Tag Archives: farmhouse

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:

redbird-blog-brick-house-2

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:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-brick-house

One has to ask, Is there an upstairs?

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

attice-bedroom-wood-wall

Did you recognize those light fixtures from our living room?

+ + + + +

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

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-expterior

How adorable is that front porch?

Very.

But wait.  There’s more!

Porch #2:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-side-porch

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:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

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!

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

 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:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-woodwork

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:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-original-cabs

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:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-2

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

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen

I’m practically salivating!  HA!

Time for one last room, the bath:

redbird-blog-bathroom

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:

tile-vintage-green-and-black-houzz

tile-vintage-black-and-white-bathroom

Yum!

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!


1st Story Siding Is Up + Running!

Progress at the Dutch colonial!

Its first story is now sporting white clapboard siding!

IMG_4025(1)

We chose 3″ white clapboards, as that was original to the house.

Disclaimer: I say “we” chose white, but it was my idea.

G.O. was not on board at first,

nor has he completely been won over — YET.

cat fight

I’m sorry, but this makes me smirk!

In fact, on more than one occasion,

when chit chatting with passersby,

G.O. has remarked, “That’s a LOT of white, isn’t it?”

IMG_3970(1)

HA!

Thankfully, everybody’s been pretty gung-ho about “all that white”, so far.

On Saturday afternoon, I over heard a guy-neighbor saying to G.O.,

It looks like an old farmhouse!”

Um.  YAY.

That’s what I had in mind!

* * *

Anyway, speaking of “old farmhouse”, I chose to further evoke that look

with a siding change for our house’s back entry.

IMG_4023(1)

I’m guessing this structure is not original to the house,

which prompted the switch out.

I want our house to look as if it evolved over time.

IMG_4023(1)

* * *

I can’t WAIT to get a light fixture hung over the door.

This morning, I’ll grab my credit card + order this  from Home Depot:

lighting -- kitchen over sink gilded iron

I think it goes with my “old farmhouse” vibe,

+ that black is really going to pop against “all the white”!

We/meaning I chose black for the garage doors . . .

IMG_1125(1)

cat fight

Couldn’t resist. 🙂

. . . so our back entry door

will soon be sporting some black paint of its own:

IMG_4023(1)

Stay tuned!


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?

🙂


Vintage Sink In Our New Kitchen

As mentioned previously, I am designing our new kitchen myself.

Yikes.

My goal is to make it look as vintage + charming as all get-out.

G.O.’s goals are more storage + maximize the counter space!

Oh, dear.  Another conflict of interests seems to have arisen.

cat fight

Like I didn’t see this coming.

* * * *

But enough about that, for now.

Let’s view what I like, shall we?

I spied this on Facebook just the other day,

so I’m now kind of obsessing!

sink -- country living

Country Living magazine

I mean, COME ON!!

That sink is some serious fabulousness, isn’t it?

Stay tuned — I’ll discuss further, in just a moment.

But first:

Let’s have a look-see at my tentative kitchen sketch:

IMG_2876(1)

I desire a farmhouse sink.

G.O. might be on board with this.

In fact, we have IKEA’s Domsjo sink in our current kitchen:

sink -- ikea farmhouse

A mere $312.98

Here ’tis, in our current kitchen:

IKEA's farmhouse sink is affordable but has chipping issues.

There’s too much clutter!
Note to self: EDIT!

That sink looks good, doesn’t it?

Does it look even bettah, now that I’ve shared that it costs a mere $312.98?

I thought so.

I’m sure G.O. thought so, when he saw the price tag!

sink -- ikea farmhouse

One might think we’d spring for this again, but sadly, we won’t.

Here’s why:

Those grooves on the back are kind of impossible to clean,

+ we’ve had some chipping issues, too.

* * * *

So, as is true of most everything, it’s time for a plan B.

This stainless farm sink might be plan B . . .

sink -- stainless farmhouse

$399
amazon.com

. . . but it doesn’t really make me as happy as it should.

This does, though:

sink -- country living

Yes, we’re back to that pale blue awesomeness.

Check out this Plan B contender:

We already have our very own vintage sink (FREE!)

It’s currently languishing downstairs in our cellar hide-a-way:

IMG_2557(1)

I KNOW!!  It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?

IMG_2558(1)

But, if you can get past the squalor,

it’s really a cool sink, + it’s in good shape, too!

I think there’s a problem with its size, though.

Buzz kill!

IMG_2876(1)

The sink comes in at a whopping 66″ long.

Since we’ll have a mere 96″ of counter space for it,

you do the math (I used a calculator!)

There just won’t be a lot of counter space leftover.

G.O. will not be pleased.

* * * *

But please.

Let’s not discount the fact that it would make me deliriously happy!

Should I go for it?

Stay tuned!


My Sarah Richardson-Wannabe IKEA Kitchen

Sarah Richardson's tricked-out IKEA kitchen . . .

Sarah Richardson’s tricked-out IKEA kitchen . . .

... + my attempt at a Sarah-style IKEA kitchen.

… + my attempt at a Sarah-style IKEA kitchen, using Ballard Designs shelves + lots of “stuff”.

One of my design icons is Sarah Richardson, + my favorite project of hers is definitely the farmhouse she re-did for her own family. It’s so cool that she uses IKEA kitchen cabs + even cooler that she tricks them out the way she does.

She always paints them + often incorporates salvaged corbels into her design (see also: range hood + open shelves.)

As you can see, we used IKEA cabinets when we re-did. We chose these ADEL cabs because both the color + simple Shaker doors were such a great match to our bungalow’s originalwoodwork.

I tried to trick out our IKEA kitchen like Sarah — really, I did. That stainless hood, the glass uppers + all that tile might not look like so much, but — believe it or not — I had to fight for them!

Speaking of which, there’s been a recent skirmish, + our subway tiles will soon be sporting a more vintage dark gray grout! Change is good!

It took some persuading, but G.O. is on board with the darker grout!  I think it makes it look more vintage.

It took some persuading, but G.O. is on board with the darker grout! I think it makes it look more vintage.

IMG_0007


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