we miss you, Eero

Febraury 2012 - June 24, 2012

Our time together was definitely short but sweet. Couldn't have asked for a better puppy.

For those of you curious, the story of Eero passing was (and still is) a bit of a mystery. Angie and I went to the grocery store one Sunday morning and left Eero outside on his leash in the yard. When we arrived home, around an hour later, the first thing I noticed was his collar, still attached to his leash, lying in the yard. This was the first alarm that something was wrong. The last time he got loose, he did what any faithful dog would do and just waited by the door until I returned home. Anyway, we immediately jumped out of the car and started calling for him. As I walked around the corner of the house I turned and saw him lying in the corner next to the back door. He didn't move a muscle when I ran up to him, but his eyes were open and he was able to look at me. He was breathing, but it was pretty clear that he didn't have much time left. The only thing that I could think of was a possible heat stroke so I immediately carried him to the garden hose to hose him down and try to get his temperature back down. If I had calmed down to think about the situation I would have immediately ruled that out considering the temperature that day (still warm, but not near hot enough to cause heat stroke in one hours time). After hosing him down and a few minutes of trying to cool him down inside, he stopped breathing. I then started CPR and we contacted a local emergency animal hospital. He gave a couple grunts and twitches during the CPR, but never fully recovered. We rushed to the animal hospital as quickly as possible, but he never started breathing again. The nurses at the hospital weren't able to give a definitive cause of death. They did however bring up the point that he may have found a mushroom or mole killer in our yard or a nearby neighbors yard and ingested it.

It's tough not knowing what happened to him, but we're glad we could see him (and he could see us) before he passed. One thing we've learned is to simply be aware of what is in our yard. Hopefully, this story can help others out there be more wary of things that may not cross their mind. And even more importantly, be an example of how quickly pets can be taken away. They're loyal little (or sometimes big) creatures and basically worship the ground you walk on. Don't forget that.


popcorn ceilings

Look at it up there. It's like guano all over the ceiling.

If there's one omnipresent feature of the house that doesn't fit in with the look I'm going for, it would be popcorn ceilings. Ugly popcorn ceilings. Luckily, this isn't a big issue cost-wise. It does, however, create a HUGE mess when removing.

The above picture doesn't show it well, but my ceilings also have blue sparkles in them. Not even lying.

I've already removed the popcorn ceiling in the side entry "foyer", the laundry room, and on the soffit in the kitchen that's directly over the peninsula (for some reason that's the only place it existed in the kitchen). Next on the list is the hallway. If you can't tell, I'm doing all the small spaces first. It's a confidence thing... The clean freak in me is scared to start on the larger rooms. I just know I'll be finding pieces of the ceiling in the carpet for months to come.


ceiling beam dilemma

Don't get me wrong, I love the vaulted ceiling and exposed beams in our living room. It adds interest to an otherwise boring, white ceiling. What I didn't love was that dark stained color. I considered the two options of painting over them or covering them with a pre-finished plywood more to my liking. I took the cheap route figuring, if I didn't like the painted beams, I could still cover them in the future. Here's a before shot to jog the ole' memory.

Sorry it's not a wider angle shot. This was taken on move-in day before I had this plan. After four coats and several nights spent on a ladder, this is how it turned out.

You might notice the front door and trim on the door and closet also got a few coats. That happened during the baseboard project. Also, the wall leading to the basement sucked up almost a whole gallon of Chartreuse paint. ALWAYS use a gray primer when going with a bold color like that. You'll save a ton of paint.

I like the new look. Much brighter. I'm considering painting the living room walls a light shade of gray to make the newly painted beams stand out a little more... and possibly painting the fireplace white for a more minimal look. That ceiling fan needs to go too. Either switch it out with a better looking fan, or I might try to do a home-made Moooi Random Light pendant. But that's for another time.

LED can lights

Ever since starting my career in the architectural lighting field, I can't help but look at lighting everywhere I go. It was one of the first things I noticed when walking through our house for the first time. So once we moved in, it was decided that every fixture in the house will be replaced... in time.

So why not start with the easy ones? There were three 6" recessed can lights in the kitchen and one at the bottom of the stairs. None of these locations were suitable/appropriate for replacing with a pendant or flush mount ceiling fixture, so I just replaced them with more up-to-date LED can lights. After arriving and browsing the selection at the nearest Home Depot, I went with these guys.

EcoSmart 65W equivalent (575 lumens) 6" recessed LED can lights. Didn't do much research on the brand, but the LED is manufactured by Cree so I figured it was a decent product.

Sorry for the lack of install shots. The blog didn't exist when I did this little project. You REALLY don't need instructions if you're just replacing existing can lights like I did. You just unscrew the bulb, pull out the trim ring, unattach the socket from the inner mounting bracket, remove that bracket, then screw one of these dudes right into the socket and push it up into the can. Done. I also replaced the switch with a dimmer switch for the three lights in the kitchen for some sexy mood/cooking lighting.

The end result was quite pleasing. Much cleaner looking. No more cream-colored trim. No more staring directly at the bulb with it's stupid watt rating right where you can see it. Who the hell decided that was the best place to put that?! Probably some dumb lighting engineer.

saarinen chair

Another score on CL (for future reference I abbreviate Craigslist). I've had a boring old standard office chair (I think from Wal-Mart) since college. It served it's purpose, but it was time to find something that fit in with my style, so when I ran across a vintage Saarinen Executive Conference Chair I moved pretty quick to get my hands on it. Sure it's that drab bluish-gray color that all office furniture was upholstered in up until recently, but the shape is great... and I could always get it reupholstered... I don't know, maybe I'm partial to some of Saarinen's work since he was the architect responsible for the local St. Louis Arch. Anyway, here it is.

It's surprisingly comfotable and supportive. It also just happened to be the exact height necessary to slide up to the desk without the arms bumping the edge of the desk. Also, I really need a better camera. The iPhone 4 doesn't do great in anything darker than daylight. Sadly, I'm sure my next upgrade will simply be the iPhone 5 or whatever they decide to call it. One day though. One day I'll have a dedicated genuine photo shootin' machine.

The lamp is an Etsy find that I admittedly paid too much for. But I justify it by thinking of all my other great finds. Plus I was specifically looking for a vintage yellow Luxo clamp mount lamp, so I didn't really think twice about the decision to pull the trigger when I found it. It probably deserves it's own post, but this is all you get since I'm still playing catch-up from not starting the blog until four months after moving in.

The desk is the "fold desk" purchased online from CB2. We really need a CB2 in the St. Louis area. An Ikea wouldn't be too bad either. Then I'd be happy. The desk was the closest thing I could find to the Herman Miller Airia Desk (see below) without spending a ton of money.

That's pretty much it for the office though. I need to get some stuff on the walls and then it will be the first "complete room in the house! At which time I'll be sure to post some updated pics in the "TOUR" tab... unless I find something else to change. Let's just act like you never read the last paragraph. Move along, nothing to see here.


meet Eero

Please join us in welcoming the newest member of our household, Eero!

Angie and I have been dog lovers our entire lives. I signed up months ago with the Kansas City Dane Rescue, but nothing ever turned up from it. Angie was skittish to the idea of having such a large dog, but once she spent some time around a couple different great danes, she fell in love with their calm, laid-back attitudes.

I started checking PetFinder at random intervals to see what the local shelters had taken in. Last week, three great dane/lab mix puppies from the same litter were transferred to a nearby shelter. I grew up with labs almost my entire life, so I figured a mix of two great breeds would be a great addition to the fam. We jumped into action immediately and that night, on the way home, I picked up Eero. Within hours there was vomit in my car console and urine on the kitchen floor... Couldn't be mad, though. I mean look at him.