Author Archives: ellen

Fireplace Boiler Surround

I started a new project that I have had in mind for several years. I have loved Old Hickory furniture ever since we visited the Old Faithful hotel in Yellowstone National Park when we were first married. It is made … Continue reading

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Finished Pillar

When I finished the pillar I realized the stone is another heat sink in the living area for the warmth of the sun. After the stone was all glued on, it took a few days to scrub the stone. I … Continue reading

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Progress on the Pillar

The weather this November has been colder than usual. We have already had several snowstorms with the typical melt in between. The challenge was to cut the faux stone tiles outside while the weather was warm enough. At first I … Continue reading

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Tiling the Pillar

The installation of the tile is a matter of cutting it to fit and mortaring it to the cement board. However, there are challenges involved in cutting and fitting. The first block I cut with a grinder and while tapping … Continue reading

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Change of Plan for Living Room Pillar

Not only was there not enough stone for the pillar but it was way too bulky to install in the house. So instead I am going to use it to cover the broken stucco on the garage wall. This pile … Continue reading

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Stone Pillar in Living Room

I decided a long time ago to finish the sole exposed post in the house with stonework. My column is larger but this was the idea. I was tired of looking at the 2 x 4 structure for the column. … Continue reading

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One More Thing

As time goes on I am involved in fewer projects at my son’s house. One of the last updates in the family bathroom was to change the dual flush unit in the tank. The dual flush button on the toilet … Continue reading

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Living Room Furniture

The large TV and its stand came from the apartment but the old couch had seen better days so it was donated and they wanted a simple, relatively firm couch in a light color. We found this one on Craigslist … Continue reading

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Kids Furniture

There were several new pieces needed before the family could move in. The two children had been sleeping in the same room in the apartment and now they have their own rooms! I missed out on the first crib we … Continue reading

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Dishwasher and Refrigerator

The appliances in the house were in decent shape and about 7-9 years old. They were all stainless steel although not high end. When I found a hardly used GE dishwasher at the Restore I thought it was a good … Continue reading

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Cabinet Instead

Every little project takes time. We had a perfect size cabinet to put in place of the wine fridge from reducing the size of the island. I just had to install it. The wine fridge was built in over a … Continue reading

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Gas Stove and Hood

The house had an electric stove and over the stove microwave. As dedicated cooks, the young couple wanted a gas stove and a hood to carry away cooking odors and fumes. This was a relatively large project. The electric stove … Continue reading

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Hardwood Floor

The entry and kitchen had been retiled with a medium gray wood grained tile. But the living/dining room was carpeted with a dark color berber. Although the carpet was not in terrible shape, hardwood was a feature they wanted. The … Continue reading

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Dining Room Furniture

I made an effort to have enough furniture on hand for the family to start their new lives in the house. They had decided not to bring most of their old furniture with them. They only brought their relatively new … Continue reading

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Shoe Sign

It’s tradition to remove outdoor shoes in most Asian households. Actually it’s also becoming an indoor clean air practice. Our LEED requirement is to have shoe storage at the door. But not all visitors are aware, and actually I need … Continue reading

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Charming Playroom

My daughter-in-law wanted a child’s playroom in the large basement family room. This is a wonderful room because the floor is over a crawlspace so its not cold and it is a heated space. The south side has lots of … Continue reading

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Kitchen Faucets

The windowsill was in the way of the kitchen faucet handle for the hot water. The handle bumped up against the wood so the water could not be completely turned on. When the new quartz was installed we requested that … Continue reading

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Closet Organization

I found a Craigslist deal for Closet organization shelves. The remodeler had removed the shelving from several closets. This type of shelving can be very expensive when new but the home owner sold all of the sections and parts for … Continue reading

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Imported Tile

My son was very impressed with the beauty of some Moroccan tile in a specialty tile shop in San Francisco. The cost was $250 a square foot. So he did some research to see if there was a shop nearer … Continue reading

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Kitchen Quartz

I found an ad for “white granite” on Craigslist. For only $60 there were two smaller pieces and one large one. Luckily my son was visiting when we went to pick up the pieces because the large one especially was … Continue reading

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