2032 Bank Street

2032 Bank Street

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fine Dining

We went a long while without a formal dining room table. It didn't seem a huge priority since we had ample room in the kitchen (or in the living room, in front of the TV).

In our minds, an ideal table needed to start with a solid, thick piece of quality wood- new or reclaimed.  Then, to give the table a modern feel, simple, modern legs.

Crate and Barrel and West Elm each had some of what we were looking for in a table but all the tables were missing one thing, or another. Orhad too much of one thing, or another.

Another problem we continually ran into was the size of tables.
We don't have a large dining area so we didn't want to overwhelm the space with furniture, especially since we had gotten so used to that space being so empty.

So, in typical Sam fashion, Sam took this on as a woodworking project of his own.
 He purchased pine for the table top from home depot. The pine has a really clean look, but it still has a lot of character. The final table top is 2 inches thick, which gives it the rustic feel we were looking for.

The final dimensions of the table were 3' x 5', which fit the space perfectly. The legs were recycled from a table that I owned previously in my grad school apartment (an old thrift store find).

To save space and money, Sam also built a matching bench. I love how a farm bench can also give that rustic feel but be so modern in design.

For the chairs, we chose Eames Molded Plastic Chair with Dowel Leg Base, in Java. We were able to see most of the options available at Design Within Reach, in Bethesda, and chose these after a few months of deliberating.

Our dining room...

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yearly Update

It's been a loooong time since we've posted and it happens to be a cold, rainy day in Baltimore. I figure it is a great time to get caught up. It's encouraging to see that we are still getting visitors to the page even though we have been slacking on it and, as always, thank you for the positive feedback and comments!
Where to start...
The front perhaps?

It seems appropriate since I have realized, after a year of not logging in, that it's time to change the picture featured on the site.  A few small projects have really changed the look of the front entrance:

One of Mine...
The Front Step.

Hard to see, but the front of the step was painted brown. What I later discovered was that there were several hard-to-get-off layers of paint underneath this peeling brown shell. Those layers were actually covering several layers of even harder-to-get off paint and paint-ish type things.

Not wanting to use any harsh chemical or stripping material, I opted to use the non-toxic and organic paint stripper, a wire brush, putty knife and razor blade.  I have used conventional paint strippers before (the ones with the skull and bones on the container) and they work very well. Comparatively, the natural substitute worked little, if at all. I ended up spending every weekend outside, for weeks, scraping and scrubbing. The neighbors were all very encouraging even though it seemed that most of them thought this was a very small detail to be (literally) sweating over.

 Once most of the paint was off, I used abrasive cleaners such as ajax and bartenders friend with a wire brush to clean off the stone.

To finish, I layered on a stone-enhancing product that I purchased at Home Depot. It was a liquid that was sponged on and absorbed by the stone. It gave it a nice polished look and brought out some of the natural colors.

And, a project of Sam's...
The front door.

We have had at least one Crestview Doors post in the past and discussed the doorlite kit we had custom made by them. You have also seen plenty of pictures of the kit installed, from the inside and out.
However, Sam did get around to painting the door. The original steel door was a yellowish-white and had some evidence of the wear and tear it endured during house construction and even a little vandalism.

And so I will now update our photo to this one...

Note: Also new to the front is the one-way sign that the city installed. ew. Pin It

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rooftop Deck

In the Fall, we had a posting about the building of our deck. Here is an update... a look at the completed deck and miscellaneous outdoor projects.

Sam stained the railings with Olympic Maximum Tinted Waterproof Sealant in shade: Canyon Brown, from Lowes.
Rumor is: the darker the stain, the more sun resistant it is. That's not our only reason for picking a darker stain but it should help, since the sun in Baltimore is brutal. Bleached, brittle, grey rooftop decks are a common site around the city- a sure sign that we will have to re-apply periodically or the sun will get the best of us, regardless!

Just like the clock in our previous post, these vintage dinette chairs belonged to my Great Uncle Matt. 

A little old, a little rusty.. but a lot of potential. I disassembled each chair, sanded and spray-painted the pieces.  The seat was simple to upholster but since it was going to be outdoors, I used a water-proof fabric and placed a thin sheet of vinyl over that. 

This next chair, we purchased at Ikea some years ago and was looking very weathered. I discovered rub-on stain (it was on sale at JoAnn's) which was very easy and not messy at all. 
an instant improvement...

a view of Baltimore's skyline and a few more neighborhood roof decks

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spring Projects

Ever since the weather began to warm up, we have been doing projects every weekend. It is time for the blog to start catching up with us...


This clock belonged to my great Uncle Matt, who has been very missed since he passed away last July. There were several items that we have from him and his house that we are excited about refinishing and using in our home. This clock is the smallest of the items and the first one Sam tackled.

There is no "before" picture, unfortunately, but this is one I found online that was similar:
Sam replaced the original clock face with a slightly larger, battery operated clock (purchased at Ikea). Then, painted it white.


We spent a long time without a mirror in the second floor shared bathroom. Most mirrors that I liked the size and simplicity of were in the $300-$500 range. In early spring, we were walking in Fells when I saw a refurbished, vintage mirror at Stony Run Home that was $150. I thought that was the one... Sam thought that he could do better.
He came home an starting building this monstrosity of a mirror:
It measures approximately 3' x 4', is made of solid wood and painted dark brown. It is similar to the mirror that we did see but nothing beats a custom job! Plus, the total cost came in well under $100. 
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Happiest Holidays!

We were very excited this year to have a real house and be able to get our first real-sized Christmas tree! We did imagine driving to the county and, amidst Christmas carolers, cinnamon donuts and the smell of hot apple cider, cutting down our own tree with our neighbors. Well, we all lead busy lives and... we bought ours already cut and wrapped at the Home Depot. It turned out to be a great tree nonetheless...

In addition to the tree, we picked up a few strings of white lights.

We didn't have many ornaments to start with, so we made a trip to Crate and Barrel and hit the Christmas jackpot. We bought cranberry garland, a star tree-topper, and a bunch of ornaments. Here are a few of my favorite ornaments...

Also, to help add to our humble collection, Sam and I agreed to make each other a Christmas ornament as part of our gift exchange. 

This is the one I made Sam... for obvious reasons :) 

Sam made me a Ginger Cat Elf. so cute. 

This little angel was a gift from our friends (and Bank Street neighbors!) Chris and Jess...

As for the rest of the house, we didn't purchase any new decorations. We still really like our old thrift store finds from years' past. 
Most of you will remember Santa and the reindeer... considering we had them on display 365 days a year at our old rental :) 

Cards on Display...

Pine Cones, Ceramic Trees and, the very necessary, homemade Cookie Assortment

Our outdoor decorations were pretty simple too. We found these snowflake lights and the red paper star at Ikea. The fresh Wreath was purchased at the same time as our tree and lights, at the Home Depot.
Sam and I really enjoyed having the house decorated.  So much so that we haven't taken one thing down or put anything away yet. There is something so warm and homey about Christmas... even when the tree has lost the majority of its pine needles and has seen way better days. I know that clean-up day will have to come soon but we can at least say that we really enjoyed, and had a very memorable, first Christmas in our home! 

Sam and I even hosted a quick, last-minute holiday party with a few of our friends before the majority of us traveled to see our families...

We hope that everyone had an enjoyable Holiday season! It was a great first one at the Gibbons House!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Productive Weekend

This weekend was a very productive one in the Gibbons house. It is amazing how much housework can be accomplished when (1) We stay in town for an entire weekend and, (2) Ohio State doesn't play a football game on Saturday.

Here's a picture of our two biggest improvements: 

We painted the living room Behr Classic Silver and, more importantly, we finally replaced our cardboard window treatments with real blinds. 

We also found the time Saturday to enter a photo competition...

If you recall, we purchased all of our bamboo flooring from Ambient Flooring. In mid-November, Ambient announced a photo competition asking contestants to take pictures anywhere there is ambient flooring in their homes. Sam and I snapped a few shots on Saturday afternoon, sent them in and won third place! I'm not sure yet if they plan on using the photos for their website, or not.  If so, there is a possibility they will send a professional photographer to take a few more (better) pictures. That would be very exciting but, if not, we still have a promise from Harper to come and take some great pictures for us one day :)

Here are a few of the photos that we submitted:

Finally, we did some Holiday decorating this weekend too.  But, I haven't blogged for weeks so I need to save something else for a rainy, or possibly a snowy, day.

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