Category Archives: interiors

the waldo family painters

march wrapped up with a trip up to vermont
to help my sister + co. paint their new house before move-in.
i can’t say enough about all the help my parents gave us when we moved last year
so this time, we took our show on the road…
here we are, the waldo family paint crew:
actually, my mom is a CAH-RAZ-Y cleaner, so she was on scrub-down-duty
(with her toxic chemicals- she brought her own because we joked that they didn’t sell bleach and pine-sol in the state of VT)
the kid’s rooms were the first priority
and we decided on neutral palette’s
so those quilts we made would pop…
Photobucket Photobucket
pictures really son’t do justice to how much BIGGER the rooms look with lighter colors on the walls.
not to mention fresh trim paint.
but, oh no…
that wasn’t all.
it kept going.
and gooooing.
until, we all got a bit wacky…
(must have been the cleaning fumes)

before+after: GUEST ROOM

(wow! these house posts have been a loong time coming!)

one of the things i really loved about our house when we first took a walk through
was the 3rd floor
two(!) rooms with full-height ceilings, good closet space
it was pretty much a blank slate.
Guest Room
(original mls listing photo)

i was anxious to get this space looking good right away-
especially as the larger room was to be the guest room
and my parents were visiting often to help with projects!
we bought paint the same day as our closing and my mom and i got to work…
Guest Room
nellie supervised.
Guest Room
although we had decent hardwood floors up there
they would have had to have been refinished
and it was cold.
i also wanted to be sure the space felt cozy and not that you were sleeping in the attic!
so we decided our major first-year expense would be to carpet the third floor and staircase.
Guest Room
remember those mid-century chairs?
my $10 score at our church fair a few years ago
i kept the green velvet upholstery and refinished the wood.
the chinoiserie lamp/table was my grama’s.

Guest Room
bureau: craigslist
funky brass+ acrylic scalloped table lamp: goodwill

Guest Room
the trunk was my “hope chest” which my dad bought at brimfield in the 80’s
lamp: homegoods
tissue box cover: design works
Guest Room Guest Room
a few more detail shots
crocheted rocks photo: etsy in ikea frame
high-low bedding mix- quilt: target, duvet: john robshaw
i still have a few more pictures to find frames for
but other than that, i love this cozy
(and a bit girly)
guest get-away!

opinions, please!


after buying a few kona solids to make a quilt back for my latest project
i came to the realization that i wanted something a little more girly.
and i knew anna maria horner’s dobby dot would be a perfect fit.
while the oranges and green in the line match the colors in these far far away fabrics perfectly,
they just aren’t the look i’m going for.
the blue and/or magenta shown here aren’t a perfect match, but i can happily live with either.
just not sure which to choose!
will you help me decide?
this quilt, which makes me think of rainbow sherbet will be living on a twin spool bed in a little pink room on the 3rd floor of our house.
it is girly and sunny.
i have a little home sewing studio set up in here.
this is also “tay’s room.”
so… magenta or blue?!

the office, part 1

one of the first things i fell in love with in our house was this room- the very sunny, narrow, “bonus” space just off the living room.
it was the perfect space and place for my husband’s office/music room. reid is a teacher and musician, so a home office is a necessity, but in all the houses we looked at, that would have required giving up a bedroom… until now!
let the transformation begin…
day 3 of homeownership found my mum and i quickly tackling painting the two 3rd floor rooms while my daddio got busy scraping away the dowdy wallpaper in reid’s soon-to-be office.
he made quick work of it, groovin’ to the tunes on his ipod (yeah, he’s cool like that now). though, 45 minutes in, he came upstairs for technical support, as he had just realized he had listened to the SAME song for all 45 minutes (it had been on repeat). HA! oh well….
my uncle joe arrived the next day for a week worth of work (of which the priority list was ever-changing…). due to my obsession with built-ins and reid’s obsession with reading, bookcases in the office where a necessity. i designed the set-up, complete with a wider shelf under the windows and over the radiator for bernie and lloyd (our cats) to snooze.
so, after a quick lesson from joe, i got busy skim-coating the freshly scraped walls (this brings them back to a smooth-as-glass finish, nearly as good as fresh sheetrock) and did a darn good job, if i do say so myself!
the next day my arms were ridiculously sore, but i had to get right to priming, as joe was ready to get building the bookcases on the far wall.
(doesn’t the room look better already!?!)
the stained, worn, turquoise wall to wall carpeting needed to go as well, and we were very pleasantly surprised but what we found beneath!
i landed on benjamin moore‘s new york state of mind on my first flip through the paint fan deck and decided it was the perfect color for reid’s den. i love the saturated blue that is nearly navy at night but has a wonderful bold glow in the sun-drenched space.
reid is still not 100% convinced, but with the addition of books and his great collection of jazz art, i think this color will be the perfect backdrop.
at least, I love it!
my daddio, removing the rest of the carpet…
dad and me, smiling, after a very loooong few days, but very pleased with our progress!
stay tuned for more details as we go…

tamra’s multi-use, kid-friendly play space

after i posted my sister’s playroom makeover, she asked if i might also be willing to lend an online hand to her dear friend tamra, who had a similar dilemma

tamra and her husband, manny, live with their two young kids in a historic home in burlington, vt. their way-cool place was lovingly restored after-hours by manny- wow (check out that original trim)!!!
while they have a “formal” living room, as a stay-at-home mom, tamra normally entertains in the playroom/tv room while the kids play. as it stands, the place is a mix of furniture brought into the marriage by both tamra and manny and it isn’t fun, functional or inviting for the family at this point.
this space sits on the ground floor, in the middle of things, so we want to keep the paint colors in keeping with the historic nature of the house (and the fact that it can be seen from the the rooms) put tamra and her daughter, anika love purple, so we’ve got to bring that in a bit too!
they are on a tight budget, therefore, we are going to work with the major pieces of furniture.
before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk a little about layout, etc…
* i think you should caddy-corner the tv cabinet in that corner. this will make the area seem a little less “square.” minimize the clutter as much as you can on top. while we all have a soft spot for kid-creations, the cardboard piece doesn’t read well up there anyway, so let’s get rid of it.
* manny is SO good a building, let’s put him to work! we can make that closet REALLY work for you; have him build in shelves in the whole thing. make sure the bottom shelf is up high enough that all push toys, strollers, etc. can be wheeled in and stored easily there. one shelf for board games and puzzles, one for art supplies, etc. save the top, most hard-to-reach places for seasonal toys.
* with the closet put to good use, some space will be freed up in the big bookcase. lets make this look as streamlined as possible, while still being useful. i would also center this piece on that wall. it would be wonderful to add a fun pop of color at the top… maybe an accent like a few of these (in white and magenta).
* with the added storage in the closet, we can get rid of the smaller bookcase under the window. it is too tall for the space and makes that wall look cluttered.
now, at long, looooong last…
tamra, here is your play-space makeover!
* i think “new age” from benjamin moore for a paint color in this room (shown as the background) is perfect. it is a nice soft gray, with a bit of purple behind it, so it will be a perfect match of what you (and anika!) love, but still completely appropriate for an open, main-floor living space.
* manny is super handy, and you are crafty- i’d love to see you two collaborate on a fun teepee for the kids. it would be such a nice focal point and the kids would have a blast with the new fort! a smaller, subtle floral print would be perfect… also a nice way to bring in some brighter purple tones! the teepee can go to the right of the couch in front of (but not against!) the radiator/window area.
* i honestly, don’t mind the couch. you have young kids; it would be a huge waste of money to replace it at this point… teenage pizza parties are right around the corner, and it will only take more and more wear and tear. let’s work with what you’ve got! give the cushions a good washing and make up some fun throw pillows. i would love to see a larger print here- you can even use something unexpected… i am OBSESSED with these great ikat napkins from the affordable home line pomegranate. you could take the table cloth or napkins and make them work here- very modern and fun!
* add a pop of color over the back of the couch will also liven it up. but, don’t compete with the pillows, a solid throw is perfect here.
* it would be great to add a piece of art that appeals to you and the kids. this wonderful print would work perfectly with your color palate and you’ll find yourself coming back time and time agin finding new fun “friends.” put this on the wall to the left of the window.
* as i said before, i think we can work with much of your larger furniture. the one thing i think should be replaced is the rug. let’s get something a little more fun in there! i love this option from FLOR. totally kid friendly, customizable for whatever size you think would work best and the purple tones are wonderful in this space. if you buy a few extra tiles, you can always switch them out if there is a major spill or permanent stain.
* you need some more seating in here… especially for when you have other moms over on play dates… but, we don’t want to limit the kid’s play space. a set of cube ottomans are a perfect solution. these often offer extra storage, so as an added bonus, they can hold dress up clothes! put these side-by-side under the window, or even in front of the tv cabinet and pull them out when you need another perch.
* a good coffee table is critical in here. a place to put down your tea, let the kids color, or put up your feet on movie night. because we are working in a square-shaped space, with a bunch of boxy furniture, i think you should go with a round shape.
* let’s lose the two small floor lamps. they don’t do anything for the space and don’t work together. you have an overhead light in here, so we do have some lighting. i think this great fun arc floor lamp will wonderful interest and a pop of modern. the base of the lame can be placed on the left side of the couch and give you reading light, or be turned to go over the coffee table.
* i want to see pictures of your kids! i am all about displaying family favorites. get them blown up! totally worth the money… go BIG (11×14+!!!) pick your favorite three or so, buy some wood frames at ikea and put together your own little gallery above the couch.
i hope you this inspires you, tamra! i hope to lend a hand next time i get up to visit my sister!
good luck and enjoy!
here is a little teepee inspiration…
source unknown

baby boy b.

my dear friend deb is expecting her second child, a boy, next month after a very stressful pregnancy. i’ve been pulling images together for her for months wanting to get this board up for her before they moved… better late than never, i suppose. at least it’s here before the baby!
at long last, my ideas for baby boy b.’s nursery…
matouk crib bumper and sheets * an elephant bank * simple, clean, fun + CHEAP hanging lamp
love this photograph * modern yet comfy rocker * wonderful use of reuse- the rug
rikshaw’s ultimate baby gift * nightlight * the bookcase he’ll be taking to college!
much love, deb. we cannot wait to meet the little guy!

renter’s reality- the BIG reveal!

way back in june, i posted some suggestions for amanda, about her living/dining/ meeting space in the house she and her husband rent.

well, the room is finally pulled together and, i have to say, a HUGE improvement.
fun and relaxed, but “grown-up” from the college dorm days.
and, definitely presentable enough to meet with clients in.
without further adieu…
dining space
from dining looking to living
living space
from entrance looking to living
well done amanda and jeff!
more details about all that they did on amanda’s blog.

making the most of a multi-use space

My sister, Meggin, asked me for some help in making over the most-used room in her house; the kid’s playroom. This room sits at the far end of, and is very open to their kitchen.  Sunny and bright through cold Vermont winters and open and breezy with a slider to the backyard for the summertime, it’s a multi-use space to say the least. The playroom also serves as a guestroom (note the daybed) and a den for movie night. However, the kids rarely watch TV, so Meggin wanted to be sure that it wasn’t the focus of the room. The kids love to create, so an art space is a necessity, as is a place for dress-up and setting up the train tracks…

Here are my initial thoughts:
  1. Your rug is looking threadbare! I think a soft indoor-outdoor rug (8) would be the best option for this space- stain resistant means super easy clean up after craft time and it will stand up to the wear and tear of heavy traffic areas and Vermont mud season.
  2. The daybed is a necessity- for cuddling up with some books and for movie nights with the hubby (not to mention it’s the guest bed!) but, it takes up a LOT of space and, with the current configuration, leaves corners as just a place to hide junk. Let’s push the day bed into the far right-hand corner. Because the slider opens from the left, we won’t be limiting access to the backyard. I would love to see a good solid curtain rod with floor-length curtains to cover the slider. These are a must have for the privacy of guests staying in that room anyway, and it will cozy things up a bit. When open, push them to the right side of the slider, covering just a bit more of the door than the bed sticks out into (this will disguise the fact that the daybed sticks out into the slider a bit). Just make sure the daybed is 4-5” from that far wall, so the curtains can fall nicely and be pulled open and closed easily. I’d love to see oatmeal colored linen with thick navy horizontal stripes… so get sewing! These curtains will add so much interest and richness to the space.
  3. The beanbag has got to go! I know it is cozy…but oh-so 80s and a total floor space hog! If you really just can’t part with it, recover it in an outdoor fabric and bring it outside in the spring and summer for the kids to dive-bomb into or for you to knit in while the kids explore. It can live happily in the garage when not in use.
  4. I am dying for some larger art in this room. For the most part, the current wall art is far too small and incohesive. You have beautiful photographs of your family thanks to Amanda at Orchard Cove… so get them up on the walls! Order some large size canvases of your favorite family/ kid pictures! 



I figured it would be easiest to describe this in “zones” as colored on my new floor layout


    • This would be a great spot for the craft area. I think a long, low table is necessary for creating. I love the stainless steel table tops that Ikea is now offering (VIKA HYTTAN 47x24in)… chic and SO easy to clean and scrub… it will NEVER stain, and looks better the more beat up it gets! Pair it with these fun, child height legs (IKEA’s VIKA OLEBY legs in the 17″ height) and you’re good to go.
    • On the desk, I would have one basic set of small storage drawers for craft supplies, each labeled (with an images, rather than words) for crayons, paintbrushes, glue sticks, scissors, etc.
    • On the same wall, above the chair rail, tack up a selection of brightly colored job jackets (1) in different sizes and horizontal/vertical configurations. This is SUCH a fun way to display your children’s creations and new work can be switched in and out with easy for ever- changing art!
    • On the narrow wall to the left I would hang a magazine-type rack (2) for paper storage- construction paper, plain white paper, etc. and keep it loaded all the time for easy access
    • I would hang a flat-screen TV high up in this corner, in perfect view from a cozy spot on the daybed, yet out of the kid’s sight


    • This is a perfect spot to some of Ikea’s larger kid friendly storage drawers (3). I think it is critical for kids to be able to clean up their own spaces early on, and nothing enables them to do this more than knowing where things go… get your camera out and take some snapshots of their most-used toys that will go in these drawers (legos in one, trucks in another, dolls, etc.) affix one clear photo on the front of each drawer so Anya and Evan can not only access their favorites easily, but put them away as well… it works like a fun matching game!
    • Your space heater can easily fit to the right of this unit
    • Above the chair rail on this wall, get a few of those beautiful family photos (4) made up on large sized canvases!
    • Lose the small mirror on the small bit of wall to the left of the sliders


    • The daybed will now be all the way to the left of this space
    • Get sewing! Above the sliders you need a sturdy wooden curtain rod with a nice, hearty curtain to cover the slider
    • Against the side of the daybed that you see when you enter the room, let’s put a DISPLAY BOOKCASE here. I LOVE the easy access these offer to favorite books, and, with them so visible, books will be one of the first things the kids see and grab for. Perfect!


    • I am tucking the dress-up clothes behind this wall, which you cannot see from the kitchen, to keep everything looking tidy.
    • One of my all-time faves, the Eames Hang-All (5), would be just perfect here… loads of hooks for all their favorite dress-up clothes and interesting to look at when bare! This could be hung on the short bit of wall on the far right.
    • I ADORE this cloud shaped mirror (6) and think it would be just perfect in the dress-up corner. Remember to hang it BELOW the chair rail so the kids can see themselves!
    • Under the windows, I would just love to see one of these fun, strap baskets (7) for dress-up accessories like fire hats and magic wands that can’t be hung up.
I can’t wait to see how you transform this space! Good Luck!
(Sorry, Al, looks like there won’t be any boating for you this weekend… This is quite a To-Do List!)