Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Windows Restoration and Refinishing Update March 11, 2016

wp-1457727516370.jpgLast Fall, we got a stretch of warm weather that allowed us to kick start our windows project. This is an ongoing project, given the house has roughly 50 windows all in some state of disrepair. The warm spell allowed me to complete the finishes on the windows in the kitchen addition. These seven windows were new construction, but were never painted or stained when the previous owner installed them. This is still our “work room,” so excuse the mess, but the trim turned out great, if I do say so myself.





wp-1457577037300.jpgWe used new wood because it seemed silly to spend on historic/old growth on a room that’s new construction. Just the same, we wanted the look to flow with the rest of the house. I used a combination of General Finishes gel stain and shellac and was able to add some pretty nice depth and color to builder basic wood. These boards are 1×4 that were routered to mimic the larger trim in the rest of the house.





















wp-1457727655108.jpgWhile I worked on these windows, my engineer husband worked out a frame that we could insert in our historic windows behind the storms so we could continue working on windows through the winter, new baby permitting. He used a mural panel from one of my previous projects, so we had a lovely cartoon view for the in-progress windows.























In addition to refinishing, our historic windows get new glazing, new glass where required, new ropes, and weatherstripping. We’re excited to watch our heating bills plummet with each redone window.


Stained Glass Project Complete!

wp-1457577085643.jpgBack in 2014, I took a class at the Des Moines Art Center in stained glass, which resulted in a transom window that was almost perfect. I adapted the design of the Keith family crest to a horizontal design, and I only needed to sort out how to add the family motto “Veritas Vincit” (truth conquers). I thought about casting metal letters, buying letters that could be soldered on, or foiling letters, but before I could execute a decision, I found out I was pregnant and didn’t want to be anywhere near lead.

Flash forward to this winter, new baby on hip and struggling to move house projects forward. My new policy is to make decisions and complete projects. Pregnancy brain made it impossible for me to think straight, so I orphaned projects left and right for lacking of trigger pulling abilities. After a brief Facebook discussion, I decided to try cutting letters out of foil, allowing me to control the font, then soldering on top of the foil to give the letters depth.


I made paper drafts to get the letters spaced into the glass.


Cut the letters out of copper foil and stuck them to the glass. Then I carefully soldered over the foil (not sure why I had to get my heart set on letters with so many sharp points, but I did).












Here’s the completed project. I love how it looks, even if it is a finished transom window in an unfinished door frame. The frame is a project for another day. I’m calling this one done.


The New Tiny Person March 10, 2016

Filed under: Remodeling and Design Projects — hattonhousedsm @ 3:11 pm

wp-1457727718273.jpgWe bought the Hatton House specifically because it had four bedrooms, in the hopes that it would one day house a family of five. We’d just about given up hope when we found out our third kid was due in April of 2015. So sorry for the lack of recent updates, but we had a good excuse.

In my life before the Hatton House, I designed children’s rooms and painted murals for children. Like the cobbler’s shoeless kids, our baby is almost one and her room is just starting to come together. Hopefully, you can look forward to more consistent posts of house projects, included one about the completed nursery, but for now, here’s our new future rehabber in her native environment.