Spring Tulips & a Bonus Cat!

imageimageMy floral resolution has continued even though I haven’t posted pictures in a while. I’ve enjoyed having spring flowers in season lately- how wonderful to enjoy tulips and daffodils inside!

Making his blog debut in the 2nd picture is Hansel. My husband and I found Hansel and his sister, Gretel, exactly a year ago at a park/boat launch we’d stopped by to check out water conditions. The water was high and the dock hadn’t been put back in yet, too early in the season.  As we were driving to the exit, my husband spotted two kittens sunning themselves near the outhouses. They were underweight and appeared to have been dumped there.

He slowed the car; I lowered my window and called softly to them. To my utter shock, they looked right at me and then started walking towards the car! I had rather assumed they would be feral and would immediately run away hissing. Since they didn’t, I tumbled out of the car while my husband groaned. The kittens came right to me, we cuddled, my husband said “No! What are you doing?”—and then a hawk flew low overhead and the kittens huddled closer to me, never taking their eyes off the hawk (for real! It was like something out of a fairytale. Couldn’t help but wonder if a larger litter had initially been dumped and they were the last survivors?) and BOOM, decision made: we had 2 new kittens! My husband is a sweet, kind, and patient man who quickly came to love our new kittens. Gretel sleeps right by his head every night.

I’m glad we all took a chance on each other. Hansel & Gretel are sweet, charming, silly, bold, playful, friendly and just plain delightful — plus they get along great with all of our dogs. WIN!!!

Real Estate Daydreaming: Old Church Edition

https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/oh/pataskala/218-s-vine-street/pid_10669071/    image

Repurposed buildings tick a lot of real estate envy boxes for me, so when I saw the listing for this church, I kind of lost my mind. And by ‘kind of lost my mind’, I mean that the very next day I made my husband drive 20 miles with me out to the little town that houses this beauty so I could gawk at it from the outside, in person, like a creep, and then proceed to plead, wheedle, cajole, beg, bargain, and otherwise attempt to convince him that it wouldn’t be completely ridiculous to list our current lovely home that is in no way ready to go on the market and MOVE HERE IMMEDIATELY. Because:image

Just look at the soaring volume of the main living space in the former sanctuary! Look at the windows! The light! The wood floors! Think of the possibilities! Think of the parties (both roller skating and not) that could be hosted here!

Another view, looking towards the former choir loft:

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How great are those lights? Those tall arched windows? And, oh, that board and batten wainscoting? Plus, how fun would it be to put your own personal stamp on this place?  I’d probably take it in a slightly different direction, decorating-wise, maybe do more of a industrial/vintage science lab/Victorian cabinet of curiousities thing, but, dang, that’s just a matter of  personal style. The bones here are so good. And that former choir loft?

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It’s now the kitchen, and I’m furiously in love with that vintage stove. I don’t think I’d change a thing about the kitchen. Except add a jukebox. So good.

What else? The yard had a great start, was a good size, and the side yard in particular could easily be a gem of a pocket garden. The bathroom has wonderful  exposed brick walls. And honestly, I was a bit bummed when we drove out there by how much I loved the exterior of this place. I was sort of hoping we’d drive by, it would be a dog in person (it happened with an old brick schoolhouse I found a few years ago), and I could let it go. But no, it was awesome and just had a great vibe. My husband is trying to talk me off the ledge, but even he admits that it is actually pretty magnificent and very tempting. Adding extra sting? The price isn’t outrageous.

It also looks like it maybe desperately needs attention to the roof, it would make our commutes a bit nutty, there isn’t any kind of garage or outbuilding for storage, it is probably a total bear to heat in the winter, and doesn’t have any of the amenities we said it would take to get us out of our current home —like a fireplace, land, or close proximity to a lake.

And…as an investment, it’s a tricky space. There appears to be only one, maybe two, smaller separate room/s other than the bathroom. That could be a deal-breaker for anyone with kids. That’d be a lot of together time! So if one were to buy it, you’d have to know going in that resale might take rather longer than with a more traditional space. The pool of potential buyers will just be smaller. (But probably passionate!) Also? This church has historic register status, which I believe throws up all sorts of roadblocks/added expense when it comes to remodeling/doing any kind of addition. And there’s this:

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If you look closely at the first interior picture, you can see that the chancel area (where the altar would have been) has been separated from the nave portion of the sanctuary by some black curtains. The chancel is being used as a bedroom, with the altarpiece serving as a kind of headboard. To me, that’s great, it makes perfect sense, and I would probably hire an artist friend who does a lot of work restoring church frescoes/art around the Midwest to restore that painting (check out some of his work at http://www.muralworks.net/). But when I originally found the listing and excitedly showed it to another friend, the idea of living in a former church in general and of living with THIS painting/bedroom setup in particular really skeeved her out, big time. So I get that investing in a space like this is risky. It’s not for everyone.

But…it has a bell tower! It was built in 1870! The light! The volume! It is gorgeous and unique and weird and deeply impractical but also completely perfect. This case of real estate lust is going to be hard to shake. Maybe the current owner would be willing to swap houses????

What about you, could you live in a former church? Here’s the complete listing again in case you, too, are smitten: https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/oh/pataskala/218-s-vine-street/pid_10669071/

Happy dreams….and if you end up getting it, maybe let me come for a tour? 😊

(Other than the first picture, all images come from the listing.)

 

 

TBT: 1985 Dorm Decor

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Straight out of Seventeen magazine, August 1985

 

Are you a fan of ’80’s style? I’ve been noticing a fair amount of references to the 1980’s across the design spectrum over the past few years. What with nostalgia, the cyclical nature of trends, and The Goldbergs, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more!

For some Throwback Thursday fun, check out these images I scanned from the August, 1985 issue of Seventeen magazine. Although I was much closer to 7 than 17 when it came out, this spread probably still informs my interior design sensibilities in some way. Take a closer look:

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Okay, so some of the copy hasn’t aged well, I’ll grant you that (‘rowdy raspberry’ sheets, anyone?). But there’s a lot here that still looks cute to me: the pixelated Marimekko bedding, the dress as decoration, the pops of bright jewel tones against the white walls, the use of natural wicker baskets and plants to ground things —all work for me, plus I love that they actually shot this in a real, honest-to-goodness dorm room. They even included a floor plan:

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How practical! Also practical?

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This shot of the dorm-issued desk, dresser, and armoire arranged to make a study nook. Is it the most photogenic feature to have shown? Not even the potted geraniums or the hilariously self-referential Barnard College poster (look closely at all of the pics and see how many other ‘casual’ references to Barnard and Seventeen you can find) can keep this from looking like exactly what it is: sturdy, mass-produced furniture that is long on function and short on design. But it feels genuine to what living in a dorm was like, and I kind of love that Seventeen included something so grounded in reality.

One last look: (I am also a bit drawn to the roller blind- is it good, or is it just basking in the reflected glow of the daisies?) 

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Tricolor Bouquet

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For this week’s bouquet, my husband picked up 3 bunches of Alstroemeria flowers for me. Also known as Peruvian Lillies, these inexpensive, long-lasting blooms are easy to find and come in a variety of colors. I love their easy-going charm. At first I considered distributing them, a stem or two each, into a bunch of different bottles, but then I got taken with the idea of massing them together in an ombré fashion. The size of the gesture appealed to me. The bouquet turned out looking more like stripes than ombré, but I still dig it.

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The vase was a vintage freebie from my in-laws when they were weeding their basement. The groovy harvest gold takes me way back- and works well with the colors in our living room!

Real Estate Daydreaming: Powerball Edition

Last Wednesday, I’ll admit, my husband and I joined the legions of people who bought tickets for the billion dollar powerball drawing and indulged in some hardcore daydreaming. Mostly, we were thinking about how instantly having that kind of money would allow us to move the needle on preserving/protecting/restoring the Great Lakes watershed and other charitable ventures. But we also found time for some real estate daydreaming. It was great fun falling down the rabbit hole that is http://www.lakehouse.com. We narrowed it down to 2 favorites.

First up? Look at this lovely slice of Lake Michigan coastal living: (the following pictures are from the listings and are not my own)

http://www.lakehouse.com/page-422599.html

Located on 19 acres, this mid-century gem caught our eyes. The listing touts the investment/development potential, saying one could parcel the property out for 4 additional houses. Forget that! I’d want to leave the property/land/coast as untouched as possible. It’s along both the coast of Lake Michigan and a river that feeds into the lake. Look at these views:

Yes, please!

Door number 2? A total wild card pick in Wyoming:

http://www.lakehouse.com/page-427123.html

This 55 acre spread backs up to a river and is bordered on 2 sides by the Shoshone National Forest. Heart stopping.

Right??? That’s a lot of “wow”.

Fun stuff. Where would you live if money was no object?

 

 

 

The Sweetness of No Reason

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Friday was a challenging one at work. Without even knowing about it, my husband surprised me with a dozen roses when he arrived home from his job. Day? Instantly better.

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I popped these into a mid-century pitcher I’ve had for a few years. (It’s the ‘Heavenly Days’ pattern, produced in the 1950’s by Vernon’s or Vernon Kilns, out of California. A lucky thrift store score!)

Whose day might some flowers make in your life? Because, while they’re a lovely gesture on an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to top the sweetness of receiving flowers for no reason. 😊

 

 

Floral Puff

imageI picked up a bunch of pink carnations for a new bouquet. Some of the green bits from my earlier bouquets still looked good, so I incorporated them into this arrangement. Inspired by the poufiness of the green stuff and the round shape of the Fiesta vase, I decided to gather the carnations up into a tight, rounded bunch. Love how it turned out!

While I’m just playing around with flowers and they’re inexpensive ones from the grocery store, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Change the water and trim the stems frequently (every day or every-other-day) to extend the longevity of the bouquet.
  2. Concerning water temperature, I generally shoot for cold to room temp, but using warmer water can help coax buds to open a little faster (works especially well with roses).
  3. No floral foam or frogs? Rubber bands, twist ties, or string are an easy way to help bouquets hold the shape you want. (Fishing line can be great when using transparent containers.)