Category Archives: Magazines

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


“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:


Those framed maps are still very much on trend,

+ how much do we love those nautical quilts?

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

What’s not to love?

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


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:


More vintage barkcloth — 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:


OMiGosh, how cool is this vintage radio?


What a darling lunch box!


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!


She has brick + mortar shops, too,

+ they couldn’t be cuter!

I visited her NYC shop in the SOHO neighborhood:


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


  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:
  • * * *

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?


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.


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.


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?


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:

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:

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.

Obviously, the guys live + work in Chicago

+ spend weekends + vacations at their farmhouse,

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


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


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:


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:


Here’s the lawn:


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:


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:



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:


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:



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.
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!

Cure For Cabin Fever

Welcome to our snow-covered Winter wonderland!


See? I told you our dark brown fence
looks great against the snow!


The front of our house looks pretty cozy, too!



white christmas snow

Still from the movie White Christmas


Sadly, our poor doggies are not so amused:

dachsie in snow

Disclaimer #1: this is not our snow,
nor is this my Dachsie

Disclaimer #2:  as much as I love snow,

HATE the sub-zero temps we’re having!


cold man photo


I’m so cold, I’m actually kind of dressed like this, indoors . . .

(where are my gloves?!?)

. . . so I shan’t be crossing our threshold any time soon!

* * * *


Duh.  No cabin fever at my house!

  I’m actually just proceeding as per usual,

  happily continuing my design work on our current project . . .


. . . wishing we were further ahead with this squalor bathroom . . .

Are words necessary here?  I think not!

. . . + searching for inspiration for said-same, online!

* * * *

This means it’s time for me to share with the class!

Let’s enjoy a little “before” + “after” happiness from

Country Living magazine’s website:


At first glance, the “before” looks pretty hiddy, no?

But wait!  That tub is actually beyond cool (wish we had one!),

+ that floor is yelling, “WORK WITH ME, PEOPLE!”, isn’t it?

Let’s have a look-see at the fantabulous “AFTER”:

CL bathroom -- after


The gray walls are really rocking the gray in the mosaic tile!

So is the warm cinnamon of the rustic stool/side table!

That wood tone is my absolute favorite, + if this room was mine,

I would repeat it with this window treatment:

I’d also switch out that naughty light fixture,

no matter how vintage +/or original to the house it is.

No can do.

CL bathroom -- after

Let’s hang something like this, instead:

rejuvenation schoolhouse with shiny copper

Or this, if you — like me — just can’t commit to shiny yet:

rejuvenation schoolhouse light with copper

And one more thing.

Please note the large framed botanical:

CL bathroom -- after

A large, statement piece of artwork like this

really ramps up the style in a bathroom, doesn’t it?

I’m currently searching for said-same

for our squalor bathroom!

'Nice' paint job on that cast iron pipe.

Stay tuned!


I just realized there are just 22 more days until Christmas!


surprised boy

I’m spending my days sewing like the wind,

making pillows as fast as I can

for the galleries + shops that sell them for me.

Like this, for them:

pillow -- l.a.

Co-op 28 Handmade + Vintage
1728 N. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA

* * * * *

Meanwhile, I steal a few moments at the bozoputer when I can,

as I’m trying to handle Christmas online.

Look at the old-fashioned gift stickers I ordered from an etsy seller,






People.  I am mad about their slightly industrial, retro office style — aren’t you?

My plans include using these with some kraft paper gift wrap

+ lots of red + white baker’s twine:

baker's twine

Speaking of etsy + baker’s twine, I also ordered some small cookie bags:

christmas gifts - the bakers something bags

I know!  How adorable!

Maybe we’ll bake Snickerdoodles

from my 60’s 4-H cookbook.

Stay tuned!  I could possibly take some photos + share the recipe!

You’ll thank me.

* * * *

Back to shopping.

Here we have the swell banner-style return address labels

I ordered for our Christmas cards, from another etsy shop,


christmas gift -- pumped on paper return address banners

Aren’t they wonderful?  They wrap from the front to the back of the envelope!


For our monogram, I asked for OK, which is kind of our ‘trademark’.

Get it?  Ole Olson + Kay?

* * * *

Last but not least, I ordered myself an early Christmas gift yesterday,

+ the UPS boy dropped it off at our porch just this afternoon!

Hey, look!  More baker’s twine!

Barr-Co. apothecary candle K. Hall

apothecary candle
K. Hall Designs
St. Louis, MO

Of course, I wanted this candle because of its vintage apothecary style,

+ because they’re made in my beloved St. Louis.

The good news is that the scent I ordered — their new Fir-Grapefruit — is beyond divine!

In fact, the November ’13 issue of  Lonny magazine named it their SEASON’S BEST SCENT!


lonny magazine cover -- november 2013

You have heard of Lonny magazine, haven’t you?

It’s online.  It’s free.  It’s the BEST THING, EVER!

Go there now + thank me later.

lonny magazine cover

You’re welcome!



Today’s big news re: our Dutch colonial project:

our replacement windows are here!

Now, THAT’S photo-worthy!

So where are the snapshots, you ask?

Unfortunately, I have none at this time,

but here’s a look-see at the profile we chose:

window grill -- farmhouse

They’re American Craftsman windows by Andersen

from the Home Depot,  + I blogged about said-same here:

* * * *
Meanwhile, 2 other ginormous projects are nearly complete, as well:
Sadly, I have no photos of said-same, because I’m sorry.
Plastic pipes are NOT exciting.
SO . . . let’s fast forward to bathroom stuff that is exciting!
Stuff like this:
Signature Hardware

Signature Hardware

I am in the midst of selecting groovies for our 2 downstairs bathrooms —
one full + another 1/2.
I blogged about our full bathroom here:
The coolest thing about it would be this pine cupboard
that we’ll be repurposing into an awesome vanity:
I don’t know about you, but to me,
that’s excitement ON A STICK!
Now, on to the 1/2 bath, or — as I like to call it — the powder room.
We only have space for the smallest of vanities.
By small, I mean 24″ wide.
Here’s what I’ve chosen, from IKEA:
bathroom vanity -- IKEA white
What do you think?
I think it’s plain Jane + Shaker style (right up my alley),
it’s modestly priced, + look at the drawers, people!
bathroom vanity -- IKEA with open drawer
They had me at ticking stripes!
As far as the vanity top is concerned,
those awesome Swedes DO offer something with the vintage style that I covet.
You can see said-same above, or here’s another view:
bathroom vantiy -- IKEA with country top
Nice, no?
I do like the style, but here’s the deal:
it comes with just a single faucet hole,
+ I’m  not the biggest fan of single faucets.
Even so, I forced  myself to search online for them,
 + I found a couple okay ones,
both from Signature Hardware:


Or brushed nickel?

Or brushed nickel?

But let’s face it — I’m trying not to settle for OKAY

for our Dutch colonial (even if our budget is tragically miniscule!)

Here’s what I want, instead:

Signature Hardware

Signature Hardware

Something widespread, please, with cross faucets.



Or metal with small porcelain accents?

Or metal with small porcelain accents?

While I’ve lost track of the # of bathrooms I’ve had over the years

with the porcelain crossi,

these days I am obsessed with the metal with porcelain accents.

They look more expensive.


* * * *

Lastly (is that even a word?), I will be tricking out our IKEA vanity even more

with one of these:

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Yes, people, that’s the highly-coveted Carrera marble

with an under mount porcelain sink.

And speaking of highly coveted, look closely at the edge.

It’s called an ogee, + I couldn’t love anything more!

ogee edge

Talk about making something look more expensive!

We need to head to IKEA + get that vanity, stat,

after which,  measurements will be taken (by G.O., not me),

+ I can furtively order my faucet + marble top!

Stay tuned!


Hooray!  It’s mid-November . . .

. . . which means that my mailbox is overflowing

with the highly-anticipated December issues of my favorite magazines!

Yesterday, I received these 3:

Southern Living magazine


chrismtas -- magazine coastal living




Of course, of course — just like everybody on the planet,

I enjoy seeing the uber-fab holiday décor of the uber-fabulous.

Even better?

I get to go shopping!!!! — vicariously, of course —

via these mags’ annual holiday gift-giving guides!

Let’s have a look-see at this year’s favorite gift idea . . .

popeye -- coastal living

. . .  from yesterday’s COASTAL LIVING magazine:

popeye #4


Razor MD Popeye Shave Collection

How vintage!  How whimsical!  How adorable!

How red + navy blue!

I just have to get this for G.O.!


Of course, he’s not going to WANT IT or DIG IT,

but sometimes, isn’t that beside the point

when it comes to the yuletide gift exchange????

* * * *

HA!  I “KEED” because I LOVE!

* * * *

Anyway, I searched online + found it here for a mere $58-ish:

popeye #4

Here’s how West Coast Shaving Co. describes it:

This kit is a collaboration between Razor MD + King Features,

owner of the Popeye brand.

Popeye + his clean-shaven face grace all the packaging

of these shaving products.

The sandalwood scent is fitting for a sailor such as he.

This limited edition kit is packaged in a vintage-style Popeye signature tin.

2 oz. pre-shave oil

8 oz. shave cream lather

4 oz. post-shave lotion

popeye shave logo #3

All “keed-ing” aside, G.O. IS getting this!

If not for Christmas, then possibly for his 60th birthday in early December.

WHAT . . . A . . . LUCKY . . . GUY!!!

Stay tuned to see how it’s received!




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