Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Another Simple Fix

When moving into a new home, we often have mental lists of all the projects we want to tackle right away. Stripping wallpapers, painting, replacing light fixtures. We want to jump in, guns a-blazing, and tear into home decorating projects.

This is usually when mistakes are made.

A better approach is to live with things for a while, listen to the house, and hear what it's trying to tell you. Watch how the light travels in rooms at various times of the day. Learn to appreciate the things that you thought you hated.

A case in point. This dining room light fixture was at the top of our "must change" list when we bought the house.

It looked so wide and awkward, with those little lamp shades askew at every which angle.

And then I had the brilliant idea to remove the goofy little shades one day.

It was as if the chandelier took a big sigh of relief and said "Thank you! I've been waiting so long for someone to take those ugly things off me!"

Now it finally looked like a colonial style chandelier that belonged in a colonial style house!

I added the bittersweet garland to really give it some drama.

Hello, lovely!

To think I went from hating the chandelier to loving it that quickly and easily. And the best part is that it cost me change is good!

I really love the warm antique brass color of this light fixture, too. By the way, did you get the memo? Brass and gold are back in style. Yep, you heard me right. It's the hot new design trend. See, the designers got us all hating our brass and gold about ten to fifteen years ago. We listened and switched out all of our fixtures to oil rubbed bronze and nickle. And now, of course, the designers have changed their minds and bronze and gold are back in fashion once again. 

Never trust a designer.

And furthermore, never trust your knee jerk reactions to the elements in your house. What was once a curse can become the blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How We Saved Our Pink Bathroom!

One of the joys of living in an older home is all of the quirky character...laundry chutes, pocket doors, original tile. Consequently, one of the challenges of living in an older home is working with what you original tile that happens to be pink.

When we started, the boys' bathroom was a whole lot of pink and sweetness. Pink sinks, pink tiles, pink toilet, pink tub. And to carry on the theme, the previous owners had left behind their pink gingham shower curtain and pink gingham bath mats. The white walls and white frilly curtains added to the sweetness.

My boys did not appreciate the sweetness.

As you may have gathered from our yellow bathroom remodel, we are not the kind of owners that rip out something that functions perfectly. Namely, because we are cheap and we are paying exorbitant amounts of money every semester for our son's private engineering college tuition.

But I digress.

The tiles and fixtures in this bathroom are in pristine condition...not a crack or chip to be seen.

The problem was all that pink in a boys' bathroom. How could we neutralize that pink? I decided that the solution was to add a new color. The always exciting, goes-with-everything taupe.

Okay, taupe may not be all that exciting, but it does have the power of having the perfect combination of acid to base. That was for the engineers out there. :)

If you are thinking of painting a room taupe, you better make sure to grab a LOT of samples from the paint department. Taupe can have so many different undertones. We found some to be too pink (which we were avoiding), some to be too grey, some to be too green or yellow. In the end, we picked a nice tone from Lowe's Historic Preservation colors...Cincinnatian Hotel Beige.


Thank you, Target, for your Threshold collection! If this shower curtain looks vaguely familiar, that's because I have the same shower curtain in our yellow a perfect yellow and gray combination. When I saw this shower curtain in shades of taupe with just a hint of coral pink, I knew that it would be the perfect thing to tie the taupe in with the pink bathroom.

I think that the taupe has accomplsihed its mission. It says "Sure, I'm a bathroom that happens to feature a lot of pink. But didn't you hear? Pink is the new neutral!"

This is a pretty big bathroom! Double sinks and big linen closet in the first room, separated by a pocket door leading to the shower and toilet.

Gone are the frilly curtains, replaced with a simple white.

I purchased new silver accessories for the bathroom to match the silver fixtures at the sink and the silver hardware on the cabinets. A rockin' dog for some whimsy, and the accessories were complete.

I love living with vintage items, but I try not to make my home a museum. There has to be a happy medium...a mixture of charming old with cool contemporary. I think that was accomplished here.

Now, when I walk past this bathroom, it makes me smile. Not in a "Ha! Ha! The boys have a pink bathroom!" sort of way. Now I smile because the room is soft and serene....and not so pink.

Another vintage bathroom saved from the demolition crew!

(Have you ever visited the website 'Save The Pink Bathrooms!' Yep, there are other folks just like me out there!)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Folk Art Friday: Pennsylvania Dutch Trivet

My mom recently put her colonial home on the market. The two story house with its half acre yard just became too much to take care of, so she made the decision to downsize.

Downsizing the square footage also meant downsizing the stuff. So Mom chose what to keep and what to get rid of, and my six siblings and I helped her sort through the rest.

I found this old metal trivet and knew I had to bring it home. This art is so typical of Pennsylvania Dutch style. The sentiment was definitely true of my parent's home...lots of love and lots of laughter. We were blessed to grow up there.

Now the trivet is at home in the kitchen of another old colonial.

Retro cool...because blessings never go out of style!