Berkeley Craftsmans

Lots going on at the old homestead (NOT pictured above). My dear old cat is in poor health so I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy on him. There have been other household changes, but I’ll write more on that next time.

A quick note: If you’re in the Bay Area and you like Craftsmans you might want to take the 2012 Berkeley Heritage House Tour coming up on Sunday, May 6th from 1-5 pm. Architects and designers Henry H. Gutterson, Edward Seely, George T. Plowman, John Hudson Thomas, Williams & Wastell, Joseph Coward, F.E. Allen, and Louis Engler will all be represented on the tour. There’s even an addition designed by Julia Morgan. It’s in an amazing old neighborhood on a hill and there’s no better place to see this style of architecture than Berkeley.

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Old houses in new art

The Elk Guard

I’m STILL working on the light fixture! I hope to have it done this weekend. Work is busy and I’m trying to update the design of Revictorian too. What I’m trying to say is: let’s skip all that and have a quick post about art, shall we?

I love Daniel Danger. I saw the screen print pictured above on some pop culture art blog and it took me right in. When I look at it I smell snow and I want to go into the silent house, as dark and mysterious as it is. It’s called The Elk Guard and it’s one of the first real pieces of art I ever bought. Click on it, the details are beautiful.

Well, we bought another one. Continue reading

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The bedroom

There’s been a little delay in getting supplies for the lamp project so instead of updating you on that I thought I’d take some pictures of the bedroom to show the environment I’m preparing the light for. It’s so small and dark in there that it’s nearly impossible to photograph but I took some closeups with limited success. Continue reading

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Restoring and revamping old lights

We need a new light in the bedroom. I hate the light in there. The table lamps are fine but I try to never use the overhead light, I dislike it that much. It’s nothing special, just the same style of bedroom light most of us grew up with. I couldn’t get a decent picture of it, but it’s this style:

only not as nice as either of these.

I’m particular about light. I don’t like direct light unless I’m working, and I don’t like light that’s the wrong color. I’m never going to adopt CFLs, I’m sorry to say. I like warm and clean light that bounces off walls and ceilings before it gets to me. I think bad lighting can ruin an otherwise nice room. Anyway, I’m particular. And especially particular about bedroom light.

Some background: Randall rewired and I restored an antique chandelier last year. It wasn’t hard to do, and after it was done and hung, I realized I could have done more with it than I did. It’s hard to see subtle detail from that far away. (click here if you want to see the before-restoration version)

The other thing I realized is that although this 20s-30s style of chandelier is pretty, and plentiful on ebay, it’s a major direct-light offender. Which is fine in the office with some old-style bulbs that are interesting to look at, but not what I want for tranquil bedroom light. Continue reading

Posted in DIY

Naughty in the Nineties

I love seeing what an exotic dancer looked like around the time our house was built. Retronaut has a whole bunch. (Thanks Nadja!)

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Secret rooms

hidden kitchen

Walled off rooms, forgotten cellars. Not an intentionally hidden safe-room that’s opened by choosing the correct book on a bookcase (although that may be a topic for another post), I’m talking about spaces that were forgotten to time or walled-off for reasons known or unknown. Continue reading

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A quick update

Thank you, you tenacious voters for participating in my run in the Apartment Therapy Homies. I wanted to let y’all know that Revictorian came in 35th out of 270-something entries, which is actually pretty good for a 3-month old blog. I’ll take it! It was exciting to get more exposure than I’ve ever had before, and I have only you to thank. I hope you guys found some other great sites to follow too.

Photo by Paris Hotel Boutique

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Wallpaper? In 2012?

Well, yes. As someone who has painted over other people’s ugly wallpaper rather than trying to removing it, you might not think I’d be into it. But there are some beautiful and interesting designs out there and I’d snap some of them right up.

Continue reading

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Revictorian’s been nominated for a Homie!

Updated 2/27/12, 1:30pm: Hey Apartment Therapy Readers! Thanks for coming by. Look around and leave a comment if you feel like saying hi!

Each year Apartment Therapy has an event to find the best new home blogs and Revictorian’s been nominated in the DIY category! If you enjoy this blog, please consider throwing a vote my way. I may not win, but each and every vote provides valuable exposure for the work I do on this blog.

Vote by March 2! Click the link, scroll down on the page and you can log in with your Facebook account. Then find Revictorian in the list.

There are awards for all sorts of blogs, but no one ever pays enough attention to the home blogs, so we started The Homies. It’s our way of surveying the blogosphere each year for the best new home design & cooking blogs and sharing what we find. It’s not so much a competition as a celebration of the richness and awesomeness of home bloggers around the world. Join us, share your favorites and check out the ones you don’t know.

Sorry for the spam, but thank you, and tell your friends!

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Ye olde kitchen makeover

Before I started this blog, we re-did the kitchen. It was the first major project we did after moving in two years ago. The budget-conscious goal was to spend $2000 or less on the whole thing. We didn’t quite achieve that, but we got close. And we’ve been really happy with the results.

Continue reading

Posted in Before and after

Kitchen peek


As I’ve mentioned before, we re-did our kitchen on a tight budget before I started this blog. I’m in the middle of writing a semi-epic post on it because we learned a lot that I’d like to share. Stay tuned for lots of details.

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How’s trix?

Mooncookie on the SINK

Hey Internet friends. Been a lot going on lately, but most of it’s too boring to write about. Like budgeting! After doing our taxes (Okay, Randall did them without my help) we have determined that we should be able to do a full remodel of the bathroom in about one year. Maybe less, but that’s if no emergencies come up in the meantime. By the way, this is Mooncookie. She loves water and the dingy bathroom is her favorite place to be.

We may still tear down the kitchen ceiling for fun (that’s “fun”!) if we get bored and curious enough, but if we do it’ll remain open and unsightly until we can fix it up right. Meaning: after the bathroom.

In the meantime I can muse a lot on plans and materials. Tiles. Showers. We’ve already been over tubs. Toilets. Vanities. Paint. Lighting. I’ll break down some of those picks soon.

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House made of spite? You don’t say!

Photo by Elf

Have you ever seen an unusually narrow house wedged between two others? It’s possible it was a spite house, or at least the oddity that’s become known as a spite house.

Wikipedia defines a spite house as such:

A building constructed or modified to irritate neighbors or other parties with land stakes. Spite houses often serve as obstructions, blocking out light or access to neighboring buildings, or as flamboyant symbols of defiance. Because long-term occupation is at best a secondary consideration, spite houses frequently sport strange and impractical structures.

It turns out there’s a spite house here in Alameda (seen above).

Continue reading

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Our next project

I’ve been thinking a lot about what our next big project should be. Would you like to weigh in? The candidates are:

Remove the drop-ceiling in the kitchen or Total bathroom/laundry renovation.

Let’s look at the kitchen ceiling first. The late 1950s brought many changes to this house. The then-owners wanted a cozy kitchen in the style of the time, meaning dark wood cabinets, loud wallpaper and inset flourescent lighting. And of course, a lowered ceiling. Have you seen Betty Draper’s kitchen? It was a lot like that.

Betty Draper

Click through for the breakdown and pics!

Continue reading

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San Francisco, I love you

Yes, that is postcard row rendered in Jello by the amazing Liz Hickok.

This week Randall and I had some Alameda cabin fever so we tooled around San Francisco looking for food and adventure. SF is about 15 minutes away and I work there five days a week, so it’s not a big trip. I spent my teens and twenties growing up there. I love the city and how it looks and the character of the buildings, but I never really realized what a miracle it is that so many amazing houses survived until I got my own house.

Click through for pictures of real live beautiful houses.

Continue reading

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