Monthly Archives: February 2016

Real Rooms?

I love the Oscars!

I always have!

Last night’s show did not disappoint.

My favorite movie of last year, Spotlight, won best picture:

spotlight-2015-directed-by-tom-mccarthy-movie-review

Lady Gaga’s pants/dress combination looked great on the red carpet,

+ her moving performance of her song Until It Happens To You made me cry:

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALS

Singer Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

She’s so FAB!

But enough about that.

I was kind of stopped in my tracks this morning

when I saw this photo on Remodelista’s blog:

books  the lodge at gallow green nyc

From The Lodge At Gallow Green in NYC

Does that library nook look inviting, or what?

Plus, it looks real.

If I do say so, I think my bookshelves look real, too:

DSC08324

I re-did them this past weekend (FUN!) + will share photos soon.

But what on earth do I mean by real?

DSC08890

I mean they’re books that were carefully chosen + which have meaning to me.

Yes, of course, I take care when displaying them,

+ this, to me, is very important:

A home with books is way cooler than one without them.

Even so, the way they look is secondary.

Or is it?

 Check this out:

books -- farm chicks

Remember this photo?

It’s in the Farm Chicks gal’s kitchen, all decorated for Christmas.

I remember seeing it in Country Living magazine a couple years ago.

She covered all those books herself!

books farm chicks 2

 Such a statement!

WOW, it looks great, + WOW, I could never pull that off!

Now let’s have a look-see at another, equally beautiful library.

I’m sure you recognize it from Fixer Upper’s new bed + breakfast:

fixer upper library 3

 Visually stunning!

But I hate to be such a fun hater, but here I go.

Who on earth is really going to sit there + read any of those pretty books?

Nobody.

fixer upper library 2

Oh, gosh.

This is a topic for another post but one about which I ponder

+ ponder often, frankly.

Rooms to look at or rooms to live in?

And am I the only one?

Stay tuned!


Houses To Save

Today I am multi-tasking by watching House Hunters on TV

while make-believe house hunting on realtor.com

Fun for me!

Let’s see what’s for sale in our town.

First up, here’s a house that we actually toured a few years ago.

redbird blog -- cape cod with large round window top

Hey, the 80’s called — they want their arch-topped window back!

I could see us living here,  because it reminds me of  a Cape Cod,

one of my favorite house styles.

See for yourself:

cape cod exterior

Hooked On Houses blog

cape cod bob vila exterior

Bob Vila online

redbird blog -- cape cod with large round window top

Okay, okay — so this is a bad 80’s Cape Cod.

How much fun would it be to bring an unloved house into this century?

But first, it needs to be asked:

WHAT WOULD CHIP + JOANNA DO?

chip and joanna

What a coincidence that one of their most recent projects

involved an 80’s house with arch-topped windows galore!

fixer upper white brick house before

Bye, bye windows!  Hello, 21st Century!

I was really floored at this major change.

No doubt I would have just tried to settle

+ make do with the existing windows.

(That never ends well, by the way.)

But wait, there’s more.

Here are a couple other houses in our town that I want to re-do.

This one’s a foreclosure:

redbird blog -- 2 story house on benton exterior

Please!  That bay alone makes me want this house!

I can’t imagine the prettiness that’s underneath all that naughty siding!

Speaking of naughty siding, imagine this house without it:

Iredbird blog-- 2 story house with eat in kitchen

And without its inappropriate casement windows + plastic shutters.

I’d buy it just for this charming breakfast nook:

redbird blog -- 2 story house with eat in kitchen

Adorable!

Oh, + I’ve always liked arches in old bathrooms, too:

red bird blog -- 2 story house w eat in kitchen bath

That arch is definitely a keeper, but those tiles would have to go.

In their place, let’s imagine something like this:

bathroom for blog

bathroom for the blog two

Thanks for house shopping with me!

Oh, the houses we’d save, if only we had all the money in the world!

 

 

 


Dueling Tile + Artwork On Fixer Upper

It’s Wednesday, which means I must be mulling over last night’s Fixer Upper.

AND . . . yes, I AM!

(These photos are from Joanna’s blog: https://magnoliamarket.com/blog/)

fixer uper bean house front exterior

We’re all on board with this charming house’s being awesome, no?

They don’t focus too much attention on their landscaping on the show,

but they always knock it out of the park, + I always love it.

The curves!

 Going to have curves out front

when we finally get to landscaping here at the Dutch colonial.

But I digress.

Let’s go inside:

fixer upper bean house kitchen tiles

And . . . welcome to what I am going to call DUELING TILES!

Yes or no?

First, let’s look at the kitchen’s back splash — painted tiles.

fixer upper bean house kitchen tiles close up

Since it’s (my favorite color) blue + vintage looking, I vote yes,

but not a very enthusiastic yes.

I fear they will be out of style sooner or later or I will tire of them.

I prefer the 2nd dueling painted tiles  — those on the bathroom floor:

fixer upper bean house bathroom floor

I really love the painted tiles they chose for here.

I think it looks a little like a quilt pattern.

fixer upper bean house bathroom floor and tub

Thumbs up!

But wait.  There’s more.

I wonder how well were you paying attention last night.

Did anyone else notice these stunning botanical prints in the dining room?

DSC09247

(These photos were taken by me, off the TV screen.)

The prints were shown during the evening

when Joanna was finishing the staging of the house.

DSC09248

I was instantly smitten, + not just with the botanicals.

They were framed in such an unusual + interesting way!

Looks like each print was sandwiched between 2 panes of glass.

Any-hoo, at the end of the show, I noticed the prints had gone missing.

fixer upper bean house dining area

In their place, Joanna chose some galvanized metal containers,

with what looks like faux greenery “planted” inside them.

fixer upper bean house dining area buffet

I wonder what she was thinking.

Were the prints too attention grabbing?

Would they have strayed too far from her go-to neutral design?

Maybe that rug might be the only strong item she wanted to use.

(Oh, + of course, that is a gorgeous herringbone brick floor!)

I wish to have said herringbone brick in our front sidewalk!

But I digress, once again.

So, anyway, did anybody else notice those prints?

Am I the only one who prefers the botanicals to the metal containers?

Vote early, vote often!

a. botanical prints

or b. tin containers of faux greenery?

DSC09247

Yes or no: painted tile kitchen back splash?

fixer upper bean house kitchen tiles

Yes or no: painted tile bathroom floor?

fixer upper bean house bathroom floor

Thank you for voting,

+ as always, see you next Wednesday for more Fixer Upper chit chat!


2 Islands, No Waiting

I’m assuming that we all watched last night’s Fixer Upper episode on HGTV.

G.O. tried to watch but couldn’t stand all the Chip hi-jinks,

so he excused himself + took refuge in another room.

But that’s not what I wish to type about.

This is:

magnolia with 2 islands third

2 islands, no waiting.

It think it’s genius!

Here’s kind a blueprint-style sketch of the before + after:magnolia with two kitchens

Seems to me that I’ve seen this done before.

I tried to find Pinterest images of 2 islands in 1 kitchen, but came up empty.

Anyway, here’s a closer look-see:

magnolia with two islands

The twin islands will work wonders

for the traffic flow between the kitchen + living + dining spaces,

 more so if there was one very long island

Like Joanna did in the French country kitchen, here:

magnolia long island

Is it just me, or does anybody else think “too many footsteps!”

from the stove or the sink, all the way around the island, to the refrigerator?

surprised boy

Seriously, I noticed it right away, + I felt sad!

Perhaps the homeowners + Joanna were sad, too.

magnolia long island 2

Perhaps Joanna then opted to break up the kitchen space in last night’s house

with 2 islands instead of 1 airport runway.

Nope.

 She said that the idea for twin islands was the single man homeowner’s!

Well, kudos to him, then!

Meanwhile — here’s a look at his living space:

magnolia with 2 island living room

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I have always wanted a room with 2 couches facing each other

+ a pair of baseball glove leather chairs.

Also — did you notice the gray woodwork with the white walls?

Next house, for sure.

Stay tuned!


Who Knew? Black Staircases!

So.  During last night’s football game,

I happily surfed Pinterest for hours,

stopping only to watch TV during the commercials.

Did you do the same?

couch eating on

I was on the hunt to find photos of black staircases.

As crazy as that might sound, there were 12’s of them!

Exhibit A:

gray stairs with boy

This all black plus natural wood rules my little world!

  I had a light bulb moment about black stairs yesterday,

not long after I blogged about the new staircase in the latest Fixer Upper episode.

Here ’tis, in all its before + after glory:

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

Wouldn’t the X’s be more attractive

if they were smaller instead of all squooshed out?

Plus, that style, while cool, is ultra trendy

+ is going to look dated sooner than one might think, I fear.

fixer upper x staircase 2

Let’s be real — those railings probably cost a small fortune,

not to mention their perfectly good staircase ending up in a landfill!

Wasn’t there some way to ramp up the style of the existing granny chic stairs?

Exhibit B:

:gray steps with wood whatever remodelista

More of the natural wood tones, this time with white baseboards.

Plus that herringbone wood floor is so beautiful!

Exhibit C:

gray staircase simply grove

Here we have everything painted dark gray,

which works, in my opinion, because of the natural wood steps.

Oh, + look at that light fixture.

Black + antique brass = stunning!

Exhibit D:

gray stairs turnstiledecor

Again, with the gray — and lots of it,

looking fantastic with the natural wood steps.

Exhibit E:

gray steps remodelista

Hey, how crazy is the door’s being painted out like the wainscoting?

Frankly, I’m on the fence.

Check out the brass, though!  Winning!

Exhibit F:

gray stairs paper scissorsorange

More amazing black wainscoting,

+ what are our thoughts about the stair runners?

I vote yes!

Exhibit G:

gray stairs decorush

More wonderful wainscoting, but look — they’ve painted the risers white.

Exhibit H:

Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Here the spindles + baseboards are left white.

Aren’t you crushing on that gallery wall + their picture light fixtures?

Exhibit I:

gray stairs my domaine

Exhibit H:

gray black stairs desire to inspire

How Goth!

But I “keed”.  I think it’s amazing!

Exhibit I:

gray stairs roger hazard lonny mag

 Yes, that’s Roger Hazard of A+E’s Flip This House fame.

He + his husband, Chris, live in Sharon Springs, NY —

the same town as the Beekman Boys!

 It’s really no surprise that they painted their staircase dark gray;

look at the exterior of their dark gray house!

black house of roger hazard two

black house of roger hazard

Now, where were we, alphabet-wise, for our photos?

I dunno, but look.  These are the last 2, I promise!

And they are of the staircase of our own Dutch colonial!

DSC09181

DSC09182

Stay tuned for what we will do with it!

 

 


My Groovy Postal Sorter’s Groovy Re-Do

After spending countless hours on Pinterest,

swooning at, among other things, 12’s of epic shelf stylings . . .

DSC09154

. . . I decided it was the perfect moment to re-do my old postal sorter.

Okay, so  maybe the moment wasn’t perfect,

as you can see, the sun was definitely not shining.

Oops!

Let’s continue anyway, shall we?

Here’s my pair of vintage corbels that I bought last summer:

DSC09155

I considered adding my pair of black urns, but I stopped myself.

 Is less really more?

While we ponder that cosmic query, here are more groovies:

DSC09156

I tried to keep the the theme “old” + “white”.

HA!  Like me!  Old + white!

Okay.

Let’s see how I did.

Look at this silhouette that I made.

That’s our grandson + a photo frame from Pottery Barn!

DSC09157

Next we have a framed photo of my family,

snapped on the porch of our grandparents’ house,

way back in the summer of ’60.

I am on the bottom step, at left, with my sister Kathy holding Lisa.

DSC09159

I’ve chosen to display a couple of snowmen in a salt cellar,

with epsom salt filling in for snow.

DSC09160

You can’t tell, but the white snowman is actually a window scraper.

Our dad owned a Standard Oil gas station in the 50’s,

+ I s’poze this was a give-a-way to his best customers.

I’ll have to take another photo to share with the class.

Meanwhile, here’s my favorite of all my glass containers:

DSC09161

It’s a wonderfully heavy canister from Pottery Barn.

Since I love baseball so much, I’ve filled it with old baseballs.

I love that slender beaker because it’s glass + red — 2 things I love!

This vintage wooden tray (below) formerly displayed smalls in my old booth:

DSC09162

These days it displays my Kay redware plate (Workshop of David T. Smith),

my most precious photo of my sons,

+ a GOOD plate from Diane Keaton’s old collection at Bed, Bath + Beyond.

Quick query:

Does that penny rug runner scream “Granny Chic” or just plain granny?

While we ponder that question, let’s view this bowl,

one of my favorites:

DSC09168

Isn’t it wonderful?

It’s Fioriware, from Zanesville, Ohio,

from their “Gingham” collection.

Okay.

 In addition to displaying a whole lot o’ my stuff . . .

DSC09154

. . . my postal sorter also serves as our home office.

That explains the printer (at lower left),

+ this wonderful Dachshund tape dispenser!

DSC09169

How cute!

It was given to me by my niece + her awesome 4 children!

Here’s my sister, Kathy (a.k.a. Nana) with one of her grands:

Kathy and Tressa @ swim meet

No fair!  She looks like she’s 20!

Thanks for viewing; as always, it means a lot.


X Designs + Stairs

Yesterday I heaped lavish praise on this past week’s Fixer Upper project.

Its exterior makeover was epic.

fixer upper white brick house before

Perfection!

The interiors were just as beautifully done, of course.

Let’s enjoy the new kitchen, paying close attention to the X as a design element:

fixer upper x motif in kitchen

Both the island + pendants above it are sporting their own X motif.

I love it!

But wait — there’s more.  Look at the staircase re-do.

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

Once again, there’s the X motif.

Here’s another before + after look-see:

fixer upper x staircase 2

I think we can all agree that the new stairs really nailed the X motif.

Do we love it, or what?

Of course I do, as I have always been a fan of the X design.

Here are some of my favorite photos of X’s:

x motif  centsational girl

Centsational Girl

x motif 3

x motif porch 2

Hooked On Houses

 Excellent, am I right?

 Now please view a most adorable cottage right here in my hometown!

x motif porch

Need I say that I love it + want it?

The only negative, for me, is at the railings of the porch steps.

See how the distance between the posts is wider that those at the top of the steps?

The X is getting too stretched out!

And yes, that’s my only criticism of those new stairs in the Fixer Upper house —

stretched out X’s going up the stairs.

See for yourself:

fixer upper x staircase 4

See the X at the bottom of the steps?  It’s cute, right?

But the X on the railings go upstairs gets stretched too wide.

fixer upper x staircase 3

My thoughts are that if the vertical posts were closer together,

the X’s would be more pleasing.

How about 3 X’s going up the stairs, instead of 2?

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

What are your thoughts?


Fixer Upper + Me + Scallops

I’m going to assume that if you read my blog,

you also watch HGTV’s Fixer Upper show.

You also love just about everything that they do,

especially the transformation of the exterior of this house:

fixer upper white brick house before

Wouldn’t you know it,

there are so many before houses  in our town’s new-house neighborhood.

No offense, homeowners, but it’s kind of a buzz kill

when we’re riding around, looking at houses, as one does.

But let’s turn our frowns upside-down!

Let’s go inside this beautiful home , for another major LIKE by me.

Look at that darling white children’s table.

Can you guess?

fixer upper scallop kid table

fixer upper scallop tableHere’s a hint:

S C A L L O P S !

scallop basket liner hem bunny williams ballard design

Bunny Williams baskets for Ballard Design — 3 / $199

I mean, who cares how granny they are?

They’re adorable!

Ditto for this charming ottoman:

scallop hem ottoman sewafineseam

 Sew A Fine Seam

Guess what!

We have an ottoman that’s just like this, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, check out this charmer (ha — a pun — “check out”!)

scallop hem check slipcover

The Budget Decorator

And now, for those who are sewing-challenged, this fun project:

scallops painted wall everyday-is-a-holiday

Every.Day.Is.A.Holiday

But people.  Look at this:

scallops on metal range hood midwest living

Midwest Living magazine

Our own kitchen awaits its range hood:

I know that G.O. could make us one of these!

Here ’tis again:

scallops on metal range hood midwest living

Wonderful!

And now, for some full-blown granny:

scallops above kitchen thebudgetdecorator

I rest my case.

 

 


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