Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
This post is in partnership with Anolon for A Night In.

Good evening Friends! If you frequent the cool interior blogs of the internet, you might remember this summer when a bunch of bloggers got together to post about their homes in the evenings (gasp, say what?). I know we are all used to seeing our favorite bloggers share light-filled, airy pics of their homes during the day, but definitely not during the night. Can you even imagine an interior decor pic without overcast sun light pouring through the windows? But pals, nights are the times when our homes feel the coziest, don’t ya think?! I love going around the house and switching on combinations of lights finding the right lighting vibe. That’s why I am so excited to share what our kitchen looks like in the evenings.

Kim of Yellow Brick Home and Julia of Chris loves Julia came up with this crazy concept and now have gone on to host round two of A Night In (sponsored by Anolon)! I loved the idea from the minute I heard about it, and am thrilled to be part of this squad for the fall installment.

Evenings are sacred around here. We try and spend as much time as we can with the kids after Jeff gets home and before they head off to bed. It’s our only real family time during the week nights, and we soak up of every minute of the four of us together. I also cherish the time after those crazy-young-things-that-we-call-our-kids are in bed, and Jeff and I can finally sit back, chill out, make a cocktail and catch up on each other’s days. Recently we’ve been making seasonal cocktails in the evenings, and I wanted to share one of the recent concoctions that we have been hooked on.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Since some readers might be popping in from other blogs I wanted to take a chance to say “Hey” and introduce myself. My name is Alison, and I get a kick out of fixing up my old house! I didn’t have much handy experience when I became a home owner 6 years ago, but after a lot of trial and error I’ve figured out how to do quite a bit of my home’s renovations and repairs myself. I am currently working on renovating the basement bathroom, and am using a lot of the skills I picked up back when I updated the kitchen in 2013. That was my first time tiling, a learned skill which has now helped immensely with my confidence going into my bathroom project. I also installed this open shelving nook area (seen above) around the chimney, changed out lighting, and restored all of the original cabinets and hardware.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Now about this drink, I’ve harvested a bunch of the rosemary from our garden to make rosemary infused simple syrup. Rosemary is consistently placing as a Top 5 Herb in my much anticipated annual Herb Rankings (j/k, that is not a thing). It has such an autumnal aroma to it that it just works for this time of year (autumn, duh). We made a play on a whiskey fizz incorporating rye whiskey, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, a dash of orange bitters shaken with an egg white. Perfectly delish and crisp for these fall evenings.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse


Rosemary Infused Whiskey Fizz (for da fall)


▼ 2 oz Rye Whiskey
▼ The juice form ½ a lemon
▼ 1 oz rosemary infused simple syrup
▼ 1 egg white
▼ 2 dashes orange bitters
▼ Ice
▼ Spring of rosemary for garnish

Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup:

▼ 1 cup sugar
▼ 1 cup water
▼ 5 springs of rosemary

To make the simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a pan over medium high heat. Wait for the water to boil and for all of the sugar to be dissolved. Add the rosemary and let steep until cool.

In a shaker over ice combine whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and egg white. Shake vigorously for a minute. Poor over one large ice cube (or on its own) and serve with a sprig of rosemary garnish.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Thanks so much to Anolon for sponsoring this post, and to Kim & Julia for hosting! Please take a sec to hop around and check out some of the other cool bloggers who are sharing also sharing their evening spaces.

+ Julia & Chris Marcum, Chris Loves Julia
+ Kim & Scott Vargo, Yellow Brick Home
+ Kristin Jackson, Hunted Interior
+ Gwen Hefner, The Makerista
+ Anna Smith, Annabode + Co.
+ Brit Pierce, House Updated
+ Joni Lay, Lay Baby Lay
+ Shelby Reed, Grey Loves Grey

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in Around the House, Eats, Sponsored

Basement Bathroom : Week 2

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
Hey friends, hope you are all doing okay. I meant to post earlier this week, but I just couldn’t find the enthusiasm to do it. I’ve been making a lot of good progress on the basement bathroom since mindless distractions have been very welcome, and I’m feeling very confident in my decisions as I go along. I take that back, I’m feeling really amped up, and proud of how this is coming together! I’m excited that soon I’ll be installing the sink and beginning the tile in the shower. As of right now, I’ve nearly finished installing all the subway tile in the “sink area”. I have hopes of finishing it up this weekend, as there is only a little bit of tile left to be installed, and then I can move on to grouting and getting that sink in there! I’m also waiting on some special order bullnose tile to be delivered so I can finish up the edging on the far wall.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
Let me back up a little bit though. Since I’m doing a things a little bit out of order, I wanted to make sure everything would go smoothly with no hiccups along the way. This involved lots of checking, second guessing and dry runs. My main concern was allowing enough space for the cement tile flooring that I am waiting to be delivered (still weeks away). After double and triple checking I allowed a gap of 3/8″ for the tile plus and additional 1/4″ for thin set. My trim was 7 1/4″, and allowing 5/8″ for the tile and thin set I installed a ledger board 7 7/8″ above the floor. My laser level really came in handy for getting the ledger board squared away — I can’t recommend one enough. My idea is, once the floor tile is installed, I will install the baseboard around the perimeter of the room, if need be I can always scribe the bottom of the baseboard to fit the floor. This seemed like a reasonable solution to my out-of-order tiling woes.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
This planning and double checking took a lot of time. Finally I felt confident enough to begin, and after starting the tile, things progressed quickly. In the past, I typically back butter my tiles, because it gives me a lot of control and I don’t have to worry about the thin set drying out. I did this for the first few rows before deciding to get crazy and apply the thin set straight to the wall. Once I began doing this the tiles went up super fast. I would tile three or four rows at a time. After the tile was up I’d take my laser level and tripod and double check to make sure all rows were level. This is really easy with tripod because you just give the lever a few winds to elevate to the next line of tile. It takes seconds to do and saves a ton of time. Next I wiped everything down with a sponge making sure to remove any excess thin set. I had two buckets going at all times, one bucket for wiping down the tile and another for cleaning my tools as I go. Your tools will get messy, and I felt regular cleaning kept everything running smoothly. My favorite tool is the 3″ multi tool, part scraper, part straight edge, part screw driver. I would scrape off any mortar from tile with the wide 3″ side, and the thin part of the tool works really well for scraping out any thin set that might have seeped through the cracks. After that I clean up any residue with clean water and a sponge.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
I’m hoping that within the next week the rest of the bullnose tile will be delivered for the edges. The bullnose is on the short side of the tile which allows the pattern to run right up to the edge of the wall instead of having to finish the corner with a vertical border. I like the look of that better, and with a bead of caulking it will look v clean and finished. I want to grout this entire area, and then install the sink. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the sink won’t be too hard to install since I already did a dry run with all the plumbing. Anyways, there will be lots to share!

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in Around the House, Basement, Bathroom

Getting Bluer, Going Darker

Dark Blue Living Room | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Hey bros! I just wanted to do a quick pop in to share my newly painted living room. I know, you might not be able to really tell that it’s that different via my pics on the internet, but take my word for it, it is! I like it so much better. The before color (Dragonfly by BM) was great and I loved how dark and moody it was, but on a sunny day it would feel pretty saturated and very teal and that felt loud and obnoxious to me. I wanted it to be more muted and a little bit darker, so that even on a sunny day it would seem like a cozy den. This is all part of my 2016 refresh that I’ve been doing on the main floor of the house. Not much had beed touched since 2012 and I felt like it needed to be tweaked just a bit. You might remember that I also painted the dining room black a few weeks back, and updated the front entry this summer. I’m just waiting on two new chairs and a rug for under the dining room table and the refresh will be complete. I’m hopeful that it will all come together, but I guess we’ll just wait in see, I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous about the blush chairs I ordered from Target, but sometimes you just gotta go with it.

I had a hard time finding the absolute right color for the living room walls. After pouring over my paint fan decks, I found my two favorite dark blue greens from Clark + Kennsington. The greener of the two, Futuristic Cityspace was just a bit too green but really good and dark, the other Balmy Night was just a little too blue. What’s a girl supposed to do? I bought two gallons of paint, and an empty one gallon paint bucket. I combined those suckers 50/50 and invented the perfect color.

Dark Blue Living Room | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Dark Blue Living Room | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Dark Blue Living Room | Deuce Cities Henhouse

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Basement Bathroom : Week 1

Hi guys. I actually started working on the basement bathroom. I mean how long have I been talking about this dumb bathroom? If you guessed one long stupid year, you’re correct! I finally made my to-do list/timeline, purchased some supplies, ordered some tile, stopped being a baby about it, and actually began to do it. Yesterday was my first day of real work, so I guess this title is a little mis-leading, but I haven’t talked to you in a week, and I’ve been doing a lot of prep and research, so it counts.

This is my first time doing any sort of bathroom upgrades. I am a complete novice when it comes to plumbing and cement tile installation – both reasons why this has taken be so long to start. I’m basically winging it. My timeline is a little backwards, normally I believe you’d tile the floor first, but since I’ll be waiting another 6-8 weeks for my cement flor tile to be delivered, I’m starting with tiling the walls and shower first. I’ll be leaving enough room between the subway tile on the wall and the floor for tile to be installed later on. But before I can really begin, a dry run is in order.

A little background for the 100th time (sorry if this annoying and redund). The bathroom was roughed in for me when we the basement was being remodeled last summer. The bathroom will be a three piece; toilet, sink and shower stall. Being that it is located in the basement, we were thinking it might make the perfect kids bathroom and hopefully do double duty as a guest bathroom (until the day where we get a powder room on the second floor). We need it to be both functional for the kids, and pretty for the friends. I had the floor plan figured out in advance and always had my heart set on installing the Kohler Brockway sink because I like the vintage look of it and I think it suits the age of the house, plus if it was a president it would totally be Baberham Lincoln (SNS). I had the worker dudes include the proper specs for the sink, which focused on the plumbing and bracing behind the dry wall.

I didn’t want to get all the way into tiling the wall just to discover that there wasn’t proper plumbing or studs in place, so I decided to try a dry run at installing the sink and plumbing prior to tiling, to make sure everything was right where it needed to be. However, I’m doing stuff that I’ve never done before, like use two pipe wrenches at the same time kind of stuff, so it was all a little overwhelming for me. Thankfully, the mounting of the sink wasn’t that big of a deal. I referenced the ungodly amount of photos I have stock piled from the basement construction prior to the dry wall being hung, to double check and make sure all the bracing was where it needed to be. I can’t recommend taking insane amounts of photos of the inside of your walls if you ever get the chance to, I referenced them a handful of times over the last year. Anywho, from the photos everything looked like I expected them to, so that was reassuring. I used a fancy laser level and tripod to attach the sink brackets at just the right height and distance. This was my first time using a laser level and it made everything go together so smoothly. I’ll also be using it for baseboard install, and tile. The sink was hung dead on the nuts, and I was feeling good.

The plumbing was a little trickier only because I lack no confidence when it comes to this – like plumber already googled and dialed type confidence. After turning off the water, I had to remove the caps and pipe from the main 90º pipe that was behind the drywall. I used an assortment of 1/2″ threaded pipes (ahem, which involved many trips to HWS) in different lengths until I found one that would achieve the proper distance from the drywall. The pipes need to protruded out from the dry wall so that they would account for the distance between the wall and the “backsplash” on the back of the sink. I then attached a 1/2″ coupler to the pipe so that I would be able to thread on the Cannock faucet. After the pipe and coupler were tightened very very well, I attached the faucet per the instructions, and turned on the water. Success my friends! Can I just say that this is not typical for me to have this much good luck at one time, there is usually way more trial and error when it comes to me and projects. I’m hoping that this good luck doesn’t mean something horrible will happen to me in the future.

A quick tour around the bathroom — don’t worry, I’ll explain all about the rest of this space as the weeks go on.

Dry fit of plumbing and sink
Install ledger board for tile
Install tile on sink wall and sides
Grout is tile
Install Sink & Faucets
Hang Vintage Mirror
Install reclaimed wood shelf
Add Niche in the shower stall
Install shower valve
Tile in shower stall
grout in shower stall
Install shower hardware
Paint walls
Make pendant lights
Install pendants
Install cement floor tile
Grout tile
Seal tile
Install toilet

(Jeff thought this was a photo of a shower — god help him.)

Thanks to Kohler for the generous support in starting (and hopefully completing) this project :) Thanks to you for supporting the businesses who support me!
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in Around the House

Neutral and Cozy : Pillows & Throws

Neutral and Cozy Pillow and Throw Roundup

Budz! I’ve got cozy on the brain, I mean how can you not? If you’re here in the upper part of these United States of America, you should be feeling it too. When it comes to seasonal decorating I seem to be getting more and more minimal every year. I try to fill my house with soft and chill items that reflect the autumnal changes of the year without screaming “hey, look at me, it’s fall and stuff”! I prefer to go neutral when it comes to textiles and linens, this way I can easily incorporate them with other decor that I have out all year. Texture is where it’s at, and the more the better. It’s a subtle extra layer to make your space feel super comfy and welcoming. I’ve been rearranging pillow piles for weeks, and have throws on every possible surface you can sit on. This is my favorite way to make it cozy and seasonal without taking it straight to pumpkin-centertpiece-leaf-wreath town.

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in Decor, Inspiration