Deuce Cities Henhouse

2 Year Recap – Part 2

Happy hump day everyone! So here we are day two of the 2 year recap. If you missed yesterday’s post, the Allen fam is celebrating the two year anniversary of buying our first house, to celebrate, we’re looking back at how far the place has come in the first two years. Today I bring you updates of the 2nd floor bedrooms, and both the back and front porch.

Below you will see Gus’ (aka Gus the Bus) room. It started out as a mess with brownish-yellow walls and ended the brightest, sunniest, coziest, quaintest little room in the whole house.

Gus’ Nursery
We painted the walls grey, and replaced the light fixture. I sewed those zig zag grommet curtains myself, they are totally the best. I lined them with blackout material – best advice I could give any mom. Dark equals naps, equals many good things. We used Finn’s old Oeuf crib, and purchased a Malm dresser and Expedit shelf (now window bench) at Ikea. We also added rocker legs to the Eames arm chair, and hung some artwork for the little dude.

Finn’s Room
In Finn’s room I originally had the bright idea of painting it orange (bad idea.) It quickly turned from orange to green and we love it this way. Finn is one lucky little kid, his room is huge, he has two closets, and plenty of play space. We made one half of the room a toy/art/reading area and the other half is his sleeping zone. Poor Gus has a mini room in comparison, I’m not sure how we’ll make that one fair down the road.

Our bedroom
This is our room, the least touched room (besides the bathrooms) in the whole house. This is the room I ordered all that paint for. That far wall will be black and the rest of the room will be white (can’t wait). For this two year tour I will let you know that we replace the old owners furniture for our own (that’s supposed to be funny), and added bookshelves.

So, this concludes the bedroom part of the tour onward to the porches —->

4 Season Back Porch
Look at Finn in the above photo! What a little guy.

The upstairs porch is right off our “master” bedroom, we love it. Porches for us are like en suite baths, or walk-in closets for normal people. We are the biggest suckers for a good porch you will ever meet. This porch is awesome because it is a four season porch, that means we can hang there in the winter too! We went nuts and added a ton of vintage furniture, and our most fav console record player.

Front Porch
I know this room doesn’t look like the most amazing thing ever, but we seriously LOVE this porch. It was 57º yesterday and me and the kids spent the entire afternoon out there. Our afternoon kid-porch-fest turned into late night cocktail parties, and that’s why this porch is so awesome. I know it’s not very fancy; it’s a porch so it makes home to old hand me down furniture, but it’s more about a feeling than it is a aesthetic. We did paint the walls — surprise — blue (of course we did). When I took this photo it was mid-painting project last summer, so don’t judge the edging. This is without a doubt our favorite room in the whole house.

So that’s it. The 2 year recap. I hope we can keep finding new projects over the next two years, can’t wait to see where that will take us.

If you took the time to read all this, THANKS!

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in Around the House, Decor, Furniture, My House

2 Year Recap – Part 1

Woah! So all of a sudden it’s been two years since we moved into this bad boy. Holy geez, time flies.

It was just a mere two years ago today that Jeff and I were packing up our tiny rental house and making the short haul down 38th street to our new place. I’m not sure if I had ever been so excited for anything in my whole life. It was a huge deal for us, as it is for most people who buy their first house. Like so many others, we had been hurt by the weak housing market. We bought our first condo in 2004 and the height of the market and then sold it for a loss in 2008. As 20-somethings it was a hard hit and took us a few years to recover. In November 2009 we found our home during an inspired open house visit. We weren’t exactly ready to buy at the time, but once we saw this place we knew we needed that front porch in our lives. We quickly got all our ducks in a row and got an offer submitted. On March 5th we closed and on March 6 we were moving in!

In honor of our first two years I thought I’d put together a little recap to highlight all the work we’ve done on the place.

The entry way into the living room.
We really haven’t made a ton of major improvements (“major” meaning, like, tearing down walls). It’s all been paint and furnishings. We’ve painted almost every square inch of the place which instantly made the place better. The walls previously were all painted a not-so-nice off-white probably called “cigarette yellow”. The place was looking really sad and worn out when we first walked through. I’d like to think we gave new life to a 100 year old home; actually I’m pretty certain we did, duh. We painted the entry way a light, light grey, and the living room a teal blue. We bought a new rug, put rocker legs on our Eames chair and purchased a new coffee table.

The Living Room
Ahhhhhh, the living room was such a mess before! Full of oversized ugly furniture, and a rug that was way too huge for the space. It was easy to make the room look bigger just by not overcrowding it. We did get all handy and replaced the sconces on the walls (a big deal for us, since neither of us had every touched an outlet). I’m so glad those gross things are gone; they didn’t even turn off, you’d have to unscrew the bulb. Old times.

Looking into the entry way
In the winter of 2010 we wallpapered the vestibule in Orla Kiely’s Flower Blossom wallpaper. It’s been one of my most fav additions to the house. The wallpaper adds the perfect pop of pattern in the perfect place and the teal in the flowers matches the paint color to a tee, who would’ve thunk it. We also found a most awesome little desk on craigslist to put in the entry. The entry was such a strange space that we didn’t really know how to furnish it. We love the desk in the space, even though it’s not something you’d typically find in an area like this. And guess what? The desk didn’t come with a chair so I got to get the Bertoia guy to go with it. Dang, love my chairs.

The Kitchen
Oddly enough, the kitchen was the room in the house that we planned on renovating within the first year or two. That hasn’t happened yet and isn’t gonna happen any time soon. The room is really strangely configured. Let me start over. The thing is: the kitchen is a huge space, it’s unfortunately just fractioned up into a bunch of strange compartments and areas. For now, we’ve painted and added a few kitschy embellishments, like our Minnesota plate collection. We still have big plans for this space and some day we will totally gut it, add a main floor bath and deck walkout to the backyard. It’s gonna/gotta happen.

Did you notice I put the clock in the same spot the old owners had their clock, I guess that’s the clock spot.

The Dining Room
This room was looking pretty sad, wasn’t it? A great way to make your dark woodwork look even worse is to furnish it with a bunch of ugly dated pieces along with a really horrible orange-emitting light fixture.

The big things we did here; change the light fixture which was previously wired in with speaker wire (seriously), painted the room grey, and wallpapered the inside of buffet. It doesn’t take much to make this room look better.

The Music Room
I know I just finished this Music Room project, but here it is again! Look how much better it is now. We’ve probably done the most work to this room. If you’re new to the blog I’ll get you up to speed. We recently removed all the wallpaper, re-plastered and then added new wallpaper (from Ferm Living), painted, hung shelves and added record storage. The place looks a million times better!

Well that concludes this portion of the tour. Stop back tomorrow for the exciting second installment where I recap the porches and second floor bedrooms. Total cliffhanger, I bet you can’t wait. Seriously though, it will be good and awesome.

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in Around the House

Tutorial : White Radiator!

White Painted Radiator
Guys, I finally did it! After weeks of procrastinating I finally set time aside to paint the music room radiator white. I knew this wasn’t going to take me long, but it was just one of this projects that I didn’t want to do, for fear that something would go wrong and it would take me all day and the loss of my mind to fix. Lucky for me that did not happen. Within one hour of starting this project I had a white and shiny almost new radiator! Don’t be scared

Before Vanilla Cream Radiator
Remember what this looked like?? Barfola.

Paint Radiators
If you follow me on Facebook you know I had some trepidations about getting into this project. It all just seemed a lot harder than it actually was. I thought that it involved lots of preparation, sanding, scraping and special paint. It was scary.

To start, I (by I, I mean Jeff) purchased a few cans of heat resistant spray paint. I’m not sure this kind of spray paint is even necessary. From what I read on the internet, a radiator shouldn’t get hot enough to effect the paint and typically one should be able to use any type of spray paint they like. This heat resistant style of paint would normally be used for some real hot situations like repainting the inside of your fireplace. Like I said, I was a totally chicken and scared, I wanted to be safe, so I bought the stuff and used it anyhow.

Before, Vanilla colored Radiator
For prepping the space, I used some old boxes that I had been hanging on to for far too long and made a little spray booth. I was careful and made sure to tape off the valve. I’ve spent hours taking apart other radiator valves in our house that had been previously painted shut by the old owners, I didn’t want to make the same mistake.

I only wiped down the radiator and removed dust from the surface. I’m sure there is a good possibility that this radiator harbors some lead paint. I didn’t want to get into that lead-mess with scraping and sanding and potentially dying. Lucky for me, there wasn’t a lot of loose paint. For this job, a good wipe down was the way to go.

Next, I opened all the windows and went to town. I’m sure I lost a few brain cells in that fume factory but the end result was totally worth it. No more old-mayo-colored radiator!

Just in case this happens to you: I had a panic moment when I realized there was a dusting of paint over almost every surface in the room, but was relieved when I discovered the paint had dried in the air and wasn’t permanently covering all my other furniture. It was no thang, I just had to go around the room and give it a good wiping down when I was all done.

A final tip, I removed all my masking within an hour after spraying the radiator. There were small areas where paint had gotten on the floor and trim surrounding. Because it hadn’t dried all the way, I was able to easily wipe it away with a rag, a little elbow grease, and warm water. I’m sure if it would have set for much longer it would’ve been a bigger task to clean.

So, don’t be scurred! Don’t be a wussy! You can do it!

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in Around the House, DIY, Tutorial

Etsy Finds

As I was trolling the shopping waters of the internet the other day I spotted this Modernica planter on sale over at The only problem is that it’s $119 (for the small size) on sale (normally $149). I don’t know why I even consider these sorts of things. Yes, it was really nice and pretty and would look so great in my house, but seriously $119 for a ceramic pot? Although I think it’s wonderful, I’m afraid I can’t afford to spend money on something like that unless I am over the god damn moon in love with it.

So, that got me thinking… I should do a post on some much more affordable – yet still pretty great and awesome — modern vintage planters for the next Etsy Finds post. Here are a few of my favs:

1. Mid Century Mini Blue Planter from Oak Street Vintage – $28.00 + $10.40 (for shipping)
2. Mid Century Modern Orb Shaped Planter from Swanky Lady Vintage – $12.95 + $7.95 (for shipping)
3. Vintage Ivory & Yellow California Originals Planter from Up Home – $13.00 + $8.95 (for shipping)
4. Dansk Bowl/Planter in Orange from Those Vintage Dreams – $35.00 + $10.00 (for shipping)

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in Cool Things

The Homies, Homies!

Hey all, I was a little thrilled to find out that I had been nominated for The Homies (Best Home Design Blog) this year along with many other way more deserving blogs. I’m excited to have made the list. I have no hopes of making it to the finals but I wouldn’t mind your vote still. Every vote puts me a little closer to the top of the list thus helping promote the old Henhouse and hopefully resulting in new readers. By the way, HI! and welcome to anyone who has found there way here via Apartment Therapy. Take a second to nose around.

Why you’re over at Apartment Therapy consider voting for the following other awesome blogs (you can vote for more than one blog!):

Manhattan-Nest Door Sixteen
The Brick House Making It Lovely
Chez Larsson Sf Girl By Bay

*P.S. You’ll find my nomination in the “Best Home Design” Section. Just log in to AT and vote yer hearts out.


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in Awesomeness