We’ve been sloooowwwwlllllyyyyy plodding toward a final design and getting cost estimates from contractors for our little fixer-upper.  After we had to go back to the drawing board (when we found out the measurements we were working from were off by 3 feet – a lot for a 1200 sq. ft. house!), we’re happy with two possible floor plans.

But before I jump into that, I thought I’d share the very first signs of progress: the roof.

The roof is one of those “100-Year Roofs” with asbestos tile – I love how it looks, but it’s pretty tough to fix.  We think it was put on in the 1950s (after a tornado ripped through downtown Vicksburg and knocked off our chimneys!).

the pretty, old school roof

There were a few pretty big leaks that we got fixed because, luckily, they were on the edge of the roof and therefore easy to fix.  Although not an aesthetic fix, it was necessary!  We were not interested in replacing it, both for aesthetics and cost.

The front gable needed some attention since it was missing a lot of shingles, and water was starting to find its way inside.

our "100-year" roof - in need of a little love

We had the same roofers who fixed the shingles remove the remainder of the shingles and replace it with copper.  We were out of town the week they installed it, and expected to come home to something like this…

what we expected

But instead came home to this…


I mean, seriously?!  (1) the copper is just folded over – not finished, (2) it’s not even flush with the trim, (3) the bolts are not finish bolts and were really sloppily done, and (4) it’s not at all what I expected.

It’s totally my fault because I was supposed to send example pics and didn’t communicate it well to Husband to communicate to the roofer.  100% me fail.

So, needless to say, the roofer got a picture and they came back and fixed it to this…

MUCH better

from another angle

Very good first renovation lesson learned:

  • pictures are worth a thousand words (and hand motions!)

Although it’s a very small step forward, and we have a LONG way to go, it feels good to have at least one thing checked off the list and look pretty good!

now for some sanding, bondo, and paint!

Do you have any contractor lessons learned to share???


After rummaging through the Brooklyn Flea while up visiting Sister, she went off to get ready for a performance (she’s an actress!), and I walked up and down the streets of SoHo, stopping in stores here and there, and doing my best to avoid the mobs on Broadway (though I did have to make a stop in Sephora!).

I walked past one storefront and saw it: the Kartell Ghost Chair.

i should very much like this!

[Husband: if you are reading this, your wife would be one happy girl to have this chair arrive as a just-because gift or a late Valentine’s gift or even a future birthday gift!  Just sayin’.  🙂 ]

So of course I went in!  Kartell is a company that produces furniture and other “habitat” pieces totally out of plastic in a range of colors.

it was like a rainbow of plastic

Honestly, I am not a big fan of most of the furniture and housewares – it’s a bit to modern for my taste – but that ghost chair is styled with a traditional round back shape that it makes it feel less modern.  Traditional with a twist, maybe?

kartell's clear plastic chairs

They had several floor models out, so I was sure to test them out.  For being made of plastic, the ghost chair was remarkably comfortable and sturdy feeling!  Most of the other models? – not so much.

A few items were for sale in back.  Barbie chair anyone?  Ha!  Among the discounted pieces was this lucite bar stool.  Do your recognize it???

can't get that stool out of my mind!

YES, the very same stool in the apartment of my dreams, featured in January’s Renovation Style and seen all over bloggieworld (and I think I read and re-read the article probably 15 times I loved her apartment so much!):

anna kohler's kitchen, as shown in renovation style

[I would accept 2 or 3 of those stools as a gift for our kitchen as well.  🙂 ]

They also had some cute mini versions of ghost chair, but in opaque black, for a lucky little girl’s fabulous tea table.

how cute are these?!

The other side of the store showcased their array of colors on the various chair styles:

talk about color!

So what’s your take? Would you buy a plastic chair like this for your home?  Or is it a little too modern for you?

…is definitely my treasure!!!

This morning I was out the door early dropping Husband off at the airport.  We had to take a detour through town, and what did I spy in front of a restored antebellum home sticking out from a box of trash waiting to be sent to a far off landfill?!…

an antique chandelier!

In a spurt of pre-7AM energy (I am so not a morning person), I yelled to Husband, “Do a U-turn!!!  Did you see that chandelier?!?!”  He looked at me like I was crazy but obliged, and into the car went this pretty thing.

in love

I realize it’s hard to see a lot of the details on the chandy with all the living room business going on in the background, but this thing is just beautiful…despite the dirt and the missing prisms and the wonky tapers.

it's in need of a good cleaning and probably re-wiring

I’ve seen chandeliers like this for sale in several antique stores around town for $300-400.  The prices are probably insanely inflated, but still!  This is not a toss-able lighting fixture!  I’m glad I’ll be giving it a new home where it will be well loved and appreciated.  🙂

can you say perfect?

I’m thinking this pretty may find its home above the kitchen table when the house gets renovated.  It will be the perfect bit of vintage for the room.

i'll need to find some new prisms too!

I guess I need to add “learn how to re-wire antique chandeliers” to my to-do list, huh? And then clean it up, track down some extra prisms, and find some matching/coordinating chain loops so it will be long enough hanging from our 12-foot ceilings!

How about you?  What fabulous things have you found along the road?!

As I was reading Camila’s post on her visit to the Brooklyn Flea last weekend, I realized I never posted about mine!  I was up in NYC visiting my sister on the weekend the Flea opened for the spring.  It was my first time to go, and it did not disappoint!

gorgeous day for a flea market!

There are lots of pics to show – but long story short, I didn’t buy anything but was inspired by a lot.  And I ate a reallllly good pizza that had ricotta from Salvatore Bklyn, recently on Martha and cousin of Linds at everythingLEB.  It was fan-freaking-tastic.

me thoroughly enjoying my ricotta margherita pizza! YUM

Now for the pics!

I saw lots and lots of “industrial” pieces – all the rage in blogland right now…

i'd put the pouf in our living room as extra seating...

wish i would have picked up those wire baskets for a bookshelf

i'd trade out my desk for this cool industrial desk

these old stampers would make a cool bookshelf collection!

old suitcase to make a side table out of

vintage apothecary and mason jars to arrange on a sunny windowsill

There were a lot of cute mirrors and pieces of furniture I wish I could have snatched up…

federal mirror i'd eddie ross (paint a fun color)

looooooved this - why oh why didn't i buy it?!

vintage barrel chair in a roberta roller rabbit fabric (pricey!)

i desperately wanted this coffee table for my living room! - love the shape, details, and the little clawfeet

more very cool reupholstered furniture - yes please i'll take that orange ottoman

upholstery options (and some gorge kilim pillows)

and WHY didn't i buy these sconces to hang above my mantle?!?! (oh right, they needed re-wiring and had a $150 pricetag)

fun turquoise painted chairs!

this little armoire was very Little Green Notebook - such a statement piece!

looooooved this high-backed settee - perfect for a breakfast nook

secretaries are perfect desks for small spaces - pretty AND functional - and i loved the burled wood face on this pretty

this was marble topped and its legs needed a coat of paint, but i loved the shape

grain and coffee bean sacks for pillow making!

sister's boyfriend picked up one of these wooden bins to make a liquor tray

It was a perfect weekend to see the Flea – next time I will not leave empty handed!!!

I just shared the pair of gray and white ticking stripe slipcovered swivel chairs that arrived at my parents’ bay house.  And guess what arrived today?!  My mom just sent me a picture text of the finished sofa and slipcover, freshly delivered by the upholsterer!

the new slipcover

Doesn’t it look fabulous?!  The seamstress did an excellent job creating a form-fitting slipcover – the piping is perfect and the skirt matches the swivel chairs so well.

Want a reminder of what’s underneath?

what's under that new slipcover

It’s definitely an improvement – the navy floral was fine for their old living room in the Midwest, but wasn’t cutting it for a waterfront home!

I’m using my imagination to see how the sofa looks with the new chairs:

gray sofa + gray/white swivel chairs - now we need color!

I can’t wait to help her start pulling the rest of it together.  Next is a rug (I’m voting for one of Dash & Albert‘s great indoor/outdoor rugs), and of course pillows.  And a great chandelier to hang over the dining table (I’m thinking a red pagoda lantern, hmmmm).

Remember last summer when I helped my mom come up with some fabric options for the bay house?  Well, she’s made some headway!  Look what just arrived!

swivel chairs!

She got a pair of swivel chairs made by Lee Industries at a big sale event at the fabulous store Sister’s Unique in Newport News, VA (post on them to come soon!).


They’re slipcovered in a fabulous graphite gray and white ticking stripe.

a perfect pair

These will be perfect with the sofa, which is getting slipcovered in a nubby gray linen.

super comfy

We can’t wait to put it all together!  Once the sofa gets finished, then it’s time to get the pillows made, find a new rug, and get a new coffee table.

I’m up in Virginia visiting with some friends this week, and we decided to hit up the mall last night.  She was looking for another lampshade and to order a jute rug for her living room from Pottery Barn, and I was just a tag along.

Then I saw this not-so-little beauty sitting with a sign reading “Discontinued Clearance” with a big fat discounted price tag and I knew I HAD to have it.

totally in love

Mmmm tarnished brass.  I love it SO much.  I know Husband likes architectural lamps, so it wouldn’t be a tough sell.  So I texted him a pic and this was our text convo:

ME:   Don’t you LOVE?!?!

HIM:  Pretty cool!  Ok, if you want it.  What’s it for?

ME:  Ummm a table 🙂

HIM:  What table?!

ME:  Ummm a table TBD!

I am so convincing, aren’t I? I don’t exactly have a specific place for it yet but I know it won’t be hard.  I couldn’t let this one get away.

Not only do I love the shape, but I love the SIZE.  It’s BIG.  Like table lamp size, not just a task light.  Here’s some perspective:

it's 2 ft high (extends to 3 ft)

Not only is it purty, but it’s super functional too:

places to plug in my iPhone and laptop!

Husband said that part reminded him of a hotel lamp, but I think it’s genius!  Perfect for keeping my cords tidy on my desk.

I looked it up online and it’s the Architect’s Smart Technology Table Lamp, but doesn’t come in brass any more it looks like.

It’s being shipped down to M’ssippi so I don’t even have to worry about lugging it around on my flight home.  I can’t wait to put it in our house!  🙂