The Estate of Things

Grout Cottage: Exterior Lighting Choice

by Sarah on October 21, 2013, one comment

So we’ve checked out the field of choices for the exterior wall light for the front porch of the Grout Cottage. And this is the choice,

grout lightI chose the Masonic lantern because I needed a hanging fixture with a lantern style. I liked the simplicity of the hook and loop and the curve of the framing detail around the seeded glass. I am pleased with the scale and the end result, see for yourself.

Here it is in action on the front porch of the house,

Grout porch light

grout porch light2

 I know the house looks finished in the photo and I haven’t shown you the complete renovation but it’s coming I promise. Can you tell what paint color it is?


Grout Cottage: Exterior Lighting Selection

by Sarah on October 16, 2013, 7 comments

I want to put the right jewelry on the Grout Cottage now that she’s all gussied up. Let’s take a look at the field,

Grout Cottage Lights

1. Charter 1 2. York 3. Solara Hills 4. Masonic 5. Irvington Manor 6. Cordelia 7. Monterrey Bay 8. Tolland 9. Dawson


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Grout Cottage: Exterior Paint Selection

by Sarah on September 18, 2013, 2 comments

Leaving dirty yellow, Pepto pink, white and a battleship gray foundation would be no trouble at all.

Grout front

From previous experience I know how painstaking the process of choosing an exterior paint color can be and I didn’t want to be rushed or procrastinate. I’ll sheepishly remind you all that I once had a house painted three times. In order to get ahead and never make that mistake again, I let samples stay up for something like two months at the Grout Cottage.

grout paint sample side2In gathering inspiration at the start of the project on the Grout Cottage pinboard, I pinned a few color combinations on Queen Anne style homes. For a hot minute, I kicked around maybe stepping away from the blues, greens & grays and doing some sort of terra cotta combo. Ultimately, I couldn’t depart from what I love so much so I decided that I would do something in the blue/gray family.

There were a few Benjamin Moore colors I have been curious about and wanted to try including:

1- Woodlawn Blue 2- Hollingsworth Green 3- Stratton Blue 4- Wythe Blue

grout paint sideI narrowed it to Woodlawn & Wythe fairly easily. After viewing them at different times of the day, I found that the intense sun washed Woodlawn Blue out significantly at certain times of the day.

So I chose Wythe Blue.

paint wythe blue

And then the rest of the players fell into place after that.

The Grout Cottage Exterior Paint Colors The Estate of Things



Views from the Morning

by Sarah on August 29, 2013, no comments

Out and about this morning, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen all of this business but for those who aren’t…

Preparing for the open house happening this evening at my old house. Couldn’t help but notice the limelight hydrangeas doing their thing in the front yard.

am limelightA quick PSA: Attention gardeners and landscapers in NC– who needs azaleas that only bloom for a couple of weeks when you can blast a mass of beautiful hydrangeas for two months that look good closeup and from afar. This gardener doesn’t– I liberated myself from the gazillion leggy, woody azaleas that were growing in this yard. Except for Encore azaleas, you’re cool and you can stay.

The view from the front yard of Mid Pines golf course. The course is looking good, especially with a little morning fog.

am Mid pines


And the porch brackets are up at the Grout Cottage, we’re bringing back a little of the Queen Anne. The painting crew is scraping the exterior now, we’re so close!

am bracketsApt B is getting finishing touches,

am apt b




Grout Cottage: Bye Bye Carriage House

by Sarah on August 28, 2013, no comments

To reviewthe Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house.

grout carriage house

I know I said that we were going to keep the old carriage house but after taking a serious look at it in the back yard of the Grout Cottage, we decided that it would cost too much to save it. We wouldn’t really be able to recoup the cost to basically rebuild the dilapidated carriage house so last week it came down.

My Dad skillfully demolished it with the backhoe. Here’s a snippet of the action,

well that was fun if you like watching buildings being demolished…and then after a few hours work it was reduced to this,

Grout shed demoNice view of the neighbor’s pool now. They’ve got to love us after rehabbing this dump and they’ll love us even more after we plant some barrier trees.