Category Archives: Furniture

Using a Color Wheel

Lots of people on the internet wonder about color schemes and there is no limit to helpfulness in that loads of compatible color combinations are represented.

This is the current house palette.

This is the current house palette.

I generally just use my intuition as to whether colors go together or not.

A simple and traditional color wheel.

A simple and traditional color wheel.

If I want to be sure I go to a traditional color wheel where I can check out analogous schemes, monochromatic schemes, etc.

I know Pottery Barn put this on their Spring cover to attract my attention.

I know Pottery Barn put this on their Spring cover to attract my attention.

On the front of a recent Pottery Barn catalog is their new-for-spring bedding featuring koi.  I have a thing for fish as I posted here and here.

The current linens include a charcoal grey duvet cover and navy-timmed pillow covers.

The current linens include a charcoal grey duvet cover and navy-timmed pillow covers.

The thing is that this duvet cover is orange and I’m generally not a fan but this is so fresh that I want it for the master bedroom.

I don't know how to "make" the bed with the koi sample but it looks good to me.

I don’t know how to “make” the bed with the koi sample but it looks good to me. (The sample on  the cover appears to be a lighter orange than the online catalog.)

What does this have to do with the color wheel? Our bedroom walls are painted Virtuoso which is a medium periwinkle blue. (The walls are not at all purple except they sometimes look that way in photos.)

Blue is the complementary color of orange (and vice versa).

Blue is the complementary color of orange (and vice versa).

Directly across the color wheel from this color is orange — orange and blue are complementary colors, they complete each other, one gives the other zip and zing.

Something like this.

Something like this.

I think this duvet cover would be a lively and light expression on our bed until we remove the heavy down comforter for summer.

How do you choose color combinations.

Grandmother’s Secretary

I want some input here.

I have the finial that seems to be missing from the center of the top.

I have the finial that seems to be missing from the center of the top of the secretary.

I have my grandmother’s old secretary desk.

Here's a grey secretary with a bright interior.

Here’s a grey secretary with a bright interior.  Mine, too, will sit against a grey wall.

I have looked at lots of inspiration photos, especially a lovely article by Melaine at My Sweet Savannah.

Ultimately the secretary will sit against this grey wall in "Revere Pewter".

See the kitchen island in the background?

Suddenly I noticed how nicely it complements the kitchen island.

White seems to be the go-to color of these white desks found on Etsy.

White seems to be the go-to color of these white desks found on Etsy.

I still think I’d like to change it. Here’s a white one from Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours.

I really love the dark blue, but I'm a sucker for blue.

I really love the dark blue, but I’m a sucker for blue. (This one can be seen on My Sweet Savannah.)

I especially love this dark blue distressed model from Jen at Repurposed Gems. Any preferences?

Do you paint wood furniture?

I Think It’s a No-Go

I’ve been wanting to get the master suite hallway painted for two reasons: 1) to hang this cabinet and 2) to hang my mother’s ornate gold leaf mirror.

I would like this French gilt mirror centered in the doorway.

I would like this French gilt mirror centered in the doorway.

It’s kind of flashy and doesn’t really go with anything else we have but I like it a lot.

The hall wall is perfect for the mirror.

The hall wall is perfect for the mirror.

It will be (in my opinion) perfect just outside the bathroom on the hall wall.

Looking toward the entrance of the master bathroom from the shower.

Looking toward the entrance of the master bathroom from the shower before the drywall was installed.

I want to make sure it is securely hung which won’t be difficult since that particular wall is totally covered (under the drywall) with the house’s original sheathing.

Use a sturdy hook.

Use a sturdy hook.

I hung a sturdy hook about the size of my thumb.

I was sure this would be the perfect spot.

I was sure this would be the perfect spot.

The mirror is hung right in the center of the doorway.

Too much of the back of the mirror shows in the side view which is the entry to the bathroom.

Too much of the back of the mirror shows in the side view which is the entry to the bathroom.

I noticed some undesirable issues.

While the bathroom layout has changed, the door swings in the hall plan are basically the same.

While the bathroom layout has changed, the door swings in the hall plan are basically the same and would compete with the ornate mirror.

The hallway is suddenly way too busy.  We’ll have a ceiling fixture, a 15-inch deep cabinet with 18-inch doors at the end of the hall, and the bathroom door will open on the mirror wall.

This mirror is so unique it really does not need any competition.

This mirror is so unique it really does not need any competition.

I still like the idea of a mirror so I might have to add a simple frame to a full-length mirror. However, I’m not happy about my unworkable plan.

Do you mock-up plans to see if they’ll work?

Conservatory Lamps

Now that the conservatory is back together furniture-wise, I’m ready to put a pair of lamps that I wrote about December of 2013.

I have a pair lamps about 14 inches tall without the shade.

I have a pair lamps about 14 inches tall without the shade.

They used to be my mother’s and the only things missing were shades.

I used to have a standing lamp in the conservatory which I have moved to the master bedroom.

I used to have a standing lamp in the conservatory which I have moved to the master bedroom.

I don’t have much room in the conservatory for end tables so I decided to put them behind the sofa like the ones here.

I bought matching shades and went in my box of lamp harps to find a matching pair.

I bought matching shades and went in my box of lamp harps to find a matching pair so the shades would sit at similar heights.

For now I have the lamps boosted up on the too-low cedar chest in front of the window.

I can't wait to see them when the foliage outside turns green again like in my inspiration photo.

I can’t wait to see them when the foliage outside turns green again like in my inspiration photo. (This is a snowy day.)

To make a more permanent placement we might have to build 2 identical boxes (or one long one) for the lamps to sit on.

The froggy finials are just visible.

The froggy finials are just visible.

One day we might move the cedar chest and replace it with a narrow table behind the loveseat.

Perhaps I should slide them a little farther apart.

Perhaps I should slide them a little farther apart.

That would work, too.

Lamp shades are expensive; where do you find bargains?

The New and Make-Do Linen Closet

For the past umpteen years Charlie and I have been using this hutch his grandfather painted and glazed in the 2nd floor laundry room as a sort of towel and sheet storage closet.

This painted hutch takes up a wall in the laundry room.

This painted hutch takes up a wall in the laundry room.

Now that we have a new space eked out for linen storage for the new bathroom we’re going to take the hutch apart and try to use just the bottom.

We took the top off and repurposed the bottom.

We took the top off and repurposed the bottom.

This seems to be a theme with us as we also removed the top from my mother’s breakfront to create a kitchen island.

The 36-inch wide cabinet should fit into the new space.

The 36-inch wide cabinet should fit into the new space.

The plan is to use the bottom part in the 37-inch niche as the bottom of the linen press.

This cabinet will hang above the bottom of the hutch.

This cabinet will hang above the bottom of the hutch.

Then we’re going to hang the newly purchased glass-front cabinet above it.

I have some of the pewter drawers pulls left over from the kitchen.

I have some of the pewter drawers pulls left over from the kitchen.

And I have some drawer pulls left over from the kitchen installation to upgrade the hardware.

The top is held on with two screws and easily removed.  Maybe we'll just hang that piece on the wall.

The top is held on with two screws and easily removed. Maybe we’ll just hang that piece on the wall.

Charlie has given his OK to paint the piece.

Sparrow is a dark, warm grey verging on brown.

Sparrow (on the door) is a dark, warm grey verging on brown.

Now, the question is, what color. Maybe sparrow like the exterior doors.

A mock-up of the niche at the end of the hall -- white might make sense in this space with no window.

A mock-up of the niche at the end of the hall — white might make sense in this space with no window.

Or something between Sparrow and Revere Pewter. Perhaps a custom color mixed in the atelier of Jo.

This hall used to look like this.

This hall used to look like this.

If this cabinet really doesn’t work out we’ll head back to the cabinet warehouse to try and locate a reasonably price new cabinet. But we like to use what we have if we can.

What color would you paint this piece?

A Little Help

Our son stopped by and I asked him to give Charlie a hand in changing out the furniture in the mud room.

I've used these 2 Ikea stools in many rooms over the last 20 years.

I’ve used these 2 Ikea stools in many rooms over the last 20 years.

Ultimately I plan to make a bench for the mudroom  possibly with an upholstered top.

I'd love to build this bench.

I’d love to build this bench.

For the time being, however, I’m replacing the two small stools with my cedar chest.  We’ve been using it as a filing cabinet so it’s full of paper and very heavy.

This is my smaller hope chest, not the one Charlie refinished.

This is my smaller hope chest, not the one Charlie refinished.

I was grateful for the help but also happy to load him down with a one-cup coffee maker so he can heat water for his nightly tea and an electric blanket.

A coffee maker and an electric blanket.

A coffee maker and an electric blanket.

Two more items out! (I have 3 more single coffee makers to unload bless somebody with.)

What would you like someone to carry out of your house?

Good Prices, Particular Selections

Last week I told you about our nearby cabinet warehouse bargain spot. Last Friday I went to another local furnishings warehouse recommended to us by Charlie’s cousin.

The Clearance Center is well-marked if you can find it in the first place.

The Clearance Center is well-marked if you can find it in the first place.

I’m talking about the “Model Home Interior Clearance Center“. Ours is open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Fridays only. At 8 a.m. on a 12-degree day about 50 people were lined up waiting for the doors to open.

Lots of furniture to choose from -- throw pillows are $10.

Lots of furniture to choose from — throw pillows are $10.

The Clearance Center resells furniture that has been used in model homes or apartments at a deep discount.

Everything on the floor, walls, or shelves is for sale.

Everything on the floor, walls, or shelves is for sale.

If you can find, for example, an armoire or entertainment center you like, take an additional 50% off the already discounted price.

I like this glass-front bookcase which costs about $159.

I like this glass-front bookcase which costs about $159.

I’m looking for a linen closet and maybe a piece of furniture to be transformed into a bathroom vanity.

Buffet -- $649

Buffet — $649

Buffet -- $329

Buffet — $329

Buffet -- $159

Buffet — $159

As you might suspect, items change frequently so visiting often would be the key to finding a great bargain. There are lots of different price points.  (See buffets above.)

I bought 3 throw pillows  -- including the 2 blue ones on the sofa above.

I bought 3 throw pillows — including the 2 blue ones on the sofa above.

The nubby twill looks totally different in my living room.

The nubby twill looks totally different in my living room.

The only drawback is that one must transport their purchase themselves — no delivery available.

What’s the last big piece of furniture you bought? Do you still like it as much as when you first bought it?