Living room built-in


Doors fitted! I’m using Blum hinges so I can tweak alignment and I can still trim a mm or so, but this isn’t too bad to start. All that is left is to pick up a few magnetic catches, pulls, cut and install the kick board, caulk and paint. I’ve made the shelves and have …

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Bathroom bench and Sarah’s rescue

I worked from home today while the installers from TrueStone installed the solid surface and they did an amazing job—perfect miters and a tight fit all around. The material is Silestone Lagoon. Now before we had this installed, our contractor built a frame based on the sketch I gave them and our two cats would …

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Pulls 3/8″ too long


In between finishing paint touch-ups in the girls’ rooms, I trimmed the drawer pulls for the bathroom they share. They were 3/8″ too long on each side so measured the drawer using a scrap piece of wood. placed a pull against the scrap and used my 4″ inch square to find the difference. I divided …

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Door casing

I spent four hours today trimming five doors with Dave. The first door we cut the miters one by one, dry fitting and sneaking up on each cut. We decided we do what Tom Silva suggested and we preassembled the door casing after dry fitting them. We cut mortises using my Festool Domino, a little …

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Well, the demolition is done. Pictures after the list. Allison and took up the rugs and sheathing in all the rooms. We demo’d the kitchen. We also took out the hardwood flooring in the basement bedroom. An abatement company removed tile from the kitchen and hallway, took out a transite pipe, and removed the chimney. …

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Design ideas


Allison and I wanted a fixer with good bones because we hate to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We also don’t like to pay for someone else’s taste—even if it’s good, it’s not ours and while they could have good taste, it’s not ours or maybe their good taste is not good for the house. …

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Battling burlap underlayment on a subfloor

So getting the subfloor ready has been more of a PITA than I originally thought. That said, I can see an end in sight and the battle is turning my way thanks to experimenting with a few methods. Taking the carpet and carpet pad were both easy-peasy. I used a small pry bar, detached the …

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Hello Orinda


Back in July before leaving for vacation, we stumbled across a diamond in the Orinda hills east of Berkeley and Oakland. We were second place among several offers, but we got it. Built in 1946, some might say it’s mid century modern or international style. Today I’m ripping up carpet: Four neighborhood deer stopped by …

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Back to school


  With the end of summer comes the start of another school year. Beatriz and Ava asked to have their photo taken on the stoop and here’s the shot. Ava’s pose cracks me up–I expect the agency sourcing for JCrew to be calling any minute now. Beatriz’s color and pattern choices are beyond Punky Brewster …

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