Living Room Must-Haves, Part 1

We’ve lived in our Dutch colonial for just over a year.

Only now do I feel like it’s almost a home + no longer just a house.

Take our living room.  Please.

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I’ve got a lot of my must-haves handled,

like having a large area rug to define the seating area,

such as this classic denim one, from Land of Nod.

Another must-have is some stylish way to display my  books +stuff.

(I’ve got a lot of books + stuff.)

 Exhibit A:

Those shelf things are IKEA art ledges,

+ they’re my go-to for displaying my stuff.

Speaking of which, here are some in our old house’s dining room:

art ledges bungalow dining room part 3

At the Dutch colonial, we now have them flanking my huge, old sorter:

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I bought this awesome sorter a bazillion years ago,

for my late, great retail shop, Heart-In-Hand.

We’ve lugged that insanely heavy thing all over the state of Illinois,

where it’s been used in my various + sundry booths in antiques shops.

Believe it or not, this is the first time that its been inside our house!

It’s perfect (even G.O. agrees!)

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But wait.

Why on earth would someone turn their books around like that, you’re wondering!

Well this someone did it because I saw this photo on Facebook!

Posted by designer Joe Ruggier, Sr.

(host of my favorite show — HGTV’s Homes Across America)

living-room-books-turned-around-joe-r

Now, then.  Moving on.

 Probably the #1 must-have for one’s living room is a sofa,

don’t you agree?

We recently replaced our old camel back sofa with this one:

Those loose back cushions were must-haves,

as one can fling them off for some spooning time with one’s Dachshund!

Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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In my dream world, we’d upgrade to a sectional with a chaise,

so G.O. could have a seat next to us!

Exhibit D:

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Emery Slipcovered Sectional. https//www.arhaus.com

Epic, don’tcha think?

 See this and other cool sectionals here

Now imagine having 2 chaises (no waiting!)

Exhibit E:

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Remington with double chaises.  https//:www.arhaus.com

Speaking having 2 chaises,

how awesome is this pair of ginormous chaises

inside Tim McGraw + Faith Hill’s Franklin, TN home?

living-room-tim-m-and-faith-h-2-chaises

Hooked On Houses

Speaking of must-haves —  look at their fireplace!

I love theirs with that fabulous checkered tile.

(Stay tuned for more fireplace musings!)

Meanwhile, look at the exterior of their house!

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OMiGosh!  I love, love, love it! — but wait.

What say ye about that grand porch on their otherwise rustic home?

Is it too formal for the rustic log home?

I’m on the fence.

Back to my living room for more must-have happiness that I have yet to fulfill:

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How shall I incorporate that TV into our living room?

Well, since you asked, here are a few options:

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Baumann Media Wall Unit. https//:www.arhaus.com

This cabinet’s awesome industrial style would be a perfect fit for us!

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While my heart is set on the cabinet, I could do this, instead —

incorporating the TV into a gallery wall:

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Pottery Barn

Go to Pinterest, where there are hundreds of TV-gallery walls.

As for my own TV dilema, defnitely stay tuned, as I shan’t rest until I make it happen!

Remember, this is the before:

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Our New Star, The Main Bath

Update:  we finally finished the main bathroom.

Before:

before-bathroom

After:

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Of course, I am very pleased,

but let’s get this out of the way before I share more:

I know it skews granny, but I don’t care!

I love it!

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That gingham wallpaper is tres awesome, don’tcha think?

I found it at a garage sale last summer.  $5.  2 rolls.  Yay!

The hook rack for our towels was an old window or door top:

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Notice the buttery accents (yum!) that tie the room together:

My sister, Kathy, made that (called a “pineapple”) ornament:

We bought the vanity/marble top + sink set from Menards.

 I purchased the cross-handle (my fave) faucet online,

probably from Signature Hardware:

And now, check out my crazy splurge:

Yeah, that’s right.

I actually paid $50 to have this way-cool flush handle on our toilet!

Speaking of price tags, I can’t remember what I paid for this enamel tissue bin:

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Our more modestly priced, vintage-style medicine cabinet is from Home Depot:

It’s been such a long time ago, I can’t remember where I got our pendant lights.

Aren’t they cute?

Meanwhile, this style of awesome wall-mounted mirror is usually $100+:

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Ours came from IKEA + cost less than $10!

It’s nice + heavy + does not look or feel cheapie in any way.  So get one.

We use this vintage black cabinet for storage:

G.O. found it at an antiques mall — score!

I was going to strip its runny black paint job + re-paint it white,

after which I would stencil a large red cross on the door.

(Betcha I never do, but stay tuned!  Youneverknow!)

Enough about that — now let’s view my beloved plates:

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I have been trying but failing to find the perfect spot to hang them,

but I just couldn’t commit.

After the wallpaper went up in the bathroom, that was it, for me:

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They’re perfect!

And finally, looking down, we spy my beloved tile floor!

I’ve always loved this style of floor tile — it’s so vintage!

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We searched + searched for it without success,

but I finally found it on Amazon.

Who knew?

Our tub + shower surround subway tile was from Home Depot.

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That tile surrounding the window was quite an accomplishment,

if I do say so.

Thanks (again), Pinterest!

You’ve always come through for me when I needed help!

The good news is that even G.O. loves our new bathroom!

Earlier this morning, he said, without being prompted at all,

“That bathroom is really the star, isn’t it?”

fist-pump

Thanks for reading!


Our Postal Sorter Gets A Fun “Re-Do”

So.

Last spring, I thought I’d combine a home office with our dining room.

 I was inspired by this room in designer Allison Kandler’s California home:

alison-kandler-office-family-room-from-abovet

Isn’t it great?  Those built-ins are so awesome!

Instead of $$ built-ins at our house,

my plans involved my beloved 1920’s postal sorter.

Here it is, serving as our entertainment center in our old house:

postal sorter

Sadly, the office thing never really clicked,

which I guess explains why there are no photos.

Every time I looked at it was a drag, so finally, I opted to re-do.

(Don’t you LOVE the re-do?)

Yes, I spent all day + was semi-deliriously happy to do so!

I just shopped the house + added a lot of kitchen stuff.

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A few of my favorite cookbooks with Hoosier glass canisters:

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Just for fun, I added pretty pumpkins from our porch.

I think this space needs an autumnal branch in a vase, too.  Later today?

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I’ve opted to display my vintage platters in stacks.

They’ve been patiently waiting to be hung on a wall,

’cause I love that sort of thing but can’t commit yet.

Next, I opted to display a collection of glass items up on top.

Who knew? — I had so much of it?

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How beautiful it will all be, after I’ve shoved holiday greenery among the sparkly glass!

Meanwhile, here are a few close ups:

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One of the perks of having tall ceilings is that I can go up with my displays!

Next on my re-do agenda:  the top of our sorter in the living room!

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Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, please “like” my Facebook page, where I share fun design inspiration,

including this fab, new hotel in NYC.

https://www.facebook.com/Red-Bird-Vintage-Home-290942574609/

hotel-nyc-lobby


My Love For A Classic Rug

Yesterday I blogged about our new curtains that I sewed:

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Love them!  Don’t love hemming them!

Anyway, as I mentioned, I am officially in NESTING mode,

which means I long to make a huge pot of chili + re-do the living room.

Time for a new rug!

My beloved kilim rug has been retired,

after 10+ years of total grooviness . . .

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. . . + here ’tis its replacement — a denim rag rug from Land of Nod!

http://www.landofnod.com/true-blue-rag-rug/f1794

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People — less than $300 for an 8 x 10 rug!

Say no more!

But wait.  Needle scratch, even.

Isn’t a rag rug something that I would have had in the 90’s?

Um, excuse me?  Granny!

Further more, doesn’t G.O. hate rag rugs?

cat fight

surprised boy

Please. I don’t think that it’s hopelessly outdated.

No way! — it’s more of a timeless classic!

Like jeans — they never go out of style + they go with everything!

Check it out!

The Land of Nod rug is chunkier (+ softer) than those of years gone by,

which adds a lot of texture to our room.

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At this point, I am fretting over how monochromatic my room is.

Gray, blue, gray, blue.

Time to add some of my other favorite color, red!

RED!?  HA!  I think I’ve got it covered!

How about you?

What classics do you still have in your decor?


November Nesting

So.

If the calendar says November, that means Christmas is coming.

It means I should be doing the following:

Sewing pillows,

painting + stenciling everything in my path,

+ sewing yet more pillows.

 Exhibit A: painting + stenciling.

This coffee table is being re-done in my newest style obsession,

which I am calling Vintage Blanket.

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I kind of love it where it’s at right now.

Perhaps I will keep it for myself!  Stay tuned!

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But wait.

November on my calendar means merch, yes.

But is also has me yearning to binge eat the following:.

 3-packs of Affy Tapples

Countless containers of pumpkin flavored Greek yogurt.

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HA!  JUST kidding about the binge eating!  (Or not.)

Actually, I find myself wanting to NEST.

Time to putter around the interior of one’s house,

after one has neglected said-same house all summer!

First, I have turned my attention to our living room,

more specifically, the windows.

  Look!  I’ve sewn curtains + lots of them!

My beautiful, semi-sheer fabric was once IKEA curtain panels, @$20 per pair.

2 pairs yielded more than enough fabric

for both our living room bay + our dining room bay.

6 window treatments for only $40-ish!

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The embroidered stripes + knots are festive, are they not?

They add a little texture + a bit of pattern to our rooms.

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I opted for only a single panel at each window,

as I thought the standard 2 pairs looked too puffy + granny’s house.

The single panel just looked better to me.

It allows lots of light to stream in (big priority for me),

+ we can still see outside.

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Thankfully, it also handles my other concern — privacy,

both during the day + night time.  Yay us.

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But wait.  What!?

Somebody’s forgotten to hem her curtains!

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OOPS.

Fingers crossed I won’t procrastinate too much + do some hemming, stat.

Stay tuned!

 


Plates On The Wall + How I Overcame My Fear Of Granny Decor

Let’s recap my hopes + dreams for our living room walls.

Imagine, if you will, that this ladder has gone away:

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Bye bye, ladder!

But now what?

Well, let’s envision our TV’s  “going away”, too.

Making a long story (slightly) shorter — we could do this:

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Pottery Barn!

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Enter a caption

Nope.  Too scared of all those nails.  So I/we did this, instead:

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That’s great, but wait.

What about this empty + sad space?

Plates on our wall?  Yes, please!

And even better, these plates are on a TV wall!

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While I have some white ironstone platters,

I also love blue + white plates.

Notice how they’re hung in a symmetrical (traditional) layout.

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More traditional + symmetrical happiness:

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LOVE IT!

But how on earth do I do this?  Where should I start?

No problem — here’s a tutorial to help make it less intimidating:

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But wait.  Needle scratch.

This is all fun, but here’s the thing:

 Everybody knows that plates on a wall are hopelessly granny.

surprised boy

Um, yes, I am a granny, but I don’t want my decor to be granny!

What should I do?

Um, maybe hang my plates in a non-traditional manner?

plate-wall-dark-gray-panelled-wall-with-blue-white-plates

 Look at this!

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decorfacil.com

I’m pretty sure these are decoupaged plates by John Derian.

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mysweetsavannah.blogspot

Here’s John Derian now, in what looks like his NYC work room:

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http://www.johnderian.com/pages/browse-by-shape

But let’s get back to my plate hopes + dreams.

Would layering them be out of my comfort zone?

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pinkstreetdesign

How about turning a corner with them?

plate-on-wall-around-the-corner

viewalongtheway.com

Okay.  Wait a minue.

Somebody needs to calm down, ’cause this just got crazy.

Does this mean I am still hopelessly indecisive?

Stay tuned — come back tomorrow.

 


Our Bungalow Is For Sale!

Hi again, sports fans!

Yesterday I blogged about our new art ledges:

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While photographing said art ledges,

I took a few more snapshots of our living room.

Let’s have a quick look-see, shall we?

First up, my awesome red + white target artwork:

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My friend, Alan, made it.

He has a new biz called Boxcar Home,

so look for him at pop-up markets in + around Chicago.

He + I may do one together, later this fall — stay tuned!

boxcar

https://www.facebook.com/BoxcarHome/

Exciting, no?  But back to our living room!

The top of our sorter is currently sporting my old RedBird sign.

I stenciled it on an old plank from a cupboard,

which we found in the basement of our brick bungalow.

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And look at that wonderful butter churn that G.O. bought last Sunday!

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A couple of close ups of our sorter’s original gray paint:

Here are a few photos of the sorter’s cubbies.

Our dad caught this foul ball at a Cardinals game in the late 50’s.

The display stand is from Land of Nod.

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I super love this miniature yellow ware bowl,

+ the small ‘pineapple’ patchwork ornament that my sister, Kathy, made:

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Just a few of my dozens of books,

with the cutest blue + white floral bowl, ever!

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I snapped some of our other living room happiness,

including this framed photo of my parents:

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I bought that sponged frame at a folk art show, years ago.

My parents are seated on my old twiggy bench,

on the patio of the house we built on a riverfront lot.

Yikes.  That was 2 houses ago!

We just listed our most recent past house!

Disclaimer: we accepted an offer earlier this afternoon.

It’s been sold!


At Last, Art Ledges!

Jeopardy! was just on, + I didn’t get Final.  The humanity!

Dunce-cap

But let’s not dwell on today’s heartbreak;

 let’s discuss my new art ledges from IKEA, instead:

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We have 4 of them on each side of that huge sorter.

I’m such a fan of art ledges — we had them at our old brick bungalow, too:

art ledges bungalow dining room

Art ledges are right up my decorating alley,

as they make it super easy for me to endlessly arrange + rearrange all my stuff!

They’re perfect for G.O., too,

as we don’t end up with Swiss cheese nail holes in our plaster walls.

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But why, you ask, did it take us 10+ months

to hang art ledges here at the Dutch colonial?

  Well, here’s why  — I suffer from CDI.

Chronic Decorating Indecision

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Let’s go back in time, when all this indecision was taking place.

I sit here, on our new-ish couch, while simultaneously watching Jeopardy

+ pondering where to display all my groovies.

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Here’s my view while doing all that watching + pondering:

Disclaimer: I plopped that tall black ladder there just this morning,

so imagine this as an empty, blank space.

I just knew that it would be perfect for an epic gallery wall!

Here’s proof, all from Pottery Barn:

Yumm-O, am I right?

Yes I am right, but for some reason I just couldn’t commit.

Then, 0ne day, out of the blue,

I was struck with the idea of flanking our sorter with art ledges.

Perfect!  I love symmetry!

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View from the front door. Our poor Eames-style recliner needs some TLC!

Let’s have a closer look-see at just a few of my groovies, shall we?

On the lower left side, I’ve incorporated some ‘leaners’.

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Beatles Revolver LP . vintage map of St. Louis . folk art measuring stick, made from an old window sash (by me)

Now let’s view the lower right side, with its own leaner + a vintage child’s chair.

I’m sewing a cushion for it, for my biz — but I kinda like it here.

Perhaps I’ll keep it.

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Cubist painting of Susie, our late great Dachshud by David Holsted of Harrison, AR . photo of our grandson with Susie . President Kennedy window cling

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A framed map . Blackhawk statue in Oregon IL . Hogue Hall (now demolished) at my alma mater, Greenville College . vintage metal weather vane arrow.

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Vintage letter cards . corresponding dictionary pages for ‘Oh’ (for G.O.) + ‘Kay’ (for me) . another vintage metal weather vane arrow

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Close up of a print of my beloved Busch Stadium, from an etsy seller

Oh, how fun!

So many groovies, so little room left in this blog post, though!

Perhaps I will share more on another day — stay tuned!

Oh, + happy Labor Day weekend!


Finally! Our Informal Hedge!

From the minute we closed on our Dutch colonial,

I have been trying (but failing) to design our lot line landscaping.

Then this happened.

Just last weekend, I found (my favorites!) Oak Leaf hydrangeas

at Menards, a Midwestern home improvement store:

oak leaf alabama

$11 each for one gallon size plants!

Can you believe it?

Yesterday we drove to a Menards about an hour away,

to find enough plants (7 total) to  make our informal hedge.

Like this, hopefully:

oak leaf hydrangea big hedge

Back to NOW — here we have our new plants,

marching along our lot line, at left (below).

Imagine, if you will, what our hedge will look like, in a few years:

Good things come to those who wait!

Oak Leaf hydrangeas grow to 6′-8′ tall by 6′ x 8′ wide.

This means our backyard will be less of a fish bowl.

Our hedge will begin + end  between 2 large existing trees —

a huge walnut (L) + a gorgeous maple (R):

Oak Leaf hydrangeas have cone-shaped white flowers

which turn a pretty, faded pink as the blooming season progresses.

Yes, those flowers are gorgeous,

but in my opinion, their leaves are the all stars.

Look at what happens in the Fall:

Is it any wonder that Fall is our favorite season?

Anyway, I am so relieved + happy,

after suffering through all those months of indecision.

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It’s hard to believe I found one of my favorites,

+ at such an affordable price!

Fingers crossed we’ll find the time to plant them THIS week.

Stay tuned!



Do + Don’t Curtains

We’ve happily lived in our Dutch colonial since last October,

although I wasn’t all that happy about that stupid sheet

covering our bedroom window.

I’ve looked + looked, but I just couldn’t find the perfect curtains!

Until Sunday.  Yes, Sunday.

We broke our “no IKEA on the weekend” rule + came home with these:

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The minute I saw that print, I was smitten, as was G.O.!

Prints are a thing, + I’ve been wanting to add more in our decor.

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So.  Mission accomplished, am I right?

But wait.  Not so fast.

I wanted them hung really high, like high above the woodwork.

How could I not?  I saw this on Pinterest!

curtain hung high do and don't

Oh, dear.  As I often do, I failed to give G.O. the heads up about this rule.

Oops.

.

cat fight

Luckily for me, that same Pinterest  has dozens of photos:

curtains hung high

HGTV Dream House

curtain hung high

Ms. Career Girl

Wait.  Not so fast.

On a whim, I popped in one of our living room cafe curtains:

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I like them because we can’t see our neighbor’s messy yard,

nor can he see us, + yet, there’s still plenty of natural light.

What I really wanna know is: are they hopelessly granny?

You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?

I shall stay tuned + wait for your recommendations.


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