Thursday, March 31, 2016

Beach Condo!

My parents recently bought a condo on the eastern shore, seemingly a time capsule to the 1980's, so mom and I went down this week to begin cleaning it out and redecorating. 
We focused on updating the living/dining area, from dated beach chic to a sleek modern look and mostly on making it look and feel more clean. 
Before pictures!
 Check out the wall to wall mirror, fake trees, and huge conch shell lamps...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Findings - Chest of Drawers.

This little dresser was a free find!  Technically a gift from friends of my parents, and ohh baby do I have big plans for it!  This is basically the before picture and a post is coming soon about the process of bleaching out the yellowy pine.  Sort of a practice for lightening the pine floors in the cottage. 
I also dug these glass pull knobs out of the junk drawer in dads garage.  
Before and after..
They cleaned up so well!
Check back next week to read about how I definitely didn't almost mix dangerous chemicals together...


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Furniture rehab! - Vintage Accent Table

My mom has had this table for years, it is not in the best shape, and since my parents recently got a beach place they are gathering up things to furnish it with.  So in keeping with the bright and airy feel of the condo (condo before and afters coming soon) I wanted to clean this up and lighten the color.  
Before Picture...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Findings - The Art Deco Bar Cart and Coppercraft tumblers.

This weeks Friday findings is classic of our situation here at LongDistanceDIY, bringing pieces together from different continents.
First the Bar cart.  Even though I'm currently away in Maryland I was browsing through Gumtree ads and there it was.  When I spotted this vintage trolly, I immediately sent the link to Matt, knowing that he would appreciate an Art Deco piece.  He must have approved because now it's ours.  The trolley is in solid condition with a pretty Walnut veneer, a nearly identical refinished piece from the 1920's is listed for several hundred on Ebay.  Neat!
Around the same time I was browsing the thrift stores on this side of the pond and came across this set of Mid-Century glass and copper tumblers.  They are an original Coppercraft Guild set, from the early 1960's, and in great condition.  Plus they were under $10!  I'm looking forward to bringing them over and seeing how they look on the bar cart with my copper mugs!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Floorplans and Bathroom Brainstorms.

I just got my hands on a digital copy of the current layout, the one Pete created over the winter holidays, and I am so excited.  Its all to scale, which seriously simplifies the planning of major renovations, and its easy to manipulate with free 'layout designers' online. 

Now you can really see what I mean by...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Findings - The G-Plan nesting tables

Mid-Century Modern end tables. We found this set of G-Plan quadrille nesting tables on Gumtree for only £10.  Teak, vintage, and lovely.
They are in amazing condition and I am thrilled with them.  Naturally this has spurred an interest in collecting more pieces from this MCM maker.  Also pictured: our makeshift cardboard rug/draft-blocker, the study is directly above the cellar which lets all the cold air come right in.  

- Nikki

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Raking out and Repointing Lime Mortar

More progress on the bedroom chimney breast, you've already seen the early stages in an earlier post, First-things-first.
Once the exposed brick had time to dry out Matt did some raking-out and re-pointing of the lime mortar, to remove the salt-contaminated crumbly stuff and create a groove for the new mortar to 'key' into.
Raking out/cleaning out the old mortar... dusty work, why is every home renovation project the most dust creating event ever?
Working with Lime Mortar requires some patience, consistently wetting down the brick, otherwise the new mortar will quickly dry up and crumble away. Also arm strength!
We did a lot of reading about lime and the re-pointing process before beginning, because lime isn't cheap and we wanted to get this right the first time.  
In some rooms we have loose bricks that come right out of the walls, and need more delicate re-pointing, luckily with this chimney that was not the case.  Just a matter of replacing mortar where it had been contaminated and was no longer sound. 
This is how it looks before being brushed up after about a day, once the mortar goes in, we continue misting it for a few days, so it doesn't dry to quickly, then knock it back with a churn brush, which sort of cleans it up a bit and exposes the texture of the mortar.  Matt did a really phenomenal job, which is why I'm showing it off. 
Now that the re-pointing is done in here, Matt can remove the bricks from the fireplace and we can make some decisions on re-plastering.  I'm not in love with exposed brick, but it could make an interesting feature wall in this bedroom, especially with this little fireplace feature... 

What do you think?  Re-plaster over the brick or leave it as a feature?


Monday, March 7, 2016

Frugal Decorating DIY: Recovering chair seats.

When looking for secondhand furniture try to keep an open mind, don't be distracted by the color or finish of a piece, those things are easy to change.
In this case we found these MCM chairs for free on Gumtree, they were kinda gross and wobbly but now they are clean and waxed with fresh seat covers.  Here is my little tutorial on how to give a fresh new look to some beat up old chairs for under £5. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Findings - The Peacock Chair

Look out for a post every Friday showcasing a recent find, anything goes!

The Peacock Chair.
We hadn't really unpacked yet...
I am so in love with this chair, it has already become like a throne in the cottage, and funnily enough this was our very first chair purchase.  I actually spotted this on a local 'For-sale' Facebook group, a total steal at £15 and now I can be just like Morticia Addams!  The base is hollow and would be a great place to store a little stool, maybe I'll find one. 

I can't wait till the major renovations are over and we can really start decorating the space.

I also want to show you these four Mid-Century teak chairs that we got for free on Gumtree, I think the seller just wanted them gone at that point.  They were in need of a makeover so look for that post coming soon! 

- Nicole

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Fireplace Situation - The wood-burner is safe to use!

When we first moved into the cottage the Chimney Sweep (still a thing, who knew?) told us that the very cute little wood-burner wasn't safe to use, and rightly so, because someone used installed plywood to block the flue.  He recommended we use this little beauty in the other room, until he could come back to fix the problem. 
Isn't it pretty? 
This is in the study, after a few days we realized that this chimney was leaking smoke into other rooms of the house.  Our big drafty house, dead of winter, yayyy.
The new smoke stack and guard are fitted!
Mid January our Chimney Sweep returned to cut and fit a proper flue and stack for the wood-burner, and we promptly moved our lives into the living room.  It stays warmer than much of the cottage because it has a solid floor (no cellar drafts!) and that little wood-stove puts out a lot of heat!
Cheese and wine by the fire is life. 

 - Nicole