Tales From The Ipe!

I sit by and watch the river flow. I sit by and watch the traffic go.

Category: News (page 1 of 22)

Living Room / Den (Lounge?) Renovation – Day 450.75

In the past two weeks, we’ve made some excellent progress with the room:

  1. Put together / added a coffee table 
  2. Added and hung up one piece of art
  3. Purchased a 2nd piece of art, but need a picture hanging kit
  4. Purchased a chandelier (should be up later this weekend)
  5. Purchased and temporarily set up two SONOS PLAY:1 speakers (locations likely to change)
  6. Ordered a custom window bench cushion
  7. Started adding books
  8. I think we’re officially referring to the room as the Lounge.

Ordered and installed new cleats for my road shoes

Man, check out the bicycle shoe cleats on the bottom row. They were in bad shape. I bought them a few years ago during the 2013 MS Bike Tour down in Brielle when my last set broke during the rode (around 30 miles in.)

This time I bought my own off Amazon, and replaced them on my own. No big deal, easy peasy.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 432

Couch and new rug set up. Also a 2nd coat of paint on the shelves. Handyman says we can start stacking books this week.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 7

The floor is in!

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 6

On Friday, our electrician was here for a few hours to install four new 4″ recessed lighting fixtures, and to tie them temporarily to the wall switch. This week, I had to run around to three home improvement stores in an attempt to find four 4″ remodel fixtures, baffles, LED lightbulbs that will fit the fixtures, and summer switches. I wasn’t entirely successful.

The ultimate lighting plan is to have four 4″ recessed lighting fixtures, which we have installed now. We could have gone the easier route with 5″ or 6″ cans which provide brighter light, and can accommodate more varies lightbulbs. Why did we (for now) go with smaller lights with hard-to-find 50 watt light bulbs?

  1. 4″ lights are smaller and more modern
  2. We’re only using 4″ lights in the home office and they’re good
  3. The room now has a central ceiling mount for a new soon to be purchased chandelier, which will also provide another 240 watts of light
  4. We will also have wall sconces on the wall for more reading light

I like the look of the smaller 4″ lights but it’s currently only 200 watts of light in the room, and summer than I prefer. The big job was to install new lighting. If we’re not happy with the 4″ cans, we can easily go back and replace with 6″ lights in the future.

I wasn’t able to find two dimmer switches at three stores, so I ordered two matching Lutron dimmers and a grey two gang faceplate from Amazon.com.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 5

Good news! We had our new flooring delivered this week! It has to sit in our house and acclimate to our pocket of the multiverse for a few days before installation early next week

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 4

This week, the shelves are beginning to go up, and we’ve got one coat of Essential Grey” paint up on the walls. I think it looks nice.

Call me crazy, but I think Casa de Ipe is looking good

With the flowers blooming, I thought to myself, “Hey, Casa de Ipe” is looking good!”

I should hope so, because not only have we been cleaning up and renovating the interior of the house, I’ve been working to ensure the outside is looking good too. Lots of elbow grease and personal checks were key to the current results.

  1. We changed our general property cleanup company this year back to Garden Artisans. I used another local company in 2016 for lawn cutting and cleanup but didn’t find them easy to reach for questions and concerns. I also requested their assistance to fix our outdoor lighting but they never did, and tried to charge me for it. We got that charge corrected, but still couldn’t get them to fix it. Don’t need that. Apart from the recent herbicide leak, Garden Artisans seem professional and easy to reach.
  2. I looked at both TrueGreen and Lawn Doctor last year for lawn, tree, and shrub care, and ultimately contracted with TrueGreen. I had high hopes, but they were terrible. That’s the nicest way I can describe it. While there was no discernible improvement to the shrubs, bushes, and trees, our lawn took a beating. We had large areas infested with crabgrass. Dead patches of lawn. Ridiculous. Based on a neighbor’s recommendation, we are using  a company based out in Hamilton named Stirling Lawn Care.
  3. Concerned about our trees, including a dying white pine tree in our backyard, I used a friend’s recommendation to hire Princeton Tree Service to remove three dying trees, and to prune a number of others. I liked them so they will be out later in the year to provide nutrients and healthy mulch for the trees.
  4. We’ve decided to try gardening again this year, which I’ve posted about earlier.

That’s what we’ve got going on. It’s a lot, but I’m proud to see the improvements. Still gotta get the backyard patio working. Dang it.

Living Room / Den renovation – Day 2

Bench is done(ish) and new bookshelfs are getting marked out.

Living Room / Den renovation – Day 1

Thursday was day 1. Window bench is coming together.


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