Saturday, December 8, 2018

Knock Knock

Anyone home?   It's been over a year since I was here last.  In my opinion Maple Tree Cottage is the prettiest house on the block.  Either I'm a trendsetter or just ahead of the new colors but Pantone just announced their color of the year for 2019 as Living Coral "a life-affirming coral hue...that energizes and enlivens..."  I think that's what we did to this house, gave it new energy.

My door color was custom by Sherwin Williams 2017.  I had a skein of yarn I'd been using and loved the color.  Since my color has no name and the brand was called I Love This Cotton, my door color is now called I Love This Door.

All interior and exterior paint is Sherwin Williams.  The blue is called Loyal Blue and the trim is Snowbound.  I wanted to show the after, first.  You'll love the next photo.

The day we bought the house was July 2016, purchased from Gladys' son, Carl.  Carl recently came back to Walla Walla and decided to drive by and stop only if he saw someone outside.  The mister was out so Carl got the tour.  He was so thrilled and speechless.  I showed him some of the unique things we left but he really lost it when he saw the kitchen stool in the kitchen, original condition and sitting where it has always belonged.  

I don't know how many people have been inside to see the results but I'm proud to show it off.  Maple Tree Cottage is warm, cozy, inviting, un-fussy and pretty as can be.  Abby loves the house but doesn't like that she slips and slides on the uncarpeted floors.  Poor old girl.  Doubtful she'd wear grippy dog booties.

Two of the three sons have now seen the house and both agree it's just what Gladys' would have loved.

Stay tuned,  Abby and Stephanie

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Keep it Clean

As you come in my new back door from our new deck, you enter the addition, the mud room.  It's so nice to have a place to drop the dirties, hang the stuff , park the shoes and keep the rest of the floors relatively "clean."  Mr. Maple did the painting and hook installation.  I love the bead board back.  I looked on line for hooks until I was blind and found these "peg" style .

I think the mud room is more Abby's space.  She has her own bone wall hooks for her leash etc...yes, Abby wears a pronged collar.  The sweet face Abby can also be a stubborn girl (it's the boxer in her) and it keeps her walking beautifully without dragging me behind her.  

The cubbies were built custom for my baskets.  Each basket has Abby things in them...gosh dogs need lots of stuff...towels for bathing, blankets and quilts for bedding, treats, treats, and more treats.  I think Abby has me treat-trained.  Shoes and tall boots and Abby's food bag (still looking for a pretty container) fit under the bench.

This is also a new part of the house.  As you can see it's to the left of the mud room.  Not sure what Abby was doing but it seems to be an action shot.  I love having such a nice space to do such a mundane task.  Laundry rooms don't have to be ugly...I have a quartz counter top because it was leftover from our bathroom slab.  Our contractor suggested a regular deep kitchen sink instead of those hideous plastic looking things.  I've had them.  They function.  My contractor gets me. 

I am not a lover of front load washers and dryers.  I opted for Fisher Paykel at the recommendation of my appliance sales person.  It was either that or Speed Queen but Fisher Paykel has a larger wash tub and I have king size bedding.  This room is also Abby's pill station, in case you saw the jar of Skippy Peanut Butter on the counter and wondered if I ate lunch in my laundry room.

I really wanted a place to hang damp clothes or things I don't want to dry all the way.  It didn't quite work out but I may be able to manage something that is pull out on the back wall or the wall opposite the washer/dryer.  For now the hall bathroom shower rod suffices.

Perhaps you can see the white "box" sitting on the floor on the back wall.  It's a super cool wall mail box.  I'm going to use it for my lint catcher.  Mr. Maple will hang it once I figure out my clothes hanger conundrum.

Stay tuned,

Abby and Stephanie

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tour Continues

I have been searching for a table and chairs that would fit the style of our home and awesome light.  Mr. Maple was hanging out on Craig's List and this set was listed.  Original, excellent condition, the perfect size, table with a leaf and 6 chairs.  Wipeable table top - not wood or glass.  Ticked my boxes.  Chair seats have obviously been recovered last in the 1980s guessing by the rose color and scallop pattern.  When I say it was a steal of a deal we got the whole set for less than the cost of one brand new dining room chair.  Now I'm searching for upholstery to recover the seats that reflect the originality of the set.

Love. My. Kitchen!  Light, bright, lots of storage and counter space.  It's the original footprint of the kitchen.  Notice my signs?  First trip to the Franz bakery outlet in town we saw these signs on their walls.  Mr. Maple asked what they do with them once they take them down.  The nice clerk said they were soon getting new signs and they just throw the olds ones away.  WHAT?  She took our phone number and said she'd call when they got their new signs.  Several weeks passed and we got a call.  They gave us 3 signs.  They are a heavy type of cardboard/foam core but I don't care.  They're big, fill the space, and are unique.  And the price was right, FRREE!

This is the door down to the basement.  The bulletin board/calendar are out of sight but handy.  Below this Franz sign I want to hang a chalkboard.  I'm still looking and thinking...

Pardon the darkness of this photo.  I really wanted a glass front cabinet to display my pretties.  There is a light inside as well to shown them off.  LOTS of lights and under counter ones too,  I don't like dark kitchens.  I told our electrician I wanted my kitchen to light up like a Christmas tree.  :o)  Notice the fish hanging above the sink?  We bought it in Japan and it's hung over every sink since.  Our electrician kept wanting to put a center light over the sink but we told him about our fish.  He was curious so we brought it over to the house so he could see it.

I'm not a fan of stainless steel appliances, having had them.  Luckily I worked with an appliance store that listened to what I wanted and took me right to those appliances.  Smooth and white.  No texture.   the controls to the dishwasher are on the top of the door when you open it.  It's a Bosch.  Refrigerator and stove are General Electric Profile.  A bottom freezer was another must in my world.  

I wanted a white farmhouse sink as well but I admit to not wanting to constantly clean.  :o)  And besides this chunk of stainless helps balance...

the fact that I had to get a stainless steel stove because the dual fuel (gas on top, electric oven) didn't come in white.  Dual fuel was a requirement.  So there is a nice balance of stainless on each side of the kitchen.

Are you jealous of my baking station?  It's really the very best thing in the entire kitchen!  There is a plug in the kitchen aid lift cabinet so I don't have to move it.  Just lift, lock and mix. 

Gladys' original kitchen had a huge table and booth style seating right here.  It took up tons of real estate in the kitchen and there was no place for food storage.  We worked with our cabinet maker to put a pantry in place of the table and booth seating.  And I really don't like microwaves to be sitting on the counter so our electrician put a plug in the wall so we could put it in the pantry.

Those of you who have been following along know of Gladys' penchant for writing on her cabinets and drawers.  I almost think it would be fun to write some fun things or a recipe inside these doors, perhaps like how to thaw a turkey or make oatmeal.  LOL!

Stay tuned,

Abby and Stephanie

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Six Months

What a difference!  We moved into Maple Tree Cottage on April 10.  Please join me on a tour of our beautiful home.  As you walk into Maple Tree Cottage this amazing Charley Harper poster greets you.  I grew up in the desert in Southern California, 29 Palms to be specific, and I still have a fondness for the desert.

You may remember we moved the fireplace and now it's a beautiful focal point in our living room.  These are real life photos, not the House Beautiful variety, so you'll see "things" sitting about.  The mantle is temporary as we're waiting for the maple tree wood to cure.  The only new addition to our living room furniture is the West Elm cabinet our TV is sitting on.  A TV is a fact of life and they just don't hide well but I was NOT going to have it hanging above the fireplace.

From this angle you can see more than a peek of our "new" dining room table and chairs.  More about them in the next post.  I promise it won't be 6 months before I post again.  Oh how I love my saucer bubble light.  Click HERE for further information.  The shorter basket on the left was made by my mom many long years ago.  The basket on the right with the quilts was made and gifted to me by a lady in my Tai Chi class.  Handmade is very special.  The tea kettle sitting on the large wooden spool was my grandmother's tea kettle.   I admit to not liking lots of dustables (that is what I refer to as knick knacks) so I prefer a few special things here and there.  I supposed I'm more of a zen decorator. :o)

Another angle of the living room.  These blinds are in every room in the house.  No curtains except for the sliding glass door in the dining room as there are no blinds there.  Yes, that's a Casper mattress box sitting in the entry way.  At 92 pounds it was too heavy for me to move just to take a photo.

Since this is Abby's house too we were sure to make her comfortable with her beds, quilts and toy bin.  These step pieces are called tansu(s).  They're a Japanese furniture piece but these reproductions, although we did buy them while living in Japan.  The framed piece is a piece of Japanese washi (rice) paper.  And my favorite kokeshi dolls sit on the tansu steps.  The basket on top is a handmade pine needle basket from North Carolina and it's  filled with washi paper covered eggs.

This corner is a work in progress.  My original mid-century lamp is too big for the space and the side table doesn't fit the style.  However, I do love my handmade quilt ladder in this space.  It was handmade by Mr. Maple and the maple children 20 years ago and gifted to me for Mother's Day.  They whittled the pegs so there are no screws and nothing glued.  It's been taken apart for many moves then reassembled.  Our floors are stunning and I'm a huge sucker for arches and curves in houses.

I love my house.  Having selected every knob, fixture, cabinet, appliance paint color, floor stain, blinds, etc...I was on the edge of my seat until I saw it all come together.  

Stay tuned,

Abby and Stephanie

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Almost Home

Move in day is near, April 10.  Maple Tree Cottage is a flurry of activity.  Appliances were delivered but are sitting in the dining room.  The gas line was installed and once this gorgeous tile is grouted the appliances will be put in place.

I like a clean look, not antiseptic though.  Mr. Maple found a company that makes these under cabinet electrical strips.  They're awesome.  There will be no unsightly electric outlets visible so I can focus on this gorgeous long white subway tile.  It has a handmade look and I heart it.  The grout will be  light grey.

I do hope my guests like the guest bathroom.  I sure do.  The floor petal tile was used as the background for my shampoo shelf.  This grout will also be light grey.

Mr. Tile Man had to redo my beautiful floor.  There are two ways to lay the tile, depending on the pattern you want.  This is what I wanted and laid out for him to see.  Apparently we didn't "see" eye to eye.  He had to remove it and wait for replacement tile.  I wanted it my way.  The grout will be dark grey.  Notice the baseboard in progress.  Our contractor suggested bathrooms have bull nose tile baseboards.  No getting any wood wet when mopping floors or flinging water about.

All of the electrical isn't turned on just yet so my photos aren't as well lit as I'd like but I think you can see my beautiful laundry room sink.  The countertop is Quartz.  Why not!  

The master shower is grouted and Mr. Plumber is working on the installation of the plumbing parts.  There will be a fixed shower head and this adjustable hose.  That bar also doubles as a safety rail but there will be another installed at the long wall of the shower as well.

Yes, it's a toilet.  We all have them.  I'm sharing because I have this thing about easy to clean.  We first found these American Standard toilets when we replaced all of our toilets in Ohio.  They are smooth sided.  No nooks and crannies.  You want them right?  And they're also ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant at 17 1/2" high.  Oh and if you want to spend the extra money you can get these same toilets where you wave your hand and it flushes like magic.  No touchy.

Our beautiful fireplace is now grouted and the temporary mantle is installed.  The last piece of this puzzle is the front piece that "frames" the fireplace.  We had ceiling lights installed so the fireplace can really shine.

Thankfully the snow is a thing of the past.  But rain, rain and more rain has delayed some outdoor work.  Luckily we had a good day so Mr. Cement Man could pour the concrete.  They're getting ready to build the step down off of the deck.

It's not all been smooth sailing; we have a sink hole.  It happened just recently as a result of Gladys' sons doing something incorrectly with the sprinklers 2 years ago and flooding the basement.  Mr. Maple knew about the flood when we bought the house.  No damage.  Our a/c unit is suppose to sit here but our contractor has to fill in the sink hole before Mr. HVAC man can finish his job.

Abby loves visiting her house.  She knows it's hers.  She loves the big windows so she can survey her territory.  Right now she's watching Mr. and Son Maple build our fence.  

Our move in date is only 10 days later than originally planned.  I think all of the baking has helped keep the work and workers running smoothly, even when the weather didn't.  

Stay tuned, 
Abby and Stephanie

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