Deuce Cities Henhouse

4 Year Recap – Part 2

Kitchen – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Okay guys, welcome to the second installment of the four year recap. I wanted to share with you guys some of the changes we’ve made since moving in. I am a sucker for ‘Before & Afters’ and though maybe you guys would be too :)

Today I’ll be sharing with you the rest of the first floor of the house. The biggest and most recent update, of course, was the kitchen renovation that I worked on over the fall. If you’ve been following along you know that I painted and restored all the cabinets and hardware, replaced the backsplash and added new cabinets and shelving to one corner.
 

Kitchen – 2014


 


As I did in the last post, I made a little animated gif so you can see the transformation over time. Shortly after moving in I painted the kitchen aqua in an attempt to embrace the copper. It was a good attempt, and I didn’t hate the vintage-kitschy vibe that was going on, but it wasn’t us and I never loved it.
 

Kitchen – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
 

Kitchen – 2014


 

Kitchen – 2010


I got a bit of flack on Design Sponge for tossing out the copper backsplash, but I had to share this photo gem I recently uncovered. I hope this image explains how dire this copper sitch actually was.
 

Basement Stairs – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
 

Basement Stairs – 2014


I updated the basement stairway in 2013, and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t take much more of those scalloped brass light fixtures. I think it’s important to give a little love to even the most mundane spaces.
 

Music Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Our first big project was when we removed the floral wallpaper from the music room and replaced it with feather wallpaper from Ferm Living at the end of 2011. We also repaired, skim coated and painted the walls a light grey. We’re so happy with how things turned out in here.
 

Basement Stairs – 2010


Stay tuned for more of the recap!

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in Around the House, My House

4 Year Recap – Part 1

Hey Guys! We just passed the four year milestone of living in our house! That’t the longest we’ve lived anywhere in our entire adult lives. In honor of such a momentous occasion I thought it would be cool to do a four year recap. The blog is pretty linear, and I usually only share improvements with you guys, so I thought it would be fun to take a sec and see where it all started.

The photos aren’t an absolute fair comparison, because a lot of them are from before we moved in when the house was full of other peoples furniture. Plus, I wasn’t taking photos to be pretty, they were just documents of what it looked like, however I still think you can get a good feel for what we had to look past when were getting ready to buy this house. No matter how much I tried to color correct the “before” photos they are still awful. I’m sharing them in black and white and in color as a color rollover. Hopefully, you will also get a sense for the improvements we’ve made, even if some are as small as adding a good coat of paint.

So here goes…

Dining Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
The hardest thing for me to get over when we bought the house was the woodwork. I did not want a house with natural woodwork, and this house had woodwork up the wazoo! Not only was there tons of woodwork, it had aged beautifully and I knew it would highly uncool if I were to paint it. So, I compromised, and I worked with.
 

Dining Room – 2014


The dining room is the room we’ve done the least in. We painted it grey, (which took forever to find the right shade that complimented the woodwork), and we added a pendant light fixture. To finish it off I added some leftover wallpaper to the back of the buffet, and hung some artwork. It’s always been the most awkward room to decorate – it’s hard to hang artwork, furniture placement is funny, oh, and there is all that woodwork!
 

Dining Room – 2014


 

Entry – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Look at little Finn!
 

Entry – 2014


The entry way is a place where I’ve had a lot of difficulty when it comes to making it pretty. We bought a vintage desk a year after moving in, and it tucks nicely into the space right near the staircase. This is where I work, but I’m beginning to use it less and less. Long story short, the desk isn’t a permanent solution, and someday this space will need to be given much more thought and attention.
 


And because I know you all love a cool animated gif – here is a little suggestion of progress in the living room. The dark wall color and furniture placement really does amazing things to the space.
 

Living Room – 2014


 

Living Room – 2014


Stay tuned for more of the recap!

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in Around the House, My House

It’s Spray Painting Season!

Masked and Spray Painted Clay Pots
You guys, it’s that magical time of year where we can just venture outside and spray paint the heck out of anything we want. I have been marveling at the power of spray paint ever since I started using it in my kitchen makeover to make small improvements with hardware. It’s amazing stuff.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to get outside and spray paint a few things, and it finally happened this week! We had a couple of days with temperatures in the 40′s!

Planters and pots can be expensive – lots of times as expensive as the plant if not more. Clay pots however are very inexpensive, usually they are less than $4 for a pot and tray depending on what size you get. I’m no newbie to spray painting clay pots, I’ve painted a few in matte black this fall, and so far the results are all positive. There has been no unexpected blistering from moisture or anything like that, so I figured I’d give it go and give these pots a dipped look.

Clay Pots
I masked off the tops of the pots and spray painted the trays and bases. It was super easy. I applied two coats of paint. I also painted this cheap-o lamp I picked up at Target earlier this month. It’s not bad in the enamel grey, but I thought it would look way better in satin white, so I painted that too!

Masked & Painted
See! Easy! Everything is masked and painted. I didn’t use any guidelines when masking the pots, just picked a spot and taped around the top. I didn’t even care if it was even! I know, I know, I am so crazy.

Spray Painted Target Lamp
The lamp is my fav, I love it painted white! Don’t you think it looks so much better now?

So don’t just sit there. Go get your spray painting on, the weather is perfect for it!

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in Crafts, Decor, DIY

A New Look!

Deuce Cities Henhouse Site Redesign
Yeah, Buddies! Oh what a stressful week it has been. I’ve mentioned that I love coding css, but I absolutely dread dealing with all the technical wordpress-y stuff. I think that awful website experiences just think I am so cool, that they just love hanging out with me.

Sunday was supposed to be the big day that I installed my new site on a new wordpress theme, but the internet had a different plan for me. There are so many gut wrenching bad details that I don’t want to relive, so I will just spare you the bad stuff and share with you my new site instead!

I am so happy with the new look, it’s like a more grown up version of the old site, don’t ya think? I wanted to go clean and minimal – but still have a site infused with my own style and aesthetic. I love the contrast of flat 2D internet surfaces (like the post boxes in the content column) juxtaposed with a bit of 3D illusions (like the drop shadows) seen in the sidebar. You know I still love my tape strips, I had to keep them, but I just updated them a bit. It’s like flat digital washi tape, you guys. The triangles had to go, I do adore them, but it was time. You’ll notice that I decided to use them as a break in between my posts instead of as an entire background.

I updated the logo – I’m really into the Core Circus font found over at myfonts.com. Now it emphasizes “Henhouse” instead of “Deuce Cities” (I totally regret my blog name choice sometimes). I fixed the position of the Navigation bar so if you are on a desktop browser you will be able to access from anywhere on the site – even if you scroll to the bottom of the page. I muted the colors and went heavy on the black and white, if you notice, these same color patterns have been happening in my home a lot lately too.

I think the comment section turned out really well, and I hope you agree. I wanted it to be clean and simple, but still pretty – comments are hard to style because there are so many ways you, and your readers can respond to something, but I think for the most part it is all working well and looking tyte.

I tidied up the sidebar and minimized the proportions just a bit, now it takes up less visual space. Since the sidebar is smaller, I have more room to feature even larger images in the content. In my experience with the internetz, I prefer seeing pics in sizes between 600 and 700 pixels. Mine are sized to 670!

The ‘DIY Projects‘ section got a face lift – it’s something I have to update manually, but as a group I really like the look of all the images and the rollovers add a nice effect.

I added some social share icons to the bottom of my posts so you, the reader can easily share if you so desire.

The ‘Related posts’ (seen at the bottom of each post) got updated. For all you css nerds out there, you may notice that I styled each related post background differently using pseudo classes, excellent (Wayne’s World shout out).

The footer has all sorts of ways to follow along via social media, plus an e-mail sign up if you’d like to get posts sent directly to your inbox.

The big thing that I have been working on is the ‘House Tour‘ section of the site. Instead of your typical vertical scroll it’s all horizontal, and I included a ‘Before & After’ section to the menu where you can see the progress of our home over time. We’ve been living in our house for four years now, and a lot has happened, just very slowly. The ‘Before & After’ speeds up that experience for you.

There are still a lot of kinks to be worked out, especially on the mobile side as well as a few relic browsers, but I am confident with in a few weeks everything will be working super smoothly. I would invite you to let me know about any weirdnesses you are experiencing, but do me a major favor and wait a few days – I don’t think my mind could handle the stress, I’d just rather not know about it for now ;)

I’m just so happy to finally be able to share this with you guys. I hope you enjoy all the new changes!

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in Awesomeness

Cool, But Not Cool Chair


Hey Guys, I’m here to report back to you about the Trendig chair.

Before I dive into that though, I want to let you guys know that it has been a stressful few days of being a blog writer. It all started Sunday with a new site design update – something that should have only taken a few hours turned into a huge mess due to things that were out of my control. The whole ordeal left me with a sick stomach and few sleepless nights. Luckily, my wordpress theme (thesis) has a great support staff and they have been working tirelessly getting things back in order – it’s still not 100% but should be there soon. If you notice any downtime, this is why. Hopefully, once things are stable I can actually roll out the new site design.

So you may remember that a few weeks ago I purchased the Trendig chair from Ikea for the sunroom. I am totally in love with the design. It’s very reminiscent of the Hans Wegner wishbone chair, a chair I have always admired. I love the curved arms and the bentwood back of the Trendig chair, and adore the combination of black painted arms and light wood (it also looks great in red and white too), but was so disappointed and frustrated when I started assembling it.

I would consider myself an Ikea aficionado. I can get in and out of that store in a matter of minutes, I know where everything is, and furniture assembly comes naturally. This chair was another story – it was by far the worst experience I have ever had assembling any flat packed item, ever. I can’t imagine putting together six chairs for a dining room table – it would be hell.


The first big problem I encountered was with the seat. The instructions required you to attach four screws to a bracket illustrating that they should only be sunk into the frame a few screw turns – I think the idea is to allow flexibility for attaching the seat. The next step was to use four small screws to attach the bentwood seat to the bracket. The seat came with threaded female couplers for easy assembly, but it is anything but easy. It was nearly impossible to get all four screws attached to the seat. If the screws had been 1/16 of an inch longer it would’ve helped immensely. Fourty-five minutes later, and a lot of really good swear word combinations, the seat was finally attached. Now I had to finish sinking the screws that I was instructed to only screw a few turns in the previous step to the underside of the chair. It was impossible. The holes for the screws were obviously only pre-drilled shallowly and after attaching the seat you couldn’t easily access the screws with a screwdriver because of the bentwood base obstruction access.


After taking a deep breath and feeling like I semi-succeeded with the chair seat, it came time to put the rest of the chair together. It was no biggie really, all the holes were predrilled and everything was going together easily. That is until I got to the final two screws that were to attach the curved arm rest to the rest of the chair. I made sure to line everything up properly, made sure that the predrilled holes were perfectly matched up, made sure to put of pressure on the chair as I drilled as per the instructions. I began to attach the chair together using the provided screws when CRACK, the wood split. I took a deep breath, backed the screw out and proceed with the final screw. CRACK, again the wood split – on both sides. Ugh, I could cry


I took the chair back to Ikea the next day to return it – I spoke with one of Ikeas builders, a guy who does this for a living, and he said I did everything exactly right, and couldn’t think of a reason why this chair gave me such a hard time. I decided to give it another go, because I did adore the look of it, the size of it, and I think it’s really comfortable.

So, I replaced the chair, brought the new one home and began assembly. Would you believe I ran into all the exact same problems again, even when being super aware of doing everything exactly by the book. The curved arms split again, only this time I stopped sinking the screw the second I heard the wood crack. I was going very slowly so it wasn’t a noticeable crack. I was confronted with a choice of “What would piss you off more” sinking the screws and cracking the arms, or letting the screws poke out a little bit? I didn’t want to take another trip back to Ikea so I decided to cover the screws with a sheepskin, but I am not happy about it. In the end, I decided to keep the chair, it looks good in the space, and I can’t do much better for the price.

On a side note, I ran through Ikea today to grab a few things and noticed four chairs in the as-is section. All had cracks in the arm, but $50 bucks a chair ain’t too bad a price.


Hope to see you guys on the flippity flop real soon. If posts are sparse it’s all because there is a lot of hard work being done to make this site run properly. I’ll be hoarding blog posts in the interim.

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in Furniture