Friday Miscellany: Home Renovation | une femme d'un certain âge

Friday Miscellany: Housebound

simple black chandelier. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Gah. I’ve hardly made it out of the house this week. My car was acting up, so I lost a couple of days while it was it was a) not starting and then b) in the shop (needed the computer system reset). Things are starting to happen quickly on the kitchen/bathroom renovation, so I’ve been on call quite a bit this week. Is there such a thing as “decision fatigue?” If so, we’re there. Paint color for the bathroom ceiling? Off white? Sure, fine, whatever. Dinner? Let’s just order from the Thai place again.

Above: we still haven’t decided on a lighting fixture to go over the dining table. This simple chandelier is on our short list. We haven’t decided on a dining table/chairs either.

I did make it over to a screening of “All The Money In The World,” which I have to say is quite good. It’s a dramatization of the kidnapping of teenage J. Paul Getty III in the 1970’s. Michelle Williams delivers a wonderful performance. Christopher Plummer does stunning work as J. Paul Getty. (Even more so,  considering he was brought in at the 11th hour to replace Kevin Spacey.) I remember this and the Patty Hearst kidnappings being so prominent in the 1970’s news cycle. (The Patty Hearst kidnapping was why my parents freaked out and vetoed my attending U.C. Berkeley, despite my being accepted there with some scholarship $. That’s a story for another time.)

In The Navy…

Eileen Fisher navy stand collar jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

For those who prefer navy to black, you might want to check out this month’s collection from Eileen Fisher. There are quite a few pieces offered in the color “Midnight” which is a really nice navy. This includes the stretch crepe pants, which are excellent for travel. Above, lightweight stand-collar jacket (Plus here).

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Bon weekend!

Decisions, decisions…

Stay in touch.

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  1. Jeannine
    January 5, 2018 / 4:38 am

    Murder on the Orient Express! My husband and I rarely go to the movies – we both enjoyed this one.

  2. Lisa
    January 5, 2018 / 5:30 am

    If you enjoyed this movie, you might enjoy others that Kevin Walsh produced…”The Way Way Back”, or more recently, “Manchester By The Sea”. We are as proud of Kevin as his mom is and get a heads-up on his new productions. This one hasn’t made it to our neck of the woods in Mass. yet, but we look forward to seeing it.

  3. January 5, 2018 / 5:41 am

    I love that chandelier.

  4. Susan Simmons
    January 5, 2018 / 6:18 am

    My sister and I were about 10 or 12 years old when all those kidnappings happened in the 1970’s. My father was a pilot and he took us to the flight line to teach us how to drive (even stick shift) just in case! Memories…

  5. Cheryl
    January 5, 2018 / 6:23 am

    Go see The Shape of Water – a grown up version of Beauty and the Beast. Lovely commentary on the power of communication.

  6. January 5, 2018 / 6:24 am

    My son just saw The Way Way Back and really enjoyed it and he’s too young to know any of the history; however, I have to say I don’t remember this story at all. Although, I do remember Patty Hearst all over the news and being quite terrified. I’m going to have to check this movie out because Christopher Plummer is truly one-of-a-kind!

  7. Patricia Alesso
    January 5, 2018 / 6:41 am

    Perhaps deciding on dining table and chairs would be helpful in determining light fixture. I like the chandelier you have posted! Movies: If you like a musical, “The Greatest Showman” is very entertaining, very well done and uplifting – Michelle Williams (she’s been busy!) and Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya.

    • elizaduckie
      January 7, 2018 / 10:42 am

      That’s what I thought too…wait until the table and chairs have been decided on to see if the lighting fixture is ‘right’, relative size and proportion matter.

  8. January 5, 2018 / 7:12 am

    I know what you mean about decision fatigue – so many to make when you remodel or renovate. I saw “Darkest Hour” about Winston Churchill. It takes place over approximately 3 weeks in May 1940 from when he becomes Prime Minister to Dunkirk/big “we’ll fight them on the beaches” speech. I recommend it!

  9. Lee Cavanaugh
    January 5, 2018 / 7:18 am

    My experience with remodeling and decisions was that ultimately there were too many choices. White paint being a prime example!

  10. Lyn
    January 5, 2018 / 7:19 am

    Lighting fixtures were the hardest decion when we remodeled. Remember to look at the chandelier’s maximum bulb wattage – some have a 25 watt max and you won’t get as much light as you need. Low watt LED chandelier lights aren’t yet a good substitute. They are getting better looking, but still rather clunky.
    Just pick something you like. You have a great eye, so go with your gut.

    • elizaduckie
      January 7, 2018 / 10:46 am

      You are so right about wattage. Something I’ve never known how to really gauge before hand…the glare factor…plus what reflections might end up on the ceiling, walls, or table. I’ve moved a bunch and sometimes had horrible din8ng table lighting to contend with, and remove. I’ve put up and returned a bunch of equally bad lighting.

  11. January 5, 2018 / 7:30 am

    The Shape of Water–hard to use the word ethereal about an aquaman!
    But it is imaginative beyond belief and Sally Hawkins is wonderful.

  12. Eileen
    January 5, 2018 / 8:05 am

    French and international movies are my favorite, not available near me, so Netflix is my choice.

    • Elle
      January 6, 2018 / 5:52 am

      I’m a foreign film fan as well. Can you recommend a few on Netflix now? In the northeast it’s too cold to venture out this weekend.

      Thank you!

      And, I love the navy options. Would you go down from your normal size in the jacket, Sue?

      • Susan B
        January 6, 2018 / 6:15 am

        Hi Elle, I haven’t tried this jacket yet. Because it seems to have set in sleeves and is cut more narrowly through the shoulders I’d probably stick with my usual EF size rather than sizing down. If I see it in the store and am able to try it, I’ll report back.

  13. Kathy
    January 5, 2018 / 8:23 am

    I totally understand your decor decisions as we are just starting a kitchen renovation ourselves. Our selection coordinator says to choose lighting that coordinates with faucets, cabinets, wall color, counter top, appliances…….the overall look/style you want. Choose furniture last. Of course, Pinterest will give you a preview image of most anything.
    Movie looks really good, by the way. I grew up in the 70’s as well.

  14. Cinzia
    January 5, 2018 / 8:30 am

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m really looking forward to “The Phantom Thread” (supposed to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film….)

    I can completely relate regarding decision fatigue — a few years ago I had my kitchen renovated and a master bath added at the same time. So many decisions to be made! I will admit to choosing kitchen light fixtures (for the island and the small eat-in table) that I later regretted; I wish I’d spent more time looking at options. On the other hand, they were fine for the moment and I replaced them 5 years later with ones I liked better, so I wouldn’t obsess about it too much.

    • Angela
      January 5, 2018 / 10:36 am

      Haha, me too, though we didn’t hang the overbench lights. Took them back and finally at the very last store found replacements we are very happy with. However, we ended up adding some paint to the dining pendant light and now all is well.

  15. Sue
    January 5, 2018 / 8:49 am

    Love the 1st pottery barn 5 light but then Iove Pottery Barn

  16. January 5, 2018 / 8:51 am

    Decision burnout is real! I remember when we renovated our kitchen, I chose the worst cabinet knobs possible. Really hideous. When it came time to instal them, I told the cabinet installer to just choose something else and pick what he liked. I was burned out.

  17. January 5, 2018 / 8:58 am

    I remember both kidnapping as well. Saw trailers of the movie. Cannot watch it. Too much excitement to handle. And I can understand your decision fatigue.
    As for the chandeleers… I am going to send you something totally different. Just to jugle your mind haha.

  18. Kristi
    January 5, 2018 / 9:19 am

    Love picking “house stuff” and only got burned out near the end of doing a whole new home. My decorator friend with great taste gave me the best piece of advice – consistency, consistency, consistency – especially in a smaller home. For me, this meant, same taps in all the bathrooms, same flooring (tile/hardwood), same paint colour, etc. – the house is stunning Scandi-modern and a lot of it is because it flows and the eye doesn’t “jar” from one discordant thing to another.

    PS – can’t go wrong with white paint – Benjamin Moore Cloud White or Decorator’s White are classics depending on the light in your rooms.

  19. Kathleen Martin
    January 5, 2018 / 9:40 am

    That wayfarer chandelier will make you look awful

  20. Rebecca Ford
    January 5, 2018 / 10:03 am

    I’m sure you’re aware that the dimensions of the room and size of the table are important factors when choosing a chandelier. I notice that the Pottery Barn one says “best for 10′ ceilings”. I was going to suggest it to my daughter, but I think the proportions might be off for her room.

    • Susan B
      January 5, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Yes, that’s one of the reasons we haven’t made any decisions yet. Once the cabinetry is in, we’ll have a better idea of the space.

    • January 5, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Also, think about any shadows they may cast . . .

  21. Susan D.
    January 5, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    I really like the chandelier!

    • Susan B
      January 5, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Me too, but need to see it in person. I’m concerned it might be too big for the space.

      • Tracy
        January 5, 2018 / 1:26 pm

        When you are looking at in the store, remember that the store is a lot bigger than your house so the proportions may not be obvious. I live in a small house. The light fixture I bought for my dining room looked teeny tiny compared to the others on display in the showroom, almost comically so, but when we got it home and installed it, it was almost too big! Good thing I didn’t go for one of the chandeliers with more presence. I have a similar problem with furniture. I bought a new chair for my living room last winter. It was the smallest chair in the showroom. Got it home and it’s almost too big for my space.

  22. MARLA
    January 5, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    We saw DARKEST HOUR, I highly recommend it! Problem: I love ALL of the chandeliers!!! The navy stuff looks great. I hope Eileen begins making more things in plus sizes!

  23. Christine M Pisani
    January 5, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    1) Movies – The Darkest Hour and Lady Bird are both good. So many good movies now!
    2) Patty Hearst – have you read American Heiress? Very good. There was a lot I didn’t know (or remember) about the weird Patty Hearst story.

  24. citizen spot
    January 5, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    I really like the “farmhouse/rustic” simplicity of the Lucca Chandelier in the first photo. To get a very rough idea of the size, perhaps you could mock up a cardboard stand in. Cut 3 50″ cardboard or poster board strips, cut slots in the middle of each strip and slot and tape them in a hexagonal array, then tape on a 26″cardboard strip to represent the center hanger, tie it with string or dental floss to the end of a broom or mop, and have one of you hold it suspended in the place where you are planning to put it while the other stands back and looks at how the size of it looks from different places in and around the room. Just a quick and dirty visual test and in no way equal to seeing the real thing in store.

  25. Renee
    January 5, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Yep, I remember the Patty Hearst story as it happened where I lived, yikes! Would def. recommend the Darkest Hour, will be seeing Lady Bird this evening. I had so much fun seeing Pitch Perfect 3 with my college age nieces…love. love Anna Kendrick!

  26. Mrs Berwick
    January 5, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    The soft downlight over a dining table should flatter everyone, especially the hostess. It is mood lighting remember: we don’t need to scrutinize the broccoli.
    I’m a new reader who enjoys your blog, Susan.

  27. Judy
    January 5, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    Doing the lighting first is best in an empty room. Keep in mind the entire style of your home. The lights need to match the character of the home. My 75 year old Midwest home cannot have the same fixtures as my 2005 Florida home. Light fixtures are like art. They must be stunning and stylish alone. Add some lamps here and there, along with the sconces and overhead lights to deliver a spactacular scene. Lighting is as important as art and in my opinion as important as cabinets and tile. Go with your gut feeling and what you enjoy. You will be fine. Your chandelier seems colonial to me but perhaps it is what you are going for in the attitude of the house.
    Hard to have fun but try…I have redone and built homes. Sounds horrible to say, but some small things can always be revised afterward. Money is the issue….as always of couse. Nobody wants to pay twice or redo.

  28. Helene Harris
    January 5, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    I like the chandelier too! I’m assuming you’re going for a somewhat rustic or country look.
    Saw I, Tonya and The Post last week in NYC. Loved both. Expected Tonya to be campy fun; it wasn’t. Sad, excellent portrayal of a crazy time/theme/sport/person. I remember at the time Harding was so very talented and so “not what they wanted.” I also remember none of us were terribly upset at the time that Kerrigan got injured. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney were really splendid in this.
    The Post was truly wonderful. OPening night performance christmas night in a packed theatre with a very interactive crowd. It was great. Odenkirk tremendous. Streep and Hanks as wonderful as ever. Wonder why Paulson took such a small role. The answer i got was just to work with Streep and Hanks and Spielberg. Makes sense.

  29. Bitsy
    January 5, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    The chandelier you show in the post is similar to the one we have, and I’ve been very happy with it. We currently have shades on the bulbs, but it’s also lovely without. Can’t wait to see the reveal at the end of your renovations!

  30. Kay
    January 6, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Before we go to France to see family, I spend a couple of months watching French-language films on Netflix, etc. It’s very helpful to “tune” my ear. I like to keep the English subtitles on because I am always so proud of myself when I catch the English translation being substantially different from what is spoken in French. I have also become a big fan of several French (and Canadian) actors that way. Gregory Fitoussi and Clemence Poesy, for instance.

  31. Em
    January 6, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    When we did our bathroom last year, I was overwhelmed by the choices for bathroom fixtures, accessories, window hardware, cabinet knobs and lighting. The lighting fixtures were the hardest – what I saw in the stores just didn’t look good! Even though we live in Canada, I bought my lights online at Schoolhouse Electric because a friend of mine had good luck with them. I couldn’t have been happier with my choices.

  32. January 7, 2018 / 2:29 am

    Hahaha God yeah there’s such a thing as decision fatigue! Hang in there lady 😉 As for the chandelier, I’m more of a Tom Dixon fan. I love the multiple pendant look especially his Beat lights.
    Over to the film – Not seen this one but I adore Michelle Williams acting. I also remember these kidnappings, the news spread as far as Australia where I grew up. It was a really big deal at the time, I’m intrigued to see the film. Probably wait for it to come on Netflix though since I only ever see kids movies at the cinema these days…

  33. candy
    January 7, 2018 / 7:41 am

    Decision fatigue — so accurate. When I got to that point in redoing our condo, I took some advice and hired a decorator for a 1-hour consult to help me make some decisions. It really helped.

    As for movies, “The Big Sick,” is a funny, ultimate heartwarming true story of the family culture clash that occurs when a Pakistani comic’s American girlfriend suddenly becomes ill and is hospitalized. Holly Hunter is terrific as the girl’s mom.

  34. Roz
    January 7, 2018 / 9:58 am

    I say, chose your table and chairs, and then decide on a chandelier that is in proportion to the setting. Unfortunately, you didn’t mention the style of decor, or maybe I missed that information.
    Get the opinion of a decorator as they sometimes help to consider other options. There are so many unique chandeliers available today that can add the wow factor in a room.
    I’ve been looking the “right” entry rugs for years – going to seek out the advice of a professional. I’m tired of looking.

  35. RozH
    January 7, 2018 / 11:13 am

    I’m a recent subscriber and I love your blog. One think I keep wondering about is how your organize your closet and what process you go through to cull your wardrobe — do you look at things season by season? Do you consign (and where)? Do you donate?, etc.. Your tips on what to pack for a trip are great — do you have any similar suggestions for planning a wardrobe? I often hold back on buying things that are a little more “on-trend” because I feel like I already have too many things to wear and not enough days to wear them. The downside of being so practical is that I then have a closetful of boring clothes!

  36. Rhonda
    January 7, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Love your blog and your style. Have you posted anything on a skin care regimen for those of us over 50? Would love to hear your suggestions. I am currently using Rodan and Fields and I think it is Ok but not earth shattering.

    • Susan B
      January 7, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Hi Rhonda, thanks! Funny you mention that…I’m working on a post for tomorrow about some of my favorite skincare products.

  37. Pamela
    January 8, 2018 / 4:24 am

    Not a minimalist so that chandelier doesn’t appeal at all. When we were looking for a chandelier for our dining room we waited until our next visit to Venice and then wandered through a number of the glass factories there till we found the perfect one. We still love it – it’s not large, but is very beautiful and can be dimmed to a very soft flattering light. They shipped it to us using DHL. It arrived safely, extremely well packed, but separated out into pieces. Just as well our electrician was able to put it together because he’d done Murano chandeliers before, as the assembly instructions in the box were for a different chandelier and in Italian only.
    Loved Oprah’s address at the Golden Globes this evening. Christopher Plummer looked so dishy for his age – and such wonderful bearing and dignity. Best wishes, Pamela

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