Old Becomes New – Katie’s Bedroom Project

My friend Katie lives in a 100+ year old home in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been working on renovating it with the help of her dad and her awesome dog Joey. She was kind enough to share her bedroom renovation with us. I just love how it turned out.

Katie found these vintage shutters for $30 at Second Chance, a great resource for architectural salvage in Baltimore.


Then she and her dad turned them into this:

photo-1 (25)

(That’s Joey peeking in there!)

The bed was made to complement the radiator covers her dad also built for the house:

photo 1 (11)

(See the close up of Joey framed on the wall?)

To make the headboard the same width as the bed, they added wood in the center and finished it with crown molding:


They then painted it to match the trim in the house and hung it on the freshly painted wall:


Isn’t it beautiful?

photo 4 (5)

photo 3 (7)

The nightstand is made from a Pier One plant stand Katie found for $15 with a 12 inch marble tile from Home Depot glued on top. I love the galvanized bucket she used for the plant!

Thanks so much for sharing, Katie!


Shutters: Second Chance, www.secondchanceinc.org (Second Chance is more than just architectural salvage store – it’s also a training and employment program. See their website for more info!)

All other materials from Home Depot.

Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox

Headboard Paint: Behr Pure Ultra White



Enough is Enough

I love winter. I enjoy it. This winter has been really cold and really snowy and LONG. I didn’t mind it at all until about a week ago when we got a peek at springtime and then it snowed the next day. That was just too much. My kids have had eleven snow days off from school. Eleven! I’ve never seen anything like it – especially south of the Mason-Dixon line. All the roads are full of potholes and I have no idea when I’ll see a daffodil or a cherry blossom.

So I’m declaring it spring whether winter likes it or not. In little ways, at least.

Maybe if I add some spring color to the house, spring will come.

So out goes the cozy grey winter bedding…

photo 1 (10)

…and in comes this great new tangerine quilt. It was a bargain, too, which makes me love it even more. It’s made by Tommy Bahama and I found it at Home Goods for $60. I’m going to pair it with bright white sheets and some throw pillows that I have yet to find!

photo 2 (14)

I was inspired to go with this color after seeing these vases at West Elm last week. (I would have bought them but there’s nowhere in my bedroom to put a vase!)


Maybe Mother Nature will see what I’m up to and follow suit!

A Little More Road Trip

As I mentioned yesterday, Culpeper Virginia had many lovely shops, but it also had two other things I love – a good old fashioned hardware store and a cozy independent coffee shop.

Clarke Hardware was packed from floor to ceiling with hardware, housewares, and gardening supplies. It reminded me of the hardware stores I visited with my dad as a kid – it even smelled the same.





We bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer to replace the one we broke last fall. Every fall we go apple picking with the kids and make homemade applesauce, some of which we freeze to use at Thanksgiving. Last year we waited too long and there were no apples left to pick and the orchard was closed. So the kids “picked” them at Eastern Market in downtown Washington DC. And then I broke the peeler/corer/slicer by tightening it too much on our new marble countertop. At first I thought the noise was the countertop cracking! So last year was a little bit of a disaster. Hopefully this year will be better with our new vacuum base peeler!

photo-1 (24)

Next to the hardware store was Raven’s Nest Coffee House. It had a lovely interior with wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a beautiful reclaimed wood coffee bar.




It also had good coffee!


I loved these vintage mailboxes on the wall. I noticed they had papers in them and thought for a moment that they were actually still in use. I love the idea of having a mailbox inside a small town coffee shop! Then I walked around the wall and discovered it was actually being used for brochures and event notices.


And speaking of mail, I also spotted this wonderful old mail sorting desk across the street at a combination vintage furniture/candy shop called My Secret Stash (which also had really fun candy including chocolate covered malt balls in amazing flavors like mint and pumpkin). Based on the city names, I think it may have come from New Jersey.




Next stop, Charlottesville!



Road Trip Part One – Culpeper, Virginia

I’ve driven past the town of Culpeper, Virginia countless times over the years, but last Friday was the first time I ever got off the highway and explored the town. It was lovely! We had just planned to stop for lunch, but ended up spending hours poking around all the fun shops on the historic main street.

We had a fantastic lunch at It’s About Thyme – duck salad for my husband and Greek salad and roast chicken for me. (And no, I didn’t eat all that by myself!)



There were so many wonderful stores, but I fell in love with Harriet’s General, which showcases entirely products made in the USA, all beautifully displayed on vintage furniture finds. They even have an Airstream on the wall!


















More road trip fun tomorrow!


Road Trip Preview

Hello! Happy Monday to you! My husband and I took a little road trip this weekend and I have some fun things to share with you this week. While I get myself organized, I thought I would share this fantastic mosaic love seat I spotted on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. Every inch of it was covered with vibrant colorful tile – what a showstopper!


Fresh Eyes

What makes a room beautiful, or interesting, or memorable? What does your home say about you?

Walk out of your living room. Now walk back in. What catches your eye?

Is there anything unusual?


Is there anything colorful?


Anything quirky?


Anything shiny?

photo-3 (3)

Anything you want to reach out and touch?


Is there anything fun?


Anything with texture?


Is there anything with a pattern?

photo-1 (23)

Anything people ask about?


Anything that tells a story?


Anything that tells your story?

photo-2 (7)

What did you see?



Column Fragment, Ship’s Light (mine): Restoration Hardware

Green Candlesticks, Tic Tac Toe Game: Z Gallerie

Shiny Pillows: West Elm

Bookshelf: Conran

Sheepskin Throw: Crate and Barrel

Texture: Womb Chair (mine): Knoll

Red Tray: Target

Anthracite Sign: Carbon Industrial

Photo: That would be my brother and me in front of #10 Downing Street, circa 1979.




In Chains

This sparkly chandelier caught my attention this weekend:photo 1 (9)

When I got closer

photo 2 (13)

I saw that it was entirely made of

photo 3 (6)


photo 4 (4)

How cool is that? Love it!

Spotted at: Arhaus (www.Arhaus.com)

Always Look In The Corner

More snow here yesterday – I think we got at least 8 inches! Thankfully, the day before, I got out with my Partner In Finds to hunt down a few Design Finds, so I have some fun things to share this week.

The first is a lucky bargain I got at West Elm. I was looking in the sale corner, and tucked next to a display cabinet I found this wonderful wall art – a graphic black botanical leaf pattern on birch wood. The grain of the wood makes a beautiful counterpoint to the bold simplicity of the leaf pattern and I fell in love with it right away. On the back it was marked “Originally $169, now $69.” PIF loved it too, and at the register we asked if they had any other patterns available. We were told that they rarely sell their wall art in the stores, and this piece was likely brought in by their designer for the model home but not used. (I didn’t get any further explanation about that so I’m not sure what that means!) I looked it up on their website when I got home and it’s still online for full price. Lucky me!

photo-1 (22)

It looks fabulous against the dark charcoal grey wall in our living room. Will share pictures as soon as we hang it!

photo-2 (6)

(Side note: West Elm also had tons of lovely throw blankets at great prices in the sale corner. PIF bought a beautiful metallic bronze one for over half off!)



Add a Smile to the Table

Here are a few fun things I’ve spotted recently that made me smile. Happy, fun, and colorful additions to any table.


After many years of owning our coffee maker, we finally got around to learning how to use the automatic timer feature last week. Waking up to hot coffee is a joy – having it in one of these gorgeous colorful mugs would make it even better.


Love the bowls too!


I couldn’t miss this rainbow of fabulous napkins in vivid color – and the price – only $9.99 for a set of six!


Lovely lapis coasters.


Shown here on a mantel, these votives in iridescent spring green and ivory would also look wonderful on a dining table.



These vibrant purple glasses could also hold votive candles. Or flowers. Or beverages!

Spotted at:

Mugs, bowls, coasters, glasses: Anthropologie

Napkins: World Market

Green and ivory votives: Flora’s Feathered Nest



Ebay to the Rescue

When we moved into our house, one of the first things I changed was the ceiling fans. Due to the limitations of the HVAC system in this house, ceiling fans are a necessary thing here. However, the ones that were here when we moved in were a Victorian style, which made no sense in our contemporary home. Thankfully, I happened upon The Modern Fan Company, and found this for our master bedroom:

photo-1 (21)

It even has a fun remote control as well as a wall control. I can turn the lights off from bed! We liked this fan so much we also installed one in our 2 story front foyer.

Fast forward a few years, and all of I sudden I discover that the incandescent 100 watt light bulbs this fixture requires are now no longer made. (Somehow I completely missed hearing about this before it happened.) We looked everywhere, hoping to find a store that had some left. We tried every alternative we could find, but compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs didn’t work because of the dimmer in the light. We tried many LED bulbs, all of which are expensive, but none lit up the room the way¬† the incandescent ones did – they either shone down rather than in all directions, or they just weren’t bright enough. One even gave the room a blue cast that was seriously depressing. We looked for 100 watt light incandescent bulbs while we were in England, but discovered they were not compatible. Then yesterday I thought, “Ebay! Someone must be hoarding 100 watt bulbs and selling them on Ebay!” And I was right. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. Now a big box of bulbs is on its way to my house. Let’s hope I bought enough to last a lifetime!

Halo Fan: www.modernfan.com (According to my research, this fan is now made with a Halogen light.)