Google+ House Revivals: May 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Burnt Edge Poppy for Memorial Day

In honor of our brave lost, I am reposting this sentiment and a link to a remembrance poppy tutorial.

A Poppy for Remembrance

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poppy was made from a recycled blouse.  For the complete tutorial on making this burned edge poppy, click here.

Have a lovely long weekend, and please, don't forget to remember all the men and women who have sacrificed everything to preserve our way of life.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pink Postcard is Featuring House Revivals

Hey folks, my friend Denise, at Pink Postcards, is featuring House Revivals today!  Denise has a darling blog full of crafting and decor and loveliness.

She also hosts a weekly blog party called Transformations and Treasures.   Hop over and check Denise's blog -- and be sure to check out the links to her popular posts in her sidebar.  She has some really great projects!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Most Beautiful Toilet in the World

The third floor loft was not supposed to be part of the first phase of the beach house remodel, so I haven't really shared much about it here, but that is about to change.  Because last week a wonderful thing happened....

Hello, Beautiful! 

We got a brand new flush toilet in the beach house!  To give you an idea of how momentous this occasion was, here's a refresher of how beach house bathrooms looked when we bought the house.

Bathroom number one:
  • mostly gutted
  • fixtures removed
  • really grody

Bathroom number two:

  • largely gutted
  • toilet and sinks removed
  • vanity removed
  • really grody

Bathroom number three (loft bathroom):

  • really weird layout with lots of wasted space
  • stained vinyl composition tiles
  • tub with rust stains
  • terrible wallpaper
  • two foot tall vanity.  seriously.
  • the world's most disgusting toilet
  • corroded faucets no longer functioned
  • builder grade oak trim

The loft bathroom is not being remodeled at this time, but it will be getting a good scrubbing and a face lift.  For now, it needed to be made functional, with a new toilet and a couple of faucets.  Actually, I think the old toilet was functional, but it was just way to gross to keep.

And remember how I said we're not doing anything (besides the new toilet) to the loft right now?  Well, that changed.

I had quite the surprise on my last trip out to the coast to check progress!

This post is being linked to the following lovely places:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Abusing Laminate Flooring or "What I Did This Week"

We need to make a decision about flooring for the remodeled wing of the beach house.  The public areas of the house have flagstone flooring, like I talked about here.


Originally, we were going to put carpeting in the remodeled/ guest wing -- it's warm and quiet, and that part of the house won't get a lot of shoe traffic.  But plans change.  My daughter will be moving into the guest wing soon, while her husband is in Afghanistan, and she will be bringing this little guy.

This is Dexter.  He's a little older than this now, but he's still a pretty young pup.  He's a sweet, good boy, but sometimes when he gets really excited, he tinkles just a little.  He'll outgrow it, but I'm not about to put down carpeting just to have it ruined.  So, I'm looking at laminates.  Laminate flooring has improved a lot in the last several years, but I didn't really trust that it would hold up well to abuse, so I performed some experiments.

Golden Select laminate flooring in walnut from Sam's Club

I gathered samples from several different sources including Pergo (from Home Depot), Ikea, and Lumber Liquidators.  I also looked at flooring from Costco and Sam's Club, but was not able to get samples (  I did, however, take my keys out of my purse, then proceeded to jab and scratch at the samples on their display -- it was virtually indestructible).  Using an assortment of tools, I jabbed and scraped at the Pergo, Ikea, and Lumber liquidator samples, as well.  Basically, I could not make a mark with anything but steel on any of the samples. I was impressed!  Next was the water test.

The samples were soaked in water for several hours, with little change.  So, we left them in the water until the next day. 


Pergo Prestige from Home Depot 

St James Collection from Lumber Liquidators

After a day of soaking, the ends that were immersed were starting to swell a little, but we wanted to see the extent of the damage after the flooring dried out.  Here is what we found.

From the surface, the only sample that looked noticeably misshapen was the sample from Lumber Liquidators.  That made sense, since they all swelled at about the same rate, so the sample that was twice as thick, swelled about twice as much.

We also butted the samples against identical pieces that had not been soaked, for comparison. 

Lumber Liquidators
You can see that the damage is much more noticeable on the thicker flooring, than on the thin sample from Ikea. 

And the difference in the Pergo flooring was barely noticeable, as well.


Overall, we were pretty impressed with the new laminates.  The amount of swelling after several hours of soaking was almost imperceptible; after nearly 24 hours, it was definitely more noticeable.  Still, any flooring would be damaged after 24 hours of flooding -- I am most concerned with the occasional spill (or tinkle), humidity changes, and foot traffic, and have convinced myself that laminates will perform very well.

What do you think?  Have you had experience with laminate flooring?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reading Nooks and Window Seats or "When Life Gives You Lemons," and a Feature

Before I share a beach house update, I must give a shout out to Tamara, from Etcetorize.  Tamara is amazingly creative, and so it was such an honor to find House Revivals had been featured on her blog!  She gave the nicest review.  Thank you, Tamara!

In a post a week or so ago I mentioned some design changes to our beach house renovation.  It happens on most projects, and sometimes it's easier to roll with the changes than others.  One of our design changes involves the street side deck of the house's third level loft.

It's this funny little deck above the main entrance of the house.  If you exit the house onto the deck, you can actually go through another door and enter the funny little attic spaces over the garage wing that I talked about here. 

It's kind of a funky little area, but everyone always enjoys discovering a completely different part of the house.

Well, the deck is leaking.  When you get 67 inches of rain combined with wind every winter, water finds its way in through every little crevice.  It appears water is being blown into the house around the edges of the doors.  For years water has seeped down the interior of a hallway wall from this leak.  When I was stripping all that grass cloth a couple of weeks ago, I discovered how bad the damage was.

After a heart to heart with my contractor, we made the decision to enclose that deck.  We could replace the doors and thresholds and repair the wall, but those would be band-aid solutions.  We need to get aggressive about keeping the water out.

I was pretty bummed about losing a deck and started madly sketching -- on the backs of envelopes, napkins, anything that was handy. 

We're going to have this funny little interior space adjoining the loft, and we need to make sense of it.  The space is about three feet wide, and about ten feet long. It will have lots of windows.

What do you do with a funny little space like that?

Any ideas?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Featured at Knock Off Decor!

Have you checked out Beckie's new blog, Knock Off Decor?  She features projects inspired by popular decor catalogs.  I'm so excited because Beckie is featuring my Philippians 4:8 sign!

 Pop over to Knock Off Decor and be sure to check out all the other cool projects people have done!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kitchens with Vintage Stoves

Do you just love a beautiful vintage stove?  A gorgeous stove can be the centerpiece of a kitchen. 
kitchen-vintage-appliances - White traditional kitchen
from Coastal Living via Houzz, photo Deboral Whitlaw Llewellyn

Who doesn't love this beauty from Kitty Bartholemew's kitchen?
Photography by Ray Kachatorian

This bright yellow Chambers stove makes me happy.
photo credit: Keller+Keller, Country Living

This stove goes perfectly in this Hollywood Hills kitchen.
Alec Hemer; Stylist: John Costello, via

I love that the owners of this kitchen chose to install a wall exhaust.
This blue and red kitchen is so fun.

I love the warmth and hominess of this kitchen!
source Momto5 via

We're getting pretty excited about our new kitchen!   Our own vintage stove is exactly like the one in this ad.

What kind of stove would you like to have in your kitchen?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beach House Exterior Progress

This is just a quick post to update you on the beach house progress.  I was too busy to take interior shots this week, but let me tell you, it's a big mess!  There are piles of grass cloth wallpaper all the way down the hall, and in the kitchen and entryway.  I'm still not finished with what needs to be done before the drywall guys show up, but hope to finish this weekend.

This is the ONE picture I took (from the cab of my pickup, as I was backing out of the driveway).

Here's a concept shot, so you can get a rough idea of where we're going with the project.

The garage window was nixed for security issues, but we will most likely be adding a Polaris/ golf cart type door in the future.  It will look sort of like this, but smaller, and without the cantilevered second floor bump out.  Well, it still bumps out, but so does the first floor, so it's not cantilevered.

The shingle patching and repair, is tedious work.  The patching around the sliding doors took one contractor the better part of the day to finish.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but I made a last minute change in the stair design, in the interest of "value engineering", and I hate it.  We will have to change it. I'll write more about the design changes, mine, and a few my contractor made, in a later post.  

Have a wonderful weekend!