Month: January 2016

TBT: Wallpaper

I love peeling back the layers of our house, unearthing little clues about the past. In a recent kitchen refresh ( swear I’ll post about it soon), we came across this teeny tiny piece of wallpaper. (Hand shown for scale)


(I really should moisturize)

The little fragment was hiding behind the stove, well, behind where the stove currently is. As you can see from the original floor plan, it seems the stove is now where the double sink used to be. This may explain why the plaster was all messed up and the last little remnant of the long gone wallpaper basically just fell off the wall.

Original Floorplan

(yes, I need to write about finding the original floor plans to our house. I will. Promise!)

Anyway, the wallpaper doesn’t look to be Victorian. I’m not an expert, but to me it looks like something from the 20s or 30s. The piece is so small, it’s hard to tell if the pattern was little, or if the surviving nugget just happens to show a misleading piece of the design. I did a quick check on Second Hand Rose’s website and didn’t find anything similar. Regardless, it goes into the curio of the life and times of the Pink Lady.



Haven’t you always wanted…

…a vintage stove?




The Detroit Jewel. Before it became known as Motor City, Detroit was known as a place where stoves were made.

Second Chance in Baltimore had a huge selection of vintage stoves when we were there about a month ago. They were inexpensive, but in varying stages of disrepair – although they all looked like they could be restored.

I know exactly zero about stove repair and what it takes to get these puppies working safely again. It looked like cosmetic stuff,  but what do I know? I really wanted to get the Detroit Jewel one (the baking oven, the warming oven – I’m an oven kind of gal, I’m indifferent about the stovetop) but we are so many light years away from having a real kitchen, we ended up walking away.

(I’m pretty sure the Detroit Jewel it will haunt me).

(apologies for the crappy photos – my phone needs glasses, it seems)

Happy New Year

It’s been a while since the last post, a perfect storm laziness, heavy work load at our day jobs and a good amount of House Paralysis. (House Paralysis is a real condition with symptoms including indecision, moroseness, and a general lack of enthusiasm for any and all home projects. Unfortunately there is no cure for this condition, other than time and impending house guests).

After the rush of getting the house ready for guests, the work slowed to a crawl – that is until a few days ago, when our front parlor went from this:

Floor before

Floor before datail

To this:

after first sanding

Work in progress: stripped and sanded (sort of)

We have been meaning to do something about junky parquet laminate for a while. Not only did it give the room a 1970s look, it also was so poorly installed, it kept coming up and getting stuck to our feet. The laminate parquet tiles came off fairly easily. They were glued onto stick on vinyl tiles, which in turn were glued to the painted wood.

(oh how I hate stick on tiles.)

We first pulled up the laminate, which brought with it the stick on laminate. Miraculously, the damage to the wood floor was pretty minimal.

Laminate removal

For some dumb reason, there was one vinyl tile that was glued directly onto the wood with some absurd super-duper glue. This of course was right in the middle of the room (because of course it was):


We then stripped the glue residue and paint using Zip Strip.

Floor stripping

It all came off fairly quickly and easily. The floor definitely shows its age. There are lots of dings and grooves and evidence of some very indecisive furniture placement – “Put that big heavy thing here. No, move it over there. Wait, never mind. Move it back…”

Stripped not sanded

Stripped floor before first sanding. 

There were so many different types of paint on this floor. Strangely, they were not many layers, but different patches of floor, painted different colors. Go figure.

two tone floor

A different section of the floor, before the first sanding

So now the paint is gone and the first sanding is done (it needs one more pass to smooth out some of the rougher areas).  Because the temperature drop just before the New Year, we decided to hold off on the finishing. It’s too cold to properly cross ventilate the house. We have an asthmatic cat, so we don’t want to aggravate this crusty lungs.

Originally we thought our house had hardwood parquet with a two tone border, just like other houses within our row. But our seemingly original baseboards tell a different story. I think our floors were always pine, and perhaps covered with a ground cloth or rugs. Victorians loved their rugs, after all.

Anyway, we think we can rock the pine floors, and have decided to just go ahead and finish them as soon as temps climb a few degrees. After all, we’re pretty happy with how the pine held up in out upstairs bedroom.