Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where You Live: Welcome to Our Basement Room Where Pet-Friendly Slipcovers Rule!

I heart Quatrine Washable Furniture.
They're My Pick for Long-lasting Pieces
and Stylishly Durable Slipcovers.
Even, Sam, our 5-year-old Aussie, loves them!
Yep, Sam is one of the family. So, sure he's allowed on the furniture.
Especially since we have easy to wash and dry slip-covered Quatrine furniture.
So purr-fect for pets. For playful children. And especially suited for guests who get 
a bit excited and accidentally
tip their wine glasses.

Listen, I don't stop and do a "commercial" like this unless I really,really mean it. Definitely take this one as an endorsement -- that's done on my own accord. I wanted to post to say how very pleased I am with my recent -- and third -- slipcover purchase from Quatrine. Actually, I didn't even want to take them out of their cute burlap cases when they arrived here in Colorado.

I stacked them here in on a bedroom loveseat. I wanted to admire the packaging 
a little longer. 

Gosh, it's been a dozen or so years since I bought Quatrine's Monterey Sofa and Sevilla chair-and-a-half for our (former) three-story Houston townhouse. Such sturdy pieces! 
When they say they "value you as a life-long client," Quatrine seem to mean it.
(GO here to see how their various pieces are constructed.) Even our cushions have lasted. And that's amazing in of itself.

As long as you like the style you initially buy, it's easy to change out the look with a new slipcover. Especially since they periodically place their fabrics on sale.

Each time I've gone in, I've had to ask reminders of what my pieces are called so they can be fitted appropriately. (Their sofas, chairs, ottomans and other pieces all fall under collection names.) And, each time the sales rep gets on the company's computer, calls it up and lets me know.

A couple of months ago, I walked into Quatrine's West University store in Houston and did the same thing. "What do I have again?"

2411 Times Blvd. Suite 120
Houston TX , 77005
Phone: 713-521-1915/Fax: 713-521-1916

This time I approached the process a little differently. Even though Quatrine offers a slew of fabric options, I already owned stacks of upholstery fabrics and wanted to use what I had, if I could. 

Monica Alor at the Houston shop made sure I got what I wanted! As a return customer, I greatly appreciated the attention and her help.

I pulled out a Robert Allen fabric for my Sevilla chair. I was so happy to have enough yardage. Quatrine's custom team want as much of the fabric as possible -- in case it shrinks during the washing process. Since I didn't have a coordinating fabric, I turned to This company offers a great selection at affordable prices! I had selected a nice linen. But by the time I had firmly decided on my plans, they had sold it all. I then selected a brown cotton. I know it sounds a bit boring, but it does complement the Robert Allen fabric.

 This is the Robert Allen fabric, which hangs nicely. It's a blend (perhaps linen/rayon), 
but that's all I can recall. 
I like the geometrical pattern; it looks rather hip and "today." Plus, it matched an old cabinet I have attached to our basement room wall.

I did send swatches to Quatrine's custom order people in advance so there would be no surprises. I wanted to make sure that the fabric would wash OK, particularly the Robert Allen material.

The end results:

 Other happy Quatrine customers (photos pulled from the company site):

Quatrine's custom pet pad.

Thank you again, Monica -- and Liz at Quatrine!

Say Hello, if you will. Love it when you comment . . . !

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where You Live: Saving a Historic Schoolhouse in the Mountains and Turning it Into a Very Livable Home

Two Innovative Homeowners
Acquire an Unlikely Candidate and Make it Their Home --
but, now, new jobs take it to marketThe "For Sale" Listing here.

Leave it to a couple of chemists to come up with the right formula that turned an "ugly duckling" schoolhouse into a treasured historic property in Salida, Colorado. And in true Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale style, this once-unsightly structure underwent its own  "beautiful swan" transformation . . . . But, it wasn't without a lot of do-it-yourself know-how and back-bending work.

Holly, one of the homeowners, stenciled the name of the old school onto new flooring. The original wood could not be saved. She later found records indicating the school had been in existence even earlier.

Picture a 19th century, two-room school house constructed of red brick embedded with scratched initials that will forever recall the playful antics of restless schoolchildren of long ago. Reminders of their silly mischief also can be found outside in the large tree shading the "new" home. For some reason -- maybe out of boredom -- they hammered small nails into the tree trunk. Oh well . . . no harm done, as the tree has flourished in the last hundred or so years. 

Holly laughs easily, but especially so when pointing to the initials of the names of some of the children who once attended school here. In fact, one elderly man stopped by not long ago to point out his contribution to the brick exterior.

Holly says the school house had belonged to her husband's family for quite a while. Since it was in poor shape,they used it as a storage facility. The couple really had to restore or redo most of the interior. Some things they wanted to save they couldn't -- like the floors and blackboards, which disintegrated when they tried. Nevertheless, this is a one-of-a-kind home with a lot of character. 

The original school bell sits atop the house.

 At some point in past years, the bell had been taken. Holly says it was returned  unexpectedly when they began the restoration. 

The couple added square footage by building an "entry room" onto the house, in addition to a master suite and laundry room. Above, is the home's front door.

 The entry room.
The original doorway into the school is to the right.
The original doorway that lead into the school. The exterior brick is original -- and is where the initials of schoolchildren are etched, as a forever reminder of its original purpose.

The dining area -- and the doorway from the entry room.

 The main room -- and the original school's footprint. Holly says the space was divided up into two sections. When the children entered, they first came into an area where they hung up coats and stored away their belongings. In the center was an old stove. She said you could see where the children had stood to warm themselves; the original floor slanted inward toward the wood-burning stove as a reminder of those cold days.

The kitchen:

Holly and her husband chose to go with a country-sophisticate look in their kitchen, which features a  Shaw sink, cherry cabinets and granite countertops. She made the country-style curtain.

The Guest bedroom and bath:

The Master Suite, which offers a nice view of the the garden:

Holly and her husband did much of the work, in and outside the home, themselves. If they didn't know how to do a task, they turned to the Internet.
She confided she's not a fan of hanging Sheetrock, so they did hire out some of that work.


The couple also had built an garage and apartment:

Thank you for visiting! And I thank Holly for showing me her school house. I enjoy sharing the inspiration of preserving something old. 

I also LOVE hearing from you, so please feel welcome to leave a comment.


I've posted another new post here. It's a guest blog by Arcadian Lighting -- about Tufted headboards.  They are gorgeous!! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where You Live: This Galveston Island Home is a Prize! It Had Me at The Get-Go With Its Turquoise Shutters.

Galveston, Texas, is a Treasure Trove of Old Architectural Style.
This Beautifully Remodeled Home was Featured in Coast magazine
-- and it's also for sale!

By happenstance, I met up with two homeowners at a Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) gathering a few months ago. Up until the day of that GHF event, they had been primping their home, one of the star Victorians featured on the 2011 home tour that the organization hosts every year in May. Typically, 10 homes -- give or take -- open their doors to the public over a two-weekend period, allowing visitors to step back in time, ogle the old and new, and be inspired (hopefully) to  buy their own special piece of island history. The event is primarily a fundraiser for GHF.

Well,this post salutes a real beauty. Owned by the two certain homeowners: Clay and Paul.
And she can be yours, if you're wanting an island setting. And a home rather unique
But don't lollygag, I'm betting it won't last long. (Check out the listing here.) 

I sound like their realtor, but I'm not. I just like -- immensely, in fact -- what they've done to bring this home back to life. The key point, though, is this: The work is done! And it's done well. Clay and Paul reveal their love and talents in this three bedroom/three bath house, originally built by a Civil War veteran. 

I like it because it looks like an island home. I love the soft grey cypress exterior, creamy trim and the vibrant turquoise on the shutters and door . . . . The little picket fence is the icing on the cake.

 Paul and Clay have worked lovingly and diligently on restoring this fabulous 1871 Greek Revival five-bay cottage for many years.

The Before Shot

 The Afters
The new addition includes the kitchen.

The granite they chose is Vesuvius.

In place of the old kitchen, local architect, David Watson, suggested this screened-in porch:

The porch overlooks a minimal garden:

They found the concrete pavers for the driveway in Galveston at a building scheduled to be demolished. Paul said they used them here to provide relief to what otherwise would have been an expansive use of concrete:

I like the feel of this room. I don't know how Clay and Paul use the room, but I envision curling up with a good book in one of those cool leather club chairs . . . . 

Another view of the room, showcasing the burled walnut secretary Clay's great grandfather constructed. (Clay is a 6th generation Galvestonian who inherited various family pieces and art heirlooms, many of which hang or are somehow displayed throughout the house.)

Before photos and other documents sit in the chairs -- for the enjoyment of those who were about to tour the home during the GHF event.

The family room or den:

A Before

The Center Hall:

The After

The Center Hall provides a nice corridor from the front to the back door, which leads out to the porch. Of course, Center Halls are one of those Southern architectural appointments that attract me. In days past, they allowed for cross-ventilation.

The living room to the dining area:

This photo, as do some of the others, show room ties that were set up to prevent a free-flow tour of the house when it was open to the public. Clay's great-grandfather also designed and constructed the 19th century sofa pictured above.

After Hurricane Carla hit back in the early 1960s, Clay's mother found this hutch in a ditch. She had it restored. Note the sea-inspired carvings.

The Master Bath

A completely new master bath addition, which was constructed right above their kitchen. 

These beadboard cabinets, as seen below, once belonged in the original kitchen. They placed them here for nostalgic effect:

Another favorite feature in this house . . . a cozy bedroom window seat:

I always enjoy reading your comments. So, please, take a moment and tell me what you like about the house -- or island living!
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