Orange Front Door!

It happened. I can pretty much retire from life because having an orange front door = I’ve made it. The ornate and scrolly front door that came with our house was obviously a more recent update from the wrong decade that didn’t fit in with the style of the house or its owners. We have been slowly bringing our porch back to where it belongs and replacing the door was a major piece of the puzzle. Sources below!A surprising amount of man and woman hours went into this very minimalist door:

The door is a cheap composite wood slab that’s been sitting in our garage for 3 YEARS. We considered hanging it ourselves but after watching videos, we got the feeling this is one of those rare jobs we should hire out. Thankfully, we had a family friend who was passing through town and was kind enough to do it for us. (Orange County friends: if you need a handy man/door hanger I am happy to pass along his info. He does excellent work!) It took him and my father in law a good 8 hours to hang with multiple specialty tools and years of experience. Our house is not even a little bit square, so this would have been a nightmare to DIY. Front doors aren’t one of those jobs you can walk away from and come back to in a few days/months, which is our coping mechanism when things go wrong. I planned on adding some kooky trim work once it was hung, thinking our house wasn’t modern enough to pull of the plain slab look, but after it was in place I loved it unadorned.

The hardware is part vintage, part new. As mentioned on my huge door hardware post from awhile back, this amazing brass escutcheon was a new-old-stock vintage find! Fear not: Rejuventation sells reproductions of the exact one. But I scrambled hard the night before the last-minute hanging to purchase a lockset locally and was thankful my top choice, this Schlage Bell lockset, was in stock at the third store I visited. While I wish the rosette was chunkier and I really dislike the ornateness of the deadbolt that came with mine, the knob has a good mid century shape, very similar to our interior knobs. The door color is orange perfection, Behr Fireglow, the same color we used on our master door and screen door and crazy backyard wall. With our old door, I took the opportunity to experiment with a few other colors (coral and turquoise), knowing orange would be the forever color when we upgraded. I surprisingly really liked the turquoise, a great compliment to our current exterior color and all our blue agaves, and was a little worried orange would clash in comparison. Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from painting your front door your favorite color right? Orange actually looks SO GREAT and I was dumb for even worrying about it.

One thing to consider when choosing front door paint colors, which I didn’t, is that darker colors combined with intense, direct sunlight make for greater heat. I would never think of orange as a dark color, but it is. This one in particular is a deep base paint, and you can feel the difference in thermal intake. By mid afternoon the door is hot to the touch. We’ve had trouble with our previously perfect fitting door starting to bow by the end of each day after prolonged Southern sun exposure with the unseasonably hot weather we’ve had in the past few weeks. By morning, it’s back to normal, telling me it’s not a water issue (I have never sealed a door so well!), but rather differences in temperature on each side of the door. I’m sure the slab, compared to our previous paneled door, is less able to roll with temperature changes, but I’m sure my dark color contributes too. Things to think about, and an issue we aren’t sure how we’ll address. I have a feeling that it will be fine for the half of the year it’s overcast and mild (which should be right now but whatever…)mid century front door porch turquoise bright blue aqua bullet planter cone light vintage mailboxAs far as actually painting the door, it should have been the simplest job ever right? WRONG. Painting this was a nightmare and I can’t remember a recent “easy” project that went so bad. I started with my normal preferred exterior paint, Behr Marquee, in a semi gloss. The same paint we used on our master/backyard door and screen door without issue. However, the front door is larger and has the sun directly hitting it for many hours of the day, showing every roller/brush mark imperfection in the sheen. I started with a 5″ foam roller and it was a disaster! I couldn’t get a smooth finish for the life of me, mostly because my paint was drying before I could get to adjacent areas, leaving differences in texture.

Before buying a sprayer or going with flat matte paint, I turned to IG for advice and got so many great ideas! Thanks to my friend Kimi (you must check out her AMAZING house and bow down to the queen), who coincidently got a new front door the same day as us and was kind enough to share what her professional painter did, I went with a different paint. An alkyd, similar in application to old school oil based paint, and what is often used nowadays for trim and doors in public spaces. It smells and takes awhile to dry, but I was easily able to brush it on and get an even finish over the whole door, though my roller texture from the first coats are still slightly showing through. Her painter took it a step further and rolled on, then brushed over for the ultimate in even coverage. I wish I would have known and done all this to begin with, but now I know for next time! Another great suggestion that also would have worked was adding Flood Floetrol to the latex paint to slow dry time (many thanks to the wonderful Melodrama for that tip – have you seen her adorable house???!!!). I bought some of that too for future use, especially on trim work!

 

SOURCES

knob – Schlage | escutcheon – similar | paint – Behr Semi Gloss Alkyd

mailbox – DIY | doorbell – Rejuvenation | address numbers – Home Depot (painted)

plant stand – vintage | planter – TJ Maxx | doormat – Target

sconce – vintage | entry mirror – Amazon | interior sputnik – Practical Props

 

Now that everything is mostly in place on our porch, and there is an abundance of brass, I totally have my eye on this mailbox. I quickly DIYed our mailbox with some bamboo and spray paint, but it’s time for something a little more durable. That white on white would be so cute, ya? Thanks for reading!! xoxo Jenny

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Vintage Blue Bathroom!

OH MY GOODNESS THIS BATHROOM IS FINALLY PULLED TOGETHER AND IT’S ALL THAT I DREAMED IT COULD BE. A blue and gold dream! This space didn’t come to us looking like it belonged in the 60’s, but so much original goodness was hiding behind “updates” that all we needed to do was remove, repair, and streamline. It took us more than 4 years because life and stuff, but whatever, we got here eventually. Don’t give up on your dreams!

Many “retro” bathrooms lean way kitsch, but I was going for a more modern, clean take on a vintage bathroom. (And I have a whole post on how to incorporate your vintage fixtures into your modern life right here). I’ve always hoped that this bathroom would look like it could have been exactly this way in this house since 1961, but not gross, and I think I’ve arrived at my destination!

As usual, lots of photos first, more detailed information next, and sources at the end :) You can see the nitty-gritty details of our bathroom repairs here. The blue bath, sink, toilet, and tiles were, and remain, in excellent condition. Don’t ask me how. But the previous owners were definitely trying to downplay the blue and were in denial that they did, indeed, have a Big Blue on their hands. Orange carpet and plaid/floral wallpaper covered all surfaces, ceiling included! (Though we discovered that the first layers of paint in here was BLUE BLUE BLUE everywhere! Trim and cabinetry were a near identical match to the fixtures and walls were light blue, so I know I’m on the right track!) We did a lot of removing and scrubbing and drywalling. (See the before at the end of post!)

Most pressing, the shower was leaking and needed a new shower pan so we had to rip up the bottom part of our shower/surround and re-plumb. Unable to find replacement blue tile that matched our color, we had our tiler try to salvage what he could of the blue frame around the stall. He somehow successfully removed every frame tile except one without cracking, and that one he just grouted back into place during re-install. The facing couldn’t be salvaged so we had to go with new salt and pepper tile, that nearly matches what is inside, but leaves us with some patchy coloring. The bottom 3 rows of our shower are also that same salt and pepper, an almost match our original. We figured some discrepancies would be better than losing the original shower tile entirely.Though we knew original gold fleck baby blue linoleum tile was under the carpet, we thought it was too trashed to salvage. I planned on doing white terrazzo and chose the lightest blue ever for the walls, Behr Lime Light. Little did I know that the original floor was in way better condition that we thought so when we pulled up the carpet after painting we decided to keep it, leaving us with blue walls and blue floors. Not a combo I would have willingly chose, but one I LOVED once I saw it together. The blues serendipitously worked together wonderfully. The tiles won’t last forever. We work this bathroom and some are beginning to lift from the subfloor. But we’re sticking with them for at least a few more years. (And we found blue with rainbow glitter in our master…sadly badly trashed!) We painted the cabinetry bright white and added vintage chrome hardware from ebay. A well-timed stay at the Beverly Hills Avalon, before the recent redecorating, rocked my world…the colors were SO SIMILAR to what we were working with in our bathroom and I was blown away by the blue and white striped ceiling. I got home and completely copied it.More recently, we tied up some loose ends to get this bathroom finally presentable: drywall repair, baseboards, and LIGHTING! I had always planned on mixing gold in here with the blue, and the gold fleck floor really amped up that desire. This room is huge. Like could be a small bedroom huge. So the lighting needed to be huge and bold or it would be lost. Also, I really wanted to swag it for some added heft, and to avoid messing with the already wonky electrical in here again. I had my eye on some expensive urchin/sputnik lights when I came across this one at World Market. Now, it’s not as spiky or full as the expensive ones, but for the price it could not be beat (we bought it on major sale too). I am so so happy with it. I was worried about the color being too antique brass, but it’s P E R F E C T. (We actually already owned the matching sconces for our still unfinished master bath project.) To swag the light, we added a brace across rafters in our attic and screwed a strong hook directly into that. We also swap out the bulbs for these 25w equivalent LED’s because our “vintage” system is stressed with my sputnik addiction. I’ve struggled with what to put on this big blank wall. A piece of furniture didn’t make sense because a linen closet is in one corner and the door in the other. A huge CB2 mirror was working in here for a little bit, but it was plundered for the dressing room. I think this abstract painting, by my kids, does the job. It’s navy and white, and provides a break from all the pastels while still matching. I’m keeping my eye out for a just-right huge mirror or painting, but for now, we’re good. On the other side of the room, a reproduction Eames Hang It All serves as a good scale towel rack. Photograph is one of mine from art school days and my husband made the frame.As far as still to do, there is a spot behind the toilet where the tiles weren’t salvageable so we need to put some beefy trim back there. Eventually, I’d like to replace the shower curtain with the original glass shower door that is sitting in the garage. We’ve also had some recent plumbing issues in the shower that need money and attention…arg! Otherwise done done done!

The before/after is pretty dramatic! 

 

SOURCES

walls – Behr Dew Drop | ceiling stripes – Behr Ultra Pure White and Behr Rain Washed

penny tile – Home Depot | bamboo blinds – Amazon | Hang It All towel rack – Amazon

chandelier – World Market | LED candelabra bulbs – Amazon | mirror – Home Depot

shower curtain – Target | bath mat – Target | hand towel – Target

art – by my kids | everything else – vintage

 

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to paint our NEW ORANGE FRONT DOOR…with much failure. I want a glossy door without any brush marks and the results have been so disappointing thus far. I almost bought a sprayer but think I have a viable solution. Hoping to share the finished beauty next time. In any event, ORANGE IS FEELING SO SO RIGHT. xoxo Jenny

Macrame Pendant Lamp Cord DIY

I’m sharing a super simple way to beef up plain or ugly pendant electrical cords today! I have and love this old wicker IKEA lamp, but the plain white cord was an eyesore and I finally, years later, had enough and decided to just something about it. The best solution seemed to be a 100 ft of string plus a bunch of hippie knots in the form of this chunky macrame rope. I am so happy with the little bit of warmth and texture it adds to our den!I used this string and watched this video, using the lamp cord in place of the middle two strands.I roughly halved my string and looped it around the light cage inside the shade.The knot is so easy to make. Use the left string to make a 4 shape over the cord, then take the right string and go over the left strand, under the intersection of the left and middle, and then up through the triangle of the 4.  The whole project took about 2 hours and 100 ft of string yielded approximately 10 ft of macrame. The only troubleshooting I had to do was take care that my string wasn’t twisting and warping my knots, and also that my knot tightness was consistent through the whole project for a uniform look. I did a snug, but not too tight knot.I want to macrame all the lights now!

On a personal note, our family was devastated to say goodbye to our beloved dog Jackson last week. It was unexpected and sudden and not at all what we had hoped this year would bring. His absence has been hugely felt in our home, like I could never imagine. I want to thank you all so much for the love on IG. You are such an uplifting and decent community and you truly add value to my life so THANK YOU. If you have a doggie, do their favorite things with them as much as you can because you never know when that last walk, wrestle, or eating out of the trash may be…