Lately, I have noticed a trend in decor and design making a statement. Neoclassical design, or what I like to call ancient civ class chic, is popping up everywhere. It is that well traveled look that used to be only for the homes of professors and anthropologists. BUT now anyone can get this look by either hunting through your relatives attics (always my first choice), scouring antique shops, or shopping on-line!
This look could be real antiquey looking fast so watch out for using too much. Also add in some modern pieces to break it up or a nice lacquered item with clean edges.
Does anyone do laid back Neoclassical better than Mark D. Sikes right now? He is like having a cup of tea in a museum garden. I am fascinated with him. Here are a few photos from his book to copy, reinvent, make yours!
My in-laws own a beautiful little cottage on the island of Bermuda. (Above are photos of the family home.) Luckily for me, my Mother-in-law asks my opinion on design decisions and I am happy to oblige! They just renovated the kitchen, which came out gorgeous, light, and bright. Once they did that they looked up and noticed how much they did not like the light fixture over the dining table. She has asked for my help in finding a new one that fits the space better. I made some notes on the photos below…
One pendant light above dining table.
White stone walls and shutters on inside and outside.
Gray/tan tone table and chairs in a basket weave pattern with stone color cushions
White kitchen with neutral countertop and backsplash.
Mostly stainless steel and polished chrome fixtures.
So the fun part, here are some options for my in-laws to look over and get inspired. There house is a laid back traditional style which suits them perfectly for relaxing and enjoying Bermuda.
The see-through lantern
2. The basket weave pendant
3. The white shade pendant
4. The beaded chandelier
A few wild card options…
A few photos of the beautiful island that we love. Bermuda is like going back in time to a place where people dress for dinner, have impeccable manners and always have time for an afternoon swim.
A last night of vacation tradition… getting a little tipsy with Mr. TBH at Henry’s…
Last friday my friend and I made a trip to the Brimfield Antique Show with two things in mind, one was to just wonder and explore. The other was to find the artist Mary Maguire’s tent. I have to say this mind set worked because it was a great day full of unexpected finds at Brimfield.
Above is one of the many fields at Brimfield.
I felt overall the show was a little more global this year. I saw many beautiful linens and indigo fabrics from Africa and these grain sacks below from France.
I love the detail on these chairs but also the original art of a smiling whale was so tempting.
I decided we need a golf cart for next year – is that allowed?
Food52 set up a tent across from the food pavilion. I was curious about it so we stopped in. I am not sure what to think of it. The tent was very curated with pieces you can buy on-line there and have shipped to your home. Isn’t there something to lugging your treasure home?? Or in my case having my friend lug it to the car….
Other than the characters, curious wares and side show quality to Brimfield. We all go for the hunt. To find something that makes your heat beat a little faster. Maybe because you thought it only existed in your dreams or maybe it is the unbelievable price. But this is why we go. My friend and I had that moment when we spotted these…
These are African trade beads made out of glass and strung on rope or straw. They are beautiful when you hold them up to the light and look great draped across a book or on a book shelf.
I won’t name the website because it is one of my favorites but these blue ones above were $345. Now maybe they were antique and had a special meaning but they look just like the ones we found for $25!!! And my friend got another $10-20 off (I can’t remember) because we bought a whole bunch!
The beads are temporarily displayed here with my copper figurines but soon they will travel to the Cape and live happily there!
My second mission today was to find the Mary Maguire tent. If you have ever been to Brimfield, saying it is huge is an understatement. The fields and tents all look a like. You start to feel like you know where you are going and then you are lost in a sea of antique wooden crates. At one point I almost just started yelling, “Mary, where are you?”. But we found her and she did not let us down. This artist (here), who sells uniquely framed prints of animals, portraits, nature, ships and shells, creates pieces with a whimsical quality that I love. Her pieces have been in many magazines, including House Beauitful. Here are a few examples of her work and photos of her tent display at Brimfield.
I bought the black silhouette bird prints above, scroll down to the next post and you will see how I used these pieces.
I plan on going back to the Brimfield Antique Show for more fun in May. It is always different and entertaining!
I have literally had a full vacation bag that needs to be unpacked and washed for about three weeks now… it does not even bother me, it can wait… But when I buy a new design/decor piece for my home I have to place, hang or use it immediately. What about you? I went to Brimfield on Friday and I was so exhausted from the trip after that I just wanted to shower and go to bed but I really considered hanging these Mary McGuire prints before I even took off my dust and Brimfield-odor encrusted clothes…
I decided to hang these today, I could not wait any longer. Obviously, I hung these today in reverse order. First I took down the old hangings (original windows from our house, very pretty but I need some color) then I ignored the screws still in the wall, next I carefully measured and hung the bird prints. Lastly, I made plans to putty the screw holes and touch-up the paint from the holes. BUT at least they are hung and I can enjoy while eating my ramen.
I will take a better picture when the whole thing is ready for its close up with some tweaking and styling. If you look really close you can still see the screws from the windows.
Here is what I plan on styling it up with…
Hope I am not alone in the buy now, hang now situation… Friday I will be posting a full report on Brimfield, what I saw, bought and how I used it!
When I saw this rug in the new arrivals at Anthropologie I got a little giddy. It would be perfect in my almost any room in my house. You could easily build a whole room around this piece and it is so versatile that you could use most of the furniture you already have.
Here are a few pieces that would love to work on top of this rug…
I have noticed black, white, and gray everywhere this Fall and it is calling to me. I thought gray’s moment had past but it seems to be enjoying rolling around with black and white for another few seasons. Either way, photography and wild prints work great for this moody look.
Or maybe frame your own photography cropped and blown up… This is a photo I took on my iPhone of a window on the Nobska lighthouse in Falmouth, Cape Cod.
On the Framebridge app or website you can upload photos from Instagram or your own library and choose a frame. They have a great selection and it is very easy to create. You can also send in pieces to have framed.
The summer is winding down, the beaches are becoming quiet, the nights are getting chilly. This all means Fall is coming and it is time for us to do the Fall planting around the house. This is a project I begin with trepidation. As I have mentioned before, I am a frustrated gardener. My mother was a florist for many years and definitely has a green thumb. I love looking at the landscaping of a home and the different styles. When it is my turn to pick out plantings and plant them – they usually die.
My husband and I agreed we need some help with the landscaping down here on the cape. I read once, consider landscaping on the cape like landscaping on another planet. The conditions are completely different. We asked a local landscape architect to consult and draw up plans for us. After we get the plans, we will get going on planting.
I realized that I am taking the mullet approach to landscape design. I want the front to be classic, neat and simple with dots of blue and white flowers. The back with a hedge backdrop, could be a bohemian oasis. I would love a lush look that feels cozy and private. It is the true Tomboy home feel… a mix of masculine and feminine to create a simple yet cozy outdoor feel.
Below are two inspiration photos to guide me on this project.
I love the look of silvered teak with the greens from lush hedges and hydrangeas. For the cape I have really jumped on a navy and white stripe theme but in these photos below the owner used touches of gray as a back drop to her garden and it is beautiful.
We already have some pieces in place, a table, chairs, a small sectional, umbrellas for much needed shade, and of course outdoor pillows for some pattern and color.
We will be getting the landscaping plans any day now and start the project in the next couple of weeks (I hope).
Great tip – I mentioned to the landscaper that I wanted window boxes. She said to get a drip line installed into the boxes from the get-go otherwise I will be very frustrated with dying plants. I plan to look into this and see what it entails but it sounds like a great idea.
One last thing….
So I love decor, cooking, reading magazines, etc. I feel like I am a pretty capable person (I could even garden if I really put some effort in) but when it comes to technology I am a cavewoman. I literally think the cloud is magic. I am actually spooked by some of the things computers can do. It is shocking I have a blog and Instagram. Cut to the problem, my husband and I both knew we wanted some type of music system in the cottage but it had to be more than an iPhone in a cup. This is when we turned to our good friend, Matt who is a big league tech guy. He told us about the Sonos Home Sound System, which plays music throughout the house. We can play music from Spotify (not sure what that is yet) and can choose the room it plays in. Honestly, I feel so cool it is crazy. The small, sleek and un-intrusive speakers sit high on walls in the corners of the house and even outside on the patio. My husband selected the white trim to blend in with the walls. We picked out the system early in the project so the electrician could wire accordingly. It is one of my favorite things we did in the house.
Every time I do a renovation there is always that one spot that you love and can’t wait to something great with and then comes the moment to do it and I can’t decide what to do. Well, I am in that position with a little nook in the kitchen that is just waiting for it’s moment to shine. It is a small corner with a low window right next to the sliding glass door. This spot is surrounded by light and at some point down the road will have nice flowering hydrangeas to look over. BUT I am STUCK! I can’t decide what to do. I keep mulling over different ideas, opinion polling my friends and hunting through magazines to find the perfect design plan.
Below are three photos of the area finished but waiting for a plan. I did hang a lobster print.
Idea 1: Window Bar
I found this photo in Martha Stewart magazine (september 2016). I originally went right past it but then thought maybe with a simple thicker piece of painted white wood with simple corbels to hold it up coming right out of the window. I would put two cute stools under the counter. It could also be used as a bar set-up when entertaining (something we need desperately).
The Raskog stool from IKEA would work great under the shelf.
This was my original thought right when I saw the area painted – bench seat with under seating cabinets or drawers. Two problems solved… we need more storage areas where things are tucked away and out of sight. Also, we would have a little seating area. I would love to have a seat cushion made out of the fabric options below. Only problem with this – it would have to be custom and built in. Two words that make my husband’s head implode.
This was another idea expanding on the bench idea. I would place a little side table and some stools creating a breakfast nook. I used the photo below from House Beautiful because I love, love, love the table and stools.
Idea #3: Skinny Bar Cabinet
This sideboard option (here) from Wysteria offers a solution to our storage and bar set-up problems. I would have plenty of storage for linens, platters and dishes, etc. On top we could set-up a bar/drinks area when needed. I love the Gustavian style of the cabinet because it contrasts all the clean lines we have in the kitchen right now.
So which one should I do? The cabinet I could order and have in the house for the Fall. The other two would have to wait until next season or at the earliest this Spring.
I am officially the parent all teachers hate. I am so disorganized that I lose everything, I forget to answer emails or even read emails, I forget field trip days, pajama day, crazy hair day, backwards day, teacher appreciation day. I forget that I volunteered for a craft, to bring in a cake, to fold origami, to make salsa, wear a full-on colonial garb, a kimono, a geisha girl outfit, a sombero, a farmer outfit. I forget to drive on the left when picking up, move my car in time, clap-out, clap-in, sign-in, sign-out, watch my child read a poem in front of the whole school… the list goes on and on. I am not busier than any other mom, nope, I am just really disorganized. Having children fried my brain. Here’s the best part – you know how I know I am a disappointment in the eyes of my children’s teachers? Because I was a teacher before I had the children of the corn. So this year I getting organized. And I have decided that the Raskog from IKEA is going to help me do it.
How cute and functional is this??? Now I normally hate any type of furnishing or decor that suggests that I parent but I actually can live with this one. The part that sold me is the wheels. If at any point I need to hide it I can just wheel it in the other room. It has three baskets, one for each kid, so when they hand me all those papers with deadlines and red marks all over them I can put them in the basket rather than the recyle bin. I am not going to get all cutesy with it and put their names on the side – they know which basket is theirs. Now the librarian can rest at night knowing the Kennedys have finally found a place to put the library book and I can stop writing checks at the end of the year for all the books we lose (I am already on a payment plan for the public library). This little cart is going to solve all my problems and can be used as a bar cart during school vacation week.
Good luck with your own Fall organization projects…hope your system of choice works past Halloween.
I have not been able to do one Field Trip Friday this summer due to extreme laziness and summeritis. BUT I passed this store and saw nautical artifacts and pulled a quick u-turn. I am beyond cliche because I need a bumper sticker that reads “I brake for antiques, artifacts and nautical shit”. So I forced my whole family to go into this tiny store in Sandwich, Ma, which is just over the Sagamore Bridge. The owner was a friendly guy who deals mainly in nautical artifacts and antiques. There were old sea trunks, weathervanes, porthole mirrors, ship lamps and sailor valentines (my favorite). He said he gets requests from all over the country for items for sets and shoots. If you are in the area or want to visit go here.
I really wanted to buy that wood door thing. I am not sure what I would do with it. Plus Mr. Tomboy Home was with me and he would have asked a million questions ruining the whole impulse buying experience. After you finish looking at the artifacts you can purchase a cigar from the built in humidor. I love finding interesting and unique stores. This was definitely one and them!
Welcome to one of the smallest and coziest bathrooms you will ever side- step foot in…
When we first looked at this house I really loved the little bathroom. I LOVE a tiny bathroom. BUT they definitely come with their quirks, such as tight quarters, space issues, claustrophobia, etc. I also knew when I looked at it the second time that this little bathroom really wanted a wallpaper in a nautical theme.
The bathroom was in great shape when we started renovations. My husband was happy to just paint if I wanted to and leave it at that. Little did he know I agreed with him, the bathroom didn’t need much work, I just really wanted to wallpaper it. Here are the before photos…
Here are the after photos of the finished bathroom. This bathroom and I are in deep love. So much I have told everyone it is mine and only for me – I don’t say that but I think it often. I feel like I am in an underwater dream of navy and aqua waves or surrounded by seagulls whichever you prefer.
On the shower walls is a white subway tile and white penny round tile for the floor.
The sconce had to be placed above the vanity which I know causes a bad down shadow on your face – terrible for applying makeup but it has not been that bad so far.
We kept the original sink because it was a perfect fit – no room for vanities or pedestals in this room. The floor is also original and in great shape.
In a past post I explained about the wallpaper incident with my husband. We did end up installing it and I am happy with the paper and the quality from Farrow and Ball. They were fast with shipping and the paper is very nice. It was installed very fast so we could get the inspection done. I feel bad that I made everyone on this project jump through hoops on this very high maintenance bathroom but that is what wallpaper does to you – it turns you into a reno-monster. I am not sure my husband has forgiven me yet but we are getting there.
So now that it is all done there is one thing that bothers me just a little and we did not have the time to address properly. Under the sink the pipes are exposed but not in a chic French hotel kind of but a really bad white plastic way. I think the guys working on the job tried to make the pipes blend into the wall by painting them navy blue. I love the idea and effort, but this happened…
So I saw this in the latest House Beautiful September issue and thought this might work. Such a quiet pretty bathroom and the fabric skirt looks great in this small space, plus more storage for the ugly necessaries.
I have been down on the Cape for a few days and planning to stay here with the kids for 2 weeks. All of the neighbors keep telling me how they love the Cape in August and I have to agree. It has that summer worn in feel, like an old soft beach towel with faded stripes. It has been hotter than usual. I always remember needing a sweater at night for those Cape nights but not now, when I take the kids to the beach at night we are just fine without a sweater.
When we started renovating the house I really had a vision for my bedroom. I wanted light, airy and easy. Here are a few of the befores.
Here is the after. (Please excuse my photography, this was such a hard room to photograph and I feel I did not do it justice.)
Field Trip Fridays….
We have been doing a different type of “fieldtrip” on the Cape. I can’t take them shopping (they hate that – especially consignment or antique stores) so we go on adventures to new beaches.
I am just going to jump right in on the kitchen renovation and hold my commentary for the end this time. Below is a progression of the work done on the kitchen. We loved this kitchen from the get-go.
We painted the cabinets Ben Moore Stonington Gray, added a new countertop and retiled the backsplash. We also put in hard wood floors and sanded and refinished the old hard woods to match. We really did not change the layout as it was already a great layout and this saved us in the budget.
So when we bought this cape house one of the things I liked the most was the kitchen that was tucked in the end of the house off the patio where the grill is located. It is a very efficient kitchen but not one that lends to the cooking with guests atmosphere – no kitchen parties here and I LOVE IT! Now not to say I don’t LOVE a good kitchen island in a home. They are so pretty and useful especially with kids. I am just an old fashioned girl I love that behind the curtain kind of kitchen where I can cook in peace without someone asking me why I am using paprika. Also, we have a chance to sit around the patio table located right out the kitchen slider. It does not have to be formal… just sitting around with your family and friends and enjoying your meal and conversation. Below are a few of the pieces I picked up for the kitchen. I wanted to keep everything simple and informal – nothing too fussy.
A few of my favorite things…
This mug from Crate and Barrel is perfect for my one cup coffee addiction
A great enamelware platter from Serena and Lily to hold large amounts of grilled food
This colorful blender from KitchenAide (Crate and Barrel) will be great for Mudslides and Smoothies.
A bunch of these cute little swirly bowls from Golden Rabbit are prefect for condiments, dips, and salsa
I found a similar pair of salt and pepper shakers at the Brimfield Antique Show in May for a great price, these are on sale at One Kings Lane.
I am finally getting to know Falmouth by finding places to hunt for decor. I will definitely be doing a few Friday Fieldtrips from the cape and islands.
Is there anything else in the interior design category that gives people more stress and anxiety than window treatments. I find them so stressful at times that I have actually sold my husband on the lie that I love the way plain windows look. We have a sunroom that is hotter than Hades in the summer and I refuse to even entertain the thought of window treatments, one because they are expensive and two because it is reallllly hard!
But my husband asked me to stop dragging my ass on the windows at the Cape. His rational was security reasons. He is right… when we leave for the weekend it is a good idea to draw the curtains for added security. So I knew it was time to call my favorite window guy, Michael at Designs in blinds in Waltham. He came to the house, measured the windows, brought samples and talked to me about options. I had an idea in most of the rooms but needed some help on a large window in the front to the house. We decided on a white linen/cotton roman shade which will blend nicely in to the window when up and provide security and privacy when we pull it down. I did shutters in all the bedrooms and wood blinds in one room where bunk beds will block the window.
So now for the huge elephant in the room, the three sliding glass doors along the back of the house. For these I actually had a vision, I wanted to do a sailcloth look in white with large grommets.
My friend, Devon, gave me some help on bringing this to reality. We saw the best curtain rods at the Design Show House back in June. She tracked down the company for me and I was shocked at the low price! They shipped in a week and handed them off to Brian to hang. I also found really cool tie backs to keep the panels out of the way during the day. Brian and I hung everything one morning while the kids beat each other for sport.
The process of hanging ready made curtains involves measuring, re-measuring, and patience….
This is the only photo I have of the living room with the curtains in the background. I will take a few more and post them next weekend. I am still hanging wall art and decor which is taking a while. We are eventually going to take out the sliders and put in french doors so until then this was a great inexpensive solution. I like how they turned out so much I would probably try to keep them with the french doors too.
Quick friday update – the house is coming together on the interior. I am will be posting a look at each room throughout the rest of the summer. I have finally had a little talk with myself that it is not all going to be done this summer. It will be a work in progress. That is also what makes this house fun – I can continue to look for things and do little projects throughout this year. I have been very sad that the renovation is coming to an end. Renovations are very stressful but also very exciting as you see the changes take place in your home. I get giddy over the littlest door hinge!
Anyway, this Spring we hired an amazing landscape company to take care of our yard. After doing work on the exterior of a house typically any existing landscaping and grass areas get destroyed. When we ripped up the concrete patio and put in the new patio the whole backyard was torn up and leveled.
Jesse recommended we seed the front yard and because the backyard is so small, lay down lawn sod. I have never done this before on any of our projects. It was fascinating and amazing! In just a couple of hours, we had a full backyard.
Before the lawn sod and seeding was done the house was taking a beating with all the tracked in dirt. I was sweeping like a crazy person. I was sweeping in my sleep. I kept snapping at everyone to wipe their feet. I was making the family miserable. We now have grass growing in the front yard and should have a full lawn in a month. Next we need to start thinking about landscaping the beds around the house. I also plan on doing two white window boxes in the front once we get the shutters up.
Inspiration Photos for window boxes and shutters:
Thanks for reading along during this renovation. You can also follow along on my instagram @tomboyhome
We spent the rainy weekend at the quiet Cape. The weather was iffy compared to last weekend but I didn’t mind it, the beach was empty and the traffic was light. We also got a chance to test out our gas fire place which was so cozy. We are still working hard on the house, so many things to do… hanging wall decor and organizing has been my main priority. Brian has been busy measuring the windows for the shutters he is going to make and working on the exterior in general. ALSO, we finally got to meet the previous owner, Bunny. She was so wonderful and I loved meeting her. Talk about a gracious and class act lady. She gave me a hug and let me gush about how happy we are in the house. I know it was not easy for her to let go of her house but she made our family so very happy. Thanks Bunny!
Each room is slowly coming around with all the unpacking. I have been busy making sure the kids like their rooms and feel some sort of input, although I really haven’t given them any. (I won’t go into decorating with your kids and will save it for a future blog, just put it this way, it always ends in tears – yours not theirs.) and (If you disagree then your child must not like neon aqua and you are very lucky…) I figured I would start posting what we did to the house with the boy/guest room. It was easy because my son really didn’t care about the decor. Also, he loves nature and outdoorsy stuff and that works so well in a cape house.
This is the before photo that I feel like it was taken years ago and not just in April. We chose to paint the walls white because I am obsessed with white but let me just say the Knotty Pine look is coming back on the scene – done right it could be very cool and nautical.
After…the fishing and wildlife room meets really comfy little daybeds from IKEA. Down the road I am going to have a carpenter make the beds look like built-ins by adding some shelves on the ends or middle. Bonus – these beds pull out into fulls.
A little dresser I tucked inbetween the 2 beds for added storage.
Another shot of the bed. Eventally these windows will have shutters on them.
I framed a vintage book cover of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Which is one of my favorite books…I was amazed at how long that guy held onto that fish I would have given up after 5 minutes. The little paintings are from Elizabeth’s Home Decor and Design in Newton, MA. I have to find a little spot for them.
The Shopping List:
I did not spend a fortune furnishing this room. Below are most of items I used in the room and the sources.
I waited way too long to order window treatments. I wanted white shutters in all the bedrooms which works in this room but it takes about 5 weeks and I ordered in late June so….I messed up! We put up paper ones for privacy until the others are installed.
I was planning on bunk beds in this room so I bought a trunk to put at the bottom of the bunks for extra storage, when we had to change design plans the trunk no longer works. Lesson learned, buy all the decor after the design is done.
Anyway, this ended up being a peaceful and yet somehow still very boysy room. I kept it simple so everything has it’s place for quick pick-up and guests don’t feel like they are crashing.
Side note – The dresser from IKEA is wonderful and I would tell anyone to buy it. I feel I should address that fact that many IKEA dressers have been recalled lately due to accidents which have caused deaths. If you buy an IKEA dresser I would definitely use the safety instructions and kit or have a handy man tie it into the wall. I would recommend that with any tall furniture where little ones could be wandering around. In this case it is better to be safe than sorry.