Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, and if you're like either of us, you have a DIY partner in crime you'd like to shower with gifts and adoration that show just how much you care for them.
But the thing is, the cliched dozen long stem roses, box of chocolates, or flashy jewelry you typically see given on Valentine's Day just doesn't tend to play well with the home project enthusiast you likely call your significant other. Don't worry, we've got your back.
If you're looking for a perfect gift or two for Valentine's Day that won't break the bank but is sure to make your renovation partner's heart smile, we've got a great list of 10 tools for under $10 that will surely make you the construction Cupid of your relationship.
While your love may be the glue and nails that keep you and your significant other inseparable through all of your renovation projects, all you really need is a good pry bar to come between the bad molding and other items you need to demo in your life. This 10" Molding Pry Bar has been a staple in my tool bucket since day one, and has been responsible for the majority of our various hand demolition projects. You've got the flat pry bar on one side, and the cat's paw nail puller on the other. It really can't be beat for a handy demolition tool.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
While there's a huge list of projects we're excited to tackle at our new house, it was clear to me what needed to go near the top of our priority project list.
With its floral decor from ceiling to floor, the one project I couldn't wait to start was our downstairs bathroom. In fact, we had owned the house less than a day before our sleeves were rolled rolled up and we were ripping off that wallpaper.
This bathroom, accessed through the "office" space, is the one bathroom on the first floor. While it's a full bathroom complete with a very small stand up shower, primarily it will serve as a powder room for our home.
The floral wallpaper, corresponding floral border around the ceiling and window, matching floral valance, and other tired decorative accents were not something I wanted to live with while we focused our attention in other places in the house. And while we have already started on some major work in our living room, given the fact this bathroom will be a highly trafficked room, and it happens to also be the first room we see when we enter the home through the side porch, we felt it necessary to put it on the "quick fix" list.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Several months ago we closed on a very picturesque and historic house on the water.
This home is a second home for us, and our grand plan is to use it as a vacation/weekend retreat where we will be able to spend time with friends, family, and each other away from the very fast paced and close proximity lifestyle to which we've come accustom. But before we reach that idyllic setting of sipping drinks on the dock and paddling a kayak, we've got our work cut out for us by way of house projects.
As you may already know, we're not ones to shy away from a home renovation related challenge, and though any given project may take us exponentially longer than the average bear, we have some serious plans for this house before we're all said and done. As much as we want relaxation, our idea of relaxing is a bit different than many. We relax as much through working on the things that inspire us and we love. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we plan on doing a lot to this house, both inside and out.
The photos we've shared of the house thus far have really only shown what things looked like on day one (or maybe two and three). While everything may have looked "fine" on the surface, and perhaps like we really only needed a little "paint and paper" to get this place into shape, we have a much different outlook on everything now that we've owned the house for about three months.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
You know how little kids are overcome with joy and excitement at the thought of visiting Mickey Mouse and friends at the Magic Kingdom?
I've read that kids feel this urge to visit and joy when they enter due to a tremendous need to be immersed in the things they love that makes them feel creative. I'm sure the massive Disney advertising budget doesn't hurt either.
But truth be told, I've never been, and I've never really had that overwhelming desire to visit Disney World, it was just never my thing. But as an adult this desire to embrace my creativity in immersive ways finds outlet in my life in other ways, not the least of which is at a home decor outlet or design center.
Over the holidays I found what I believe to be a truly magical place, not much unlike that of Disney for kids, but my discovery is far less expensive in every way. And I found this in one of the most unlikely places, West Chester, Ohio.
While visiting family in the Cincinnati area I couldn't help but be excited for a little side trip we had planned with my cousin. You see, West Chester, Ohio is a major distribution location for a little home decor and accessories store I like called Ballard Designs. Maybe you've heard of it?
Thursday, January 8, 2015
If you've asked anyone for their opinion on a good video monitoring solution recently, the almost automatic answer seems to be "Get a Dropcam, they're great!"
But the question I've long had is simple, "Is the Dropcam really all it's cracked up to be, or should we look elsewhere for a more effective, flexible, and economical solution?"
We've actually been searching for a good monitoring/security camera for some time now. This search began around the same time Dropcam hit the market and started generating all of its buzz.
Incidentally, at about this same time the copper gutter downspout was stolen from the side of our house, kicking my desire for an improved security surveillance solution into higher gear. So the big question became, "what cameras should I use?"
While closed circuit analog cameras have been the historic standby in the security space, with the "Internet of Things" taking over every aspect of our lives, it seems like a web/network based IP camera is the way to go.