Category Archives: interior design

at home: heirloom marriage certificate

We carried home a nice assortment of family heirlooms after a visit to Daniel’s grandparents’ house last summer, including the 1913 wedding certificate of Daniel’s great grandparents.

Dated January 15, 1913, it’s the oldest personal historical item we own. I love everything about it: lovers on a calm sea at sunset, the little cherub, floralia galore, and pretty type. I don’t think Daniel met Porter or Emma Wise, so it’s lovely and a bit eerie to have this connection to them. It’s also nice – in our own, still new marriage – to feel connected to a couple who married over 100 years ago.

We keep it on display in the bedroom in a simple frame with gallery quality UV glass to deter additional fading over time.

century old marriage certificate heirloom 1913 art antique marriage certificate bedroom we5Family heirlooms have great nostalgic and historical value, even in an age when the new and innovative compete for our attention.

home tour: The Library

Finally, a post about the library. It took me forever to arrange and re-arrange and add furniture and put up artwork in just the right way. I didn’t feel satisfied with the overall look until two weeks ago, when I moved the cube shelf we used to have in the living room onto the bookshelf wall. It is incredibly difficult to decorate rooms that have a glaring wood element built in (in this case, the window frame); no wonder my peers who own homes are all painting everything white. I settled on multiple wood tones to make it look intentional rather than makeshift.

budget libraryinterior design chairs

Walmart pillow, painted reindeer, Target paper lamp, banjo (!), TJ Maxx ottoman, hand-stretched frame with antique labor union pins

paper cut art

Modpodged San Francisco “Street Sheet” newspaper headline, paper cutting by Daniel’s sister, art print from Tallahassee shop

red and gold room cube bookshelfThis room has a red and gold color scheme by default; items that didn’t fit in other rooms made their way here. I had intended to add an area rug to bring in another color, but that proved difficult on my current budget (which is essentially 0.00). We hardly go into the library, but I’m glad it’s presentable. Maybe I’ll use it more now?

For all home tour posts, click here.

Jacob’s Ladder

Daniel and I visited Circa, our favorite antiques store in town, on Saturday. I stumbled upon a really cool Jacob’s Ladder limited edition art print in the dollar room, where everything happened to be on sale for 50 cents. The rungs of the ladder and Jacob’s sleeping body are formed entirely in Hebrew cursive script. The artist signed his or her name as kaf yod shin (I think) and the print is 221/250 and embossed with a “Made in Israel” stamp. The print was custom framed in 1999. If it looks familiar to you at all, please let me know. I have been struggling to find the history of the artist and the print. Since I am not familiar with Hebrew cursive, it’s more difficult for me to decipher the markings than if it were in block lettering.

The print was originally framed in a gold metal sectional with brown and gold matting. There was no glass over it, so both the matting and print were scuffed and damaged. Upon further investigation, it appears that the matting was originally black and had faded significantly over time.

I had some scrap mat cut to size at my local frame shop, purchased some plexiglas, then repainted a thrifted 16×20 frame with semi-gloss black paint for a more contemporary look.  I re-framed the print at home with my staple gun and framing kit, then hung it in my bedroom.

It’s annoying that I’m in these images thanks to plexiglas glare

The total cost of the project was about $10.00, including the print. If you can read Hebrew cursive or are familiar with the artist, please let me know (click on each image to see it larger).

I love discovering treasures for cheap.

home tour: The Living Room

When you look at this room, try to picture the dining area directly behind it and the kitchen to the right. The “living room” is actually part of the Great Room, which includes the dining room, the mouse cage/desk/storage area, and even the refrigerator.

The living room has been complete in most ways since a week after we moved in. We purchased the faux leather arm chair in town and added small details over time.

I fell in love with this delightful, green velvet couch a couple of years ago, right after Daniel and I settled into our first apartment together. I think it has informed my vintage design aesthetic ever since. I like the simplicity paired with unusual fabric (and the fact that it’s a bit weird).

Vintage handmade ceramic plate; Handmade bird pillow; WalMart floral pillow; Thrifted Bison stuffed animal; Original artwork by Leslie Peebles; Reproduction national park poster

Acrylic-on-wood art pieces; Details

I made a tapestry curtain to turn the under-desk space into a functional storage area for rodent and business supplies.

Vintage vase; Stamp storage bin from T. J. Maxx

I was afraid that the Great Room would be a challenge to work within design-wise, but the overall look exceeds my expectations. I like that the entire space is cohesive, while each functional area still maintains a sense of separateness.

(You can enlarge each image by clicking on it)

home tour: The Kitchen

It’s difficult to keep our tiny kitchen clean enough to photograph most days. If there’s one space that’s really lacking in our rental, it’s this room. There’s no dishwasher, which I can deal with, but the lack of counter space can make it difficult to tackle basic kitchen tasks and previous tenants have added an odd assortment of hooks, nails, and pins to the walls and ripped a hole in the linoleum. We’ve had to get creative with counter top appliance placement, facing the microwave out to the great room to take advantage of the open counter design.

The room theme is a bit rustic on accident. Daniel’s mother made the needle art early on in her marriage and gave it to her parents-in-law. They gave it to us as a wedding present and it has shaped the overall feel of our kitchen ever since. I purchased the “Equal but different” tea towel on Fab and stretched it over canvas stretcher bars when I still worked as a framer. I made the unfinished clothes line frame to hold post cards, but decided to feature favorite photos of loved ones and travel destinations this time around. I love looking at beautiful faces and places and getting nostalgic. Nostalgia is particularly suited to the kitchen, I think.

Custom cutting board, wedding gift; Swedish pot pad from my parents; Candles and holder, wedding gifts; Ceramic vases handmade by my sister.

There you have it. This is the cleanest the kitchen will ever be, so I hope you enjoy it.

 

home tour: The Craft Room

The craft room has technically been as finished as it’s going to get for at least a month, but I’ve been so busy stocking my shop and sewing that it’s always a mess. I cleaned it up just for this home tour.

This is the space that’s solely mine in the house. I gave Daniel a lovely “library,” but he only goes in it to chill with our pet rats. At least I tried.

Vintage and supplies

Sleeping at Last album art, crafts books, supplies, vintage to be altered

I repainted the edges of this desk that we picked up at the local Habitat Restore to give it a clean finish. I bought the shelf at the Good Cents store in Tallahassee and gave it several coats of semigloss black paint.

Wedding photo transferred onto canvas, engagement photo canvas DIY, wedding photo in thrifted frame

I picked up the old window frame above outside an art studio at Railroad Square in Tallahassee during a portrait session. I added some covered cork board to two of the holes with patience and a staple gun. I’m not sure if this is the finished look or not, but I’m good with it for the time being.

These curtains were a thrifted find. I initially planned to make a crazy skirt out of the fabric, but, in the end, they got to fulfill their intended use. They’re a bit childish, but they work in this room.

Edit 10/1: Perfect timing! ModCloth just announced their “Awe & Order” contest, highlighting the efforts of fans with great organizational skillz. If you like this room, please vote for my entry here! Thanks. 

home tour: The Dining Room

I finally finished the dining room decor and layout this afternoon. We had makeshift curtains up for the past month and a half, but they weren’t working for me. I lightened a queen-sized tapestry we already owned, then cut it into curtains. I was hesitant to go with the yellow-beige tone in the main room, but it seems I can’t stray far from a retro ’60s/’70s vibe; I guess the house has inspired me.

We’ve been making due with only one lamp in the living/dining area, but when night fell, I couldn’t really see anything while working at my computer from the table. I needed something extremely economical that wouldn’t look too tacky. When World Market sent me a 15% off coupon for my birthday, I decided on a paper lantern. Of course, whenever we settle into a real house someday, we’ll find something more permanent, but this works well for the time being.

Moose carving from antique store, frame made by Indiana artisan, thrifted owl print

We happened upon this Sally Gregory piece from the 1970s at an antique store in Ruckersville about a month ago. Since we knew nothing about the artist, we decided to do some research before purchasing the piece. It turns out that she was best known for her children’s book illustrations; pieces like this rarely ended up in the U.S. since she was known, for the most part, only throughout Britain. I was overjoyed when I walked into the store this morning and found it right where we saw it last! Each section represents a season of the year. The women are bedecked in pretty, flowing garments and the curving black stems and branches recall the style of art nouveau, which is what drew me to the piece initially.

Rose scented candle, ceramic dish handmade by my sister

home tour: The Bathroom

I’m not too fussy about the overall appearance of the bathroom in terms of individuality or cohesion with nearby rooms, so most of the bathroom accessories were used in our previous bathroom. I added the finishing touches today and wanted to show it off. It has significantly less counter and storage space than our old bathroom, so things had to be shuffled around a bit, but past tenants have added several useful storage shelves to the wall, of which we take advantage.

The theme colors were originally white, black, and red, but somehow beige made it’s way in there over time. The art was purchased on etsy and the metal cat was a gift from my friend, Mary. The carved wooden canisters are vintage and were made in India. Rugs and accessories are a mix from discount stores.

I wish the lighting was better in these shots. If you look to the left on the bottom image, you’ll see one of the towels I dyed “gray” (they turned out gray-blue).

home tour: The Bedroom

I finally finished the bedroom (but I’m sure I’ll manage to clutter it up with knick knacks in the coming months)! I made two chevron pillow cases and a butterfly one, stretched bird fabric onto stretcher bars to create a 16×20 art piece, and mod-podged my Lichgate tree photo onto canvas (which actually didn’t turn out that well if you look closely – you can’t always trust Pinterest tutorials; those women are sugar-coating things).

I love the brick wall in the bedroom. This portion of the apartment used to be the garage, so the brick is actually part of the original exterior of the house built in the 1960s.

Art: Lichgate tree/San Francisco oil painting/Stretched fabric, from old shower curtain/Bridge print, purchased by my dad in Paris.

We purchased the mirror above the dresser at Possessions Recycled here in town. If I haven’t already mentioned it, the mirror that came with my dresser is too tall for our short, basement apartment ceiling, so we had to find a replacement. This one is black with gold stenciling and was made in the 1950s.

My grandma gave us this silver platter; we have no idea what it was intended for, but it works well for my toiletries. She also gave me the wood storage tray, originally intended to display painted wooden cats on the wall.

I’m happy that I managed to be so productive today. Originally, I was scheduled to work, but my boss got her days mixed up, so I had the afternoon off. Daniel was never really clued in to my plans for the room, but he (without my prodding) complimented my choice of fabrics and he and I chose the mirror together, so we both have a room we like now.