Thursday, March 9, 2017


Gladys had her notes and I have mine.  Mr. Maple is doing the interior painting; ceilings, walls, closets.  He needed a cheat sheet as he preferred to paint the rooms the correct color the first time.  If you were to call and ask him what he's doing today he'd tell you he got his paint mixed up and is  doing a little repainting today.  So much for notes.  :o)

The master bedroom is tile cutting central.  Sorry for the poor lighting.  Not all of the new lighting is working yet.

As you enter my living room this is what you see.  My new gas fireplace which is a beautiful focal point of the space.  It's still in progress and the hardware has been installed for our temporary floating mantle.  Remember eventually we'll use the wood from the maple tree we had cut down in the back.  However, if we decide not to put in a temporary mantle we can always use the hardware for coat hooks.  :o)  Oh and I can turn it on with the wall switch or by remote control from the comfort of my chair.  

This beautiful hexagon tile flows from the kitchen to the mud room to the laundry room.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday my fabulous cabinetmaker/installers made me a very happy homeowner.  My lower cabinets in the kitchen are all walnut.  And that big opening under the kitchen window is going to have the most gorgeous farmhouse sink ever.

During the planning process I had some requirements.  This cabinet is my new pantry.  The upper has adjustable shelves.  I'm putting the unsightly microwave in there.  Because I planned it ahead of time the electrician could install an outlet.  The lowers are all pullout drawers.  The food can come to me.  

This was also a must have.  It's a mixer lift for my Kitchenaid.  Those things are heavy and I'm getting to old to lift and move it about the kitchen.  I could hurt myself.  Is there a medical code for insurance purposes for broken foot due to Kitchenaid accident?  An outlet will be installed soon.  The electrician wanted to make sure where exactly he needed to put the power.

Because I'm tired of having to get on my hand and knees and dig about my cabinets for "things," I wanted drawers.  All of my drawers are soft close.  No more slamming!

The bottom space in this photo is where my fridge will go.  Above it is a cabinet with another requirement, an organizer for the cookie sheets, muffin tins, and cooling racks.  I've said a few 4-letter words in my day over things falling out and nearly decapitating my toes.  In the grand scheme of things, I'm short.  I'll never be able to reach beyond the second shelf of any cabinet.  I want to have the original step ladder/chair recovered and put back in the kitchen.

Again, not great lighting but this is the master shower.  This is a "toe" shelf for the necessary shaving of the legs.

The hardware has since been installed but the left cabinet is my linen closet in the master bathroom.  The bottom pullout wire bin is a hamper.  It was a "had" to have!

Abby knows this is her house.  She hasn't figured out where her bed and food will go yet.  We'll decide when we move in.  She's had many visitors at the new house.  Most friends, some curious neighbors.  And their dogs have been welcome too.  Abby already had many new friends.

Stay tuned,

Abby and Stephanie

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Beauty of Wood

There's been a few delays at Maple Tree Cottage.  Mostly Mother Nature is to blame.  She's been flying around on her broom causing weather issues all over the place.  Our floors needed some repairs and Mr. Floor Man is one amazing guy.  He got the repairs done and the sanding.  After sanding, the floors were way too light.  The wood is white oak.  Mr. Floor Man brought over 2 samples of stain and I didn't like either.  One was too light and one was too red.  He bought 3 more.  Two were too brown.  I felt like Goldilocks until...

#5 was just right.  It was meant to be because it's called Golden Maple.  Mr. Floor Man is putting the Swedish finish on today.  Now the the tile guys can get to work.

This is the ceiling of my covered patio.  It's tongue and groove and the wood is cedar.  It's just amazingly beautiful.  Abby has been dreaming of Summer snoozes on the warm deck for months now.

Our contractor and his guys are true craftsmen.  This is the electrical panel that they framed to give a nice finished look.  It's the attention to details that I so appreciate.

Our contractor hunted down cedar shingles to match the originals from 1951.  Once the house is painted you'll never know they aren't the original.

This is the addition.  Notice the ramp.  Mr. Maple and I aren't ancient yet but we have longevity in our genes.  We decided to plan ahead to make our "golden" years easier for one day.  We've seen so many houses that have ramps out front and although necessary they are also unsightly.  We had our ramp put in at the back and the only way you see it is if you're standing in our backyard.  We've done many things ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant.

There will be a rail and the deck will have steps down.  It's still a work in progress but it's so close to calling it done.

Son Maple helped Mr. Maple prune the old apple tree.  Hopefully the tree will one day be beautiful again and produce tasty apples.

Abby and I have shared so much of the before and process we thought you might like to see the colors we've selected for the exterior.  Navy for the house, white trim and a coral door.  Thank you Daughter Maple.  We do not live in a neighborhood with an association so no rules and no fees.  I don't want anyone telling me what I can and can't do.  In closing, the sun is shining, if only for a moment.

Stay tuned, Abby and Stephanie

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fifty Shades of Grey

Lots happening at Maple Tree Cottage.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Previously I mentioned we're moving the fireplace.  The old fireplace opening was filled with brick and obviously repair and drywall will be taking place.

There really is a new and beautiful gas fireplace behind the cardboard.  Vent and gas installed.  I'm going to have a remote control to operate it.  Daughter Maple was here for Christmas and helped me select the fireplace tile.    We're going floor to ceiling for a lovely focal point as you enter the living room.

We also purchased 20 samples of interior and exterior paint to audition.  Mostly we went with Fifty Shades of Grey.  LOL!    Soon Mr. Maple will be painting the entire interior.

Currently dry wall, taping, mudding and sanding are happening at Maple Tree Cottage.  If you go back to the beginning post you'll see the entrance to the kitchen was narrow (the width of a door).  The mister and I wanted to continue the curve that goes from the entry hall into the living room.  

We had the doors removed, the opening widened and curved.  Love.

The master bathroom now has drywall.  The amazing folks that are making our custom kitchen cabinets were called back to make our bathroom vanities.  The master bathroom is also going to have a linen closet with a pull out drawer for the dirty clothes.  I mean I dirty clothes happen but I don't want to have to look at them.  I got a call the other week that the plumber wanted to meet me in the shower.  LOL.  We talked about fixed shower head height, separate shower hose placement, etc...The faucet knobs for hot and cold are right around the corner from the shower opening.  Instead of going IN the shower and adjusting and turning on the shower, you just reach around the corner and viola!  Just so you know this will be Abby's shower as well.  

We had a discovery.  Now that the scary basement is empty and the under stairs storage isn't so creepy, we found a new note from Gladys.   Just so you know, Grandpa Emil really was a doctor.  I left the note on the wall.  I just had to.

Well maybe when the 3 sons were little perhaps the under the stairs storage really WAS scary!  I found this note in there.  Wonder if they were sent to the basement as punishment but allowed to read.  With 3 boys in the house they must have shared punishment equally (hence the "anybody.)

There's been so much before and during.  I'm super excited about the after.  On the right is the guest bathroom floor tile.  I love it.  On the left are my glass knob choices narrowed down with the help of Daughter Maple.  The bathroom vanity will have the middle glass for the knobs.

I already love this house.  Walla Walla has been in Snow Hell for ages and there were only a few minor setbacks.  The decking is starting to be installed but now it's covered with snow.

Stay tuned,

Abby and Stephanie

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cookie Monsters

Our last post was October 31 and boy there's been a whole lotta progress!  This happened then our contractor had to wait until Mr. Inspector gave his stamp of approval.  It passed.  Then we had rain delays, of course.

We have great guys working on our house.  They're super serious as you can see and well, if you give some guys some cookies...I like to keep them in treats.  Yesterday it was sour cream banana muffins.

Then this happened.  The addition is our laundry and master bathroom.  Then of course our very awesome patio cover.  Do you see the new back door?  That will lead out onto the deck, once it's built.

Here it is.  The door leads to the mud room and the windows on the left are my laundry room.  I like windows.  The window at the back of the house on the far right is my kitchen window.  It'll be new and bigger soon.

There used to be a back door here.  There will be a wall diving these two spaces, laundry room on the left, master bathroom on the right.  The first entry area is the mud room and far back left is the laundry.

This is the new opening in our master bedroom leads to the new potty land.  The far back is the walk in shower, no step up, with my requested window.  We'll have two windows in the bathroom.  Yesterday we met with our cabinet maker.  He's finishing our kitchen cabinets and next he'll be working on our new bathroom vanities and linen closet.  It's getting very very exciting!

We met with our contractor yesterday as well because we had decisions to make.  They usually cost money and so far, no bad news.  See the fireplace?  We're converting it to gas.  However, since we bought the house I have been struggling to decide furniture arrangement based on the odd location of the fireplace.  Right behind it is the front door.  So our HVAC guy said since it's in an odd location, how about moving it.  I love the HVAC guy.  He gets me.  Mr. Maple walked away and said the decision is mine.  

The fireplace is going to be moved to the back wall adjacent to the garage.  There is space and the venting and gas will be easier to make happen.  So when you walk into the living room there will be a nice focal point.  We've decided we're spending our kids inheritance.    As you can see my new windows have arrived.  They're leaning against walls in bedrooms too.

Perhaps the most exciting thing I my world is the installation of my new front door.  Now to order the door hardware.  I've made so many decisions lately that my brain hurts.  I'm already in a tizzy over paint colors, exterior and interior but Daughter Maple will be here for the holidays and will help me make choices.

Stay Tuned, Abby and Stephanie

Monday, October 31, 2016


Today Mr. Tree Man brought over his Wood-Mizer.  Oh the machines I never knew existed!  

Wood-Mizer milled 3 logs right in our own backyard.

This piece perhaps, once cured, will be my new floating fireplace mantle.  We have several to choose from.  Just look at the patterning.

Mr. Tree Man cut 4", 2" and 1 1/2" thick boards for us.  Mantle, bench, cutting boards, bookshelves, night tables, oh my.  Mr. Tree Man talked about live edges and told me to look on Pinterest.  Oh dear, I need to stay off of Pinterest.

Just look at this.  When it was cut Mr. Tree Man laid the cut edges together.  He called them "bookends" and look at the butterfly pattern it makes.  There is still a huge trunk to get milled but that requires a different machine.  So if you like machines....

Stay Tuned, Abby and Stephanie

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Destruction and Construction

Abby was feeling punky today so Mr. Maple and I went over to check out progress on Maple Tree Cottage.  Yesterday our tree man removed the ugly shrubs from the front right of the house.  We will be landscaping to our own taste in due time.  

Then we walked around back and saw this machine.

This happened.  This is the foundation for the addition where the master bathroom and laundry room will be.  

I'm so excited.  More to come.

Stay tuned, Abby and Stephanie

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Scary Basement

Not my favorite room in any house.  From the kitchen we go down into the basement.

Immediately to the left is this sizable space.  When we first saw this house the entire basement was FULL.  Did I mention it was FULL??  The white stove at the back left is connected to a chimney.  The stove is going to Son Maple and the chimney will be removed once construction starts.  The room to the right is a curious bathroom.  

This space is where the laundry area is set up.  I don't do basements so the laundry room is moving upstairs.  

Looking up from the laundry space is this hole.  In a previous post I mentioned that the only bathroom upstairs has a hole in the floor and this was used as the laundry chute.  No lie.

To the right coming down the basement stairs is this nice space.  Mr. Maple is going to convert into his stained glass studio.  To the far back and right...

is this space.  I won't go in there.  I couldn't find a light and it's storage space under the stairs.

This amazing work bench belonged to the grandfather.  No one wanted it and it's built to last forever. Mr. Maple said he'd love to have it so it stayed with the house.  This is also in the future stained glass studio.

Continuing through the future studio is this huge room.  Mr. Maple is going to have his own man cave.  The windows are to the back of the house.  Look at all of that storage.  It'd make a wonderful sewing studio but I don't do basements.  

Opposite the built in storage in the previous photo is this wall of closet storage.  The opposing side walls are paneling.  Oy!

If you look down there is this floor that is going to become a nicer floor.

If you look up you'll see there needs to be a little ceiling tile repair.

I wonder who ever thought accordion pleated doors were OK?  

Now we go back up to the top of the stairs and into the kitchen.  Looks like some sanding and painting of stairs are in our future.  The basement isn't as scary now but in case I didn't mention that when we first saw the house it was FULL.

And good we got a call that our building permit is approved and ready.  Our contractor is starting next week!

Stay tuned, Abby and Stephanie