Month: November 2014

Honoring them Vicotrians

Choosing paint colors was never hard – “was” being the operative word here. Ever since we became the owners care-takers of the Pink Lady, I have been struck with what I call Paint Paralysis. Maybe it’s because we’re spending so much time removing all vestiges of questionable paint choices of the past (all manner of pink, blue and, of course, Muppet Flesh). I’ve been mulling over paint colors for almost 3 years, and I haven’t really decided. First I thought I’d jump head first into the gray wagon, but on second thought, that seemed too trendy (although I have used it in the house)

As part of the Style Cure, I must pick a wall color. Needless to say, I’m way behind schedule: I simply can’t decide. My gut keeps veering over to aqua, or what I’d like to call Hospital Green. We  used the color in our previous kitchen and I just love it so much. It’s kitsch, it’s wonderful. But do I want it in my dining room? I don’t know.

To help me decide, I looked up Late Victorian Period paint colors. It didn’t help. While the Victorians were into color, they were not necessarily into colors I would put on my walls – and that makes me feel terrible, because our restoration of the Pink Lady aims to honor the historical character of the house.

Upon further poking around, I found a color palate from the Jazz Age, and that one I like quite a bit (perhaps because of this):

Benjamin Moore also has a historical paints palate, but they neglect to properly qualify what period goes with what color.

Retro Renovation has a super useful list of 20th historical pants by  manufacturer and The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a collection of Valspar paint colors that cover Georgian, Neoclassical, Southwestern and Victorian colors.

The more I research, the more I realize that I don’t see eye to eye with my beloved Victorians when it comes to wall color. I’m going to have to jump ahead a few decades to the Jazz Age. And since the Pink Lady certainly lived through the roaring 20s, that’s historical enough for me. Bring on the aqua Blue Sky SW00 63!





The glacial pace in which things are moving these days is starting to get to me. In my mind, by now,  we would be throwing fabulous parties and our house would never be messy (ha!).  In my mind, we’d already have a gorgeous kitchen and a working oven. OMG! No more having to bake in  a countertop electric convection oven. How great would that be?

Well, that’s a question I can’t answer  because we’re still using the old kitchen and the old stove is still broken. The room that will house our future guest room is still the dining room, and quite possibly the second most awful room in the house. It’s always messy and we spend no time in it – because it’s just terrible.

Don’t believe me?

It's hard to even begin to list everything that is wrong with this room, but let's try, shall we?

It’s hard to even begin to list everything that is wrong with this room, but let’s try, shall we?

This room was never meant to be for this long. This room tries (unsuccessfully) to function as our dining room and pantry, but the only thing it succeeds in is being a catch-all for all sorts of junk. Once we build a new kitchen, this room will become a bedroom. Painfully, it’s becoming quite evident that this will happen sometime it the future, far, far away (probably around the time when the sun runs our of fuel, or when the melting ice caps flood our world – whichever one happens last, because we’re going to need that extra time).  With that in mind, it became  pittifully obvious that we can’t live with this room one. More. Minute.

From the depths of my hopelessness, I decided the sign up for Apartment Therapy’s Style Cure. The fireplace mantel will finally be fully stripped. That half peeling, half painted trim will be dealt with. The pantry will become organized and everything will turn out unicorns and rainbow.

Or so I hope – Lordy, this room needs help!



For a while now, I’ve been nurturing a growing obsession with hardware: door knobs, hinges, door bells – even toilet paper holders: tangible and tarnished little objects that provide solace amidst the chaos of a hole-house restoration. (Fun fact: our house doesn’t have toilet paper holders in any of the 3 bathrooms). While it may seem absurd to spend time picking out doorknobs when the doors still need to be stripped, sanded and re-finished, I’m of the opinion that the right type of period appropriate (i.e. old and crusty) can provide a faint twinkle at the end of the tunnel of restoration madness.

Toilet Paper holder

I can absolutely see this toilet paper holder in our parlor bathroom (fun fact, the parlor bathroom is currently a storage closet, and best case scenario, we are at least a year away from making it functional – but no matter: this lovely thing will hold roll upon roll of the fanciest Target brand tissue, when the time comes).

The way I look at it, even the most meticulous restoration job can be ruined with the wrong hardware. It’s like wearing the wrong kind of shoes with an otherwise perfect outfit: why bother leaving the house at all (says the girl who only wears DocMartens, but you get my point).

We’ve been slowly collecting bits and pieces of hardware, and I’m quite proud of the restraint I’ve shown during our last salvage excursions. A wish list is here, and so onward we go.

(a few more items of inspiration for when the time comes: bathroom, kitchen and paint colors).