Monday, September 28, 2015

Simply Neutrals Tuesday #4: "Neutral" Decay

Who doesn't love to see naturally weathered woods, metals, and just about anything else, all showing the patina of time? Well, I suppose a lot of people do not, but I love to look at old doors, architectural elements, old gates, windows, walls and furniture, and wonder about the history of these amazing pieces. Who walked through those doors and what were their lives like? Who sat on a porch behind its railing and were they out there watching summer turn to fall? Who stood at the gates and did they converse with neighbors while admiring their gardens? Who looked through the windows and what did they see? Who lived behind the walls that are now in such a state of decay, and how did the walls get that way? And who were the families that used the furniture and what stories could they tell?

Here are some photos that I've taken within the past year. Some were taken at antique stores and some around my house. I suppose that the items in these photos were once painted in different colors, but now they just have a neutral patina to them, so I thought that I would share them and join in on Wen's Simple Neutrals Tuesday link party. You can find the fun here.

My thanks to Wen for taking the time to
host this party each week and give us the 
opportunity to share our love of all things
Thanks, Wen!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Honey and Grey

Hello there! Do you remember the days when Harvest Gold was the big decorating color? Yes, I am giving away my age here. Well, in August I let you know that we have sold Birdsong Cottage and purchased a new getaway home which we have named The Wren's Nest. Actually it is nothing more than a little old single wide mobile home (again!) in the same lovely old mobile home park that Birdsong was in. Last fall we had no sooner put the last touch on Birdsong, namely replacing the carpet in the porch, when another home came up for sale. This one was coming out of an estate since the previous owner had passed away, and we had actually seen it two years ago when we were first looking to buy. At that time it was very dirty and very ugly, so we passed on it and bought Birdsong. But last fall, the attorney handling the estate had it  cleaned up so that it would be more likely to sell. It was still old and dingy and in desperate need of paint and more cleanup. but long story short, we couldn't resist the challenge. Only fools like Mr. Perch and I would take on another one after we just got Birdsong finished. 

Why? Well, the positives were:
  • It has central air conditioning and heat (Birdsong had a gas heater only, and the original to boot, though after a little tweaking by Hubby, it actually was very efficient)
  • Half of the long screened porch was converted to a sun room, with windows and shingles (not that the windows work very well, though).
  • It is seven years newer than Birdsong, which was built in 1969. Who buys old mobile homes like this anyway??
  • Behind the carport, the previous owner closed in a long section, half of which became a golf cart-sized garage with automatic door (he had a Harley) and turned the other portion into a utility room.
  • It is directly across from the clubhouse and pool, making it much easier to get mail, do laundry and swim (if we ever have time to use the pool!)
  • It has one and a half bathrooms (Birdsong had one), and larger bedrooms. But Birdsong had a larger living room. You can't have everything.
  • It has a lot more storage space in the kitchen, including two built-ins with (faux) glass doors.
  • We paid less for it than when we bought Birdsong.
O.K. So every good story has a downside. As does this one. No one ever updated the place since 1969, other than that they pulled up the carpeting and put in peel and stick faux wood floors. Actually not bad looking, but it was all peeling up. At some point the toilet in the master bathroom was replaced. And some of the plumbing was updated. But pretty much, stuff was only replaced or updated when absolutely necessary, and certainly not for any kind of aesthetic appeal or because it was loved as we will. And it still has its horrid original aluminum awning windows and ugly trim-work around them.

So, we gave up pretty little clean and neutral 
Birdsong for this charming
 Harvest Gold fiber glass all-in-one 
tub and surround in the master bath...

...not to be outdone by matching Formica 
vanity and sinks.
With lovely yellow and blue floral wallpaper,
which was installed over the original 
lime green and gold striped stuff
(only on half of the walls, though, 
with paneling on the other walls.
The best part was the little tin medicine cabinets
over each sink on which you scraped your
fingers every time you flipped the
faucets back to turn on the water...

Onto the kitchen, 
replete with its lovely Harvest Gold counter and sink, 
and too many other decorating touches to mention herewith...

The above photos were taken last fall before we 
began ripping out everything we hated,
which was pretty much everything, 
including the upper cabinets to the right
 in the picture above.
More about that in future posts.

Since this is a second home for us,
we obviously don't have the budget to make it
a showplace, but we did decide to put our bucks into
what we thought was important now, such as
flooring and the master bathroom,
 and at least 
live with the gold counter-tops and sink in the

And I figured that if
could feature a spread on "Honey and Grey"
a few weeks ago,
it's good enough for the kitchen at The Nest,
for the time being anyway.

These were some of the items they featured:





So, new grey and white paint,
which were going to be our colors anyway,
new laminate flooring which we put in throughout,
(except for the bathrooms),
and a new stove and range hood,
(we moved our fridge from Birdsong)
here is the beginning of the kitchen.
Though we still want to put in a tile back splash
and do some other things, this will 
do for now.

Don't think that I didn't entertain the notion of leaving all
of the Harvest Gold in place, trimming it with black,
and calling this place "Bumble Bee Cottage"!

But if Honey and Grey is good enough for the decorating world,
I guess its good enough for me! 
Besides, doesn't Honey sound so much more exciting
than Harvest Gold?

Until next time!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Simply Neutrals Tuesday #3: Two Old Rakes

Hello! I hope that you're having a great week, and your fall has gotten off to a great start. Even though it's Thursday, I am going to join Wen's Simply Neutrals Tuesday party (Phoebe come lately!). You can check out her beautiful blog and great linky party here.

For quite some time I've been searching for a vintage wooden rake, and finally purchased two! Found on eBay, the opening bid was only $21.00 for the pair, and believe it or not I was the only bidder! Even with the shipping cost, the total came to a lot less than I would have paid for even one in a flea market or antique sale.

Aren't they beauties!
Though they won't stay out here 
on the back deck,
I couldn't resist propping them up against
the post, surrounded by the Limelight Hydrangea,
now past it's prime,
and Fragrant Tea Rose. 
Kind of autumn-ish,
don't you think?

And I couldn't help but love the creative fashion
in which the seller packed them for shipping.
I sent him a nice note about how much I 
appreciated the work he put into it,
and he responded that in all his years of
selling on eBay, 
these were the trickiest to wrap.
Imagine that!!

Have you found anything great lately?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Late Summer Hydrangeas

As the gardening season approaches its end, I cannot help but marvel at the neutral and pure beauty of our last two hydrangeas to bloom. They have both started off with pure white blossoms, which are now slowly turning pale shades of pink and green. 

This one is a Limelight Hydrangea...

...and this is our Tardiva...

Is anything more beautiful than nature?

Today I am going (to attempt) to link to Wen's
Simply Neutrals Tuesday party.
Having never linked before,
we'll see how it shakes out!

If I have no luck, be sure to check her blog
for those that were more successful than I!

Have a great evening!