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

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!




tour of the new/old house

We moved!  Only about a mile but holy crap, guys.  Buying a house while selling one and the emotional upheaval of leaving home is HARD.  Duh, Erin , you’re probably saying and I swear we tried to prepare ourselves for how hard it would be to leave our first home.  The one we nestled our babies into, the cozy one with great vibes that we fixed up.  We’re a family of comfort junkies and homebodies – this is not our jam.

While we’re hopeful about this next step and know it’s the right decision in the long run, it was bittersweet to leave the old house.  Not to the mention the sick irony that we won’t get to enjoy our first winter with insulated walls.  Shudder.  But we wish the new owners all the best and hope they’ll be as happy there as we were.

(The “new” powder room….yikes)

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