It’s the Little Things

I have not fallen off the face of the earth or been eaten by sharks. Some periods of time just seem to lack inspiration. So instead of junking up your newsfeed and email with things that don’t really inspire me in order to “create content” I chose silence. I’m a nonconformist that way.

So what is it that has brought me back? Door knobs! I know, right? My house is old. It was built in 1979. That is the same year my sister graduated from high school. Hi Jackie! It will never look new again even with a whole lot of effort. My sister, on the other, looks amazing!

All of the hardware is antique brass.

antique brass door knob

antique brass door knob

You are probably thinking this doesn’t look too bad. Hang on.

This particular finish came before the bright gold phase.

visually offensive gold

visually offensive gold

It is not quite as visually offensive as the gold but still looks very dated.

Here is a photo of my own, dated, antique brass door knob before I decided what to do about it.

Tresa’s personal antique brass door knob

Ick! 1979, people! Not a pretty sight. So one day, without stopping to think about what a pain in the ass it would be, I decided to paint them all black. Not a revolutionary idea by any means but there it is. It’s been done before. Even before Pinterest.

Did you know that door knobs come with a lot of parts to them? Exactly. As you all know, anything worth doing is worth doing right so I fired up my screwdriver and got busy.

The change has saved my life.

life changing black door knob

The effect makes my heart beat faster. I hang out in the hallway more often as a result of it. And I did, in fact, paint the strike plates and face plates. And the hinges. And all the tiny little screw heads.

black hinge with tiny little screw heads

This change celebrates the age of my house. It was worth all the trouble to give it an old timey feeling instead of a dated one.

If you are going to change out your hardware you still have to remove it all and install the new. Very labor intensive. I cut out the cost of new hardware with a few light coats of Rustoleum spray paint in between.

It’s the little things.


*No screws were stripped in the execution of this project.


Dramatic Dining Room

I think it is interesting that our society in general is in constant search of the fountain of youth. But we value agedness in some of the things around us. We will even go to lengths to make things look old and worn to match our decor or give interest to a setting.  In this case it definitely paid off.


Dramatic dining room

The new home owner decided to go with a dark trim in some key places; the dining room being one.

However, we took it a step farther and added some age to the embellishments here and there.

Aged medallion

Aged medallion

Not only the medallion but also the light fixture itself.

Dark light fixture

Dark light fixture

Painting a light fixture might not occur to most people but it was much easier than replacing it.

All of these elements started out in a light cream color.  Someday I’ll have the forethought to take before photos.

The effect is especially stunning on the columns leading into the dining room.

Aged column

Aged column

Aged column detail

Aged column detail

Another larger light fixture in the foyer sets the tone for this dark, dramatic effect.

Darkened chandelier

Darkened chandelier

That was fun to paint!

Chandelier closeup

Chandelier close up

These details give me goosebumps.  Yes, I am a design nerd.  I’m glad we’ve gotten that out in the open.

Once again, I am privileged and grateful to be a part of projects like this one.

Design by the lovely Heather Spriggs Thompson.

Party room!

There is no doubt that the message this room conveys is “fun”!  It is a different spin on girly.


The chevron pattern of the pillows is reflected in the color band on the walls.


A little black chandelier gives some sparkle to the bold lines and complementary patterns.

A desk for studying and a patterned reading chair add to the interest and functionality of this visually stunning room.

Patterns like this are some of my favorite things to paint.  The possibilities are endless.

Which room in your house could use a little fun?




Princess bathroom

This is a bathroom fit for a princess or two actually since it is shared by two sisters.  It is the epitome of sparkly and all things girly.

The walls are covered with a glitter glaze over a light gray base coat.

The cabinets are painted a metallic silver

I love the contrast of the antique vanity with all the sparkle.

A sweet chandelier adds to the glamour.

And a leopard’s print shower curtain gives the room some sass!

I love that the owner was willing to go all out for this bathroom.  It’s every little girl’s dream!

Have you done anything bold lately?

Fireplace facelift

I’m a big fan of giving things a facelift instead of ripping them out and replacing them.  Sometimes ripping things out is the right thing to do.  Old linoleum anyone?  However, “repurposing” is the buzzword of the day and I can get on board with that.

The orange tones of the wood in this fireplace and the red brick made it a bit outdated and presented a challenge for picking a new paint color for this living room.  Painting over the whole unit wasn’t an option my client wanted to consider.  They still wanted it to look like wood and brick.  I can appreciate that as well.  As much as I love paint, maybe not EVERYthing should be painted over. Gulp.

Here is the fireplace before:


We decided on the lovely color of “kittery point green” Benjamin Moore HC-119 and then started thinking of ways to incorporate different tones into the fireplace that would complement the new color.

Without rambling on in more tedious detail, here is the result:


It looks like a different room.

This is a great fireplace in the home of a lovely family and deserved a fresh, new look.

Now it’s ready for family photos and great artwork.  Bring on winter!