Storm Doors

We have an old metal screen door on the front door that is ugly as sin.  I also hate it because when it’s cold, I cannot leave the front door open, not even for a minute.  We live high up on a hill with no trees to block the wind and opening the front door means often risking getting swept away.

I have been combing through pictures of storm doors and here are some of the options I am considering. Our front door has two small windows at the tippy top, above eye level and the rest of the door is solid wood.  I will likely have to keep the top solid glass unless I do a custom door.  Here is a collection of some of my favorite storm doors . . .


via Ferguson Shamamian





via St. Houzz


And, a beautiful interior view.  I would be curious to see how that door knocker falls once the door is closed.  Those are the kinds of things I am going to keep in mind when I go to look for my door.  Will the upper windows match up?  Can the door knocker be seen?

Hudson Interiors

There is a vast number of online wooden storm door sites.  But then I came across this image on Pinterest and noticed the door is from Lowes and under $200!

Lowe’s Screen Tight Chippendale Door

Looks pretty good, right?  I believe there is a storm window insert option as well, and the door comes in painted (a fairly good color selection) and unfinished wood.  Unfortunately our front door opening is wider but I will be keeping this in mind as we add more doors to the house over the next year or two.

Bed Decisions

For nearly a decade I slept on a slab of concrete or what my husband called a very firm mattress. Recently it was my turn to choose the new mattress and so after spending a Saturday lying down on beds in a local shop, I chose a mattress on the softer side.  What a difference!  The mattress shop owner “lent” us a $30 metal bed frame and we haven’t done much since besides putting sheets and a coverlet on.  It is time to start thinking about bed options to start to finish off the master bedroom space.

First a picture of what was intended to be our master bedroom bed.  This is the bed we received as a wedding gift from my in-laws and it has made it into five different master bedrooms. Unfortunately it just wasn’t going to work in this bedroom because of the dormers so it is now our guest bed.  I am realizing that is not such a bad thing as the bed is always made and looks far better than it did while in our master.

Our four poster now in the guest room

I have been thinking about different options and this room below reminded me of our bed wall.  I will be doing an outside-mount relaxed roman on the windows and would love to bring in a bit of color into the room and the bed would be the perfect way to do that.

Becki Owens

At first I considered just getting a headboard but that wasn’t going to work as I wanted a more substantial bed frame.  And then I found this Ballard bed and I am hoping it was meant to be.  I still have yet to measure!

Ballard Designs

I ordered 8 fabric samples but the above is my favorite online.  The greyish blue would be perfect for our room.  And, best of all, if or when I tire of the fabric I can swap it out.  I make that swapping part sound like a piece of cake.

The other option is this bed from Oly.


While I hem and haw over the bed decision, I did make the decision to buy several sets of new sheets.  I found sets of Pratesi sheets at Home Goods and they are heavenly.  Soft and silky, worth every penny.


Pratesi – Bloomingdales

Speaking of, I am off to sleep.  I have been busy meeting with more contractors, gardeners and exterminators.  More details to come!

Door Knockers

This cute little guy graced our rancher’s front door, and we only enjoyed him for a short time


before moving onto this.  Not quite as cute.


I am on a door knocker quest as I need one for the front door and one for the lab.  I feel an obligation to find something unique and suggestive of the lab’s colorful past.  A penicillin vile door knocker?  A mushroom spore knocker?

This Michael Healy knocker is probably the closest we are going to get.  Not sure I love it but it’s on the short list.

Michael Healy

Here is a a demonic pixie on a mushroom.  Probably not quite the right direction.


While I was in Charleston I visited a beautiful antique shop and the door knocker selection was tempting.  I regret not picking up at least one of those pretties!

George C. Birlant

The mushroom/penicillin/fungi theme is likely a dead end so here are a couple of other intriguing options. A few may give people pause before knocking, maybe not a bad thing.

Trend Hunter
Beautiful Life

There is a surprisingly limited selection of door knockers online.  Again, regretting passing over those pretties in Charleston.  I guess an excuse to return to that beautiful town!



A Public Service Announcement

One of the benefits of our two-block move was the option to convert our oil heating to gas. The gas lines stopped just a block short of our rancher but this new street had gas – very exciting for us!  We bought our current house and promptly ditched the huge oil-burning furnace and hooked up a new much smaller and more efficient gas burner.   We haven’t had gas in a house since the early 2000s, so we felt lucky.

That is until I started smelling gas in the street.  PECO (our gas provider) came out recently and clamped ten leaks in our main. TEN!!!  That is ten leaks between three houses. Our main pipe is uncoated or unprotected steel and is likely original to the development, which would mean from the 1930s.  The weather changes crack these pipes and as they age and erode more and more leaks spring up.  PECO has people who check active leaks to make sure the gas levels do not exceed a dangerous level and that the leaks are not migrating too close to the houses.  Yes, there are flagged and active leaks in every city and even on properties that are managed and checked.  They are not immediately fixed.  In fact, the leaks on our street killed grass and shrubs over the years, possibly even a couple of the street trees.

Fortunately for us instead of continuing to check those active leaks, our main is being replaced this week.  The street has been dug up and the old steel pipe is being replaced with plastic.  The lines to the houses are being replaced as well – all with plastic which is far safer than the cast iron and unprotected steel pipes that are in our older neighborhoods and cities.


Here is what I have learned about gas in the past couple of weeks:

1. Always call if you smell gas outside and especially inside your home.  Call often and do not assume your neighbors will call.  Even if you smell it for a brief moment and then not again.  Call.

2.  Women detect gas smells better than men.

3.  PECO workers will smoke cigarettes and cigars as they work on your gas main.

4.  Educate yourself on our crumbling infrastructure.  There are dangerous and eroding pipes under our streets that are being checked on and not replaced until someone makes a stink.

5.  If you smell gas inside, do not touch anything – do not turn on a light switch, do nothing but leave the house and call to report from a safe location outside.

6.  If you smell gas outside, call your natural gas provider every. single. day. and tell them that there are children, puppies, kittens walking these streets.  Do not accept a constant gas smell.

7. Look for dead grass, shrubs and trees near your gas lines.  This is probably a clue there is a leak(s).

And, my latest purchase!  No orange coveralls just a detector.