the technical roadmap for "our haus"
There were a couple of technical issues to work out when we first moved in ("Yes, honey, it IS important that I make sure the old, unused security cameras outside actually work!") but we now have a functioning ice maker and I've moved on to plotting our computing-centric world.

What I want:

  • a large, LCD screen mounted on our living room wall

  • an AppleTV device so we can have instant access to our ENTIRE movie (and music) collection

  • surround sound speakers in that living room space
  • a separate set of speakers set up to enable us to wirelessly pump music to them (party, anyone?)

All without having a single wire showing anywhere, of course. My goal? To never have to rummage around for a CD or DVD ever again.

At the same time, we need to get our home network stuff going - it's driving me nuts. We need to get the place wired with Ethernet. We need 802.11n wireless throughout (encrypted, of course, because I'm very jealous of my bandwidth) and a shared hard drive for us both to have always-available access to all of the afore-mentioned movies, music and other stuff.

My first step in this process is one that I've already begun - to rip every movie we own so they're stored digitally. Those of you who have done this know that it's a SLOW process (2-4 hours per movie).

And... let's just say that our collection is larger than we realized. If I'm lucky, I'll have the entire collection ripped around the same time that Verizon finally offers FiOS in our neighborhood!


P.S.: An XBox 360 - I want an XBox 360!
Full-On, Modern Nesting Mode
I couldn't resist - it's time for me to throw in my two cents...

With a little clean-up here, a bit 'o painting there and a BUNCH of runs to Ikea, the place has already come a long way from when we first moved in in mid-May. But there's a lot more to go and we're both excited to continually chip away at it in the coming months.

While this will come as no surprise to anyone, it's worth noting that J is the stylistic navigator of our little home vessel (the woman's got mood boards on our walls, for goodness' sakes!), while I am (also not surprisingly) engineer of the ship, covering the mechanical/technological end of the spectrum.

Fortunately, for us, I love Jodi's ideas and intentions and she's all gung-ho about techno-toys. A match made in heaven!
Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Tomorrow is the day: our Danish teak credenza (circa late 50's early 60's) arrives.

I can't even describe how much I have been longing for a piece like this. It's been a long story of passing things up, losing them, bidding on eBay and not even meeting the crazy reserves and phoning and often visiting local shops that carried spotless mid-century antiques.

The always wonderful Pamela Watts who owns Reside, Inc.totally hooked us up!

Anyway, this lovely is on its way and I EARNED it!!!!

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Brunch for 30. Ambitious?
Riding on the "high" of the new-found square footage we gained in our move to our new place, a lovely kitchen that I could actually turn around in, and that yes, we had, count 'em, EIGHT dining chairs with plenty of breathing room, we decided to throw a housewarming brunch. For 30.

Well, I've never been accused of a.) under-thinking anything b.) cutting any corners whatsoever 3.) keeping a sane perspective on what a simple event can truly be. It's just that once I get started, well, there's either "do it right all the way" or throw some Doritos in a bowl. I just don't see an in-between and I don't care much for Doritos. I think my husband realized just how nuts-o I am (other than the time I had him help me hand-make all the swizzle sticks for our wedding reception to match the save-the dates) when I made place card-type things to label the cream cheeses we had for the bagels. They matched the invitations. Yup, I designed those too. The point is, when you go to a party with a buffet set-up, you can't tell what half the food is. So, with empathy, I didn't feel like saying "Ginger!" or "Lox!" over and over again.

Part of that was influenced by my MOM who made her own FOUR varieties of cream cheese for this soiree. Isn't she awesome!? OK, I am laughing at myself just as you are right now. I KNOW. I'm nuts. Just do not call me Martha. I have NEVER been to prison. And just so you know, I put lemons and limes in vases for centerpieces. bbpppppppptttttttttttttttttttttttttttt.

The menu went on and on with 3 varieties of egg strata, french toast bake, asparagus wrapped in Phyllo, to name a few. But if you take one thing away from this tale, it is this: using paper plates for a brunch of this size is TOTALLY fine. Put those white gloves and books from the 50's in your Simple Human stainless trash bin. As long as you put in your own special details. By the way, I got these super-cool grassy plates by Isabella de Borchave at Target. And lastly, "do it up" simply because you want to welcome your family and friends into a fun environment that has your "voice" to it.

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Oh, and one more thing...
It occurs to me that Jodi forgot one important point about these chairs: we learned that these were salvaged from the old Polaroid building on Memorial Drive, right in Cambridge.

I can just imagine these things being used in that old art deco-style building, back in the 50s or 60s. I just love the fact that these chairs have a local history!
Dining Room Part 1: Can you Thay Thonet?
The first pieces we found (while looking for something else) at Reside, Inc. were these Eames-esque (but oh so much more affordable and from the same time period) Thonet dining chairs. Don't get me wrong, I am the biggest Eames-worshipper of all time but these were just lined up so pretty-like in the shop and then...

Oh yes we did. Eight. Because one of the things we longed to do most in our new home was have more than one or two people over for dinner - hell, a dinner party even! Yes! And now it can be a reality (still need that table mentioned in previous post) however, we can have THREE other couples over for dinner. At least.

Latest Addition: Here are the chairs in action!

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Lofty Ambitions
We moved into our new lofty place in May of this year. You can imagine we've been really busy unpacking, starting to paint, buying furniture, etc. But I figured we should start this blog of our progress and ideas soon or next thing you know, a whole year will go by. That's been happening to us a lot lately. Such as the fact that our one year anniversary is already approaching. Where does the time go??

Wish we knew more about the building's history but it's sort of been fun hearing versions of it from everyone from realtors to local yokels. I intend to research more, but consensus seems to fall on the fact that the entire building (that comprises 2 loft units and a third very spacious garden level unit) used to house a printing press company and possibly the owner's antique cars. Regardless, it now houses US and we love it. It has a great combo of open entertaining space via kitchen, dining and living room as well as private spaces with 2 baths and 2 bedrooms. Christopher uses the second bedroom as his office/guitar sanctuary and I use the loft space as my studio.

Enough of the background story, stay tuned for ideas, progress and solutions we have come across in making this space "ours".

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About Us

Christopher Scott and Jodi Vautrin are the husband and wife team behind Ourhaus, where they chronicle their adventures in home improvement, decorating and travel. After purchasing a unique loft space just a few miles north of Boston, they began photographing and writing about their projects and it blossomed into a creative outlet and platform.

When they’re not home improving, Jodi spends her days as a freelance creative director & designer with a focus on user interface and interactive design, and is an entrepreneur at heart. She serves on the board of AIGA Boston as Vice President of Emerging Ideas & Events.

In his professional life, Christopher is the Technology Director for a multi-service ad agency based in Harvard Square. In his private life, he enjoys tinkering in all its forms, whether it's rebuilding the Ourhaus home network (again), fooling himself into thinking he knows how to fix home appliances, or trying to unravel the mysteries of the guitar. He also flies planes, performs open heart surgery and sings at bar mitzvahs (though not all at the same time).

They share their “haus” with their adorable, highly food-motivated chocolate lab, Lucy.