Archive | April, 2013

Happy Chic

29 Apr

I had some great pictures to show you today (treasure hunting was good to me this weekend), then I left my camera at Clark yesterday with the pictures still on it.  Oh well, I guess I know what I’m posting here Wednesday!

With this flip, people keep asking me “how do you know how to do all this stuff?”  Wanna know a secret?

I don’t.

But I figure it out or make it up.  That’s why I absolutely loved this quote when I came across it on Pinterest.

passionatel curious

In other news, did you know that Jonathan Adler now has a budget line for J C Penney??  I’ve swooned over his collections for a while, but that’s all that my wallet would let me do.  Like the amazing non-budget-friendly vignette below.  I think I could die happy with that light in my dining room.  It’s only $395.  Very reasonable considering…..


But now my wallet can be happy too!  I still won’t be getting that light (sadface), but I have my choice of amazingly budget-friendly Jonathan Adler “Happy Chic” pieces.

jadler background_living

My office might need these curtains.  It might need to happen in the near future too.

jadler curtains

This lamp is kind of amazing.  If my nephew didn’t already have an awesome lamp, I’d require this in his room.

jadler lamp

But, thanks to my darling sister, and my impending 29th birthday tomorrow (yes, actual 29th birthday), I am now the proud owner of these Jonathan Adler book ends!

book ends

I was originally thinking my office would be their permanent home, but I’m rethinking it.  The white looks so good in the dining room!

images: 1/2/3/4/5

Clark: Week 10

26 Apr

If you’re new to my weekly progress posts, Clark is my first ever flip house (named for the street that he’s on). Check out my previous posts here.

Excuse me, how did week 10 happen?? Big things are happening, just not as quick as I want (of course). We were originally scrambling to get the house listed for Monday (then put the finishing touches on that week before the open house), but we’re further away than we had hoped and it’s not worth killing ourselves over. One more week won’t bust our budget, but it will give me a few moments to breathe between paint touch-ups, landscaping, and finishing touches.

It’s become standard out at Clark for each week to start with some unexpected challenges. This week, it was the deck. again.

deck before

I know I mentioned the deterioration that I discovered last week, but it got worse when my contractors came to fix it. The more they took apart, the more wood rot they found. Naturally this also quadrupled the cost I was anticipating spending on the deck.

deck rot before

Lucky for me (and Clark), I picked some good contractors and they repaired/rebuilt this guy in just a day. One day people! And under budget to boot!

deck accomplished

Now I can give a huge sigh of relief that I don’t have to worry about this little porch anymore. If this is the worst surprise expense on this flip, I’m considering it a win!

As the porch was happening on one side of the house, other things were happening on the other sides. House painting!! and it’s almost done! The painters are hopefully finishing up by the end of the week and Clark will no longer look like an ugly step-sister. It’s so amazing what some paint can do!

clark paint

Back on the inside, I’ve been busy. Very busy. But since the end is near, I’m not going to show you all the full room transformations until they’re all done, just little snippets. I have to tease you a little, right?

The kitchen backsplash got installed and grouted. And I discovered how tiring leaning over a countertop for several hours can be. Totally worth it though. The best compliment I’ve heard about this kitchen is from Hubby- he said he’s jealous that this kitchen isn’t in our house (as in the house we live in, although Clark is technically our house too).

w10 backsplash

The living room got a second coat on the ceiling, 2 coats on the walls, and an almost complete wood floor. Almost because I ran out of usable wood and need to go buy a few more boxes.

w10 living room

Last week, Hubby left this gift on the floor, so I had to make sure to document it before I covered it with the new wood floor.

floor face

I finally got started on the bedrooms too. Bedroom #1 has a painted ceiling, closet, trim & walls. The radiator still needs to get painted and the carpet needs a good cleaning.

w10 painted room

Bedroom #2, the “master”, got painted trim, ceiling and the start of the walls.

w10 painted master

We also got a lot of help this week. My parents and Hubby’s mom kindly chipped in some of their painting skills (THANKS!!). None of them would win the award of “cutest helper,” though (sorry Dad). That award goes to my nephew Eli.

eli paint

He knew exactly what to do with that brush. He was wiping it on the wall and then fake dipping it into paint. The kid’s very smart for a 1 year old. Cutest. Nephew. Ever.

And if you ever wondered what to get a flipper for her birthday, tools are always a good bet (or if you’re married to me, jewelry or something pretty for our house…. just sayin…). My mother-in-law knew just what I needed (to remove an old lock box that no one knew the origin of).

bday gift

Now I just have a lot of finishing to do. A lot. Paint touch ups, clean ups, recycling boxes, minor landscaping, final plumbing and electrical fixes… you get the idea.

The end is in sight and I’m so excited!!

Mirror Mirror

24 Apr

Clark‘s pieces are all coming into place- He’ll probably be at 95% at this week’s update Friday, and I anticipate ONE HUNDRED PERCENT by next week’s update.(!!!!)

Last week, I mentioned the medicine cabinet was a bit of a headache.

med cabinet 1

I had hopes of putting a new, more modern styled medicine cabinet in, however my plans were foiled by the hole in the wall.  The hole was a very non-standard size and I realized it was impossible to find a new recessed cabinet the same size.  I toyed with the idea of just covering it with a flat mirror, but this is the only storage in the bathroom.

med cabinet hole

I bought a medicine cabinet, but soon realized that to open up the hole further would be a HUGE undertaking.  poo.  Unless I wanted to totally open the wall (hint: I didn’t), my only option was to revamp the existing medicine cabinet.

She needed some love, but wasn’t beyond help.  The worst problem was the mirrors themselves.  The mirror finish on the back was peeling and scraping off at all the edges.  Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a deteriorating mirror?  Let’s just say, you’ll have to take my word for it.  The rest of the cabinet needed some cleaning and serious de-rust-ification (technical term, I promise) to make it like new.

med cabinet 2

med cabinet 3

After a quick Google search, I found a glass store 5 min from the house that would be able to replace the mirrors and transfer the sliding hardware to the new mirrors for $100 (less than a new medicine cabinet= win).  The silver frame wasn’t irreparable, but I thought it might look like a clash of styles in this bathroom, so you can probably guess what I did.

med cabinet 4

Both the inside and frame got primed, then sprayed a nice, clean semi-glosss white.

I already had both cans of spray paint, so the only cost for this project was the new mirrors.

med cabinet 5

The glass shelves inside were also in good shape and only needed a whipe-down.  I also attempted to preserve a little bit of this cabinet’s history by taping off the sticker/logo before painting so it would still be visible.  This is clearly the original medicine cabinet to the house (which was built in 1957), and I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

med cabinet 7

Even though I was intent on replacing it, I’m very pleased with the end result of Clark’s medicine cabinet.

med cabinet 6

Now that the bathroom is almost all back together, you’ll have to wait until the final reveals to see the full space.  (spoiler alert: it’s awesome)

Furniture Rescue

22 Apr

We allll know how much I love a challenge, but I love a challenge even more when it makes you think.  Emily Henderson (who I’ve gushed about before) issued a challenge/contest/request for instagram pictures-

“What piece of furniture would you save from a fire?”

Of course I just HAD to throw my hat into the ring.  I’m always so indecisive, so it’s lucky that Emily’s allowing multiple entries.  Here goes!

I’m sure that once my secretary desk is done, it’ll be on the top of this list, however, since it’s current state is still in shambles, it’s not quite the prized possession yet.

save me desk

Once Clark is done, this desk is priority numero uno!

But what would I save from a fire?  Can I save my future sofa?

future sofa

In fact, can I set my current couch on fire so I can get my future couch? …….probably not a good idea…..

Seriously, though, back to the challenge-

The first piece of furniture that I’d save is probably my $30 vintage Craigslist settee.  Although it’s a newer purchase, I don’t think I could have imagined a better piece of furniture for my office.  I adore the tufting and the unique color (and the price I got it for!)and my furry roommates love it too, which makes it even better.  Although I got it in lieu of spending the money to reupholster our other vintage settee which has been living in the basement, I think both with be sticking around for a very long time.

save me settee

The second piece of furniture that I’d save in a fire is our red antique chair.  This we adopted (along with its matching settee that needs reupholstering mentioned above), when a friend’s aunt passed away.  The set had been in our friend’s family for as long as he could remember and he was really pleased when Hubby and I gave them a good home.  Although Hubby’s not as enamored with the Craigslist settee as I am, this red chair is one I’m sure he’d be saving in a fire too and it’s so rare that we agree on design pieces!

save me chair

With my estate sale/tag sale fixation, it’s a wonder that my furniture list isn’t longer.  I have several pieces awaiting rescue/refinishing in the dungeon basement that I’m sure will move swiftly up the list when done, but until then, I don’t have a ton of prized pieces.  Space is limited in this tiny house, so I usually find myself taking home smaller pieces when I go treasure hunting.

What furniture would you rescue in a fire (assuming that strength is no issue and you can throw any piece over your shoulder)?

future sofa image via Circle Furniture

Clark: Week 9

19 Apr

It’s just craziness in the Boston area today and this week.  Hubby’s currently home from work until the city gets out of lockdown.  I really hope this gets resolved quickly and no more innocent people get hurt.

boston map etsy

Monday was not a great day out at Clark- every time I turned around, I discovered an issue that added to my costs.  Obviously, my bad day was swiftly put into perspective when I heard about the Marathon.  I’m really speechless about the whole thing, so I’m just going to go on with today’s update.  #bostonstrong

If you’re new to my weekly progress posts, Clark is my first ever flip house (named for the street that he’s on).  Check out my previous posts here.

The kitchen is one step closer to being done- we have granite countertops!

w9 countertops

The first issue I ran into Monday was actually the sink.  It’s a fine sink- just not the sink I thought I was getting.  It was included with the countertops, but I was expecting more of a standard rectangular single-bowl sink.  Since it wasn’t what I expected, I needed a single hole faucet offset and could not use the faucet that I had previously ordered.  (insert sad trombone here) I was assured by the granite company owner that this is the most popular sink style in granite countertops currently, but it’s new to me.  I’m over it now though- the kitchen looks nice, the countertops are gorgeous, the new faucet looks great.  Once I get the dishwasher and sink plumbed they’ll be good to go.

w9 kitchen

I’m hoping to get started on the tile backsplash today- it’s one of the few larger tasks still on my To Do list.

The opening between the living room and kitchen got a finished ledge.  The ledge is a new piece I purchased, but I reused the trim from another area in the house.  (This pic should help orient a bit- the door on the right is the front door into the living room)

w9 kitchen opening1

The living room also finally got a bit of attention this week.  The trim and ceiling got painted and the wall paint got started.  It’ll be a nice creamy color called Canvas.

w9 kitchen opening

The ceiling went from dingy to crisp white, although it still needs a second coat.

w9 ceiling paint

I actually love this ceiling.  It’s the only textured ceiling in the house and it’s in perfect condition.  I love the character it adds without being overwhelming.

w9 lr ceiling

The other HUGE thing this week is the bathroom!  The paneling and trim is up and painted, a new low-flow dual flush toilet is installed, the sink is partially reinstalled, the door has been trimmed down to accommodate the new tile floor, and there is a new ceiling vent fan.  Phew, that was a lot of work!

w9 bathroom

I was hoping to be able to open up the recess for the medicine cabinet to install a slightly larger one, but that was another speedbump this week.  I’ll be reusing/revamping the existing medicine cabinet instead (I’ll be showing how in a separate post)

w9 bathroom paneling

Moving outside, I haven’t done any landscaping YET but it’ll mainly be cleanup and a lot of mulch.  I may decide to steal this guy for my own house.  (Is it stealing if you take it from one house you own to another?)

clark daffodil

One of the other issues that I ran into Monday was the side porch.  I knew it needed a few repairs, but as I checked it out after getting pressure washed and sanded by the painters, it needed more repairs that I had anticipated.  Luckily my contractor is coming to the rescue and is going to be repairing it this weekend before the house gets painted (and also luckily for a very reasonable cost).

broken deck

In my last post, you saw my instagram shot of the driveway in progress.  I don’t think I ever showed you how terrible the before driveway actually was.  The bump-up in the center was probably as high as a foot- my car bottomed out every time I went into the garage.  This needed to happen for resale purposes- it’s the first thing that people will see when they come to the house.

w9 driveway before

Ahhhhhhhh.  A nice, level driveway with no bumps or cracks.

w9 driveway

This week I also:

  • trimmed down several closet doors for extra clearance over the new wood floors
  • squared up the side screen door so that it closes properly
  • finished installing floor trim in the kitchen
  • got new mirrors cut for the old medicine cabinet
  • organized a lot of the mess- now there’s a reuse pile, a donate pile, recycle pile, etc.

Our plan is to list Clark a week from Monday (insert panic here) and I have a LOT of work to do before then!  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the house will get painted early next week and we can get new gutters installed.  I need to be a painting fiend so I can crank out the painting of the 3 bedrooms (including ceilings, trim and walls).  I can’t wait to take completed pictures and share the total before and after with you.  I’m a sucker for before and after comparisons and Clark’s transformation has been huge.  With that said, I’m off to tile and paint!

Boston map image via SparrowMercantile on etsy

What’s in a Name?

17 Apr

As I’m in the process of re-branding this ol’ blog of mine, I decided it was time to unify my social media identities as well.  You used to be able to find me under @vintageviolet30, but alas she is no more.

On instagram, you’ll now find me under the name YofSerendipity. If you aren’t already following me, you’re totally missing out on some awesome Clark and project sneak peaks like this:

clark driveway insta

and this

trim instagram

He’s getting sexier by the day!  Seriously, this week’s update on Friday is going to blow your socks so far off!

Twitter’s also been changed to @YofSerendipity as well- pop by and say hello!  And, although my Facebook link hasn’t changed,  you should follow me anyway and we can be besties.

In the near future, I’ll be migrating this blog from to simply  I hope you’ll follow me over there!

Estate Sale Fix

15 Apr

I heart estate sales.  Have I ever mentioned that before? (only a few times I’m sure).  Seriously, though it borders on unhealthy.  Do most normal people spend their spring/summer mornings getting up as early as they do on week days just to dig through other people’s junk?  I blame my parents.

I dragged myself a few towns away on Saturday morning because I was craving a treasure hunting fix and the ad looked promising.  This estate sale did NOT disappoint.  Even though they only had 3 rooms with stuff for sale (it’s so much more fun when you have a house of treasures to explore), but those 3 rooms were chock full of piles and piles and piles of art, both framed and unframed, and vintage books.  Lucky for me, art is one of the few things I can collect without Hubby rolling his eyes.  For some reason he’s not too keen on the rescued furniture piles I’ve started hoarding in the basement…

Like I already mentioned, I didn’t leave disappointed.  Quite the opposite actually.  I left this sale with 2 pieces of art that I’ve been coveting for almost a year.

Flash back to almost a year ago and Nichole from Parlour Home Blog posted a picture of her shop.  The particular picture that made me swoon featured 2 vintage botanical prints.


image via Parlour Home

I immediately e-mailed her to see if she did online sales or shipped, but the answer was no.  sadface.  After a bit of research, I discovered that these were vintage reproductions from a catalog of flowers, Twelve Months of Flowers by Robert Furber originally printed in 1730.  and. I. wanted. them.  They have new reproductions available on and similar sites, but where’s the fun in new?

Guess what I found at the estate sale?

furber prints

$20 bucks a pop.  They had a lot of them at the estate sale, a few duplicates, but not all the months.  They’re obviously reproductions, but I’d be shocked if they weren’t at least 30 years old.  I must have poked through them for a good 20 minutes deciding which ones I needed (yes, needed).  I settled on only 2 since our house is small and there’s only so many florals I can push on Hubby.  I ended up with April and October since they had the most vibrant colors and let’s face it- April IS the best month of the year.  The weather gets nicer, it’s warmer, the days are longer, and it all leads up to my birthday on the 30th.  It’s not that I’m fixated on birthdays, but April just gives me the warm and fuzzies.

So do these prints:

April floral print

October floral print

I plan on getting bright new mats and painting the frames a pop color to modernize them (Hubby calls them “old lady” but appreciates that I like them.)

I also bought an unframed print of Brugge  ($5!) for the Hubs to soften the floral blow.

brouge print

I adore the colors, but the swan is by far my favorite element.

Now I just have to find a place for all my new art!