Looking Back, to the Future

Yes, there may be a reference to the title of one of my all time favorite movie trilogies in this post title.  No, it wasn’t completely intentional, but I allowed it to happen.

2010 may have been a short year in terms of this blog (it all started with this post back in October), but it has been anything but uneventful. It began with an internship with the American Greetings headquarters outside of Cleveland, OH, in the retail merchandising department. Alongside my internship, I was forgoing sleep fully engulfed in my thesis project; studying the rise and fall of the indoor shopping mall, researching heavily a suburb of Akron, OH, revealing the dangers and worldwide epidemic of electronic waste, and proposing a revitalization of an empty big box retail building there. I designed an exhibit of my work which was displayed at my college’s  Spring Senior Show, which is always a networking event to look forward to. Although not completed to my own severe standards (I feel all designers are their own worst critics), my thesis presentation went well. Graduation came just a week or so later and it was back home to NW Ohio. There was a great visit to Chicago with three of my best college friends somewhere in there, too.

My DIY adventures were just as busy this year in between school and work. Most occurred before this blog began, but I imagine I might recount them on here at sometime.

  • There was a partial kitchen renovation with cabinet refinishing and cabinet building, installing a vented exhaust hood, and painting walls and trim.
  • There was a partial bathroom renovation which involved tearing up the subfloor to fix a leaking toilet drainpipe, laying a ceramic tile floor, and stripping and repainting the vanity. I built a shallow wall cabinet for added storage, painted the walls and ceiling, and installed a new light fixture.
  • Installed two entry doors, one fiberglass with a leaded glass window, the other steel with a screened double hung window.  Both required full removal of the old door and rebuilding of the threshold sill with treated lumber.
  • I helped my sister completely redecorate her bedroom with dual tone walls. I built and she painted a 12′ shelf to run the entire length of one wall, with trim continuing around the other walls at the height of a plate rail. I assisted her in painting a vanity dresser white and found her a wooden 4-poster bed on Craigslist.
  • To add storage to the utility room, I salvaged cabinets from a nearby Habitat for Humanity ReStore. After sanding the off their varnish, I hung them above the washer and dryer.
  • After giving my advice to my sister and brother-in-law, they revamped their kitchen with a few gallons of paint, beadboard cabinet doors, and new light fixtures. With their kitchen looking much younger in age, I designed and helped them build a corner office area for their laptop computer consisting of a few salvaged cabinets and deep shelf underneath.
  • Acquiring a set of 6 antique dining chairs in need of refinishing and re-upholstery. Three are finished, three are waiting refinishing yet.
  • With the arrival of the much-anticipated new windows, I was anxious to begin installing them. This past weekend I was able to get two installed, which you can read about soon in an upcoming post.

So what does 2011 hold in store for this blog?

Firstly, I am going to try to share some of the projects above since they happened before this blog happened. Projects in store for this year?

  • Continuing to install 10 remaining windows, including a double window and a large picture window.
  • Trimming out the newly installed windows.
  • Refinishing and upholstering remaining 3 antique dining chairs.
  • Painting the utility room including walls, newly hung cabinets, and trim. Hanging window treatments and finding salvaged bi-fold doors for the water heater closet.
  • Painting and redecorating a master bedroom for a family member.
  • Refinishing an antique vanity dresser.
  • Refinishing the chairs purchased at a local auction back in November.

Those are the ones I can think of now.  I know there will be other, smaller DIY projects that come up during this new year. I can’t wait for all the exciting things that 2011 holds. Happy New Year.

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  1. #1 by Emily on March 20, 2011 - 9:05 PM

    Just a minor change that I am requesting… “There was a great visit to Chicago with three of my best college friends (who were the best thing to ever happen to me and I could not live without them) somewhere in there, too.

    Love the picture.

  2. #2 by Adam A. Ries on March 20, 2011 - 11:10 PM

    Who were the best thing to ever happen to me. I could not live without them. Cannot wait to see them again soon!

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