Friday, December 31, 2010

These are a few of my favortite things...Part III (and Happy New Year's Eve!)

Over the past 48 hours, life has been hectic but good.  We are exhausted but we are completely moved into 1910 Dream Street and are official landlords of our former home.  To finally be living in one place is a welcomed event. Now to weed out even more stuff that we don't want to keep that couldn't be done before we moved.  The fall caused a lot of the things we wanted to do over there to not happen but that is ok.  We are finally out and the tenants are in.  On to 2011!

My final favorite thing that I will share are convex mirrors.  I have one that I bought from Pottery Barn about 10 years ago when we moved into our former home.  I absolutely adore them.  I plan on getting an ornate picture hanger so that we can hang ours over the fireplace in the dining room.  I think it would be the perfect addition for now.  Eventually, I would like to get a true antique convex mirror.  Here are a few styles that I really love:

This is from the Federalist time period (18th century) and is one that I am fond of.  The mirrors of this period are adorned with thirteen gold balls to represent the original 13 colonies.

I really like the depth of this mirror and the wide frame around it.  It is amazing how this type of mirror can make a room look so much bigger. 

This is a bit more modern and only about 60 years old but is still one of my favorites.  The star burst convex mirrors are making a huge come back and I expect to see more of these in the antique stores.

I hope you and yours have a very fun and safe New Year's Eve!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...part II

Silly me almost didn't post an entry today.  I am exhausted and still in a bit of pain from the fall.  I head to the doctor tomorrow for a follow up appointment.  Should be interesting to see what she has to say.  We've also been trying to get the last bits and pieces out of the country house this week.  The movers came this afternoon and brought over the big pieces of furniture for all of our bedrooms plus the guest room to the city house.  All that is left are a few closets and cabinets to empty as well as some cleaning to do.  It is going to be a busy 24 hours leading up to a 10 am walk through with our renters on December 30 but it will certainly be worth it in the end.

But what is another one of my favorite antique things you might ask?  This is not a common one but I have an interest in it since we have two that were left behind in the dream home: antique radiators.  Yes, strange but true!  We have one small one that has been stored in a closet.  It is very plain and simple but I would still like to find out how old it is.  The other is quite ornate and unfortunately stuck in our master bathroom.  It was against the wall in our master bedroom but the flooring guys managed to slide it from the wall to the bathroom by using the moving rugs that were stuffed underneath it by a previous homeowner.  We have been told by other that the previous owners were under the impression the radiator still has water in it.  Yikes!  Not only is it cast iron but it also weighs a ton.  In a perfect world, we hope to move it downstairs and place it under the stairwell like this:
The one we have is even and would make a great console table with a thick piece of glass on top.  I love the quote from one Web site I have found regarding antique radiators, "radiators aren’t just hunks of junk, they are works of art we are salvaging from the past.." That is why I would like to salvage the one we have.  Despite some poor attempts to repaint it, the radiator is in great shape and it has beautiful ornate pipes.  It is very similar to this one:

Once again, if I ever locate that flipping USB cord for my camera, I will post some of my own pictures.  I would love to have a company like A1 New & Used Plumbing and Heating (located in Union Square, Massachusetts) tell me more about this "work of art" that has been left behind in our home.  Perhaps I can email them some pictures soon to see what they think?  I wonder if it is original to the home.  Now that would be an amazing discovery if so!
One more favorite tomorrow :0)....

Monday, December 27, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...part I.

Last night I had some girlfriends over and as we were chatting over hot buttered rum, The Sound of Music could be heard in the background from the TV in our living room.  As the famous song is still stuck in my head, I thought I would share a few of my favorite historic things with you.  These are the beauties I would like to get for the city house as soon as finances are back in order.  Heat first, right?

The first are real picture hangers to use in the rooms that have picture railing.  So many people try to bang a nail in the old, plaster walls and end up screwing a bolt in so they can put a picture on the wall.  Sigh...if they only realized that molding above their heads was put there for a reason not just decoration!  At the state capitol where I work, they still use the old antique brass picture hangers.  If you are a legislator or staffer lucky enough to have a capitol office, one must hang one's acolades and diplomas on cords with these.  I like this version possibly for our office:

I know I want some of these rosettes once they are back in stock.  I could see using these in the bedrooms without a shadow of a doubt:

I found the two above as I have been doing research online.  Then I stumbled upon these beautiful picture hangers.  The Swan Company specializes in authentic replicas of picture hangers used back in the day.  They range from the very simple to the simply ornate.  I love this one:

Personally, I have never seen these in the stores but then again, I haven't been looking for them.  I plan on scouting the local antique stores to see if they carry anything in town.  If not, thank goodness for the World Wide Web! 

Another favorite thing tomorrow!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it snow!

Merry Christmas, everyone! My husband and I have decided that you have really moved into a home when you celebrate the holidays in it.  The dream house now has two celebrations under her belt with Thanksgiving and an incredible Christmas!  We even had a white Christmas - the first one in Georgia since 1882.  It was absolutely beautiful.

The house got a few Christmas presents of her own.  We were given a medallion to go in our dining room over the chandelier.  I can't wait to have that installed.  We also got a circular saw which will come in handy very soon.  We even got new lamps to put in the office.  It was a fantastic Christmas and we are so thankful that we got to celebrate in our new home around a beautiful 8" noble fir tree.  I hope you and your family had a terrific holiday!  Enjoy the relaxing days ahead before the hectic New Year arrives!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slip and slide!

Finally...we have heat in our entire house.  When you program the thermostat to 70 degrees, it actually feels like 70 degrees no matter which floor you are on! YAY!!!  As I mentioned, the HVAC guys came in the following Monday and popped the roof to put in a vent for the second unit.  By sundown we had heat on both floors.  Such a novel concept.  Finally, my family is together under the same roof and not freezing to death.

Since the heat has returned to our world, life has moved on.  Christmas decorations went up.  We continue to get settled in our "new" digs while we bring the last bits and pieces over from our former home.  Thankfully renters are moving in to that house at the end month and we will only have one house note to fret over.  Becoming landlords is a totally different story...

The one downside to the dream home is the stairwell.  Old and creaky as well as very narrow as you reach the top, we are always fearful that our three year-old will fall down them.  Who would have thought one of the adults would take the tumble first.

This weekend I was running around with only my socks on while taking care of a few things upstairs.  When my daughter started hollering for me, I ran to the top of the stairs to let her know that I was in our bedroom.  As I stopped at the top stair to let her know where I was, my body stopped but my feet did not.  Hard I crashed on my back side down 11 of our hardwood stairs.  My blackberry in hand went flying over the rail and broke my house warming gift to myself, the blue floral knick knack bowl from Glory Haus which I think has now been discontinued :( Thankfully, that is all that was broken. Sunday, I went to the emergency room  since the pain was worse the day after of the accident (so much so that I passed out in our hallway!). The x-rays showed only sprains and bruises.  For that I am most grateful.  We have always known we would have a long laundry list of projects we would like/want/need to do over the next few weeks, months and even years but I think the one regarding a carpet runner on the stairs just got bumped up on the "must do" list.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Warming trend!

As of noon today, we have heat in the house! Hallelujah!! Just as the first floor was registering 40 degrees, the HVAC folks finished up the install of the new heating unit.  The gas company did its part and within an hour, my husband reported that after an hour, the house had warmed up to 50 degrees on the first floor.  The second floor will be finished on Monday as one of the technicians they need to have in order to punch through the roof is on another job site today.  That is fine...a finish line has been spotted.  Besides, we can always live on the first floor if we need to for a few more days or use the portable heaters until Monday rolls around.  I am so excited! Never will I ever take for granted a heated room. 

Still looking for that USB cord!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The saga of the big chill continues.  The warranty company sent their incredible contractors out to inspect the heating problem.  One rocket scientist said we needed more insulation.  Done.  Still cold air blowing out of the vents.  The second genius decided the way to fix the heater is to replace all of the windows in the home.  Brilliant.  When I spoke to the warranty company, they said it was time for us to get our own opinion and if there was a "mechanical" problem found, they would have their technicians complete the work.  Ha...fat chance.  Needless to say my husband and I do not trust them to do any work of this substantial nature.  The HVAC company we had come out has recommended replacing what we have with a unit that is meant to heat/cool a home of this size.  In addition, we have decided to uncap the natural gas and have that as an option vs. an electric only home.  They started the work today to bring in the new equipment. 

So what does the 47/53 mean as the title of this entry? Those are the steady holding temperatures downstairs and upstairs respectively in our home.  Our daughter has been staying with her grandparents since Monday after school.  My husband and I have heaters in our bedroom and bathroom upstairs, which is tolerable.  We have down comforters, flannel night clothes and we vacate the house during the day.

We are keeping our fingers crossed on the installation.  This weekend the weathermen predict that it will warm up a tad before plunging into the low teens on Sunday.  YIKES!

PS: Regarding pictures....during the move we have managed to misplace the USB cord for the camera.  As soon as it is located, I will share lots and lots!  Until then, stay warm!

Friday, December 3, 2010

And the renovations continue...

My aunt called me this morning to remind me that I haven't been blogging and there has been activity in my house that needs to be shared.  She is correct on both counts.  We have moved most of our things in to the city house and have been sleeping there since Sunday.  Christmas decorations are slowly coming out of their tubs and are being sprinkled around the house here and there.  However, my husband has been tackling the biggest "new" project we have going on at the moment - heat.

Right after Thanksgiving, another cold spell arrived and we noticed the heater that we thought had been fixed was not keeping pace with the cold air.  No matter where we set the temperature, the first floor remained cold.  The technician came out for a second time and basically told us that the heater was firing up fine but there is no insulation under the flooring on the walk-in level.  My husband bought roll after roll of insulation and has been stuffing the rafters in the basement in hopes of warming up the place.  Unfortunately, yesterday morning the thermostat registered at 57 degrees.  Thankfully, our bedrooms are on the second floor and we did not suffer in that condition.

Today, we had another heating and air company come out and give us a second opinion, which was not good news.  They are recommending that we pull everything that is in place and covert to an new system which would include gas.  The current system is all electric and should only be used as a back up system we have learned.

Needless to say, we are frazzled, furious and frustrated.  Home inspection? Why did we even have one?  Sellers?  Now we know why you did a short sale so the house could be sold "as is."  I am baffled.  For the past two weeks as the house didn't heat I remember asking my husband, "how did a family live here before? Certainly this isn't all new?" 

Lots of phone calls will be made today to see what can be done.  Meanwhile, starting tomorrow we are predicted to have the coldest weather of the season hit.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.