HVAC Work – New Kitchen Vent

This photo says it all — big, unfinished mess. I had to have Joe my HVAC guy move the kitchen air vent over a couple feet so my new range can go on solid floor.

Renovation Mess

IMG_4328, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

Here is what the old pink guest bathroom looked like yesterday. The electrician was installing a new bath vent/heat fan. This bathroom already has a ton of junk in it from the kitchen, waiting for new cabinets.

I think I underestimated the mess that would ensue during renovations. I am on my third dumpster now.

Kitchen Renovation Begins


Before we moved in here’s how it looked….


And this morning we were here….


Around lunch here we go….


And by tonight….

Galley Kitchen with Bar from ThisOldHouse.com

Yeah just kidding. Maybe in a couple weeks. 😉

1885 Crazy Quilt Project

1885 Crazy Quilt, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

My mom recently gave me this quilt that’s been in my family for over 100 years. It had the following note with it:

All hand made
Crazy quilt pattern
Good example of featherstitching
Made about 1885
Mrs. Ebenezer Jane (Zane?) Reed
and Hand Painted in Oil by her daughter
Carrie Reed
(formerly) Property of Mrs. Leonard C. McCrary
1852 Springhill Ave.

I am working on figuring out how to conserve and display it.

Galley Kitchen Elevation

Here is how the kitchen plan is shaping up. Plain galley, but much more functional than before.

galley kitchen elevation

Link to PDF of it here.

Furniture Refinishing Project: Paint and Gloss



I bought this sofa table on craigslist awhile back. It’s found a spot in the front bay window, and it also acts as a stylish room for my sweet dog Ruby who loves to spend hours gazing out. A doggie bed fits nicely beneath.

I felt like the wood finish was dated but liked the line detail that gives it an Asian, parquet feel. I used dark grey oops paint and black Gem Glo gloss to achieve the new finish. It’s nothing Earth-shattering, but I like it much better than before. Mission accomplished!





Recent Acquisitions

Lots of craigslist furniture activity recently.

Bought: Ethan Allen love seat, from a guy who liked it but said his wife wanted to sell it. Paid a lot, and the guy wasn’t into negotiating, which always irritates me.


I like how it fits into such a tight spot. It completes the tiny conversation area in the old dining space:


Which brings me to the next item – Baker Furniture black tiered end table. This is not its final resting spot, I just brought it home from Denton yesterday. I think it may go in the far corner. Paid $75 which I think is a good deal. A guy was selling it on behalf of his older lady neighbor.


Flat woven wool rug. I like this but don’t love it. As they say at the dog pound, mine may not be it’s furever home. Fortunately I feel certain I can flip it!


Thomasville sideboard, from a super nice storage unit in Fort Worth. I was really excited about this piece but it seems sort of lonely on the large back wall. I’ve been hunting for a big buffet and thought this could fit the bill. We’ll see. That’s the beauty of craigslist. As long as the price is right, if you don’t like it, you can always sell.



Kitchen Design Dilemmas

When I started thinking about my ultimate kitchen remodel, I imagined wide open spaces, a huge bar with cool pendant lights that overlooked a den with huge TV, stuff like that.  You always hear about people who move into an old house like mine, take a wall out of the kitchen, and voila — open kitchen, cool bar, easy fix.

Unfortunately, not here.  The den’s too shallow, the dining room’s too deep, etc., etc.  Michael’s dad Gary is an architect, and he is helping me with plans.  He’s reworked sketches several different ways, and short of removing/reconfiguring all walls, the open plan just isn’t doable.

So a galley it shall remain.

The most recent time Gary was here he came up with this sketch:

sketch as pic

Here is my crude drawing of how it is now:

kitchen as is

The trouble I’m having with the new idea relates to the round counter/island deal. I didn’t want a dinette table, and I was trying to figure a way to extend the counter into the bay. Gary suggested ending the counter at the edge of the bay and extending it on the other side.

Sometimes I like this and sometimes I think I may not. I remember seeing a really nifty rolling island in a magazine and have wondered if a counter-height bar could be built to fit at the one end. Anyways, that’s where I’m at. I am going to post this dilemma on Gardenweb and see if anyone responds.

Kitchen Before

The day has finally arrived that I have the financial means to bust out my kitchen without busting out my bank account. I have decided that Texas/OU weekend in mid-October is the deadline for completion.

Here are some (obviously!) before shots:

Kitchen side

Kitchen corridor

Sink side

Nook with aluminum bay window

Sink view


Oops Paint is the Best Paint

Oops Collection, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

I have recently become a big fan of oops paint. This is the deep discount paint you find at pretty much any hardware store, reduced because it was mixed incorrectly. Or someone just didn’t want that paint they just mixed and set it amongst the hose end sprayers on his way out.

Either way, oops paint is a great value and great fun. It’s easy to mix new colors, seems to be available in most shades, and it’s uber cheap. I didn’t want to spend much on the dining table redo, so all of that was oops paint, maybe $10 worth.

I have proactively purchased a few colors at $5 or $2 a pop, anticipating future projects. I love that red in the photo above.

The paint clerk at the Elliot’s in Plano must be really sloppy because it’s a goldmine of high-end Benjamin Moore oops paint. I picked up one cream and one white enamel yesterday, both of which will surely come in handy.

I am even considering repainting the front living/dining room an oops paint color. I didn’t set out to do this, it just sort of jumped out to me when I looked at a big swatch. Hopefully I can get them to match the once-wrong color!