Category Archives: AT Style Cure August 2013

Hittin’ the Thrifts

Hey everyone!  JT and I took the last week off work and made a quick jaunt up to the Twin Cities and back.  That may not be considered the world’s most glamorous destinations but we’ve been enjoying ourselves.  The only thing I’ve used my smart phone for these last few days is navigating around the cornfields of Iowa and so it’s nice to be back at the keyboard again.  I thought I’d fill you in a little on what we’ve been up to.

First thing first (this girl has her priorities in order!) – thrifting!  I set a goal for myself of visiting a thrift/junk or antique store every day of our vacation and so far I have done just that — even if it meant a few (only slightly) dangerous driving maneuvers when I’d spot a sign along the side of the highway and holler for JT to pull over.   I haven’t always bought things though — I found the offerings of rural Iowa and Minnesota a little different from what I am used to (and perhaps a little spoiled by) in STL.

Here’s something I did drag home last weekend before we began our road trip — a piece of granite demoed out of someone’s kitchen and broken up to be disposed of at the Des Peres Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Granite centerpiece

Since the tulip table is white and a lot of my serving ware is white, things were starting to get a little too monochromatic for my liking.  I stuck some felt feet on this slab, and threw together a little vignette that has been gracing our dining table ever since.   I like the rugged edges on the granite – it provides a nice contrast to all the smooth white ceramics.  I’m working on putting together a round-up post of all my thrift scores but really we’re still on vacation so there still may be a few more things to find in the next few days . . .

The other thing we’ve been hard at work on is the back porch and then the back deck that extends off of it.  There is a bazillion more pictures and stories and budget breakdowns and furniture finds and other things that go into this one — more for me to work on . . . after vacation!  I also have to get caught back on my Style Cure.  I foresee a late finish for us . . . I figure a late finish is better than no finish at all!

Have a great Labor Day holiday!  Maybe I’ll see you at the pool.  After all, I’m on vacation!  Who am I kidding, I’m much more likely to be swimming around in one of those big bins at the Goodwill by the Pound than a pool.  Cheers – CT

Style Cure updates

Apartment Therapy has a lot on tap for us as we head through their August Style Cure.  Here’s a quick round-up of where we are on this week’s tasks.

Day 4: Set Up a One-Room Outbox  Oh lordy do I have so much stuff set aside for Goodwill.  A lot of the other items from out back porch made their way to the garage and will soon be headed for Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Check check.

Day 5: Make a Floor Plan Yay!  You guys know I love me a floor plan.  I already updated you guys with the whole house plan that included the formerly secret back porch.  Here’s what I’m thinking for its furniture layout:

J:HOME Model (1)

This project is a “use what you got” project — no new furniture purchases here (unless hairpin legs count as furniture . . . ) I’m even dragging in some alley goodness here . . . stay tuned but this should be good!

The bar cart will be the one I bought back at the Green Shag sale back in 2012.  It hasn’t really had a good purpose until now but has been living in the back porch amidst all the other clutter.  It got a little rusty.  😦


I’m hoping some fine steel wool or Magic Eraser can bring it back without destroying any of the nice patterning — has anyone dealt with this in the past?

The nice thing about Le Bar Cart is that for right now it’s Le Work Cart and keeping all my stuff mobile as I move around the room scraping, sanding and caulking.


Day 6: Let’s Learn About Color  – This is something I do on a daily basis for work so here’s my two cents. I always choose a color that has a little gray mixed into it.  I find that colors without any gray come across as too bright and childish.  Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t painted the same wall in my house four times trying to decide which color I like . . . live and learn.  And then repaint.

I would like to open up the floor for some color selectioning — the ceiling and the trim will be white — what color should I paint the panels?  (Prepare your eyes for some hasty/bad Photoshop magic):

1) All white?


2) A nice pale grey?


3) An inky black? (Drama!)


Hit me with your opinion in the comments.  I’d love to hear it.

Day 7: Clean Your Room  & Collect Paint Chips – I’ll be doing more than cleaning.  Me and the paint brush are about to get friendly.  I picked up this little number from Home Depot:

my new best friend

(Should have taken the picture while the brush was still in the package – duh.  It’s already been a lot nicer as I’ve worked — the handle is a little stubby thing and it’s rubber so it flexes.  No more painter’s cramp claw hands while painting all this trim!  Have a great weekend all.  Cheers – CT

#Style Cure Weekend #1 – Wowsa.

The assignment for this weekend’s Apartment Therapy Style Cure is to go on a style treasure hunt and then share our findings. They were looking for a lot of original images, but honey I’m busy and that’s what Pinterest is for.  So I turned off the “Secret” tab on my back porch board and set it loose on the web.  You can see it here.  Basically, after our style diagnostics, it seems like a sophisticated casual was what we were after.  And since this is a semi-outdoors space, I decided that”glamping” (glam camping) would be a perfect touchstone for this project.  And in an effort to follow the rules (which I am really not at all following, sorry AT) I will share this image I took from our dinner out on Saturday night:


JT and I went to The Vine for dinner — yummy Lebanese food with the vegan options very clearly marked but also other options for those occasional vegans like the husband.  (In a weird twist of fate it’s next door to Treehouse, the other great vegan restaurant in STL.  I will be visiting both and frequently.)  I would say this falls into our “fancy and relaxing” category – amazing coffee served in a gorgeous brass carafe with fancy little espresso teacups.

So I’m calling it complete on that assignment. (Plus I have a bachelor’s degree in interior design and work for a commercial architecture firm.  I know what my style is and also that it will probably change in five minutes.)  We fast-forwarded to Day 3:  Choose Your Room, Sit for 10 Minutes and Take Before Photos.  The challenge of selecting the back porch as our Style Cure room is the amount of help it needs just to get up to snuff.  But before I dive too deep into that let me show you an awesome before (from almost 10 years ago) when we bought the house and I didn’t know how to take pictures.


Wowsa right!  John Deere green peel and stick floor tiles and gorgeous barn red panels.  That door you see is what is now the music room door — there’s another real back door directly behind it so it didn’t really make sense there.

And here’s the floor plan before I hit you with the some more before pictures so you can orient yourselves.  Previously all my floor plans ended at the kitchen but this room is off the back of the kitchen (and almost the same size).

J:HOME Model (1)

We had an intermediary phase where we pulled up the peel and stick floors and painted the concrete underneath a nice white color.  While we were at it, we covered the barn red with “Porpoise” from Sherwin Williams.  However this phase didn’t last too long as the dogs go through this room five hundred times a day to go to the backyard and white floors and muddy dog paws don’t really mix.  JT and his dad tiled it with the same floor tile we used in the kitchen (but before we did the kitchen) and then it became the junk collecting room.

Some more befores:



This weekend JT tackled the main flaw in this room: rot.  He did some selective demo and reconstruction of the frames of one of the windows — it was almost all rotted and held together by not much as far as we can tell.  The previous owners had tried to disguise the rot with a pice of aluminum flashing but it wasn’t really fooling anyone.


The paneling was also not caulked and/or attached in any permanent way so it was starting to warp away from the wall and get moisture behind it.  It had to go as well.


There is also five hundred mega-painted over hooks and nails that I got to remove.


We have a solid week or more of caulking, sanding, painting and cleaning ahead of us before this thing is in any kind of shape.  The good news is that JT got the window frame rebuilt and the back porch is much more “buttoned up” than it ever was before.


What were you guys up to this weekend?  Does anyone volunteer for caulking/sanding/scraping/spackling/painting torture?  Me neither.  Cheers – CT