beach house

birthday in brewster

there was very little home improvement happening this past weekend – but we had a WILD few days of celebrating mikeys 32nd year on earth packed with fatz family fun.

buckle-up. things are about to get crazy…

there was cake baking…

quail mallard hunting
… playing in the yard …
… a few rounds of golf

family dinners
of course the obligatory beer taste testing…

this is normal, right?
we had some photo shoots…

… did some cuddling
then finally caught up on some sleep
i know what you’re thinking.. you could never keep up with us. you’re probably right. 
 this reckless mayhem is bound to continue all summer long. its gonna be a good one 🙂

i always wanted a nook

after moving in the kitchen furniture and sectional, there was still a bit of real estate between the kitchen and living room sitting area. a nook was in order. a game nook.  a couple of comfy chairs and game table in this little corner.
now squint your eyes real small … can you picture it?????:

how about now??:
the nook was actually inspired by a little chess table that was in the old-fashioned cottage in ireland we stayed at during our trip to europe last summer. mike thought we should have one for the cape house. i agreed and surprised him with one for christmas (and by him, i mean us, muhahaha)
after drooling over some of these super chic, sophisticated tables (for over $400)

i found this little gem at for only $70 and free shipping. score.
if you are the observant type, you may have noticed that this is, in fact, not a chess table at all.. its a… backgammon(?) table. nothing gets by you, imaginary reader. this has SIX different boards you can flip to transform the table to all sorts of different games. cool, right? Backgammon, Chess, Chinese Checkers, Parcheesi, Cribbage, and Mancala. i dont know how to play any of them, but lets stay focused…

here is the progress:

mike found these chairs on craigslist for $60 TOTAL. if you have a calculator handy, you’ll notice that is only $30/chair. amazing. one thing we have learned since starting to furnish this house is that upholstered chairs are so surprisingly expensive. we considered many options and did a ton of research before finding these. the most ironic part is that we had decided on these EXACT ikea chairs before the c-list find. we were literally going to buy them for $90/chair before finding them (almost good as new) used. the nook gods were smiling. 

and here is the current state of the union nook. still lacking pictures in the frames and some finishing touches.
to be continuted…

gypsy teal

we didn’t think we were going to paint a thing. it was part of the appeal. we liked all the colors. the place barely needed any work… we just had to move in. wrong. after a few months it became clear that the pale green in the main room was not going to cut it. i always gravitate to dark & warm or bold & modern colors. the green was so blah and it was the entire living area. for the house to feel like a relaxing get-away, we needed to shake it up and pick a new, fun color. it was a risky choice, but i thought a bold blue-green would give the room a nautical feel and make the white frames and wall-art we planned, really pop.
we went to loews on a friday after work and left with gypsy teal in hand en route to brewster.
the painting project began late in the evening. we transfered every lamp in the house into the poorly lit living room, pushed the furtniture to the middle of the room, strategically plopped a few drop cloths and got to work.  
 i think we had some old SNL shows on in the background
this was shakespeare’s first duty as quality control inspector. he took the job very seriously.
 he liked to sit on the drop clothes like he was at a picnic or something. so funny..  i cant get enough of these pictures…

all in all, the undertaking was fairly painless and made a world of difference. it felt like OUR house now! the color came out great and really makes a statement!

shakespeare has officially become head of QC. thanks for all your hard work, shakes!

master bath makeover

i don’t know how we have owned this house for almost 5 months without tearing down this wallpaper, but the time finally arrived this past weekend. while i was on an nyc excursion with the girls, the fatzinger men were kind enough to do the honors.
getting rid of the wallpaper was easy…. painting is doable… but on our diminishing budget, the PINK tub, sink and counter will have to stay… for now. i tried to put together a mood board type of thing to help guide the makeover-in-progress. i wanted to go with a nautical, earth-toned vibe using these gorgeous, breezy rooms as inspiration.

here are some ideas i have gathered thus far:
– the ruffley shower curtains (top to bottom) are from urban outfitters ($79),  west elm ($49), and target ($25). stay tuned for which one we can afford choose.
– the neutral egyptian patterned mats are from ($20) and “dot-grid” rug on the bottom right is from west elm ($19)
– the rope-bordered mirror, ladder towel-rack, and stool are some ideas we are hoping to thrift or DIY.
here is how fabulous our bathroom is looking right now:


one of the first (of many) on-line purchases i made after we sealed the deal with the house was a few of these knitted poufs from cb2.
i pictured card and board games being played around a big round coffee table in the living room on a rainy day or after a long beach day in the sun. i did some research, and while these weren’t what i’d call cheap, they were by far the best deal for these somewhat unique little seats.
they were $90 a pop. which is sounding like A LOT right now. i guess i was a little over-zealous in the early days before our first mortgage payment. but i have no regrets. i love the pouf.  
there weren’t many color options. i didn’t think i could make the grey work (tho i’m into the look below with the electric teal, very cool and modern).
in the end, i went with the “blood orange”.

this is how the coral them was born. 
to complement the poufs and begin the BEACHIFICATION,  i found this ceramic coral thingy and the coral pillow you can see below at
yes, that is a permanent human-body-print in the back of the recliner

i feel a cohesive theme developing! i’m so glad i stumbled upon the bold red accent color. its been fun to work with.

property virgins

hgtv copyright infringement aside, we were extremely inexperienced house hunters… professional renters… but when it came to making a savvy real estate investment, we relied on google and q&a with friends and family to clue us in. i don’t remember exactly when we decided we were definitely going to buy a house in the cape – by far the biggest decision we have made as a married couple. luckily we were on the same page (as we usually are) with the “second home first” strategy. we weren’t ready to move to the <nervous throat-clearing noise> suburbs, but didn’t want to stay in the city long enough for a condo purchase to make sense. we had the savings and rates were historically low. it was time to make one of our long-term aspirations a short-term reality.
we looked at 6 or 7 properties before putting an offer on this one. mike was not impressed when we first  checked it out on-line. it looked like a “grandmother” house. after seeing it in person & keeping an open mind, his tune quickly changed.
here are pics we snapped during the home inspection… do come with us to grandmother’s…

back of the house – looking into the sunroom
the greenhouse three-season sunroom

sunroom sliding door leading out to deck & yard. Hello Mikey
kitchen (door leads to sunroom) cameo by janice the realtor and mr. inspector man
living room – open layout on other side of kitchen
hallway leading into master bedroom (back of the house – behind the living room)

master bath. i know. AWFUL.  i can’t wait to have an “after” pic of this!
grandma’s bedroom
2nd bedroom (behind kitchen)
stairs (in between the two bedrooms) leading down to the first floor
first floor – facing the stairs

other side of the bed on first floor – sliding door leading out to yard
all in all, a very nice, tastefully decorated house & immaculately clean.  the price was comfortably in our range and it didn’t seem to need much work. there was so much potential with the big yard, wrap-around deck…  and point nine miles to the beach. as good as it was going to get in our price range.
it just didn’t give us the cape cod cottage feel we thought we were looking for…. 
i think shakey is up for the task

spring cleaning

its spring in new england. finally. we have a lot going on this year… new city apartment, new summer house, winter lbs to shed and an increasingly sassy bulldog to keep in check! we have a number of projects brewing in brewster. a major bathroom makeover, a lawn renovation (we’re clueless), a vague fire-pit plan, and some finishing touches to the guest bedroom, sunroom and first floor.

There she is!

its crunch time – we want the house to be in good shape for our first renters in just a few short weeks. time to get organized!