Archive | July 2013

Me and My Drill

I had a summer goal of re-doing the screened porch. It was even written on a post-it note, which is as good as set in stone.

Summer goals.

Summer goals.

It didn’t happen. I know summer isn’t over yet, but I feel the end barreling down on me like an oncoming train. School starts early this year, and August is just about here. My goals are as good as dead.

I stared down the list of un-done projects and thought: “The bathroom!” I can paint it during nap-time, one wall at a time, and it really is in need of attention.

This is the beginning.

This is the beginning.

The ceiling was stained with old water damage and the walls were a refreshing minty green. Perfect for a “York Peppermint Patty” commercial, but not really the look I was after.

I borrowed a paint sample of Benjamin Moore’s Museum Piece from my friend’s recent dining room project (view it here) and tried it out in my bathroom. It was gorgeous against the tile and I decided to use it. I painted the ceiling Benjamin Moore’s Antique Glass, which is greenish-blue, with the shimmery look of sea glass, to add a pop of color.

Ceiling done in Benjamin Moore's Antique Glass.

Ceiling done in Benjamin Moore’s Antique Glass.

I wrestled some time out of the days and got to work. I found a wire shelf from France at a consignment shop.

A wire shelf.

My French wire shelf.

I hung a different shelf, that I had bought at Lowe’s at least four months ago for hanging towels, on the opposite wall.

Me and my drill.

Feeling very studly.

I bought a shower curtain and rod to hang in front of the shower doors, both for privacy, and to conceal all of the plungers hanging out in the shower. When your husband brings home the softest, thickest, most luxuriant toilet paper money can buy, you will have at least one plunger hanging out in the shower.

Hiding the plungers.

Hiding the plungers.

There is a gaping hole, between the vanity and the wall, that I refer to as “the pit of despair.” This vanity is on the hit list, but not just yet.

The pit of despair.

The pit of despair.

The bathroom is much improved. I am always amazed at what a little thrift store art and paint can do to spruce up a space.

View from the hall.

View from the hall.

Mixing the finishes in the art gives the bathroom a European, carefree attitude. I love that! It is totally unexpected. Assembling and hanging a shelf on my own? Also totally unexpected. And nap-time? Nap-time is a glorious time of day around here.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Hidden Treasure

The mini-tyrant and I had a very exciting morning. After sipping coffee together and throwing some blocks around, we photographed a finished dining room. A dining room that we helped create.

The Carpenter Dining Room

The Carpenter Dining Room.

It started with talk of paint colors, admiring the old chicken-feeder collection, and snowballed into cashing in some old savings bonds.

Antique Chicken-Feeders.

Antique Chicken-Feeders.

Actually, this entire makeover cost $500, including the bottle of gin on the mini-bar. (Note to self: always budget for alcohol when planning a reno.)

Pie safe and mini-bar.

Pie safe and mini-bar.

I worked with her existing furniture and drew her out of her comfort zone. A little at a time, we watched the room transform and got more excited as it went along. The ceiling is a beautiful blue, Benjamin Moore’s Sylvan Mist and the walls gray, Benjamin Moore’s Museum Piece. The wall color is hard to define…. A little lavender, a little taupe or gray, depending on the light.

Testing out the paint colors.

Testing out the paint colors.

Dining room, before.

Dining room, before.

To be fair, my kids were playing with the play-doh.

To be fair, my kids were playing with the play-doh.

We rearranged the furniture and the homeowner was then inspired to hang some art she had hidden in the basement. A fabulous old woodcut block print of a flag with blue accents, which she hung above the pie safe. I cannot believe this treasure was hiding out in the basement!

Throughout this process, I would occasionally say, “You know what we need? We need a whatchamacallit…” and she would inevitably say, “Oh! I have one of those! In the basement!”

Antique dresser, in the bay window.

Antique dresser, in the bay window.

We brainstormed about the light fixture and I eventually convinced her it needed to sparkle. She chose the contemporary light, which adds drama with whimsical shadows, and has a black finish that is elegant.

View into the living room.

View into the living room.

She had to have the chandelier re-centered over the table, because originally the chandelier was installed about 18 inches off-center. This would have caused me to twitch. The new chandelier sparkles, and brings just the right amount of crystal bling into the room, and now, it is even centered.

A little bling.

A little bling.

 The adjacent living room was also painted Benjamin Moore’s Museum Piece. This keeps the rooms connected and feeling open. She added white sheer curtains and painted all of the trim a crisp white.

The rooms flow.

The rooms flow.

These rooms now look fresh and clean, traditional, but with a hint of the unexpected. The adjacent living room is updated and the whole space looks pulled together. It reflects the homeowners’ personalities completely. Traditional with a pop of the unexpected.

Here’s to basements full of hidden treasure, and to friends willing to step out of their comfort zone. Cheers!

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

#Window Shopping

On a recent trip to Lynchburg, Virginia, I was able to spend some time just strolling around town with Prima. One advantage of having an older child is you can occasionally pretend they are adults. They are good company that way, when the mood strikes.

Living with a mini-tyrant (baby), who tries to rule the roost, we both feel the need to occasionally escape and engage in some therapy. In this case it was fantasy-retail therapy, which is almost as good as plain-old retail therapy.

I ♥ this window display!

I ♥ this window display!

The baby, a naturally advanced and highly-intelligent little individual, has mastered the art of the tantrum, at 18 months.

Urban Merchant display

Notice the little bird cage light fixture!

We needed an outing, and on this excursion, we even found some new friends: Meet Margo. She was a little camera shy.

Margo.

Meet Margo.

These little downtown areas are a great way to find inspiration. Away from box stores, you can stop in artsy shops, or just draw inspiration from their edgy and unique window displays. It is this show of creativity that lures you inside and tries to separate you from your money. For me, this is living on the edge.

Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

To save you the suspense, they did get a little of my money. I can’t wait to show you the cool light fixture I bought for the office. But right now, I think I hear a tantrum coming on…. Until next time my dear readers, if I am still sane.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Citrosa, Herbs & Mosquitoes

I was recently inspired by my mom, who was rubbing the leaves of a geranium plant on her skin, to plant some mosquito-repellent plants. Moms are so smart.

Mosquito Fighter!

Mosquito Fighter!

I ran to Behnke’s, our local nursery, and found this cute tag on a plant called “Citrosa.” It smells strongly of citronella and claims, with comic-book size proportion, to fight mosquitoes. Who could resist? I left the sign in the pot, to scare away the mosquitoes scarecrow-style.

Mosquito Fighter!

Mosquito Fighter!

I bought several of these “Citrosa” geraniums. Other flowers that repel mosquitoes include marigolds and ageratum too.

Next up, herbs! I planted a variegated basil and moved some regular basil out to the deck as well. The strong smell of many herbs claim to fight off mosquitoes including lemongrass, thyme, and several varieties of mint.

Variegated Basil Plant.

Variegated Basil Plant.

I gathered up pots and found a few more at the thrift store. I am going to continue to add plants to the deck until the mosquitoes stop biting me. It will be a no-bite zone and the neighborhood kids will flock to my deck for protection.

Potted Plant Corner

Potted Plant Corner

Gardening takes on a sadistic-type pleasure when it involves exiling the mosquito. I love it when beauty and function come together.

No Mosquito Zone.

No Mosquito Zone.

That is my kind of design.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.