March 23, 2022
A whole lot has happened since we last left our hero at the 1979 condo, yet still so much to be done. I’m having a blast decorating this place and feeling very much at home. I know you are all wanting to see some progress photos, so here goes! I promise there will be “real” photos when things are further along, properly stages, etc.
Overall, I’ll say what I say to customers everyday – if you want change in your home, dress your windows! It makes such a giant difference, both functionally and aesthetically and even sonically. Yes, It’s an investment. Yes, it’s worth it.
The drapes. OMG. I couldn’t be happier. At night, I draw the drapes over the slider and push them back in the morning to reveal a wall of light. Sunday mornings with the newspaper and a late breakfast are so great. I found a vintage table and four chairs at [undisclosed location]. The size and vibe are perfect, and the swivel chairs are super comfortable. I’m probably going to re-cover the seat cushions, but am waiting for the perfect fabric to present itself.
Lighting in the room is still a work in progress.
I have another set of drapes here, one way draw (the opposite way from the dining area). They so beautifully frame the window. Light control, privacy, and texture are provided through the Top Down/Bottom up woven wood shades. The open top of the windows lets in all the wonderful light, plus views of falling leaves and snow, ahem, the dreaded “wintry mix”, while the bottom half defuses the light and makes me confident that I’m not on display to the neighbors.
The brass etageres are from Bonny Read in SoPo. They’re sculptural and useful and I just love ‘em. I’ve tried them in several places and think the final spot in shown here, in front of the two windows. I don’t have the properly staged yet because of other dusty work going on. Stay tuned!
I’m thrilled with the barnacle-lick chandy. It’s on a fancy dimmer switch that is so fun to use. Big thanks to my awesome electrician who shall remain nameless until he’s done with my work! Sorry.
Kelsey Healey’s textile art and Sam Cady’s print have never looked better.
The stairs are still a work in progress. The least expensive thing to do would be to basically upholster the whole stairs, so it ends up looking like a giant cat scratching tower. Although it’s for sure 1979-appropriate, I just don’t like the look. I’ll probably bite the bullet and put in new wood stairs and risers and install a stair runner down the middle. The banisters are another big decision and expense. I’d like to change these out, but how exactly? I think it’s the overall Neo-Colonial feel to this place that I dislike the most, so maybe I should beat the Colonial out of the place, room by room. Again, stay tuned!
I love my room. The shag is luxurious and silly. The fabric on the drapes is dreamy, and I’ll get a better photo when they are finished with cornices I have coming…The chair and ottoman were purchased from our wonderful customer/friend who recently moved out of town. The dress is from Bonny Reid. Privacy when I want light coming in is provided again through translucent Top Down/Bottom Up function. It’s this layering that I think truly transforms a room. One day, I’d like to have super cool vintage doors to cover the closets, but for now I just changed out the hardware with simple brass discs from Rejuvenation.
My bed is fabulous, but I’m not yet thrilled with the side tables so will save that photo for a future email.
I installed a Toto toilet with posh seat that has bidet functions. I love it. My electrician, who shall still remain nameless, put in an outlet next to the toilet to power the seat. Who knew? The seat is heated, the water is heated, various sprays fully adjustable, I recommend it fully. It’s kind of a good to have such a state of the art toilet in my 1979 bathroom!
Stay tuned for much much more…
Home Remedies (of course!): homeremediesmaine.com
Bonny Read: www.instagram.com/bonnyreadvintage/?hl=en
Floor coverings: Becky at Port City Flooring https://www.portcityflooring.com/
Fergusons (Bath appliances:) https://www.fergusonsshowrooms.com
October 14, 2021
The mayor of our fair city stopped into Home Remedies, and while I didn’t feel quite ready for it, she insisted I post an update on my condo remodel. Not wanting to fight City Hall, below is an update on what I have ordered so far.
In the Living Room, I’m using my existing throw pillows from Schumacher fabric as the foundation for the rest of the decisions. I’m going with MGBW’s Porter Sofa in Tone-on-Tone Chenille Denim (background in photo). I’ve also ordered one of the new Rose Swivel chairs in Sherpa – Natural. The rug is still TBD – I’m hoping to find a vintage rug with the perfect colors AND the perfect size. No easy task. The stairs are still plywood and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. I’m seriously considering upholstering them in a wall-to-wall carpet in a super bold color like a real orange orange. We’ll see.
On the living room windows, I’ve chosen an inside mount woven wood shade to provide privacy. Outside of these, I’m making drapes out of this fabulous Schumacher fringe-y, chevron-y fabric. They’ll be stacked on-way-draw on the left of the big window. On that same wall, but in the dining room, I’m going to have the same drape in one-way-draw right. Sounds a little crazy and might be, but I’m going for it.
In my main bedroom, I’ve ordered MGBW’s Archer Bed (just like the one on the mezzanine at the store) in an unbelievable peacock-ish blue called Vintage Velvet-Aegean. It’s going to look unbelievable on the shag wall-to -wall. On the windows, I’m using another woven wood, but quite translucent for privacy. Then I’m adding outside mount drapes on top from Thibault’s Cornelia fabric which I’ve been lusting over for years now.
I’ve scored some incredible vintage finds at Bonny Read in South Portland. I’m not quite ready to reveal these items but just as soon as I get them in the places, I want, I’ll share, promise.
July 30, 2021
You can imagine Harry’s disappointment when he learned that there was in fact no marble floors under the old carpet as he had predicted…
Even with a background in design, 20+ years of experience in home furnishings, a solid team, and understanding of all the options, making decisions for yourself is much harder than making them for other people! I keep telling myself that this will not be my last home, I can try other styles and colors later, and as long as I buy only what I really, I’ll be happy. I’ve chosen some great new flooring (“wood” throughout the downstairs, upstairs landing and sewing room, shag wall-to-wall in the Main and Guest bedrooms) the paint is Benjamin Moore white dove throughout.
I’ve decided to leave all the bathrooms in the kitchen essentially as is for now. Their time capsule is back to 1979, but really in great shape and I don’t know what I want to do with them yet. Plus, I’m dying to get my stuff out of storage (where I thought it would be for two months, turns out it’s been 16 months!) and just moved into my own place again.
Oh, and I’m also having heat pumps installed not so much for heat but A/C, which I’m now pretty much unable to live without.
Stay tuned for the next update, when I should be almost moved in!
July 15, 2021
When starting with a blank slate, I really like to have some kind of decorating theme to help narrow the overwhelming options. This is easier said than done and requires a ton of thinking and inspiration.
I first saw the condo complex I’m moving into when on a walk with my buddy Betsy, who lives nearby. The whole place has a real west coast vibe to me. It’s tucked away, yet still super close to town and rally feels a world apart. It’s kinda woods-y, sort of like a place you might rent for a weekend in Tahoe, or Laurel, or Topanga canyon. The complex was built in 1979.
I started to focus on 1979. I was 12 years old, living in Corning NY. It seemed like a whole lotta way cool stuff was happening around me and I tried to soak it all up. I started to think about movies and TV shows that had cool interiors like The Brady Bunch, The Ice Storm, Good Fellas, Boogie Nights. Then I looked up the top albums of 1979 and was blown away with the masterpieces from that year, many of which I swear I know every note.
Now that I had a sound track, I started to picture interiors around it: Lots of plants: California; statement fireplaces; natural textures; sorta boho; hanging light fixtures; low-ish, comfortable furniture; sculptural room dividers from planks of walnut; rich earthy West Coast groovy sunset colors like orange, yellow, teal…
I’m going for a 1979, California groovy, canyons of LA feel. Think Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and Carole King. And it’s still going to look like it belong in Portland, Maine in the roaring 2020’s.
I’m so excited! Stay tune!
The article by Lucia Tonelli perfectly captures just some of the ideas I’m considering:
From hippie boho to glam disco vibes, this decade is packed with dreamy ideas.
July 13, 2021
On March 16, 2020, I sold my Newbury Street condo – fully furnished-put my remaining artwork and special things in storage, and moved into a short term rental apartment on Munjoy Hill. I was expecting to stay there for a month, maybe two at the most, until I found my new dream home. Later that week, we went into lockdown and my definition of “short term” housing changed to indefinite. It wasn’t until June that I was even able to start looking at real estate again. By this time, the market had exploded and competition was fierce.
Now 16 months later, I’m so very happy to announce that I’ve finally found a new place! It’s not the mid-century ranch in Back Cover I was envisioning, but it is another style that I really like: late 1970’s sorta cool. Walking in, it’s 1979 again. There are a bunch of purely cosmetic upgrades that need to be completed before I move in, then I plan to slowly address the bigger projects like a new kitchen and bathrooms.
I’m super excited to launch this next decorating chapter and promise to you involved throughout all the decisions. Stay tuned to these emails for all the drama.