Sometimes you just need to do something for fun. And that thing was build an avocado piñata for Cinco de Mayo. We didn't photograph step by steps (because that shifts it from fun to work essentially), but the skeleton of the avocado is a recycled cardboard box, taped together and from there we cut and fringed crepe paper. I make that sound relatively simple, and that's because Chris's brain was one that figured out the skeleton structure. I look at an avocado and see food. He sees shapes and building. And then we both see guacamole.
Marpil favorites. It's what happens when two months love each other very much and blend into one month. Or, best laid plans were a big 'ol nope. This favorites video has the Carlene special: categories with food, books/video and an obscure item. Like last month it was small sticky notes shaped like cats. You just never know.
March and April Favorites
- Book: The Tastemakers, by David Sax: A good read for piece by piece time blocks. You can read about why certain apples became popular or why cupcakes happened and then cronuts. If you like trend-casting and food, this book is your's.
- Tory Burch Espadrilles: OH MY GOD. These shoes are everything. They are insanely comfortable and classic. My one word of warning is Scotchguard them and don't wear them when it's wet outside.
- Tomato paste in a tube: I know. I'm exciting. But if you make a lot of sauces, you need tomato paste on hand...just usually not the entire can that you purchase. While you can freeze dollops of the stuff from the can, it just never happens for me. Buying it in a tube has been crazy convenient with less waste.
- Wegman's Mini Chocolates- Caramel Sea Salt: If you have a Wegman's grocery near you, go to the bulk candy section and buy these. They are SO good if you like salty and sweet together. Also highly recommended for winery weekends.
- Spotify: I'm super behind when it comes to streaming music. Back when Pandora came to be....that's all I used until about a week ago. WHICH IS STUIPD (note and update: I spelled stupid incorrectly. In caps. I feel like I just can't change it because it's so ironic). That's where Spotify comes in. Spotify is great because it lets you search several ways. My favorite? Decade. DECADE. Which is why I loved Sirius XM in my Jeep: instant 90's/early 2000's. But now, I can get that anywhere for free. The comedy section can be good too. Or really racist. It just depends.
- The critic and the pig : My new show/video obsession. It's two New Zealand dudes who eat food and the dynamic is fantastic. One is a food critic, one is the 'pig' which seems harsh if you're super picky, but he will eat anything. The high brow low brow is spot on. And it also gives you a nice look at NZ restaurants.
A new room in the MaoHaus folk victorian home to share with you! In the last update on the bedroom I showed you the only two things I was hanging on my wall: a testament to how simple we wanted this space to be! While I couldn't figure out exactly how to describe the feel in the title, it's the same vibe as the rest of the house we've shared so far (especially the office). It's minimalist with lots of heirloom family pieces, lots of neutrals and one or two focus colors. And maybe my favorite part of the room? WHITE WOOD FLOORS.
So this blog post will share information about how we took our original hardwood floors to sleek, white but also our wood raw edge headboard and a bit about the process there (we didn't buy it...Chris made it) and some sourcing information. The first set of images will give you the general feel as well as the embedded video walk through with before pictures and then we'll get to specifics.
White Painted Wood Floors
Worth it. SO WORTH IT. If you're been following the MaoHaus info, you know this is an 1890's era Folk Victorian home. We feel it's important to retain a lot of the original features that belong to the home, and that includes trim and flooring. Within days of moving in, we had painted all the walls and trim white and ripped up the carpet (ew) and plywood. What lay beneath the carpet and plywood was original flooring...but it was definitely damaged by idiots who haphazardly screwed in lots of screws to 'stop the floors from squeaking' or punch in a second subfloor but missed the joists. So let me back up here and say: if you have issues with uneven or squeaky floors, an old home is not for you (also fix it from the underside please!). While we thought we would refinish the floors, when we were planning the bedroom we realized we wanted a brighter, clean look. And the floors...weren't going to look that fantastic just sanded like we did to the office where they were in much better condition.
So long story short: painting the floors white was my favorite decision. It took about a week. It took sanding, scraping between floor boards and three coats of white paint with lots of setting time in between. The paint was cut in with a brush and then rolled with a paint roller for the majority of the floor. I also want to point out: we slept in the living room that week. Not ideal but I would do it again for this floor. We are almost positive at this point we will also be painting the upstairs hallway and possibly one other floor white. At least. They look so good with our black doors. It is also super traditional to paint the second story floors in old homes where generally the wood wasn't as nice and hard as the first floor. Not to mention, we already have one shoddily painted floor upstairs anyways.
You can see in the images below some of the steps including after an initial sanding and yes, me vacuuming out the scrapings from between every damn floor board. I live with a meticulous man. But you've got to admit...it looks way better with well defined lines.
As far as durability and upkeep: since fully painting in February, it's holding up fantastic. But I say that with this caveat: We keep the bedroom door shut during the day so honestly there's minimal 'traffic' in there. We don't wear shoes in the room. And we also don't have kids. I use a hand held vacuum a few times a week to pick up any dirt or fur (or Carlene hair) and then wipe the boards down with a rag maybe once a week or every other week.
The Raw/Live Edge Wood Headboard
We wanted a really interesting and honestly hard to obtain feature in the room (because we're jerks like that)...and that's the wall with the bed. The entire wall are curtains (LOVE. I'll talk more about these later) but the headboard is so freaking cool. it's a slab of wood from my parent's property from a maple tree that was cut down last year (side note...I grew up on 40 acres of forest and what was once an orchard. Major, major country road). They had asked the forestry team to set aside a few trunks of different species of trees and had them cut into these slabs, hoping that their kids could have a piece of 'home' in someway in their own homes. So HELLO- perfect head board.
After looking through the slabs, we found the perfect one with a cool edge that would be relatively flat/easy to plane. The maple was neutral enough (compared to say, cherry wood or walnut which would have been too dark) and Chris sanded it and sealed it after de-barking the other edge. He mounted it to the bed frame, which is just a basic black minimal frame.
And here are some images of the headboard right after picking it out.
Floor to Ceiling curtains (on two walls)
We installed a wall of curtains and they made a massive visual impact. They feel hellah luxe. When we were planning the room we really wanted it to feel the relaxing way a good hotel does. Not a bad 90's decorated hotel... What we realized is that many hotels we love have floor to ceiling curtains. So we did a whole wall behind the bed and then installed the same size ones around a window to make it look taller and wider. The curtains have a secondary purpose of hiding a really bad patch job of a former window. We plan on putting the window back (it made it's way into another room in a renovation in the late 70s, long horrid story of ineptitude) and we really didn't like the look of a window behind the bed. Anyways, I actually love the color (COLOR!) of these curtains. Chris convinced me to go for these mineral blue/grey ones and they do look great. We bought very, very long ones and I actually hemmed them with iron on hem tape. Because I am not a sewing kind of girl. Specifically, these are MarthaWindow™ Laurel Basketweave Grommet-Top Curtain Panel in 'mineral sage'. They have blackout properties when paired with additional shades. On their own, these are not blackout, but with our roller shade I NEED these at night. Having a neighbor with a bright porch light is something not on my favorite things list.
For the curtain rod this brass one looks stunning for such an everyday item. I also have to add, we are so lucky to have an old home with HUGE original windows.
- The bed: GOOD LORD. Our Noomi mattress is life changing. You can see all the details on it here. Our sheets are grey gingham (on sale now) which are a fun subdued play on the large gingham pillows. The quilt is Vera Wang and a nice weight year-round. In the winter we add another layer, but it hangs gorgeously on the bed.
- The side tables: These are from West Elm . I mostly like them. They're the right height and have feet that help you level (perfect for old homes). I like the shape and the right amount of storage. BUT, we did have some trouble both with receiving damaged product (broken handle) initially and one of the side table drawers just won't open easily. And typically that's not a big deal, so we sanded and tried to adjust it but it's still REALLY hard to open and close which is kind of unacceptable for the price.
- The lamps: We call these the ginger jar lamps. They have a bulb inside the intricate base and above like a typical lamp. They're actually my grandparent's and I've always admired them. I love having them in my own home now! The brass standing lamp is great for reading and we picked it up antiquing.
- The painting and the baskets: The painting is this piece called "Ivy" in emerald green by artist Patricia Vargas with a matte brass frame (more towards champagne gold than bronze if you need to know). You can read about the baskets and more about the painting here.