Monthly Archives: August 2017

Sea Side Maine Charmer

Is anyone out there following For The Love Of Old Houses on Facebook?

That sounds like it would be right up our alley, doesn’t it?

Sadly, most of the featured homes are just too large or too grand,

+ I just can’t see myself living in them.

Sad!

But wait.  I need to get U-Haul on the phone,

because I am totally ready to move into today’s ‘Old House’!

OF COURSE, IT’S IN MAINE!

Maine is where the charming sea side homes are!

Let’s see what you think.

maine house front

They had me at the shingle exterior,

the steeply pitched, saltbox roof line, all those windows,

the twiggy stair hand rail, the hydrangeas . . .

maine house front closer

. . . the sweet window box, the lean-to entrance with the ‘grandpa’ screen door.

Notice, too, that where the second story shingles meet the first,

they flare just a bit.

I love little details like that, don’t you?

Speaking of  love, wow oh wow, that living/dining room!

maine house living room with dining room

Obviously, that view, that wall o’ windows  + the exposed beams are ooh la la,

+ I’m also loving the furnishings.

The scale of that sectional is perfect for its space, is it not?

A small-ish room with ginormous furniture makes me cross.

But people.  Please look closely at that floor.

It’s painted the prettiest shade of blue with white stripes!

You’ll have to excuse me for a sec, because I am going to swoon!

maine house living room looking to the sea

Just between us,

I am plotting + planning how I’ll paint the floor of our front porch (finally!)

It will be the same shade of gray as our new steps,

but it can’t just be plain Jane, can it?

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No.  It can not.

I’ve been toying with possible buffalo checks or stenciled tiles,

+ so now I’ve added stripes into my possible choices.

After all, you can never go wrong with stripes.

Please notice the striped area rug, below.

How I love it when an area rug is used to anchor a seating area, like this:

maine house living room TV

Now we know how the TV set’s been incorporated, + I approve!

That coffee table looks fantastic, doesn’t it?

I love the natural wood with all that blue + white paint!

Please.  That kitchen.

maine house kitchen

I think the stainless range hood is very simple + perfection.

Notice the art work that’s leaning on top of those counter tops.

 about which I am currently obsessing!

maine house kitchen

Are they concrete?

I think so, although they could be zinc, which would also rule  my world.

Of course, we all love the trendy open shelving + restaurant-style faucet,

but look at that huge, rectangular sink + that under-counter skirt!

maine house kitchen zink

SO WACKY!

I mean that in the best possible sense.

The older I get, the more I wish to make what I call wacky decor choices.

Sadly, I fear that our house is not nearly wacky enough!

More on that, later.

Let’s look at the pantry doors.

maine house pantry doors

Some of the comments were not favorable (too rustic!),

re: those chippy, recycled doors, but I disagree!

They are FAB, people (+ I also love the large, black clock!)

Of course, the bathroom is as charming as all get-out,

+ I am wondering how I might incorporate the long shelf into ours.

maine house bathroom shelf and striped shower curtain

The bedroom.

The vaulted, wood-clad ceiling, the beams, the gable window, the view —

they’re all stellar, BUT THE FLOORS!!!

maine house bedroom door

Painted + spattered floors like this are/were a ‘thing’ New England,

+ I, for one, think they should be a ‘thing’ all over the U.S.!

Across the room, there’s the cutest, little dresser, ever,

+ a small scale slip covered chair.  ADORABLE!

maine house bedroom windo

And, in closing, let’s have another look-see at the fantastic view.

maine house sail boats

One of the reasons that New England is so charming would be all the sailboats!

I shan’t risk hurting the feelings of any jet ski enthusiasts who read my blog,

but let me say that I think the jet ski is the antithesis of the sailboat.

Our beloved G.O. loves the jet ski.  Oops.

cats fighting

Let’s focus, instead, on something more pleasant.

They’re finally back + waiting for me at the grocery store!

affy tapple

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Lauren Liess On HGTV

So.  Flash back to just a few days ago.

Remember when we were all psyched about designer Lauren Liess’ HGTV pilot?

They named it Best House On The Block.

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Her book is called HABITAT / A Field Guide To Decorating.

You can buy a signed copy (it’s good) on her website.

HABITAT COVER

I just went to her website, but there was no mention of whether HGTV

was going to pick them up for an entire season.

While we wait for good news, let’s look at + judge my bad photos of the TV screen!

Here are the lucky homeowners:

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Their 60’s brick ranch was in a neighborhood filled with identical brick ranches.

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They had $60 grand to spend on their re-do, + here’s what they were getting:

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I’m always surprised at the amount of money that’s allotted for painting on HGTV.

$5,000?  Really?

That’s why you do the painting YOURSELVES, you whippersnappers!

Seriously.  I am going to insist that you get off my lawn.

*****

But first, this, speaking of paint:

 

Raise your hand if you knew they were going to paint their brick.

That makes G.O. cross, but I’m usually on board.

More on this, later.

*****

I failed to take many before  or during snapshots, because who cares, really?

Ha!  I “kid”!

Here’s one before look at the back door + stairway to the basement.

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Lauren was able to level that area by reversing the basement steps!

Genius!

Here’s a good look at it in the after floor plan:

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In real life:

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You can also see that they removed the wall between the kitchen + family room.

How I love the black cabs with the warm wood counter tops!

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Everything’s so wonderfully staged!

THAT GINORMOUS WALL O’ WINDOWS!

Yes, it’s unconventional to put the stove under the windows,

but I think those are fixed + not made to open.

WOW, that’s a stunning stove, isn’t it?

The exhaust fan is probably along the back.

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Did all this black + warm wood remind you of this house boat from Fixer Upper?

If you’d like to see more of it, check out my blog post devoted to it.

fixer upper boat after

The island is custom made with old barn wood.

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Lauren + her husband, David, went to a reclaimed lumber business in Virginia.

The boards they chose came from an old barn that was built just after the Civil War.

Come ON, though!

Look at her!  How stylish is she?

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Back to the island:

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Wait.  What is that artwork in the family room?

Lauren foraged for botanicals in the homeowner’s wooded back yard,

gathering enough to press, frame + hang multiples in a grid.

This is one of her signature “looks”, + I love it!

 

Here is a view across that new basement staircase,

from the new dining room.

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Homeowner hubby, David, is inspecting the new shelves

Lauren designed for their daughter’s toys:

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The couple already owned the round Saarenin “tulip” table,

+ Lauren added a few pieces to make the dining room complete.

I’m glad to see that pairs of lamps are still a thing.

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Here’s a photo of the after front exterior.

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Some asbestos was discovered in the kitchen,

+ it cost $3000 to be removed.

As you can see, they took that amount from the furnish + style fund.

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I really loved the show, didn’t you?

Fingers crossed there will be more episodes!


Gotta Love Frenchie House Numbers

So.  Our front porch is almost finished.

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I blogged about said same earlier in the week.

We don’t have hand rails yet, but perhaps G.O. will work on them today.

fingers crossed

Anyway, methinks it’s now time for our house numbers.

Okay, I know this is goofy, but we already have 2 different sets of them.

We just don’t know where they are.

HA!  We’re such losers!

Whatever.

I may not even remember what our “lost” house numbers looked like (I don’t),

but who cares?

I found some that I like better, inside my favorite mag:

country living cover september 2017

I shan’t mince words:

It’s a good issue — go buy it.

Here’s what I found on CL page 85,

4″ x 6″ enamel steel number signs from Kaufman Mercantile!

They’re my favorite color!  — dark blue!

numbers for house

So Frenchie!  Literally.

From Kaufman Mercantile’s online shopping site:

The family-owned company that makes these enamel house plates started in 1905, but you can trace its heritage of enamel-making back to the 1830s. At the turn of the 20th-century, the founder opened a small factory on the north coast of France and began producing decorative enamel objects, signs, and kitchenware. His great grandson continues to offer these items using the same methods as over a century ago.

I know!!  How cool, right??

Also very cool is that the numbers are on sale right now:

Were: $20.40 each, Now: $12.24 each.

number 1 for house

 I actually did some math this morning,

+ for our house numbers (we have 3), our cost would be $37.72!

  • *****

You’ll have to trust me on this one, but that’s a real bargain,

considering the prices of these dark blue beauties, 

from a Danish company, Ramsign:

number blue oval

Engelshom 9″ x 5.5″ @ $79.00

I’ve been such a fan of these signs,

but just today I learned that they’re from Denmark, not France.

That’s still cool.

Anyway, here’s the Danish company founder, Nick Brandt:

ramsign owner

Here’s how he describes his business:

Our Metropolitan house numbers are the quintessential classic northern European porcelain enamel sign. The white and blue single-trimmed signs are imbued with a rich history, dating back to 19th century Europe. Today, we bring over 150 years of tradition to your doorstep.

number blue

Lilleborg 8.5″ x 4″ @$69.00

*****

But Kay!  you’re asking.

What about all the grays + blacks

you’ve chosen for that front porch of yours?

number house black

Havreholm 7.5″ x 5″ @$69.00

Okay.  I think I like this one better than the blue!

surprised baby

Perhaps G.O. will find those missing house numbers

while I continue ponderng the enamel ones.

Stay tuned!


Finally! Porch Steps!

It’s August already!

What am I doing, still thinking of new plants + containers to buy?

I’m obsessing about these topiaries!

Blue+Spruce+Globe+on+Std

 

How sweet would they look inside a pair of these urns?

urn and pedestal charcoal

So what’s with all this landscaping dreaming,

so close to the end of summer?

Here’s what:

We’re finally getting stairs for our front porch!

This means we can now safely plant things next to them,

+ let’s be real.

Is that not the most up front + important spot in our entire yard?

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OMIGOSH!  LET’S DO THIS!

Calm down — back to those porch steps.

Here they are, in progress, just a few days ago:

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A few days later, they’re still unfinished

but are sporting their new lattice “skirts” on each side.

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So cute! — + matching the skirts underneath the rest of our porch:

G.O. started painting the new stair treads yesterday.

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It was a challenge, as it always is, coming up with the perfect color.

Yes, I chose gray, but not just any gray.

It has to “play nicely with” (a.k.a. complement) all the other grays of our house,

most especially those near the new steps,

on the foundation’s stones + the lattice.

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By no means do I mean that I want all the grays to match.

No way!

In my world, contrast is often more important than matching.

Since I really want the stair treads + porch floor to “pop” (a.k.a. contrast),

 I decided they needed to be fairly dark.

Here’s the paint color I chose:

Knight’s Armor from Pittsburgh Paints.

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Whoa.  That’s DARK! — isn’t it?

Disclaimer:  I really feared that it was too dark.  Yikes.

My instinct was to forge ahead, though.

In the past, I’ve had remorse when I settled on a safer, lighter color

because I’d been too timid to go really dark.

Not this time!

Let’s see how those treads look, in place:

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People.  I have only envisioned this bit of happiness for years!

It’s like I’m dreaming!

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Notice the porch ceiling.

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G.O. has started stripping the old paint off the existing bead board,

+ we’ll repaint it a pale blue.

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I like that light fixture (something discontinued from Pottery Barn),

but we’re thinking of replacing it with an outdoor ceiling fan.

Dunno yet.

Next, we’ll need some stair railings + posts + stuff.

Here’s what we have, at left, + here’s what I want, at right.

Stay tuned for a cool transformation (I hope!)

This concludes my porch musings, but wait.

Remember the pair of urns + topiaries that I want to get?

 

My plans are to place one on either side of our bottom step.

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Perfect!

Maybe we’ll go shopping tomorrow — stay tuned!

 


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