Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Mums the word"

The mums we planted at the end of September are still going strong. This weekend possible snow is forecasted (!!!) so I wanted to capture the color & sun rays now before they are soon gone and replaced by white. I like living in Ohio and experiencing all four seasons, but I will be sad to see my mums go!


Andrew and I have developed a soft-spot for antique stores. It's so enjoyable to stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall shop and sift through the salvage, looking for treasures. We try to keep our eyes peeled for antique spots while traveling. Luckily, there are also some real gems right in our hometown. Marshall's Antique Warehouse is one of our favorites. We went this weekend and scored a pair of corbels & a substantial chunk of walnut molding.

We also checked out a storage locker full of doors, but need to do some measuring at home before purchasing any of those.

My vision for the corbels is to hang one in each of the wide entrances on either side of the foyer that lead to the dining room & office. The molding needs to be tweaked slightly... nothing tool-man Andrew can't handle. A few cuts and then the finished product can hang above our bed as a faux mantle of sorts. We're very excited about these new {old?!} additions to our home and look forward to adding to our collection.

Here are some of the other antiques/salvage pieces we've picked up over the years:

The bedside table in our guest room
Midcentury typist desk in the corner of our office that Andrew uses for fly tying
Old window I haven't decided where to hang - it's heavy!
Vintage travel trunk suitcase (in the foyer under an old library table)
Fly fishing creel - office decor
Wooden locker in our master bedroom

PS: The owner of Marshall's told us that the corbels and molding were salvaged from the Aultman-Harter mansion. Located in downtown Canton, this Victorian estate was home to Cornelius and Katherine Aultman, founders of the hospital where I work.

See what I mean? Treasures!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pondering Pergo...

For the past year, we have been tossing around the idea of laying new flooring on the first story of our house. We love watching shows on HGTV and the DIY Network where old homes are restored - wooden floors, bead board, crown molding, oh my! Seeing those transformations has really inspired us. Our house is 20 years old and as such there are certain things in it that don't really appeal to us, like carpet in our dining room. Blah! It will never make sense to me!

Adding older touches to a newer home really increases the cozy, homey factor. We're definite fans of the warmth & charm of wooden flooring. Although we don't have any pets or children, we are leaning toward laminate for it's durability and low maintenance. We want to put it in every room on the main level but leave the family room carpeted. So the rooms that will get the laminate include: laundry room, kitchen, half bath, dining room, foyer and office.

We've been eying Pergo Max Montgomery Apple for a while. We look at it every time we're at Lowe's! The last time we were there, Andrew had the brilliant idea to buy a box so we could take it home and lay a few boards in each room to see if we liked the look. Montgomery Apple is light tan with swirls of dark brown, and more like authentic hardwood than other available options. The underlayment is attached, also. Andrew has previous experience with laying laminate flooring and wanted to try the attached version this time around. It seems like a nice feature.

Here's a swatch:

After testing it out in every room, the verdict is...we like it! It's not too dark, not too light, and compliments our current trim and darker furniture. Eventually I'm going to be painting the kitchen cabinets/trim white and it will look really nice against that, too. Buying a test box was a really good move because it allowed us to truly envision how the flooring would look in our house. Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture when you're just standing in the aisle at the hardware store.

Now comes the harder part - purchasing all of the boxes followed by room-by-room installation. I told Andrew that it will probably test the marriage... HA! We decided it will be our big winter project.

What do you think? We would love to know if any of you have experience with laminate. Give me your feedback! We want the good, the bad, and the ugly so we know what to do and what to avoid.  

Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy Homemade Caramel

Today is Andrew's birthday! Later on we are having some family over for pumpkin pie & apple cider floats to celebrate. Fall is his favorite season, so I'm glad he has an October birthday {mine is in March, and typically really gross, cold, wet, weather around here!} Today I am thankful that it is crisp and sunny, and I'm thankful for my husband.

For our get-together later on, Andrew's mom is bringing the pie and I'm in charge of the floats. I got vanilla ice cream, ginger ale, apple cider, and whipped cream for them. Should be tasty! Here is the recipe I used to make caramel {which I plan to drizzle on top of the whipped cream}

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter

I put everything into a saucepan over medium heat until it all melted. Then I brought it to a boil and set the timer for 10 minutes. You're supposed to let it sit for the full 10 minutes without stirring, but with 4 minutes to go I put my rubber spatula in because I was nervous that it would burn on the bottom. Luckily it wasn't burnt! I reduced the heat a little while it cooked, but kept things hot enough to maintain the bubbling. When the timer went off I slowly stirred it with the spatula, then let it cool before transferring it to a jar. Hopefully it will be tasty on the floats. {And good for apple dipping, too!}

Have a good Sunday, DIYers!