Hello, Gorgeous Woodwork!

Who loves a good before + after story?


With that in mind, here are a couple befores of our dining room:



It’s all pretty much squalor, but let’s focus on the woodwork, shall we?


What woodwork? — you ask?

It’s just hiding under all that bad beige paint.

But wait.


Bye bye, beige!

Yes, our woodwork has been painstakingly stripped + refinished.

Isn’t it gorgeous?


Those walls are sadly still in mid-re-do mode, but never fear.

They’ll soon be painted the same pale gray as in our kitchen,

Thin Ice by Pittsburgh Paint.


If you look closely, you can see that the ceiling’s sporting

the same pale blue as is our living room, here:


You can see that we’re using the same colors throughout the house,

for that all-important continuity.

 Now for one more look at that beautiful woodwork

at the junction of dining room + kitchen.


Living Room Woodwork + Paint

Long time no blog!

Our summer project has been restoring the Dutch colonial’s original woodwork.


The minute all the living room’s woodwork was up + running,

 I insisted that we paint!

As you can see, the ceiling is the palest of blues,

+ the picture/crown molding is white.

After some debate, our walls are Flagstone gray by Pittsburgh Paint.


Initially, I wanted to go fairly dark + dramatic.

However, I settled on a medium dark,

because I thought it would work better with all my “stuff”.

  • * * *

Let’s have a look-see at some of it, shall we?

First up, my awesome vintage sorter will be the room’s focal point:


That thing rules, doesn’t it?

One of my former art students/friend found it for me,

+ I paid a mere $50 for it in the early 90’s!

It was perfect for my late, great retail store, Heart-in-Hand!

  • * * *

Update to now — I cannot wait to get that thing in place

+ start filling it with my books + things!

Here’s the wall where we’ll place it:


  • Opposite from that wall is the front door:


It+ all the other interior doors are going to be a very dark gray,

which looks like black.

Next, this angled wall is where we’ll have our television:


The jury’s still out

(which is just a fancy way of saying I can’t make up my mind),

but we might use our bow-front pine dresser for the TV:


I have plans to try + “hide” the TV with a gallery wall,

like this one from Pottery Barn:

gray dark tv and artwork pottery barn

Finally, here is our living room’s south-facing window bay:



Our existing navy couch will fit nicely there.

Oh, + that rug has obviously made the trip from our current home, too.

We’ll discuss all this later, so stay tuned!

Kitchen Tile — Up + Running!

Look at our kitchen back splash!


We love it!


If you read my recent post about the view from our kitchen window,

here ’tis:


Hi, nice neighbors!

Meanwhile, it’s time to order the light fixtures

for the wall above those windows.


Here’s my choice — the Logan sconce from Ballard Designs:

light fixture for kitchen

Red, please!

* * *

But back to the tile.

I chose it because the glaze looks like it was done by hand — so pretty!


Best of all, it’s crackled, which I couldn’t love more!

This adds a lot of vintage style, in my opinion,

+ makes those tiles look as if they could have been original to our house!


Oh, + that pretty but pesky grout left a few traces on the tiles, but no worries.

These can + will be removed later today.

Meanwhile, one more look:


Next up: a DIY range hood project!

Stay tuned!

2 Finalists For Our Bedroom Rug!

I’ve been shopping online for a rug for our bedroom for weeks!

The room is already sporting a dark gray accent wall + pale blue ceiling.

The walls + trim will be white,

 + I want to add a lot of blue accessories.



The pine floor has been sanded + stained a nice, warm brown.


The room measures 9’10” by 11″,

so of course, I am having math anxiety

+ cannot decide between a 4’x6′ or a 5’x7′ rug.

surprised boy


* * *

Oh, never mind about that — for now, anyway.

Let’s talk about what I might order!

I’ve whittled down my favorites to these 2 rugs from Overstock.com.

Notice the blue + gray combination — excellent for my color plan!

They are both from the brand Safaveih’s Patina collection.

rug patina gray and blue #2

As you can see, the name Patina refers to the rug’s aged appearance,

which is a ‘thing’ now — new-but-old-looking rugs!


rug patina gray and blue overstock

These are cotton rugs + soft,

which is kind of a must-have for our G.O.’s bedroom.

Now all we have to do is decide which rug + which size.

Stay tuned!

Hardscaping Hopes + Dreams

As we were out + about last week,

I asked G.O. if we could stop at a huge place that sells hardscaping materials.

Is that a word?  Hardscaping?

Anyway, I just hope that we can buy some of said-same this year,

as our back yard is currently a muddy  mess!

My plans include this:


Rotten granite, also known (on HGTV) as decomposed granite.

It’s very French, isn’t it?

Crunch crunch underfoot!

My plans include enlarging our driveway + stuff.

Here is a huge pile of it, with our beloved Dory:


Rotten granite will cost us $89 per truck load.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

I also found the bricks that I must have for our front sidewalk:


Looks like genuine old brick like no other product I’ve seen!

Here we have a sample walkway, laid in a basket weave design:


Nice but nope.  I prefer, instead, the herringbone pattern:


Now we’re getting warmer!


And finally, perfection!

Herring bone pattern with soldier course bricks for the border

+ Chloe the Dachshund:


I’ve waited so long + so patiently

for all this outdoor happiness at the Dutch colonial.

Guess we’ll all stay tuned!

Vintage Corbel Snafu

Yesterday I bought a pair of antique corbels,

hoping to use them at the corners of the opening

between our kitchen + dining room.

Like here:

corbel doorway this old house

This Old House

And Like my idol, Sarah Richardson . . .

sarah richardson

. . . used in her family’s farmhouse:

corbel doorway -- sarah richardson

Look at all those prints, playing so nicely together!

That’s so Sarah Richardson!

But back to me.

 Here you can see our doorway where I hoped to add corbels:


But wait.

It’s kind of hard to see in this photo,

but the cabinet at the right corner is too high on the wall.

There’s no room for the corbel!


F A I L !

surprised boy

The humanity!

Of course, I could always sell my corbels in my retail space.

I will probably do just that, but not before I explore my other options,

or as I like to call it — punting!


Once again, Sarah Richardson serves as my inspiration.

She really likes to use vintage corbels in her designs.

Here are not 1 but 2 pairs,

in the kitchen of that same farmhouse we saw previously:

corbel under range hood -- sarah #2

At the left are painted yellow ones holding a shelf,

+ at right, some white ones are incorporated into the range hood.

corbel under range hood -- sarah richardson

Hey!   I thought.  We’ve not finalized our kitchen’s range hood!

Could that possibly be Plan B for my corbels?

Well, here I am, holding one in place:



Frankly, I am smitten.

They’re certainly beautiful + quite old (1890’s, I was told),

+ I have been trying to add some “age” to our kitchen!

Since I’m not the only person in our household who gets a vote,

we’ll have to wait to see what happens.

As always, stay tuned!

Tricking Out Our Kitchen Window

One of the first improvements to our Dutch colonial

was replacing the kitchen’s original single window . . .


. . . with a beautiful, new double window:



This change has been one of my favorites,

of all of the improvements we’ve added to our Dutch colonial!


The fabulous light!

The way it makes the room seem more spacious!

What’s not to love?

 Well, there is one down side.

The houses in our old neighborhood are pretty close to each other,

 + sadly, the view of our neighbor’s house isn’t that great.

No offense to the nice family who lives there,

but I don’t want to stare at the side of your house!

So.  What to do?

Here’s an idea from Pinterest:

shelf across winder -- bhg


How about tricking out that window of ours,

so that the eye stops at it, instead of traveling beyond?

Here’s how it was done in this photo:

1. Shelf  with pretty stuff on it (can do!)

+  2. Pretty vintage window sash

I love the vintage window sash (I’ve done it!)

Check it out — this groovy stained glass sash in our kitchen

of the bungalow where we’re currently living:

bungalow window

Since I really would like to repeat this design feature

in our Dutch colonial kitchen,

I am on the hunt for a matching pair of old sashes.

I’m headed to the flea market today, in fact!

Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, here’s another kitchen window treatment that I love!

shelf over window

At this moment, this is totally what I wish to do in our new kitchen!

There’s privacy galore,

plus a cool spot to display some of my collections!



Oh, how I love a good accent wall!

Here’s ours:


That’s our downstairs bedroom, sporting Pittsburgh Paint’s Volcanic Ash.

We both LOVE it!


As is usually always the case,

I went through a lot of choices before finally choosing the dark gray.

I valiantly tried to persuade myself to go with Benjamin Moore’s Hale navy . . .

navy wall -- apartment therapy


navy wall -- pottery barn

Pottery Barn

. . . but for some reason, I just couldn’t pull the trigger!

 I was very tempted

by Southern Living magazine’s painted gingham wall tutorial:

navy gingham check paint southern living mag

Southern Living

OMiGosh — how charming is that?


Saner heads finally prevailed when I realized the following:

1. This happiness would involve way too much MATH.

2. It would require G.O.’s assistance.

3.  It would probably last a day or 2 or 3 or 4.

surprised boy

What to do?

  Well, they make some pretty groovy buffalo check wallpaper:

navy check wallpaper

dailyimprint.com The pale blue paint on that cabinet rules my world!

I even lugged the insanely heavy wallpaper book home for a look-see!

However, in the end, I feared it might be too ‘granny’ (God forbid!)

Besides, wallpaper is crazy expensive,

+ I’ve only got a bazillion other things I need to buy!

Dark gray paint, it is!


My plans for this room include some blue to go with all the gray,

so we painted the ceiling the palest of pale blues:


Everything else will be simple + white

so that the gray wall will be ‘the star’ of the room.

* * *

Next up, my fun gets even funner,

as it’s time — at long last — to be choosing the pretty stuff!

Say hello to these affordable cuties from Target:

comforter -- justin

comforter -- gray dots and stripes!

I don’t know about you, but polka dots make me happy!

I like a few favorite rugs from Wayfair.com, but I’ll share those later.

Stay tuned!


If you’re a regular reader,

you’ll recall that we recently suffered a tile snafu at the Dutch colonial —

it being something about the space between the counter top + the window trim.

It wasn’t working with the 3″ x 6″ tiles I’d chosen:


When I leaped ahead to Plan B, which was penny rounds . . .

tile penny round marble -- new ravenna

. . . this had G.O. promising to change the wood trim

or anything, really, to avoid penny rounds!!

Can you imagine how difficult they must be to install?

So.  Back to Plan A.

Check it out, in progress:


If you think they look great here,

wait until that protective pink paper goes away!

The grays of the tiles + the counter tops look smashing together!

The gap below is the space for our range:







So.  What color grout will we use, you ask?

White, like that in my inspiration back splash, here:

white kitchen with gray tiles -- heavyontheveggie


LOV-ing that pretty runner, which is a “thing” now, for kitchens.

I like this one from Overstock.com — called Cross Stitch.

It’s indoor/outdoor, which would be perfect in a kitchen, don’tcha think?

runner cross stitch overstock

Stay tuned!


As I mentioned earlier,

there seems to be an infinite number of ways to trick out one’s kitchen cabinets.

My plans include quite a few of said same, including this one:

Corbels underneath the uppers!

bracket theletteredcottage bloThat’s the former kitchen of the kids from The Lettered Cottage blog.

They’ve posted a tutorial about how they re-did plain Jane cabs.


* * *

So.  Back to my plans — the same Home Depot corbels under our upper cabs!

They’re less than $10!

For here:




Stay tuned!

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