Basement Powder Room

  Basement Powder Room 

This should be a fun space that catches you a little off guard and maybe gets a chuckle.

New black and white mosaic floor is down and and the wainscoting is ready to be painted Farrow & Ball Vardo.

 above the wainscoting?

Waynetopia by the artist Wayne White for Flavor Paper. 

Pirates, burning schooners, ruins, lush landscapes and a bit of snark. The words in the distance say "You're just agreeing with me so I'll shut up".

Here you can learn about the original Waynetopia in Los Angeles a father/son project produced over the course of a decade.








Ode to Mrs. Hannigan

New jewelry may not be in the future but laundry is.

Laundry Room Wallpaper Decisions.

Girl's Bedroom Design

 I don't do " children's rooms". They are expensive, the quality of "children's furniture" is usually lacking and they have a short useful life. I prefer the pre 20th century opinion that children are just small adults. They too should be allowed the good stuff and to be surrounded by things that make them happy. Good stuff doesn't have to mean expensive. Rather thoughtfully vetted items (I like glitter and unicorns) that will last and the better the quality the better able the pieces are to stand up to the small user.

This piece selected by the elementary school age girl is the jumping off point for the room design. The name of the piece will give you good insight to the personality of the end user as well.

"The Fire Within", 2016 by  Katie Bridge Altieri representation through  Peanut Gallery Summit, NJ.

"The Fire Within", 2016 by  Katie Bridge Altieri representation through Peanut Gallery Summit, NJ.

Workspace, proper sleepover sleeping situations, clean ability a little edge, no pink, no purple and she has to "LOVE IT!". 

We wanted a pair of twin headboards to give us optionality to use together as a king. We also needed  a cool shape with some height and color very likely we were going to need to paint whatever we found.


1.David Francis Furniture Chippendale was too square. 2.Jaffen Peacock from Wayfair too "frouy". 3.The Family Love Tree bed was almost perfect but the freight from down under made it cost prohibitive.

Factoring in cost and getting the right color, they would need to be painted, we landed on this vintage pair from Soulful Vintage.

Soulful Vintage

Soulful Vintage

Painted to match the turquoise in F. Schumacher "Jelly Bean", Ocean/Turquoise.

The chest of drawers came from a sale at Everything But The House  the on line estate sale sight.  It was love at first ugly honey colored sight. It is solid wood no particle board, no plastic, and weighs a ton.

Even after the paint jobs and new hardware the cabinet and headboards are still coming in well below what we allotted for in the budget and well below what we would have spent on brand new. There is still much more to be done but it is all coming together to be a really singular and special room.







Bathroom Renovations Beacuse...Water and Electricity Don't Mix

The bathrooms in the house are the original now 80 year old bathrooms. They have had no updating of any significance. The time has come to send them to the great bathroom in the sky. However, they are not going to go quietly. Rather what we have is a death match and these bathrooms are conspiring to kill the bather. We, the residents are, winning by only the narrowest of margins.

The Third Floor. Our intention is that it will be a Guest Room, Hall Bath and the  Lord of the Manors Office. Presently, its use is more Bates Motel the Ritz.

The entire level can be closed off at the bottom of the stairs. Child #2 has done just that with her grandmother on the wrong side. No, mother we cannot hear you scream.

 We are lucky to have fully functioning original doors, hardware and keys. The keys were subsequently all removed from the doors and in haste left unmarked. 80 years the keys were in their proper doors and in 5 minutes we blow it.

Original Tiny Tassel from Haute Pink Fluff via Etsy- Color code the keys with these little cuties.

Original Tiny Tassel from Haute Pink Fluff via Etsy- Color code the keys with these little cuties.

Not that being confined is good but in theory it should not be so bad. The space is bright, quiet, internet is available and in the bathroom the floors pitch is pretty significant time it right you could be in here when if just drops you to the floor below.

A shower can be had if you stand with our arms at your side and spin. I wouldn't  recommend a bath. But should you choose look at the time you could save blow-drying your hair while still sudsing up. Note the proximity of the wall outlet to the tub 1". In the image the outlet has been changed but prior to this it was an ungrounded not damp rated socket. It still makes me nervous just looking at it. Water and Electricity DO NOT MIX.

The Children's Bathroom has fallen to second place in the "What the ?" department. I said their were no significant updates. Not no updates. Not good updates.

One can't actually shower in here with out flooding the room or standing up straight. The blue tape was helping me with layout.

The showerhead was a later addition to the tub and illustrates why professionals are a necessity. An architect would have told you, " this won't work". An architect or reputable builder would have also pointed out the wall socket in the shower was not a good idea nor is the second socket only 18" away.  The outlet in the shower has been removed and the too close outlet changed to damp rated only since we came on the scene.

The Third Floor and Children's Baths will make it look like an unfortunate accident.

The "Master Bath" on the other hand played it cool. Sure, it is ugly but it works.  Flocked wallpaper, peeling paint, fluorescent tube lights,  the toddler toilet. Yes, should you be knee walking drunk or in Pre-K we have thecommode for you.

Then BAM! CRASH and a scream.  At the end of the day, I am not sensitive to soap in the eyes or children's petty squabbles that result in screaming which I can't hear anyway. However,  something really heavy hitting a cast iron tub makes a racket.

The tiled soap holder came falling out of the wall narrowly missing child #1's foot. Child #1 is soapy, terrified and trying to get away from falling debris.

Child #1 calmed and everyone in their jammies we gather to investigate. I struggle to adaquetly describe what we found. We knew something happened because the black tile is running into the original pink tile. A leak, broken tiles we knew it was something. ANOTHER failed attempt to add a shower head where it should not be. Or at least try in the dumbest shoddiest way possible.


Two layers of regular old sheet rock were caulked on top of the original pink tile to build the walls up to accommodate a standard size shower door. The original pink soap holder had been backed out of the wall, the hole filled with foam caulk and the  black soap holder essentially glued in. Who does this? What planet is that an idea much less an acceptable one? How is this NOT going to fail? Is it hubris, stupidity I just don't know. No do I know who did it because now I am absolutely desperate to understand the brain trust that got this together. The grout on the tile was failing and the sheet rock absorbing the water like a sponge. One can put there hand thru the hole to the hall closet and one can get their hands behind the black tile and it lifts right off in a sheet.

We were lucky that the collateral damage to the house was not great and we will manage to pick up a few inches in the renovated space. In the mean time to stem the flow of water time I have sat on the floor employing quantities of silicone caulk silicone caulk,  has been covered in plumbing tape with a few layers of plastic sheeting on top for extra water tightness. We look like squatters. You may be asking what not have the tile guy just caulk it until the demo starts? I asked no one will touch it. Because the black tile is not actually attached the new caulk wont do anything. Imagine trying to tile a waterbed. I do get some satisfaction in the response from men who have been at proper home improvements  this for a while "never saw this before".

But wait... There's more.

The creepy shower stall. Yes, just a shower Jack and Jill style between two bedrooms.

It is creepy, it leaked into the Living Room, it has 7 yes 7 shower heads and came with its own vintage bar of Irish Spring soap.

When you hot bottom only one way to go and in this case it is DEMO!!!