...because home doesn't happen overnight.

interior door 2

Inquiring minds want to know, “Where did you get the black hinges and doorknobs?” I could’ve sworn I shared the source years ago, but after some digging I realized I hadn’t. Better late than never!

interior doorknob 1

We replaced the interior doors and hardware after we moved in. One caveat: We had already removed the original doors, so we lived without any interior doors for quite a while. With a newborn. And two other rugrats. It sucked. I wouldn’t recommend it.

You can read more about the doors we selected here and here. (Eek! Mabrey looks so little.) We wanted a simple design that didn’t stray too far from our home’s midcentury roots, but we were hoping for something slightly less boring than a flush door slab. We were stoked to discover the Berkley from Masonite’s West End collection with its subtle inset detailing. Steve saved us >$2,000 by hanging the doors himself. Eventually, I painted them to match the trim. (It took me a year to get around to it!)

interior doorknobs 3

We liked the idea of matte black hinges and doorknobs to contrast against the white doors. We went with these hinges. For the bathrooms and bedrooms, we used these privacy doorknobs. For the linen closets, we used these passage doorknobs. For the man door to the garage, we used this keyed entry doorknob along with this deadbolt.

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Four years later, the doors and hardware are holding up extremely well. (My kids should work at a door/doorknob testing facility.)

interior doors 1

The Safe ‘n Sound solid core doors have been a worthy investment. They provide great acoustical insulation in our smallish house (i.e., I lock myself in the bathroom from time to time for a quick, quiet recharge). The doors get a lot of compliments from visitors. They’re unique yet understated. I absolutely LOVE the matte black hardware.

In summary, living with interior doors trumps living without interior doors any day. I hope I never have to do that again.

P.S. – Create your own attic access.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

06.01.16 / Liked & Linked

summer nights

mabrey's room progress

worn out

School’s out! I think this is the earliest my kids have been released for summer break. (We didn’t have any snow days to make up this year.) The sad part is they go back extra early. (Ask me in a few weeks though, and I’ll tell you it’s a good thing.) We’re trying not to think too far ahead. Instead, we’re jumping feet first into summer by eating most meals al fresco, hitting up the local pool (pool dunks count as baths, right?), roasting s’mores, catching fireflies, playing hide-and-seek outside and letting the kids’ bedtime slip later and later. Can you spot a tennis ball caught in the snow rail on our roof? #signsofsummer

In other news, Mabrey’s room is taking shape. As much as I loved the dark walls, the white feels fresh and airy. It’s a completely different room! I decided to hire out the wallpaper installation. It was scheduled for this week, but the installer called late last Friday to say he could squeeze us in early Saturday morning. Yes, please! (You can catch a sneak peek here.) I spent the rest of the day emptying, reconfiguring, painting and reorganizing the teeny closet. I nixed the freestanding shelving unit that I threw in there as a short-term solution when we moved in…FOUR YEARS AGO. Switching out the crib for a twin trundle bed was a priority, and it’s eaten up a lot of space. I’m trying to free up more floor space by using the closet for toy storage.

Speaking of beds…I’m waiting on new mattresses to arrive. Until then, Mabrey is sleeping on a thin IKEA trundle mattress which I brought in temporarily from the boys’ room. Although, I’m starting to wonder why I didn’t just throw down a shag rug and call it a day. She’s been passing out on the living room rug nearly every afternoon. (I can’t say the same for her bed at bedtime. So. Much. Drama.) Stay tuned for more progress along with individual posts featuring the tweaked out bed and reorganized closet.

A few links…

*A narrow kitchen featuring hand-painted gold radiators!

*Wanted: a modest version of this house on the land we found here. (Seven months later, we can’t stop thinking about that plot for sale near Asheville.)

*Love the mix of wood + tile in this bathroom.

*Such a fun idea for a kids’ summer birthday party. House envy!

cincy airbnb 1

cincy airbnb 2

cincy airbnb 3

*Headed to the midwest this summer? Check out this local architect’s airbnb in Cincinnati complete with a rooftop deck.

*A silly, interactive, FREE website that Everett’s teacher told us about to combat boredom. My kids love the awesome sauce and koo koo kanga roo channels.

*The swimsuit Mabrey picked out. It’s super cute (gold elephants!) and stays put in all the right places.

*The boys’ swim trunks. They will only wear fitted trunks that don’t have to be tied and retied.

I hope you had a glorious loooooong weekend. The kids and I are sneaking away to Michigan City, Indiana, next week for a little getaway. I get to be the fun parent for five days! Haha. Any suggestions for eating, seeing and doing?

P.S. – Easy Greek spread for all those summer potlucks.

images: 1-3) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 4-6) Airbnb

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Jill whose favorite recent mail includes anything from Amazon. Ha!

modbox 1

We live in a township which means we avoid city taxes and must abide by ordinances that help keep property values high such as mowing the lawn regularly, not parking broken down vehicles in the driveway and generally maintaining our home’s appearance. When we were in full on renovation mode, we received a notice from the township regarding peeling paint on the front door, garage door and mailbox post. I found it comical, if not a bit infuriating. Here we were breathing new life into a decrepit property  – removing dead and overgrown trees, installing a new roof and windows, completely updating the interior, etc. – and we were being served a letter for a petty thing like peeling exterior paint. I couldn’t help but thinking that if we had left the trees in place (they completely blocked the view of the house from the road) until some of the major work was finished, the township wouldn’t have even noticed the peeling paint.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the township’s commitment to optimizing property values, but wasn’t it obvious we were working hard to improve the property already? We were addressing more pressing issues and would get to the peeling paint eventually. In the end, to avoid fines, I slapped a few coats of paint on the garage door and mailbox post as a stopgap measure. Steve shuffled around projects so he could tackle the restoration of the original front door. Meanwhile, a full bathroom sat gutted inside the house.

Fast forward four years, we’re finally in a place where we can address little things like a mailbox. (No pun intended.) The mailbox that came with our house had seen better days. It looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to it. The door didn’t close properly, and the flag had fallen off and been “fixed” numerous times. The *painted* wood post was rotted.

I’ve had my eye on Modbox USA, a sleek mailbox reminiscent of midcentury modern designs. I contributed to the Kickstarter program last year and even mentioned it on the blog at one point. The creator Greg, a midcentury design enthusiast, got the idea for the midcentury-inspired mailbox when he stumbled upon an issue of Atomic Ranch in which a reader asked, “Do you know of a good source for ’50s period mailboxes?” The editor replied, “The retro market seems to be wide open.” And an idea was born. The fundraiser was a success, and Steve and I were giddy when the mailbox and post showed up on our doorstep.

modbox install

The mailbox came with installation instructions, and Steve installed it without too much trouble. Due to the depth of the frostline here in Ohio, he did have to add a length of metal rod to the post to avoid shifting. He set the post with concrete in a cardboard form tube then rigged a support system constructed of lumber scraps and clamps to hold the post in place while the concrete cured. Once the concrete had cured, he added the mailbox.

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I’ve never been so excited about a mailbox in my life! It’s one of those things you don’t really think about until you make the upgrade. The simple design is perfection. The fabrication is impeccable. The company uses 20 gauge steel which is 75% thicker than today’s standard mailboxes.

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Checking the mail has never felt so luxurious. The door has a magnetic closure, and the handle has some heft to it. It’s a far cry from the rusted door we had to yank open and slam shut on our previous mailbox.

modbox 2

The two-tone color highlights the streamlined design. The mailbox is offered in all original Eichler exterior color accents. We went with the eucalyptus and white color scheme to tie in with the metal roof and garage door.

Greg at Modbox USA has agreed to offer up one mailbox to a lucky House*Tweaking reader! No curbside mailbox? No problem. Modbox USA offers wall-mounted mailboxes, too. Find giveaway entry details below.

PRIZE: one wall-mounted mailbox (including letter tray) or one curbside mailbox (including post) from Modbox USA in your choice of color.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address in the continental U.S. (No P.O. boxes please.) One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming, “MODBOX ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 8th. One random winner will be announced Monday, May 9th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: What’s the best mail you’ve received lately? Tax refund? A wedding invitation? A letter from a good friend? We got a statement from the bank officially showing our mortgage balance as $0.00. Feels so good!

Use the discount code TWEAK15 to score 15% off your entire Modbox USA purchase now through May 11th, 2016.

Good luck!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking