midtown

Paint the Plugs - Part 2

A few posts ago, Valerie wrote about the Paint the Plugs contest that we, StudioVB, are sponsoring and that Valerie is participating in. Well, the period in which the artists had to paint their plugs has come to an end. Despite the rain that lasted for what seems like all of last week, Valerie was able to take advantage of a few sunny days and get out there to clean, scrape, prime and paint her assigned plug on Verbeke and Third.. and it turned out awesome!

Although her original design plan was to paint the hydrant to make it look like it was constructed of materials other than metal (specifically wood, fabric and rope), with her limited time due to the weather, she decided to focus simply on the wood aspect. I think it's brilliant and so did a few passers-by who stopped to talk to Valerie while she was out painting.

Here are a few shots of the progress as well as the finished product.

Valerie applying stripper.

Close up of the stripper gel on the cap

Hydrant with stripper corroding paint.

Scraping the paint off of hydrant.

Valerie sanding the hydrant.

The primed fire hydrant.

Fire hydrant painted brown and white.

Valerie painting fire hydrant.

Fire hydrant painted to look like wood.

A close-up of the painted fire hydrant.

Painted fire hydrant from an angle.

If you are local to the Harrisburg area or ever find yourself here, be sure to check out the various painted plugs. They can be found on Third Street between Forster Street and Maclay Street.

Don't forget to visit the Friends of Midtown website to see all of the artists' creations and vote for your favorite one. Hopefully, it's ours!

Voting lasts from today, September 16th to next Friday, September 23rd. We'll let you know how we make out!

Paint the Plugs

So, if you follow us on twitter, you saw our latest tweet about picking up supplies for our Paint the Plugs entry. If you don't follow us, what are you waiting for? We tweet helpful design tips, inspirational design ideas and insights into the daily happenings of our studio. So, stop everything you are doing and go click the "follow" button now. We'll be here when you get back! Anyway, today we wanted to let you in on the details of the Paint the Plugs project and the design we came up with for our plug, aka. fire hydrant. I'm sure you've seen these community projects around here, or around your town, where artists from the community are called to submit designs for painting public objects like, well, fire hydrants - to bring some fun, personality and creative arts to the city streets.

Here are a few examples to clarify what I'm talking about.

Photo of me with a painted mario hydrant.

Zebra and pink hydrant

Photo of painted dalmation hydrant

Well, Friends of Midtown, our local community group (which we are, of course, members of) is hosting one of these events called Paint the Plugs and, as these events often are, it's a contest. We heard about the Paint the Plugs event a few months ago, but with our busy schedule we didn't consider submitting a design to participate as an artist. Instead we wanted to support the project as a sponsor. So we did! Then several weeks later, we ran into the Friends of Midtown leaders at the Pride Fest of Central PA, and they mentioned that they had very few artist submissions, so they kind of talked me into designing a submission!

Our design is entitled "Illusion".. we call it this because we plan to paint the plug to look as if it is constructed of something other than metal.. specifically wood, fabric and rope. Hopefully fooling your eye into actually believing it is.

So, check out our design concept images below!

Design concept for our hydrant.

Design concept for our hydrant.

Happily our submission was selected to be one of the contestants, so wish us luck on the execution of prep work and painting, and even more luck on hopefully winning the contest! When the time comes, voting will be online at the Friends of Midtown website, but not until September 16th!

As of now, here is what the plug looks like.. or as we're used to saying.. here's the before photos!

Before photo of our hydrant.

Second before photo of our hydrant.

Stay tuned for progress updates and the finished product!

Simple Serenity

As of a couple weeks ago, we've added a new project to our portfolio. So, take that as an excuse to go check out our portfolio if you haven't, or haven't lately! The new project is titled Simple Serenity and is a master bedroom in a city house here in midtown Harrisburg. This property was vacant and on the market for sale. And, as you know, vacant homes are not easily sold, since the potential of the spaces is difficult for buyers to visualize. So, that's where we came in. We took on this home staging project to give the potential buyers a great idea of how this home can look furnished and simply styled.

Since this home is here in the city, we focused on a urban sophisticated design concept, with a subtle color palette of grey and beige against the strong contrast of light walls and dark furnishings. Then, we added a few metallic accents mixed with natural accessories to give the space some drama but with a comfortable feeling of nature.

Here are a few photos from the portfolio - just to give you a snippet!

Overall shot of the space.

Dresser shown in a niche.

Accessories on the dresser.

Shot of the headboard and bedding.

Detail shot of the mirror.

And since you might be wondering.. This home SOLD just a little over a month after being staged. What a true testament to the effectiveness of home staging. I am always happy to help homeowners get their properties sold fast and for the highest price. So, if your planning to put your home on the market, give us a call first!

It's Snow Beautiful!

I may have mentioned this previously, but throughout the cold winter months, my creativity, productivity, etc. slows down considerably. The cold, wet, grey days, one after the other, just put a damper on my energy, motivation and (though, I hate to admit it) overall attitude. But, in a moment of positivity, I said to myself – that’s no excuse! So, today, I decided to blog about one little thing in particular that sometimes brightens my mood, and often delights my eyes, during this otherwise seasonal downer. That thing is the soft fall of a light snow as it gently lay on, well, everything. It adds a certain beauty to things we see everyday, and turns things that are ordinarily 'nothing to write home about' into lovely vignettes.

So, I've included a few shots that I thought made the winter a bit more pleasant! Some of them are shots of the recent snow we’ve had around here, but I’ve also included some photos I’ve snapped over the last few years, as well as one I snagged browsing the web.

So, if you’re like me, and feeling hum-drum with all this cold weather, take a break and enjoy the beauty found in it!

Railroad bridge in the snow.

Trees covered in snow.

Car tracks in the snow.

Tree covered in ice.

Close-up of snowflakes on the windshield.

Snowy street.

These next few pics are from our time in NYC - they are views from our 3rd floor terrace (a tiny luxury in our 400 sq. ft. home) during one of New York's big storms.

Snow covered fire escapes.

Snow stuck to an ivy covered tree truck.

Snow filled backyards.

Well, hope you enjoyed them and hope you are staying warm.. hang in there ‘til spring!

Our Happy Home

So, I’ve mentioned before that on our blog we hope to share with you our design ideas, projects, etc. Well, we will definitely be sharing what we can of our client projects, but we’re also happy to share the design journey of our own home. So, we thought we’d give you some background, or point of reference, on our happy little home before we would delve into any details in the future. So, here goes. Logan and I bought our first house here in midtown Harrisburg about a year and a half ago (wow, seems like just yesterday - time flies!). Like many house hunting stories, we saw the home listed for sale and called the seller to schedule a time to view it. We were told it was in mid-renovation, but we could definitely come check it out. Being the DIYers that we are, and knowing that we could see the potential in anything, we decided to go see the home. Here is what we walked into that day - an over 100 year old city home that had just begun a much needed renovation (forgive the picture quality, it was dusty and dark in some areas).

View of living room and front door during renovation

View of Valerie in kitchen with tape measure during renovation

View of 100 year old painted stairway during renovation

View of hallway during renovation

View of Logan pretending to wash his hands in our bathroom sink

View of office/studio during renovation

View of Logan and Valerie pretending to lay in their master bedroom during renovation

So, as you can see, we had to use our imaginations quite well to envision this as our home. But, we did, and the ideas were already swarming. I remember standing in what is now our master bedroom whispering to Logan, “I think this is the one!” After months of house hunting, and coming oh-so-close to deciding on another home, we were extremely excited about finding this place. It was in the perfect location, the perfect price and being a blank slate only made the deal more perfect. So we made an offer while there were only studs for walls, it was accepted and we bought the house! We were so excited to finally own our home and have the opportunity to make it ours.

So, over the following 2 months or so, we would travel back and forth from NYC to visit the house, make design decisions and see its renovation progress - so much fun! Eventually, we moved into the house, and began the seemingly never ending journey of designing the spaces, choosing color schemes, finding the right pieces, and working on projects to make this house our home. Well, I’m sad to say that we have unfortunately only made baby steps (in my opinion), okay maybe toddler steps, with so many other things going on and little time and budget allotted for our own home. But, I suppose since I claimed I hadn’t made a New Years resolution, focusing on finishing the design of our home would be a good one. We'll be sure to post any progress!