Monday, March 20, 2017

Lighting For Low Ceilings - The Bright Side

So, we're in the middle of this project. It seems to be dragging on with little change to show for it. That in itself is a bummer. Ripping apart walls and ceilings and all should come with a new french door, additional floor space or something! Not so, the case here. But there is a bright spot... As a major bonus for me in all this plaster removing, wire chasing, wall insulating, money eating work I got a ceiling light in the bedroom that is operated by a switch on the wall! Yes, I am aware that this is the 21st century and that we have had this technology for over 130 years. My house is older than that and so all electricity was fed into the house years after it was built. That is hard to do after walls are up and nothing was built to accommodate such things. This left us with sconces on the walls but no overhead lighting in the bedroom.

Our house is referred to as a colonial cape in the real estate market. What exactly qualifies it as that I cannot say for sure. The bedrooms and bathroom have walls that are pitched on the front and rear of the house. The rooms have small low windows on the front and back of the house; today it would not pass codes to install them so low.  And, the ceilings upstairs are low; 7 feet 11 inches low to be exact. 

So, I need a light fixture that is short in stature. The logical solution is to install a flush-mount or semi flush-mount fixture. My first reaction is "Ugh." Under no circumstances do I want a boob-light! You know the ones....

Enough said about that.

So, I searched and searched and came to the conclusion that no run-of-the-mill flushmount would do.

Plan B, which was really where my little decorating heart wanted to go anyway... some small-ish chandelier. Looking at lengths and chain or no chain and price were all factors in my quest. I decided that 15" in length was as long as I wanted the fixture to be. Nothing technical here; I crawled up on the bed with a ruler, held it to the ceiling and decided 15" was the magic number.  I like the idea of a chain but realized it would be only a few links if at all. I liked these:


     Customer Image Zoomed                         


I was getting carried away. I don't want my whole bedroom budget going on a light. I set a limit of $150 unless there was something I just couldn't live without and decided to try to hone in more on farmhouse/cottage styles....but I do love that bling! 

Here were some of my finds:



I ended up ordering this beauty from Amazon.


The day it arrived I was so happy! I brought it in from the front porch and unpacked it. It was larger than the measurements I thought I had read. I took it upstairs to hold up to the ceiling. As I held it up I decided that it was bigger than I thought but I liked it anyway and would wait for Mister to see it. I laid it down on the bed and noticed something was wrong. It was cracked! Not just in one place but in three different places! Ugh! I don't know what happened. Was it too cold outside and when the mail truck left it on the porch something happened? Was it damaged in transport? Who knows?

Long story short, the money was refunded to my account and the broken lamp sits in it's box on the floor in my dining room right now. So the hunt was back on. I revisited the choices from before and thought I should look for even smaller lights fixtures. 

I settled on one for a bargain price of $69. (Now it is listed for $79.) It came in less than a week and I was thrilled. Mister hung it that same night. It's a little rustic but a little glam with a nod to nostalgia. Mainly, I just lay in bed looking up at it cuz it's pretty.


So, as work continues in the living room and seasonal decorating is on hold because my home is a mess I can retreat to my bedroom at the end of the day, lay on my bed and look at the bright side of things.

Thanks for stopping by. If you enjoyed the visit here would you consider following me by signing up in the bar on the right or following along on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks again.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Antique Shops, Collectives, and Repurposed Home Decor In Massachusetts

Shopping! I was raised to shop. Some people train for the Olympics, marathons and the like. I was trained to shop. Couple that with my mom's affinity for Home Interiors parties (remember them) and the like. Growing up in the military forced us to edit our belongings each time we moved. There was not a lot of room to hang onto to things for sentiment sake and we weren't near family that allowed for hand-me-downs and family heirlooms. These factors combined have worked to form my love for beautiful things with a history that can be saved, reworked and made useful in our home and maybe I can pass them down someday. Recently, I was asked to write about local vintage and antique stores in my area. Oh, I can do that! (Clicking on the names of each business will take you to their Facebook pages for times and more information.)

I enjoy walking through old mills filled with booths of stuff someone has saved from the dumpster or landfill. I like trying to find decorative pieces for our home, as gifts of friends, and gather ideas for upcoming projects. There are a couple pop-up monthly markets that I frequent. Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, 500 Providence Highway, Norwood, MA, was the first one I started attending regularly. They used to hold their market in an old mill building but are now located in a strip mall. While they host several regular vendors they also have guest vendors each month. In the fall they host one of their markets on a farm in the town next door to them. I have written about my trips to visit them before here and here. 


Trisha from Vintage Prairie Home, 55 Sterling Street, Clinton, MA,  hosts another of those pop up markets. Her style is the farmhouse style that everybody loves. She finds great pieces, reworks them and showcases them in the sweetest vignettes. I have written about her markets here and here. 

Now, if you're looking for things that you can turn into something of your own these are places I find myself haunting:

Counting Sheep Antiques, 79 Central Street, Berlin, MA is nestled in a pastoral setting along a windy road in central Massachusetts. As you approach the cheerful yellow house and attached barn space you are greeted by an old pick-up truck begging for a photo with you.

You'll love Kim at Laurel Grove, 339 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA. This is their new address and they will be in there April 1, 2017. If you are reading this post before then- check their Facebook page for the address. Here you will find pieces that have been saved and restored, you will find Fixer Upper style pieces, hand painted wood signs, ect. The new, larger space allows room to hold classes like the recent Make Your Own Farmhouse Clock class taught by Trisha from Vintage Prairie Home.

Crompton Collective, 138 Green Street, Worcester, MA is another must stop place. Clothing, furniture, reclaimed and restored pieces are mingled in with handmade soaps, chalkboard art and jewelry. Various classes are held here, there is an event space for rent; who wouldn't love a wedding reception in an old mill building strung with glow of globe lights bouncing off the bricks!? They also hold a farmer's market on Saturdays! 

Signature Finishes at 204 Worcester Street, North Grafton, MA has a nice selection of Miss Mustard Seed paints, many vendors selling restored, refurbished, or reworked pieces. Tons of inspiration just walking through. Furniture painting classes are offered here. 

In the opposite direction you can find Wrentham Country Store, 15 East Street, Rt.140, Wrentham, MA. It is home for a lot of different vendors. You can find repurposed stuff, stuff waiting to be repurposed outside in the shed, primitives, shabby chic and everything in between. They usually hold a White Sale in the spring. Here is one I attended a couple years ago.


Antiques on 1A, 416 South Street, Rt. 1A, Plainville, MA, looks like a small store from the outside but when you get in there you will find little nooks and crannies chockablock full of stuff. 

Sandra at Gracefully Restored, 755 Wasington Street, Holliston, MA has a great eye for farmhouse chic. Her painted pieces are beautiful. The shop is sweet and sparks the imagination like crazy. The town boasts several other antique shops you'll want to budget time for, as well.

Winsmith Mill, 61 Endicott Street, Norwood, MA, houses several different shops all in one massive set of old mill buildings. This is a day trip. I could spend hours in there. The shops are actually spread out over two floors and three buildings.

More immediately local to me are the following places; 

Bernat Antiques,  89 Elmdale Road, Uxbridge, MA, is another lovely old mill building. They occupy the basement and first floor of the mill. There are tons of vendors in this establishment. This is their forth move since I have known them and the space is perfect.You can find just about anything there; primitive items, industrial, toys, ... you name it.

Joyful Things, 432 N.Main St, Uxbridge, MA, is a hop, skip and a jump from there. I always find fun and unusual things to look at when I stop in. It is a small shop but again, chockablock full of stuff.

And, Mary at Whitinsville Art & Antique Center, 202 Church Street, Whitinsville, MA,  has a varied selection of vendors who are constantly changing out their booths and adding more and more goodies. She happens to be neighbor but I don't see her much since she opened the shop so tell her I said hi when you stop in.

And if you're not looking for something that has been reworked, dusted off or cutely displayed Rustored Salvage, 201 Hopedale Street, Hopedale, MA, is a must. You can find old industrial lighting, wood mill carts, metal cabinets, mannequins. This is a new place to me and it did not disappoint. The hours are limited. Please check their Facebook page for information and times, as with all the businesses listed here.

This, of course, is not an exhaustive collection. I live in a great area for all kinds for treasures and new-to-me lovelies. If you're in the area these are some of the places I like to frequent. Not only can you find things to spark your creativity but if you're not a creative person, yet enjoy the work of those who are, you have to make a ride!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that if you like what you've seen here that you will follow the blog or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

~Happy Shopping! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shiplap Wall-An FIY

Who doesn't love Chip and Joanna Gains?! My favorite part of their show is their interaction with one another. The way they work as each other's biggest cheerleaders makes me smile. Knowing there is someone in your corner, rooting for you always.... sigh. And, if that person happens to be the love of your life....bonus! Sometimes, I think Mister and I are very similar although personality wise our roles are reversed. I would be the one trying on tool belts and lederhosen in the antique store...

I think I have seen every episode from past seasons multiple times. When I first saw shiplap I thought "Oh, that's kinda nice". As time has worn on and the nation has embraced the Gaines' a collective love of shiplap has swept the nation. Oh, I know there are some that probably don't like it and to each his own... but come on- it's everywhere! You can't sign on to Pinterest, Houzz, bHome, and Hometalk without seeing it. The more I see it the more I want it....but where should I put it?

As I've previously told you, we've embarked on a remodel project quite by accident. You can read about it here. What started in the living room led us to our bedroom. That led to a wall being dismantled and rebuilt. We took that plaster and laths off but left the original framing and added insulation for a sound barrier between room. Of course, all that meant repainting. And here's a kicker for me... I wanted it white! Yup, white. As a military brat I developed an aversion to white. All our walls were white in the military- no color allowed. Since then I have had rooms red, green, blue, pink, purple, brown, yellow, gray... just about every color but white. But, I digress. So, as long as we are repainting I might as well try to fit some shiplap in there! Now remember, my house is old which means ceilings are wonky and floors are not level and there is no such thing as a 90 degree angle. Shiplap kinda needs at least one of those things to work off of. Hmm.

I scoured blogs and all the aforementioned sites for help. I didn't really find anything pertaining to my situation but I was not deterred. When I thought I had a plan I took off to Home Depot for some fact gathering and pricing. My thought was that I would purchase 1/4 plywood, have it ripped down into 6" strips and uses those as my planks. This would minimize the overall weight on the wall, eliminate the need to remove the baseboard Mister had already reapplied. I could fudge the spacing to make up for some of the wonkiness of the walls. I was using this as my inspiration; found on Pinterest.

Shiplap!  Oh the things husbands do for us!  Can I just say I am so happy we did this?  It makes the wall behind our bed  a focal point and the project was actually easier than expected!  To do the shiplap wall, I bought four sheets of 4'X8' sanded plywood at  11/32" thickness.  I had Lowes cut it in 6" strips.  At $.25 per cut it was  worth every penny.  The total cost for the project was under $100 for a  160"by 90" wall.  My husband started at the baseboard and used one full 8' board and c...:

Okay, so my Home Depot will not cut the plywood that small. The smallest they cut is 24". That means I will still have to rip those down on the table saw. We don't have a great table saw or room for it. We end up with a saw horse and saw on the driveway and the cuts tend to be a little less than perfect. Not the look I was going for. My Lowes store would cut the pieces into 12" strips which would still require me to break out the table saw. Hmm. I came back home and looked at all the blogs again that have stores that cut their wood smaller. Maybe I should to move to where those stores are! Or, maybe I should take a road trip to one of them and come back with a vehicle full of ripped down plywood. I don't think Mister would go for it...

Then I came across another blog that showed a beautiful pitched-ceiling room with a window on the gable end. The shiplap was pretty and clean... but it wasn't shiplap!

Following Emily's lead, here is what I did:

I wanted to reposition the bed against the wall that had just been rebuilt and that is the wall I wanted shiplapped. I busted out my big level and grabbed a couple pencils. With a yard stick I measured down the center of the wall every 6 inches, making a small little mark. I used the level to draw parallel lines mimicking the wood planks. Sometimes my metal level left marks on the wall. This happened because we did not change the framing and so the studs are not uniform meaning the drywall is not quite flat-leaving high and low places in the elevation. For the most part the marks erased off or washed off but there are a couple that will require a little touch up paint.

When I was done I stood back. My pencil lines were too skinny. I grabbed a colored pencil in gray and went back to the wall. I used my yardstick to come just under the first line and made a parallel line and filled in the space between with my gray pencil. I stood back several times making sure the lines were thick enough. Ha! An FIY (Faux It Yourself) Shiplap Wall.

As I stand back from the wall it really looks off because of the ceiling not being flat or level but I have a plan for that. I'm not gonna lie... I am worried that I may have to have Mister repaint the wall. Ugh.  I will press on first to see what will happen when things get into place.

In my inspiration photo, the blogger went back over her lines with a sealer to keep the lines from getting smudged. I have not done this as the wall has the bed against it. I may change my mind but for now I think I'm okay. This has become a long post so I will spare you all the fears and worries about when "level" according the level doesn't look level to the eye. It will all work out...right?

Oh, and did I mention I got an overhead light out of the whole deal?! So, that is it for now. Stop back soon! ~ Jolena

*I forgot to add a picture of the finished shiplap...just a peek... I'll show you more when it's all done.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Getting Ready To Rock

Winter break is usually a cold week in our neck of the woods. New England in February can be depressing- especially if you are not into winter sports. But, in the sovereignty of God, the weather was unseasonably warm! Like in the mid-60's warm! We did not want to be exposing our home to freezing temperatures and the timing of the warm up was without a doubt a gift.

In a moment of genius we decided to enlist the help of two teenage boys to help us tear down the walls in the living room. There is nothing like the energy of two young men with hammers and the directive to demolish everything in the room! We did have to make clear the definition of demolish vs. destroy, as well as pointing out that electrical wires may be hiding and we would not a want to have to nick name anyone "Sparky".

My girls, who rocked the demo of the kitchen, were more than happy to hand the hammers over to others.

Three years ago.

Doorways were layered in plastic and tape to minimize the filtration of ancient plaster dust into the rest of the house. Within a very short period of time the walls were down. Just as we had suspected- there was NO insulation with the exception of some blown in stuff on the front of the house that had settled and was now only providing insulation to the first 3 feet of wall space up from the floor.

In the destruction a newspaper was found in one of the walls, kinda hanging down from the ceiling. In a previous project we had found paper in a room upstairs under the linoleum. It was acting as a sound barrier, I guess and maybe this one had just shifted or slipped.  Newspaper was often used as insulation but since we only found one paper we assume that was not the intent here. The paper was the Boston Globe from 1914. As I tried to open to see some of the stories it was disintegrating in my hand. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson was president and it was the year JFK's mom and dad got married-just for some perspective.

They found an inactive bee hive. I found it beautiful and amazing. The work those little bugs do!

And like the busy bees, the boys worked hard. Mister supervised and took care of things that needed a more delicate approach. They got everything cleaned up and in the process of clean-up an 1861 Indian Head penny laid in the dust and dirt! I washed it off and did a little internet investigation. The coin is in very good condition. The image is not rubbed at all and the edges are nice and crisp. Turns out this particular coin was minted the first year of the Civil War and was made from a combination of metals that were only used for the 4 year Civil War period. That sounds like money to me! More research on the internet revealed that it was not worth as much as I had hoped. I did contact a coin collector and they confirmed the internet's information. So, it's not going to end up paying for the work but it is a cool piece of history that someone tucked into one of our walls. Maybe it was lost-in 1861 a penny was worth something.

And that was Monday. Tuesday, Mister cleaned up the inside of the walls and put in insulation! We thought we would have to beef up the studs but it turns out they were pretty beefy already; 3x4's ranging from 12"-16" apart.

Front porch support coming through living room wall. 

Timber framing? Not sure that is the correct term for this type of construction.

Mister added a stud to the corners to handled the sheet rock. I had to leave a little note for someday... someday when we are no longer here and someone else decides to do something else to this home maybe they will see the love note.

And this is new header over the door way to what will be the dining room (once again).

Mister said no one will ever see this but that's okay. I know it's there...

We swept and mopped the floors, again. Dust takes a while to settle.

Wednesday, Mister and I worked to get the sheet rock up. It was a hard, long three days. Mister had Monday off for the holiday and Tuesday and Wednesday were days he took off. It amazes me how hard this man works and how he knows how to do so many things. I've said it before and I will say it again; don't marry a man who is not a hard worker.

Now, while we are waiting for coats of joint compound to dry I get to start thinking about wall colors and arrangements, furniture and lighting... For now there is an airiness about the room with nothing on the walls, we did move most of the furniture back in because we are living in our remodel project. Oh, the possibilities! When all is said and done I hope I can rock the design as good as Mister and helpers rocked the demo and rebuild!

Thanks for stopping by~ Jolena

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