We have moved!

Please visit us at our new home!



Comments have been disabled here, so please feel free to pop over to the new blog. I am happy to answer your questions there. (And all posts have been brought over as well!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We have moved!

Please visit us at our new home at cottageofstone.com!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas!



Friday, December 2, 2011

black doors? bring it on!

Those who follow me on Twitter will have noticed me sharing progress pictures of the dining room. It is so much easier to snap a picture on the phone and share it than to upload everything to the laptop and create a post. Sigh... the life of a blogger, right?

Now is a nice time to catch up the non-tweeting folks!

We did manage to (finally) get all the walls looking reasonably nice. Considering what we started with, it couldn't get anything but better! We finished applying the sandy texture to match all the walls (eliminating the smooth border around the top of the walls and from the middle of the wall down to the floor). Next was priming and painting. I chose a fun, yet not too Pepto, pink from the discontinued Martha Stewart line at Lowe's called Sugar Egg Pink. Trim was painted a nice white called Milk Sugar by Laura Ashley.

The plan is to paper the ceiling and install a nice crown molding. The crown will be painted white and given a fun little black racing stripe. That racing stripe will appear again as a room divider between the blue entry way and pink dining room. We also have some other fun splashes of black.

Which brings me to the doors... These go into the living room (left) and basement (right):


Woody McWooderson. I have always thought the doors looked a little strange. All the trim is painted white, and then there are wood doors. How odd! Manhattan Nest to the rescue! Seeing Daniel's blog about his black doors was finally the little push Steven needed to agree that we could, as Mick Jagger said, "Paint it black!" (Get it? Rolling Stones... Paint It Black? Moving right along...)

Oh, I hear Steven weeping softly... Primer... and a few coats of black paint...


On a side note, how pretty are our doorknobs! I am thinking of polishing them all up. At the risk of looking like cheapo 1980s brass, I think against the black, these could really be blingin'!

And here we go. Black doors. Aren't they pretty! I am going to give them a coat of satin poly since our kids are tough on doors. But I am really excited with how they turned out. I think the go really nicely with the black and white windows a la Door Sixteen:


You know, I have been influenced so much by Anna's aesthetic. While my walls will never be all white, Anna has really moved me toward modern, clean lines. Out goes the antiques, in comes the modern. :) So, thank you, Anna!

More dining room pictures yet to come. It is really close to being done, guys!

(And I really am loving the camera in my Android phone. So much easier to snap pictures now!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ch-ch-changes in the master bedroom

Something has been bothering me about our master bedroom for some time. When we moved in, it looked like this:
It really felt like living inside a toybox. I love wood, don't get me wrong. But the floor matching the walls really made it feel very, well... toybox-like. After a lot of sanding, priming, and painting (as chronicled here), we had this:


I absolutely love the pale pink walls. The furniture that has followed me around for the past 15 years just wasn't cutting it for me. It was SO BIG! And I really wanted another look. I ended up buying a cast iron bed from LL Bean (super reasonable shipping, by the way).

The old bed and dresser were sold on Craigslist. I saved the nightstands for quite awhile now... but with the new influx mid-century modern pieces in the house, I really wanted to bring something smaller and cleaner in. Steven began wiping up some new nightstands from my hand-drawn sketch (a post on those to follow).

But even with new nightstands and a new bed, I felt the room needed something else. I think there really is not a focal point in the room. There are planks everywhere, running every which way. One end of the room has built-ins, one has 2 doors. One wall has 2 windows, the others a huge expanse and a door on the end. It is all very asymmetrical and there is nothing to balance it.
My solution for this was for Steven to add some solid panels between in the windows. I thought if we "connected" the windows with solid panels (thus eliminating some of the planks), it would give a focal point for displaying artwork. The panels would be painted white, to make black frames pop. In my head, at least, it gives the eye a place to rest.

Are you feeling it? Are you with me?

Steven has the panels and trim caulked and ready for primer. The nightstands are assembled and ready for paint. I cannot wait to share. Stay tuned!

One area I haven't decided on yet is the closet... not sure I am digging on the curtain I made to replace the cheap-o closet doors. Also, the knickknacks over the doors are on their way out as well.

Tatum Evan Four Months


Each month we will be taking a picture of Tatum Evan in his nursery, as inspired by Making It Lovely.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tour of the Nursery

I have been promising pictures of "The Nursery," aka Bowie and Tatum's room, formerly known as Bowie's Room, for months. I finally got a spare moment to snap some pictures... granted the pictures are taken with my phone, so they are not high quality shots. But I think some pictures are better than no pictures, right?

So without further ado... a little tour.

Some day, when Tatum actually decides he is ready to sleep in his own room and not snuggle in bed next to Mommy, I will be reading bed time stories and maybe doing some midnight nursing in this rocker. We had this custom-made at USA Baby when I was pregnant with Bowie and it finally has made it's way into a proper room. The stars rug was also snatched up from Pottery Barn Kids about the same time.


Wow, this shot is a bit blurry. And a bit busy. The room won't be quite so crowded when Tatum is ready to move up to a big boy bed as we plan on doing a twin trundle for the boys. This will free up enough space for a vintage play table we picked up at Habitat ReStore.


The shelves are not perfectly styled, and I doubt they ever will be. All the boys enjoy placing things on the shelves and the arrangement changes every day. But this is not a magazine room, this is a real room for real little boys... so a jumble of toys it will remain!


Tatum's crib is a fixed-side Jenny Lind. It came only in white, so Steven painted it flat black to match Bowie's twin cast iron bed. We purchased the crib from Babies R Us with a 20% off coupon. The crib was a splurge -- a pricey gorgeous giraffe set from Rikshaw Designs.


And right beside the crib is big brother Bowie's bed. Bowie's vintage cast iron bed was a $20 Craigslist score that we straightened up a bit with a rubber mallet.


Over Bowie's bed is a framed screenprint on a Guster concert poster by Furturtle.



The boy's share a vintage dresser we picked up at the Good Ju Ju flea market. It was originally painted a girly pale purple with shabby chic sandpaper distressing. I made it a bit more masculine with flat black and replaced the mismatched brass knobs with milk glass ones from Hobby Lobby.


This is the closet we saved. (The other become the bookshelves on the other side.)


Bowie's duvet is from Land of Nod. The orange sheets were ordered from Amazon. The white dust ruffle is from Target.


This vintage nightstand was $3 at Goodwill. It was a badly damaged Sears Harmony House piece that I primed and painted flat black. The "V" handle was original and received a shot of silver spray paint. Bowie inherited my old iPod. The lamp is from Ikea.

The barn star was purchased from Craigslist and painted flat black. The gyro-ceiling fan is by Minka Aire. It actually rotates around and the lights dim, all by remote control. Steven had to do some fancy wiring work in the room to hide the very modern control unit for the fan.

The lights on this ceiling shelf are a great nightlight. Another assortment of vintage Tonka toys on the shelf.


The curtains and sheers are from Target. Hardware from Bed Bath & Beyond and moon and stars finials from Pottery Barn Kids.



The door knob for the closet is vintage. We salvaged it from am old farmhouse that was being demolished.

I fell in love with this giraffe mobile from Pottery Barn Kids. Plain white and understated... Unfortunately, it had been discontinued. I found it on Craigslist for less than retail.

A giraffe for Tatum. Since Bowie has a favorite elephant, "Buddy," since he was a tiny baby, we decided Tatum should have giraffes. See that lovely cap at the bottom of the door frame, by the base trim? The original plinth blocks were lost during the construction of the room, so Steven made all the replacements. The little metal piece on the door is the other side of a magnetic doorstop that keeps the door from swinging in to the bookcases.

Two little beds, side by side.



Bowie's guitar leaned up against the rocker. He is a rock star, after all.

This lamp was from Pottery Barn Kids, but the shade is from Target. I really fell in love with an orange round side table from Crate & Barrel, but it just wasn't tall enough. So I found this metal table at Home Goods and Steven sprayed it Popsicle orange.

Bowie's favorite toy truck, a "Buddy L." We bought it since he named his elephant "Buddy" when he was a baby.


This ceiling is a masterpiece! Everyone thought I was crazy when I said I wanted corrugated metal and wood beams. Now, I think it is perfect!



A close-up of the giraffe bedding.


I spent hours staining these floors. I wanted them to look a bit worn, even though they had just been refinished. I chose Minwax ebony stain and matte polyurethane sealer.


A happy star.

This is the Good Luck Elephant that sits high on the shelves. He takes care of the boys and makes sure that Bowie has good dreams. (Bowie was not sure about sleeping in his room the first few times).


Push button switches and a hammered finish plate from Classic Accents.

Two of Bowie's friends, an elephant and a crocodile, keep him company.


Hope you enjoyed the tour! Maybe we can get some higher-quality pictures up soon. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

introducing, Tatum Evan

We had a bit of a hiatus at the Cottage of Stone. And I am placing full blame on this little guy:

Tatum Evan made his appearance April 26th at 11:27 p.m.
He weighed in at 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Ala, Making it Lovely, we have been taking a monthly picture of Tatum. Rather than use the white Eames-style rocker in the master bedroom, we decided to tote one of the black chairs up from the living room into the nursery.

I have a little to learn about getting the pictures to look exactly the same (maybe the time of day I take them or the fact they are taken with the camera in my phone?), but it is a cute project and we have really enjoyed it.

Speaking of the nursery, we did finish it in time for Tatum's arrival... not that we needed to, really. Tatum has decided he wants to sleep in our bedroom. But not in his gorgeous cradle. Nope. He needs to sleep in my bed, right next to me. (Clingy baby!)

We will get the (not-yet-used) nursery pictures up soon. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

the fireplace saga... we have shellac and cabinet doors!



Steven is wrapping up the work on the living room fireplace. He finished the amber shellac on the woodwork, installed the doors on the cabinets, and finished a bit of electrical work inside the cabinet. All that remains is a bit of quarter round, and the techno-geek work of installing the a/v components and such. He is very excited about the new receiver and researching speakers. I am just happy that we will be able to arrange the furniture properly soon!

Until the furniture is out of the way, it is rather difficult to get a nice picture of the fireplace. At nearly 9 month pregnant, I am not as nimble as I once was. But I did snap a couple pictures with my camera phone, just so you could see we are not slacking off here.

The strange little hardware you see to the left of the right-hand vent is a doorstop. This keeps our bedroom door from being swung into the cabinets by the little crazy people who live in our house.

I didn't want the entire area to scream "brand new built-ins!!!!" So I decided ice-box latches might add a little historical interest to the cabinets. I mean, of course they are new. We have a flat screen mounted above the fireplace. But still, I wanted it to fit in with the existing woodwork. And the custom-matched stain and amber shellac really do make a seamless match! I posted earlier about the metal mesh material we used for the door panels. This allows us to be able to hide the electronics but still use our remotes.


P.S. The nursery is actually finished as well... I just need to do some curtain hemming before I can take pictures!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

fireplace tile done!

Just a sneak peek at the fireplace. I managed to lay the tile last month (a challenge since I am getting more pregnant by the minute!). Steven was able to slap the sealer down and install the trim around the edges... I am quite pleased at how nice it turned out!



The fireplace screen was a Goodwill score. Steven snagged it for $8, and it had a Pottery Barn tag on it.



The edges look so nice and finished with the trim installed. Steven painted it with the flat black enamel from Bowie's bedroom furniture (which I haven't posted yet). Maybe someday we will get the floors refinished as there is water damage in the living room... but for now, I kind of like the spots. It gives it character. Or that is what people say who own old homes and can't get around to fixing everything right away!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the painted nursery!

Bowie and Tatum's room (The Nursery) is very close to being finished. We have to install and paint some quarter-round along the baseboard, install the ceiling fan, and do some small touch-ups... but really, it is close. So close, in fact, that Bowie has started sleeping in his room.

The weather has been too cold to spray paint his new (antique) cast iron bed, so Bowie is settling for a mattress on the floor and his new big boy bedding.

One thing I would like to point out about the above picture is how beautiful the walnut still is even though we painted it. Really, it would have been an extremely expensive venture to have the planks re-planed, and tongue and grooved. So we did, in my opinion, a remarkable job of giving new life to wood salvaged from the hayloft of a barn that was being torn down and burned.

Anyway... look at the saw marks. Every board looks like that... just like when you run a comb over sand. Someday, the boys can run their fingers over those saw marks and maybe imagine all the animals that lived in that barn.

I think the bed stayed neat and tidy for about a minute. Just long enough for the boys to run into the room and decide to try out the bed. Here are the monkeys jumping on the bed! Dane (5) and Bowie (3).


For now, I am digging through all the toys and books we bought for the room and throwing them up on the shelves. The giant giraffe is not staying there -- but I do think he looks pretty cute peeking out of the cubby like that! I really love the way the floor turned out. Staining it ebony was the way to go -- it just looks great against the pale blue walls.

Here is a peek at the ceiling. People thought I was crazy when I said I wanted corrugated metal on the ceiling and faux beams. But I think the creamy white paint on the metal and pure white on the beams makes it look cozy and friendly (and not rustic!).

I also had to do some explaining when I said I wanted to keep part of the old ceiling framing to make a shelf. I wanted to do a nightlight feature up there, and it turns out to be one of Bowie's favorite things in the room! Flipping the switch... err... pressing the push-button switch lights up the shelf and casts a soft, dreamy glow across the ceiling. This was taken in the afternoon since at night, I just cannot get a decent picture of the light!


Next up... wire in the overly complicated ceiling fan, install / paint quarter-round, strip the salvaged door knobs and install, find the trim for the bottom of the doors that has been misplaced / paint / install, and begin painting furniture black.