photo Whaling-City-Cottage-8-2015_zpsoygeotsf.jpg

kitchen plans {stove wall}

Over the past year, I’ve been obsessively planning our new kitchen, and despite my love of design, this has not been an easy process.  As a House Beautiful devotee and someone who has drooled over kitchens for years, this should be a snap, right?  But somehow, it’s been crazy hard to figure out what I want design-wise and then work that within our budget and layout constraints, which are substantial.  It’s almost been easier to pinpoint what I don’t want the kitchen to be.  Trendy.  Country.  Glam.  Industrial farmhouse.  Modern Farmhouse.  Farmhouse anything.

None of these things are what I’m going for, least of all the dreaded trendy.  I really don’t want to look at this kitchen in a couple years and realize I drank the design element Kool-Aid.  Like I chose elements and finishes just because my brain saw them a million times on Instagram or Pinterest.  There’s a lot of repetition and saturation out there.  If I see another David Hicks pendant paired with brass articulating arm sconces, I may scream.  

What I do want – Clean, Timeless, Elegant, Warm.  And of course, all the kitchens I really love are Beyonce-level spenny.

jill egan interiors

Can’t you picture a chick in Converse frying mozzarella sticks in this kitchen?

paul bates architects

Or a mom who fends off her kids’ repeated snack requests with a stone-face, “Nope.  Beat it.”

That’s the classy broad this kitchen was made for – ME!

source unknown

ruard veltman

source unknown

steven gambrel

Let’s ignore the fact that most of these kitchens have gas ranges that cost as much a car….there’s a lot to learn and take away from these spaces.

Minimalist range hoods.
No upper cabinets.
Understated lighting.

We had planned to keep the stove where it is, on this wall.

But this weekend after doing some probing in the ceiling, we realized the floor joists above don’t run in the direction we thought (!!!), so in order to externally vent the hood….the stove has to move to this wall.

The radiator isn’t going anywhere so there will be around a 10″ gap between the end of the cabinets and the radiator….and I’ve made peace with that.

My plan is to keep it simple here – just the range hood, sconces flanking it and tile going up to the ceiling.

BUT the big question is…..should I do a white range hood or black?

I’m worried that black will be too trendy but I also like how it pops and creates a focal point on this wall.

In the right context, the black could be amazing, like this gorgeous kitchen by Katrina Porter.

katrina porter

What do you guys think?  Can I pull off the black?  Do I dare?  It’s only paint after all, so I could change it down the line if it’s feeling too in your face and trendy.  I’d love to hear your opinion!

More to come in another post about the lighting worm holes I’ve fallen down recently.


Plans for 2018

Hi everyone!  Happy New Year!  I hope all of you had a wonderful, relaxing holiday!  In early December, we hosted our annual holiday soiree, which is always a blast.  This year was our biggest blow out yet, around 70 people, many of whom were kids.  I’m a little Type A and controlling specific about the food and drink so we make almost everything ourselves.  Though I strategically ask a few close friends to bring certain dishes to help out.  They know I’m nuts and love me anyway.  

Here’s a peek at the dining room while we were setting up.

Pioneer Woman’s drip beef
Martha’s mac and cheese x1.5
Blue cheese and black pepper gougeres
Cocktails meatballs
Sauteed hericot verts with shallots, garlic and lemon zest
Fall salad with roast butternut squash, walnuts, apples, blue cheese and maple/mustard dressing
Crudites with green goddess dip
Cold cut platter

Serious Eats’ Pilgrim Punch x2
Lots more…

My attempt at baking.  Not sure I’d use this gingerbread cake recipe again (no eggs in the batter made it super dense) but it sure was pretty.

Needless to say, the party is a ton of work…but totally worth it.  It’s our gift to our friends who give us so much all year and I love hearing that people look forward to it and have a ton of fun.  Music to my ears.  I’ll shred 12 cups of cheese and spend way too much on booze for you fools any day.

After the mayhem of the party, we coasted through the rest of 2017 and had a very chill and lovely Christmas and New Year.  Anyways, now seemed a good time to jump back on the old blog, in part because Blue Host just charged my CC for another year of hosting.  And….I missed you weirdos.  AND we have a ton on the docket for 2018 including a full remodel of our kitchen!!!!  Finally!

Here it is, in all it’s original cabinets with 7 coats of paint glory.

Don’t be fooled – these cabinets are absolute shite.  The upper cabinets are unusually shallow, like around 11 inches, and have a lip in the back that makes them even more shallow.  They’re also a ridiculous 13″ off the counter so it’s impossible to work under them.  But then the bottom cabinets are weirdly deep.  It’s like Narnia, where pots and pans and colanders get lost but somehow I haven’t come across James McAvoy.  (What the smoke show???)

Oh and the cabinets are chipping paint like it’s their job.  You’re all thinking, Jesus you cooked all that food for the party in here?  Gross.  Thanks for the possible lead poisoning.

The stove wall.  That skinny cabinet next to the stove is an IRONING BOARD.  I mean, we all want our freshly laundered clothes to marinate in cooking smells, amirite?  1950 did not play when it came to multi-tasking.

The view the other way.  Hi mudroom – you’re so pretty.

And the final wall….the fridge side.  I hope you like melons and radishes and yellow Disco wallpaper peeking out underneath.  And beneath that are pink painted walls and then yellow painted walls.

Prepare yourselves for an epic level of scary archaeology when we demo this room.  Really the only thing that’ll soothe my nerves is ironing my husband’s dress shirts while frying something on the stove.  That’s my church.

So the plan is….everything, basically.  Soup to nuts.  Ripping up the old floor, laying new hardwood, finishing the hardwood on site.  Getting rid of the old cabinets.  Installing actual lighting, backsplash, open shelves.  And we’re doing all the work ourselves, which is terrifying.  So please send prayers.  And Xanax.  And wine.  And a marriage counselor.

Since I’ve already embarrassed myself with those poorly lit photos, I’ll go a step further and give you a peek at my Powerpoint moodboard for the kitchen.

The main takeaways are:
open shelves on either side of the sink window
an airy stove wall with sconces flanking the hood
vintage pendant over the sink
white, marble, pops of color
green table-like kitchen island

Another spot in the house that I NEED to finish this year (I mean this month) is the upstairs landing.

Lots to be painted.  Aren’t you glad the previous owners painted those 48 balusters a muddy green color?  (insert middle finger emoji)

What else, what else….anyways, lots of little projects and tweaks in 2018, as you would expect.  Though the kitchen will gobble up most (*cough* all) of our house project loot.

Two other big things….our brave and amazing 9 year old daughter applied for a scholarship to go to sleepaway camp for two weeks in the Adirondacks.  Fingers crossed she gets it!

We’re also going to Ogunquit, Maine for a week-long family reunion and I cannot wait.  OGT!

Lots to come in 2018!  Obviously I’ll be documenting the whole kitchen saga on the blog, so we can cry and pull our hair out together.

Stay tuned!


revamping our vintage bathrooms and more

Hi guys!  It’s been a while since I posted updates about project around here but we’ve been plugging along with things and recently started giving both of our vintage bathrooms a face-lift!  We have two very colorful vintage tiled bathrooms in this house.  I planned to give the pink bathroom a make-over for One Room Challenge this fall but chickened out at the last minute, much to the joy of my husband.  Although I wasn’t prepared to commit to the time crunch of ORC, we’re still sprucing up both the yellow and pink bathrooms.  Sort of an unofficial ORC.  More on that later in the post but first a few other happenings around here…

We started the summer by getting the screens up on the porch, although we still need to add the trim to cover the staples, finish the screen door and finishing painting.

The blue hydrangeas I planted last year along the porch are filling in nicely but I fertilized them too much this year.  They put on a ton of leaf growth but didn’t produce many blooms.  Lesson learned.

That’s a canoe tucked in the jungle of our backyard.

I also hunted far and wide for an affordable outdoor sofa for the porch….and came up empty.  I really loved the Cammeray sofa from Pottery Barn but couldn’t handle the $1,500 price tag.

So we’ve been making do with the old loveseat, which is basically big enough for 1.5 asses.  Here is it at our old house with a 3 year old vampire for scale.

Last year we also planted dwarf boxwoods and little lime hydrangeas along each side of the front walkway and they are happily settled in.  The boxwoods put on a fuzz of growth this year and hopefully will keep filling out.  The little limes, of course, are going bananas.

However any green in my thumb apparently doesn’t extend to finicky house plants.  I carefully coddled a maidenhair fern all spring and summer.  It was lacy and pretty.  I was so proud.

Then last week I was really busy and forgot to hand-feed it bon bons or whatever….and it DIED.  Like, brown crisp shriveled.  It even smelled bad.  Whyyyyy.  Now all I’m left with is a snake plant last watered in 2015.

On to some projects that can’t be killed…..painted furniture.

After hunting a year (yes, I’m crazy) for a round table to go in the living room bump-out, I finally snagged this one off Craigslist for $40.  A couple coats of Rustoleum black paint in satin finish did wonders.

The space behind the sofa is odd and kinda useless right now but I have visions for it.

On the table – drama, books and ephemera.

dransfield and ross via Elle Decor

Grant K. Gibson

I definitely want to make a skirt for it the table.  To throw on when I’m feeling skirt-y.

Then on the walls flanking the window…..symmetry.  Brass sconces.

Above stacked art, similar to Jill’s office here.  I’m going with these Ikea frames and having a smaller custom mat made at Michael’s.

With ottomans underneath.  Not necessarily these cuties from Ballard but you get the gist.  We entertain a lot so the extra seating will come in handy.

Speaking of entertaining, here’s a table my kids rigged up for a recent dinner party.  Lately they love being in charge of this.

Okay, let’s talk about the magic I’ve been working in the yellow powder room.  Here’s a pic of it when we moved in.

And after my lovely aunt stripped the wallpaper but before we knocked out the pointless vanity table.  (Stupid tiny drawer).

Gutting this room has never been a high priority, in part because the tile is in excellent condition and is probably backed with concrete, as people used to do.  Plus I love the shape and size of the vintage Crane sink.  But still….that’s a lot of yellow.

This spring I painted the walls and ceiling BM Space Black to cut through the sweetness of the yellow.

Much better.  Then this weekend I realized how much random art I have laying around, mostly pieces I’m completely sick of and planned to get rid of.  Maybe that action should go in the powder room?

Turns out, I don’t hate this art after all.  It looks so chic!  (The bamboo etagere is a CL find).

Also in here is my faux tortoise shell mirror, which turned an actual 90’s Martha Stewart from Kmart mirror into something slightly less crappy.

The powder room is REALLY tiny – about 3.5 feet by 6.5 feet.  Not the easiest space to photograph.  With my iPhone.

Still plenty of art to nail up there.

Now….moving to the pink bathroom.  I’m not entirely sure I want this room splashed all over the internet but here goes.  To refresh your memory and re-burn your corneas, here is the MLS photo.

The wallpaper and French Country piece of sh*t sink were installed in the last 10 years.  I can’t even…..

We suspect there was once a pink Crane console sink in here (like the yellow one in our powder room) but the previous owners removed it to make room for the French Country garbaggio.  They also left us the pink toile towels you see hanging there.  Yeah…..they left us fabric that once touched their crotch.

My plans for the space?

Cheetah wall stencil, black ceiling, black and white art, a chartreuse step stool (for the kiddos), vintage rug.

Last week we finally starting taking down the wallpaper.

The pink Crane toilet is in our garage right now, if anyway is interested.  Somehow I can’t sell that thing on CL.

Pink Coffin Shower.  In desperate need of a new glass door.  Like, yesterday.

We’re now in the process of priming and painting the gray trim.  And also using Grout Renew on every….single…tiny….grout line on the the floor.  The grout refuses to come clean so Grout Renew and tedium are the only recourse.

Wow, that was a lot.  More to come on the pink bathroom update…..namely what I suspect will be rage-stenciling.







a day in the witch city

This past weekend we braved the October mob and journeyed to Salem for the day.  After grad school, my husband and I lived in downtown Salem for over a year and fell in love with the city.  The amount of history and gorgeous architecture packed into their little downtown is staggering.  Our apartment was on Essex St near the House of Seven Gables and we walked everywhere – to the library, to the YMCA, to the market, to the train, to our favorite swimming cove.  Add in my running routes woven through the city and it was heaven for a history and navigation nerd like me.  We got married in the stone rotunda on Salem Common and soon after bought a house in New Bedford.  After which we bawled our eyes out for a few years because we were so homesick for Salem and had zero friends in New Bedford.  But my job required me to be closer to Cape Cod Bay and we couldn’t afford a house in downtown Salem anyway.  Ultimately, it was for the best – we have an incredible group of friends in The Bej and love our life here.  BUT….if we could afford our dream house in downtown Salem and plunk all of our friends and our life from NB there….I’d do it in a heartbeat.  Maybe this gem on historic Chestnut St.

Okay, back to our trip….we put on some serious miles walking around, like 6+ miles.  Our feet were so sore when we got home and we all went to bed at 8pm but it was a good, happy tired.  The crowds were ridiculous, as we expected, but the kids had a blast and loved the spectacle of it all.  It was an awesome day.

Of course I took a zillion pictures, so buckle up.  We parked near this beauty on Federal St.

The lovely potting shed in her carriage house

We then made our way to the pedestrian mall on Essex St and the throngs of people.

Egon….your mucus.

Following the red line of the Heritage Trail around.

We popped into the Custom House, which I’d never been in before.  Here’s the view of Derby Wharf from the upstairs landing.

They had a cool exhibit out back with a replica of their warehouse from olden days, in case you need gunpowder and a cask of molasses.

Next door is the gorgeous Hawkes House.  Oh, the symmetry.

A lot of houses in Salem use rocks as landscaping….and it’s awesome.


The Witch Memorial was mobbed with people but the kids loved the cemetery, checking out the names and dates on the graves.

I’d never seen this urn and weeping willow motif before.

This door handle and lintel are amazing.

We made our way down to the House of Seven Gables after that.

And photographed all the black houses along the way.

There were “blood” fountains all over this side yard.

Back to the masses on Essex St so the kids could spend their mad money.  (June got a pink amigurumi squid she named Steve and Hollis got a toy gun that we only realized was SO LOUD when we weren’t surrounded by 50,000 people).

Then down to historic Chestnut St and the Ropes Mansion from Hocus Pocus.

My favorite….the Pickering House.  Holy fence and finials!

By the point, we were all tired and decided to start heading back to the car.

Hollis said “Mommy, take my picture like I’m in the Walking Dead.”  (He can talk to his therapist about this someday).

They’re officially smoked.  Hollis fell asleep in the car by the time we got back to 95.

Sorry for the really long post!  But it was an awesome day, so much to see, we only scratched the surface.  Next year we’re going to try to hook up with an Airbnb so we can stay longer and most importantly….wander around at night.  My kids don’t scare easily and they were definitely ready to crank up the spookiness.  After a nap, of course.


our trip to cuttyhunk

Holy crow, this summer flew by!  Our spring was chilly and long so we tried to really live it up this summer.  We hit the beach as much as possible, went to Lake George with my cousins, spent a weekend at our friend’s river camp on the Ossipee, had our first annual block party, took the kids to Quassy Amusement Park in Connecticut….and we made it out to Cuttyhunk Island to cap things off.  We went there for the first time two years ago but Hollis had just turned 4 so he was less psyched for a crazy adventure.  This year, the kids were champs about all the walking, we took the late ferry home and did almost all the stuff we wanted to do.  Next year we’re going to spend the weekend out there.  We want to wake up on the island.  Sigh.

Okay, are you ready for a thousand pictures and some island history?

Cuttyhunk Island is the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands that separate Buzzards Bay from Vineyard Sound.  Technically the whole stretch of islands comprises the Town of Gosnold.  It’s only an hour-long ferry ride from New Bedford.

As you get closer to the island (and further away from New Bedford harbor), the water turns a gorgeous green-turquoise.

After an hour and an almost-disastrous spilling of hot chocolate (June, so close to soaking the only sweatshirt she brought), we arrived at Cuttyhunk harbor.

The island is sparsely populated – a couple hundred in the summer and maybe 20 people in the winter – and many of the same families have owned property there for like 100 years.  I don’t think houses ever actually go on the market.  I’ve seen articles comparing Cuttyhunk to how the Vineyard was like 60 years ago.  There are only a couple places to stay the night on the island – at the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club and the Avalon.  Next year we’re definitely going to plan ahead and stay the night.

There’s no public transportation on the island, just walk or bring your bike on the ferry, and most of the locals get around by golf cart.  I saw a few pick up trucks too.  We had a 1 mile walk from the dock to Church’s Beach, a secluded spot on a sandy spit.  We each brought a backpack or tote, plus our wheely cooler and a beach umbrella.  That was it.

We also brought the house-obsessed criminal element to the island.  Hollis saw this place and said “Oh mommy, I wanna steal dat house.”  Me too, baby.  I’m teaching them young.

Finally we arrive at this dreamy beach.

Set up our compound for the day.

Oh yeah, this is the good stuff.  Of course there’s also white wine in a stainless steel water bottle in that cooler.

Drying my Turkish towel on the hot rocks.  I’m basically Gwyneth on Mallorca.

The beach was quite deserted, as you can imagine, but the kids made some friends which was awesome!  The water is about as Caribbean as it gets for Massachusetts.  This is easily my favorite beach in the state.

Soon after I snapped this, Hollis took a chest-first digger on the road.  Oy.  My poor baby!  Good thing we brought a first aid kit.  Needless to say he didn’t get in the water again but he had fun playing on the rocks with his new buddy so it was fine.  I felt terrible for him though.

We stay at the beach until 3:30, then walked back to the dock to say good-bye to the 4pm ferry.

An island tradition is to see the ferry off (literally the island comes out to wave good-bye to the ferry) and then everybody jumps off the dock.  June wasn’t going to miss this so we planned to take the 8pm ferry home.

This turned into a 30 minute jumping free-for-all with kids everywhere.  It was a ton of fun, June could have jumped all day.

At this point, we left our stuff at the ferry dock and moseyed over to the Fish Dock, where they have ice cream, clam chowder, a rustic raw bar and you can get steamed lobsters.

The fish cutting station.

My chowder-loving baby.

Then we walked up Tower Road to the highest point on the island.

On the way I peeped out the vegetable garden of my dreams.

The views from the top were insane.  You can see our beach on the left, on that spit of land.

Looking the other way toward the harbor and Nashawena Island.

There are hiking trails from the top that we didn’t take….next time.  After soaking in the glorious views, we headed back down the hill to explore more.  At this point we still had 2.5 hours until the ferry home.

Oh, what’s up other dream house!  It’s hard to see in this pic but this was a teeny, tiny stand-alone house.  Basically a studio house.

There were painted rocks with inspirational sayings scattered all over the island, which the kids loved.  This one says hugs.

Playing hoops at the community basketball court.

We then cruised back to the Fish Dock to see if the french fry stand was open.  The sign said “3ish to 7ish” but it was closed.  As was the Scuttlebutt, which I think is a restaurant in somebody’s backyard.  But we knew to bring tons of food in our cooler so we were fine.

As we wandered back to the ferry dock, we stopped at Barges Beach.

In the 1940’s a Nor’easter tore through the beach, so to rebuild and stabilize it they buried wooden railroad cars and covered them with sand in 1949.  Slowly over time they’ve started to become exposed and the wood is so beautifully worn.

We got to the ferry dock just before sunset.

Even though it was pitch dark by the time we shoved off, teenagers still came down to give the traditional good-bye to the ferry.  They climbed up the pilings and did synchronized back flips off them.  Our kids fell asleep on the ferry ride home, of course.  They were totally smoked.

But guys, this place is magic.  It’s so beautiful, so peaceful, so chill.  None of our friends have ever been here and some of them had never even heard of the island.  But we are absolutely coming back next year.  We’ll never be Nantucket or Vineyard or Cape Cod people. Too crowded, too fancy.  We’re CTHK people.  Next year we want to stay the weekend at the Fish Club.  There’s still so much we didn’t get to see and explore on the island.  So…till next year, Cuttyhunk, you seductive little squirrel.


new art in the dining room

After Christmas I painted the dining room lavender and planned to load the walls up with crazy/cool/unique art.  This is easier said than done.  Needless to say, it’s been a slow process.  There were only three pieces of art on the wall until recently when I finally got an awesome fourth one!  Breakneck speed, I know.  The reason for the feet-dragging is partly because I’m cheap but also didn’t want to pull the trigger on art I wasn’t super in love with or that was mass produced.  (*whispering*….Am I the only who thinks Minted is 90% boring and spenny?  If I see another picture of a pineapple….shhhh, they can probably hear me)

Now that that act of blogger treason is out of the way…..

I knew the space needed a few black and white pieces to anchor things and balance the sweetness of the lavender walls.  Then I would add a bunch of other quirky/colorful pieces in between.

I started with this Matthew Korbel-Bowers print called Burnt Mountain.  I love the shape and graphic punch.  Yes, it’s technically mass-produced….let’s not talk about it.

This little ocean art over the light switch is from Salvation Army in Wareham.  I think it’s a painted photograph actually.  No clue though, it was $2.

Next I found a photograph of an ancient Italian ruin in the attic at an estate sale.

It cost 25 cents.  The photo says the picture was taken in 1891 but I’m not sure when this print itself was actually made.  I had it framed at Michaels with a coupon because the print was odd-sized.

Then nothing happened on the art hunt for a shamefully long time.  I finally decided to start with one section of wall, just like knocking over the first domino, and make a decision.  One really good decision and it would all tumble from there.  I hope.

My search started on Etsy for black and white photos of Chicago – I grew up just outside the city and lived in Logan Square with my husband before we went to grad school.  I was looking for shots of the El or some of the city’s amazing architecture.  Then found this print from Saltwater and Vanilla on Etsy and literally gasped.

My grandparents, who I lived with growing up, went to the Palmer House Hotel on their honeymoon!  I still have their bill from 1947 and a postcard they saved from the hotel.

Charge for the radio.  75 cents.

Digging these out of my bin of old photos, I found this adorableness of my Grandma.  A pin with a faux mug shot.

The Palmer print is in an Ikea Ribba frame for now but I want to get it professionally framed down the line.

Shockingly, taking these photos at 6:30 am in a north-facing room wasn’t a good idea.  But….I love the print so much!  Kinda retro/Deco.  The lights.  There’s just something about it.

Which is obviously the beautiful thing about art.  What you hang on your walls should call your name and make you smile.  That visceral reaction when you walk past it.

Hopefully it won’t take me another 6 months to get more art in this room.  And daymmmmn we need to have a bench cushion made for the window seat.

Okay I’m out….Happy Friday everyone!


one room challenge – foyer closet {REVEAL}

This may be anti-climatic – after all it’s just a closet – but here we go….it’s One Room Challenge reveal day!

This is my third ORC and I still love it.  The pressure, the camaraderie, the inspiration from everyone’s projects.  For a bush league blogger like me, the community aspect of ORC is the best part.  The “point” of my blog is to write, share my perspective (smart ass though it may be) and connect with people.  ORC is a great way to do that.  So thank you, Linda!

Alright, let’s jump into the closet.  Recall this is the puke fest we started with.

Take your time pinning.  I’ll wait.

What the cripes were these people thinking with this wallpaper?  At what point in looking at samples are you like, oh yeah this is the one, my stomach hurts just looking at it.

We planked right over that madness.

Turns out, photographing a windowless closet that resides in a windowless foyer is very difficult.  It was beyond my skill set with the manual setting on my Canon.  Most of these shots are from my iPhone and I’ve come to grips with that.

That’s about all there is to see in this tiny space.  A huge thank you to my husband for all his hard work on the shiplap!  And a big thanks to you all for your support and kind words during this process.  Be sure to check out all the other amazing transformations over at Calling It Home.  The featured participants and the guests rocked it this round.

Paint color – Benjamin Moore Palace Green
Floor basket – World Market
Tote – LL Bean
Wall hooks – Lowe’s
Laundry chute cabinet latch – Martha Stewart for Home Depot
Bowl and tray – Marshalls
Rug – ecarpetgallery on Ebay





one room challenge – foyer closet {week 5}

I’m going to try to be more civilized this week.  While my husband was reading our last ORC post, I heard him guffaw in the other room and then make a surprisingly-accurate water bong sound effect and pretend to blow smoke.  Pretty sure he was mocking my sense of humor and the je ne sais Joliet, Illinois quality of my posts.  To which I reply –  sir, I pay the bills on this blog and will write what I please, get your own creative outlet (cue Destiny’s Child song Independent Woman).  Ps – I don’t smoke weed or own a water bong…..anymore.

Linda, my apologies for putting the words “water bong” and your logo together.

Okay, the final details of the closet….

I combed the internet hard for brass coat hooks.  But it’s difficult to get an accurate read on the finish from a computer screen and all the options I liked were kinda pricey.  Then I popped into Lowe’s to get microfiber rollers and found these affordable and sturdy beauties.

The cabinet latch for the laundry chute is from Martha Stewart Living for Home Depot, which obviously isn’t a perfect match for the brass hooks from Lowe’s but I’m cool with that.  You can barely tell.

We had to update the closet rod too – the old one was galvanized pipe covered in duct tape.  I would expect nothing less from Puking Snake Closet.  A big AHA moment was realizing I should rotate the orientation of the rod.

OMG, I cannot get the lighting right on these photos!!!  Panic.  Why did I choose this “room”?  Breath.  Breath.  Where’s my water bong?

Ignore the color problems and let’s focus on the coat rod.  Instead of having a wall-o-coats smack you in the face when you open the door, I tucked it over to the side.  Much better.  The rod is poplar wood from Lowe’s stained Minwax Special Walnut.

Since we have 12 square feet of space in here, I figured we needed a storage basket on the floor.  I  snagged the medium size basket in this series from World Market.  It has a touch of black in the weave which I love.

We also needed better storage on the shelf to corral items.  These grasscloth wrapped storage bins were on clearance at Home Goods – they’re sturdy, have a lid and the color and texture are great.

And finally….art.
To play up the room-like quality of the closet and make me smile when tossing socks down the chute.  One of my favorite vendors at Acushnet River Antiques is Carolann Burke.  (In her defense and due to the earlier water bong discussion, I should mention we’re not related).  These vintage British soldier watercolors are from her booth.

There are plenty of little bits to pull together and style before the reveal next week.  Fingers crossed I can get the lighting right for the reveal photos.  It’s finally dawning on me that this closet was a really bad choice for a photo-based event.  But I can’t turn back now!


one room challenge – foyer closet {week 4}

It’s Week 4 of the One Room Challenge!  From here on out, it’s all about the fun stuff – the DETAILS!

I know it’s just a closet but the choice of rug for this space has stressed me out.  In my mind, the rug should cover as much of the footprint as possible, to make it seem more like an actual room.

Lucky for me, Stark Carpet was very interested in partnering on this high-profile and dynamic project.  They reached out to me and will be sending us an antelope rug, custom-cut for our foyer closet #soblessed #itsahardknocklifebutsomebodysgottadoit.

Wait, sorry, that’s the paint fumes talking again.  Seriously though….how stunning would this antelope rug be with the green walls?  Meow.  Or whatever antelopes say.  (Consult your local terrestrial mammalogist for more information but antelopes are an ungulate so….moo?)

Okay, back to reality – I initially bought this vintage rug from Carpetsmall on Etsy to go in the closet.

In person, it was more orange than it looked online (not what I was going for) and plus I really like it in front of the console table, so I had to start over.

Not shocking to anyone – it is flipping hard to find a 3’x4’-ish vintage oushak rug in just the right color, pattern, patina and price.  Like, impossible.  I briefly considered a custom-cut bound seagrass rug from Pottery Barn but….snooze….and besides those jamokes charge out the yang for everything.  I refuse to give them money.

Given these issues and my completely one-sided relationship with Stark, I had to switch gears.  This wool kilim from Ecarpet Gallery was super affordable and I liked the colors – some green to tie in with the walls and red for warmth.  It’s not a deliciously faded oushak, obviously, but it’ll do.  It can always be placed down the line, if I find something stellar.

Watching the shiplap come to life this week has been fun though.

Green gorgeousness.  Come to mama.

And a real life, evening time shot.  Second coat just went on.  Moana soundtrack on constant repeat.  My kids can’t stop, won’t stop.

Hardware and art (yes, art in a closet) go in next week.  Fingers crossed for the sunniest week EVER to photograph.  A windowless closets is not a camera’s friend.  I think I need a clear incandescent bulb in here, not a frosted LED.  Maybe that will help things….it still seems so dim.

(From a sexy ORC/Pinterest-worthy image perspective, what was I thinking choosing this room?  No natural light?  Oh right….Bubonic Plague snakeskin…now I remember)

We’re closing in on the finish line!  Be sure to pop over to Calling It Home and check up on the ORC featured and guest participants.  There are over 200 guest participants this round!


my dream house is on the market!

Guys.  I’m having a coronary.  One of my New Bedford dream houses is on the market!

I’ve never seen inside the house, only stalked it from the outside.  We used to live around the corner.  The listing doesn’t have many pictures, which is odd.  Either the kitchen and bathrooms have major issues or the realtor has her head on backwards.  9 pictures?  Really?  But what I do see…I love!  I’d buy this baby furnished, thank you very much.

I can’t.  With this wallpaper.  Sooo good.

Look at this goodness.  Very Gray Gardens before cat pee rotted the floor boards.  And yeah, I see those Staffordshire dogs on that fabulous table.

I’m not even playing….we either need to buy this house or I have to sneak into the open house or make the estate sale my BITCH.  Seriously, I’ll camp out at 2am and train Iron Man style for it.

At this price, the house won’t be on the market long.  Probably not even long enough to need an open house.