Monthly Archives: January 2014

Drywall Happiness


is my un-official motto for our Dutch colonial re-do.

Speaking of good things, check this out:


That’s right.  There’s your G.O. + your drywall (!!) in our kitchen.

On that wall we’ll have a refrigerator flanked by 2 pantries;

behind it is the bedroom closet,

+ just to the right of G.O. is the door** to our powder room.

**I’m still planning to use something like this:

Back to the exciting drywall photo ops.


Here’s another view into our kitchen,

taken from the adjacent dining room.

The sink + stove counter will fit underneath the windows to the left,

+ our island will be at the approximate same locale as that trash can.

* * *

In an effort to assist you in visualizing our finished room,

here’s a photo of my inspiration kitchen:

black + white dream kitchen

I’m loving just about everything here,

+ I’m basing a lot of my design choices on it.

* * * *

But back to the in-progress squalor that we presently have:


At this point, I suspect G.O. was weary of his snapshot being included,

+ of course, his devoted companion, Dory, was going wherever he went.


All that insulation will soon be stuffed

 between the joists of our kitchen + bedroom ceilings.

The large windows at left

are in the large, west-facing bay in our dining room.

Here’s a photo of said-same taken from the yard.

You can see just a glimpse of the kitchen windows to the their left:


These window bays (there’s also 1 in the living room)

are pretty much the reasons why I wanted to buy our house!

* * *

But I digress.

Back to the kitchen windows:


As you can see, the wiring is in place for light fixtures above our sink.

Because of this sort of awesomeness . . .

lighting -- over sink!!!! 2

Sorry — source unknown

. . . I decided we’ll have some sort of wall sconces above our sink windows, too.

What are your thoughts?

kitchen lighting over the zink #2

Sorry — source unknown

kitchen lighting over the zink

At this moment (always subject to change, of course),

here’s my choice:

lighting -- kitchen over sink gilded iron

Home Depot

I’m pretty sure this is an exterior light, but it’s all good.

It comes in 2 sizes, so I was going to order 1 of each

for a side-by-side size comparison.


* * * *

Meanwhile, here’s another look-see at my inspiration kitchen:

black + white dream kitchen

Thanks, as always, for viewing,

+ stay tuned!

OOPSIE — Math Mistake At Kay’s

Oh, dear.

There seems to have been a bit of a math mistake at Kay’s house.


“Imagine that,” sez the gal who received a gift D- in h.s. Algebra

(meaning that, in reality, I no doubt failed miserably).

But back from 1966 . . . let’s see what my most recent math mistake entails!

Go ahead.  Have a look-see at my shame.

THIS was ordered . . .

bathroom vanity top from pottery barn

Pottery Barn

. . . with best-laid plans for it fitting on top of THIS:




* * * *

surprised boy

* * * *

D I S C L A I M E R :

Yes, my math skills are lacking, but honest! —

G.O. + I sat down together + carefully compared measurements

before I placed any orders!


Here we are in “happier” days.

The good news is that, when these sorts of mishaps occur,

I’m so used to it,

+ dare I say somewhat expecting it?,

I don’t really get upset or fret (much).

The even better news is that, G.O. didn’t seem mad (much)!

* * * *

Sure, he barked out orders that I STOP placing any online orders.

* * * *

+ within seconds of his doing so,

I found this cottage lusciousness


wayfair cottage vanity

I know!!!!

It’s perfect, + I’ve never seen anything so cool!

So what if it doesn’t have the drawer space the IKEA vanity has?


Don’t worry — this vanity’s going upstairs,
so all is definitely not lost!

A powder room doesn’t require massive amounts of drawer space!

Let’s look again:

wayfair cottage vanity

How much $$, you ask?

Sadly, it’s a tad over budget at $400-something,

but there is a 10% discount on my first order

+ the always-appreciated free shipping!

* * * *

What . . . a . . . blunder!

“Real” bloggers don’t do this sort of thing, do they?

Will I be issued a hefty fine by the blogging police?

Worse yet, does this mean my blog license will be revoked?

Will G.O. mock me for this + I laugh about this together, later?

Stay tuned!

Wainscoting Hopes + Dreams

Earlier this week, G.O. assembled our powder room’s vanity:



He gave it thumbs up for being very well constructed.

It even has the soft-close drawers!

Just to banish the IKEA-ness of it all,

methinks I’ll opt for different pulls,

hoping to trick things out a tad.

Speaking of which, the marble vanity top I ordered

is scheduled to be delivered from between 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. TO-day!

bathroom vanity top from pottery barn

Pottery Barn

OMG — fingers crossed I’ll love the marble!

Stay tuned!

* * *

In a perfect world, our powder room would be completed

so all this happiness could be installed TO-day, too.

Instead, it currently looks like this:


Good things come to those who wait, no?

I keep telling myself that!

Meanwhile, let’s fast forward, shall we?

Here are my current wainscoting hopes + dreams for this space:

pooper wainscoting brian vanden brink

bathroom wainscoting -- hooked on

Since our powder room is narrow + has high ceilings,

it could have kind of a silo vibe going on.

The ceiling treatment above might be just the ticket

for a tall, narrow room — plus, it adds character

+ will give the brand, new space (carved from a former hallway)

the “always-been-there” look that I covet!

Here ’tis again:

bathroom wainscoting -- hooked on

I’d say they’ve added a small trim piece about 10″ (?) below the ceiling line

+ painted out the top wall + ceiling both white.

* * *

True to form, G.O. nixed my hopes + dreams

when I finally showed him this a.m.

“Too much white!”

* * *

No worries.  He’ll love it when it’s done, I promise!

Stay tuned!

Tulips In January

Hola from Chicagoland in January!


Hey, look!
It’s G.O.!

It’s 5 or 6 degrees (who’s counting?) this morning,

with a wind chill temp of -20 or something crazy.

To boost my morale,

I brought home these cheerful white tulips the other day . . .

. . . they were calling my name at the grocery store!


Hurry, Spring!


$129 Light Fixture v.s. $179 Light Fixture

I’ve been posting a lot about our downstairs bathrooms + kitchen

+ musing about when/if to splurge on fixtures for said-same.

My most recent high-low quandary?

The light fixture in our main bathroom.

Here’s the less expensive of the 2 I’m considering:

light fixture -- mercer from PB $3

Mercer Double Horizontal Sconce
Pottery Barn

We’ll have a look-see at the competition in just a moment.

First, here’s what’s brewing in that room so far.

We’ll repurpose this antique pine cupboard into a vanity:


Adding this simple, Shaker-style sink:

zink o' kohler for our pine cupboard -- home depot -- $150.60

Kohler Tresham drop-in sink
Home Depot

+ this beautiful — but sadly, a tad pricey — faucet,

which I’ve already ordered:

faucet -- Elizabethan Classic

Elizabethan Classic

Now, back to my light fixture conundrum.

We’ve seen my $129 choice from Pottery Barn.

Next up, the similarly styled but more “spendy” one,

@ $179 from Restoration Hardware:

light fixture -- RH -- #1

Vintage English Oval Double Sconce
Restoration Hardware
$179 in polished chrome

What I really like is the metal rim around the glass.

It looks kind of white here, but I’m pretty sure it’s chrome.

light fixture -- RH -- #2

* * * *

Once again, here’s the similar but less expensive PB light:

light fixture -- mercer from PB #1

Mercer Double Horizontal Sconce
Pottery Barn

light fixture -- mercer from PB $3

So.  There you have it.

2 similarly styled light fixtures

+ a “whopping”** $50 price difference.

(**I guess “whopping” is in the bank balance of the beholder.)

But enough about my troubles.  Back to the light fixtures.

Once again, @ $179:

light fixture -- RH -- #2


light fixture -- mercer from PB #1

For those keeping score at home,

I’m already “over budget” for this bathroom.

Remember — there’s that pesky $275.40 faucet that’s en route;

here ’tis again:

faucet -- Elizabethan Classic

But wait.  There’s more.

I have already determined that it is imperative

that we I splurge on this faucet, too:

bathtub exposed pipe shower + tub filler

Exposed pipe shower + tub faucet
with watering can shower head
Signature Hardware

SO.  At this point, I dunno what I’ll do re: the light situation.

Today I’m furiously sewing Los Angeles pillows . . .

pillow -- l.a.

. . . for this pretty gal’s gallery in Los Angeles:

co-op 28 owner marci siegel

Owner Marci Siegel
Co-op 28 Gallery in Los Angeles

co-op 28

Hey! It’s their “shop dog”,
POPCORN the Dalmatian!

May I recommend an interesting article about the gallery?

* * * *

But back, once more, to my light fixture situation —

I guess I’ll just have to keep my nose on the pillow making grindstone,

keep my fingers crossed + see how “flush” I am

when it’s time to order!

Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on the light fixtures?

Is the RH light with the metal rim worth $50 more

than its almost-identical twin from PB?

Stay tuned!

Splurge v.s. Budget Light Fixtures

A new Rejuvenation lighting catalog landed in my mailbox yesterday,

which means I have a brand, new light fixture crush.

Take a look  — it’s called the Grandview:

Do you love its exposed pipe industrial-ness half as much as I do?

It reminds me of my shower faucet crush of just yesterday:

Swoon!  Yes, it’s a splurge,

but it’s a splurge I’m willing to make!

$ $ $ $ $

* * * *

But back to my light fixture.

Here’s my new crush with 3 shades:

rejuvenation light fixutre -- industrial wit 3 copper shades

$595. – $640.

This would be perfect

to hang above our kitchen island,

if only it wasn’t so spendy!

I don’t think that I can swing this splurge

unless I can start sewing pillows ’round-the-clock,

like these I just finished yesterday . . .


New dresser — fun photo op.
Sorry for the bad light.


. . . which are en route to here:

* * * *

Since I can’t sew pillows night + day,

I shall opt for my first, more affordable choice for kitchen island lighting —

this schoolhouse pendant from Home Depot:

home depot schoolhouse pendant #2

A mere $89.97 each

Nobody loves the classic schoolhouse light more than I do.

home depot schoolhouse pendant #1These are in stock at Home Depot,

so be sure + have a look-see the next time you’re there!

They have a very swell selection of budget-priced pendants,

+ I’ll bet you can find one that fits your décor!

home depot schoolhouse pendant #3

Meanwhile, how about you?

What’s the craziest splurge you made?

$ $ $ $ $

Was it worth it?

Exposed Shower + Tub Faucet Obsession

The Fed Ex boy brought this yesterday:

Signature Hardware

Signature Hardware

It’s the New York widespread faucet in chrome,

it’s going in our soon-to-be powder room.

I love its cross handles with the porcelain HOT + COLD.

When I showed it to G.O. just prior to ordering,

he was not amused + insisted I was paying too much.


This is his “I’m displeased” face.

But people.

This thing is so heavy,

I think even he was impressed!

* * * *

At any rate, it’s here,

+ soon it will be in this marble sink:

bathroom vanity top from pottery barn

Pottery Barn

I ordered it the same day that I ordered the faucet.

But seriously — how scary is ordering marble, sight unseen?

surprised boy

Have I gone MAD?!?!

Fingers crossed I’ll like it.  Stay tuned.

* * * *

Fingers also crossed the color of the marble will “play nicely”

with the white of its intended vanity:



G.O. picked this up at IKEA this afternoon.

It’s the HEMNES/ODENSVIK sink cabinet.

I love its plain Jane, Shaker style,

but more than that, its 2 drawers:

bathroom vanity -- IKEA with open drawer

Much better than the black hole

we now have!

under the sink mess

Disclaimer: this is not our mess.

Ours is probably worse.

* * * *

But I digress.

Let’s look at something a lot more pleasant,

like this:

bathtub exposed pipe shower + tub filler

It’s called an exposed shower + tub faucet

with a watering can shower head.

I just found it today,

+ I have never been more obsessed in my life!

I mean, it’s going to put our bathroom over the top!



No, I’ve not yet shared with G.O.,

but he’ll be shocked out of his senses at the price, when I do.

* * * *

Stay tuned.

Online Shopping For My Wee Self

I find shopping in stores incredibly frustrating.

Not only is my taste kind of out there,

but I am so wee-sized, it’s almost impossible

to find anything at the mall +/or stores that FITS.

Hence, you have my intense infatuation for shopping online.

* * * *

For instance, take my glasses.  Please.

Sadly, most adult-size frames make me look a little like Fearless Fly:



There are children’s frames which work . . .

glasses frames -- hello kitty pink

. . . but just say NO to Hello Kitty!

I couldn’t believe my eyes (pun intended) last year,

when I spied my current “Wolf Blitzers” . . .

wolf blitzer

. . . in the kiddie section at the Mart of Wal (who knew!?)


I still like them okay,

but lately, it seems all the hipsters on TV

are sporting something round, glasses-wise.

Have you noticed?

Anyway, this means one thing in my little world.

Time for a change.

* * * *

Good luck with THAT,” I thought to myself,

before I finally had a light bulb moment.

DUH!  If online shopping works for petite-sized jeans,

why not give it a try for children-sized glasses!?

* * * *

Here’s what I ordered, just yesterday:

children's glasses frames

These were listed at $25.95, but with a sale,

I paid less than $20!

Fingers crossed they won’t make me look too much

like a menopausal owl, but what are the odds?!

* * * *

Oh, well . . . if my bargain frames are too hiddy, there are these:

$123-ish, no waiting.

children's glasses frames -- tommy hilfiger


* * * *

Oh, + my online frames ordering was quite the rush,

but it was eclipsed just this morning,

when I went online + ordered 2 faucets + 2 sinks!


Amazing Bargain Countertops — Yay Or Nay?

SO, the January Amazing Bargain Issue of Country Living magazine is out.
It’s pretty amazing, alright — it’s one of their best, I’d say!
CL bargain issue cover
I think I was most intrigued by a bargain kitchen
in which the owners installed faux soapstone countertops.
Have a look-see for yourself, from CL‘s Facebook page:
CL kitchen with the plywood countertops
Instead of shelling out for (pricey) soapstone countertops,
fake the look with inexpensive plywood
coated in chalkboard paint
+ sealed with paste wax.
* * * *
How much does that idea rule???
(Please note those shelves + brackets; we’ll discuss them later.)
* * * *
Back to the countertops.
I was so smitten with the idea of faux soapstone
that I immediately shared with G.O.
Seems that “what rules” is in the eye of the project beholder,
as he nixed it immediately.
The humanity!
* * * *
But I digress.
While I plot to coerce him, let’s look at some soapstone kitchen counters:
absolute black granite #2
Sorry — didn’t get the source here.
soapstone counter -- kat dev
Kat Dev via Pinterest
* * * *
Perhaps you’ve noticed that both the CL kitchen + this one (above)
have similar open shelving + identical brackets.
* * * *
I found ’em for us!
Here they are, your Classic Iron Shelf Brackets
from Signature Hardware:
CL bargain issue -- shelf brackets
Talk about a bargain — these are priced at $7.95 – $11.95!
* * * *
As of this moment, I plan to use these in our own kitchen.
Please view said-same, in its current, “before” state:
Our kitchen island will end up in the approximate location of this 2x4.
Here’s my kitchen design sketch
(pardon the faintness; I didn’t realize I was going to share!)
kitchen sketch #1
As you can (barely) see,
my plans include open shelving
on at least one side of our restaurant-style range hood,
similar to the winning kitchen I shared:
soapstone counter -- kat dev
Kat Dev via Pinterest
* * * *
love it when a plan comes together!
Now, back to those faux soapstone countertops I want.
We now know that G.O. thinks they’re crazy.
What do you think?
As always, stay tuned!

Old-School New England/Americana Ralph Lauren

People.  It’s no secret how much I love IKEA.

Here’s one delightful, red + white ticking stripe reason why:

IKEA red + white bed linens

My favorite saying about IKEA is:

“Those Swedes always come through for me, with the reds + the dark blues!”

* * * *

Well . . . “those Swedes” have done it again.

This time, it’s not IKEA but Lexington Company.

lexington co. holiday collection bedroom snapshot

Have you heard of/seen them,

and better yet, of whom were you reminded

when you first spied their products?

  (More on that in a moment.)

* * * *

I found Lexington, Co. online, while surfing,

but they also have brick-and-mortar retail stores,

including this one, in East Hampton, NY:

Here’s a description of Lexington Co.,

that I found on the Curbed Hamptons website:

NEW STORE ALERT—Lexington Company, the Swedish-based lifestyle brand (considered by some “the Ralph Lauren of Europe”) has opened the doors to its first store in the United States.  Located at 73 Main Street in East Hampton, the boutique offers their “nautically-themed, American heritage inspired” items in all the relevent summertime categories—womenswear, menswear, and kidswear, as well as home goods, especially bed and bath items.  Won’t be making it to the means streets of East Hampton any time soon?  Well, they’ve just launched their US website so you can still check ’em out. [Curbed Hamptons Inbox]

Do ya think there’s a Ralph Lauren influence?  I guess so!

Especially “old-school” Ralph — my favorite!

Is it wrong?

Well, take a look.  Who do you think is my inspiration for my biz?


RedBird retail, circa 2012!


RedBird Vintage Home tote
sewn from a recycled Army tent
Circa 2012!

Please.  Look at the design I stenciled onto a primitive, old stool.

chair -- RB dairy milk stool

RB for RedBird?
Yes, it’s my shout-out to RL for Ralph Lauren!

Look!  My hand-stenciled RedBird Vintage Home pillow:


That hand-stenciled Frenchie stripe is pretty RL-esque,
+ I couldn’t love the side button closures MORE!

Vintage buttons closures.

I always use vintage buttons.

* * * *

But I digress, a little.  Back to Lexington Co.

Here’s their store in the Stockholm, Sweden airport:

From their website:

lexington co. holiday dining room

While this dining room is far busier, stuff-wise . . .

its crisp, white walls

with all the reds + dark blues

reminds me a little of Karin Blake’s folk art-filled kitchen:

karin blake's malibu kitchen with red sashes #1

. . . about which I blogged just a couple days ago

* * * *

More Lexington Co. dining rooms:

lexington co. holiday dining room #2

lexington blue dining room

Fabulous ‘merch’ I’d love to have:

lextington co. wool throwWool throws @ $175.oo

lexington co. wool throw - white with blue + redLike RL, their prices are more “spendy” than those at IKEA.

lexington co. blue striped blanket $303

Striped herringbone bead spread $303

lexington red pillowcase

Somebody else is rocking the side closure buttons!

The king-size checked duvet set in this holiday checked fabric

was originally $484.00,

but it is on sale on the website for half off, @ $242.00:

lexington co. red poplin check bedding

* * * *

So, that was kind of fun, wasn’t it?

What are your thoughts about “the Ralph Lauren of Europe”?

Are you — like me –still a fan

of the old-school Americana/New England RL?

Are you tempted to order something from Lexington Co.?

You might as well have a look-see at their fabulous website:



down to earth digs

life in and around the garden


Poppable Reviews of Books, Movies, and Beauty

Lifestyle & Design Online

Sharing our life, our style, & design online.

Hooked on Houses

A Fun Place to Get Your House Fix