Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Details, Details, Details...

Apologies in advance since this is a talk heavy post and not a terribly picture heavy one.

This weekend was something of a whirl of activity.  My husband found a new show to obsess over. 'Stranger Things' which is on Netflix.  It was not conducive to sleep.  It's a little scary, definitely sci fi and it makes my brain just...run on endlessly.  It makes you think and thinking does not help me sleep.

So I was up late quite a bit this weekend.

Fortunately my brain once turned on... (it takes a while to warm up but it also takes a while to cool down, is there such a thing as brain coolant?  Husband says yes, that's called alcohol. Nevermind.)

Yeah...so once my brain was on I started to think about some of the comments all of you left regarding the house.  And I got to working on the balcony roof.

I mixed the house paint color with a little white to lighten it, after I'd used an undercoat of black with some dark grey in spots and added the crackle medium after wards.  The look came out the way I wanted, which is good... But there's so much moisture with all the paint that I had to press it flat with a huge dictionary and some magazines.

While that was drying I managed to begin the front sloped portion of the roof.  Geometry was never my strong suit. (Husband and I agree that we'd never make it as architects.) So some of the flaws with the roof will be covered by the shingles thankfully.

I got another length of gutter and I'm excited to get that measured, cut and aged once I get my roof lines settled properly.

I added some plates to the door latches, black paint with black metallic over it, and then the French door handles glued to them.  I think it lends a bit of realism, as does the broken handle on the right side door.

Here's a close up:

Keli very kindly pointed out that the area near the front door without any wainscoting looks a little odd.  My original plan called for a little bureau or table in that area but it's way too narrow.  A table and the wainscoting would have been too busy, but without the table, its very bare. So I added the wainscoting there too.

Here it is before:

And here it is after:

I also was irked enough that the drapes were hiding the heat register that I pried it up and moved it.  Sticky tacky glue is awesome. Didn't damage the wainscoting at all.

And since it's been a while since I showed you the ceiling, here's a shot of it up, with all the trim around the staircase opening in place.

Keli made a very good point about the kitchen, that even with under counter lights it would be a bit dark so I should consider a light counter.  Which is good because I'd been looking at dark marble paper which would be too dark.  We've also been watching Flip or Flop a lot this weekend and I've been paying attention to what works and doesn't in the houses.  (Funny sidebar. Husband stopped Stranger Things to comment on how nice Lucas's house looked, a la Flip or Flop and then looked at me like I'd corrupted him or something.  High-larious as one of my fave characters would say.)

Ahem.  Brain wandering... need to rope it and corral it.

So Keli's totally right.

After dithering between different marble papers and then searching on Etsy it came down to a granite paper or a marble paper.

 And ultimately I went with this.

I've got three sheets of it, which is way more than I need. But its so pretty.  And it has that mix of dark and light with some creamy brownish bits in there.  So it'll tie the floors, the stove and fridge and the cabinets together.  My stove and fridge are black, the cabinets are brown, sink is white porcelain and the floors are brown, with dark brick walls.

I picked up some more shingles at Hobby Lobby (40% off thank you coupon) so I'm in no danger of running out. (I hope.)  And I'm hoping to age them up with some moss to make the house look like it needs some work.

Brae made a good point that sometimes to decide on soft furnishings, it helps to have fixtures and furniture in place even if its not what you'll use ultimately.  So I may be doing a dry run in the bathroom to get a better idea for the curtains.

My latest and greatest thought is to yellow some of the lace I've got with tea to age it a bit. Still debating that.  I also am totally not sure what color the outside of the tub should be.  I love copper personally but I don't think it's right for this house.  An old galvanized steel tub with dark steel metallic paint on the outside and white (hopefully aged) on the inside might look good.  Thoughts?

Question for all of you out there.  Any ideas for making pristine white wood look like its water damaged?  I was thinking I could get some tea and dab it in pools in the corner I want to look beat up with a slight roof leak.  (Or a past roof leak.)  I don't need it to show so much on the first floor but the bathroom ceiling needs something to make it look old and a water leak seems appropriate.  I was thinking I could try to do rust stains on the bead board behind the sink too.

See? Doesn't it look a bit too clean? And pristine?  This is a fixer upper house and needs work... I thought may something in the area over the tub or on the opposite wall would be good.  A watermark and signs of a roof leak.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Good for you moving the heat register to where it can be easily seen, because it certainly makes a difference as does the wainscoting infill; Good Move!
    I think that your broken front door handle is quite Clever since it adds to the story of an old house and I think that a water mark on the ceiling of the bathroom will also be interesting, and add to the character of the home. Usually there is also a slight cracking of the paint along the path of the water.
    Love you granite papers too!


    1. Thanks! Maybe if I use some crackle finish and try to mess with the ceiling some. That might help.

      I love that granite. I want it in my real kitchen.

  2. Water damage the wood with crackle medium and and another layer of paint.

    Coffee works better than tea for water stains...is that part glued in place yet, or can you take it off and set it ceiling face up? Crackles over the tub, where the humidity damaged the paint would be appropriate.

    I like where you're going with this.

    Testor's paint makes a color named 'rust' that is the most authentic I've found. It's enamel paint, so you've got to use it sparingly and mean it where you put it. Cinnamon works too and has more texture, as Elizabeth has shown on her blog.

    Yay for moving the register :). Yay for more wainscoting, now turn the corner and get that last little bit by the door :)

    You are stressing too much about the bathroom curtain. (How about a brittle, cracked old roller shade?) Wait until you've got the fixtures put together and in place to make a final decision.

    You are absolutely right about the tub.

    Love the granite. Love, love, love the living room ceiling. Gorgeous!

    Something else that would brighten up the kitchen is to paint the ceiling white or tin. I have a piece of the brown textured paper if you need testing done. I'm thinking a coat of gesso would be needed.

  3. The sloped roof...

    I like it!

    It's very hard to tell in the pic, but it appears to be not wide enough. It may be easier, instead of starting over, to whack it in half, position it for an even overhang on the front and sides, then make a piece to fill in the middle.

  4. I've been thinking about your project more than my own. It fascinates me.

    So...I've thinking about the bedroom curtains. They are hung too high. To fix them you'd have to get the pelmets off without damaging the wallpaper, which seems like a bad idea to test, then cut off the top of curtain and rehang them at the right height. I can't see that working without making a mess.

    What if...my bathroom shade idea inspired me...you where to insert a piece of paper with a folded, glued down, edge, for a shade behind the curtains, coming down just far enough to cover the top of the window frame. Every old house I've moved into needed old roller shades replaced. I still am using some in this house, that were still in good condition, if you need a picture.

  5. Oooohhh...Keli you are ingenious... I can't take the bathroom walls/ceiling out but I can turn the whole house upside down. And I have tons of cinnamon...it's old so I won't feel bad about using it. I need to go look at Elizabeth's blog and check out how she's used cinnamon again.

    Yeah, an old shade... or some sheers maybe... I can do that... because even with the sticky tacky glue, the wallpaper would rip. And it would make sense for the bathroom too...

    The kitchen ceiling is the same paper I used as a backsplash last year... and I could easily paint it white or offwhite. It'd be cool if I could match the brick grout color on the ceiling. And it would brighten up the room.

    The roof! I told you I was awful at geometry. It's not wide enough. But yeah, I figured I'd add something to cover the gaps. Either in the middle or on the edges. It's not glued down yet so I've got time.

    I remember those old rolled up shades (made out of vinyl a lot of times). I grew up in a house with those and they'd split along the edges and look so ugly... Everyone covered them up with curtains. I can yellow some paper along the edges and make them look old and decrepit and peeking out from behind the curtains.

    You totally rock. Thank you so much.

    1. I thought about sheers in the bedroom, but not only would they fail to adequately cover the top of the window frame, they would hide the window fastener thingies you worked so hard on, and you don't want that.

    2. Yeah, and lets face it, if the front room downstairs (which is way more formal) doesn't have sheers then it doesn't make sense for the more modern bedroom to have them. I like the idea of the shades.

    3. My other option for the bathroom is to leave the window alone. It's a second store bathroom with pebbled glass. It really doesn't need a curtain to block out spectators. Have to think about it. But I still like the shade idea.

  6. LOL yeah that bit by the door bothers me too. That's next on the list. I just had so much trouble sanding and working around the stairs that I didn't have the energy for the 3/4 of an inch by the door.

  7. Every thing you add really bumps up the realism. Well done! :D

    I did a water stain with watery acrylic paint if you want another option. Give it a few passes, soak up the inner portion with a tissue each time and it will build up along the edges. :]

    1. Ooohh...I'd forgotten you did that... I like that idea... maybe for the kitchen ceiling under the bathtub...

  8. I would have moved the register too! It looks great! The experts have already weighed in on the water stains, so I'll just say I love the idea. Adds that touch of detail that people can connect to. I always have to set up all of my furniture and most of my accessories to see what will work or what is missing. It's tiring pulling it all out, setting it up, and then putting it all away again. But it's so worth it.

    1. Yeah, I think that's what I'll be doing this weekend. Part of my time will be taken up with adding some portions of the waterstains and painting the kitchen ceiling, then adding water stains...

      But I do need to determine how all the furniture will fit and what I want to use of the things I have ready. And start putting together my bathroom kit.

  9. Wow, I have to catch up on so many of your posts. Looks like you're flying with this project. I love your ideas for adding realism to the house - the water stain...the broken handle. It's those little details that tell the story of the owner even when there is no owner there. Well done you =0)

    1. Thank you so much. We've missed you! Hope you've been relaxing and enjoying the hiatus from miniature deadlines.