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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Midcentury Modern Butterfly Roof House for Sale- 6355 Robinhood Dr.

Let me begin by stating that I am not a real estate agent nor am I getting a commission from the sale of this house.  This is a post from one midcentury aficionado to another about a unique midcentury modern house for sale.   We want to see this house be loved by someone just like the owners who once lived there (and we want decent neighbors in the neighborhood!) 

Ever since we moved into this neighborhood, we have been curious about the "butterfly" house at the entrance.  A few weeks ago I finally got a chance to satisfy my curiosity during an estate sale (and I was just a minute late from scoring a sweet cado wall unit).  My curiosity was satisfied, and I was impressed with what I saw.  It was very obvious to us that the homeowners really cared about their home.  

So unless a philanthropist comes out of the woodwork to purchase this house and donate it to our neighborhood association, we are hoping that the right person who appreciates this home for what it is will purchase it.  

Here is a link to the real estate listing, but be forewarned that the pictures do not do it justice.  You really need to go into the house to appreciate it for what it is.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Haunted Happenings

Hope you all had a very Happy Halloween, with more treats than tricks!  At Robin Hood's Hideaway we celebrated Halloween a couple of days early.  After foregoing our Halloween party last year due to our bathroom remodel, we were not about to let this year go by without celebrating one of our favorite holidays with friends.

In preparation for our party, however, we were busy trying to get some projects completed.  Here are the much overdue updates:

We are happy to report that after having settled on a new paint color for our office over a year ago, we finally got around to painting our office.  I am glad that Benjamin Moore still carried the color!  Unfortunately, the walls looked nicer and they made my desk and bookshelves stick out like a sore thumb.

My World Market Konrad desk and Riley bookcases did not really go with the style of the house (they had been a perfect fit for our other house).  So we ended up going to Minnesota and LD talked me into purchasing a walnut table top from the Room and Board Outlet.  We bought legs and a drawer kit from Ikea, and we ended up assembling a one of a kind desk that fits the room much better.  We also bought some Gallery bookshelves from the Room and Board Outlet.  

I celebrated my birthday in September, and LD bought me the chair that I fell in love with the first time I saw it at Room and Board.  

Hmmm, something about my birthday and chairs (last year she bought me an Eames shell rocker).

We also picked up a glass table top for the Herman Miller table base we had purchased a while back.  The round table looks much better in our dining area.  It has a few scratches that we will have to address, but for $9.99 it was too good of a deal to pass up.

To top it all off, we finally installed baseboards upstairs!  It was tedious work, but it sure finishes up the rooms.  I can't believe we lived without baseboards for three years!

LD also managed to purchase ALOT more decorations while I was away on travel.  We really need to build a storage shed, unfortunately that will probably have to wait till Spring.

The house looked quite festive, and it really set the mood for the party.  

It might have been a little too festive, since it actually attracted a "mystery" guest.  
One of our friends called me over and brought to my attention a phantom/grim reaper who was standing by himself/herself in a corner.  I walked over to welcome them to the party and to figure out who it was.  I really could not tell who it was, so I asked.  The only response I got were growling sounds and a husky voice that said he/she was hungry.  So I told him/her to help himself/herself to some food and drinks.  A few minutes later Mark asked me if I had figured out who it was because he/she had walked outside and left.  At that point I got a little worried and went to ask LD if she had interacted with the mystery guest.  She pretty much had the same interaction, and he/she never did identify himself/herself.  We felt it was quite creepy and we had Katy search the house to make sure that our mystery guest was not hanging around.

Nothing like a party to motivate us to get things checked off our 2011 to do list.  This party helped us accomplish three of our goals!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Estate Sale Finds! C. Jere!

This weekend there was an estate sale in our neighborhood.  Some of the homes are still in their original condition (like ours) with wonderful surprises.  So we were excited to go the sale.  

Usually when we go to estate sales, it is on the last day when there is nothing left.  Since this one was in our neighborhood, we got there a few minutes before they opened.

People had already lined up at 6 am.  The sale did not open until 9 am!  As they opened the door, a woman bumped into me as she rushed to get to the jewelry table.  And I saw another one running from one room to the next.  Who knew that estate sale shopping was such a competitive sport!  Since becoming a newfound fan of Storage Wars, I figured that those people probably own resale shops, and were looking for merchandise to fill their shelves.

While everybody was busy fighting over the jewelry and records collection, I made my way into the garage and LD went into the basement. 

While I picked up a pitch fork and three sprinklers in the garage, LD found a C. Jere metal artwork!  

Leave it to her find such a piece.  I wouldn't have believed it if it wasn't signed.   It has three biplanes and a mini-runway.  Given that several of the original homeowners in our neighborhood had been pilots for TWA, I thought we might want to hold on to some of our neighborhood history.  

She tried searching the web for a similar one, but could not find one.  If anyone knows about this piece, please let us know!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hall Bathroom Finally Done-Mirror and All!

It has been so long since our mirror drama started that thought I would give you a quick refresher:

I really wanted this mirror from West Elm, but it was no longer being sold.
So we ended up buying this one online (arrived broken the first time, wish it had been broken the second time)  We both hated this mirror.
So we decided to build our own.
However, our efforts to use the Dremel Trio as a router were not successful.  The maple was just too hard.  John and Sam from Our First House were kind enough to lend us their router and router table.   (Many, many thanks!-it certainly made the job much easier!) 

Initially we were just going to keep the mirror pretty simple, but our mitered corners were not as tight as we had expected.  (Later learned that we are supposed to use the sawdust from the saw to fill that in!) 

So we decided to try our own version of the West Elm mirror.  I tried looking for branch cross sections in Etsy, but they were too expensive.  LD found some branches from an elm tree in the park that lost one of it's large branches during the last storms.  She cleaned the branches and sliced them into quarter inch segments with the miter saw.  We let them dry for about two weeks, then started glueing them onto the frame.

After letting it dry for a few hours, and giving it two coats of poly, we finally hung it in the bathroom.

So our hallway bathroom is finally done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Sister, My Hero

Friday, September 2nd, was a weird day. We were supposed to go to Minneapolis to go shopping at Ikea, but decided to leave on Saturday instead. Just didn't feel like the right day to leave. Now I know why. Dad visited me and tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen. I was depressed, and couldn't shake it. Even Morgan tried to tell me. When my brother called me that night, I didn't want to pick it up. I knew it deep down, but I didn't want to hear it or accept. I thought that if I didn't answer the phone, it wouldn't happen. My sister, Estela, had passed away. She was fondly known as Sister.

Sister. I gave her that name when I could barely speak because I couldn't say her full name, so I improvised, and it stuck with her this whole time. She was always stronger, smarter, and more stubborn than I! But I needed someone like her to get it through my thick skull that our lives can be changed in an instant. And I thank her for that.

I remember when we would go to the farm field, and move the hay bales around to create forts and mazes. And the fact that she had a crush on my good friend Tony! (But he already knew.) We loved going into that field and playing in the creek. We would catch pollywogs and fish all day long. We had all the fruit we could eat-blackberries, apples, and cherries. OMG they were so fresh and good. And the best swimming hole ever! It was our secret. She hated the fact that we had to move from there. We moved so many times when we were young, but at least we had each other. She was 1 yr and 10 months younger than I, but it felt like we were joined at the hip when we were little.

Growing up she always found ways to get into fights at school. I either had to bail her out, fight right next to her, or protect her! And it was always with more than one girl! Big ones too! She never did things the easy way, and I never knew what those fights were about. Probably best to be kept in the dark!

I'll never forget when I went away to college, she told me she loved me and would miss me. I never knew that before. She was always so stubborn, and had to learn things the hard way. But it was her stubbornness and tenacity that pulled her through the tough times. After she had kids, she went back to school and just blew me away. I don't know how she managed a family, a life, and went to school at the same time. She amazed me then, and still does now. It took her a long time to find her passion, but she did. And when she did, she bulldozed through, letting nothing stop her from her goal.

She never gave up even when the doctors gave her the news that would change her (and her family's) life forever-brain cancer. Instead, she persevered through the chemo, radiation, and all those surgeries-and did it all during school breaks!!! And she still got straight A's and didn't complain. I was awed by her, and her strength to move forward, despite what she'd been through.

That was four years ago. I thought I was going to lose her last year, but she kicked Death in the a$$ again. I always knew she wouldn't go down without a fight. She finished her bachelor's in speech pathology last year, and got into grad school. She gave me the best birthday present ever in December last year-she was cancer free (then it came back in 2011). This was going to be her second year in grad school. She will always be my Hero.

(Hey Sis! I'll be looking and waiting for you in my dreams, and I'll be waiting to feel your presence around me. Now you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. And when it's my time to go, your lovely, smiling face is the first one I want to see. I love you so very much. P.S.-say hi to Dad for me.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Privacy Fence - DONE!

We took leave from work last Thursday to work on our fence.  LD optimistically thought we would get it all done, but I knew better.  We did manage to finish installing the rest of our railings, and got some of the pickets nailed in.

Tired of taking millions of trips up and down the slope to carry supplies, LD came up with the brilliant idea of finding a little wagon that we could load up with supplies and pull down our narrow pathway.  I went online and found a couple of candidates at Home Depot and Lowe's.  The one from Lowe's won out (it was bigger and it was assembled).  It was just under $100, but it was one of the best $100 we ever spent.  LD's little "burro" saved us a lot of time and exhaustion by carrying our tools and lumber up and down the slope.

Little "Burro"
This is the terrain in our backyard.
Last Sunday, we really put a dent on the fence.  After working on it for almost 8 hours, we stopped with about 25 feet to go.  LD wanted to get it all done, but I was exhausted!

We took showers and had dinner at the local Chinese buffet.  I thought we were done for the day, but LD had other plans.  She wanted to burn some of the brush that had been dumped on our property.  Lucky for her (not for me), Sunday was a burn day.  So we spent a couple of hours burning.  It only put a small dent on the pile, but at least we managed to create some space between the brush pile and the fence.  We were tired, but happy with all the progress we made.

It took us less than two hours Saturday morning to finish installing the rest of the pickets and the gate.  It is far from perfect, but it is done!  The dogs finally get to enjoy their yard, and so do we.

Last nail
View before
View after
This project would not have been possible without our friends Rollin and Jeannette.  They were kind enough to lend us their trailer, nail gun, and extension cords.  To top it all off, Rollin came to our rescue last Thursday when we could not figure out that we had a nail jammed in the gun, and assisted with the pickets that day.