A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Looks Good on the Surface

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Of course I was super-busy with work leading up to Thanksgiving when I would have much rather had more time to prepare and just chill out. Along with some family issues it’s been a stressful month but things should start easing up in a few weeks.

Needless to say, my end-of-year To Do list has gone to hell, partly because Pete and I decided that we weren’t going to tackle the second coat of varnish this time of year. It’s an alkyd varnish so it’s rather stinky and it’s just too cold to have the windows open. So that “little” project has been pushed back to next spring.

We have made progress, however. Even though this trim and staircase project isn’t finished (and won’t be anytime soon), at least it looks finished!

Oh, what a difference, no?! I think it looks like it was always intended to look instead of as an afterthought. I keep saying this but it really makes the upstairs feel like it belongs to the rest of the house.

I re-painted all the areas that were affected, and I’m happy to say that the freshly painted areas blended in perfectly with the existing, even though our dining room paint job has got to be almost four years old now. (Nope, thanks to the blog, I see it’s actually almost five years old!)

It definitely pays to use a good quality paint for this reason (I used Benjamin Moore Aura), and even though the dining room is a deep orange and faces south there is no sign of color fading.

The carpenter also finished off some areas that I didn’t really know how we should finish off, like our little stairwell ledge, which I always intended to use as a picture ledge, that is until the kittens knocked one of my prints over and broke the glass. Luckily they weren’t hurt, but my adored print was.

Anyway, he ended up extending the baseboard all the way. Once he finished I thought I must be able to find something unbreakable to put there which would also hopefully deter Henry from doing the cat walk (get it? It’s a real cat walk! Haha.)

Off I went to Target, and sure enough I found the taller wood-like rectangular vase that fits perfectly in the space. My choices in dried flowers/objects were limited because of the cats, so I chose the wavy stick-like things. Henry still hopped around the vase, so I added the 2 short glass vases on either side and it made it wide enough that he stopped doing it. I need to add some decorative stone to those vases to keep them grounded, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to knock those over.

Now I need to revise that end-of-year list and update my To-Do List for 2013. Ugh.


  1. Sharon on November 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Nicely done. It looks great.

    • denise on November 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Sharon! I’m behind on my reading but will catch up on your progress soon!

  2. Rachel Sloan on October 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I love how you were able to get creative to make a catwalk solution 🙂 Well done! Henry is adorable but I’d be annoyed to if he was breaking all my things.

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