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

black or white

The exterior of our house is currently painted a blah gray-green.  I don’t know why the former owners loved sage like it was their job but they did.


This is last summer when we were taking down the metal railing on the front stoop.  I would’ve yoinked those shutters down a year ago but the previous owners painted the sage color around the shutters….so it’s white underneath.  Solid d-bag move.

Obviously the sage green isn’t doing anything for me but it also doesn’t make our plants jump out at you either.  My original plan has been to paint the house a warm white like China White BM or Swiss Coffee BM.




I’d give my left nut to have black metal windows in our house.

a63e1e94f8566e18b7cba5fa74343cbacontinent in a cottage

736b68f0ce660f2955491f2a122125e6the inspired room

589736d450f910581c1574f40a124df2princess anne county

Holy crap….this climbing hydrangea!  All the heart eyes.

Our climbing hydrangea is currently stunted and not happy at the base of our west-facing chimney.  It turned fully brown around mid-summer, probably getting too fried in the afternoon sun in this spot.  We gotta move it, maybe to the other side of the house and let it climb the siding.

So paint the house white is the plan.  Unless….you know what else makes greenery stand out?


This entire house is gorgeous.


Espalier vines and old man painting?  Badass.



a9f80a18814368ddf281a79c8d724595fresh exchange

doorsixteen_blackhouses_detroitdoor sixteen

What would you choose?  Black or white?  I’m still strongly leaning white for a bunch of reasons but the black is very tempting.



re-painting the foyer with my tears

Alternative title – Why I’m an idiot.  So….I thought I was almost done painting the foyer.  It only took me 6 months.  At the time I picked Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray and had it color matched in Olympic One paint from Lowes.  But I only bought one gallon because in our old house we never needed more than one gallon per room and I figured I could always get more if I needed and it would perfectly match what I’d already slapped up there.  Right?  WRONG!  So so wrong.

Yesterday I grabbed another gallon of the foyer color at Lowes so I could finally finish painting.  My cousins are staying with us this weekend and I wanted to close the book on this project before they arrive.  Pat myself on the back.  Reward myself with 3 lobster rolls.  So I start finishing up with the allegedly-same paint and….what the french toast is this?!?!?  Different colors.  Only slightly but it’s noticeable.


And I like the new color better (#2) than the old one (#1).  Argggg.  So I head back to Lowes and grab two more gallons of the paint, mixed the three gallons together and will now begin painting the entire thing.  Again.  I officially give zero f**ks what color the foyer is.  Lesson learned – always buy more paint than you need.  Don’t be like me, kids.




updating an 80’s console table

There’s a furniture deficit around here.  The new house is much bigger than our old house and not as jam packed with doorways, radiators and windows, so I’ve been hunting Craigslist and antiques/junk stores for key pieces we need.  A vintage sideboard for the dining room (check).  Rattan porch furniture (ongoing).  Bamboo…anything (always).  Vintage hutch with fretwork glass doors (check).  Antique pine armoire for the upstairs hall (ongoing).

I’ve also been on a serious vision quest for a console table for the foyer.  For a while we were using the cardboard box from our new toilet as the foyer table.  Okay, fine the toilet was still in the box at the time.  Class as the way, baby.  Real Housewives of New Bedford.  (shudder) Christ that would be a scary show.

Here is some hall table inspiration.  Painted black wood with classic/chinoiserie lines.  Brass hardware.  No lower shelf.  48 inches wide.  Not too deep though, our foyer isn’t that grand.  Of course I can’t find this shit for less than $1,500 and we all know that’s not happening.

db761a05306bdecor pad

black-console-table_thumbthe always stylish emily a. clark

Time to look with fresh eyes at that old 80’s stand-by…..the Queen Anne style console table.  Craigslist is lousy with ’em.  Normally the curvy legs make me wanna hurl but I was desperate, so after spotting a barely-curvy one for 50 bucks, I snatched it up.  This is similar to the what ours looked like.  I’m a bad blogger and didn’t take good before photos.


And the AFTER….


This is my first time using chalk paint (Annie Sloan in Graphite) and while I love the depth of color created by the graphite + the dark wax, the durability of the finish worried me.  Just scratching it by accident with my fingernail was leaving white marks.  This was not going to hold up to my two lunatic kids plus the rest of the neighborhood kids running through the house.  So I slapped a few coats of matte polyurethane on to protect it.


I swapped out the Colonial bail pull hardware for this beauties from House of Antique Hardware.  I wish they were more of a gold-ish brass but oh well.


And papered the inside of the drawer with Rifle Paper Co gift wrap in emerald peonies.  Please ignore all the bubbles in the paper that I was too stupid to smooth out.  We’re gonna pretend that didn’t happen.

The drawer sides are painted Benjamin Moore’s North Shore Green, which I had laying around from another project.


Much better than shiny orange oak.

*So much needs to be done with the staircase, I can’t deal.  Getting there….baby steps*