Thursday, July 31, 2008

Latest Obsession: Lighting Part II

There are some weeks when eBay is the perfect crack-like addiction. The last two weeks must have been a case of perfect timing, and I've barely come up for air. The dogs are thoroughly bored, and I haven't talked to my mother in a week, but damn if I haven't come up with some fun things to look at!

I've been scouring through lighting listings, looking for the ideal combo of great looks and moderate price. While I'm not trying to recreate some kind of museum vignette in the bathroom remodel, I would like to keep the feel of an older cottage. The house was built in 1917, and believe it or not, it was built pre modern conveniences like an indoor toilet. (There is evidence of the old privy in the basement, but let's not talk about that.) Since there' s no real bathroom to match up to, I figure anything from the 20's to the 40's is fair game for the look I'm going for.

So here' s some more images that have caught my eye....

I shopped victoriously alright, so a few items will be winging their way to me soon via priority mail. I'm really excited about this one:

I think it ties in nicely with the carved flowers on this:

Yes, the painted mounting fixture at the top is garish as hell. I was thinking about painting it white, but Smithy insists that it's been like that for going on 70 years, so I'd probably just screw it up if I painted it. (Thanks for the vote of confidence, Babe.) I'll leave it as is for now; the space is small enough that you may not ever have distance to catch of a view of the ceiling mount anyway. Especially if you're 5'-2" like me.

Due to my eBay addiction, I also got a little carried away, and 'victoriously' landed myself another project.

This one is slated for the bedroom. I think it has great potential, but right now it needs everything: new wiring, new mounting fixture, new sockets, slip shades. Not exactly a smokin' deal. However, the folks at my local lighting store, Lamp Arts, are going to love me soon.

Post brought to you by the latest member of Ebay Addicts United.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Latest Obsession: Lighting

With the great bathroom makeover of '08 on my mind (constantly), I've been on the prowl for interesting vintage or vintage-looking lighting. In fact, I've been rather obsessed!

Here are a few lovelies that have caught my eye; sadly, some were out of my budget or I was outbid on eBay.

I've gone from interest in straightforward, fairly modest styles like these porcelain sconces, to progressively more elaborate ones.

I'm even starting to like the look of antique brass:

This eBay miss is my favorite though. The mustard-gold vertical thingy, whatever it's called, is made of bakelite!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Local Color

This recent post on the wonderful Fabulon reminded me of someone...
So, for Thombeau, here's a bit of local color, Atlanta style.

Mr. Ryan Gainey, talented garden designer, author, legend, and maker of grand entrances:

Check out his website here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bathroom Renovation: the basic plan

I've mentioned previously that I've been mulling over some ideas for a bathroom renovation, also known as Jimmy's Bathroom. As a quick refresher, here's some basic info on our house, and here's the starting point for the bathroom:

I know, it's awful, in a bare bones contractor-mentality kind of way. Horrible shell-shaped sink, bland vinyl floor, very little trim work, awkwardly placed window. So the plan has been to work around what is already in place, i.e. we're not changing that stupid window placement, and the tub and commode are staying in the same general area.

Instead, the goal is to do a cosmetic makeover by putting in new flooring, a new sink and vanity, new lights, a bit more trim (at least a baseboard!), and generally making things look more cottage-y and stylish. I've been making slow progress on repainting the room as well, although no pictures at the moment.

I've been wanting to do a sort of deconstructed vanity and sink combo, in order to use some cool art deco nightstands that I already own. The trick to the idea is that the space between wall and commode is pretty tight. It's been tough to find a more traditional chest or larger cabinet for a vanity that would actually fit the space, so the nightstands seem like the best option. And they're lovely as well!

Because of the height of the nightstands, originally I'd been thinking about doing a wall-mounted sink with the cabinets. Then I found a pedestal sink on Craigslist that will do the trick, and look a little more finished. It's nice and simple, with a sleek pedestal column. So here's the latest mock up of where we're headed:

The dashed line represents the door opening and the basic view into the bathroom from the bedroom, and you can see straight in from the living room as well. It has to look good!

The nightstands are part of a set of furniture that I purchased from an antiques dealer at the beginning of the year. They're French Art Deco, in tiger oak, with gorgeous pinkish marble tops, carved flowers, and some stepped detailing to the top and bottom of the cabinets. I love the whole set; the biggest downside is that the dealer painted everything a horrible sludge green color. So, before jumping all the way into the reno, I've been spending the last few weekends stripping paint from 70+ year old cabinets. Here's an in-progress shot of one of the pieces:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jimmy's Bathroom

Have I ever told you about Jimmy?

Probably not, it's a little embarassing. You see, almost a year ago, while I was on a construction site at work, I sustained an injury. That sounds dramatic and conjures up all kinds of garish images doesn't it? Well, that's not the case. At all.

What really happened is that I was doing an easy-peasy walk through on a completed residential site, with a contractor. We were both stepping up onto a very low wall. Think one tall step. I felt a weird pop in my knee. I shook it off, bent the knee a few times, and continued on with my meeting. A couple doctor's visits later I discovered that it was a torn ACL with additional cartilage damage. Nice.

(Not my knee, image via HERE)

Apparently, I'm one rickety dame when it comes to outdoor physical exertion. Who knew?

Fast forward to knee surgery at Christmas, when I received a 'donor graft' of a shiny, slightly used ligament.

Smithy and I were talking a week or so afterward, and he was teasing me and saying that if I developed Restless Leg Syndrome now, it might require an exorcism. And that the Seinfeld reference to the Jimmy Leg took on a whole new meaning. Naturally, my right knee is now called Jimmy.

And Jimmy has opinions. He doesn't especially like cold rainy days, but when it comes right down to it, he can't actually predict rain. He can be kinda grouchy without actually doing anything extraordinary like being prescient. Nonetheless, I am glad and grateful to have him aboard.

So imagine my surprise, when a month or so ago, I got a call from my insurance rep. While Jimmy is marvelously functional, he's not quite 100%. Apparently, this entailed me, as Jimmy's new host, to a small amount of compensation for that tiny percentage of not-quite-rightness. Right on.

After much mulling, I've decided to put a small sum towards a bathroom makeover.
Naturally, it's Jimmy's Bathroom, and he has lots of ideas.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Parties and Being Girlie

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I posted anything!

A quick recap: My sister and BIL have had some ups and downs with BIL's health issues, but they seem to be managing for the most part. I spend time with them on the weekends when they don't have other relatives in town. My work has been very hectic and stressful lately, so clearly blogging has taken the back seat.

On a happier note however, one of my big, on-going projects at work has pretty much finished up, and Smithy and I were included in the guest list for a summer celebration of the the new pool pavilion. The client 's husband is, well, let's say he's a bigwig executive, so we got to mingle with a pretty posh crowd. And it's funny: beforehand I was a little anxious, but once we got there, we had a great time and met some interesting people. I guess that's the beauty of champagne as a social lubricant!

Of course, I had to channel my inner teenager, and completely obsess over what to wear. You would think that I was going to prom again, or that I had never attended a cocktail party in my nearly middle-aged my life! So this dress by Theory was one of my choices:

In reality, I'm not quite shaped like that model, so I went with something longer, and a bit quieter. Since I had been completely lazy, I decided to treat an unhemmed Tweeds sundress like a maxi dress (that's how short I am), and added some of my mom's circa 1970 chunky white plastic bangle bracelets.
I did teeter around in some similar shoes:
All in all, it was a beautiful summer night, the pool pavilion and surroundings looked great, and it was such a treat to be able to observe people using the space that we had helped design. It was a great feeling of accomplishment in the middle of a rocky month, and I will remain grateful for being a part of it.