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.
I love a good ridiculous show that makes me giggle…Odd Mom Out does the job. The star of the show, Jill Kargman is so funny that I sometimes even hear my husband laugh from the other room. If you have seen the season 1 episode with French Third Base you too would be hooked.
So like usual, as I watch any show, movie, documentary, sporting event, birth, etc. I am always eyeballing the background. I know I am not alone in this… First you often see something hysterical but also I am looking at the decor which speaks volumes about any person. (You could have the most beautiful things and be a complete slob) Anyway, as I watch OMO I always love Jill Webber’s (played by Jill Kargman) apartment. She has such an original and not to be taken seriously decor style. Someone once said every room should have a little humor in it – so on that note we should all copy a little something from Jill. Here are four steps to Odd Mom Out your home.
Step One – Wallpaper your home in something slightly goth and vampirey (she loves black, red and gray). This is such a left turn from the typical light blue-grays and whites and neutral tones.
Step Two – Find, buy or steal from your wealthy in-laws some amazing silhouettes and play them up with quirky, beautiful art work from Jennifer Ament, one of my favorite artists (here).
Above is Jill Kargman’s apartment. I love how close it resembles her OMO apartment.
Step Three – In real life and on the show Jill loves skulls. So why not add some skull and crossbones to your life. Both of these plates I found on Etsy.
Step Four – the kitchen must have a pizza sign, grenade salt and pepper shakers and a Smeg refrigerator in a bright color…
I found these shakers here but I have seen them all over the internet.
Now you have Jillified your home in four easy steps! If you watch the show you can pick up some other amazing and outlandish decor for your bedroom and kids rooms!
P.S. If you are more of a Brooke kind of girl, that will be a whole other post but here is a couple pics…
It has been a crazy couple of weeks! The kids are out of school so my schedule has changed. We spent last weekend at the cape house meeting lots of wonderful neighbors and enjoying the beautiful weather. I am working on a few posts about the renovation coming up soon. While you wait I thought I would do a fun little decor and more post on mantels, specifically beach house mantels.
I saw these great vases at Jayson Home (here) and thought they would look great on the mantel and they are very versatile too.
So just a little renovating side note…we put in a gas fireplace in our cape house. We have a wood burning fire place at home and I love it but find it is a lot of work with cleanup and ordering firewood. The gas fireplace seemed a great way to go for the ease of a vacation home. We had Mass Save come out to our house last week for an Home Energy assessment. If you are not familiar with this program you can read about it here. We have used them in the past on past renovations and they were great. We had our home insulated for a half the cost.
Anyway, after he went through the house he told us he could not touch the house because of the gas fireplace. Although they are allowed in homes in Massachuetts he could not permit any suggestions on the house due to it being “toxic” and in his words “dangerous”. We didn’t even get a lightbulb…. This may be something you might want to consider before installing a fireplace.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” is the most perfect quote for renovating.
Here is how it is going:
Bad news – the tile guy went MIA and showed up Thursday. My husband went down all day Saturday to get as much tile done as possible. It just needs to be grouted.
Good news – my husband put in the penny round tile and I love it!
Good news- the shower stall in the master bathroom is all tiled and it looks so much better than before. It is a small shower but I think it looks pretty good here.
Bad news – some type of wood eating insect showed up in the mantel also on Thursday. Needs to be replaced.
Bad news – the love of my life, a Palacek Jeffrey Alan Marks pendant light is holding up the electrician. This light is like a good looking boyfriend – high maintenance and not worth it….
Good news – it came without a ceiling light plate and hook (which some pendants come with and some do not) I had to buy this one (below) from a supplier in London. The plate itself cost under $10 but it cost $30+ for shipping. Which I have to say this company in London, Mr. Resistor, saved the day because it came very fast!!
Bad news – the wallpaper guy can’t install the wallpaper until next week (our fault not his fault) throwing off the inspection date – which throws off move in date… (Side note: My husband did not want to do the wallpaper in the first place. We can’t even talk about the wallpaper without him giving me a dirty look. He told me we might have to wait until September to do it and I went Bad Girls Club angry. It was like wallpaper was my rage word and I went temporary insane. You wouldn’t believe the things I said, like I don’t f’n care if a f’n monkey hangs that paper just get it done. So after apologizing for 48 hours straight we are finally able to talk about the incident without anger….)
Good news – the IKEA shipment showed up! Bad news boxes have overtaken the house.
Good news – the shingles are going up on the house and I love that old cape look!Good news – the exterior side and back of the house where we aren’t shingling until next year is painted a light gray.
Good/bad news – The patio is in! The fire pit looks like shit and my husband is changing it. I said it looked fine but he said in person it is “horrendous”. (Say horrendous with a Marky Mark accent and you have my husband)
We are changing it to one of these below:
Overall news – these are some of the problems going on at the Taj Mahal that we are building. Like very other renovation we have done – we are both a little stressed and looking forward to the end. You can barely even say the words cape house in our home right now. We are both just heads down, dug in deep like ticks on a dog’s ass just trying to get it done. I really don’t know how Chip and Joanna do it with a constant smile on their faces. Maybe they are secretly popping Xanax between takes….
So things are good. This is all just par for the course, especially in crunch time. We will get it done like we always do and just try not to get divorced in the process.
Two things I love to do, hunt for great home decor and look at houses, exterior and interior. I get some of my greatest inspiration from other people’s homes. So estate sales are right up my alley. Apparently, there is a whole estate sale underworld going on every thursday-sunday. I found this out when going to my first one recently. I dragged my “reluctant friend” to go check out a local estate sale. She did open the can of worms by introducing me to the Estatesales.net app which gives all the information, time, dates and photos of upcoming estate sales in your area.
Anyway, there is a whole system to these estate sales, how you get in, how many go in first, etc. Each one is run by different companies so the systems changes but everyone seems to know what to do. As soon as we got in the house, people buzzed off like bees to a hive. My friend and I just wandered around browsing like we were at a upscale boutique, nearly getting knocked over by people racing to get to the good stuff.
Some of the estate sales feel like an “adult yard sale” as my friend put it and some are full-on antique dumping grounds. It is definitely hit or miss but tons of fun! This is again another time where you either need to know your stuff (researching makers marks and brands) or you buy what you love.
I ended up with a vintage fishing rod that is working condition. It is going to my son’s room at the cape house. My friend is always on the hunt for books. Which is a great idea. She got some interesting books and I grabbed her cast-offs.
I plan to join the estate sale circuit and get really involved in the hunt. I have to get my game on, next time I will be buzzing around beelining right to the antique dog statues and knocking over old ladies in my way…
P.S. Although I mention the Estate Sales App as a great source for these estate sales, the app is in not sponsoring this post. I really use this app!
and had an overwhelming feeling of love. My friend said I should have one at the cape house for parties and I couldn’t agree more. Here are a few clam shells and what you could do with them!
This one above from Ballard Design (here) is very close to the real thing. It is deep enough for ice and drinks or keep dips cool.
This one above used to contain moss balls is from Mecox (here). Made from fiber cement is also a brilliant replica of the clam shell.
This one above from Home Decorators Collection (here) is at a great price point and can be used for entertaining not just display.
This guy above is an example of a real giant clam shell from here. Sometimes these are difficult to get your hands on due to exporting restrictions. Try consignment and antique shops.
So what to do with the clam shell…have a party! Add ice and drinks. Or add ice with little bowls of dips and chips. If you are ready to take it up a notch fill it with seafood, I would fill it with ice and pack it on top of ice. As a centerpiece, fill it with sand and nestle in candles for a patio party. So many options!! Have fun with your clam shell.
Here is a yummy and simple recipe for “Little Dill” dip…
2 cups mayo, 2 cups sour cream, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 3 tbsp grated onion, 3 tbsp chopped dill, 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt. Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge and fall in love for an hour or so.
My clam shell I ordered should be here any day. I will post photos of how I utilize it.
P.S. Eddie Ross is owning a clam shell as a crudite platter at https://youtu.be/rzLs2AaI4R0 or go here – worth the watch alone for him saying “edible landscape”…
I think one of the hardest things about sharing a part of your life is that you have to share everything about that project. I would love to wait and present everything on this blog in the best light but I can’t do that because when you are renovating there can be doubts, forks in the road and full-on road blocks. I would rather use this platform as a way to show all of it – the good, bad and ugly…
So my husband sent me a photo of our fireplace whitewashed and my first response was lukewarm. Now I didn’t want to tell him how I felt at first because I wanted to think about it for a little. I would love to see it in person but I can’t get there until Sunday (last week of school) and the painter wants to finish up this week. I showed the photo to a friend who agreed there is something off. Here it is…
So two things that can’t be changed, the black fireplace – which I love. Second, the color of the whitewash can go whiter (heavier) but not lighter. I am ok with the whitewash color actually. So here’s the problem – I think wood mantel, which is original to the house, needs to be painted white. I though the natural wood color would pop against the wood but it docent seem to do that, only look heavy. But guess who loves the look, color and history?? That’s right Mr. TomBoy Home. So when I casually mentioned that maybe we should paint the mantel white it was not received as well as expected. I get it we need to leave some original elements of the house but I just think a little white paint would make me like this fireplace better, otherwise it might drive me crazy…
These were two of my inspiration photos for this project. One with a wood mantel and one with a heavy whitewash on the brick.
I think we may need to thicken the whitewash and paint the wood mantel piece. What do you think? I know comments are a pain – feel free to comment on my instagram @tomboyhome. Thanks!!
I really needed to look at some bedside tables I had my eye on at West Elm which they had displayed on the floor. This may seem like a more ordinary field trip but I was actually really surprised at how the store was so pretty and colorful. When I walked in West Elm, I said this would be a great field trip experience.
I was greeted by two amazing pillow and accessories walls. I love a pillow wall it makes me feel like the world is full of amazing possibilities that could happen right on your couch.
Van Gogh once said, “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” I couldn’t agree more.
Shop this display:
Pink is a color that never fails to put me in a good mood. I have not quite figured out how to make pink more masculine for a little balance but I will find a way!
Shop this display:
There were all these adorable and festive little vignettes throughout the store making me think of all the soirees you could have at your home.
Shop these displays:
Here is the bedside table I was considering for the cape house. I wanted to check out the drawers and finish. I really liked it but was not able to pull the trigger quite yet. I also like the parsons side table as a bedside table but I worry about lack of storage.
Here are some other things that caught my eye…
Shop these displays:
I ended up buying a few bowls and blankets for the cape house, which I will show you when we are in the house. I did buy these cute pottery vases for my bookshelves, I think they add a little whimsy to the very classical pieces (whimsy warms up traditional in a great way).
West Elm is a fabulous on-line source that I turn to frequently for a laid back and contemporary style. It is definitely worth a trip in the store just for the displays alone – they really gave me some great ideas! They have two stores in Massachusetts and many locations across the country. Good Luck!
When we first drove down to the cape to look at the beach house with a realtor, one of the first things I noticed was the anchor on the front door. I have seen anchor door knockers before but never this weathered and beat up. It definitely had seen a few summers. I wanted to see what would happen if we gave it a good cleaning. Now I know what you are thinking – never get rid of an aged and real patina but this looked like dirt build up. When we replaced the door, I got my hands on that anchor and brought it up home for some rehab. The first thing I did was research how to clean brass, there were many suggestions, home solutions involving lemons and vinegar, scrubs and pastes, and of course heavy duty brass cleaners that would take the your finger tips off along with it. I ended up using Bar Keepers Friend to make a paste and then Brasso to see if I could get any excess off and maybe a shine. I think you could use one or the other.
The back of the door knocker where it is not as dirty with some brass peeking through.
A paste I made of 3/4 parts Bar Keepers Friend and 1/4 parts warm water.
I heavily poured most of the mixture onto the knocker.
I used my ungloved (use a glove…) hand to spread the mixture all over and into the cracks and crevices.
The mixture needs to sit for about an hour on the brass.
After I waited an hour (kinda) I began to rub off the paste with a soft damp cloth using more water as needed as the paste is dry.
What it started to look like I as I took the paste off.
The finished product which surprised me! It was not the golden brass I was expecting but more of a dull pinkish hue. After a little research I am pretty sure that it is bronze not brass.
I actually love, love the look of the anchor, it is such a beautiful color and smooth feel like I have never seen in a door knocker before. Here is my only issue, I ordered brass hardware for the front door and I wouldn’t know where to find matching door hardware to this metal even if I tried. I am definitely placing the anchor back on the door because it is a piece that belongs on the house having been there for possibly 60+ years. I guess I will just have to hope it all works together and not be too picky about the details.
If you are trying this project on a brass piece of your own I found the whole process really easy. Waiting the hour in between was not easy for me as I wanted to keep the ball rolling but it was a necessary step. Good Luck with your own project!
We are really in full on renovation mode now with the summer coming up quick. There have been many changes and updates. In about a week we will be able to sand and finish the floors…which means things can be delivered!!! Scheduling delivery dates can be very tricky, especially with many retail stores do not hold furniture and things go on backorder.
Last week I had a chance check on how the white paint looks on the knotty pine. Once I saw it I realized how ready we are to start thinking about all the art work and wall decor placement. I have gathered artwork, prints, and wall decor from many places, my own house, consignment shops, Brimfield Antique Show, One Kings Lane, antique books, the Junior League show house boutique. I really love art and like to try to support local artists. This summer I plan to try to find new artists in Falmouth and purchase their work. If I can’t find local, I will look anywhere I can. Here is a sample of the pieces I have found so far.
Some suggestions for finding art for your home…
Mixing tradition art and abstract art is one of my favorite looks. I am still on the hunt for colorful abstract pieces for the white walls. I often find myself browsing the site Charish. A great on-line source for buying and selling antique and vintage decor.
I can always find something fun and interesting on Etsy. I found these great prints (here) that I going to frame myself for one of the bedrooms.
More finds on Etsy at amazing prices.
I love these polaroid framed art (above) from Shehitpause on Etsy (here). They have that laid back beachy vibe that contrasts well with some of the more traditional pieces I have.
Everyone has seen theses prints from Gray Malin found here. My favorites are the colorful umbrella prints. He also has a new book out – great coffee table buy or hostess gift (here).
Another fun place to scour for art prints is Artfully Walls. You can purchase a print alone or chose a frame and they will frame it for you.
My last source I have to mention is Serena and Lily’s art on the website and in stores. You will love their collection of different artists, mediums and sizes. Definitely worth the time to look over. One of my favorites for a beach house….
Art can really bring life to a home, but don’t forget photos of your family blown up can be a good tight budget idea. Why not frame some art from your children – or even your own. Good luck!
I posted yesterday about incorporating some enamelware into my beach house yesterday. I had a couple (one) comments and questions about it. Enamelware or Graniteware, also known as camping dinnerware has been around for a while.
You can collect old pieces or start a collection of a new set. It comes in many colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. To me it is very quintessential Americana, perfect for BBQ, patio parties, camping and summer! I am personally a fan of the cobalt swirl pattern.
I have started a small collection that I plan to use for the 4th of July. It is such a happy and fun pattern for the summer months. Good luck!
P.S. For those of you who love black and white – there is a really cool b&w pattern from Golden Rabbit. Mixed with garden greens and white linens would make quite a statement.