Archive for June, 2011

Winning Paint Scheme

A few posts ago, I let slide that we are getting the exterior of the house ready to paint. So far, other than replacing all the windows and patching in new cedar shingles, I have removed a section of sagging gutters and rebuilt the soffit. It involved tearing off everything rotting and putting up a new fascia board and wooden soffit panel. Because it was over 90 degrees outside the day I decided to do this project, I was more concerned with getting the soffit boards replaced and the gutter back up and less concerned with taking photos for the blog. So this is not a step by step tutorial. But here is a great diagram to help you understand what pieces I had to replace.

Now we are nowhere near ready to paint (there is a large patch of wood siding on the back of the house that is quite bad and needs entirely replaced, not to mention all the hours of scraping still ahead of us) but we have made a final decision on the paint colors.

In this post debating color schemes, I showed two different paint schemes inspired from a Sherwin-Williams color book (the results would look similar to the pictures, but I tweaked the actual colors to ones I liked a little more). After this blog’s first ever reader poll, we have a winning color scheme. (You can still read a breakdown of each of the color scheme contenders in the post, You’re Invited.) Below is a photograph of a house painted with the winning color scheme.

The main color is called Portabella, by Sherwin-Williams. According to you, the readers, this color scheme won in our poll after receiving almost 78% of the votes. Truth be told, this is the color scheme I was leaning towards myself. But before I could make a final decision, I wanted to see these colors on my house, not just a house in a magazine. I hate it when I see a paint color I really like in someone else’s house and when I use it myself, I am disappointed. One color can look so different based on the shape of a room, type and amount of lighting, the color of trim, etc. So, I put my college-learned Photoshop skills to work to see exactly what the house will look like.

Here is a current photo of my house. Ignore the multiple colors of shingles around the windows or missing shingles. Combed cedar shingles are special order only, and we are still waiting for another bundle to finish around the large front window.

And here is what the house will look like once painted. (Although first it must be scraped, sanded, washed, mildew scrubbed off in spots, cracks filled with paintable silicon, … the list goes on.)

We have a weekend picked out just under a month from now when we are hoping to break out the brushes. We’ve got my grandparents lined up for lunch duty and a half dozen family members ready to sling paint. I can’t wait to get started! I just hope our lovable Ohio weather chooses to cooperate.

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Weekend Tripping

This past weekend I stole away on a short trip south, into Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Just south of Cincinnati, this small but beautiful town is a short 10 minute drive from Newport on the Levee which has a multitude of its own attractions. While there, I spent the weekend with a longtime friend who recently relocated there after taking a full time position with a large company. We spent the weekend sight-seeing, exploring his new neighborhood, and taking in some great food!

Fort Thomas was actually originally a Civil War fort and training camp for Union soldiers. The area with the water tower and oldest fort buildings are now located in what is called Tower Park. We walked through the park while catching up on the  the last few months. The park is full of older buildings, with some of the oldest houses renovated into private homes. There were other buildings, not quite as old but larger and more beautiful, that were sitting empty. On a secluded cul-de-sac in the back of the park, there must have been nearly a dozen large brick houses overgrown and rotting away. As a historic preservation buff with a passion for all old buildings, I couldn’t help but take a ton of photographs.

It actually felt kind of creepy; all these abandoned houses in the back of a park, I don’t think I saw any other people while we were walking there and taking photographs. I could easily see a horror movie being filmed there. This sign didn’t help me feel any more comfortable.

The building that originally served as the Fort’s mess hall has been preserved and now functions as a Community Center. As a banquet hall, it can seat over 680 people. Although we couldn’t take a look inside, judging by the exterior the inside must be a beautiful hall.


I think it’s great to see a community preserving its history by saving its buildings. A great example of how a historic building still has purpose and can be a community and financial asset.

We also toured the history museum and learned more about the town’s military importance from its role during the Civil War to how it now houses a VA hospital for senior citizen veterans as well as a PTSD treatment center for recently returned veterans.

The following day we spent the latter part of the afternoon at Newport on the Levee before seeing a film at the cinema. One of the many shops and attractions was a small gallery of of work by local artists, ranging from photography, paintings, pottery, and jewelry. I spottted these early in the gallery, and walked through the rest of it knowing I wanted them.

A set of 4 plates (only 2 in the photograph) and small platter, made for sushi and wasabi. I enjoy a good sushi outing every now and then, but wouldn’t make something like that at home. Maybe for entertaining, for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. I just saw these handmade plates and knew I had to have them. I love the two tone turquoise-gray background with multiple textures, the thickness of the glazing in some areas (lead-free so they are food safe), and the crazed surface of the plates.

They are almost flat, with slightly raised edges. I was excited when I bought them and like them even more now that I have them home. I could see myself designing an entire kitchen inspired just from these plates alone, I like them that much! The artist is Aaron “Wolf” Milavec, a local Cincinnati artist with an impressive art background.

A short trip to IKEA rounded off my weekend, my only purchases there were the zig-zag LACK wall shelf for myself and the DUKTIG vegetable play set for my neice.

They carry a whole assortment of these plush fabric toys, from veggies and fruits to breakfast and dessert. The best part is that they are entirely machine washable, so my sister can just pop them in the washing machine when they need cleaned. Although I do find much of IKEA’s inventory unappealing, I think their DUKTIG line of children’s toys are such a refreshing change of pace from the plastic trash that seems to be the new norm of Fisher Price and Mattel these days.

And I leave you with a photo of me and my Cincinnati friends, two of which had just graduated from UC the previous day, after a fun game of darts and a round of Killians Irish Red (further proof that I am some sort of giant):

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Not My Style

My grandfather was a farmer. A large farmer, who farmed over 1000 acres with his children before he passed away. I was only 7 when he died and I don’t remember him extremely well, but there are certain things about him and his house that I will never forget. Like how his kitchen cabinets had hammered copper knobs and spade handles. Or how the bottom drawer to the right of the sink always hid Oreos or mini doughnuts (treats my parents sparingly would keep in our own house). He had a large collection of those now-retro Avon cologne bottles shaped like cars or trains (I have a green Jaguar bottle that belonged to him). His living room had the oldest oak floor television I had ever seen in my life with a remote control that explains why some people still call them clickers; each button was as loud as a dog training clicker.

And I will never forget his living room lamp shades. I don’t remember what the lamps looked like, but I will never forget the two lamp shades.  They were made from Styrofoam egg cartons arranged in a drum shape, one pale green and one pale pink. On each of the tall “points” that seperate the eggs, a hole was punched and a colored glass marble was glued over the hole. When the light was on, the glass marbles would glow.

I had never seen anything else like it in my life. Until I Google searched for them. And sure enough, apparently someone else had some. This photograph is similar, only Grandpa’s had marbles on each of the points, not in the actual egg wells, and his two were on table lamps, not hanging.

Not my style at all. But nonetheless, I will never forget them and how much of a statement they were in his living room. I wonder who it was that actually made them and where they ended up after his estate was divided. Not that I necessarily want them, but they would be fun to photograph.

Check out these other egg crate lamp shades that are probably more likely to end up in a high end design magazine.

This first pendant lamp was featured on a great sustainability and design blog, Inhabitat, back in 2009. Very pure looking, this would probably be an easy DIY project. Check out the full post at this link, or click on the photo.

I could easily see these more colorful lamps in a child’s room, glam bathroom, or chic home office. The shades are basically paper egg crates that were spray painted a bold color and folded into a drum shape. Photographed in a display by Recolector Disesno, they have been featured on the blogs DIY Gadgets and Apartment Therapy.

I do like the white version, and it would be fun to make; but would I actually hang it somewhere? What do you think, are you inspired enough to start saving egg cartons? What other egg crate crafts have you seen or made?

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