Our Ebth Picks

Our new online vintage shopping obsession is Ebth. We love it because you can browse and bid on high end estate sale pieces from the comfort of your own home!  Each sale starts at $0, so it’s easy to snag a deal.  Check out a few of our cheap and cheerful picks below.  But hurry, sales expire quickly!
1. Bill Angressano Oil Painting on Canvas Portrait of a Woman, 2. Hooker Glass and Paint Venetian Wall Mirror, 3.Vintage Wilardy Lucite Purse, 4. Teacups and Saucers Featuring Nippon, 5.Vintage Pair of Brass Cranes, 6. Duncan Phyfe-Style Upholstered Love SeatSlide2
7. Mineral and Rock Specimens, 8. Burroughs & Mountford Floral Pitcher, 9. Antique Eastlake Oak Parlor Table, 10. Silver Plated Tray and Trivets, 11. Vintage Wicker Side Tables, 12. Marble Table Lamps, 13. Hand-Woven Accent Rug, 14. Bill Angresano Oil Painting on Canvas Board Portrait of a Woman

House of Hackney + Bergdorf Goodman

Maximalism is a term we see popping up on design blogs and magazines.  This style is combines intricate pattern, rich colors and adornment.  It is an abandonment to the minimalism that has reigned in interior design for the past several years.  House of Hackney is a London textiles, wallcovering and accessories brand that encompasses this trend.  The company was founded by a husband and wife team in 2011.  We are inspired by House of Hackney’s modern vibe while still maintaining an ode to the past.  And who doesn’t love a good botanical layered on botanicals?! Erica and I took a field trip to the 7thfloor of Bergdorf Goodman to see the collection in person.  If you are in NYC, pop in and check it out for yourself. The House of Hackney-Bergdorf’s takeover is available through May 10th.

Riha Manor: Washroom

As a follow up to our previous exterior post we wanted to share the interior starting with the new mudroom that is now the main entrance to our Iowa Farmhouse.
We wanted to combine the washroom and entry to corral dirty boots and clothing from working on the farm.  We also wanted it be a place to welcome guests on the back side of the house.  We looked for inspiration on pinterest.  The laundry rooms above are by Studio McGee, Johanna Gaines and Muskoka Living
The original laundry room was dark, dingy and small which didn’t make the task of doing laundry any easier.


Our design combined white shaker cabinets, painted black wood floors to hide dirt and exposing the original brick exterior wall.  Beadboard was used on the ceiling to bring architectural interest and craftsman style moldings replicate the original moldings found throughout the house.  Farmhouse details included the sliding black barn door into the new bathroom which was originally from a old schoolhouse.   Industrial pendants add warm lighting and a schoolhouse fixture from Home Depot provides general lighting.

laundry counterfront door viewsliding doorpull detailextra laundry storagemanequintypewriter

Riha Manor

Riha Manor | Cresco, Iowa | Completed 2013
We grew up on a small acreage in rural Iowa where we played, learned to tend to the gardens, helped maintain the house, and began designing what became our first project, Riha Manor. When it was decided it was time to update the 1914 farmhouse by adding modern conveniences (first floor bathroom, full size laundry room, formal entry, and attached garage) we kept in mind the simple structure, interior details and keeping the scale appropriate to the existing footprint.
Inspiration: Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse on HGTV which was a similar brick farmhouse where she added additional living room and entry.  We also looked to pinterest to find farmhouse exteriors with a similar simple style.  We chose vertical siding that mimics  traditional barnboards.  Grey was a nice complement to the red brick of the original house.
Design Development: We took our our pens and pencils to sketch up our initial ideas of how the addition should look.  After a few alterations the dormer over the garage became the main architectural interest to the addition.  Also, we brought the entry forward to add a third dimension from the garage and brick house.  We added a peaked roof to the well room to tie it back into the garage design.  We further developed the floor plan and scaled the garage after the size of the original brick house.  The Sketchup model became a great tool to visualize the form in relation to the original house.  Finally, a little photoshopping of the model with finishes and colors brought our concept to reality.  Using these tools helped sell our parents on the design as well as inform the contractors.  Being from Iowa we had quite a crew, an Amish team from up the road and our uncle Steve to complete the interior details.
Before: The original brick structure had a laundry and well room added onto it, both lacking character and clad in basic white plastic siding. The adjacent garage was looking more shabby than chic with peeling paint and structural issues. The front exterior of the house had faux shutters that diverted attention away from the classic brick, and the roof was due for an overhaul.


After: We demolished the garage and laundry room addition. We reworked the well room because moving or replacing the it would have blown the budget.
Finishes Chosen:
  • Metal roof was selected in a charcoal grey for its ease of maintenance. It has become a trend in modern farmhouse style but still is reminiscent of historic roofs.
  • Vertical siding in a warm grey which is a nice accent to the warm brick vs. the original stark white siding.  It also reminded us of barn boards and felt appropriate on our farmhouse.
  • Dormer shingle siding in a lighter shade of grey which was selected as an accent to break up the strong vertical siding and highlight the dormer.
  • Red painted door pops against the 50 shades of gray we have going and repeats the red of the original barn on the property.
We are so excited to share this with you!  Please follow us to see upcoming posts on the interior reveal.

Ridgewood Queens Quaint Kitchen


When Amanda and I said goodbye to our beloved Bushwick Bungalow, I found myself exploring a new borough in Ridgewood, Queens. The neighborhood is very appealing with preserved historic architecture, and we fell in love with a two story house converted into four one-bedrooms. Making an apartment look and feel like home can be tough especially when you really shouldn’t (shhh) paint, or change any of the main features. Just by hanging art, shelving, and adding unique lighting and other accessories, we were able to style this gem of an apartment to do just that.


A view into our kitchen that looks out onto the quiet neighborhood street. The hanging light is a shade  from ikea + a plug-in light from ikea.


Even with a small space, I found a way to add a little bit more counter space with a shelving unit  + wood countertop. I removed one level from the shelving unit and drilled 4 notches to lock into place.



The three prints in the entry and kitchen are from an ny photographer. Amanda and I picked them up years ago at a Lower East Side flea market. They never looked better in their black ikea frames.





The refreshed space is now functional, beautiful and inspires us to cook more often!

Packing Decorative Items 101


Moving can be so stressful on its own.  On top of it if you have many fragile, collectible items like myself, you have to worry about your items making it to the new place safely.

Shopping List: Boxes of all shapes and sizes! Try to collect recycled amazon boxes, flat-rate boxes or shoe boxes for smaller items prior to packing. Bubble wrap-small and large. Foam Cushion Wrap. Recycled newspaper, plain newsprint.  Packing table & a few pairs of scissors (mine always went missing!) A few bottles of wine!

First, I collect like items or items of similar weight/material.

Next I lay sweaters, blankets, towels, other soft items that also need to be packed in the bottom of the fragile boxes to add additional padding

Then I wrap each item first in plain newsprint (especially china to prevent newspaper ink from rubbing off) then I use recycled newspaper and bubble wrap over the top if necessary. Place each item in a plastic shopping bag to prevent newspaper from rubbing off on clothing uses as additional padding.

For smaller/fragile items like crystal stemware, I wrap these and place them in a small box or shoe box and then place the small boxes into a larger box

I also do this for plates.  I wrap each plate Individually.  Envelopes with bubble wrap inside are perfect for this as are foam cushion wrap.  And put them in small, flat mailing boxes and stack the boxes in larger boxes.  Plates should be stacked in boxes vertically.  The pressure of packing them stacked may cause them to break.

Heavy items are placed towards the bottom of the box and lighter items are put on top.

Then I use more clothing pieces, scarves, towels, etc to cushion individual items before sealing the boxes.

I use smaller-paper ream boxes for books because anything larger can get too heavy.

Finally, label boxes with contents to help with unpacking.  Note heavy or fragile boxes so that movers know how to arrange them on the truck.

Now, enjoy a glass of wine.  The hard work has just begun!

I found that using these tips makes it easier to unpack, saving you time as well as preventing items from arriving to their new home broken!