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Posts Tagged ‘meadow lake’

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper, Part II

April 19th, 2015 Sears Homes 2 comments

Today, we moved the furniture back into the dining room! This project is officially finished!

And boy am I glad to have an entire dining room’s worth of furniture OUT of the living room.

Below are the final photos.

To read about the whole project, click here.

Interested in learning more about Sears Homes? Click here.

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house

The hardwood floors came out beautifully and really made all the difference. It really adds warmth and a nice color. Mr. Hubby is trying to talk me into removing the wall-to-wall carpet from the living room and hallways, but I'm not keen on that.

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Sfter

I also re-upholstered the dining room chairs in white, to complement the white walls. The material is called "Pleather" which just cracks me up. Does that mean it comes from plcows?

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ffefffe

A fun comparison of the before and after shots.

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper

April 16th, 2015 Sears Homes 7 comments

Updated! See the latest photos in Part II!

When we first looked

When we first looked at our current home in Norfolk, we really liked the flocked wallpaper. It was very 1970s and we liked the 1970s, but as we started painting the other rooms, we realized the dining room was pretty "tired."The wallpaper had turned brown in some places. .

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Flock

One of the first things we did when moving in (four years ago) was to take down the sheers.

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chandelier

Last year, I was able to replace the chandelier, and that improved the room a lot.

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sconces

The matching sconces added some flair, too!

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house house

Best of all, this photo shows the detail on that 1970s wallpaper.

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pretty

When I started pulling down the old blue wallpaper, it went very quickly.

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came off in sheets

In fact, it came off in whole sheets. Easiest wallpaper removal I've ever done. And boy oh boy, was it dirty. I was surprised by how much fine dust was trapped in all that flocking.

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wallpaper glue

The walls in our 1962 ranch had never been painted (which was a surprise).

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house

But the bigger surprise was that the walls were covered in wallpaper glue. That had to be removed before we could start painting. And that turned into a horrible mess. I used a combination of hot water and vinegar, but that didn't do much to break down the glue. At one point, I was ready to drop my sponge into the bucket and give up on the whole project. Ultimately, I washed the walls, I scrubbed the walls, and I used a plastic putty knife to scrape all that mess off. Probably 30% of the time invested in this project went to cleaning that gooey mess off the walls.

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white

Once the wallpaper glue was gone, the project went much more quickly. And when the walls were primed, the room looked a whole lot better and brighter.

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I love this shot because it shows our two ladders in the two rooms.

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We painted from the ceiling down. I kept hoping we'd spill a gallon of paint on the tired blue carpet but no such luck. The cleaner the room looked, the worse the carpet looked.

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the next one

Wayne painting the area under the chair rail. One year - to the day - that this photo was taken, he put a bullet in his brain. I still have no idea why he did this. None.

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house house house

After sending this photo to a friend, I noticed how filthy the carpet was by the kitchen door (closed).

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dirty dirty

It was icky enough that I decided I could no longer stand it.

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house dirty

So I sliced it the 36-year-old carpet into bits and tore it up. And this is what I found under the carpet. The pad under the carpet had melded with the varnish in the floor, and left behind this awful mess.

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poor mr ringer

Wayne Ringer went to work, pulling out 3,482 staples in the floor, and then spent another couple hours scraping the black goo off our red oak hardwood floors. It was pretty nasty stuff.

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badly damaged

At the entrance to the kitchen, it looked really bad.

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house house

Two fellows from Kittrell Hardwood Floors (Portsmouth) showed up and once the big sander came in the house, things changed dramatically - in a hurry!

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house floor

Donnie from Kittrell Hardwood Floors told us that the average oak floor can be re-finished a dozen times.

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starting

After the first sanding, he patched a few holes.

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Done

The entrance by the kitchen door cleaned up beautifully with only a few black dots left behind (where several hundred staples once resided).

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comoparison

A fun comparison between the spot at the kitchen door (before and after).

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house house

We had Kittrell come back three days later and put down a second coat of polyurethane.

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house stunning

When my eldest daughter heard that we'd done away with the blue flocked wallpaper, she was almost upset. But once she saw this photo, she said, "Okay, I have to say that looks pretty good." :)

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And the sconces look mighty nice with the blue paint!

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house house oouse

Still have a few spots to touch up here and there, but it's mostly done!

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Looks pretty snappy!

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dining room

Now we just need to put the furniture back.

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house house house

All in all, a rousing success!

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Kittrell

And Kittrell Floor Service (in Portsmouth) did a fine job!

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Jupiter Two and The Twins: Together Again

June 19th, 2014 Sears Homes 5 comments

Last week, I wrote a blog about The World’s Most Beautiful Light Fixture, purchased from a quaint little antique store in Pheobus (Hampton).

When I purchased that chandelier, I noticed that the store also had two matching sconces. They were just stunning, and a perfect complement to the chandelier, and yet there was one major impediment: I didn’t currently have any sconces in my dining room.

As I held the World’s Most Beautiful Wall Sconces in my quivering hands, I thought about this hard truth:  If I purchased these two beauties, I’d have to hire an electrician to install wiring for sconces.

More money. More hassle. More aggravation. More work.

Drat.

I put the sconces down and walked away.

I didn’t get very far.

I returned to the sconces and stroked their cool, coppertone-colored cones. I sighed softly as I pondered their magnificent beauty, once installed and fully illuminated. I closed my eyes and pictured them sharing their light and warmth with the world.

I couldn’t stand it. Plus, I couldn’t bear the thought of separating them from The Mother Ship.

I asked the shop dealer if he’d be willing to make me a deal if I purchased all three items (chandelier plus two sconces). There was some haggling and we settled on a price - $230 for the lot of it.

Yesterday, the electrician came and the sconces were restored to life and light.

Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it!

:)

To read more about The World’s Most Beautiful Light Fixture, click here.

To read a blog about 1950s kitchens, click here.

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Lovingly nicknamed, Jupiter Two this is the chandelier I purchased last week when Cynthia and I visited a little shop in Pheobus.

Lovingly nicknamed, "Jupiter Two" this is the chandelier I purchased last week when Cynthia and I visited a little shop in Pheobus.

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It was Milton who observed that it looked a bit like Jupiter Two (the spaceship the Robinsons flew in Lost In Space.

It was Milton who observed that the new light fixture looked a bit like Jupiter Two (the spaceship the Robinsons flew in "Lost In Space").

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Voila!

Jupiter Two and the Twins! Together again, and connected with LOVE (and 120 volts)!

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They look right at home, dont they?

They look right at home, don't they?

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I learned

I learned that these are called "Bow Tie Sconces."

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And I love the fact that they cast light in two directions. Very practical.

And I love the fact that they cast light in two directions. Very practical.

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They even look good when theyre sleeping!

They even look good when they're sleeping!

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The electrician had a young helper named Tommy. When Tommy first saw the sconces, he said, Wow, theyre like antiques! And I said, Well, not really. Theyre from the late 1950s, and he said, Wow, they really are antiques!  I took umbrage at that. I almost found myself saying, Young man, that means that *I* am an antique!!

The electrician had a young helper named "Tommy." When Tommy first saw the sconces, he said, "Whoa, they're like antiques!" And in a flawed attempt to point out that they were not *that* old, I said, "Well, they're from the late 1950s," and he said, "Wow, they really *are* antiques!" I almost found myself saying, "Young man, that means that *I* am an antique!!"

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I also had this light fixture installed on the other wall (in the hallway) to light up this notoriously dark space.

I also had this wall sconce installed on the other side of the dining room wall (in the hallway) to light up this notoriously dark space. This $10 Lowes fixture is just saving a space for the other bowtie sconce - that I hope to find SOON!

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So pretty!!

So pretty!! Now, to find some 1950s wallpaper! :)

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To read more about The World’s Most Beautiful Light Fixture, click here.

To read another blog about 1950s and kitchens, click here.

I’m just so darn impressed…

August 31st, 2011 Sears Homes 1 comment

Days after we moved into our dream home here in Bromley’s section of Norfolk, our aged central air system burped a couple times, shuddered hard, squealed loudly and then fell over dead. It wasn’t pretty.

My husband didn’t take it well, exclaiming, “I thought you said this was going to be a low-maintenance house!”

“It will be,” I explained, “as soon as we get the air conditioner replaced!”

When I had the central air installed at my old house, I called Norfolk Air Heating and Cooling and got a bid from them. Their prices were the highest, so I went with another firm. The other firm did not perform up to my expectations. The system was exceptional but the workmanship was not, and after a couple more exchanges, I stopped calling them for service.

When we had a new tankless boiler installed at the old house, I called Norfolk Air Heating and Cooling and got a bid from them. Their prices were neither the highest nor the lowest, but I went with another firm. The building inspector had to return to our house four times, because of several mistakes with the installation. Finally, it passed muster, both with the inspector and me but I was not impressed.

This time, I called Norfolk Air Heating and Cooling.  The fact that they’d won the Virginia Pilot’sBest of Hampton Roads’ Awards” for several years really impressed me. I was ready to pay a few dollars more, as long as I didn’t have to babysit the installer and call his boss twice a day and demand that big ugly problems be corrected.

To my delight and surprise, their price was very reasonable. We replaced both the furnace and air conditioner, and also had a hoity-toity whole-house air-cleaner installed. The house already smells fresher and cleaner.

Perhaps best of all, the men who showed up to do this work were the consummate professionals and showed a respect and thoughtfulness that I thought was long gone from today’s service industries. If I were their own dear mother, they couldn’t have treated me with more care and sincerity and thoroughness. I really was that pleased with their work ethic and their work model and their attention to detail.

The old air conditioning unit was removed Thursday morning and the new unit was in place and working by Thursday evening. They also installed a second return to provide adequate air flow for the new unit, and added filter grates to the old return and the new return.

The other thing that dazzled me was this: NO duct board, but all sheet metal, fabricated on site to meet our specific needs. And the fellow who did their sheet metal work was an artisan.

I’m a tough customer, but their work was exemplary and remarkable, and they left the house spotless and tidy. I highly recommend Norfolk Air Heating and Cooling. And the nicest part of all is knowing that there are still companies that take a profound sense of pride in their workmanship.

Check out the many photos below.

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I stepped into the back yard to see how the guys were coming along, only to find the old unit removed and headed out to the front yard! I was pleased as punch to see four and five men working on this installation throughout the day, and they were all real workers!

Out with the old and in with the new.

Out with the old and in with the new. The old RUUD unit had a manufacture date of 1997 and a SEER of 10. Brandon explained to me that if it was not well maintained, the SEER could have actually dropped well below 10. Doesn't matter now, as this vintage compressor only cooled the house for about 10 days before it went to Compressor Heaven.

The coil they pulled out of the crawlspace was also in rough shape. It had been placed directly on the ground, and not surprisingly, had rusted out. It was quite a bit older than the compressor.

The coil they pulled out of the crawlspace was also in rough shape. It had been placed directly on the ground, and not surprisingly, had rusted out. It was quite a bit older than the compressor.

All piled up together, it really does look like a mess.

All piled up together, it really does look like a mess.

Inside the house, the old return was removed and the old duct was also replaced. The house was built in 1962 and had never had a filter, so the return duct was pretty dirty. Not surprising, after 49 years of sucking up household air.

Inside the house, the old return was removed (in the center hallway) and the old duct was pulled out and replaced. The house was built in 1962 and had never had a filter, so the return duct was pretty dirty. Not surprising, after 49 years of sucking up household air.

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As they were knocking the old metal ductwork loose in the attic (above), some of the dirt and dust was falling out of the old return. This photo was an attempt to catch it in "mid fall." The workers had placed a plastic tarp in the hallway to catch the falling dirt.

The only thing we knew about the old unit was that it was on its second blower motor and needed a third. The second blower had only lasted 23 months. Jaime from Norfolk Air saw that the return duct was too small, which might have causted the blower motor to fail prematurely. A return was added in the den, and the ductwork for both returns new and bigger (and better).

The only thing we knew about the old unit was that it was on its second blower motor and needed a third. The second blower had only lasted 23 months. Jaime from Norfolk Air saw that the return duct was too small, which might have caused the blower motor to fail prematurely. A return was added in the den, and the ductwork for both returns was replaced and enlarged.

In no time at all, the new unit was delivered. It was shiny and new and beautiful.

In no time at all, the new unit was delivered. It was shiny and new and beautiful.

This was the only time when Teddy the Dog pined for the old house and its fine central air. She stared at this painting for much of the day, unnerved by all the beating and banging.

This was the only time when Teddy the Dog pined for the old house and its fine central air. She stared at this painting for much of the day, unnerved by all the beating and banging, occasioned by the installation of the new central air.

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This was a glimpse inside the old return. This is a pretty deep layer of dust and dirt, and this went on for the full 30 length of ductwork.

The old furnace (manufacture date of 2001) was also kind of a mess.

The old furnace (manufacture date of 2001) was also kind of a mess. It was still functional, but old and inefficient (80 AFUE).

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The process of disassembly begins.

It was kind of a mess.

It was kind of a mess.

Teddy waits anxiously, hoping to hear that well have those fresh, cold, magical breezes flowing from those wonderful sheltie-height boxes soon.

Teddy waits anxiously, hoping to hear that we'll have those fresh, cold, magical breezes flowing from those wonderful sheltie-height boxes soon.

The new stuff waits patiently on the curb.

The new pieces and parts wait patiently on the curb.

The old is gone and the new is in place. And what a dandy new furnace it is. The AFUE is 95% and the chimney flue is no longer in use. In its place are plastic pipes; one for exhaust and one for fresh-air (for combustion).

The old is gone and the new is in place. And what a dandy new furnace it is. The AFUE is 95% and the chimney flue is no longer in use. In its place are plastic pipes; one for exhaust and one for fresh-air (for combustion).

And the new air conditioner compressor.

And the new air conditioner compressor.

And voila! Cool, conditioned, cleaned air flows from the magic boxes at Sheltie height.

And voila! Cool, conditioned, cleaned air flows from the magical, wonderful Sheltie-height boxes.

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That "Best of the Best" sticker is mighty good advertising!

As mentioned above, the quality of the work was first rate, and even though it was a surprise to have the old system die such a sudden death, the new system is shiny and new and clean. And I highly recommend Norfolk Air. They remained at our home Thursday night until 8:30 pm, to make sure we had a working air conditioner. Once the unit was fired up and working satisfactorily, they packed up and left for the night.

To contact Norfolk Air, call 963-8365.

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