The New House


Here’s me in my house where I’ve lived for nearly forty years. There’s Pico, too. And the fake deer head that was a present from my friend Mark, because we laughed at in in a catalog. I don’t know why I’m scowling or why it looks like I’m packing a dick. I must have had my reasons.

We sold our house! We bought a cheaper house in another seaside community that hasn’t been gentrified yet with cafes that serve eight dollar toast. Venice is ruined, pretty much, by the Google employees and property developers who eat that toast.

So, now we will begin a new era in a new house that isn’t cluttered with forty years of collecting, hoarding, storing and piling things and we will be leaving behind a rich history of tragedy and joy. There are two dogs buried in the back yard. There’s a mural of a mermaid rising from the sea that covers an entire bedroom wall. Max’s girlfriend painted it over three days, after which little Charlie exclaimed: “No, I said I DIDN’T want a mermaid!” I hope I remember to take a picture of her.

Now I’ll get to the point. I’ve never decorated a house, not consciously. I know what I hate in terms of style, but not what I want. I want a light, airy environment that is suitable for a wood frame house built around 1913, with a big front porch and a big yard that needs to be landscaped. I don’t like ‘mid-century modern’ and I don’t like ‘early American’ either. AND we will have a tight budget.

Who wants to help? I need ideas! Decorating websites! Places to buy furniture that aren’t Ikea or one of those awful chain stores. What curtains should I get for all those windows? All tips and advice are welcome! Here is the one thing that I find reassuring about the  move – I will have a pink bathtub.

pink bathroom ooh

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34 Responses to The New House

  1. SheWrites says:

    I get what you are saying, I know what I like, but have trouble putting it together into a look–probably because I HATE those chain stores too. I have a friend who will order the lamps, faux paintings, end tables, yada, all from these places–her looks are always “complete” but boring as hell. I have another friend who uses local businesses and has a much better look, but she used a designer–and spends way more money than I like to. Check out Decorare website, hundreds of pictures by categories…it gets the juices flowing….and Passion Décor. Good luck in your new home, love the pink tub!

  2. D.R. says:

    Estate sales, craigslist and re-sale shops. Also, re-purpose. If you don’t love it or need it don’t take it into your home.….just three of my favorites. Doesn’t matter what I hate, but three things tip me over. Karate-chopped pillows, sunburst mirrors and road kill as wall art. I envy you. It’s so exciting to decorate new spaces….and that bathroom is going to be fun, fun, fun. Congratulations!

  3. carla fox says:

    How exciting! For tons of ideas and pictures, Houzz can’t be beat. Also, Pinterest is a treasure trove of all things decorative and design related. Good luck and have fun.

  4. Kellie says:

    That is a fantastic bath room! Pink tub will make life so much nicer.

  5. Bessie the Cow says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I’m thrilled that you’re moving into a bright home with lots of windows, a porch, or verandah as they say from my part of the world, lots of outside, and pink bathtub.
    Venice has become gentrified, overcrowded, expensive, with too much traffic. It’s a good time to leave sister. I wish you the best in your new home. I’m sending you love and blessings via my internet connection.

  6. David Duff says:

    Keep the pink bath but get rid of the green tiles!

  7. Sister Wolf says:

    THANK YOU, I going to look at those websites right now. Keep it coming! Great tips except for you, David Duff. You are just jealous of those green tiles.

  8. Jola says:

    have a look at
    they not only have beautiful photos but also links to where you can get the pieces eg
    May I suggest you live in it for a while, let it become part of you, before you start any structural changes.
    have fun 🙂

  9. Bessie the Cow says:

    Oh Sister, go minimalist. Sparse and light. Crisp and Clean lines. We all need to do away with thneeds, and our obsession with possessing thneeds.

  10. RandeeKaye says:

    Those green/turquose – ish tiles are gorgeous –
    just look at the magazines while standing in line at the market and if there is anything you absolutely love get the magazine. You have wonderful artistic taste, you will make it your own. So happy for you

  11. Marky says:

    That bathroom is amazing! Keep it as is. Congratulations on selling your house! I know it must be bitter-bitter-bitter-sweet, but try to focus on the sweet.

    Keep the deer head! It goes with any decor.

  12. Jools says:

    Excited for you! (And more than a little jealous). Don’t write off ikea. They have some good stuff if you’re selective. I’ve heard they have great belgian linen for curtains and upholstery. And their prices can’t be beat. I love light and minimal spaces with some interesting old stuff. (Not that I’ve done any decorating in years). Check out And remodelista and houzz are really fun.
    A one hundred year old house with a big porch near the sea? Congratulations!

  13. Sally says:

    Congratulations! How exciting. You deserve it Sister. Enjoy.

  14. Bevitron says:

    Oooooooh, I LOVE that bathroom! A pink tub – be still my heart! I envy you, too. Furniture is one of my big passions, even though most of mine is shit antiques I bought at a place near me (that closed a few years ago, sob) that got their beat-up old stuff from schools, chapels, churches, etc., in the UK. (A termite exterminator who came to my house said it looked like a museum, but I loved that.) Hey, who says you have to have curtains?

    Me, me, me – I’m not helping at all. I just know that because it’s your house, it’s going to be wonderful. Please, please, please, when you get things like you want them, take some pictures and let us see? Can I paint a picture for you & send it to you? I’m so excited! A new home!

  15. Erika says:

    Out of the closet has great second hand furniture. You look fantastic! I’m turning into an old hag, I’m jealous. Great bathroom, I used to have a similar bathroom and i still miss it. Cheers to new beginnings !

  16. So happy for you! Your bathroom is fantastic.

    I don’t know if you are on Pinterest, but I use it to collect ideas and images I like. It gets a bad rap for all the crazy crafts-n-shit that people post on there, but the “pin it” button is an awesome way to grab an image off the internet and then put into the pinterest file of your choosing. I don’t generally buy the stuff I pin – sometimes I pin cool geodes or vintage brass knuckles for inspiration – but it helps me to come up with ideas when I see groupings of things I love in one place. I call my style “broke-down palace,” ha ha.

    Also, I highly recommend garage saling. I go with a good friend almost every Saturday morning. We are not early-birds and have no interest bumping elbows with the sometimes aggressive dealers. Still plenty left at 10 am! It makes for great entertainment, too.

  17. David Duff says:

    Ah, you mean I’m suffering with the ‘green-eyed monster’, Sis!

  18. Andra says:

    What a wonderful challenge for you.
    Don’t rush it – you have such a terrific style, just let it happen as it will.
    And never forget the Lesbian Stick deserves a spot somewhere prominent.

  19. ann hooker says:

    Go with wallpaper in the bathroom. The bathroom tile is fine like it is. I’m giving you a couple of ideas – that tile color is a little problematic, because it has a lot of blue in it. And to complicate matters, you’ve got that salmon color to contend with. But, the green tile is a real pretty color.

    Wallpaper ideas Chiang Mai Dragon Sea Mandarin Peony Verona

    I would go Liberace in the bathroom just for fun and since I don’t see any other pictures of the rooms can’t advise. But, generally, I’m loving the gallery wall behind a console of some kind with drawers for a flat screen stand. This makes it blend in and not be so obnoxious in the design scheme. If you have room, make at least two conversation areas, so that again, the TV is not dominating the situation. Sometimes you can float the sofa and have a console table and a couple of chairs behind it for another area to sit and visit. Space planning is as important as colors and fabrics. Once the space planning is figured out, the colors should be a snap. Wish I could help – design is my passion.

  20. ann hooker says:

    I love this wallpaper that someone said online that it was Alexander McQueen, but as the link says, it’s some chick who used to be a professor at Cambridge who taught dissecting, is who actually created this paper.

  21. carla fox says:

    Love the green tiles!!!!

  22. ann hooker says:

    This is it! Mocha!

    Can’t get your tiles out of my mind – this would be delicious in there!!

  23. Cristine McC says:

    That bathroom is wonderful!
    I also live by the sea in a small cottage & have been renovating/redecorating for the past few years. We pretty much do everything ourselves so it’s taking a very long time…
    My go to sites are: Pinterest. Design Sponge & French by Design.
    I limit my time on Pinterest as it is too easy for me to get wrapped up in seeing the amazing things people are doing & not getting stuff done myself, though the DIY pins can be very useful.
    The only advice I can offer is take your time & trust your instincts. Live with the house & let in speak to you. You have great taste & whatever you do will be unique & spectacular.
    Have fun!

  24. AWR says:

    Highly recommend the blog They may be able to lead you into a design scheme that’ll fit your house without tearing stuff out that can’t be easily replaced.

  25. ali says:

    Hope your move is going well!

    Can’t suggest any decorating resources for LA living, but if you were in Seattle, I’d have my bf build some furniture for you on the cheap. Personally, I am a fan of beautiful woodwork, silk rugs, and huge windows. It sounds like you’ve got the windows.

  26. Dj says:

    Sister! A brand new palette!! I do a lot of this sort of thing for a living…the fab bathroom? Take it all the way with deeper color pink and/or green towels…I go to pinterest and just start distilling what you like..I hate window covering, but for your kind of house stick to simple matchstick blinds…or wide wood blinds…edit edit edit…group your collections.keep thing uncluttered…
    You look like a teenager in that photo! Adorable. Good luck!

  27. JK says:


    Green-Eyed Monster?

    The Navy Medical Corps warned us about ignoring that sort of thing – take it the Royal HMS Equivalent didn’t?

    Anyways Sis, with a tiled place as that – anything’s possible:

  28. Pam Kueber says:

    Saw some traffic coming over and came to see what all the commotion was about.

    You might also like to learn more about your lovely pink bathroom at my other little blog

    Gut the green tiles? A gazillion times NO!

  29. Srenna says:

    I think that Anthropologie has the greatest curtains (and there are usually some listed on the sale page). In any event, the pair hanging in my bedroom still makes me happy even though all they really ever had to do was keep out the intrusive sun. Best wishes on your move! 🙂

  30. Isabelle says:

  31. Tanya says:

    Hi, Sister! Congratulations on the new start. The bathroom looks wonderful. Houzz and Remodelista are both great resources. Ebay is amazing for linens. Craigslist for furniture can’t be beat. A good white on the walls will support just about any decor well.

  32. hilda says:

    ask atlantis vintage for ideas 😉

  33. Taylor says:

    hey- I saw your comment back to me on a post I commented awhile back. Thanks so much. I appreciated it a ton. I just had to empty out three storage units of my Dad’s stuff… God, it was terrible. Actually terrible doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    If you haven’t been (I’m guessing you have because you’re from LA if I recall correctly), you have to check out Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Lincoln Heights. They have some pretty amazing furniture. It’s pricey, but pricey for a thrift store, not actual pricey. Also, that bathroom is amazing.

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