Monthly Archives: July 2017

A Waterfront Saltbox House For Sale

Our late, great mom used to hop up + do household chores

during the commercials on Wheel of Fortune.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Anyway, here she is, with our dad,

sitting on the deck of the riverfront farmhouse

that we built in or around the year 2000.

doris and bob on kay's deck

So.  I honor her multi-tasking legacy by looking at houses on the bozoputer

while watching Cardinals baseball games on TV!

clydesdales at ballpark

Sadly, all the local houses on realtor.com were a tad boring,

so I looked in Wilmington, IL, (where our riverfront house was located.)

You might not think I would dig this house (below), but I do.

I’ve always loved a house with the chimney in front.

Is that weird?

chimney house exterior

The asking price’s been lowered to $149,900.

That garage door needs to be more plain Jane

+ painted a color instead of white,

+ you just know Joanna Gaines would remove the 80’s arch window topper.

How about adding a more “now” transom, instead?

Omigosh, the pastels in that room!

Pass me the white paint + get out of my way!

But back to the porch.

I also want those posts to be fatter — + maybe in pairs on either side, like here.

porch posts 2

Yes, of course I’d also love a standing seam metal roof, too!

  • * * * * *

Now let’s discuss the interior, starting with this 2-story living room:

chimney house living room with fireplace

Okay.  I really like that stone, + the hardwood floor is good, too.

I super love the vaulted ceiling.

Can we put some wood planks up there + say goodbye to the track lighting?

 We really need to beef up the mantel + add tons of woodwork, too.

chimney house living room with fireplace

Most importantly, though — that bad (more 80’s!) deck stair railing must go!

I think I’m in the mood for something in wood + iron, instead.

Check out the wainscoting surrounding this beautiful staircase!

stairs with iron

Back to my house.  Here’s a view from the second story.

chimney house living room from above

Now let’s look at a house with a similar 2-story living room.

I’m loving the wood + iron stair railing combination again,

+ speaking of Joanna Gaines — look at that shiplap!

staircase of black with shiplap

The kitchen looks about like what you’d expect.

I don’t hate the cabinets, + there are plenty of them.

chimney house kitchen stove

Let’s say goodbye to the soffit, though, + move the refrigerator elsewhere.

Maybe here?

chimney house kitchen cabs

As far as the stove is concerned,

I want to make it more of a design focal point.

Exhibit A:

wall of stove statement

Man oh Manichewitz, do I love that custom range hood!

Also, I’m saying yes to the glass uppers flanking the hood,

+ I will never grow tired of subway tile back splashes

(although I think I said that once about early Americana*

+ eagle decor*, back in the 70’s!  HA!)

*Go ask your grandmother.

The bathrooms are, again, what I would expect.

chimney house bathroom

What the heck — let’s just go straight to some Fixer Upper bathrooms for ideas.

Since the vanity cabinet is perfectly fine, let’s slap a coat of gray paint on it

+ add a pretty gray + white marble vanity top, too.

bathroom of fixer upper gray

Don’t forget the crown molding!!!

Since I couldn’t possibly have a fiberglass shower surround in my dream world,

let’s choose white subway tiles — again.

bathroom of fixer upper shower

Ix-nay on the frilly shower curtain, but I never have been much of a girlie girl.

Out back, we have a nice, spacious deck, + look at all the trees!

chimney house deck

  Just say no to mold in a real estate photo, though!

Somebody needs some Clorox + a scrubby brush!

Anyway, surprise!

It looks as though there’s a pretty wonderful balcony upstairs!

chimney house deck with balconey

Let’s give the 80’s deck rails the heave-ho, shall we?

And look!

My new house is located right next to a body of water!

chimney house river

From the looks of that H20,

I think I’m going to need to stock up on the citronella candles,

but it is waterfront, which is usually a plus.

I did some research re: which waterfront we’re discussing,

+ I think that my house is located in a community called Shadow Lakes.

The “lakes” are actually former strip mines, believe it or not.

shadow lakes logo

In southern Illinois, there are still operational, underground coal mines,

but up north, they opted to just go in from the surface + dig out the coal.

Interesting.

Here’s one more photo of my house.

That roof line makes it look a little like a modern salt box house.

+ I’ve always liked fences like that, too!

chimney house yard

 

 

 

 

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My French Mattress Cushion Obession

F I N A L L Y ! ! !

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As our porch nears its long-awaited completion,

we will soon be enjoying this kind of happiness,

found on the website Style + Design:

porch swing with rope

 How much do we LOVE this?!

Now I must do that rope trick on our own porch swing!

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Yes, we have a porch swing!

I think we bought it around 5 years ago:

Now I am officially on the hunt for a nice, soft cushion

that looks totally awesome, too!

Exhibit A, from a post from the blog Homestilio,

French Mattress Cushions 5 Ways:

french mattress on bed homestilo

Exhibits B + C:

But wait.

What kind of crazy cushions are those?  You might be wondering.

As the Homestilio blog post title says,

they are called  French mattress cushions.

Unless you’re the Ballard Designs catalog,

then they’re called farmhouse cushions:

Call them whatever you want — I’m calling them

MY LATEST (in a long line) OBSESSION!!

Take their 2-seat bench cushions, priced from $73.99 to $140.  Please.

cushion

The black check 37″ cushion, that I want for our porch,

is sadly 3″ too short for my porch swing.

But how lucky am I?!

I can buy myself a custom cushion on etsy,

starting at around $300 from Irish And Company:

french mattress striped with plaid pillow

Come ON!!  How adorable is this, for $122.76??

french mattress striped dog bed

But wait.  Aren’t you the sewing queen?  You might wonder.

Yes, I am, + luckily for me

 there are French mattress tutorials all over the place.

Here’s one, from August Blues Slipcover Studio.

I mean, look how cute their logo is!

august blues

When it comes to French mattresses, it’s all about that edge:

french mattress side close up augustblues

The French mattress cushion edge is actually a hand-stitching technique.

Furthermore, the top + bottom seams should line up to create this look:

french mattress side augustblues

  By now, I will have ripped out my stitches about 1,001 times,

in a crazy attempt to make it PERFECT!!!

Yes, while I fear that this project could render me insane,

I love them so much, I just have to give it a try!!

surprised baby

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the tutorial.

Next, there’s tufting, which doesn’t look so difficult:

french mattress completed august blues

Annnnnnd DONE!

french mattress blog white with blue stripes august blues

I’ll probably risk everything + give it a try.

As always, thanks for reading, + stay tuned!


HGTV Bungalow Reno

Now that we have Xfinity On Demand,

I’ve been discovering all sorts of unknown, random shows on HGTV,

most recently, one called Bungalow Rehab.

Since I love bungalows, + our last house was a bungalow,

you can imagine how excited I was!

Ours:

bungalow front with flags

The before bungalow on Bungalow Reno:

bungalow before

The women who did the reno — Susannah Stoltz + Carolina Johnson:

bungalow girls

 Here’s the show description from HGTV’s website:

Friends and business partners Susannah Stoltz and Carolina Johnson are taking old, forgotten bungalows and giving them a total makeover in their Pacific Northwest city of Spokane, Washington. From wrought iron chandeliers to salvaged cabinets and old driftwood, these vintage hardware-loving ladies are salvaging anything they find, creating beautiful designs with reclaimed materials and giving these classic homes a brand-new life.

*****

So.  Let’s discuss!

First, the living room, before.

Our bungalow had an arch between the living + dining rooms, too.

bungalow living room before

The first thing I notice is that they’ve blown out the kitchen wall.

Love that there’s yet another arched doorway back there.

bungalow living room after

Not to kill anybody’s buzz right now,

but did you ever wonder if the open concept thing

is going to fall out of fashion?

Trends come + go in home decor, after all.

*****

When we’ve finished pondering that, let’s get back to the bungalow.

The dark + dingy staircase, before:

bungalow staircase before

A much brighter + fresher after:

bungalow staircase after

Have those stair risers been stenciled?

Perhaps I was powdering my nose + missed it.

(I’m thinking of stenciling our front porch floor, so stay tuned.)

*****

The before kitchen was downright nasty, as they often are:

bungalow kitchen before

The kitchen afters tend to be the stars of a renovation,

+ this one’s pretty stellar, wouldn’t you agree?

bungalow kitchen after

I love the 2 colors of the cabs, the stacked uppers + the slide-in range.

Is that the IKEA farmhouse sink?  It looks like ours.

Extra points to the ladies

for using a vintage piece of furniture as the kitchen island, too!

*****

Meanwhile, the bedrooms are charming enough.

Check out the black door!

That’s something we did in the Dutch colonial

+ about which I blogged, here.

bungalow bedroom small with black door

I love their painted floor + that sweet (navy blue!) painted bed, too.

*****

Hold on to something, though!

Things start getting exciting again in the upstairs bathroom:

IMG_1184

Haven’t we all seen + loved the old piece of furniture

that’s been repurposed into a vanity?

IMG_1181

Love it, love the chunky sink + the (barely visible) cross-handle brass faucet.

How cool is it when the bathroom faucet comes out of the wall?!

NEXT HOUSE TO-DO LIST!

*****

But wait.

What’s going on there, on the floor?

IMG_1182

Call it a Swiss cross, call it a plus sign, call it anything you want,

but I am calling this floor brilliant! . . .

. . . which leads us to yet another moment of pondering.

Will those poor homeowners suffer from tile remorse in 10 years,

 when the cross thing is no longer a thing?

*****

Anyway, as “floored” as I was when I spied that floor,

I went searching on for more cross tiles on Pinterest.

Here are 2:  (sorry, I don’t have the sources)

red cross shower wall

Well, what do you think?

red cross shower wall with box

I think I like that first one,

as you can tell it fits in with the industrial style of the bathroom.

*****

And finally, let’s take a look at the bungalow exterior’s after:

bungalow after

Good job!

Did you notice that the house next door is nearly identical?

Coincidentally, our house is nearly the same

as our neighbors to the west.

You see that a lot, actually.

It had to be cost effective for the builder to reuse 1 set of plans.

*****

Back to HGTV!

I don’t think we’re going to see more Bungalow Reno, sadly,

as the HGTV website showed only the 1 episode.  Sad!

 

 


Powder Room Highs + Lows

I recently shared the story of our powder room’s paneled walls,

which involved a lot of masking tape + a lot of poly molding from Home Depot.

powder room tape

Soon enough, everything was given a coat of medium gray paint:

Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.

Check out the awesome before + after!

I know!  How great!

 All that molding gave the newly created room instant age!

Here it is, before — that space was once a short hallway:

powder room before

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IMG_1134

I love how the carrera marble hexagon floor tiles

coordinate with the Flagstone paint!

IMG_1103

The carrera marble is repeated in the vanity top from Pottery Barn,

which I think has been discontinued:

IMG_1108

I chose the New York widespread faucet

from Signature Hardware, $259.95:

IMG_1112

IMG_1113

Who remembers the wonderful Martha Stewart Everyday at K-Mart?

loved everything — from home decor items, like this enamel soap dish,

to garden goods + holiday collections!

The striped mug is an oldie Ralph Lauren pattern, Farmstead Ticking,

found online at Replacements, Ltd.

It’s not currently available, but I love this adorable candlestick, $11.95:

Hurry!  There are only 4 left!

farmstead ticking ralph lauren

Back to the powder room!

Our mirror started its life paired with a beautiful dresser,

which we refurbished + sold.

powder room mirror before

I briefly considered painting it

but couldn’t bear to cover that pretty wood grain!

Our pretty porcelain light fixture

was discontinued from Pottery Barn, + I found it on eBay.

Don’t you love the vintage-style cloth-covered cord?

Speaking of vintage, I hung these blue transfer ware plates

above the sweetest blue shelf that I found in an etsy shop:

IMG_1122

powder room blue shelf

But wait.  We need to talk.

I am on the fence about those plates.

I love them, but they just don’t look that great here.

But look at the plates I hung in our main bath!

I couldn’t love them more!

bathroom -- mine with wallpaper

I can’t believe I did this,

but I guess I assumed that if I loved plates in the main bath,

I’d love them in my powder room, too!

don’t.

I don’t know what, if anything, to hang there.

surprised baby

If only Joanna Gaines made house calls!

I mean, how in the world am I going to find a designer

who speaks my design language,

way out here in the middle of nowhere?

Well, check this out.

My friend, Claudia, told me about this thing called Havenly.

It’s an online source of interior designers + decorators.

You can read about how it works on their website.

I think I am going to take their design style quiz, later today.

How much fun will that be?

As always, stay tuned!

IMG_1128

We even painted some unfinished wood switch + outlet plate covers from Menards:

IMG_1129

See you next time!

 


COOL STUFF I WANT

I shan’t lie — I’m having way too much fun,

finding all sorts of cool stuff for our canned ham camper!

Exhibit A:

IMG_0844 (1)

You can read about some of my most recent ‘finds’ in this blog post.

Meanwhile, let’s have a quick look-see at what I’ve been coveting this week,

from Best Made Co.

canned ham best made logo

This business was started in 2009 by a guy who wanted a better ax.

That’s right.  An ax!  (Although they spell it ‘axe’.)

HA!  Who wants to bet he was the original hipster!!??

hipster with an ax

 I searched for ‘hipster with an ax’ just now,

+ the very first link was Best Made’s website!

Not kidding!

Anyway, fast forward to today, + the business has evolved

into kind of a 21st Century version of the old Eddie Bauer Home stores.

(LOVED Eddie Bauer Home stores!)

But I digress.  Back to Best Made.

Here’s a description of the business, from their website:

We equip customers with high quality products and dependable information they can use and pass down. We empower people to get outside, reconnect with their hands and nature, and in doing so, embark on a life of great adventure.

WELL, YEAH!  I’M IN!

I really like this enamel sign, $28:

canned ham camp is home sign $28

Enamel signs are cool, as are enamel key chains, $14:

canned ham camp key chain $14

We’re going to need a first aid kit,

+ why not get an awesomely-designed one, $58:

canned ham first aid kit $58

HELL-O!  They had me at red.

Here’s one that’s even cooler, $98:

canned ham first aid kit $98

It occurs to me that I could make us a First Aid kit,

using my own Thirst Aid stencil  (check it out!) + a metal box with a lid.

DSC09921

All I’d have to do is change the ‘TH‘ in THIRST to an ‘F’ !

Stay tuned!

 


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