Small Changes

Happy birthday to my favorite sister!

Yesterday I said I would change up some décor to make the house a little cozier.

The end of summer.
Fall colors in the living room.

First item: change up the pillows.

The rattan divan is now under the large painting with Casper lounging lazily.

I removed the summery yellow flowered pillows and moved around the other ones putting the blue ones from the sofa on the rattan divan and replacing them with the chartreuse ones and other darker pillows.

Vintage items all inherited from my mother’s collection.

I cleared the mantel and placed an old dish and some other vintage items.

Blue hydrangeas turn purple and green in autumn.

I cut fresh hydrangeas from the yard.

A copper coffee pot on the coffee table ties to the copper sunflowers on the mantel.

I couldn’t take photos in natural light because it was so dreary all day.

Ready.

Final stamp of approval: Charlie fell asleep on the sofa almost immediately after I finished switching things up.

Where’s your cozy spot?

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I Like the Rug

The new rug arrived yesterday.

8 by 10 rug on the felt rug pad in the living room.

Charlie and Sug lugged it into the living room while I was at my bank trying to expose and get retribution for a fraudulent transaction.

I know I’m taking a risk with a light rug.

As soon as we rolled it out I liked it.

The rug looks worn but it’s not.

The cream, navy, ochre, and aqua rug brightened up the room.

This rug is now in the dining room.
The new rug.

Charlie’s comment was that it looks worn out.  It’s supposed to have a vintage look but is also soft and fully piled.

While Sug and I sat and admired it Charlie brought in a piece of pizza and ate it over the rug. I was cringing.

What stain do you dislike most?

The Fleeting Calm

First I’m wishing everyone a happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

The 50th Street door of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

While we were in New York City we stopped by the cathedral of the same name a couple of times.

The gothic interior of Saint Patrick’s is beautiful and free to the public.

We enjoyed our visits especially mass on Sunday morning with an excellent worship leader and a wonderful organist.

How does it get like this in the first place?

Charlie worked hard right before our party to consolidate his “papers” into a few boxes.

These boxes have been moved from room to room.

They had been cluttering the conservatory for weeks. Then he stored them in the attic.

The whole house including the conservatory was clutter free.
The conservatory had certainly been cleaned up for the party — no clutter.

It was only a few days ago that I had a nice neat house.

We didn’t want to leave the lumber out in the snow.

Then the lumber for our closet was delivered.

Luan in the living room.

The living room,

Two by sixes in the dining room.

dining room,

Plywood sheets in the conservatory.

and conservatory are back to being storage areas.

We’re planning to use the lumber to customize this closet.

We’re hoping to make a big dent in the removal of this new pile of materials today.

Do you find that newly cleared horizontal spaces are magnets for more clutter?

Winter Cheer in the Living Room

I’ve been busy with a number of projects so housekeeping has taken second place to other things.

8 roses for $4.99.
8 roses for $4.99.

I bought an 8-flower bouquet of roses at Trader Joe’s in a very interesting color: something like mercurochrome.

The quince is trying to bloom during the few warm days in the middle of winter in Maryland.
The quince is trying to bloom during the few warm days in the middle of winter in Maryland.

The roses reminded me that our quince bush has been trying to bloom in the yard with very similar-colored buds.

In a few days we should have blooming quince in the house.
In a few days we should have blooming quince in the house.

I cut a few long switches and vased them onto the mantel.

Time to put some of the winter décor away.
Time to put some of the winter décor away.

One room at a time.

LivingRoomRoses

How do you brighten up a room?

A New Project — Offsite

My tenant, Charlie, and I have started a new project.

Adjacent walls of paneling and brick.
Adjacent walls of paneling and brick.

We’re helping another friend brighten up her living room.

The wall around a window had some water damage.
The wall around a window had some water damage.

Our first order of business is to paint the ceiling and walls.

I bravely started by priming the dark paneled wall.
I bravely started by priming the dark paneled wall.

To that end we spent yesterday evening removing everything from the walls and ceiling, taking down the curtains, spackling holes, and generally getting ready to paint.

One unexpected bonus was the floor under the wall-to-wall carpet seems to be in good condition.
One unexpected bonus was the floor under the wall-to-wall carpet seems to be in good condition.

Our mission for today is to get as much painting done as possible so we can at least put this area back together enough to use it on a daily basis until we finish the entire project.

We got everything spackled and primed last evening.
We got everything spackled and primed last evening.

A few additional improvements are in the works.

Have you ever painted paneling?

Fall Mantel Featuring the Red Wing Stag

One thing I can do well in advance of having a party is set up the mantel over the fireplace.

Recently the mantel was a bookshelf.
Recently the mantel was a bookshelf.

I try not to use the mantel as a catch-all but sometimes that’s just what happens.

The Red Wing Stag.
The Red Wing Stag.

After clearing and dusting the mantel I started with my Red Wing stag flower frog and matching bowl in the center under the mirror.  I’ve used this placement before.

A sunflower card painted by a friend, a white mini-pumpkin and glass bubbles.
A sunflower card painted by a friend, a white mini-pumpkin and glass bubbles.

Since I’m planning golden-yellow to be the party-theme decoration color, I surrounded the stag with shades of amber, ochre, and orange.

The mantel is not symmetrical just balanced.
The mantel is not symmetrical just balanced.

I searched through my vases and found a short ochre one to balance the height and mass of the card on the other side.

The colors are subtle.
The colors are subtle.

The kettle holder at the right bottom of the fireplace is wanting a large vase of bright flowers — sunflowers if the price is right.

The gourds will decorate the dining room table.
The gourds will decorate the dining room table.

At 50 cents a piece I bought enough gourds to fill an oval carved wood bowl.

What’s your autumn color this year?

Two Weeks Until . . .

.  .  . we have our Party with a Purpose at The Glade. We’re expecting 25 people or so.

Before
Cottage Before
After
Cottage After

Since we’ve been taking our clutter out of the Cottage so our new tenant can move in, the house now has items that we had been stashing out there.

This year trim lumber was move from the Cottage to the living room to the Cottage and back to the living room.
This year trim lumber was moved from the Cottage to the living room to the Cottage and back to the living room.

For instance the baseboard trim and bits of other trim were redeposited onto the living room floor.

Second floor hallway.
Second floor hallway.

After finishing up the downstairs baseboard Charlie moved the remaining 16-foot 1 by 4s, shoe molding, and ogee to the second floor hallway.

The master bedroom deck in on the left in the photo above.
The master bedroom deck in on the left in the photo above.
The master deck. Note the slanted roof on the center rear of the photo.
The master deck. Note the slanted roof on the center rear of the photo.

We couldn’t take it up the interior steps because the turns are too tight so he hoisted it up to the master bedroom deck,

Charlie moved the wood onto the small slanted roof and through the window on the right. YIKES!
Charlie moved the wood onto the small slanted roof and through the window on the right. YIKES!

then took it in through the window of the back bedroom.

Turning right at the top of the steps is no longer possible.
Turning right at the top of the steps is no longer possible.

The second floor hallway is no longer passable and the middle bedroom is blocked totally.

Moving lumber and finding a new place for it is a chore.
Moving lumber and finding a new place for it is a chore.

The good news is that living room is set up ready for a party,

The loveseats are back in place facing each other.
The loveseats are back in place facing each other.

the conservatory is close,

The dining room is in view behind the conservatory love seat.
The dining room is in view behind the conservatory love seat.

and so is the dining room.

What room in your house is ready for company?