On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009 - Hello 2010!

Well, 2009 was a great year for home remodeling, and we are looking forward to all the new projects we plan to take on in 2010.  We thought it would be fun to review some of our remodeling accomplishments of 2009.

  • Infill kitchen cabinets built
  • Kitchen cabinets refinished
  • Refinished pecky cypress wall
  • Installed new fixtures in half-bath
  • New pendant lights over breakfast bar
  • Installed cork floor in master bedroom

  • Installed walnut wall in master bedroom
  • Painted family room, kitchen, and half-bath
  • New kitchen countertops installed
  • Installed kitchen backsplash
  • Installed new dishwasher and wall oven
  • New drywall installed over acoustic ceiling
  • New master bedroom vanity
  • Stairs covered with Johnsonite rubber stair treads

I am exhausted just thinking about all the work we did in 2009, but ready to tackle the following projects in 2010:
  • Remodel master bathroom
  • New concrete sink for master bathroom vanity
  • Remodel hall bathroom
  • Continue cutting back the overgrown yard
  • Refinish built in cabinets in family room to match kitchen cabinets
  • Replace plastic in family room cabinet doors with glass
  • Install baseboards
  • Install vents
  • OHHHH and start working on Black Dog Bar!
It should be a challenging year, but we are looking forward to it (okay I am looking forward to it, LD not so much).

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas 2009

It has been nearly 50 years since Kansas City enjoyed a White Christmas.   Fortunately, we were safe at home during the storm.  To our family members in California who do not have the pleasure of enjoying snow on Christmas, these are for you!

Took the dogs out to play

Patio-outside the dining area

Celebrated LD's birthday today with a freshly baked cake!

Video of dogs enjoying the snow

Hope your Christmas was as fun as ours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shake & Bake in Time for Christmas!!!

It took a little thinking and planning, but we figured out the best way to make the cutout smaller for the oven.

Trim & raised platforms
The oven actually had to be raised to better fit the opening. So we added a little platform on each side.

Staining trim

Stain and topcoat all done!

Delia flipped the switch at the electrical panel, and all the pretty lights came on!! There were so many lights and function buttons. I might have to read the manual!

To initiate the oven into our home, we baked wonderful Christmas cookies and a delicious frozen pizza.

Mmmmm, delicious reindeer sugar cookies.

I thought it would take us longer to get it installed, but it only took 2 days. Most of that time was spent waiting for stain and poly to dry.

Merry Christmas to Us!

Now we can enjoy our Christmas.  Last year, I could only setup the tree. This year I was able to set up some decorations throughout the house.

Christmas Bar

Baine's stocking

Our stockings

My Christmas quilt-about 10 years old

Merry Christmas to All and To All a Goodnight!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

After a 14 hour trek our oven is here!!!!

We have been without an oven for more than 4 months. Well it would only work when it felt like it, which happened to be once or twice a month. But we were looking for the right one to come along at the perfect price.

Well, after waiting for a perfect deal on an Electrolux wall oven, our patience has paid off!! We got one for a steal at the Sears Outlet. I love that place-ahhhh. But here's the catch-we had to drive 14 hours roundtrip to get it. We figured since we went to Ikea for the same distance why not do the same thing for our dream oven.  I wanted my oven, and I was not about to give up, especially with a sweet deal like that.  

We checked the weather for the weekend and decided that Friday would be the best time to go.  We left for Evansville mid-morning on Friday and ran into a blizzard from Columbia to St. Louis (okay it was just some light snow and flurries).

After checking into the hotel and eating dinner, we headed to Sears to pick up the oven.  Turned out the oven was brand new, it only had a little crack in the fascia on the right side.  At 70% off the original price, it was well worth it!!

After getting some rest, we headed back home this morning.  Katy was quite comfortable, however, and was not ready to get up.  Morgan on the other hand, was ready to go!  Can you tell that Katy is not a morning dog?

I plan on working on the cabinet adjustments tomorrow, and hoping to have the oven installed just in time for Christmas.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Large Hole in Our Kitchen!

There is a large hole in our kitchen, but don't be alarmed it was self-inflicted.  We finally got tired of staring at the oven that worked only when it felt like it (happened to be once or twice a month), and decided to pull it out. We turned off the power at the breaker box, removed a few screws, and pulled it out.  It was a relatively painless process.

We needed to pull out the oven to measure the cutout dimensions.  LD just about had a cow when she learned that the cutout width was 1.5" larger than the maximum listed in the installation instructions for the Electrolux Oven she has been lusting over.

But she really had her heart set on that oven, and she was not about to give up.  Once she calmed down and re-examined the cabinet cutout, she realized that the previous owner had cut the cabinet on the right side to fit the big old oven (Magic Chef oven that required a 30.5"cutout).  She will be putting her carpentry skills to work to modify the cabinet, so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chainsaw Massacre that Ends with Lights

I took Friday off from work, and spent a few hours participating in the madness of Black Friday.  After showing off my loot to LD (mostly DVD movies), I decided to finish clearing the vegetation on the east side of the house.

All nice and clean!

The northeast side of the yard is actually starting to look decent now.

This morning LD wanted to go for a run at Shawnee Mission Park, but I was too lazy and decided to go to Panera instead.  After spending a couple of hours reading the Sunday paper, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and an orange scone (yummy), we came home and LD decided to tackle the 50+ year old bushes that were dwarfing the side of our garage.

Can you actually spot LD in there?

One trunk left.  We need a new chain for the chainsaw to cut it down!

LD wanted to remove the vegetation so we can put up Christmas lights.  So after all that hard work, LD talked me into going to Target to buy LED lights.  I thought we were going to hang them the next time we had warm weather, but LD had other plans.  We got home, and she immediately pulled the ladder out of the garage.  I had no other option, but to help out.  The lights look better than I expected, and they only use 2.4 watts per string of lights!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The War Against the "Jungle"

LD/Delia - 2    Jungle - 0

Our first point was the cleanup of the vegetation outside of the bar windows (see October's blog post).  After that we got the bug to do more, we just needed the right time.

We had a "scorching" weekend (for the end of November that is).  With temperatures in the high 50's it was hard to pass up the temptation of tackling some of the overgrowth around our yard.  We have a dead tree near the master bedroom whose branch fell, and was leaning on the cable and phone line (which we are having problems with).  It had already lost one branch last week, and we feared that the big branch was going to fall as well.



Next to the tree we have a ton of Forsythias.  The overgrowth was so bad that the ATT technician commented that he was glad that the problem was the router and not the phone line.

Before-the air conditioner is in there somewhere!  The compost bin is barely peaking out.

Several months ago LD started to remove the Forsythias that wrapped around the east side to the front, but she was only able to remove the front bushes.  So we spent a couple of hours on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday cutting them down.  We managed to cut down over 85% of the "mass".  I think one more hour and we would have gotten them all done.

After-the compost bin looks like it is sticking out now!

After-oh look, we do have an air conditioner.

The bad news is that our brush pile keeps growing!  We once thought about having a bonfire, but it is so large that it might cause a forest fire!!  At some point in time we are going to have to haul it away.

Brush pile

We are also trying to find "green" ways to remove 2 very old, large Christmas trees.  The previous owner planted two Christmas trees about 40-50 years ago, and they are now 20-30 feet tall.  So we came up with the idea of giving them away to a city, community or organization.  They are free to anyone who is willing to cut them down and haul away.  We advertised them on Craigslist.  So if you know anyone who is interested in very large Christmas trees, let us know!

Tree #1

Tree #2

We have 1.25 acres, so this is only the beginning of our yard work!  It is going to be a long journey.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disaster K9 Training and a Midcentury House Tour in Indianapolis

In order to keep Katy's searching skills sharp, LD travels to other training sites.  So last month, we traveled to Indianapolis to train with the FEMA Indiana Task Force I canine team.

On our way to Indianapolis we decided to stop in St. Louis to check out the Design Within Reach store.  With all the road construction taking place it was a pain to get there, but the eye candy was well worth it.  I fell in love with several pieces of furniture that I will have to save up for.  

I fell in love with this Eames Rocker Chair!

LD fell in love with the versatility of the Quad Expandable Coffee Table.  To see how the table opens up, check out additional pictures on this link:  Click here

Why can't my checkbook match my tastes?  Oh well, I guess it just makes me appreciate them even more.

We spent Saturday morning and most of the afternoon training with the Indiana canine team.  Katy had a really good time.  I have never known a dog that loves to work as much as she does.   Look at that smile in her face!

The Indiana Task Force K-9 handlers love training with LD.  She is like doggie cocaine, because she does not hold back when she plays "victim".  Dogs really respond to her enthusiasm.  Here she is in a bark barrel rewarding one of the Indiana dogs after a good alert.

It was just coincidence that the same weekend we traveled to Indianapolis, Atomic Indy was hosting an Atomic Crash Party at an Evans Woollen midcentury house.  So after training we stopped long enough to tour the house, chat with the homeowners, and take some pictures.  Enjoy!

Impressive entryway

Patio on side of the house

I was jealous of this garage, three cars and plenty of room for a workshop!

This was the other side of the house.  It had a small metal deck.

Nice bed

This house had terrazzo floors on the lower level.

They stripped and sanded the original kitchen cabinets.  That sounds familiar!!