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.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's the Small Things that Make a Big Difference!

We've been quite busy these last couple of weeks.  LD decided to volunteer our house to host this year's winter social for our neighborhood, and of course it meant that there were a few things we needed to get done before the social. As you might be able to tell from our posts, we work best under pressure.  We took care of a bunch of little things on our punchlist that make the house feel a little more complete than it did before.

For those of you who might be wondering what we did with those two walls we mentioned in our last post, here is the first one. But first you must close your eyes.  Okay go ahead and open them.

We wanted to paint some tree silhouettes, but did not want it to take too long or be too complex. So I searched the web and ended up doing my first purchase on Etsy, and bought tree silhouette decals. It took a while to figure out which branch belonged to which tree, but once LD figured it out she had the trees up in no time.

And the surprise on the chalk wall in the bar?  We are both Mizzou graduates, and of course we drew the Mizzou Tiger logo!  It didn't take very long to do, and we're hoping you all like it too.  ROAR!!!

When we first bought the house, and started painting rooms we scratched our heads about what to do with our air conditioning/heat vents.  They were pretty much disgusting.  They must have had at least three layers of brushed on paint and 50+ years of dirt and grime.  I tried stripping the paint off a couple of them, but was not very successful.  So after living without covers for three years, we finally took them to Eagle Auto Stripping to sandblast off all the grime and paint.

After the sandblasting, I went through seven cans of spray paint, and now they are as good as new.  I know it would have been cheaper to purchase new ones, but we liked these better than the ones currently being sold at the big box stores.

 It is amazing how much better the house looks.  LD and I still can't believe that we no longer have to stare at big holes in our walls.

And what about our big UFO/ Jetsons light?  Well, I stripped the latex layers off without a problem, but unfortunately it had a resistant paint layer that was just too stubborn for our citrus-based stripper.

Not wanting to purchase anything more caustic, LD ended up taking it in to get sandblasted as well. It did not turn out quite as we expected because the sand blasting dulled up the finish some, but LD was able to bring some back by polishing it with steel wool.  I was tempted to try some Bar Keepers Friend polishing compound, but we did not have the time to do that before our neighborhood winter social.

I painted the shelves that used to be above the built-in left of the fireplace, and reinstalled them. Those shelves along with the trees, really help balance out all the rust in the room. And to think that LD did not want to reinstall those shelves!  Now they are one of her favorite elements in the room.

We finished all of our last minute touch-ups just in time for our neighborhood winter social, and we got multiple requests for tours of the house.   We gave up on the idea that we would actually have a new vanity in the hall bathroom, but it turned out no one had to use it anyways!

Our neighbors love what we have done so far, and several suggested that we should do this for a living.  I would be willing to, but LD is the creative one.  And unfortunately, her time is limited and this house takes up most of it!