November 2, 2010

Pieces of Home (Including Adventures with Spray Paint)

soon after andrew and i declared our solemn vows to one another, we also declared another promise. since our future will be include repetitive moving from place to place (thanks to the military), we decided that we wanted to take a little piece of our home(s) along for the ride. so.... each homey nest that we have dwelled in will be a part of the next, and the next, and the next, until, well, until we have a house full of junk.

so far, it has been easy to keep our promise. the following is a little tour of each piece that we have thus far collected. so that we don't actually end up with a house full of junk, you'll see that i have altered each piece to fit into my ever-evolving decor.

let's begin where .a. and i first spent significant time: my sister's wonderful Ann Street house in Lancaster city, Pennsylvania. picture a brick row house with dark hardwood floors, high ceilings, great woodwork, an amazing fireplace, and absolutely gigantic windows with skinny-paneled shutters. although we grabbed these shutters from her neighbor's trash pile, they are the identical to the ones that grace her windows.

since we only have one window in our current bedroom, i placed these directly across from it to give the illusion of more. i spray painted them one of my favorite neutral colors, a matte gold. i then added sprigs of berries to break up the monotony. have a closer look...

i love the little white knobs on them. i am positive these shutters are as old as the house (i want to say it was built in the 1800's).

let's move on to my favorite apartment of all times: our Chestnut Street apartment. it was very similar to and just around the corner from my sister's city house. this apartment was my favorite because all of the rooms were in a single file line. picture walking through the living room to get to the bedroom to get to the kitchen to get to the laundry. it was fun! once again think dark hardwood floors, high ceilings, huge windows.  but with huge windows comes an unwanted breeze. so, our landlords replaced a few of them, and that's when we snatched one. check it out...

can you find it? to the left of andrew.

by the way, we just scored that desk that he is sitting at from his school's library for free (no, we didn't steal it). it is authentically vintage, is great to do computer work at, and goes with the decor very well! i do have to say, however, that i wasn't too thrilled when he brought it home that one day. i think it sat in the hallway for a week while i wished it to magically disappear. it wasn't until we scrubbed it down and shuffled it from spot to spot in the apartment that i realized how much i love it. it goes to show that you can't judge a book by it's cover, or a piece of furniture by where it came from. plus we got two vintage chairs with red leather on the seats! yipee!

while we are here, let me explain a few other items in the picture. i was going to do this in a later blog, but now think otherwise...

  • how do you love my telephone wire of birds? they are wall decals from target (under $20).
  • check out the ceiling light. i wish i had a close-up of this. it's a wooden oak-stained square that was original to this apartment (circa 1960)? when we moved in i pretty much shouted "that hideous light fixture has got to go!!!!" in a desperate attempt to cover the ugly,  i spray painted it a canary yellow. since i didn't paint properly (sand, base, paint), the paint ran and became translucent in certain areas. except it looks like i tried it! i'm in love, again.
  • and my dining room table. this was love at first site at nickel mine's auction in lancaster. i got it for a steal of a hundred big ones. it's a Daystrom vintage round table with five chairs. great condition. one of my goals is to eventually get it professionally touched up.
this brings us to our current Loetscher Street apartment in Princeton, New Jersey. i sat on the parque floor and cried the first day we moved in while andrew tried to console me by saying "now wifey, it doesn't suck THAT bad." he did speak wisdom that first day when (desperately trying to get me to stop sobbing and start unloading the moving truck) he said that it will be better once we get our furniture in and decor up. once again, he was right! i love our little apartment even with the sprinkler system, a refrigerator that yells, yucky roaches, and all!

here's a pic...

i'll ask the question that you all are thinking... "what the heck is that tall ladder thing?" well, my dear ones, its only our porch railing! well, it was technically from our neighbor's porch. our little community has about thirty identical apartment buildings. we are in the process of building new ones. in order to make room for the new, they had to tear down the old. so, one humid night, .a. and i dressed in dark clothes, grabbed flashlights and a hacksaw, and jumped the fence to get to this guy. oh, did i mention we had to dodge the security guard? it's now spray painted and a piece of my collection.

on a sidenote, i wanted it to be a shiny chrome to match my vintage dining room table. i found the spray paint at walmart (it even had a shiny chrome-like lid). to my disappointment, what came out was a matte silver. i guess it is good enough for now.

let's talk about what else is in this picture:
  • the tv stand is actually a bench from sam's club. the pillow goes where the tv is sitting. i can't wait to have a house large enough to put this in the hallway and have a real tv stand!
  • the lady lamp. this is from andrew's grandmother. there's even a matching one!
  • the foot stool and matching lounge chair is a goodwill find for around $15. knowingly doing a half-ass job,  i recovered both with unique ikea fabric. the foot stool looks pretty good, but the lounge chair will need work. that will be a future project.
  • the incredibly large round woven rug? yard sale. $26.
  • the wreath is a new addition and is a product of girl's craft night from last month. it's made out of a book. for further instructions, go to this blog. here's a larger picture...

amazing, right?

i also wanted to share one of my original projects that now graces our wall. check it out...

notice the four square things above the chair? one day while helping my bother and sis-in-law gut and paint their arty house, i stole four ceiling tiles. i ended up using a lightly rolling them with paint to enhance the original design (this was before i discoved spray paint). love 'em!

and now, i have a little piece of my brother and his fam on my wall. how fun.

i hope you enjoyed yourself. i would love to hear about the different ways you have made your house to be a part of you! and besides, i'm always looking for inspiration!

. . .

.with love.
.with hope.


  1. Mel, you are so cute! I especially like the ceiling tiles!!

  2. Thanks, Sara! I can't wait to see what you guys do inside your house. I'm sure you can't either. Keep posting, you are keeping me entertained!