GOOD MORNING, GOOD PEOPLE,
and welcome back to Hello Lovely’s
fixer upper journey
where we remain at work
renovating a sweet beat up cottage
which happened to be situated in
an ideal neighborhood and was
perfect for two downsizing emptynesters.
By the way, our kids moved back in
so life is beautifully complicated
and lovely again as I abide with
my three men (and a girl robot).
Almost ready for the final reveal
(soon, tired fingers crossed!),
today let’s chat about all things
rad reno and late summer shenanigans.
The master bedroom is morphing
into a simple serene sanctuary,
and I am playing with decor
while recycling old stuff:
the Paris Gate lamps are from RH,
and the wrought iron architectural
fragment with fairy lights is
a vintage find from France.
I used a dry brush technique
with Benjamin Moore’s
Revere Pewter on our
old bedroom furniture,
and I love that the
original creamy painted finish
still shines through as
Hardware is bronze, patina-ed brass, rusty,
and even antique silver so we can safely say
there is nothing too matchy or contrived in here.
I’m sure you recognize my belongings from our last place.
My marble lamb on the dresser cozies up to an old English crock,
which I’m fairly sure is more jazzed about being a home
to petals than potted meats.
Our tub found in Madison, Wisconsin
is working out great, and we’re thrilled with how
the whole master bath is functioning…glorious natural light
and a joyful place to hang out in day or night.
We need curtain panels and a cafe rod.
Until then this Spectrum Privacy Film from Wallpops
(made in Germany) is lovely and looks like etched glass.
I plan to use it on the windows in the garage for
smart security and loveliness.
Do you know about Wallpops?
I just may have to try their Tibetan Grass Cloth Peel and Stick
no-paste wallpaper for a fun project which will not
entail heavy sobbing whilst rolling out air bubbles.
We actually served dinner to friends the other night!
We felt rather civilized though we’re not yet used to
entertaining in a small kitchen.
It has its charms.
People are forced to bump into each other and touch
so if you join us to cook and feast here, prepare for cozy.
Our monstrous old sideboard from Belgium is
stocked with all manner of collected styling yum
(lordhavemercy, mama done lost her mind…
sheep jaws to holy water founts).
I still reign as Le Bookworm of Le Blogosphere!
Picked up Leslie Sinclair’s
Segreto Vignettes yet???
I am reviewing it toute suite
as it is a MUST HAVE for
your lovely design libraries
or your rustic plank coffee table.
If you have followed Hello Lovely for any length of time,
you have likely seen a hundred pics of my chair and
this industrial stool I picked up at a garage sale for
$1 and converted into a wheely side table.
Experimenting with some holiday goodness freshly unpacked,
I will never tire of a smattering of fairy lights for
holiday occasions or a late summer Tuesday.
I even brought fairy lights along to an annual
summer sisters glamp-out in Wisconsin
where the friends you see here (and more)
who bonded as kids at summer camp,
gathered from around the country
to sleep in bunks and frolic at the lake.
(My sons are mortified about the message
on my tank which they construe as a
racial slur, but I mean no disrespect
whatsoever…I am truly a stay at home gypsy.)
Back to the fixer.
This is a spot for privacy, relaxation and meditation…
one can hear the birds and the bees, appreciate the trees,
and smell lavender on the breeze.
One can even be poetic.
I agree with Rohr…
that the longing for beauty we sense
is there precisely because
it is what we are made of.
*The whole world involved in a conspiracy of love.*
I commissioned a beloved artist to hand letter this sign
on a salvaged floor board, and with Mother Mary
(a recent find from an 1850 home)
it sets a tone.
This courtyard affords endless opportunities for styling
and mixing…right now it’s kind of a lazy experiment
in utilizing what we already own and helping the
boxwood and lavender establish roots.
The woods surrounding our property enchant.
If you were here in person, you would note
it’s impossible for me to discuss these trees without
tears of gratitude and tenderness escaping my eyes
as they continue to nurture and teach
me lessons in letting go.
Don’t even get me started on the
hummingbirds and squirrel I call Chubs.
I am also experimenting with fairy lights and candlelight
out here and am crazy about this
LAFCO Geranium Mint Candle – Patio.
Without citronella, this candle naturally repels bugs
and burns beautifully for 90 hours!
This mirror turned out to be a funny surprise.
It was leftover trash from the demo of our master bath,
and I used my all-time favorite Royal Designs
French Poem stencil for interest.
But its real beauty lies in watching various birds
admire themselves in the looking glass…just so presh!
Need a DIY French Courtyard in your life?
I cannot build you a wall.
(And shall refrain from all
wall building jests.)
But it is fairly simple for one to wheelbarrow and deposit
a good measure of pea gravel atop weed barrier
after planting a blissfully fragrant peace garden.
(Except it wasn’t quite that easy for us.
Decades of overgrown shrubs, sod, and surprises
were labor intensively cleared first.)
Much more to do.
A new door.
Proper plantings in the tall pots.
Lanterns and new lighting.
Someday we will make that expanse of exterior wall
look inviting and place a gate with bells at the entrance.
I predict our petite private park will evolve with
time, imagination, and the changing seasons.
Perhaps on the next morn I snap pics out here,
I shall respect decency laws.
(Indeed. Sports bras brilliantly double as
cell phone pockets as seen FIRST on
I could create memes all day long.
image from Marjorie Salvaterra’s book HER
Not gonna lie,
m o m e n t s like the above
existed this summer.
We have been fixeruppering this place
since June 2015 and at times
question what we were thinking.
There have been moments when I miss my swing
(it will return to my studio soon),
my beloved sisters
(we are no longer neighbors),
a social life and, dare I say it?
Renovation teaches us lessons of a lifetime.
Hold on! Let go! Be cautious! Be brave!
Transformation comes with costs, ya know?
Before that caterpillar emerges,
there is a fury of miraculous rearranging
which may be mistaken for a gooey catastrophe.
But what if the catastrophe is more like a
Lego sculpture decomposing into bricks?
a Lego butterfly
Thanks for tuning into our home’s metamorphosis
which continues to be a labor of love and a
chance to see what we’re made of.
And thanks for supplying a sense of humor and order for me
during the chaos of the Lego bricks’ decomposition.
The final reveal has to be close, doesn’t it?????
* * *
Please come join me
in this DIY adventure by
clicking here for all my fixer upper update posts!
(And thanks for subscribing here so you don’t miss an episode.)
Peace to you right where you are.