Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Making Two Different Ottomans Look the Same

Why Can't Anything Be Easy?????

Let's go back to my niece Miriam's home, and see what I've been up to!!!!
Last time we were there.....
It looked like this!!!!!
I was trying to find an ottoman that matched the one on the right.
My first attempt was STOOPID!!!!!
I made a rookie's mistake, and forget to check the dimensions before I had Miriam buy it.
it was toooo small.....
I found the one on the right on eBay.
I wanted a 1930's style.
The first one was fairly easy to find, 

so I was careless in my attention when choosing the second one....
...I thought it was biggerer.....
but it was littlerer.......
I found it on Craig's List.
Feeling sheepish and guilty, I became a bloodhound in the search of a replacement footstool.....
It took me almost 9 months.....
maybe I wasn't really looking the whole time.....
But that's what I told Miriam and Ross.....
They just had their baby, so I hope they're too busy to read this post!!!!!
So this is the best I could find.
The width and depth were almost the same as the first one. was shorterer.....
I didn't want to have to drive an hour out to Worcester, which is in western Massachusetts, so I arranged to meet the seller at her dentist's office in Brookline which is just outside of Boston.
So there I was....
 waiting in the dentist office....
 listening to drills....
 all for my niece Miriam. 
Of course, the woman I was meeting had been held up in traffic,
 and was 20 minutes late.
I sorta felt a little awkward,... sitting by myself in the waiting room... not being a patient.....
But the ladies behind the check in desk were very nice, and even let me use the rest room!!!!!

The new footstool wasn't as tall as the first one, but I figured I could resolve that in the reupholstering.
The legs were a little different.
But I told Miriam that that just made it more interesting!!!!!
She believes anything I tell her!!!!!
here they are, side by side in my workroom.
They are both from the 1930's, however, with the slightly different leg styles, there was a 1.5" difference in height.
Before I stripped them, I took some pictures of how they had been done, so that if I got confused, I would have something to refer to.
My upholstery teacher, told us to always take detail pictures.
It's a really good idea.
You think that you'll remember how it went together, because it takes so long to take it apart.....
but you can't....
at least I CAN'T!!!!!

The corners were hand stitched closed.
I would never have know to do that.
I would have sewn the whole piece together, and then cried when I couldn't get it on properly.
that's what my project was.
Next post I will show you how I made these things look somewhat the same.
I will show you how GREAT they look in Miriam's living room.
Are you excited?????
Can you wait?????
This is good stuff!!!!!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ocean Side Deck

I know, I know.....
I haven't been writing my blog.....
I've been in the throes of a creative frenzy.
When I get like this I have tunnel vision.... 
and can't focus on anything else.
I become obsessed with whatever design project has caught my interest.

Next year I plan on launching a fabric line that will be available at Studio 534 in the Boston Design Center.
I will be doing this with Josh, who owns the showroom.
He want's to do it next year.
I thought.....
Well that's so far away....
I want to do it now.....

and then I realized that I had to design a whole lot of fabrics,

 which I had never done before.....

I have gotten off my lazy @$$ and started designing.
I am figuring it out as I go.
I am having a ball.
I'm trying to do pretty...
and quirky....
a little humor....
and a whole lotta style.
Wish me luck.
I need it.

back to the cottage on the Cape.
I will next show you guys the deck that overlooked the ocean.
It's overlooking lots of water!!!!!
I had slipcovers made for my outdoor cushions.
They slipped over the outdoor fabric that was already on them.
It was just a boring white, and I wanted something more colorful for the pictures and for parties.
This is in the days when I actually had parties.
a long long time ago.....
Way back in the dark ages, when I decorated this cottage, there wasn't anything available in outdoor fabric other than plain simple colors and stripes.
That's why I used the indoor fabric for the outdoors.
Nowadays there's tons of stuff to choose from.
The fabric I used was the same one I put on the cushions for the Pier 1 wicker lounge chairs..
While rummaging through several salvage yards, looking for things for the renovation of this house, I found the trio of concrete pelican figurines.

I just love these guys and have 
hauled them around to my different homes.
I used them on my screened porch in the cabin on Lake Sunapee,
and I now have them by my pool in Flerida.
They keep me company and are my life guards in my 66" deep pool.
Isn't he handsome?????
Over by the dining area is my grill.
I made it out of an old egg crate.
An egg crate is a pottery container that was used to transport 100 year old eggs, and were the Chinese equivalent of cardboard containers.
I used to pick them up in China Town in Boston.
The grocery stores gave them away.
You had to time it right, to go by the store when the pot was empty.
After a while, the merchants got savvy, and started selling them for a nominal fee.
But I still had to time it to buy them when they were almost empty,.
According to Wikipedia,
Century egg or pidan (Chinese皮蛋pinyinpídàn), also known as preserved egghundred-year eggthousand-year eggthousand-year-old egg, andmillennium egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duckchicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, saltquicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.[1]
Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey colour, with a creamy consistency and an odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly with salty or little flavour. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9–12, or more during the curing process.[2] This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavorful compounds.
Today, while looking up stuff about these eggs, bopping around the internet... I found this YouTube video.
you may want to click on it for some amusing info!!!!
The pot for my grill was oval and  larger than average, I bought it in an antique store.
I had never seen one this size or shape, so I had to have it.
I figured that I would think of something to use if for, once I bought it.
It was really heavy.
But I really wanted it.
Luckily I was able to come up with a place to put it.
I had a wooden top made to fit over the lip of the pot, with a hole cut out to hold the grill.
I wanted it to be higher, for easier cooking, so I designed a frame work that bracketed some gargles that I picked up at the same place I found the pelicans.
Then for added flair, I tied it all together with a big hemp rope.
To create a nicer look on the back of the fence, I hung some trellises I picked up at a local garden store
They turned out to be a great place to hang my barbecue tools.

That's it for today.
I will try not to have such a gap before my next post.
On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Monday, April 21, 2014

Funky Cottage Bathroom

When I bought my cottage in Dennis Port on Cape Cod, the bathroom was off the kitchen.
Which meant you had to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom.
Which meant that you had to walk a ways in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom.

Which meant that if you were taking a shower and then getting dressed, and you had company, you had to walk by everybody in a bathrobe that made you look a million pounds heavier.......

So I redesigned the house, so the bathroom door was by the bedrooms.
I will be showing you guys the floorplans in a bit.
After I finish showing all the pictures.
This way is probably backwards, but that's the way I'm doing it.......
The house originally had three bedrooms.
One was so small that you had to enter it sideways to fit in the room with a twin bed.
That's not the way I rolllllll.....
I don't mind  a small room, but walking sideways is taking it beyond quaint.
So, I removed the third bedroom, made the second one a little larger, and created a bathroom that also had a stacked washer/dryer.
For the sink, I found an old English pine server that I had converted into the vanity,
Across from the sink was the toilet and closet with the washer and dryer.
Boy do I wish this was the days of digital cameras!!!!!
I have nothing to show you.
I found an old frame that I painted gold, and waxed with dark wax, and then had the mirror added.
Since I didn't have a medicine cabinet, I had the drawers in the server rebuilt, so that they were able to fit around the sink, by keeping the front but reworking the box of the drawer.
 On either side of the mirror, I installed a pair of vintage looking aged brass sconces with white linen shades.
There was a school house light fixture in the ceiling, so the room had lots of illumination,
I clad the room in beadboard, and used simple white 4 X 4 glazed tile for the backsplash around the sink, as well as inside the shower.
Since part of the ceiling of the shower was slanted, 
due to access to the upstairs loft,
 I repeated the slant in the opening to the shower, creating a peaked entrance.
I hung the shower curtain on hooks installed on the wall inside the stall that separates the sink from the wet room.
I had three installed on that wall, allowing the curtain to be folded into thirds and hung there
out of sight.
When in use, it was hooked on the hook that's holding the bath brush in the shot below, 
stretching between the hooks,
 nice and taught.
Very simple, yet effective.
I felt very clever!!!!!
I had never seen this done before.....
I always like a place to sit or a ledge to place my leg in a shower.
 (for shaving, when I used to do it, eons ago when I actually cared about this stuff.....)
Since there was not such a place, but plenty of room, I plunked down an iron garden chair.
Not the smartest idea, as it rusted onto the white tile floor.
But then, it looked good.....
For extra storage for soaps, shampoos, etc..... I used a narrow bakers rack that I picked up... 
Probably saw it in a catalog.
On the window, I repeated the simple treatment that I had used elsewhere in the cottage.
I made it out of a small scrap of fabric that I had left over....
 from something or other....???
For artwork, I hung plates on the wall, as they were impervious to the dampness in the room.
There's always room for more plates on the wall!!!!!

That's my Cape Cod bathroom.
I hope you all had a wonderful Passover and Easter.
Mine was great.
I celebrated by myself in lots of peace and quiet.

On a different note, 
I'm very excited that Orphan Black is back on TV.
I haven't watched the first episode yet, I've been saving it.....

On an even different note!!!!!
In Game of Thrones.....
Sooooooo....., I'll finish right here.
Latah, Gatah

Friday, April 18, 2014

Guest Bedroom By The Sea

OK Kampers,
let's continue with looking at my leetle bitty house on Cape Cod.
On Wednesday I showed you guys the master bedroom.
Today we'll look at the guest room and finish up with some pithy points about the master suite.
(that is made up of one tiny room.)

I wanted to have a pair of twin beds in the guest room to allow for more options for entertaining company.
Traditional Home Magazine 1990
I love the look of unmatched old beds, so I used two antique brass ones I found in local junky
Now-a-days I tend to only like solid white or cream colored sheets,
 but back then, in the dark ages,
 I liked patterned ones with flowers on them.
Remember Linens and Things?????
I think I got these there.
Since the walls were white beadboard I crammed a lot of pattern onto the beds.
I used a pair of mismatched multicolored patchwork quilts folded at the bottom of each one,
I repeated the floral motif on the toss pillows, lamp shade and framed prints.
I love this little lamp with the floral shade, and still have it.
Right now it's in my guest closet in Florida, because I don't have a place for it,
 but I'm holding onto it.....
I never know when it may come in handy!!!!!
It wasn't tall enough to sit on the table between the beds, so I set it on an old wooden box.
Lots of times, I want to use a lamp that's a little on the short side.
I place them on stacked books and all sorts of things to give them extra height.

Artwork doesn't always have to be hung on the walls, I sometimes lean it,
 like I did in the picture above,
 rather that bang another nail in the house.
Old perfume bottles can make nice bud vases, and that's how I used them here.
These are inexpensive pressed glass ones, rather than the more expensive cut crystal.
Neither of the bedrooms had closets, so I bought English pine antique armoires that came apart into pieces. so we were able to get them around some tight corners and into the rooms.
I wish this was in the days of digital cameras.
I would have had pictures of everything!!!!!

Back to the master bedroom.....
Back in the late 1980's and 1990's, dhurrie rugs were all the rage.
I used one in the living room and one in both bedrooms.
The one above pulled the blue and pink colors out of the fabrics, repeating the floral motif.
For the window treatments, I spared no expense.....
I bought Ralph Lauren sheets from a discount store
 and tied them in knots
 and hung them from nails in the corners of the windows.
I used to like this type of a window treatment.....
Used to being the operative words.......
I like the look of a bare tester, it can add some architectural detail to a room.
Canopy beds don't have to always have fabric on them.
Just showing the structure can be pretty.

By the bed I squeezed in a little night stand, as there wasn't a whole lotta space before the
wall that held the armoire.
I found a wonderful old desk clock that didn't work.
I didn't care.
It looked pretty, and that's all that mattered!!!!!
If you want to know what time it is.....
look at your clock radio, it's right by the pretty antique one that doesn't work.
Of course, for the magazine shoot, we moved the clock radio out of the picture!!!!!
On the night table I placed an old 1930's alabaster lamp.
I love alabaster lamps.
I just do.
I have a pair next to my bed in Massachusetts.
I think I've run out of things to talk about.....
after all.....
these are very tiny rooms.
On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cottage Bedrooms By The Sea

Now that I've shown you all the living room and kitchen of my tiny leetle cottage on Cape Cod, let's go into the bedrooms.
There were two in this palatial retreat.
A master and a guest room.
You could barely turn around in either one.
you may remember the bird prints over the bed.
They are in my Massachusetts bedroom, right now.....
as I am writing this pithy post!!!!!
back to the cottage.....
The quilt came from my Watertown bedroom.....
you may remember it!!!???
All this crap stuff, just gets moved around.
I needed to use it in the photo shoot, because I had to stage it differently for the two magazines that were shooting it that day.
The other way it was shot was like this, here, in the following picture!!!
This was the way I actually had the room.
I loved the multicolored quilt that I found in an antique store on route 6 in Dennis.
The Lloyd Loom chair I took with me when I sold this house, as well as the bed, and used them in my Lake Sunapee cabin, when I expanded it to have a lower floor,,
I even reused the purple pillow.

The bed I redesigned just a little, by removing the tester
 (wooden sticks that connected the four posts)
and having finials made that I glued my wooden black forest bears to.
Side by side comparison....
So this is how you can change up a room a little for a photo shoot.
The quilt was different as I said.
The red needlepoint pillow was moved from the bed to the chair.
The pillows on the bed were different.
The shot on the left had the 1930's collapsible bed tray set up with orange juice and other breakfasty things.
The flowers were different, and the container holding them was different.
This is like one of those games, where you have to find what's different!!!!!
I was going to show you the guest room.....
but my shoulders are starting to cramp up because I type at a table that looks good, but is too high.
So much for form following function.
I am not always practical.
Anyway, it's dinner time, and you know how I get when I'm hungry.
on that note,
Latah, Gatah

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Using a Salvaged Mantel in a Renovation

When I renovated my teeny tiny hovel on the Cape, I decided that a fireplace would be just the ticket!!!!!
Not to toot my own horn or nothin' but
 I am the master of shoving a lot into teeny tiny spaces.....
As I told you guys in a previous post, I scoured different salvage yards to find things for this project.
I sometimes have specific items in mind that I search for,
 but many times I stumble across things that tickle my fancy.....
and I want to use them.....
and I scrunch up my eyes and think real hard.....
where can I stick this???????
that is what happened when I found this mantel.
Boston Globe Design Magazine
It is a Tudor style, probably from a house built in the early part of the 20th century.
It was dark stained wood when I found it.
I thought that painting it white would transform it and give it more of a beachy cottage feel.
I tucked it into the wall that backs up to the kitchen and bathroom, enabling me to create a seating grouping that was centered on the hearth.
 Decorating Magazine 
Since I had two different magazines publish this house, we had to style it differently for each one, although we shot them both on the same day.
For The Boston Globe Magazine, we shot it way I usually had it.
The pair of silver fishes are actually some kind of place card or menu holder as they have slots in the tops of their backs.
For Decorating Magazine, we used the set of china coasters I had, and set them in a row along the mantel shelf.
We also changed the plants in the mismatched cache-pots.
I like to use things that are mismatched.
I think it keeps designs from looking too set and staged.
The candle holders on either side of the picture were wonderful as they also held plates.
The plates I used were part of a set of pink shell dishes that were a gift from my sister-in-law, Faye.
The watercolor was painted by the same artist that did the picture over the sofa.
I had it framed with glass that was non-reflective and filtered out the harmful rays of the sun.
You may remember this painting.....
I gave it to my niece Miriam and her hubby Ross for their living room.
This has been accessorized more since the last time I showed it to you guys, but that's another story on another day.....
I don't know why I have another shot of the mantel from a different angle, but since I had it, I decided to show it.....

When I designed this fireplace, I wanted it to look as traditional as possible, even though I was using a modern fireplace insert.
These inserts have a raised firebox, and I did not want to do a raised hearth.
For one thing, I don't like them.....
and for another, there was no room in the floorplan.
I did what I always do!!!!!
I faked it!!!!!
I clad the face of the metal box with smooth black slate, and treated it with a traditional hearth.
Using a black facade with no sheen, creates the illusion of the firebox being part of the whole unit, not floating off the floor like it does when people clad these boxes with a lighter material like marble or lime stone. 
To the right of the fireplace is the kitchen.
I separated it from the living room with a half wall that terminated in newel posts. 
The posts were the same style as the ones I had built for the railing on the loft.
The amount of conversation that was required with the builder to get him to make the simple posts was really annoying.
Who knew I would end up dating him?????

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Friday, April 11, 2014

Raising the Roof to Make a Little House Bigger

As you guys probably figured out by now.....
I completely renovated/changed/redid the cottage I bought on Cape Code.
That included raising the roof to create a loft where I set up my office/drafting board.
In future posts, I will show you the old and new floorplans as well as construction photos.
But for now I'm just showing the after shots that were published in Decorating Magazine as well as the Design Magazine of the Boston Globe.
The loft looked over the living room and the new fireplace I added.
I drove around the Boston area looking for railing ideas, nearly driving off the road in several instances while I craned my neck trying to absorb architectural details.
I wanted the cottage look as well as a feel of New England.
I settled on the Chippendale style.
I wish it had been in the days of Google, because all you have to do is look online for Chippendale railing ideas, 
and it's all spread out for you in the comfort of your living room!!!!!
This is the pattern I chose.
But there are tons of wonderful patterns to choose in this style.
The loft looked out over the ocean.
When I was sitting down upstairs in my desk chair, I couldn't see any land, just the water.
It felt like I was in a boat!!!!
Along the front of the loft I hung a collection of fish plates.
In the days of fine living... 
(which I certainly am not doing.....)
people had special plates for the different courses of a meal.
For the fish course, they had a set of plates with different fish hand painted on each plate, as well as a platter to match the set.
You can find these sets on eBay, though I found them antiquing, as there was no eBay when I designed this house.
This Limoges set is currently for sale on the website, and I think it's very pretty.
Here's a close up of the platter.
A plate.
another one in the other direction!!!
I like the coral details.
Limoges produced a lot of different sets of fish plates.
Another eBay offering,
I could go on forever, I just love these types of things that I hang on walls.....
OK, the last one.....
I hung them on the loft fascia.
I mixed together two different patterns.
 and I stored some other patterns in my bookcase.....
I still have some of these plates, and brought a set down to Flerida with me.
I keep them in my kitchen, and will never use them, but it makes me feel all warm and gooey just knowing that I still have one set left.
Too bad I don't have people over for dinner, but then I'd have to cook.
On that note,
Latah, Gatah

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