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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sneak peek at new yard

The house we're buying has a very well established yard. The property is heavily wooded with live oak trees which have probably been around since the house was built in 1950, judging by the size of them. The lot is close to a half-acre, but it's on a bluff, so part of that is outside the fenced perimeter. Within the fence, I'm guessing there are at least 15-20 mature trees, although we haven't counted yet.

All flower beds are decently landscaped and are watered either by the sprinkler system or an additional drip irrigation system. They need new mulch, a few more large landscaping boulders, and more river rocks, and we plan to add a few more plants and shrubs here and there for additional color and variety of texture.

In addition to the large patio/pool area, there is a separate patio at the far edge of the back yard that we will use when having guests over to watch fireworks. Part of it will have a rug and outdoor furniture, and we're planning to have a raised deck built on the other end to use as a grilling area to cover some strange, uneven concrete which we haven't quite figured out.

Here's a sneak peak of the yard as it looks now.

The low branch touching the ground will be removed. (So will the bars on the porch.)

Chairs will be replaced by large landscape boulders, and plants will be added.
The two Japanese maples will be coddled.

Our To Buy list includes lots of patio furniture.

Pots will be removed, and we'll add to the existing plants in the ground...yuccas and grasses.

We'll add a few more plants and rocks in this bed. The big red R will come off the storage building too.

Far end of the back patio will have a rug and furniture; near end will have a small raised deck.

We expect to do a lot of living in the back yard, and we're eager to get started on the transformation.

Note: Moving day is June 2, so I probably won't have  a chance to post until we're settled. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kitchen bonus

The house we're buying was built in 1950. When I met the inspector there, he said, "I don't know how you're going to feel about these appliances. They look like they came off the ark."

I had to laugh. He clearly knew nothing about the appeal of a mid-century house with its original kitchen appliances intact. I explained to him that there are people who would gladly pay more for these appliances than they would for the latest models in stores today. By the time he finished the inspection, he was starting to understand. "These things are amazing. They work like they're brand new...and they're so clean. I mean, really, really clean."

The original Chambers wall oven, with warming tray and its matching stove top with a huge griddle that lifts to reveal a broiler, all in their copper and stainless steel glory. Yeah, baby!

(The attached note told the inspector how to turn it on.)

I promise better photos when I show you the finished kitchen. These were taken on the fly so we would remember cabinet placement and shapes of knobs and levers. I didn't plan to use them here, but I couldn't wait to show you. The fuzzy spots that look like damage are just my poor photography.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The garage apartment challenge

I think I mentioned the other day that the first thing on our list of things to do when we move into Lotus House II (aka Teddy House) is to decorate the garage apartment so we can list it on Airbnb. Here's what we're working large room with a full bathroom and an efficiency kitchen, which has apartment-sized appliances, a sink, cabinets, and a pass-through bar.

And, for those of you who missed my post about pink bathrooms the other day...

The first thing we're going to do is rip out the lattice/owl and paint the bathroom walls white, then remove the carpet and put down something like this:

Golden Summer Teak

Next comes finding all the fun, pillows, quilts, pictures, dishes, and all the other things that will turn the space into the perfect getaway spot. As you might guess, I have a few ideas.

To be honest, I'm leaning toward the neutrals.  I would work a little bit of color into the room, probably with pictures, lumbar pillows in the upholstered chairs, and towels in the bathroom, but I find that palette more restful...and isn't that what people will want?


I've seen some beautiful homes that fall into the newly-created category of Hollywood Regency, but our taste runs more to the streamlined than the glitzy-glam. Several cosmetic changes are being planned for our new (built in 1950) home, which was probably pretty sparkly and/or curlicued at various times in its 56-year history.

This chandelier in the dining room...

...will more than likely be replaced with another Sputnik like (or similar to) the one we have now.

These ornate drawer pulls in the bathrooms...

...will have to make way for something simpler, because they appear a little incongruous paired with these fixtures.

The current owners have changed out all bathroom and kitchen/bar faucets to a modern design in chrome, and while I'm generally a fan of matching metals, these door pulls in the dining room have to stay. They are very heavy and have a beautiful patina. It would be a shame to toss them. 

All these ceiling fans will have to be replaced, probably with something very modern and very unobtrusive... this, either in an unobtrusive white or a brushed nickel.

It may take a little time, but we'll get it all de-glammed, and eventually the whole house will look as if it's in harmony with this fireplace.

Living room fireplace (Yes, the mirrors on either side are coming down.)

Stay tuned for more de-glamming. The double front doors desperately need a "less is more" makeover, curtains need to come down, and pink and blue kids' rooms absolutely must become white...soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pink bathrooms

What I'm about to say will very likely result in my being accused of heresy, but here goes anyway. I'm not a fan of pink bathrooms. There! I've said it. I know that many mid-century enthusiasts think having a pink bathroom is the epitome of cool, and I've read many a passionate post about leaving them intact. I respect those opinions, but, try as I might to like them, they're just not my cup of tea.

I sometimes think that one reason I don't love the part of mid-century design that is considered a bit pink that I'm a good bit older than many of my fellow bloggers and grew up in the Fifties. I can truly say, "Been there, done that. Had a pink bathroom," and I have never felt a desire to repeat that color scheme. I wasn't a pink kind of girl, even then.

That said, the house we're buying has a pink bathroom in the garage apartment. Since we've decided to Airbnb that space, we have made a decision to put our efforts into decorating it first, so we can start renting it right away. (Did I mention that I'm not a big fan of owls either?)

The pink bathroom in Lotus House II

The way I see it, we can embrace the pink and go full-on kitsch with a shower curtain like this.

DENY Domingo shower curtain

Or we could embrace the pink but forego the over-the-top whimsy, with a floral shower curtain like this.

DENY Garden Doodles shower curtain

Or we could play down the pink by choosing a shower curtain that is predominantly another color.

DENY Lottie shower curtain

However, I'm leaning in the direction of a mix of strong colors on a white background, where the pale pink is almost an afterthought. My idea is to use a thick white waffle-weave cotton as the main shower curtain and swag a geometric print to the side (or make a valance out of the print). I would use thick white bath towels and turquoise accessories

DENY Rain 9 shower curtain

My daughter, on the other hand, likes putting all the color on the wall, with this predominantly blue and green wallpaper, which has just a touch of pink, and using a white shower curtain.

Nana wallpaper

I have a strong feeling that there are mood boards in my future. What's your favorite so far?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Retro Revival

Retro Revival, a familiar presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area mid-century/vintage world, is one of my favorite sellers. Operated by Scotty Jones and his wife Liz (two of the nicest people you could ever meet, incidentally) the business opened in 2009 and operates out of the Antique Gallery of Lewisville and also out of a 2000 square foot warehouse in Fort Worth.

While other retailers of mid-century decor have fallen by the wayside, Scotty and Liz have worked diligently to build their inventory of great pieces and broaden their base of customers, and that effort has made them among the most respected retailers in the area. You can find them on EtsyTwitterFacebook, Instagram, and at their website.

Take a look at some of their fabulous pieces, and follow them online. You'll be glad you did!

Vatne Møbler and Adrian Pearsall sofas, George Nelson and Paul McCobb chairs,
Arne Hovmand-Olsen coffee table, and Lane Perception end tables

Sven Andersen teak sideboard

George Nelson modular sofa

Selig of Monroe chairs

Mid-century wall unit

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Teddy House

We always give our homes names. The place where we built the Modernist Nest was officially known as the Malvey House. My daughter's former house was the Lotus House.  The house we're selling is the Juneau House, and the house we're in the process of buying is another Lotus House, as far as my daughter is concerned, because it's only three houses down from the first home of that name...the one that was sold so the store could be opened, for you longtime readers. (She's excited about living by old friends again!)

But Grandsons #1 and #2 are having none of calling it the Lotus House. The first time we went to view the property, they found a giant teddy bear that the owners were using to stage the garage apartment and immediately fell in love, so it's the Teddy House, as far as they're concerned.

When we made our offer, we asked that only two things convey: the teddy bear and a Japanese maple tree in a huge turquoise ceramic pot. The owners declined to leave either behind, so the search has begun for a suitably large replacement bear.

The search has also begun for furnishings for the garage apartment, which we plan to rent via Airbnb. (There are already other plans afoot for a fantastic space for me. You'll want to stay tuned for that.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Point A to Point B...again

After living at our present address for slightly more than a year, during which time major life changes have taken place, we put our house on the market last week. Three days later, we had a contract on it. Yesterday we made an offer on a house, and today we got word that the offer has been accepted. Now the option period begins. Two inspections pending, can the minutiae be worked out to the satisfaction of all so that both deals go down? The next few days will tell.

Point A - What we are trying to sell

Point B - What we are trying to buy

Moving may make posts a bit sporadic for the next few weeks, but I'll update the blog whenever I can and try to keep you abreast of what's happening with our nomadic family.