The outside of our house may be the part that we get the most comments on, I think for the simple fact that everyone has seen the progression of it. When we moved into our house in July, our neighbors knew we were somewhat crazy after seeing all that we had undertaken. The funny thing is, when we bought our house, we didn’t intend to do much to the exterior. We were hoping, hoping, hoping we didn’t have to change the exterior at all (even though we weren’t huge fans of beige stucco). However, as the remodel got underway, we realized the stucco needed to go.


Ripping off the stucco gave us the opportunity to insulate and wrap the house, but also revealed some issues with the walls of the sunroom. We took the whole sunroom down to the floor. It’s as crazy as it sounds, and you can read more about it here.

IMG_0057   IMG_0068IMG_0073   IMG_0082

Once the house was wrapped, we finished it with Hardie board, and then came the difficult task of picking a paint color. We have several beige, yellow, white and grey houses around us, so we thought we’d pick a bolder color. There are green and red houses already on our street, so it seemed that blue was the way to go.

Do you know how many shades of blue there are?! Way too many. Fortunately, Sherwin Williams makes sample pints of external paint for people like us who have to paint a swatch to get an idea of what the color will look like on the house. Seven sample pints later, we had the right shade of blue!


Thankfully, we are happy with the final result! IMG_0259

To top it off, this Fall, Tony was able to make some beds and get some plants in the     ground before it got too cold.


Now that we’re done with the hard work, we can say we’re happy with the changes.

February 2015

February 2015


January 2016


Hayden Home – The Throne Room

Even though we haven’t been writing updates about it, we have been doing major work on our house, and moved in at the end of July! We still have some final finishing work to do- trim to paint, holes in drywall to fill, hardware to install, etc… Since it’s not fully complete, I can’t post a big reveal. Instead, I’ll highlight rooms as they finish. That can be fun, too, right?! Thank you for your patience.

So far we have one room mostly finished: the upstairs bathroom.

When we bought the house, the listing had the house marked as a three bathroom. This was a *bit* of a stretch, and in reality, it was three half-bathrooms. That’s right. There was a half bath downstairs. Then, upstairs there was one room with a sink and a toilet and one next to it with a sink and a tub.

Since we were planning on doing major renovations on the house, we decided to take down the wall to make one full bath. Call us traditional. It just makes sense.

There aren’t any good “before” pics of the 2 half baths, probably because they were so small. We do have a shot of the space after we took it down to the studs. When we opened it up, we realized we had to take the floor out completely, because a previous remodel was done….lets just say…incorrectly. So yes, what you are seeing is a giant hole from our kitchen up to our second floor bathroom.

After seeing what we took it down to, the “after” picture looks stunning, right?! We think so.  And by the way, not only does this bathroom have a well-supported floor, it’s a heated floor!  I’m pretty excited for winter, so we can try it out.

Paint color: SW Samovar Silver

The Sun Will Shine Again

One of my favorite features of our house is the sunroom on the front. It’s a beautifully large room off of our living room, with windows on three sides.

photo 1(1)

However, as we were ripping off stucco, we found that the structure wasn’t sound. There had previously been a gutter and roof, that was simply covered with another gutter and roof on top. You can see that, plus lots of water damage in the picture below.

IMG_0035_2When we ripped up the roof, we just kept finding more. It took 4 guys several hours, and in the end, we took off between 12-13 layers of roofing!

photo 2(2)Since this was such a mess, we decided it made more sense to rip the whole sunroom down and rebuild it. Again, we were taking on a project that required a lot of demolition, so we were thankful for all those who helped!

The windows are in decent condition, so we were able to take them out and reuse them.

photo 3(1)We took everything down, and were able to save the floor.photo 4(1)

photo 1(2)The sunroom has now been rebuilt and the original windows put back in place. This was again, an unfortunate extra project we took on, but it will be much nicer (and last longer) now that it’s done correctly!



Uh-oh Stucco

When we bought our house, we hoped that our remodel would take about 3 months. Well, today is the 3 month mark, and we’re not quite ready to move in. We had a bit of an unexpected twist in March, when we realized the stucco would need to come down completely, and be replaced with siding. Yes, you heard that right. We have 3,000 sq. ft of exterior walls, and we decided that the stucco (essentially 1″ thick concrete) was in bad enough condition that we should go ahead and take it all down. So, we’ve spent the past 5 weeks ripping off stucco, repairing & replacing any damage in the walls, insulating, putting up plywood, replacing some windows and wrapping the house to get it ready for siding.

IMG_0005_2Things got real interesting when we took the stucco off the back of the house. Since we had torn the plaster off the inside of the walls, it was literally nothing but studs and fair bit of rotten wood that had to be taken care of. *Insert nervous laughter here* This open-air concept lasted just a day before it was closed back up.

IMG_0012_2Fortunately, we’ve had some friends come over and help us out. Because, when it comes to big projects like this, many hands make light work.

IMG_0050_2The finished result is looking great! It’s a whole lot more work, and added a month to our timeline, but as it is with every good fixer-upper story, it will be better in the end.

IMG_0063_2Now, we’re done with the bottom two floors, and are ready to have guys come in and rip off the third-story stucco and install the Hardie Board siding. Hopefully we’ll have some great updates on that soon!




Home Remodel – 6 week update

The first 6 weeks of home-ownership have been quite the experience! The first week was devoted to demolition. This was focused primarily in the back of the house, where we gutted the kitchen, bathrooms (on first and second floor), butler’s pantry and mud room area. I know what you really want is pictures. We’ll start with some pictures of the progression of the kitchen demolition.


The cabinets came off and went up in the garage.  There was a half-bathroom behind that wall. It has since been moved.


The house was built in 1904, so every wall & ceiling was plaster & lath. IMG_0123_2 Everything is opened up, structurally sound, and waiting for new windows.

IMG_0109_2We also took out the wall between the dining room and kitchen.


This was a bit of fun.

The wall is out, and things are opening up!IMG_0097_2

Since pretty much everything on the back of the house was gutted, we had the freedom to think through some of the items on our wish list. One item was to get rid of both of the side doors, and put in one back door. IMG_3329_2

So we cut a hole in the back wall and put in a set of french doors. Easy enough, right?! This new back door sits in a mud room where the old butler’s pantry used to be.IMG_0111_2

Tony has also had the pleasure of spending lots of quality time in the Bobcat. Here he is burying our electrical lines.IMG_0089_2

Tony and our friend, Jeremy, have been doing most of the work on the house. (I must say, I am amazed at what a great job they are doing!) However, there are several things that we have hired out, like all the electrical work, most of the plumbing, HVAC, and tuck-pointing the chimney.IMG_0108_2 There are moments when this little project is overwhelming. There have been some surprises along the way, but so far we’ve taken them in stride. Our hope is to tackle windows, drywall, tile, and likely the exterior of the house (one of those *little* surprises) in the next month.

Target move-in date: May.

We Bought a House!!

We have big news, and I went ahead and gave it away in the title…
Last Thursday we closed on a house. We had been looking for several months, and saw some we were interested in, but time after time things just weren’t working out. Then we heard about this house at 40th and Guilford. It wasn’t on the market, but we heard that it was recently purchased as a foreclosure by an investor and he was willing to sell it before making any changes to it. So we bought it, with intentions to remodel parts of it.



Tony has been feeling remarkable good on his new therapy, Xalkori, and so he’s taken on the role of general contractor with his friend (and skilled carpenter), Jeremy.

We have plans in the works to give this 1904 house a facelift, including all new electric, plumbing, kitchen and bathrooms, among other things.

Tony was eager to get started, so demolition started last Friday. The walls are all plaster & lath, so Caroline & I stay away for the most part. However, I do stop by after the dust has settled to document the progress.


Kitchen on Friday




Kitchen on Saturday



Kitchen & Dining Room on Monday

Stay tuned for more!!


The Table

My family values things that will last. Most of the furniture I acquired in college and thereafter were items that were passed down from my parents, grandparents, or my great aunt Katie. Some of you know these items: the green lamp, the swan chair, the “Meredith sized” (aka small) kitchen table. When I think about getting new pieces of furniture, I think big, because hopefully I’ll hold onto that piece of furniture for quite sometime.

One thing I felt particularly strong about, was a dining room table. For years I have wanted a big dining room table. One that let us have several people over for dinner, with room for everyone. One that could handle nicks and scratches from children, and where I could raise a family (again, we’re thinking way into the future here). But a table of this size and weight is a big commitment, and one that I wasn’t really ready to make until I had a dining room big enough for it, and someone who would be able to carry the bulk of it…

So when we got married, Tony started talking with a friend of ours, Doug Collins, and planned out how to make a big farmhouse style table. For our wedding gifts, our parents paid for the wood for the table and the chairs (which we got from Target.com). Then, after we returned from our honeymoon in Sonoma, Tony began working on our table. Using Doug’s wood shop and instruction, and with help staining and sealing from Steve Campbell, the table came out much better than we had originally imagined!

The table itself is made out of Ash. The frame is a farmhouse style, mostly just glued together, but with a few screws at some of the main joints. There are holes in the frame at each end to slide in an 8″ extension, which will allow us to seat up to 12 people (4 on each side, 2 on each end).

The top is simply 5 boards, glued together, but weighs about 200 lbs. It is not secured onto the frame, it just sits on top, which makes disassembling a breeze as long as you’ve had your Wheaties that morning…

There is a bench that is not yet assembled, that will run along one side. Also, the extensions are not yet done. However, it is a great table, and looks sure to last for many years.