The Buehler Buzz

{watch dumb and dumber do up their dwelling}

Category: Guest bedroom

Familial Treasures {part two}, Buddhas, and some drywall

Betcha thought I’d never actually get to part two, didn’t you?  Yeah, well, so did I.  What a surprise I am to myself recently. I’ve even been participating in…


(wait for it)







(I’m pretty sure that deserves all caps because my idea of manual labor usually includes pointing out exactly where those piles of 2×4’s need to be moved or pointing out exactly where those bags of garbage need to be moved or pointing out exactly where that huge armoire needs to be moved or pointing out exactly where that pile of plaster drywall needs to be moved or pointing out the sections of nails you forgot to remove from the studs.  While holding my martini. {Or box of wine, we’ve gotten way too cheap over here for my regular martinis.})


But my laboring is a story for another day.


Today I brag about some more goodies I managed to wrestle from my sisters in the parental purge.


1. Aunt Spee’s secretary

2. Dog lamp

3. ART!


First up, Aunt Spee’s secretary.  Who is Aunt Spee?  Dad’s mother’s first cousin.  Married to Uncle Bill Kausmann.  It’s from the 1920’s; check it out:


Look at these details!






It’s in our foyer by the living room, and this is where I usually sit and work now… when the house isn’t torn up.  So, not too often.  YET. But it’s fabulous, no?


Next we have the dog lamp.  From Red Oaks in Long Grove, circa 1976.  Lived in the music room in our Missouri house, in the built-in’s in the living rooms in the Deerfield houses, and has spent time on desks, kitchens, bathrooms, you name it.  (It’s been EVERYWHERE, per Johnnie Gail.)  Now, it’s in our study:




And last but not least, art.  Ah, art.  How I love thee.  Can a house ever get too much?  The Wagner/Buehler answer is, of course, hell no!

Check out this gallery wall in the library:




Up there, we have grandparents, great-grandparents, moms, dads, sisters, wedding photos, diplomas, masks, whistles from Peru, backscratchers, bronze plaques, ink drawings by mommy, shoe prints, mongoloid Shakespeare, and a Modigliani print.  {Pay no attention to the scary desk.  You can’t see it.}




Trust me when I tell you it just feels good in person.

And finally, I give you… BUDDHAS!

It’s almost getting out of control, except that it’s still super sweet.  I definitely see more in my future, oh yes, there will be more.

That will be all today.  Except, please send good vibes and continued luck on the current project:




{Why yes, that IS our kitchen right now.}

{What?  Gutted?  Why yes, the kitchen IS gutted right now.  We just got drywall on Sunday.  We’ve also had to reinforce all of the joists, reinforce a bunch of the studs, add a huge header, rewire the entire kitchen, add two more water lines, switch out the fluorescent lighting, and add approximately 87 outlets.  Because I like electricity.  Everywhere.}

{What?  Taking a long time?  Why yes, it is, hence the computer silence over here.  And here’s the long story about the manual labor – I’ve been doing it in the kitchen.  I’m practically a bodybuilder at this point.  A bodybuilder who drinks a lot of beer.  It’s my new thing.  Beer + manual labor = silly Lizzie.}

{What?  Why yes, this has been going on for over 2 months which means that we ARE nearing the end.  Maybe. You can never tell around here.}

{What?  Why yes, it IS GOING TO BE FUCKING AMAZING. Just wait and see!}



Fun quirks at Biltmore

I’m thinking I might make this a regular feature, seeing as we come across these “What were they thinking?!” discoveries on a near-weekly basis.  And who doesn’t love reading about the kookiness, right?

First up (or I should say second, because we all remember the best quirk to date, right?  The toilet, of course!) is what we found under the carpet in the purple room.

When we first moved in and setup the room, we found a cord buried under the carpet and slightly snaked up the wall to the plug.  See?
guest room, purple room

I’ve been dying of curiosity to find out what in the heck was being plugged in since our final walk-through of the house.  It didn’t hook up to any light switches, and we couldn’t find a discernible end anywhere.  My best guess was that it hooked up something in the black and white room, next door, if only because it was on that shared wall in between the rooms.

So I’m frantically ripping out carpet a few weeks ago with my crazy face on and my helper getting in my way, and what do I discover?

{follow the yellowish/white plug…}


{through this big mess of taped wire on the hardwood floor...}

{through this big mess of taped wire on the hardwood floor…}


{to this… seriously?!}

It was an old-fashioned extension cord.  With the end hidden under the carpet.  Next to a wall.  Right underneath an outlet.  What?!


Carpet? What carpet? And whatcha talkin’ about, Willis?

I sure am feeling clever this afternoon.


In other news, and actually relevant somewhat to that title, I bet you can guess what happened in our house…  I bought another lamp!


Um, well, while I did actually buy another lamp (Goodwill, $6.99, in working order, and an EXACT match to a very cool huge lamp that came with the house), I’m actually talking about the fact that I (and by “I”, I mean “we”, and by “we” I mean “mostly me with a little help and a huge amount of griping from my awesome mate”) finally ripped up the carpet in the two bedrooms on the first floor!


Do you know that this event occurred 8 MONTHS after the carpet was ripped out on the rest of this floor, which was last June?  When we decide to procrastinate we know how to sit back and really do nothing.


And now you’re wondering what exactly prompted the carpet removal, right?  Oh, you don’t care?  Weird… well, since I’m already on the topic, it’s because of my 4th-grader-like stature.  The wonderfully comfortable office chair we won from Craigslist a while ago is just tall enough that only the tips of my toes touch the ground when I’m sitting in it.  And because our desk is big and I tend to move around a lot, I needed to be able to easily scootch the chair around.  It has casters on it; the process should have been ridiculously easy.  But it wasn’t, not when the chair was on top of 4 inches of carpet.  So I’m in there last Friday, working away, and I try to push back from the desk and I fall out of the chair.  Seriously.  That happened.  And that was it – I practically ran downstairs, found the first (horribly crappy and dull) exacto knife I could find, grabbed some gloves and pliers and started going to town.


Dudes – I had no idea how satisfying ripping carpet out is!  When the rest of the house was done last summer, I was upstairs dying of the plague, er, what turned out to be massive infections coupled with massive allergies, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is that I missed all the fun the first time around.  All of it!  Well, not this time.

Original hardwood floors, study, office, purple bedroom



And you know what?  The floors in there are in surprising good shape!  (I say that because I was expecting disasters after what we found this summer.   So they may not actually be in great shape, but they aren’t filled with plywood chunks or concrete platforms, so I’m calling it a win.)


Check out these beauties now!


Guest bedroom, original hardwood floors, purple room


Guest bedroom, original hardwood floors, black and white room


Guest bedroom, black and white room, original hardwood floors


Told ya I was on a roll.




PS: Check out the bookcases – I took a great lumpy suggestion and went with magenta.


Built-in bookcases, purple room, office, study, guest bedroom


Built-in bookcases, office, study, purple room, guest bedroom


PPS: That statement is funny if you know my friends E and Rog.


PPPS: Still laughing at my awesome joke.


PPPPS: Ok, I know it wasn’t that funny.


PPPPPS: But it sort of was.

Oh man oh man oh man have I been on a roll lately…

…being completely awesome.  I don’t know what it is, but I’m thinking it’s a combination of the weather getting warmer (which makes me super excited), having my life partner working most nights until 9 PM (there’s only so much TV I could watch before I started feeling my brains getting pulverized by the demon monsters that live inside the plasma), and finally having my poop regulated (let’s face it – constant fecal issues will suck a gal’s will to decorate).


I’m working on the windows for the kitchen right now – I decided that I kept going back to a few pictures in my stash because I absolutely needed my windows to be black.  Don’t worry, I’m keeping the white trim.  I’m not a moron.  Wonder what it’s going to resemble?  Check out this picture from Tommy Smythe:

black window, white trim


See that awesome black and white kitchen?  With the stainless steel countertops?  Yeah, I found that just a few months, meaning WAY after I did mine a couple years ago.  You know what that makes me?  A fucking genius.  (I told you, I’m on an awesome run here, just go with it).  I’m also doing the back door to match –it’s going to be completely rad.  I’m hoping to get almost completed this weekend, as long as the weather cooperates.  But, we live in Chicago, so you know, it’s probably going to blizzard.


What else… I’m working on the built-ins in the purple room.  I decided I do need to add some color under the soffit (the white was too boring), paint out the shelves (instead of leaving them natural), and also put a color on the back of the shelves (instead of leaving them white).  I’m working with this light pink color for the mid-ceiling under the soffit and the backs of the shelves, but I’m not sure if it’s just right or if it’s too pastel… whatcha think?

Purple room, bookshelves, BM Wild Aster


Purple room, BM Wild Aster, bookshelves


I’ve been weirdly obsessed with pink lately, and had previously decided it was the right color for the basement, too.  Yeah, I hear you – don’t screw up the basement by painting it PINK!  (Or if your name is Johnnie: “Are you kidding me?!  You’re trying ANOTHER color before giving in and returning it to the pristine greatness your father and I spent A WEEK creating for you!?”  To which my reply is: “I know, Mom, seriously, it’s a disease.”)


Want to hear a funny story while you’re still freaking out about the pink that might calm you down?  Months ago, I started experimenting with the basement.  (Cover your eyes, Momma.)  The white was just feeling too stark, you know?  Too WHITE.  So I attempted the gray/taupe we used on most of our first floor, but it looks like watery sad mud in the windowless section of the basement.  (Yes, you were right about that, J Gail).  So, I turned to a piece of our art for inspiration, and my pink obsession became a viable option – the piece is loaded with beautiful pinkish tones.  What’s a gal to do but head over to her nearest paint store and grab a quart to try out?  I slapped some on the walls the other night, and I think I might be in total love.  Seriously.


So of course, Aaron comes home from work and I drag him downstairs to show off.  This is our routine, by the way – I drag him to where I’ve made updates/spray-painted/rearranged/crafted/painted and make him pick out the change and then compliment it excessively.  It’s like a fun hide and seek, except I think I just learned the other night that it may not be as fun when your partner is COLOR BLIND.  He stood in the basement turning around and around trying to find out where the change was, and I finally stood him facing the portion of the wall that was pink and said, “Look, honey, right here – it’s pink”.  And he says, “Where?” and then we repeated those two sentences about 5 times because I thought he was kidding and he thought I was kidding until he says, “That brown patch in the green?” to which I replied (probably loudly), “Oh my god, you’re not messing with me!?  You actually think I painted it green around a brown patch on the wall?!”  (In his eyes the “green” = the gray/taupe that was previously there and the “brown” = pink)


And now I know he truly means it when he says I can do whatever I want to the house and he knows he’ll love it.


It’s because he can’t see a damn thing.




A few updates…

So, in between switching jobs, heading to Bermuda, hosting a party or two, picking up more dog shit in the basement, and generally living the high life, we’ve actually managed to do some stuff to the house recently!  Now, shut your pie-hole when a couple of you realize that some of this is a few days… I mean weeks… who are we kidding I’m talking months here, people, months old.  Deal with it. 

We’ll start with my favorite – the attic.  What once looked like this:

Now looks like this:
shoe storage
 shoe storage, purse storage
purse storage
Oh yeah, who’s totally jealous?!  It’s cool, I know you are all.  Sure, it’s not a ‘finished’ space (and by that I mean there aren’t any walls, just some sweet asbestos-covered pipes and what probably passed for insulation in 1954) but I guarantee you my shoes and bags are having a rave every single night, talking about the good ole days when Lizzie used to tear it up nightly.  And by ‘tear it up’, I mean ‘fall down and hurt myself because I was drunk a lot’.
What’s next… oh yes.  Remember when I told you all I was going to spend a weekend spray painting?  Weirdly, that never happened.  However, I have been attacking random objects in the house with my acquired spray paint over the course of the past few months, and these lamps got it good with some pretty green paint.  They came with the house – see one to the left of the bed?  That beautiful beige loveliness with a gold applique of flowers and a yellowed (from nicotine) shade?
beige lamps, old owner bedroom
Let’s see that bad boy up close, shall we?
beige lamp
We kept those beauties because there were two of them and who am I to turn down a matching set of lamps?  A dummy?  I think not!  My mantra, then and now, and especially when my mother-in-law is around because she always thinks I’m nuts and that it’s going to look like poop, is “I can spray paint that and it’ll be awesome – you’ll see!”  And it’s actually been proving true recently.  I mean come on, look at those lamps now:
first floor bedroom, spray painted lamps
Fabulous and awesome, right?!  Only two cans of cheap green spray paint and a couple of new white lamp shades from Walmart.  Oh yeah, I said it – Walmart.  You laugh… until I tell you they were each only $12.  In your face!
We actually purchased something that I’ve had my eye on for a while – this mirror made up of mirrors to go above our fireplace:
I’ve been looking for something to go there since we moved in, so we’re talking a year and a half.  That’s pretty patient for me, so the day I went back to the website where I’d seen it (Pier 1, for your inquiring minds) and saw that it was on a good sale and only available in stores, I called up our nearest one and picked it up that night.  I got the last one… winner!  I’ll try to take a better picture sometime maybe, possibly during the day, maybe with an actual camera… we’ll see.
And to round up today’s lovely post, I’ve been working on where to put our odds and ends art.  You know, things you love and want to display, but don’t really require their own highlighted spot?  Plus, I’m running out of wall.  For real.  I buy way more art than we need; I fear that by the time we’re 70 you won’t be able to see a wall in our house due to the art.  Which will be awesome – it’ll be the wall-less Buehler home, and we’ll be like hoarders but with art.  Back to the point – here’s what I started in our purple room/study:
We’ve got a picture with my sisters (hiya Chrissy and Kat – you get a special Christmas present if you actually read this and tell me you found your name in here since I’m about 80% certain that nobody in my family even reads this because they all hear about our retardedness on a daily basis and who really needs to relive that when you’ve been dealing with it for 30 years already, am I right?), a picture of A and his mom, a picture of us, a picture of A’s dad (they could have been identical twins at 18, I swear), a picture of A as a baby, our college diplomas (see Jennifer – I found an awesome place for these… and it’s not a bathroom!), and a copper piece my grandmother made.  I’ve already added to it since I took this picture, but I like it because it’s not my usual format – all black frames and white mats.
And that is all for today.
Later taters,