Winter Update #2 Panel Begone!

Just as we were struck with the curiosity of what was under the kitchen paneling when we first moved in, the long winter led us to wonder the same about the living room panel that we painted over.

ImagePulling it off the wall revealed an awesome 60s throwback color of Avocado.

ImageBut alas it didn’t go with the decor of the room, so we decided to remove all the paneling and sand and patch the gritty surface and found an even more exciting paint color.


So we painted it using Behr Ultra’s Sage Grey.

ImageWhat we were left with was a great looking accent wall:

ImageNext on the painting list: The Bedroom!

Post by Lanny


A Late September Madison Saturday in Photos

Today’s delicious finds at the Dane County Farmers’ Market: last round of sweet corn, white thai eggplants, purple carrots, bountiful hot & sweet peppers, green onions, leeks, beets (with greens!).

Pretty, pretty peppers.

Beautiful veggies, beautiful pit bull, beautiful weather. Everything I ever wanted.


And Kiss!

Our tomato plants are still full of goods. We’re hoping they ripen up quickly this week while it’s a little warmer!

Thyme’s still standing tall.

Our precious elephant ear is finally back on the mend.  And it’s lovely.

Zinnia Love

Zinnia Love Forever.


And strikin’ poses.

Time for lunch.

Post by Amanda

Oh & by the way, all the yellow is gone.

So remember those yellow rooms?  Yeah, those have been non-yellow for a while now.  We haven’t done many home update posts in a while.  Mostly because we haven’t taken the time to straighten things up and take good shots in pretty lighting.  I’ve decided something is better than nothing at this point, so I just took a couple of pictures so we can get this out there.  One of these days, I’ll have the baby sis come take some proper shots and everything will look much prettier.  But until then, check it out!

Bathroom BEFORE

Bathroom NOW

Guest Room BEFORE

Guest Room NOW


Post by Amanda

The Wall

We haven’t been very good at house progress posts lately.  In reality, for the past number of weeks, we haven’t really done a whole lot by way of improving the house.  But there is a lot of progress we just haven’t posted about.

The most obvious thing that comes to mind is the kitchen wall madness that we started attacking mere hours after the house was ours, and completed within a matter of weeks.

Oh, the wall.  The printed panel wall.  Here’s what it looked like when we bought the place:

Again, this is a photo from the listing (i.e. THOSE UGLY THINGS ARE NOT OURS).

As if regular crappy wood paneling wasn’t enough, this paneling actually had a floral & stripe pattern printed right onto it.  That’s right: combo perma-wallpaper and crappy paneling (CPWCP).  YIKES.

After busting through the door for the first time after closing, we went straight to ripping up the carpet (as you probably remember).  Once we were assured that there actually were hardwood floors in the living room, office, and hallway, Lanny started hacking at the wall.  He revealed this nightmare lurking behind the CPWCP:

Which means we went straight from CPWCP (below, right) to the heaven-help-us-crazy-kitschy-actual-wallpaper (below, left).

Coffee carafes, coffee grinders, tea cups, baskets of fruit, flower arrangements, single pieces of assorted fruits, decorative bowls, pots of honey, radishes, MY GOD WHAT WASN’T ON THAT WALLPAPER?  Lanny was temporarily rendered insane by the wallpaper and wanted to keep it.  Some of our friends were infected by that awful virus as well.  And while I can find this type of kitschy crap charming sometimes, this wall in my house in my kitchen that already has nasty linoleum floors that need to be replaced, outdated honey oak cabinets, blue?green?grey? formica countertops, and old appliances is just not the place for it.

My parents and sister came for a visit shortly after we moved in, and thank goodness for that.  Aside from some major landscaping accomplishments (post on that yet to come) and various other projects, they helped us tackle that wall.  One wall.  So much work.  So Much Worth It.

Late one night, I reached my limit with the darn thing, and just started ripping off the paper.  (anyone ever read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman? Yeah.)  Mom joined me.

Photo Credit: Rebekah Zimmerman

GREAT NEWS! It started coming off really easily just by ripping it off without any treatment!  Photo Credit: Rebekah Zimmerman

ZEN MOMENT                                                                                                                                               Photo Credit: Rebekah Zimmerman

We just kept ripping and ripping and ripping. I was on large duty. Mom was on detail.               Photo Credit: Rebekah Zimmerman

Considering the horror stories I had read online about wallpaper removal, I guess we had it pretty easy.  But.  It was a pain, for sure.  And once we were done removing all the little bits of paper, we were left with a pretty sad wall.  And this is where it really pays off to have a Won’t Stop Until It’s Perfect Dad.  My dad sanded and spackled the heck outta that wall.  If it were up to Lanny and me, we would’ve done minimal prepping and painted the wall just to get it over with already.  But my Dad didn’t stop until that sucker was smooth as  glass.  It was an amazing feat of patience I will never know personally.

AND SO ANYWAY.  Then we could paint.  And here it is now, in all of its non-CPWCP and de-kitschified glory.

Color: Behr, Fashion Grey

I like to arrange little vignettes on the table that nod to the wall’s previous manifestations (you know, in a pretty–not nightmarish–way).

The End.

Post by Amanda

Just a Simple Workbench: a Lesson in Home Renovation

What I originally thought would be a 30 minute project actually transformed into a 2 week long venture in the basement.  Thus illustrating the point: when you start a home project, be prepared to get more than you bargained for.

I received a vise to use for woodworking projects and set about to attach it to the countertop of the already existing workbench in the basement.  I quickly realized the countertop was actually a thin piece of particle board attached to a solid frame and would not stand up to the stress of long term use.

The before view of our shop.

The answer seemed simple enough.  Go down to the local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and purchase an appropriately sized board that would be far more durable.  I found an old slab of butcher block that was a bit larger than needed, but I thought I could simply cut it down to size.  When I came home, I began to remove the old wood surface but then realized I would need to also remove the back pegboard to get to the last nails holding the surface down.  So, I was prying the pegboard back when mouse droppings began to roll out from behind it.  I opened it up to reveal this:


It seemed the little fella passed away some time ago, so I wasn’t worried about an ongoing problem, but I still had to clean it all out.  Buried under the rubbish was also an x-rated 8mm film reel and a flyer for it, a relic from the early 70s it seemed.  It too was discarded among all the other mouse droppings and nest scraps.  But not before Amanda ran upstairs to get us these “sanitation masks.”

Dad supervised.

Once I had swept up the area, it was clear that some deeper sanitation was required.  I cut and threw away sections of the old wood frame and applied vinegar and KilZ to areas that were obviously nasty.

At this point, it was clear to me that the frame would have to be rebuilt as well.  After a long dismantling period, I salvaged the bulk of the wood and nails from the existing bench.  At this point, I decided to rebuild the frame larger to accomodate the larger sized butcher block surface. But not before accidentally breaking a light bulb, adding broken glass to the list of clean up duties.

Exactly like the old frame only slightly bigger

The completed bench minus the vise

So, all of this over two weeks was for this:

And that’s why when you start a simple thirty minute project, don’t be shocked when two weeks of your life fly by before it’s finished.

Post by Lanny

Scenes from the living room

A bit more progress on the living room.  It’s really starting to feel more like our house!