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

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.


vintage christmas

I lived with my grandparents growing up and our house was a bit of a time capsule, so it’s no surprise that I love vintage Christmas decorations, music and movies.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s album White Christmas is still one of my favorites.  If I hear the song “Baby what you goin’ to be”, I’m instantly teary-eyed and missing my grandparents so much it hurts.

Somehow we always had the branchiest, most retro-shaped Christmas trees too.  Take a gander at one of ours from the 1980’s.  That’s right, we were still rocking the tinsel which had to be carefully removed each year and saved in an old shoe box.


Here are the things that make my vintage Christmas heart all happy.

Putz houses


Pink christmas trees

luellaluella and june

pinktobi fairley


Winter paint by number scenes



Faux snow globes


snowunder the sycamore

Bottlebrush Trees

hulahula seventy


tinselvintage whites market

On Christmas Eve you can find us in front of the fire, wrapping presents and watching It’s a Wonderful Life.  This year I’m hoping to stay awake long enough to see the ending.  What?  I’m old.

Are you guys vintage Christmas fans?  If not, what’s your holiday decorating style?



our one year anniversary in the new house

It’s been quite the roller coaster.  Last year at this time, we were shell-shocked and homesick for the old house.  There were a lot of tears in December 2014.  But we’ve come a long way since then.  True, we’re still the owners of many, many interior design crimes.  Such as ZERO hardwood floors (don’t get me started).  Green carpet in two rooms.  Pink….everywhere.  But there are many more wonderful things about the new house that make us so grateful we were able to move.  The new house is bigger, the neighborhood is MUCH nicer than our old one (i.e. no shootings), we have incredible neighbors and there are kids everywhere.  Seriously, my daughter’s soul mates live next door.

We’ve done a lot of work to the house in the last year, as much as two lowly biologists with massive student loan debt can afford.  New high-efficiency furnace, insulation in the attic and knee-walls upstairs, new windows, new mudroom doors, new sump in the basement, totally ripped out the old “finished basement” (water issues).

Cosmetic improvements have been a little slower though, in part because there is so much ugliness to transform.  As many of your know, we re-did Hollis’ room and also the mudroom.  As for the rest of the joint, one of the first things we started doing after moving in was peel off the green damask wallpaper that coated the foyer, stairwell and upstairs landing area and start painting the green-glazed trim.

Foyer the day we moved in


Foyer today


I’ve almost fully rid this room of the green trim…but not quite.  I still have to finish the staircase – stain the treads, paint the trim and spindles (48 spindles!), put down a seagrass runner and decide on artwork.

Ideally I want hardwood throughout the house but for now the black vinyl floor in the foyer isn’t going anywhere.

Here is the scary before in the other direction….


Wow, I’d almost forgotten how bad things were.  Who thought this puke colored trim was a good idea?  It’s like a horror movie from the 40’s.  Weird glass sausage light dangling from the ceiling.

Foyer today


I’m still painting underneath the radiator but….a huge improvement, right?

The foyer has no windows and only gets natural light from the door, so when it’s closed, it’s a cave in here.  I want to get a 3/4 light door to lighten things up.


Something like this….

doortimeless paper

Okay, moving on to our living room – the seafoam bowling alley.  Prepare to be embarrassed for us.  We have almost no furniture.


I’m standing in the foyer, in the one entrance to this retro step-down room.  Green walls, green carpet with no hardwood underneath (this house was built when carpet was king), green marble fireplace surround with non-mantle.


Out those windows is a patio, so obviously there should be french doors there but that possibility is way, way in the future.


You can see behind the tree that I started peeling the wallpaper a bit. It’s gotta go.  Like now.  Also we’ll be knocking out those decorative mercury glass wall cubes, which I assume were for snorting coke during a key party in the 60’s.

I’m envisioning this for the living room…

Floor to ceiling board and batten

laurenlauren liess via la dolce vita

Faux wood beams


living spaces

Possibly paint the window trim black, even though windows themselves are white


And some general vibe ideas….

katekate marker interiors

1e906f97b35ca57ca9adc8952b588fb1green street blog

b40efda1fa70627d1e7175b39f839086country living

0dd879f812a0fe75326f13b919e26060glitter guide

76f80390f811b15aa2f4abf616d79af9design mom

And now…moving along to our pink and green dining room, complete with mural.


The pictures don’t convey how awful the pink really is but trust me, it’s not good, especially at night.  It’s like rotten grade school puke on the floor pink.


I love chinoiserie as much as the next gal and know some of you are obsessed with this mural and probably want to have me committed…but I officially loathe it.  Maybe the green carpet (with no hardwood underneath) is pushing me over the edge.

I’m saving my pennies for grasscloth.  Here’s the look I’m feelin’.  With a little blue thrown in there.

grasssource unknown

It’s exciting to think about what 2016 will bring!  Our plan is to install hardwood in the dining room and living room, which we’ve never done before, so fingers crossed…..

Happy Holidays!




striped vs seagrass stair runner

I’m this close to ripping up our heinous stair runner.  It makes my eyes bleed.  But before we can put down something of the non-gross variety, there’s a boatload of work ahead of me.  I need to sand and refinish the stair treads, paint the banister and spindles, and deal with the trim which still has remnant carpet fibers stuck to it.  Clearly I’m chomping at the bit to do all this.


That’s not nearly as much fun as fantasizing about stair runners.  I’ve narrowed it down to either black-bound seagrass (possibly THIS one) or stripes.

Rachel’s staircase has been my main inspiration for the whole shebang.  I love the neutral texture of the seagrass and the way the black binding looks against the white stair risers.  Our banister is almost identical to this one and will definitely be painted black.

southern exposuresouthern exposure

Here Carol uses the same Safavieh runner I’m thinking of using.  I love the subtle chevron pattern.


But maybe a striped runner?  To match the almost-exclusively striped wardrobe my kids and I rock.  (It’s a sickness).  Our foyer rug is an antique from ecarpet gallery which I love, and while I can’t promise another persian won’t hop in our car someday, I’m pretty sure the foyer rug will never be striped….so it’s okay for the stair runner to be.


But of course all the striped runners I love are super expensive wool or jute.  And spending $600-plus on this item isn’t gonna happen.

But aren’t they lovely?

tom sheerer house beautifulhouse beautiful


This staircase from an ancient issue of Domino has always been a favorite.

download (2)

We could go the more affordable striped route with something from Dash and Albert.  This blue awning is pretty.

charming doodlecharming doodle

Or this black and white striped one…

Staris-23-After-Straight-Up1young house love

But in the end I’m leaning towards the seagrass for durability, texture and the pop of black on the border.  I worry that the white parts of a striped runner will get show dirt too much and plus stripes will favor pretty heavily in the other fabrics I have planned for the house (i.e. pillows, ottoman).  What do you guys think?  Stick with the classic seagrass?



lighting options for the new house

Hey there!  We are sooo close to being in the new house, so of course I’m putting my efforts into the really important stuff.  No, not packing.  Geez.  I’m talking about cruising lighting options and sourcing antique push plates for the swinging butler door.

The ceilings in the new house are only 8 feet high and we’re working on a tight budget, both of which seriously limit our options.  Obviously choosing lighting isn’t the first thing we’re focusing on but a few of the fixtures need to be replaced right away.  They’re either non-functional or we bump our heads on them.   The one in June’s room is just plain creepy, like some Flowers in the Attic action.

Here’s where I’m leaning…..and the World Market lighting is on sale!

Dining Room

wood bead

world market wood bead chandelier


June’s Room


world market capiz lotus pendant


I really, really wanted a lantern in the foyer but it flat-out won’t work with the 8′ ceilings.  However I’m loving this option and think that, in the end,  a bit of sparkle will make a huge difference because the foyer isn’t terribly bright.


ballard design margeaux flush mount

If you tag along with me on Instagram, you may have also seen the foyer rug I recently picked up.



These two will play nice together.  And maybe toss in some Dodie shades on the console table lamps?  Animal print, Persian, sparkle… we’re getting somewhere.



Okay, crap, I have to finish packing….



painting our kitchen cabinets

Huh?  You may be saying to yourself.  I thought you guys decided to go with Ikea cabinets.  Well….there are HUGE potential changes afoot around here.

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sunburst mirror in the dining room

Wall space is a hot commodity in our house.  Like many abodes from the late 1800’s, we’re all doorways, windows and radiators, which has its perks but seriously limits where you can put a sofa or a bar cart.  Our house is also on the smaller side, adding to the decorating challenges.

So carving out space for a little zhush isn’t easy, especially in our small dining room.   While I love our built-in hutch, it’s been slowly taken over by the kids.  June refers to it as her office and judging by the state of her affairs, the IRS should really look into her.  Here’s a gander….


Cop: In the briefcase?
The Dude: Uh, uh, papers.  Just, you know, my uh, my business papers.  
Cop: And what do you do, sir?
The Dude: I’m unemployed.  

But this post isn’t about the fact that I need to tackle the messy built-in….it’s about the space between two windows.  This spot has evolved a lot over the years.  For a long time, it was a sad place.  Just a chipping radiator and drafty walls.  Then I added a $3 federal style mirror from Savers, a shelf and my wonderful husband built an awesome radiator cover.


However the federal style mirror was a bit small, so when I saw the Martha Stewart sunburst mirror on sale at Home Depot, I snatched it up.  Cut to a seriously skeptical glance into the cart from my husband.  I think the words “too Mad Men-y” escaped his lips.


But we can all see he was wrong!  It’s awesome.  I love the scale and shape.  Obviously the whole scene isn’t uber-styled but who doesn’t like dolphin bones and barnacles.





painting the living room and a new gallery wall

Like most kids, my two lunatics view furniture as their personal jungle gym.  The top of our tight-backed sofa is a good spot to rest a jelly jar of wine (I’m a classy broad) but it could also be a tree house or tunnel or climbing ledge.   Guess which one of these things isn’t good for the horsehair plaster walls?  It’s certainly not mom, kicking back with 30 Rock and some Savignon Blanc.  A recent bout of rough-housing led to a hole in the wall above the sofa and, like a tumbling house of cards, another project begins.

IMG_4224sneak peek of the new wall

On the bright side, I’ve been itching to change the wall color in the living room so this works out well.  And no, I didn’t surreptitiously punch a hole in the wall, then blame it on the kids.  But I’ll be sure to file that excuse away for later.

Here is a BEFORE picture – the gallery wall is obviously…..not working.


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copper lighting

Copper outdoor sconces have been catching my eye lately.  Typically it’s not a metal I’m drawn to but it’s subtle (and sometimes in your face) warmth is making me come around.


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serious loot at world market

If asked, I’m not sure I could pinpoint my home decor style.  Ummm….stuff that isn’t hideous?  My mind draws a blank on labels but lately it’s classic with a bohemian twist.  Not 90’s hippie (though believe me, I dabbled), more of a polished gypsy vibe like Peter Dunham and Jon Robshaw.  There are plenty of expensive options on that end but World Market is crushing it on the more affordable stuff.

It’s probably a good thing they don’t have a store near me.  It could seriously weaken my anti-hoarder mentality.

fall world market

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world market 2

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These lovelies are also making me crave fall for some reason, but that happens pretty easily.  This Onion article sums up my feelings about the autumnal season, minus the satire of course.  Come on, we all know it’s the best time of year.  It might be heresy to say this in the month of July but I can’t wait for fall coziness.  Take that, Onion!  Your sarcasm backfired!  I’m now more jazzed about buffalo check blankets and mugs full of butternut squash soup.  Thanks for the reminder.