Category Archives: Magazines

Black Cape Cods

One of my favorite go-to pursuits

is perusing house listings on realtor.com.

It’s been a while since I blogged about my “finds”,

but then yesterday I spied this cape cod in my hometown*

FOR A MERE $25 GRAND!!!

cape in greenville straight on front

If you can’t see the enormous potential

of this charmer-in-waiting,

then I’m sorry —

but we can’t be friends any more!

cape in greenville trellis

*It’s in Greenville, Illinois, which is 50 miles east of St. Louis

+ has 1207 sq. ft. + 3 bedrooms + 1.5 baths (listing here.)

cape in greenville close up

did share this house on my RedBird Facebook page,

as is my way (follow me!),

at which time I mused about possibly

painting it all black to make a modern statement.

I’m pretty sure I was influenced by this do-over,

featured in the current issue of Country Home magazine —

as I thought it was really striking + so well-done.

The original section remains quite traditional + untouched,

but the flat roofs on the wings

+ their horizontal siding add the modern.

Metal roofs can go either modern or traditional,

+ I think this raw, unpainted metal looks industial + modern.

cape cod of black from country home magazine

Country Home

This next all-black houses’s over-sized windows

add to its modern look,

yet I think it remains quite traditional.

Here, the dark metal roof accents skew traditional.

black cape cod with pool

origin unknown

This stately Victorian house

is nearly all black,

with pops of white in the window surrounds.

Notice how the black window sashes “pop”

against the white trim.

Would you have painted the door trim white?

I would have.

cape cod of black victorian with busy front yard

yentua.com

This sunning home looks fantastic in black,

+ notice how pretty  all the mostly-white flowers

contrast with the dark facade:

cape cod of black with gardens

xtoxictears.tumbler.com

This house reminds me of the Country Home do-over,

with its traditional bones

+ some modern details added,

such as the horizontal boards on the porch + foundation:

cape cod of black really modern

House and Home magazine

However, most of the black houses online

do include white trim,

+ let’s face it, that’s a really good look.

When a house has a multitude of beautiful details,

the white gives them the attention they deserve,

like this home’s arch top window + door

+ swoon-worthy front pergola:

cape cod of black

aviondale.com

This house is very traditional + colonial,

but the pale blue door brings it into the 21st Century

in a very pretty way:

cape cod of black with blue door

inspiredhue.wordpress.com

I think this is a newly-built farmhouse-style house,

+ those stand-out twin columns

might be lost if they weren’t painted white.

I love the window box with its brackets,

which echo those along the roof gable!

cape cod of black with twin porch posts

decor.net

Here’s another beautiful new-build

with pairs of porch columns.

Its metal roof reminds me of the all-black magazine house

that sparked my all-black inspiration.

The simple, pale front door says “today”:

cape cod of black tall

charlottedack.com

.This next beautiful house’s charcoal siding

is more interesting when paired with black shutters

+ white paint on its colonial details,

like that front door surround + picket fence.

(P.S. Nothing says New England architecture

like a whale weathervane!)

cape cod of charcoal with weathervane

unknown origin

And speaking of pretty white details + picket fences,

this house couldn’t be more charming.

I’m smitten with the rows of rose bush topiaries

+ box woods marching along side the brick front sidewalk!

cape cod with black with white fence

This Old House magazine

In conclusion,

here’s a look-see at a pale before + black after:

cape cod of black before

They kept enough white trim

to accent the pretty details

(notice my “faves” – the black window sashes),

+ amped up the modern very nicely

with the natural wood door

+ horizontal natural boards on the foundation

+ on that nicely beefed-up front porch.

M e a n w h i l e —

after all this online researching of black cape cods,

I’m on the fence about my hometown house’s exterior color.

cape in greenville straight on front

Instead of going with a monochromatic all-black exterior,

I now think there are just enough pretty details

to highlight in white.

cape in greenville close up

I think I’d paint those interesting window sashes black,

so that they stand out,

+ some sort of pale front door

would be nice + on-trend, don’t you think?

Too bad I don’t think I could persuade G.O. to move

to my southern Illinois homeland with me!


Outdoor Sink/Potting Table

So.

On Friday I bought myself this magazine

at my happy place, Barnes + Noble:

magazine small spaces big

Look at this idea

for an outdoor sink/potting table!

magazine sink in backyard

Do you see what’s happening here?

Looks like someone put some legs

on an old sink,

hooked up the faucets to the outdoor spigot

+ placed a galvanized bucket underneath

to catch the drain water.

G E N I U S !

magazine-sink-in-backyard-1.jpg

Wow, could we use something similar

next to our back door,

replacing this bench + birdhouse vignette:

backyard next to door

Here’s the same space in yet another configuration,

being photo-bombed by Chloe the Dachshund.

backyard next to door with chloe

As you can see,

we have the galvanized bucket-drain situation handled.

We also had a long, vintage kitchen sink,

similar to the one used in the magazine,

magazine-sink-in-backyard-2.jpg

but wouldn’t you know it — we SOLD IT!

Seller’s remorse!

No worries, though.

I bought this vintage cutie at a garage sale for $10!

sink from yard sale

Sorry for the bad snapshot,

but you get the idea — isn’t it perfect?

Now all we need is a table.

Perhaps G.O. could make one himself,

like this project from last summer,

table with pipes that greg made

for which he repurposed an old wooden ironing board top

+ some black pipe from Menards.

Sold it, though!

He could make another large table/island

like this recent project,

table ski jet

made from reclaimed lumber

+ an outboard motor shipping frame.

Turns out we sold that, too,

but we might just still have this old table:

table white top painted green sides

We got it at some long-past flea market

or perhaps another garage sale.

I can’t remember;

nor can I remember if we still have it!

I’ll check, though, so stay tuned!


Country Living’s Kit Barn

It’s LIVING IN A BARN WEEK!

This month’s Country Living magazine features 4 converted barn homes,

country living october 17

+ it’s my job to review each one, starting with yesterday’s Modern Barn.

IMG_1836

Today I shall discuss the Kit Barn.

Kit meaning it’s built from precut posts-and-beams + arrives on a truck

from Country Carpenters in Connecticut.

img_1858.jpg

But first.  Remember how I geeked out over the sweet paintings of the barns?

I read the tiny print to see who the talented artist was,

+ her name is Emily Isabella.

emily isabella

How adorable!

She has an etsy shop, which I need to investigate further.

We’ll discuss.

But first.  Back to today’s Kit Barn.

This is a small detail, but how much do we love that transom-style window

above the garage door?

A lot.

IMG_1864

Some people in our town added a garage to their beautiful older home,

+ I was so impressed when I saw that they had included a similar transom window!

I mean, WHO does that?  Besides nobody!

Perhaps I’ll risk having a restraining order placed upon me

+ snap a photo to share with the class.

Anyway.  The homeowner is Laura, + she lives in Napa Valley.

Turns out she’s a fixer upper flipper with her own company,

Del Mar Restoration!

I can’t wait to look at their website.

I’ll report back.

IMG_1862

I’m SO sorry for my crappy photos!

I am a huge fan of Adirondack chairs,

+ this one earns extra points for being modern + navy.

IMG_1863

 I like all the crunchy gravel surrounding the barn

+ the charming cupola + weathervane.

IMG_1860

Inside, there’s a bedroom tucked under the exposed rafters.

That bed looks like it’s been upholstered with a gray linen,

+ the mix of pillows + the Hudson Bay blanket fit nicely in a rustic barn home.

IMG_1873

Nearby there’s a seating area with another favorite, a brown leather couch.

The light fixture + that rug (navy + plus signs!) are both swell.

That coffee table, though.  Whoa.

IMG_1869

Wish I could persuade G.O. to try + make one for us.  Stay tuned.

That horse trough tub is cool.

IMG_1872

I can only imagine how hard it would be to persuade G.O. that we need one!

cats fighting

HA!  It’s always tons of fun when I get to use the fighting cat photo!

But wait.

My fave feature of this entire barn would be the RED WHEELS on their table.

img_1866.jpg

O . . . M . . . G !

IMG_1868

I told G.O. that, if he/we ever see anything like them, we must get them!!

I’ll keep you posted.

IMG_1874

Next on the barn home agenda is the Neutral Barn.

Hint: lots of white.  See you then!

 

 


Colorful Magazine Inspired Re-Do

This special issue of Country Home magazine is available right now,

+ you must go get a copy!  It’s that good.

country home magazine cover

Away with less is more decorating + just say no to neutrals-only!

So, as one does after reading a really good home magazine,

I immediately engaged in a really fun re-do, starting with this:

IMG_0990

Please.  How much do we love that sorter of mine!!??!!

The color’s perfect, + the patina is so wonderful!

IMG_0961

I bought it in the early 90’s from a friend + happily used it in my old retail store:

IMG_1000

Sadly, there are no photos of said sorter in said store.

Please.  I take dozens of pictures every week!?

WHY DIDN’T WE TAKE ANY PHOTOS WAY BACK WHEN??!!

I guess we’ll never know, but back to the sorter.

  After I closed the store + moved across the state to be with G.O.,

it’s been languishing inside our garage for years.

Then we moved into our Dutch colonial about a year + a half ago.

I mean, come on.

IMG_0993

Was that blank living room calling for it, or what!?

IMG_0966

Yes, it was.

IMG_0989

IMG_0995

IMG_0974

So.  Speaking of being inspired,

a few weeks ago I spied a photo of this room in Diane Keaton’s house:

diane-keaton-fiestaware-shelves

Next thing you know, I’m rearranging all my books by color!

IMG_0990

IMG_0943

IMG_0951

IMG_0956

I really love how the cubbies display some of my ‘smalls’,

including these cute milk glass chickens from Grandma:

IMG_0939

And in honor of Grandpa, who always carried a buckeye in his pocket for good luck:

IMG_0980

A commemorative beer glass of the Cardinals ’64 World Championship,

(+ check out that adorable rock baseball made by my grandson!)

IMG_0945

Omigosh, how sweet is my girlhood bank?:

IMG_0946

A sweet red (Cardinal?) pie bird from my friend:

IMG_0944

And this fun pair of Dachshunds:

IMG_0981

Our framed map of Illinois is from the 1880’s;

we bought it at a pop-up vintage market in Grand Central Station in NYC:

IMG_0936

IMG_0937

But wait.  There’s more.

My beloved new Country Home magazine

has inspired me to ‘busy up’ the top of my sorter!

IMG_1002

My son’s name is Jonathan,

so naturally, I got a bag from Jon’s grocery store in LA + had it framed:

IMG_0971

A wonderful handmade basket from a fellow artisan at a show in the 1990’s

+ my heavy glass Pottery Barn vessel filled with old baseballs:

IMG_0976

IMG_0978

Now then.

Never fear — there have been other revamps in + around the Dutch colonial:

IMG_0877

And in our canned ham:

IMG_0930.JPG

Stay tuned for updates!

 


Vintage Cowboy Kids Rooms

Raise your hand if you, like me,

really miss our beloved, old Country Home magazine.

I have tubs full of old issues, much to G.O.’s dismay,

but I just couldn’t bear parting with them!

Exhibit A — April 2000

img_0318

“But Kay, what inspiration can one get from a 17 year-old magazine?”

Turns out, a lot.

Exhibit A

From London designer (+ one of my style icons), Cath Kidston:

img_0315

Those framed maps are still very much on trend,

+ how much do we love those nautical quilts?

Look what I found from Fabric.com — this similar, retro-style fabric:

What’s not to love?

Tons of vintage goodness, with all that red + blue!  I’m in!

img_0311

But wait.

Do we approve of the theme for a room?

Yes, I do, (sometimes!),

especially when they’re done with so much skill + good taste.

These rooms are wonderful —

they inspired me to go find other vintage cowboy stuff online!

+ + + + +

There’s a lot of vintage barkcloth on etsy + eBay:

cowboy-bark-cloth

More vintage barkcloth — drapery panels:

cowboy-40s-50s-drapery-panels

Disclaimer: sorry there are no links.

Most of this stuff had been for sale on etsy + eBay,

+ by the time I got there, had been sold.

+ + + + +

Vintage blankets:

cowboy-vintage-blankets

OMiGosh, how cool is this vintage radio?

cowboy-radio

What a darling lunch box!

cowboy-tin-bucket

People.  You’re never going to believe this,

but this western-theme wallpaper is available

in our new, favorite designer, Cath Kidston’s, online store!

cath-kidston-wallpaper

She has brick + mortar shops, too,

+ they couldn’t be cuter!

I visited her NYC shop in the SOHO neighborhood:

cath-kidston-shop

Sadly, that NYC store has closed,

+ it looks like there are no U.S. stores right now.

No worries.  Shop online.  I did already!

Here!  Have fun!

These cuties are just a fraction of what I want to get.

(Seriously, I had to force myself to stop for this post.

There’s that much cool stuff!)

So.  My 1st post from old Country Home magazines!

What are your thoughts?  Still worth seeing?

Because trust me, I have many more!

Stay tuned!


This Old House

So

  We all agree.  Everybody loves Fixer Upper on HGTV.

And doesn’t it seem that they air old episodes nearly 24 hours a day?

I kid — but come on — let’s just admit it.

We have a semi-serious couple crush on these two:

chip and joanna

Meanwhile, here’s another question:

Did you know that This Old House is still on PBS?

Yes it is!  And I love it just as much as I love Fixer Upper!

People.  Here’s why:

TOH front facade

Yes, that’s a farmhouse, + yes, there’s a barn-like garage attached to it.

That looks just like a renovated vintage home,

as is usually the case with a This Old House project.

However, this season’s project is not their usual renovation;

it’s a new-build from a Vermont company, Connor Homes!

  • Go here:  https://connorbuilding.com/
  • * * *

The entire house is built in sections, indoors, inside their factory,

+ delivered to the building site on huge trucks!

TOH -- big truck

Feast your eyes on this epic cupola, nearly finished:

TOH cupola

Here it is, being lowered into place on the barn/garage:

TOH -- cupola being lowered into place

Nope.  That doesn’t look like the prefab houses we have in the Midwest!

Conner Homes specializes in historical-style homes.

Here’s another look-see at the This Old House project:

TOH front facade

Please.  Transom windows above the garage doors?  Epic!

White houses with red barn-like garages are “thing” in New England.

Here are a few examples of both old + new:

toh another house with barn 3

Raise your hand if you love standing seam metal roofs as much as I do!

Here’s another new-build house + barn project

by Yankee Barn Homes:

yankee barn big

And inside, you can see the house’s post-and-beam construction:

yankee barn

WOW, am I right?

Go here to read  more about it:

Eaton Carriage House

  • * * *

TOH -- house with red barn attached

TOH -- house with red barn attached 2

How about board + batten siding?  Love it!

TOH another house barn with cupolau

So.  Now you’re asking,

“Kay, on what day of the week is This Old House aired?”

I think that varies from 1 PBS station to another.

Here in Chicago, it’s on Tuesday nights on the Lakeshore PBS channel.

May I also recommend the This Old House magazine?

I subscribe because it’s only $1 per issue when you do,

+it’s a really, really good magazine.

TOH magazine

And don’t you love it when a magazine lands in your mailbox?


I Love Botanical Stuff!

Show of hands!

Who, like me, subscribes to Elle Decor magazine?

I’m not always a yooge fan, but each issue always contains 1 or 2 good houses,

like this one owned by this adorable family:

redbird -- guy's glasses frames elle decor

Check out those cool glasses frames on the guy!

Coincidentally, we went frames shopping for G.O. yesterday!

That was conflict free.  Not.

cat fight

But stay tuned — I really like the frames I insisted that he get.

Meanwhile, I digress.

Let’s go back to inside this house in Elle Decor:

redbird -- wallpaper elle decor

Can I get a yay or nay for that espalier wallpaper?

I LOVE IT!

Espalier is a Frenchie word for training a tree to grow horizontally,

usually on a wall or a fence.

My plans include our having an espaliered tree in our yard.

Someday.

Back to the Elle Decor house.

Check out yet more botanical happiness:

redbird -- allium artwork

Our Elle Decor family has this very print of alium flowers!

Theirs is hanging on the wall above their freestanding tub.

This photo above, however, is from the Shabby Creek Cottage blog.

Pretty!

In closing, we went to IKEA the other day,

+ they had artificial alium blooms for sale, @ $8-ish.

Did you get some, Kay? — I hear you asking?

IMG_1395(1)

Sadly, no.  I feared G.O. would get a little cranky.

He doesn’t understand!

.No worries, though — look what I found on etsy!

redbird -- allium from heavenlyhomeflowers shop on etsy

These silkies look a lot better than the plastic ones from IKEA.

Go here:  www.etsy.com/shop/HeavenlyHomeFlowers

I think it’s high time I make a morale boosting purchase.


Farmhouse-Style Vacation Home

My May-June 2014 issue of Midwest Living arrived this week — yay!

 Imagine my excitement

when I spied this farmhouse-style vacation home

in SW Michigan:

lakehomebuildersmi.com

lakehomebuildersmi.com

I immediately recognized it as one I’d seen before,

 when it appeared on the cover

of the late, great Chicago Home + Garden magazine:

chicago home + garden summer 2012

Summer 2012

That issue was so divine, I just had to save it!

Are you a magazine saver, too?

In my world, there are some that are just so wonderful

that you just can’t bear to part with them!

* * * *

Anyway, there’s that same front porch, now:

midwest living front door + porch

I love the classic white siding!

The grays of the industrial-style sconces+ galvanized pots

 complement the black door + sidelights very nicely, too.

Those handsome homeowners on the porch are Tom + James,

who are partners in their Chicago interior design firm.

http://www.jamesthomaschicago.com

Obviously, the guys live + work in Chicago

+ spend weekends + vacations at their farmhouse,

about an hour + a half drive away in SW Michigan.

Here:

saugatuck map -- from chicago, etc.

All the cool kids in Chicago own vacation properties

 in the super charming beach communities

along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

My cool friend, Alan, vacations here + assures me that I would love it, too!

Stay tuned for this summer, fingers crossed!

* * * *

But back to the house.

Here are Tom and James again, sharing a moment in their cottage-y kitchen:

midwest living kitchen

I’m a fan of the ceiling planks,

the cute schoolhouse light over the farmhouse sink,

+ the pale wood tone of the floors.

I’m seeing lots of non-kitchen-y rugs in kitchens lately, + I approve!

* * *

Speaking of approval, here’s my favorite space in the house, a screened porch:

midwest living enclosed porch

I love its rustic, cottage charm, + that red Vermont Castings stove is wonderful!

* * *

In contrast, the living room is a tad more formal:

midwest living 2-story living room

While it’s furnished in too formal a style for my vacation home taste,

there’s no denying it’s a gorgeous space.

That tall ceiling + those clerestory windows + all the white!  Love!

* * *

Meanwhile, here’s one of the guest bedrooms:

midwest living bedroom northern air by benjamin moore

I’m a fan of the twiggy side table, the iron bed

+ that cool, vintage photograph.  (I’ve always wanted one of those!)

The pale blue paint, which rules, is Benjamin Moore’s Northern Air.

* * *

So.  What do you think of hanging plates in a bedroom?

midwest living guest bedroom plates on wall

I’ve always liked it, but I know some people don’t.

It’s so sweet!

* * *

And now, speaking of sweet, look at the kids’ room — it’s so cute!

midwest living kids room

The layout is genius, + I love all the red!

I have a similar lamp, repurposed from an old gas can,

that I bought decades ago (yikes!)

* * *

The bathroom’s very nice + on the plain Jane side:

midwest living bathroom

* * *

But c’mon, Tom + James!  This is a vacation house!  Let’s have some fun!

Okay.  Here’s fun:

midwest living topiary on column, shelves

Who doesn’t love an old, wooden sign?

I’ve been making old-looking signs, too.  (I’ll share later.)

I really like that vintage column + that topiary housepant, too!

I like them so much that every spring, I’ll ‘spring’ for one . . .

. . . knowing full well that the poor thing won’t survive the winter at our house.

The humanity!

Fingers crossed for this year — hope ‘springs’ eternal!

* * *

So.  I’ve saved the most fun feature of Tom + James’ farmhouse . . .

. . . a gallery wall of paint-by-number paintings, at the stairway!

midwest living staircase paint by number

Way to go, Tom + James!

And how cool is it that their houseguests

often bring them a new paint-by-number painting

as a “thank you” host gift!

Isn’t that the most adorable idea, ever?

🙂


My Round Lawn Love

Announcement:

I’ve somehow managed to stay cheerful + upbeat all winter,

but not so much today.

Yes, sadly,  I finally have the full-blown winter blues.

It’s now past time to gas up the car + point it SOUTH!

* * * *

Since we’re otherwise occupied + sadly, must remain up north,

near Chicago (a.k.a. the arctic circle),

I must seek out this sort of online morale boost:

round lawn

grimlyhouse.tumbler.com

When I spied this little gem on Pinterest yesterday,

I swooned + immediately thought of another round lawn I’d seen

in a long-ago (May/June 2007) issue of Cottage Living magazine** RIP.

**Yes, of course, I saved it all my CL mags!   (Much to G.O.’s dismay!)

Here’s the cover:

IMG_2628(1)

Here’s the lawn:

IMG_2636(1)

Whee!  Bad photo, but you get the idea.

This bit of perfection is near Cape Neddick, Maine

+ was designed by its owner, Thomas Lovejoy.

There he is:

IMG_2637(1)

Is anyone as wowed as I am at the way he mows in a circle??

 * * * *

All I know is that,

ever since I first saw that round garden in Cottage Living,

I’ve longed to have one of my own!

Here’s yesterday’s inspiration again:

round lawn

Pinterest

Wow, those edging bricks, laid in a soldier course!  Genius!

I’m especially glad — now — that I insisted we salvage our old bricks

from the torn-out chimney in our Dutch colonial fixer:

IMG_0761(1)

Dare I hope that we have enough bricks

so that we’re able to complete not 1 but 2 projects —

edging for my proposed round lawn and a patio —

as done by these landscaping winners?:

round lawn with brick patio

Please.  I love it!

Here’s one more round lawn:

round lawn with paver border -- pinterest

Pinterest

I’m almost as fond of this stone edging as I am of the brick.

Doesn’t it define the lawn’s roundness

+ give its edges awesome crispness?

* * * *

Meanwhile, my plans for the rest of the day

include fantasizing about having a round lawn in our new yard.

Hurry UP, spring!  (As if.)

Stay tuned!


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.
IMG_1395(1)
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!

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Hooked on Houses

A Fun Place to Get Your House Fix