Marriage, Honeymoon, Wallpaper

Tony and I got married!

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The weather was perfect and everything went off without a hitch. Thanks to all Fawn Log readers who made the ceremony great (Charlie, Grace, Katy, Mark, Phil) and danced the night away with us (Jhanna, Kirsi, Kristina, Sarah, Will, and all of our amazing Bentley and Ruzicka family members!). And to Fawn Loggers Shannon and Katie who sent well wishes, thank you and cheers!


I hope it’s okay that I’m posting your picture, Phil!

We had so much fun at the wedding and are looking forward to never thinking that hard about catering or rented chairs ever again.

For our honeymoon, we road tripped to Clearwater, Florida where we took a picture in which we tried to look like what we imagined everyone who honeymooned in Florida in 1962 looked like:


Since this is now a home renovation blog, I thought it might make sense to write about the two amazing places we stayed in. The first was a Tiny House in Nashville, Tennessee that we stayed at for a night on our drive down. I was so excited about this place and it did not disappoint.

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At just 200 square feet, it felt surprisingly spacious.

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The vaulted ceiling helped give it height, and an incredibly smart layout ensured that every space was as functional as possible. Classic crappy Fawn Log floorplan:



Classic crappy picture of vaulted ceiling:

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Because the kitchen and bathroom were in the middle of the house, the bedroom and living space managed to feel very separate, even thought they were probably less than 5 or 6 feet apart. I could totally imagine sleeping in the bedroom while someone hung out in the living room.

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Again, I am a terrible photographer. Why do I have a blog? This is from the bedroom doorway

Even though the kitchen space was teeny, it had everything you would need to cook a meal: double sink, a microwave, a dorm room-sized fridge, and even an itsy-bitsy range. It had a decent amount of counter space and storage, too.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 6.40.47 PMThe only space that felt really small was the bathroom. To allow for extra storage space on top of the room and keep this room more private, the ceiling wasn’t vaulted in this part of the house. Tony didn’t take a shower here because he probably would have had to kneel to fit. Look how tiny the bathroom sink is in this gratuitous, “I’m so married/ look at my ring” photo:

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The total standing room in the bathroom was maybe 18 square inches– just enough room to stand while washing your hands or pivot into the shower or onto the toilet. We ended up brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. It wasn’t a problem for our stay, but I could see the bathroom being pretty difficult to live with long-term.

Here’s the official AirBnb listing, in case you want to see more pictures or book yourself a night! The location was really great and we went to an awesome bar less than a mile away with a huge craft beer selection and– possibly Tony’s favorite meal of the entire trip– thyme and bacon fat popcorn. East Nashville is incredibly trendy and our visit confirmed that I’m not cool enough to live there. It was really fun to visit, though, and I want to go back for longer than a night sometime!

From there we drove to Clearwater, Florida where our accommodations were once again kick ass.

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Credit: AirBnb listing. I managed to forget to take a picture of the front of the house!

I seriously can’t recommend this AirBnB listing enough. The house was built in 1926 and beautifully renovated. It had so many windows and was filled with the perfect mix of vintage and contemporary furniture and decorations. It was also a short drive to lots of amazing public beaches. The backyard felt really private thanks to a fence and many humongous trees (draped in Spanish moss, which will never not be gorgeous to me). Look how pretty the back deck was (ignore that dude drinking a mimosa made from hand-squeezed Florida oranges):

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We absolutely loved the hardwood floors in this house. We have been considering leaving the floors unstained in our house when we refinish them, but this house made a great case for a medium-tone stain with a glossy finish. I thought I hated glossy-finished floors! Who am I?!

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The bathroom was crazy awesome. It was fully tiled on all four walls and the shower was not enclosed. When you took a shower, you basically got the whole bathroom wet. Afterward, you used a big squeegee to direct the water toward the drain, which ran along the back edge of the room. This was the perfect shower set-up for coming back from the beach all sandy.

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Credit once again to the listing.

Tony and I really liked the kitchen counter-tops, which was also sort of surprising as they were a dark, speckled blue. Like glossy floors, this sounds like something I would hate, but this kitchen made it look great.

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I also really liked having the stacked washer and dryer in the kitchen. Once again, this sounds like a flaw, but it felt sort of European in addition to being super convenient. The kitchen at our house is not big enough for a washer/dryer, but I would definitely not be opposed to having a laundry set-up like this in some faraway future house.

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Yep, from the listing again.

This house was really inspirational for Tony and I. We had planned to avoid talking about our house renovation on the honeymoon, because we both wanted to just relax for a hot minute. But we totally failed thanks to this place, which had so many features we want to replicate. If our house turns out half as cool after we’re done renovating, we will both be thrilled.

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For me, this house was a good reminder that style is many elements at once rather than any one thing. Taken out of context, glossy floors or blue counters don’t sound like stuff I like, but within a gorgeous house these elements added depth? character? charm? Something like that, I think.

Since we bought our house, I’ve been looking at a lot of Scandinavian home style blogs.

Here’s a Scandinavian style kitchen.

Scandinavian style is so pretty and airy, but it’s easy– after looking at hundreds of pictures of “Scandi style” homes– to start feeling like the kind of houses I like all contain the exact same elements with minimal variation: white walls, unstained wood floors, breezy curtains, low furniture. I like those things, as do many, many other people, according to the internet. But I don’t want a house that looks like everyone else’s on Instagram. This house was a good reminder that beautiful houses come in many forms and that you can still achieve an airy or minimalist feeling without being cookie cooker. I’m glad I got that reminder before our renovation really gets going.

After typing the above, I realize that’s a pretty shallow epiphany to have had on my honeymoon. Let’s pretend I also had some deep thoughts about love or marriage, too, mmkay?

Once we made the 19 hour drive back from Florida, (and, ya know, slept and ate food and stuff) we pulled down a bunch of wallpaper in the kitchen. There are so many layers of wallpaper in there, oh my God.  And it’s not just the walls, either, this room– like the bathroom– has a wallpapered ceiling. I didn’t take any pictures of this, but I trust you all know what wallpaper and ceilings look like.

Speaking of the bathroom, Tony disconnected the toilet and tub so that we can start tiling in there (after we get a plumber to tell us whether we can move the tub’s location slightly. Call us back, plumber, we want to give you our money!). The bathroom is going to be our first major renovation area, and I’m really excited to get started. Also, a little scared because it’s a big project and what if we mess it up horribly? (Blog post cliffhanger!)

Posted in Bathroom, Kitchen, scandi style | 4 Comments

Light and breezy

A few months ago, I asked Tony whether it would be stupid to look at buying a house. I believe his answer was yes, and I also believe that we stayed up until midnight that very night looking at places on Zillow.

Flash forward to a little over a week ago, when we gleefully embarked on what may very well be the stupidest decision we’ve ever made.

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We couldn’t be more excited!

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When we started house hunting, we had the following wish list in mind.  We wanted:

1. An old house, which we defined as 1950 or before, with preference for houses that retained many historic features.
2. One or more recent “big ticket” upgrades: roof, heating/cooling, water heater, etc.
3. To be able to potentially sell in ~5 years for a small profit

In regards to items 2 and 3, our new house fits the bill.  It had a new roof put on in 2014, and had a super high efficiency heating system put in the year before. The neighborhood is a bit transitional but it’s in a fantastic school district. Based on the comps that our realtor gave us, our place was listed at about $30k less than the average sale price within a couple blocks. Taking into account the expensive work that this place needs to be fully functional, we’re still reasonably confident that we can make a bit of money off of this deal.

The real selling point of this place, though, was how many amazing original features it has. Original hardwood floors:



Original French doors:


Original clawfoot tub:


Even the original glass front kitchen cabinets:



I mean, look at this amazing light fixture in the bathroom! (Please ignore the fact that the ceiling, like every other surface in the bathroom, was wallpapered when this picture was taken. We’ve nearly fixed that problem in there now.)



Speaking of wallpapered ceilings, we told ourselves that we wouldn’t touch this place until after the wedding, but Tony and I are apparently terrible about protecting our own sanity.

So far, we’ve pulled up the plywood covering the hardwood floor in the kitchen. We think there must have been linoleum over the plywood, but this is how we inherited it:


Based on the number of nails per square inch, we suspect that the person who laid this plywood was either extremely vindictive or insane. Perhaps a bit of both!

The good news is: we’ve already had a hardwood refinishing company out, and they said it will be okay after sanding. The rest of the floors are in remarkably good shape for their age. We hope to redo all of them at once, and we’d like to try doing it ourselves.

We also took out the gross carpet in the closet and removed enough wallpaper to fill three lawn and leaf bags. Which, in terms of this house, is maybe 3% of the total amount of wallpaper that needs removing. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?

I’m getting way ahead of myself, though. Let’s get back to the basics and look at a floor plan, shall we?

For those of you counting, we’ve got 936 square feet here, not including the fully enclosed back porch (which is a bit of a nightmare, actually. In an effort to keep this introductory post light and breezy, I’m tabling that for a future discussion). We’ve got two bedrooms and two living spaces (originally a living room and a formal dining room). Not pictured here is the partial basement and crawlspace.  This storage space is useful because, as you can maybe tell from this floor plan, we have just one long, skinny closet in the whole house. Not ideal, is it? We have a really exciting plan for in there, though, so I’m no longer seeing it as a negative. Plus who doesn’t like long and skinny things?


Oh! I almost forgot to say the most important thing: we’re not living there yet and we won’t move in until July or so. This should give us time to address some of the major areas of renovation, especially the bathroom and kitchen. There is plenty of work to do in those spaces to make them functional. We also need to buy appliances for the kitchen (there aren’t any there currently) which is an expense that will be nice to spread out over a couple pay periods. Speaking of expensive things, we’re getting married in two weeks. I really ought to be doing something besides writing on the internet about my new house.

I’ll leave you with a gif of me checking the Fawn Log comments on the big day:

Just kidding, Tony has hair and my chest is not nearly voluptuous enough to hide a phone in!


Posted in Bathroom, Kitchen | 1 Comment

Welcome to the new and improved OR much worse Fawn Log

Hi friends, new and old!

I used to have a blog called Fawn Log, on which I shared many fleeting thoughts and gifs. Today, I have a blog called Fawn Log on which I will write about home renovation. I will still post gifs. And I’ll probably share fleeting thoughts.

Why will I write about home renovation, you ask? Because Tony and I just bought an old house, built in 1904! It’s amazing and I’m so excited to fix it up and get internet famous in the process. Just kidding about the internet famous stuff. Wait, can you get money from the internet without the fame part? Asking for a friend here.

I almost started a brand new blog, because that makes more sense, but then I couldn’t think of any name in the world better than Fawn Log so I figured I should just rebrand this one. I moved all of my old Fawn Log posts to private, so this is like a fresh start without the emotional baggage of dumb posts I wrote four years ago. Welcome to the new and either improved or significantly worse Fawn Log, depending on your preference!

Tony and I are real bride and groomzillas at the moment, since we’re getting married in a couple weeks. I will post when I can with pictures of the house and a floor plan and all that good stuff. In the meantime, get excited and/or sad about this change of direction in the comments!


Posted in Kitchen | 4 Comments