Tag Archives: home

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 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 […]

In the thick of it

At the end of the second week, we’re in the “spot the differences” stage. Progress seems visually slow, but functionally steady. On Monday, work came to a halt when it was discovered that the building’s main water shutoff valve was broken. That had to be repaired, and then the plumbing rough-ins were finished, including rerouting […]

Tearing it down to build it up

One week in, and there’s one less bathroom in our single-bathroom home. Our tiny cat-contractor started her work bright and early Monday morning, and in no time, the terrible drop ceiling came crashing down. But I would strongly advise against hiring a cat contractor, because they tend to lose motivation pretty quickly and take long […]

Another new beginning

Hello, my blog. You’re looking kinda dusty. Up until this June, Nikki and I were working on this thing, this gorgeous thing, that took a lot of time and meticulous planning: Which was great! But that’s not why we’re here. In contrast to these happy gorgeous pictures (thanks, Shannon Collins, we looooooove you!), I have […]

The Living Room

Leaving well enough alone. That, my friends, is for the birds, and people who enjoy a sense of completeness in their lives. Not me, in other words. The living room is the one room in our apartment that I’m not decorating right now. I’m not decorating it so much that I haven’t taken a single […]


Summer is flying by, and between the productive exhaustion of settling into a new job and the unseasonably mild weather, the inside of the house hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as my picnic blanket and my bike. I’ve also been spending significant time on the balcony, reading and napping.  Adding the church pew has […]


The design decisions that have been made in the hallway by previous owners are confusing at best. The brick wall was plastered over (it’s exposed in some of our neighbors’ units), then painted, then papered, then painted again, then papered in a raised polka dot patterned paper, then painted a fleshy beige. The overall effect […]

Dispatches from the dining room

After a wholly pleasant and unusually extended Spring, Philly’s heat and humidity has made an appearance in full force. While we’ve put an air conditioning unit in the bedroom for sleeping at night, we’ve resisted turning it on before 10 or putting another one in another part of the house. Frugality and a curious-but-unsubstantiated belief […]