Sunday, January 7, 2007

a little do it yourself

at our house, we take a little do it yourself VERY seriously. luckily, my husband will attempt to build whatever i attempt to draw. the pictures that follow are projects from the last house we lived in, a 1952 flat-roofed box on a hill just outside the capitol of new hampshire.

the bigggest transformation here, excluding the removal of greasy gold shag carpet, is our fix for mushroom vinyl window syndrome (MVWS). take many cans rust-oleum black paint, many lengths bookcase molding from home depot, not so many tubes appropriate goop brand product, and call me in the morning. do not forget to paint the back of your bookcase molding the color of your outside trim (in our case, also black) because you will be seeing it from the out of doors.
the next big change was the fireplace wall. we were very fortunate to live in an area full of furniture makers and that = great lumberyards, like my personal favorite place to shop ever goosebay lumber. if you are interested, i will take you on a tour when i visit new hampshire in may.
so, we moved the door to the right as far down as we could to gain the idea of a little symmetry, and covered the whole fireplace wall in maple bookcases with a walnut mantle.
the walnut on the mantel was left over from the couch we built to gain a little symmetry on the other side of the room. we made a room within a room. the cushions are made from diamond matelesse coverlets from the tj maxx, straight off the clearance end rack for $19.99 each. the insides are down comforter wrapped foam. the mirror coffee table is an mdf box covered with mirror cut to measure, total cost around $175. please wear your dust mask, especially when cutting mdf. all curtain rods are copper plumbing pipe, painted black and hung on iron hooks from the home depot gate hardware department. also above, the photo i took before we bought the house.
and now, if you are still with me, i'll take you to the kitchen!


for reference, the window in the before photo is the same window that you see to the left of the stove in the after photos. the refrigerator did not move although we did cut a hole in the wall, remove a stud and install a header so we could gain a few more inches in the kitchen. the big transformation came with the removal of the stove wall in the before picture. the stove wall cut the kitchen into 2 small bits. one side for cooking, and behind the stove side for laundry. ridiculous, i say. laundry promptly migrated south to the basement and saws-all and crow-bar action ensued. i will spare you the mouse infestation drama.
as for the rest, we built it ourselves. the cabinets, the countertops (in walnut, my favorite wood AND it's antibacterial) we built from scratch. the glass doors on either side of the plate rack were from my travelling architectural salvage stash. we made them slide back and forth over the plate rack because if they opened normally they would wipe out everything on the counter and take up half the kitchen. my husband fulfilled my mantle over 4 oven aga fantasy (minus the 4 oven aga) and we tiled the entire back wall of the kitchen in water blue tiny mosaic tiles from home depot expo. there are a couple ceramic tiles offered at home depot expo that read en masse like a real glass tile. the difference? ceramic version = $25 a sq. ft. less. kitchen table from unfinished furniture warehouse, covered in throw from tj maxx. the chandelier is a WICKED GOOD flea market find that i take with me from house to house.

16 comments:

kate (pm) said...

gorgeous!

Marilyn said...

Your remodel is Fabulous!
Wondering where you found the banner at the top of your blog? Is it a print, runner, or other?
Beautiful, as are your posts!

Amy Leonard said...

thanks! the banner at the top of my page is from my favorite piece of needlework ever. it's german circa 1736 and i really love it. you must be a needle lover too.

Ronda said...

Great blog. I’ve been searching for wonderful sites as I work on my own blog. It’s great to find inspiration from other terrific sites. I love the before and after photos. Great work.

Amy Leonard said...

hi ronda! thanks for visiting. i just started this blog too. we will have the learning curve together. i will come to visit!

James Daniels said...

Please oh please tell me how you made your couch. That is the Exact type of couch my wife wants . Details please.

Amy Leonard said...

hi james. i will get with my handy husband and get some engineering info. then i guess i will try to draw it. stay tuned....

Michele said...

What a BEAUTIFUL home!

Amy said...

thanks! because there was no air conditioning (most nh folk do not - shocking coming from the south) all those big windows were always open. because we lived on top of a hill the breeze was fabulous and would blow the curtains and chandeliers around. it made a fantastic sound.

notorious said...

I'd love, love, love to see photos of the Richland House renovation as well...any such luck?!

Amy said...

when i put my hands on them i will post them. i've got some great ones with the roof and back off. it looks like a doll house where you can reach in all the rooms from the back. because of the historic zoning we had to leave the whole front exactly as it was so the front of the roof was all propped up with 2x4"s and just mid-air in the back!

redclover said...

Really interesting blog and I just love your home! I LOVE that you've done it yourself and that you're not ashamed to say you picked something up for 19.99 at TJ Maxx! You obviously have a marvelous eye for elements that work, because not everyone could put your rooms together as elegantly as you have. Thanks for the inspiration.

Amy said...

thank you redclover. you are too kind! sometimes it is hard to start on big diy because it is scary, but it is possible to do some great things without a ton of cash. each house we buy we become a little more brave, use a little better materials and become a little more experimental. we are on our 4th house now which is temporary, so we will not go too nuts. next time, i really want a warehouse shell!!

Ron said...

Wonderful stuff. I noticed you mentioned a sofa you made. I'm assuming it is the one in the photo with the walnut base. Any info or photos of how you did this project? A similar project is on my wish list.

thanks

amy said...

I'm still a little confused regarding your kitchen reno - did you lose a window in the process?? or am I just floor plan-challenged? It looks great - would love to see more before and after pics!

Amy said...

ron and james, i will post some direction on the sofa construction tonight.

amy, we did not lose a window in the kitchen remodel. if you look at the before and after kitchen photos that are side by side, the refrigerator is in the same place and the window to the left of the new stove is the same window that was over the sink in the before photo. we moved the sink so it makes it hard to recognize the window! i will try to get my old pc out of storage this weekend - i think i have alot of photos in it. i will also post some before and after bedroom photos that show what a dramatic change the black window sashes made. thanks for stopping by!