Tuesday, August 19, 2008

House Stalking

Tonight was so beautiful so Nick and I decided to go for a walk and enjoy the weather. We walked through a neighboring town that is primarily Georgian architecture, and not all of it very well executed. Every once and awhile the town's architecture review board lets one pass that does not fit the red brick standard, like this house currently under construction. The location is not the greatest but peeping through the windows (I have no shame) the owners are not skimping on any details. Wide plank pine floors, tongue and groove paneling with hidden doors to a coat closet and bathroom. I plan to continue stalking and saving the photos for my dream home folder.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Slowing I am adding items back into the den. Currently I am working on the bookshelves. I have the Coco Chanel quote in my head about taking off the last item you put on as I bring items back into the room. Before the bookshelves were full with DVDs, books, puzzles and stuff. This time around I am trying to simplify and be more thoughtful about how I use the shelves.

This is my first go around with a set up. The white boxes contain some of the DVD collection, the collection of books are copies that are nice to have nearby and I placed only white spine magazines on the bottom shelf. I am thinking I could try orange DVD boxes for more color, but it could be too much color. (The yellow mirror is propped up only to get off the floor until I find its home.)

Please give me your suggestions: How does this set up look? Too plain? Should I have more objects on the shelves? Does it need more color?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

On a roll...

With daily to do list items being checked off while working on the den, Nick is on a roll with finishing projects around the house. Today was staining the shed. Only problem was he ran out of stain 1/2 way through the building, so will need to finish next weekend. The building looks great (just don't look at the back), and really blends in with the landscape.

It's In!

On Thursday night we moved in the sofa! I was a little shocked when it first went in the room because it's really tall. In the past few days I have been able to adjust and now it does not look so out of place. The down-filled seat is great and watching tv with all the pillows is so comfortable. For its first photoshoot I included a few Vera scarves that have potential for becoming pillow cases.

Besides moving the sofa in the room, I have been able to start placing other furniture and accessories back in. For like ever has been rehung with a different table underneath. The cubes below are old and I am looking for new fabric to make slipcovers. I have a few ideas.

Here is the fire place in all white. I like the art on the mantel compared to the circle mirror. The chairs need moved around, but I have not finalized on an official floorplan yet. I am so excited to start figuring out how to pull the whole room together.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Check - Paint

Tonight we got the final coat of paint on the walls. Finally, We are in the home stretch to get the furniture back in the room and I can take the plastic off the new sofa. Here is what has been complete and what still needs to get accomplished tomorrow night before I move in the sofa. After all this is done I get to start thinking about curtains, rugs and all the details.

1. Install new crown and baseboards - DONE
2. Frame in the beams - DONE
3. Caulk and spackle beams, crown and baseboards - DONE
4. Prime beams and walls - DONE
5. Paint the ceiling - DONE
6. Paint the walls - DONE
7. Clean the floors
8. Update all light switches and outlets
9. Hook up the TV and cable

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Etsy Find

I have been searching Etsy for new posters and vera scarves and this weekend I came across this awesome bedspread. Such a wonderful idea to use the scarves to create a patchwork quilt. I have trouble turning a few of my scarves into pillows, I don't think I will ever be able to alter enough to make a quilt. I will keep this in my idea folder.

Paint on the walls

Finally, we have paint on the walls. After about 4 hours we got the first coat of paint on the walls. Yes it really did take 4 hours. However it looks great! A little stark, but the furniture and art will provide some color. Hopefully Monday night we can get out of work early and put on the final coat. Yeah!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vera Pillows

I have been stalking Ebay for good vera scarves to use on the pillows for the new sofa. I only want geometric prints in pink, orange, yellow and green. This limits my selection, but I already have two from my collection to use. Below far here are a few that I am watching. Nick thinks with the white walls and sofa that the room will be colorless. Not with pillows like these!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Slow Progress

Sunday is almost over and still there is no paint on the walls. The ceiling has been painted and taped. We also have new baseboards installed. Caulking, spackling and sanding the baseboards will delay us another weekend before we have time paint. I do have the poster back from the framers and it looks great. One more week. I think that is all I can take before I don't care and just throw the paint on the walls.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Busy without a lot to show for it.

Last week was very busy, without a lot of progress to show for that work. We have all the beams in the den framed and installed crown molding. It took two days to caulk and sand to get ready for priming. Finally this weekend we can put the first coat of paint on the wall and ceiling. The ceiling is Harbor Fog from Benjamin Moore and the walls/trim are Decorator’s white. Fingers crossed it turns out to match the
idea in my head.

The couch has arrived and is everything I thought it would be. Currently it is chilling in the garage wrapped in a double layer of plastic. The goal is to have it in the house by Sunday, but I am not sure if that will really happen.

I am also picking up a new poster from the framer for the den tomorrow night. I purchased the 2007 Hampton Classic poster featuring a photograph by Steven Kline. I cut the copy off the poster to leave just the image. Nick thinks it is odd, but somehow trusts me.

Final project is painting my bamboo mirror yellow, or Bumble Bee Yellow to be exact. I think I am going to hang it in the den between the two windows, but I am not rushing decorating decisions until I have the walls painted and the couch in the room to see what works.
Hopefully I will be able to upload more often. Lately every time I upload photos, I crash my computer. I think I have it fixed now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Den Progress - The Ceiling

My dad was down this weekend and we started work on framing the beams in the den. So far we got one beam installed and almost finished the crown molding for the section. He will be back the 4th of July weekend so one more day and we will have it completed. Already with just the raw wood I think it is starting to look better.

The before beams - these are 2 inches narrower than the new beams and the new crown is 1.5 inches thicker.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day our Dad's that have helped with floors, baseboards, crown molding, remove walls, install French doors, install kitchen doors and many more projects to come. Thank you!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Ceiling - Make it white

So our den has dark rough wood beams that at first I thought added personality to the room. Now they just bother me. So the biggest undertaking in the Den redesign is to frame in the beams and paint them white. I wish I could just paint them, but they are a strange rough wood. Once they are all framed, we need to add new extra tall crown molding to make the room feel a little more interesting. Over all I am hoping the white walls, white ceiling and white beams will make the room feel taller and brighter.

I have been searching magazines to find inspiration for what the finished product could look like, but found that no magazine really features the ceiling of rooms.

Before (almost) - Dark like the designer's of Libertine's living room, only I have 8 foot ceilings.

After (almost) - the white ceiling makes everything blend in and makes the focus the room below.

(First Image, Domino September 2007. Photo by Paul Costello. Second photo, Domino November 2006. Photo by Paul Costello)

The Walls, shiny white

The walls are going to change from Edgecomb Gray to be... surprise Decorator's White. I know going white is not very daring, but the room always feels so dark I love how bright the kitchen feels white. My spin will be to paint it a satin or gloss to reflect more sunlight. I found this photo from House & Garden June 2004 (I miss this magazine so much). My scanner is not the greatest, but the clean white on the paneling makes it look more modern. Also I think it will give the rough wood mantel more salvage than lodge feel.

(Image from House & Garden, June 2004. Photographer Michael Mundy)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Part 1: Planning for the new arrival

So my sofa needs a new room to come home to, so I have started to plan the new look for the den. This is the very first room we decorated when we moved in and I took a lot of time planning the perfect color and everything I wanted to do to the room. After the walls were painted and a few other items were added, the room has fallen off the list of priorities to complete. First the before and current state photos, then I will start to share the plan.

Dark wood paneling with blue/green carpet, yuck. (I had to show this, it makes the current photos look much better).

Today it is a light beige color with the carpet removed to expose the hardwood floors that were covered. Surprise! I guess the bigger surprise is we lived with the carpeting for year before we discovered the hardwood. So bad. My dad made us the bookshelves and I love them, however I painted the inside a horrible green. The gold mirror is on indefinite loan from my mom. The other stuff needs to find a home, but I have not gotten around to finding a spot. The chairs are both Nick's which we will need to see how they play into the final design.

The most recent purchase for the room is the sideboard to hide all the TV compentents. I have no clue what to do with the top of it. I have tried different objects, but have not liked anything yet so it stays clean for now.

Here is the bar stand I painted last summer with my favorite poster. The hallway goes to the basement, garage and half bathroom. It will also be apart of the decorating plan.

I am not sharing a photo of the current couch and the windows. This weekend was catch up on laundry and the whole couch is covered in folded piles waiting to make it back to the closets. I will share later once they are all put away. I am really happy how the room photographs, but it really needs help. I should finish other projects first, but this is too exciting to wait.

I did it.

It took me five years, but I have finally done it. I ordered my dream sofa. Say hello to Francis (also known as the London sofa from Lillian August). After searching and comparing sofa after sofa I sucked it up and just ordered it. I threw caution to the wind and bought a white sofa that is not slipcovered (crazy I know). Francis is what I have been comparing all other sofas to and I do not have a dog or kids to make it dirty, only Nick so why not. I am having Francis Scotchgard which is guaranteed for five years, after which I will have built up funds to have a slipcover made. I am so excited, and now I can start the count down for delivery. 72 days to go.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Domino - I guess I will have two copies

On Friday, my friend Jen got her copy of the June Domino delivered, and on Saturday gave me a peak of what was inside before my copy arrived later that day in the mail (or so I thought). I was very upset that opening my mail box on Saturday only produced Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids catalogs (yuck). I could not wait until Monday night after work to read for myself, so I purchased it at the bookstore. This is a great issue to have two copies, I love the John Derian sofas and the creative director of Lee Jofa's beach house. However next month my issue better arrive early.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I could make that

I have a friend that jokes her tombstone will say "I could make that." And she can always make it. I thought the same thing about about a raw wood mirror I saw at one of my favorite local stores for a lot of money. I found a similar mirror on Mecox Garden's Website. I like the idea of the natural wood mirror mixed with all the more modern elements I like. I found the following frame at Hobby Lobby and will do a great version of the mirror. It will not be hand carved, but for $50 for the frame it will be a great look for less. After I find a home for my new bamboo mirror I am going to give this project a try.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What was gold...

At Springfield Extravaganza my first purchase of the day was this mirror for $35 (talked them down from $48). I have no place for the mirror yet, but I could not pass up a bargain. Well I found the same mirror on Paris Hotel Boutique that sold for over $300. It has the same black drizzle pant over the gold. I sanded mine down so it is smooth and ready a coat of bright paint. I guess I should have kept the gold, but the black drizzle made it feel tacky '80s and not funky Palm Beach. Oh well, still a good purchase and I am excited to see it that I have something neat enough to be sold on Paris Hotel Boutique.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I love spring

This afternoon I cut some peonies from our garden to put on my home office desk. I thought I would share a photo of both the beautiful flowers and my desk of favorite things.
(1) My large computer screen for my Mac mini
(2) Yellow Lucite lamp from a thrift store
(3) Favorite Kate Spade ad framed
(4) Sash from my Halloween costume this year (and such as)
(5) Large bulletin board with dream house images, family photos and strange inspiring items.

Not White, Blue!

My neighbor across the street jokes that I am always painting something white in the driveway. Which is not always true. I like to use white primer instead of grey so it just looks like everything I paint is white. I made sure once I was done painting two of the bar stools yesterday I left them out to dry for a long time for him to see I do use color.

I think the bright robin's egg blue looks great! When I did the first spray it was a little bright, but I continued until they were painted before I decided. I LOVE them. They look great in the kitchen and really add some color. The only problem is the arms will be too high to fit under an island so I cannot use them up stairs. However we have a bar in the basement with a much higher counter that we can use them. I don't think Nick will mind that the pool table room as robin's egg blue bar stools. Very manly.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Project - Bar Stools

Nick and I have been planning our kitchen island for a while and wanted to make sure the design included space for at least two bar stools. I thought the island would come before the stools, however over the past weekend my mom purchased a set of four bar stools that are faux bamboo. At first glance they are not the most attractive (peach with pineapple fabric), but with new paint and seat fabric they will be awesome. I am going to paint them a robin's egg blue/turquoise in high gloss and upholster the seats in white vinyl. I think the color will look great with the grey floors and pull out the blues in the Caesar Stone counters once the island is installed. I am so excited for Memorial weekend projects, look for more to come.

Potential Blue Color (I cheat and use spray paint)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This past Friday I went with my parents and Nick to the Springfield Extravaganza, which is a huge antique and collectables fair. I was able to get some Vera scarves and great green goblets. It is so much fun going through all the dealers looking for a great deal. I did pass up two bamboo chandeliers that were each $100, but since I already have two I still have not hung I figured I should hold back. The next Extravaganza is in September and I am already calling the day off from work.

Tempted, but I passed it up.

Gardens is open

Nick's boutique garden nursery is open for business! The place looks amazing, all Nick's hard work has really paid off. The greenhouse makes it look so official. Here are photos of the green house, shoppers and some great merchandizing work.

I am back... Sorry.

I have no good reason for being away for so long. The good thing is I have fun items to post, but he downside is I have so much catching up to do on all my favorite blogs. It is going to take me all Memorial Day weekend to catch up.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going Retail.

In a few weeks Nick and his family are opening a retail garden nursery. They have been working all winter building greenhouses and preparing for the opening that is almost here. I get to help by looking for unique items to add to their assortment of plants, French pottery and other garden necessities. There is a lot that still needs to get accomplished, but I am so proud and excited for Nick. More to come.