Introducing Em & Wit Design

This is what we’re up to, have been for a while. A sort of rebranding. Em & Wit Design. Well, we’re still the Wits, but we’re also Em & Wit. Read on, friends.

Introducing Em & Wit Furniture Design~collect, repair, refurb, repeat

Before moving to our current house (project), I toyed with the idea of switching things up. New side of the country-Midwest to the PNW, new house to fix, goals achieved, new goals created, things of this nature.

Over the years, here at the Wits, the website became more about remodeling our homes (we’re on #2 working towards its resale in a year and doing bigger things) versus our furniture refurbishing.  I knew I wanted to separate those parts of our lives because they have grown into two different beasts and it can be hard to follow.  For both you and the two of us.

Em & Wit Furniture Design~collect, repair, refurb, repeat

One of the five newest pieces

While finishing some home improvement projects over our last year, I tried thinking about the details. What I wanted to put out there, what I didn’t, the look, I wanted to create space in our house for a shop, etc..  We weren’t tackling furniture whatsoever during that time, which I felt guilty about, so I justified it by planning this feat. I wanted to say hey, Washington, we’re here and we’re pretty cool. 

Introducing Em & Wit Furniture Design~collect, repair, refurb, repeat

Another piece recently finished

I purchased domains, absorbed info about rebranding, designed a few site options, collected some pieces to refurb (we currently have 5 new pieces freshly finished and waiting to be revealed), researched the market, tested for our demographic, etc..

Introducing Em & Wit Furniture Design~collect, repair, refurb, repeat

I aged these handles myself

It’s trickier getting people to come where we’re located than our last house in Minnesota (which had its own issues). #traffic And the city we’re in does not have a terrific rep, not much going on here, but it tries. It’s getting better. What a city slogan, huh?

The Wits: MN->WA

Anyway…

You probably won’t be surprised, but figuring out a name was one of the truly difficult parts. Until a few months ago. That’s when Em & Wit Design popped into my head. It’s a mix of my maiden name and (of course) Greg’s family name, both shortened.

Speaking of new names, you can follow our newer Instagram account-emandwitdesign (we are still at the old too).

Once that was settled, the new website came along (I’m still tweaking it). Em & Wit is the place all about our furniture refurbishing. The Wits is now strictly house talk. Which brings me to this…

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

I left off in February (!) and it’s now June, almost July. I last told you about our kitchen being nearly done and the master bedroom being finished.

The Wits: MN->WA

We even found time for a weekend getaway in April driving up the Washington coast around Olympic National Park. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad we moved.

The Wits: MN->WA

The Wits: MN->WAWe have since tackled the exterior, ripped out pretty much all of the old landscape around the house, sanded the siding, removed/repaired (still doing this part) the gutters and simply have been working to give the house more curb appeal. We are, oh, about 75% finished and about to build a new front porch (we’ve been without for over a month which is our solution to solicitors).

exterior paint samples

I will not tell you how many samples we tried…

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

Infact, we need to finish this porch so customers can visit our shop. We briefly (it happens more often than we lead you to believe) went into a crazed state, stemming from bliss regarding the exterior looking much better, and attacked the old porch with hammers until not much was left. Then we woke up, the stairs were gone, looked at each other and said we don’t have the budget to fix this yet, hmmm. Rolling onto the waist-high platform is not going to cut it. Not that I wouldn’t want to see that…

before

Before (that was an egg someone threw on the window before we bought the place)

before

new paint

For now: new exterior paint in green with a slight hint of blue

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

The second bedroom is finished.  While the master is deep, dark navy, this room is lighter green-blue.  Both are cozy.

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

We decided to switch gears from working outside and began doing minor repairs to the cracks in the walls and ceiling in the living and dining rooms with new coats of paint following. The carpet was finally removed.  Donezo.

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

The trim is painted white, the walls are white. The natural light floods in and this = amazing. I am a fan of white paint + white paint in a room.

before

Before

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

After

It never ceases to amaze us how paint can help almost anything. The white accents and highlights the furniture and art in the room. I added some cafe curtains slightly higher than mid-window thus privacy and light.The floor was sanded and oiled, too. I sometimes go in there and spin in circles with a big smile on my face. (Weirdo style.)

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

Before we oiled the floor. The pups gave their approval and we used the space as storage for our newly finished pieces. On the market soon, folks. 

We finished a few other small projects and are heading back outside soon. Several of our neighbors have stopped by and told us how great the place is looking these days. #homeproud #superduperbusy #superduperlovingit

We really only have the bathroom and hallway to finish upstairs, semi-finish the basement (half will be storage).  Oh, paint the garage, maybe fix that roof, oil the garage doors, then some minor projects and we’re good to go.  Had I just said that in the first house I would have been stressing, but we’re more experienced now and that message is a relief.  Just maybe I’ll bring you guys along with more posts and none of this ‘months of silence around here’ bullcrap. You could always stop by emandwit.com, just sayin’.

The Wits~ A couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture

I’ll leave you with this photo of our growing stash of pieces (aka dresser jenga) to repair and refurbish in our workshop. Life is good.

~Annie

 

The Two Finished Rooms of the House

I’d like to take the time to share the two rooms we have finished nearly finished in fixer upper house #2.  98% of the kitchen is done and, back in September, we completed our master bedroom.  I wasn’t kidding in that last post about keeping updated through Instagram versus the blog.  I am much more present there.  And my Pinterest account.  Like a crazy, design-obsessed person hoarding all the pretties.

Back in November I sold a domain I’d been holding onto, for the food blogger part of me, which funded a good part of the kitchen, including Ikea cabinets in place of using the old that was our original plan.  This Ikea experience did not go as well as the last one.  With 2 Ikea kitchens under our belts, using two different Ikea stores, I’m going to say it depends which store you use.  Minnesota Twin Cities Ikea was better in every aspect versus Seattle Ikea.  I’ll just add that the experience started when we went in to order our kitchen and the employee most likely accidentally deleted our design and I had to sit and plan the whole thing by memory.  Or our having to unload most of our 300+ boxes ourselves when the “delivery” team arrived.  Or the hours we spent on hold for customer service (5 times) versus a rather quick response in Minnesota.  To be fair, maybe some of it revolves around the new Ikea store they are building here in Washington.

The old cabinets went to a kind woman whose home had been damaged by one of the northern Washington wildfires.   Horrible, awful event.  She had started the purchasing process just before the wildfire came, couldn’t pull her offer and didn’t want to lose the money she put down, so her retirement house was in need of serious work before she could even move in.  She says she was lucky because her neighbor’s homes were completely destroyed.   I can’t imagine.

On to the point of the post, though.  Any resource questions or questions in general, direct my way by comment or email.  Those who know us know “finished” means the room and not necessarily all the parts of decorating.  We are still working on the finishing touches like an eat in dining area and an island.  Please excuse the poor quality photos.

Before:

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

After:

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

The Wits~ master bedroom makeover

 

Before:

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

After:

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

The Wits~ kitchen remodel

What are we up to now?  As of mid-March, we will have been in this place, our first Washington house, for a year.  We intend to have it finished in the next year (probably slightly longer) and move on to our next adventure.  We’re hoping it works out that we go full-time with remodeling houses and start building our own heirloom quality furniture.  I’m dreaming and scheming on that idea so hard, people.

We’re working on some furniture pieces for the kitchen (maybe I’ll get some more professional-looking shots in there….maybe).  I’m obsessed with old wooden folding tables like wallpaper and Indian event style.  I found one on Etsy and the lovely woman, Brenda in Pennsylvania, gave me a great deal and shipped it super fast to me.  I was made well-aware of its issues (unlike an antique library table I found not far from here, where the seller did not divulge such important information…more about that later), so we’ll be working on these tables.

I’m working on both bathroom designs.  Seeing the kitchen come to fruition has inspired me even more.  I have a much better sense of the style and design for the rest of the house.  I’m being a little bolder in the future.  Maybe bolder is not the right word, but it is different from our last house.  Says the lady who kept with the white kitchen with oil rubbed bronze accents and butcher block counters for both house’s kitchen remodels.

We are starting to work on framing the basement bathroom, knocking out the old shower stall, repairing some drawers on 3 dressers in prep for my finishing their refurbishing, and pumping ourselves up for repairing the drywall in the second bedroom followed by removing the texture on the walls in the hallway/dining and living rooms.  Finally going to take out this carpet soon!

And omg the moss.  No one warned us about the moss.  It is causing some problems on the roof of our garage and patio, so that will need addressed when warmer weather hits.  I have nearly wiped out a few times from the slick moss on our brick sidewalk.  I think a past post was all “oh, I love the soft moss yard we have in front.”  I only like it there, in the yard.  The landscape, more of it than we did last year, will be taken out in prep for painting the house after a good sand and scrape.  That will probably be one of the last things we do due to the budget and priorities, though.  I imagine we’ll be working on the inside of the house more than outside this spring and summer, the opposite of last year.

Have you finished any home improvement projects?  I’d love to see and hear about it.

~Annie

 

 

 

Helllllooooooo

It probably could go without saying, but we’re obviously busy elsewhere and not posting much these days.  If any of you are truly curious, you can see what we’re up to through our Instagram account (anniewitkamp).  Greg and I are probably 70% finished with our kitchen remodel on house #2, so you will most likely see those photos at the top.  Umm, it’s pretty and getting prettier.  (Sorry to those of you who do not have an Instagram account.)  You’ll also see the food I’m cooking, our travels, our pups (recently in raincoats), and other rando bits of life (out of the old raincoat…Washington, it rains a lot…).   Instagram is about all I want to handle these days in social media.  I’ve simplified life and it’s been terrific.

Oh, and happy new year! Sending good vibes your way.

Annie out

April

We’ve been in the house for 1 1/2 weeks now.  The rental house was cleaned and ready to go a week ahead of schedule and our deposit already refunded.

So far the two of us have added lighting to the garage, switched out lights in the house, gave away the old by listing them on Craigslist (my old friend), organized every room, purchased oil for the furnace, unpacked, cleaned up the landscape/raked the remaining leaves, bought and used a reel mower, ordered blinds, picked up paint and wall repair materials, bought shelves and tables to work on outside, have had several electricians in to quote switching out the electrical panel (after finding that there was some “foul play” after it was inspected in 1997 concerning the correct service/etc….that has been frustrating to learn especially after having the house inspected previous to purchasing it and none of these visible issues were mentioned…which could cost us 3x what we were previously quoted and credited), bought one of these highly recommended Saatva mattresses, went over design ideas and about a dozen other small things were accomplished.

Greg got this label printer.  Like a happy boy these days (as seen on Instagram when he labeled his beer).  There have been only 7 trips to Home Depot and a few to Lowes-our trips to Menards are a thing of the past.  The schedule is set for projects yet open to change.  It’s nice to be busy and making improvements once again.  But most of all we’re enjoying the space.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WA

Comfortably random

Greg and I are in love with the house as are the pups.  We’ve met most of our neighbors, adore that kids play outside almost every day, and it appears to be a dog-friendly area judging by the number of dogs around and that we see going walkies.  One of our neighbors is from Minnesota and grew up not far from our last house.  How cool is that?

This weekend will involve organizing the garage better so I can get my bum in there to refurb some furniture.  I have a wall of dressers and a number of things favorited on Craigslist.  I’m also looking for items to make an outdoor theater (projector, screen, outdoor sectional) to take advantage of the beautiful summer we keep hearing about here. I’ll check back later when I have a project worth sharing.  (There is no April foolery going on here even though it is April 1st…by the way, this is Greg’s favorite “holiday” so I’m just waiting for some of his antics…wish me luck.)

Introducing the 2nd Fixer-Upper Home

I snapped some shots, as promised, a few weeks ago before we offically moved in and I’m back to share.

The details: 1949 fixer-upper I spotted on the market in King County here in Washington (yeah I still can’t believe we made it here from Minnesota), went to pending before we could act, buyer lost financing, came back on the market and we pounced.  It’s a little bit bigger than our last house but with the same amount of bedrooms and baths which would be 2 and 1 3/4.  The 3/4 bath is in the basement and there’s potential for a few more bedrooms down there like our last place.  The basement is pretty much a blank slate in this house though.  Helpful.  Now all we gotta do is fix it up.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WASee?  I sometimes am in photos on here (ahem the shadow).

Note the pterodactyl dookie on the window.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAHubba hubba look at that beautiful 2+ car garage in back.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAAnd there’s absolutely nothing in there to clean out.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAAnd we inherited yet another ladder!  We were way too excited about it.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThere’s a bonus storage area on the side of the garage too.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAUnlike the last yard, this one needs next to nothing.  So there’s a weird “water feature” in the corner, but the rest of the space is full of mature trees/plants and is quite nice.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThen there’s the patio area and past the patio leads to more fenced yard where the compost bin is and potential garden space.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAOh so handy basement entry beyond the one in the hall upstairs.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAOther side of the house.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAOne of the little things I enjoy is this path to the street on the side of the house.  I really don’t know why I like it so much.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WANow we go inside to the entry with a closet.  This is the only house we looked at that had a closet in the entry.  (No, that’s not what sold us.)

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAYou can’t see it in the photo, but those are textured walls.  We considered skim coating to get rid of it, but that’s too much work.  We’re going to attempt to match the texture.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThe living room.  Can you wait until we remove the carpet to reveal the hardwood floor?  I can’t.  Plus paint, updated electrical, new switch plate and vent covers with some nice blinds.  What kind of blinds?  Top-down bottom-up possibly?

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAIt appears the seller primed the rooms but the dinge still exists.  That’s fine because we have to repair some cracks in the walls and ceiling before painting.  What color should we go?  I promise not to have 15 samples this time.  Surprise surprise, it’ll probably be gray.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WADown the hall from the living room.  It just loops around upstairs…can’t wait to see the pups run around in circles.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThe two bedrooms look about the same.  One is slightly larger with a closet spanning the length of the room while the other is half that size.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThere’s a good look at one of the ceiling cracks.  It appears to have been there a while so we’re fairly sure settling is done and we can repair it without future problems.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThe bathroom, while updated in the 90’s, needs help and is small.  All the houses we looked at had small bathrooms and often only the one.  Is that a Pacific Northwest thing for older homes?

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThe size could have been manageable if this vanity wasn’t there and the sink across from it placed in this cubby.  Someone really wanted a vanity, I guess.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAFun fact: the light switch is outside of the room in the hall and we inherited another non-functioning fan.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WABam-the kitchen. Not a big fan of the soffit.  We’re going to add moulding to help.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAMore kitchen…it’s a biggie.  Lots of potential. Island? Getting rid of the desk for sure.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAWood burning stove…that will be moved.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAWe’re going to see how much it will cost to get the electrical box moved to the basement.  The panel already has to be replaced because this brand is a known fire hazard.  There’s also electrical updating to do (again).  Not my favorite.  We got a credit from the seller for some of these repairs.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAYou can’t tell in the photos, but there was an addition put on to extend the kitchen.  It wasn’t properly attached to the existing foundation, so we have some issues with sinking and cracks.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WA

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAPlenty of storage in the hall.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAMore storage.  Notice the wall texture.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WADid I mention storage?

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAShall we go to the basement?  Creepy much, Annie?

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WACome on down!

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThe basement has some walls up, but they are not necessarily rooms.  Rando shelving will go to the garage.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WASecond bathroom.  The layout is not ideal with 2 entry doors on either end.  I wouldn’t use this shower at this point with the tile falling off and claustrophobia-inducing size…this needs work.  It is a lot like our last basement bathroom which ended up like this.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAWhose the guy trying to find the inspector that kept going off on his own?  That guy right there.  My main squeeze Greg.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThey must have considered this the third bedroom.  Umm no.  It’s an office with an awesome rotary phone.  Sure we don’t have a landline but hey.  That doesn’t stop me from having fake conversations with people on it.  Moving on!

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAI love this stool.  I do not like the paneling and tile ceiling.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAIt does have a closet but a bedroom it does not make.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAThen there’s this large area that is just furnace, sink, water heater, washer/dryer or utilities as I call them all wrapped into one bundle (ha like you didn’t know).

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WA

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WAIt’s not a full basement after the addition.  There’s a smidge of crawlspace over there.

The Wits~ a couple refurbishing, remodeling and designing homes and furniture. Gearing up to tackle house #2 projects. MN->WACanning room.

Fin.

There it is.  Lots of work.  Well, not lots, less than the last house.  Most of me is all “let’s go YESSSS” with the eyes of a crazed politician, then a teensy bit is “ohhh (sigh), again.” Deep breath, focus and charge!

Subscribers: Ignore the Kitchen and Bathroom Link

Subscribers: For some reason my playing around with Polyvore published some very rough draft ideas about the new house’s kitchen and bathroom design.  So, that’s neat in a way that is not neat at all.  When I have a better idea about those things I’ll let you know.  Geez, I haven’t even shown you the house yet.  Continue on with your day.

P.S. And that does mean it looks like we’ll be moving in mid-March!

We Might Have House #2

Quick update: we found a house in King County WA (maybe I’ll be more specific later), put an offer on it over the weekend, had it accepted and now have the inspection today.  Yeah, crazy!

It was a place we thought had potential months ago then someone’s offer was accepted before we could go see it and we just went on with our lives.  Well, that person’s financing fell through and the house came back on the market, so we jumped on it.

The house was built in 1949 (3 years older than our first home in Minnesota), one story with basement, owned by the same couple since the 60’s and maintained very well.  There’s a large 2 car garage (hello, workspace) and nicely landscaped yard with fence (yay for the pups).   It has 2 bedrooms + 1 bath upstairs and a clean, unfinished basement with a bathroom and loads of potential.  Total square footage is around 2,600 with about 1,400 upstairs.

Don’t get me started on the storage.  We were told that much storage is rare.  The ceiling is coved like our last house.  The only thing I’m not crazy about (besides the kitchen having an addition that wasn’t properly tied into the existing foundation and had some settling, causing cracks in the kitchen…more on that later) are the textured walls.  It’s everywhere.  I’ll get over it.  It is in need of updating and some repairs, but nothing like the last place.  Oh and this time we have hardwood floors under the carpet!  I love the character.

The MLS photos don’t do it justice, so I promise to shoot some myself.

Here we go again (I hope)!