A healthy pumpkin or gourd can last MONTHS! I love decorating with pumpkins every Fall. They look great from October 1st through November 26th. I just rearrange them after packing up the Halloween decorations. After Thanksgiving what doesn’t get turned into pies and breads can be composted or fed to goats and piggys. Biodegradable eco-friendly decor!
This year I’m being really lazy (well lazy for me, the unapologetic maximalist). I rearranged the pumpkins and added my old artificial magnolia leaf garlands and wreath as well as pheasant feathers, which I’ve been reusing for about a decade. On the table I added a few of the feathers and my fall ceramics. The only cost was the fresh flowers.
I had fun with the front door. The Fall mums in my pots were looking pretty sad (see below) so instead of tossing them out I used them as a base for cut amaranth, Mohave pyrocanthis, olive branches, and a few other things growing in my yard. I grew lots of amaranth this year as it is easy to grow here in the desert and I love the way it looks, especially when planted with sunflowers (and the birds love it!). It also dries very well, as do the other things I put in the pots. When “shopping” your yard for greenery, WEAR GLOVES and long sleeves! The Mohave pyrocanthis has sharp thorns, and something I cut (not sure what) gave me a thankfully short-lived rash. Next time, long sleeves! I’m pleased with the way the pots turned out, and it cost nothing!
Hope you all have a delightful Fall Season! Thanks for looking 🙂
The new house is coming along nicely. While I think it will always be a work in progress, spaces are starting to come together enough to start showing full before and after tasty goodness 😄. Today it’s the Catwalk! Yes this crazy house has a freaking catwalk, yet another one of the strange delights this house has to offer. The catwalk was a fun space to design. I wanted to make it as functional as possible for our needs (as cheaply as possible) and think I succeeded. I wanted to have lots of seating, extra sleeping spaces for overnight guests, and a reading/meditation area. We are eventually hoping to have art and music events at the house and this will be a prime spot to watch performances in the great room below.
As you can see on the Before pics, the catwalk was largely unusable, full of nasty old carpet with no structure.
The first thing we did was rip out the nasty old carpet. The wood was in good shape so we did a simple whitewash on it to blend it into the whitewash wood on the walls. I had our awesome handyman build platforms for the black French mattresses (Pottery Barn Teen), build shelves against the east wall and paint the old bookshelves and all the new build outs Sherwin Williams Tricorn black. The desk was moved to my art studio and painted white. I saved a ton sewing all my own pillows. I’m not much of a seamstress but they are certainly good enough. I scored the beautiful designer tiger fabric as a remnant on fabricguru.com, the velvet pink on fabric.com. Most of the art and chotchkies we had, a couple pieces (including the tribal black pieces behind the seating area) we found at the local swap meet.
The area is much more useable now, and I love the way it came out. We go up there to just hang out and watch the sunset out the west windows. We had a couple guests sleep up there recently and got a big thumbs up :-).
Much more to come! Follow this blog and don’t miss a thing.
Step by step things are progressing at our new Yucca Valley home. While no one room is completely finished, I’d say we are 83% of the way there indoors, 40% outdoors. Below is a little Before & After Sneak Peak of 4 of the rooms In Progress…(see the first 3 Sneak Peaks HERE) Full room reveals coming soon! SUBSCRIBE to see it all.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE…The vaulted ceilings in this room are about 24′ tall at the apex, with 20′ walls on the low sides, which were visually cut in half by the old red paint and (hello 1980’s!) wallpaper border. The borders were removed and the space was painted in Sherwin William’s Ultra White. It instantly opened the space up and now shows off all the beautiful wood beams (which you’ll see in a future post) and makes the ceilings soar high just as they should.
LIVING ROOM AFTER (IN PROGRESS)
I’m going for an artsy rock n’ roll sort of vibe in here with a Timothy Oulton influence. Eventually the art on the gallery wall will reach all the way to the ceiling. The sofa is new (thanks to a Wayfair “open box” deal) as is the magenta chair (also Wayfair). Everything else we brought with us from the old house. Except Gozer the Gozarian, whom we adopted about 3 months ago. This sweet little frug (part Frenchie, part pug) has claimed the chair for his throne, and we don’t blame him one bit. (Art: The “Black Heart” painting and the little drawing in the red frame are by Sandi Calistro, the Lucian Freud study painting I did in college, the “Satire Lounge” piece is by Kym Bloom, the red Yumiko Kayukowa print came out of a book, and the rest of the art are thrift store finds.
I know it’s hard to see it in the before pic, as there was a huge stair unit there that we had removed and replaced it with a simple loft ladder (there is a sleeping loft over the entry which you’ll see on a future post). The only real changes here was the removal of the odd stair unit and painting the main wall white.
The red acrylic box was an alley find we brought with us, and the beautiful raku pot I found at Collector’s Corner in Palm Desert for $20. The jack rabbit coat hooks are from Etsy. (And Jiva’s ratty old hat adds the perfect desert touch 🙂
This crazy house is made for entertaining (which we hope to be doing a lot of post-covid) and has a very large great room in addition to the living room. We hope to host art events and small concerts in here eventually. Before, the green color was well, rather awful, and like in the living room cut the tall walls visually in half. We had the green painted over in the white, all the doors and windows black (Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black), and ripped out and replaced the ratty old carpet (Home Depot). (I apologize for the crappy before image, it’s all I have).
THE GREAT ROOM AFTER (IN PROGRESS)
Being that we want to host events in this room, I wanted a lot of open, low seating. I opted for sectional seating so it can be moved around easily. I looked for months for good-looking sectional seating and finally settled on Pottery Barn Teen Cushy Lounge Sectional Set as an affordable option. In a perfect world I’d have the Roche Bobois Mah Jong sectionals, but until someone hands me an extra $30,000 this is a great option at a tenth the price. The vase pair was a local thrift store score ($10 for the pair), all the leopard print pillows are from Etsy. Art: The “Space Whale” photo print I had printed on metal by Costco (it came out great!) with permission from the photographer. (We were married in front of the Space Whale at Burning Man in 2016 so it is a very special piece to us). Everything else we brought with us from the old house. Carousel painting is by Lonnie Hanzon, cat paintings are by me, crow and skull piece by MadTatters.com, and the resin pieces installation by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy. The other piece is a Goodwill find (I do not know the artist’s name).
All we did in here was paint out the dark oppressive walls and ceiling white, which opened up the space beautifully, and replace the faucets on the sink and tub (which needed to be replaced due to leaking) and added new cabinet knobs. We left the beautiful old vertical wood posts untouched. It has a wonderful spa-like feel now. The light coming through the glass block during the day is marvelous. I did add lots of plants, some brought with us, some new.
The MASTER BATH AFTER (IN PROGRESS)
There is so much more to come! Please subscribe to see it all.
As promised, here is the living room in all it’s Maximalist glory, finally (mostly) complete since buying the house in October 2017. I completed all the painting and wallpaper in a busy two-day whirlwind of back-aching labor, and it was worth it! So happy to have this part finished. There will be a couple small odds and ends to come (like a proper curtain and rod and the main window) but it is for all intents and purposes Fini!
This is what the living looked like when we moved in, sans the previous owner’s furniture.
I’ve finally been getting some of the big projects checked off the to-do list since moving to our new home last October. Without further ado, here is the kitchen and dining room redo!
These rooms didn’t need much so I focused on updating and freshening things up. I changed the cabinet hardware (new pulls and knobs, all for about $50 on Amazon), painted the walls and trim in lovely shades of grey (about $75 for paint and supplies) and finally added a high-end wallpaper as an accent (this is where the big money went, about $130 for a roll of this Cole & Sons paper. I love this as a fun alternative to a tile backsplash, and it’s a whole lot cheaper. (I did install clear plastic sheets over the wallpaper above the sink to protect it, $25 on amazon). This was my first time installing wallpaper and it’s far from perfect, but I did a decent job 🙂
In the dining room I changed out the ceiling light for a black chandelier. Can you believe it’s plastic? You’d never know, and it was just over $100 on Houzz.com. I also added new curtains and rods, both found on Amazon. Most everything else we already owned.
I will be changing out the ceiling fan and outlet covers soon to finish it off, and we will be replacing the dining room rug with a larger one. Someday I’d love to redo the tile…
I love these big decorative vases from Z Gallerie. I found them at my favorite Goodwill this week, and they look great in the living room. They are in new condition, and still have the original price tags on the bottom ($49.99 each). I snapped them up for $14.99 each. Yay!
I adore Fornasetti. I’d love to paper a wall with Fornasetti wallpaper, but since $300+ a roll is a bit out of my price range (and it seems to be discontinued at that) I wanted to create my own look with the Fornasetti “Julia” images. I’ve been looking for the right project to use the imagery on for awhile now, and came up with this fun design that I decoupaged onto my bedroom ceiling around the medallion. It was easy and cost almost nothing.
This weekend I unified the art on the “Art Wall” by simply painting the frames. A hodge-podge of thrift store frames is made to look a bit more professional by painting them all the same color. In this case I chose black, as there were already a few black frames on the wall. And I like black. Yes, you will notice a couple new frames and a new screen print. I snagged these at a garage sale this morning (screen print $5, frames $2 each).
First, I removed everything from the frames and cleaned the dust off. Then it was off to the back yard on a rare Spring-like day in February to do a little spray painting. I used 2X Cover in Black Gloss by Rustolium. I love this paint. Two coats, no priming, worked great.