Navy Blue Walls, The Sequel?

I think it’s been 5 years since we painted our living room

Pittsburgh Paint Flagstone gray:

paint flagstone

living room empty with gray walls and my rug

In my little world,

having any room be the same color for 5 years

is just NOT acceptable!!

Yes, it’s time for a change!

(Plus, I never really wanted gray.)

My heart was set on my favorite color — navy blue!

paint -- sailor

Sadly, as so often happens,

I was too timid to choose something so bold

+ instead, settled on the neutral gray.

(Don’t get me wrong — I do love Flagstone!)

So much for going big or going home, though.

Anyway, speaking of gray, our living room’s focal point,

this vintage sorter, is also gray:

sorter

And what a sad, sad coincidence . . .

. . . we also have a gray couch + not 1 but 2 gray chairs!

living room with gray everything

I think we can all safely say:

TOO MUCH GRAY!

So it’s not only time (5 years!?), already,

to change that gray wall color,

but I need to get rid of a gray chair or 2.

First, the walls.

Yes, my heart still belongs to navy blue,

+ who knows?

Maybe I’ll actually love this one!

sailor's coat

Navy blue paint is really hard to get right!

Sometimes it’s COBALT!  Or PURPLE!

 

But, if it was a true dark navy,

wouldn’t it look fantastic with my beloved ikat rug, though?

Here it is in our most recent past house, the brick bungalow,

where it also looks great with that dark blue furniture:

ikat-rug.jpg

This now brings us to the gray chair portion of our living room change.

I’m pretty sure we’re switching out that arm chair

+ getting this pretty mid-century arm chair + ottoman, instead:

chair -- dark blue with ottoman

Here it is, sans ottoman but in a tad larger photo op:

chair of blue without ottoman

It doesn’t really look that dark blue,

but I think it will work.

Fingers crossed it won’t blend into the navy blue walls behind it, God forbid.

Uh oh.  Do you see what’s happening?

There’s that pesky color doubt of mine rearing its head again.

So, just in case, I’ve got “PLAN B”, + here ’tis:

paint -- wayward wind

It reminds me of a color, Beeswax,

that we used in our riverfront farmhouse

that we built at the turn of the century.

It’s just so darn cheerful,

+ wouldn’t it complement the pretty butter yellow in my rug???

ikat rug

Oh, here we go again.

Stay tuned!

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Cabins In The Snow

Today’s post is a result of my daily “look-see”

at Remodelista’s inspirational blog,

this one devoted to cabins in the snow:

love snow + think every house looks more beautiful in said-same.

For proof, here’s our Dutch colonial last Christmas season.

Charming, if I do say so!

dutch colonial pretty at christmas

Disclaimer: we’ve not had much snow this year,

+ I am not amused.

So.  Let’s cheer ourselves me up

by looking at some houses in real snow,

beginning with this Belgian stunner

that’s been one of my online favorites for years:

cabins in winter belgian stone exterior

I’ve always wanted to live in an old stone house!

The juxtaposition of the rustic stone + that glass room addition is so exquisite.

Inside, they’ve continued mixing the modern with the rustic.

I’m smitten with those red kitchen stools,

but I fear I would tumble out of the bed during the night!

cabins in winter -- belgian stone

This Aspen, Colorado ski chalet was recently renovated

to yet more glass + stone perfection:

cabins in winter -- colorado exterior

I’m a fan of the interior’s rough-sawn wood planks

combined with the smooth, white walls + dark gray beams:

cabins in winter -- colorado interior

I shan’t lie — I am obsessing about living in a mid-Century modern house

(again),

so I love this one in New York state:

cabins in winter -- new york state exterior

By again, I mean that while I was in college in the 70’s,

I lived in a genuine mid-Century house

in a 50’s neighborhood in my southern Illinois hometown.

Sadly (very), this was prior to my devotion to MCM style,

+ I would definitely love a courtesy “do-over”.

Please.

Inside, the homeowners obviously left the natural wood ceiling + beams

but have brightened everything up by painting the wall paneling white:

cabins in winter -- new york state interior

Next up, I love all things Swedish, in-cluding this dark green beauty!

How wrong would it be

for us to paint our white vinyl siding a crazy dark color??!!

cabins in winter -- swedish exterior

Okay, that’s not gonna happen,

but please.

The whitewashed wood interior + Scandi-style furnishings!

Obviously, the view’s not bad, either.

cabins in winter -- swedish interior

Our maternal ancestors are from Switzerland, as is this mountainside cabin.

Wow.  It’s as flat as a pancake here in Illinois, where we live.

I can’t imagine mountains like this!

(Love the fence, too.)

cabins in winter -- switzerland exterior

Once again with the dark exterior + ultra-light interiors,

+ once again with my loving the bare, minimalist decor

when we have anything but!

That view!

Could we at least plop one chaise lounge in that space, though?

cabins in winter -- switzerland interior

This concludes our fun tour of cabins in the snow via the Remodelista blog.

Maybe I can whip up some energy to remove all things Christmas

from our household + pare things down just a tad!

Doubt it.

Hope you had a merry Christmas!


Dreamy Vacation Rental on Cape Cod

The best thing on this morning’s trip through Facebook —

discovering this vacation rental house on the wharf in Provincetown, MA:

wharf house

Loving the exterior New England-y gray shingles

+ black window sash, amIright?

Provincetown is a hipster community

located on the very tip of Cape Cod, MA:

cape cod in red

cape cod cartoon map

Having only seen Cape Cod from the air

as I once flew through Boston,

I didn’t realize that its tip was such a pronounced hook.

provincetown on the map

One day, of course, I hope to visit, but for now,

let’s get back to dreaming about that waterside house.

Just look at the view one gets from the living room.

wharf house living room looking out toward water

Oh, yeah — the sea + all those gorgeous sailboats are divine,

but let’s get real.

Didn’t we first notice that nautical chic deck decor,

starting with that epic blue + white striped rug?

Or is it just me?

wharf house living room looking out toward water

It’s not just me.

But wait, there’s more:

wharf house living room three quarter view

The living room, how do I love thee?

Exposed ceiling, groovy rattan sofa with blue + white stripe upholstery . . .

. . . wicker chair + sawbuck table + industrial lights . . .

. . . pair of distressed, brown leather chairs AND that FLOOR!!

wharf-house-living-room-three-quarter-view3.jpg

WANT!!

Anyway, it looks like there are 2 sleeping spaces . . .

wharf hoiuse living room looking into kitchen

. . . including this cozy upstairs loft:

wharf house loft

More stripes!  And isn’t that the perfect old, blue paint color!!??

Extra points for the “leaner” photographs, too.

wharf-house-loft1.jpg

Downstairs, just beyond the kitchen, we find a larger bedroom:

wharf house bedroom with flag

Full disclosure:

I totally hung a giant flag on the wall behind our bed once,

but tragically, it didn’t look as cool as this one does.

Maybe I should re-think + re-visit that idea, though.

Stay tuned!

Anyway, back to the living spaces:

wharf house window seat

That window seat, with the all the “Kay fabrics” is swoon-worthy, for sure!

Point me to the striped fabric + get out of my way!

wharf house kitchen

I love the kitchen’s pendant lighting, open shelving + cabinet cubbies,

the nautical clock, + check out all the artwork!

I love how some is hung up high + some is resting atop the counters.

wharf-house-kitchen2-e1542033052653.jpg

Speaking of hanging artwork “up high”,

did we notice this pair of framed art

flanking the living room window gable?

wharf-house-living-room-looking-out-toward-water-e1542032480329.jpg

Unexpected + genius!

This concludes our fantasy stay in Provincetown, MA,

which has inspired me to do the following:

sewing something striped, stat!,

+ hanging some artwork, maybe later today!


Traditional Charmer In The Berkshires

Today I’m headed back to realtor.com for more house hunting

in the Berkshires,

where I have deliberately turned away from my minimalist choices of days’ past

+ fallen for something a lot more traditional — this charmer:

berk cabin wide view

It looks like an original log home with a tasteful addition.

Here’s a closer look-see at the log portion.

berk cabin front porch back up

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

Red window sashes + door, twiggy porch details,

full + lush (“busy”) front landscaping, stone pathway, etc. etc.

berk cabin front porch close up

The stone pathway continues along the front of the addition at left,

where there are more twigs, in the form of this beautiful pergola!

berk cabin pergola

My first thoughts are, “How can I persuade G.O. to build something twiggy for our yard?”,

but then I ask myself,  a. “Isn’t that unnecessarily difficult?”

+ b. “Wouldn’t twig structures be too rustic for a Dutch colonial house?”

berk cabin twigs

Oh, well — let’s move on to yet more exterior snapshots.

My gosh, there’s even a screened-in room, my favorite thing, ever!

berk cabin front porch from bottom of hill

Of course, a pond:

berk cabin pond

And, in conclusion, the detached garage has an apartment upstairs,

the interior of which is fine but not so share-worthy:

berk cabin detached garage

Inside the house, the living room + stair case

look about as I’ve come to expect when I spy a log home online:

berk cabin stair

Sometimes log home interiors can skew a tad too WOODSY for my tastes ,

but I s’poze one could solve that issue by painting a few things

+ adding some contrasting wood tones.

berk cabin fireplace

I honestly don’t know what I ‘d do in here (yet!),

but I’d mull things over for a few months + decide, as is my way.

I would probably play off that beautiful stone fireplace

+ introduce some complementary blacks, grays + charcoal paint colors.

berk cabin fireplace

Since the fireplace backs up to the adjacent kitchen (love the red stove!) . . .

berk cabin red stove

. . . + I think I’d paint the lower cabinets black or charcoal gray,

replace the butcher block counter tops (too much wood!)

+ figure out something more “now” to do with the uppers:

berk cabin kitchen

Upstairs in the addition, one can see evidence that it’s probably post + beam:

berk cabin upstairs inside dormer

Isn’t this bathroom fantastic?

berk cabin bathroom

The homeowners added some gray tones with the marble,

the reclaimed wood back splash + vanity.

I love the shower in this room,

+ kudos to them for adding a darker wood tone medicine cabinet + vanity:

berk cabin bathroom shower

So that’s that!

Yes, I toyed with the idea of our traveling to the Berkshires for some fall leaf peeping,

but I fear we’ve waited too long this year.

We’re actually thinking of heading south, like maybe Tennessee,

so it’s time to see what’s for sale in Franklin!

Stay tuned!

canned ham at arbys


I Love This Minimalist House!

I’m back, house hunting in the Berkshires on realtor.com.

berkshires map

berk white house front

This house is so plain Jane, but it couldn’t appeal to me more!

I do love a white house, yes,

but it’s the details of this one that drew me in,

especially this modern trellis hung over a wall of windows:

berk white house outside

Love it!  Look at the wire cables!  How “NOW”!

And please.

A standing seam metal roof outside has to mean more awesomeness inside.

berk white house w detached garage

Let’s check it out to see if my theory is true

re: the exterior + interiors being equally groovy.

There’s that beautiful wall of windows we saw earlier:

berk white house sun room

My gosh.  What a beautiful space.

I would never leave!

berk white house sunroom view 2

While all-white’s not for me, it really works great in this house, don’t you think?

In the kitchen + dining area, they’ve exposed the original, rustic rafters + beams.

The texture they add, even after being painted white,

keeps things from being too sterile . . .

berk white house kitchen

. . . as do the natural wood dining table + brown leather chairs . . .

berk white house dining room

. . . + all those books!

I love the black floors + black cabinet handles + light fixture hardware.

berk white house dining room view 2

Okay.  Now we’re headed to sterile town (below), but still.

I’m a huge fan of the small exposed rafter, that day bed + the rolling table.

If it was my house, I’d add a colorful rug + artwork,

some pillows + window treatments.

berk white house day bed + rolling table

I am digging more nautical-style wire cables on the exterior staircase,

+ the deck is well-designed + very beautiful.

berk white house back deck

But wait. Here’s a question.

Why am I drawn to such minimalist houses

when ours is anything but?

This might prompt me to ask myself “is less more?” once again.

 


House Hunting In The Berkshires

One of my favorite past times is house hunting on the bozoputer,

via realtor.com — FUN FOR ME!

Since I’ve been longing to go leaf-peeping in the Berkshire Mountains

of western Massachusetts, I’ve been searching for houses there.

berkshires map

So many good ones! — But which listings garner my click for a closer look-see?

Well, this house initially attracted me because it’s painted black,

which is a thing now.

berkshire black house outside

That, plus those butterfly chairs on the front deck,

the stylish French doors + landscaping

all made me think that the interior would be stylish + updated.

Let’s go inside now + see if that’s so,

starting with everybody’s favorite — the kitchen —

which I am guessing is in the center front, where the box window is located.

berkshire black house window seat

Isn’t that window ledge as charming as all get-out?

The traditionalist in me loves that old brick red cupboard, too.

See how it plays nicely with the mid-century lamp + chest next to it?

I love the mix of old + new!

Just to the left is the rather modest kitchen work space:

berkshire black house kitchen

say modest, but look closely; it’s really quite stylish.

First of all, I’m a fan of that island!

It looks like it’s an old, re-purposed piece of furniture, which I love.

Those pendants bring in more mid-century style.

Our parents built a house in ’64-ish, + we had the same lights in our kitchen.

berkshire black house kitchen view 2

The floating shelves are chic, as is that awesome red range (want!)

Notice the lower, marble-top cabinet to the right.

It makes me think that a serious baker lives here,

who uses that surface for rolling out dough + kneading bread + such.

The living room is just beyond.

Notice how the white walls + light gray woodwork (my favorites!)

flow through from the kitchen to here:

berkshire black house couch

The ledge which spans the entire wall of windows is a nice design feature,

+ notice how uncluttered it is (at least for the real estate photos, anyway.)

I think there are some serious minimalists who live here!

The beams, wide wood plank floor, wood stove, rug + couch are delightful,

as are the built-ins opposite.

berkshire black house book cases

Betcha there’s a TV hidden away, + look at all the books,

which brings us to a fun factoid about my realtor.com hobby.

When you’re me, it’s fun to guess what the homeowners are like.

I think these might be artists; check out the painting

in what looks like a basement bonus room:

berkshire black house basement with art

If they’re not artists, they’re certainly Artsy,

which accurately describes the Berkshires — that’s why I want to move there.

Back to the house.

The bedrooms are very plain Jane + stylish:

berkshire black house bedroom

Okay.  This is definitely the room of a kid with Artsy parents,

because where are all the plastic electronic toys!?

berkshire black house kid room

Check out the child’s name on that banner.

Maybe they’re European!

Now that I think about it, the simple + spare decor does look Scandinavian.

Here’s a view from the back.

The detached garage’s been painted the same monochromatic black as the house.

berkshire black house detached garage

Look at their yummy mix of plants in their yard — I love the Japanese maples.

berkshire black house buddha

There are lots of Buddhas in Berkshires houses, I noticed.

Stay tuned; I’ll share another + guess what the homeowners are like — tomorrow.

 

 


Do I Have Too Much Stuff?

Lately, I have been longing for a less-is-more house,

so my filled-to-the-brim postal sorter may soon be a thing of the past.

I purchased it in the early 90’s to display my merch in my old retail store,

Heart in Hand.

Here it is in our most recent past house — the brick bungalow,

where it served as a humongous TV stand:

postal sorter in brungalow

In our current house, the Dutch colonial,

it’s on a wall in the dining room, just across from our table.

Here you can see how the dining room is open to our kitchen.

G.O. added a beam where the two rooms meet,

+ my beloved St. Louis bus station sign is hanging there:

postal sorter before 2

IMG_3685

The trunks underneath the sorter are filled with fabric + pillow forms + blankets:

IMG_3685

While up on top, I’m displaying my small bird house collection:

img_36853.jpg

We bought this chippy blue metal house last Fall:

IMG_3712

IMG_3709

I think I love chippy red metal just as much as blue.

I bought this small birdhouse in a store about 20 years ago:

img_36854-e1520603383837.jpg

My friend gave me the white bird house years ago:

IMG_3711

Come Spring, this trio will head outside, for mostly decorative purposes.

As much as I love birds, I kind of hate to attract them

as a murderous cat named Patty lives just next door.

  Meanwhile, the rest of my sorter is full of more of my treasures,

including this sweet, little pitcher that I bought in Soho, NYC:

IMG_3707

This lighthouse nightlight was originally our grandparents’,

then our late sister, Kathy, had it for years.

It obviously took a tumble in the past, + G.O. sez he’ll re-glue it for me.

IMG_3689

I bought the pair of black urns from Lowe’s a few years back,

+ the faux plants are from IKEA.

I have a yen to put them on our front porch steps — maybe later today.

img_36855.jpg

IMG_3715

I love my heavy glass vessel from Pottery Barn, bought years ago;

currently, it displays a collection of old baseballs:

IMG_3703

Speaking of baseballs, here’s one signed by the great Brooks Robinson.

(Hall of Fame 3rd baseman for the Baltimore Orioles)

IMG_3691

How lucky I am, to have these old golf trophies of my dad’s!

I collect the Guy Wolff pots, + this one is from the late, great Smith + Hawken.

Coincidentally, this pot is resting on my Smith + Hawken garden book!

IMG_3695

Well, that’s about it.

I guess you’d never suspect me of wanting to go less-is-more, would you?

We’ll see — stay tuned!


My Kitchen Design, The Sequel

Today’s the day when I finally spill the beans

+ share why our house has two front doors.

I mean, you were wondering, weren’t you?

doors of 2

Prior to our owning it,

the Dutch colonial had been divided into two apartments,

One up:

doors of 2

UP

+ one down, where we live:

doors of 2

DOWN

We were on the fence, re: converting the house back to a single family

versus keeping it as a duplex.

Some of our friends + one of our spousal equivalents

were/are naysayers about the apartment thing,

for obvious reasons which I shan’t list.

You can probably figure it out yourselves.

Turns out I have my own reasons for the apartment thing.

This guy:

scott income property

Scott McGillivray

+ his HGTV show:

income property

And ultimately, (fingers crossed), lots of these:
money

Believe it or not, neither G.O. nor I are getting any younger,

+ it would be nice to have a whipper snapper tenant nearby, if/when I fall.

Because this is pretty much me now:

liza

 Pass me the Boniva!

I jest, but seriously.

Another excellent reason to have a tenant on the premises is this:

ham-at-arbys.jpg

I suffer from a very strong case of wanderlust,

+ my plans involve seeing the US of A in our canned ham camper.

Perhaps you read about it, here + here!

If we are gone for extended periods

— let’s say between October 31st + May 1st, ideally —

 our tenant could oversee the place,

 mow + shovel snow at the appropriate times + cat-sit for the duration.

  • Anyway.

We’ve started the upstairs re-do finally, which is plenty exciting!

The bathroom was completed weeks ago:

IMG_3318

A hallway’s been repainted:

woodwork of gray

A living room, too:

IMG_3583

And, for the most exciting part, we’ve begun to work on the kitchen!

IMG_3656

A couple of years ago, we bought an entire display

of discontinued kitchen cupboards from IKEA.

IMG_3657

Just as I did downstairs, I’ve sketched the cabinet + appliances layout.

The sink cab is in its position, which is in the L to the right, here:

IMG_3666

IMG_3664

IMG_3662

Yesterday, because I’m a team player, I went with G.O. to look at appliances.

bored-person-e1520530683194.jpg

OMIGOSH!  I DON’T CARE!

The only way I’d whip up some enthusiasm

is if we were springing for the red Smeg appliances of my dreams!

smeg refrigerator

And NO, I did not know that Smeg makes ranges.  Swoon!

smeg stove

 

I mean, really.  Who cares if we get a Maytag or a Frigidaire or whatever?!

Am I right?

Anyway, I have sent G.O. to shop again, on his own this afternoon,

so stay tuned!


CANNED HAMS IN COUNTRY LIVING

It’s always a good day when the new issue of Country Living lands in our mailbox.

IMG_3676

The issues grow thinner + thinner,

which I hope is not a bad sign or anything.

I read an article about how Millennials are ‘killing’ various businesses

because they don’t like the same things that older people do.

I recently joined a very fun FB decorating group, Nesting With Grace,

+ nearly all the girls are Millennials.

            It has been quite interesting to see their tastes in decor,

+ I was most surprised that the girls don’t buy vintage!

They love pillows but mostly go to Home Goods or Marshalls to buy them.

So.  Kay, you’re asking, what does this have to do with Country Living?

Well, here’s what.

I’m guessing that none of the girls buy the magazine,

which might be the reason why the issues are shrinking so much.

But I digress a bit — I still love Country Living,

so fingers crossed it won’t go the way of Cottage Living, RIP.

Let’s have a look-see at the new issue!

IMG_3676

This:

img_3678.jpg

Vintage campers are having their moment now, aren’t they?

We jumped aboard last spring + bought this little (new but looks older) charmer:

canned ham at arbys

We have big plans to travel around the country with it,

+ I vote for a Key West destination, later this spring.

But I digress again, just a little bit — back to the campers in CL!

What’s not to love about this ginormous one (compared to ours?)

img_3671-e1520435627529.jpg

Look what they’ve named it — Trailer Swift!

Cute, no?

img_36711.jpg

Speaking of which,

it’s really cute when the camper’s name is posted on the back, like this:.

IMG_3683

“Rosie” is a project of freelance writers + bloggers Matt + Beau,

whose blog, probably this, is very cool.  Check it out.

Oh, + BTW, we’ve named our campter the “canned ham”,

+ I have plans to have some vinyl stickers made for it, soon.

canned ham in yard

Meanwhile, back the camper happiness in Country Living.

Who doesn’t love a vintage Airstream?

IMG_3681

Here’s another vintage (1966) Airsteam:

img_36721.jpg

It serves as a mobile pop-up shop

for small business owners + siblings, Austin + Amanda.

Look at how the interior’s been customized

for Amanda’s collection of vintage dinnerware merch!

img_3672.jpg

Looks like the duo will have their own HGTV show,

which sounds like it would be a “must watch”, don’t you agree?

IMG_3679

Anyway — I, too, have pop-up shop hopes + dreams for my own business!

Maybe this summer.

Our canned ham re-do is nearly complete,

+ if you’d like to see how we’ve customized the interior,

read this blog post + this.

canned ham bed straight on

 


Upstairs Progress With A Little Art History

G.O. has been a busy guy upstairs,

painting the walls white + the woodwork a neutral gray/beige (a.k.a. “greige”).

So far, the hallway has been transformed from drab . . . .

IMG_3454

IMG_3333

. . . to FAB!

woodwork of gray

We chose Pittsburgh Paint’s Delicate White for the walls

Ghost Writer for the woodwork + wainscoting.

pittsburgh paint ghost writer

Yes, all this talk of gray + white

means it’s time for us to go down memory lane again,

with me, with my perm, + my gray kitchen cabs, circa 1985!

kay with gray kitchen cabs

I loved it then, I love it now!

IMG_3583

Please.  How stunning is our beautiful, original door hardware with the greige?

IMG_3591

IMG_3581

Very stunning, especially so, considering its amazing before + after!

The beautiful pattern of that hardware is called Art Nouveau,

which was an art + architectural style in fashion between 1890 + 1910.

That makes sense because we think our house was built in that era!

Look closely!  There are ferns!

IMG_3581

fern

New England Today

Art Nouveau was inspired by natural forms,

particularly the curves lines of plants + flowers.

Well-known examples of Art Nouveau include the Metro Stations in Paris:

art nouveau paris metro stop

Yet more Art Nouveau awesomeness, closer to home,

is the former Carson Pirie Scott store in Chicago,

designed by architect Louis Sullivan,

who was Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor:

carson pirie scott store

Sullivan also designed my personal favorite,

The fabulous Wainwright Building in downtown St. Louis:

wainwright building

This concludes today’s Art history lecture.

Did you know that I used to be an Art teacher, in grades 7 – 12?

Meanwhile, back at the Dutch colonial,

G.O. continues to restore the beautiful original woodwork,

literally one piece at a time!

IMG_3591

I’ll share more photos, soon — so stay tuned!


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