Deuce Cities Henhouse

Colors that Kill Me

Blush, Blue & Black

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I think I’ve been obsessed with blues and pinks for three or four years now. As time goes on the blues become darker and more dynamic and the pinks more less saturated and more muted with yellow undertones. It kills me, like seriously, I kinda feel weak in the knees when I look at some of these images. I’ve been noticing the change in my pinterest boards too, I nearly pin every image I come across with references to this ultimate palette.

I’ve been thinking the living room needs to surrender and give into my absolute need for a darker hue. As it sits, it’s a dark teal and it plays nicely with our dark wood moldings, but I think I’d love it even more if I could push it a shade darker, skimping on the green and upping the blue slightly. Probably worth the gallon of paint and the couple hours of work, don’t you think?

Blush, Blue & Copper

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Blush, Teal & Black

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My August Garden

Here we are, the last garden post of the summer. This year, I can honestly say that I am ready for the fall to come, and for that big autumnal change to happen. Not only am I ready for the colder fall days ahead, but this season change signifies big change for my day-to-day world. Finn started school last week, and today is Gus’ first day at his new school. Life will be different around here. I have time in my days now to begin to focus on the house, this blog, and to begin the process of figuring out how I will define myself in the future days, weeks and months as my full-time mom job winds down. I’m excited.

Okay, so garden stuff. The garden is all ready for the fall, some of the hostas have begun to yellow and I can tell chilly days are right around the corner. Somewhere around the beginning of August I give up on weeding and caring too much about the routine maintenance of gardening. I set timers for the sprinklers and I mow less often, we begin to spend less and less time in the backyard and more time on the porch, as we can all sense that the summer is winding down.

I had some successes this summer, and some fails. The Vanilla Strawberry peegee hydrangea tree has been a great addition to the gardens, adding height and color nearly all summer long. I was also pleasantly surprised by my rose bush, it responded well to not being cut back last fall, and as a result, is huge this year. I had a rough year with my veggie garden, and I know I’ll be reading up over the winter trying to figure strategies for gardening next year. I’m considering using plants from the nursery as opposed to sowing from seed in the spring, I’d love to hear pros and cons of this if you have experience. I have ideas of adding one more sunny vegetable bed in the spot on the side of the house where the orange day lilies are now. The day lilies burn out towards the end of the summer and I think tomatoes or peppers might benefit from the space better than the lilies. The soaker hose irrigation system sprung a leak early on and I never felt confident leaving it on a timer (in fear that I’d flood my gardens), and because of that the gardens didn’t get watered as much as they should have. Next year will be the year.

It’s crazy to think that in less than a months time, the gardens will all be put to bed, waiting for winter. I will be looking forward to seeing them next spring, hopefully bigger and stronger than ever, but I’m also looking to having one less thing to worry about, and instead enjoy spending time with the kids (now that I don’t have to see them all the time), being cozy and focusing on the house.


The impatiens pictured above are insane this year! I grew these “sunny lady” impatiens from seed. These impatiens can tolerate a little sun, and I had a spot for them that was a little sunny in the afternoons. These babes have thrived here and are taking over (in a good way) growing about 12″ hight and providing amazing salmon blooms. I will for sure be doing this again next year.


Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea

This tree has been a great investment in lush-backyard-vibes. It started blooming towards then end of June, was white all July as its blooms continued to fill in, and its petals have turned muted pink.


Painted Ferns



These Southern Comfort heuchera that I planted along the border have been a great addition to the side garden at the base of the Japanese maple, they provide a good amount of color even when they aren’t flowering. If I could do it all again I would use heuchera as my go filler perennial instead of hosta.


Rose Bush

Now that I realize that I shouldn’t be cutting back my rose bush every year, it has thrived. It’s nearly as tall as I am, and up to a week ago was full of pink and yellow blooms. Hopefully I will have just as good of luck with my new peach climbing rose that I have plans of training to go along the back of the fence.


Front Garden Bed


Garden Beds

I’m worried about the Japanese Maple, some of the leaves have begun to curl and turn brown. Fungus was what led to the demise of my Bloodgood Japanese Maple last year, and I’m hoping that’s not what is happening to this one too. I have my fingers crossed, I suppose I’ll know next spring if it makes it or not. I might die if it doesn’t make it.


Autumn Joy Sedum


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Entryway : Coat Hooks

Simple coat hooks made with dowels, leather and copper
Hey budz. The entryway progress continues slowly but surely! Our house has a lot of good things going for it, but one of the things it doesn’t have is a coat closet. Instead it has this really large (in proportion to our house) entryway that doesn’t serve a whole lot of purpose. It basically consists of our stair case, a weird wall cut in half diagonally by the stairs, a bay of piano windows, and a bench seat that covers a radiator. These reasons are why it has taken me six years to come up with a viable plan for the space.

In the winter time us Allens rarely use the front entry, we park the cars in the garage and we exit and enter only through the back door. We use our back mudroom to hang our coats, and we stowaway our boots in our shoe cabinet. When our friends and fam come to visit it’s a different story. They enter through the front door, and have nowhere to hang there coats. When this happens, the radiator/bench wears two hats, functioning as a coat collector and jacket warmer. Hooks were long over due, it was time to install some! My pals need a place to hang there shit. I need my entryway to not be a disheveled chaotic jacket den all winter long.

Of course this is something that I could have done forever ago, but because of this whole lack of a vision for the space thing, I never felt like it was worth doing. Now I’ve got a plan, and a new affinity for wood dowels, copper and leather. Put it all together and you get a wood and leather dowel coat hook with copper accents. Seems logical. Here’s how you can do it too:

Leather, Wood and Copper Coat Hooks

Screw & Dowel
Using a 1/8″ drill bit make a hole in the center of the dowel approximately 1 ½” deep. Insert one end of the dowel screw into the wood dowel. Use a pliers to help sink the screw. Stop when you’ve reached half way. Using a 1/8″ drill bit, pre-drill holes in the top and bottom of the leather (about a ½ from each end)

Anchors Away
In the wall, drill holes for the anchors using a 5/8″ bit. If you are drilling into plaster you may have to also drill into the lath. Use a hammer and lightly pound the anchor into the hole. Take the dowel and sandwich the leather (folded in half) between the dowel and anchor. Screw the dowel into the wall. Add the copper caps, if needed use an adhesive to hold in place :)

DIY Coat Hooks using Copper, Wood Dowel, and Leather Strapping
There’s still a bit more work to do in the old entryway. I am on the hunt for a rug and some artwork, and I might have to upholster one more bench cushion (have I mentioned that I’m not a fan of sewing), but we’re close, and it’s already improved the lack of function and general prettiness ten fold.

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Bathroom Plan : Take Two

Hey Team, How’s it going? Welp, here I am, still talking about my dang basement bathroom again. I’m sorry, I’m that jerk that just can’t follow through. Now I’m ready though, I’m really seriously ready.

My plan is slightly different than the last time around. Before I was committed to black matte penny tile on the floor, and this 2.0 version includes some dark blue flooring options. I just sat down last night and pounded out a solid budget, and we’re going to see this bathroom through this time! Please allow me to refresh your memory… Last year we had the basement remodeled, and by that I mean completely gutted and rebuilt. There had always been a bathroom in the basement but it was tiny and gross, and nothing you would actually take a shower in (believe me, we didn’t). Our main focus was just the basement last year, our budget only stretched so far. Our basement plans however did include having the plumbing roughed in, the bathroom framing done, dry wall installed, concrete shower pan laid, electric run, exhaust fan inserted, and cement board in the shower. Right now it functions as a large dark toilet room.

So you know where I am going with this. I am ready to get the ball rolling on the tiling (so much tiling), sink, faucet and shower head install, and constructing built-in storage. As soon as I whip out all the stuff we can have this bathroom functioning as our guest bath/boys’ bathroom. Guest bath because we don’t have a powder room on the main floor, and boys’ bathroom because someday I’d like have to have the 2nd floor bathroom be a dedicated adults only zone.

There are a few design things in the bathroom that I know will happen, for one, we will be installing a Kohler Brockway sink with two faucets. I had my worker dudes rough in the plumbing and add lots of framing and supports within the walls to hold the weight of that babe-of-a cast iron sink. All the detail stuff is there, I just need the sink. Kohler makes them new, which is great as a fall back, but I’d love to run into a vintage version so that I could save a little scratch. I could see this taking down our 4k budget by at least 10%-15%, so it would be super great if we could magically find one. I’ve been hunting the local salvage shop every month this summer and haven’t found it yet. So if you know where I could find one, throw a gal a bone!

Other things I know about: I will be hanging two pendant lights on either side of the sink. It will be way too pretty to be a boys bathroom, but pretty enough for the guests who might have to use it. I’ll either purchase them direct from Rejuvenation, or maybe I’ll try and make my own pendant wonderfulnesses.

Lastly, there will be subway tile! I went back and forth on this, but now that I am beginning to lock in what may be the most wonderful blue floor ever, a simple subway tile with black grout seems like it would be a nice compliment. Yeah guys, the floors. So I am thinking real hard about tiling the floors with a dark navy concrete hexagon tile! Oh my gad, couldn’t it be the best? I want more dark blue in the basement and I think the bathroom floor could be the perfect spot for it.

The question is, can I handle installing cement tile? I’m a little scared, but I’ve been scared of doing stuff before and I’ve managed to come out on top. I think I can do this. The hexagon cement tile is from It is polished and sealed before they ship it, so the finish will hold up better during the install. It still needs to be sealed in the end, but I like the security blanket of having the tiles come with some protection before they are handed off to me. I’ll have to make all the cuts with a tile saw, which is fine – I’ve got some pals that can lend me theirs! But I have no idea how they handle being cut, do they chip easily, will it take me all the cuts to get it right? Tell me if there are there things I should know about before sending all my money through the wires of the internet to a tile company far far away to receive a special tile that I have never used before? If anyone out there has experience with cement (aka encaustic tiles), please let me know. I’d love to be told a thing or two.

The project right now is hinging on what I decide for the floor tile, once I fully commit, I can order the tile, wait 8-10 weeks and then begin the install. See it’s just so easy (not really). After that I can knock out the subway tile on the walls, find and install that sink, learn to be a plumber, build shelving, and wire up lighting.

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New Chair Don’t Care

Armless Side Chair in Indigo
Friends! We decided to celebrate the basements first birthday by giving it a new side chair — just what every one year old basement wants! Honestly, it didn’t go down like that. It was my intention to have a mid-century orange swivel chair reupholstered in a dark blue (that was about a year ago). However, doing something like that takes initiative and action, and it was obvious that we (I) were not showing one sign of follow through. Clicking internet buttons is just way easier. So, it was decided that purchasing a side chair would be better than waiting to see how long it would do to do the former. We are lazy jerks.

We were in need of something that offered comfortable seating, had a narrow profile (since we were limited on space), was affordable, and armless would be best. After eying all the chairs all over the internet, I became smitten with the bludot Field chair. As things that are well designed often are, it was WAY out of the price range. Lucky for us, West Elm has a chair with very similar lines for a fraction of the cost.

I’m pretty excited about the chair, it does a lot for the space. It adds the slightest bit of color, which was needed badly. I love all the black and white, but I like it even better with a little blue. The speckled indigo fabric did it for me, and I’m already getting real good at pushing buttons and swiping screens, so that there can be dark blue pillows and throws to compliment the chair. The chair also helps to break up the long narrowness of the space. Furnishing a 28′ x 12′ has been a tricky design dilemma, so I’m way for things that help to break up the longnessesosities. Oh, and it offers a place to sit, so super functional – sitting is a function!

Also, that little fan rules. We ordered it from Amazon at the beginning of the summer to help keep us cool on the front porch, since then we’ve ordered the large one as well and now they both keep us chill in the basement where we have no A/C. Highly recco.

Anyways, because I look at the internet a lot, I thought I’d post a few of my fav blue chairs that came up while I was searching for the basement’s b-day gift.

Blue Side Chair Roundup

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Armless Side Chair in Indigo

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