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Happenings at Hill and Valley Design

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

The past week or two has been particularly busy for me! I seem to be running around with my typical routines, while trying to juggle some hired construction projects that were scheduled months ago.

Here is an update of what I have been up to...

Kitchen Eating Nook

I have always dreamed about having a Tulip Table (designed in 1957 by Eero Saarinen, manufactured by Knoll) for my kitchen nook. The only hitch is that this gorgeous table top is a bit exclusive, made of a high quality marble, and not exactly in my budget.

About a month ago, I ordered a 48" round table, with a similar tulip base, that I came across online. It was the color and the price range I wanted. I would have to say it is more of a table in the style of a tulip table, than the real deal, but I am satisfied with that.

It ended up taking a while to receive it because of it being on back-order. It finally arrived last week and I am excited to show you how the space looks with a lighter color (white) and a softer shape.

I am aiming for a lighter, mid-century modern look in this space. I have been wanting to bring in some color contrast, geometric shapes, and patterns. Besides changing the light fixture last fall, everything in this nook had been the same for about 15 years. I was seriously bored with it. Now, I feel a renewed appreciation for this eating area because it has a cheery new aesthetic.

Here is how it looked before...nothing wrong with it, just a lot of dark and too much of that orange-y stained wood.

The Puppy Owie

Next came the unexpected injury of our lab-mix, Ollie. As you can see below, he is not looking particularly happy - the poor guy!

Ollie pouting on the hallway rug

Ollie snagged his paw on a nail that was lodged in some construction demolition materials that were left in the side yard. During the month of September we had a contractor remove some damaged siding and install new replacement siding along with two failing windows on the same exterior wall.

The injury was a severe laceration requiring sedation, stitches, and wearing a splint for two weeks. Once the splint and stitches were removed, he had to wear a "cone of shame" so he would leave the paw alone and allow it to heal.

This active guy does not like sitting still for long and he still isn't allowed to run on the paw so we have to take him out in the yard on a leash. Strange how a little thing like that really disrupts the routine.

All About a Door - House Painting

Now that the siding portion of the project has concluded, the painters have been prepping and painting the exterior of our house. Since we live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, we are required to have our colors reviewed and approved by the architectural committee. Below is a glance at the colors we selected (and have been subsequently approved).

Paint color samples

I am really excited that we are moving away from a pale green and moving to a light gray. The best part is that we will be painting our front door a beautiful and vibrant teal blue! If you have seen any of my Instagram photos, you will know I am fascinated with painted doors, wood doors, carved doors, or basically, just any kind of interesting door. And that is how I came to select my colors - they had to be a suitable background for my door!

Below (left) is a before shot of our house in green. On the right is the gray color - in process. We chose to have the garage doors painted the same light color gray as the body of the house. The dormer windows, porch roof and 2nd story shingles are the accent color, a slightly-darker gray. The trim will be a white with slightly gray undertone.

Along with the siding, couple of windows and painting, we are waiting for the last piece to be put in place - a new french door. Hopefully, that delivery and installation will happen before the end of October.

Of course I would rather spend the money to remodel our kitchen, but this year we took a serious and necessary look at the long-term maintenance of our 18 year old home and faced leaking doors, failing windows, and severely weathered siding.

All of these issues risked a compromise of a properly sealed envelope for our dwelling. If we let leaks go on there was potential for more water damage and even potentially an insect infestation and we don't want anything to go that far! Our "25 year" roof (which is only 18 years old) will probably be next.

I am looking forward to all this extra construction commotion to subside so I can enjoy the final result!

What are your questions and comments? I look forward to hearing from you! Please email me at:

Until next time, Valerie


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