"I See a Red Door and I Want It Painted Black."

 …well not really.  “I saw a white door leading to the basement and I wanted it painted black” would be a more accurate (and less poetic) title.  However,  this is probably the only chance I get to quote the Rolling Stones in my blog  so I went for it!

For a couple of months I was really busy at work.  I felt like all that I did was work, hang out with Kiran after his preschool and then work some more during the night (you may have noticed the lack of posts).  Sometimes even when I went to bed I kept thinking of things that I needed to get done at work.  Well during those days and nights I really needed an outlet for my anxiety.  Some people eat and some people exercise to blow off some steam…but I like to do house projects.  One day I called Scott and told him that he had to pick up some Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Chalkboard paint on his way home from work.  Well that night instead of spending another sleepless night laying in bed thinking about all the things that I had to get done I spent a couple of hours cleaning the basement door downstairs and then painting it black.  I loved it so much that I decided to also paint the door to the downstairs bathroom black, before going to bed.  Scott and Kiran woke up the next morning to the black doors and they both loved it.

 Door leading to the basement.
A close up of the basement door.
A close up of the bathroom door downstairs.
A close up of my favoite door knob .

The next night I painted Kiran’s bedroom door and the second floor bathroom door black.  The next night it was our room door and the door downstairs that leads to the backyard.  Well now all the doors except for those on the third floor and the front door are black.  I love the way the doors look.  They are very dramatic and unexpected.  What do you think?

The door to Kiran’s room to the left and the bathroom door on the second floor to the right. 

A close up of the Kiran’s door (it is actually black and not at all bluish like in this picture).
The second floor bathroom door.

I had originally planned on using chalkboard paint so that Kiran could draw on the basement door but I may never let Kiran draw on any of these doors…I haven’t decided yet.

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More About Books in the Fireplace.

The two main reasons that I decorate, renovate, rearrange and work on the house (constantly) are because: 1)  I enjoy being in a beautiful space and 2) I enjoy being creative.  Ultimately life is about the creation of beauty and perception of beauty through our senses is it not?

What does this have to do with the books in the fireplace? Well Kiran and I were sick and stuck at home recently.  So I decided to color code the books in the fireplace (something I have been meaning to do).  It was a fun project for us to do together and the result is fabulous (at least it looks a million times better than it used to look). 

Being sick is never fun, but being sick and taking care of a sick child is so much worse! Little projects like this kept us sane and it was a lot of fun.

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. 

Living Room Shelf Remorse.

This is a photo of the shelves and Tv set up in the living room (this photo is a little crooked but you get the idea).  Am I happy with the arrangment? Not quite! I love having the Tv downstairs and I love the credenza but I don’t love the shelves.  I thought that we should have some shelves over the Tv for the CD player and also to stack some books.  Unfortunately  the books on the shelf looked too cluttered.  So then I put some plants on the shelves and I am still not quite satisfied with the shelves.  I don’t know what I was thinking putting up shelves on this wall!

I really need to work on curating the shelves better (and no taking the shelves down is not an option).

TV in the living room?

After having the television on the third floor (in what is now the office room) we finally decided that we need the TV on the main floor.  Neither Scott nor I watch a lot of television but we love watching movies.  So we decided to move it downstairs mainly because we really want the living room to be the room that we spend most of our time in.  Our biggest challenge is incorporating the TV into the rest of the living room and making is sort of blend in. 

I have been searching for a white high gloss TV stand for a while now.  The living room has a lot of wood so I needed something lighter and airier.

The first step in moving the TV into the living room was buying a credenza to place under the TV.  We  bought  Ikea Trosby sideboard.  This is the first big piece of furniture that we have purchased at Ikea and I am very pleased.  It is very sturdy and the size is perfect.  Also it has tons of storage and we use one side for Kiran’s toys and the other side for the DVD player and CDs. 

We decided on installing two shelves over the TV to put our CD player on.  The main reason for this is that We have a Bose CD player (best purchase ever) and it just sounds better when it is higher.  Also we needed it to be away from Kiran’s reach because he loves shoving CD’s into the CD slots. 

Next Scott installed a plug point slightly higher from where we decided to put up the shelves.  I am not sure how he does it but Scott has become quite an electrician now.  Scott installed, wired and did everything else necessary for me to have a plug point on the first shelf.  I am so excited!

See the plug point!

This is a close up of Scott installing the shelves.  One more shelf to go…

It took a lot of time to align the shelves (everything in our house is slightly crooked) and to decide what to anchor the shelves on.  Most of our walls are plaster but this wall is drywall to it look a lot of time for us to decide whether we wanted to attach the shelves on just drywall or if we wanted to find the wood studs.  We ended up attaching one side of the shelves to the wood studs and the other side was anchored with drywall sinkers.  It took a lot longer than we anticipated but it is almost done. More pictures to follow.

Work, work, work.

I guess I unofficially took some time off from blogging. Well, things have just been a little crazy. I am super busy at work. On top of that I am supposed to be planning Kiran’s birthday and we are also installing the baseboard molding in the living room and dining room. Our house has so many corners that the baseboard molding has been taking forever. As far as Kiran’s party goes so far I bought some paper daisies (as decoration). I did buy some wine but we’ve finished a lot of it! So I really need to go back to the liquor store, figure out what food I am going to make, finish installing the baseboard molding, clean the house, buy something for Kiran to wear, and then cook everything by Saturday morning. This doesn’t include all the stuff I have to get done for work.

Paper daisies

I bought these paper daisies from here. The comforter cover is from Ikea and I bought is last week. I have been looking everywhere for an orange and white comforter cover and I was so excited to find this one and it was very cheap ($19.99 and includes two adorable pillow shams).

The picture below shows the living room wall without any baseboard molding. We had to remove the crumbling plaster walls in the living room and install dry wall with insulation.


This pictures below are of the dining room wall with baseboard molding. We were able to salvage the plaster walls in here. It took countless hours to repair the plaster but it is definitely worth it. I love these walls.

Without the top piece


With the top piece

We bought primed pine and the molding consists of three different pieces: the flat piece, a top piece and the quarter round on the bottom. Our friend lent us his nail gun so installing the baseboards took a lot less time than when we did Kiran’s room. We still have to install the molding in the master bedroom…maybe this will be another project (with the wallpaper) for the Fall. Hopefully, we will finish caulking the molding and painting the nail holes tonight. I need the house to be in order. The disarray is driving me nuts.