A Waterfront Saltbox House For Sale

Our late, great mom used to hop up + do household chores

during the commercials on Wheel of Fortune.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Anyway, here she is, with our dad,

sitting on the deck of the riverfront farmhouse

that we built in or around the year 2000.

doris and bob on kay's deck

So.  I honor her multi-tasking legacy by looking at houses on the bozoputer

while watching Cardinals baseball games on TV!

clydesdales at ballpark

Sadly, all the local houses on realtor.com were a tad boring,

so I looked in Wilmington, IL, (where our riverfront house was located.)

You might not think I would dig this house (below), but I do.

I’ve always loved a house with the chimney in front.

Is that weird?

chimney house exterior

The asking price’s been lowered to $149,900.

That garage door needs to be more plain Jane

+ painted a color instead of white,

+ you just know Joanna Gaines would remove the 80’s arch window topper.

How about adding a more “now” transom, instead?

Omigosh, the pastels in that room!

Pass me the white paint + get out of my way!

But back to the porch.

I also want those posts to be fatter — + maybe in pairs on either side, like here.

porch posts 2

Yes, of course I’d also love a standing seam metal roof, too!

  • * * * * *

Now let’s discuss the interior, starting with this 2-story living room:

chimney house living room with fireplace

Okay.  I really like that stone, + the hardwood floor is good, too.

I super love the vaulted ceiling.

Can we put some wood planks up there + say goodbye to the track lighting?

 We really need to beef up the mantel + add tons of woodwork, too.

chimney house living room with fireplace

Most importantly, though — that bad (more 80’s!) deck stair railing must go!

I think I’m in the mood for something in wood + iron, instead.

Check out the wainscoting surrounding this beautiful staircase!

stairs with iron

Back to my house.  Here’s a view from the second story.

chimney house living room from above

Now let’s look at a house with a similar 2-story living room.

I’m loving the wood + iron stair railing combination again,

+ speaking of Joanna Gaines — look at that shiplap!

staircase of black with shiplap

The kitchen looks about like what you’d expect.

I don’t hate the cabinets, + there are plenty of them.

chimney house kitchen stove

Let’s say goodbye to the soffit, though, + move the refrigerator elsewhere.

Maybe here?

chimney house kitchen cabs

As far as the stove is concerned,

I want to make it more of a design focal point.

Exhibit A:

wall of stove statement

Man oh Manichewitz, do I love that custom range hood!

Also, I’m saying yes to the glass uppers flanking the hood,

+ I will never grow tired of subway tile back splashes

(although I think I said that once about early Americana*

+ eagle decor*, back in the 70’s!  HA!)

*Go ask your grandmother.

The bathrooms are, again, what I would expect.

chimney house bathroom

What the heck — let’s just go straight to some Fixer Upper bathrooms for ideas.

Since the vanity cabinet is perfectly fine, let’s slap a coat of gray paint on it

+ add a pretty gray + white marble vanity top, too.

bathroom of fixer upper gray

Don’t forget the crown molding!!!

Since I couldn’t possibly have a fiberglass shower surround in my dream world,

let’s choose white subway tiles — again.

bathroom of fixer upper shower

Ix-nay on the frilly shower curtain, but I never have been much of a girlie girl.

Out back, we have a nice, spacious deck, + look at all the trees!

chimney house deck

  Just say no to mold in a real estate photo, though!

Somebody needs some Clorox + a scrubby brush!

Anyway, surprise!

It looks as though there’s a pretty wonderful balcony upstairs!

chimney house deck with balconey

Let’s give the 80’s deck rails the heave-ho, shall we?

And look!

My new house is located right next to a body of water!

chimney house river

From the looks of that H20,

I think I’m going to need to stock up on the citronella candles,

but it is waterfront, which is usually a plus.

I did some research re: which waterfront we’re discussing,

+ I think that my house is located in a community called Shadow Lakes.

The “lakes” are actually former strip mines, believe it or not.

shadow lakes logo

In southern Illinois, there are still operational, underground coal mines,

but up north, they opted to just go in from the surface + dig out the coal.

Interesting.

Here’s one more photo of my house.

That roof line makes it look a little like a modern salt box house.

+ I’ve always liked fences like that, too!

chimney house yard

 

 

 

 


My French Mattress Cushion Obession

F I N A L L Y ! ! !

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As our porch nears its long-awaited completion,

we will soon be enjoying this kind of happiness,

found on the website Style + Design:

porch swing with rope

 How much do we LOVE this?!

Now I must do that rope trick on our own porch swing!

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Yes, we have a porch swing!

I think we bought it around 5 years ago:

Now I am officially on the hunt for a nice, soft cushion

that looks totally awesome, too!

Exhibit A, from a post from the blog Homestilio,

French Mattress Cushions 5 Ways:

french mattress on bed homestilo

Exhibits B + C:

But wait.

What kind of crazy cushions are those?  You might be wondering.

As the Homestilio blog post title says,

they are called  French mattress cushions.

Unless you’re the Ballard Designs catalog,

then they’re called farmhouse cushions:

Call them whatever you want — I’m calling them

MY LATEST (in a long line) OBSESSION!!

Take their 2-seat bench cushions, priced from $73.99 to $140.  Please.

cushion

The black check 37″ cushion, that I want for our porch,

is sadly 3″ too short for my porch swing.

But how lucky am I?!

I can buy myself a custom cushion on etsy,

starting at around $300 from Irish And Company:

french mattress striped with plaid pillow

Come ON!!  How adorable is this, for $122.76??

french mattress striped dog bed

But wait.  Aren’t you the sewing queen?  You might wonder.

Yes, I am, + luckily for me

 there are French mattress tutorials all over the place.

Here’s one, from August Blues Slipcover Studio.

I mean, look how cute their logo is!

august blues

When it comes to French mattresses, it’s all about that edge:

french mattress side close up augustblues

The French mattress cushion edge is actually a hand-stitching technique.

Furthermore, the top + bottom seams should line up to create this look:

french mattress side augustblues

  By now, I will have ripped out my stitches about 1,001 times,

in a crazy attempt to make it PERFECT!!!

Yes, while I fear that this project could render me insane,

I love them so much, I just have to give it a try!!

surprised baby

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the tutorial.

Next, there’s tufting, which doesn’t look so difficult:

french mattress completed august blues

Annnnnnd DONE!

french mattress blog white with blue stripes august blues

I’ll probably risk everything + give it a try.

As always, thanks for reading, + stay tuned!


HGTV Bungalow Reno

Now that we have Xfinity On Demand,

I’ve been discovering all sorts of unknown, random shows on HGTV,

most recently, one called Bungalow Rehab.

Since I love bungalows, + our last house was a bungalow,

you can imagine how excited I was!

Ours:

bungalow front with flags

The before bungalow on Bungalow Reno:

bungalow before

The women who did the reno — Susannah Stoltz + Carolina Johnson:

bungalow girls

 Here’s the show description from HGTV’s website:

Friends and business partners Susannah Stoltz and Carolina Johnson are taking old, forgotten bungalows and giving them a total makeover in their Pacific Northwest city of Spokane, Washington. From wrought iron chandeliers to salvaged cabinets and old driftwood, these vintage hardware-loving ladies are salvaging anything they find, creating beautiful designs with reclaimed materials and giving these classic homes a brand-new life.

*****

So.  Let’s discuss!

First, the living room, before.

Our bungalow had an arch between the living + dining rooms, too.

bungalow living room before

The first thing I notice is that they’ve blown out the kitchen wall.

Love that there’s yet another arched doorway back there.

bungalow living room after

Not to kill anybody’s buzz right now,

but did you ever wonder if the open concept thing

is going to fall out of fashion?

Trends come + go in home decor, after all.

*****

When we’ve finished pondering that, let’s get back to the bungalow.

The dark + dingy staircase, before:

bungalow staircase before

A much brighter + fresher after:

bungalow staircase after

Have those stair risers been stenciled?

Perhaps I was powdering my nose + missed it.

(I’m thinking of stenciling our front porch floor, so stay tuned.)

*****

The before kitchen was downright nasty, as they often are:

bungalow kitchen before

The kitchen afters tend to be the stars of a renovation,

+ this one’s pretty stellar, wouldn’t you agree?

bungalow kitchen after

I love the 2 colors of the cabs, the stacked uppers + the slide-in range.

Is that the IKEA farmhouse sink?  It looks like ours.

Extra points to the ladies

for using a vintage piece of furniture as the kitchen island, too!

*****

Meanwhile, the bedrooms are charming enough.

Check out the black door!

That’s something we did in the Dutch colonial

+ about which I blogged, here.

bungalow bedroom small with black door

I love their painted floor + that sweet (navy blue!) painted bed, too.

*****

Hold on to something, though!

Things start getting exciting again in the upstairs bathroom:

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Haven’t we all seen + loved the old piece of furniture

that’s been repurposed into a vanity?

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Love it, love the chunky sink + the (barely visible) cross-handle brass faucet.

How cool is it when the bathroom faucet comes out of the wall?!

NEXT HOUSE TO-DO LIST!

*****

But wait.

What’s going on there, on the floor?

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Call it a Swiss cross, call it a plus sign, call it anything you want,

but I am calling this floor brilliant! . . .

. . . which leads us to yet another moment of pondering.

Will those poor homeowners suffer from tile remorse in 10 years,

 when the cross thing is no longer a thing?

*****

Anyway, as “floored” as I was when I spied that floor,

I went searching on for more cross tiles on Pinterest.

Here are 2:  (sorry, I don’t have the sources)

red cross shower wall

Well, what do you think?

red cross shower wall with box

I think I like that first one,

as you can tell it fits in with the industrial style of the bathroom.

*****

And finally, let’s take a look at the bungalow exterior’s after:

bungalow after

Good job!

Did you notice that the house next door is nearly identical?

Coincidentally, our house is nearly the same

as our neighbors to the west.

You see that a lot, actually.

It had to be cost effective for the builder to reuse 1 set of plans.

*****

Back to HGTV!

I don’t think we’re going to see more Bungalow Reno, sadly,

as the HGTV website showed only the 1 episode.  Sad!

 

 


Powder Room Highs + Lows

I recently shared the story of our powder room’s paneled walls,

which involved a lot of masking tape + a lot of poly molding from Home Depot.

powder room tape

Soon enough, everything was given a coat of medium gray paint:

Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.

Check out the awesome before + after!

I know!  How great!

 All that molding gave the newly created room instant age!

Here it is, before — that space was once a short hallway:

powder room before

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I love how the carrera marble hexagon floor tiles

coordinate with the Flagstone paint!

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The carrera marble is repeated in the vanity top from Pottery Barn,

which I think has been discontinued:

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I chose the New York widespread faucet

from Signature Hardware, $259.95:

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Who remembers the wonderful Martha Stewart Everyday at K-Mart?

loved everything — from home decor items, like this enamel soap dish,

to garden goods + holiday collections!

The striped mug is an oldie Ralph Lauren pattern, Farmstead Ticking,

found online at Replacements, Ltd.

It’s not currently available, but I love this adorable candlestick, $11.95:

Hurry!  There are only 4 left!

farmstead ticking ralph lauren

Back to the powder room!

Our mirror started its life paired with a beautiful dresser,

which we refurbished + sold.

powder room mirror before

I briefly considered painting it

but couldn’t bear to cover that pretty wood grain!

Our pretty porcelain light fixture

was discontinued from Pottery Barn, + I found it on eBay.

Don’t you love the vintage-style cloth-covered cord?

Speaking of vintage, I hung these blue transfer ware plates

above the sweetest blue shelf that I found in an etsy shop:

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powder room blue shelf

But wait.  We need to talk.

I am on the fence about those plates.

I love them, but they just don’t look that great here.

But look at the plates I hung in our main bath!

I couldn’t love them more!

bathroom -- mine with wallpaper

I can’t believe I did this,

but I guess I assumed that if I loved plates in the main bath,

I’d love them in my powder room, too!

don’t.

I don’t know what, if anything, to hang there.

surprised baby

If only Joanna Gaines made house calls!

I mean, how in the world am I going to find a designer

who speaks my design language,

way out here in the middle of nowhere?

Well, check this out.

My friend, Claudia, told me about this thing called Havenly.

It’s an online source of interior designers + decorators.

You can read about how it works on their website.

I think I am going to take their design style quiz, later today.

How much fun will that be?

As always, stay tuned!

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We even painted some unfinished wood switch + outlet plate covers from Menards:

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See you next time!

 


COOL STUFF I WANT

I shan’t lie — I’m having way too much fun,

finding all sorts of cool stuff for our canned ham camper!

Exhibit A:

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You can read about some of my most recent ‘finds’ in this blog post.

Meanwhile, let’s have a quick look-see at what I’ve been coveting this week,

from Best Made Co.

canned ham best made logo

This business was started in 2009 by a guy who wanted a better ax.

That’s right.  An ax!  (Although they spell it ‘axe’.)

HA!  Who wants to bet he was the original hipster!!??

hipster with an ax

 I searched for ‘hipster with an ax’ just now,

+ the very first link was Best Made’s website!

Not kidding!

Anyway, fast forward to today, + the business has evolved

into kind of a 21st Century version of the old Eddie Bauer Home stores.

(LOVED Eddie Bauer Home stores!)

But I digress.  Back to Best Made.

Here’s a description of the business, from their website:

We equip customers with high quality products and dependable information they can use and pass down. We empower people to get outside, reconnect with their hands and nature, and in doing so, embark on a life of great adventure.

WELL, YEAH!  I’M IN!

I really like this enamel sign, $28:

canned ham camp is home sign $28

Enamel signs are cool, as are enamel key chains, $14:

canned ham camp key chain $14

We’re going to need a first aid kit,

+ why not get an awesomely-designed one, $58:

canned ham first aid kit $58

HELL-O!  They had me at red.

Here’s one that’s even cooler, $98:

canned ham first aid kit $98

It occurs to me that I could make us a First Aid kit,

using my own Thirst Aid stencil  (check it out!) + a metal box with a lid.

DSC09921

All I’d have to do is change the ‘TH‘ in THIRST to an ‘F’ !

Stay tuned!

 


Porch Post Progress

Finally.

It’s now time to complete our front porch.

It’s only one of the biggest impact design elements on our house,

+ I’ve had to wait so long!

(Our neighbors must worry that we’ll never finish this thing!)

IMG_1026

Here’s my inspiration, found on (where else, duh) Pinterest:

dutch colonial

That’s a Dutch colonial with an asymmetrical front, same as we have.

Here’s what our porch looked like when we bought our house:

dutch colonial before with shrubs

Overgrown shrubbery, bad aluminum siding, ill-conceived enclosed porch.

Here ’tis, after the bushes were yanked out, with the stone foundation exposed:

dutch colonial -- front 'before

dutch colonial front porch midway gone

HA!  Look at the craftsman-style dining light fixture!

dutch colonial front porch almost gone

Soon there were 2 (out of what would be 4) new posts at the front corners.

We had a bit of confusion over the size of the 2 in the middle.

G.O. thought we’d go with shorties, like the one seen here:

IMG_1031

Something about that seemed off to me, though.

I wasn’t sure what would be suitable for our old house,

so we drove around our town’s historical neighborhoods

+ I went back to (duh) Pinterest.

Turns out that historical houses had long posts all along their porches.

Like this.  Yes, that’s another Dutch colonial.

porch -- southern living

Here’s one of our columns.  They’re fiberglass, very heavy.

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G.O. has been prepping for tomorrow’s post installation,

which involves this big, red jack:

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Once the posts go up, it will finally be time for the railings + spindles.

We have one very narrow section installed already:

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You can also see my design for under the porch,

using gray lattice panels, in stock at Menards, + white 1 x 4’s.

G.O. painted the blocks black to make them disappear + add depth.

Here’s our inaugural effort, on the east side:

IMG_0682

Seems we’ve come such a long way!

There’s still a lot more to be done, so stay tuned!


Colorful Magazine Inspired Re-Do

This special issue of Country Home magazine is available right now,

+ you must go get a copy!  It’s that good.

country home magazine cover

Away with less is more decorating + just say no to neutrals-only!

So, as one does after reading a really good home magazine,

I immediately engaged in a really fun re-do, starting with this:

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Please.  How much do we love that sorter of mine!!??!!

The color’s perfect, + the patina is so wonderful!

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I bought it in the early 90’s from a friend + happily used it in my old retail store:

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Sadly, there are no photos of said sorter in said store.

Please.  I take dozens of pictures every week!?

WHY DIDN’T WE TAKE ANY PHOTOS WAY BACK WHEN??!!

I guess we’ll never know, but back to the sorter.

  After I closed the store + moved across the state to be with G.O.,

it’s been languishing inside our garage for years.

Then we moved into our Dutch colonial about a year + a half ago.

I mean, come on.

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Was that blank living room calling for it, or what!?

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Yes, it was.

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So.  Speaking of being inspired,

a few weeks ago I spied a photo of this room in Diane Keaton’s house:

diane-keaton-fiestaware-shelves

Next thing you know, I’m rearranging all my books by color!

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I really love how the cubbies display some of my ‘smalls’,

including these cute milk glass chickens from Grandma:

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And in honor of Grandpa, who always carried a buckeye in his pocket for good luck:

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A commemorative beer glass of the Cardinals ’64 World Championship,

(+ check out that adorable rock baseball made by my grandson!)

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Omigosh, how sweet is my girlhood bank?:

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A sweet red (Cardinal?) pie bird from my friend:

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And this fun pair of Dachshunds:

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Our framed map of Illinois is from the 1880’s;

we bought it at a pop-up vintage market in Grand Central Station in NYC:

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But wait.  There’s more.

My beloved new Country Home magazine

has inspired me to ‘busy up’ the top of my sorter!

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My son’s name is Jonathan,

so naturally, I got a bag from Jon’s grocery store in LA + had it framed:

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A wonderful handmade basket from a fellow artisan at a show in the 1990’s

+ my heavy glass Pottery Barn vessel filled with old baseballs:

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Now then.

Never fear — there have been other revamps in + around the Dutch colonial:

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And in our canned ham:

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Stay tuned for updates!

 


Yet More Canned Ham Progress

Yesterday I shared some exciting new progress in our canned ham’s interior.

Turns out our new bedding

is the reason why we painted our refrigerator black + red!

NOW it makes sense!

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Both G.O. + I really love those new arrow decals on the wall!

My thoughts are to repeat them on the opposite end wall of the ham,

which is way too plain Jane:

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Wow, what a yawn!

I’d like to see a single row of arrows on each side of the window,

 similar to this photo that the etsy shopkeeper posted:

decal of arrows single row

Not too much — just enough to “have a conversation” with the wall

on the opposite side of the ham.

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Oops! Please disregard the dusty stove top — somebody needs to fire the house keeper (me!)

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Hey!  What’s going on with those curtains?  You ask.

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I am sewing them with this fabric from Fabric.com.

It’s a very lightweight white cotton,

so our ham will be bright + light, even when the curtains are closed.

fabric for ham curtains

But that print!  I couldn’t love it more!

Turns out it’s “having its own conversation” with something in the ham,

but I’ll share that fun story tomorrow.

Back to the curtains.

Here’s Plan A for hanging them, with clip-on rings:

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I’ve gotta admit, I’m not in love.

Maybe they would look better if we just shirred them on that rod,

OR how awesome would they look with black grommets!?

I think I want grommets.

grommet

OF COURSE I DO.

G.O. has the job of grommet installation at our house,

wouldn’t you know it?

cats fighting

  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Canned Ham Interior Updates

While we might not ever finish our Dutch colonial (sad!),

the good news is that when it comes to our canned ham,

we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Sure, that exterior might look all vintage, retro + groovy,

but I worried that the plain Jane interior was more than a little blah.

The humanity!

I mulled over several options, like wallpaper,

but that seemed like such a huge project!

Besides, G.O. wasn’t having it.

cats fighting

We still needed some pattern in there, so I kept hunting.

Finally, after an exhaustive search,

I decided to order these arrow decals from etsy seller Danadecals:

Yay! — right?

The seller describes them as “arrows with a modern twist”,

+ I thought they would go with my proposed industrial/camp style.

Soon enough (but not before they arrived in our mailbox — oops),

I finally shared all of this happiness with G.O.

Frankly I’m drawing a blank re: what happened next,

but in a few days we decided to try + apply those arrow decals.

We timidly started with a wee small section above the bed.

Baby steps!!!

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I think we both shouted “omigosh!” in our heads.

We really loved the way the arrows transformed our ham,

 even though, initially, they were a tad difficult to apply.

Maybe not quite as difficult as those press-on tiles in our kitchen:

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I’m pretty sure that those scribbles mean G.O. was hating that project.

Poor guy.

But back to the arrows.

We persisted, + since practice usually makes perfect in our G.O.’s world —

within hours, he was putting them up all by himself.

TA DA!

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Oops! Please disregard the dusty stove top — somebody needs to fire the house keeper (me!)

Let’s have another look-see, shall we?

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Pretty exciting, no? — + how awesome is that buffalo check blanket?

It’s Martha Stewart, + I ordered it from Macy’s (no longer available).

Now, at long last, our wacky red refrigerator makes perfect sense!

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I love it when a plan finally comes together!

But wait.  There’s more!

 

 

I’ll force myself to wait until tomorrow to share, though.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 


Plain Jane House Gets Its Makeover

We spent the weekend in my hometown in southern Illinois,

+ while there — as is my way — I perused the listings on realtor.com.

Do you do that, too?

Anyway, I was surprised that there were so many houses under $100 grand!

For example, this plain Jane (with lots of potential!) is only $49,900!

You can see more in the Realtor.com listing, here.

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Just yesterday on Facebook,

my cousin from my hometown posted the photo of a house

she was interested in buying, + guess which one it was!

Hard to believe, but yes — the plain Jane house!

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Say no more!

I was soon dashing over to Pinterest for some design inspiration to share,

+ here’s what I found, from the blog, Nesting With Grace.

It’s another plain Jane house, this one with a small porch.

(Some of my cousin’s Facebook friends suggested that ‘her house’ needed one!)

But something’s not quite right.

The wrought iron porch column + the stair railings

were all the rage, back in the 50’s + 60’s — but today, it looks dated + too thin.

It needs to be replaced with something more substantial,

  + on that note, here’s the stunning AFTER:

I know!  It’s like night + day, isn’t it?

It looks like they’ve replaced the wrought iron with white vinyl,

which is probably in stock at your local build-o-rama.

The light fixture’s been updated to something larger,

+ there’s a new mailbox + new house numbers.

Even though the porch is quite small,

there’s room for a sweet + welcoming French cafe chair.

The new front door has been painted a pretty shade of blue:

Now, pay close attention to this:

all the accessories — the chair + the flower pots —

echo the blue of the door + the white of the posts + railings.

For yet more color coordination, the shutters are painted the door blue,

+ the pair of white Adirondack chairs even have blue pillows.

There’s a lot going on,

but keeping everything in just one color family

makes the design cohesive + not too crazy or too busy.

 

The landscaping’s been updated with some classic boxwood shrubs

+ some pretty pink + red Knock-Out Roses, which bloom all season.

(Notice how the red is repeated in the red stripes of the U.S. flag.)

The new white window boxes add architectural detail,

+ their small evergreens (dwarf Alberta spruces?)

will provide winter interest when the roses go dormant.

Let’s have one more look at the $49 grand house in my home town:

cape cod of greenville front exterior

It’s easy to envision some of the blog house’s AFTER features here, isn’t it?

Remember — it, too, was once a plain Jane!

Now it’s time to share on Facebook!

Stay tuned for my cousin’s + friends’ reactions!

 

 


THE CAVENDER DIARY

2 GROWN MEN vs a 40 YEAR OLD HOUSE

Earnest Home co.

The New Traditional

down to earth digs

life in and around the garden

bubblewrappedblog

Poppable Reviews of Books, Movies, and Beauty

Lifestyle & Design Online

Sharing our life, our style, & design online.

Hommemaker

A Life & Style Site by Orlando Soria

Hooked on Houses

A Fun Place to Get Your House Fix