Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Half Note Cottage by PVE Design

Beautiful and talented, Patricia van Essche was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed College of Design, Architecture and Art, where she received a BS in Fashion Design and was awarded the school’s coveted “Golden Brush” award. For 15 years she worked in New York City as a designer and design director for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Liz Claiborne. Today, pve design offers a wide range of design services, such as illustration, decorative and pattern design.

This week, Patricia's rendition of the Half Note Cottage swept me off my feet...

Make sure to give pve design a visit, you'll be so glad you did!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Half Note Den/Office

Sunday, Jessica painted the room at the back of the Half Note that they plan to use as an Office/Den. Previously, when you entered the room from the Kitchen, you were surrounded by three deep red walls, and confronted by a wall of navy, plaid wallpaper.

(excuse the pieced together photos again)

Now, the same Sherwin Williams color "Antique White", that she used in both the Kitchen and Living Room, coats the walls in this space too. She had it mixed at Home Depot, and after a $5.00 rebate, paid just $11.67 per gallon.

The backdoor is also located in this room, as you can almost see in the floorplan drawing above.

The navy carpet has to stay, so the color palette in this room will be blue, cream and white. This palette should be a nice transition from the Kitchen, since the linoleum has blue in it.

Unfortunately Jessica will not be painting the Master Bedroom today, like she had planned.
She spent several hours at the emergency room last night, and after a series of X-rays, has been diagnosed with a very bad bi-lateral sinus infection. The doctor put her on bed rest (here at the L.C.) so that it doesn't turn into full-blown pneumonia. I am forcing her to take it easy, but she wants to paint the bedroom tomorrow. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go install a lock on the outside of our Guest Bedroom door, so she can't escape.

Half Note Kitchen

Jessica painted the Kitchen on Saturday afternoon. Here are the “before and currently’s”:




Kitchen 2





Unfortunately I don’t have a BEFORE shot of this side of the Kitchen, but here’s how it looks now…


Kitchen 3

I had some leftover chalkboard paint, so Jessica painted the rectangle on the old ironing board closet with it.

It’s a great place to jot down things they need to remember to pick up at the Grocery store!

Chalkboard Paint

Here’s a close up of the linoleum:


She didn’t want to remove the wallpaper border in this part of the room, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with a quick and attractive solution for her.


We attached a little piece of trim with wood glue and painters tape to the top edge of the wallpaper border:


Once the glue had dried, she removed the painters tape holding it in place, taped off the new wall color, and primed and painted over the wallpaper border and the trim piece:

IMG_1197 IMG_1196

Here’s how it turned out:


I love how it gives the appearance of taller wainscoting.

Next up- the Den/Office on the back of the cottage.

It’s a small room, currently covered in burgundy-colored paint and plaid, navy wallpaper, with a door that leads out to this…



…sigh….merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream back here…

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Junkin' with Jessica

This morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to go junkin' with Jessica, to see if we could find anything for them to use in their little "Half Note".

Yes, I said 4:30.
And, yes, I said A.m.

It's 8:00 p.m right now and I will be hitting the proverbial hay within minutes of publishing this post.

Here's a video of our junkin' journey. (I should go ahead and apologize now for the silliness you're about to see. We were a little delirious.) :-)

I'll be back with Half Note Kitchen photos tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Half Note Cottage"


After giving it some thought, Jessica and Eric have affectionately named their sweet little home the "Half Note Cottage". Let me explain. To say that Jessica and Eric are "music lovers" would be a major understatement. Music is the very central essence of them. It is their experience, their thoughts, their refuge. They believe that "music is love, in search of a word." (Lanier) So of course the cottage had to have a musical name, and because of its teeny-tiny size, "Half Note" seemed like such a perfect fit. :-)

As I mentioned the other day, Jessica had "Living Room" on her "To Paint" list this week.
So this morning, I took a stroll over there to see how it was coming along.
Inside the front door, a smooth, new, creamy color welcomed me inside...

What was once painted a cool, green, faux finish... now a warm, fresh shade of cream...

Who knew "Antique White" could actually make a room smile! :-)

Next week, she'll tackle the Kitchen. I think this happy new wall color will really coordinate well with the existing linoleum flooring in there. Jessica and Eric are renting the cottage, so the linoleum flooring has to stay, but it is a pretty pattern, so that's okay. (I'll post a close up photo of it next week)


PS...Thank you to Jessica and Eric's Landlady for discounting the rent in exchange for paint and supplies! :-)

Technical Difficulties...Help!

I've had several people write and say that my most current blog posts are not showing up in their Google Reader. I know VERY little about this side of things, and was wondering if anyone out there in Blogland might be able to tell me why this might be happening. The only thing I have been able to figure out is that every since I've starting publishing my posts through Windows Live Writer, they are showing up in Google Reader anymore. If anyone can help me figure this out I would greatly appreciate it!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Cottage Next Door – Let the Re-do Begin!


Over the next 6 weeks, my friend, Jessica, will be re-painting the inside of the small, yellow cottage next door to our Lettered Cottage. I will give her lots of design guidance along the way. If the weather is nice, maybe I’ll leave my Office window open, so that if she has a question, or needs motivation, we can converse back and forth. :-)

2 Houses

When her “other half” (Eric) returns home in six weeks, he’ll begin working on the outside. Scraping, painting, landscaping….the whole kit-and-kaboodle.

Here’s Jessica’s game plan-

Week 1: Living Room

Front Door

Living Room BEFORE Living Room BEFORE 2

Week 2: Kitchen

Week 3: Den

Week 4: Master Bedroom

Week 5: Bathroom

Week 6: Office

She will purchase everything for the house from yard sales, Salvation Army’s, flea markets and Ikea. So the whole place will be decorated on an extremely low budget. She’s buying a 5 gallon bucket of primer and a 5 gallon bucket of paint (on sale this week at Home Depot), which she’ll use to paint every room the same color, to save money and create the illusion of more space.

Stay tuned for updated photos each week, which will showcase Jessica’s progress. It’s going to be quite the charming little transformation!

I think this cottage needs a name….any ideas? :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Porter Family Kitchen Island Re-do

Meet Lisa Porter.


Her blog is The Lisa Porter Collection. I highly recommend you stop by and visit her, if you haven’t already done so. It’s one of the prettiest places on the web! She has impeccable taste, and is one amazing and inspiring lady!

I just had to show you what she and her husband did to their standard, builder-style kitchen island.


First things first, Lisa painted the island white, and changed out the hardware…


Then, while her husband was out of town, she removed the panels from the sides, and the drywall from the back of it. Next, she removed the formica countertop.


Initially, they were thinking about doing a huge butcher block top, but soon found out it would cost more than they wanted to spend.
They really wanted a wood top with character, and they knew they would never use it to cut on. So they re-configured some old wooden panels, from a folding screen, to use as the top.

Toshiba Digital Camera

They added beadboard paneling to back, and sides, and chunky base molding around bottom.


There used to be an electrical outlet on the outside of the island, and instead of removing it, they turned it the other way (so that it faced the inside) for the "hidden" microwave.

Total cost: $50.

New look : PRICELESS!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Maple Street Marvel


About two miles from our Lettered Cottage, sits a bona-fide Southern Charmer…


It’s listed for sale for $199,900.

Dreamers to the cores of our beings, Kevin and I love to visit places like these to draw inspiration from their charming architectural details and symphonies of colorful landscaping. Imprinting images like these into your subconscious mind can help you to create a similar look and feel into the place you call home.

The Maple Street home is located in the Daniel Pratt Historic District of Prattville, and it was constructed circa 1898.


Front Walk

The front porch has restored columns and banisters…

Front Porch

Front Porch_2 Railing

Here’s a close up of the tiny, delightful pale blue-gray and white tile that covers the front porch floor…


Inside the front door, is a large Living Room with a bay window and a fireplace…



The formal Dining Room has large windows, and a fireplace…



The home also features a Butler's Pantry, complete with a built-in hutch, located between the Dining Room and Kitchen. The Pantry also has an exit that leads to the oh-so-inviting screened-in porch...

Screened Porch

(please excuse this “pieced together” photo of the porch…we’re buying a wide-angle lens soon!)


The ceilings throughout the house have been restored, and it's also been completely rewired.

You’ll find wide crown moulding and original moulding on all the doors, and around the hand-blown glass window panes.

Another bonus is the fact that the home has tons of closets & storage, unusual considering its age.

Unfortunately most of the house has been carpeted, BUT, the good news is- underneath all that carpet are the original hardwood floors!

The kitchen is extra-large, and even though the cabinets and stove are old, I think they’re so charming…



My eye goes right for the light & shadows, cast on the middle of the floor, thanks to the windows over the sink. So dreamy! Just like something out of a movie or a magazine…sigh…

There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms in the house, and it also has a huge laundry room, which is always a good thing.

Outside, I love the yellow Lady Banksia rose (more commonly known as "Lady Banks") tickling the white-painted picket fence…

Picket Fence

The charcoal gray urns, by the front and back porch, look so fresh filled with “Spectabilis” Sedum…


Several trees on the property are wrapped in Resurrection Fern. I love the texture on texture…



On the ground, beneath this tree, we found these refreshing white blossoms…

White Flowers

Check out the Snowball "Viburnum" bush by the garage. It was in full bloom the day we stopped by…



As you can see, the backyard is like something out of a fairytale too.

While strolling around the yard, I found beauty in the form of a wooden, moss-covered swing…


So much here to be inspired by, so much sunshine to the square inch!

I like to see a home like this, a home connected with people's thoughts and work, things they love.

- Dewitt Bodeen (1908-1988)