Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes Please: Sexy Lighting

I am completely obsessed with sexy light fixtures. 
Sometimes, the man and I will be driving along and it'll be quiet for a while.  He'll look over and be like, "What were you thinking about?"  And I'll have this sheepish look on my face.  "Light Fixtures," I'll say.

Unfortunately, the ones I like the most seem to cost a fortune.  I'm tempted to call the designers and ask them if they'll accept photography as a fair trade.  Really what I want to do is learn how to make my own.  I have a grand old time at the hardware store, just looking at all the electrical bits and bobs and thinking about what I'd make with them.  Of course, I have no idea how to do that.  And electricity just isn't as forgiving of a thing to experiment with as, say, paint.  Nevertheless, today I am messing around with some lighting fixtures.  Nothing's completed yet so I don't have pictures, but here are some I've been inspired by lately. . .
Globe Pendant from West Elm
Idle Max from Y Lighting
Model Pendant from Y Lighting
Pendant Globe Chandelier from Y Lighting

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Love Handles

Our kitchen has IKEA-style cabinets, or, as my dad would say, "Home Cheapo" style.  I didn't think I was going to like them, but I do.  They're so easy to clean!  And now that they ARE clean, they're all bright and happy.  But they had no hardware.  I added some on one cupboard last night to see how it's going to look.  I like it.  I think the kitchen will look more complete once all the doors and drawers have hardware.  I got some cool 50s brushed metal drawer pulls too, but of course the screws they came with are too small.  I'll be going to the hardware store tomorrow, but here's what I've got so far. . .


Monday, June 28, 2010


Remember how I said I don't work on the house on the weekends?  I lied.
My mom and brother came over to help get my office painted.  Hooray!  I then spent the entirety of Sunday clearing everything out of the living-room that didn't belong there, and the man and I spent all afternoon today getting the rest of the kitchen unpacked.  We have yet to find the knives.

The place still looks. . . well, boring.  But at least it's CLEANER.  I am itching to get art on the walls. . . and to replace the horrible light fixtures.  Still, I'm in love with this house.
but here is the progress so far.

More impressive when you think about the BEFORE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Again

No picture today.

I'm all covered in paint.
My brother is helping me paint over the hideousness that is my studio.  Some day, this whole room is going to have to be gutted.  That's the "some day" where we're rich and are building a magnificent back porch and installing french doors to replace the crappy windows in here.  He-he.

For the time being, I'm hoping that painting everything white will make the ugliness fade into the background.  You think I'm exaggerating about the ugliness.  I'm not.  These walls have been painted and textured over so many times that they are almost flush with the 1/4" trim around the closet.  I have found pink, blue, brown, green, grey, and dark red paint in this room.  And it's all covered with faux stucco. 

I am determined to make it incredible.
But not this weekend.  I'm off to shoot another lovely wedding tomorrow.  Next week, however, I'll be working on the house like a madwoman.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Hobbit's Office

Ready for another entirely inappropriate paint color name?  See that beautiful green (which is actually MUCH less minty and much more SAGE-Y in real life) on the man's office walls?  Guess what Miller's named it?

That's right.

As my friend Brandon said, "Vapor from WHAT?"
Nevertheless, it was the perfect green for the hobbit's office.  He loves it.  It's an awesome color.

As you can tell from the photo, we've been buying paint instead of new shoes.
Also there's a lot of stuff still boxes.
But check out that awesome beat-up vintage leather chair!  Guess how much it cost?  NOTHING.  That's my favorite price.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Score! Mid-Century Coffee Table

We are very excited that we will actually have the space and need for a coffee table.

If I had thousands of dollars, I would not have minded a noguchi coffee table.  They're so sexy.  And hey, the shipping is free!  Heh.

In general, I try to subscribe to the Brick House $100 limit when it comes to thrifting.  And the further UNDER that limit the item is, the better.  If it's something I've been looking for for a loooooong time and have been saving up for, I might pay a wee bit more (like my vintage click-back sofa -- ha! Funny side-note: that actually IS the sofa I purchased on Craigslist in the photo.  I didn't know the guy had his own blog, and I just found it by doing a Google search for vintage click-back sofa!).

Anyway, back to the coffee table.  I ended up finding this slightly beat-up but authentic mid-century bean of a coffee table on Craigslist for $75.  Not too shabby considering it's awesomeness.  I'm going to give it some TLC and it'll look like a shiny new kidney.  The man and I also love that it doesn't have any sharp corners, so when our friends with kiddos come over there's less they can injure themselves on.

Here it is.  It has great legs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blue Bathroom

Here's another room that's not done, but it IS painted. . .

I've never painted anything aqua before, even though it's one of my favorite colors.
I quite like it.
It's both soothing and energizing at the same time -- kind of appropriate for a bathroom.
The "Hot" cabinet I got from my Aunt Trisha in Seattle.
The color is "Outerspace" by Miller.  Don't even get me started on the inappropriateness of that name.
The vegetable clock (which no ones understands why I have it in the bathroom) is from Goodwill, as is the white coral thingy.

And, for funsies, here is a glimpse at what the bathroom looked like BEFORE. . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

Farmhouse Retro

The dining nook is far from done. . .

but it looks a heck of a lot better than it DID. . .
My style is constantly frustrating my family members.  My brother, especially.  He says I'm really hard to shop for.  I think I'm easy to shop for, but whatever.

Here's the thing.
Originally I'd been thinking it'd be awesome to buy a 1950s home and do it all up in the mid-century style I love.  We even had an offer in on one that was a foreclosure, but the bank flat out denied it (even though we KNOW it was higher than the other two offers it had). 

Instead, we found this super sweet farmhouse.  The original portion of it is from 1875, and it's been added onto and remodeled.  There isn't a single ceiling in this place that's the same height, and I actually love that.  And it's working with my style, because I'm not strictly mid-century at ALL.  I love peeling-paint-cottage charm thrown in.  I love a rolled-arm, nail-head trim chair next to a 50s click-back sofa.  Yum.

So I'll just tell my brother that my style is simple.  It's Farmhouse Retro.  That's not vague at all, right?  And it's not like I say I hate something one year and then completely change my mind the next!  Oh, wait. . .

Friday, June 18, 2010

I work on the weekends

So, you know how most homeowners work relentlessly on their homes over the weekend?  Yeah, I won't be doing that.  Fridays are my Gear Up For the Weekend days as a wedding photographer.  I've got a two-hour drive to a gorgeous location for a fantastic couple who are getting hitched tomorrow.  There will be no house projects this weekend, or really any other weekend.  Except maybe in January and February.

With that, Happy Friday.
Oh, and if you think of it PLEASE do a Sun Dance for me.  I need sun tomorrow.  Or at the very least, do the No Downpours Dance.

P.S. My dad is awesome.  That's him in the picture.  I learned 3 new things today.  A) How to properly apply Teflon tape to piping so your shower head doesn't leak. B) How to patch a big hole in a wall that your dad accidentally made.  C) How to replace parts to cure a leaky faucet.  It was a very productive day. 


Yesterday was one of my first times OUT of Orange Door Cottage in a couple of weeks.  I can't unpack anything else until the studio is done, and I can't paint the studio until Monday.  So, I went thrifting.  Ah, thrifting.  My computer thinks that isn't a word, but it is so!  Hang on while I "learn it" in the compu-dictionary. . .

Okey-Dokey (which apparently isn't word either).

When you have my freakishly weird taste and my munchkin-sized budget, you spend a LOT of time on craigslist.  I'll frequently do searches with the "max" amount set on like 50 bucks so that I don't get so upset when I see an original Eames Lounger I can't have because it will cost us our firstborn.

All that to say, I have been looking for a 1960s Arc Lamp for years but have refused to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for one.  Yesterday, I scored one for $50.  Thank you craigslist!  It needs a little bit of clean-up, but it's a beauty.  Thankfully the man likes it too.
I have a feeling when we have to cut down our big maple tree that the summers here are going to be pretty toasty.  We don't have air conditioning, we have one ceiling fan (which I hate), and I despise cheapo plastic fans that break after one season.  So, when we were in the process of buying this house, I decided I start a little collection of vintage metal fans.  I started checking on ebay, and found a bunch but at $50+ I couldn't just start buying fans left and right.  Yesterday, I found this little (working!) General Electric beauty at the McMinnville Goodwill for $14.99.  SCORE!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hurricane McSpaña

So, here's the current state of affairs.
It's not pretty.

The kitchen looks like this. . .

Because the hallway looks like this. . .
And the hallway looks like that, because the living-room looks like this. . .

And EVERYTHING (except the bedroom) looks bad because of THIS. . .

THAT, internet, is the future office of España Photography and I currently hate it.  We didn't have time to get it painted before we moved in and it's gross so I'm not working in there yet.

You can't tell from the photo but it has this weird faux stucco texture on the walls. . . done badly.  I had hoped to get them all smoothed out and purdy before setting up shop in there.  But I had a contractor come in day before yesterday to do an estimate: $550 buckaroos.  OW.  Unfortunately we have to spend that money on REALLY FUN things, like getting our gorgeous maple tree removed so it doesn't eat the house (more on that later).

Long story short, I'm going to paint over the whole thing to at least get rid of that weird blue color, and then I'm hoping I won't notice the "stucco" anymore.  Or the 3 or 4 other paint colors peeking out around the trim (also a teenage boy's bedroom, coincidentally).

As of today, I have worked all day, every day from about 7:30am to 10pm at night with hour breaks for lunch and dinner, for 18 days.  I have to say though, the kitchen and living-room and hallway look a heck of a lot better than they DID.

Internet, I'm beat.
I have a gazillion things to do, but I'm working (wedding gig, etc.) all weekend, and I am getting out of the house today.  I'll probably end up at Goodwill.  Because we clearly don't have enough stuff in here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I buttered the bed,

Now we're sleeping in it.

Here's the original Craigslist find.  No offense if you like white+brass bed frames.  I find them cheesy.  I liked the shape of this one enough though to purchase it and go through the trouble of painting it yellow. 

Boy is it ever hard to find a decent yellow in a spray paint.  Unless you want something really really YELLOW, you're better off going with something in the green or blue department.  I am picky about my yellows, and thankfully I ended up finding Rust-Oleum's "Summer Squash" yellow in their American Accents collection.  And THIS little spray-paint handy helper is a lifesaver.

So, here's the frame before. . .

And here it is AFTER. . .

Much better, eh?
I haven't painted the night tables yet.  Don't look at those.  Look at the pretty buttery yellow bed frame.  And the pretty can't-believe-how-perfect-it-matches bedspread our friends Bryan+Leah gave to us as a housewarming gift (it's from Target, as are the curtains).


Granted, this is not a horrible green at all.  But it was done sloppily (see the green on the baseboards?) to cover up the black that was underneath.  This used to be a teenage boy's bedroom ;).

I knew I wanted to do a soft, warm dove grey in here to go with the buttery yellow bed frame (coming up!).  I had this color all picked out, and it was called "Fog" which I thought was lovely.  Of course, we used Acro Pure no VOC paint for the entire house, and as it's a Miller paint Fredmeyer wouldn't do a color match for me.  So I had to pick from Miller paint chips only, and the perfect grey turned out to be called "Place of Dust" which is so not lovely sounding.

Ah well.  I think it's lovely LOOKING anyway.
So, here's the BEFORE. . .
And above: the AFTER
What do you think?  Ignore the partially disassembled protruding light fixture of hideousness on the ceiling.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


See that lamp shade hanging down there?   It's made of extraordinarily thick glass.  Coincidentally, when you hit your head on it, it hurts like crap.

See my brother lying on the floor their holding his head?  Yeah, he totally ran into that lamp about 7 times.  I couldn't help laughing.  Then later that night, I was painting the very same dining nook alone.  Totally whacked myself in the head with that lamp three times.  I did not laugh then.

On a more positive note, we have made a heck of a dent in the pre-move-in To Do list!  That's more impressive if you've seen the to-do list, but imagine it as about the size of a smallish novel.  A smallish novel that requires you to paint until your head falls off.

That deep, dark red in the living-room and hallway? Gone.  It's now a breath of fresh, white air.  Same with the dingy beige-ish color in the kitchen.  Bedroom's done, and my husband's office is almost done.

We're still hoping to move in this Saturday. . . which means I need to go clean old moldy caulk off the bathtub.

Sweet dreams!

Friday, June 4, 2010

In the Beginning. . .

There were some awful photos.

Of the inside of Orange Door Cottage.

And they were not good.

But hey, they're BEFORE photos so they're allowed to be bad, right?  At any rate, these give you a glimpse of what they living-room, hallways and kitchen looked like before.  P.S. I didn't take these photos.

At this point, I have put in 3 eight-hour+ days of constant cleaning and painting.  I feel like an old woman, I'm so sore.  But it will be worth it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What, is she color blind?

No, I'm aware that's a blue door.  It will be painted orange as soon as possible. . . however, it's been raining cats and dogs around here, which puts a serious damper on my outdoor painting projects.  Never fear.  We will have an orange door.