The Buehler Buzz

{watch dumb and dumber do up their dwelling}

Month: January, 2011


The updated pictures of the living and dining rooms!  (What, you know I’m slow.  So remember when I lost the battery charger for the camera?  Well, I found that a while ago… but couldn’t find the thingy that connects the camera to the computer.  It’s true.  You know what else is true?  I’ve worked in IT for 7 years and I still call it a thingy.)

Ok, since we’ve been seriously picture deficient around here and I’ve already told you all about the serious fun that ensued while making these changes, we’ll just jump right in, er, show you the pictures!

Walking in from our front door, you hit a foyer and see an opening view of the living room in front of you.
(Damn, I’m totally reminded of what an awesome painter I am when I look at these pictures.  See that peach wall that’s now a really pretty gray? And the new non-peach baseboards?  And the wooden lip that surrounds the wooden ceiling that’s been painted out white?  And the brightened up white ceiling?  Yeah, I did that all by myself.  Who’s awesome?  ME!  And who’s lying?  ME!  I like to just watch people work, remember?)

Next we move into the actual living room.  The living room is sunken, and the stone is Lannon and original to the house.  (You know where spiders love to make webs?  On Lannon stone walls, that’s where.  Fun fact.)


The only “physical” changes to this room that we’ve made is that wooden lip near the ceiling that we painted out white and the metal screen surrounding the fireplace that we removed.  Everything else is still as it was when we bought the house… and most of it actually came with the house.  Couches?  Check.  Coffee table?  Check.  Console table behind the couch?  Check.  Floating shelves that look as though they may fall on your head at any moment leaving you with either a skull fracture or some sweet new and kooky thoughts?  Check.

Here are some more detail shots, because who DOESN’T love looking at a house decorated for Christmas a mere hours before February begins?

A more straight-on shot of the stone wall:
The view standing with your back to the fireplace:
Second fun fact of the day:  Check out those lamps – yeah, they came with the house, too, but started off a really scarily stained yellow color.  We tried painting them white and then black, and both were complete failures.  Aaron has sat through so many HGTV shows with me that he’s started to just shoot out crafty ideas.  He suggested we wrap the lamp shades with ribbon and then hot glue some trim around the edges, taking the cost of “replacing” the shades from about $175 (those suckers are HUGE) to $20.  We’ve since dubbed him “The Crafty One”… or just Gaywad, depending on our mood.
Onto the living room!

Big changes have taken place in here.  Standing with your back to the opening of the kitchen.


Sheesh, I know it’s dark, but I have no photography skills that extend beyond “look through screen and hit button” and it’s impossible for someone with my limited skills to shoot at white snow and not end up with a dark room, OK?

It gets better starting now.  This view is if you’re standing close to those redone lamps on our stereo cabinet and looking towards the dining room.


Now you can see some changes, yes?  We painted out all the paneling to the same gray we used in the entry way and hallway by the living room, and the wooden lip that continues into the dining room was painted out white.  There were two slatted doors that closed the kitchen off from the dining room, and although they added character, they closed the space in too much.  So off they came!  The dining room table and chairs came with the house, but we changed out the seats on all six of the chairs.  (And by “we”, I mean “Gaywad”.)

Just to tie it together, here’s a shot standing at the intersection of the windows in the dining room.  You can see into the kitchen and the end of the stereo cabinet with the updated lampshades:

And there you have it!  There have already been changes, however, namely… well, come on, it’s February.  You still think I have Christmas stuff up?  Haha… um… the nutcrackers may still be living on the floating shelves and staring at me menacingly as I type this… just saying…


Do you know what’s not awesome?

Waking up on a Thursday morning and remembering that huge glass of red wine you spilled down the Lannon stone wall and onto the white carpet that you decided in your geniousness of inebriation didn’t need to be cleaned up because it was behind the couch and wouldn’t be visible anyways.

I blame the pre-dinner martini.

A few updates…

So, the boiler. The spontaneous flaming issue has been corrected. And of course, I have a good story to go with that fix. Well, mildly entertaining at least.

As you know, we’ve been working on fixing up the basement. Because we’ve taken to moving at a glacial pace recently, it wasn’t until Thanksgiving weekend that we FINALLY got around to clearing out and painting the pool table room. (Oh yeah, get jealous. We have a sweet pool table rescued from what we think was a foreclosed mob house out here in the burbs.) Living in the Chicagoland area, it was obviously freezing and snowing that whole weekend. We obviously needed heat in the basement. And, well, there wasn’t any. And I don’t mean it was shooting out intermittently or leaking out semi-cool. I mean there was a thermostat and exactly zero heat registers anywhere in the basement that would indicate indoor heating. I can tell you that the pool table room was exactly 51 degrees that weekend we were down there painting, and shortly thereafter plummeted to 43 degrees and stayed there. It was around this time that we also noticed the aforementioned erupting flames, so we called the boiler people.

Something needed to be cleaned on the flame-thrower end of the boiler, and some turny things needed to be replaced on the valves. (See, I pay very special attention to these types of details.) Those issues were taken care of, and then Aaron was down there turning the valves and getting reacquainted with the heating monster. (I’m serious about it being a monster – our boiler is original to the house, which was built in 1947. This thing is HUGE.) We were feeling groovy, and fairly secure that the house wasn’t going to catch fire… at least not in the basement.

Fast forward a couple of days, and the ceiling in the pool table room begins to leak. After spending a few minutes in the room, something feels off. Strange. Not right. We couldn’t quite put our finger on it until we realized that we were down there wearing only tee-shirts and we weren’t freezing to death. Guess what? We have a heated CEILING in our pool table room. Apparently we’d just never turned the correct valve on the boiler to turn it on! (I have mentioned that we’re slightly mentally disabled, right?)

We had the leak fixed, and we now have a basement that’s been residing at a comfortable 67 degrees for the past month. We’ve been getting a ton of use out of the pool table, and it’s reinvigorated us to continue working on the basement… which means lots of talking about fixing it up and drinking martinis down there.

(But want to hear the best part? The week before we figured out we had heating, we had a big holiday party and forced our friends to hang out in the basement because we were so excited about the pool table. They were literally huddled around the two space heaters that we had on, and about half of our guests actually opted to leave on their winter coats while down there. We were throwing booze and food down their throats for a couple of hours before we gave in to the increasingly loud pleading and let them all come upstairs and thaw out. Yeah, we’re kind and considerate hosts, as long as you do things OUR WAY.)

I also owe you pictures of the finished living and dining rooms – coming soon. Seriously. I have the pictures taken, but then I lost the battery charger for the camera and the camera died so I couldn’t get them off the camera. I found the charger the other day, so downloading and uploading to commence shortly. The pictures are great… if you don’t mind Christmas-themes halfway through January. Which I know you won’t, Mom, my only reader!

There’s been a slew of other fun things happening around here, so get ready to be enthralled with the specifics of changing out a kitchen faucet (a 2 day gig), how to fix a wobbly toilet seat (involves liquid nails and 2×4’s), what exactly a sewer stack is and what to do when it’s creating a lake in your basement, and of course pictures of the pool table room.

Later taters,