Friday, August 7, 2020

Painting the Porch

I honestly didn't know if I should call this post "Painting the Porch Floor Green" (which is basically what this is about), "Messel Green", or "My Obsession with Amanda Lindroth's Bahamian Home."

We have a large screened in porch on the back of our house. 
We are porch people. 
We live outside about 9 months of the year and any unusually warm days in the Winter months. 
It has been added on to over the years and is a bit quirky for this reason. 
People always want to hear the story of our porch "evolution" when they see it the first time :)

When the pandemic struck and lockdown started I began a series of #pandemicprojects to keep myself busy. They all needed to be done anyway and they were a great distraction.

One of these projects was painting the screened in porch floor 
and the wall that is inside the porch but is the exterior of our house. 

This has been a process because A) it is a large porch as I said B) it is fully furnished with some rather large heavy pieces to move around and C) it has to be painted in a way that the dog rowdy puppy Cooper doesn't track through wet paint so that means blocking off sections to paint one at a time.

Fresh green floor paint on the left and the dingy old paint on the right.
And, yes since it's 2020, let's throw in a broken bone and a walking boot :(

What does this have to do with Messel Green (whatever that is you ask) and Amanda Lindroth?
If you are as obsessed with her book "Island Hopping" as I am then you are probably beginning to figure this out.

Years ago our deck floor was hunter green but when we screened it in I knew I needed a medium green for the floor because we had some dark green porch furniture and I needed there to be a difference in the greens. I knew my ceilings would be light blue because I am originally from Charleston SC and that's what we do.
I decided to look through some pictures from a trip to the Bahamas for porch inspiration and I kept seeing this unique, not too dark green color that seemed like it could work as a "neutral" on our porch floor. We had a partial 5 gallon bucket of dark green so we mixed in some OOPS paint (remember that??) to lighten it up and matched that green as closely as we could.

(Pictures from the good ol' days when we could travel)

(I'm also now wondering why I didn't buy that center painting of the palm trees on the yellow background?)

Fast forward a bit and the porch needed a fresh coat of paint. This green we mixed had worked out great but it was still a bit yellow-er than this Caribbean green I was after. I had seen pictures of Amanda Lindroth's home in some of the shelter mags by then and she used that same Caribbean green I liked so much! I started searching through my Sherwin Williams fan deck for the perfect color. I narrowed it down to SW Lounge Green. (By the way, another fav designer Eddie Ross recently used Lounge Green in his home restoration!!)

About that time my long awaited copy of "Island Hopping" arrived and there was the story of that particular Caribbean green. It is one of Amanda Lindroth's go to colors and it is named after a famous designer/builder  in the Caribbean named (you guessed it) Oliver Messel. He designed homes in Barbados and Mustique in the 60's and 70's and used this green a great deal. 

So my color had a name - Messel Green - and if that color is a favorite of Amanda Lindroth whose style is everything I love then it must be the perfect color for my porch floor!! #validation

So here we are, 5 months in to a stay at home situation, and I'm finally about to finish painting my porch floor!! 

I'm pretty sure this is more than you want to know about my (or any) porch floor paint color but, then again, we have time on our hands still and this long winded explanation of why my porch floor color is this green might just be what you needed to fill 5 minutes of your day!!

Here is a little look at our porch with it's pretty green (freshly painted!!) floor.

I'm going to start with some pictures I took in the evening.
(I know there's a whole thing about not taking pictures for blogs and IG with lamps on but that's when I love the porch most so I'm going for it.)

I'm standing in one corner (which is against the house) facing the opposite corner. 
In this next picture I'm standing in the opposite corner from the one above 
looking back toward the table and chairs.
I'm standing in this nook (below) that has our hanging/swinging bed 
and a big, comfy wicker chaise.

If you look at the first picture you can see the golden seahorse outline and the wicker lamp if you need a point of reference for this to make sense. See, it's a lot of floor to paint. That's why it has taken me this whole lockdown to get it done! Not to mention the 629 other projects I kept coming up with :)

What's under the big green tarp, you ask?
It is a pool table. I"ll uncover it and show you sometime. 
It's tarped to protect it from the weather and me. 
Mostly me because I like to do big, messy projects on it.

(In this picture I am standing at the kitchen door which is where we come out onto the screened porch from the house.)

If you've been following me for even a second then you know all of this furniture, lamps and accessories have been thrifted. Everything is comfy and nothing is too fancy for propping up your feet, sitting a drink down on the table next to you, eating on the furniture or sharing a nap spot with Cooper.

Speaking of Cooper...

We have 10 chairs at the table but we can squeeze in a few more if when we need to.

Ready for a laugh?
 My BIL made this checkerboard for us several years ago. 
Look at the bottle caps he used :)
I think this year is "Corona Extra!"

So now we've come full circle. 
I was standing in front of this bar cart when I took the picture across the porch to the opposite corner. 

Thank you for joining me for an evening tour of my favorite place "in" our house at my favorite time of day. And if you made it through all of this long-winded look at our screened porch, double thank you!

Monday, August 3, 2020

July Wrap Up

I can't believe it is August. It's amazing to me that with things so different due to Covid19 or whatever they are calling it now and so many regular Summer activities cancelled or altered drastically that time is flying by. (For me anyway!)
Spring seemed to last forever and now Summer is a blur. 
The children in our area are starting back to school over the next two weeks in a variety of different scenarios but it really doesn't feel like back to school time at all. 

I thought I'd share a half dozen or so things
from life in July.

First up. I have only been in a thrift store a handful of times since we locked down in March and then started our reopening phases in May.
I'm very surprised to say that they are pretty empty and I have not found anything very exciting at all. I thought that everyone was cleaning out and donating during lockdown. 
We did (big time) but there is not much to be found in my area.
That being said I saw this over a week ago at GW. 

It was quite large and very sturdy. It would have been easy to replace the black leather (?) if someone wanted to. I thought it would have been fabulous in our black walled Library but it was a bit too large for us. If it had been rattan or faux bamboo I would have snatched it up. It wouldn't have been the first time that I rearranged multiple rooms for a great find :) 
It was $39.00  Quite a deal!

This brings me to my second item. I had a little vent session with Gwen at The Makerista and Thrift With The Makerista about FB Marketplace sellers and etiquette. I have bought and sold on FBM for years and met lots of delightful, helpful, patient sellers. 
BUT, I am seeing this more and more and it irritates me.
 Is it just me?
 Or do you think this "gimmick" to catch buyers eyes is OK? 

The ad on the left said all 11 items listed were priced individually and to DM them for pricing. The ad on the right had prices at the bottom and the planters started at $180.00.
Nothing was free or $1.00.
And the other day I told a seller I wanted an item and later she messaged me to say she had a lot of interest after we chatted and wanted me to know before I picked up the item that she was raising the price!!! 
I don't think this is OK.  Maybe I'm being a stick in the mud...
I say don't be this kind of seller!

Moving right along. I love this IG feed @ikomello for great inspiration photos. 
This is my current favorite:

We had Drive Thru VBS at church this year. 
It was a lot of fun even if it 
was very different. 
We still had VBS shirts...

Speaking of socially distancing. 
This is where I would like to ride out my next pandemic :))))

Private island?

And I became obsessed with this beautiful art created by a Bahamian named 
Mr. Amos Ferguson.

He passed away in 2009 but if he were alive
 I'd be tracking him down to purchase one of his happy paintings. 
I could hang them in my house on that private island I mentioned above :)

And now it's August!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


 Last week we visited Anderson's Sunflower Farm in Cumming GA. 
Sunflowers are Mollie's favorite and I was inspired to find a sunflower farm after I saw 

I simply googled "sunflower farms near me" and several popped up. Anderson's was the closest and easiest to get to so I checked the weather for the next few days (we've been having lots of showers) and planned an outing!

We had a ton of fun. I highly recommend any outdoor adventure you can come up with right now. After being cooped up from Covid19 lockdown for so long these little outings to enjoy nature are more fun than ever!

I did not know that the "sunflower season" is relatively short. Anderson's is only open for 7-10 days depending on weather and bloom. We picked a tub full - at a dollar a bloom it was hard to have self control :)

We put them all over the house!!!

They are on the porch...

In the Family room...

It's hard to be crabby with all of these beautiful sunflowers around.

I hope you can find a "pick your own" outing near you!
They are good for the lifting your spirits!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Socially Distanced Thrifting.

Socially Distanced thrifting during a pandemic has become a thing. For me anyway.
I posted this picture in one of my early posts containing a few thoughts and observations about our Pandemic experience. 
All very non-political or containing any blame. I'm not about that.

But this picture got a lot of feedback - 

While going to Goodwill and other favorite thrift stores is not essential a lot of us missed it! 
We are on Week 17 here and while many things have opened we must continue to be abundantly cautious. So we are at home 99.999999% of the time :)

For that reason we have worked very hard in our backyard on projects and improvements to make spending our Summer at home more enjoyable. 
One thing I wanted was a lounge chair to go beside our stock tank pool
 (which I call The Bucket.)
I wanted something other than a folding metal beach lounger if possible. I really wanted wrought iron and vintage was preferable. That's what I like and the new ones were shockingly expensive and then you need a big, thick cushion. Also a bit pricey. 

But by late April I thought I could make a FB marketplace transaction be safe if I wore a mask and we put the cash in a baggie and left it in the mailbox or somewhere like that for the seller.  I scrolled through FBM constantly. Let's face it, I had time, and then finally in May these popped up!! I didn't even try to bargain. She was 15 minutes from the house and so we jumped in the truck and headed to pick them up. And it was TWO for $50.00!! Yay!

When we arrived her husband came out and chatted from a distance! We were masked and safely apart. I'm so glad he came out. He told us that his wife's father had been a Master Welder and had made these two lounge chairs for her decades ago!! I love them even more. They are not exactly identical because they are handmade
 but they are soooo well made and sturdy.

So the next step was to find new cushions. I had shared on IG that the "color scheme" of the pandemic (for us) had been dark green and white because that's the paint I had on hand when the lock down began. We already had a lot of our outdoor furniture painted a dark green because 
I am from Charleston and it's in my DNA to paint outdoor and porch furniture dark green.
 I can't help it!!
So I, of course, wanted green and white striped outdoor cushions. 
Sounds easy, right? Not so much. 
But after diligent searching online I found an excellent price for Sunbrella chaise cushions through 

I read the descriptions and measurements on other sites where the green and white striped Sunbrella cushions were $249.00 and $198.00. The descriptions matched exactly, were Sunbrella brand like the others and were under $100.00 with free shipping and returns. 
I figured it was worth a try.  

They are so nice, thick cushioned, and perfect green and white striped Sunbrella fabric!

(The dappled light makes funny looking shadows on the cushions - there isn't anything wrong with them! In fact, they are fabulous and I've already spot cleaned one and it looks brand new!)

I have made another masked, socially distanced Facebook Marketplace purchase since this one!
 I'll share soon. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

My 9th-ish ORC and WASH Your Hands!

Racing for the finish line here at the last-ish moment!! 
This is my 9th-ish ORC and the smallest by far - just 65" square! 
You'd think I could have finished sooner :)

Our downstairs Powder Room. 
We were without a working sink in our only first level bathroom for the bulk of the Pandemic. 
Perhaps not the best choice but that's how we roll!

The before wasn't awful but now that this ORC is complete I realize it really did need a bit of a refresh and update. We were sheltering in place so I used what I had on hand and made only a couple of online orders and my husband, who was out and about being "essential," did two curbside pick-ups for me. 

This One Room Challenge presented the challenge of being locked down and getting creative with what we had on hand. Are there things that could have been "more" or better? Yes. But is our Powder Room better than when we started and are we happy with it? 
Yes. So, that is enough. 
And a valuable lesson too. 

It's nice to have a fresh look because we are spending still spending our time at home.
So, here we let's see what we accomplished...

It all started with the desire to use a gold/ochre color in this space and a partial bolt of fabric I had previously thrifted and then didn't use where I thought I might. It matched my favorite gold/ochre Sherwin Williams color - Anjou Pear. So we were off to a good start.

Is this the fabric I would have chosen if I had been in my favorite fabric store? 
Probably not but it is the color I wanted to use, has a bit of a chinoiserie feel 
and I had thrifted a large roll of it for $4.00. 
In the end, I love it in the room.

The biggest change, our only major expense, was a new vanity. Our old 80's cabinet was built into the corner and was large and clunky and the countertop and sink had been past their prime for ages. I had painted, faux marbled, done everything I could to make it appear far nicer than it was. 
We arranged a curbside pick up for a very reasonably priced, very plain base cabinet. Is this my dream bathroom vanity? Again, no, but in uncertain times being frugal seemed the best move and this one is perfectly acceptable and a vast, vast improvement over the previous one. 
And it was in stock and easily picked up from Home Depot. 

(The brass container I use as a trash can is old and has some wear but  is beautifully etched with a chinoiserie design)

We had a few demo/reconstruction issues and one was that the old base did not have flooring under it so we patched the hardwoods and I used paint on hand to create the floor treatment I had been wanting to do in there forever!
Black and white check floor. It is my favorite floor design of all time and is so versatile and classic. It can look chic, high end, Parisian, or farmhouse depending on what you pair it with. 

It is a lot of taping and dry time in between to achieve the crisp lines wanted but I think it's worth it and we love it.

Mollie was going to help pull tape when I finally(!) finished the floor
 but Cooper beat her to it!

Everything else (except the hand towels) came from shopping the house 
and using as is or doing a little DIY with paint and such. 

I bought the hand towels on a masked, socially distanced trip to pick up a needed prescription called in to the wrong place which happened to be Target! So while waiting for the prescription confusion to be sorted out I bought the extra hand towels. 
The vintage bamboo towel rack was thrifted before the Pandemic.

Never, ever underestimate the ugly lamp. 
I had been holding on to this monkey lamp for a while. 
I'm a firm believer that glossy white spray paint improves everything.

A couple of coats of my favorite extra high gloss white spray paint and a brand new fabric covered shade and the ugly lamp is a thing of the past!

The vintage bamboo shelf and artwork were in the Powder Room previously. The diffuser is by Better Homes and Gardens and came from Wal Mart. It makes the room smell like a spa and will be so nice when we have guests again!

Things on the bamboo shelf were gathered up from around the house and given a home in the Powder Room. I tucked in a little artwork from a trip to Turks and Caicos (remember travel??), 
a sweetgrass basket from Charleston and thrifted blue and white pieces. 

I'm not a fan of toilet paper holders that are mounted on the wall ( nobody replaces the roll anyway) so I decided to toss our TP in a big blue and white bowl on the bamboo shelf.
The vintage wicker suitcase conveniently hold more rolls.

The bamboo mirror was in the Powder Room previously as well. It was thrifted years ago and when we went to hang it up it was so tall that we couldn't have a light fixture above it. We installed an energy efficient, highly effective recessed light in the ceiling above the vanity. I generally turn on the lamp when we have guests and I like not having a light fixture that collects dust and is hard to reach to clean. 
I haven't missed having a light fixture in here at all.

The white garden stool was also in this bathroom previously. I did find the fabulous planter head on FB Marketplace a few weeks ago and I made a masked, outdoors pick up because I wanted her for this bathroom soooo much and we were ready for a little outing. It was perfectly safe and the sweet gentleman reminded me to use hand sanitizer when I got back in my car!

The large picture over the toilet is a print of a fern cyanotype from the Biodiversity Library
The images are free and I ordered the enlargement online from Walgreens. It was less than $15.00 for that amazing print. I didn't have a 24 x 36 inch gold frame at home but I had a black one and some gold spray paint on hand!

I don't have anything on the wall behind the door. I just couldn't make up my mind. I had a gallery wall of travel photos there previously. I wanted something visually simpler this time. I thought about another cyanotype of a fern. I love ferns and grow huge ones on the porch each Summer. But that just wasn't it. And then 2 days ago I figured it out! So technically, the room isn't finished. I'm waiting on an online order. I'll be sure to share on my IG when it arrives and is in the Powder Room!

Thank you for stopping by!!
Be sure to see all of the other finished spaces here.
Thank you to Linda for hosting the One Room Challenge. It is always great fun to participate in and so exciting to have a fresh, improved space at the end but this ORC was an especially welcome diversion during this pandemic induced lockdown.
We are thankful to have a safe, comfortable home in these difficult times 
and are aware that others do not. 
I did not enter into this ORC lightly.