Friday, April 5, 2013

A Bouquet of Glass

Until last week we did not have any of the beguiling bouquets  of glass that I have seen in the houses of many bloggers. Oh, how I have looked at them with greedy thoughts, but there was not a single chandelier in this farmhouse except for a cute but cheap little white metal one hanging over the kitchen sink that can barely claim to be called a chandelier, although it attempts to emulate its betters with a few dangly prisms and crystal beads. I love it, especially at Christmas when I hang old silver ornaments from it. Don't be fooled by this picture below of our kitchen chandelier as the glam comes mostly from the Christmas ornaments.

I remember when R.H. questioned my choice of this poor little wannabe chandelier before shaking his head and putting the box in our basket. "Are you sure? Are you sure you want to hang a chandelier over a kitchen sink?" He came to like that baby chandelier almost as much as I do. Recently he shook his head at the location I chose for a new chandelier, one that comes much closer to claiming to be a chandelier, even though not a vintage one.

This one came with gloves to handle the prisms and instructions as to where each piece of glass went.

And this honest-to-goodness chandelier now hangs in my bathroom because one of life's little disturbances happened about a month ago. After taking a shower I saw that water was pouring from under the baseboard. Not a good thing to happen, except that it compelled us to do something I'd been wanting to do for a long time, paint my bathroom and dressing room. It had not been painted since 1995 when we added on this bathroom.

We moved everything out of both rooms, stashing them as we went in the bedroom, living room, office, small dining room. In came building materials, tools, paint, and a new shower. This was a short project compared to the five month long project when we built on a new kitchen and laundry room eight years ago, but these weeks of working on this bathroom seemed like months with my things moved into my husband's bathroom.

R.H. has worked on this project in his spare time, joined much of the time by our son Gurn, and son Zack helping a few days.

The old shower had to be torn out, exposing rotten wood in the floor and walls so it was a matter of taking it down to the studs.

Three times the new shower was put in and taken out until they finally got it just right. This is not a tiled steam shower with multiple jets. This is a small bathroom and we were working on a budget anyway. But I love this new shower even if I did feel as if I should say "Beam me up, Scotty" the first time I stepped into it.

I hope you'll enjoy the pictures of my newly refurbished bathroom. I won't miss this....

It and the adjoining dressing room are small but were a luxury when we added it on in 1995 after four of us standing in line for one bathroom the first five years we lived here. And that one small bathroom most likely seemed a luxury to the family who built this farmhouse in 1920. Who knows how many years they made do with an outhouse. And the concrete frame for that is still in the ground out back. Flowers grow really well in it.

I wanted this bathroom to look like it was added on when we built it and so R.H. left the exterior lap siding.

R.H. used bead board around the shower this time.

He replaced the old chrome knobs on all cabinetry with glass knobs that Lowe's was closing out. This cabinet got glass bridge drawer pulls, and I got that idea from Dixie at French Lique, Texas blog Pop over there and say hi to her and look at her beautiful green glass knobs in her kitchen. Many of hers are original Depression era knobs collected slowly over the years. Dixie, we used your white paint, Behr's Pot of Creme to paint all the cabinets and wood trim.

We wanted the ceiling to show the wood and rafters when R.H. built this bathroom, and they look even better with the new green paint.

I love this bathroom. It represents such a sacrifice on my husband's part. He finished building it originally in 1995 after blowing out his knee at work and wore a leg brace for two weeks while waiting for knee surgery, still working like crazy to finish the bathroom. You just can't keep a good man down.

This time we quickly nixed our idea to replace the flooring, deciding it would be fine rather than go to the expense and time to put down new flooring. Cabinets and fixtures, other than the shower, were kept the same, other than repainting the cabinets.

I'm enormously pleased with the paint color I chose. It is the first time we've painted a room green in decades but I feel serene looking at it. In House Beautiful's Color section featuring dining rooms one month, I fell for a color called Green Barley by Pratt & Lambert. Couldn't find that paint near us so off R.H. went to our favorite Benjamin Moore Paints where they figured out that a green of theirs was a close match. No name on this, simply a number, AF-450. Excuse the wrinkles in the paper!

I wanted a green similar to this old green hamper.

And the green of this great chair, one of two the previous owners left in the smokehouse when we bought the place. These shades of green remind me of the green handles on the old kitchen utensils of the 1940s.

I have to show you the little lamp that sits on the back of the toilet. You might think it's a Cinderella lamp but the figures on the faded lampshade are more like Colonial men and women. It is marked Japan on the bottom and I bought it in an antique store almost thirty years ago.

Since I won't often be inviting you into my bathroom, I must show you a few more things. Here are three small McCoy vases that sit on top of the medicine cabinet. Its brown color got a white paint job this time around.

This little Lenox vase was a gift from a sister.

And the small teapot travelled back from London with her for me.

This green sugar bowl and the two matching plates behind the faucets are English and were bought decades ago purely for their celadon green color.

The angel was a gift for the garden many years ago from Gurn and his family. I wanted to bring her inside but she looked entirely too new. I bet you guessed how she became so nicely weathered...buttermilk poured all over her and then a garbage bag slipcover for a few weeks does the trick. I've had to repeat this several times over the years when she starts growing younger.

The small glass compote holds old pearls and a luscious silk flower pin, in the center an old jewel, made for me by a sweet, talented daughter-in-law.

The silver mirror from Pottery Barn was a birthday gift a few years ago from our children. I love how it and the mirror on the white cabinet triple reflect the new chandelier.

There it is, my little green bathroom with its beguiling bouquet of glass. I'll try to show you the small dressing room next week as a followup. It will be short because you've been so patient through this long post.

I must include these words from my favorite garden writer, Beverley Nichols so that you'll see that the title of this post, A Bouquet of Glass, is not original to me but another jewell I've plundered from Mr. Nichols in All I Could Never Be.

She could never resist a chandelier, even if it was broken and falling to pieces. Some of my most hilarious memories of Catherine are driving back to Piccadilly down the bumpy streets of the Camden Road, crouching on a back seat surrounded by an immense bouquet of glass, which jingled and jangled at every hold, causing startled passers-by to jump as though they had just collided with a lamp post. Once home, the lustres were carried in basketfuls up to the top floor, and deposited on a small and ever-growing mountain of glass which one day she was going to turn into a series of perfect chandeliers. I don't think she ever realized this ambition. The nearest she got to it was just before the war. At that time, when everybody else was thinking about black-out curtains, Catherine perversely surrounded all her windows with glittering chains of crystal. It was delicious, mad and typical.

Thus did Beverley Nichols write of the Baroness d'Erlanger who later lived in Hollywood as Catherine d'Erlanger and was quite a quirky lady.

Thank you for looking at my new bathroom. Can you tell that I am very proud of it? And thank you so much to R.H. for indulging me in this bathroom makeover and this lovely chandelier. He spent many hours, many days working on it, often after work. And thank you to our sons for all their help.

Sometimes what at first seems like nothing but trouble--a leaky shower--is such a blessing in disguise!

"Beam me up, Scotty."


  1. I just love today's post-all the little details were so perfect and the bathroom turned out so cute. Yes I think your right, you have a good man there and your sons seem to be on the same path.
    Have a good weekend.

  2. What a lovely bath!! Love the color and love the chandy too!!

  3. Oh my gosh, Deweena.... your bathroom! I am married to someone who can't always hit the target at night, if you get my meaning... I would be scared to keep so much lovely glass in there! Love the green color... love the vases!

  4. Oh, Deweena, you've just hit on one of my secret and guilty pleasures: chandeliers. I have one on my bucket list. I used them when styling magazine photographs on my job but never had one in any of the houses we owned. I have a place for one over a table in our Iowa condo but hate to make the investment for that tiny and simple space...I have a secret hope of owning one more house where I could do the purest version of my idea of "abbey style"...I'd like to have a vintage monastery table (with pull-out drawers for pen and ink work) in a dining room...a crystal chandelier overhead. I wonder if I'll ever get there...meanwhile, I've hung a series of shell chime "chandeliers" over my lanai table in our little Florida cottage. They offer no light but add a gentle sound in an afternoon breeze.

  5. What a perfectly wonderful tour of your new bathroom! It is just beautiful! And how lucky you are to have such a great husband and sons!

    PS I LOVE the green!

  6. good grief dewena! where to begin? with my all time favorite floor of black and white laid on the diagonal? or the total delight of a baby chandelier over the kitchen sink? which is perfect!
    then there is the bathroom angel from an angel of a son. and the touches of pure england in my mind ~ everywhere!
    the wood and the celadon and the crystals ~ it all works. my favorite things are rustic combined with elegance.
    and as to the shower! oh my. beam me up anytime! i LOVE that shower.
    never was a bath person. love me a shower. and that one is perfect.
    thank you for sharing this so beautifully.
    now. i'm off to look up and read about Catherine!
    as in d'erlanger! xoxo
    and... i don't know if we're supposed to do it or not ~ but becky's comment was fantastic! wouldn't you love sitting on her lanai? :)

  7. This turned out fantastic. I'm so glad you kept the floor. I'm a sucker for the black and white checkerboard pattern floor!

  8. Dewena, Your bathroom turned out really neat!! Love the black and white checker
    and the paint color makes the room feel and look so fresh..And oh my goodness that chandelier with the mirror Wow !! Fancy, fancy, fancy.... love the green pop of color too... This truly looked like something out of a magazine really...Fantastic job!

  9. 3 comments:
    1. love, love, love the black and white checkered floor
    2. our house was built in 1928 so a similar age to your house
    3. before shabby and chipped were in style, I had an old chair in the same green as your chair. Oh, how I wish I had not gotten rid of it.

  10. Dewena your new bathroom is beautiful. I love your bouquet of glass.

  11. Dewena,

    Wow, how beautiful is that?! Absolutely gorgeous and utterly charming. I know you are thrilled. Renovations are not for the faint of heart, are they? Ha.

    I am so happy for you....enjoy each sweet moment in this lovely space.

    We are hanging the chandelier above the kitchen sink today so I share your joy.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    Hugs, Barb ♥

  12. The re-do came out that you kept the flooring...♥ the green paint! I have thought about putting a small chandelier in the bath, but keep going back and forth.
    Have a great weekend, Dewena.

  13. I love your green bathroom and your sweet chandelier is just gorgeous. How fun to have one over your kitchen sink, too. I really, really love how much your hubby loved you and worked to get that bathroom done years ago. He's a good guy! Blessings to you- xo Diana ps. that green is almost the same color as my dining room-

  14. It turned out great! I love the green. I've been thinking about painting something green too. Love the chandelier...I have them in my bathroom too. I also like the black & white flooring. And the lamp on the back of the potty...nice idea. Funny how we see something someone else does and wonder why we never thought of that. Beam me up Scotty made me LOL. Tell R.H. he did a great job.. By the way.........last night I dreamed I found out you only lived 15 min away from me. I found you when out on a walk. Haa. I guess I dream about my blog friends now.

  15. Mom, Im glad to have helped and it did turn our real nice even if we did have to cut a hole in Dad's wall lol.

  16. I love the green paint...what a wonderful color. Also, like the shower...that's going to be nice to use. Nice job on the chandelier; it's beautiful!

  17. Your bathroom is so lovely with all of your special touches and treasures. And the cherry on top is that beautiful chandelier. Perfect!!
    I was delighted you were able to stop by for a visit. Thank you for such wonderful comments. You are so sweet.
    Mary Alice

  18. I love your new bathroom, Dewena. Your husband is so sweet and talented and worked very hard on this project. If I could pick just one favorite thing I loved the green sugar bowl best of all.

  19. What beautiful things you have- including your chandeliers. I love the green-
    it is the perfect shade.

    Have a great week,

  20. Your bathroom turned out beautiful and your chandelier is lovely. I love the rap siding and wood rafters especially mixed with crystal. Just Gorgeous! Blessings, Wanda

  21. It looks beautiful, Dewena! I love that shade of green and all your beautiful touches. Oh for a chandelier! But our ceilings are just too low and we are too tall!


  22. WOW it is lovely! And then at the very end you have me cracking up.
    Beam me up Scotty LOL!! And LOL again!

    you are one funny lady...

  23. Dewena, it looks beautiful! I knew you'd turn that disastrous leak into something wonderful! Love the chandelier. it's gorgeous, and tell your sweet husband (who did a wonderful job on the bathroom) that the bathroom is the perfect place for a beautiful chandy. Your "beam me up Scotty" shower looks great. I've always loved the glass pulls, and they are perfect in your bathroom. What a wonderful little lamp and shade. Dewena, the entire bathroom is just perfection. I look forward to seeing the dressing room. laurie

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  25. Dewena - you've created a masterpiece in your small bathroom. I love everything you've done. Happy that my glass bridge handles inspired you. Yours look absolutely lovely! I hope to have a beautiful chandy in my bathroom reno someday soon... but most of all... I adore the chippy green chair! A perfect match!!
    Congratulations on a job excellently done! Blessings. Dixie

  26. Wow, your bathroom is stunning! I love the black and white floors. :D LOVE the ceiling, and the little chippy green chair, not to mention your green walls. Your accessories are so elegant and pretty, too. Nice chandy! :D Your glass pulls remind me of jewelry. So cute! I would love to re-do our master bath.


  27. You are just so fascinating! I always love to see what you are up to! I love your angel!


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