The Color Black

Black:  [blak] adjective
1.Lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it.
2.The color at one extreme end of the scale of grays, opposite to white, absorbing all light incident upon it. 

I’m not really sure why I’m obsessing over this color lately, but I have a crush on it BIG TIME!  I’m pretty sure the problem began when I painted our back hall with black chalkboard paint.  I had no idea I would love the outcome as much as I do, and now I can’t seem to get enough.  I seriously want to paint everything in my house dark…black, charcoal, navy, dark taupe-y brown…any of those will work.

*** WARNING:  This post contains an absurd amount of pictures.  This is in attempt to not embarrass myself trying to be all smart like and explain any sort of theory behind the color black, but rather to visually show you how addicted I seem to be.  And to get Super Sabrina (who is opening a new Etsy shop any day now) off my case about posting a new blog entry already. ***

You can see here from some of the more recent of my 1814 pins that I definitely have black on the brain (um, perhaps black is not really my problem…I think The Pinterest is the problem).

And looking back through all of my pins, one would find these images:

 (well, hello there Navy Bedroom…I kinda want to marry you)

While I tend to really like rooms that are mostly black, my obsession is not limited to that.  Black sofas, black doors, black stairs, black tile, black fireplaces, even black party settings…they are just as loved.

(seriously…so gorgeous)

And just when you think I wouldn’t do a kids’ room in black, after seeing Dana’s magic in her BABY GIRLS’ nursery, I know I would do this in a heartbeat!

So seems to be I’m in love with this “lacking hue or brightness” color.  Not exactly sure what that says of me, but I’m not sure it’s bothering me either.  I did find it interesting how many images I have pinned that include a black element and I never even noticed until now.

Call me crazy, call me moody, call me uninviting, but I have my eyes set on our powder bathroom!!  Anyone else feeling the luv?

Have a good one – Jenny

My First DIY Project

Today is the last day of school…

Tomorrow I’ll be at the lake…


But before I get away for a few days, I wanted to share final pics of my very first DIY project.  I’m pretty darn pleased with the way my back hallway turned out. 

You remember it’s ugliness, right? (I promise this will be last time I’ll show these.  I’m just a little giddy over it’s transformation!)


 (the laundry room is behind this door)

(Just realized you can see my messy office in the reflection…please ignore!)

A few “in progress” pics

Super Sabrina is a big reason why this project even began.  She is an old friend who was willing to come help and boy did she ever.  She was here all of 5 minutes when she started ripping out the existing indoor/outdoor carpet!

I hadn’t made any flooring plans so I panicked a bit at this point because the linoleum was worse than the carpet (if that’s even possible)!  But, I’m so glad she made me take it up because it forced me to make a flooring choice.  Even if it’s not my forever flooring, it’s about 1000x better than what was there. My good friends at B&J Floor Service hooked me up with new carpet and I must say, I’ve never been happier to have indoor/outdoor carpet installed in my house!

And then some painting began and lasted through most of the day.  I could tell immediately that I was in love!

And jsut like that, we were done.  No seriously, it really didn’t take that long.  We prepped on Friday night for about 2 hours, worked all day Saturday for about 10 hours, and I followed up on Sunday after Sabrina went home for maybe another two.  Ok…so maybe that is long when you think about it in hours, but it was practically completed in one weekend.  And I consider that a huge accomplishment!

Looking back at my inspiration photo, I think I came pretty close.  I will add more frames to the mix over time and perhaps a few other quirky things too.

I even have a new track light thanks to this find at EX-CESS and some electrical skills from The Mister and his dad.

It’s supposedly some sort of chicken feeder, but I’m not sure how it works in that capacity.  We (them) installed a few sockets inside the cylinder, ran new wires in the trough part, and hooked it up with the wires in the ceiling from the old fixture.  And voila, done!

So, all in all, I am thrilled with the outcome.  I honestly was so surprised at how much I liked the black.  Really was hesitant about putting chalk to it, but it’s been very easy to clean.  And it just goes to show, a little change in paint and flooring goes a very long way!  Up next, that horrible yellow laundry room.

Have a good one!

Sneak Peek

April proved to be a very busy month indeed.  I’m not sure May will be any better, but at least that means summer is right around the corner.  WHO’S EXCITED?!?!?  I might be just a tad.  Except for the heat.  90 degrees today…ouch!

Finally, after 4 months of moving in and thanks to a weekend of no commitments and a very special friend (Super Sabrina), I embarked on my first major update over here at The Little Stone House that didn’t involve exploding sewer lines or non-working HVAC systems.  In other words, something pretty!  HOORAY!

I still have a bit to do to finish up the back hall, but I am over the moon at what just a little paint can do!  I’ll hopefully have a full post very soon, but in the mean time, check out my new painting skills. 

To refresh your memory…the back hall in its before/hideous state:

And after a little lovin’:

Pretty good for a rookie, huh?  Stay tuned…

Where To Begin?

My super duper awesome cousin came to visit over the long weekend and to help me unearth my Dining Room.  It had become the dumping zone during the move and it was very, very scary.  So scary that I just couldn’t bear to clean it up alone.  I feared it would forever stay that way because I’d walk in there, and literally just turn around and leave.  It was B-A-D, but now it’s a Dining Room again.  Free of dog kennels, extra drapery, headbands, random towels, and a dead cockroach. I still have a few tiny piles of things to sort through and the garage to clean out, but for the most part, I’m unpacked!

Which means I might actually be able to start one of the many updating projects needed over here at The Little Stone House.  There is so much work to be done and it can be a little overwhelming deciding which area to tackle first, especially when new HVAC units, new gas lines and various plumbing repairs keep eating into the very little budget that I do have.  There are obvious areas that just wont happen for a while because they are cost prohibitive (kitchen remodel…master bath and closet remodel…and many others), but there are a handful of spaces that with a little ol’ blood, sweat and tears, The Mister and I could probably tackle them ourselves.  We aren’t really DIY-ers, but we are going to have to learn how to be with this house!  And since we plan to live here for many years, time is on our side.

I’m fairly certain the back hall will be the first space to fall victim to my becoming a DIY-er.  Wouldn’t you agree, or do you love vomit colored indoor/outdoor carpet, dingy baby blue painted walls and a truly ugly track fixture.  Doesn’t track lighting just scream English stone architecture!!  Sheesh…  I only walk through this hallway about 27,000x a day, and so it might greatly improve my attitude if it were prettier.

(yes, I see you Swiffer mop)

So on to some ideas floating around in my head (aka my New House Pinterest board).

Without a doubt, I know I want to recreate this for the walls of the back hall.  I adore this and already have a few empty frames and screens, so I’m on my way!  Just need to paint and hang the frames.

And looky here…I hung a few things I had hanging around just to see if I am going to like this idea.  I definitely think so!
Next up, lighting.  Because there is no true attic to speak of in this house, a flush mount fixture is what I need.

I really like this one, because I think it would look nice with the wall treatment, and the price is reasonable, but is it too nautical looking???  It’s a front runner though.

I could splurge on a single strip of Aldo Bernardi L’Impinato with two or three of either spot. 

I like these from Circa Lighting

And these too

A more industrial fixture from West Elm

Hmmm…maybe I should consider the flooring first?  There are lots of little spaces here created by numerous doorways, so I would prefer to add wood floors to tie into the main part of the house and the kitchen which also have wood floors.  But, I’m not sure I want to go to all that trouble and expense right now.  So perhaps a temporary selection?  And temporary meaning “mightbeforever” in our house.

Even though it’s hideous, our existing indoor/outdoor carpet is quite practical.  No worrying about dirty grout lines, easy to clean, relatively inexpensive.  Flor tiles would be fun?  Anyone ever used them?  Easy install, or so they claim.

(sorry about the picture quality…can’t make them bigger without being distorted.  Check out the last image via the link above.  Looks just like seagrass!)

I’ve even considered using VCT tiles.  Had them before in my laundry room and loved it.  Easy to maintain, endless patterns to create.

Or, brick pavers?  Loved this floor in a stationery store I visited in New Orleans recently (pardon my feet).  I’m not sure my skills are worthy enough to tile just yet, but I do really like this look.  Feels authentic to my house.

This one is beautiful too.  And I especially appreciate the dark grout, knowing that my floors would get alot of wear. 

As always, so much to consider.  I think I will tackle the walls first and see if that dictates what lighting and flooring I should choose.  The problem most definitely lies in the fact that I like so many different things.  I probably wouldn’t go wrong with any of these choices.  It’s the over-thinking on my part that makes it difficult!

What have you used in high traffic areas? Would you be willing to try something with a bold pattern in a smaller space. Something lively? Or keep it simple? Would love to know your thoughts.
So next weekend (gotta clean out the garage this weekend), I have a date with paint.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.  I’m sure there will be hilarious stories to tell…I’ve never, not once, painted. 

Happy Friday, y’all!

Do you know Aldo?

Aldo Bernardi, that is…

This is Aldo Bernardi:

And so is this:

And so is this:

I had the pleasure of specifying Aldo Bernardi lighting for a project in Crested Butte.  When it came time to select the lighting fixtures for the kitchen, we ran into a road block of sorts…and a concrete road block to boot!  You see, this 1970’s condo was in need of desperate renovation and the kitchen was dimly lit.  We needed to add as much light as we could, but a concrete ceiling was going to prove that to be a difficult task.  So, I contacted Jill Brown (if you are in Houston and havent heard of her fabulous store, Brown, you might want to check your pulse) to see if she could custom make pretty, exposed conduit that I could track around the space and add lights where needed.  Regretfully she said no, but only because she didnt need to custom make it…she had that source available already through Aldo Bernardi!  Whew!!

And y’all, this stuff is so incredible and was exactly what I needed for the project.  But what is equally as fabulous is Carol Ollier, the distributor for Aldo Bernardi.  Carol and her husband, Aak, are delightful and helped every step of the way, even when there was an installation problem.  They interpreted my crazy chicken scratch and suggested the items needed to make the grid.  It’s a wonderful line and I am hoping to use it again soon!

From this…oh my goodness, be so afraid

Via this:


And when I win that lottery, I think I want these for my front porch:

For info on ordering Aldo Bernardi, please contact me above…happy to help!

Have a great weekend!


I read an article recently about a winning $14m Iowa Lottery ticket that is being forfeited for reasons related to the owners not being identified, to a lawyer for the trust that supposedly holds the ticket, but perhaps he’s in some tax trouble of his own???  Honestly, I really didn’t understand all the legal jargon.  Its more likely that I didn’t understand the reasons for the forfeiture because I couldn’t get past the thought of “what would I do if I won $14m”!!  Sure $14m isn’t the biggest lottery ever, but it still got me playing that all-too-familiar “what if” game we all know so well.  I’ll daydream all day about what I would do with a windfall, and after I go through all the motions, I usually come back to the idea of buying or building a house.  Because,I love houses.

But then ensues the onslaught of questions of what kind of house?  Where would it be?  Would it be my main residence or a vacation home?  Those questions have me daydreaming even more than dreaming about what I would do with the money.  And don’t even get me started on the interiors.  I can pretty much only handle dreaming about the exterior.  The interiors of my dream house would have me in a tail spin!

Now we all know that a $14m lottery winning doesn’t actually put that same amount in your pocket.  And yes, I would be responsible and pay the taxes, tithe the proper amount to our church, pay off what we need to, set up retirement savings, etc and be left with approximately zero dollars, but we are daydreaming, right?  So for the sake of argument, let’s just play along like we have a decent sum to spend and we can choose any location, OK?

So let’s dream…what would I buy or build if I could have anything my little heart desired?

Would it be a house at the beach?  Oh 30a, how I love thee…

Would it be a house in the mountains?  You are so fabulous I can barely stand it!

Possibly a house on a lake?  I do love me some dock-sittin’

What if it didn’t necessarily pertain to location?  What if it were just a certain style of house?

Would it be a beautiful, traditional home? 

Would it be a farmhouse?

Would it be an ultra sleek house?  For me, YES, in a heart beat…probably not for The Mister though.

How about stone or stucco?  This house was the inspiration for my logo (thank you Emily Ley)

A house in the city?  Please and thank you!

A beauty in The Hamptons?

Oh, i just don’t know, y’all…there are just too many choices and I cant imagine that I would ever be able to decide!!  Maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t won.  Heaven knows I couldn’t handle all the decisions! I could though make those decisions for someone else ALL.DAY.LONG.  If my life depended on making a decision, I feel quite sure whatever style or location, the architecture would lean more modern.  Something very different than The Little Stone House.

So what about you?  What would you do with a $14m winning?  Do play along…it’s fun!

{Sources can be found through my Outside Spaces board on Pinterest here}