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Filtering by Tag: exterior


Emily Oster

Hey everyone! There is so much to catch up on! I am so behind on sharing the nursery and renovation projects that I promised and now we have another big project on the immediate horizon. I hesitate to even call this a project as I think repairing is a better term. A little over a week and a half ago, we got hit with a straight line wind storm which caused our neighbors giant old oak to fall on our house. I had just come downstairs with Jane - after another one of her seemingly preferred 30 minute naps - and was sitting on the couch playing with her. I had been in the dark nursery getting her to sleep for the previous hour or so and was unaware that it was even storming. Looking out the window, I remember noticing how crazy windy - like scary windy - it had gotten and before conscious thought could really enter my mind I heard a loud crash and I grabbed Jane and ran to the basement. Sitting on our basement steps, I could see out the dining room window that it looked like a tree had fallen on the west side of our house. I had no idea if it was a tornado or just a bad storm.

Shortly after the worst of it had passed, our neighbor called to check on us and informed me of what had happened.  Jeff made it home as fast as he could and I think was pretty shocked as he pulled up.  I had come up from the basement but did not want to leave Jane to survey the damage and with the power being out I quickly made plans for us to stay with friends. Jane and I departed and basically didn't return until three days later once power was back on and we knew it was safe to re-occupy the house.

I have to say it was one of the more terrifying experiences of my life and we all just feel so lucky that neither Jane nor I were hurt. As a new mom, I definitely felt a whole new sense to protect and to value what is most important. Jeff and I want to thank all the friends, family, contractors and neighbors who rallied around us to help out. We are both so grateful for all the support we received and just feel so blessed that the damage wasn't worse and that we are all safe. 

Below are pictures from the storm. We are currently gathering a bid to hand over to the insurance adjuster. We have never had a claim before and are really hoping we don't have an uphill battle ahead of us to get the funds needed. The majority of the damage is to the roof and attic space. There is a large wall crack in our master bedroom and then windows blown out in the office as well as the dining room and entrance. Other than that, we were very lucky that there was not more interior damage. On the exterior, there is the roof and supporting structure, gutters, stucco, trim and chimney to all be replaced/repaired. There are also numerous other smaller things like holes in our driveway that were created by the force of the tree falling. We have a good contractor lined up and the adjuster comes on Friday so we are hopeful that we can start work soon. In the meantime, we have cleared out of the office and our master bedroom and are staying in our guest bedroom. Now I am mostly worried about how to get our reluctant sleeper to nap with construction going on...

Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts.

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simple outdoor kitchens

Emily Oster

While outdoor cooking might be on its way out in other places, here in St. Louis the fall is the perfect time for grilling and outdoor dining. Its no longer a hundred million degrees out, the bugs won't eat you alive and you can even enjoy a lovely post dinner fire. Jeff does a lot of grilling and we enjoy eating outside whenever possible so I would love to one day have a designated outdoor kitchen. I tend toward the more simple ones as they seem more doable and not so extravagant. Below are a few favorites. Have a great weekend and happy grilling!

From top left -  IKEA  kitchen via  REMODELISTA  - source unknown - DIY kitchen via  Instructables  - design by  Third Nature Studio  via  Apartment Therapy  - source unknown - Newport Beach home via  Julia Ryan  - source unknown

From top left - IKEA kitchen via REMODELISTA - source unknown - DIY kitchen via Instructables - design by Third Nature Studio via Apartment Therapy - source unknown - Newport Beach home via Julia Ryan - source unknown

exterior paint color

Emily Oster

It is a very gray wintry day here in Saint Louis. We got a good snow accumulation Saturday and then it rained last night so things are looking quite brown. It reminds me of Michigan in late March - brown, dirty piles of snow and, of course, overcast. The winters in Saint Louis are significantly clearer than I experienced growing up in Michigan but we still get a large number of gray days. And it is on these days that I really notice some one off house colors. That gray that is really purple or the tan that definitely is light pink or our house's beige color that tints green to look like baby poop.....which is to say I have started thinking about repainting our exterior.

As usual, I am not sure when this particular home project will happen but mostly likely it will be during the warmer months. This means, however, that I won't have the opportunity to test colors in the flat, tricky light of winter. As such, I plan to keep an eye on house colors in the neighborhood that I like, research what palettes look the best all year round and then finally photograph our house in multiple lights - times of day and seasons - so that when we are selecting colors I can remember not to select anything that might even come close to looking like it came out of Booker.....

In the meantime, I have gotten the search going by just looking broadly at different exterior color palettes and checking out REMODELISTA and GARDENISTA for related posts. The first two colors I instantly gravitate towards are white and black. A white house is just classic and a black house is unexpected yet timeless as well. 

Or a white and black combo.

The problem with white is that our house exterior is stucco and I am worried about the maintenance as well as how much it will emphasis the rough texture. The challenge with black is that I would have a really hard time convincing Jeff to go for it and it might be even a little daring for me. 

I also like the idea of a really dark green. 

It would have to be just the right shade - not too blue and not too light. It is really hard to find examples of well done dark green exteriors so that makes me a little nervous as well. 

Then, of course, there is the overwhelming idea of doing gray or tan. The two are probably the most popular selections but there are just so many shades of each that I get dizzy just thinking about it.

Clearly this is going to take a while....

from top: source unknown - source unknown - original architectural design by Gerard Colcord and renovated by Tom Boland via Milieu Mag - source unknown - design by Bill Ingram Architects