Faux Fireplace Update

We mounted the mantle last week and I think it looks pretty great.

First we tiled a piece of 3/4" plywood with black subway tile and attached the board to the inside of the mantle. Then we attached a ledge anchor with some masonry screws and glue to the brick wall. A few screws to attach the mantle to the anchor board and we are all set.

Only a few things left to do to complete this project. Add molding across the top to cover the small gap between the wall and the mantle. We didn't want to damage the original baseboard so we had to mount the mantle in front of the board creating the small gap. Next we want to get a nice piece of slate for the hearth and think we will be done.

oh, well we want to mount a mirror over the mantle and then we will be done.

Clean Currents Solar

Back in August I applied for the DC Renewable Energy Incentive Program and was approved. I chose Clean Currents as my installation partner and they helped me apply for the program as well as design my entire system. The DC incentive program offered me $11,064 for a 4 KW photovoltaic solar system which covered nearly half of the cost. The federal tax credit will provide me with $7,838 or 30% of the total cost of the system. Another benefit of investing in a solar electric system is the right to sell my 4 Solar Renewable Energy Credits. You can choose the to sell your credits over time and in the end get more money back on your investment, but I decided to sell my credits upfront and lower my intial investment to $1,500. That’s right with the DC and Federal funds plus the approximate $6,800 from PEPCO for my credits I only had to spend $1,500 of my own money.

Now let’s take a quick look at how much energy I will be producing annually versus how much I use and see how long it will take me to pay off the $1,500 investment. My 4KW system should produce approximately 4,888Kwh/yr while my usage is on average 5,400Kwh/yr. That means that nearly 90% of my energy consumption annual will be covered by my solar system. After looking at my PEPCO bills over the past two years I annually spend between $900-$1,000 which means I should be spending $90-$100 per year going forward. So in 2 years I will have saved more than my initial investment. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Well I will say I was lucky. DC offeres a unique program and I was the last approved candidate for 2010 (literally got my application in on the last day) and it’s unclear if the program would continue or at leats continue with so much funding.

Kitchen Hardware

Check it out! The new hardware came and I think it really makes the kitchen look a lot better. The only issue is that with these clean bar handles you can notice that the original handles weren't all installed completely straight. Oh well I guess that will be another project to post in the near future.

Yellow and White Bathroom

After I convinced my better half to paint the kitchen green I conceded to painting the bathroom yellow. In the end I think it turned out great. The walls are bright and they really look great with all the sun from the skylight.

In order to finish the room we decided to paint the matching medicine cabinet, sink cabinet and mirror frame white. The end result is bright and inviting two toned yellow and white bathroom. After we finished the painting we purchased a nice yellow and white shower curtain that I think finishes off the bathroom nicely.

Medicine cabinet and mirror frame drying after the second coat of paint.

Here you can see the shower curtain.

Kitchen Still in Progress

So we haven't made as much progress as we would have liked, but we did finally hang the pot rack and some art. I think the end results are great and it really makes the room look a lot better.

Refinished Gate-leg

We purchased a beautiful Danish Modern gate-leg table and chair set on Craigslist. The table was a bit worn when we purchased it. It was living the last few years of its life in the basement of a house as a kids arts & crafts table. Someone added a thick coat of varnish to the table which may have helped protect it at some point, but now its just a reminder of all the damage thats been done. After a thick coat of Multi-Strip (an odor-free environmentally friendly paint and varnish stripper) the table is back to almost its original glory.

Step 1: Apply thick coat of Multi-Strip.
Step 2: Wait 3 hours.
Step 3: Remove Multi-Strip with a straight edge paint scraper.
Step 4: Wipe down the table with Odorless Mineral Spirits
Step 5: Sit back and admire your hard work.

A little more work tightening some of the screws and some new upholstery for the chairs and this set will be perfect.

Faux Fireplace

We picked up this gorgeous wood mantle on Craigslist the only problem is we don't have a fireplace. So we decide to create a faux fireplace. All we have to do is hang the mantle on the wall and then we can tile the inside. It should look pretty good and will add a great focal point to the room.

Kitchen in Progress

Before we can afford to renovate the kitchen we decided to do our best to make it more livable. We started by painting the walls green and the cabinets and table white. New hardware has been picked out we just need to place the order. Next up we will be painting the laminate floors charcoal grey and either replace or paint the tile back splash.

We also still need to hang our paintings, we've been reluctant to hanging anything on our plaster on lathe on brick walls.

I really love the green in this room, but that floor ruins everything and must be removed immediately.