Thursday, August 26, 2010


Here's the low down on some of the stuff in the boy's room.

I got the lead soldiers at a yard sale for a dollar and the those are my mom's old Audubon Nature Encyclopedias.

The antique mission style desk was a craigslist find. We had to drive out to Westchester to pick it up...but it was only $70! It is made out of the most beautiful old wood with a striking grain pattern. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe tiger maple?

It has bookshelves on both sides. Perfect for storing little old leather bound books.

We picked up the old desk lamp at Barneche Design...a teeny tiny shop on Route 214 in Chichester.

And the wooden folding chair came from an estate sale in New Jersey ($5!)...

...which is also where we found this trunk....

...and the one at the foot of the bed. We paid $20 for each.

I plan on putting plants under the glass cloches and making little terrariums. I want them to look like old timey horticultural experiments!

We got the barrister bookcases at auction for $60. Usually they go for a lot more...but this set of three was all middle pieces with no real top or we were able to snag it on the cheap.

I have all of our vintage Penguin paperbacks inside and some of our Heritage Club Collection books on top. (We got a slew of these at a yard sale in New Jersey. They all have beautiful cloth covers and each comes in its own slipcase. Fancy!)

In front of the bookcase is Justin's Harvard chair....

...and a vintage camping stool turned footrest.

The blanket and the pillows are from a yard sale in Dallas. The woman selling them got them years ago in Peru and they are made from the softest alpaca wool. We were about to buy them...but it turned out that she was friends with Justin's mom and she insisted on giving us the set as a wedding present. So sweet!

The navajo rug is a hand-me-down from my dad.

The bedside table is actually an antique smoking stand. It has a hole in the top for an ashtray which is covered by the lamp, and smaller holes on both sides for storing pipes. I got it for $16 at The Wayside Antiques Shop in Pompton Plains, NJ. I'm a sucker for anything with a skeleton key.

I also got the lamp at the Wayside Shop. $20 for a set of two. The fiberglass shade is something I had kicking around. And the headboard was another craigslist find. Justin and I drove to pick it up, fully prepared to pay the $30 asking price, but when we got there the husband said we could just give him $15. You could tell that he thought we were CRAZY for for paying ANYTHING for a rusty headboard.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Here it is. The guest room / study. We call it the boy's room. I usually end up making things look pretty girly...but the dark wood mouldings in this room inspired me to go for a more manly vibe.

I delved into some new territory: the finishes are darker than usual, the pieces more well-worn, the textiles less flowery. But there's also some familiar ground: mismatched vintage finds, a hodge podge of framed things, and surprise, surprise...I painted it a shade of blue-green.

It's still a work in progress...and there's certainly more to be done.

First thing on my list is to paint the cabinet below the barrister bookshelves (you can see it in the photo above). It's part of a piece of Ikea furniture that we had in our old apartment that just happened to be almost the exact same dimensions as the barrister shelves we acquired. I took a hand saw and cut the top off so that I could use the bottom portion with the cabinets as a base for our 3 stackable cases. It's not the prettiest solution...but it works. And I think once I stain it the same color as the rest of the wood in the room it will just kinda blend in and disappear.

I also still have to paint the ceiling. And maybe the radiator? I'm not sure yet. Justin says he likes it white. I was originally planning on painting them both this color:

And then there is this wall...

I temporarily hung something there to fill the space...but I think I want one really big piece that fills the whole area. Like an old pull-down classroom map...or chart...or periodic table or something. I don't know. I haven't found it yet...but I'll know it when I see it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I think my laptop is finally calling it quits. I can get it to turn on every once in a while...but it refuses to admit that the internet even then it's fairly useless.

Needless to say, this puts a bit of a wrench in the works as far as posting is concerned.

And please note: If your computer starts to sound like it's brewing coffee...know that it's not long for this world. And if it starts to smell like melted crayons...say your goodbyes.

Monday, August 16, 2010


So...Justin and I have taken a break from working on the house to enjoy our first summer upstate. But after a couple months off we're ready to dive back in.

We decided to start with the guest rooms. One is going to double as Justin's writing room, and I want it to feel kinda like the study of a nineteenth-century gentleman naturalist. Think: dark wood, old maps, bird prints, leather bound books. The other is going to double as our closet and I want it to feel like an old fashioned ladies' dressing room. Think: pastels, vintage fashion illustrations, embroidered silk bedspread, deco folding screen.

Over the past few months I've managed to gather some great pieces for each room from garage sales, craigslist, and some upstate junk shops. (All at bargain prices, of course!) And we've gotten back to work painting walls, arranging furniture, and hanging art (my favorite part!). Finally! Progress!

It's been a labor of love...and there are lots of little details from each of the rooms that I want to share with you. Too many to fit in one post. So I'm going to do it over the next few posts. Until get a sneak peek at the color of the dressing room. A shade of minty green, of course. I'm so predictable!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Urban Outfitters has some sweet vintage looking sailor inspired outfits right now. And since I am officially a boat seems like the perfect time to expand this genre in my wardrobe.

Oh...and I should mention that most of this stuff is on SALE! For under $40! Wait...does that mean that summer is almost over?!

Friday, August 6, 2010


We took our new canoe out for a sunset voyage! We set off from the boat launch at Kingston Point Park and paddled north along the shore of the Hudson. Except for a few distant barges, we had the river to ourselves. And my goodness was it picturesque. The swallows were out in force, and there were deer drinking along the banks.

Justin sat in the he did most of the paddling. Luckily, summer camp served him well and he's quite the canoer! And the boat? She is indeed yar.

Now we just need to name her. Some ideas: The Harvest Moon, Colonel Mustard, Trocadero (after my favorite Swedish soda), The Hello Yellow, Golden Girl, Josephine (after my gram), and The Crescent Moon (in homage to Henry Hudson's ship The Half Moon). What do you guys think? Suggestions? Opinions?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We got a canoe! It's a 17 foot vintage mustard yellow Old Town with a light minty green interior. I did some serious craigslist hunting and this was one of the cheapest boats out there. And it's pretty darn cute too.

We had to drive an hour and a half to get it....which was totally fine. After all, it was a bargain. But...driving an hour and a half back with a giant canoe strapped to our tiny old car was a little bit nerve wracking. Once we were convinced that it was not going to fly off of our roof and on to the Thruway we were fine. Apparently our canoe strapping skills are better than we gave ourselves credit for!

Next up: take her out and see if she's yar.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Ever since our neighbor took us kayaking a month ago Justin and I have been wanting to get a boat of our own. We considered getting kayaks...but I think a canoe is more our style. There is just something old-timey and romantic about a canoe.

If money wasn't an issue we would totally get a beautiful hand-crafted wooden one...

But, honestly, I think we'll be perfectly happy in whatever inexpensive canoe we manage to find on craigslist. And we can just spruce it up with some adorable canoe accessories.

Like some pretty wooden paddles...

And some lovely canoe packs...

And some old fashioned wooden seats.... if only we had a vintage Chevy wagon...

sources: vintage postcard of girls in canoe found here; american traders wooden canoe; sanborn canoe co. wooden paddle; john mcguire canoe basket; mcgarry's canoe pack via selectism; essex industries canoe seats; chevy wagon photo by john wilmot. and as always: if i used one of your photos and you would like me to take it down or credit you differently please let me know. i would be more than happy to change it. xx darbie