Category Archives: Projects

Master Bedroom!

Obviously, when you move into a new home, settling where you’re going to sleep, and making it comfortable is of primary importance. Well, we had a mattress, and a dresser…and that’s it. For. Two. Months. That sort of bohemian existence might not have bothered some of you, but it was extremely stressful to me. Even my husband, once we set up the new bed and got it looking all pretty, said “I actually feel like I’m at home now.” Exactly.

When we moved in:

The Master Bedroom

It’s sort of a long, narrow room. Windows on two sides, with a 3/4 bath right behind where I’m standing, the door to the hall on my left.

(Left photo) I was standing in that corner in the previous picture. Note the blueblueblueblue Master Bathroom. That one’s for boys. The pink one in the hall is for girls. (Right photo) This was my sort-of inspiration for the color scheme and feel of the room. (A Pinterest find.) Muted Stacie-blue and washed-out coral-y oranges and russets with silly pillows (sillows?) Also, mirrors and metallics.

I went ahead and painted during our second week in the house, because I was confident of where I was going on that score. It’s the color my whole family calls Stacie-Blue. A pale, slightly grey robin’s egg shade. Nice. So at least the color was nice in our bohemian bedroom.

The fluffies enjoyed the laziness of simply stepping up into bed, instead of leaping.  Bad iPhone pic.

BUT NOW, we have a full-fledged Master Bedroom with a bed and art on the walls, and a cow humidifier.

Isn’t it dreamy? We have BS on our wall. It’s unfortunate that I can’t sleep on the other side of the bed.

Ikea “MALM” bed. It’s the high profile one, king-size in the darkest finish they have. Very sturdy!

Husband’s nightstand.                    Cow humidifier.                             My nightstand.

The nightstands are vintage, probably 1930s.  The cow humidifier is not vintage.

I need to dust. This is our owl change jar where I put all the loose change I “steal” out of my husband’s pockets. It goes toward our travel fund. Also, a wedding photo by the amazing Brooke Ogilvie.

Lamps from some cheapy store.  Dressers from   Fancy clock from thrift store.

I’m going to pick a time and draw it in with a Sharpie.  Maybe 4:42, when we were officially married?

Profile shot.

Sillows.  From Target and TJ Maxx or Marshall’s or somewhere.

Letters from Hobby Lobby.  Epic fox hunt painting from my mother-in-law. I LOVE how the tarnished gold looks against the blue.

Dresser from Overstock.  Cow misty from Target.  Mirrors from Wal-Mart in the early 90s.

We have lots of doors on that side of the room.

*sigh*  Wish you could see the view into the backyard from the bed at sunrise (our room faces east.)  But that’s another post.

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Vintage Furniture – my latest finds.

I love vintage mid-century furniture. The geometric lines, the Asian influences, the high quality materials, and the long, low lines. I hate reproduction mid-century furniture. It’s all bright colors and shiny finishes and has none of the patina of age or the subtlety of the 50’s through the early 70’s. So when I find a good piece at a good price, I buy it, no questions asked. Fortunately I now have a big, empty house.

The first mid-century piece I ever bought was right after I graduated from college. I don’t have a picture of it, which is really tragic. It was a hand-crafted gramophone case on long, thin legs, in a pale ash wood. I got it for $80 at an antique store in MS. Gorgeous wrought iron hardware from Asia. And one time when I was moving in Lubbock, TX, a large gust of wind came and literally blew it over in the parking lot, smashing it to bits. That was the first time I ever cried over furniture. And not the last.

My favorite pieces for the last few years have been a pair of Danish Modern chairs from a dentist’s office. Also purchased in MS, at a charity shop for $25 (for the pair!!), I’ve used them and loved them for about 8 years now:

This is my dog, Pants. This is his chair.

Recently, I’ve added two new pieces to my collection.

I bought this one at a garage sale down the street. It’s from about 1963, a prime Mad Men-ish year. I bought it for $50, which I still can’t get over. It has minor scratches and a swadge of white paint on one of the edges, but is otherwise in mint condition.

For now, it’s going to be a bar, but I’m considering painting it the same deep blue as the front door.  < Inspiration  Clarendon Street eclectic hall

The inside is really cool. Pants likes it.

Nifty hardware.

The second piece I’ve bought recently is this divan. I bought it at the Disabled Veterans Thrift Shop here in Memphis for $75. I saw it from the road, spun my SUV around, and bought it on the spot. My husband laid on it in the back the whole way home, holding the back door down, since the piece was way too long for my vehicle. The cutout wooden sides, dainty legs, and shapely back are all reasons to love it. It’s a bit fancier than my aqua chairs, but I think they complement nicely. Masculine/Feminine and all that.

I am recovering the seat cushions (which are in good shape, but the same boring fabric as the rest of the thing) with this bird upholstery print I’ve been hoarding for about 10 years. Bought 3 yards, from WalMart, surprisingly, for $6 a yard.

Here’s the whole combo. You can see the paint color-to-be on the far wall by the foyer. It’s the same blue from our master bedroom, which you’ll see in a couple of days.

I really can’t wait to see all of this complete. Now I need a rug. And some tables.

Do you see the pale pear color of the foyer? I’m digging the way it plays off the robin’s egg blues and the oak of the floor.

More to come tomorrow!

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Our time-travelling front door.

So, the husband and I love Doctor Who, that wonderfully weird and surprising BBC show about a time-travelling Time Lord and his human companions. We wanted to paint our front door to resemble the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), the Doctor’s time machine/spaceship, which masquerades as a 1960’s London Police Box.  Looks like this:

I wanted a blue that was a bit more intense, more toward cerulean, especially since we have a black wrought iron security door covering the front door – I knew it would tone down the color, particularly from the street.

I picked:










Quiet Storm, by Behr from Home Depot. Exterior Semi-Gloss with built-in primer.

It took three coats, and could have used another.  Here’s a midway shot:

















It was pretty scary. It was touch and go for a while.

We also took off all the fixtures – handle, knocker, etc, and soaked them overnight in vinegar and water. It pulled off all the old paint and helped to give them a bit of a patina.

We really like how it turned out, though it’s still a bit bright when the sun hits the front of the house.

I have loads more to show you, but most of my projects are just ALMOST done, not photo-ready. SOON. I promise.

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The Fireplace

Our house has one fireplace, in the small “den” (I guess that’s what we’re calling it for now) on the back of the house.  It takes up the one long wall, and is opposite a large picture window (which you’ll see transformed in a future post.)  This is what it looked like when we moved in:

The Den

It’s not awful, but the putty-colored paint accentuated the fact that the brick is a bit crumbly, the mantel is incredibly crooked (look at how it doesn’t line up with the bricks), and the mortar lines are very deep.

Stripping the paint and exposing the brick wasn’t an option.  We had no idea how many layers of paint were on there, and looking in the cabinet to the left, we could see that the brick wasn’t pretty like the exterior of the house anyway.  Plus, stripping paint is a pain in the butt and it was ridiculously expensive to pay for a soda wash or sandblasting.

So, paint.

I wanted to go dark for a few reasons:

1. I wanted some major contrast in the room.

2. The window opposite the fireplace is huge and lends a beautiful view of our backyard, so I wanted to balance that with a dark alternative focal point.

3. A dark color camouflages the heavy texture, unbalanced mantel, and looks more modern.

4. I kind of dig the old brassy bronze fireplace surround, and I wanted to accent it with a dark color that still had warmth.

Here’s what we came up with:

I chose an off-black with a bit of olive green in it, so it still looks warm and echoes the trees outside.  The color is Thorny Branch, by Behr, from Home Depot, and I chose the exterior eggshell formula because it’s a bit more heavy duty and will stand up to people sitting and standing on the hearth.  It’s still latex.

It took two heavy coats and some touching up here and there.  As with any dark color, the richness and depth don’t really look right until you get it on thick.  Here’s what it looked like at first:

Pretty gross.  It took about 15 episodes of Mad Men to get the first coat on (the mortar lines took 80% of the time.)  And then the second coat went really quickly.  I don’t usually tape anything off when I paint (I’m very neat,) but this time I did, to protect the floors, and because I’m not sure if I could exactly match the putty color if I were to get paint that dark on it.

I think it looks great with the floors!

You can see a hint of the crazy pumpkin orange in the kitchen to the left…not our choice.  It was the one room that was already a color when we moved in.  I’m still pondering that one.  Stay tuned for final photos of the den – it’s almost done!

See how uneven the surface is?  Not fun to paint, let me tell you.

Doesn’t it look great!?  We’re pretty excited about it.

Keep watching for the next project! Now that this big one’s done, more should be coming quickly.


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