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new year, new updates

Happy New Year, everyone!!!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  I’m seriously looking forward to 2017, despite our current, ummm, political situation.  I’ll be turning 40 this summer (gulp) and hope that 2017 brings a lot of positive growth and changes.  Blogging took a backseat during the long holiday season but we were still working on projects around here so there’s plenty to update you about and of course talk about 2017 projects.

This is a ridiculously long post, so buckle up.

The Living Room
The goal was to finish this room before our holiday soiree in mid-December….and we managed to pull it off!  Last time I shared our progress, we had just painted the floor and the newly-battened walls but the fireplace mantel hadn’t been built yet.


Designing and building the mantel was a major team effort with my husband, especially since we had zero experience and the design/trim was basically eye-balled from looks I loved.  Liking the look of something is one thing but executing it is quite another.  We  pulled this one out of thin air.  What trim do we get?  How do we build the layers of trimwork so it looks classy and not like inexperienced idiots (that’s us) slapped it together?  A lot of math, engineering, and freaky wood cuts went into this but the outcome is totally worth it.

First we built a flat wood base that encompassed the space the mantel would take up. Then we added the trim on top of that, along with the mantel shelf and dentil crown molding trim underneath.



Not too shabby.



This room is big and furnishing it will take time.  Plus I’m still trying to figure out what to furnish it with.  Most of it seems like pointless space.  Take this side of the room…..sorry this is the old  pic, I didn’t take a full view updated one….



We don’t really need a second seating area back there, so I’m thinking maybe two tall bookcases flanking the window with articulating arm sconces above them and a round, skirted table in the bay.  ???  The bay window isn’t full height so that nixes the option of curtains, which is why I like the idea of bringing in fabric with the skirted table to soften things.

Something like Maura’s room.


However, on the other side of the room I can totally picture pinched pleat linen curtains with this curtain rod from PB.  But would it be weird to have an asymmetrical curtain situation going on?




Let’s not talk about the TV situation (yes it’s from 1985, yes it was free, yes it’s covered in stickers) and this terrible over-lit picture.


It’s embarrassing.  I swear 2017 will be the year we come out of the dark ages.  Something like zees (French Kiss reference).


The Powder Room
For the past two years I’ve blabbed that we’re going to renovate the powder room during the next round of ORC.  But of course it hasn’t happened yet.  Basically we’re reluctant to spend money on this room when the tile – although YELLOW- is in perfect condition and there are so many other more pressing projects around here (i.e. fogged up, broken seal windows; wonky electrical issues, etc).  Zap.

Here’s the room the day we moved in.  Trust me, in person, the wallpaper was dingy and gross.  Not Anthro at all.

yellow bath

After stripping the wallpaper two years ago (and ditching the yellow toilet), I did nothing but prime the walls, thinking we’d renovate “soon.”  Since we’ve now decided to hold off on the renovation till 2018, I realized that the walls needed more than primer in the meantime.  Painting them black seemed like a good way to balance the sweetness of all that yellow.  We also knocked out that pointless vanity.



Lots of black and white art to come on these walls and a bamboo bookcase in that nook.

The Office
This is really flexible space and the way we use it will probably change over time.  We used it as an office (and loved having dedicated space for that) until the living room renovation happened at which point we moved the sofa, armchairs and TV in there.  That turned out to be super cozy, especially during the warmer months since the screen porch is right off it.

Notice the weird scalloped 1950’s trim.  It needs to die.


Anyhoo, the other side of the room looks like this.  Den central designed for a ginormous TV.  Hi, ceiling fan.  Also die.


Long term, this built-in probably needs to be re-built but for now we’re going to work with it, see how things pan out.  Painting it is a must, likely BM Polo Blue.  Not the green you see tested on the side.  Oh and the green toile wallpaper stays of course.


Again, inspiration by Maura.  If you’re not following her IG account, you’re missing out.


We need to finish painting the trim and doors in this room too, once my husband muds and sands the ceiling from our tear down of the scallop trim.  Spoiler alert, that did not go smoothly.  The ceiling behind the trim is a different height than the rest of it.  In part because, according to our neighbors, this ceiling was re-done around the trim, after the bathtub upstairs fell through the rotting ceiling.  So glad we weren’t here for that.


Phew, well that’s all for now.  Bless your heart if you’re still reading this tome of a post.  Lots going on here in 2017.    Thanks for your all support, dear readers of this lil’ blog.


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  1. Love it. So excited for your year ahead!!

  2. Love it all! Kiddos on the new mantel 🙂 Quick question…. Where is that pin stripe chair from?! LOVE!

    • says:

      Thanks, Sarah! The chair is a custom slipcover over a vintage roll arm chair I got off Craiglist for $40. I got the gray ticking stripe fabric off (I think) and then got navy duck cloth for the piping at Joann.

  3. Love the updates!

    How about a game table in that back/bay window area?

  4. Loved this update. I’m so amazed with your mantle! I was actually thinking that when you posted a pic of a fire the other day. so impressed. Can’t wait to see how the rooms take shape in 2017 – no doubt, beautifully.

  5. lynda morris says:

    Is it bad that I kinda like that trim :p
    This is a killer house and your killing it, kudos! #jealous
    One question – Martha who??

    • says:

      Lol. I tried too, to actually like the scallop trim. But somehow it doesn’t grow on you. 😉

  6. karen e dutton says:

    Your ability to envision the end result, and then follow through with it (and have it look so great!) amazes me. And I love the choice of that blue paint with the green toile wallpaper! If what you have accomplished so far is any indication of what 2017 will bring for your home… bravo!

    • says:

      Thanks for much, Karen! Slowly but surely. Did you see your lamp on the console table in the living room? 😉

  7. Can’t wait for all the updates!!!

    Have you thought about maybe painting the yellow tile? I’ve heard a lot about products that let you paint tile. Would work at least until you decide to completely renovate. Would be absolutely beautiful with white tile especially with your lovely black walls! Just a thought!

    • says:

      Thanks, Adrienne! I actually have a canister of the Rustoleum tile paint in the basement. But then I’d still have a yellow sink and also don’t think the paint would be durable on the tile floor. This bathroom gets lots of use by kids. My thought was to put vinyl plank wood flooring over the tile, but only if I can find a reasonably priced vintage *white* sink (that we’ll want for our future renovation anyway). But I just scoped one on CL so we shall see…..

  8. Ask and ye shall receive! I asked for an update dateon the living room and whoa! look what you did for me!! House is going to look fabulous!

  9. karen e dutton says:

    Yes!! Here’s to a positive outlook for 2017 (we can only hope!!) 🙂

  10. Love the mantle! And I love your thoughtful and measured approach to decorating your home. It’s the only decorating blog I can relate to in terms of budget/timeline/style. I love decor blogs, but so often I feel “Is everyone redecorating every room every year with budgets of 100K? It just took me a month to decide to get a ginger jar on sale for $30….”

    • says:

      Nicole! Sweetest comment ever. Thank you! And I totally feel ya on the $$$ front. I liked a bookcase shelf thing one blogger had recently picked up for her kitchen….it was $800. I choked.

  11. Erin your mantle came out beautifully!! The whole room looks fantastic. What a difference you’ve made to this house. It has so much character to begin with and you have such a great eye for design. I feel you on the bathroom tile, we have lived through peach and pink and it’s kind of comical really. I tore out my mom’s lavender bathroom wall tile last year and replaced it with sheets of beadboard, and what a difference it made. It wasn’t that bad of a project either, except for having to move the toilet to do the wall behind it. Good luck on your 2017 to-do list!

    • says:

      Thank you Lisa! I love the vintage tile but wish it was a different color like mint or something. I could get down with that.

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