Thursday, January 31, 2008

When our house grows up...

When our little Tudor grows up I want it to look just like this! Seriously though I love what they have done to the landscaping. BF used to live down the block from this house while in college. At that time it had no landscaping to speak of. Now look what they've done! I love the moss growing on the stone and the proliferation of rosemary. We went out and scouted similar stone a few weeks ago.

It's completely doable. But I think we'll finish the inside first. One hurdle at a time!

Library Building

Published in 1904 this novel's Art Nouveau influenced cover was probably pretty provocative at the time, maybe even scandalous.
Found at an estate sale about ten years ago along with several other interesting books and the Egyptian revival rug we have in the bedroom. I've often thought the owner would have been fascinating to know.
(Oh yes, the house is dusty...we're renovating you know.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Remember "Granny Style"

One thing about adventures in blogging is that as a reader of some other people's great blogs out there I am always learning something new and discovering interesting things on a regular basis. As I was enjoying M.A.Belle's recent post on "Granny Style", I came upon an exiting discovery once again.

It's a great post if you haven't read it already check it out here.

Elle Decor Dec/Jan 2005 via M.A. Belle

In it mentions an article she came across and their discussion of the widely held belief of many people that their grandmothers were the pinnacle of domestic chic. This is something I concur with. My grandmother had an elegance and grace I can only aspire to. Steven Sclaroff designed the home featured. And the mention of his timeless mix of granny and modern day prompted a quick peek at his site. As that is kind of our look, reworking family pieces with our own quirky eclectic style.

What a shock to find this there!
I mean I have this pair of chests along with two smaller ones I often use as nightstands. I also inherited the matching vanity and chair ( in storage due to the reno). Cha-ching! I think I won the "granny style lotto" again!

So you must know all that great stuff is just not going to fit in the master bedroom of this tiny tudor. Especially with the absolutely crucial large antique armoire looming over it all. (closets almost don't exist in this 20's bungalow). Think David Jimenez dressing room look and size armoire dominating the bedroom. Thanks to Habitually Chic for the great post with the tip on David's new website! I'm a fan of you both.

House Beautiful Aug 2007 via Habitually Chic

So since storage is at a premium, we came up with a plan to use these two larger chests in the future master bath, now smallest bedroom, without permanently altering them. The concept calls for a large wall mounted glass shelf that the chests can just slide under but be protected from splashes. Safe to later move with us if need be. A great raised sink and a faucet extending from the wall. Of course all this planning was done as much good design planning must be... on a paper restaurant napkin.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Painted Floors and all that Jazz

House Beautiful 2002, designer Miles Redd

This weekend I will be sanding the wood floors in the Kitchen. Originally they had some really abysmal pink 50's tile. He got rid of those asap (contracted out, Yeah!) but in their wake left a pretty chunked up mess (for us to deal with, Boo!) Old stain was removed first. Then came the lengthy process of filling the deeper holes with stainable wood filler. Much discussion has been given to the final finish for the kitchen floor. I've always wanted to do a painted wood floor, something graphic and individual. Like Miles Redd's kitchen:

Image via Lifes scattered thoughts, 8/23/07

Or his famous and often photographed studio apartment floor:

Image via Miles Redd online portfolio

I just love black and white harlequin patterns:

Or brown and pink stylishly applied:

also image above, House Beautiful June 2006

So we decided to do a painted pattern of our own. Sort of a painted adaptation of some beautiful 1920's tile uncovered in a renovation at the Fort Sam Houston Officers club. Its amazing what you find hiding under wall to wall carpet. I guess vacuuming is easier maintenance than keeping these beauties ship shape.

THIS is the one!

We had plans to do a trace of the tiles. And then make an acetate template. Changing a bit of the colorway in our version to fit better with our decor.

Another rooms uncovered treasure!

But... we have removed part of the wall between the kitchen and next room to recreate the existing arch present between the living and former dining rooms. When this is accomplished the overall feeling should be of an almost loftlike space one room falling into the next all the way to the back door. So in the interest of continuity we are giving up on the painted floor concept. We're going for dark stain on the rest of the floors. Something like an ebonized floor. I know it will be beautiful. But, it can be hard to let it go.

So the stain and poly has been purchased. I can see it from here. Away we go!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Could it be our new front door?

One of my favorite blogs Pink Wallpaper posted about Recycling the Past. A great salvage store that makes their wares available on line. One of the items featured in her post is an oval Tudor stained glass door.

But once I got there I found this:

Really fab! Not technically Tudor but oh, so delicious!

Now just two questions remain.
Do they ship to Texas?
And does what does he think?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carmel's Storybook Tudors

Photography by Roger Davies via Cottage Living

Cottage Living is running a charming story in their Jan/Feb 2008 issue by David Hanson featuring the little known architect Hugh Comstock and an array of images from Carmel, California. With no formal training Hugh created around 20 of the little jewels. He began building them shortly after visiting and falling in love first with the area and then with Mayotta Brown his future wife. In fact the first of the cottages the Hansel (pictured above), was made for his wife as a home for the dolls she crafted. Made by hand from a pine needle and plaster mix they seem like something from a fairy tale.

Special kudos to the Cottage Living website. makes their ENTIRE issue available online for their subscribers and newstand readers. Totally the wave of the future. Impressive.

Photography by Roger Davis via Cottage Living

Calling loudly...

I am seriously loving this!
The kitchen is supreme but I am really crazy about those bin pulls. They are not like any I've seen before. Note the different sizes. I especially love the tiny fingertip size on the doors!
Found this looking though the "The English Home" magazine. Cabinetry from The New England Kitchen line by Mark Wilkinson.
He has showrooms in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Connecticut on this side of the pond.
Catalog requests made available on the website.
We're keeping the original top cabinets in the kitchen but these would be stellar for the new bottom cabinets and those pulls are a must! (If I can just convince HIM.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

D) All of the above

London Calling is ....
a) a 1979 double album by The Clash b) love of all things british c) diary of design, inspirations, and the woe and wonder of completely renovating and decorating a 1920's tudor-esque bungalow d) all of the above

London Calling is all of the above for certain. Welcome! and I hope any who visit enjoy some of my musings and amusements as we tackle renovating the "beloved bungalow" from literally top to bottom. All the while, blending two people's decor and collections into one home to be proud of.