Friday, March 30, 2012

Old Stuff for a New House

One of my best friends from high school is in the very early stages of building her dream house. As a way to infuse some character into their new construction home, she and her husband are planning to incorporate old doors from a local salvage yard. Isn't this a great idea?

I asked her to send me a link to the website of the salvage yard so that I could take a virtual looksie.
But why stop at doors? Maybe they will consider one of these mantels,
(heck, these are beautiful, maybe I should consider one of these mantels...).
Or even a butler's pantry. This one has a price tag of $2800.
How about an iconic claw foot tub?
Here's a cool sink you won't find at a big box store.
All of these (and more!) can all be found at Nor'East Architectural Salvage located in South Hampton, New Hampshire.

Would you or have you used salvaged building materials in your new construction home?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mark Your Calendar

You'd have thought I won the lottery when I got a postcard in the mail for the Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour.  For $35 (or $40 if you purchase your ticket after April 27th), the general public is allowed entry into six of Newport, Rhode Island's private residences. The tour is scheduled for Sunday, April 29th 10am-4pm and proceeds benefit the Parents Association of St. Michaels Country Day School. For more information on the tour and the homes, click here.

These are some of the homes featured on the tour
Jacobs Photographic
Lila Delman Real Estate
Stephen Mattos courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County
Lila Delman Real Estate
Lila Delman Real Estate
I am as excited as a 4th grader waiting for Christmas morning. Will April 29th ever get here???

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sail Away

I've been obsessed with paintings of sailboats lately and someday I'd love to have a whole gallery wall in my house full of them.  Instead of hoarding actual paintings, I've been hoarding photos of them.
I saw this painting at a gallery in Newport, RI recently. It was an original and priced in the thousands. Needless to say, it was out of my price range.
Same with this one. Beautiful though...
 Here's one I saw at an antique store. I think it was around $50. I didn't love it, so I didn't get it.
 This is one that I saw at HomeGoods for around $85. That little certificate in the corner says it is an an authentic-original-hand-painted-work-of-art. Loved the painting, hated the frame.
So I'm still holding out.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I don't know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but here in New England it has been fantastic over the last couple of weeks. Unseasonably fantastic. 

Perfect timing to share my Top Seven Favorites for Spring 
over at Interior Design Musings.  

What are your favorite things about spring? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's the Little Things

Sometimes small details can make a world of difference.
We live in an old house with a puny master bath. Like only one person at a time can use it puny. To give ourselves plenty of elbow room in the morning, I use the guest bath to get ready and Chris uses the master bath. I have to say that doing so hasn't been such a sacrifice since the remodel :)
What has been somewhat annoying is the lack of storage.  As ugly as it was, the previous three-panel inside mount medicine cabinet was holding a good amount of my beauty products. When we replaced it with a regular old mirror, I lost a lot of storage.
The problem was easily solved thanks to cabinet organizers. They aren't just for kitchens! We looked for them in the size we needed at Home Depot and Lowes, but ultimately found them on Amazon here.
The best part?
They roll in and out for easy access.
It's pretty much life changing.

Monday, March 19, 2012


And so the master bedroom is finished.
Quick, relatively inexpensive, and easy--this room redo was instant gratification compared to some of our other room makeovers.
Let's start from the beginning.
Here's the master bedroom when we moved in. Lots of wallpaper and sailboats.
About a year and a half ago, we transformed it by removing the wallpaper & border, and added crown molding.
While it was an improvement over what it looked like before, I never loved it. The orientation of the furniture always bothered me and the color scheme felt juvenile.

So I bought an inexpensive antique rug, stole bedding and a headboard from a guest room, and changed furniture around to create a master bedroom that feels grown-up, restful, and romantic.
The lamps were actually purchased for a different room, but they look perfectly at home here.  And the bench at the foot of the bed? Yup, made by Chris. It had been drifting around our house from room to room, but I think that it has finally found its permanent location.  The lumbar pillow is a recent Ikea purchase. I'll eventually find a different pillow cover in fabric I like more, but this will do for now.

You'll remember that I was having difficulty finding a window treatment solution for the sloped wall behind the bed. It doesn't seem to be a problem anymore thanks to the two cafe rods holding back the panels.
Even Harry and Georgia are happy. I recovered the stool that they use to get up and down our bed in a zebra fabric that was leftover from another project.

Nighty night.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Window Treatment Solutions For a Sloped Wall

One of the things I love so much about our house are the quirky roof lines and the character it gives to the bedrooms upstairs. One of the things I don't love so much about our house are the quirky roof lines and the challenge it makes for dressing the windows upstairs.

Roman shades are the obvious answer (and the solution I'll likely use for all the other bedrooms), but I want the master bedroom to stand out a little. To be a little fancier than the other bedrooms. What better way than to dress the windows with luxurious drapes?

Our bedroom has one standard, unsloped wall with two windows that already have drapes. Then we have the naked window on a sloped wall behind the bed.
Here's the solution I'm considering for it to be consistent with the other windows.
Worth a try?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Switched Up, Around, and Out

Poor Chris. After his hard work on the guest bath remodel, all he wants to do is sit on the couch and play video games. But he married me and I always seem to have plans to keep him busy.  This weekend it was to help me rearrange the furniture in our bedroom.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to position the bed in front of a window to improve the flow of the room. I was actually surprised reading your comments by how many people have done this in their own homes with great success. Music to my ears.

Chris and I first tried moving our current headboard in front of the window, but it clearly wasn't going to work out. The headboard is just too tall and it looked really awkward against the sloped wall.
 So we brought in a headboard that was in our guest bedroom.
Much better. Incidentally, Chris made this headboard for me as a wedding gift way back when, so it seems appropriate that we use it in our master bedroom.

Don't judge yet, this room is still in progress...but here's where we're at currently:
I love the new orientation of the room, but the obvious question is "How the heck do I dress that window behind the bed?".  It certainly needs something. The sloped wall presents a bit of a challenge. I have an idea how I could address it, but I'd love to hear your thoughts before I do anything.

Any suggestions?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beds in Front of Windows

I used to think that positioning a bed in front of a window was a big decorating no-no, until I saw these images.
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles
Lonny Dec/Jan 2010

Better Homes and Gardens
Lonny Jul/Aug 2011
Lonny Dec 2010

In thinking about redecorating our master bedroom, I'd like to change the layout of the furniture.  Right now the headboard is against the largest windowless wall in the room, but this bothers me because you can't see it from the entrance. I like when you walk into a bedroom and BAM! the bed (along with the nightstands, bedding, etc) is the focal point. 

The challenge in our bedroom is was that the "best" wall for making the bed a focal point has a window smack dab in the center of it. Doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. 

What is still an issue is that the "best" wall is also sloped, which presents a window treatment challenge that I'm going to have to find a way to work around.

Look at me. I'm breaking rules left and right. 
What are your thoughts on positioning a bed in front of windows? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

It Was Meant To Be

I saw this rug last October at the antique mall. At only $175 for a 9 x 12 it was the deal of the century, but Chris vetoed it (for reasons I'm still unclear on). I didn't have a room to use it in anyway, so I let it go.
But I couldn't stop thinking about it.
As the months went by, I'd check on it whenever I went to the antique mall. Amazingly, it was still there...waiting just for me.
At some point it occurred to me that the rug would look great in our bedroom, so I began my campaign to convince Chris. I talked and talked and talked and talked about how great it would look in our room until he got tired of hearing about it and gave in.
I drove to the antique mall the very next chance I got and the rug became MINE! Of course, I couldn't take it home with me because it's underneath a pile of crap, but I am okay with that. I waited this long, what's a couple more days?
Now my vision for our bedroom is starting to come together. In fact, don't you think my new rug will look lovely with this pair of alabaster lamps?
 It's like they were meant to be together. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Next on the Agenda

With the guest bath project behind us, Chris and I are going to put the tools down for a while and take a nice long rest from renovating. We are looking forward to having our lives back to do whatever it is that normal people do on weekends. We also need to replenish the "house fund" in order to afford some very expensive projects on the horizon, like a new roof and a new exterior paint job.
That doesn't mean we won't be busy though, and I know exactly where I want to focus my attention next: Our master bedroom.
Now, I'm not planning anything huge as our bedroom already had a major transformation just over a year ago when we removed all the wallpaper, painted, and put up crown molding.
Here's what it looked like then:
Here it is now:
 I just want to do a little low cost redecorating. This room was the first room we renovated when we moved in, and at the time, I had no idea which direction to go in decor-wise. As such, I've never really liked the way it came out (I can see Chris rolling his eyes now). It just feels so BLAH. 
Anyway, I think I have a better idea now. I'd like to change the furniture arrangement, perhaps trade some of the furniture with pieces we have elsewhere in the house, switch out the bedding with some we're using in a guest room, that sort of thing. Maybe it won't look any better when better when I'm done, but I need to find out.

Am I some sort of crazy person to need to change my decor so frequently? 
Maybe don't answer that. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Bath Reveal!

Wait just one didn't think I'd show you the after shots without first showing you what this room looked like before, did you?
Here's what the bath looked like when we bought the house. It was a time capsule from 1980. Actually, from Election Day 1992 as we later learned doing the demo

After tearing everything out, Chris worked on installing cement board and waterproofing for the new tile. 
I shared how we brought the blond oak vanity up to date
Then Chris and I tested our marriage by tiling the tub together.
Surviving that (and a small hiccup), Chris installed lots of beautiful molding.
And then it was done. 
Here's one last look at the before. 
And here's the big reveal. 

Now who wants to come stay with us?

Linking to: Savvy Southern Style and Remodelaholic

P.S. If you think this project is worthy of your vote in the JDR Annual Industry Awards - Remodeling Category, please click here to show us some love! For those who have already voted for us, thank you! Thank you!

Sources: Hardware, lighting, and fixtures are from Restoration Hardware; Mirror is a silver leafed find; Wall color is "Glimmer" by Behr; Ceiling color is "Celtic Gray" by Behr; Countertop is calcutta gold marble; Shower curtain is DIY.
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