Tag Archives: brick

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.


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

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


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:


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


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


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.


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


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


In real life:


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!


Everything’s so wonderfully staged!


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.


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.


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?


Back to the island:



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.


Homeowner hubby, David, is inspecting the new shelves

Lauren designed for their daughter’s toys:


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.


Here’s a photo of the after front exterior.


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.


I really loved the show, didn’t you?

Fingers crossed there will be more episodes!


2 Houses, No Waiting

It’s time, once again, for us to head to my happy place– realtor.com.

Today I want to buy this house — or I should say housES?

This is the very rare listing for not 1 but 2 houses, both only $199,900!

Do the math!   What’s that, per house?

Whatever it is — let’s start here — The Brick Possible Story + A Half:


I’m smitten with that inset porch + the brick piers flanking the steps.

Those evergreens, however, have long outlived their usefulness,

+ let’s get real — awnings like that were never a good idea.

Check out the small-ish upstairs window, though:


One has to ask, Is there an upstairs?

I’m saying a little prayer that there is!  Here’s why:


Did you recognize those light fixtures from our living room?

+ + + + +

Next up, house #2 — The Small, 2-Porch, White Farmhouse:


How adorable is that front porch?


But wait.  There’s more!

Porch #2:


I have to admit, I’ve always had a thing for the side porch.

Meanwhile, our G.O. has a thing for a spacious garage, like this one:


Please.  Look at that eagle.

In the dark ages, when I bought my very first house, eagles were a major thing.

Yes, I had one on the exterior + only about a 1,00 of them inside.

HA!  Embarrassing!


 But I digress.

What’s that charming outbuilding that I’m spying, out back?

How quickly can I turn it into the potting shed of my dreams?

Or chicken coop, if we were so inclined.  I don’t think we are.

+ + + + +

Now it’s time to have a look-see inside,

but disclaimer:  it’s not clear in which house these photos belong:


No, I think it’s the brick house, because the windows are the same.

Well, brick or no, they had me at all that natural woodwork,

+ the columns + built-in cabs., too?

Yes, please!

Looks like those cabs have leaded glass doors on both sides,

which I don’t think I’ve seen before.

Speaking of awesome built-ins, let’s head to the kitchen:


People.  What’s this I’m seeing that looks like an original butler’s pantry?

WOW — I would totally buy a house for just that one feature!

Sadly, it’s time for those replacement cabinets to be replaced, themselves:


It wouldn’t be any fun if I wasn’t able to design my own kitchen, would it?


I’m practically salivating!  HA!

Time for one last room, the bath:


One’s first impulse might be to yank out that original sink,

but just say NO!

I would totally design the rest of the room around it!

Something along these lines:




While my creative juices are flowing,

methinks we’ll do a little drive-by of these 2 houses, later today.

Somebody grab the camera — stay tuned!

Small, Charming Brick Houses

Another day, another walk with Chloe the Dachshund.

This a.m. we strolled through one of my favorite neighborhoods.

But first, here’s our girl at journey’s end,

enjoying a refreshing drink from our bird bath:


It is one of those concrete bird baths with the pressed leaves design.

Its pedestal is actually an old, hollow log.  Genius!

Okay.  Time now for a few look-sees at that neighborhood I like so much.

There are about 5 charming brick cottages, including this one:


Please.  They had me at the arch doorway.

Look closely at those lanterns which flank the front door.

I’m pretty sure they are original to the house.  Lovely!

Oh, + I like the brick’s basket weave pattern in the gable.

Meanwhile, here’s another “sister” cottage:


I am a huge fan of the front bump out with that small window,

 which must mean that there’s a charming vestibule inside.

Chances are that the blank wall to the door’s left means there’s a coat closet.

It’s not just me, is it?

Doesn’t everyone think about such things when passing a cute house?

While we ponder that, further down the block

there’s yet another brick cottage:


This house, with its “busy” front yard, was on a garden tour one summer.

What are our thoughts, regarding “busy” front yards?

Part of me is a fan, but I still want our house to be seen.


Yes, that’s our front yard, + yes, it’s pretty much a blank slate.

That lonely evergreen may or may not make the final scheme.

Stay tuned!



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