Archive | Our Houses

Tours of Jane’s and Allison’s houses

My LED Light Bulb Moment

LED light bulbs - eyeball accent lights in the tv room - Atticmag

Finding the right LED light bulb became an exercise in absurdity this week. I thought I understood new lighting tech.

Two of the ceiling lights in our TV room burned out a few days ago. And while that may sound like a domestic detail hardly worth noting, what with beheadings in the news and the ebola virus spreading, this one small event has taken on a larger significance. So I hope you will indulge me while I break today from talking about kitchen design or chair styles. I want to explore why changing a lightbulb now requires a 22-year investment, a magnifying glass to read the fine print, and an email to the electrician to be sure the house won’t burn down.… Continue Reading


Really Simple Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning tips - food network via atticmag

Room-by-room spring cleaning tips for removing dirt and germs from often overlooked surfaces.

I confess I’m a bit crazy-clean when it comes to my house. But I’m also practical because I don’t have a week to focus on pulling it apart for cleaning then putting everything back. So this year, I compiled some really simple Spring cleaning tips that won’t take long to do. This is not about home-made products or basic maintenance like deep-vacuuming furniture and draperies, dusting book cases, window blinds or light fixtures. It’s a room-by-room alcohol-based approach to getting rid of hidden dirt and germs on common surfaces.… Continue Reading


My Laundry Room Redo

felted rug pad from Rug Pad USA via Atticmag

Minor changes make major visual improvements in a redone laundry room.

A few things have changed in our main level laundry room since moving into our Alabama Stone Cottage.  It’s my “pretty” (and functional) recently redone laundry room, a well-deserved space after making do with a corner of the unfinished basement in our last house for 20+ years.  I started looking for the perfect Soumak runner for the long, narrow room a bit too late. When I finally found Mr. Perfect Rug it had been discontinued and the twelve-foot-long runners were sold out.  After a few months of sulking, I started searching again and decided on this brown and ivory hand knotted flatweave by Kalaty (Su-148 from Payless Rugs).… Continue Reading


Rebooting the Front Porch Floor

front porch redo - front porch repainted with Fine Paints of Europe Slingblade - Atticmag

I was able to finish the front porch redo on a beaten up floor before the autumn leaves fell.

The project began last Spring. That’s when I noticed that the 10-year old boards on the front and sides of the front porch had begun to rot. The culprit, I believed, was the water-based porch floor paint which didn’t properly seal the surface. Our porch faces west and takes a beating from snow blowing across it in winter and sun beating down directly during the summer. I had put off my front porch redo because the floor required sanding before it could be primed and repainted. … Continue Reading


Vintage Painted Shutters

antique walnut dining room with Kalaty soumak rug

Antique shutters brought much needed color and texture to the dining room.

Three years ago, Jane gave a tour of my Alabama Stone Cottage.  Several rooms have been tweaked since then – accessories from antiquing and traveling have been added, upholstered pieces moved and artwork shifted.  I’ve always had a thing for painted pieces, and when the paint is chipped, it’s even better.  I snapped up a pair of antique shutters painted a color similar to our French Gray island knowing they would be perfect in the dining room [before photo, below].  The shutters also bring out the green in the soumak rug.… Continue Reading


Magazine Picture Wall Progress

arranging framed pictures to hang on a wall

Two years ago I began clipping magazine pages to use on a picture wall inspired by botanical prints.

Shortly after we moved into our house, we sold most of the contemporary art I’d owned for years. My walls were happily bare. My aim was to find low-cost replacement art from the high-quality English magazines I favor — they print frame-worthy full-page photos on fine paper. I posted a few of the initial Magazine Pages for a Picture Wall and I continued collecting them. In truth, I’d prefer to have a suite of fine botanical similar to those in the original inspiration photo for my dining room [top].… Continue Reading