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Category: The Grand House

I’m A Sucker For A Tin Ceiling


Mark and I LOVE the character of old homes and knew we wanted to feature a tin ceiling in our home renovation! Mark built a recessed ceiling (it’s also called a tray ceiling) above our kitchen island for the tin tiles. We think this is a great way to add personality to the kitchen that’s on budget and also still classic! We chose silver tin tiles, and there will be 3 pendant lights hanging down…

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We Designed Our Kitchen! (And then changed it.)


Okay friends, we’re in the home stretch. Not really but saying it makes me feel better! We partnered with Cabinets To Go for our kitchen and really enjoyed the design process with our guy, Alex. He’s at the Murrysville store if you want to see him. We went with white shaker cabinets. I love a white kitchen and think it’s timeless! We’re going to add personality through the details like a tin ceiling, green pendant…

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The Guts of our House


I hope these are the last pictures I show you of the “guts” of our house. I always get to this point in our renovation where I’m dying to see WALLS! Henry and Momma are posing right there in Momma’s new home office. It’s part of our third floor that includes a guest bedroom and a full bath. This floor is actually ready for drywall and WE ARE SO JAZZED! Our second and first floors…

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It’s Ugly But It’s PROGRESS!


I know we all prefer to look at pretty pictures, but SO MUCH of the home renovation process is ugly. To us, the ugly pictures mean PROGRESS! We had a company come in this week and put spray foam insulation through the whole house. We felt it was the best decision in terms of energy saving costs for heating and cooling a home of this size. Now that the spray foam is in, we have…

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We Have This Thing For Exposed Brick


Maybe Mark was a mason in his former life because he (and I!) LOOOOVE exposed brick. It’s was a main feature in our first home renovation. The small rowhouse we gutted and totally redid had fireplaces EVERYWHERE! Our second renovation will feature exposed brick but not as prominently, because we’re going for a different style with this house. As Mark exposes the brick, some of it is in decent shape and some of it is…

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Ummmm…where have you been?!


I am asking myself this question and answering it…we have been busy! Blogging has taken a back seat to REAL LIFE these last few months, but I have sooo many exciting things to share on the house front so let’s JUMP RIGHT IN. Mark has all the interior walls, doorways and closets built. Most of the ceilings are done as well including the HVAC systems and all the plumbing. YAY! The kitchen, and all the…

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Our City Backyard


We love living in the city.  We love the noise and the traffic and the walkability of our cool little neighborhood. Henry is a total city kid…he runs up and down the sidewalks like he owns them, waves to all the bus drivers and loves the banana bread at our local coffee shop. Backyard space is hard to come by in Lawrenceville. At our #RealLifeReno, Mark really wanted to make our small yard a nature…

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How Did He Do That?!


One of our favorite things about our #RealLifeReno is that we’re honoring the history of this grand old house! When we were looking to buy it, one of the first things we noticed was a beautiful curved wall right at the entrance of the house that leads into the first living room. That curve makes us think that this house was a funeral home or doctor’s office at one time. Perhaps the curved wall separated…

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I've seen this STUD before!


When we first started renovating homes, there was just one STUD in my life… Now, there are two STUDS…one is potty trained, one is not! 😉 During our first home renovation, I remember feeling SO EXCITED by stud walls. (I never thought I would type that sentence.) But stud walls mean the demolition is done and the house is starting to take shape. This pic is from our first reno…it shows the upstairs hallway with…

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Indoor Plumbing for the WIN!


You know you’re turning into a crazy home renovation person when the most exciting day all week is INSPECTION DAY! Mark worked his butt off with our plumber and put in all the new pipes and water lines. After a quick test of the pipes, where you fill them with water and look for leaks, Mark had to make a few adjustments and then we were ready for the plumbing to get inspected. Mark and…

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