TomBoy Home Renovation – Business in the Front…Party in the Back

For Memorial Day Weekend, we went down to the house for a look around and “job meeting” (this is where Brian and I talk about what needs to be done).  We met a few of the neighbors and talked about upcoming summer.  This little neighborhood has all these old traditions that remind me of that old school cape I knew as a kid.  Children running around free, a neighborhood 4th of July parade, parents getting over served at night…you know the usual stuff.

I wanted to see how the inside of the house looked and the painted chimney on the outside.  I am happy with both.  I was very nervous about the chimney getting a white-wash treatment (post about white-washing here).  My husband was completely unsure if he liked it from photos the project manager sent us.  I needed to see it in person.  He thought there would be more brick showing through.  I thought so too but I actually really like it.  It was such an improvement from the old chimney.


For the business in the front – I am picturing the front of the house with landscaping, like hydrangeas in front of the chimney to soften the edges.  When we were there yesterday, everyone was planting flowers and working on their yards, so I am going to have work on my gardening skills. We are adding cedar shingles and shutters soon.  The front door will painted navy with bold brass hardware from (here), which will patina from the coastal weather over time.

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I am going to try to revive this anchor door knocker which was from the previous owner.  I love a good patina but this one just looks a little dirty rather than old and fun.


So on to the party in the back! This is where we are going prepping for the patio.  It was previously a long concrete patio but since there was some damage to the siding and foundation issues we had to dig it out.  You can see where it is going to be laid out by the  flatten ditch area.  I really let Mr.TomBoy Home (he will kill me for that) take the lead on this one.  His plan is to use Pavestone in Colony Cobble running almost the length of the house with a fire pit.  I am going to admit something awful right now – I don’t really like grass so I am happy with lots of pavestones and many hydrangeas bushes in the back.

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Below are a few inspiration photos that give an idea of what we are going for in the back.


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Across the back of the house in between the two sliders will be 3-4 light fixtures.  I needed to keep the cost down on these lights BUT I still wanted something I would like the look of…. Brian would put in 4 spotlights if I let him.  I love the look of the traditional cape onion lights.  These ones (two below) are from Lowe’s and were very reasonable.  I actually found 4 small lights on Amazon (here) that were a great price.

Inspiration light fixture
This onion light fixture is from Lowe’s and is a very reasonable price.


We ordered a sectional  and ottoman similar to the couch above from Ikea.0150065_PE308184_S3

Of course any seating situation will be attacked by pillows…here are some of great outdoor samples from here and here.

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Lastly, every patio needs some fun and festive serveware.  I saw these great Swirl Enamelware serving bowls from here.  The plates and drinkware below are from here. I love this drinkware for when I create the TomBoy cocktail.  Recipe coming soon!

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As always thanks for reading.  We are really enjoying this renovation.  It has been fun to update the blog with photos and ideas.  It has actually kept me very organized.

TomBoy Home Renovation Update

We are getting closer!  The renovation on the cape house is on full swing. The patio was dug up, walls and cabinets have been painted, windows replaced (not all), and the one of my favorite things that happened last week – the kitchen counter top was installed!!  It is amazing how happy a counter top can make one person.L1080032

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Here is the break down of the kitchen…

I wanted to paint the cabinets a light gray.  I chose Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.  My husband suggested we keep the cabinets because they were in good shape and the door fronts were shiplap.  I thought it was a great idea and it saved money and time.  I picked up cabinet pulls from RH in polished chrome.  The counter top is Ceasarstone Organic White.


We still have a lot of work to go on this area but I am so happy with the changes so far.

Next update is the living room which is the main part of the house.  The knotty pine walls have been primed. We put in a new window. The fireplace will get a white wash treatment but keeping the wood mantel. On the end is a bookcase/media center which I can’t wait to decorate with books that no one will read or allowed to touch.

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Living room update
Living room shelving before (previous owner’s property)

Inspiration photos for the bookcase but on a much smaller scale:
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For the shelves I found some books at the booksale at the library and some books at Brimfield. I am trying to stick to navy, white and some turquoise. Although I saw a yellow set at OKL that would be so fun.


Exterior Update:

The exterior of the house is really coming along.  This is where the bulk of the work is happening at this point. We had to strip the siding due to rot and put in a new window due to my needing a new one…

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One of my favorite inspiration photos for the front of the house:garden


We also dug up the concrete patio in the backyard for construction reasons Brian would have to explain (Brian needs his own blog – things I explain to my wife over and over but she never listens…)

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I bet our new neighbors love us right now…

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We are replacing the patio with pavers and a fire pit.  I am leaving most of this design to Brian.  But if you see him mention how good french sliders or doors would look leading out to the patio.

Lastly we had some issues with the chimney leaking water.  During an inspection of the house, it was discovered the chimney had a section added on and this was causing the leaking problem.  We were able to take the height down and fix the problem.  More interesting is what we are doing to the chimney – a beautiful very light white wash.  When we first bought the house everyone commented on what an eyesore the chimney is, but I always liked it.  It think it gives the house character and with a white wash it will hopefully fade into the house better.  Here is an inspiration photo so you see what I mean.


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Sun’s out, guns out
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When I see pictures like this it makes me laugh, because when we first looked at the house – we were thinking just some paint and sprucing up…Renovations have a way of running away from you…

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I will leave you with this cute story. During all this work and demo the guys found time to replant the hydrangeas that were near the foundation.  There is something so traditional and beautiful about hydrangeas on the Cape. We plan on planting many bushes but I really hope these originals make it through the renovation.

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Beautiful hydrangeas in full bloom


How to with Brian…

…hanging a piece of artwork

From time to time I am going to do posts in a series called “How to with Brian”.  The series is going to teach us how to complete basic tasks that we would rather ask a handy person to do.  Personally, I am short on patience and big on getting it done immediately.  I have been known to use a shoe heel to hang a frame.  I always guess approximately or “eyeball it” where the picture should go.  Let me tell you I am pretty good at my guesses too, just don’t lift up any picture frame in my house, there will be at least 4-5 holes or guesses.  Anyway, I have a husband who just happens to be a builder.  I asked him if he would show me a few basic skills so I can stop bothering him and start doing these projects when he is not home.  I thought I would start with this oil painting from my in-laws that I recently had reframed.  So instead of getting out a boot and whatever nail I can yank out of the wall, I asked Brian to show me the right way to hang art.  He very begrudging agreed.  He was horrified when he saw the camera come out, like I asked him to pose nude or something.  Then when I told him it was for series on my blog I could see actually him trying to stop his eyes from rolling.  Chip and Joanna we are not…  After we were done I thanked him for doing it and he said under his breath “never again”  We’ll see about that…

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First step get out the right tools, I used hammer, level and the nails provided by the framer.
We measured the width of the room so we could center the picture.. Next we figure out the height measurement
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WE measured the height from the crown down of the mirror I wanted it to line up with.
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After we measured everything a million times, we finally got to hammering.

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It is nice when you can acquire art from a family member but this is not always the case.  I recently stumbled upon Artfully Walls while searching for framed prints on-line.  It is a great website for art prints from tons of artists.  You can also choose a size and have it framed.  This is a great place to visit!

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I hope you enjoyed this “How to” session.  If I can get Brian to cooperate and do this again, I am thinking about learning how to use a drill.