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A Long Awaited Photoshoot

This post is to prevent Community Forklift from having the complete scoop on my bathroom. I’ve been prodded into action by a co-worker, because Community Forklift has a blog-post scheduled about sustainability and design, featuring MY bathroom.

Why, what bathroom is that? The one we’ve just added, of course! The others already existed, so their sustainability was never in question.

Ooh la la!

I had trouble photographing the new bathroom because there is always someone in it. Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying on the heated floor. The youngest child? She’s sitting on the seat playing in the spa-like shower. Fortunately, almost all are afraid of the toilet as the bidet/toilet combo has scared them off entirely. We are now properly prepared for any toilet paper shortage that might come in 2021. You can’t be too careful.

An open European style shower.

So, feast your eyes. The sink is an American Standard commercial fixture from 1928. The towel bar is made of milk glass. The hardware is vintage art-deco and the lines mimic the lines on the sink. The shelves are reclaimed heart pine from Brick + Board. The door, the glass block window, and the soap dish all represent elements of reuse in this luxurious bathroom. The tile is Portuguese ceramic from a high-end donation that came to Community Forklift. The design evolved around all of these reusable items we wanted to incorporate. Not only is it a sustainable option to include reclaimed items in your renovations, but it is affordable. The quality of these older materials are not what you find in newer items made today, unless you are prepared to go for broke.

A mini-tour of the new bathroom.

This bathroom was gifted to us by my in-laws who wanted to upgrade our (their) guest space. I am grateful because it is something many people will enjoy for years to come, including us!

A milk glass towel bar!
Heart pine floating shelves.
1928 American Standard commercial wall sink with legs!

Our contractor who did the work? An artisan craftsman (who moonlights as a therapist) shall remain anonymous because I am not finished with him yet.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

Turf Wars

I have occupied every corner of this house. Admittedly, it’s not that big for a house, but still. As soon as I create a space in which to work, it gets taken over by someone I might be related to. A troubling discovery that is problematic.

I finally carved out a space I don’t think will get conquered. Not even by the ones who are working from home, schooling from home, zooming into all kinds of games, or even the dogs. It’s close enough I can fend off any would-be attackers. It happened by accident. I was working on a different space when inspiration struck, and I knew it was right.

Considering whether or not to surround it with caution tape.

When I have my own space, I get things accomplished! This is evidenced by two blog posts (!) within the week! Or maybe the fact that our car is still in the driveway, since I have a space in which I can sit down and pay the bills.

In disguise!

This new highly-coveted space is in my bedroom, and close enough in proximity that I can defend its territory. It’s an old-fashioned secretary desk that I got from my favorite hang-out spot, you know the one I work at, Community Forklift. It is a vintage piece that is chalk-painted with good functionality. I love that the color is camouflage in my bedroom and blends in with the wall, making the room seem larger and preventing any enemy action. I have set up a station of icons on one shelf, to deter anyone from taking over, and make it mine. I have to pray to the saints while I am working, just to get things done, and cannot be left to my own devices. It’s a good system and I have staked my claim.

All the saints watching over me (and my new space)!

There is no plug nearby, or task lighting, so it’s not perfect. I am using the drawers for my clothes and the cushioned stools, which already lived here, are the perfect height to sit and work. I can stash mail, hide the clutter, find a stamp, and after eight years in this house, sit somewhere to write. 😊

At last!

Multi-tasking furniture is key to efficiently designed spaces, and vintage furniture is often practical, small in scale, and adds an element of sustainability to your design. Try it out! These secretary desks are common finds and the price at Community Forklift is usually in the $150-$200 range, which is do-able.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

And so it goes….

This post was specifically requested by a fan. I will do my very best.

The fan/reader/mom, who shall remain anonymous, posed the question, “How does one get into the mood for Christmas, or any holiday, during a pandemic?” Good question. I have no idea. They asked, would you please write a blog post on that?

I promise to do my best, so here goes. Please put away your cynical thoughts. I can hear them in my head already!

1. Fill all of your senses with Christmas! Smell it! Add a fresh tree and set some mulling spices simmering on the stove. Fill the house with music, whether it be jazz or classical, and bake. Decorate the tree and write your thoughts down on a Christmas card, yeah old fashioned-like. Actual pen and paper. Lick the envelope and mail it to the f***ing North Pole. Your kids will love you for it. And then say a prayer of thanks for Samuel L. Jackson, because he made it okay to use that word. You know the one. Have a drink. And if you don’t drink, have a Seedlip cocktail, because they…. are….delicious and are the only distilled nonalcoholic spirit in my repertoire. The bomb. Tested by me, and no, I am not an alcoholic. Yet.

Seedlip nonalcoholic distilled spirits. Originating from apothecary recipes from 1651, or something like that.

2. Adopt a pandemic pet. I have a non-pandemic pet who won’t stray 6 inches from my feet and I am NEVER lonely. He adopted me:

My pet gremlin.

Henry Adams is a legit pandemic pet. Unveiled like some sort of long-awaited designer fashion object d’arte….. on a political blog for people with way too much time on their hands. Behold, meet the…. Henry Adams Cat. He is my latest sibling and heir to the throne:

The foot is real and Henry is doing his job as the foot is no longer a lonely foot.

3. As a family we have enjoyed some seriously fun Zoom calls. We got an account so you can talk for more than 40 minutes. We hosted a game of “Among Us” with the Australian cousin/family. Fun we might not have had if it were not for the pandemic. We even included our far-away Boston child in the game, who dressed unsuspectingly like a plant, and proceeded to murder us in our sleep. It was all good.

Just relax and enjoy the quiet peaceful moments.

4. Seize the calm and the small moments. A fire, a bath, a quiet walk in the woods. Just be in the present. Put down the news and watch the birds. Believe me, those birds have plenty to say. Recharge your batteries.

I realized I have quite the collection of beach-bum Santas and this year, they are hanging out in a prominent place, reminding me that another year is on its way. Thank God!

Beach bum Santas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

This Couch is Stalking Me!

It’s true. I surf for sofas. I know exactly what I want…. and so does my phone. Let this be a warning to you.

Even if I lost my brain, my phone might serve as a decent substitute.

The couch I have zeroed in on pops up in my fitness app. (I know, you’re shocked I use a fitness app. Don’t worry, this is how I communicate with my mother.) That gorgeous sofa is the first thing I see when I log my coffee calories every morning, right under the person SLEEPING on the fitness app. Seriously, how do they know?

My Fitness Pal!

My Fitness Pal!

Who knew that an incognito browser was now required for online shopping, among other things? If you want your heart’s desires to be constantly flaunted, but still unattainable because you can’t afford them, then please continue browsing for stuff online while sipping your coffee. It’s fun, and will drive you to delete your Facebook app, once and for all.

This is it! Again!

What would happen if I actually bought that couch? (Or TWO because I want a matching pair to satisfy my increasing desire for order through symmetry.) I never should have searched “How to clean velvet.” For that matter, I should never search how to clean anything.

Would the ads stop? Would my phone leap out of my hands in a suicidal dive for the floor, taking my brain along with it? I wonder.

Cocoa on the couch

Cocoa on the couch opposite me and my coffee.

In the meantime I am sitting on my old couch, as comfy as Bilbo Baggins in his hobbit hole, still sipping my coffee.

Maybe it’s time for new pillows.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2019.

Inside the Hammock

I searched my blog only to discover I had forgotten to tell you about the hammock. Yes, the one inside the house.

It’s not a traditional style hammock, the type you hang between trees or suspend in a stand, but rather more like a hanging chair and it’s my favorite spot. 

My favorite spot.

My favorite spot.


It took awhile to get it right. At first, we bought a stand, but it broke. It bent under the weight of all the kids sitting in it, like a puppy pile-up.

Lounging teen.

Lounging teen.


Then we hung it from the ceiling and followed the directions to a T. My son ended up on the floor twice with the hardware barely missing his head. But I did not give up.
Hanging hammock chair.

Hanging hammock chair.

 

Finally we bolted it through the joist and used an aircraft-rated wing nut to hold it in place. We added a swivel device so the hammock could spin without unscrewing the mechanism. It’s worked and the hammock is secure now.

Inspired by Pinterest.

Inspired by Pinterest.

 

Inspired by Pinterest and because I owned one already, I threw a circular sisal rug under the hammock chair to define the space. It’s tucked away in the office area and near a window that looks out on the backyard. It’s the perfect quiet spot. 

A porch is perfect!

A porch is perfect!

 
If you have an engineer handy to help you install an indoor hammock, I highly recommend it. 

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2016.