Darien CT Historic Homes: Pond-Weed House

Built about 1700 on the old Boston Post Road, Darien’s Pond-Weed House is a classic Connecticut saltbox with a large stone central chimney and sloping rear lean-to roof-line. It is considered the oldest house still standing in Darien.

In 1692 Nathaniel Pond who was listed as a “Blacksmith of Branford” bought the land on which the Pond-Weed house is located near the ford and former sloop landing on the Noroton River. Settlements began in Darien in about 1700 when the first roads were “Cut in the woods.”

The Noroton Cove settlement that eventually became Darien included a sawmill built by a dam on the Noroton River, a small shipyard on the shore of Holly Pond – and Nathaniel Pond was the blacksmith. By 1703 a school district was established.

Soon after the Pond-Weed House’s initial structure was built, several additions were made to the central framing resulting in a two story home, T-shaped floor plan and lean-to saltbox roof-line. Nathaniel Pond sold the property to Nathaniel Weed in 1716 “With dwelling house and barn.” It remained in the Weed family for 210 years.

The Pond-Weed House’s notable features include the massive stone chimney, exterior walls of shingles with semi-circular butts, a first period exterior door, exposed framing, paneling and much early hardware still remaining.

In addition to its historic architectural importance and its connection with Darien’s leading families, the building also served as a tavern in the 18th century when it was known as the “House Under the Hill” or “Half-Way House” due to its position half-way between Norwalk and Stamford.

In the late 1730s severe winter storms resulted in the deaths of several people traveling from Darien to church in Stamford. As the first generation of Darien settlers were aging they proposed creating a newer, closer parish to reduce the difficulty getting to church on Sunday.

In 1744 this lead to the hiring of the Rev. Moses Mather – still in his mid-20s – who spent his entire 64-year career at this parish post until his death in 1806. Moses Mather became one of the most outspoken proponents from the pulpit of American Independence during the Revolutionary War.

The town was primarily dominated by Patriots during the Revolution with the community’s Tories fleeing to Long Island, but conducting raids on the community throughout the war. The plaque in front of the Darien City Hall tells the story of how, “Tories disrupted services at the meetinghouse on July 22, 1781, capturing Dr. Mather and forty-seven other men, and transported them across the Sound. Dr. Mather with twenty-six of his parishioners suffered five months in the foul British prisons in New York City before those who survived their confinement were exchanged and returned to their homes.”

It has long been said of the Pond-Weed House when it was operating as the Half-Way House Tavern that “George Washington stopped here” on the march south from Boston to New York during the American Revolution.

Today the Pond-Weed House is a private residence located …

House Plans – Prioritizing Requirements

House plans need a great deal of attention because there are some basic elements that are necessary inputs in a house plan and they cannot be missed. A basic knowledge about architectural guidelines and building plans will allow you to make a few initial sketches yourself. Even otherwise, making a rough plan of all the spaces you want to incorporate in a new home and consulting a professional architect ensures that the plans are of sound design and viable.

There are some basic design concepts and elements that are to be kept in mind while making a house plan. The primary factor that is a common element in most house plans is keeping in mind the ‘future’. Making provisions for changes in lifestyles must be upfront and enough space and viability placed on them. All these have to be considered within the space available with sufficient allocation for a garden or yard, children’s play area or just enough open space to chill out on a summer evening.

Some basic requirements regarding drawing up house plans include the following to be able to prepare a budget and see if it is alignment with your finances.

• Measuring the amount of space available for building

• Visualizing the plan vis-a-vis the number of floors

• Upfront flow of the house i.e. number of rooms and placing which room where in the house

• Children’s areas – keeping in mind they are going to grow up and need more space

• Parents or aged dependants

• Passageways

• Utility areas – includes storage areas like pantry, laundry, garden shed etc.

• Staircases

• Installation of green environment factors / eco friendly measures – rainwater saving, solar energy panels etc.

• Flexibility to rearrange rooms based on architect’s / builder’s inputs

The keyword in drawing up house plans is ‘priority’. Aspects like providing a strong foundation is very necessary even if the current plans do not include more than one or two storeys for now. Adding additional floors can be done later but the foundation is the ‘all important’ factor that all plans hinge on. Similarly, installation of energy savings measures and appliances should be done in the first phase. Prioritizing necessities helps sticking to budgeted expenses; slight variations notwithstanding. Add-ons that are not on ‘first priority’ can be added later provided your financial situation allows it but you should be able to manage fine without those, if necessary. It is one of the important things to remember.…

3 Crucial Benefits of a Bathroom Extractor Fan

Whether in the process of building a brand new home, remodeling the entire bathroom, or simply making a few changes, an important element that should not be overlooked is a bathroom extractor fan. Although there are many benefits associated with this type of fan, the two that people appreciate most includes improved ventilation and heat removal.

Benefit 1: Improved Airflow

For starters, when installation is done correctly, the fan would help improve airflow. One of the primary problems in any bathroom is humidity. Due to the fan design, when mounted on the ceiling or high up on the wall it works by extracting moist air from the room, leaving the interior of the bathroom drier. With this, any unwanted or lingering odors would be removed. The bathroom can be challenging when it comes to unpleasant odors so having a fan that provides excellent venting capabilities is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Benefit 2: Better Ventilation

Another benefit associated with ventilation is the reduction or elimination of mold. Because of high humidity levels and steam produced in the bathroom, it is common to experience problems specific to the growth of mold and mildew. In addition to being unsightly, this type of fungus is also dangerous. If you install an extractor fan in a new or remodeled home, this problem could be prevented whereas in an existing home to replace an older fan, growth of mold and mildew could be stopped.

Most newly constructed homes have bathrooms designed to meet strict regulations for ventilation. However, in older homes, chances are good the existing fan is simply not equipped to deal with high levels of humidity, steam, and dampness. Additionally, let us say your bathroom has a skylight. During the winter with the furnace heating the home hot air is going to rise, which then mixes with cold air at which time condensation develops. This means along with the problem of humidity, steam, and dampness, an additional issue of condensation would contribute to the growth of mold and mildew.

Benefit 3: Heat Removal

Another benefit of the fan is heat removal. If you live in a part of the world where temperatures are hot, another challenge would be presented. We all know heat rises, regardless of climate but living in a hot environment means facing a different obstacle to overcome. Heat in the bathroom rises to the ceiling where it causes the room to feel uncomfortable, not to mention adds to the cost of cooling the home. With the fan installation, heat would be pulled into the roof space, resulting in better airflow and a cooler bathroom.

As you can see, installation of a bathroom extractor fan is certainly beneficial.…

How to Kill House Flies

Sometimes you have the occasional house fly that annoys you. Other times though it is a more serious problem. There are house flies everywhere and it is more of an infestation problem that you need to deal with. Learn how to deal with this problem so that you can get rid of house flies.

The first step is to clean up and get rid of the breeding ground of the house flies. If you have an infestation, there is something in the house that they are breeding in. Get rid of any garbage. Clean up pet litter like the cat litter box. Throw away old food in the pantry. Seal up all containers of food. Wipe down all counters. The cleaner everything is the less likely it is that the flies can continue to breed.

To get rid of these flies manually put a little bit of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spray this towards flies that you see in the home. This does work, but you probably would rather have something that worked automatically for you without having to get rid of them yourself.

You need to make some traps. Take hot water and sugar and blend these together. Put this into small jars and cover them with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic wrap so the flies can get in. This should attract quite a few house flies. Do this day after day until the flies are gone. The more traps you use the more you will catch. Be sure to empty out the trap each day and refill them.

Another trick is to put something like rotting fruit inside the oven. The flies will be attracted to it and all be in the oven. Shut the oven and turn it on and it will kill the flies. Clean up the oven afterwards.…

3 Decor Ideas for Designing a Great Bedroom

Shaping the house of your dreams is not easy but it is well worth it. If you’re looking for bedroom inspiration, I’d suggest you to become an imaginary and creative to make it happen. Because just getting inspired is way different from actually trying it out. DIY is a different ball-game altogether but since we spend most of our peaceful time in bedrooms therefore the difficulty level is worth the try.

People have different tastes and therefore they have a number of varying opinions about a specific kind of decor. As a thumb rule, if you can find the right kind of decor inspiration, you will be well on your way to a classic room decor that you love.

So how do we start? Well, I do not know exactly what’s your room like and how would you want it to be. But still, there’s one thing you can always do in every room.

Wall Paper Decoration

Decorating walls with wallpapers is something we all know and often try out every now and then. These days, technology has advanced so much that there’s a huge variety of wallpapers available online. So you can choose one from vinyl to embossed and even fabric-backed vinyl wallpapers, whatever suits your purpose.

If you’re implementing wall papers in your bedroom, it is best to clear out any mess or clutter you may have our your walls. It goes true specially for small bedrooms, usually wall paper decoration along with other wall items here and there may look messy.

Always remember that a clean bedroom always looks much better and appeals more too.

Unique Flooring Designs

If you’re considering to overhaul your bedroom altogether so renovating your flooring design would be something to consider. We need to keep the balance, for example, you can’t expect to go with a black flooring and a jet black wallpaper too, it simply won’t look good.

The art of using color contrast really helps. Anything with a light wall color, dark rugs or a dark unique shade of flooring with light color curtain and relatively darker shade furniture always looks good!

A good workaround is to figure out the wall color first. Everyone has a personal color preference, mine is shingle, smoky gray and even mild blue works well for me. Following these simple tips, you can create wonders and I’ve seen amazing bedrooms with those color combinations.

Smart Use of Storage

After all, it’s a bedroom and you would definitely need a lot of things in there. You will have to creatively design your cabinets, wardrobe, dressing tables and bed itself to adjust your things.

First things first, figure out the amount of available space you have. Then decide on the number of things you can adjust and still make the room look awesome. Then third step is to figure out how you can actually improvise in utilizing the space with all those items.

Conclusion:

At least but not the least, most of the people are extremely excited …

Bathroom Vanity Ideas for Small Spaced Bathrooms

Everyone wants to have a bathroom that is both functional and stylish at the same time. One way that you can have both is by adding bathroom vanities in it. There are a lot of designs that you can choose from when planning to add bath vanities in your bathroom. You can go for modern designs or antique themed bathroom vanities. You certainly have vast choices, especially if you have a large bathroom area.

When it comes to small spaced bathrooms however, you should pick the right ones. You should avoid getting vanity furniture that may take up a lot of space, like antique bathroom vanities as they will congest your bathroom with their bulky designs. It would be a more appropriate choice to invest in a contemporary bathroom vanity which would fit within the small space in your bathroom.

In picking out the bathroom vanity that you will be adding into your bathroom, the first thing that you need to keep in mind is your bathroom space. You should take note that placing a lot of items in your bathroom, occupying all the free spaces will leave it with a cluttered look. So, make sure that you only get the essential ones.

If the bathroom space and your budget allow it, you can go for small bathroom vanity and sinks. This allows you to have both a sink and a storage space for your toiletries at the same time. This can be a practically choice as it allows you to organize your bathroom items while providing an area for you sink. However, if you find that you don’t have space to place a vanity cabinet, you might want to add a corner piece in your bathroom instead. This allows you to utilize a corner in your bathroom and place a sink on it.

When planning what kind and the design of the bathroom vanity that you will be placing in your small spaced bathroom. Keep in mind that you should get one that utilizes space efficiently, as well as allow you to organize your bathroom items. In order to maximize space and help you organize your items, you should pick one that has two or four small drawers by each side of the vanity top. This allows you to organize small bathroom items like toothbrushes, soaps, etc.

Aside from small drawers on the side, you should also try picking out modern bath vanities that has shelves below the drawers. This can be the perfect storage space to place towels, robes, etc. However, this will still depend on the size of the bathroom vanity that you will be choosing.

Other than the design and storage space, you should also consider what kind of material you want the bath vanity to be. Wood is the most common materials when it comes to bathroom vanity furniture. You can also opt to purchase ones that are made from stronger materials like granite, marble, etc. However, the cost is much higher when going for …

How to Incorporate the Latest Design Trends into Your Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Project

You can update your kitchen by incorporating new kitchen design trends by refacing your existing kitchen cabinets. You may want to do update your kitchen because prospective buyers will be willing to pay more for an attractive, functional modern kitchen. But a complete kitchen re-design can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take months to finish.

There are many kitchen design trends that you can use in your kitchen cabinet refacing project. You can provide new features for your kitchen cabinets such as making them light and air white cabinets, putting in decorative glass doors, or using detailed cabinet hardware.

You might assume that the only way to get a custom look for your kitchen is to go with a total kitchen overhaul. But, with kitchen cabinet refacing you have all the advantages of a big custom remodel, such as better storage and improved functionality, but without the more expensive price tag. Renovating doors and refacing kitchen cabinets comes in at a fraction of the cost of having a whole new kitchen installed or even having new cabinets and doors installed.

Custom kitchen cabinet design is not the only way to achieve a custom look. Kitchen cabinet refacing provides many design options including a variety of styles of handles and drawer pulls.

While you are may be generally satisfied with the basic layout of your kitchen, you can still give your kitchen an entirely new look by having new cabinet doors put on the existing cabinet frames.

You can also upgrade the drawer pulls and cabinet hardware

It is possible to totally change from a traditional wood kitchen design all the way to a more modern contemporary look. Kitchen cabinetry is very changeable and easily customizable.

Just what is involved in refacing kitchen cabinets? Well refacing allows you select custom materials, custom accessories, and custom styles to give your cabinets a like-new appearance. Refacing laminated materials are made from real furniture quality hardwoods like birch, alder, maple, oak, cherry, and walnut. You can choose to do flat or raised panels, shaker, shaker plank, beaded finish, or high end mitred doors. With refacing of existing kitchen cabinets you can take advantage of the your existing cabinet box structure, since it is already in place and so you do not need to remove counter tops, mess up the floor, or anything else. During a refacing job it is also easy to hide the hinges as well as hide knob or handle hardware.

Creating a Light and Open Look

Everyone today wants their kitchen to look light and open. When selecting a cabinet front, try adding a white cabinet door. The light color will bring a crisp look to your kitchen and make the space more inviting

Remove the Cabinet Doors

If you have older cabinets that are in good condition you can simply remove the doors altogether. You can convert your existing cabinets to open shelving. Interior shelves can be removed or reconfigured inside the existing cabinet frames for a thoroughly …

Do Your House Cleaning Products Affect Your Health?

Most homeowners expect house cleaning products to do one thing – clean. Many consumers focus more on punchy taglines such as “kills 99% of bacteria” or “tough on stains and grease!”. But they neglect the fact that store-bought cleaning products contain a lot of harmful chemicals.

Most likely, you check the food labels to make sure that they are organic, MSG-free, etc.before you buy them. But do you ever stop to check the labels of the cleaning products you buy?

Admit it or not, you think your cleaning product is the best because it promises to kill more bacteria than its competitors. What you don’t know is that many of these cleaners and detergents contain harmful ingredients, which are great for cleaning but poses a certain danger to your health.

Read The Label: What It Says Matters

How do you know if a cleaning product is harmful? You need to know what chemicals are dangerous to your health and avoid buying products that contain such ingredients. These include bleach, parabens, ammonia. They affect your health in several ways but mostly affect the lungs. With continued and excessive exposure, these toxins can affect other parts of your body, too.

Several eco-friendly cleaning products contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Some products are labelled as natural, but it doesn’t mean they are safe to use. Don’t be fooled! There’s nothing organic with these products. They can lead to chronic respiratory illnesses and headaches. Products containing VOCs include air fresheners, oven sprays, dish detergents, floor polish, and aerosol sprays, to name a few.

Go Green!

Although purchasing “eco-friendly” or “green” products is a sensible choice, making sure that your cabinets are filled with safe and healthy cleaning solutions does not always mean that they are the best options. Cleaning agents aren’t regulated and held in the same standards, such as food. Simply put, there are “green” products that aren’t any better than regular cleaning agents.

So how can you make sure that you are getting an effective and healthy cleaning agent? Simple! Make your own! You don’t have to overspend. You can simply use basic items that you most likely already have in your home. A few ingredients you can use include salt, lemon juice, vinegar, water, baking soda, and borax.

You will have countless options when it comes to making a green cleaning solution using simple and affordable ingredients. For example, you can create a natural scrubber using lemon juice and salt. Get rid of stubborn stains by sprinkling baking soda and vinegar on the affected area. It will trigger a chemical reaction that will lift the stain without any problem. But if you are not really into doing the cleaning by yourself, you always have the option to hire a company who offers house cleaning services while using only the best and safest green cleaning solutions.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a housekeeper, a business owner, or a homeowner, always remember that using store-bought cleaners can lead to health issues, …

Benefits of Butterfly Wall Decor and Wall Art

Butterfly wall decor is increasingly becoming an accessory of choice especially for nature loving and eco-friendly people. Its magnificent beauty and adorable color express a delicate but unique feature anywhere you want it to be. Butterfly decor can be used at home, garden, and office decorations. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes which make it flexible to use. You can also choose to prepare different types of butterfly decor by customizing it with fabrics and other materials. In fact, most designs are machine made however, the most fascinating and artistic ones are handmade.

Butterfly wall art is perfect to accentuate any girl’s bedroom. Pink butterflies are just so adorable that even babies can appreciate them. They also go perfectly well with any concept or color scheme of a nursery. Butterfly wall art are often used as ornamental pieces to decorate ceilings and walls. Furhermore, groups of butterfly home accents can be a great focal point in the living room to give more interest and color in the area.

For occasions, butterfly art can also be used as backdrops for your daughter’s birthday party, weddings, garden events or even during costume parties. They can enhance the ambience of the surrounding, add color and set a dramatic feeling to the overall theme of the event. For household use, these gorgeous home accents are widely used as decorations for draperies, beds, furniture and in any places inside the home that can gain interest from a simple or lavish butterfly decoration scheme.

Butterfly wall decor and home accents can produce positive effects to homes and outdoor spaces. They bring cool and refreshing color which can uplift the mood of anyone who sees it. These home accents can also make your home a lot closer to our environment by expressing colors of the spring, the vibrant beauty of the garden and the serenity of nature itself.

Lastly, these accessories are also excellent as personal gifts to friends, colleagues and especially for little girls who are fascinated by the fragile beauty of this creatures.…

Modern Bathroom Design Ideas

Nowadays it seems that more and more people consider their bathroom as one of the best places in their home where they can retreat from the stresses of the day. A place for a TV, freestanding baths, 4 and 5 shower heads in a single shower stall, soap dispensers and towel formers are all part of a new designed bathroom. A modern bathroom will not only bring comfort to anyone, but at the same time it manages to stress straight lines, neutral, white and black tones, but also materials like stainless steel, chrome and mirrors. A modern bathroom is thus not only a place where people can go for a refreshing shower, but a place of serenity and complete relaxation.

Simplicity

For anyone who would like to make sure they redesign their bathroom and bring it to the modern standards, they need to know that simplicity is the way to go regarding Bathroom Design. The look of the modern bathroom is simple, spacious and elegant and only a few colors will be used to create it. If people would like the walls to be painted, most of the time the colors will be soothing and soft. Common tones used are white and black, because they bring a mental balance and relax. If in the past the lines in a bathroom would be complex and surfaces filled with wall art, nowadays they are smooth and the lines are simple. Basically, there are no intricate designs, no knickknacks and no clutter.

Fixtures

Through the elements of the bathroom, a modern bathroom will emphasize straight lines, meaning that sinks are wall mounted, while the faucets are geometrically designed and smooth. The modern Bathroom Design also implies that vanities can be wall mounted as well and generally people will go for ceramic, glass or stainless steel choices. Taking a closer look at the modern cabinet doors, they are solid in order to avoid looking of clutter, the toilets are streamlined and one piece, while the hardware is also minimal. Depending on what type of cabinets individuals will go with, some of them might feature touch latches that helps with enhancing their look.

Floors

For added comfort, it’s best that heated floors are considered. However, sometimes this might not be an option and that is why people should go for large tiles which create a spacious look. Engineered hardwood and travertine marble are a great choice in this regard. Bathroom rugs are an important aspect of the modern bathroom and instead going for the regular ones, it’s recommended to look for wool or plush rugs.

Lighting

To create a softening effect, dimmers and “Can” lighting work together very well in a modern Bathroom Design. Using skylights and placing incandescent lights by the vanity is a great idea that will enhance the look of the bathroom. In regards to window treatments, they should be minimized.

Amenities

Last but not least, plush organic towels are certainly a part of the modern bathroom decor. A soap dispenser, a …