I love the easy fixes. Of course, sometimes it takes a few tries to get something that really works, but that is part of the glory of the trial and error of home ownership, right?
What I referring to specifically is a strange alcove that exists in the living room area of our home. Below it is the coat closet, but instead of drywalling all the way up to the ceiling, the home builders created a space to gather dust. As our home was built in the 70s, I’m sure it was intended for some far out plant displays or some such.
I did try to do the 70s fern display in the past. Unfortunately, I have a habit of letting plants die when I can’t reach them for watering. Having to climb a ladder becomes one too many impediments. What can I say – I’m a lazy sod.
Then I decided to peruse my home design books, and I found inspiration in the pages of “English Decoration.” There was a photo of the entryway of a lovely farmhouse. Underneath a trestle table were a haphazard stash of baskets. I thought a collection of old baskets up on the alcove would look quite sweet and would add some nice texture to the space.
Gathering the baskets ended up being super simple. I had a few, but I also have a habit of giving our baskets away, so I didn’t have enough for a collection. My Charles and I needed to go down the hill to stop by Home Depot anyway, so while we were in Auburn, we also decided to stop by Goodwill. For $36 – with tax – I loaded up my little alcove, and I love the look. We’re one step closer to a nicely styled home. Until I put mail everywhere and Charles covers the rest of the flat surfaces with food samples, but at least we’re getting there.
I love so many parts of the year, all of them in fact, for different reasons and different moods. They're always the most glorious when they are happening, no matter which they are, because of the sparkle in the air or the smell hovering around or because of a feeling that can't quite be explained. Still, I have some favorites, and the false spring at the end of January is one of them.
It was this time of the year, you see, when I was in the seventh grade, that I first read The Lord of the Rings. That was the experience that changed my life, the way I wanted to write, and taught me that the world of storytelling got even more rich, beyond the realms of the Blue and Brown Fairy Books.
False spring is also when I feel a quickening and anticipation for the future. It's when my biggest nesting impulses come to the fore. Last year, there were so many other things that I needed to focus on, I buried those impulses.
This year, I'm embracing them and making changes throughout the house. So far, I've brought in two cowhide rugs, and I love them. Their organic shapes play off of the squareness of our house and slate tiles, softening the feel of the space. We also found a lovely dresser on Craigslist for $75 that fits perfectly in the space I had planned for it. I used Morgan's tutorial, as I do with all of my new/old pieces, to bring it back to its former glory. And I still have so many plans! There are so many exciting things to accomplish this year. This is just the beginning. Spring hasn't even started yet, after all, just its promise.
Two gallons of paint later, the bathroom saga is over -- almost. We're still going to replace most of the items in the bathroom, including the floor, but the white paint is a huge improvement.
I think the largest challenge was created by using a low VOC paint. I've noticed similar struggles recently on other blogs. Many coats and hours of frustration later, the painting is mostly done. Because of the better-for-us paint, I'm finding that there is some problem with bleed through, especially at the corners and around the shower.
I'm actually going to wait a bit longer before doing the touch-ups because I want to know that I got it all. I did double the coats cutting in than roller, but I ended up losing track of exactly how many coats that was. Another thing that the white has accomplished, beside causing everything to feel more clean, is really making the natural wood pieces in the room seem richer. Here is the piece I picked up at the antique store the last time we were there. I love how it looks on the wall. It will compliment the medicine cabinet (once we get that installed) quite nicely, and it works with the "operation embrace the cabin" look I realized the house needs. It is, after all, a cabin in the woods.
Today is a work on painting day, and I don't mean walls. I have a show coming up in November, and I'm beginning to feel the pressure to GET THINGS DONE. As I finish pieces, I'll share those with you too. The theme of my show is all about my grandma, how she's inspired me, my memories from when I was younger, etc. I'm really excited about it, though nervous too, as she'll see the show. I hope she likes it, and I hope you all do too.
My Charles and I haven't had a fun, frivolous day in quite a while, so we decided to go to Reno to do something that I've been yearning to do for quite some time -- thrift. I've gotta say, I think I've fallen a little in love with the Biggest Little City. Once you get beyond the casinos, it's a college town, and man has my heart yearned for a college town since we moved to Nevada County! We had an awesome lunch at a Taste of Thai. (Arcata friends -- dudes, it was better than Japhy's. I kid you not!) Oh, culture and cheap thrift stores and people talking about college classes -- even hipsters -- I enjoyed it all. My FAVORITE new store of all time? Junkee. People, I swoon. Awesome clothes at great prices, and even more -- awesome antiques for even better prices! Here are a few photos of the store:
Seriously, I could spend every penny we have in that place. I came so close to buying a ton of stuff, but in the end, I restrained myself to four pieces of clothing and this gold mirror from the 19th century for -- wait for it -- $25. I know! I die! I'm so, so, happy with it, and it's going to look sweet in my office.
This was my favorite find of the day. It was hanging out with some poster frames at the SPCA thrift store. Say hello to our new medicine cabinet. We're going to try to mirror the glass ourselves. I'll give you a step by step when that happens. Why the rustic cabinet? Earlier this year, I came to terms with the fact that our house is a cabin in the woods. I figured I should embrace that reality and begin to decorate the house that way. So I'm going to focus on a rustic, with modern elements, plus vintage whimsy feel and hope that it's charming. I'm actually really excited about how this will look in our bathroom. It's solid wood with enough utility to work in our teeny tiny water closet. Plus, it was twenty bucks, and it will replace a cheap, press board with white laminate piece that's hanging out in there currently. I can't wait to show you the before and afters.
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