Monday, July 30, 2012

Look Up

As I write, my house is surrounded by tarps, tall ladders, and a team of roofing contractors. Our house is finally being shed of its old and outdated red and green asphalt roof.
My view out the window
 What once looked like this

Is beginning to look more like this
I never thought I'd be this excited about a roof.
But I am.
I hope to have pictures of the completed roof by next week :)

Update: Click here to see the finished roof! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tone on Tone


I paid a visit to my local Benjamin Moore store recently to pick out trim and a front door color. I happened to be in the right place at the right time--as a BM Color Expert was on site. She made her recommendations (more on that in future posts), but also made a suggestion I'd never considered: painting the shutters the same color as the house. 
I was intrigued, so did a little digging to find some examples. 

House Beautiful

Katy Elliot
BHG.com
Things That Inspire
Architect Design


Miles Redd's townhouse. Photo: Martyn Thompson


House Beautiful
Painting the shutters the same color as the house will provide texture and interest, especially when hung correctly (read an interesting article here).  The effect is subtle and could be perfect on our house which already has a lot going on. Then again, we don't need to use the shutters at all...
Curious to hear your thoughts. What do you think of tone-on-tone house and shutter paint colors? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shopping Daze

While Chris was installing new windows in our garage last Saturday, I spent the morning scouting hardware for the front door. The hardware we have now is horribly mismatched and in bad shape despite my attempts to polish it.

I found just about everything I was looking for at Adler's Design Center & Hardware in Providence, RI.  Adler's is a family owned business that offers a more decorative selection than the usual big box stores (including trade-only wallpaper and fabrics).

I walked in there looking for oil rubbed bronze, but fell in love with this Emtek handle set in a silver patina finish. It looks like silver leaf.

Love these glass knobs.


 Some possible mailbox slot replacements

I rented shutter hardware so that we can choose a shutter dog style.

 On my way home, I passed through a neighborhood with a bunch of restaurants and shops called Wayland Square. I had to stop and look when I saw all the people milling around and lots of goods out on the sidewalk.

One of my favorite shops, Comina, had these gorgeous pagoda lamps by Worlds Away. The best part is that they can be customized in any Benjamin Moore color. I'll be saving up for two of these to put in my living room. 

Whoa! Bins of John Robshaw and Matouk linens were 50% off at Wendy Brown Fine Linens.


I couldn't resist taking home some Matouk pillow cases and a boudoir pillow.
Now, that's what I call a successful shopping trip.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Husband, Window Installer

We got word from our roofing contractor that the slates have shipped and he can get us on his schedule within the next few weeks. Finally! While a new roof is one giant step toward transforming the outside of our house, there are still many other projects Chris needs to take care of. One being installing new windows in the garage.
When we moved in almost two years ago, one of the window panes was broken, so replacing it has been on our "to-do" list for quite some time. I wouldn't have thought that replacing windows was a DIY job until Chris in fact, did it himself within a couple of hours. My hero.
First he removed the old frames.

 He had to remove all the rotted wood and replace it.

 He popped the new window into its new frame and secured it in place. (Note that there were a lot of curse words and tools getting thrown around, this step was probably easier said than done).

 Both windows are in and he's insulated the gaps with expanding foam to keep out water and bugs.

Making a couple of adjustments from the outside.

The hard part is done. All that is left to do is replace the trim pieces.
We probably don't need those screens...

I'm seriously impressed that this was something he was willing to try himself. My fear when DIYing (even with as something as easy as making pillows) is that I'm going to do more harm than good and waste lots of money ruining costly materials. We are probably a good balance, Chris and I.

Do you consider yourself a DIY risk taker?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sails Up

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about wanting to start a gallery wall of sailboat art somewhere in my house. Cassie of Primitive and Proper responded by sending me the sweetest surprise in the mail:
Partially inspired by Wednesday's post and partially inspired by the watercolor I picked up at Brimfield last weekend, I decided it was time to do something with them.

First I made some adjustments.
I pulled out the brass hook.
I affixed new picture hangers to each. 
Then I painted the dark wooden frames gray using some leftover paint we had, and hung them up in the dining room. I decided to only hang four. The fifth one seemed like it didn't belong. 
 Now we have a terrific new view from the dining room table.
 Thanks again Cassie!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Saving for a Rainy Day

If the weather wasn't so darn perfect this summer, I might have a little more motivation to stay inside and get some projects done around the house. But it has been sunny and hot and my antique house doesn't have AC.

So in lieu of sharing any completed projects, I'll share what I'd be doing if I wasn't out and about enjoying summer.

1. Fabric Covered Roller Shades
This is an oldie but goodie, plus RenĂ©'s tutorial at Cottage & Vine makes it look easy. I have a couple guest rooms that would look 100% better with some pretty fabric covered blackout shades. I also have plenty of guests who'd appreciate not waking up at 6 o'clock on a Saturday morning.

2. Make a plain pillow fancy
Etsy seller drkdesigns
I already have a plain white pillow cover that I bought at Ikea several years back, and I have some leftover trim from my guest bath shower curtain. I just need to arrange a meeting between the two.

3. Make my own artwork
Oh, I still have so many empty walls to fill! This tutorial from at At Home has me thinking I could make good use out of the millions of paint sample pots I've saved in our basement.

4. Cover some shades
My dining room is devoid of all color except black and beige. It could use a zing of something bright and flashy. I'd like to recover the lampshades on my buffet to look like the ones in the photo above.

5. Make a furry ottoman
Chris wants another dog. I'd prefer one of these instead.
Step by step instructions available from The Nesting Place.

What's been lingering on your project list?

Monday, July 16, 2012

My First Brimfield

I came. I saw. I bought stuff.
(albeit not a lot of stuff)

Over the weekend, I had my first Brimfield experience. Believe me when I say that it is as overwhelming as you've heard. I prepped beforehand and I heeded all the advice: I got there early, I brought a friend (Chris), I wore sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes, and brought lots of cash. Still, I choked and only came home with a couple of things.

Getting there early gave us the place practically all to ourselves. By 1 o'clock when we left (Chris had had enough), it was a mob scene.
 It is true when they say you can find almost anything under the sun at Brimfield.
 Butcherblock and chrome kitchen island. The tag said $995, but the dealer kept saying, "Make me an offer! Make me an offer!" In fact, it seemed most dealers were willing to negotiate prices.
 A pair of leather chairs in horrible condition.
Here's a rug I had my eye on, but I couldn't pull the trigger. Asking price was $1600 and the dealer was willing "to work with me". Tempting, but that's a whole lot of money to spend on an impulse purchase.
This booth was really cute. Everything inside was cream and turquoise. I think they were asking $40 for the jug.
I loved these lamp bases, but Chris didn't.
I should have gotten them anyway.
Chris loved these giant iron man-on-horse lawn ornaments, but I didn't.
I'm really glad he didn't get them anyway.
Next time I shop for a rug, I'll wait for Brimfield.
This chest of drawers was cool. $195.
Some dealers are really on top of the trends. Vintage sports memorabilia was a big one.
Every time we saw a framed vintage photo of a sports team, Chris would whisper, "Carpe Diem" in a Robin Williams's Dead Poet's Society voice.
So what did I take home?
A large shallow basket for $5 and a framed watercolor print for $20.

I spent more on parking and lunch :)
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