Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Paint Your Kitchen

When I took this photo we had already removed all of the top cabinets. A bit embarrassing, but you had to see what they looked like before. Our kitchen is a square with three doorways. Very tiny and most of the time it's dark.  We absolutely had to paint it.

Each cabinet door had to be removed along with all the hardware.  Then each one was sanded, cleaned and layed out for painting.  We decided to keep the 1980's brass hinges, they have a nice patina to them and brass is so back in style.  The glass knobs were picked out months ago from Anthropology.  I couldn't be happier with the glass knobs, brass hinges, grey painted cabinets and stainless steel appliances.  Our kitchen makes me happy now. Every morning I smile. It's clean, fresh and stylish. No longer in the 80's and fits us and our house just perfect. 


I do have this to say, if you are hesitant to paint your cabinets, don't be. It was such a rewarding project for us. Hard, tedious work, but totally worth it. 
There is more I'd like to do to my kitchen, but that is for another day and another dollar.  This has been such a simple transformation. 

We used Benjamin Moore's Grey Owl in a semi-gloss for both the cabinets and the walls.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Land of Nod Modern Dollhouse

Hands down the coolest doll house ever.  So cool that I'm pretty sure someone made it for grown-up me to play with.  I want to insert myself in that photo above. Smiling. Laughing. Playing house.  

Now all it needs are some cool vintage pieces, dollhouse size. 
Or maybe some modern art.
And what's a home without a hipster family?  If that was a Portland family, dad would have a full beard.  And one of the little girls would be wearing a tutu with rain boots.
Buy it here.  Cause it's awesome.
*All photos are from Land of Nod.  Visit their website here.*

Our First Turkey

How was your Thanksgiving? I was excited for ours this year, we cooked our first turkey. Both of us were new to this endeavor. There we were standing over the kitchen sink with our raw naked turkey, my husband's hands reaching in for the neck. Out it came and he says, "Ooo that stinks" and I say "I don't smell anything". Feeling a little protective of my turkey and the fact that I didn't want my day potentially ruined by a bad turkey, to which he replies "oh that's you that I smell". "Very funny" I say.
We searched that cavity, hands and wrists deep inside the empty interior of the raw turkey. Ribs and bone, bumpy and cold and empty. Totally empty. "No giblets?" we thought "well this one doesn't have any" (because we are special like that). So we moved on. Bathed it in butter and seasonings, put up the foil tent and slid it into the oven for four hours. Four hours and repeated basting's later, we had quite a gorgeous bird. (See below)

With all of the fix'ns. No, I'm not southern. Just sounded good.

After all that searching and thinking we didn't have any giblets. They were there the whole time, chill'n in a plastic bag in the back end of the turkey. Did my mother gasp in horror that we cooked the turkey with them inside? You bet. Did it matter that we did that? Not one bit. This is my favorite part about cooking. You really can't ruin it. And you learn from your mistakes. So next year...Our turkey will be even better!

We shared one big table in the living room with a side of football.

But we really all came together to celebrate each other and this little guy. Our little ray of sunshine and joy. I'm so thankful for him and for all of my family. Life is amazing.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Target Ottoman Make-Over

The original ottoman as purchased from Target

The new ottoman!
It wasn't quite as simple as I had thought, but I did it and I'm so glad I did.  It makes such a huge difference in the room.  
Still want to do more:
Paint the walls, new rug, get the fireplace in working order and sew a roman shade for that window you see above...
I love owning a house. So many possibilities!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I stumbled upon a flea market AND a vintage furniture shop today, that I didn't know about. I mean really? I used to work at my friend's vintage shop in downtown Portland.  All the time people would come in and say, "how long have you been here?". I would reply "Um (I use that word too much) two years!" And I would think in my head "where have you been!".  But today, here I was saying the exact same thing, only this shop has been there for three years. Whoops! Nicole, where have you been?

I had so much fun, it was a beautiful sunny day here, warm but cool and I was there early.  Reminded me of all the flea markets I used to frequent in So Cal. Sniff. Sniff. I came really close to buying a set of 4 matching mid-century dining chairs. Really close. And then I panicked and practically ran out of the shop. I came home and came up with a new solution for my dining room.  Sooo glad I didn't purchase the chairs. But I really felt inspired by this shop, Seek The Unique.  It made me realize that I have other options for this dining room of mine. I don't have to do 4 matching chairs.  But, I have a new table, so vintage chairs would make it feel more comfortable. It's all about the balance!

Here are some photos of my dining room.  This one is with some chairs that we like to use. They swivel and are comfortable. They are just the wrong color. What if I paint them? Black legs and turquoise seats. What do you think?

The other thing I want to do is change the paint color again.  I picked this out while I was pregnant.  I can't stand it! And the location of the vintage lamp has to change. What do you think about a bench with the two chairs? Ok, paint the room, swag the lamp, paint the chairs, find a sweet vintage bench with lots of character and change the drapery rods.  Whew! I got some work to do!
Here is the room without the chairs, mmmm...possibilities!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vintage Finds

I woke up this morning and thought I had to go to this antique store in Lincoln City called Little Antique Mall.  That's how it works, sometimes I get this itch and it tells me, "go and do!".  It's always good to listen.  And I found some things I've been looking for, so it was a success.

Like these little metal accent pieces. This one is particularly cute, in great condition and was once used as an ash tray holder.  Now it's perfect in small spaces like my house for holding drinks and magazines.  It's light weight, practical and stylish.  Also, unlike most modern accent tables it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Bonus!

Great 70's plastic chairs-huh! At least that what era I think they are from. I don't know, but I like them.  They are colorful, clean-lined and would make great desk chairs in a kid's room.  What would you use them for?  I contemplated getting them for our dining room but they just aren't quite right.

And finally, the piece I have been searching high and low for...a plate to cover a hole left in our front door after I removed the mail slot.  I'm most excited about this find.  I had no idea if I would ever find it and here it is. Matches perfectly with the existing hardware on the door.  My front porch has gotten a make-over. I'm super excited about it and looking forward to sharing it with you.  So more to come on that one.

P.S.  Did you realize how different the top three items are from the last one?  That's because my personal style is 50's/60's with lots of color and my house was built in the 1930's.  The front door has an original brass mini door that opens as the peep hole so you can see who is at the door.  The decorative brass plate should work as a perfect match. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lovely Neskowin

We are enjoying a long weekend at our family's beach house in Neskowin, OR.  It's a quaint little spot on the coast with one restaurant, a small store, one hotel and private residences.  Most folks in Oregon are familiar with Lincoln City.  Neskowin, not so much. 

It's so adorable, if you were to blink, you'd miss it.  Here is the market!

An over exposed photo of the rugged Oregon coast from the beach at Neskowin.  I'm still navigating the complicated workings of my DSL camera.

More lovely wildflowers...

My dream beach abode! It has a spectacular view of the coast with all of the sleek grey lines a girl could want in a home.  This is the modern in me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life's Big Blessings

Anyone who knows me well knows that there was a time recently when I thought I would never have this. This being a loving husband, a house of our own and a child. I had begun to think that these "things" were not going to come my way and I would have to accept that and move on.  But God has plans for me that I just don't know and I can't predict and this is so true now that I look down at my sleeping baby next to me. 

I couldn't have prepared for motherhood, and at the same time, all of my life up until now has prepared me for this experience. The biggest lesson that having Hank has taught me was to just be. Be in whatever circumstance you are in when it comes your way.  At first when Hank was born I was worried about loosing him.  The thought of something bad happening to him petrified me. That soon melted away and I begun to feel sad about how trapped I was.  No longer could I just do what I wanted to do.  Now my life was about someone else.  It wasn't until I accepted that fact that I was able to be free. And freedom came because I realized that I made the choice to get pregnant and have him.  I had planned and hoped and dreamed about him, now here he is.  It's my job to care for him and raise him. How lucky am I?

 After acceptance came joy.  Joy that I'm blessed with a healthy little boy who I get to share life with. And my actions changed too.  I've since found ways to get out of the house with him, to do household chores and some days, just to shower.  Whatever the day, whatever the activity I know it is going to be great because I get to share it with my little Hank.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Latest Vintage Finds

Spring is here! When a new season arrives I feel a sense of discovery coming. I love color and it tends to be the focus of whatever I am selling or desiging. So it's not strange for me to find an array of objects in a certain color scheme. Once I see these certain colors, I start to see them everywhere! As my aunt Gwen would say, "the universe brings them to you"...
Here is my color scheme: Mint green meets Hot Pink with Splashes of Buttery Yellow finished off with a Crisp White 


I snagged "grandma barbie" (as I used to call her) from the barbie play pile at my mother's house. She is looking fabulous and wanted to model this amazing mint carved plastic bracelet. The day I found the bracelet I had my nails painted hot pink, I was wearing the yellow carved ring and thought it made an amazing color scheme! Check out Living Threads Vintage on etsy or at their brick and mortar shop in Portland, OR for more great finds.

A jade cream and sugar set with matching square bowl. It's heavy like Fireking, but without the markings. I feel in love with it, tried to walk away but walked right back. Too good to pass up. 

A hot pink vintage samsonite travel bag from the same local Vancouver, WA shop. I'm going to use it as my diaper bag!! So excited!!! 
Check out Most Everything at their brick and mortar store in downtown Vancouver, WA or on etsy.

Conffetti ice bucket from my etsy shop!  Just in case you want a little of this fun color scheme...

And finally, a Singer Sewing book on dressmaking. It's in mint condition and I have a thing for vintage sewing books. Will I ever use it? Will I ever pursue learning how to sew clothes? I don't know, but a book like this does inspire me. I love that someone kept it and took good care of it, which means that they didn't use it! Haha! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Arriving Soon...

Dear Blog of Mine,

I regret to inform you that you are more of a challenge than I had imagined. When do I write? When do I post what I need to say? When do I just refrain? Are my photographs good enough for you dear blog of mine? These are questions you cannot answer for me. This is fine. I understand.

I get the sense that having you can be a rather selfish pursuit. And selfishness is not a value I wish to pursue.  How can we have fun together dear blog of mine and not make it all about me, me, me? This will be the challenge. I think we can do it!

Posting my own photography is probably the safest bet in the blog world. There is a lot of talk recently about not infringing on other people's property, and photography if I didn't take it, is another person's property. This is been noted, will do my best.

Goals accomplished so far:
  • Purchased digital SLR camera.
  • Took a photography class at New Space Center for Photography in Portland, OR. Check them out at It's a really great creative space located in SE Portland. Classes are taught by professionals and there is a large variety of classes to take.
  • Set up etsy shop! Open for business! Check it out, tell me what you think, tell me what you want to see and buy. I would love to hear from you!
  • Working on graphic design/branding for Nicole B Vintage. Whew! The really challenging part.  But so much fun in seeing a little dream turn into reality.  Hold on for what's to come!
Dear blog of mine I wish to thank you for being patient while I create you and get to know who you will become.  Until next time!

Peace Out,

Nicole B

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Geometrics Happy

When it comes to decorating a vintage house, the fabrics that make it feel the most fresh and modern are by far the geometrics. Don't give me the stripes or the checks. No scrolls or paisely, which makes floral out completely. It must be a shape followed by another shape, in a fresh modern color with some crisp white.  Contrast, contrast, contrast...Check out these fabulous Geos from Schumacher by Trina Turk.

Zig Zag Weave in Laguna
Trellis Print in Watermelon

Arches Print in Bamboo

Sunglass Print in Parrot
Santorini Print in Persimmon

Carmel Coastline Print in Tobacco

Trellis Print in Pool

 Fresh.  Modern.  And mixes great with vintage.  Don't they just make you happy?

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bright Day

Winter blues have come to the Pacific Northwest.  And nothing quite beats winter like color. Color is so much a part of our every day lives, we don't even pay attention to it most of the time. Color is how we see. The more contrast the better we "see" something.  And during the winter months, the outside world provides us with little more than shades of grey and green.  Some of us can't live with color, we get too much stimulation from the people, cars, signs, houses and television around us that when we return home, neutrals are our comfy retreat.  But, some people enjoy the color that can be found inside the house. And now is the best time of the year to appreciate it!

Designer Angela Adams lives in Portland, Maine and this is her house featured in Coastal Living Magazine. Angela makes me feel like I want to paint.  She makes me want to live in a coastal town.  Angela inspires me to live with color.

 Angela Adams makes me want to add more turquoise to my house. She makes the ocean and the forest floor look like things I want to roll around on. She makes them soft, plush and abstract. She makes me want to stare at the ocean until I see what she sees.

 This room inspired me to put a vintage needlepoint owl on top of a floor pillow.  Our cats now call it home.  
 Angela's bedroom all dressed in hot pink, magenta. It's simple and wonderfully colorful.
 Blue and green make for a comforting dining room. And finally, a guest room dressed in shades of turquoise, green and yellow, grounded in chocolate. Does it get any closer to nature than that?
And what about you, do you like living with color?