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Sprucing up the Cottage

April 9th, 2018

This past weekend was spent painting & sprucing up our new bedroom, which used to be the office, until we couldn’t get our new bed up the stairs. It was already painted a few years ago, but it needed a fresh coat of paint on the walls and new trim. We walled in the old chimney to keep the drafts from the basement out (along with the spiders). We also moved our favorite little fan down from the old bedroom upstairs.


As home improvement goes, it gets worse before it gets better. There’s a pile of supplies in a corner of the kitchen, the living room is the painting area for trim. The dining room table is overflowing with drywall compound, trowels, painting supplies, and a host of other tools.


It’s nice to freshen things up, especially when it’s spaces you see frequently. We have plans on slowly moving around the house painting things to freshen and clean it up. We’ll put up new light fixtures that cast more light, the house is a bit dark. Slowly but surely, it will start to look cleaner and fresher.

What home improvement projects have you been working on?

Slowly But Surely

March 29th, 2014

We’re still not quite finished painting the one bedroom, crazy I know. I was telling Mr Chiots that we added two bedrooms, a sitting room and a bathroom in our old house way less time than it’s taken us to simply paint one room here.
Painting bedroom
painting brick 1
I just finished painting the chimney in this room, which was tedious to say the least. The worst part was that one side of it was only three inches away from another wall. I ended up taking the top off of one of my big artist brushes, it took a while.
painting brick 2
Hopefully this weekend I start prepping another room for painting!

Any home improvement projects on your weekend to-do list?

The First Indoor Project

January 21st, 2014

Well, we have finally started working a little on the interior of this place.  Eventually the entire thing will be redone, but for now we at least want to paint and redo a few things to make it easier to clean. It’s not as simple as just throwing a coat of paint on the walls. There’s also a debate going on about whether we just want to paint the floors as well, they’re currently painted subfloor or if we want to put down flooring while we’re at it.
Painting bedroom
There is electric baseboard heat that needs removed, new floor moulding to put in, along with sanding the ceilings & walls because the previous paint job was less than stellar and there are lots of roller nap marks. All the moulding needs a good sanding as well, it wasn’t sanded after the finish was applied so the grain of the wood makes dusting/cleaning impossible. All of this is why we’ve been putting it off, we needed time when we could dedicate a good amount of time to this project, and this is only the beginning…

Do you have any home improvement projects in progress?

Friday Favorite: the New Stairway

September 7th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I were talking about all the work we’ve been doing around the house and which part was our favorite. Oddly enough, with two new bedrooms and a new bathroom, my favorite part is the old stairway that just got a bit of a redo. They were covered in beige carpet, the only remnant of the original house. They were plain pine stairs, just like the ones that went to the basement. We debated on covering them with wood that matched our hardwood floors, but the way they are installed would make it very difficult and it would have been very expensive.

I decided to paint the risers and trim white and stain the stairs dark. The results were nothing less than remarkable. Instead of spending almost a thousand dollars on wood and the headache of trying to figure out how to install it, I spent only about $30 on supplies (paint, stain and some moulding) and a few days painting and staining. (I used a mix of half Mahogany half Walnut Minwax Polyshades)



The area needed a bit of flair, so I printed out a bunch of old Grow Your Own posters and hung them. This stair area, which used to be the only eyesore left in our home, is now a real focal point. It’s my favorite part of the house redo.


When it comes to stairs there’s nothing I dislike more than carpet. I find them very difficult and tedious to keep clean. The wood, on the other hand, cleans up in a snap! This stairway is my current favorite thing about our little house.

When it comes to stairs do you like with or without carpet?

Crossing the Finish Line

September 5th, 2012

Late last night, Mr Chiots and I finally crossed the finish line on the upstairs project. We now have two extra bedrooms, a bathroom and a nice sitting area. Working around the clock is almost an understatement when it came to this project. I snapped a few quick photos and then we fell into bed.


We still need to have the tub installed, we’re going to have a plumber to that. We’re still waiting on a few parts to arrive for that. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the bathroom with the show attachment!


We crossed the finish line just in time because we have two showings today. One this morning and one later this evening.

What was the last home improvement project you completed?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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