The Buehler Buzz

{watch dumb and dumber do up their dwelling}

Month: March, 2012

Fun quirks at Biltmore

I’m thinking I might make this a regular feature, seeing as we come across these “What were they thinking?!” discoveries on a near-weekly basis.  And who doesn’t love reading about the kookiness, right?

First up (or I should say second, because we all remember the best quirk to date, right?  The toilet, of course!) is what we found under the carpet in the purple room.

When we first moved in and setup the room, we found a cord buried under the carpet and slightly snaked up the wall to the plug.  See?
guest room, purple room

I’ve been dying of curiosity to find out what in the heck was being plugged in since our final walk-through of the house.  It didn’t hook up to any light switches, and we couldn’t find a discernible end anywhere.  My best guess was that it hooked up something in the black and white room, next door, if only because it was on that shared wall in between the rooms.

So I’m frantically ripping out carpet a few weeks ago with my crazy face on and my helper getting in my way, and what do I discover?

{follow the yellowish/white plug…}


{through this big mess of taped wire on the hardwood floor...}

{through this big mess of taped wire on the hardwood floor…}


{to this… seriously?!}

It was an old-fashioned extension cord.  With the end hidden under the carpet.  Next to a wall.  Right underneath an outlet.  What?!


It’s another house anniversary!

TWO years in, and the house is still standing!  And we’re still married!  And we still love our house AND each other!

Once again, these are serious accomplishments.  Because this year we added even more pressure by switching up jobs a few times, having our leader sick for 6 months (in case you were wondering, yes, I’m the leader.  I mean come on – I’m loud and bossy and tell everybody what to do.  Of course I’m the leader), and gaining a family member.  (Hi Lex!  Sit!  High five!  Now, go put away your toys!  GOOD BOY, you fancy poodle!!)

I think this past year will be forever thought of as “the year of the spray paint” or “the year of the subfloors” or “the year of the micepocolypse”… of which we shall never refer again, come to think of it, so it shall never be known as that.  Ever.  Thank you.

Continuing what I’m making an annual tradition this very minute, our list of accomplishments this past year!

  1. Started painting all of the stairwell railings on the first floor, changing them from dark brown to gray
  2. Painted the linen closet
  3. Added shelving to the linen closet
  4. Covered the shelving in the linen closet with contact paper
  5. Wondered why in the hell I was spending so much time working on a closet nobody is ever going to see… (oh wait, here it is!)linen closet, march 2012
  6. Cleaned all the carpeting for the 14th time
  7. Discovered Liz was newly allergic to the entire house
  8. Ripped up all the carpet in the foyer and hallway, exposing some pretty sweet-looking 50’s hardwood.  But wait, what the heck are those huge sheets of plywood in front of the stairs and the stereo cabinet?!
  9. Ripped up all the carpet in the living room, exposing some pretty sweet-looking cement subfloors.  But wait, who murdered somebody in that corner, leaving that awesome stain?!living room
  10. Ripped up all the carpet in the dining room, exposing some pretty sweet-looking mixtures of both cement and plywood subfloors.  But wait, um, what, why both?!
  11. Continued painting the stairwell railings
  12. Began Liz’s love affair with spray paint by painting some inherited end tables for the basement
  13. Spray painted inherited bar stools for the basement
  14. Spray painted inherited chairs for the game table in the basement
  15. Spray painted inherited lamps in basement
  16. Seriously considered spray painting “HOOPIE PILE” above the hoopie pile before I realized I was high on spray paint
  17. Disbanded the hoopie pile.  (Note: This was a huge win for Johnnie Gail, who was feeling continually embarrassed by her daughter’s ridiculous acceptance of the pile of trash she allowed to live stacked up against the back of her house for close to a year.  Note 2: This was probably also a win for all of those paying members of the country club who had to look at said hoopie pile for close to a year as they golfed on by our house.  Suckers!)
  18. Dyed the outdoor furniture cushions in an attempt to save them for another season
  19. Patted myself on the back for a stellar dye job
  20. Spray painted inherited outdoor side tables
  21. Purchased a rug for the basement in an attempt to cover the moldy, I mean ugly, linoleum tiles
  22. Killed all the mold by soaking the basement floor in bleach
  23. Got high off bleach fumes
  24. Retrofitted the attic to a walk-in shoe and bag paradise for Liz
  25. Continued painting the stairwell railings
  26. Discovered the most totally tubular antique ballerina lamp for the first floor bathroom
  27. Painted the vanity in the first floor bathroom
  28. Painted the walls in the first floor bathroom
  29. Changed the pulls in the first floor bathroom
  30. Amazed myself again at how awesome I am at how much a little paint can update a roomfirst floor bathroom
  31. Finally found a great piece of artwork for above the fireplace
  32. Revamped the layout of the living room
  33. Brought up the rug from the basement for the living room
  34. Broke the acrylic lamp in the living room
  35. Found an inherited lamp to replace the acrylic lamp in the living room.  (At least, until we get around to fixing the acrylic lamp.  So, 6 years maybe?)living room
  36. Painted the wall of the basement gray
  37. Hated the gray wall in the basement
  38. Revamped the layout of the purple room
  39. Changed up the desk in the purple room… to an actual desk
  40. Finished painting the purple room
  41. Painted out the soffit in the purple room
  42. Painted out the ceiling under the soffit in the purple room
  43. Ripped up the carpet in the purple room
  44. Began painting out the bookcases in the purple room
  45. Realized I love having a room in my house referred to as “the purple room” by everybody that’s ever been there
  46. Continued painting the stairwell railings
  47. Moved the most totally tubular antique ballerina lamp to the black & white room
  48. Finished painting the black & white room
  49. Ripped up the carpet in the black & white room
  50. Revamped the layout of the black & white room
  51. Continued painting the stairwell railings
  52. Revamped inherited bedroom dressers by painting the drawers and adding new pullsdressers
  53. Bought a new fridge
  54. Lost use of back door due to enormous size of new fridge
  55. Made plans to swap fridge and desk areas in kitchen to regain use of back door
  56. Painted back door black
  57. Painted kitchen windows black
  58. Spray painted inherited small papasan chairs in living room
  59. Spray painted corner end table in living room
  60. Spray painted inherited sofa table in living room
  61. Spay painted inherited lamps in black & white room
  62. Hallucinated some amazing animal conglomerations in the backyard… while high on spray paint
  63. Excitedly inherited some good friends unwanted fabulous furniture
  64. Painted the wall of the basement pink
  65. Painted front door and window turquoisefront door
  66. Cleaned out the garage again… allowing us to actually get a car in
  67. Cleaned out the boiler room again… allowing us to usually find our tools
  68. Spray painted some office supplies
  69. Spray painted some animal sculptures (Can you use the word “sculpture” when referring to plastic and/or clay animals picked up a Walmart?)
  70. Spray painted a bedside table for the master bedroom
  71. (Come on, I just need four more items to round it out to a sweet 75 for the year…)
  72. Organized entire bar area in basement
  73. Got a new laundry set that does NOT stain my white clothes yellow
  74. Designated myself as the MOST WONDERFUL SPRAY PAINTER OF THE WORLD
  75. Sat back and enjoyed ourselves!


Wow!  We actually accomplished way more than I thought we had when I started writing this… but I’m probably still high on spray paint (did I go overboard on the spray paint theme of this post, or what?  I think it’s because I killed too many brain cells… by inhaling spray paint fumes. And I’m back in the game!).


Wanna see how I spend my free evenings?


When it’s gorgeous outside and there’s nothing on TV, I plant myself here:

patio, table, lantern, pillows

Facing this landscape:

golf course, patio, spring

And either have some wine while I read a book or a magazine (98% of the time) or bring out my computer with me and start exploring.


Check out what I ended up doing the other night during a computer adventure:

floor plan, house layout,

Heck yeah – floor plan!  It’s fairly accurate, too, as I actually spent a couple hours running from room to room and measuring while attempting to figure out just how thick the interior walls were.  I never did get that quite under control… because seriously, who cares about that?  Not I!  First floor is pretty complete (I completely crapped out by the time I got to ‘furnishing’ the hallway and dining room), basement and 2nd floor have not even been attempted yet.  All in good time, my pretty…


So here it is, for all none of you that haven’t already been to my house.  I’m thinking this will function as a “before” picture of sorts.  You know, so I can remind myself in 40 years how the house looked for the first 20 years we owned it.  (Insert sounds of guffawing in hilarity here.)  Get it?  Because the pace we’re moving is so ridiculously slow that it will still look like this for another 18 YEARS.  Which I’m fine with, just to set the record straight – what else would I do in my free time if I couldn’t spend it thinking up new ways to drive Aaron crazy with house ideas?


Besides, why wouldn’t I want to just chill out and enjoy it all when the usually frozen tundra that is normal for Chicagoland in March is currently busting out with this splendidness?

front door, spring

Yeah, that’s my front door.  In MARCH.  Here’s a full-frontal view, minus any boobies that you’d normally see after googling “full-frontal view”:

biltmore, spring, front view

Here’s to global warming!


PS: I stand corrected – googling “full-frontal view” actually pulls up some 2002 movie starring David Duchovny and Catherine Keener.  Who knew?!

Carpet? What carpet? And whatcha talkin’ about, Willis?

I sure am feeling clever this afternoon.


In other news, and actually relevant somewhat to that title, I bet you can guess what happened in our house…  I bought another lamp!


Um, well, while I did actually buy another lamp (Goodwill, $6.99, in working order, and an EXACT match to a very cool huge lamp that came with the house), I’m actually talking about the fact that I (and by “I”, I mean “we”, and by “we” I mean “mostly me with a little help and a huge amount of griping from my awesome mate”) finally ripped up the carpet in the two bedrooms on the first floor!


Do you know that this event occurred 8 MONTHS after the carpet was ripped out on the rest of this floor, which was last June?  When we decide to procrastinate we know how to sit back and really do nothing.


And now you’re wondering what exactly prompted the carpet removal, right?  Oh, you don’t care?  Weird… well, since I’m already on the topic, it’s because of my 4th-grader-like stature.  The wonderfully comfortable office chair we won from Craigslist a while ago is just tall enough that only the tips of my toes touch the ground when I’m sitting in it.  And because our desk is big and I tend to move around a lot, I needed to be able to easily scootch the chair around.  It has casters on it; the process should have been ridiculously easy.  But it wasn’t, not when the chair was on top of 4 inches of carpet.  So I’m in there last Friday, working away, and I try to push back from the desk and I fall out of the chair.  Seriously.  That happened.  And that was it – I practically ran downstairs, found the first (horribly crappy and dull) exacto knife I could find, grabbed some gloves and pliers and started going to town.


Dudes – I had no idea how satisfying ripping carpet out is!  When the rest of the house was done last summer, I was upstairs dying of the plague, er, what turned out to be massive infections coupled with massive allergies, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is that I missed all the fun the first time around.  All of it!  Well, not this time.

Original hardwood floors, study, office, purple bedroom



And you know what?  The floors in there are in surprising good shape!  (I say that because I was expecting disasters after what we found this summer.   So they may not actually be in great shape, but they aren’t filled with plywood chunks or concrete platforms, so I’m calling it a win.)


Check out these beauties now!


Guest bedroom, original hardwood floors, purple room


Guest bedroom, original hardwood floors, black and white room


Guest bedroom, black and white room, original hardwood floors


Told ya I was on a roll.




PS: Check out the bookcases – I took a great lumpy suggestion and went with magenta.


Built-in bookcases, purple room, office, study, guest bedroom


Built-in bookcases, office, study, purple room, guest bedroom


PPS: That statement is funny if you know my friends E and Rog.


PPPS: Still laughing at my awesome joke.


PPPPS: Ok, I know it wasn’t that funny.


PPPPPS: But it sort of was.

Oh man oh man oh man have I been on a roll lately…

…being completely awesome.  I don’t know what it is, but I’m thinking it’s a combination of the weather getting warmer (which makes me super excited), having my life partner working most nights until 9 PM (there’s only so much TV I could watch before I started feeling my brains getting pulverized by the demon monsters that live inside the plasma), and finally having my poop regulated (let’s face it – constant fecal issues will suck a gal’s will to decorate).


I’m working on the windows for the kitchen right now – I decided that I kept going back to a few pictures in my stash because I absolutely needed my windows to be black.  Don’t worry, I’m keeping the white trim.  I’m not a moron.  Wonder what it’s going to resemble?  Check out this picture from Tommy Smythe:

black window, white trim


See that awesome black and white kitchen?  With the stainless steel countertops?  Yeah, I found that just a few months, meaning WAY after I did mine a couple years ago.  You know what that makes me?  A fucking genius.  (I told you, I’m on an awesome run here, just go with it).  I’m also doing the back door to match –it’s going to be completely rad.  I’m hoping to get almost completed this weekend, as long as the weather cooperates.  But, we live in Chicago, so you know, it’s probably going to blizzard.


What else… I’m working on the built-ins in the purple room.  I decided I do need to add some color under the soffit (the white was too boring), paint out the shelves (instead of leaving them natural), and also put a color on the back of the shelves (instead of leaving them white).  I’m working with this light pink color for the mid-ceiling under the soffit and the backs of the shelves, but I’m not sure if it’s just right or if it’s too pastel… whatcha think?

Purple room, bookshelves, BM Wild Aster


Purple room, BM Wild Aster, bookshelves


I’ve been weirdly obsessed with pink lately, and had previously decided it was the right color for the basement, too.  Yeah, I hear you – don’t screw up the basement by painting it PINK!  (Or if your name is Johnnie: “Are you kidding me?!  You’re trying ANOTHER color before giving in and returning it to the pristine greatness your father and I spent A WEEK creating for you!?”  To which my reply is: “I know, Mom, seriously, it’s a disease.”)


Want to hear a funny story while you’re still freaking out about the pink that might calm you down?  Months ago, I started experimenting with the basement.  (Cover your eyes, Momma.)  The white was just feeling too stark, you know?  Too WHITE.  So I attempted the gray/taupe we used on most of our first floor, but it looks like watery sad mud in the windowless section of the basement.  (Yes, you were right about that, J Gail).  So, I turned to a piece of our art for inspiration, and my pink obsession became a viable option – the piece is loaded with beautiful pinkish tones.  What’s a gal to do but head over to her nearest paint store and grab a quart to try out?  I slapped some on the walls the other night, and I think I might be in total love.  Seriously.


So of course, Aaron comes home from work and I drag him downstairs to show off.  This is our routine, by the way – I drag him to where I’ve made updates/spray-painted/rearranged/crafted/painted and make him pick out the change and then compliment it excessively.  It’s like a fun hide and seek, except I think I just learned the other night that it may not be as fun when your partner is COLOR BLIND.  He stood in the basement turning around and around trying to find out where the change was, and I finally stood him facing the portion of the wall that was pink and said, “Look, honey, right here – it’s pink”.  And he says, “Where?” and then we repeated those two sentences about 5 times because I thought he was kidding and he thought I was kidding until he says, “That brown patch in the green?” to which I replied (probably loudly), “Oh my god, you’re not messing with me!?  You actually think I painted it green around a brown patch on the wall?!”  (In his eyes the “green” = the gray/taupe that was previously there and the “brown” = pink)


And now I know he truly means it when he says I can do whatever I want to the house and he knows he’ll love it.


It’s because he can’t see a damn thing.