Archive for April, 2007


New Bedroom Update

Just a few updates on the status of the bedroom.

1. Benjamin Moore’s Colorado Gray turned out to be too dark. The final color will be Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue. It is actually much closer to the color I posted last time than the actual picture was.

2. John’s mom came over Friday night to wait for the arrival of her youngest son (who oddly enough is also named Benjamin Moore-Linda must may have been channeling her designer instincts with that birth). Ben was driving with his wife Lise here from Texas to unload their furniture into a storage unit and then do some house hunting in prep for their big move. Anyway, we had plenty of time to kill so she helped affirm my color and fabric choices. Then she showed me this great lighting website: If the words “free shipping” and “discount” mean anything to you, you should check it out. These are the two chandeliers we picked out for our room:


At 12 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ the two of them should be just the right sze. And at $159.00 a piece the price was right. Linda said she would make some fabric sleeves for the chain- have I mentioned how much I love my mother-in-law today?

3. We also picked out a comforter set online from Macy’s (also on sale! Linda has great price karma.). It will be here this week.

4. Finally my friends De’Amon and Tim came to haul off the way-too-big for the space sofa that was in the room, which involved a total of four people and taking two doors off of their hinges. P.S. That sofa was my “measure first” lesson. You only have to learn it once. And Benjamin Moore, the son, not that paint company, helped us get a dresser to the basement.

This week I will:

-Contract a painter.

-Shop for carpet.

-Get furniture to an upholsterer.

I took some before pictures of the room. I’m almost too embarrased to show them. But I suppose “befores” are supposed to be dramatically bad, right? I’ll have to think about whether they’ll go public or not.

Update: Per a request from Mom Underground to see the bedding we ordered from Macy’s:


12 Piece set $119.00. You can find it here.


New Beginnings- Benjamin Moore – Colorado Gray

Sunday as I lay on the sofa in our bedroom staring at the ceiling, listening to Claire snoring on the floor next to me and a lawn mower hum down the street, I finally made some decisions.

I think a soothing blue will allow me to use the mocha colored silk drapes I already have. This means I can keep our cheap red plaid comforter that I still like even though it’s old.

Behind the drapes I’ll use matchstick blinds.

I’ll keep two comfortable chairs and a rocker and reupholster them with fabric I have already.

We need new carpet. (Thankfully John agrees!)

I’ll replace the two over head light fixtures (word, try to avoid putting overhead light fixtures on a gabled ceiling) either with some shapely milk glass ones that disappear or with two old gold chandeliers. These days Home Depot is making some that are nice.

This is a color I will test for our walls. It is actually much lighter and softer than it appears here. Otherwise it would be too heavy for the space. Of course, it could look all wrong once it goes up. I never know until I try it.
Colorado Gray


You Can Be Ready for ANY Party

Shirt Plate
Lori at work told me about a luau she’s planning. She showed me these plates which I instantly fell in love with. I would put my poi on the right sleeve, fruit kabobs on the left, and roasted pig on the belly part.

She got the plates and other luau stash at Celebrate Express. I hopped on board myself and I must say, there isn’t an occasion these people aren’t ready for.

John Deere

How about a John Deer Party? Dave should have thrown one of these the Halloween he dressed as the 21st century FFA-er.

There’s always the Rejoice Classic Buffet Pack. If you’re happy and you know it, say amen! And pass the Praise Cake!

Or how about a costume for the little girl in your life who idolizes French women with questionable morals?

Young Marie Antoinette

(I do love black and white together.)

Or a Can Can Dancer

Can Can
(Black Fish Net Hose sold separately-$4.50)

Finally, Karen found these bobble-head monkey kits that I think define fun. Scalp or no scalp? You decide.

Bobble Head Monkey Kit

Part of me thinks it would be a kick to go to a party with all of the above, except maybe the creepy costumes, but definitely with the bobble-head monkeys.



Shred copy


A Store I Love: Country Friends

If you read this blog much, you’ll realize that while I’m crazy about all kinds of design, our own home tends towards the “not new” (I stopped using the word “traditional” during an episode of the Sopranos when Carmella used the term to describe the white leather and chrome-gilded mobster haven she and Tony called home.)

Outdoor Table and Chairs

(Outdoor table and four chairs I have my eye on. $199.00.)

I don’t know why I like what I do. I could try to figure out why old furniture, flowers, lots of color, gardens, cushy chairs, woodstoves, holidays, etc., appeal to me, but I don’t really care. I’m a big fan of metacognition, but over thinking design is one of the easiest ways I know to kill a good look.Fortunately though, there is a store made for people like me: Country Friends. Saying the name embarrasses me, but I’d be lying if I said it isn’t the first place in Indianapolis that I go when I need a perfect “something”—for a gift, to fill a floral container, for the front door, to help set the table.

Bird Bath

(A bronze birdbath we bought for John’s dad. I liked the forked base that makes it easy to relocate.)

Dave, another Friends-o-phile, and I typically make four official pilgrimages a year—Easter time (for spring and summer), early fall (Halloween and Thanksgiving), before Christmas and after Christmas. And then there are a few trips for random gifts or decorative dilemmas.Many people I know won’t go there. John refuses to darken the door. The place is PACKED with stuff, a look and shopping experience that a lot of people don’t enjoy. And there’s no shortage of kitsch, which doesn’t bother me. For whatever reason, I have a healthy respect for kitschy things as long as they’re sincere.

Michael and Sheila

(Michael and Sharon)

Plus the owner Michael, who started the business 22 years ago in Muncie, is a little manic and loud, but I love him. He buys fun stuff constantly and a lot of it, so if you are willing to spend some time you can usually find what you need. The staff is super friendly. They asked about my mom three months after she came to visit one time. I like that in a store.


Bringin’ Peachy Back

Ditchley Park - Alexandre Serebriakoff watercolor

If you can’t remember being dragged to a bazillion peach colored weddings in the 80s, chances are the notion of using a little peach in the home here and there isn’t that offensive to you.

The problem with the use of peach, or teal, or even mauve in the 80s wasn’t the colors. Colors, all colors, are timeless. They’ve all been used before. They’ll all be used again to great effect. The problem was that they were everywhere. And ubiquity is an invitation to revolt. Peach was bound to fall out of favor.

But there’s no need for it to stay there. I pulled the image above, a Serebriakoff watercolor of a state room at Ditchley Park to show its use prior to being spewed all over late 20th century pseudo-Victorian, panty-festooned bed and breakfast decor.

Why Bother?

  • Peach and its cousins are sunny and very natural–think morning sun.
  • It’s handy in colder, grayer climates–peach can warm a room without overwhelming it.
  • It’s a more neutral color than you might think.
  • Tips

  • It looks handsome with cream trim and woodwork.
  • Peach actually plays well with others and will take on the energy of the colors around it. While it’s best to mix strong hues with it sparingly, don’t shy away from them. Nancy Lancaster entertained in the room above. The tea tables she brought in for them were painted a lacquered red! Sounds completely elegant to me.
  • I can’t think of a room where I wouldn’t try using it, though I have not found a good version for our bedroom yet.
  • Picking the right shade is tricky. If it gets too muddy, as Mark Hampton said, it will look like pancake makepup on your walls. Test a few quarts to find a shade good for you.
  • Any other tips for using it? Let me know if you are or are on your way to being brave to give it a try. I’m no expert on peach, but I doubt it will ever be as big as it was in the 80s (thank God!–nothing should be that everywhere).


    Easter Egg Working Group

    Easter Egg Working Group

    I boiled four dozen eggs, opened up the dye and a box of crayons and turned a few of my artist friends loose on them.

    Categories emerged.

    Bunnies and Chicks
    Bunnies and Chick

    Flora Eggs

    Creepy Eggs

    The Hills Have Eggs

    Kept some loose flowers in buckets, pruners and containers on hand so people could throw together an arrangement for their Sunday dinners if they wanted.

    Easter Florals 3

    Easter Florals 2

    There are 1000 mg of cute in every one of Karen’s Cupcakes.
    Bunny Cakes

    Animal and floral headbands from Target’s Dollar Spot provided inspiration.
    America's Next Top Easter Model

    Hard work? Yes. Too much? Maybe. But when it’s snowing outside the day before Easter you gotta bust your hump to pump up the joy that comes in the morning.

    (More photos here.)