Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, This Needed Work

While they aren't quite finished, the bookshelves got some much needed attention this weekend. Before and two afters, should I say during?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Transferware, of course.

After all the cooking that my alter ego Elizabeth Lane has been doing and the bathroom problems, heretofore noted. I was thinking that I just wasn't going to make Tablescape Thursday. I sighed as I got down my cereal bowl, and my favorite coffee mug, which I think bears a strong resemblence to basaltware. Then I stopped. I realized that this simple setting was so elegant in its form and gave me a tiny bit of joy every morning.

Be sure to catch all the beautiful tablescapes at Susan's!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Staircase dreams, bathroom realities

Today I'd planned to regale you with my dreams for the staircase. After replacing the floors, the stairs need an update. The woods don't match. However, instead, we ran smack into reality. The pedestal no longer fits beneath the sink in the powder room. No problem, call plumber, get sink raised, put pedestal underneath. I did mention to the plumber that the sink was coming off the wall, just a bit. Teeny bit really, no big deal.

Anybody else saying uh-oh?

You see, pedestal sinks are not held up by the pedestal. They are supposed to be held up by a board which is installed behind the sink and wallboard. Now, as all y'all know, I own a semi-tract house which is quite new. This was no do it yourself project gone horribly wrong. Yup, it was the builder sink and the builder installed it and the builder installed it wrong. To have it repaired involves cutting the wallboard, installing the requisite board, replacing, repairing and repainting the wall board then reinstalling the sink. Sheeew! An estimated cost of $300 - $400, for a builder grade sink. Probably a fifty dollar builder grade sink.

We have three choices, do all the above work and reset the builder grade sink back in the powder room. Purchase another pedestal, with better style and function, do all that work and place the new pedestal into the powder room. And, finally, the third option, find a vanity that we like, skip the wall deconstruction-construction and install that. Vanities don't really hang from the wall, they are just secured to it.
I like the third option. In truth, I am excited about the third option, as I have never really liked that builder grade sink.Mr. Mise en scène is not as enthusiastic. I need to choose an option that is practical, quick and not so costly, if am to prevail on the replacement. I could stand some really good arguments, too! I think we should have a vanity which allows the awesomely beautiful floor to show, misses the door swing, not easy, only twenty and a half inches of room before we've exceeded it. Thankfully enough room so that we don't have to have one of those shrunken cabinet with over sized sink contraptions. I am not a fan. And, to get Mr. Mise en scène happy with and committed to the project, it needs to keep the cost low, well as low we can make it. Those compelling arguments, anyone, anyone?

Although I like the European feel of this, I think it is too elaborate and ornate for Mr. M-e-S. I would prefer that the sink be recessed. It is also rather pricey.

A less costly option still has a European feel, check the cabriole legs, and a recessed sink.

Has anyone else experienced a "Surprise Remodel"?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Now that the floors are done, we can relax and enjoy brunch with a friend. The bowls are Mason's Koro. They are the perfect size for 'fruit cocktail'. The bunny Bordallo plates are just right for the yummy lemon poppy seed muffins, vanilla bread and banana nut bread. The pink gerbera daisys lend the right amount of punch to the hydrangeas. Luckily I have a great friend who can forgive the lack of pressing of the tablecloth.

Please be sure to visit Susan's for more Tablescape Thursday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Floor Metamorphosis

The floors are DONE!
Although Princess Pussycat is not certain that she is happy with the floors or perhaps she is thinking we need to deal with those floor registers! We are thrilled and yes, Miss Kitty, we have replaced the floor registers with a more apporpriate wood!
The floors are maple. We considered Brazilian Cherry, but with as much dark oak, cherry and mahogany, we opted for cinnamon stained maple. If you are a cherry freak, like me, you know that cherry will darken with age or exposure to sunlight.

The dining room drapes needed to go. They had faded and fit into a different design scheme and color plan than the color currently in the dining room, as can be seen in this "before" picture. I had been rolling window treatment options around in my head for over two years since the room was painted, but, with the prospects of the two hottest days of the year coming looming before us, even after two exhausting days of floor replacement and China schlepping, we needed window coverings, pronto! Luckily, I had some blue and cream ship toile fabric. Perfect for panels to cover while the cherry stained bass wood blinds were being made; they would make a perfect accent panel once the blinds were installed. So, one more time, we emptied the buffet a deux corps so that it could be safely moved away from the windows. And, after Mr. Mise en scène installed the drapery rods. And, after the six or seven holes drilled trying to find the one spot that didn't have a stud were repaired. Up went the panels.

And now, the before and after:

Be sure to stop by Susan's at Between Naps on The Porch for more Metamorposis Monday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No room for tablescaping

Have I told you that I have a builder house in the 'burbs with little character? I attribute this to the "battle of the sexes" that every married person has. Mr. Mise en scène is a dyed in the wool new house buyer. The oldest house in which we have ever lived was built in 1967. It was literally a little pink house. The brick was physically pink! Try coordinating shutter colors with that!

I, however, am an old house lover, preferably one built in the late 1800's to the 1920's. The house above is more my vision of my dream house. Growing up in our 1950's ranch, I was jealous of the friends who lived closer to downtown and in an old house. Mind you, the ranch was pretty nifty, too, but couldn't compare to a bonafide niche-filled old house.

So, when we moved from Okie-Dokie land to the Washington D.C. area, guess what we bought? A brand spanking new builder house, of course! I had always dreamed of building a new house someday. This dream is the twin of the old-house rehab dream. In my dream, I would pour over floor plans, selecting the one which would accomodate all the changes our family would encounter from grade school to college to grandkids. I would choose just the right balance of public to private space. I would consider the graceful curve of a barrel vaulted ceiling over the soaring loft of an arched ceiling for the foyer. I would spend hours sourcing elegant lighting, comely door handles and exquisite, yet functional, flooring. I would choose the correct layout for the kitchen, suggesting design alterations if need be, better to change on paper then to wait until cabinet load to fix a flawed plan. And, finally, most importantly, there would be a sweeping staircase, worthy of Prom and Wedding pictures.

Well, when we finally built a new house, what did we get? Do you want fries with that? Yes, it was the fast food equivalent of house building. Everything was an upgrade, not much of an upgrade, more an upgraded price than an upgraded item. There was a horrible kitchen layout, no sexy glazes for the cabinets, no flooring beyond home center basic. Granted, we had our choice of green diamond or tan diamonds in the vinyl, and a selection of the ugliest laminates I've ever seen for the countertop. And most importantly, there was no Prom/Wedding-worthy sweeping staircase. The stair case is a narrow straight run with ugly neo-Victorian newel posts. I nearly cried.

So far, we have fixed the kitchen, replaced carpet with wood floors in the family room, and painted away the builder white. And this brings us to today. At this moment, I am stuck below ground, corralling the cats, and listening to clanging, banging and rumbling noises that make me fear for the safety of my beloved buffet a deux corps. Another Metamorphosis is under way, a much needed and long overdue replacement of the carpet in the dining room and living room and foyer. So glad we have the home theater up for my entertainment!

So today, there is no tablescape Thursday. There is no table to scape!
Below are the before's and the state of the kitchen! Monday, there will be afters for Metamorphosis Monday.

Be sure to visit Susan's site for more Tablescape Thursday Posts!