Author Archives: Maura

The window seats

I didn’t do laundry on Sunday, or make my lunch, or get my gym clothes together, or any of the things that make a Monday morning not feel like an unmitigated disaster of unpreparedness. Instead, I made window seat cushions for the kitchen. Worth it. We still have some odds and ends to finish before […]

Painted chairs

A quick look through my phone revealed I have over 100 browser windows open, alternating between news articles and home renovation ideas. I couldn’t find, though, the picture that has been stuck in my head for a few weeks now. It was just a painted chair in an entryway, simple, but that’s what I’ve had […]

Peach swirls are better with plants

Over the last two weekends, I’ve been working on making our hall bath much more livable.  It’s going to be a while before we’re able to do a full renovation on any of the bathrooms, but they’re all, just… not good. Someone got a good deal on a couple lots of builder-grade beige tile maybe […]

The hall light 

A tale of folly and victory told in two Instagram posts almost exactly 6 months apart. The first was from July 17th, 2016, the second from January 16th, 2017. Right after our offer was accepted on our house, but three months before we moved in, I prompted convinced Nik we needed to stop in every […]

Small measures

While the work on the kitchen continues, my own DIY projects have chugged along in small increments. At this point, my approach is fairly scattershot and nothing is really complete, although the bedroom is close. Recently, I’ve been working on the “pink room”, a second bedroom on the second floor. When we first moved in, […]

The floor plans

In researching Victorian architecture, I came across a phrase recently that lends a lot of clarity to the puzzle of our floor plan: “double parlor”. Obsessed with appearances and guarded in private lives, it was common in approximately the period between 1876-1915 to have a more formal front parlor for receiving visitors and a more […]

The progress and surprises

Week three started yesterday, and the work continues in satisfying increments. The demo of the cabinets is complete, the tile has come up and the rough-ins for the electric and plumbing are nearly finished. Because I am impatient by nature, I am restless to get to the part where we put the finishes in, but […]

The Befores

It’s been three months and a couple days since closing day, and we’ve undertaken quite a few projects, but few of them feel near completion. We have HGTV dreams, but a DIY network budget, and a couple unglamorous projects- a burst pipe and a roof repair- have distracted our time and funds. The big project, […]

A Ghostly Affair

Before there was a house, in 1777, the retreating and defeated union army ushered their dead and wounded back across the dirt following the battle of Germantown, 152 and 521 souls respectively in total. The house was built by Civil War veterans for a widow who buried her husband in 1864, disinterred him in 1892 […]

The first surprise

After closing, we got the keys, unpacked, decorated, and lived happily ever after. (…which is hopefully how this concludes in 20 years, if we’re being optimistic.) But have you seen that foyer? You can forgive a house a host of sins with a foyer like that. After getting the keys, we vacillated between celebrating and […]