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One of my very favorite things is peeking in other people’s houses. I love seeing how other people live, and there is nothing like seeing what is hanging on their walls and sitting on shelves to help you get to know a person. Now before you get all worried that I’m some kind of creepy Peeping Tom, hiding in bushes and lurking around under windows, I usually wait until I’m invited in, either in real life or virtually. I love it when bloggers post pictures of their homes.

We moved into the new Little House in March, and have been working steadily (er…more or less.) ever since to make it a cute and fun place to live. Tons of paint, a little bit of beadboard, and fun vintage accessories have helped to make it a comfy home that reflects our (or at least, my) tastes.

Our sunny kitchen

The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house. This wasn’t the case when we first moved in. Before we put up the beadboard backsplash, there was dark green flowered wallpaper, which really made the whole room seem dark. The kitchen cabinets were white with black handles, but they were dingy and dull. And the adorable spice shelf? That was an old window, that had been filled in with plywood. Of course, I’m never completely satisfied. Now I’m looking at my cabinets and thinking they would be even better if they were a bright glossy red. Oh well, maybe someday. (Someday I’ll give you a peek of the inside of the cabinets. They are a bright, fun turquoise inside.)

Vintage aprons and dancing chickens

 One of my favorite things in the house: My vintage aprons, and my dancing chicken art. I won the dancing chickens in a blog giveaway from this amazing blogger. (I also won an adorable handmade wallet and zippered bag, both of which I use every day, as well as two cute little soft matryoshka dolls.)  

Alice sitting on the couch in our living room.

Our living room. It’s not nearly as put together and decorated as I would like. The repurposed china cabinet is my favorite thing in the room. It holds all of my favorite books in the top, the kids’ art supplies in the drawer, and the kids’ books in the bottom cabinet. (Psst…you can see my matryoshka dolls on the middle shelf, right smack in the center.)

Wesley and Alice's room

Art in the kids' room

I lied. Actually, the kids’ room is my favorite room in the house. I adore the color on the walls, and the green quilt on Wesley’s bed. (I’m still on the lookout for a girly quilt for Alice’s bed. I started a quilt in December that I hoped to have done by now, but I’m lazy.) I adore the art on their walls and the homemade kitchen. (Seen in the first picture. Ryan made it for the kids for Christmas.)

The pictures on either end came from this fantastic Etsy seller. I spent ages searching through the art on Etsy before I found  Trafalgar Square’s shop and just fell in love. I made the sillouettes of the kids, and the yellow framed print is a picture from a 1933 math book. Can you see the little girls, in the kitchen cooking and taking care of dolls, and the little boys outside, building something? Ah…I love it.

Thanks for stopping by the tour of my Little House. I’m sure if you were here in real life, we’d sit in these chairs and watch the kids zoom around the deck on their bicycles.

drawersasshelves

 

I spotted this idea on the ‘net today and I am positively in love. I have got to find myself a crappy old dresser so that I can do this! I know just the spot for it, too. Of course, it will have to be in my bedroom so that the kids don’t pull it down, but that’s okay.

Craftynest posted all about how to turn these old drawers from a kitchen remodel into a modular bookcase. How great is this? I’m constantly spying ratty old dresser drawers on the curb waiting for someone to rescue them. And now that I have this idea in mind, I’m going to be that rescue person!

There’s nothing like getting a new piece of furniture for pennies, not to mention keeping something out of the landfill, to put a smile on your face.

The Little Green House has been seriously lacking in something, and it’s been bugging me lately. It took me awhile to figure out what it was, and it took a mention from some of my friends to help me realize what was missing: plants!

I had asked some on-line friends what I should do with my big bay window. All agreed that I needed curtains (which I’ve made and will show off soon!). Other than that, two suggestions were made, and I loved both.

Our living room

Our living room

The first suggestion was to fill the bay window with pillows and make it a window seat, an idea which I love love loved. Unfortunately though, the window is so high that idea was out, unless I planned to pole vault into it every time I wanted to have a seat.

The next suggestion was to fill the window with plants and greenery. Although I seriously loved this idea, the plant serial killer in me cringed at the thought of subjecting them to my care. I imagine ferns and daisies eyeing me with fear, as I walk towards them with my watering can. To them I probably look like Kathy Bates in Misery. Will I over water them? Under water? Or will I ignore them altogether as they wilt away to a dull brown?

But I’m going to give it a try. I probably won’t go all out, with a window full of plants, but surely I can handle two or three, right?

Ryan and I have been working on redecorating our house, mostly with things we already own, a few flea market purchases, fabric and paint. We are on a looooooooow budget, so that has largely affected how we spend our money. The other thing that affects our purchases is the fact that we realized that we don’t like new stuff.

 

New things I hate

 

Exhibit A:

Our living room

Our living room

This is my couch. Now, it isn’t new anymore, but I purchased it new after I moved into my first apartment in 2002. Almost immediately I hated it. The cushions slide out constantly, exposing tan fabric on the back of the cushion, and every little fuzzy shows up terribly on the black fabric. You can imagine how my hatred has multiplied over the last seven years with the couch. Pushing the cushions in fifty times a day and doing my best to ignore every cracker crumb, baby booger, and speck of dust on the fabric has filled me with…well, I was going to say rage but it has really become more of a dull hatred over the years.

 

Exhibit B:

wesleysroom-1030-wince

This is our kitchen table. Pretty isn’t it? Look closer.

wesleysroom-1652

 

Yes, that’s right. The finish on the wood is peeling off like a mo-fo. Haaaaaaate. We bought this on a (stupid) whim less than a year ago. I don’t even want to know what it’s going to look like in five years. Probably like a pile of ashes when I torch it in a fury in the backyard.

 

Exhibit C:

Okay, so we didn’t actually pick this item out. The stove was new when we bought this house, and it has one of those smooth glass tops. At first my eyes were glazed over by the shiny pretty of it. That lasted all of about one hour.

Now, while it’s super easy to wipe crumbs and grease off with a wet rag, it doesn’t get that nice shiny finish on it again until you polish it with special cleaner and (gasp!) a paper towel. You can imagine, especially since I told you yesterday that we haven’t bought paper towels in a year, that it doesn’t look shiny pretty very often. Oh, and I can’t use my favorite copper bottom cookware (because they have a slightly rounded bottom), cast iron (because it will scratch) or can my garden produce (because the canner is too heavy and could break the burner under the glass). Now, if you can’t can, what can you do? Lame joke aside, seriously. Come on, Stove Making People. Can you imagine going back in time and telling a housewife fifty years ago that she couldn’t can on her stove? My, how things have changed.

 

Old things I love

 

Exhibit A:

wesleysroom-1650

My copper bottom cookware. Now, it may get me in trouble to call these old. (Sorry Mom!) I’m going to play it safe and say that they are not old-old, but youngish. Sort of. My mom and dad got these when they got married…er, awhile back. Then Mom gave them to me when I got my first apartment. They are the best pots ever. Nothing sticks to these babies, and they clean up like a dream. Even though I can’t use the pots on my current stove, I’m saving them in case we ever have a good stove again. (Thankfully I can still use the big skillet, it’s my favorite!) I have no idea what brand they are, because the engraving on the bottom has been worn away by…uhh, what was surely some small amount of years of use. They need a good ketchup polishing to shine the copper back up, though.

 

Exhibit B:

wesleysroom-1651

 Ryan and I bought this dresser at a used furniture store here in town. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s pretty. And probably old. For sure older than the cookware. 😉

 

Exhibit C:

wesleysroom-1647

I rescued these octagonal tables from my uncle’s dusty old storage silo on his farm several years ago. They were pretty tired looking, and someone had apparently begun to sand off the finish but was daunted by all the detail work and gave up. Ryan and I gave them a new coat of paint recently and now they look spiffy and pretty. They have been some of my favorite pieces of furniture for years, even back when they were worn and dull looking. They are sturdy enough to sit on (Or stand on, launch yourself into the air, and scream something about flying. Just ask Wesley.) and they also have really great detail work that you just don’t see on modern furniture.

 

Of course, the best thing about old stuff is that you don’t have to stress about putting that first scratch, dent, or tear on it. Someone else has already done the honors. And of course, although it goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway. Buying used is always better for the environment than buying new.

 

And it really is true. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.