More exiting news from our back steps and this time it involves our newest tool: the pry bar. Pretty sure when I went to go buy myself my first pry bar it was that and two lampshades for the upstairs … Continue reading
As much as I love our upstairs bonus “everything room,” it does have its flaws. Yes, it provides us with the extra space we really need for our office, playroom, guest room, extra storage, etc. But because it was an attic conversion that (we have discovered) was not done very well, we’ve got some issues. I’ve mentioned before that it lacks lighting (something we’re hoping to address more fully in the next year or two but for now we’re dealing with with lots of lamps…). However, I’m not sure I’ve mentioned much about the fact that it doesn’t heat or cool very well. In the summer it is HOT, and in the winter it is COLD. Not just warm and chilly, but we’re talking serious heat and cold issues. We’ve had several experts of different kinds (heating/cooling, insulation, etc.) out to give us some advice, but no one is 100% sure why this room is so terrible. I suspect this will be an ongoing project for us over the next several years.
One thing we knew would help in the summer would be to install a window air conditioner unit. The problem? The windows that were installed when the attic conversion + dormer was done were old crank-style windows that a) can’t accommodate a window air conditioner and b) were broken so the wouldn’t open or close well. While we would love to eventually replace all the windows upstairs with new ones, we’re trying to be smart about where we spend our dollars and make sure we’re getting the most enjoyment bang for our buck. So we opted to just replace the larger set of windows so that we could both have working windows to get a nice breeze and have the option to put an air conditioner in.
I didn’t get a great “before picture” but you can sort of see the old windows I’m talking about in this pic (the ones on the left):
I didn’t realize until we replaced the windows what a huge difference they made the view to outside! They let in way more light and really open up the whole space so much more. Here’s a shot of the huge bank of windows:
Nice, right? I love that the new windows have mullions and beefier casings around them – they really make the space feel more like it relates to the rest of the house. Since the attic conversion was done on the cheap back in the 80s, there was not an attempt to make the space feel connected to the rest of the house stylistically. One goal DH and I have for the house is to work to reconnect the upstairs with the downstairs style-wise. But it will definitely be a process!
In full disclosure, this was actually done last fall around the holidays and no, we still have not yet painted the trim. And yes, we have a million pieces of trim to paint and yes if you’d like to help please come over and bring a paint brush.
I’m actually looking forward to summer a bit to see if we can keep things a bit cooler now that we’ll be able to have some amount of air conditioning in the room. My eventual plan involves more insulation, integrated lighting in the vaulted ceiling, and a big beautiful ceiling fan. We’re not there yet, but hopefully we will be before too long!
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’m a huge fan of spray paint. I love that the application is simple but the transformation can be so profound! Most recently I’ve spray painted an old plastic light for our upstairs room: … Continue reading
Anyone out there remember our back stairway? The one that looked like this? I’m well overdue for an update on this space. DH and I are excited that this paneling and dated linoleum-clad eyesore is starting to finally feel lighter … Continue reading
One of the gifts I made for Sydney for Christmas last year was a duvet cover for her toddler bed. As promised, here’s a quick tutorial on how I pulled it together! The inspiration for the duvet cover was this … Continue reading
She’s baaaaaack! I’m finally back to the blogging after a much needed break! It really is amazing how time seems to pass so quickly these days. It is hard to believe, for example, that it has already been eight months … Continue reading
Hello! Is everyone staying warm? We’re just recovering from an incredible cold snap here in Chicago (windchill at -40°F!!) and I’ve never felt more grateful for seeing a thermometer read 20°F!
January is my favorite time of year. The holidays are over and an incredible calmness returns to everyday life. I typically have entire weekends with nothing at all planned, unless you count sitting on the couch with DH and watching an entire movie with a huge bowl of popcorn! Some might call this time of year boring, but I prefer to think about it as a time of reflection, relaxation, planning, and getting. stuff. done. Stuff that I had the best of intentions to do last year, but never quite got around to. Boy do I love how much January can be both restorative and productive! I usually get a ton of blogging done in January too and get a good jump on projects for the new year.
However this year our January is somehow very full. We have play dates and swimming lessons and out of town guests and baby showers galore. All of these things are wonderful indeed, and DH and I are excited for all of this. However, I know January won’t really be, well January. Thus, in an effort to keep from going crazy my zen attitude, I’m going to take a little while off from the 2BB so I can focus on, well, life.
I’ll be back hopefully some time in February with lists and projects and updates galore. Until then I wish everyone a restful, peaceful, productive, and warm Winter!
This year I wanted to make a few of Sydney’s Christmas gifts and had a lot of fun doing it. I didn’t get to everything on my list (who ever does?) but I did end up with three pretty cute … Continue reading
DH and I took a pretty laid-back approach to our holiday decorating this year. With the move and all the renovations we’ve been doing over the past year (including a total gut and remodel of the kitchen and master bathroom) … Continue reading
One space we’ve struggled a bit with in the new house is our loft area – really more of a glorified landing that has very little walkable space before you enter the main upstairs room. There’s a fair bit of … Continue reading