Monday, September 26, 2011

This Old House Inspiration: October Edition

I have a love affair with This Old House magazine, and really don't know how I lived without it as long as I did. I declare a monthly holiday on the day it arrives, and reading it becomes my first priority for the evening. (This is much easier and more rewarding on nights like tonight, when the other priorities included excitement such as putting away laundry and mopping.)

I feel rather selfish holding onto all this inspiration, however, so am sharing the highlights from the October version of brilliance.

Idea 1: Fire Prevention Week is October 9 - 15. Now I really don't have an excuse not to make sure my smoke detectors are up to date!

Idea 2: This lamp is gorgeous. I already picked one for the front porch but am wondering if this is small enough to work in my hallways? Or maybe the back patio? Love it, love it, love it...and it's only $31 at Home Depot.

Idea 3: I am very, very skeptical that this actually works, but wouldn't it be wonderful if it did? It's a dwarf orange tree that supposedly grows in a container inside. Given my despair with growing a single thing outside during the Phoenix summer (which is like the military's Hell Week for plants), this is a fascinating concept.

Idea 4: I've been searching for a solution to a backyard problem, and lo and behold there it is: bluestone as a downspout splash. The condension line for my air conditioning (it cost me a $250 visit from the a/c guy at 9 p.m. to be able to throw around lingo like that!) drops about four feet into the dirt near my house, so it's created this dramatic little hole in the dirt that is creepy. Bluestone would be a great solution - I've never been able to pay $20 for the ugly plastic splash "stones" sold at Home Depot.

Idea 5: Subway tile. I can't get enough of it, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that the colored, wallpaper-type "tiles" at Home Depot are far cheaper and more practical. This photograph sealed it: I must have subway tile in my kitchen, no matter how long it takes me to save for it. Even more inspiring: this couple says they covered the entire wall with subway tile for $50.

Idea 6: House numbers. My address does not make sense and thus no one can ever find me on the first trip down the street - address numbers would be very helpful. I love the antique-style plaques displayed by some of my neighbors, but was horrified to learn they can cost at least $100 without even trying.

I have turned my eyes (and my shell-shocked wallet) toward the idea of simple numbers that reflect the historic quality of my home but are a little funky, too. These numbers were featured in the magazine, and they're fun...and at $3 a pop, they look even better.

At $10 each, these are pricier...but having a short address would help.

Shangri La style

French style

Whimsical style

So now I need help - which do you like best? Here's the setting...the numbers will go just to the right of that window.


  1. I also get This Old House. It can be a dangerous addiction.I find myself wanting to save the old house in the back every month. (No matter how much it would cost me.)

    Also, you should check out Floor and Decor for subway tiles. I think they are on 51st and bell. If you go for the bright whites, they are 26 cents a piece!

  2. Option #5: Realizing that your birthday & Christmas are right around the corner, and who knows - Santa may not wan to get lost & bring his own letters.

  3. Did anyone else notice that it is possible to rig the vote by continually voting for the one you want? teehee....

  4. Late October when you are well into the 80's is a perfect time to start planting outside. Just cover young sprouts if it drops below freezing this winter. I grew lots of glorious desert friendly plants in Nana's yard during the fall. Annuals also bloom from October until the freeze gets them. In phoenix annuals actually have two seasons. Fall and spring.

  5. Tonya, as you can see from my post about the front porch I took your idea! I'm hoping the temperature doesn't go back up too much - the mums I got are GORGEOUS.