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Blog — "projects"

Year of the House Update

Heidi Shenk "home" "projects" "year of the house"

About a week ago I gave you a little peek at the beginnings of our studio transformation. The painting has been completed and our comfy reading chairs for part of the room have arrived. Unfortunately, our sleeper sofa that was to go in the basement didn't fit so it had to be sent back. Now we must start over at square one in that department. However, I had my heart set on the chairs and after only a few days, I am so glad we decided to keep them. This space, while not yet close to being completely transformed, is already turning into a quiet, peaceful, and tranquil place. It feels cozy and since the room is in the back of our row house, the noises of the street are nearly nonexistent.


Much still needs to be done in terms of decor, and the actual studio side of the room isn't much more than my desk at this point. I'm looking forward to continuing the work on this room.

In addition to this transformation, another one has begun to take place. We picked up our cork flooring for our half bath on the first floor yesterday afternoon. Andrew couldn't wait and had to dive into the project immediately. Here is a glimpse of the bathroom before demolition began.


Those ugly black tiles are also gracing our backsplash in the kitchen-- another project that will eventually be in the works. We're planning on putting down the cork flooring and then doing a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque paneling of maple that extends just right about the height of the sink, similar to this.


As for now, we have a toilet and a sink sitting in our living room. You may or may not have seen my tweet about the construction currently taking place, but for a look at what's going on, check the photo out here.

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And So It Begins...

Heidi Shenk "home" "projects"

Our second bedroom is becoming a studio. Today it all starts with the paint. Goodbye white walls. Stay tuned for more. I'll be sure to share the transformation.

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Design a Day Challenge: Day 31 & 32

Heidi Shenk "cards" "challenge" "design a day" "design" "furniture" "projects" "stationery"

I may be a bit behind the times in posting this, but I've continued on with my Design a Day Challenge. I will post for Friday and Saturday now and hopefully be back later with something splendid for today. It has been one crazy past few days. First, on Friday, I decided that it made perfect sense to sit in 98 degree (106 degree heat index) weather for 3 hours at Oriole Park for the O's vs Angels game. To make matters worse, our closing pitcher gave up a grand slam in the top of the 9th inning making me wonder even more if even the super cheap $6 ticket I bought using my outdated student ID was even worth it.

Follow that up with Saturday spent in 102 degree (114 degree heat index) weather at a stone and masonry store trying to pick out pavers for our back yard. Andrew decided it was a good idea to keep going back and forth from one section to the next in the blazing sun for about an hour and a half-- of course at the hottest time of day at that! After our masonry adventures, in which I inevitably picked out the most expensive thing, we had planned to go order new dining room chairs. So we had to take our sweaty selves to a super classy furniture store in which the woman helping us proceeded to tell us that she was recently married. In addition, her new husband had just given her a blank check for furniture for their 3rd home (5,400 sq ft of it) in which she spent $20,000. AND that was the third blank check he had given her. Meanwhile, I had sweated my butt off at the stone store and looked a hot, sunburned mess-- she probably thought I was far from classy enough to be purchasing dining room chairs from her.

Needless to say, after all of that, I was done and didn't really feel like sitting near a heat generating computer to upload these fabulous designs:







Two totally different styles of designs, but I love them both! Hopefully that was worth having to read through my furniture lady story! Happy lazy Sunday everyone!

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Blues and Browns for a Guest Bedroom

Heidi Shenk "bedroom" "decor" "home" "projects"

The fence and pergola project is making some progress, but nothing to document at the moment. So instead of an update, I thought I'd show you a different project I've been working on. You could say it has been an ongoing project, but not nearly as painstaking and the back yard. When we moved into the row house, I decided that I was going to do a complete overhaul of our decor. Our guest room in the apartment really had no decor as it served as storage and office as well.

While our new guest room in the row house was temporary storage for a few things we needed to get rid of, we took care of that last weekend when the dumpster for the rest of the back yard concrete arrived. It felt good to purge all of the other junk from the house that we'd been waiting to take to the dump-- most notably 4 floor lamps that were lined up against the wall in the guest room. With those out, I feel as though I can finally share the progress.

I've turned to one of my favorite color combinations-- blue and brown. While the room is not finished and needs a coat of paint to get rid of the boring white, here is what I've put together so far.



Everything in the room has just happened into place one at a time. I found the clock at Uncommon and immediately knew it belonged. The dripping dark blue pitcher is a pottery piece I had thrown a while ago that somehow showed up on the night stand. I decided it worked so I let it stay. The bedside lamp was an impulse $14 buy at Target. I used a frame that was a Christmas present for a paper cut piece that I made to coordinate the room. The photos are my own originals that I framed using old frames I found around the house. The night stand was a cabinet we used in our tiny bathroom at the old apartment. I needed something for the guest room and it just happened to fit in that space perfectly. And finally, I sewed the accent pillows from fabric I found at JoAnn Fabrics-- they match the luxuriously soft and silky bamboo sheets I picked up on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond.

The next project for this room is paint. In fact, I'm hoping to choose some paint colors in the coming week. And one lovely part of this room that I failed to show you, is the exposed brick wall-- such a contemporary feature for an old row house.

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Contractor vs Architect

Heidi Shenk "construction" "garden" "outdoors" "projects"

Finally I feel as though I have something good to write about when it comes to the fence. Remember way back when? A jackhammer had arrived and then there were fence posts put up. Then a whole lot didn't seem to happen because it happened so slowly. I grew up in a house that always had projects going on. My dad is a woodworker and he spent a lot of time building houses as well. So when I thought of a DYI backyard project, I imagined a few weekends and we'd be good to go-- that's what always happened when my dad was building things. Give him an afternoon and he'd have an entire room trimmed out arts and crafts style.

That's a craftsman. I guess I didn't consider how architects approach things. No offense (and I don't think any will be taken because all architects I know openly admit to this), but architects are too nerdy about the design for their own good. When I suggested to Andrew that we use an old door instead of building a fence gate, I was immediately shot down. The second time I suggested it, I was shot down. And the third time? You guessed it.

I told my dad, now I finally know why he used to always complain about the architect when he was in construction. And now I finally know why contractors and architects are seemingly always at each others' throats. My dad, joking about the door situation, said something like, "You know what your problem is? You didn't put in a change order with the architect."

The next day, I told Andrew, "That's it-- I'm putting in a change order. The gate needs to be redrawn as a door in your blueprints." And I got my way.


Maybe my dad was right after all.

In other news, despite the slow, thoughtful process of the architect in constructing our backyard, things are finally going in the right direction and we're nearly done! Here are some other photos to enjoy--




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