Weekend in the Cities

My husband and I were very blessed to escape to the Twin Cities for 3 days this weekend. Our days were filled with delicious food and drink, urban hikes, salvage shopping and long walks along historic avenues. It was so, so lovely.





Bauer Brother’s Salvage in North Minneapolis is the most incredible place. This is just one of 3 aisles of radiators.


A sink from the Minneapolis Star Tribune offices. Price: $1000. (Swoon)


At Bauer Brothers, there is an entire story of windows.


The overmantle from the Melon Mansion in Pennsylvania (as in Carnegie-Melon). Price: $37,000. Too bad there was no room in the van!


I believe these windows are from the Guilded Salavage, also in North Minneapolis


Scallop Tacos at the Sea Salt Eatery


This little locker came home with us! It is the perfect little thing for my daughter who has the maid’s room/nursery (no closet). It was also rented out as a prop for the Woody Haralson movie “Wilson” that is currently shooting in Minneapolis!



Is this shower not A-MAZING?? At architectural Antiques, North Minneapolis


Just in case you need a staircase… here’s one for 20K! (At Architectural Antiques)


Wall of hinges and other assorted door hardware



Summit Avenue Historic District



Of all the grand houses we saw, this one was my favorite. I can’t explain why, but I think it has to do with the fact that it is feminine, yet plain and also homey and welcoming.


Where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his first novel. Summit Avenue, St Paul


Lance is drooling over this iron fencing that just came in to Archectural Antiques. It is just what he’d like to use in our front yard. At $25/foot x 150 ft… well, it was easy to walk away


This cupboard is actually on hold for us till Tuesday! We weren’t looking for kitchen stuff, but of course we found this pine cupboard, which would be perfect in our kitchen. Seriously perfect. We are sleeping on it.


Beautiful lighting galore at the Guilded Salvage!


This amazing bar cabinet was found in one of the out buildings at Bauer Brothers.


We had such a great time. It was the perfect getaway. We went home ready to face our kids and our house projects. And already planning our next trip back.


Bathroom Rennovation… The Finished Product

We started the New Year with a little bathroom rennovation project.  It’s actually been finished for a couple months… except for an odd sized outlet cover, that just got cut and painted yesterday.  The devil is in the details, you know.

Here’s another look before:


Here’s my dream bathroom Pinterest inspiration:


And here is our very own AFTER…


Now, for the tour.

To your left, you will find one of our sinks.  It was a freebie from a plumber friend.  We had to spend about $110 on antique hardware, paint, plumbing parts and a craigslist cabinet

Here are some before shots:

sink cabinet

My pinterest inspiration


The sink after sitting in the garage all winter


The cabinet I finally found for the right price ($60) and dimensions (48″ wide and 19″ deep)


Finished (including the original fixture)


The shower is next. Lance did all of the tile work himself. The shower base (48″ square) was a splurge, but was tile-ready, looks great and will wear well. The shower rod is a piece of pipe painted black that also serves to stabilized the wall we put up.


Shower close-up. We went with a simple, classic looking, affordable fixture. Who knew how outrageously expensive they can be??

Next on the tour is my faviorite thing… the tub closet.  This was the biggest challenge for us- what to do with the original clawfoot tub.  My 6’3″ husband did not want to live with a free-standing tub surrounded by a shower curtain, and I did not blame him.  But… BUT… what kind of person would I be if I got rid of the original clawfoot tub???  I just couldn’t do it.  After much huffing, pacing, gnashing of teeth, etc, it dawned on us (Lance):  put the tub in the closet.  It actually fit and the plumbing from toilet and sink was so nearby that tieing in plumbing for the tub was no big deal!


This is the view if you are standing in the shower


The floors were painted grey (and had been possibly orignially so). We refinished them and I love the little touch of warmth it adds. The vintage stool was a $3 swap find and the antique soap holder was another $3 from the antique store down the street.


Also from the antique store at the end of my street… antique lighting. I found two of them, I think for $10- $15 each. Love the little buggers.


The little bookshelf my grandpa made in 8th grade shop class (late 30s or early 40s) fits nicely in the tub closet and holds odds and ends.

Up next is our second sink (having two is convienient when 3 females and 2 males share 1 bathroom).  We found it on Craigslist for about $50, I think.  Fixtures included.


This shot was taken a long time ago, but is the only one that shows the sink in relation to the medicine cabinet. I found two of these Restoration Hardware cabinets on Craiglist (new, in box) and paid $70 each.


Isn’t she beautiful? Why would some one ever, ever, ever buy a new sink for hundreds of dollars, when such perfection is available for so little?


The other light from the antique store. Not sure if it is exactly right for the spot, but I don’t really care.


Last stop on the bathroom tour isn’t the most beautiful spot, but it is a very important one. We moved the laundry room upstairs. This will allow us to convert the old main-level laundry room to a proper powder room this winter. I cannot wait for this project! The washer /dryer is a no-frills Craigslist find and just what I wanted. The cabinet is a $17 thrift store purchase and the medicine cabinet above came out of my grandparent’s basement. My grandpa (same one who built the bookshelf) always showered down there and shaved in this mirror.


Other bathroom notes:

-Another splurge was updating the lighting. I will not put can lights in any other room of this house, but in the bathroom, it really made such a nice difference.

-Paint color is “Cabbage” by Valspar.  I love it.

-Trim and celing color is “Decorator White” by Benjamin Moore

-Tile is from Lowes online.  I think it was around $3/ sq foot

-Towel hooks and rods are from IKEA

– We did all of the work ourselves (except for electrical)

Final Thoughts:  This was quite a project.  Our first complete bathroom renovation, I’d say, was a complete success.  The space is 100% usuable and not wasted, like before.  It is bright and cheery.  I think I pulled off a vintage look that hopefully will be timeless, helping us to avoid another remodel.  New materials: wall tile, floor tile, shower, lighting, towel hooks and rods.  Old materials: sinks, tub, sink cabinets, storage cabinets, medicine cabinets, lighting, accessories and decor.

Thanks for follwing my bathroom saga.. for us, it was worth the wait.

Important things

Important things happened here last week.

Last week marked the end of the green siding.


Dad and I tackled the North Nook and got it 100% painted- trim and all. The lower level of the house is done! Yes!!!!! Now *all* that is left is trimming the upper level. Which, when you are priming and trimming a Victorian roofline + turret roof 4 different colors, ’tis no small thing.


Another great accomplishment is that we now have steps!20150802-205519.jpg

Lance + Cement Mixer + 2 Dads= Steps! The previous steps were original and were crumbling even before the lift ran over them to access our roof for shingling.

Another important thing that happened this weekend did not happen on our property. It happened in our neighborhood. We painted our city’s first street murals, along with our neighbors and others from the community.

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Sometimes, my kids (and myself if I’m honest) ask “why did we move here?” I felt that as I jogged past our old house in a quiet, suburban-feeling neighborhood on Friday night. Why did we leave this place for the one we are living in now?


The next morning, when I joined other like-minded families and individuals to create something beautiful in the middle of an intersection in a run-down part of our neighborhood, I remembered why. Because we live here, we were able to create something vibrant, bold and beautiful in a place that was lacking. Neighbors came together purposefully in order to accomplish a goal and in order to get to know the people who we share our streets with. And THAT is why we live here.

Finally, the other important things that were done this weekend weren’t “accomplished.” They were just experienced and enjoyed.

On Saturday night, Lance got to play cards with his buddies in the screened in porch we cleaned out and repaired:


And on Sunday, after street murals and church, we enjoyed family time- the library and a puppet show performance, the toy store, shopping and dinner out. No work- just fun and time together. That’s important too.