Thursday, April 20, 2017


Thanks to the magic of Facebook Memories™ I woke up this morning to the news that exactly 8 years ago today, we were handed the keys to our house! 

I thought that called for a little trip down memory lane and some new pics to celebrate! 

Here is what the house looked like when we moved in: 

And here it is today! 

I really didn't give much thought to painting the trim and soffit last year but in these photos it's like "BAM! 100% improvement!" and it's going to look 200% better when the whole house is done. 

And now, for a little (long) trip through the past eight years of home-ownership bliss ; )

As I mentioned, we were handed the keys on April 20, 2009 after a couple of months worth of hemming and hawing with the bank about the lack of heat among other things that come along with a foreclosed property. 

With a village worth of help, we put down sod

painted some interior rooms, and got married in the backyard on July 18, 2009

We wrote our very first blog post on October 6, 2009! It had exactly 0 pictures and an actual list of all of the things wrong with the house. It was written by Conan and you can really feel his "what the h did I just sign up for?" seeping through. But he ended it with ~


A few weeks later we gave a long overdue interior tour of the house: 

Missing cabinet doors, sagging ceiling, impossible to clean floor and an oven that didn't actually have a 220v outlet behind it. ~Those were the days~

This is the room where mismatched salvation army chairs go to spend the rest of their days, apparently.

Here are some other things we wrote about that year:

- Our honeymoon in Colorado (awwww)

In February of 2010, we *finally* got central heating installed in the house

A few months later we learned our first BIG lesson after we hired a fly by night company to replace the roof. It ended fine but it was...a journey to say the least. 

For my birthday that year, my dad built the living room shelves that basically made us famous on the internet ; ) 

Here's what they look like today

Some other things we wrote about that year:

- "Old" photos of our old house
- Heating the house
- Our first offer on the house!
- Removing one of the broken radiators
- New bedroom lighting
- Conan's little red sports car
- More radiator removal

In March of 2011, we started our first major interior renovation with the upstairs bathroom

The whole remodel took just a little over a year to complete. Here's what I wrote about during that year: 

- Cleaning up the guest room (round 1)
- Driving to Kansas City to buy an antique sink
- Buying escutchions
-The 1919 trash we found under the stairs in the bathroom
- Grout & more Grout 
- Refinishing a clawfoot tub
- Moving a clawfoot tub up two flights of stairs
- Turning an old TV cabinet into a linen cabinet

Our big project in 2012 was a tiny budget remodel of the kitchen. If you'll recall, the bathroom had leaked into the kitchen causing those ceiling tiles to droop so we decided to just tear the whole thing down and paint it white. 

Here's the before: 

And the after: 

Maybe the biggest thing in 2012, was the purchasing of our vintage camper and starting up Lamphouse Photo Co. 

Here's what the ol' girl looked like almost 5 years ago: 

And here's what she looks like today! 

Here are some other things we wrote about in 2012:

Showering in a washing machine drip pan for a year
Moving a clawfoot tub up two flights of stairs
- Turning an old TV cabinet into a linen cabinet
- Painting our old fridge with chalkboard paint
- Refinishing our kitchen floors
- DIY Antique Trouble Lights
- Finding a vintage Roper Stove at a garage sale for $45
- Saving our sash windows
- Being featured in This Old House Magazine
- Our first David Bazan Living Room Show
- Using the 1940 census to learn about our house
- Talking to the granddaughter of the family who lived here 1938-1944
- Being featured on Houzz
- Stumbling upon photos of our house from the late 40s
- Being in This Old House Magazine AGAIN!
- Being given a piano

Our big project for 2013 was the downstairs bathroom, affectionately dubbed the "toilet closet"

Here's what we started with:  

And here's the finished product

Here are a few other things that happened in 2013:

- We gave you guys the deets on our vintage camper plans
- We got a very cool antique camera cabinet
- We added a darkroom to our vintage camper
- Slow decorating
- We refinished our FREE dining room table
- Finding the perfect sink for the toilet closet

In 2014, we did a few little things like sprucing up the guest room to use as an Airbnb: 

and how the chalkboard fridge was holding up

We also did some work on the exterior of the house and added our beloved Birdie Booth to the Lamphouse lineup!

Here are some other things we wrote about in 2014:

 - Our second David Bazan Living Room Show
- Replacing the front porch steps
- More chalkboards
2015 was a pretty slow year for the house but we did manage to add built in shelves to the dining room: 

Before Dining Room

Olympic Stormy Weather
We built a second Birdie Booth to keep up with demand and put a "pool" in the backyard : ) 

We also got back to the business of painting the house. Picking colors

Climbing around on scaffolding, etc. 

In 2017, Lamphouse became our full-time jobs (INSANE!) so that occupies pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Still, we're hoping that the house will get some attention this year as well. 

This year, our big projects are working on the exterior of the house and installing a privacy fence in the backyard.

A lot has happened in the past eight years and it was a trip to see it all laid out in front of me in pictures! I know we're not the most punctual bloggers but we really did leave a nice record of our time in the house so far. 

Thanks for hanging around these past eight years! 

Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tennis Racket Picture Frame DIY

You all know how I feel about slow decorating (if you don't, see this post). So it should come as no surprise that it's taken us nearly a decade to finally start hanging things on the walls. It may have taken me a while but in the past 4 months we've put more holes in this plaster than the previous 9 years combined.

And since the weather has been especially "stay your a$$ inside" this past week, I decided to tackle one tiny project to lift my spirits. 

I've had this photo pinned for years: 

I love it but since it's hard enough to convince myself to put on "real pants" these days, I figured I would skip the ~take the rackets to your local mirror shop and have them cut pieces to fit~ step and just hang the dang things on the wall. 

And use them as photo frames! 

One of our favorite rainy day activities is going to the big antique mall just outside of town and sifting through boxes of old snapshots and taking home just a few interesting ones each time. 

Don't you just love the girl jumping rope? 

The racket ain't too shabby either ; ) 

Conan tacked them up on the top inside and bottom inside to keep them from swaying if they're bumped. 

I originally wanted to put them in the kitchen but since we already have a little collection going in there, we decided it was overkill. 

There's a few photo booth pictures on here (of course!) and some others that I'm starting to collect: 
- Women holding dogs
- Pictures where you can see the photographer's shadow

There's a really neat article in the Atlantic about collecting snapshots that inspired those if you're looking for a fun little read. 

Girl drinking out of a paper sack while holding up a finger doesn't have a collection category yet but I couldn't pass her up - too sassy. 

Another thing we finally got off of the floor: 

Conan's guitars! The acoustic was just collecting dust in the guest room and the electric in the corner of the living room so we figured - pop those puppies up there and treat 'em like art. I really like how it warms up this corner and makes the room seem even taller. 

Well, that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed our (very) little project! 

Hopefully the weather takes a turn for the nice and we can get back to work on the exterior sometime soon. Until then, 

Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Painting the House Exterior: Porch Soffit Edition

In yet another sign that the apocalypse went ahead and happened and 2016 was in fact our last year on earth and we are all living in some sort of weird alternate universe -  we have PUT PAINT ON THE EXTERIOR OF OUR HOME. 

I repeat: we have taken a PAINT BRUSH, dipped it in PAINT, and then APPLIED IT to our HOME. 

About (gosh!) six months ago, I got a wild hair and decided it was "time" to get down to business on painting the exterior of our house. Despite the fact that it had been over a year since I last posted about it, or since we had even done any kind of prep work, something about late August in Kansas just said ~paint your house~ to me. 

So we spent a good hour or so looking at paint colors and getting samples and then we sat them in the basement and that's where they sat for (double gosh!) two months.

If you've been taking your ginkgo, you might remember that time over TWO YEARS AGO when I posted about our repaired/replaced soffit on the front porch and our plans for the exterior.

It was all painted and primed and ready to go and it had started looking a little...rough so with the weather somewhat nice, my mom and I got started cleaning and putting paint on the soffit and front gables of the porch.

And here's a look just after we started the north side of the porch:

And with the scaffolding moved:

You can see that we got excited and painted a little bit of the siding as well just to be certain that the colors looked good. 

I sat out on the porch and looked at it in every light and I have to say, I'm really really feelin' it. Since these photos were taken we've had our Christmas decorations up, too and it looks pretty darn slick with the new trim paint.

Here's a look at the north gable before:

and after:

So much sharper!

And a little farther back:

We decided to do the interior shakes on the gables in the cream color and then just continue the pattern from the soffit up there, too.

I've known I wanted to paint the house green since we moved in so that was a no brainer but the trim was up in the air. 

A lot of the houses I saw on Pinterest had that greenish/grayish siding + white window trim + dark brown screens look and I felt that too for a while but I'll be honest with you, I was not looking forward to covering up the dark green window trim with white. 

Then it happened. Instead of working on our house, we were binge-watching Fixer Upper and in episode 1 of season 2 they visit a bungalow type house with green siding, and green and red trim. FYI: it's not the house they picked but the first one they looked at in the episode. 

"That's it!" I yelled. Here's a bad screen cap for reference: 

Now, admittedly our house is a little more intricate and a lot less covered in trees and bushes but after finishing this portion, I really feel like we're headed in the right direction! It doesn't look a whole lot different yet but once the siding has paint on it, it will be like a completely new house.

(lol at what the Jeep has done to our column : / antique automobiles, am I right?)

The next steps will be moving down onto the actual porch and painting the siding, columns, steps, ceiling, and whatever else there is on a porch. Can you hear the overwhelming-ness in my typing?

It's gonna' be a real process. My bet is on two years, my mom says one, maybe one and a half?
Place your bets in the comments if you want to make things interesting. Again, this will be for when the house is *actually* finished, not when I *finally* blog about it!

See you guys at some point in the future!

Thanks for sticking with us! 

Keep Smiling!!

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