Porch Freshess

mid century turquoise front door entry cone light exteriorHeeey! Here with some porch freshness today: a new door color (same old door), a new doorbell button, a fresh coat of exterior paint on the wood and eaves, and the removal of a handrail. It all adds up to a much cleaner look!

Why am I painting the same weird scrolly old door again when there is a new door taking up space in the garage waiting to be hung? Umm, mostly because I’m crazy. Secondarily, because I have a hunch the new door is gonna be a long time coming. Hanging doors is one of our most dreaded house jobs and I foresee it continually dropping to the bottom of the list. Considering that, I was ready to move past the coral, which was only supposed to be short lived. The color was fun and all, but certainly wasn’t doing the exterior paint color any favors. I tried out a bright turquoise this time around, a color that seriously brings out the best in the tan exterior. It’s the same color I used on our backyard mosaic wall: Behr water park.mid century front door porch turquoise bright blue aqua bullet planter cone light vintage mailbox

mid century turquoise front door sputnik entry light behr water park

mid century bullet planter porch Behr Water Park waterpark

mid century double cone exterior light brass

rejuvenation starburst doorbell mid century vintage star

mid century letterbox mail box bamboo brass

mid century front door porch turquoise bright blue aqua bullet planter cone light vintage mailbox

mid century turquoise aqua blue front door entry

mid century turquoise front door entry cone light exterior

mid century rittenhouse long chime doorbell door bell emersonWe finally switched out the old doorbell button for this starburst repro from Rejuvenation and rewired our long chime doorbell so that it actually works again! (Read more about them here.) How cute! How loud! It was disconnected for so long to address some electrical iffies that we all forgot how boisterous and wonderful our chimes are. The back porch doorbell only warrants one ding, but ringing the front door button produces an entire song! This massive beast, made by Rittenhouse, is 4.5 feet tall and is one my favorite original fixtures in the house, even though kids constantly crash into it when barreling down the hall (…or intentionally slam it when they are pissed to get a rise out of me…totally works). mid century rittenhouse long chime door bell

mid century rittenhouse long chime door bell Losing the rail (which you can see more of here) along the wall has been a huge but subtle improvement. So subtle that I think I’m the only person in the world who actually notices. But trust me, when you do notice, the streamline hits you hard. I’m hoping to remove the other side sometime down the line, but I need to verify handrail codes and patch concrete and all so, not now. The rail’s last hurrah:

mid century front door porch turquoise bright blue aqua bullet planter cone light vintage mailboxI have almost given up like 20 times on the paint-your-house-yourself fool’s errand that I’m on. I joked that it would take a year, and it’s almost been that long. Granted, I rarely work on it. But when I do, it’s full days of backbreaking, exhausting misery. Looks good, though!

As for this plant, it’s not gonna make it, is it? This south facing corner spot is a certified killer. It’s in shade for most of the day but then is pummeled with the strongest sunlight for the last few hours of the day. The heat radiates off the walls, killing all life. Everything sunburns. Any ideas internet? I’m going to try a full-on spiky cactus next, but I fear even that will burn in these conditions and, as a bonus, also possibly impale someone???mid century bullet planter porch

I think changing door colors might be my thing. It’s like a quick and cheap outfit change for your house. Better, right? (Though side by side this looks like a gross baby shower.)

    mid century front door porch turquoise bright blue aqua bullet planter cone light vintage mailbox

    mid century turquoise front door entry cone light exterior

    mid century turquoise front door sputnik entry light

The end. Thanks for reading! (Itching for more, more, more door talk?…go here for a mega-post on vintage door hardware. xoxo)


Cheap B & W Family Photo Wall of Clutter

black white photo gallery wall portraits hall frames grid ikea 11x16Back in that hallway post, I showed a wall of photos. Commonly called a gallery wall, I like to think of these as really just a cluttery wall of family photographs. Now, personally, am not too big on family photos on walls. Lots of people get great joy from them, but my heart is dark and I do not. I like to look at other people’s photos but I’m always thinking, this could have been done in a book, you know, it didn’t have to take up this WHOLE wall. Man, what a downer I am today. black white photo gallery wall portraits hall frames grid ikea 11x16But my husband requested this; it was possibly the only house related thing he has ever in his life requested, so I kind of had to complied. I think he was looking for some daily reminders of how little and sweet our children are for the those times when the day-to-day of parenting/adult life is a drag. Parenting is so hard. So good, the best. But soooo hard. Especially when they are really little. So, the wall o’ photos went up around the corner in our bedroom hallway. It’s not like BOOM IN YOUR FACE portraits of my children the moment you walk in the door, so I can deal with it. We walk by it many times a day, looking at our beautiful, calm, quiet children’s faces while their actual bodies are flailing around the house at excruciating volumes and knocking the pictures of themselves off the wall. My kids are my absolute favorite thing ever, in case you aren’t getting that impression from this paragraph.black white photoblack and white family photos frames ikea gallery wall portraits hall frames gridBut the point here is this: I did this wall for so cheap. Which is good because it may not stay around forever. I wanted the clutter as streamlined as could be because I’m crazy that way, hence the all B&W.

Cheapness #1: Ikea is clearly the place for cheap frames, but I did one better. These black 11 x 16 Ikea frames were purchased as a lot on ebay for $35 total. Twenty frames for $35. Probably not easily replicated, but maybe worth a try?

Cheapness #2: I used a pad of water color paper for the mats (cut with an exacto and ruler) instead of actual mat board. I think I spent $12. For a few of the mats, I cut grids instead of singles.

Cheapness #3: The photos are drugstore printed black and white 3×5’s. Obviously, this isn’t an archival framing method, but it serves it’s purpose for now and I filled an entire wall for about $50. Not bad.

black white gallery wall family hallAnd, for the next few years let’s have a standing agreement that you’ll excuse the lack of baseboards anywhere in my house. Thanks for reading!!!


Hallways and Maple Bellawood Floors

bellawood maple wood floors review We have this problem with almost finishing projects and then putting off the one last part of it for years, because once things get to a point where it’s “good enough” or “way better than it was”, we become plain lazy. Our hallway wood floor install is going the way of what I just described. And I thought I’d wait until everything was done done before I showed it, but it has become apparent that done done might be a year away, so here is progress for now, plus some thoughts on Bellawood. bellawood maple wood floors installation hallwayWe bought solid maple 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ flooring from Bellawood 2 years ago. We installed half of it soon after purchase and are still working on installing the rest. Boxes of flooring sit in our family room to this day (we are going over board with the acclimation process). The general house flooring plan is to wood floor up the entire house, minus the family room and bathrooms. Two years in, and this is the flooring progress:

  • Kitchen – done except for filling nail holes
  • Laundry – done except for pantry
  • Den – done except for 2 or 3 rows along the back wall
  • Dining – done except for 1 row along back wall
  • Hallway – done except for 1 row
  • Entry – done except for 3 rows by front door
  • Guest room – not started
  • Kids room – not started
  • Master – not started
  • (Family room –  carpet)
  • (Guest bathroom – unearthed sparkly vintage linoleum)
  • (Master bathroom – currently disgusting, but will one day have terrazzo tile)

So, how do we like the floors? Well, to sum it up, we HATE the installation. However, they look GORGEOUS once installed.  BUT, only once the bad boards have been culled. And that brings us full circle back to RAGE, because the bad/good board ratio is close to 50/50. bellawood maple wood floors installation hallway nail The quality can only be described as awful, though when considering the price maybe it’s not that dramatic. Either way, self installation with these is a horrible process. We seriously have been unable to use at least 1/3 of the boards because of milling imperfections (like wavy edges) and another fraction have had to be bent into place and nailed because they were so warped. We’ve come up with a lot of creative reuses for the junk boards (bedrails, toy car ramps) but it still feels so wasteful.

That being said, they look really beautiful once installed. The finish is exactly what I wanted, so no complaints there. It is light but warm blonde maple with texture galore. The boards with zebra stripes are amazing. Not for everyone, I know, but totally for me. bellawood maple wood floors review As far as durability, our floors have scratched over 2 years. Some might say considerably. But we have 2 young kids and a dog so I don’t expect the floors to be perfect. Our kitchen chairs and our dog are the biggest culprits. I don’t care that much, but some people do. Also of note, the finish has slightly yellowed over 2 years in ambient light, but that’s probably to be expected from most wood. See the old vs new install here:bellawood maple wood floor discoloration yellowingAnd that brings us to the almost-floored hallway that is looking more and more like a bowling lane everyday. Clearly, it’s nothing fancy, but it is hugely better than it was before. I’m currently binge painting trim and doors so, since most doorways connect to the hall, it feels like quadruple progress in my mind. I’ve yet to tackle the master door trim or the gross front door, which is slated to be replaced with something cool and orange. (Yes, that is half carpet/half plywood sub floor in the before photos below = HIGH CLASS LIVING):

hallway before   mid century pocket door hallway   bellawood maple wood floors review installation hallwaybellawood maple wood floors review The hall originates in the entry way, branches off into a shorter hallway to the master bedroom (the one with the picture frame wall), and then ends at the linen closet in a strange 1961 alcove which can be partitioned off by a pocket door (below, have I ever mentioned that there are NINE pocket doors in this house?), turning the bathroom and kid bedroom into a mini-suite. I’m conflicted with what to do down at the end of the hall here. The weird alcove room has been painted twice already but nothing worked and I’ve considered an accent door for the linen closet, but nothing makes sense. Hence, the all white for now. vintage starburst ceiling light glass etched brass

coat closet

sputnik chandelier light brass vintage mid century


black white gallery wall family hallAre you wondering what that fantastic brass sculpture in the hallway is? Only our DOORBELL. A Rittenhouse chime original to the house but currently out of commission because of some iffy electrical (update: doorbell is back in business!). I will have to add a video of it when it’s powered back up because it chimes a song when the doorbell rings.mid century vintage doorbell chimes long rittenhouse emersonBye now!