Thursday, March 20, 2008


The house is done! To the left is the bedroom which actually is about five shades darker than this picture, but at least you can see some of the details--the house is from 1865, and when we bought it, it was covered in wood paneling (the tackiest kind imaginable), all the ceilings were lowered, and all the fireplaces were hidden. This particular room was covered in orange shag carpeting, which we ripped out immediately and revealed wide plank wood floors. The light is actually a brass chandelier (the previous owners painted it black. Don't ask me why. We were about to toss it when we got a bit of ZipStrip on it, and suddenly there was brass) The intricate mouldings (you can't see the big rosette in this photo but you can see the openwork mouldings along the ceiling) were the one thing that the previous owners left alone. Oh, and above the marble fireplace? The old owners had installed a totally mirrored surface--the kind with webs of faux gold. We took that off immediately, too.

I keep wandering the rooms and I love the colors so much I want to marry them. I've never had a home that I've cared for so much. When I lived in Manhattan, I loved my postage stamp apartment but I never decorated or cared for it, and never kept anything other than a tin of yogurt and water in the fridge. I feared moving to a house, too, even one in as urban an environment as Hoboken. I didn't want to be a domesticated person (oh fool that I was!) and for a long time I couldn't call it a house. I had to call it a brickstone, or a rowstone. Now, of course, I am no longer foolish--at least not about that--and our next project is new blinds, which will probably cost as much as going to dental school.

A while ago I was bemoaning how rapidly the letters on my keyboards fade. Someone wrote in and told me it was probably the acid in my skin. I ordered these press on letters, which look cool, but they are so large and so bright that it is a tad annoying. Worse, once on, they don't come off. Has anyone used these? If they stay on, then it's absolutely worth it. But will they?


Katharine Weber said...

I just Googled "tin of yogurt" because it struck me as so odd, and there were only four web references, and one of them was you in an interview! Tell me about these tins of yogurt! Meanwhile, I am envious of your new paint and that wonderful fresh and clean feeling in your beautiful rooms.

Caroline said...

When I first moved to NYC, they had this amazing yogurt that did indeed come in a tin. I don't remember the brand, but they stopped making it. Beside Continental Yogurt, which doesn't come in a tin and can be found only in California, there are no other yogurts I like. None.

Maybe I need to make my own!

Katharine Weber said...

In a tin!

Gina Sorell said...

Caroline your house looks gorgeous!!! Great photo, great color!!!

As for yogurt...I am a bit of a fanatic and over the years have moved away from the sweet...Astro vanilla and coffee (I think maybe you can only get it in Canada)to my latest obsession, 0% fat, 20g of protein a serving, Trader Joes greek style. Fage, 0% is also delicious but twice the price. I have mine, with fresh berries from the farmers market and either a bit of Kashi crunch, or hemp granola...EVERYDAY :-) Oh and it's so good in steelcut oatmeal with a bit of real maple syrup...okay now I'm hungry!

Leora Skolkin-Smith said...

Wow, Caroline, it's beautiful. I'd eat tins of yogurt in that gorgeous room with you any time. It's funny, I live in an apartment in Manhattan and I don't really decorate it, or do much at all to it--it sort of looks like a loft which has its own charm in a vacant kind of way. I wonder if NYC does that to one.

Anyway, I'm jealous!

Clea Simon said...

How wonderful! Your house was beautiful anyway, with all those wonderful architectural details but now!! May the colors spark even more creativity.

- Clea (who is addicted to Greek-style yogurt)