May 31, 2010

Well My Weekend Was Great, Thanks. How Was Yours?

May 28, 2010

Back Porch - Your Opinion Please!

Dear Interweb Pee-pul,  I need your excellent help picking out back porch colors.

We decided to leave the back porch 'as is' for now instead of removing the roof and installing a fancy awning. So we're not making any structural changes to the back porch - for now (WARNING: living with a licensed architect can result in STRUCTURAL CHANGES.  WITHOUT WARNING. OVER A WEEKEND.........SURPRISE!)

Because the long term plan for the back porch involves doubling its size and adding a three season room below (purrrrr) we didn't want to spend a lot making the existing porch enjoyable and functional. So we didn't. We reused pressure treated 2x4s from the demo, and we bought yards of cheap fencing. And I am SO happy with how it turned out. Before....

And now......

To help you advise me, here are some porch color schemes I like:

(from Photoseyeluv)

(Loving the purple-ish grey! via MetroCard City)

(via khoury23)

(via nechachan)

Everything that's currently painted is your basic medium grey - except the doors and windows. The doors and window also need to be painted.  All of it is peeling. There are lots of surfaces to paint. How do I break it up?
- Porch supports and railing - currently medium grey
- Porch ceilings (up and down) - currently medium grey
- Porch floor - medium grey
- Back doors  - random! (what is up with the turquoise/yellow/beige/brown combo?!)
- Window frame - red

Do we leave the ceilings and floors grey? Do we leave the porch supports grey, but put a fresh coat on? Do we paint the railing a different color than the porch supports?  What say you?!

May 26, 2010

The Brimfield Antique Show Has Been Velly Velly Good to Me

My mom found the Catherine Holm platter at the May Brimfield shows.  Isn't it gorgeous?

The lamp is from Ikea and the orange bowl was a gift. I only have the following information about the candle sticks: I love them they are mine. They were also found at Brimfield.

My mom actually found the cart at a consignment shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan and she just KNEW it belonged in our house.

She is very very wise. And generous.

Here's my Brimfield advice for mid-century design seekers:

- There are a few dealers who specialize in mid-century modern items, but the larger portion of mid-century items will be scattered in a booth that doesn't appear to be focused on mid-century items. It's all about the hunt.
- There are really no bargains to be had at Brimfield: these are serious dealers, and they know what they have. That being said, don't insult them by not asking for a better price. But remember: if you offer a price and they accept it, you don't get to change your mind. YOU BETTER PULL OUT YOUR CASH. I may have learned this lesson the hard way. I may have been yelled at and chased down.
- Brimfield runs from Tuesday to Sunday. I highly recommend going on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  Early. On Tuesday and Wednesday, booths will assume you are a dealer and give you a decent (but not ridiculously low) price. Also? There are TONS of free fields open those mornings. You can walk for 6 hours both mornings and not see everything.
- Generally, the quality of the items in 'free' fields is slightly lower or more hit-and-miss than fields you pay to get into. But I've found some GREAT pieces in non-paying fields.
- EARLY. Go early. Seriously. For the 'paying' fields, if the field opens at 9:00?  Get in line at 8:30.
- There ARE great mid-century furniture pieces, but very very few are in good condition. Think: leather falling apart, layers of paint, etc.

I hope this is helpful! Maybe I'll see you at the July or September shows?

May 24, 2010

Les Chaises Rouge

In a previous post about our back porch demolition, I posted pictures of a little red bistro chair and table set. Several of you (hello lovelies!) commented on them. They really are dreamy. You can buy them here:
Clearly we still have not decided 'back porch awning or no back porch awning.'

May 22, 2010

Fuzzy Faces

On our trip to Stowe, we stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. The Lodge offers tons of activities, one of which is to gaze longingly at their DARLING Scottish Highlanders.

Don't you just want to take one home? All you'd have to do is buy some REALLY big point protectors.

May 20, 2010

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

We took a little vacation last week to Stowe, Vermont!  We arrived Saturday night at our lovely cabin.  And we were greeted by a rainbow. I am not kidding (all photos courtesy of Denis Luzuriaga. My camera battery died and I forgot my recharger.)

And Sunday morning (photo taken from same location)?

May 18, 2010

Mommy? Where Do Wires Come From?

We continue to work on the upstairs bathroom project with hopes of finishing it sometime before the sun uses up its nuclear fuel and begins to die.  Or at least before the results of global warming mean we have to row to work in a dinghy.

We removed some rotted floorboards, only to discover.......wait for it............only to discover PROBLEMS. For example? There are two sections missing from a floor joist (only one is pictured below.)  Is this the floor joist that sits under our collection of weightless birds? No. Unfortunately, this is the floor joist that sits under our cast iron tub that is sometimes filled with water and a baby hippo.

So we have to figure out how to secure a floor joist.  A steel reinforcing beam is being discussed.

Also? You can barely see them in the crappy photo below, but there are three weird low-voltage electric wires running through the same space. What are they?  We have no idea. What would happen if we cut them? We have no idea.

So. I am look on craigslist for a dinghy.

May 13, 2010

Fruits of Our (Uncompleted) Labor

Someone is a little more brave than I. OR someone is more eager to enjoy the back porch.  We are still figuring out if we're going to take the roof off and install an automated awning, or if we're going to leave the roof as is for now. The type of railing we install will depend on that decision. So, no decision? No railing.

May 10, 2010

Mid-Century Modern Find!

My mom is visiting! As her daughter, I am legally required to visit one garden supply store and two antique stores when she visits. It is a real hardship for me. I suffer so much. Ouch. The suffering.

Look what I found!

May 5, 2010

Digging up Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley!  Their darling little white bell flowers smell sweet and slightly haunting.  Familiar, like spring.  THEY ARE ALSO INVASIVE AS HELL.  DARTH VADER COULD NOT POWER THROUGH A SERIOUS CLUMP OF LILY OF THE VALLEY ROOTS.

Conveniently, a local historic Museum's annual plant sale takes place on May 15 ( So I dug up ALL of the freaking lily of the valley from our front yard and brought them to Wistariahurst (No. That is not spelled incorrectly. Even though the plant is spelled 'Wisteria' the name of the historic house is 'Wistariahurst'. No one knows why.)

The Master Gardeners who organize the plant sale were hard at work. Also? The WistERia is in bloom!

May 2, 2010

Trash to Treasure

We need a coffee table and I've been admiring lots of 'before and after' furniture projects online. In fact? I think 'before and afters' are the internet's very own Crack Cocaine.

Given that our house budget they say in the restaurant booking world, "completely committed," I started stopping at garage tag sales (we don't have garage sales here in New England.  We have 'tag' sales. Because we are annoyingly supercilious special.)

I liked the clean lines, the storage detail, and the nice proportions of this piece. I do not like the inlays. And since the price was right ($20), I'm going to attempt my first piece of refinished furniture.  I want it to be SHINY! and TWO COLORS! and BOLD! and SHINY!  I think having the top a different color than the base would be fun.  But do I paint the ENTIRE top a different color, or only the surface parallel to the floor?

 I'm thinking about a cool 'bone' color for the body and a deep red or black for the sliding top. What think you? Here's the before.