Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My cottage bathroom (and some more answers)

I got the nicest comment today:

scone has left a new comment on your post "OY VE!!!Q&A Tuesday---Betsy answers it all!!! (sor...": 

It's really nice of you to give free decorating advice, but I think you are going to get overwhelmed. What if you offered a "design consulting" service, where the homeowner implements the solution, and then sends you photos for discussion on your blog? That way you would make a little cash out of it, and well deserved IMO. 

What do you guys think??
I kind of like giving free advice, 'cuz then, if you don't like it, you can't yell at me.

I am so clueless about abbreviations in blogland, that I had to google IMO. FYI, it means "in my opinion". 
She's right, though. I am getting a little overwhelmed. I will answer one or two more today, and then that's it for this week. It may not seem like it, but I actually put a lot of thought into my answers. 

I want to show some pretty pictures. I spend so much time on the questions and answers, (wah, wah, poor me), that I don't get to show off my stuff!!!!!

photo by Eric Roth for House Beautiful Magazine

This is a photo of my bathroom in my Watertown Cottage. I forgot to show it to you guys.
Check out my toilet tank cover!!!!!!!

It is original to the house. I LOVE IT!!!!!
It is chrome with a gallery rail running around the top!!
I wish they made stuff with that kind of detailing in this day and age.
I almost took it with me when I sold the house, but that would have been tres tacky.

So to continue the look of the gallery rail, I added three shelves over the toilet.

I stuffed the shelves full of silver plated goodies
(that I never bothered to polish)
(I hate polishing silver)
(but, I love silver)
This was in the days that I wore makeup, so I kept the overflow of my paints and powders in the containers.

This is my medicine cabinet. It was in Watertown, but not anymore. THIS I took with me to my condo.
I had it made, using a Venetian mirror as the door. 
My buddies at Masterpiece Woodworks made it up for me. The sides of the cabinet are covered in mirror,
  to match the front.
I am a girlie girl!! Yes in deedie do!!

Like how blurry the picture is????
This is what happens when you blow up a picture trying to get a good detail shot. 
You really shouldn't do this. Not at all. No.
(but I wanted you to pay attention to the wall sconce.)
I LOVE IT!!!!!
It was a present from a client
 (and obviously, she had become a friend, because she gave it to me, even though she liked it too, but when I saw it, the look on my face of pure unadulterated lust, must have convinced her, that even though she liked it,
Now that I've discovered ebay, I have been able to find more of these, so I found one that sort of matches, to make a pair on either side of my medicine cabinet in my new bathroom!

AND THEN.......
When the wallpaper guy was installing the wallpaper, and went to rehang the sconce........
(yep, you can see where this is going)

I went back on ebay, and kept looking.........
and looking.............
and looking.............
And by buying two, and taking them apart and reassembling two into one......
I was able to rematch my

OK, back to a question.
Don't think that will now work for anyone else. My compassion has been all used up.
And on top of that, she has the same name I do......
And she's very generous (she gave Amy Chalmers  those beeoutiful blue opalescent drops for her living room chandelier)

this is her question.....

......we moved in a short time ago and I am super excited to have a first floor master bedroom !  My problem is I am stumped by this narrow hallway and what to do with it?  At first I thought maybe some shallow bookcases on one side, but Big Daddy is so finished with updating and spending on this new-old windows, floors, trim, doors, bathrooms, hardware, etc....

My brains are fried at this point and would love a pro like you to make the decorating call so I can order some white matchstick blinds, slip covers and call it a day !!!

Thanks for the help if you can !  I am crossing my fingers you choose my question !!!

:) Another Betsy

Then, because I didn't answer right away, she sent me this

Dear Betsy,

Just wanted you to know I have nothing to live for and might end it  
all if you can't find a solution to my hallway problem, but No  
The other Betsy


So this is my answer......

I can't tell how wide the hallway is.....
But if it's 36" or less, you really shouldn't put anything in it to make it a smaller passageway.
With that being said......
I always break my rules.
In my Watertown cottage, I had a long narrow hall, although I believe it is a little wider than yours. 
I squashed a chest against the wall.

photo by Eric Roth for House Beautiful Magazine

I know, what a useless picture.
You can't tell the chest is in a narrow hall.
It is.
So this is what I would do in your hall.....

This is a picture of the bedroom in my old West Palm Beach bungalow 
(not the house I live in; I sold this little house)

Put a narrow piece of furniture like this, and then hang a bunch of #$#% over it.
It will make the space feel cozy, without making it too narrow.
I love these quirky little bookcases. 
They are visually interesting and give you another surface to put more STUFF on!!!!!

Ballard Design has this one.
They used to have one that looked a lot like mine in the picture above, but this next photo is what they are selling now. Not my favorite.

Librarie Bookshelf

It is narrow, 14"d, so it might work for you.
It comes in a rubbed white finish.
Do what I did, go junk shopping and check on ebay, maybe you'll find an old one.
Amy Chalmers told me you used Susy to decorate your house. She and I won Traditional Home Magazine design awards the same year.
If you can afford her, have the damn thing built to any style you want!!!!!
One last question............
Diana has left a new comment on your post "OY VEY!!! Q&A!!! Tuesday":

I just happened upon your blog, and am following, because you are way funny! I do have a question (I have a blog, too, but do not have pictures of this dilemma). Our house was built in the mid 70's and has grasscloth on the walls of the foyer and the stairwell. Since all the wallpaper we have stripped was evidently applied to unprimed walls, I assume this grasscloth was also applied to unprimed walls. How can we get it off? Can it come off? Are there easier alternatives to getting it off? The grasscloth is extremely worn and frayed where it wraps around corners and in other areas -- so I'm not sure painting would help. 

Of course there are easier ways!!!!!
This is how I always did it, and believe me it is 
I would meet the workmen at around 8:00 in the morning at the job site.
I would point at a wall and say
"Please take the wallpaper off that wall."
When I came back in the afternoon, the wallpaper would be gone!!!!!
If that didn't help, the next thing I would do, is google how to do it. 
But I've been typing a long time now, so I'll leave that up to you.

Don't forget folks.....
Tomorrow I announce who won the digital scrap book software give away!


linking to:



Cindy said...

I love your old bathroom, and i can't believe he broke that sconce! I know he didn't mean to, but OUCH!
And, you are sooooo funny, you always have me laughing out loud at work!


Jan said...

I found you randomly while surfing the web, and I'm really glad I did. Love the blog, and you make me laugh at the same time that I'm drooling over your rooms. That's a hard combo to beat. :)


Anonymous said...

FWIW,This link is some great info on removing difficult wallpaper from a blog I read. It's one of those things that I keep in my info file for future reference. TTFN !! :)

Anonymous said...


THANK YOU BETSY !!!! I LOVE your idea !! I am going to implement it TOMORROW ! ( which as luck would have it, IS MY BIRTHDAY !! ) What a great Birthday present !! I am SHAMELESS and will continue to hound you AND Amy day and night with my comments !! NEXT time I promise I will pay for your EXTREME TALENT ( I love the idea of you being a consultant for cash ) Suzy is my IDOL and I also hound her day and night ! She probably screens my calls....hahaha...BUT, she is a dear friend and I pester her CONSTANTLY !! I can't wait to show her your blog ( she had been in Florida )
.....this just in..... AMAZING news !! Big Daddy measured for me and I have 46 inches !!! I promise to send you 100's of photos as soon as I am finished :) LUV the Other Betsy

Amy Chalmers said...

WooHoo is right! I am so happy the other Betsy has enough hall space to do as she pleases with your great advice~what a pretty idea and pic to show what to do~! I love it!! You are the funnest and funniest blogger in all of blogland and we are lucky to have you.
The wisest advice of all is having hired help do the nasty stuff. Oh yes, that advice is priceless!

Amy Chalmers said...

PS I hope if you pick me the second time in the drawing I get to win this time.

Amy Chalmers said...

PPS And I completely forgot to mention how much I loved the bathroom~I love the venetian mirror on the med cab. They weigh a lot so it must have been pretty tricky to get it secured. I loved the toilet cover, never saw one like it, and the sconce was lovely too.

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

Love the Venetian mirror/medicine cabinet. Another great post of wit and wisdom!

Bette Jo said...

Betsy, love your cottage bathroom. I think I am going to use your idea of glass shelves above the toilet. I have the perfect area for them. Looking forward to your next post! Bette Jo

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Love your Watertown bathroom..How great is that toilet tank cover..both pretty and functional!..You mentioned the Traditional Home Annual Design copy has your feature titled, "Classically Camp" and Suzy Stout's "The Joy of Color..I believe I mentioned to you previously that the 1993 issue of Traditional Home is one of my all time favorites..obviously, as I kept it all these years!..Your feature was fabulous!...

You are offering such a great service to all with your expertise on design and not to mention, entertainment to boot!...Thank you for your generosity...

Connie @ Connie Nikiforoff Designs said...

I know I probably have said this before but it bears saying again:
I'm reading your blog for your terrific decorating ideas (Yeah, to copy! What else? LOL!) But I'm staying with your blog cuz of your humor. Man, you ARE the bomb, as you say.

By the way, I've done it too, and spell check won't catch it cuz it doesn't realize it's wrong, but sometimes you've written "scone" and sometimes "sconce"...the latter being correct. Cuz um...if you've got a scone on your wall, can I come for tea? ;-)

Joi said...

Betsy, I always love reading your blog and love your funny way of dealing with decorating dilemmas! I also loved reading about your Watertown bathroom and have never seen a tank cover quite like that - how fun! As for the sconce, what a great place to put one - makes is quite convenient to have a little light while you "sit a spell"....

Darlene G said...

So I got up this morning feeling yucky and unmotivated and went to my email. Great, an email from Betsy. Maybe she answered MY question for a change. But, alas, no. However, you are soooo funny. I don't care. I feel better, love your work and can now get to work on my own stuff. Thank you for your blog.

Betsy Speert said...

Thanks, I hope this will help Diana, since I was absolutely useless.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Betsy, Just found your blog and i love your style! I have signed up to follow and I hope you will stop by to visit me when you have a bit of time!


Donna D said...

Love the bathroom, especially the beautiful medicine cabinet. You are too funny, I love you!


foreverdecorating said...

Okay, you just have too much energy for me and I am the energizer bunny! But now I will be following you. Come check out my new master suite and my giveaway, you crazy girl.

SwedishCorner ~ DownUnder...Pernilla said...

Lovely cottage bathroom!

Greetings from Australia♥

Patti said...

Too Funny. I also hang #*&^@ over consoles tables. I popped over from Delightful Disorder.

very merry vintage style said...

Beautiful bathroom! I am planning to redo my hall bath and this is some great inspiration. Love all those silver pretties!

the misfit said...

This is in response to your commenter suggesting that you do a design consulting service. I know that a lot of design bloggers do design consulting on the side (well, the blog may really be the side), so that's certainly not outrageous, but I rather thought that you'd been doing design consulting (or a much more extensive version thereof) your whole career and were going in a different direction (more interaction with the broader public?) with this venture. So I don't know how setting up a consulting business fits in with your overall business plan.

Also, I got the idea that your purpose in answering questions was to drive up traffic for your blog and increase interaction with readers. It strikes me that charging for same this early in the game will undercut that goal (if I am right that it is your goal).

I do think you're going to get overwhelmed by questions, though. If _I_ may offer a suggestion, I would ask for questions, and say that you're planning to pick five to answer, and answer the others if you have time. You could then pick based on which ones cover a topic that interests you (or would likely interest readers); which don't rehash something you've previously covered; which have the best pictures; and which are the easiest to answer. You could also exercise greater sway over the content - rather than republishing all the requester's text, just quote snippets, do your own narrating, and only use the pictures (if there are several) that you find necessary. It's your blog, and your "voice" and editorship are what's drawing readers to you.

I note that I know nothing about blogging profitability; my blog is very small, has nothing to do with my livelihood, and seeks no revenue; and it shall be ever thus. So maybe best to consult with an expert on commoditizing your blogging.

Betsy Speert said...

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I like giving free advice, so I don't get yelled at!
I put the whole question in, because I feel if I have tp plow through it, you should too. Also, I don't feel like taking the time to edit the questions, I spend enough time answering them!

mom said...

I think charging a nominal fee for advice.............proportionate to the advice requested is a terrific idea. I am very hesitant to bug, beg,whine or impose but a fee for your well worth it services would definitely give me the ok to actually luxuriate in your design expertise. It IS a lot of work on your part and people tend to respect what they pay for don't you think?


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