Posts tagged ‘decor’


Finally, Some Color

Example of a colorful Victorian facade, from Historic Color Consulting

If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ve been making some aesthetic decisions about the house recently. Trim size, what to do with the bay, etc. One of these tasks was finally deciding on a color scheme for the house. Truthfully, I enjoy these aesthetic things more. Buying a bunch or raw wood is boring to me; getting the house sprayed for termites is not so glamorous. Picking out siding? At least colorwise, is kind of fun.

We ended up going with vinyl. I would still not rule out fiber cement in the future, but this is a pretty extensive renovation, and let’s face it, I need things like heat and plumbing, too. Lady Gaga may be able to live half in reality and fantasy, but that is just not practical for me.  I need to stay firmly planted in reality in order to stay on budget. There is still a long way to go.

Back to color. I would pick out something bright and colorful…but my sister vetoed that. And rightfully so, as much as I love bright colors, something neutral would sell better (if we did ever plan on selling the house), and it would be easier to change-up if we got sick of the color combination that we are currently planning. The house has two different types of shingles, horizontal wood planks, and fish scale shingles. To fit in with the Victorian styling, I think each of these types of shingles needs to be a different, but coordinating color. Victorian houses traditionally had about 5 different colors on them, so it would make sense for these to be painted in different colors. Of course, then you have the trim, which I’m going to have done in classic white, and the front door. The front door has to be welcoming, stand out, and coordinate with the main body of the house. Then you have the porch ceiling, the porch floor, and accessories.

The first color is the main color of the house; the color of all the horizontal lap siding. The second will be the color of the fish scale shingles. The third is the color of the front door, and some of the accessories. The 4th will be the color of the foundation. the 5th & 6th will be some of the accessories around the porch. The seventh is meant to mimic a haint blue, or the traditional blue porch ceilings in the South. The final color is a mix of the first and second colors, and the porch floor will probably end up being something like this. White will also be used, of course, but you get a good idea of what that will look like with the white background.  I’m excited about the palette. I think it will be both traditional, and bright enough to keep me interested in the outside of the home. The inside color palette will probably be very similar. When I like something, I tend to stick with it!


Room Inspiration… Foyer

My new front door

My new front door  has inspired me to start looking at photos of foyers and entrance halls for design ideas. The door is beautiful, and I really like it for the house. I didn’t pick it out, my sister did. And I’m glad she did. The leaded glass looks really lovely, and the door screams, “I am a front entrance!” Before there was simply confusion as to which door was the front door.

Back to entrance halls. The house I grew up in has a small foyer. I always like this small area, devoted to welcoming other and yourself to the home. A foyer should have places for shoes and coats, keys and mail. It should also have a mirror, for last-minute appearance checks, and a chair to take shoes off, or put them on in preparation of leaving. The foyer should have many things, but ultimately it is the area to put down your things, take a breath and say,”I am HOME.”

Not only is the entrance hall/foyer dedicated to leaving or coming home, it is also the first impression of the interior. If the foyer was a course, it would be an amouse-bouche. It sets the tone for the rest of the home. I am pretty excited about the entrance hall in my house. It is larger than the foyer in my childhood home, and therefore makes even more of a statement.

Stripey-gallery inspiration.

There are a few things I want in my hall. First of all, I want a chandelier. A big beautiful one; in fact, I have already purchased this chandelier. I just have to paint it. I also want a buffet piece, with legs and some storage. Luckily, I already have this, too. My mom gave me the perfect piece. I just have to strip it down and paint it black. Then I want a small table, and a couple of chairs. What I really want in there? Stripes. I think it will emphasize my 14ft ceilings and make the whole room seem more grand. I see them in a light gray and white vertical stripe.

I envision walking in, and having a coat tree and the buffet. Over the buffet, a mirror, with a bowl for keys, and a few other things. A boot tray under the buffet. Then, a little further down, two chairs with a small table in between. A lamp on the small table, and a gallery above the chairs, with lots of prints, photographs, and paintings, all in black frames. Of course, this vision is years away, but it really looks beautiful in my head!

More Inspiration Photos…


*Inspiration photos from Elle Decor, Domino, or various google image searches


Decorating…Wizard Style

I didn’t update this week, mostly because I’ve been geeking out over Harry Potter. I could go on and on about why I love those books and movies, but since this blog is supposed to be primarily about my home, I decided to celebrate (mourn) the end of the series by posting some of my Potteresque home decor and discussing how I plan to decorate with it. After I have walls. Just so you know, I did try using Reparo and Accio, Drywall…but it didn’t really work. Anyway,  I know it may not be considered sophisticated to have Harry Potter stuff throughout the home, but I wholeheartedly believe that your house should reflect who you are and the  things that you love. 

Print made by Pink Caffeination

The first thing that will be incorporated is Godric Gryffindor’s sword. My sister likes weaponry, and I got her this replica for Christmas a few years ago. I see it hanging in the library/dining room, shining in the candlelight, looking pretty awesome. When we bought the home, one of the first things I purchased for it was this print from Pink Caffeination on I had the seller remake it for me in greens, blues, teals, grays, and black, our house colors. If you are a Harry Potter geek like me, you will also recognize this is a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin house colors. This is kind of perfect, as I am a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, while my sister is a Slytherin.

Over Christmas break, my sister and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where besides having a fabulous time, we purchased a bunch of stuff. In case you didn’t know, Besides having character wands, the theme park has wands specific to certain months, so that you can pick one to represent a particular date. We both purchased wands representing our birth dates. When we go back, I want to get one to for February 10th, the day we purchased the house. I want to frame the wands in a shadow box to hang on the wall or display in the bookshelf. We also purchased some of the candy sold at Honeydukes in glass apothecary jars. I kept the jars to use around the house, for cotton balls in the bathroom, as a candy dish in the kitchen, etc. That way there will be little reminders of these things everywhere. I want to get more of them, so if any of you guys are planning a trip, let me know!

It might seem strange to incorporate this sort of merchandise into your decor, but it makes me smile, and brings a dose of whimsy and nostalgia to everyday life. It makes my house a home. If you agree, come on by for some cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice…just wait until I get appliances first.


Vintage Kitchen Decor

Vintage glass cake plate with a light blue edge

I haven’t been working on the house as much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping for it! I always intended to post some of the things I purchased for the house, so I guess I’ll get to it. Everyone likes looking at pretty things rather than crumbling walls! I do have a confession to make…I love vintage kitchen stuff. Colorful glassware, interesting plates, weird baking stuff; if it’s old and shiny, I’m there.  I love the novelty of these old items, like the vintage eggbeater, as well as the usefulness of them. These things aren’t purely knickknacks. I find that old sifters are my favorite to use, and the kettle, while not old, will be used and add a nice pop of color to the kitchen. So on my recent journeys, I’ve been shopping.

As I said in this post, I want the kitchen to be primarily white and black. These items are the jewels, the interesting pieces that add color and personality. Not all of them were purchased. My Aunt gave me the Fiesta pitcher, which is awesome. She gave me quite a few other nice pieces as well. A few days ago when I was taking all the stuff to where I store it, I stopped by the house with the stuff and my camera to take some pictures of my recent purchases in the house.

 Anyway, here is a look at some of the things that I have collected for the kitchen over the past few months.



Can’t Find the Perfect Fabric?

If you remember from this post, I was having trouble finding prints in the planned color palatte for the house. Then after some searching through my bookmarks, I came across Spoonflower. This is a site where you can design your own fabric. Literally, you upload an image, pick your colors, and have it printed on as many yards as you want, and have it printed on whatever type of fabric you want! It might be perfect for me. If you aren’t feeling that creative, you can also browse through fabrics created by others on the site.  Here are a few of my favorites:






The Little Things, and Angry Mockingbirds

The work on the house has been pretty slow so far this month. It is times like these, the dwindling, less exciting phases that cause me difficulty. I feel like there is not that much being accomplished, because I have no big, dramatic reveal. We have been working, but at tiny, mundane tasks that need to be completed, but with little visual sense of accomplishment. If this were a D.I.Y. show, these are the steps that would be skipped in a nifty video montage with peppy music. Today, I pulled nails left in the studs from the plaster removal; chiseled little bits of plaster near the ceiling, so that drywall will sit there more smoothly; I pulled off some molding, and did some cleaning. The most exciting part of the day was being dive bombed by a mama mockingbird for coming too close to her nest when cutting down some bushes in the yard. I did promptly abandoned this task so not to disturb her further, I want baby mockingbirds in the yard! I will offer her fruit in appeasement tomorrow.

Truthfully, I’m bad at the follow through with projects. I complete the task and never want to do the clean-up. Right now, there is a lot of clean-up that I am feeling pretty ho-hum about actually doing.  Maybe I’m just low on motivation, maybe its just my standard modus operandi. Any tips for dealing with the meandering, less-thrilling parts?

Image via Google Images


Room Inspiration…Kitchen

Black & White with quirky touches

Today, we have more room ideas. Mostly because my grad school classes are keeping me pretty busy, so I can’t work on the house right now. I will post an update of sorts this weekend, though. My contractors have almost completed the addition. For now, kitchen ideas! Okay, so I like white kitchens, or mostly white. They are clean, and lend themselves to any color choice. It isn’t as if my kitchen will lack color, I collect Fiesta dishes and own a pistachio Kitchenaid. I just want the color to come more from the accessories than the cabinets and counters. I guess I want them to be neutral and simple because they are so expensive to change, while if I want to choose a new color  palette in the future, anything will go. Other things I want in the kitchen? black countertops, to contrast with the white cabinetry; silver knobs; a subway tile blacksplash; and some glass-front cabinets, to show off my colorful fiesta plates and pitchers. I just want the kitchen to be simple, clean, and timeless.

Double the Storage!

I also want to double-stack the upper cabinets. What does that mean? Basically put a smaller cabinet on top of a larger upper cabinet, so there are two upper cabinets, I would like some of these to be lighted with glass for display, and maybe some plain wood, for even more storage. Besides, with ceilings as tall as the ones in my house, it wold look weird if they just ended at the top of the 42 inch cabinet. I would love an island, but I don’t think the kitchen is wide enough for one. I also have not decided on flooring yet. I keep waffling between tile and hardwood. For the appliances? We are thinking stainless steel. I know they are trendy right now, and normally I hate trends, but I think white would be too much white, plus I worry about the appliance white and the cabinet white matching each other. I f they don’t the darker will look dirty. I don’t want black appliances, so that leaves us with the stainless. I would actually love some of those retro ones in an awesome color, but they are just too expensive. I know it is a bit simple, but I think it will be bright and classic.



The Floor Plan

I know it is hard to piece the floor plan together just from the pictures. Here is a rough copy of the current floor plan. Some things will change with the renovations. We will solve the problem of walking through a bedroom to get to the dining room and kitchen, also the back porch and the two  side porches will be closed in and a new deck put in its place. I hope this helps you all get a better idea of the house!

Rough floor plan of the House


Room Inspiration… Dining Room

Food & Books

It is so dreary and rainy here, and  none of the work is being done on the house! So, I’ll have to find something else to write about. Design, anyone?

I grew up watching design shows. Literally, I learned to tie my shoes the way Lynette Jennings demonstrated  tying decorative bows on her show. HGTV was amazing to me when it was created, and quickly wound up on my “most watched” list. Mostly, I learned about design from my mother, who just has a natural knack for it. The truth is, I don’t know how to live in a house that hasn’t been designed. It is my norm, and the first thing I thought of when we decided to buy a house.

One of the most problematic rooms in our house is the dining room. With a house that is only about 1200 square feet, we need to use every available space, and we just would not use a formal dining room that often. It is nice to have one, but there are other things we need more. Like storage. I’m a grad student with over 350 books. My sister? Also a pretty voracious reader, with at least 150 of her own. This led us to the natural conclusion of making our dining room a library/dining room. I think the combination of these two rooms is a great idea! I can use the dining table as a large desk when I’m in the middle of stuff, and the books will make for an interesting topic of conversation if we ever need something to talk about during dinner.  I plan built-in bookshelves, all the way to the ceiling on at least one of the walls. Maybe with a ladder, because that would just be awesome.


Even more odd then the dining room/library idea is my desire for a  mis-matched furniture set.  I like rooms to feel spontaneous and collected, not just purchased from the nearest store. So, I don’t want a matched dining set. I am currently planning either a round or oval table, with two wingback chairs at dining height at the head and foot of the table, and a settee for the seats on one side, no seats on the side with the fireplace. I like the settee because it feels more comfortable, more library-ish, and this set up will seat at least four on an everyday basis. For larger parties, I do want a matching set of four dining chairs, not ones that match the table, to mix in with the wingbacks. Other furniture in this room? An armoire for the computer. Also, I want striped shades and the room color as an avocado green, hence the last picture. Obviously, I am jumping the gun a little bit. Particularly when I could go tomorrow and purchase all the pieces I want, well, excluding the antique pieces, but that is how far I ahead I am in the planning. I already have everything picked out! Decorating is what I am good at. Building additions, planning gutters just isn’t my favorite thing to do. At least I can dream of my pretty, shiny house on this cold, dreary day.     

                    I just want the shades to be stripe-y like this, and I think the room will be about this color.

Photos from: Dominio, Apartment Therapy, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and random google searches                                                                                                          


This is a Post About Fabric

A smaller scale floral

I have been struggling a bit with the amount of work to do in the house. It seems daunting to me this week. It is not that I was oblivious before, but I guess I made up for it in enthusiasm. I think it is probably normal in a project of this scale. Anyway, to cheer myself up. I’ve been planning stuff to put in the house when it is all fixed up. Yes, decor is essentially my Xanax for this project. The truth is, I’ve been purchasing stuff for my house before it was even a possibility, and this tendency has only escalated in the past few months. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy a ton of stuff, just small things here or there, mostly vintage things, that I won’t find again. One of these is fabric. Fabric is perfect as it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and I need it for things like throw pillows and cushions, and it helps me solidify my house color palette.

My favorite so far

The palette has been an issue because my sister and I are sharing the house. I like blues, teals, aquas, greens, and purples. She only decorates in white, black and grey. I’m okay with that, but convincing her to have a tooth pulled is easier than convincing her to use color. However, after much cajoling , I won out, and the color palette will be black, white, grey, and (muted) teals and greens. This will allow us both to use may of the things that we already own, and I can actually make it look like I live there. Plus it ensures every room will not end up a variation of grey.

This brings me back to the fabric. I love prints. I love mixing different ones together and somehow making it work. Yet, with this color palette, the prints have been quite limited. We will probably end up with black and white damask, and black and white stripes, but finding prints with blacks, greys, teals, and greens, has proved difficult. Most people want to pair aqua with chocolate brown. My sister has made it clear that this is not an option. And so, I search all the time for different prints, buying a yard or two here and there, so we have some options. Not all of them will be used. Some will end up as trim on dish or bath towels, table runners, outdoor cushions, etc. I want to be able to have a wide array of samples to put against things like the sofa and chairs. Also, many solids will be mixed in as well. Don’t worry, it won’t be a kaleidoscope.  Here are the ones I have found so far. Do you guys have any favorites?





photos from:,,,,,,,,,, …yeah, I buy a lot of stuff on etsy.