This time two years ago we were still in the middle of a major master bedroom update. It was the last room of the house to be touched and we had lived here for almost fifteen years. It was beyond due.
Our home is a one hundred year old three story frame home and the bedrooms are all on the upper floors so building out was not an option.
There is a small hallway that leads into the master suite and it originally had built ins on each side.
As you can imagine closet space in an older home is almost non-existent so that was something that also needed to be considered. I had pinned images of cavernous closets, bedrooms and master baths but when it came down to finally creating a plan for our space we knew that our room would be considerably scaled down from those inspiration pictures.
We also wanted to think about resale. Even though we weren't ready to move anytime soon, we recognized that kitchens and bathrooms help to sell houses so we put the bulk of the budget into the bath and increased its size as much as possible.
We eliminated the built in closets on the left side of the master entrance and gave up that space to the master bath. Then we put in an opaque glass pocket door to the bath area from this short entrance hallway .
We stole some real estate out of the bed area and built in a wall of closets.
We had some time to plan them out so we added interior configurations that best fit Mike's needs and built in light switches that light up the closet when the doors are opened but shut off when the doors are closed.
I liked how the beveled glass panels dressed up the doors and helped to reflect the light around the room but I am especially excited about the hardware that we went with.
It seems we have a variety of hardware in this aging old home, everything from weathered brass to nickel to glass but we had used polished nickel in the bathroom so I decided to continue that into the bedroom. In the end, this was what we did to blend the old and more contemporary looks that we love.
We dressed up our space with dark wood floors, wool rugs, and new bedroom furniture but I'm still not there.
I am definitely needing new lamps. I started out with the ivory lamps we were using before but they blocked out too much of the mirror. These are a cobbled together creation from lamps I was ready to take to the consignment shop.
So here it is two years later and I'm still shopping.
The space just seems to still need a nose or some dimension.
As I look at the photo below, I realize I need to add something to that wall with the little etching my grandma brought back to me years ago from Paris. It's a great piece but it looks totally lost.
Maybe it is the lack of color that is leaving me cold. Perhaps I should bring in some black? gold? navy? or a soft aqua?
There isn't much wall space for artwork so I will have to revisit the lamps, accent pillows and maybe a throw. I'll eventually figure it out but in the meantime any suggestions are always welcome.
Have a great weekend.
No, this isn't a Christmas in July post. Actually, I wanted to share the update we made to our stairwell last year while we were also remodeling our master bedroom and bath. While I was looking for some "before" pictures it became evident that most of my photos from this part of our home have been taken at Christmas time.
I have always thought that the foyer is especially pretty at holiday time but then when the decorations come down it always looked so painfully plain.
Our home is 100 years old this year. I love the history that goes with an old house and this one is no exception. A few of the previous owners have even shared some photos with me of their time here and these two were taken right here on the stairway. I think it is fun to see how the house has evolved over the years.
The Wheeler Family
...and our sweetie modeling her choice for a sorority event.
The truth is, the entrance to a home needs some wow. Although the wallpaper from the 50's was long gone before we ever moved in, this entrance has always left me feeling underwhelmed and I always wished that the stairwell had been trimmed out more like the rest of the house. So while the house was already torn up with a remodel we decided to add some flair to this stairway.
It took me twelve years of living in the house to get to this point but it only took the trim carpenter three days to create this upgrade.
I was thrilled with the end result.
So 100 years and three days later...
Good things take time.
I am totally crushing on this
painted cocktail table shared by
Oh for swoon.
Ten years ago I never would have been drawn to this but now I am all over it and I am, right this minute, cruising the house and looking to find something I can also paint up in this head- turning shade.
how great is this sport bag created by
using a favorite recycled t-shirt?
I love the phrasing. Perfect for this project.
Here is an easy idea from
A set of rustic napkin rings ...
and here's a snap shot of all you will need to make some of your own.
A number of you have asked how our bedroom and bath projects are coming along.
I can tell you in two words; they aren't.
This is the reason why.
As luck would have it this is the year that the city finally decided to replace water mains and to resurface the street out front. The work began in April but in ten days or so they SHOULD be finished with the section of street in front of our home. Then the remodelers can begin their magic.
I got their schedule today.
They think they will be done by October 30th.
Now this isn't my first rodeo so I'm not naive enough to think that this is etched in stone but it at least gives me a frame of reference and an idea of what happens first, second, and third. I'm thinking it will be more like Thanksgiving before the project is complete but who knows? I love a good surprise.
Now that we are getting closer to our start date I realize I need to get to work. There is so much to be done before they can begin.
First up, everything must be moved out of the Jack and Jill bath. Fortunately, there isn't much in there any more.
The real push will begin later this month, right before the work begins in the master suite.
I will need to totally clear out our bedroom closets. Yikes.
WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT ALL THOSE CLOTHES???
Plus, we will be selling all the furniture from this room. So everything will need to come out of the dresser, armoire and night tables.
I don't have a clue where I will put all of that stuff either.
I definitely want to get this stuff SOLD and OUT OF HERE before Satler's starts doing their demo number in this room. I guess I will also need to brush up on my Faceebook Market and Craigslist skills again.
Wow. I just went from being jazzed a few minutes ago to being more than a little freaked out now.
This is why I drink.
Tomorrow we are meeting with a contractor to look at estimates for our master bath.
We live in an old house with not a lot of options for a bigger footprint. That said, I think we ( Us and Sattler Homes) have come up with some pretty good conceptual ideas.
This would be the view looking towards my vanity.
This would be Mr. R's side.
The door into the bedroom would be moved to the short entry hallway off the main hallway or the wall where our closets have been.
This would make it so much nicer when one of us comes to bed late or has to get up early. No more lights shining in the other person's eyes or having to listen to the water running and electric toothbrushes buzzing.
So here's to hoping the numbers aren't ridiculously out of reach. If not, there will be a lot of editing going on here.
The 1980's have called and they want their bathroom back.
Yes, this is my bathroom. For all of you that have showered me over my blogging years with compliments of what you think is my beautiful house, I now expose to you my dirty little secret. I have an ugly bathroom.
BUT, I am getting ready to remedy this situation. It has only taken me fifteen years but some things just take time - and money.
We bought our home fifteen years ago. The real-estate brochures on the house said that this part of the house was remodeled in the late 80's. So the look was already ten years old when we stepped in to the picture and it was probably due for a refresh even then but we had more pressing issues like an office for Mike, a new kitchen, and making the third floor livable for the kids. It is an old house and there was a lot that needed our attention. So, although we have made a lot of changes to the rest of the house, the only things that have received any attention here were the wallpaper (1998) and the shower head.
You may notice the very first major problem with this bathroom is that there isn't any door between the bedroom and the sink area of the bathroom. If someone gets up early or comes to bed late this creates a bit of a light and noise issue.
There is, fortunately, a pocket door dividing off the shower and toilet area.
This, dear readers, will be a total gut job.
How about those windows? They are single pane with some old storm windows on top. Circa 1916.
I can not believe we have lived with those scalloped roller shades for fifteen years.
I always thought we would change out the windows and then I would invest in window treatments to fit the new windows. Well, FINALLY, I will be saying adios to those old windows and those ridiculously hideous shades.
The only thing I intend to reuse is my makeup mirror.
You might notice we are also lacking an adequate number of outlets.
The cabinets were custom and cherry. True, they could probably be re-stained or painted and some new hardware added but I have a plan in mind that will most likely require replacing them.
We are getting a couple of bids on this project and maybe the contractors will have a different idea but what I am thinking is moving the bathroom door. Instead of having the door at the end of the bathroom, I would move it to the middle - right between the sinks.
Something like this.
This would offer a bit more privacy and we could add a door that closes.
I would remove these closets that are to the left as you enter the bedroom. The bathroom is behind them. This would allow a larger footprint in the bathroom and this is where the bathroom door would be.
I would like the final look to be more in keeping with the period of the house. I really would like to replace the cherry cabinets with something white and bright.
I'm not wild about the hardware here but I like idea of introducing a glass front or maybe even some mirrored cabinet fronts.
These colors speak to me too.
We don't have a lot of space to work with and I don't have room to expand but I think gaining two feet in width will certainly help the room to feel a bit more spacious and luxurious.
Before we can start on this bath though we will first be doing a less extensive remodel in another bathroom on this floor.
I have a pretty straight forward plan for this bath that will involve moving some plumbing and new tile but more on that later.
Suffice to say we will start in here and make the necessary changes so that we can use this bathroom while they are remodeling ours.
Whew. It could be a crazy spring and summer. Are we ready for all that?
Welcome to our Linden Library. It is about ninety seven years in the making but I have only been invested in the last fourteen of them.
When we bought our home this room off the front hallway was a dining room.
This is how it looked back then.
Then in 2004 we did a major remodel to the house that included updating our kitchen.
We relocated the dining room to a larger room on the other side of the kitchen.
During this remodel we moved the left wall that you see here in to the right by three feet. This gave us room in the kitchen for an island but narrowed this space up considerably. We also removed the windows on the far end of the room. I sometimes wish we hadn't done that but the kitchen was also being bumped out toward the street which meant we would have lost one of those windows anyway. For the sake of symmetry we said goodbye to all three of them and added a bookcase to this wall.
After all that remodeling I was so over budget there was absolutely nothing left for furniture to update this room.
This is one of those big old money pit houses and it seems like there have always been more pressing needs. Throw in a recession and before you know it eight more years have gone by with nothing very significant being done here.
I made due with things I stole from other parts of the house but those things weren't right either. It only ended up looking old, stodgy and makeshift.
I eventually sold the valences and rug and lost the leopard print chair. I moved in a loveseat that had been in the living room to try and improve things a bit but I knew it was all a band-aid.
These pieces were too big and bulky for this narrow room. So one day when I couldn't take it anymore I started moving things around again and ended up putting them on Craig's List.
Last year I finally bought a pair of these Bradington Young chairs. I ordered them in black with silver nail heads. It was my start.
Next I added a wool rug from Overstock that totally thrilled me because of the price and the low shipping costs but I was even more stoked when it arrived and I saw that the quality was so much better than I expected.
Finally this fall I decided it was time to revisit this room.
When I was out looking for an ottoman for our family room I discovered that Phelan's had the little Thomasville desk I had been admiring for the last eighteen months on sale. Not just on sale but HALF OFF! Color it sold.
They call it a bedside table. I'm using it as a petite writing desk. It works wonderfully with a laptop.
I moved the chairs away from either side of the radiator and decided to place them in front of the bookcase and added a floor leaning mirror
I kept the shade from a Pier 1 lamp I bought last year but replaced the base with one from TJ Maxx that was a bit shorter and would fit on the desk.
I'm a huge fan of nail heads.
There is more to be done but it is looking so much more presentable.
So come on in a look around a bit.
I still have a punch list of things to do here.
1. I would like to add a bit of silver glaze to the existing sconces. Someday I would like to replace them but for now I will be happy with a touch of paint.
2. I am looking for just the right accessory to put on that silver table. I will know it when I see it.
3. I'd like to add a small bench or ottoman to reflect in the mirror
4. A different chair to pull up to the desk. I am drawn to fretwork and that bamboo look.
So something kind of like this but with a blam of color on the seat. Maybe in a croc pattern. The beauty of this is I could go with a very trendy color and when I get tired of it I could easily reupholster the seat.
5. Finally maybe a couple of creamy panels to flank the window. Nothing too bold but maybe with a bit of a Greek Key design along the hem or a black border.
Hopefully it won't take me another eight years. I'm getting old.
With the radiator, narrow footprint, archway and bookcase this has been a problematic space for me but I am finally feeling much better about it and no longer feel the need to distract visitors from looking this way when they come through the front door.
I saw that Tracy was throwing this party over at
Trinket's and Treasures
and I thought it would be fun to join her.
You could say I am a house whore.
Houses? love them.
The concept of everyone linking up photos of houses in their neighborhood?
How different they will all be?
Oh yeah, I'm all in.
So welcome to my hood.
Our home is located in one of those fly over states known as Iowa and
no we do not grow potatoes here. That would be Idaho.
Strange how everyone gets us confused.
I also do not live on a farm.
Less than 5% if Iowans live on a farm.
We are kind of misunderstood.
Actually, our neighborhood is a delightful mix of older homes in an established corner of a mid size city.
Most of the homes here are rapidly approaching or have already reached the century mark.
Nearly every architectural style is represented in our diverse neighborhood. There is everything from the Prairie and Colonial styles to Mid-Century Modern and Tudor.
No cookie cutter design or "Little boxes on the hillside" here.
The homes on these few blocks range from charming bungalows to stately mansions and everything in between.
I love the mix. It makes life so much more interesting.
So take a walk with me as I showcase some of my favorites from this morning's walk.
One of the things I like about older neighborhoods besides the gorgeous tree lined streets
is the lack of garages and cars in plain view.
There is a whole world of alleyways complete with four way stops hidden behind these homes. I wish they still built neighborhoods that way.
Just a few more...
So what do you know, not one cornstalk?
These familiar blocks are my little slice of Heaven.
How lucky am I?
I often complain about our lack of shopping or that we have too few great restaurants but really?
I get to walk these streets and get my house fix every day.
I would say I am very lucky.
If you love houses as much as I do you will definitely want to join me over at the
Neighborhood Photo Party
by clicking here.
It has probably been a month since we painted my hub's office.
It is a large space for a home office but he uses every inch of it.
We call it command central.
I wish I had closed that closet door on the right tightly before taking the picture.
In an earlier post I wrote about the drama of adding onto a home that is nearly 100 years old and the logistics of having the new space blend with the older part of the house.
It took us two years to complete this project with the hubs, my father-in-law, and brother-in-law doing a large portion of the work.
This office and the additional garage space below were added to the back side of our home in 2000.
You can see that the roof over the family room to the left used to be a shed style roof. That part of the house was added on in the 1940's and our architect convinced us to remove that roof and replace it with another 12 12 roof that would blend better with the rest of the house.
So off came the old roof.
It was daunting to say the least.
It was quite a feat but it did finally all pull together.
It seems I am always taking pictures in early spring before everything leafs out.
It is so much prettier when there are leaves on the trees.
There are a few signs of spring in the yard though.
A few more warm days like today and this part of the world will look entirely different.
As for Mike's office it remained the same from when it was built until late February or early March when we decided to give it a new coat of paint.
We went from a pale yellow called parchment to this charcoal gray.
We were both happy with this new bold look.
There are still things to be done.
That cubby above the right closet used to have a television in it.
We never used it so when they took it down to paint we decided it wasn't worth the effort of putting it back up there. It was a ten year old set and seemed like it weighed a ton.
I may do some sort of sculpture piece up there instead or something organic looking.
We also are ready to change up the rugs for something a bit more contemporary.
Most of the wooden or case pieces in this room are one of a kind hand made items from Amana Furniture.
No China furniture here. :) ... just electronics.
I think he needs a bigger monitor.
The Amana pieces have a finish that is unbelievably smooth and it doesn't hurt that they are made only about thirty minutes away from where we live.
Mike put a lot of thought into planning this office space and the conference table has a hole in the middle to hide all the wires for the conference phone set up.
The table, an Amana piece, is solid mahogony. We did put a glass top on it to protect it from the rigors of business.
Mike's dad, a builder and woodworker, said it was built like a tank and we could probably land a 747 on it.
The closets hide the ugly stuff - copiers, shredders, files and the like.
The Herman Miller chairs were Mike's idea.
I thought he was crazy at the time but I'm so glad that is what he went with.
They are a timeless design, have held up wonderfully, and are amazingly comfortable.
So what took me so long to post these pictures since we didn't really make any changes?
Well that TV I mentioned was sitting on top of a file cabinet in the middle of the room for almost four weeks until we bribed someone to take it off of our hands.
Then we were able to move the file cabinet back into the closet.
That and this place is usually buzzing with activity which is code for it usually looks like a bomb went off in here.
I did talk my big guy into editing some things out of the bookcases which can be a real catch all for all of his treasures.
We also removed the bumper stickers, I'm not kidding, from above the doorways,
and the Wake the F Up bag of coffee beans from the credenza.
I wanted to find a cool club rack to hold his collection of putters instead of his solution of lining them up all willy nilly against the wall.
I'm still looking for just the right thing so for now this is our compromise.
I do want this to be his space and I think it still is.
From the magazines he loves
to the posters that are a nod to the business he is in
There are momentos of personal achievements and fond memories.
The shots of Patron are what he calls "swing lube"
One for the front nine and one for the back :)
Because a guy can't work all the time.
Everyone needs to have a fun side and my big guy definitely has that going for him.
So now, on to Motivated Monday...
The painter called last month and said he had some time to paint the hubby's office.
Little did I know what that can of paint would lead to.
After he finished painting the office I lead him up to the third floor to get some advice on the wallpapered boys spaces.
You guessed it. He's coming back to help me with that redo.
After twelve years we knew it was time for an update in that part of the house too.
We have made very limited progress up here.
It's true. Things will look worse before they look better.
The plumber has been here and disconnected everything so that the new floor can be installed.
I need to get that ordered.
That is project #1.
2. remove wallpaper
3. replace lighting
5. The verdict was terminal regarding the sink so number five is finding a replacement for my original one.
6. replace or add the BeColorful touch to the mirror/ medicine cabinet
7. paint the outside of the tub
8. order new faucet for tub
9 add new towels and accessories
That should be enough for starters but it doesn't end there.
In the meantime we began switching some beds around on the second floor.
This used to be Lizzie's room.
and she isn't moving back home. :)
So.... add this space to the to do list.
We redid this room when she was a sophomore in college - not that long ago but it is time to let go of the pink and think of it more as a guest room and less as a young girl's retreat.
So sad. Why do they all have to go and grow up on me?
Someone is coming to pick up her bed today and I will be moving this bed from the real guest room into Liz's old room.
The projects in my head are really starting to add up.
How much will it all cost?
I would like that designer look but on a big box budget .
I really have my work cut out for me this time around.
we will be bringing a king size bed into this room.
I have the bed already but the bedding will not work so -
1. Find new bedding for this room.
2. That God awful light fixture ( and yes I picked it out, but twelve years ago) needs to go. This is an old house and the windows in this room are painted shut. Argh. So I know the practical thing would be a ceiling fan. I want to make my guests comfortable right?
I think I do.
Yes, I do.
Is it wrong, though, that my bigger concern is what will it look like?
I could really see a pendant fixture here.
So comfort or looks?
Do not even suggest the fan with the ceiling light. It won't be happening. I have never seen one that I like.
3. We also bought a flatscreen TV several months ago to replace this one that I think came over on the Mayflower and now will no longer work without a cable box.
so project number three is to get the new bad boy out of the box and on the wall.
4. Now back to Liz's room. I think I am ready for a new wall color here. but what?
I will be reusing the white bedding with the black piping that was in the guest room so really all options are open. Repainting this room will be project number four.
I'm not sure what is up with this photo but I don't have time to edit today.
The ceiling is not pink but it might have been pretty if I had thought to do that.
5. All the accessories in this room have passed their prime. So new lamps and tchotchkies will be in order. Number five will be fun and easy.
Five projects here plus the nine in the boys bathroom equals fourteen.
Then there is this jack and jill bathroom between the two rooms.
This will be projects 15 - 21at least.
We can cut some corners on that third floor boys bath but this one sees a lot more use and needs to be throughly gutted. I can't even let my mind go there quite yet.
Let me give you a hint.
We painted over the tile here - twelve years ago.
One bathroom at a time though.
Whose idea was it buy this money pit?
It is never really done.
By the time I had worked my way through the whole house twelve years had gone by.
So now that we have been through the whole house once it is time to start over.
Some spaces were just kind of glossed over - like this bathroom and they are in need of some serious attention on round two.
It is so true that one project really does lead to another.
Last month I pretended that I was walking into my own home for the first time.
I imagined I was a prospective buyer.
Funny, how I had walked by some things so many times I didn't even see them anymore.
It was a rude awakening for me.
With my eyes opened I realized it is past time to get back to work here.
We had been busy living life and I don't regret that one bit and I don't intend to stop now but I will have to direct some of my energies back in to this big old albatross that we call home.
Yes, it all started with that can of gray paint.
Was it really paint or a can of worms?
I'm thinking there won't be very many new shoes or handbags in my spring and summer. :0
Oh well, in the end I can only hope it will all be worth it.
Sharing this post in blogland here:
It's really going to happen .
We are going to take our Animal House bathroom from this.
To something with a whole lot more sass.
Something like this.
or maybe a celebration of color like this.
I've been thinking a green like this.
Because this bathroom is clear up on the third floor it is seldom used unless everybody is home at once.
We would really like to keep the costs here to a minimum.
Looking ahead our biggest expenses will be the flooring and the plumber.
To put the floor in the tub, radiator, and toilet will need to be removed.
The radiator and the tub ( without any shut off valves) will be the tricky part.
We will have to wait until it is a bit warmer to pull out the radiator.
The entire system needs to be drained first and it is still a bit early in the season to shut down the boiler.
That said, we thought we would forge ahead with some of the purchasing decisions.
So how do you feel about this?
We think this would be a good look for this 95 year old bathroom.
I would love to save this old sink that is most likely original to the house
but as you can see it is wearing the badges of age.
It has such a pretty shape but in the end it is a matter of $$$.
I am sure it will be considerably less to replace it with a new one.
We did take down the shower curtain bar.
There are other showers in the house.
We decided to go with something less practical and more visually appealing.
So we are ordering this little lovely.
Then there is the matter of lighting.
I want to stay with the vintage vibe and so the Big Box 90's light fixture needs to move on out too.
I saw this one today and thought it might work.
I've been down with a beast of a cold for over a week
but it amazing how the thought of a decorating project can improve my outlook.
So it is Sunday night and if you were here last week you might remember the issues I was having with my McLInky.
I unsubscribed and I am going to try inlinkz.
Hopefully, I will have better luck here.
Thank you for your patience.
You know the drill.
LInk up whatever.
Your favorite post, a decorating project, a favorite recipe, a gift you wrapped...
Whatever inspires you inspires me.
Please take the blog button with you and link back to this party.
Have a great week.
I'm so glad you stopped by.
Ten years ago we added on to our home.
It turned out to be a major undertaking.
My husband has a home office here and he needed more space.
So this was our solution.
We wanted the woodwork to match the rest of the house and there had to have been miles of trim boards to paint.
A 12 12 pitch roof 40 feet up creates some challenges in itself.
Just getting the drywall in on this back side of the house was no small feat.
Mike and my father- in -law did the lion's share of the work.
It took almost a year a half.
Ten years later, and my father-in-law is just starting to talk to us again.
( Just kidding)
In the end, though, it was well worth it.
Thanks to a great architect it is difficult to tell what is old and what is new.
This was Mike's office space soon after he moved into his new office.
We call it command central.
This is where he grew his company.
There have been highs and there have been lows.
Celebrations and sleepless nights.
There is a couch in this room that we call the meltdown couch.
Over the years each of the kids and I have had our emotional breakdowns here while our rock listened, advised and ultimately had us laughing again.
His sense of humor is the glue in this family.
We have partied here, held meetings here, and tried out new skis here.
We watched the towers fall in this room.
This is where Mike was when our future son-in-law asked to marry his only daughter.
Yes, these four walls hold a lot of memories.
Our lives have moved forward but other than new computers and the size of the monitors, little has changed in this space since then ...
We had been talking about repainting.
Mike was tired of the "parchment" color and so was I.
So last night we pushed all the furniture to the middle of the room as we anxiously waited for the painters to arrive this morning.
I was thinking of something in a lighter gray or like last week's Becolorful Color of the Week - Taupe post.
Mike wanted to go bolder. A bit darker, more dramatic.
I'm glad we went with his choice.
Here is a sneak peek of where we are going.
I'm loving it.
I hope you'll check back in to see the finished product.
Linking up here:
Yesterday I showed you my copper ceiling and creamy white walls.
That was my first step into my living room madness.
I kind of jumped off here without a real plan in my head.
I just know when I like something
and when I don't
I knew I was over what had been here and it was time for a change.
We actually don't call this the living room.
For years it has been the piano room.
It is not an area where we spend a lot of time.
Piano Room sounds kind of hoity toity.
I don't want to leave you with the wrong impression.
For those of you that think I sit here and play the piano for hours at a time
while sipping Pinot Grigio
or that I am some kind of cultured and refined type person ...
well let's just say
you would be wrong.
( well except for the wine part - and often times martinis)
I do love the piano but haven't really sat down to play for at least two weeks.
I have too many things I like to do.
I will never ever be bored.
Perhaps it really is Adult Attention Deficit.
Anyway, now that I had step one behind me I was ready for step two.
Step two was installed today.
I know this is an unorthodox way of doing things.
Selecting the drapes first probably doesn't make a lot of sense.
In the beginning, though, I thought that if I changed the walls and the drapes I would be happy.
It isn't working out that way.
Once I made these changes
I knew that my old furniture, rugs and accessories really weren't going to fly with the room vibe I was going for.
So for now I have a room with a piano, new paint and new window treatments.
They look silky in the photos but this is the fabric - more of a woven pattern.
I do love how they puddle on the floor.
We did have to allow for the radiators under the front windows and do those two windows in a sill length.
Just another decorating challenge that comes with an old house.
Once the fireplace is flanked by a couple of oversized chairs I am confident that this little flaw will become much less obvious.
I also like that we took the window treatment above the windows to give the illusion of more height -
especially since we had opted for a darker ceiling.
Somehow we were short one set of drapery rings so they weren't able to hang the last panel today.
I'm not in any real hurry.
I don't have any furniture now anyway.
The red rug will eventually be leaving too.
I'm thinking an animal print or maybe a quatrefoil or a stripe.
What do you think?
In the mean time
I am taking the minimalist look to the extreme.
Tomorrow I will decide what can come back in
and what needs to find a new home.
Then my next goal will be
to find a sofa.
Linking up here. I hope you will join me.
Oh good Lord.
What have I done now?
I've made a holy mess of my living room.
Do you remember it?
It looked like this.
I'll admit it.
There was a time when I LOVED this room.
It was everything I wanted it to be.
I can't remember when that was exactly but I know that I did.
I've moved on.
My room didn't.
I tried making little tweaks so people wouldn't think I was stuck in a time warp.
It wasn't enough.
Two months I took a leap of faith and ordered new draperies.
Ten days ago the big guy helped me take down the the old ones.
Originally I was going to store them because I spent so much money on them.
The more I thought about it, though,the more that just didn't make sense.
Looking at them just makes me feel bad about myself.
Sometimes you just have to take the hit and let go.
I'm letting go.
I decided I would like to donate them to TCR - our community theater that was devastated by the 2008 floods.
They lost so much and maybe this is an opportunity for us to give back.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was thinking about painting the ceiling a color to draw attention to the interesting woodwork.
So when the painter came Monday he painted the ceiling a metallic copper.
Then took the walls back to a whiter shade of pale.
You know when Becolorful goes with off white walls that she has been influenced by the decorating blogs.
I haven't lost my sense of color.
There will always be color in my house.
I'm just rethinking where it will come from.
I like the casual slip covered look but after a lot of thought maybe that look would be better suited for the family room.
I am kind of leaning towards a more of a sophisticated casual look.
Therein lies the rub.
The furniture I took out of here -
I don't want to bring it back.
So for now it is stacked up in the library.
What have I done?
I feel like I have let the decorating beast out of it's cage and now I'm wondering how to tame it.
I really don't want to spend a lot of money in this room.
This big old rambler of ours all of a sudden has too many needs.
We will have been here thirteen years in December.
It took me probably eight years to get the house where I wanted it.
Now it is time to start over.
I'm freaking out a bit here -
and if I'm freaking out you can imagine what the big guy is thinking. :)
We've already had the "we're going into the slow season" talk.
Why do I always want to tackle these projects when we are going into winter?
So, needless to say, I want to keep my investment here small
but I want it to look rich.
I loved this.
Can I do it?
I'm hoping that maybe a more casual feel will make it more welcoming space and I have even given some thought to looking for a bar cabinet.
Instead of calling it the piano room we could call it the piano bar.
That fireplace might be pretty painted.
It is the original mantel.
Over the decades it has been painted, antiqued and then stripped and refinished.
It's pretty but it is also pretty boring.
The rug just isn't working for me anymore.
The red damask wingback chairs have already left for the consignment shop.
What will we sit on?
I'm beginning to wonder if I should have just left well enough alone
Dearest readers, I'm going to need your advice.
Please don't desert me now as I morph into a raving crazed decor diva wanna be. :)
I think we need a bar.
This decorator could use a cocktail.
The draperies come tomorrow.
I'll be sure to share some pictures.
Linking here and hoping for some great ideas.
Small rooms discipline the mind
~ Leonardo Di Vinci
I live in an old home.
We have five bathrooms.
When we moved in, though, there was only one powder room on the first floor.
It was and still is miniscule.
It was obviously added later -
after the house was built.
It is tucked in under the front stairs.
It is so small you actually step down one step into it so you don't hit your head on the sloped ceiling.
our guests seldom use that one.
They always seem to gravitate to this one.
I truly believe someone saw this room and then came up with the term water closet.
So when I saw a post on Houzz today featuring small bathrooms,
I just knew I had one that was in the running or could take the cake for smallest bathroom ever.
It does pose some decorating challenges.
First of all,
see that top row of tile?
When we first moved it it was blue.
I did country blue back in the day.
I'm over it.
So, I painted over it.
A temporary fix...
twelve years ago.
Funny, some things just drop off of my radar.
Someday I will revisit this but it isn't high on my list right now.
There isn't any color in the world that I could have painted this room to make it look larger.
Sometimes you just have to embrace the obvious and look for the positives.
For instance, I think I was able to paper this room with about half a roll of wallpaper.
I've never been able to say that before.
Or, and I don't know how to say this delicately, but this room is designed perfectly if you have a bad case of the flu.
Think about it and study the picture.
Need I say more?
The biggest draw back here, there isn't an exhaust fan.
To solve that problem, the light is a motion/timer light.
Your stay here should probably be brief or you will be sitting in the dark. :)
There weren't any real options here.
If these walls could be pushed out or up I'm sure someone would have done that decades ago.
This space is what it is.
So I roll with it
and decorate accordingly.
When I found this quote I knew I had the perfect spot for it.
So I printed it out on my computer and framed it.
Probably five dollar wall art
but definitely appropriate here. :)
This font is looking dated.
I tried this.
This is better.
It was time to lose the faux flowers too but I would like to bring a pop of red back in too.
I'll shop the house later.
So like I was saying.
Some people may say I have accentuated the negative.
I like to think of it more along the lines of being able to laugh at yourself.
What's the saying?
Women admire men for their strengths but love them for their weaknesses.
Maybe it is that way with houses and rooms too.
Too perfect may not be a good thing.
At least that is what I keep telling myself.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
Have a great weekend.
Linking up these great parties:
Those of you that know me are familiar with my old rambler of a house.
It was built in 1916.
We bought it in 1997 and moved in six months later.
The house didn't come with a library.
In fact there weren't even any book shelves at all.
Nadda. Not a one.
Apparently they weren't familiar with Cicero's tagline "A room without books is like a body without a soul."
So we added our own book shelves but this set didn't come about until about five years ago when we did our kitchen remodel.
When we bought our home this space was the dining room.
Sorry about the grainy picture. It is copied from the list sheet circa 1997.
The windows look so pretty here but this room is on the front of the house and with all of the joggers and dog walkers passing by we felt like we were in a fish bowl.
As for the chandelier, unfortunately for us they took it with them.
The one they took wasn't the original though.
That light fixture had been gas and was later converted to electricity.
Another previous homeowner and friend of mine has the original one.
Here a an old photo of the room, the fixture and my chandelier robber.
She doesn't look like a thief does she.
I find it interesting that those windows at the end of the house were covered in sheers.
I suppose that was the fashion but it is kind of a shame.
Here is another photo taken by the next owners in the 1970's
Actually it is two photos taped together.
The door in the left hand corner was a swing door that went into the kitchen and just out of the frame to the near left was a second set of stairs, servant stairs that led to their rooms.
Really? Servants rooms?
The house isn't that big but apparently it was big enough.
There is even an old button in the floor of this room to buzz the kitchen help.
I have pushed and pushed that button but nothing ever happens.
Maybe it's been disconnected. :)
I guess the help went the way of telephone operators, milkmen and doctors that made house calls.
No, don't even think about it.
I am definitely not living THAT life.
After we moved in to the house we added our own chandelier and window treatments and the room looked like this.
I'm not sure why I did that rag tag garland under the windows. Sometimes I think because I have something I need to use it.
I'm learning to edit. :)
Well about five years ago we decided we were ready to jump into that black hole known as a kitchen remodel.
The original kitchen was quite small and there weren't a lot of options for bumping out walls.
In the end we moved the dining room to the other side of the kitchen.
We took down the chandelier and what had been a room with no real purpose became our new dining room. You can read about this room by clicking here.
Because of our limited expansion options we stole about three feet from the old dining room and wrapped the new kitchen around it.
Sadly that meant losing these windows.
This smaller space would become our library.
I like libraries to have a more traditional feel and because this room is off of the foyer I kept it a bit more formal.
It has been an awkward space to furnish.
With the radiator, the bookcases and a large entry that shows signs of since -moved french doors there isn't much play room.
I had a large leather sofa, chair and ottoman that I thought I would move right in here.
Hmmmmm. I forgot to measure.
The sofa had such a slope to it's back that when I placed it against the wall it looked like it was in the middle of the room.
It was just too big for this space.
But after a kitchen redo that was "stupid money" over budget I didn't want to buy any more furniture.
So I made do
and that is what I'm still doing.
I used the leather chair and ottoman and pulled in a leopard print one also.
I had a chest along the left wall but again it made the room look too narrow.
I think this lighter lowboy works better.
The picture is something my dad bought me quite a while ago. For that reason alone it is priceless to me.
For me the devil is in the details.
Like the quote at the top of the bookcase, the two toned painted woodwork or the lighting.
I wanted sconces not an overhead fixture here.
I've had these Fredrick Cooper lamps for years. They still work for me.
Because the left wall was was torn out, moved and rebuilt we had to reconstruct the wood panels and the Lincrusta so it would match the rest of the room.
I think the valence may be a bit to frilly for this room so like the living room, I am thinking of taking it down and storing it in the attic. I think I'd like to see the window bare again. I don't think the fish bowl thing will bother me so much since those chairs are tucked over to the side.
I'd also like to see a bigger rug and a new shade for the floor lamp.
It just drives home the message that style is ever evolving and this room will be no exception. I wonder what different looks it will wear over the next ninety four years?
Along with Met Monday I will partying for the first time with Romantic Home and Along for the Ride and visiting and linking at up at Remodelahoic I can always count on some great decorating remodeling inspiration there. I hope you will visit there too.