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Monday, January 30, 2012

How warm does it have to be to paint outside?

One thing I want to mention about the outside view of the house (in case you drive by to peek)is this:
right before the fire, we pressure-washed the house and were planning to paint the trim. Obviously, the pressure wash scraped off the old paint and it was never our intention to let it sit like that. It's just one of those little things you have to sort of imagine is fixed. Because it will be!

Along with the paint on the porch floor... It used to be a really awesome shade of deep grey. Far, far too much construction traffic in and out since the summer has made the paint job look icky. Don't worry! We're on that, too. The outside paint jobs have to wait until Spring, though. (I think)

I guess I am just starting to get really, really excited about Open Houses. I seriously cannot wait to show off how amazing everything looks in person.

Can one have wine and cheese evening Open Houses? Or do they absolutely have to be the boring Sunday afternoon kind? Can you make people take off their shoes at Open Houses? LoL.

I am hoping the first Open Houses will be in March. The house itself might not be completely done- but I bet it's ready to be seen. I understand the owners are typically not there for the event, but I am afraid we'll have to make an exception for me.

In the meantime, if you're interested... email me or call Jody and you can come poke around any time.

Kitchen Paint, floor and Upstairs bath floor

big decisions!

In the end, the Kitchen was by far the hardest to choose. Antique white cabinets with the Uba Tuba granite counters and stainless steel appliances could support literally any paint choice. As I said, if it was me- I'd do a really deep wine color and lemon colored accents. (If you happen to buy the house and then take that suggestion, would you  send me a picture of it? I bet it's unbelievably cool.) In the meantime, however- we have to be practical and neutral..so after carrying  the cabinet door and a hunk of the granite around Home Depot for an hour, I settled on "Honey Beige". It's that muted lemon-y yellow color I thought would work so well- but in a grander sense. It also pairs nicely with the grey-blue in the downstairs bathroom.




Speaking of the kitchen, when we stopped by over the weekend, we peeked at the ceramic tile. I am so excited to report that it's going to be that deep grey/blue color. I was torn between the blueish and the brownish and, in the end, left it up to Mike to surprise me. Very good choice, sir. ;) the tiles look pretty awesome stacked up in their little bags, so I am really confident they will be fabulous on the floors of the kitchen and downstairs bathroom.

For the upstairs bathroom, we picked a ceramic tile that is a mix of white and cream.  The bathroom floor stays cleaner than the kitchen floor so I am not as afraid of white grout here....plus with the white tub, you're going to be on guard anyway, right? The old bathroom had a similar tile, but with grey streaks and grey grout. I always felt like it looked dirty so this presents a much cleaner look. (I also want to mention that I have never, in my life, thought as much about grout as I have while writing this blog).



One more side note on paint- not so much related to 2 Locust, but if you follow the blog (or know me), you will get a kick out of it. I mentioned that we went to NH with my parents Saturday to look at the house we are considering buying there. It's empty- so it's painted all neutral creams and beige. I went online to see if I could find anything out about the house and stumbled upon some old pictures of it. Sure enough- some of the rooms were originally painted my beloved deep, saturated shades: even one that was the perfect midnight blue! It's too funny to think how we neutral everything up to sell our homes! I mean- you sort of HAVE to...the odds are pretty slim of finding a buyer with your exact taste. So you have to reset to neutral and go from there.

One thing, as a buyer, that I loathe is looking at pictures of houses for sale when they are overly decorated in the owner's taste. I mean, sure on the off chance we happen to share taste- it would be fine: but so far, it's only worked to the (utter) disadvantage of the houses we've looked at buying in NH. If you are trying to sell your house (hopefully because you've fallen in love with 2 Locust and want to buy it LOL) I think you have give the new potential owners a clean easel. No one wants to buy someone else's elaborate decorative choices. Right?

Friday, January 27, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things.

I suppose we take for granted that someone who knows Troy well will buy 2 Locust. It might not be the case though, so,  if you don't know Troy...let me tell you a little about it.

Troy is like that one favorite restaurant you have. Not a popular chain, by any means... not something you'll ever see advertised during "must see tv"- but rather that really special place you happened upon one day. The place that surprised you with how much you liked about it. Its menu isn't exotic or even all that different than any other place you've been, but it has something special hidden beneath its layers and somehow when you're there, you can taste it.

If you grew up in Troy, it has a special place in your heart and I don't have to tell you why. If you are new to its charms, however, you might need to be pointed in the right direction to really see its beauty.

Let's start here.

Downtown Troy will break your heart with its stifled  elegance. It's like a teenage girl who doesn't realize how pretty she really is so she covers it all in grimy make up and a bad attitude.

Some people still see through her though- and want to invest in what's to come. One of them is my friend Artie. He just opened a new place: Bat Shea's. You will love it. When you come to see 2 Locust, swing by. Google "Bat Shea" first though. Like pretty much everything in Troy, there's more to the story than you can see just by looking.




And if you happen to be in the neighborhood around breakfast time (which, let's face it: on some Saturdays is well after noon), Manory's is where your internal GPS should bring you. That my grandparents ate there when they were young is enchanting to me...but the food is just plain scrumptious.



If you're up early enough Saturday, Troy has a year round farmer's market. The summer mornings are the best because it's like an outdoor carnival or  street fair. Every Saturday... but with better food.

In the winter, the market is held indoors.

We have unique shops and quirky places to meet fantastic people. We have great places to walk and really lovely parks to sit in with your dog. All of these places are crowded with the layers and layers of memories that only old cities can offer. It's something you won't ever find in a development or a subdivision.







2 Locust has a very special place in Troy. It's in the center of a really great neighborhood. We're just a block or so from the Emma Willard campus. (Remember "Scent of a Woman" ? with Al Pacino? It was shot here!)



It's around the corner from Spring Little League.. within walking distance to RPI and Russell Sage. (Well, walking distance if you're college aged...if you're in our age group, we'll call it a 5 min drive instead)

And the "Gorge"


We have River Street- with the Beat Shop for music and tons of places to grab great food while
 "antique-ing".


Plus Troy Night Out (on the last Friday of every month).



the Victorian Stroll and the Turkey Troy






There's a lot here to love. We're going to miss it very much. But I am sure we'll be back often to visit. You don't ever really LEAVE a place like Troy: part of it you take with you. And part of it you always come back to.



**All of these pictures belong to their respective copyright holders. I've tried to link them so that you can see who owns them by following the link. In the event you can't, they are not mine and I make no claim to them.**

Tonight's Task

Dan and I are off to Home Depot tonight to pick out paint for the kitchen and a floor for the upstairs bathroom. (I really, really hope Mary is around and can point us in the right direction. She's done such an extraordinary job with everything so far)

We decided to use the same ceramic tile from the kitchen floor for the bathroom downstairs. As you can see from the pics in other posts, the rooms touch- so it makes a nice flow. That's how it was before and I think it will be just fine.

I am hoping for some inspiration on the kitchen paint color.  I got to see the Uba Tuba granite in person (my parents were evaluating it for their kitchen as well so they had a hunk of it as a sample). It's not as green as I originally thought .....so that actually opens up MORE color possibilities (which is even more crazy daunting). I expect to spend lots of time in the paint aisle holding the cabinet door and the hunk of granite. (I am sure Dan is thrilled with the prospects for our Friday evening....)

We also need to pick out a backsplash for between the counter and the cabinets. Oddly, that's the part to which I am most looking forward. I have seen a ton of 'splashes that I really like.

Email me any ideas you have today. I'll try to post our pics later tonight. We have an early morning tomorrow, though...we're off to NH with my parents to look at the house we want to buy there. Would it shock you to know it looks rather like 2 Locust? ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Non-Neutral Nostalgia

If you are a potential buyer, there are two ways to look at the pics below:

 1. be glad we don't have the same taste and grateful for the new neutrals at 2 Locust or 
 2. think of all the fun flair of your own you can bring when you move in :)
















Paint! (in fact: 17 pictures of it)

I've made no secret of my disdain for neutral paint.... it's a sign of defeat that I have to photograph the white ceilings in most of these shots just so you can see the contrast to the neutral wall color. HOWEVER, that being said: the actual painting is impeccable and even I could live with some of these colors.....(provided I had the right accessories, of course!) So, without further ado... here's the latest:

This is the upstairs office/bed room. Technically, it's a bed room because it has a great closet, but we always used it as an office. When Dan quit his job to go to school full time, he took it over as a study. Before that it was decorated exactly like the interior of the bottle from I Dream of Jeannie. I will admit that it's much more sophisticated like this.... 



The next few are all the other (3) upstairs bedrooms & the upstairs hallway. The bedrooms are all variations on  creamy beige, the hallway is a really great shade that you really have to see in person to "get". I guess it's like an opal- it sort of borders white and all the other colors at once.










Now we're downstairs again, where 2 Locust has been primed for paint- but we have no color yet. (Contrary to the way Dan and I painted, the pros at Tech East take their time and do things properly. )

Here's a view from the kitchen into the downstairs bathroom. (You can tell from the green sheetrock, remember?)




Here is all the paint waiting patiently to go up. It reminds me of a fresh, new box of crayons. Remember how awesome that feeling was ??  2 Locust is the ultimate new box of crayons...it's the 64 pack with the sharpener on the back. ;)









This view is from the bottom of the stairs up to the hallway. You can see the "opal" paint clearly here and sort of tell how nuanced it looks. I really can't wait to have the lights in so we can really show this off. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am flabbergasted! :)

Floored, flattered and evidently stuck on the letter "F".

Joe Keegan, who writes a fabulous blog (see? there we go again) about Home Restoration, answered my fan mail! He's going to give 2 Locust a shout out on his blog:

He may even come visit 2 Locust someday!
 
I put a permanent link to his blog right after our blog achieve. You'll love it! There are so many outstanding restoration ideas for old homes! Mr. Keegan writes about the stuff Dan and I always wanted to get around to doing to 2 Locust... The trouble of course was that we always had to do a project that was necessary instead of something that was just desired.
 
The new owners of 2 Locust will have no such restraints. The roof we were always saving money for is done, the plumbing we always wanted to upgrade has been upgraded, the electric, the floors, the cabinets, the walls, the ceilings, the fixtures, the everything is all done. You can go nuts reading Mr. Keegan's blog and doing all the fun stuff now.  (You're welcome.)
 
Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome, Neighbors!

I found this picture on our neighborhood communication website (i-neighbors.org) It's a great shot of my beloved porch (and husband!).

I forgot to post a link to the blog on the i-neighbors site- which I just corrected - so I wanted to say "welcome" to our neighbors...the same way the porch always welcomed them ;)

(Unfortunately, there is no wine on the blog, the way there always was on the porch...but it's still a lovely place to stop by and visit.)






Friday, January 20, 2012

Colors!!

I picked out everything except the kitchen paint.  The colors are all Behr. Who knew there were so many neutrals out there? Here's a picture of my handiwork and the list after it (with my translations in parenthesis).




Downstairs:
  • Entryway/Foyer: Country Club (very muted mauve-like, with a hint of grey)
  • First Parlor: Sandstone Cove (cream, leaning towards beige)
  • Second Parlor: Garden Wall (darker beige leaning toward greenish, with a hint of grey)
  • Dining Room: Swiss Coffee (surprisingly un-coffee like. It's a bright, sophisticated cream)
  • Downstairs Bath & Laundry: Flint Smoke (blueish grey)
Upstairs:
  • Stairs and Upstairs Hall: Smoked Oyster (a paler shade of the Country Club color in the foyer)
  • Master Bedroom: Cottage White (not shockingly- it's white-ish with a tinge of yellow)
  • Upstairs Bath: Popped Corn (this is the only color you can actually picture by thinking of its namesake. seriously looks like Pop Secret popcorn)
  • Upstairs Office/Bedroom: Fossil Butte (oooh. this one is cool. It's like the color of the flakes in Dijon mustard...it's the big square in the bottom left of the picture above)
  • Back Bedrooms: Eggshell Cream & Cornerstone (variations on cream and, um, lighter cream)

Speaking of the Kitchen




(and further procrastinating making these paint choices....) I got a great email from Mary the designer last night saying the space is actually bigger than we'd first estimated and so the breakfast bar/shelving can be bigger. Here's the updated rendering.




I think you could easily get three stools there now- but two is sort of nice. The lights look great, too- They are recessed puck lights. Very chic, no?

The counter tops and cabinetry are rough approximations of the colors, but clearly- the brown is just there by default. Can't wait to see actual real life pictures!!

I think either of the flooring choices from the prior post will highlight the charcoal/green granite and antique cream cabinets really well. It will allow for virtually any color choice on the walls- but I am still being seriously pressured to go neutral. Let the record show- if we weren't trying to attract a buyer, I'd  go deep, deep burgundy with lemon colored accents. 

Also- just want to mention that finding out you have more space than you thought in the kitchen is as rare as the contractors being ahead of schedule and under budget.... all three of which are happening right now. LOVE TECH EAST.


Kitchen Floor- Ceramic Tile Choices

I am torn. So,  I sent both choices to Mike and hopefully he'll just surprise me. The first is "Ardesia Blue", it would be grouted with a grout called "Delorian Grey".

The other is called "Rovigo Gavello" and it would be grouted with a sable brown grout.  After watching Dan scrub the once white kitchen floor grout repeatedly at 2 Locust (while uttering a steady stream of expletives), I think no kitchen should ever have white grout on the floor. Unless of course you do not have kids, pets, guests, food or beverages in your kitchen.... in which case- by all means: go for white.





Paint Colors, part deux

I should have done this last night but it was freezing and so, I opted to swing by Home Depot in my way to work this morning. I also need to pick out the kitchen floor and start thinking about what shades of hardwood to put everywhere. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. Email me at amy.monk@albint.com  (leaving comments here requires you to register which is kind of a pain)

So, we need paint in every room, hardwoods every where but the kitchen and a kitchen floor choice very soon. I think I am supoposed to be working on bathroom floors, too..... Will get back to you on that.

Mike says the hardwoods will be "Bruce" brand and they have a website if you want to check out the colors. I really love Sangreia. (it's a color choice for hardwood floors, but while we are on the topic, I do in fact also love Sangreia)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today is Sydney's 11th Birthday!!

And she deserves a very special shout-out on the 2 Locust Ave Blog because she helped make our time living there extraordinary!

When we moved in next door, Syd was only a teeny little kid. Even then, though, she was busy brightening her corner of the world.

The first morning we met Syd was right around this time of year. We had only lived in the house a few weeks and were leaving for work one morning when a giant voice came booming from the next door porch. "HEY NEIGHBORS!!! ISN'T IT A BEAAUUUUUTTIIIFULLLL DAY?!?!".

That greeting came from tiny Syd, smiling a giant smile and waving her little mittens at us. Her family moved to CT a few years back, but we happily travel to visit them there :)

(They better return the favor when we head to NH.... you tell 'em, Squid.)

The porches on Locust Ave are perfect for making friends. We'll always be really grateful for our friend, Sydney!!

So, have a SUPER happy birthday Syd! We miss ya like crazy and will hopefully see you and your parents sometime soon! And Gustav and Deidre, too if we're lucky ;)

2 Outside Shots



On one side of the 2 Locust, you have the driveway leading back to the 2 car garage. On the other side, you have this little walkway to the rose garden. I am not sure if you can see the arbor clearly- but it's painted white wrought iron and acts as an entryway to the rose garden. You can also see the neighbors' house and yard. Gene and Jessica are great neighbors. My only complaint is that their superior lawn care creates immense peer pressure to get up and do yard work. They are the most conscientious landscapers ever. 




Here are the french doors from the porch to the dining room. There are two sets- both lock independently. I think the brown ones are original to the house- they're quite fancy and have amazing antique hardware.

New Inside Stuff!!

Here is the latest and greatest from inside of 2 Locust!




This is the inside door to the basement. You can also access it from the backyard- but this door is off the dining room area as well.

This is a view from the kitchen to the front door. The dining room is on the right, the office/second parlor with decorative fireplace is on the left. Closer to the door, the front parlor is on the left and the foyer/staircase is on the right. 



This is the downstairs bathroom laundry nook area where the washer/dryer hook ups are.


Here's the dining room w/ french doors and giant window.


This is a shot of the front parlor. It's a great space because in addition to being rather large, it has a fantastic sort of bay window. I am not sure what the real estate term is for "the perfect place to put a settee and sit in the sun". It's a cut out of the room made almost completely of windows.... very awesome. I don't take a lot of pics in this room because it's crowded with construction materials and the kitchen appliances are all wrapped up and stored there. 


This is a shot from the master room looking out into the upstairs foyer/stair case.


 From the top of the stairs: