Tag Archives: vintage

Vacation Apartment In Rheim, France

So.  Today we’re headed to France,

where I recently traveled vicariously

via this Netflix show:

french gardens take two

Monty Don — our somewhat disheveled yet delightful host —

zips around the countryside

in a cute, little Frenchie car,

monty don's car

showing us all sorts of beautiful French gardens,

IN-cluding  Claude Monet’s famous property in Giverny . . .

monet take two

. . . which he immortalized

in hundreds of Impressionistic paintings, like this one:

monet painting

Even G.O. experienced wanderlust while watching,

so who knows?

Grab that passport + cross those fingers!

Anyway, today we’re headed back to France,

courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Remodelista .

We will be staying in one of two boutique apartments

in Rheimes,

which is in the Champagne region

northwest of Paris.

french lessons -- reims map

Let’s have a look-see at those boutique apartments,

where we’ll be staying while in Rheims.

They each contain plenty of French antiques,

including this peg rack:

french lessons -- mirror on french peg rack

Isn’t the hanging mirror charming?

Coincidentally, I had seriously considered

getting a similar French peg rack

for our canned ham RV, like this one, at $40.88:

peg rack french etsy

Anyway, speaking of mirrors,

there were seemingly dozens in the apartments —

the most beautiful of which

is this stunning 100 year-old barber’s mirror:

french lessons -- twin pedestal sinks + barber shop mirror

Omigosh — what a dream,

to design an entire bathroom around that mirror!

Bravo for the twin pedestal sinks

+ the tile excellence!

(Full disclosure:

we have the very same tile floor

in our main bathroom of the Dutch colonial!)


I’ve always wanted a “floral tile” floor like that,

+ after my semi-exhausting search,

we finally found ours on Amazon.

The Frenchies used leftover tiles in the second bathroom,

which is equally as charming:

french lessons -- cute black and white zink

I’m in love with plain, Jane square subways,

+ we’re seeing sinks like that all over the internet.

Extra points given for the wall-mounted faucet

+ the chippy, white door!


One of the bedrooms has another French peg rack,

a beautiful floor, more mirrors, navy comforters,

french lessons -- game board in bedroom

+ a game board** that I MUST HAVE!!


** (Another full disclosure: G.O. loathes leaning artwork,

while I find it extremely stylish.)

What say ye?

While we ponder that,

+ I make a mental note to lean something, later,

let’s check out one of the kitchens:

french lessons -- kitchen with shelf and light switch

How do I love thee?

Let’s break it down, left to right:

a. hanging soap dish,  b. pretty cutting boards,

c. antique brass faucet,  d. penny tiles,

e. attractive accessories, +  f. another mirror!


That’s a stellar range hood, too,

+ I’m all on board with the wall-hung, accordion light fixture:


Would you check out this unique Frenchie electrical outlet!?

french lessons -- kitchen with shelf and light switch

There were several throughout the apartments,

+ I think they’re a dream!

Other views of the kitchen showcase yet more dreaminess,

including the highly-coveted (by me) SMEG refrigerator:

french lessons -- smeg


Anyway, I’m also quite fond of the interior window,

used here to separate the kitchen work space

from the dining area:

french lessons -- old cab island and interior window

Last, but certainly not least,

check out their reclaimed cabinet kitchen island:


Beautiful, no?

Sadly, our current island is not of the vintage persuasion,

but I did have one in my long-ago apartment

in which my boys + I lived during the nineties.

I built it above my late, great retail store,


apartment kitchen island

Omigosh!  Look at that horrible photograph!

Look at all my “stuff”!

If you’d like to see more of it,

then please, check out this blog post,

+ have fun going down memory lane with me!

Vintage-Style Trailer Happiness

So.  This past Sunday, we went to the Greater Chicago RV Show,

where I found the awesome vintage-style trailer of my dreams.

More on that in a minute, but may I ask, first:

Does the same designer work for 99% of the RV companies??

Exhibit A:


Does this mean that 99% of RV enthusiasts love this look??

Exhibit B:


And another query, When would we ever see something that I like??

(I mean no disrespect for these trailers; they’re just not up my alley.)

+ + + + +

Say no more.

The Vintage Cruiser by Gulf Steam



I KNOW!!!  Isn’t it great???

Natch, I want the red + white, but it’s available in aqua, too:


Before we go inside, I must share another query, re: trailer interiors:

Are 99% of them are designed by the same person??

Do 99% of RV enthusiasts love all that beige??

Exhibit C:


So much beige, + always with the generic hotel print fabric.

I would have to do some reupholstering before we ever leave town!


Exhibit D:


(Again, no disrespect intended; I love things that are different from the norm.

If you read my blog, perhaps you feel the same way!)

+ + + + +

Viva la difference, though — inside my vintage dream:


We could move right in without me sewing a single stitch!

Not sad!

+ + + + +

The Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser is also available in this fun “woody” version,

which looks very cool + campy, which is a thing now:


 Inside, though, is what really rules — it’s KNOTTY PINEpeople!


Just like inside your grandparents’ vintage lake cottage!

+ + + + +

The dinette + counter tops are really sweet + not the standard-issue faux granite.

I’m pretty sure they are solid surface material (a.k.a. Corian):


+ + + + +

Now feast your eyes on the (yelling like Oprah) RED REFRIGERATOR!!


Please.  I’ve only  wanted a red Smeg refrigerator forever.

($2 grand, BTW)


+ + + + +

So.  I suppose it’s high time to reveal the floor plan that we’ll get.

It’s their smallest — #17RWD — which weighs 2,825 pounds:


I would rather have a sitting area than a relatively huge bedroom,

so my plans are to do away with that bed

+ replace it with this navy blue Novogratz futon from Wal-Mart.

People.  It’s $339, + in person, it’s cool!


Since that tiny kitchen desperately needs more counter space,

the bed’s going away will also allow us to have a rolling cart/island

between the TV mount + shirt closet.


Perhaps something like this one,

one that G.O. made for our biz, RedBird Vintage Home:


+ + + + +

My dream trailer’s bathroom has a separate sink, toilet + shower.

Exhibit E:


Most small trailers sport something called a Wet Bath.

Exhibit F:


That looks as if a simple shower

would require some serious gymnastics or yoga skills!


+ + + + +

Stay tuned for more of my trailer musings,

as I’m suffering from quite the case of wanderlust.

+ + + + +

If you’d like your own small trailer, may I suggest looking here?


+ + + + +

If you, too, would love to buy your own Vintage Cruiser,

check out Gulf Stream’s website!

Vintage Accesories For The Powder Room

So.  Today we re-measured the kitchen for cabs.


This means that I shall spend the rest of the day sketching.

But first, let’s go back to our powder room.


My goal for it is that the room looks old,

as if it was original to our Dutch colonial.


I think my design looks old enough,

but I need to be choosy about the remaining accessories.

First up, the mirror.

Here’s one from Pottery Barn that I like.

It’s the Kensington Pivot Rectangular mirror @ $179.

mirror o' bath -- pottery barn kennsington

It does look somewhat vintage,

but we’re opting for this, instead:


It came with a garage sale dresser for which we paid a mere $75.

Look at the beautiful natural wood grain:


So.  It not only looks more vintage than the PB one,

it’s a lot less expensive.

I like that.

Now let’s move to the shelf portion of my powder room design.

Once again, from Pottery Barn — their Sussex shelf.

$47 – $55 on sale, with free shipping.

shelf -- pottery barn sussex glass shelf

While it would  look perfectly lovely,

I preferred something genuinely old.

Off to etsy, where I always have good luck!

Here’s what I chose:

shelf for powder room


With shipping, I paid a mere $33.

G.O. kindly held it in place for me this a.m.


Does he like it?  Well, no, but I have faith that he will, eventually,

once the room is all tricked out + finished.

* * *

Let’s have a look-see at yet another vintage bathroom necessity

that I found (on etsy, again!) months ago.

It’s a darling, old porcelain towel bar.

Here ’tis, held in place on the side of our vanity:


OR, we might opt for hanging it on the wall, to the left of the vanity.


The only accessory that remains is the over-the-sink light fixture.

You  probably won’t be surprised

that I’ve got something vintage planned there, as well.

Stay tuned!

Vintage Sink In Our New Kitchen

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


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:


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


. . . 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:


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


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!


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!

Do I Need A Red EXIT Arrow?

Today I finally renewed a bunch of magazine subscriptions

+ ordered a pair of these Frenchie striped shades from Pottery Barn:

pottery barn red striped lampshades

I then spied this repro signage on Facebook

+ immediately thought: I NEED THAT!

I have the perfect spot for it in our Dutch colonial’s kitchen —

just to the right of our back door!

* * * *

BUT WAIT!  I have a few questions before I order.

1. Is less really more?

2.  Am I merely on a spending high?

3. Will this item’s faux “aged-ness” end up mocking me?

* * * *

Oh, dear.  So many worries.

Let’s back up a tad + discuss the reasons why I need it.




Most of the signs that I have are genuinely old,

as I tend to dislike anything that’s obviously faux.

My friend, Tal, gave me this for my birthday one year.

My friend, Tal, gave me this for my birthday one year.


I’m elderly+ suffer from CRS so I can’t recall where I got this.

Last but not least — just outside our powder room

hangs this fab, 2-sided LADIES sign:


I bought this at a favorite local shop:

* * * * *

SO . . . you are starting to see why I need the sign, no?

Here ’tis again:

exit signage -- dotandbo

This brings us to REASON #2 why I need it:


Look at these!


Sorry for the yellow.


This is a vintage weathervane arrow;

it used to spin atop one of our fence posts before coming inside.

I recently traced said-same + made my own stencil,

as I decided it was time I jumped aboard the arrow-in-home-décor bandwagon.



* * * *

But I digress, as is my way.

Here’s yet another weathervane arrow:


It’s my favorite because of the old red paint.  Love old red paint.

* * * *

Now, then — when I bought this next arrow, I broke my “no faux” rule.

I saw the artisan who made it at the Market Square wholesale show

in Valley Forge, PA + bought it from her.


Sorry for the yellow.

Wish I could remember her or her biz name,

but I do recall that her arrows were sold

in the fabulous Sundance catalog at one time!


* * * *

And finally, REASON #3 why I need the exit arrow:



Speaking of winning . . .

 G.O. has already hard-wired a box

on the ceiling of our Dutch colonial kitchen, by the back door,

+ we’ll be taking my EXIT signage when we move!

* * * *

So what do you think?  Should I order the EXIT arrow?

exit signage -- dotandbo

Stay tuned!

Awesomely Awesome GE Artistry Appliances

There’s some buzz going around

about stainless steel appliances’ finally being on their way OUT.

How’s this possible?  We ask?


Didn’t you (or your mother) have avocado green appliances?


* * * *

But fast-forward to 2013.

Meet my new, vintage-style appliance crush(es),

all from GE’s new Artistry Series:

artistry_iconic ge logo

As if those appliances weren’t awesome enough,

they pretty much had me at that iconic GE logo.

Hello!!  Who DOESN’T love an old-fashioned logo?

* * * *

But I digress.  Back to the appliances.

I first spied these beauties in my This Old House magazine,

+ here’s what they said:

High-gloss finishes, instead of tired stainless steel,

+ Americana design touches, such as metallic trim + analog clocks,

exude a cohesive, polished look

at a price that’ll leave you with enough cash to redo the cabinets, too. 

$2,416 for the fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and range; geappliances.com.

* * * *

artistry range

When I saw this stove, I told G.O. that THIS is what I wanted.

End of appliance shopping.


Meanwhile, when he started ‘yelling’ about needing a TIMER.

my heart sank a little bit.

However, my mind soon began racing back in time

to when we actually HAD separate, little timers

(problem solved!),

so I pressed on, somewhat undaunted.

artistry refrigerator

We didn’t get this far into the GE Artistry discussion.

but something tells me

he’s not going to want to give up

that in-the-door ice + water happiness that we have now.

Ooh.  Buzz kill.

artistry dishwasher

Surely he can’t object to this dishwashing beauty, can he?

artistry microwave

This microwave goes over the stove,

which is a ‘no-no’ in my house, anyway.

I’m too short, for starters,

+ besides, I’m a microwave snob

+ prefer them a tad more out-of-sight/out-of-mind.

* * * *

But whatevah!   Sadly, the whole point may be moot!


Last night, while I was watching a Tilda Swinton movie on Netflix,

G.O. was burning up the laptop,

furiously scanning Craig’s List for appliances!

When he showed me an entire set of black ones for $500!! —

I realized my GE Artistry hopes + dreams were officially over.

artistry range

I shall choose another battle to wage,

but not over our kitchen appliances.

Oh, well,

awesomely awesome GE Artistry appliances —

it was fun while it lasted.

Front Porch Progress

Good things come to those who wait, no?

Well, that’s always a plus when you’re me,

because it seems like I’ve been waiting FOREVER

for this bad enclosed front porch to go away:



So close! It’s almost gone here!

I have a vision, of course, thanks to our beloved internet.

(What DID we do, back in the olden days

before the bozoputer, one wonders?)

Anyway, this is what I have in my head, Dutch-colonial-front-porch-wise:



Don’t you love it?  So charming + inviting!

Anyway, last week, the guys finally removed our naughty porch enclosure.

Drum roll!

Here ’tis now!



Much bettah, am I right?


But check out that light fixture!

It’s a nice enough Craftsman-style charmer, I guess,

+ I s’poze it would look pretty cool, hanging above someone’s dining table.

Just not my front porch!

Never fear.

Here is our cottage-y replacement, waiting in the wings:

light fixture -- front porch -- PB

Pottery Barn

Of course, I’ve already pleaded with G.O. to take down that dining room light mishap.


Having ‘a blast’ at the Steely Dan concert.

But get this!

He insists that he has other, more pressing tasks, than taking down a bad light fixture!

How’s that possible!!??

surprised boy

Obviously, unlike me, HE is not mortified by the idea that passersby

might think we WANT that dining room light hanging on our front porch!

HA!  Imagine that!

* * * * *

  On a related (sort of) topic, of course I’m already shopping for house numbers.

You see, they’ll go ON that front porch, eventually.

What I really want is a European-style enamel sign like this:

Something in Frenchie blue, perchance?

house numbers #3

Love it!  Done!

Pass me my credit card + get out of my way!

* * * *

But wait.

Just in case there’s something even cooler out there,

I’ve been shopping on etsy again.

Look what I found, from a cool shop called Claysquared:

house numbers #2


HA!  How awesome is it, that they refer to the color as “frenchy” blue?

Is it just me, but aren’t these a modern version of the more vintage enamel signs?

What say ye?

This choice — between vintage + modern —

describes my design plan for our entire re-do.

house numbers #3


house numbers

Vintage-inspired modern

Now that I think about it, it seems all my choices, so far, are of the vintage persuasion.



Would modern stuff be cool or hopelessly out of place?

One wonders?

My Latest Kitchen Re-Do


When we bought our 20’s era brick bungalow in ’06,  one of our (G.O.’s) first projects was to gut and re-do the original kitchen.

The space to the left of our fridge originally had a pub table + 2 stools, which we NEVER, EVER used.  Something about our dining in front of the TV!?

SO, out with the old + in with the new vintage, red table — a giftage from my friend, Stacey, who knows of my love for all things vintage +/or red!

Nice plate rack -- too big.

My first staging stab involved this cool plate rack — too big.

Plan B -- out goes the plate rack + ingoestheKitchenAid!

Plan B — out goes the plate rack + in goes the mixer! Much bettah!

Of course, the mixer looks great — as my stepdaughter, Marnie, said, the KitchenAid mixer’s job is to sit on the countertop + mock all the other appliances!  Ha! Fun!

  Speaking of which, this poster (below) is from ’92; it survived the elimination of most of my ‘stuff’ from that era.

How could it not?  The artist — Catherine Grunewald — signed, dated + personalized it with my 2 boys! Years ago, she was profiled on Mary Emmerling’s show, Country Style, on HGTV.

Oh, + I sold those Hoosier canisters in my shop.  Love them!

My dad gave me that cooler (below), as he, too, is hip to my vintage + red ‘stuff’ love!  When not cooling beverages, it stores all my gardening magazines.  I’ve saved way too many magazines.

But I digress.  My friend, Linda Weathers, made the basket, which I love for its blue spongeware handles.

And yes, I did buy that radio because it’s red + looks old-fashioned!

How cool are the labels of these Woodchuck Ciders? Tell me I’m not the only one who buys something because it’s been packaged attractively!


Vintage Lamp Parts Happiness

Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Schoolhouse Electric Co.

I love all things vintage lighting, and I cannot lie. Cloth-covered wire rules! Edison bulbs make my heart race! We made our own version of this sweet  www.schoolhouseelectric.com (Portland, OR) lamp, using an old porcelain fixture from our basement.

Our lamp.

Our lamp.

Our other lamp.

Our other lamp.

G.O. repurposed a vintage wooden surveyor’s tripod + made this cool floor lamp.  The lampshade is an older one from Pottery Barn.  It’s no longer available, but you could make your own easily.  Those pharmacy-style sconces were Pottery Barn, too, from an eBay seller.

Pottery Barn lampshade.

Pottery Barn lampshade.

But I digress. Back to the floor lamp. As awesome as it is, I know we (G.O.) could improve it.





Bye bye, brown cord! Hello, red cloth-covered cord from www.sundialwire.com!  And yes, this is why G.O. thinks I’m insane.  Meanwhile, I also need him to make me this awesome extension cord! Do you love it as much as I do?

Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Schoolhouse Electric Co.


A past + future project.

He made us this awesome fan from the Sundial Wire website, but I sold it! Maybe I could persuade him to make us another! Stay tuned.

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

G.O. + our dogs, Dory + Chloe

G.O. + our dogs, Dory + Chloe

Even though my blog is still in its infancy,  I’ve already managed to poke fun at G.O. at least twice.  I mock because I love, though!

The truth is that without him, my decor is nothing.  He’s always able to do anything we (meaning I) desire, house-wise.   Am I saying he’s always on board when I think of a new project?  Sadly, no.   Even after all these years, he’s still dumbfounded by my (crazy to him) ideas.

Here it is!  G.O.'s perfect choice for our vintage bath!

Here it is! G.O.’s perfect choice for our vintage bath!

Actually, sometimes he does say or do something that lets me know that he’s playing for Team Kay, that he likes what I like!  In late 2006, we bought a 20’s-era bungalow + began a whirlwind re-do.  We gutted the main bathroom + re-did it in a vintage style.

While shopping for shower fixtures, we slowly scanned the selection at Home Depot.  Without a word from me, G.O.  grabbed the perfect set + placed it in our cart!  Victory!

Way back in '06, this tile was a rare find, so we splurged.  Now it's sold at Lowes.

Way back in ’06, this tile was a rare find, so we splurged. Now it’s sold at Lowes.  Chloe looks great against the floor!

I love the coordinating COLD + HOT shower curtain rings from Restoration Hardware.

I love the coordinating COLD + HOT shower curtain rings from Restoration Hardware.



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