take stock of how our home is functioning for us so far, and what projects and updates we need to prioritize for 2015. We’re also evaluating our resources (namely, money and time) and how to allot those in the most efficient and meaningful ways.

But more on that after the new year! We’ll be back in January with a “State of the House” post – a roundup of what we’ve accomplished and what’s next on our list. Lots more to do and share. Happy holidays!

December 23, 2014

[ 3 ]

Gift Guide for Your Home: Design and Decor

By on December 17, 2014


You may be seeing a lot of gift guides popping up lately, with a plethora of ideas for what to get your friends and family this holiday season. But don’t forget to add your home to your gift-giving list! For us, our house is more than just shelter – it’s the hub of our family and our lives, and we want to celebrate it (since it’s been so good to us this year). So we thought we’d share some gift ideas for that special house in your life. Look for more in our Gift Guides for Your Home series all month long!


Our previous Gift Guides have been chock full of practical items to help you keep your house in top shape. In this last Gift Guide, we’re focusing on things to make your home feel pretty! In our 1920s Craftsman Foursquare, we like to mix up the decor with a balance of period-appropriate and modern-design items, and we usually gravitate toward a warm neutral color palette to tie it all together. Below we’re sharing some furnishings and accessories that would work in anyone’s old (or new!) house.

Gift Guide for Your Home: Design and Decor | Rather Square

A. How about a mid-century modern knockoff chair? (We’ve got one of these in our living room – check out our review here.) 

B. Wrap yourself up in this cozy, warm-tone blanket.

C. Open your doors with some vintage-look glass doorknobs(Have you weighed in on our keep-or-replace doorknob discussion yet?) 

D. Love the carved legs on this wooden end table.

E. Refresh your throw pillows with custom covers(We’ve done this in our nursery – an affordable alternative to buying all-new pillows!)

F. Introduce color with bright accessories, like this textured vase(This would look great on our built-in bookcase!)

G. Every room needs good lighting – try this geometric table lamp with an open base for an airy look.

H. Keep a few design books around for more ideas – we like The Nesting Place, The Furniture Bible, and Young House Love.

Check out our other Gift Guides for Your Home:
Gift Guide for Your Home: Keeping it Strong and Safe
Gift Guide for Your Home: DIY Tools and Supplies

(linked on Remodelaholic)

Links may contain affiliates.

December 17, 2014

[ 0 ]

Riding the holiday train

By on December 15, 2014


I had a very merry ride home from work last week…

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

I was lucky enough to catch the our local holiday train! Every year during the holiday season, volunteers transform train cars on each branch of Chicago’s mass transit system with lights, decorations, music and a real live Santa. It was (conveniently!) scheduled to show up at my usual station around the end of the workday, so I made sure to get to the platform in time. It’s hilariously over-the-top awesome, and of course I took lots of pictures.

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

I rode this train last year as well. It’s a really fun experience, especially for kids (there were many of them with their families in my train car, riding along with us regular commuters). Maybe next year John and I can take E and T – they’d probably think it was the best time ever. Particularly the “elves” handing out candy canes at each entrance.

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

Even after speeding along in the cold open air for hours, Santa’s still a jolly sport.

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

Happy holidays!

Riding the Holiday Train | Rather Square

December 15, 2014

category: Inspiration + Fun  • Tags: , ,
[ 0 ]

Gift Guide for Your Home: DIY Tools and Supplies

By on December 8, 2014


You may be seeing a lot of gift guides popping up lately, with a plethora of ideas for what to get your friends and family this holiday season. But don’t forget to add your home to your gift-giving list! For us, our house is more than just shelter – it’s the hub of our family and our lives, and we want to celebrate it (since it’s been so good to us this year). So we thought we’d share some gift ideas for that special house in your life. Look for more in our Gift Guides for Your Home series all month long!


This next Gift Guide features some essential tools and supplies for all the DIY projects you’ve been meaning to start (or finish!) around your house. Have a painting party, cut through some walls, build some stuff, or do a little crafting. It’s the holidays!

Gift Guide for Your Home: DIY Tools and Supplies | Rather Square

A. This oscillating saw makes quick work of cutting cleanly through plaster in old houses – see what’s behind your walls without making a huge mess. (John used his during our bathroom light installation project.)

B. Another great tool for cutting things – a reciprocating saw – can come in handy for both indoor and outdoor jobs. (It helped us cut down our giant yew bushes.)

C. A lightweight drill/driver set is the perfect all-purpose power tool gift, and we especially love that it’s cordless – great for those spots in your home that aren’t near an electrical outlet! (Check out how we used this drill to easily move our kitchen counters.)

D. Use a paint sprayer when you want to cover a large surface area in a short amount of time, and make it look professional. (We’re coveting this for our kitchen cabinet makeover! Santa, are you reading this?)

E. High-quality paintbrushes are a must for any painting project. (See all our painting projects here.)

F. For a dust-free way to prepare surfaces for paint, try a deglosser instead of sanding. (We used this for our built-in bookcase renovation with positive results.)

G. Mix this fabric medium with regular latex paint to transform upholstered furniture without breaking the bank. (Or use it for painting inexpensive fabric bins to match your new nursery decor.)

H. A staple gun is a good tool to have on hand for a variety of craft and upholstery projects. (See all our furniture projects here.)

I. Sharp X-acto blades or a utility knife are essential for scoring lightweight materials like paper, foamcore and cardboard. (They’re great for making a quick cardboard Christmas tree!)

Check out our other Gift Guides for Your Home:
Gift Guide for Your Home: Keeping it Strong and Safe
Gift Guide for Your Home: Design and Decor

(linked on Remodelaholic)

Links may contain affiliates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

December 8, 2014