Sunday, June 21, 2009

UPDATE: tumbled marble, stained glass windows, 7/06

The other two stained glass windows have been installed. The three windows line up parallel to the length of the house in the eaves of the vaulted ceiling. The light from the window on the front of the house -which is covered by plexi for hurricane protection : ) - filters through to the next window that is in the living room (the living room window also provides access to the attic space above the kitchen and porch).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sidelights, 9/15/06

We wanted to use sidelights to let more light in from the porch of the front apartment. I looked for matching sidelights to the nine light oak doors, but they were out of our price range. Then a listing for these sidelights appeared.

Fir with insulated leaded glass. I think that they were part of a job that was changed. $150 for both.

I stained the sidelights at the same time as the doors.

Because oak and fir have such different grain patterns, I knew that they would not match exactly, but they were pretty close.

Pat built the frames and installed the sidelights with the doors.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shower base, 9/13/06

Giselle G. and family were remodelling and this Swanstone shower base just did not fit the bill. It was installed and then immediately uninstalled. I think that we paid $50 for it.

Here is the installation (back in 2007!):And then John started tiling!We purchased 3 pallets (approximately 900 sqft) of slate tile from With residential delivery, the tile was ~$2.50/sqft. The same slate was used in the two kitchens, three baths, and front porch. John designed and installed all of the slate, including the reclaimed slate from a New Orleans sidewalk that was used as a shower seat!

The finished product is very dramatic!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not technically a Craigslist purchase. . .

We bought this stainless steel backsplash from my friend Perry. It was damaged in shipping so Pat flexed his finish carpentry skills to make it beautiful. Now we need to install a granite top on the bar to finish it. Hopefully, that will happen over Mardi Gras.

We ended up wrapping a piece of plywood with stainless steel for the breakfast bar (and backsplashes). Looks great!

Friday, February 13, 2009

1930's doors (knobs, hinges), 8/30/06

So, we had the giant 3'x7' doors, but we wanted to use something older in the front apartment for interior doors. I pictured a four- or five-panel wood door. However, there was a listing for all but one of the doors that we needed. They were a single panel style from the 1930's with original hardware (glass knobs, heavy hinges, etc). Not framed, but the plan to re-use the bargeboard from the original center wall of the house for the interior trim of the front apartment was already forming. $35/door. 5 doors.
Michael B. and family were renovating their Chevy Chase home and changing out the doors. Some were stained, some were painted; some were in the basement, some were still hanging. We waited while Michael took down some doors (much to Mrs. B's consternation since she was trying to get the kids to sleep). We offered some tips on removing and hanging doors which caused Michael to feel like he was on an HGTV show. Chris said that, in fact, he was; that the camera was in my glasses. For a moment, he seemed to believe us.

A couple of weeks later, there ended up being another door. I contacted Michael and asked if he had been holding out on me. So we went back to pick that one up, as well. (Due to some framing and plumbing constraints, we ended up not needing the last door; maybe it will find a home in another project.)

We transported the doors to NOLA. I removed all the hardware and lightly sanded the doors so that they could be painted.

John and I primed the doors.I mixed black and brown (java) to get a dark brown (that was very close to the original stain color). John and I painted the doors.I cleaned up the hardware.Pat constructed amazing frames from the bargeboard.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

French doors for back apartment, 9/23/06

We took a beautiful scenic drive out to the Plains to look at french doors that were being removed during a major home renovation. The house was GIGANTIC.
The doors had not been removed yet, but would be in a couple of weeks by the contractors.

The plan was to "open" the back wall of McKenna Street with two sets of french doors. The cheap, full-light french doors at HD were in the $300-400 range. Each of these sets was $200. Although used, the glass seals and wood were in very good shape. Additionally, they had nice lock sets (that we were able to get re-keyed for only ~$25). On top of that, each door had a transom over it, making the total assembly +8 feet tall.

A matching single door with transom was also for sale, so we picked that up, too.After a few tense minutes trying to manuver a couple of 300 lb doors and windows (yes. we picked up some windows for my mom) through the overgrown English garden, the goods were loaded!(On a side note, I bought a GORGEOUS set of mahogany bi-fold chippendale style doors for $200. I have no idea what I will do with them, but they were too beautiful to pass up.)

Before: (notice how dark and small the room seems even with the ceiling already vaulted)


Final:Notice that the transom was too tall to use above the door, so it was re-purposed as a window.

The doors open onto a covered 100 sqft deck that is about 10 ft above ground level. The view of the neighbor's pool and tennis court is quite nice!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mission-style oak exterior doors

I sketched a fa├žade for the house while we were in Memphis after the storm. It was a craftsman-inspired style that was sympathetic to the age and scale of the house and seemed to be achievable from a cost-effective view.

But how would we be able to afford the true divided, nine-light doors that I envisioned?

You guessed it! Craig's List!

The week after I moved up to MD, I was browsing the listings AND THERE WERE THE DOORS. TWO OF THEM! EXACTLY what I had sketched. $1100 for the two doors. (I know, sounds like a lot for us, but these doors run $1,000-3,000 each!)

I forwarded the link to C., who was still in GA at the time. We were in agreement. They were perfect.

I went by to see them. Toby and Jessica had done an AMAZING renovation of a craftsman-style home. But there were two custom Simpson doors that were not the correct size. Rather than reframe the doorways, they decided to order new doors and try to sell the others. Lucky us!

C and I picked them up and C transported them to NOLA. I spent a week sanding and staining the doors (and the sidelights that we found to pair with them).

Pat installed the doors. . .

and we found hardware that matched the style.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

8) black kitchen appliances, 9/23/06

Jeff L. and his family were finishing up their kitchen and family room renovation and were ready to get rid of their old appliances. A full set of black kitchen appliances for $250. I contacted him right away!

After Chris and I loaded the appliances, Jeff refused to take any money. He said that he listed them with the intention of giving them away, but did not feel that people would be responsible about picking the appliances up if they were listed for free. I personally think that he just wanted to help us out because of Katrina and what we were trying to do with the renovation. Either way, we really appreciate it! And the end result is striking.

The cabinets (while not from CL) are recycled from the house my parents renovated in Chattanooga, TN. They are metal cabinets (c. 1920-30's) that were white. John spent many hours cleaning and painting them.

The stainless counter was from the same kitchen. It had been sitting in a barn at my grandmother's farm for years. It looks great after lots of Brasso and scrubbing!

Pat fashioned the butcher block counters from a cast-off, warped piece from IKEA. He also fit all of the crown molding (recycled courtesy of my friend, Skip). Note: The kitchen ceiling is the original beadboard porch ceiling (with many coats of caulk and high gloss white paint!).

16) 2 Kohler Sterling toilets, 1/17/07

We needed two more toilets for the back apartment. Then we spotted the listing for two Kohler Sterling toilets. Only $50!

Clayton W.'s neighbor had two toilets to get rid of, so Clayton offered to list them on CL for him. When we arrived, everyone was in front of the back yard fire pit - maybe a little tipsy : )

While warming our hands in front of the fire, we hung out and talked about renovations, NOLA, and Katrina for awhile. Then, while Chris was loading the toilets, Clayton W.'s neighbor gave me a tour of his house (that he was modifying substantially). Very cool curved staircase in the entry!

The bathrooms look great!
John designed and installed all the slate. The top photo is the shower-only bathroom. The bottom photo includes the other clawfoot tub from my house that collapsed during Katrina.

UPDATE! Doors and Granite 7/06

The giant, heavy doors are installed! (The granite is still leaning against a tree in my backyard in Georgia.)

Check out the back apartment kitchen!

Chris and I drove into Atlanta to remove the cabinets and appliances from a condo off of Peachtree Rd in midtown. We returned later to load and transport it all to NOLA (on my parent's too heavy car trailer). We scored the whole kitchen (cabinets, appliances, granite, and a stacking W/D) for $2200. I think that just the refrigerator listed for over $2k new. Chris J bought the condo next door to expand his living space and did not need the extra kitchen. He said that he priced it for what his contractor quoted to remove it. So we removed it for him. It was a LOOOOOONG trip to NOLA after we loaded the trailer (and thanks to Chris J for helping!). We slept overnight in a rest stop on the MS coast rather than pull into the city at 2AM with an open trailer full of a complete kitchen when pretty much everyone in the city needed a kitchen right about then.

It is finally installed and looks AWESOME!