Home Projects

Front Yard Urban Gardening

It was the bush that ate Cincinnati. It was beautiful for about two weeks every spring when it blossomed into a huge white puff, but the azalea bush had overtaken the front of the house. The 7-feet-tall, 7-feet-wide monster was blocking windows and denying sunlight […]

New Paint Job

Eleven years ago we had our house painted by Chris and Sons Painting, based in Lynn, Mass. Chris, who is Greek, told us then if we ever visited Greece to call him so when we decided to go to Athens and Santorini last April, Trish […]

Stripping Doors of Paint And Redesigning the Dining Room

I haven’t posted anything in more than two months. My wife says, “That’s because you’ve been sitting around doing nothing.” Oh, the sarcasm. I’ve been doing quite a lot (which I’ll be posting updates on in the coming weeks), including this. The dining room in […]

Before and After: Glamour Shots of a Victorian Bath (Audio Slideshow, included)

(Watch an audio-slideshow of the Bathroom Makeover Project) Before, we were surrounded by the world (wallpaper). And it was dark, cold, and dingy. After (our bathroom remodel), we are surrounded by more genteel times, Victorian era charm to be exact. About three months ago we […]

Happy Earth Day You Pansy

Pansies get a bum rap. Sure, they’re pretty and delicate-looking but they’re also one of the toughest little flowers. They can stand up to high winds, torrential rain storms, and temperatures that dip near the freezing point. And that’s why if you can’t wait another […]

Painting the Stairway, No Pussyfooting Around

We’ve got two stairways in our small Victorian home: one that meets the front door and another that goes to the second-floor from the hallway off the kitchen in the back of the house. The front stairway is grander and features a shiny oak surface. […]

It’s Time To Start Planning Your Summer Garden

Spring has sprung in the RootsLiving tulip garden. And for everyone who has to stay indoors today, here’s a little sunshine break for you. It’s time to start planning the spring window boxes (here’s some inspiration) and summer garden. Soon it will be Memorial Day […]

Bathroom Makeover (Part 3): A Quick Update

The bathroom remodel is about half-way done and we couldn’t have done it without your help. At your suggestion we painted the walls off-white (actual name: Corner Cupboard Yellowish White). And we took Marie’s hint that the original medicine cabinet we picked out might be […]

Bathroom Makeover: Part 2

The wallpaper is off the walls and after living with sample boards painted various shades of green, brown and white we’ve decided to take everyone’s advice and paint the walls white. Our RootsLiving friends didn’t like the shades of green we picked at all (I […]

Bathroom Makeover — What Color Should We Paint the Walls?

Fifteen years ago we bought our 162-year-old house and had to redo every room. It was mainly cosmetic work, but not in the sense of “Oh, we don’t like that color,” or “That room is out of style and needs to be updated.” There were […]

Old House Design Tip: Keep It (the lighting) Real

When we were remodeling our 161-year-old kitchen, we wanted to keep as much of the old world charm as possible without sacrificing the modern conveniences. So we picked out a very large and deep white porcelain farmer’s sink. We had custom cabinets built to match […]

Under the Summer Moon

It’s not too late: not too late to start planning to see one of the most amazing natural phenomenon of summer. I’m talking about Moonflowers (includes audio). They are the exact opposite of Morning Glories. Instead of blooming each morning, Moonflowers bloom each evening: large […]

Bamboo Linen Weave

A few years ago, when I was between jobs, I worked as an apprentice at a local painting design company called, “Faux-Like-A-Pro.” Owner Sandra Kiss London needed to make sample boards of some of the faux painting techniques she created to give to hardware stores […]