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, December 24, 2012

A Much Needed Facelift!

After 57 years, our house was very much due for a facelift!


Close-up of 2008 version with the vinyl siding!

We hired StudioBuild to help us give our house a facelift.  One of the first things we wanted to address was replacing the vinyl siding that was installed by the previous owner.  LD and I both hated it!  The house still had the original cypress, but we did not know what kind of shape it was in.  If it was bad, we would have to put on new siding.  Jerad convinced us to take part of the vinyl off to see what kind of shape it was in.

Vinyl siding coming off!

They removed the vinyl from the front of the house, and much to our surprise it was in pretty good shape (with a few exceptions).  So we gave them the green light, and in a couple of days they had the rest of the vinyl removed.

Sayonara vinyl!!!

We then had to decide on a house color.  LD wanted to go with a really dark gray more like charcoal.  I was a little apprehensive, so we went through about 9 color samples before finally deciding on one called cracked pepper.

We also took the opportunity to replace all 6 bathroom windows, and a couple of awning windows in the master bedroom.  Once the windows came in, StudioBuild and Fosters, Inc. went to work.

Rod and Charles installing the windows.

New bathroom windows!

They also did a quick job of replacing some of our damaged siding and support around the garage door.

LD spray painted our original mailbox from black to silver, so that the mailman would be able to find it.  We might replace it in the future once we come across the perfect one.

After they caulked, repaired the garage support, installed the siding, it was time to paint!

New windows in the master bedroom and new paint!

Then we finally installed our new house numbers, which we had purchased four years ago, and were waiting for our house makeover.

We love how the house colors turned out, and StudioBuild got it done just in time before the rain, snow and cold weather!!

Woohoo!  Thanks StudioBuild - we can't wait to get the rest of the house done in the future. For now it's just the front siding.

Morgan, Phoenix and Katy wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Little McBaine-Penn Vet Working Dog Center

I got a call yesterday from a friend who works for the Penn Vet Working Dog Center (, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  They will be naming one of their new puppies after my McBaine as part of their Puppy Program and their 9/11 Search and Rescue dog study! 

McBaine on the rubble-photo taken by Cathy Schiltz.

McBaine getting his medical check after our FEMA certification in 2000.

McBaine, "Jr.", is a field bred Springer Spaniel who will join their Program in January.  He was donated by Sharon Deputy from Breezy Hollow Spaniels in Fleetwood, PA.

And in the video below, the pups in his litter are going through their ophthalmology examine.  Can you tell which one is little Baine?

This is a great honor and wonderful birthday present.  Thanks PVWDC!  Good luck little Baine, I'll be keeping my eye on you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reveal of Garage Door and Front Door

We finished the work on the garage door!  We used Sikkens SRD translucent stain teak.  It turned out spectacular, and it was so easy to use!

Next we worked on the front door.  We thought about buying a Crestview kit and putting in some windows, but there were several concerns that we had:
1.  it's a north facing door, and would it be a location for cold air to seep in especially if we plan to remove the storm door,
2.  if we put the window inserts where we wanted (4 horizontal windows from top to bottom), then that would be perfect eye level for the dogs, which means it would encourage them to look out and scratch up the inside of the door when they see cats, squirrels, raccoons, deer, other dogs, etc.
3.  Our door is mahogany-I can't bear the thought of cutting up my door!

So all this boiled down to painting the door and keeping it solid.   (Still not sure if we want to remove the storm door.  It does serve it's purpose in the winter time!)

So we had several color ideas for the front door: parakeet green, pumpkin orange, or robin egg blue.  

Parakeet Green 

Pumpkin Orange 

Robin Egg Blue-this was the original door color when I removed the door knocker.

We decided to go for parakeet green!

We ended up spray painting the door knocker because bronze just wasn't cutting it.  

And here it is!  I think we'll wait for the house paint to go up before we make a final decision.  Delia already said it doesn't go with the inside of the house (ex/when the door is left open and swings inward).  I agree.  We walked around the neighborhood last night and early this morning with the dogs, and it is loud.