Today is an auspicious occasion...exactly six months ago today, on February 1st, Tom and I moved into Catty-Corner Cottage and spent our first night in the new house.
In honor of the occasion, I decided to do a massive update post, sharing, room by room, where we came from and where we're going.
And of course, as always, click pictures to see a larger image.
How Far We've Come: As you can see, we started out with a total blank slate here. The previous owner had a coat rack in one corner, and that was it. We came into it with just the entry table, a favorite piece of furniture of mine. From Craigslist we found and bought the antique mahogany bench. From Home Goods we bought the scrollwork mirror. And from an incredible deal on Etsy, we found the giant Lady and the Unicorn tapestry at a steal price. Just a few days before our housewarming party in April, I stayed up till midnight one night painting the house's Muse above the doorway. In one shot, you can also see the stairs I stayed up late for several nights painting with a quote from Keats.
Where We Want To Go: I have vague thoughts of painting the entry room a different color, but it brings so much light into the space having it a light shade, I don't know that much more will be done. I DO want to add many more silhouettes to our silhouette walls.
How Far We've Come: I painted my favorite quote from my favorite poem, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, on the wall. We hung Mucha tapestries, Hylas and the Nymphs and Circe Invidiosa by Waterhouse, and (our most recent addition) the perfect organic-looking scrollwork sconces. I had a lot of fun figuring out what to put above the fireplace to decorate it.
Where We Want to Go: I would love to add some ornamentation to our fireplace. Perhaps a panel with a quote or tiles or scrollwork. I also want to put some decoration on the television wall. Ultimately, in the long long term, we'd love to have a built-in created for the bay window with a bench and bookshelves. That's a way down the road though.
How Far We've Come: Not far at all. In fact, of all the rooms in the house, this is the one we've touched the least. All we've done is put our dining room table in here, and a rug. But we do have big plans for this room. Very big plans. This will likely be the huge winter project.
Where We Want to Go: Paint paint paint!! And corner hutches. And maybe even a grandfather clock in a corner if we can find one for an affordable price.
How Far We've Come: Again, we really haven't done much in this room so far. When we first went and looked at the house, I knew that the cabinets would be a divisive issue among people we know. I knew some people would think we should tear down the cabinets immediately. But I immediately liked them.
The kitchen is painted a neutral light brown/tan color, and we may change that eventually, though I'm not sure what we'd change it to. We're doing a whole early 20th century / Art Nouveau ads theme in here.
Where We Want to Go: We may paint the walls a different color eventually. Otherwise, I'm not sure what else we'd do to this space.
How Far We've Come: Another neutral walled room. When we moved in, the only "decoration" in here was the hideous navy blue balloon curtain. We've made it our "Waterhouse Water Closet," with a sign saying as much on the door, and Waterhouse art prominently displayed on the walls.
Where We Want to Go: I'd like to stencil the walls in here with a nice wallpaper stencil, in a green or white. I'd also like to find a nice valance for the window.
How Far We've Come: The previous owner used this room as her office as well. We wanted to have one room of the house where we could prominently let our geek flag fly. So we put our computers and media items in this room, along with Tom's video game tv, and put Spider-man and other comic book art and objects all over the room.
Where We Want to Go: Again, I have thoughts sometimes of painting the walls a different color. And there is always room for more geekiness in the decorating of the geek room.
How Far We've Come: This room was a total blank slate going into things. The previous owner had a full size mattress on the floor, and not much else in the room at all. We put our bookshelf in here, and tracked down an oak daybed with pop-up trundle on Craigslist. We discovered a beautiful writing desk at a local antique shop. After searching for a chair for the desk, my parents discovered they had had the perfect one all along at their church, so I bought it from them. I made it a personal project to create the butterfly art above the bed. I cut butterfly shapes from book pages, coloring in each shape to mimic a real butterfly pattern. We put them on branches and suspended them from the ceiling. We then took the cut out book pages and framed them on the wall behind the bed. I started a collection of butterfly specimens, and framed a cherished original artwork by a favorite artist.
Where We Want to Go: We're contemplating painting this room a rich mossy green. What do you think? I also want to paint four scrollwork banners along the upper edge of the room, and put a favorite quote from Yeats in the banners. This room also needs more furniture...perhaps a dresser of some sort where I can keep more art supplies.
How Far We've Come: I absolutely hated the sterile hospital minty blue-green color of the bathroom. It was the top priority for repainting when we moved into the house. With a bathroom as tiny as this one, there was no point in using color as an optical illusion to make it seem larger. So I just went ahead and painted it my favorite color, purple, to match the shower curtain I bought years ago and love. I've actually already ordered a Toran Indian window topper to go above the window in the bathroom, but it didn't quite arrive in time for these 6 month anniversary pictures.
How it should look when the Toran arrives and is hung above the window:
Where We Want to Go: We're trying to go for a Moroccan theme in this room, and I'd love to eventually add some exotic patterns on some of the walls. I also want to paint the alcove above the bathroom tub in a dark blue with stars. I've found some Aladdin shadow puppets on Etsy I'd love to put on the walls along with a couple of Aladdin silhouette artworks.
How Far We've Come: Even though the bathroom was my least favorite paint color in the house, I also felt completely uninspired by the pale sage green of the master bedroom. It's a surprisingly large master bedroom for a 1930s-built Cape Cod, and the light color just made the room feel too cold and echo-y for me. My friend Sheli helped me paint the room with Behr's Peanut Butter shade of paint, and I spent the next few weeks on and off working on painting what I half-jokingly called Windling Trees on the walls. (Thus named for the awesome artist whose home photo inspired the idea of the ghosted tree images) I painted six of them all told, and I'm living with those before I decide if I should paint more. It was my first big "artsy" project in the new house, begun just weeks after we moved in.
And then we got..."the bed." I had searched for years for just the right bed frame for our queen size bed, and I knew as soon as I saw the one that was meant to be, I would know it. So when this wrought iron tree bed appeared on Craigslist, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity.
Where We Want to Go: Tom still needs a rug beside his side of the bed, and I need some sort of low table and light for beside the comfy corner reading chair. I still would like a few more things to put on the walls, and we may still turn the dormer window area into a little reading nook alcove bed with curtains to shut the world away (but again, in the long term).
The House Exterior:
How Far We've Come: Hoo boy. Where do I begin? When Tom and I first looked at buying this house, I could see the potential of the exterior, but I felt like it was like a blank canvas, quite literally. The front flower beds were...blank. The front porch was...blank. The only real decoration was a tattered American flag. We painted the front door a periwinkle blue, after much thought, pondering, and photoshopping of different color choices. And as for the flower beds...well...I discovered a new addiction in gardening. So far we've planted...Rhododendron, Delphinium, Hellebore, Lavender, Lobelia, Morning Glory, Ivy, Hydrangea, Lamb's Ear, Violets, Forget-me-Nots, and a couple of other plants with names I can't recall. And that's just in the front two flower beds. The lamium and hosta were the only plants already in place before we arrived.
It has been said that when you plant a new plant, it spends its first year typically sending down roots and adjusting, and then takes off in the second year. With all the things we have planted this year, I am hoping for an almost entirely full front two flower beds next year. The forget-me-nots and lamium should spread and fill far more space than they did this year.
Where We Want to Go: Well now. There's so much we still want to do. From the moment I saw the house, I knew I wanted window boxes on the front two windows. However, I wound up with a long and drawn-out escapade involving the purchase of two gloriously gorgeous window boxes on ebay that never arrived after I ordered them over two months ago. The search for window boxes continues, but mark my words, there *will* be boxes on these windows, hopefully before this winter.
We're also working on purchasing a white arbor to put at the front end of the sidewalk, along with an extra length of fence on each side (discovered in the garage) and of course, more plants.
And eventually I'd like to add an overhang of some sort to the front stoop. I have many many more ideas. Here's a little Photoshopped picture of how I'd like it to look in front very soon:
Back Yard: So much more I still want to do!