Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welcome To My Historic Hood

This last week was completely unproductive in the house.  My husband was out of town and I don't have anyone to watch my boobear while I tackle projects.  So not too much to report, unfortunately.  I did buy a light for the family room which is a huuuge accomplishment.  I've been looking for one for a couple of months and just couldn't come up with anything that I really liked.  It's hard to try to be true to the style of the house and still get what you want.  I decided that, yes, my house is almost 130 years old, but it's not a historic museum so I'll make a conscious effort to get some period looking pieces but I'm not going to stress over it.  Sorry, that was a bit long-winded.  Anyway, I haven't put the light up yet so I'm still not even sure if I'll actually like it once it's hung.  I'll try to get my husband to do that this week and post pictures.

Instead of working in the house, boobear and I just had fun together.  It's been raining and gray here lately so when  "Mr. Golden Sun", as my daughter refers to it,  made an appearance this weekend we were thrilled to get outside and go for a walk in our neighborhood.  I thought I'd bring the camera along and take some pictures of some of my favorite homes in the hood.

I love this old victorian.  It has 14 fireplaces!  I've been in it and it practically is a museum.  There is not one square inch of the walls that isn't covered with some type of art.  And, the owner is a former librarian who has more than 10,000 books (literally) in the house.

My favorite roof in the neighborhood.  I've seen pictures of the inside of this house.  It's basically my dream home except for the fact that there is no garage.  Very common in my neighborhood and the reason why we moved.

This house used to have the largest wrap around porch I've ever seen.  I wish they'd bring that back.

This is my all time favorite in the hood (although this is probably the worst picture I took).  I love the black shingles, and the stone which is marble.  Yes, marble.  It would cost a fortune to build this house today.  An opera was written in the house and President Taft had dinner here.  How awesome is that?

Historic homes are so incredible.  They just don't make them like they used to.  All the old houses here are triple brick.  I think today they just use a brick facade.  And there's just so much character and charm.  On the other hand, they can be soooo painfully high maintenance.  Charm comes with a price tag...in this case it may very well be my sanity. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple Ideas For Wall Art

A house isn't a home until something goes up on the walls. Needless to say, our house is still a house.  We actually have a lot of paintings since my husband's friend is an artist.  We were able to get some awesome pieces (before he made it big).  Our "new" house is bigger than the last one, however, and we've got a lot of walls to fill which got me thinking about how to be creative.  Art can be expensive, but it doesn't need to be.  I think there are a lot of ways to get great looking art without breaking the bank.  Here are some examples  that anyone could pull off.

Stamford Living Detail traditional living room

How cool is this?  They used ceramic tile as art.

Hawaii contemporary bedroom

Got shells?

Eclectic Modern Tudor Family Room eclectic dining room

Pieces of wood stained or painted and arranged on a wall.  Simple yet makes a statement.

The Penthouse by Ivy Style33/ Busy Bee contemporary living room

I love these framed scraps of wallpaper.  You could use scraps of anything really...wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or...

How about DVD covers?  Lisa from Trapped in North Jersey came up with this ingenious idea for her little boy's room.  Love this.

Guest Room eclectic bedroom

  Paint samples cut into triangles.  How do people come up with this stuff?  So creative.

Clear Creek Residence eclectic bedroom

Stenciling a canvas.  I'm not sure which I love more...the stencil or the furniture.

fletcherphotography eclectic bathroom

How about a nice collection of plates.  Pretty sure these plates weren't inexpensive though.  Also, is it weird to have plates in the bathroom? I guess if they're decorative rather than functional.  Just a thought.

Open living room modern living room

Fabric on canvas.  Great idea.

easy electic hall eclectic hall

Fabric covered pieces of wood.  I love these colors.

Montlake traditional home office

Framing maps as artwork.

Stairway Detail asian staircase

Twig art.  Ok, I think this one is probably a little more difficult than it looks.  Anyone want to try it?

Diasec modern media room

Kidding!  I think this is pretty cool looking though.

Laundry contemporary laundry room

How cute is this?

Lockettes Inspiring Home eclectic living room

I've seen this done before.  Love the fan.

wine cork art eclectic kitchen

Wine corks...sprayed gold?  That's a lot of wine!

What about a wall of mirrors?

Picture frame art anyone?

Or, how about buying a prestretched canvas and some paints and have at it.  Art can be whatever you want it to be.  Just have fun with it.

I have a feeling some of these ideas might find their way onto my walls. Do you have any favorites?     

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'll Be Stenciling

So the powder room tile is in.

Ignore the icky yellowish trim.  That's going away.  So now that the tile is in I can truly appreciate how little wall space there really is.

Yep that's pretty much it except for the wall with the door which I couldn't take a picture of since the room is so miniscule.  I had my heart set on wallpaper, but I just can't justify buying the minimum 2-3 rolls that most companies make you buy for a room that would be good with probably 1/2 a roll.  C'est la vie.  So it's stenciling for this room.  Now to figure out which one.  Here's what I like:

via designinspiration.typepad.com
The Willow Pattern from The Stencil Library.  I think it's pretty, but my husband hates it with a capital H.A.T.E.  He doesn't get chinoiserie at all.  I may have to override him on this one;)

Source: etsy.com via Natalie on Pinterest

The Small Corsini Damask from Royal Design Studio

via etsy.com
And last, but not least,  the Butterfly and Peony stencil, also from Royal Design Studio.  This is the top contender since this is the only one that we can agree on.

I thought it would be easy to find a stencil for the room.  I was soooo wrong.  There are some really nice ones available, but my husband is being Mr. Picky and has vetoed somewhere on the order of 99.9% of the ones that I like.  

Then I was thinking that I might try to freehand some design on the walls.  And returning back to reality...stenciling it is.  

I still have to do something with the trim.  When that's done I'll tackle the stencil...when and if I can pick one. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Painted White Or Stained Trim?

I've been a painting fool this past week, with the kitchen and trim.  We've also been replacing some of the rotten/gross baseboard and casement moulding in the hall and family room with fresh new wood.  It's gotten me thinking about how to finish the wood trim.  I've always preferred crisp white trim, but stained wood can be very attractive as well. What do you prefer?  White trim?

West Coast Hampton traditional living room

Lowcountry Residence traditional entry

Urrutia Design contemporary bedroom

Sleeping Beauty contemporary bedroom

Family Room traditional family room

Or do you like stained trim?

Wetmore Residence traditional hall

KitchenLab traditional kitchen

Earthy Modern contemporary hall

Prospect Park West contemporary living room

Middle Parlor eclectic family room

I'm painting our trim white but some of the pictures of the stained trim are awfully beautiful.  Maybe next house...kidding!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Final Kitchen Color

Well I'm going to consider myself lucky.  I only had to repaint once.  This is a record for me.  I have to thank my husband for pushing me in the direction of the Wickham Gray.  It's one of the ones I was thinking about, but just wasn't sure if it was going to be too light.  Turns out that it looks really fresh and happy (for a gray).

 It's insanely difficult to get an accurate picture of the color, especially when the weather has been so dark and cloudy.  It actually looks like a soft blue-green in person.  We like it so much that we decided to just go ahead and paint the family room the same color, but don't have pictures yet.  It helps give the illusion of one unified room, even though they aren't, technically.  

So what's left in the never-ending kitchen project?  In no particular order:
-Backsplash- We just picked up samples today.
-Hanging all the light fixtures which we've had for what seems like forever.
-Inside mount valence- I picked out a different fabric since the old one was not cutting it.
-Some sort of shade for the window so that we don't look like zoo animals on display
-DIY narrow farm table
-Seating bench
-Clean up
-Sand/polyurethane the floors

That's it.  Ok, that's still a lot based on how long things seem to be taking.  I promise you that one day we will finish a room.  Stick with me:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Tile Is In!

The tile is finally done in the first floor bathroom.  

We decided not to do beadboard or board and batten which is fine except my husband painted with it in mind.  Hence the paint half way down the wall.  I'll just add it to my never-ending "to-do" list.  In addition I have to strip the window (kill me now) and then the toilet (angels singing) will finally make its appearance.  The first toilet in the house.  Can I get a hells yeah!!!!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Hallway

I'm still working on painting the kitchen.  We're going with my husband's choice which has actually turned out to be a great color.  I'll show pictures when it's done.  

In the meantime, since I have project ADD, I've been trying to figure out how to spruce up the hallway that connects the front and more formal part of the house to the back where the more casual areas are.  Here's what I've been drooling over.

HDA Project 816 traditional hall

Urban Homestead traditional hall

Christmas Showhouse 2009 first floor foyer traditional hall

antique stone staircase traditional hall

Portfolio traditional hall

Hall contemporary hall

Kenilworth Private Residence 1 traditional hall

Brownhouse Design traditional hall

And, here's my hallway.

Obviously these aren't going to work for my hallway, but they're all so beautiful.  The last picture is probably the closest to the width of my hall.  Other than paint and maybe some pictures, not sure if I can put any kind of moulding up.  I'm concerned that it would close it in even more.  What do you think?