Our Long + Winding Road

Work on our upstairs bathroom is still crawling forward.

Our vanity light search took so long

that I’m calling it the long + winding road.

Thought I had it handled,

but the light fixture I wanted cost $104-something.

G.O. nixed it + said it was too expensive.

Buzz kill!

disappointed dog

People!  The struggle is real!

Once again, it was now up to me to find something stylish + nearly free.

Let’s begin.

I love these swing arm light fixtures:

swing arm light fixture in a bath

Yes, they are stylish, but wow, they’re expensive!

Everything I found + liked was in the $200 ballpark + up.

Until this happened:

Amazon has dozens that are less than $100!

See for yourself:

$49 on Amazon:

swing arm light fixture

2 for $99.99 on Amazon

swing arm light fixture pair

Way to go, am I right?

But wait.

I didn’t want to quarrel with G.O. about it, + what if it did look crazy!?

Long story longer.

I caved, as one does, + here’s what we bought at Menards for only $24.97!

upstairs bath light fixture box

I chose chrome because we have a chrome IKEA Runskar faucet

IKEA bathroom fauccet

I love those cross handles!

But wait.

menards-mix-and-match-light.jpg

In reality, the light fixture’s chrome was so shiny,

you could see it from outer space!

No can do.

BUT WHAT NOW!?!?

I punted + decided that the light needed to be black.

 We’ve got a lot of black going on in our bathroom . . .

IMG_3318

. . . + black light light fixtures + faucets are a “thing’.

The paint on modern fixtures is a matte — or flat — black . . .

black-faucet.jpg

. . . but neither our bathroom not our chrome fixture is modern.

Then I got an idea.

What about a shiny black, as in vintage porcelain shiny black, like here:

sconce-hannah-e1516123221270.jpg

Now I’m feeling more confident!

Fast forward a bit, + here’s our glossy black light fixture,

after G.O. spray painted it glossy black:

upstairs-light-fixture-frosted.jpg

Looks like I’ve jumped ahead to the shade portion of our light fixture saga.

As you can see, with this project,

you get to choose your fixture + your glass shade.

upstairs bath light fixture box

I narrowed the search down to two — one frosted + the other one clear.

I chose clear, because that’s what’s happening now.

Plus, the Edison-style bulbs are just fun, aren’t they?

upstairs-bath-light-fixture.jpg

There are other things to reveal about our bathroom,

but I shall share them at a later date.

Now you know why our light fixture search was such a long + winding road.

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BEFORE, DURING + AFTER BATHROOM PHOTOS

Disclaimer:

I don’t know why, but I typically don’t take lots of before photos,

+ believe me, there have been really horrific ones, like this,

in our main bathroom downstairs:

bathroom -- main before

The befores make the after photos so much more dramatic!

bathroom -- main after

Wow — viva la difference, am I right?

Earlier this week, I forced myself to grab the camera

+ head upstairs for some epic before AND during photo ops.

Let’s start with the bathroom’s tub + shower surround,

which are already finished + are actually afters.

I chose white subway tiles because they are classic + timeless.

My design for the window surround turned out well, I thought, modestly:

IMG_3308

I’ve already shared the Sherwin-Williams paint we chose:

Unusual Gray (at the bottom) for the walls,

paint green sage

with Contented (third from top) at 50%, for the ceiling.

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IMG_3157

Very neutral!  Very pretty!

But as often happens in a room’s during stage, it’s kind of a blah!

What does it need?

panic-button-300x290.jpg

I’m not sure, but here’s a start.

These IKEA cabinets in white contrast nicely

with the darker-than-I-thought-they’d-be Unusual Gray walls:

IMG_3318

I’ve already shared my love for the tall cabinet’s black legs.

IMG_3319

They, combined with the black in our floor tiles,

mean I need to repeat more black, for continuity purposes.

How about a black metal mirror for above the vanity?

IMG_3317

I’ve chosen this one, because it’s modern yet rustic at the same time.

Another disclaimer: this was $90-something from Target,

but they’re out of it online,

+ you’ll have to search for it in their stores.

mirror of black with shelf

We are going to Target right now, so stay tuned!

QUICK UPDATE:

Trips to 2 different Target stores ensued,

+ we ended up buying this one, which was $35-ish!

Have you shopped for mirrors lately?  That’s a great price!

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Now it’s time for G.O. to hang the bathroom door.

Here’s what that looks like, about midway though:

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He sez that all this wood stuff is called door casing,

+ it’s taking longer than I’d hoped.

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I have to remember that he is a perfectionist, so I shan’t ask him to work faster.

HA!  Most of the time, I don’t!

Here you can see where the finished woodwork will be positioned:

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Here’s a wider view, looking to the hallway + bath.

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What’s up with that embossed-looking wainscoting — you’re wondering?

Here’s a close up:

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It was surely very beautiful when the house was built,

but right now, parts of it are in rough  shape.

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Speaking of being in rough shape, notice our beautiful-but-sad staircase

+ how the wainscoting extends down those stairs!

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Back to our upstairs.   Right now, my goal is to find an even grayer gray/green.

I want something more neutral for the upstairs woodwork,

but I don’t want just gray; we’ve got that downstairs.

As always, I shall head to Pinterest first + see what others have chosen.

Stay tuned!

 


That Time We Almost Had A Green House

It’s official.

I am somewhat obsessed with green now.

You may recall my Pinspiration greens from Sherwin-Williams.

I recently blogged about painting our upstairs bath sage green.

paint green sage

We chose Unusual Gray (at the bottom) for the walls,

with a ceiling of 50% Contented (second from top).

Our bathroom, very much in its “during” stage:

My green obsession has me plotting to use a lot of sage green upstairs,

so stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, I now have just a wee bit of color remorse

re: the exterior siding of our Dutch colonial.

surprised baby.jpg

How’s that possible?  I’m asking myself,

when I truly love the white + gray + black scheme that’s out there now?

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I was perusing some older blog posts the other day,

when I came across some siding choices from 5 years ago.

As one does, I’d placed some color samples on the house

for what I call “the admire”,

which is what I do when I am trying to decide ANY-thing.

Notice that there are 2 gray siding samples at left + 1 green sample at right.

siding of green long view

Even 5 years before my green obsession developed,

I was seriously considering green siding!

Too late now, of course, but for fun, here’s a close up of the green:

siding of green close up

I forget the name of the siding company,  but we bought it from Menards.

IMG_3200

Shall we look at some green houses + wonder “what if”?

siding of green craftsman

Found on Pinterest — source unknown

Check out the stunning details on this next beautiful home!

The Adirondack chair + container of blue hydrangeas are so “me”!

siding of green with white adirondack

Domino magazine — I must subscribe!

And, saving the best for last, this cottage charmer.

Looks like they used the same colors as we did in our bathroom!

Extra points for painting the front door + the window sashes

with the same (beautiful) darker color!

Disclaimer: I would totally fall on those steps!

siding of green round arch door

Found on Pinterest — source unknown

I still love our white house with the gray gables, though.

I think it’s timeless, + the white first story + contrasting color second story

is definitely a “thing” when it comes to Dutch colonials.

img_3193-e1515241668568.jpg


ACHIEVING THE SUCCESSFUL OPEN CONCEPT

Earlier this week, I posted my musings about this week’s Fixer Upper episode

on my biz Facebook page.

I’m happy to report that it garnered a lot of interest, which I love!

fixer -- sister's house couch + kitchen

Fans of the show recognize this project

as what I named the retro / West Elm re-do for Joanna’s sister + family.

Nailed it!

That couch can be found at West Elm.

Same.  Exact.  Couch.

HAMILTON

open-concept-west-elm.jpg

I could fling aside  those back cushions + spoon with my Dachshund.

chloe in leaves

And, that color of leather is such a favorite that I named it.

Baseball glove brown.

cardinal in a bar with bears

Please.  Why do you think my business is called Red Bird Vintage Home?

Anyway, yes, I do love West Elm,

although some of my FB besties said they thought it was too modern.

Oops.

Never fear, though — even I had a slight issue (imagine that),

+ proclaimed that this particular open concept, while stunning,

skews a tad too “gymnasium” for me.

open conept sisster house

Don’t get me wrong — I embrace an open concept as much as the next person,

but this had me pondering how one achieves one more to my liking.

Off to Pinterest I dashed, as one does,

+ I saw some awesome photos of beautiful, open plans.

LARGE ARCH

open concept large arch

This is nearly as open as the errant gym plan,

but the small wing walls + beautiful arch visually create some separation.

Next method — CASE OPENINGS

Once again, this is very open, but the woodwork says,

I am a separate room!

Here’s my  fave version:

Isn’t it amazing what a little molding can do?

  Next version:  ISLAND COLUMNS

Is it just me, or does every homeowner on HGTV desire the open concept?

Seems like 99% of them end up spending $1,000’s on a huge beam

to keep the second story from crashing down.

money

I gotta ask why? — when a couple of columns on one’s island do the trick,

+ looking FABULOUS while doing so!

Exhibit A:

open concept brick gable

Exhibit B:

Surprise!  Here’s a pair of columns in a kitchen designed by Joanna Gaines!

open concept white posts with gingerbread

The decorative brackets add a lot of  charm, don’t they?

And in conclusion, what on earth did we do before Pinterest?

 

 


Why I Love The HGTV Dream Home 2018

Yesterday I actually referred to the HGTV 2018 Dream Home as “meh”.

See for yourself:

DH meh 'before'

NO, I hadn’t viewed the show yet when I said it was “meh”,

so I failed to realize that this photo was the before!

Quick!  Check out the fabulous afters:

DH side 'after'

Did you cringe when the designer chose black paint for the exterior?

I’m used to it being kind of a “thing” now, so I didn’t.

Notice the gray trim.

I think that it really helps to keep the black from being overly somber.

DH outdoor overview

How stellar are all those outdoor seating + dining areas!

And please.  I am so in love with the metal roof!

DH front down low

Show of hands, though.

Who in the world has a garage tidy enough for a pair of glass doors?

Besides nobody!

DH front from above

Meanwhile, I tried but failed to find a photo

of the cute + perky blonde host,

but wasn’t she a clone of Modern Family’s Julie Bowen?

Julie-Bowen-200x200_0

Lady crush!

But back to the house, courtesy of a few FUN befores afters.

Man, that before kitchen is dark,

even if the cabinets + counter tops are white.

DH kitchen before

And what is UP with those stair step upper cabs?

DH kitchen before

TA DA!  Check out the kitchen after!

It’s anything but dark!

DH kitchen after looking across staircase

I like the black lower cabs to the right;

the dark open shelves really make the displayed items pop.

dh-kitchen-after-looking-across-staircase2-e1514990022289.jpeg

The black’s been repeated

in that ultra modern range hood + the island counter tops.

dh-kitchen-after-looking-across-staircase3.jpeg

Remember:  repeating elements results in a cohesive design.

Now, then.  For today’s homework assignment.

homework

Bring home some pretty branches

+ shove them into a glass container.

DH kitchen after looking across staircase

But first — back to the dreary + dark before living room / fireplace wall:

DH fireplace before

This after living room couldn’t be more bright!

DH fireplace after

This kind of thing makes me want to re-paint all our rooms white!

(Don’t tell G.O.)

What do you think of their moving the fireplace to the window wall?

dh-fireplace-after.jpeg

I’d never have thought of it, but it makes sense

+ allows the furniture placement to focus on both it + that beautiful view!

I’m a fan of a pair of couches facing each other in a room,

+ I really love sofa tables.

There’s 2!  Perfect!

dh-fireplace-after1.jpeg

Just across the room is a very pretty dining area:

DH fish picture + dining chairs in blush

A+ for the personal + meaningful artwork

+ kudos for bravely adding those complementary pink dining chairs!

Yikes, though.  THIS:

DH bathroom before

Now, it’s this!

DH bathroom after

Beautiful!

Is anybody on board with the black bathroom hardware?

It’s definitely a “thing”have you noticed?

dh-bathroom-after1.jpeg

DH bathroom after with gray vanity

I’m really in love with the gray vanity + the pretty gray + white striped towel!

dh-bathroom-after-with-gray-vanity1-e1514993075533.jpeg

Those mirrors!  Yum!

dh-bathroom-after-with-gray-vanity2.jpeg

Check out the one that I’ve chosen for our upstairs bath

at the Dutch colonial:

black mirror

Speaking of which,

I do believe it’s time to blog about that upstairs bathroom.

Here I go, camera in hand, up the staircase,

so stay tuned!


HGTV’s Dream Home 2018

Did you watch the premiere of the 2018 HGTV Dream House last night?

It’s in Gig Harbor, Washington, + here ’tis:

dream home 2018

Hmmm.  My initial thoughts are along the lines of “meh”,

but since I didn’t watch, I shall save my judgement until after I do.

What I did watch yesterday was a day-long Downton Abbey marathon,

a.k.a. pledge drive, on PBS.

 downton abbey

I had to watch, because I now have a crush

on the actor portraying Lady Mary’s 2nd husband,

Matthew Goode.

 

 

He’s Princess Margaret’s first husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones,

in The Crown series on Netflix.

matthew goode as antony armstrong jones

 

But I digress — back to the Dream Home!

I recorded it, so I’ve penciled in a viewing for  later today.

First, let’s have a look-see at some of the past Dream Homes.

Do you have any favorites?

 

1997 Jackson Hole, WY:

dream home 1997 jackson hole wy

 

1998 Beaufort, SC:

Dream Home 1998, Beaufort SC

 

1999  Rosemary Beach, FL

 

L: 2000 Nehalem, OR      R: 2001 Camden, ME:

 

 

L:  2002 Sherwood, MD       R:  2003 Mexico Beach, FL:

 

 

 2004 St. Mary’s, GA

dream home 2004 st mary's ga

 

L:  2005 Tyler, TX       R:  2006 Lake Lure, NC

 

 

L:  2007 Winter Park, CO       R: 2008 Islamorada, FL

 

 

L:  2009 Sonoma, CA       R:  2010 Sandia Park, NM

 

 

L:  2011 Stowe, VT       R: 2012  Park City, UT

 

 

L:  2013  Charleston, SC       R:  2014  Lake Tahoe, CA

 

 

L:  2015  Martha’s Vineyard       R:  2016  Merritt Island, FL

 

 

. . . . and, in conclusion, last year’s home

St. Simons Island, GA

dream home 2017 st. simons island ga

I wonder what you’ve all thought of this year’s Dream Home.

Is it just me, or didn’t we used to get more excited about this than we do now?


Pesky Problem Solved By The Internet!

It’s fairly commonplace

to ask new-build + new-rehab homeowners:

“Is there anything you would do differently?”

My reply would be parts of our kitchen.  Here’s one:

IMG_3014

That sliver of space between our stove/range hood + wall is troublesome.

Here are some photos of  how I dealt with the lower cabinets.

IMG_3020

IMG_3018

My galvanized storage bins are from World Market:

world market galvanized metal storage bins

IMG_3016

I like the bins, but it’s above that bothers me

— on either side of the range hood.

IMG_3014

I considered my go-to wall decor — hanging plates.

I’m fond of the blue + white plates in our main bathroom, downstairs:

plates of wall main bathroom

IMG_3014

Disclaimer: that wreath needs to be hung higher, like here:

(Yes, I have already shared this with G.O.!)

kitchen-with-christmas-wreath

But wait.  There’s more.  Check out those shelves!

They, too, are mere slivers of space, + yet.

How awesome!

kitchen-with-christmas-wreath

They’ve been tricked out very tastefully!

I wonder if  very narrow shelves would work in our kitchen.

IMG_3026

I shan’t lie.  I am on the fence.

All that means is that I shall continue to stew about it,

until the day arrives that I go for it or just  leave it.

Meanwhile, I am going to copy something from that blogger’s kitchen.

My small collections of wood bread boards will move . . .

IMG_3016

. . . + will relocate to this spot:

img_30261-e1513429759976.jpg

. . . at the back of the stove top, like here:

kitchen-with-christmas-wreathkitchen-with-christmas-wreath

I love being inspired so early in the morning!

Have you been inspired by a blog post or a Pinterest photo?

And no, I don’t know what we did before the internet!


Our Bathroom’s Green/Now What?

I’ve gone way out of my comfort zone,

+ we’re painting our upstairs bathroom sage green.

It’s one of many sage greens from Sherwin-Williams!

paint green sage

I chose Unusual Gray (at the bottom, above) for the walls,

with Contented (3rd from the top), lightened by 50%, for the ceiling.

IMG_3100

Here they are, side by side in our bathroom.

I think they look more green + less gray, on the walls + ceilings.

sage green -- facing door and hall

It looks good, but it needs a white crown molding at the ceiling

to make it look crisp + neat.

Something like this:

crown molding

The Contented ceiling pops nicely against the white subway tiles,

so I have faith it will look great with that white crown.

sage green -- shower enclosure

There wasn’t enough of the original woodwork for this room,

so G.O. bought some new baseboards that are just as tall as the old ones:

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He brought in his compound miter saw from the garage:

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Soon, he’ll add some quarter-round molding at the floor.

sage green -- southern baseboard

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I am relieved that I like actually like the colors . . .

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. . . because let’s face it: greens can go so wrong, so easily.

The Unusual Gray is a tad darker than I anticipated,

but that might be because of all the dark + cloudy days we’re having.

Soon enough, we will be adding all the finishing touches.

Help!  What goes with green?

Stay tuned!


Will I Have Painter’s Remorse?

Yesterday I mentioned my quest

to find the perfect gray-green paint for our upstairs bathroom.

I found this list of sage greens on Pinterest.

We’d be living in our car if there was no Pinterest.

paint green sage

I had chosen my front runner last night,

but I had to wait to see the paint chips in our bathroom in the day.

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We started eliminating the ones that were clearly wrong —

maybe too dark or too yellow to make the cut.

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Our paint mustn’t be too green, either, as I wanted a gray-green.

We finally ruled out the rest of the unwanted colors,

settling on this pair, for both the wall + the ceiling.

Unusual Gray, left, + Contentment, slightly lighter for the ceiling.

IMG_3085

Not so fast.

Soon I had myself fearing that Contentment was too dark on the ceiling

+ wouldn’t provide enough contrast with the walls.

Here’s where it gets a little crazy.

I told G.O. to ask the paint guy at Sherwin-Williams to lighten it by 50%.

He was not on board, but I assured him that this was a thing,

+ that the popular bloggers do it!

To ease his mind (+ mine), I called Sherwin-Williams to confirm.

Yes, they do it.

See for yourself:

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Here are the cans, waiting for their thumbs up or down by me:

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Disclaimer: as greens tend to do,

Unusual Gray looked more gray in the light of the kitchen (below)

+ more green in the bathroom.

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Here’s the first bit of Contentment on the ceiling:

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It’s a dark + gloomy day,  so I’m sure the colors will change

when/if the sun finally opts to shine again.

That bathroom is super bright

because of a solar tube that G.O. installed in the ceiling.

Excuse the unusually bad photo, but here ’tis:

IMG_3084

He needs to install the panel thing, of course.

When the sun’s shining, that room is so bright —

the kind of bright that has you reaching for the light switch!

I’ll have to ask G.O. about the solar tube

so that I can share with the class.

Promise.

Meanwhile,  here are a couple of additional photos of our bathroom.

Our white vanity from is from IKEA:

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I forget its Swedish name, but it has 2 drawers.

I super love its vanity top, which is similar to this:

IKEA bathroom with our top

The black + white tiles are period-appropriate to our house:

img_30901-e1513195461456.jpg

I think Lowe’s has them in stock,

but we got ours from Tile Outlet in Chicago.

Anyway, it’s time to climb those stairs again

+ inspect G.O.’s progress.

Stay tuned for more ‘after’ updates!


My Quest For The Perfect Gray-Green

G.O. is working on the upstairs bathroom,

so I’ve been busy thinking about paint colors, etc.

I was all set to get Glidden’s Prairie Sage (bottom right),

since it was described as a neutral alternative to gray.

paint green of sage

Trust me, we have enough gray walls downstairs.

 I am ready for a change but want to stay neutral-ish.

Besides, green is a thing now.

Anyway, off we drive to Home Depot for a gallon of Glidden Prairie Sage.

Long story short — neither of us liked it.

I thought it looked too bright + too mint.

surprised baby

The minute we got home, I headed to Pinterest,

where I began a furtive search for green-gray paint.

When I saw these being described as matches to

Restoration Hardware paint, my search was officially ovah!

paint green sage

I mean, people.

Everything from Restoration Hardware is exquisite, is it not?

Sadly, it’s almost 5 bells, so I shall have to wait until manana

to drive to our (brand new + local) Sherwin-Williams.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, earlier today I casually suggested we do this

to the bathrooms walls:

board and batten entryway

I mean, how cool!  Plus, isn’t it easy to install?  I hope?

board and batten bathtub

Oops.  I think that’s where I lost him.

cats fighting

Wish me luck with the paint, though.

  I’ll report back — so stay tuned.

 


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