Wednesday, September 5, 2012


A while back, I promised that we would deliver on our promise to honor the Pantone Color of the Year for 2012 - Tangerine Tango.  When I asked the Valspar Contractor Store if he could replicate this famous color, he said 'no.' We would need to reference a paint chip from the color deck... the closest we could come up with was Orangelicious.  Sounds close enough, both sound like sultry citrus.

Exterior Doors
The front door and the service door to the garage are both Orangelicious.  We felt like this gave our "Modern Prairie" a little bit of the 1960s modern twist.  I really was pulling for lime green, but agree that this fits nicely.
The Orangelicious Door with our paint that is coming along nicely - I love the Columns in the Dark Bronze.

A closer peek at the door.  The rails also in the bronze look good, too.  We were on the fence (hey, PUN!) whether we should go dark or light.  Now that I see them painted in the Dark Bonze, they almost look like metal, and I like metal.  Metal good.


More tangerine on the inside with our light fixtures.  These were made by Jesse Lee Designs on Etsy.  The Dining Room light needs to be dropped another 12 inches, but that's another one where we'll see if that ever transpires.

And one more in the Master Bedroom. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hardscape and a Bit o' Color

Please forgive me as it has been 3 weeks since my last post.  While much has been accomplished, it seemed to go in tiny little increments.  So on with it!

Driveway, Patio and the Retaining Wall
These crazy little increments that stretched the days into weeks and almost into months were because of the staging that needed to be done between multiple members.

Step 1: All of the heavy stuff needed to get delivered before the driveway could go in to avoid leaving marks in the new driveway.
Step 2:  Lay the asphalt driveway.  I was shocked at how much equipment and manpower it took
I was worried ho the rock wall was going to meet the asphalt, but it looks pretty slick!
The line where the driveway and the patio were going to meet was left exposed.  On to the hardscaping!
Step 3:  Lay the patio block.  We used a Belgard Laffit pavers and mixed the 2 colors 50/50.
The curved edge of the patio has a soldier course of the smaller pavers.  Finishes it off nice.
Step 4:  Base for the retaining wall.  Approved by our friendly local kitty, Annakia.

Then the wall block itself.  We used a freestanding wall by Anchor Artisana in the Woodlake color.

Step 5: Beds edged and mulched, you can see the tiny itty bitty micro grass patch,  mowing should be a breeze once the sod is in!
We had an irrigation system installed next to maintain the sod and our landscaping plants.  We also had a drip line run to the raised bed by the back door for an eventual kitchen garden.  I'll be taking bets on whether that ever happens.

Exterior Painting
No, our house isn't supposed to be patchy green.  Now that the mulch is in, painting has begun!  The house body is painted and the trim has begun.  SOOO EXCITED!

The lower body is Valspar Walk in the Park and the upper is Valspar Bunker.

You can see how the Valspar Deep Bronze contrasts with the Walk in the Park.  

The back entrance trim is done - that's where the kitchen garden will go...  someday.

You can see a little bit how the time looks against the upper color.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dirt, Mud & Gravel-scaping

Landscaping is the linchpin that holds the rest of this project together and it is not moving quickly.  The only thing that is truly getting spread out is time, thus the new term "timescaping."  Har, har, har.

It really was a bunch of factors, so I'll primarily put the responsibility on us - we picked a new landscaping block that is SUPER popular so SUPER sold out.  Now it's back in stock and action is back on.
Day 1: A little bit of dirt spreading...

... and electric cable (to the garage) cutting.  Bummer.

Day 14: Boulders in place for retaining wall along driveway.

And more dirt moving.  Note the gigantic weeds that have grown in what remains of the topsoil.

So, Lucy started weeding.  What a little gardener!

She had to take the weeds around the big hole and into the woods.  
Did you notice that we had the garage hardware installed?  I generally don't care much for the looks-just-like-a-blacksmith-from-the-1970s-made-it hardware, but I found some really simple, nice stuff from (their motto is "Life's too short from crummy hardware." Love it.)  They distribute for Lynn Cove Foundary & Forge, very nice stuff.  

Makes the budget door look a little less budget.  It totally is only a single door, I know we completely had you fooled!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bars, weather events & fake cows

How simple it is to post when you can marvel at the work that others do.  Now we actually have to get off our butts and unpack boxes.

It's... so...  hard... 

Therefore progress is very little.  But, for the things that do not depend on us, some progress has been made.  

To the Bar!
With the addition of stools, our island is now officially a bar.  We really love the look of the Emeco Navy stools, but with a price tag of $700 each, not gonna happen.  So, off to find the best "interpretation."  We settled on the Delta stool from Crate and Barrel which is a FINE alternative at svelte $139 - also figuring in the 10% off coupon & gift card I purchased for under the value both on Ebay.  Since the stools, we haven't eaten at our dining room table once.  

The Emeco Navy Stools were used in our inspiration kitchen, these Crate and Barrel Deltas inspire us plenty.

I have never seen so much water in my life.  With each major weather event, we watch our top soil get carried away.  We needed gutters installed ASAP, so we checked with a couple of seamless gutter companies on Angie's List.  We ended up going with Gutter Systems in Minneapolis.  Bruce quoted the entire project for 1/3 the price of the competition and his reviews were outstanding.  We ended up getting gutter helmets, too.  They are Hallett Gutter Guards and seem perform very well... of course we know because of the aforementioned major weather events.  If you want a chuckle, view Hallett's customer testimonial video.  It rocks. 

Without a downspout color match to our future paint color, we went with a match to our soffits and trim.  Picture an obscuring tree/bush in front of these conspicuous buggers.

Garage Door
Today the garage door appeared!  There is still some hardware that needs to be installed on the outside, so it will look a little bit sharper.  It's a Midland Garage Door installed by Twin Cities Garage Door.  

The playhouse and the fireplace will not actually stay in front of the garage door... hopefully in the next few weeks, we'll have a patio and a yard!
Within a Mile
Saint Anthony Park is about a 5 minute drive to downtown Minneapolis.  Pretty darn accessible, if you ask me.  We went for a walk through the St. Paul (Ag) Campus of the University of Minnesota tonight which is about 3 blocks from the house.  We walked around the campus and visited the cow barns.  It is INSANE that this is all so close to downtown!  To top it all off, there is nobody on this beautiful campus!  
Our new neighbors.

Why would we ever need a lawn?

Lucy making friends with giant, fake cows.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Curb cut mania

This is a mobil post, so I'll leave it to the pictures to do the talking.

Pay special note to the fitness level of the gentleman finishing the curb cut shirtless. Andy hopes he can compete when he's nearing 60.

Did you know the lines are to encourage the cement to crack there and not elsewhere?

Monday, June 4, 2012

...chirp...chirp... (crickets)

Nothing to show - literally nothing.  My sincerest apologies.

We DID get the certificate of occupancy on Friday, so no more sleeping on the neighbor's floor.  It has been glorious - the biggest excitement has been with the shower.  It is really nice.  We had been showering in the basement bathroom for the last 5ish years since we regrouted the upstairs bath (we didn't want to get it dirty again), so anything above ground is luxury.

Pretty much nothing has happened to the house since we moved in.  There are a few things to look forward to in the near future, I promise.

  • Finishing the install on the big bathtub
  • Installing of the garage door
  • Gutters
  • Landscaping
  • Exterior painting
  • Dining room, living room and master bedroom light install
  • Driveway install
  • Window blinds (going cellular)
  • Finishing the wiring for sound and TVs and getting them mounted
  • Figuring out the different systems - Zone heating/cooling?  No idea.
  • Finishing the move in process!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

House Purgatory

Well, we are no longer Falcon Heights residents.  Saying good bye was kind of hard, our little house saw us through nine pretty great years.  The move was complicated first by torrential rain, then by an almost broken toe (Andy's).  Thankfully, the doctor said today that it wasn't actually broken, which shocked the doctor.  He said, "when it looks that gruesome, it's broken."  

Anywho, our stuff has moved to the new house.  We technically have not.  Thanks to our new almost neighbor who reads this blog, we were offered sleeping arrangements in the house next door!  How is that for welcome to the neighborhood?!  (Seriously, thanks again, guys.  Lucy wants to know where the boys are.)  In the mean time, we spend our waking hours unpacking and moving in, but sleep next door and plan to shower at the health club.  Dear St. Paul - this is inconvenient.  

Oh goodness, we love having storage.  The pantry has been wonderful as we unpack boxes from our previous "pantry" which was a cabinet in our basement bathroom.  

A work in progress - two shelves already dedicated to beverages.  We must really like beverages.

While it's hard to appreciate yet since we have yet to enter/exit the house as we would if everything were done, the mudroom is definitely proving it's worth.  The shoe shelves are finally up and boot trays in place - bring on the shoes!

A jumbled mess now, but I have great hopes that this room will provide much organization to our lives.
Walk & Step
Our front walk was poured today, as was the bottom step by the back door.  Getting closer to mud-less access.

Bottom landing on the back step (sorry for the plumber butt shot, or cement dude butt in this case.  Hopefully your resolution isn't very good.)
Front walkway is kind of super-sized.  Still like it!

The kids' rooms and the den now are carpeted.  All of the extra stuff piled in common areas were able to be put in place.  Still looks pretty sparse.  

Den!  Even though this is on the north side of the house, it's filled with light. - though you can't tell here.  Lucy liked sitting in here watching for her Papas (Grandpa).  

Totally can't tell, the kids rooms are monochromatic gray, but the carpet has fun circle & square patterns.  I am so distracted by the shimmery light from the crystal ceiling light.