Tag Archives: vintage

New house color reveal!

For those of you who know us personally, this post has been a long time comin’. For those of you who don’t, SURPRISE! We got our house painted!

Before I get going any further, I’ll just leave this photo here as a friendly reminder of what our house looked like when we bought it.

DSC_0047There was nothing WRONG with the paint color, per se. Well, actually, the flippers did a pretty shitty job of painting the porches and trim… AND they painted the roof (a real “wtf?” moment for us when we discovered that!) But part of our deal was that the seller had to put a new roof on the house at closing. When the roofers asked us if we wanted the same shingles, we said yes, assuming they would be black (since, you know, the roof LOOKED black…which turned out to be paint…) But, they weren’t.

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I like to think of this roof color change as moving our house’s style from the goth look to more grunge. More Daria Morgendorfer than Morticia Addams. While I dig both of those styles in clothing, it wasn’t really working on the house. I felt like our house just looked so drab, blending in to the background (it was kind of painted camo colors, after all). And the dark trim that I had been totally okay with when I thought it was black now looked a lot more like muddy brown.

But getting a house painted is either expensive or time consuming, depending on the route you decide to take, Initially we were all, we-just-bought-a-house-and-aren’t-going-to-spend-any-money. Then we were all, oh-crap,-our-bathtub-leaks-and-we-have-no-kitchen-ceiling,-better-spend-money-on-that. And THEN we were all…

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dang,-a-tree-fell-on-our-fence-and-power-line…

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…and-ripped-out-a-chunk-of-the-house-with-it;-guess-we’d-better-spend-money-on-THAT.

Fortunately, that disaster was covered by our insurance (after the deductible, of course). Still, it kind of sucked to have a hole in the side of our house in the middle of winter. Oh yeah, and without power to the house, we had no heat! Fun stuff. Let’s get a close up on that hole (please excuse the fact that these are out of focus; it was the middle of the night and we were cranky).

P2360047That black thing is the pipe that goes to our toilet, for reference. The “good” news was, our kitchen ceiling was already open, so we could stuff some cardboard up there to block the draft!

Anyway, we got it patched up pretty quickly, thanks to State Farm.

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Our claims adjuster was awesome and easy to work with, and since we had a higher deductible, she gave us as much as she could so we were getting our money’s worth, including painting not just the patched area, but both the entire back and north sides of the house “that way the paint matches…” (including the shed!)

So, here we were, with two sides of the house being painted…that same boring blah color. I mean, really, people. Look at that picture up there. BORING. And icky. So we made a decision.

We decided to get the entire house painted.

Of course, like I said before, house painting isn’t cheap. But the contractor who was already doing the repairs cut us a deal, and we actually managed to cover the entire project with our tax return! Fortunately our indecisiveness and inability to agree on house colors gave us the time we needed for that check to come in…

I have, for much of my life, attempted to come to “agreements” and “understandings” in my relationships. I don’t like when anybody “wins”… I’d rather just have my partner understand that I’m “right” 😉 Well, on the subject of house colors, we just could not agree. We were literally on the opposite ends of the spectrum. I used the drawing of the house I made for this blog and the Behr website to try out our color ideas and, ahem, show Jon just how great my color ideas are. After much bickering and about 50 different paint swatches, he finally said, “Okay. You win. We’ll go with your colors.”

It was a little difficult for me to accept winning without him necessarily agreeing with my choice, but I knew, deep in my heart, that my paint color design was perfect. I mean, look at it!

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It should be noted that, on screen, Night Shade looks kind of green. It’s not. On the color fan we had, it was situated in the blue family. It looked like a very dark, almost charcoal blue (picture it, I know you can). So I figured it would probably look more blue than green, which is what we wanted, but would be safer than going with a more blue-looking color. I was okay with the possibility of it looking green, gray, or even black (I was too scared to actually go for a black house… what if I just made it look even MORE Addams family?… but I wasn’t opposed to the idea). A search on the interwebs showed me that Night Shade tends to look pretty blue, which would compliment the color scheme we have going on the first floor of the house. So we went with it, and the painting began.

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The first thing they did after taping off all the windows was spray on the trim. Oh my gosh, you guys, I can’t even tell you how DIFFERENT our house looks with light trim! It was an instant transformation.

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I was freakin’ thrilled. Jon (who had originally wanted a darker trim) started to realize my brilliance… The cream trim makes the house stand out so much, brightens it, and I think actually makes the house look bigger.

When they started adding the body color, (pardon my French) hot damn.

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The color turned out pretty much exactly like I had hoped.

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We chose a satin finish, which was supposedly the less shinier option, and I’m glad we did, because dang does that afternoon sun SHINE off our house! Initially it was a little scary, but now I actually quite like it. OH—by the way—that siding we thought was asbestos and needed to be gotten rid of? Not asbestos! It’s actually cement. And the texture is really pretty awesome—something we barely noticed with the drab green of the past.

Now the painting is all said and done, so here are the Official New Exterior Photos!

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TA-DA! Isn’t it gorgeous? Seriously. Scroll up to the photo of the house when we bought it. Now look back at this photo. AMAZING, RIGHT?!

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It’s hard to see the Cinnamon Cherry porch ceiling and soffets in these photos, but in person it’s much more impressive. They add a nice pop of brightness to break up the blue.

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We didn’t like the house-numbers-on-a-plaque thing we had going on before, and for a moment I was afraid we would have to buy new house numbers. Afraid because those things are kind of expensive. I know, I know… they’re not THAT expensive… but we were already shelling out thousands of dollars to have the house painted, and I was feeling a bit stingy. Fortunately, the perfectly lovely numbers attached to the ugly plaque we had were only hot-glued on! Thanks, shitty flippers! So we were able to pop them right off. Jon used liquid nails to attach them to the post, which may not have been the best option as it was a bit messy, but… from here it looks great!

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There is still more to be done. We decided to hold off on painting the fence since we couldn’t decide on a color and we’re not sure if we’re keeping the fence or not (the broken bit did get repaired so the pooch could be contained). We also plan to paint the door and screen door red, and haven’t decided whether it will be the same red as the porch ceiling and soffets or if it will be a brighter red. So for now, I’ll leave you with this lovely little photo of our porch, my new favorite place. Fun fact: all of this furniture was free.

Stay tuned for photos of the back of the house and backyard… that area is a bit of a mess at the moment, but we have grand plans for the future!

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Handmade Gowns for Our Wedding Day

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I started my dress search pretty much immediately after we got engaged. My maid of honor set up appointments at several bridal salons in the area, and with no budget or preferences in mind, we went out and tried on everything the world had to offer.

I tried on many lovely dresses, but didn’t fall in love with any of them. I would like one element of this one, a feature on that one, etc. Then, as I started seeing them in bridal magazines, I realized how uncomfortable I would be knowing that my dress could someday be considered fad-ish, dated, or the “it” dress for 2013. Coupled with the fact that I had a tight budget, I realized that I would have to go custom to get what I needed.

When I first heard about Janay A Handmade, I was sure she would be out of my price range. She specializes in eco-friendly fabrics and her dresses are stunning. Finally I decided that it couldn’t hurt to ask. I came to Janay with my budget and to my delight she told me that she could work with it!

Beyond beautiful dresses and a green initiative, Janay is amazing because she works with you every step of the way to ensure your dress is exactly what you want. She was overseas when I contacted her, so we had our first meeting via Skype. I sent her a link to my Pinterest wedding gown board and we talked about what I wanted. She was drawing while we talked, and making changes as I requested them.

Initial Sketch for Lydia by Janay A

Afterwards she sent me an invoice and description. Initially, we planned on organic cotton for the entire thing, but after seeing the fabric in person I felt it wasn’t quite what I wanted. We ended up deciding on organic hemp silk and champagne tulle.

Lydia Sketch with Veil Janay A

Janay’s description:

Lydia’s gown is vintage inspired and elegant. It is created in champagne
tulle over silk/hemp fabric (satin side out).
The bodice of the gown features a wide-set sweetheart neckline that leads
into semi-sheer tulle rouched straps/mini cap sleeves. The bodice drapes
slightly over the belt, with a fitted and structured inner lining for support. A
thin sash accents the smallest part of the waist (sash material tbd)
The back of the gown is cut into a dramatic low V, ending a few inches
above the natural waistline, and has an invisible back zipper. The skirt falls
straight away from the body into a softly flared A-line, and drapes from the
waistband with small pleats (located in side-font and back-center) adding
vertical design lines to elongate the body. Triangle shaped godet inserts of
tulle fabric (two in front and one in back) add more interest to the hemline.
Train of the gown is approximately 1.5 ft in length at the center back, and is
in silk/hemp with an overhang of tulle.
The gown’s skirt has an optional hidden custom dyed tulle underskirt to
add flair and body to the gown (fullness and color tbd at or before first
fitting). Gown is constructed to include boning and bust cups for support. Fully
lined with soft organic cotton. All alterations included.
Includes a floor length veil.

We had multiple fittings throughout the process, making adjustments here and there along the way.

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Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Prior to contacting Janay, I had already chosen bridesmaids dresses. They were lovely, but after designing my dress with Janay, I was afraid that they wouldn’t work together because of the different fabrics. I asked Janay if she could make custom bridesmaids dresses for the same price as the ready-made ones I had chosen, and to my delight she said she could. She came up with custom designs for each girl based on what would look best with their body type. I chose pink for their colors and the same champagne tulle overlay that my dress had to tie them together.

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There were times when I was nervous. A dress that isn’t completely made can look a little funny. But when it was done, it was perfect!

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IMG_2896 copyI adored all of the custom elements.

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The veil Janay made had Swarovski crystals added to give it a little bit of extra sparkle.

IMG_2705My maids looked stunning in dresses made just for them.

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The champagne tulle had the glowy effect I wanted that was beautiful in the evening light.

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When we stood all together, it was obvious that these dresses were made to go together.

IMG_3007Ultimately, the most important test was whether they were danceable. Clearly, they were.

And a good time was had by all.

What’s in a name? How we became the DeMontes

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I hinted in our wedding post that there was a story behind our name. When we got married, Jon and I both changed our last name.

When we first got engaged and had the conversation about names, we both expressed that we could go either way. I can’t remember whether or not it mattered to him, but I wanted us to share a last name. In the past I thought I might be a hyphen gal. I don’t want to get in to the politics of it, because that’s not the point, but as a modern woman the symbolism of taking your husband’s name has always slightly bothered me. But I really liked Jonathan’s name, and it was a little too long to hyphenate, so we decided at that point that my last name would become both of our middle names, and we would share his last name.

The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t mind the ol’ patriarchy issue. Mostly because his last name was really cool sounding (it was Piedimonte, say it like an Italian to get the full effect) but also because I really liked the idea of taking a new name for this next stage in life. In the United States, there isn’t really a “coming of age” ceremony that is practiced by our culture as a whole. There are symbolic steps, but we could debate all day whether you’re really an adult at sweet 16, 18, 21, college graduation, etc. While I certainly think it’s different for every person, for me, a wedding is like a coming of age ceremony. It’s a symbolic ritual saying not only that you are grown up enough to make this life-altering choice, but you are mature enough to enter a lifelong partnership with another person. You are no longer reliant on your parents. You are an adult, making your own choices, with another adult. Marriage isn’t for kids. So taking the step in to the next stage of life, it makes sense that your name would change, too. I like that.

Of course, in our culture, it’s (usually) the woman whose name changes. If the guy is going through the same thing, shouldn’t he get a symbolic name change, too?

Jon told me that he had been thinking about changing his name for a while. In the time that I’ve known him (we first met in 2009), he has grown so much as a person. He has completely changed his life around, dropped bad habits, set goals, and is well on the way to achieving them. When we first met, he told me he didn’t think he was ready for a relationship with me (in fact, I wasn’t either). Obviously, by the time he asked me to marry him, we both were.

He wasn’t Jonathan Piedimonte anymore. He wanted to leave that name behind.

Now, before anybody comes in here saying “Well he could have taken your name!” remember that I wanted to change my name, too, so that wasn’t going to work. And Boehr-Piedimonte is just way too long. No, we needed a new name. A name that was ours.

I didn’t want to drop my old name entirely; I’m rather partial to it. I decided to stick with the original idea and keep it as my middle name. For our new name, we wanted to keep Jon’s heritage alive in it. We didn’t want to deviate too far. So we decided to shorten it, tweaked the spelling and capitalization, and came up with DeMonte. Now, what’s really cool about this, is Piedimonte means “at the foot of the mountain.” DeMonte means “on the mountain.” In case you’re not getting it, I’ll spell it out for you: we climbed the mountain.

And that’s how we became Jon and Lydia DeMonte.

Our Wedding

For this blog’s maiden post, I thought it fitting to share the day we became the DeMontes (read about our name change here). There is so much I want to write about—our amazing venue; the custom, eco-friendly gowns; everything we did ourselves; our custom wedding ale; the music; the photography; convincing everyone to trust my vision; our unconventional schedule; how we managed a “Pinterest-worthy” wedding on a budget; and many more things. But all of those posts will come in time. For now, I would like to share, without words, our wedding:

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Venue: The Bingham-Wagonner Estate Photography: Brandon Forrest Frederick, Cory Hinesley, Colin Joseph Burke, Chris Durr Dresses: Janay A Handmade