This is the fourth week without HOMEWORK! and I’m not missing it in the least. In my house, it barrels through the door in all caps with an exclamation mark because it seems to be a manic, panic-inducing thing most nights. Often left until the last minute, when everyone is at their most tired and least focused, there it looms: spelling test preparation, math worksheet completion, and my (least) favorite: composing facts about a historical character. After working all day and often after the kids go to bed, I find homework wholly undesirable and often complain that I’ve done my fair share already. I think that must be the biggest teacher’s joke ever – for every child complaining of homework and counting the years until they don’t have to do it anymore…only to learn as an adult the misery of doing HOMEWORK! with your KIDS!
Our home was built with a desk area in the kitchen, helpful with one school-age child, but once we have multiple kids working on multiple projects, this space will no longer suffice. The current trend seems to be the purpose-built Homework Center and it’s something I can get behind.
Besides these centers, I’ve been working on a few other projects lately that all have one thing in common: wide open spaces. From enclosing them to accommodate a set of French doors (or in one case, these fabulous barn doors):
to opening them up to create a custom wine nook where there was once a lowly coat closet:
It’s all been about spaces. I’ve also been busy estimating outdoor spaces including concrete additions, stone fireplaces, and full kitchens as well as a tricky support post issue and the sweet homeowner that wants it OUT OF THERE, like yesterday ;) I’ve been fortunate to work on some masonry repairs as well, including an outdoor grill that required full removal and replacement of the stone cladding, and some mortar repairs.
In terms of my lofty home ambitions, the paint project is on track and and I’ve managed to get a material list together for the coffered wall. I’ve spoken about half-measures before, and it’s sometimes funny what the universe attracts. I’ve witnessed the chalk paint refinishing craze and have lustfully admired the finished projects completed by many of my accomplished friends. I like the idea of a side project, one that isn’t tied to a client or a deadline and managed to find one this past weekend.
I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but that’s exactly the type of piece I was looking for. I could have done without the chewing gum affixed to the headboard, but this bed has great style, is substantial, and came with all the pieces. I was counting on building or buying a frame separately but was pleasantly surprised when the rails and additional slats appeared. I have no intention of joining the ranks of professional furniture refinishers but am excited to share the progress of this project with you. Starting with removal of that gum ;)
What spaces are you working with? Let’s make the most out of what we have, whether it needs to be opened up or closed in. The Ashbury Construction Company is happy to look at any project you’re contemplating. Please contact us today!
*photo credits: babble, Sand and Sisal, Shea Homes, Talk of the House, Home Depot
What comes to your mind first when you hear the word “zone”?
I’ve been fortunate to receive an increase in consultation requests lately, and consistent among the ever-changing variables during these appointments are the tacked-on projects that typically come up at the end of the meeting or as we’re digging in deep on a particular feature.
“Do you do that?” It’s a question I am asked frequently – often for difficult or where-do-I-start jobs such as brick replacement or chipped floor tile.
I’ll let you in on a secret – I always say yes.
When I was eight, my mother referred to me as being “resourceful” and I will never forget the pride I felt at that moment. As an adult, maintaining this trait has set me apart time and time again – I’ve learned in life and in construction and the places where they intersect that almost nothing is impossible. Most projects can be broken down into small segments and there is almost always someone with experience willing to collaborate or lend a hand when necessary. With few exceptions, there is always a way – it may not be straightforward, inexpensive, or quick – but most things can be done.
Fast forward to the comfort zone – the subject of this post. We’ve all been there – comfy and cozy and downright settled in to a spot in life that feels good – it doesn’t ask much of us, and likely doesn’t give much back in return. It’s a great spot to rest on one’s laurels with a view of the next step, which almost always looks overwhelming, especially in contrast to the comfort zone. After ten years in construction, I’m nestled fairly snugly in my own version of the comfort zone, which includes quoting (with confidence!) and completing (with ease!) jobs such as water penetration fixes, sheetrock/paint repairs, bathroom remodels, flooring, and carpentry. Aspects of construction that I am fairly uncomfortable with include working at heights, anything to do with electricity, and the use of power tools – especially anything with a blade. If you’ve seen me on site, I almost always have a screwdriver and am happy to pass on the drill. I stay off the ladders and scaffolding makes me light-headed. I installed two lightbulbs for the first time IN MY LIFE a few weeks ago and only because the homeowner was watching me do it. Ridiculous. So, in the interest of continuous improvement, I’m going to undertake a project requiring the use of most of my woodworking equipment. I’m going to take this wall:
I’m looking forward to sharing a progress post (with pictures!) or two along the way. These spans of empty walls in production-built homes are fairly common in this area, and I'm looking forward to sharing a solution to fill the space that is less expensive than installing additional cabinetry.
If you have a similar project and would like a consultation, please contact us. If you have a job that falls in the “do you do that?” category, we’re happy to look at those as well. But you already know what the answer will be…
*Photo credit of Houzz
Happy Monday and hello June! Thank you for reading and for your kind words and incredible support regarding the master bath remodel. My client was sweet enough to post photos and a shout-out to my team on the Sienna Plantation Neighbors Facebook page which has resulted in some amazing feedback and a big increase in appointment requests. It’s my pleasure to answer any questions regarding material sources, colors, and of course to provide an estimate for your project. Friday was our last day at the job and I’m thrilled to share new photos with the 88” frameless glass shower enclosure featuring copper (stay with me) hardware. After debating the differences between bronze and copper over the phone, I brought one of the body sprays into the glass manufacturer to ensure we were ordering hinges and the door handle to match the plumbing fixtures and I am so glad – what they call copper was the winner and the color is stunning. The homeowner was able to test the shower on Saturday morning and tells me it’s heaven.
In administrative news, I’ve completed a new document to add to the contract package called ‘House Rules’ and here’s a peak:
As my client base is (fortunately) growing, I was looking for a way to track the details regarding their expectations of the manner their home is treated, as well as information such as access details and contact preferences in one place. This form will allow me to keep it all straight, from whether I can contact them during business hours to the names and habits of their pets. It also lays out my job site management strategies and what they can expect from my team. I’ve always felt that it’s a privilege to be invited into someone’s home, especially when asked to perform work in such sacred spaces, and want to ensure that we are doing it right and with respect.
Finally, those poor cobbler’s kids… You’ve heard the old saying the cobbler’s children have no shoes, a phenomena where people who are successful at doing something don't demonstrate it in their own lives. I’m disappointed to report this is the case in my home. Save for two of the bedrooms, we are living with the dreaded builder’s beige – two years into ownership. The good news is that I’m ready to change this and will gladly post before and after shots shortly. Until then I’m happy to share the colors we’ve chosen:
Hale Navy and Bunny Gray by Benjamin Moore and Plumage by Martha Stewart (paint is no longer available so it will be a color match mixed in Sherwin-Williams base).
At three years, my "baby" tells me he's not a baby anymore and would like his room painted as well. In red. We're working on a color ;)
If we can be of help with any projects in your home, please reach out by phone, text, email, or the contact us page on this site. Looking forward to putting the House Rules document to use for your home!