Living Room Update

It’s been quite some time since we finished most of the work in our living room. And while there are always a handful of uncompleted items left on the checklist, the majority of work is done. So with that in mind, I thought I would provide a handful of before and after shots. For your viewing pleasure, here is the complete album.

Living Room – Day 1


Windows which were replaced and trim stripped.

Looking towards the dining room

Wallpaper removed. Pre wall repair and trim removal/stripping and staining. Essentially: pre-pain.

And the work begins. Notice the outline of the original fireplace mantel…that will be recreated and the tile replaced…eventually.

And some after shots. They are a bit dark, but you get the idea. The only view not included is the view looking into the dining room. I’ll post that once the dining room is presentable.


Stained Glass Window

How often do we begin and finish a project in a single day? Almost never around these parts but today was an anomaly: I was able to strip and stain an old stained glass window and get it hung. It fit just right.

Stained glass window.

Living Room Windows!

14 months after putting in new windows in the living room, I finally got the last of them stained this weekend! A before and after:



Notice that I slightly tweaked the window configuration to break up the lines a bit. All in all I’d say that’s a pretty good transformation. Full living room photo gallery is here.

Slowly But Surely, And Don’t Call Me Shirley

Progress around Portland FourSquare has slowed to a snail’s pace as of lately but I thought I would update with a few pics to let you know that not all hope is lost.

The living room isn’t quite done but we did make a monumental step in the right direction.  With the weather above 60 degrees on Saturday (finally), I got to stain one of the new windows we had installed.  With sashes removed, I was able to tape off all the hardware and glass.

Sash removed and ready for staining

First living room window that has been stained

It’s been awhile, but this room looked nothing like this before we started.  As a quick reminder, this is what we were dealing with:

Deconstruction begins

Applying first coat of mud after having repaired plaster

Walls painted and pre-trim installation

I’ve got 4 more windows to stain in this room which are all dependent on getting good weather for.  Once those are done, this room will be almost finished.  Can’t wait for the final unveil!  Here are the pics of the progress.


Admittedly I was a bit burnt out around New Years. Combined with the final push to open up Pilot Wealth, a man can only take so much sanding, pre-conditioning, staining and finishing. It looks great – don’t get me wrong, but I was (am) going through one of those classic home rehaber phases where you start to imagine evenings without house projects. Or weekends filled with…I don’t know…things that have nothing to do with your house.

But waxing poetic and pity parties won’t cause the dust cap above the base molding to magically finish and install itself. So what shall one do? That’s right: get distracted.

We got the new windows installed in the living room and dining room and they look outstanding! Did you know that you are actually supposed to be able to open double-hung windows? Who knew. I still have a little trim work to do on them but they look great. They do however highlight how crappy the old windows in the house look. But one step at a time.

The new Marvin's just installed

1st Floor Windows = Neat. 2nd Floor Windows = Not Neat.

With the windows out of the way and woodwork calling my name, I opted for some electrical work. After a quick visit to the Rejuvenation sale this past weekend I came away with a new fixture for our entryway. Check out the before and after! Hmmm….the paint looks a bit drab and the trim is awfully white…

The former first impression

A little bit of living room and a little bit of entryway

Since I was doing such a good job of ‘woodwork denial’ I continued on my lighting journey and finally replaced the fixture in the upstairs hallway.

There were 4 of these fixtures in our house originally


Minor change but seriously, that old fixture was bad. And you can see that even the hallway will be a huge project in itself one day.

With that completed, I must say that this house has quite the stories up it’s sleeves. I have now replaced 3 light fixtures in this house and found old gas pipes each time. Does anybody have any pictures of what these old lamps looked like that would have been here originally? It’s amazing that there are any houses still left from this vintage with all that gas throughout the house.

More gas piping.

I’ll probably get back to the living room this weekend: those final steps are the hardest. But I may just blow off the whole weekend and go for a bike ride and kick it with the family. Photos are here: Living Room, Entryway, Upstairs Hallway.

Sushi Restaurant Drinking Contest

You’ll probably get a crack out of this. I am actually sitting here having a beer resting after ‘one of those evenings’ on the house. I’m finishing up the main part of my baseboards (just stained and oiled the last pieces of the 1×8″ this afternoon). As I’m getting ready to apply the danish oil – I realize that I’m pretty much out. BUT – I do have a can of the exact same danish oil (same manufacturer, color, everything) that has got to be 20 years old. Being as I’m lazy and don’t want to go to the store, I decide to open it up. And it looks and works good…and smells like nasty fish oil. Whatever. Finish the trim. So I do, head out for dinner with the family and some friends tonight. And when we get home, it smells like 3 sushi restaurants got into a drinking contest and 2 of them lost and lost bad. The whole house smells horrible. So after moving all the drying trim to the porch in the freezing weather and throwing out all remnants of the fish oil fiasco, I am now attempting to cover up the odor with a beer. All in the name of good looking woodwork. 🙂

Oh, and GO DUCKS!

Happy (belated) Holidays

Happy belated Holiday’s from the Leshes!

We spent the last week or so with Kerri’s whole family in Montana and had a great time. The two day drive out from Portland was surprisingly easy and actually provided some quality time with just the four of us without to many distractions.

Kerri, Christopher and Jason playing in the snow

Kerri sledding

Christopher and Dad taking the dogs for a "run"

Christmas morning off the back deck

The combination of over-eating, sledding, epic pinnochle matches and some memorable Xbox Kinect moments proved to be just what the doctor ordered. There were 13 stockings hanging by the tree Christmas morning and we were fortunate to be surrounded by so many loved ones. Christopher and Aiden experienced no shortage of presents – that is for sure. Mom and Dad didn’t fair too bad either. Santa surprised Kerri with a new espresso machine and grinder while Dad received a nice air compressor and several finish nail guns – not sure if that’s a gift or a hint that the living room needs to be finished.

Aunt Kortnee and Uncle J stealing some smiles from Aiden

Concentrating so hard amidst the craziness

New espresso machine and grinder courtesy of my good friend Mark at Clive Coffee

We got home yesterday and it’s back to trying to wrap up the living room. I’m just finishing up the baseboard trim which involves adjusting all of the electrical outlets and then it’s just waiting on the new windows which should be installed this coming weekend.

Fitting the baseboards

We’ll be assembling a year-in-review in the coming days. Until then, see some more pictures of our Montana vacation or the living room project.