Money Pit Update

Progress on the house is in full swing. Now that Dick is no longer around, things are efficiently and CORRECTLY getting done. Once again, it is fun to be there on a daily basis and watch the plans come to life.

Bob from DOORS BY DESIGN in Atlanta personally delivered my exterior doors. We have literally been in contact for almost two years and he needed to go to New Jersey for a job, so he made the extra effort to do the delivery so we could meet. I cannot wait to open those darn crates!!!


The roofers have been working around the clock to complete the slate. They are doing a beautiful job , as slate is much more labor intensive than standard roofing. The housing police only allow natural materials on the roof so that means slate, tile or cedar.

The blue finish on the house is a new product offered exclusively by my builder, Montana Contracting. It is a spray on vapor barrier that replaces the conventional paper wrap.


I love the copper snow birds!


The plumbing is being roughed in.


The retaining walls are almost done. They were mandatory by the planning board because of the terrain. I love them! Every rock used was dug up from the property.

The housing police thought the rocks we used were too big….pretty funny considering they decided that 2 months after we called for the sample inspection! If they were any smaller it wouldn’t be a RETAINING wall!


My wonderful framers were able to finish the turret, which was the last piece of the framing puzzle.


This is the spire I have ordered to go on the top.


Coincidentally, when I looked up to take the photo of the turret, I noticed this-


If you are familiar with the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Diane Lane, you will remember how many signs she encountered before during and after her renovation of a house she buys in Italy.

Just like the movie, my roofing crew is all from Poland. They are one of the most meticulous, courteous and talented crews ever. The photo is of scaffolding they built on the roof, but I choose to look at it as a sign-

A sign that the worst is finally over and we only have good things to look forward to.

Maybe I should make my own movie?


Auction Action

Now that things are falling into place with the house, I am considering going back into business. Doing a project always makes me realize my true passion for interior design and how much I love it.

Therefore, as a hobby, I always like to keep up on what is happening in the antique market. It is good to know as a designer and also a consumer what is trending and how it is affecting the prices. I follow about ten different auction houses online and watch them live as the bidding progresses. Of course once in a while I succumb and buy something.

Andy Warhol's Mao To Be Auctioned At Christies

Following are some items that were offered for sale this past week.

This chandelier is wood and glit and was my favorite piece. I really wanted to own it, but things with this kind of finish do get pricey. There is a really big market for merchandise that has the patina of aged wood and gold leaf. This chandelier is a beautiful example.


This is another gilded piece, but not old. It was described as a prop from a theater, It was very large and would have been great over a tall doorway or simply as a wall hanging.


This pair of carved wood florals are beautifully detailed. They were pretty tall at about 30″ each. I love symmetry, and anything in pairs always catches my eye. They would be great on a buffet, sideboard or on a mantle.


Not just any old pair of items, these aged horse heads caught my eye. I really wanted these, but they went for a lot of money. Being an equestrian must be trendy?


Another pair of beautifully detailed and aged planters were actually passed. Sometimes the auction house has what they call a “reserve” on an item. It means that the seller wants to get a minimum amount and if it is not met, then the item is passed. Translation? They were probably REALLY expensive!


This item was so unusual. It is a wood and metal shelf with a little painting on top. I regret not getting this because it was not expensive and would have been perfect in my powder room that has an antique vanity in the same green tones. Oh well..


So this was my victory prize…A French carved daybed/sofa with linen cushions and cane all around. Completely new, probably from a showroom and it was very inexpensive.

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I have a large bump out window, so instead of a window seat I will use it there to read and enjoy the late day sunsets.

Coincidentally, I have storage units to keep things while the house is being built, so I am thinking I might start to build an inventory of merchandise for when I start working again.

If not, the good thing about buying at auction is that more than likely, if you feel you have gotten a fair price on something, you will make it back when you sell! I love a win/win!