Yellow Door.

I recently saw this picture and I’m again inspired to paint the door of the my room in yellow.  Since our house already has so many colors I wonder whether a yellow door will be too much.  All the rooms on the first floor all lead into each other.  Our living room is yellow, the dining room is a pale blue, the kitchen white and my room is the palest of pinks (mostly white). Maybe if  I painted the dining room a light grey then the yellow wouldn’t be too much. I keep coming back to grey in the dining room.  Also, even though I really liked the pale blue in the dining room when we painted it I haven’t grown to love it.  It just doesn’t seem to work.  Now all that I have to do is convince Scott that we MUST paint the dining room grey NOW!


The Living Room (update).

This is our living room.  I’ve been meaning to post pictures of the living room for a while now but I never got around to it.  This is mainly because the living room is really hard to photograph.  It is generally filled with light but all the pictures facing the windows generally come out either too dark or too light.  Well finally this snowy day I found the right time to take some pictures. Click here and here for some earlier pictures.

The couch is from Crate and Barrel and it was our first new piece of living room furniture.  The chrome rocker on the right of this picture is a Milo Baughman chair that we got for free while we students.  At the time we just thought that it was a fabulous chair without any knowledge of its pedigree.  The coffee table is from a flea market in New Jersey and it was manufactured by Lane. I think we paid $45 for the coffee table.  The chest on the left is also by Lane and it is made out of Cedar.  The rug is an eighty year old Persian rug that I bought on eBay.

Thrift store bottles, old thrift store lamp, puppets from Indonesia and Lane Cedar chest from the 50s.

Milo Baughman chair (possibly)

We found this chair at a thrift store in Philly.  While it looks like a Milo Baughman chair there aren’t any markings on the chair.  I love this chair. It was love at first sight.  The chrome and wool chair in the dining room, to the left of this picture is part of a pair that I bought on eBay.  Yes I have a thing for chairs!  We bought the butterfly leather chair on my first trip to Sri Lanka with Scott.  The rose brass lamp was a total score at $30 dollars at a local thrift store.  I was so excited to find it that Scott had to talk to the person at the store because he was sure that I would pay more for it than what they were asking.  The white lamp we bought recently on the side of the street when we were coming home late one evening.  I think we paid $60 for it but I had been wanting a task lamp in white for a while so it felt like a good deal.

The “library”
We found this mantle at another thrift store but it wasn’t thrifty at all.  We have always had a mantle in the old apartments that we’d lived in Philly and we really wanted one for this house.  The mantle houses some of our books.  This was supposed to be a temporary storage place for our books until we built bookshelves but we ended up really liking the books in the mantle. 

View of Mantle from the vestibule door
A lot of the furniture in the living room is from thrift stores. We also have end tables (not shown) with dove tail detailing that match the coffee table, that we found at a Goodwill store in New Jersey (ten years before we bought the coffee table).  I love old furniture.  Mainly because it is built really well but also because I rarely see new furniture that I like (that I can afford). Every piece of furniture in this room we’ve both been immediately drawn to. Also most of the furniture has been with us for so long that is intimately woven into our lives. 

Guest Bedroom.

What is now the guest bedroom was at one time going to be my closet.  The room is tiny and I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to make the space more inviting.

Finally, after being stuck inside because of the snow storm and in desperate need for something to do, Scott and I decided to move the bed around in the guest room and this is what it looks like now:

The bed faces the window and the view is great (as great as it gets for a house in our neighborhood). 

The room faces South so the room is generally filled with great light.  What a huge difference a small thing like moving the bed around does for a room.  The room looks so much more inviting and restful. I love these bamboo blinds.  They filter the light beautifully.

I bought the blue and white batik wall hanging in Sri Lanka in 1990.  It has been tacked to the walls of all the apartments that I have lived in since 1992.  The other batik wall hanging is also from Sri Lanka and we bought that in 1999.  I am glad that my peacocks have finally found a permanent home.

We still have to paint this room but that will have to wait until we’ve removed the wallpaper on the second floor landing, fixed the plaster on that wall and put on new wallpaper.


It doesn’t seem like it is ever going to stop snowing here in Philly.  What better way to enjoy being snowed in than with a good cup of tea (Sri Lankan tea of course) and a great book?

I bought these books on a couple months ago and I am so excited that I finally have the time to read them.  I am starting with my favorite: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

The books are all hardbound Penguin Classics and the covers are designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

These are the most beautiful books that I’ve ever seen.

Dreaming of Renovations.

Whew! I have been busy. We had a few contractors come over and take a look at the brick on the side of our house.  The house was built in 1890 and still has the original mortar! However, there are some places where the brick needs re-pointing.  Most of the contractors these days don’t really know how to restore and work with original bricks and mortar.  It has definitely been a learning experience for me. 

The problem with re-pointing old brick is that some masons slap on Portland Cement, which is a very hard and non porous substance.  Brick on the other hand is very porous and it needs to remain that way so that water doesn’t get trapped between the layers of brick.  Our house has three layers of brick on the periphery walls.  When the brick expands the the Portland Cement does not expand which causes the brick to crack.  Basically the new mortar must be as soft as or a little softer than the old mortar.  There are labs where you can send the old mortar and they will analyze it and give you a breakdown of the original mortar ratio.  However, it is also possible to estimate the mortar composition from the age of the house. 

We have also had contractors over to get estimates on repairing the stucco on the back room (my office) as well.  I think that we will go with a dark grey almost black stucco.  Also, I have been dreaming about getting all the trim in the house, and the eighteen windows painted a deep black.  Since dreams have no limits I have also been dreaming of getting a deck installed on top of the back room which will be accessible from Kiran’s room.  I think that it will be nice to have a sand box and have some toys for Kiran to play on that deck. 

I have been having some problems with our computer so I don’t have any pictures of the other million things that I have been working on.  Instead I will leave you with this beautiful black house (and I will keep dreaming of my black/grey stucco):