Wednesday, March 11, 2015

From Outdated to Timeless: a Mantle Renovation with Barnwood & Painted Brick

I've recently been working with some new clients, and they've just purchased a great 1980's home.  The only trouble is that some of it is, well, still stuck in the 80's.  So I'm helping them to design some key features that are currently clashing with their own style, and here's one of them.  The before pic pretty much says it all.


The rest of this post will illustrate how I did it, beginning with a scale drawing.  At first we considered just using the brick on the lower half, but quickly decided to take it all the way up and around.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Backyard Chickens 2.0

Our family used to raise chickens in our backyard, and it was a hoot for about five years.  Then we decided to take a break.  The reason?  Well, as my wife Michele likes to put it, its a lot easier to buy eggs than raise chickens.  Eventually the fun sort of wore off and it just felt like work.  Not that work is such a bad thing- we were just ready for a break.  That said, I quietly harbored hopes of getting back into the poultry game one day.  Fast forward a couple of years, and our next-door neighbors brought home some baby chicks.  A while later, Michele announced, pretty much out of the blue, that she wouldn't mind getting a few birds of our own, as long as our setup was as neat and tidy as the neighbors'.  Well, I was so excited about her announcement that I didn't even mind being busted for having had a messy coop in the past.  So, it is with great pleasure that I am now approaching the experience that I can only entitle "Backyard Chickens 2.0"  We haven't rushed out and bought the little guys (gals,                                                                                    hopefully!) yet but we'll get after it sometime in the next couple                                                                       of months.

Here's a blast-from-the-past of an earlier batch of chicks.
To put it in perspective, Abigail is now almost 7 years old.

This does mean that we'll need to build another coop and run- fortunately that's right up my alley.  Not to brag, but I kinda wrote the book on the subject.  Well, a book, anyway, and I think its a pretty good one.  A couple of months ago, this hit the shelves, and it has been really popular.

But enough about me- anybody else out there doing the chicken thing?  How's it working out?  What's good about it?  Anything not so good to report?  I'm always curious to hear other peoples' take on these things.

Another throwback pic: happy halloween!
And here's our dear friend Ann-Marie holding
our fine feathered friend.