Thursday, December 12, 2013


It's been a wacky year, eh ?

No one escaped the insanity: Work is going gangbusters with a new Web site design in the works, friends have been struggling with their parents health (stinks, but thats what happens as you move further into your forties,) and after making some pretty difficult and intense decisions, I have a new house and a new house blog to entertain you with! (so lucky for you that that we're friends - I'll like you even more if you "like" my blog …)

So here's the new house (this photo is from the real estate ad. I don't like it, you don't like it either, but between the snowy, wet weather and the roofers camping out in my yard, I couldn't get a decent new photo.) It was built, according to word-of-mouth, in 1906 or 07 by a construction magnate. A little research into that and I already think that's wrong. It was definitely built between 1902 and 10 from some city maps I found. And the sort-of-matching garage wasn't listed on a map till 1925. The only thing holding me back from staying up all night researching this is that the City Deeds employees hate when you sleep over in their office ...

I still can't figure out what made me go look at this shack in the first place … insanity … desperation … boredom ... It looked really bad in the real estate photos - really, really bad - and with a muddy back yard - and I hated the stained glass inside. But we went - and we looked - and it wasn't all that bad.

When you walk in the place the first thing you see is the foyer's unpainted woodwork - so much woodwork - cherry or mahogany. Most of the house sports unpainted wood trim, too (the adjacent music room is mahogany, the dining room is DAAAARRRRK quarter-sawn oak, the second and third floors are pine (2 rooms on the second floor have painted woodwork - We're ok with that.) The music room (aka parlor) is blueish green, not a good shade, but its alright till i get it redone (at least it's not PINK (see photo of Shively House).) The dining room is shocking Hubba-Hubba lemon yellow with dark blue velvet drapes that blocked both the view and any light that tried to eek into the room. The drapes and matching chunky box valances may soon be making an guest appearance on Craigs list.

And then there is the stained glass window on the stair landing. I feel so guilty about hating that window. It's a big deal around here so I am forcing myself to like it (but I don't) but I keep trying (it's not working) but I do appreciate it (isn't that what we say when we really can't stand something but don't want to get rid of it, either …)

The local paper thought it was a cool enough window to do a story on it back in 2007. Their photo stinks - here's a better one with Matthew and his addiction (do be sure to take note that even though we had moved in 3 days before this photo was taken, and the place was littered with boxes, newspaper and packing tape creatures, we managed, somehow, to throw up some festive garland in anticipation of the holidays … who does that ?)

yeah, you figured me out - I propped that big gold mirror there just to reflect the window (still not liking it)

So, the house is pretty well known and even has been on the neighborhood historic house tour twice (yeah, thats right, TWICE, they liked it so much they came back for more.) Even the Post Gazette (that local newspaper) featured the house from the 2001 House Tour

Just like you remember from my last blog, I haven't rested a moment since moving in - who has time when there are so many amazing things to create.

I am cleaning/caulking/painting the upstairs living room this week. The walls will be terra cotta (Sherwin Williams flat color matched to Farrow and Ball's Reading Room Red - Good Lord, who can really afford a $150 gallon of paint, plus shipping from Europe ...) with Benjamin Moore Satchel brown trim (already had 2 gallons of this stuff) and Sherwin Williams Restrained Gold on the ceiling (mmm … restrained gold … mmmmmmmmm … you'll learn that I abhor white ceilings … such a waste of so much opportunity for yet another color statement.) The new sofa will be delivered tomorrow and after prepping the room all this week, I want to get most of the room painted tonight. Yeah … I'll be up late.

I'll be sure to take photos, though the change won't be significant, the room is already red (every house needs a red room, dontcha think ?)

If you missed what I did the past 6 years, check out the Joshua Shively House Blog.

More to come - stay tuned to this new adventure