Deuce Cities Henhouse

House Plants : Maidenhair Fern

Hello cool people of the internet! So, you guys seemed pretty into this house plants idea, which is awesome because I really wanted to do it! It’s tons of fun for me, not only do I have a good time photographing and writing about plants, it also gets me amped for spring. This week has been kinda nuts, but I can just tell spring is coming! I mentioned it instagram last week, but both my boys injured their appendages and I spent a lot of hours in the urgent care getting them fixed up. Young G-man is still down with a broken wrist, but he’s making do with his little paw in a cast. I also just finished booking our spring vacation, we’ll be taking the Amtrak from Portland to LA right down the pacific coast line, and then we’ll be spending some good time enjoying R&R in the desert and maybe a little LEGOLOAND action. I’ve never had to plan a trip with multiple destinations before, nobody told me how much coordinating goes into that type of thing. Needless to say, I’m excited (and excited is a mild way of putting it) that our brood is finally old enough to take on big adventures!

Anyways, plants! Today I’m sharing with you the diva supermodel of indoor house plants, the Maidenhair Fern. What a babe, amiright? All this beauty comes at a cost though, this plant requires a perfect not too hot, not too cold, not too dry environment. She also doesn’t want to be in the dark, but she doesn’t like direct sunlight either. If she were a 80’s rock star she would want a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed. She’s a total pain, I know! Don’t overwater or her roots will rot, don’t underwater and she’ll dry out, always feigning suicide. Geez.

Here’s what I do with mine. Although the fern is typically sensitive to drafts, I set mine above a radiator on a window bench in our living room. The sunlight is bright but not direct, as the porch on the front of our house helps to disperse the light. I water the plant twice a week, on Mondays and Thursday (I can appreciate that it likes a schedule), makings sure that there is never water sitting in the base of the pot. To do this, I keep keep the plant in the plastic planter from the garden center so that it can drain into the pot, and then remove the excess. A self watering planter could work well for this too. If a ferns frond does happen to dry out, don’t expect it to perk up, just trim it off and move on.

Botanical name: Adiantum

The plant is truly worth it, I would trade it for a bouquet of fresh flowers any day of the week. Once you get to know your fern, you’ll be able to anticiapte her needs, just likes she wants you to. It also should be noted that I go through about one Maidenhair Fern a year. No matter how hard I try, there will always be that time when I forget to water for a day and my fern will be all dried up when I come to check on her.

It also should be noted, that I will never use the word ‘she’ to refer to a plant ever again, the Maidenhair is totally a girl though, so I have to.

The silver lining? Even if it looks like you have killed the plant, trim back the dried fronds and continue your watering routine, before you know it, she’ll be growing happily again. I currently have a dried out Maidenhair that took a beating this fall. I’ve been watering it and she’s been growing back. As soon as it gets a little warmer outside, I’ll put her under an overhang in the back yard and I know she’ll be returning for a come back tour.

Moderately bright indirect sunlight

Water the plant regularly making sure that the soil always stays moist. Be very careful not to let the roots sit in standing water though.

Happy weekend and I’ll see you dudes on the flippity.

Planter can be found over here!

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in How-To, Indoor Plants

Basement : Source List

Scandinavian Inspired Basement

Hey Guys! As promised, here is my source list for the basement! I think I’ve covered most of everything, but please, if there is something I missed or that you are curious about, ask away! I didn’t mention any of the pillows or throws and thats because I got most of them from H&M (Home), Ikea, and Target – unfortunately those sorts of places turn over inventory like what, and a lot of the items were sold out within weeks of purchasing. However, those three sources are my go-to for that type of textile-y thing, so check them out if you are in the market for some graphic soft stuff. My favorite purchase was the buffalo checked throw which is no longer available from Target. We were fighting over those cozy throws and I nearly grounded a kid for taking mine, I decided to make a special trip and stock piled a bunch of them, sorry, I’m probably the reason they are sold out :|

On another note, Apartment Therapy featured our home in a tour earlier this week, it was crazy to have someone else take photos of my house, but don’t worry I took a handful of xanax and made it out alive, oh and the tour looks pretty great too. Check it out if you have a sec to spare. To all of you that stopped by because of that AT post “Hey! It’s kinda fun here, hang out for awhile”!

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House Plants : Oxalis

Whazzup! I thought it might be cool to do this thing where I share with you guys my favorite house plants. What da ya think? I know a lot of people feel intimated by plants, but I don’t think a brown thumb should be anything that prevents someone from trying. I’ve killed so many plants in my day, and I’m sure I have more to kill in my future. I always see it as a learning experience; did I give a plant too much water, not enough sun, etc. Then I replace it and move on, taking what I’ve learned and applying it to the next one.

Today I’m sharing the Oxalis plant, it basically looks like a giant purple shamrock, is one of the more forgiving plants I’ve encountered, and you guys, the shape of the leaves are pretty endearing. The plant is not your typical root based house plant, instead it has bulbs. The bulbs are the reason why these things are hard to kill. Forget to water your plant? No biggie, it might shrivel up and wilt, but the bulbs are still alive and will regenerate new leaves as soon as environmental conditions improve. These plants also look great in a window box, and as soon as it warms up, I’ll be moving mine outside for the summer. I would highly recommend this plant to someone who is a bit shy of taking the plunge into plant ownership.

Not fussy, but bright light is best.

Water the plant regularly soaking the soil, wait until the top layer of soil dries out before re-watering. This plant isn’t picky though and can survive if a watering is skipped.

So let me know what you think about this mini series? I’ve learned a thing or two about taking care of plants and I’d be happy to answer any questions you guys have.

Planter can be found over here!

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in How-To, Indoor Plants

Updated House Tour!

Deuce Cities Henhouse House Tour
Budz!!! Next week will mark the six year anniversary of us Allen’s moving into this house! Back then, this bad boy was only 100 years old! I think it’s safe to say that if I my house could speak it would say that its had its funnest most raging six year since us guys moved in. Sorry old boring owners, but this house didn’t even know what it was missing.

In the past I’ve done recaps showcasing the changes that were made throughout the years. This year I’ll just be updating the house tour page and I highly suggest you check it out (‘specially if yer new around here)! Sorting through all the pics of the house has been really inspiring and restorative for me. It’s getting me so amped about blogging and what it means to me, and how hanging out with the people of the internet has been fun and cool.

Take a look at the ‘before & afters’ to get a feel of where things started – they go chronologically newest to oldest (still need to update a few, but you get the idea). Sorrizzle in advance if you’re viewing it on a mobile device, I’m still working the kinks out on the responsive side of things (I’m still living in the 2013 version of the internet). Things have been crazy busy lately, but I’ll get it done soon.

I’ve also got a source list of the basement reno coming soon, this whole six-year-anniversary-thing just had me so distracted ;)

Deuce Cities Henhouse House Tour

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in Awesomeness

Basement Reveal!

Friends and pals! Almost a year ago we started the process of having our basement remodeled. It’s been an exciting, stressful, and messy project but we are so happy that it’s finally over. We are so glad we decided to move ahead with the renovation because it has totally changed the way we live in our house! Winter has been manageable this year now that we have a sweet in-home-retreat to relax and hang out in. The living and dining room are almost always clean because kids aren’t playing with trains, marbles, puzzles, games, blocks, cars or building forts in them. Now they are playing with all that stuff in the basement where we have tons of room to spread out and lots of places to hide those toys away.

For those of you who are new or just need a little reminder (cause it’s been like a year), we had a contractor build out the basement as per a design I created. The contractor and I worked closely together and we collaborated about layouts and measurements until we had the whole thing nailed down perfectly. There wasn’t one thing that wasn’t fully considered before the process started, and I’m so glad I took the time to do so. A solid plan goes a long way.

To start the process our contractor demo’d our existing basement which had been poorly remodeled sometime in the 80’s, (glass blocks and mirrored tiles abound). That was followed up with days of jack hammering the foundation as we had nearly all the plumbing replaced. A new slab was poured and a hole was cut for the new egress window. Framing was the next on the list, and after that electric and plumbing (for the bathroom and laundry room) were installed. Dry wall had the biggest impact and was installed, mudded and sanded within a few days. Floors were laid down last, and from that point on all of the finishing was left to me! I installed all of the cabinetry and countertops, finished the trim, painted, wallpapered, repaired and retreaded the stairs, upholstered a cushion, wired media equipment and built custom floating shelves. That brings us right up to just a week ago when I finally called it quits.

This place is supposed to be our urban cabin, a little slice of chill to make us feel like our lives aren’t so crazy. I wanted some of that Scandinavian aesthetic in our century old house, and yeah, maybe it’s a little different then some of the decor in the rest of home, but it’s all fine by me. I know that I kinda went nuts on the cabin-y stuff, but I really don’t care. I love it all, and I’ll be changing my nickname to Birch Bark Allen.

Let me show you around the place.

Modern Basement Remodel : Before & After
Check out that before pic! What you are looking at is the basement bump out which supports the bay window in our main floor dining room located directly above this section of the basement. This awkward area made designing the space difficult. It was always part of our plan to have the radiator moved to a different location (I’ll point that out later), but even without the radiator the best solution for the space alluded us. We considered adding floating shelving, and even a fireplace, but then a friend suggested that we do a built-in space for the tv and eliminate the window. Who removes a window from a basement? We do, and I’m really glad we did.

Adding built-ins to our basement was key to make the space feel custom and well thought out. The built-ins and cabinets surround the perimeter of the basement on three sides allowing us tons of storage space for electronics and media, a beverage cooler (or as we refer to it, “the beer fridge”), toy, lego and game storage, and access to our water meter and main line sewer clean out. In the tv-watching-chill-area we used the built-ins to create extra seating, low kid level toy storage, and a recessed nook for our tv to create the illusion of more width in our long and narrow space. Trying to make the most of the space, I upholstered a very large piece of foam and tucked it in under the tv. This give us tons of seating when we’re hosting friends and their kids for weekend hang seshes. Creating social zones was a crucial part of making the flow of the basement work.

One of the most important built-ins is directly to the right of the tv. In these cabinets we have all of our media; cable box, modem, video game schtuff, and stereo components. Before the dry wall went up I wired in speaker cable from the ceiling to the cabinet, and added tubing from behind the tv to the interior of the cabinet. This allows us to hide away all that unsightly gear. Hidden IR repeater allows us to access all that stuff with just our remotes! Dealing with the mess of wire and hooking everything up was nearly divorce inducing, but we survived. Above the media storage we have a space for a turntable and storage for basement records. It’s been pretty rad to listen to records during late night cribbage tournies.

Scandinavian Inspired Basement Remodel with lots of Built-Ins

Modern Basement Renovation

Lighting in a Moden Basement Renovation

Scandinavian Inspired Basement Remodel with lots of Built-Ins


Scandinavian Inspired Basement Remodel with lots of Built-Ins


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in Around the House, Basement, DIY