Category Archives: House


Are You Ready For Summer?

Are you ready for summer? The days have been unusually warm for March in the DC area and we are getting ready. We ordered more pool furniture including lounge chairs, umbrellas and a table and four chairs and my favorite a tea cart. We took advantage of Winston’s March 40% off sale available at HomeEscapes. See what we did last year here

This is where I will be spending my summer days- by the pool with a big stack of summer reads!

Mudroom/Drop Zone “After”

Can you even believe the transformation of this piece and room? Let me tell you it took a professional 2 full days for the entire transformation – so net -net a ton of work but well worth it.
Benjamin Moore Barley Harvest paint 1070.

So crisp and clean… My handyman added crown molding to the top instead of the board that was there- makes it look much more custom.

I put my baskets back today – they look great. I want to add a cushion to the bench part of the built in.
Future home of our photo gallery wall.
Door to garage and pantry got a fresh coat of paint too!

Before Photos: Mudroom or Drop Zone?

Do you call it a Mudroom or a Drop Zone? Well, you know I am old school and didn’t even know until today that the new terminology is “Drop Zone”. In new construction, its an area replacing the traditional mudroom and defined as big as “10 feet by 10 feet, may include baskets for mail, places for backpacks and coats, storage for winter outerwear and maybe even lockers” according to MSN real estate. These are my “before” photos. I will post the after but you may not believe its the same piece and room as in this photo!

mud roomFrom a functionality perspective, this build it was amazing but I didn’t like the dark stain. It didnt coordinate well with the style of the rest of the house and when you enter through the garage, this is the first room you see, so it needed a make over!

Two paint color options. We were a bit locked into a color based on the floor tiles. They have a peach undertone so we need to keep them in mind. Our two contenders. Fighting for the darker color Benjamin Moore Paint Barley Harvest 1070 and fighting for the lighter color on the right, Twilight Gold 1069.
This is the door that leads to the kitchen/den. We are thinking of doing a gallery of frames here with family photos.
Shot with door open. The door is new too – for some reason the previous home owners had taken it down. So happy to have it so now I can close this off when it reaches the “disaster area” point, usually around 5:00 pm.
Again, from a functionality perspective another great feature is the utility sink. Its great for wet bathing suits and if you are working outside or in the garage. We are thinking of putting up a screen to conceal it a bit.

Bye Bye Bye!

Nothing made me happier this week than to see these green walls be painted over. This is the cringe worthy “before” picture of my living room. I know, its awful! Besides the paint, its a hodge podge of pieces from my old house – some that just dont work! I have selected all the new fabrics and have been playing “dress up” with them draping them over existing pieces to get an idea for how it will look and carrying my poster board with the paint sample for the full effect! You may recall that the rug is new and the inspiration for the room. I will show you next week how it looks painted (wow what a difference it makes to have a pleasant color next to the wood) and the fabric choices.

I do love this antique table.

I actually love that chair in the far corner – it is so comfortable and has a beautiful line to it. I have loved the fabric for so long but its time for a change!
This cabinet looks so rich when not nex to the green apple paint. I choose a beautiful Scalamandre silk strip fabric for this chair.

Let’s Get This Project Started!

After literally months of planning I am finally getting this project started! I ran into a good friend yesterday and told her I was running to check on the status of the project and my elaborate plans. Her response was sheer laughter and commented I need a girl! Since that is not going to happen, I am so grateful that Thomas has an appreciation for nice things.

I snapped this photo so quickly just yesterday morning right before Aldo arrived to start the transformation!

Here’s Thomas bathroom – the Ralph Lauren Nautical wallpaper (Rowthorne Crest Admiral)is going up March 5th and the Ralph Lauren Orange and White stripe(Stand Stripe Tiger Lily) shower curtain is being custom made.
This is yesterday afternoon. Aldo and I looking at where to place the chair rail (36 inches in standard – who knew). My assist Jackson is distracted by the Giraffe and has his hockey stick in hand as he is nagging me to come play the 2nd period in our game.
This is taken today around 4:30. Crown molding and chair rail installed and Aldo stared working on painting below the chair rail white. Its hard to see the transformation in the photos but wow, its amazing what a little wood work can do! It gives the entire room a polished feeling. Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Just ordered the striped paper (Ralph Lauren Gable Stripe – French Blue) for the closet…. I know…. I have to stop.

Turning a House into a Home: “Custom”

Well as much as I dislike the word “discontinued” I love, love, love the word “custom”. The definition in the dictionary should be “something that is fabulous”!! Last year at the DC Design Center, I fell in love with this beautiful sofa for my living room by Duralee. I love everything about it but mostly the front waterfall effect and the buttons. Its perfect! Only problem…they cant make it the size I need. So, Kathi Haley from KSH Interiors was able to find someone to custom make it in the right dimensions! Yipee.
Tuscany sofa plus this Pistachio fabric = fabulous!This is Duralee Pistachio (pattern 32032, color 399) and its so perfect with my carpet. This sample doesn’t due the color justice! Will post before photos soon!

Turning a House into a Home: Discontinued……

Discontinued… is there a more awful word in the English language? Doesn’t it make you think of your favorite lipstick or nail polish color that they no longer make? (for me, Desert Rose nail polish by Chanel, the perfect pink) Perhaps a favorite china pattern or Sterling Silver pattern (Hamilton at Tiffany) You can see this word has impacted me deeply over the years! I was disheartened to hear that the beautiful china cabinet I coveted for months but didn’t have funding for was discontinued. Really? How awful! I try to find things I like, wait till I have money to purchase and then proceed. I missed out on that one.

This week I was finally financially ready to move forward with purchasing the fabric and wallpaper for Thomas room (after months of searching) (see blog here) I found out BOTH were discontinued. UGGHHH! Luckily, in the stripe fabric they had 5 more yards – exactly what I needed for the shower curtain is available. Only problem is the price per yard was a tiny bit expensive……Needless to say, it will be the most expensive shower curtain in an 8 year old’s bathroom, east of the Mississippi. But….its so perfect! Stay tuned for pics – before, during and after.

I LOVE this cabinet – esp the way the majority of it is open and glass so that many beautiful pieces can be displayed.

Loved this fabric – Ralph Lauren Tanger Gingham Orange fabric – the orange I wanted at a reasonable price.
Ralph Lauren Strand Stripe Tiger Lily Ohh loved this option too but it was so expensive per yard and yesterday I found out it was my only option. I explained the situation to my son Thomas and asked what I should do. He replied “Buy it!” Well, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!!!

Shhhh…The Baby is Sleeping

Thomas’s Nursery in our old house. Loved that monogram so much! Can you see the bumper in the crib? I only used it in the photo. (in retrospect a waste of money…ohh but I had to have the complete bedding set when I ordered it!). The bedding is from Peacock

Another angle of the nursery. That little chair that matched was a great shower gift I received.

I made a custom bulletin board with the fabric and hung up birth announcements, pictures, birthday invitations etc from friends. Also on the wall I framed the Crane’s birth announcement, a calling card from William Arthur and my baby shower invitation. This is a great and inexpensive way to personalize a nursery.

Jackson’s room “before” – a lonely bare wall.

Corinne getting the stencil ready

Ta Da!!
Shhh, the baby is sleeping” are words I never had the opportunity to utter since my oldest son, Thomas, never slept. That didnt stop me from spending time in his nursery as it was my favorite room in my old house.
The color was the perfect green (1/2 Sagey from Behr) and the creme de le creme was the monogram on the wall painted by Corinne Marlowe. It was a great addition to the room – so my style – classic, crisp and totally personalized! ( I did have this idea before it was in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. just sayin‘……)

When I moved Thomas to a big boy room and called Corrine to change the monogram I was so emotional about it. I just loved that little TMB on the wall! I watched in sadness as she painted over the T and B and added a J and L.

I recently called Corrine to have her paint a monogram on Jackson’s room. I decided to keep the same green as I just loved the Central Park Toile fabric. I had a duvet made for Jackson bed and I figured I could get another year out of it before Jackson is too old and will consider it babyish.

When I invited Corrine to come by – she was surprised I hadn’t cut out the wall board before I moved. If I had thought it was possible I would have! Luckily for a mere $150.00 I was able to recreate one of the things I miss most about my first house.

First 3 photos by Tina Bazala Photography. I had to scan them in as circa 2003 film was still the optimal choice for professional photography!