Thursday, April 29, 2010


I've always been super into home improvement.  I was comfortable using an electric screwdriver and taking on minor room renovation projects by fourth grade and one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever was a set of power tools from my dad.  

Well, now I have a whole house worth of projects ahead of me...and there's one thing I really want.

A tool belt.

Specifically, a Klein tool belt.  Everything they make is so handsome and classic.  And I love that you buy the belt separately and then choose the tool holders and pouches that best suit your needs.  
And while I'm making a wish list...let me just go ahead and put one of those AMAZING tool bags on it!  Aren't they to die for?! 

NOTE:  If this all seems a bit should know that my college roommates used to call me Bob, trust wouldn't be THAT weird if I wore a tool belt.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been living here for one week and my ideas for each of the rooms are starting to take shape. Unfortunately, my budget doesn't allow me to do much more than look at free paint samples. But that's okay....I think it is best to really get to know each room before you start buying things anyway. So for the time being I'm just going to pore over this stack of paint chips and come up with some color palettes. 

Here's what I'm thinking so far: 

It wouldn't be MY house without a healthy dose of aqua/mint green/ I plan on using these colors VERY liberally. 

For the dining room.  

I am thinking the lighter shade for the walls...and the darker for the french door that leads to the porch. The natural wood moldings around the windows and door in the dining room have a very warm, almost orangey cast, as do the pine floors...which I think will look LOVELY with the blue/greens. 

NOTE: That is NOT our real dining room table. It is our old kitchen table that happens to be in the dining room. Let's just pretend it's a beautiful, long, old table with some mismatched wooden chairs. Oh...and the color of those paint chips doesn't look terribly accurate on my screen....but you get the idea....right?

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Justin and I finally finished unpacking all of our kitchen stuff.  That includes not only the abundance of things we brought from our apartment...but also ALL of our wedding presents. Since there was literally NO room for anything else in our apartment in Brooklyn we decided to store them in my parents' garage until we moved into a bigger house. 

Well, now we're in that bigger we got to open all of our super sweet gifts and start putting them to use!

One of the lovely things we got was a ruffled cake stand with a glass cloche. It was just screaming for a pretty baked I decided to make it one.

I made an orange yogurt cake using a recipe I had cut out of an old issue of Martha Stewart Living.  It is available here.  However, I wanted mine to be a little more decorative (after all, it is going onto the world's cutest cake plate) so I also made some royal icing (recipe here) and piped on a few swirls and then topped it with orange zest and a dusting of powdered sugar. 

I think I'm going to be doing a lot more baking.  Here's some reasons why:  a.) I get a big kick out of it, b.) I LOVE sweets, c.) I have all kinds of new baking accessories, d.) I have LOTS of counter space to use said baking accessories....and most importantly, e.) what's a better way to get my NYC friends to come visit than tales of delicious homemade treats?!

Friday, April 23, 2010


MONDAY: Justin and I closed on our house. That means we signed A LOT of papers, wrote A LOT of checks, and officially became homeowners.  
That day we saw a deer, a groundhog, and an abundance of birds and little critters in our backyard. It's like the nature channel outside our kitchen window!  

We ate a lovely dinner on the kitchen floor and spent the night on our air mattress. 

The next morning we woke up and caught the tail end of sunrise outside our bedroom window. So dreamy!  

TUESDAY: We had to go back to Brooklyn to finish packing up our apartment...which took WAY longer than we wanted it to.  

WEDNESDAY: The movers came at 8:00 am. It was amazing how fast and efficient they were. We were out of there by 10:30 am and on our way back up to Kingston with Steven Kit Kitterson in tow. 

Justin and I decided that hiring movers was one the the top five best decisions we've ever made. It came in just below getting married, buying a house, and bringing home a cat.  

THURSDAY: We woke up early and went to a local stone quarry where we made the world's largest impulse buy: 10 TONS of rocks. I'll explain more in a later post.  

That evening we drove up to South Hadley, MA for a Bishop Allen show at Mount Holyoke. We played in a big beautiful old hall with a legitimate stage. (You never know what you're gonna get with these college shows. Usually we end up playing in more of a cafeteria / rec center / snack bar type of situation. And it's WEIRD.)

The whole band came back to our house and stayed the night. Our first visitors!

FRIDAY: We woke up early and made breakfast tacos using our newly unpacked cast iron skillet.

Yesterday the Bishop Allen boys loaded a trailer with the ENTIRE contents of the old practice space, hitched it to the van and drove it to our house. Today we hauled ALL of that gear up three flights of stairs to the new attic studio.

And just a few minutes ago we did our first load of a DISHWASHER!!!!!!! We had to read the manual because neither of us had ever done it before. To me a dishwasher seems like something from the Jetsons. I push a button and it does it for you??? Really??? I can't believe I own one of these futuristic contraptions.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This site has a tipi you can stay in overnight.  It isn't in a tipi park or's just ONE tipi surrounded by 36 acres of wilderness somewhere in New Hampshire.  That's it in the photo above and there's a picture of the interior in my last post.  It's the one with the log couches.  Looks pretty nice...right?  And its big! 22 feet wide x 24 feet high.  Rates vary by season...but it is $50 a night from June to September.  I totally want to do this.  Who's coming?!

Friday, April 16, 2010


On Monday we are going to write some of the biggest checks of our lives.  Lots of them.  And we will be getting an amazing house in return....but we are going to have VERY little money left over. So you would think I would be focusing on important things that we absolutely need for our first house.  You know...necessities.  Tables to eat off of, chairs to sit on, beds to sleep in.  But no...all I can think of are super fun things that are TOTALLY unnecessary.  Like a TIPI!

I mean...a tipi would be such a great addition to our first backyard. Right?  And we have a little patch of woods that wouldn't be good for a garden...but would be PERFECT for a tipi.  

Well, I did a little bit of research and I found a lot of companies that make and sell pretty authentic ones.  This site lists most of the places I came across.  Unfortunately, they are a little bit out of our budget.  Even the smallest, most basic models seem to cost over $1,000.  (As well they should.  After all, it is a HOUSE.)  Amazon sells a $250 makeshift version - but I think I'd rather hold out for the real deal.  And there is always the DIY route.  This guy made one himself using the book The Indian Tipi - Its History, Construction and Use.  His came out beautiful...but between the cost of supplies, extensive labor and math skills required for the project...I think I would rather pay someone else to do it. 

 So, looks like I better start saving up.  And honestly, I'm ready to say that we do, in fact, NEED a tipi.  And if you aren't already convinced...please scroll down to the pictures of the tipi interiors.  SO MAGICAL...right? 

So if you are looking for a good housewarming gift...a 10 to 12 foot tipi would be just fine. Thanks! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We've definitely made some progress packing.  Last night I very carefully wrapped each of my vintage glasses and boxed them ALL.  Today I decided I would take on an easier task:  to collect all of the bottles and jars and vases of flowers and that I have displayed around the apartment.  What I didn't realize was that I have them hidden ALL OVER.  On every shelf, every table, every nook, every cranny. 

See, I love flowers.  Especially ones that don't die. (I think this stems from my black thumb complex and grim history with houseplants.) I have all different kinds - crepe paper, corn husk, ribbon, metal, fabric, wood.....  On top of that I also like to collect anything natural that I can put in a vase and enjoy for years to come - branches, pussy willows, feathers.....  The list is endless.  

Well, I finished gathering all of these whatnots from around the apartment....and it turns out there was 48 of them.  Seriously?!  48?!  That's SO not right.  I AM a crazy cat lady.  This apartment is NOT that big. 

 I lined up a sampling and took some photos for you.

I love both of these.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the one on the left is a vintage piece made from silvery seed beads and wire....and the one on the right is silk flowers from the 20s that are meant to be worn in your hair.

These are another one of my faves - vintage Japanese paper flowers from the 1960s.  When I got them they were never used and still in their original super 60s packaging. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


We have one week left in our apartment. ONE WEEK. After 5 years and 7 months of living here.

So: we are 7 days away from moving and Justin and I have finally faced the facts - we have to start packing. I have always been a super sentimental person...and no matter how excited I am to move on to bigger and better things...I do have a special place in my heart for this apartment. So packing seems kind of bittersweet. Not to mention intimidating. We have collected an UNBELIEVABLE amount of books and art and knick-knacks and bric-a-brac.

Before we started boxing everything up I decided to treat our apartment to a proper photo session. Here are pictures of each and every room. And a couple of Steven Kit Kitterson.

See what I mean? Books....and knick-knacks.....and bric-a-brac.

And the kichen? BRIC-A-BRAC GALORE. Hmm...I think we need more boxes.

This was always Steve's favorite springtime spot. Perfect for terrorizing the neighborhood birds.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This is one of THE most darling houses I have ever seen. It is a circa 1890 Gingerbread Victorian with 4 outbuildings - a guest cabin, a small barn, a large barn, and a chicken coop. It is located in St.Remy, a sweet, quiet area just outside Kingston. Justin and I went to see it a few months ago when we were still looking at houses. It has all the old details - wood floors, original woodwork, beautiful fireplaces, stained glass windows...etc. But here's the kicker -- The keys? Like, to the front door and the guest cabin? Are skeleton keys. I'm talking real deal original skeleton keys. I almost died.

It is currently listed at $289,900. And that's just the ASKING price. I'm sure someone will get it for less. The full listing details are

And fair warning: I still get daily real estate listing updates in my email. I know I don't need to anymore, but I love to look at what's out there. And I plan on posting any that I think are extra special in an attempt to lure my
Brooklynite/Manhattanite friends up to greener pastures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anyone who knew me as a kid (or was in my photo class at RISD) knows I have a penchant for miniatures. So it will be no surprise that I freaked out when I stumbled across this article in the New York Times. It's about "mini-modernists." What are mini-modernists, you ask? know the living room in the photo above? The one that looks like it was pulled from the pages of apartment therapy? It's miniature. As in 1:12 scale. And it is just one of the amazing rooms in Annina Günter's dollhouse. Here are a few more of my faves.

How hysterically accurate is this? I knew several people in high school who had bedrooms just like this. (Blake Westdyke, anyone?) And the christmas lights around the mirror are SO good.

Seriously? Recycling? This lady is a genius.

Here you can get a better idea of the scale. And yes, that is the Ikea Expedit bookcase.

More photos of Annina's interiors are available on her flickr page.

all photos by annina günter except #2 and #8 which are by david azia for the new york times