Wednesday, November 30

Note to self

1) The find my iPhone feature on iCloud only works if your phone is still alive
2) Next time you're in a car accident make sure you walk away with your vehicle's registration...not the other guy's.
3) Try getting a tangible paper calendar, iCal and all other systems with the "i" in front of them seem to have it out for you...but who really cares about appointments.
4) 100 year old, uninsulated homes are really quite chilly
5) Despite the energy savings, turning your water heater from "Very Hot" to merely "Hot" when your house hovers in the 50 degree range is just plain stupidity.
6) When all of the fluorescent light bulbs that hang above your plastic drop ceiling finally burn out, try replacing can really only tell if the chicken is fully cooked when the lights are on.
7) NC State Vehicle Inspections are legit, please do them in a timely manner.
8) Front headlights are expensive.
9) Cockroaches are unfazed by hairspray...and room spray. Only husbands can do the trick.
10) When you and your husband fight over who gets the dog on their side you have reached a new low...turn on the heat and get a king sized bed.

Friday, November 18

Porch, ceiling, great finds

I was trying so hard to be a bit more consistent with my posts, but this week just sent us for a loop. School, work, house, work, know. Good news... I'm 99.9% done with my project for school (due the week after Thanksgiving, man, I love being ahead of schedule).

Last weekend. We had several helpers with the front porch is where we started:

Nate took the "siding" that had been added when they first lowered the porch floor off. The term "siding" can mean anything we have learned. In our case it was particleboard. Crumbly. Yuck.
Dan and Nate got started removing the flooring that need to go and tearing down most of the steps. After consulting with a good friend, who is also a contractor, we decided to build the new porch on top of the existing one.
You can see in this photo how the original porch floor came up to the front door and the current level of the newer porch floor.
After removing the particle board siding, Nate added that plastic stuff (really, it's called that) in case water came up towards the house. Like rain. Or giant snow drifts as Daniel pointed out...because of those mad blizzards we get here in North Carolina. You know. 
Next, they began framing up the new porch floor. We had the help of an awesome guy who has worked in construction before. We would have a crooked porch without Chris.
This is where we ended on day one...look at all of our happy least two of them were very, strangely excited...HUGE thanks to all of our worker-bees!
On day two, Nate and Chris finished the framing and began rocking the porch flooring.
 And this is what it looked like at the end of day two...and today for that matter.  Sorry, the photo might make you feel like you are riding one of those giant swinging pirate ships at the state fair...
 Muuuch better, wouldn't you say? Hopefully, we will get the rest of it finished this weekend.
It's amazing what a couple of inches can do for the proportions of a home.

Yesterday my mom came up and cleaned our house for an entire day. She must love us or something. Thanks mom! Then today we went all over Charlotte and got some amazing finds! Will share those with you soon! Nate's home from work, gotta jet!

Monday, November 14

Ah-mazing, how does she do it?

Jenny on Little Green Notebook has once again pulled a stunning DIY out of her back pocket...This woman has some serious patience! Check out what she made and how she did it.

Saturday, November 12

Say it ain't so

And that is our inside temperature...

Friday, November 11

Design Shuffle Guest Post :: Eight Vintage Chic Rooms

I am so excited to have our first guest post here on The Life of Riley. When the ladies at Design Shuffle contacted me about doing a guest post I was thrilled...fodder for my readers who are tired of pictures of our creaky, old house! Have a great weekend...don't forget about Nate and his carpentry venture...I'll take many photographs.
Hi, I'm Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a fantastic social media site that showcases designers and their projects from around the world. I love following the house renovation on The Life of Riley so I'm excited to be a guest blogger here. My post today is about eight vintage chic rooms that range from sophisticated to shabby, with one thing in common: gorgeous vintage style and great decorating ideas. I hope you enjoy! Vintage Chic Rooms 
 Vintage pieces and a chic cool pastel color palette are gorgeous in this eating area. The vintage half dome light is perfect above the round top of the Tulip table. Vintage Chic Rooms 
This chic black, white and pink room is full of vintage pieces. A set of white painted vintage chairs around a Tulip table makes for a chic dining space. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 A vintage mirror and vintage botanic prints against zebra patterned wall paper make for a chic vintage room. Other vintage touches like a tortoiseshell patterned coffee table add to the vintage chic look. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 This living room design is so chic with its mix of vintage pieces. A vintage bar cart and a vintage black & white photograph gives the room a cool Mad Man chicness. Interior design ideas reminiscent of that era are so popular right now. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 This guest room/home office is a gorgeous example of mixing vintage pieces and interesting textiles for a chic look. The eclectic looking space is full of vintage chic charm from the desk chair to the daybed to the art.
  Vintage Chic Rooms
 With the trend of thrifty chic right now, mixing in vintage thrift store and flea market finds with new pieces is all the rage. A vintage chair, light and birdcage give this living room a chic look. Vintage Chic Rooms
 This home office is filled with chic vintage finds set against a gorgeous bright blue wallpaper. The eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories could be called effortlessly chic interior design. Vintage Chic Rooms
 For a vintage chic look that is has a touch of shabby chic, look for vintage pieces that show their age. Vintage floral paintings add a feminine style to this pretty bedroom design. [ Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / †5 / †6 / 7 / 8 ] Do you have any vintage pieces you can incorporate into your home? Find some great vintage ideas at Design Shuffle and learn about the history of interior design!

Thursday, November 10

It was inevitable...

We decided late last night to go ahead and raise our hallway ceiling a foot from its 8'6". Duh. I don't know why I was so hesitant from the beginning to just go ahead and do it right. "Do It Right." That's our motto...although it seems to be pushing our kitchen renovation back entire years instead of months. Oh well. More time to plan where the spices go. And so, we are going from this...
And now this... it's original grandeur...or almost. 

Today the foundation was repointed by our pictures because it isn't exactly thrilling stuff. PLUS. I have a real bone to pick with those in power that declared Daylight Savings...HATE IT. I'm going to bed at 9:00 PM and waking up early...early for me, that is. My point is that it is dark when I get home from work so I cannot show you the handiwork. 

Our front steps should be in the works soon, as well as our electrician rewiring the upstairs, the chim-chimney man fixing the chimney for a hot buck and Nate is tackling restoring our front porch floor to its original level this weekend...wish him oodles of carpentry luck... 

I started this post last night and do not remember what else I was going to tell you. I do know that I love a cold, grey fall morning when all the leaves just pop with color and are falling. Beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 8

When I can't see past the piles of dust I think of this...

Beautiful moulding....where can I put it? Future 1/2 bath?

Saturday, November 5

I have design paralysis

The most stressful part of our renovation thus far has been the feeling that someone is standing behind my shoulder whispering in my ear that it is time. That someone is Nate, and he is whispering that it is time for me to make some freakin' long-term design decisions about the house. What? He wants me to buy furniture? Paint? How on earth can someone with the design world at their fingertips pick what they want to live with long term?

Design paralysis.

Here is where we are so far...
This fabric will become the window treatments in our bedroom. It is silky, luxurious, multi-dimensional. Nate's response was "It's sheen-y". Yes. There is a bit of sheen but it will rock. 

And for the walls and trim: BM Iron Mountain.
It will be dark and lovely...sort of like me right, honey? And the ceiling? BM Candle White
Not really as pink as it seems. This could change. We want to do a sparkly chandelier...vintage or antique...but I do love this one, too:
Our hope is that the room will be a balance of masculine and feminine...we will see, we will see. 
On the lookout for:
Maple, mahogany highboy...preferably antique. I want that warm old glow to it. 
Two vintage benches/stools to be reupholstered to go under the windows so we can toss our clothes on them. 
New lamps
Bedside tables

OK. On the lookout for a lot apparently. 

Other than those decisions I have paralysis. 

I have to choose whether or not I want fixtures or can lights in our hallway...I want fixtures. 

In other (Nate's) awesome cousin just moved here from Dallas and we are so excited to have her! This is a picture from her welcome to Charlotte breakfast this morning (she is not in the photo, but look at that cute kid candy!)

Is anyone else out there counting down until Breaking Dawn comes out? You know me and my tween books and movies. This morning we (no, not Nate)  made plans for a very adult, sophisticated evening watching it at the MEZ. I already looked to see if I could buy tickets yet...I can't. But its in my iCal.

Tuesday, November 1

Our very own money pit

Note: I have tried (to no avail) to fix the formatting of this post. I give up.

In spite of
all the problems...
in spite of the prospect of indentured
servitude for the rest of my life...
in debt beyond my wildest dreams...
I love the house.
Couldn't say it better. Anyone out there that has ever renovated should watch The Money Pit. To some, it would be a slapstick exaggeration of your experience but the principles remain true. To us, it was ALL true. The absurdity ofthe bathtub falling through the floor and the Tom Hank's hysterical laughing? Been there. In the end it was worth it though. Right?
Nate literally spent the weekend wielding his ax on the holly bush root systems encroaching on our house...remeber these?
They housed fleets of Tracker Jacker mosquitos. Killer mosquitos.
This was the first root system, I encouraged him to smile instead of grimace when he held it up to make everyone think the root was light...or he was strong. I think he took out 8 in all. One tired boy. Between the roots and Clemson losing (everyone. EVERYONE we saw on Sunday brought it up...first time I have heard Nate say he does not want to discuss football) Nate had a long weekend.
I spent the weekend doing an equally glamorous and fulfilling job: vacuuming the previous owners pet hair out of our floor duct thingys. G.R.O.S.S. We couldn't turn the heat on (well, wouldn't) until the hair was gone-zo. And since our house is about 56 degrees when we wake up, we thought it was time...
Meanwhile we wait, apparently that is the name of the game. Wait for bids, for applications, for historic review committees, for the weekend when we can squeeze work in, for Christmas (that may just be me, I am always waiting for Christmas), and mostly just for progress.
When there is progress you will get more pictures. You just wait.
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