Category Archives: Art

The Living Room Needs Color

Our first floor plan is open. You can see the kitchen from all the other rooms: living room, dining room, conservatory, mud room.

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

The kitchen is yellow (Benjamin Moore Waterbury Cream) and dark, warm grey.

The living room looks through to the dining room and to the kitchen to the left of the dining room.

The living room looks through to the dining room and to the kitchen to the left of the dining room.

The living room is grey with a grey sofa and blue chairs.

The living room is looking very monochromatic.

The living room is looking very monochromatic.

I want to tie these two areas together.  I know I can do it with pillows.

Grey bird on an ochre and white background would add some charm to our living room.

Grey bird on an ochre and white background would add some charm to our living room.

My inspiration shots are here and here.

This picture seem to tie all the colors in my first floor palette together.

This picture seems to tie all the colors in my first floor palette together.

And then inspiration really did hit when I found these two identical trays on the free table at church.

Can you see the tie-in?

Can you see the tie-in?

Any idea where I’m going with this?  I hope my next post isn’t a “project fail” post.

Do you get unlikely brain storms? Is it more like a storm or a gentle rain?

A Bit of Whimsy Nobody Gets

I can remember my mother having an orange teapot shaped like a cat next to a modernistic owl.  I asked her why the teapot was on the shelf under an end table in the living room and she responded: “The owl and the pussycat.”

I got it. Clever, Mother.

I gave the teapot away to a cat fancier friend of ours but the owl popped back up when we unpacked after the renovation.  This owl has been sitting on the kitchen windowsill for months now and I just found out Charlie has no idea what it is. He likes it because it’s a chunk of wood.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall and has a metal beak.

I also inherited a small ceramic Tiffany cat that could be a vase or a pencil holder.

The cat is clearly marked "Tiffany".

The cat is clearly marked “Tiffany”.

I’m pretty sure it’s a vase.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

I put kitty on the windowsill with the owl.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

Other family members have looked at the two items together and wondered aloud why they were there. Like Mother I said: “The owl and the pussycat.”

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

No reaction.

So for those friends and family of mine who just don’t know, here’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
   What a beautiful Pussy you are,
            You are,
            You are!
   What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
 
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried,
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
            His nose,
            His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
 
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
            The moon,
            The moon,
   They danced by the light of the moon.
 

I shall show you my runcible spoon another day.

Do you have decorative jokes that nobody gets?

A New Shelf in the Kitchen

I have a shelf I’ve been wanting to hang somewhere for a long time.  It protrudes from the wall so it needs to be in a spot where it won’t be bumped.

The kitchen is the most finished area of the house.

The end of the cabinet run on the far right needs some decoration.

I had the bright idea of hanging it on the end of a kitchen cabinet.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

It’s fairly heavy so I chose 2 large-headed screws that wouldn’t let the brackets slip off.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

Charlie did the honors since we thought it would be the perfect resting place for his grandmother’s yellow ware dough bowl.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Ultimately the dough bowl just wasn’t right so I put the 3 Graces vase up there until I find the perfect object.

A good display spot for special objects.

A good display spot for special objects.

This corbelled shelf balances out the stark end of the cabinet run with some natural wood that also ties into our island. And it’s high enough that we won’t smash our heads on it.

Do you shop your house for decorative elements?

Wall – Quilt, Why Not?

When I took the large seascape out it of the back bedroom I had a large expanse of wall to fill.

This large painting has been moved to the living room.

This large painting has been moved to the living room.

I tried to use some framed pieces I already had but they were way too small.

These 2 brass rubbings are too small for the wall behind the bed in the Treetops room.

These 2 brass rubbings are too small for the wall behind the bed in the Treetops room.

I moved the oval marble-topped table to the living room and put the green dressing table in its place.

The table moved to the living room.

The table moved to the living room.

While I was moving things around and cleaning up I discovered a quilt I had made for my mother folded on small stool.

My mother's favorite flower was the iris so I made a quilt with hand-painted flowers.

My mother’s favorite flower was the iris so I made a quilt with hand-painted flowers.

Then I had the bright idea to hang it on the wall over the bed.

The iris quilt is hanging with Velcro dots on a piece of trim.

The iris quilt is hanging with Velcro dots on a piece of trim.

It fills the wall and keeps the top of the metal bed from banging against the wall.

TreetopsQuiltBed

Love it.

Are you surprised when you find something while straightening up that you forgot you owned?

Old and New Inspiration for the Living Room

The living room ceiling is painted and I’ve begun painting the walls.  Maybe I’m halfway finished.

Edgecomb Gray on the ceiling, Revere Pewter on the walls.

Edgecomb Gray on the ceiling, Revere Pewter on the walls.

I started thinking about how I’m going to set up the furniture now that there’s no front door to consider.

The living room used to have 2 loveseats and 2 upholstered chairs set up so the front door which opened into the room on the right would not be blocked.

The living room used to have 2 loveseats and 2 upholstered chairs set up so the front door which opened into the room on the right would not be blocked.

I can put furniture anywhere I want. We used to have two matching loveseats in the living room but they’re destined to stay in the new conservatory so I’ll need a new sofa of some kind.

The front door has been moved to the center of the wall near the fireplace and the loveseats are in the conservatory.

The front door has been moved to the center of the wall near the fireplace and the loveseats are in the conservatory.

I don’t want to spend too much money on one at this time so I’m considering the Ektorp by Ikea.

Ikea's Ektorp in either grey or beige would work in the living room.

Ikea’s Ektorp in either grey or beige would work in the living room.

Maybe I should use a traditional size sofa and put it facing the fireplace.

I'm not sure I like the blue chairs with their backs to the front door and the kitchen.

I’m not sure I like the blue chairs with their backs to the front door and the kitchen.

Or maybe I should get a sectional corner unit and let it both face the fireplace and the large seascape I added here.

The seascape is on the wall behind the blue chairs.

The seascape is on the wall behind the blue chairs.

I am keeping the blue chairs

Blue living room chairs of which there are two.

Blue living room chairs of which there are two.

and the Pottery Barn glass coffee table. And the rug seen above and below.

Coffee table

Coffee table

I have started a living room Pinterest board so I can look at the things I already have along with the inspiration of other ideas.

I'd like to hang both portraits on one wall looking at each other.

I’d like to hang both portraits on one wall looking at each other.

In addition to various side tables, lamps and a secretary which may or may not stay in the space, I also have pastel portraits of my son and me when we were the same age.

Would love you to weigh in on the sofa size/shape. And the color: light or dark?

Have you rearranged your furniture recently? Is it a regular habit?

A Little Art in the Mudroom

Last week I was desperate for a little art on the wall so I pulled a few framed pieces for the mudroom.  The mudroom is painted Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine with an Edgecomb Gray ceiling.

The mudroom entry turns left onto a hall into the kitchen and right into the front of the house.

The mudroom entry turns left onto a hall into the kitchen and right into the front of the house.

Basically the area, small entry and hallway, is pale grey with 2 blue hanging pendants.

The mudroom pendants: one at the exterior door and one at the door to the basement.

The mudroom pendants: one at the exterior door and one at the door to the basement.

I was trying to hide this electric access panel on the right wall.

The access panel on the mudroom wall hides a hole about the size of a dime under which is an electric junction box.

The access panel on the mudroom wall hides a hole about the size of a dime under which is an electric junction box.

I started by hanging these two framed Irish postcards which hid the panel perfectly.

The access panel is under the top frame.

The access panel is under the top frame.

After searching for the storage box with mirror hangers in it I chose the 4 simplest ones to hang my vintage mirror tray.

I chose the mirror holder on the left for its simple style.

I chose the mirror holder on the left for its simple style.

My vintage etched mirror tray.

My vintage etched mirror tray.

Unfortunately after poking 6 holes in the wall (2 were in the wrong spot) I thought the proportion of this mirror too small and visually lightweight for the slate look frames beside it.

I like the frames but the mirror is just not right.

I like the frames but the mirror is just not right.

I still wanted a mirror so I picked one that I possibly slated for the master bathroom.

I hung this antique mirror so the bottom edge was at the same level as the bottom of the pictures.

I hung this antique mirror so the bottom edge was at the same level as the bottom of the pictures.

On the wall opposite the door I hung a happy red and yellow flower painting which accidentally ties into the colors in the postcards.

This painting is the first view upon entering from the side porch.

This painting is the first view upon entering from the side porch.

I think this room also needs a proper bench which I’m planning to build and some sort of shelf or narrow console under the flower painting.

A view from the kitchen hall.

A view from the kitchen hall.

I also need a long runner for the hall and the closet doors need to be stained or painted.

And all the trim needs to be painted.

And all the trim needs to be painted.

I’m enjoying the new mudroom but photographing it is challenging.

Do you mix up your color scheme with pops of bright colors? Or are you a pastel lover like Charlie?

Working on the Mudroom Entry

Back here I had it all decided that I would use this mid-century teak mirror in the mudroom entrance.

This mirror is very plain and weighs a ton.

This mirror is very plain and weighs a ton.

Once I got it in there however I decided it was just too heavy: too heavy to hang on the wall (maybe 20 pounds) and just too heavy looking for the small area.

The access panel on the mudroom wall hides a hole about the size of a dime under which is an electric junction box.

The access panel on the mudroom wall hides a hole about the size of a dime under which is an electric junction box.

Also hanging that mirror would have left the access panel which is near the door frame in full view.  It’s not horrible but it’s not attractive either.

One of these framed Irish postcards exactly covers the access panel.

One of these framed Irish postcards exactly covers the access panel.

As I was cleaning some of the wall art we had stored when the renovation began I came upon these two Irish postcards that I had framed. Instead of hanging them side by side this time we’ll place them one above the other.

My vintage etched mirror tray.

My vintage etched mirror tray.

I still wanted a mirror and look what just happened to be under a pile of frames.

How about these cheery flowers across from the door?

How about these cheery flowers across from the door?

Now I’m determined to get this wall going. I’d also like to incorporate this old cabinet which I tried to use in the kitchen but just couldn’t.

Cabinet with mesh screen door and a froggie pull from Restoration Hardware.

Cabinet with mesh screen door and a froggie pull from Restoration Hardware.

And these decisions are not etched in stone. Right?

Do you hesitate to put nails in a newly painted wall?