Sunday, February 3, 2013

Man Cave

At the old house, I never really got to enjoy the basement after it was renovated. That was a bit disappointing, but the new house came with a great finished basement. The space had a built-in to the side of the room for media components, and some wiring for surround sound. While wire was run, it was just hanging out of the wall in a bundle at the back of the built-in (sorry, no before pics) and cables were not run to the wall where the TV would hang. Please note my foam Michigan Wolverine foam head at the bottom of the cabinet.


Soon after moving in work began to finish the space. I cut a gaggle of holes into the drywall and ran 2 HDMI cables, 1 set of RCA cables, and an optical cable from the built-in to the TV. I picked up a new tv and a slim TV mount because I didn't want my TV sticking out too much, and some wall plates for all the speaker wires. I got all the cables from monoprice and after reading reviews I decided to the speakers there too. I got some front speakers, center speakers, rear mount speakers for the ceiling and a small sub. I really liked the look of everything built in and not needing a media cabinet in front of the TV.


Since we loved our previously purchased Crate & Barrel Axis sectional we decided to also go with C&B for downstairs. We went with the Vaughan. While not as comfortable as the Axis, it was a much smaller sectional that fit in the 12'x 12' space and still allowed room for a chair. We threw some beer themed pictures up on the wall to complete the man cave aesthetic and now the space is complete.


On the back wall are closets that run the width of the house, and the sump pump in the right-most closet. The chairs are on this side to make sure we can still access the space. We also got a white ceramic deer head as a Christmas white elephant gift, so we decided to hang it above the TV. Gotta keep it classy.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Bawlmer Art

With the Baltimore Ravens making the Super Bowl, the country is about to be bombarded with the wonderful Baltimore accent. How can you tell if someone is from here? They've abolished the "T" in Baltimore, preferring either Bawlmer, or Baldamore. I don't understand it, but I've grown accustomed to it. But I digress. This post is about art, but especially local Bawlmer art. I love local art because it provides so much character and is just fun to shop for. There is nothing like the feeling of digging through a pile of junky art at the thrift store to find a gem. My second favorite find is a map we found in Hampden, a young quirky hipster filled haven of art, midcentury furniture and Pabst Blue Ribbon. It is a railroad map of Baltimore from 1948.

Baltimore Railroad Map

The map was in the basement of a thrift shop, unframed and mounted on canvas. It is in great condition, and I loved the historic industrial roots of the city in such vivacious color. After $100 for the art, an arm and a leg to frame it, it has a place in the front of the basement (aka, the Leely-cave).

Baltimore Railroad Map

At the same store in Hampden we found another local artist, Greg Otto. This picture was at the back of a heap of crappy art, and it was even signed by the artist. $25 later, and a promise of a future first born child to get it framed, it sits in our living room.

Fed / Fells - Greg Otto

After finding the one Greg Otto print I've kept my eyes peeled for more. The Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had an online auction with a Greg Otto picture with Uniquely Baltimore written on it. How could I resist? A size wasn't listed and there wasn't much description, but we took a gamble and for less than $20 it was ours. It arrived and we found it in perfect condition. And it was also signed. SCORE. Since this was a standard size, custom framing wasn't required and the promise of a second born is deferred until our next art purchase.

Uniquely Baltimore - Greg Otto

The next picture was a gift from Valerie, my sister in law, and we absolutely love it. She commissioned a picture of our house from the talented Miranda.

Our House

She did an amazing job and we look forward to always having a keepsake of this house. I also keep meaning to commission a print of the other house too. I'll need to get on that. Miranda also does pictures of normal houses (not just rowhomes) and did a great job on a picture of my in-laws home. You should go over to her House Love Shop to order a print of your home.