Deuce Cities Henhouse

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

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Scandinavian Inspired Basement Remodel with lots of Built-Ins
 

SEE MORE, READ MORE!

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in Around the House, Basement, DIY

Flowers from Seed

Friends! Holy cow, this winter has flown by and it seems like spring might actually be right around the corner (and by saying that, I hope to god I didn’t just jinx it). For the first time in history I am actually behind the ball when it comes to getting seeds sown for spring. At this point I’m usually weeks into the process. I just (like today) put in an order for a few of my favorite varieties of seeds over at my go-to spot, Park Seed, and I’m so excited for them to get here. I’ve been starting seeds in doors for a few years now, and I’ve learned a bit throughout the years. Last year I yielded my best seedlings after starting them under grow lights, and hope to continue honing my skillz this spring. It can be expensive to acquire seed starting gear, but it’s easy to start just a packet or two indoors with a sunny location, a seed starting kit, and a little TLC. Flowers can be so expensive at the garden store, and I’ve found that starting them from seed in doors is super satisfying, fun, cost saving, (plus it’ll do your snowy heart good). After starting lots of different types of flower seeds in doors, Zinnias, Impatiens, Petunias, Coleus and Alyssum are my go to because of their ease and hardiness.

Zinnias
Zinnias are my favorite flower seed to grow because they are easy to grow and produce so many flowers (great for cutting). They are perfect for garden beds and borders and can also be grown in containers. Zinnias thrive in the sun and heat and will attract a fair share of butterflies. The best part is that they come in tons of different size and colors.
Impatiens
Impatiens are a classic plant for shady beds and containers. Colors range from orange, vibrant hot pink to soft lavender. They are easy to care for and bloom continuously. I like to use them in my shady garden beds and window boxes.
Petunias
I fell head over heals with petunias after visiting Ireland where you will find baskets brimming with the trailing flower. They begin flowering at the cusp of summer and continue well into the fall. They can be mounded, or trailed and come in array of colors. These are some of my favorites to start from seed, and to fill my window boxes, baskets and containers with.
Coleus
Coleus is super easy to start from seed, and the variegated leaves come in so many patterns, shapes and colors! Coleus first became popular with the Victorians in the 1850’s, and within 30 years had become the most popular houseplant in both England and America. I’m planning a major Coleus invasion in my garden this year, and can’t wait to get these babies growing.
Alyssum (Sweet Alison)
I love to add Alyssum to my sunny border gardens and window boxes. This tiny little white bloom mounds beautifully, blooms multiple times throughout the summer, and smells pretty incredible. This one isn’t too expensive to purchase from the garden store, but I get a kick out of starting them at home.

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in gardening

Ikea Picture Ledge

Ikea Ledge for Artwork
Hey Guys! Long time, no see. Things have been so crazy busy around here, it’s nuts. I am losing my mind and have been laid up with a killer cold, but good work is happening.

Anyway, I wanted to share a quick post about the basement. I couldn’t figure out what to do behind the sofa, we had a big blank white wall, and figuring out what to hang on it was killing me. It really felt to me like we needed to have one large piece of artwork back there, but large artwork is not in the budget. Something like an oversized engineer print could have worked money wise, but would be to fragile for the space – the kids are always laying on the back of the sofa, and generally goofing off. Desperate to call this thang finished, I came up with the somewhat obvious plan to hang a ledge to display artwork which can easily be added to, or switched out whenever we so desired. This had been one of my original ideas (that’s why I say obvious) and then I kinda forgot about it. Ikea had discontinued the Ribba ledge in 2015 and I hadn’t realized that they had replaced it with the Mosslanda ledge. This ledge is way better because it has a little groove to allow artwork to lean just so, and keep kids from tipping them easily. I bought two of the 43″ ledges and hung them on that big old wall.

So there it is, expect a full basement reveal sometime next week, and then I promise I’ll be done yapping about it!

Ikea Ledge for Artwork

Ikea Ledge for Artwork

Ikea Ledge for Artwork

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in Around the House, Basement, Decor

DIY Pendant Lamp

DIY Lindsey Adelman Pendant Lamp
Budz, I kinda like this new quick post method. Way less stressful for yours truly. There is so much stuff that I always want to share, but the pressure of the internet makes me feel like I should always present to you via some big, bad, epic post. How ’bout just a little tid bit? That works for me and makes it way more fun.

Okay, so I am kinda obsessed with all the possibilities of making my own lighting after making the swing arm pendant a few weeks (eh, months) back. Since electricity is scary, I decided it would be best for my next project to do something with a little power guidance. I picked up this Lindsey Adelman DIY pendant from Grand Brass Lamp Parts. It’s a lamp set that uses parts that you could find at Grand Brass (my new favorite website on the internets) or even at your local hardware store. I kinda even mixed and matched a few pieces to make it my own (like the cord) and added a dimmer. Anyway, I really enjoyed building this lamp, and it gave me the confidence to tackle something of my own creation down the road. I have lots of ideas brewing.

Anyway, if you’re curious too, check out the kits either over at Lindsey Adelman’s site or at Grandbrass. Happy almost weekend, this has been a long one.

DIY Lindsey Adelman Pendant Lamp

DIY Lindsey Adelman Pendant Lamp

DIY Lindsey Adelman Pendant Lamp

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in Around the House, Basement, DIY