Goodbye (and the future)


Not to be dramatic but… today is the last time I’ll post to Salvaged Grace, at least for a while. Did I ever tell you that my original plan was eventually to open Salvaged Grace as a retail shop? It’s been a dream of mine to be a shop girl – I imagine I’d be a little like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.

But I realized that I’m not ready to leave my career in advertising quite yet. Someday, if/when I open my little shop, you can bet I’ll be back on Salvaged Grace, writing all about it!

In the meantime, I mentioned on Monday that I do want to continue blogging but on more personal subjects. Sometime early fall, I’ll be launching According to Pepper, my new web home where I write about the goings on in mine and BC’s life, as well as anything else that makes me happy. It will be infinitely easier to manage with a broader subject matter and a less rigid schedule (though with regular updates, for sure!). BC’s actually helping me build the website, so it’s becoming a bit of a family affair.

Here’s a little preview of what you’ll read about on According To Pepper:

I imagine you’ll see some reminders of Salvaged Grace on ATP from time to time. You can take the girl out of the blog, but you can’t take the blog out of the girl…

Thank you all so much for 2.5 great years of Salvaged Grace!

With love,


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Repurposing… lots of things

Sniff. It’s the last repurposing post. So we’re going all out with some of my favorites of file. Also, seriously, email me if you ever need an idea for repurposing __________. I have files a mile long with examples of all kinds of repurposing projects!

We’re using spools as vases in our wedding (the mid size like the one with the garden hose) and I found another use… hat stands!

I LOVE how sophisticated this room looks despite the gym mats!

For a while I was trying to save up our old toilet paper rolls to do something awesome with them…but where do you store them while you’re saving up?!

Images via Belle Maison, Prudent Baby, Apent Hus via Pottery Barn, Unknown, Desire to Inspire, Prudent Baby, Brown Dress with White Spots, Blue Velvet Chair, Apent Hus, The Ogden Blog

Tuscany Farmhouse

In case you couldn’t tell, I really got into that whole “what if this were my vacation home” game. I’m also a not so secretInternational House Hunters” enthusiast. When you marry those two things you get… The Hunt: International Edition.

I found this old Tuscan farmhouse on italian real estate site. Ignoring the location (because really, its in Tuscany, who cares about the specifics?), this house seems made for an ambitious American who wants to gut renovate the property and make it a modern farmhouse dream. As of now, it’s a stable with 2 rooms on the second floor, connected by an outdoor staircase. Lots of work to do here!

Before we get too far, I played around with the floorplan (so conveniently provided on the listing site) and had a genius idea for connecting the home and increasing the square footage. The plan all hinges on that current outdoor staircase. I’d create a second staircase on the opposite side and connect the two as the inner hallway on the second floor. They’d be enclosed with glass… can you imagine how stunning that would be? And then the new addition would be identical to the existing structure, mirrored on the other side of the staircase. Well… I think the floorplan may explain it better.

What do you think?! I mean, as always, who knows if it’s even possible. But sure does sound amazing. For the design portion. I’m thinking minimalist, architecturally inspired, graphic pieces, a mix of time periods, subdued in color, but bold in execution. Perhaps these images will help.

In the upstairs floorplan, I’d want to add one of those huge European fireplaces to separate the living and dining room areas, but the fireplace would be open to both side. V. dramatic!

The kitchen would cover one wall of the dining room… I imagine salvaged wood cabinets, but displayed in a modern, very spare style to connect the kitchen with the dining space.

That’s an italian screen for a headboard and I liked adding just a touch of whimsy with the COCO letters.. this could represent one’s appreciation for Coco or Coco.

I’m not sure if you could tell from the floorplan, but that entire 1st floor row of rooms on the left side would become bathrooms and I’d add in some large windows so that a bath would be framed by the countryside beyond. (I’d have to work out the whole privacy thing…!)

If one of you could make this happen, it would be an episode of International Househunters that would never be erased from my DVR!

Listing: Tuscany, Siena, San Casciano via Gate-Away
Images not to scale, all antiques or vintage: Chandelier via Silvia Petroccia Antiques , Rug via Doris Leslie Blau, Loveseat via Surfing Cowboys, Wing Chair via Giannetti Home, Drum Tables via Michael Haskell Antiques, Sofa via Charles Spada, Stone floor via Salvoweb, Movie poster via Vintage and Modern, Birdcage via Benjamin Wilson Antiques, Gold lamp via unknown, Pottery via Giannetti Home, Table via Michael Haskell Antiques, White Chandelier via Vintage Lighting, Metal Cabinet via RT Facts, Balloon molds via Giannetti Home, Dining Table via Uniquities, Dining chairs via Dragonlaine, COCO via Vintage and Modern, Linens via Red Ticking, Wood Lamp via Michael Donaldson Antiques, Chest via Inessa Stewart’s, Screen via Timothy Corrigan Antiques, Bed via The Paper Mulberry, Bench via unknown, Sink inspiration via Velvet and Linen, Sink basin via Rug and Relic, Console via unknown, Iron Shower via The Vintage Nest, Nude paintings via Giannetti Home, Metal tub via Vintage and Modern.

A Grand Ole Table

Thank you for your kind words yesterday. It really means a lot to me. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about writing Salvaged Grace was hearing about other people’s repurposing projects. Recently, my friend Kristy sent me pictures of a sewing machine stand made into a table that her friend designed and built. It’s pretty stunning, isn’t it?


A happy ending

I’ve been so nervous to write this post. Salvaged Grace is only a blog but it’s been my home on the internet, my creative outlet, and my space to connect with you for almost three years now.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the long term sustainability of writing Salvaged Grace. On one hand, I love blogging, I’m obsessed with this subject matter and I enjoy spending the time researching, writing and designing posts for Salvaged Grace. On the other hand, the time commitment is pretty major and the self-imposed stress is beginning to wear on me. I’ve been feeling for a while that I need to restore some balance to my life. For once, I would like to go on vacation without fearing how much work I’d have to do following to get caught back up on Salvaged Grace!

My priorities are shifting as well. BC and I are getting married in the fall and we want to start a family before too long. I’d like to continue growing and focusing on my career. And I might even decide to train for another amateur boxing fight! I definitely want to continue blogging, but I’d like the subject matter to be more personal, so that my blog is more integrated into my life – even an extension of it. (More to come on that later in the week!)

And so… I’ve decided to stop writing Salvaged Grace. For now, anyways. When I started this blog in November 2009, it fit my life perfectly.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if the time for this blog comes again and I hope it will. In the meantime, please stick around for one more week of posts. Salvaged Grace deserves a proper send-off.

Thank you guys so much for reading. It’s meant so much to me! Please enjoy the last week of Salvaged Grace!

Manly last words via The Art of Manliness

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Malden Bridge Schoolhouse

I typically think of country homes as, exclusively, places to entertain. The thought of having a weekend home to simply get away alone… seems lacking in the convivial spirit of “time away.” But I’m weak for schoolhouses, though they are oftentimes small and lacking of guest space. This one, with it’s sleeping porch and pretty frame, is the most adorable of adorable schoolhouses.

Now one could definitely move right into this space and live happily ever after. But when I looked at this pictures all I could see was a swedish inspired cottage.

In my opinion, the kitchen needs the most work. Sure, it’s functional, but it could be SO.MUCH.MORE.

As mentioned before, this isn’t a weekend home for entertaining crowds, unless the guests are camping out. There are the series of rooms in the front of the house and off the kitchen and then there’s a little sleeping porch. I think I’d try adding a wall to separate the kitchen from the open area beyond and make that the bedroom (basically switching out the current bedroom vs. living room as the pictures show)

And then there’s the porch, which I’d make a little retreat out of.

Finally, the great outdoors surrounding the property.

So there you have it. A getaway for getting away… not entertaining. Not a bad idea.

Are you getting away this weekend? BC and I have a work event tonight at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens(!) and a birthday party tomorrow night. Should be a weekend for good food and good times!

Listing: Malden Bridge Schoolhouse

Most are Swedish antiques. Images via Grey House with Yellow Door via House and Home, White House with Yellow Door via Country Living, Walk via Unknown, Swedish bed via Simple Everyday Glamour, Carpets via Doris Leslie Blau and Mansour, Sofa via Ann Koerner Antiques, Side Table via Cupboards and Roses, Lamp via Historical Materialism, Leather chair via Florian Papp, Coffee Table via Foxglove Antiques, Bowl via Unknown, Horse via Cupboards and Roses, Lemon Juicer via Lief, Cream chair via Foley and Cox, Gun art via James Samsun, Abstract art via Art1, Nude art via Bjork Antikt and Studio, Mirror via Inventia Design, Chest via Cupboards and Roses, Clock via Scandinavian Antiques, Blue art via Bjork Antikt and Studio, Pendant lamp via Craig Van Den Brulle, Chairs via Laserow and Wirthmore Antiques, Dining table via Galerie Half, Kitchen inspiration via DesignSponge and House Beautiful, Daybed via Galerie Half, Hanging bed via Anthropologie, Porch Carpet via Doris Leslie Blau, Desk via Laserow, Green chair via 41 Main AntiquesNothing shown to scale.


This Week


Oy. You guys… I’m afraid I may be a little absent this week. I didn’t get all my posts finished over the weekend and I’m realizing (quickly) that this week is going to be super demanding at work. Forgive me if I’m quiet the next few days, but I’ll plan to catch up with you later in the week!

image found via Partners and Spade


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Hotel Wiesler

I was getting nervous about today’s post. Typically, by mid afternoon Sunday, I’ve wrapped up at least my Monday post. But for some reason, I just felt super uninspired and not inclined to work… on my blog, on wedding stuff, on anything! Which means I kinda had a relaxing weekend!

But my super speedy new MacBook Air led me to cleaning out old emails of post ideas. And within that long inventory I came across the Hotel Wiesler. Just like that, I felt inspired to write again. I’m getting better about not freaking out about moments with writer’s block or a lack of inspiration/imagination. It always comes and when it does…

You find really inspiring spaces and ideas like this design hotel in a historic building in Graz, Austria.

Truth be told, I’ve always been most interested in Austria because the Sound of Music was filmed there. I dug a little deeper to find some awesome things to see and explore during a day in Graz, Austria.

Images via Hotel Weisler, My Travel Diary in Austria, Graz Tourism, Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet 

Congers Colonial

Today is the lazy edition of The Hunt, at least compared to last week. I have a Summer Friday off from work so I’m heading to the gym for a good, long workout. Probably followed by some house cleaning. That’s right… I know how to live it up.

Earlier this week, BC and I attended an event hosted by Brooklyn Based about buying a house in Brooklyn (for first time homeowners.) It was a pretty interested event. Our key takeaways were the importance of building a good team (real estate broker, mortgage broker, and lawyer) and that we need to save up a ton of money for a downpayment on a sizable Brooklyn home (if that’s what we want.) The good news was that many of the panel speakers advocated buying your second home (vacation) home first to get a better deal/more affordable option… that’s exactly what I like to hear.

As BC and I have been discussing what we want in a second home, one of the things that’s important to him is that the home not be more than an hour or so away. He feels that we’d be more likely to use it if we could get there quickly. There’s definitely some validity there, but the challenge becomes that 1 hour from NYC is essentially buying in the suburbs… which means more expensive.

Exhibit 1: This home is located in Congers. It ticks many of the boxes I look for in a second home. Older (1804 colonial), mangeable land size, fireplaces, 3 bedrooms, character and personality, located an hour from Brooklyn (a little closer to Manhattan) … and its near a lake, which is kinda awesome.

Here comes the lazy part of this post… I didn’t spend a ton of time putting how I’d do it up. Partly because its so tastefully done, it’s a little hard to see through the trees. (Partly because it’s my day off!) That said, I think my design approach would be to strip the design down – simplify the decor and maybe balance with a few more contemporary design elements. Oh and I hate the pass through in the kitchen. Potentially, I could see unifying the kitchen and dining area…


So what do you think? It’s almost perfect, right? An almost perfect second home requiring little to no work, only an hour from NY… that’s BC’s dream!

Listing: 4 Gilchrest Road, Congers, NY

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