beach house

brewster fun floor revisited

i took some new pictures of our lower level (“fun floor / sleeping quarters”) last weekend. it recently got new tile in place of old berber, new bright paint, and some fun art. it is majorly improved. [see before here].

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this full-sized bed recently got a little upgrade since we got a king for the master bedroom and cycled the queen mattress down here.IMG_6324
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i’m clearly incapable of photographing this lighting scenario, but the whole room has a much brighter and cleaner feel (you’ll have to take my word for it).IMG_6336

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IMG_6343so far so good with the new flooring.
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IMG_6328i think this area is finally in pretty good shape.

back to brewster

just all of these pictures of dane because he is such a cute kid…
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also, major garage purge happened over the weekend. long over-due. i was all stressed because i didn’t reserve a dumpster in time, then we found a guy on craigslist to haul it away for half the price. procrastination for the win.IMG_6300

where does all this junk even come from?IMG_6299

wearing bayla all day…. #lashesIMG_6288

and last but not least… mr. october:IMG_6291

the tile is in!

the much anticipated tile floor was installed in our brewster basement last week. i wrote a lot about the new floor planning process here and a little here. in a nutshell: we had an old berber carpet that was fine – a little musty and worn – but then was completely ruined over the winter when our dehumidifier pump malfunctioned and water soaked the rug and pad to the point of no return. it wouldn’t make sense to put more carpet down there. carpet + rental property = no. we decided on tile. i obsessed over wood-like tile choices for many weeks. we considered options from home depot, lowes, daltile, and a number of boutique tile shops in the cape then quickly narrowed down our choices to the style selections line at lowes (we quickly learned that only lowes and home depot had options we could afford). i also learned that the added labor cost for a herringbone pattern installation is nauseating. my herringbone dreams were crushed as soon as we saw the numbers. the wound is still raw. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

this is how it looked when we arrived friday. its hard to get a feel for it with no baseboard (which was mike’s weekend project). the tile is . only $2.48 per square foot (not including labor, of course).

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here is shakespeare beginning the quality control inspection and a sneak-peak at some new art i splurged on for the new and improved space.IMG_4742

and enough bubble wrap to air-mail our entire house.IMG_4743

or provide 4 minutes of 3-year-old entertainment…

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mike worked his tush off and installed all the baseboard himself (a job that our contractor quoted over $2k!).

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dane also pulled his weight…IMG_4786

shakey, not so much. just look at those rolls…  its a combination of winter and pregnancy sympathy weight…IMG_4755

we are getting a new door for the utility closet which we had to special-order. patience, patience is so hard.
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but definitely looking much better with the new chunky, flat stock trim!IMG_4770

the wall reads yellowy in these pictures, but its white dove.. a soft, creamy white that i’ve been using everywhere (not at all yellowy).

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after moving some furniture back into place (as much furniture as one man + one 8-month preggo lady can handle), it looked like this. still some obvious finishing touches needed (vent cover, door, window trim…) but very promising!

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its hard to see, but i covered 3/4 of this back wall with bead-board wallpaper. its going to be capped with a piece of trim and have some hooks between the bed and stairs and be awesome. more on that later.

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this friday we are headed back to the cape to actually enjoy ourselves and the brewster in bloom weekend festivities. its been a while since we’ve spent time here without an aggressive to-do list. we can’t wait!

do you want to rent this house for memorial day weekend!? leave a comment or get in touch with me!

brewster blues

we had a busy busy busy busy weekend in brewster! my feet are throbbing as we speak. i dumped my photos into my computer as soon as i got home so i didn’t lose momentum because there is a lot i want to put out here on my internets! first things first. our house is a new color! this is a pretty big deal. painting the house wasn’t really on my radar, and it wasn’t at all about the color (i actually really liked the original color). there was a good amount of rotting trim and chipped, weathered siding so mike felt like we needed to hire someone to deal with it before it got out of hand. we actually looked into it last spring- got an estimate and all that- but decided to hold off one more year (and i’m glad we did after such a cruel winter!).

this photo is from our first summer 5 years ago… both the siding and the lawn have gone down-hill quite a bit over the years.

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so while i liked the color, we decided that we might as well change it up in a dramatic way if we were going to invest in the paint-job. we agreed on a deep, nautical blue. it was actually really easy picking the exact color. what did we do before pinterest?

we basically found this grid on pinterest (a young house love original… shocking) and agreed on newburg green (also what yhl chose for their show house… again, shocking).

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and here she is! we are really happy with it. its a crazy big change and just feels like another big step toward making the house our own. the fresh white trim really pops and the deck and roof look nice with the deep blue.

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it wasn’t outrageously expensive to have the house painted because the other two sides are clap board and just got a good power wash.

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this lower deck area has so much potential. i’d love to cover the concrete with something nice-looking, rig up a ton of string lights and invest in some good patio furniture. one of these years…

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the lower level finished floor update is on deck. no pun intended. (i might go to bed before dane tonight).

snowy spring cape cod weekend

we spent the past weekend in brewster… drove down friday night in a snow storm where cars were slipping and sliding on the highway like it was the first storm of the season. it took us longer than expected to get there and we were totally exhausted by the time we unloaded.

the only grand plan i had for the weekend was to paint the fridge with chalkboard paint (yup, i’m going for it) but the tintable kind was sold out when i went on the home depot run thursday night, so that plan was thwarted. we just chipped away at some random odds & ends like replacing some light switches (off-white for white), stripping some more trim in the lower level and clearing it out for the flooring install.

i bundled up and hung some finishing touches in the rejuvenated sunroom during dane’s nap saturday…

but the room is currently a dumping ground for stuff from the downstairs and looks like this… so still no finished product photos available.

speaking of the lower level… there have been some plot twists since my flooring post. turns out the labor cost for the herringbone pattern i had my heart set on is outrageously expensive. like twice as much as the standard “brick lay”. it took me a long time to get over it (i’m still not over it).. but the lowes people quoted us an additional $2k or so and we got two more quotes in the same ballpark. at the end of the day, it was too much money. 
so i solemnly picked up the sample pattern i laid a few weeks before, and we’ll have it installed in the regular, boring way the weekend of april 16th. you may also notice its not the tile i had previously decided on. the more weathered style (“c” if you will) was discontinued and lowes would not install it. i’m actually happy with this change of plans.. it think this “natural timber cinnamon” might actually be the better choice in the end.
in other news… this wall… i was going to paint it an accent color, but now i’m thinking maybe wallpaper!?

dane was a really happy guy all weekend.  he had his little workbench and tools and followed mike around “helping” with all of the “construction”.

he didn’t want to leave sunday. that makes me happy.

it was a good weekend. sometimes it feels like we only go to brewster to bust our butts and try to get stuff done. then there is usually the stressful rushing around on sundays to ensure everything is renter-ready at all times. its kind of nice knowing we will be the only ones back for a month or so… i can leave dane’s mattress on the floor, sheets on the beds and soap in the shower. i feel like this past weekend we were able to get stuff done but also watch a bunch of basketball and relax just enough. i hope as the years go by there will be more of this balance during our brewster visits.

brewster : a new floor

i told you about the ruined floor in the walk-out basement of our cape house. prior to that, i was pretty content with this space. i recently added a little tv on that wicker chest and two comfy chairs (not pictured) to create a cozy spot for kids to hang on a rainy day. but once the carpet and baseboards were torn out, it was obviously time to clean and brighten things up down here.

you have to take a lot of steps backward before moving forward as you can see below! my go-to white,  white dove is going on all the walls. 

the “relax” definition was scraped off (that was my one job). i was a little sad and nostalgic about it since it was one of the first little projects we did here. but it was time.

but the real renovation that is going to be happening down here is the installation of wood-like tile. significantly more expensive than re-carpeting but hopefully a wise long-term investment. we started at home depot… hated the options (that we could see anyway… there weren’t many) and couldn’t, for the life of us, get help from any of their flooring specialists. later, we went to lowes. again we were frustrated by the lack of help available to us but liked their “style selections” brand. after waiting 20 minutes for their guy to come help us, we decided to just buy a box of our 3 favorites and try them out in the room.

that weekend i had planned to visit two local cape cod shops to check out their options and prices. the first was in harwich. they had some lovely tile, however they cost (at least) THREE TIMES per square foot as much as the lowes brand. once i heard the price range i quickly turned around and shuffled dane out of the store.  we didn’t even bother going to the next one on my list. it was really eye-opening to realize how much more affordable these big box stores can be. i love the idea of supporting small business etc etc, and maybe there is a significant difference in “quality” but one thing for sure is that that tile was completely out of my reach… “for rich people” i said as we got in the car. god bless ’em.

any who. i literally had no strong feelings toward one of the three options we brought home from lowes. they were all about $3/square foot (not including installation). i kinda loved them all. so i thought i would take a stab at utilizing the democratic process… the pride of our great country….  an instagram vote.

it was fun to see what everyone thought. but not terribly helpful.. there was no convincing winner.
it sorta reinforced my initial sentiment which was that any of these three would look really great down here and would be a huge improvement. but that didn’t help with the decision.
i ruled out C at one point and was thinking it was down to these two.
after much mulling and obsessing and googling and pinteresting to try to find pictures to help my decision… i settled on… you guessed it… C. rustic, weathered… the least popular option and the least “safe”. but it just feels right. since when have my choices been safe?
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internet pictures can be so deceiving. for example, in the picture above from the lowes website, the planks look way wider than the sample we have at home. regardless, it gives a sense of how all the tile looks together (as you can see, the wood pattern/color/etc varies a lot from plank to plank). 
but our pattern will definitely be herringbone:
the guy is coming to measure next saturday, then hopefully we’ll have an idea of when we can make this happen!

brewster : sunroom love

b o y  am i happy its the weekend. this is officially a brewster weekend. its been a long time since we’ve spent 3 nights in brewster (july?). per usual there is sooo much we want to get done – namely, finish the sunroom and devise a plan for the basement floor. mike even wants to start painting down there (white!)… ambitious, but i like it.

i put “brewster basement floors part I” in the title when i sat down to write this, but i am realizing i haven’t mentioned a thing about the sunroom work we’ve been doing. 
it began, yet again, with carpet woes. carpets have short lives in rental properties.. or so we’ve learned.. we wanted to get rid of the stained carpet which led to new baseboards and trim which led to finally painting the whole room. the usual.

here are some pictures from a few years ago (pre – renter era) when the carpet was in perfectly decent condition. we didn’t do much to the room. just sheer curtain panels, some hand-me-down wicker, those stumps, and crate & barrel (west elm?) throw pillows. don’t ask what i was trying to do with the weird tint in my photo editing here. its awful. here is my original sunroom post.

 
we never loved the yellowy walls but felt no urgent desire to paint.

fast forward to the carpet two years later. had to go.
we ripped it out along with all the baseboards and trim.

now, a few months later, mike has painted the floor and the walls bright white, replaced the baseboards (5″ pine flat stock) and trim (3.5″) and we hired a pro to paint the ceiling a pretty blue (nantucket fog).

its so bright and fresh and clean and i’m so excited to put the room back together.

oh, and my favorite – nice white outlet covers and switch plates. its the little things.

we’ll have to wait a few weeks for pictures of the finished (furnished) room because there is too much football to watch today to finish up! let’s go patriots!

cape cod vaca #4

this was our 4th summer spending the 4th in cape cod. our 4th 4th…  our golden 4th of july!?oooooooooh…

each year has been quite different… pre baby, new baby, with a one year old, and now with this maniac:

this year we had a house full of family- just how we like it.
sister em, her boyfriend quincy, and their sweet pup deliah were our first visitors to arrive. they came thurs. night and we had a lovely evening chatting over delicious vacation beers (don’t they just taste better on vacation?). it was pretty awesome to have a night alone with emmy because i don’t get nearly enough q.t. with her and man i just love this little sis to bits.

the 4th of july, as we know, was a total wash out. but the 7 of us (em, quincy, deliah, me, mike, dane & shakey), the adventurers that we are, got up early and headed to nickerson state park to do our favorite nature walk in the sprinkley rain to our secret beach spot on little cliff pond. we just love it here. since brewster is a jerk about not letting dogs on any beaches during the summer, this is shakey’s favorite place to swim jump around in 1.5 feet of water and dig for phantom clams.
riley, liz & the grandma arrived later that day. despite the storm, we had a wonderful time celebrating “america’s birthday” (i swear we’re not all naked in this picture).
this popping-the-balloons-full of-confetti game was supposed to be like indoor fireworks. riley, however was “traumatized” (my sister’s word) and was hysterically crying. which goes to show that some things that look wonderful on pinterest just don’t translate well to real life (tho dane was sort of into it)…

deliah and my mom were the last to rise saturday morning…

then we had a great big breakfast thanks to emily and quincy. we actually used our new-ish banquet style seating quite a bit over the weekend for the first time since the big kitchen redo!

..the boys’ morning indoor bike ride…

we got in a couple pretty perfect beach days during riley’s visit. the first day the tide was high so we swam, fished and boogie boarded the afternoon away.

the next morning we caught low tide. the weather was glorious. i could have stayed all day. so could dane and riley..
that is, if it weren’t for a very necessary thing called a NAP.

so we napped and regrouped… nonnie & pop joined the party and we had a picture perfect evening at veterans field in chatham where we brought take-out from lorino’s and scored a prime real estate picnic table for dinner.

the coolest part was, i actually knew the starting pitcher for the chatham a’s… i really love cape league baseball.

part of the reason chatham is our favorite cape league destination is the epic playground.
check out that glowing sun setting behind the trees… sigh…

… here with my family watching a little baseball while dane and riley go to town on the playground… white wine in solo cup… it does not get much better than this.

after the game i made mike swing in to alli’s beach where we watch the fireworks every year. because of the rain on the 4th, i knew there would be tons of fireworks along the bay the next couple nights. i was right. they were so good. poor dane was so sleepy. he eventually was like “mamma we go home now?” my sweet baby.. we headed home and crashed hard.

everyone cleared out monday afternoon. it was such a fun, fulfilling weekend. we were so sad to see them go but still pretty euphoric about the fact that our vacation had only just begun!

the rest of the week flew by. we hit up the beach every day. walked to the general store, to brewster scoop, to see trevor the juggler at the church. the camera didn’t come out as much as i wish it had…

casey, lich & chase visited thursday and we spent an awesome day in wellfleet at the beach and the beachcomber.

where both two year-olds successfully napped on the beach! #miracle
dane became a regular beach bum. the bay is so perfect for little guys (he wasn’t so fond of the surf in wellfleet). this reminds me… we also got to watch a bunch of world cup games on vacation. so fun.
as is always the case, we had to put some time into readying the house for renters on friday and saturday. during this time, dane may have spent a little too much time with bob the builder (a particularly intense episode pictured below).
but we feel like the house is better equipped than ever for summer renters. we hope everyone enjoys our house (and are very very kind to it!!).
an awesome week…  it always is. we’ll have to wait until labor day to be reunited with brewster. but its worth the wait!

mason jar pendant in the hoousss

here’s a good one. minor, yet very satisfying for us because it had been on the to-do list for over a year.
meet mr. blue mason jar pendant light:
it’s from an etsy shop (or as i like to call it, outsourced diy). i’ve had it since last winter, but we couldn’t figure out how to hook it up ourselves. there used to be a really dated linear light thing up here, so the wires weren’t centered and there was no box to connect it to.
we finally threw in the towel and hired an electrician who connected it in about 7 minutes.

this is a rare, awesome, occasion where the reality is even better than my idea of it in my head. i’m obsessed with this light; the color, vibe, everything is perfect for the kitchen. 

so i dug up those old progress pictures and thought it would be fun to run through them again with the addition of the pendant. i wish i knew how to get the lighting better, it would make this much more dramatic- but nonetheless, here is the full transformation: 

 
those pulls too – the pulls on the drawers are new.
 
dare i say the kitchen is done? done for now.
 
we are in the car on the way to brewster & martha’s vineyard as we speak. happy memorial day! a post full of family fun coming at you next week!

some brewster business

this is from dane’s inaugural photography session with the dsl.. he had a little help, but not bad, really, don’t you think?

but about that business – the latest business in brewster involved the kitchen, some sand paper, and a quart of minwax polycrylic protective finish. this project ran me about 2 full nap times and change, but i feel really good knowing that all our hard cabinet painting work is sealed up.

 
 
yet again, for most of the weekend, the kitchen looked like we had been robbed. i sanded down some of the edges to give the cabinets that antiqued look. just enough for some of the wood to show through. i think they needed this treatment to look more authentic and not just like cabinets painted white, if that makes any sense (?)
 

i think we captured the kitchen robber on film.. he is about 2.5 feet tall with very bulbous cheeks and a lightening mcqueen tattoo on his right hand. call the police if you see a man fitting this description.

 
the antiquing and sealing effect was subtle, but i was pleased with the result. the polycrylic gives them a glossy sheen. you should be able to see the difference below -
b e f o r e :
a f t e r :

b e f o r e :

a f t e r :

 

 
pay no mind to the pint of ben & jerry’s on the counter, the robbers must have left it…

and finally, a reminder of the pre-fatzified kitchen:

 
 
while i was at it, it covered the desk with the polycrylic as well. its really quick & easy to slap on and pretty dummy proof.

i have another little update to share before the long weekend.
 peace out!