Green is the new Navy

I love choosing paint colors. In this house, the objective was to get a clean slate and get it FAST, so I painted nearly everything the same color: Simply White by Benjamin Moore. For the nursery, I wanted to feel like I gave a damn enough to choose a different color, and my friend had a leftover gallon of BM Classic Gray from her house. I loved it on her walls, so I bought the gallon from her, and it’s perfect. But I guess that left me itching to exercise my hobby of choosing paint colors.

It just so happens that when I sit in the rocker in the nursery, my sightline is straight into the hallway. Hours spent in that chair led to hours imagining the hallway in a rainbow of colors. Can you guess what color I chose? Did the title give it away?


Like any well-behaved hobby decorator, I follow the blogs and take note of trends. In our last home, I painted a bathroom in a dark navy-teal, and I LOVED the drama and contrast with thick, white trim.

But that was then, and this is now! And now, dark green is the new navy! Forest Green! Hunter Green! Emerald Green!

Behold some inspiration photos.




source (sorry, it’s just from Pinterest)



I lean on the Internet heavily when researching color. Surprisingly, it was hard to find blog round-ups of favorite dark green paint colors. What’s up with that?

Regardless, I had a clear vision in my head, and when I found Pennyweight’s photos of Tarrytown Green (top photo), I knew that was the one! Two coats later, I think I nailed it! It is really hard to photograph, so you’ll have to trust me.


Ouch, that sad little sconce. I already have a new one in hand, and it’s on the list to install (see pic below). However, it’s not a very straight-forward project because it really needs to be moved lower on the wall and somehow centered (there is a stud in the way). Also, there is no light switch for this fixture, so I’m going to install a “tap-on, tap-off” thingamajig inside the light. Which is not as hard as it sounds, according to the guy at The Lamp Place.







Bathroom: Progress

Wow, it’s been so long since I updated I actually forgot what website this blog was hosted on. Life has changed so much and moved at such an insane pace since our son came into our world in June. I honestly thought I would give up on the blog, but just now, looking back on the old posts made me think that this transformation is worth cataloging!

This house has come a LONG way, and it ain’t over, folks!

Today, the bathroom is about 80% done. Let’s take a quick look at the journey!



Here stands Alex, nearly crushed by the weight of the work that lays before him. That might sound dramatic, but it was kinda true.

The photos below summarize weeks of hard work and nail biting. Because the walls were plaster, the studs were not installed in a flush plane. So in order to create a flat surface to hang the backer board, the studs had to all be sistered in.

Also, this tub, for some reason, had never been plumbed for a shower. We tossed around the idea of an external shower rod, which has its charm, but ultimately the best decision was to gut the walls and re-do the plumbing. As I frequently reminded Alex, we very fortunate to be able to hire professionals to install the shower. Professional plumbers did all the work inside the wall, and Alex did all the work on the outside of the wall.

The odd angles and unlevel surfaces of this old house complicated the job immensely. But perhaps nothing was more complicated than the issue of the window. It seems like a sweet feature for a shower, but having a window made this job 1000x more complex. At first we toyed with the idea of using outdoor vinyl trim pieces to trim the window in a similar fashion as the original version. But vinyl trim selection is limited, and the window was framed in such a way that there weren’t enough places to securely nail the trim on. And we worried about the ability to make it watertight. For the sake of keeping this post somewhat entertaining, I’m going to summarize weeks of tedious work. Alex worked his tail off to create clean, waterproof corners around the window that could be tiled.

The picture below shows the walls with the painted-on waterproof barrier, ready for tile! I think this was also the state of the bathroom when my water broke, and we took a break to get to know our new baby!


Side note: the can light that is hanging down in the above photo was a last minute addition at the suggestion of our electrician. When he recommended it, we said, “nah, why bother? there is already a window”. But then I realized that I often shower at night, and someday might want an extra-long shower curtain to the ceiling, that would block out the light coming from above the sink. So we went for it. Now, almost every time I’m in the shower, day or night, I send up a little gratitude for the precious can light. Oh, the mistake we almost made!


BIG SHOUT OUT to Papaw Heinz for hanging and finishing the drywall. We decided the walls above the shiplap were in such bad shape they were better off covered by new drywall. And the ceiling had major damage from when the AC vent and bathroom fan were installed. My dad is an artist with the drywall compound!

Still on the punch list:

  • finish painting shiplap & prime walls and ceiling
  • choose paint color & paint walls
  • re-trim around the doors
  • paint and hang closet door
  • install accessories – towel hook, shelf, etc.
  • eventually – change light fixture and medicine cabinet

For the Love of Black Windows

Let’s talk about windows. I love old windows – the woodwork, the rippled glass, the character. But the windows in this house passed that charming character stage a couple decades ago. Three windows in the front have been replaced in the last 10 years, but the seal is already failing, unfortunately. The rest of the windows have their own age-related issues – several cracked panes, most are painted shut, all sash cords have been cut, and there is so much peeling (lead) paint it looks like they are decoupaged in cornflakes.


Aww, a bullet hole! Such charm.


If the house had ALL of its original windows, and I wasn’t 9 months pregnant, I would be tempted to restore each window over time. But in this case, all signs pointed to replacement.

All new windows? Immediately, Alex and I were starry-eyed and clapping our hands, imagining gorgeous black windows, inside and outside! Our house will look JUST like this!



Come to find out – no one offers black interiors on replacement windows! I called at least 4 different companies and none of them offer it, not even Andersen. So that was out. But we were still enamored with the idea of black exteriors. Especially in contrast to aged red brick. This was our inspiration:

source – and I know it’s not a source, but some of these photos were just the first things to pop up on google image search

So, we did what any reasonable person would do in the 21st century, and photoshopped both options onto the house!


Ahh if only it were that easy to improve curb appeal!

I’m going to majorly abbreviate the 2+ weeks we spent going back and forth between white and black – it was a daily debate. We chose white. In the end, we chose the frugal route – black would have been a LOT more expensive, and given that there are only two windows on the front of the house, it’s not going to make a huge impact on the overall vision. Someday, when we have the bungalow of our dreams, we will spring for black windows.

Another thing that made our decision so drawn out was that we also had to decide on grill styles. Originally we wanted Craftsman-style grills, with vertical grills in the upper sashes only. Remember, bungalow goals! But when we had the in-home consultation with the window company, we realized that four of the windows we have are 20″ or less in width, so they wouldn’t have fit two vertical grills without looking cramped. In the end we decided to go with what was original to the house – colonial style grids in both sashes. So, larger windows will have 6 over 6 panes, and smaller windows will have 4 over 4.

I still ache when I pass houses with gorgeous dark windows. In fact, at this stage, I pretty much drool over any house that doesn’t have weeds growing up around the astro-turfed front porch. Baby steps!




Kitchen: Part 1 – the Plan


It’s only the heart of the home! No pressure! We have been planning this kitchen for an absurdly long time. I was playing around on the IKEA kitchen planner long before it looked like the deal was going to go through. But all of that hemming and hawing makes me confident that we aren’t being rushed into anything. For weeks, we tweaked the design to land on the final layout.

Then we hauled ourselves up to IKEA on the last Saturday of their kitchen sale (dread!) to place the order. We were expecting to wait forever for a sales associate, so we were pleasantly surprised to walk up and be helped immediately. It took about 2 solid hours with the sales associate, which we were expecting – they meticulously go through your plan to make sure all doors will open, cover panels are included, etc. It was awesome, and we got some crucial tips about installation. We scheduled delivery as far out as possible, without having to pay a storage fee. The delivery is SO worth it – less than $200 for them to pick the order, pack it, and bring it inside your house.

Here is the final layout:




It’s not a big kitchen, but we calculated that it has 4.75 million times the counter space and storage that our current kitchen has, so we are thrilled! The closet on the left side of the room will be closed off. Alex already knocked the interior wall out so that it now connects to our bedroom closet.

These renderings are professional-level screen shots of the IKEA kitchen planner website. What these renderings don’t show is that the right side of the kitchen (the sink side) will have subway tile to the ceiling, with open shelving on either side of the window. There will be a sconce above the window, 2 pendants over the peninsula, and 2 recessed lights along the middle of the kitchen.

The main detail we obsessed over while planning was the peninsula. We really wanted to have an overhang with 2 or 3 bar stools, but we finally accepted the fact that there just isn’t enough room. I still like the idea of a peninsula to separate the kitchen from dining, and offer a place to serve food and hang out. We decided make the cabinet in the corner of the peninsula accessible from the dining space, and that’s when we realized the layout is almost identical to my parents’ kitchen/dining. They, too, have a peninsula with no overhang, and a cabinet facing the dining area. That helped us feel secure in our decision.

The finishes:

  • Cabinet fronts are IKEA Laxarby black-brown. We had originally thought we would go with white fronts from IKEA, but once we saw Laxarby in person, it was a done deal.
  • The floor will be hardwood – it is being feathered in to match the rest of the house.
  • Subway tile backsplash, with a barely-contrasting grout
  • Two shelves on either side of the window, with black brackets. Not sure on the wood yet, but hopefully something with a little age to it.
  • Maytag appliances (except the dishwasher – we are getting the one from IKEA with the cabinet cover panel – SO excited to have a dishwasher again, and love the fact that it will blend into the cabinets)
  • Black hardware – we went with the IKEA Fagleboda series in black. I love the way it just barely contrasts with the cabinets. Drawers will have cup pulls, doors will have knobs. Some of the rendering photos have this wrong. So wrong!
  • Butcher block counters – from IKEA
  • IKEA DOMSJO single bowl farmhouse sink
  • Black faucet – probably this
  • Black sconce above window – I ordered this one, not sure if it’s going to work… I have had trouble finding a sconce that complements the pendants I have, yet doesn’t force the whole room into a mid-century look. I will have open shelving that will no doubt be loaded with antiques, and a farmhouse sink, so I’m really trying to mesh the two: farmhouse and modern. Help me, Joanna Gaines.
  • The pendants (see below) were the Habitat Restore find of a lifetime. I almost cried right there in the store. They were on long chains, so I took them to a lamp store (The Lamp Place) to have them re-wired. Initially, my thought was to swap the chain for black cord, but once we realized how short the cords would be, the genius at the lamp store suggested brass rods. They look INSANE. I also have a chandelier for the dining area that matches – it’s a 5 arm sputnik-style chandelier with similar globes over the bulbs.


The cabinet delivery was scheduled for Thursday, between 9AM and 9PM – which had me thinking, “wow that’s a really wide open window for delivery, I hope they call and give me a heads up!” And, they did – at 8AM that morning they said they were 30 minutes out. I couldn’t help but laugh that they actually missed their 12 hour delivery window, but of course I was delighted to have the delivery first thing in the morning. The delivery guys were super nice and organized. We had a space cleared in the basement for them to unload. It was 99 boxes, which sounds like a ton, but it’s really because every piece is individually boxed – 1 box for each cabinet frame, 1 box for each drawer, 1 box for each cabinet front, etc. I did NOT make them wait around while I counted each piece. From what I’ve heard, IKEA gives you a very flexible 48 hours to report things missing or damaged from a kitchen delivery.

We assembled most of the cabinets this weekend, but in the interest of keeping this post to less than 1 million words, read on at Part Two!

Hard Decisions about Hardwood Floors

Some advice: If you’re scheduled to have your hardwood floors refinished, start thinking about what stain you want before the very day you have to choose. Since we are leaving the hardwoods to the pros this time, I didn’t think too much about what I wanted the end result to be. We have been super happy with the dark walnut stain we chose for our first house, but we both wondered if we should explore a different direction with the new house. I didn’t do my due diligence gathering inspiration photos, pinning, and researching on blogs. I suddenly felt the grip of panic.

So – the morning I was scheduled to meet the hardwood floor guys and choose a stain color, I took to the Internet! And thus ensued a frantic text exchange with Alex, tossing back and forth inspiration photos and galleries of stained hardwood. It was kind of fruitless, but at least we agreed that we didn’t want anything orange/red/yellow. A medium brown one that looked period-appropriate was the look we were going for. To me, nothing tops floors that have aged well over decades, but we just don’t have that kinda time!

The below image shows, left to right: plain poly, Special Walnut, Early American, Provincial, and English Chestnut. FYI, we have White Oak floors, these swatches all have poly over them, and the floors at this point are only sanded to 60 grit. So colors will be a little lighter once they are sanded finely. I thought I would have liked Special Walnut, but out of this group my favorite was Provincial. But I wasn’t satisfied! These colors conjure the ugly oak bedroom suites of the 90’s for me. I offered to run and get more samples.


At the nearby Benjamin Moore store (The Painted Horse), the staff was super sweet and took a lot of time to ponder colors with me. I bought my paint at this store as well, and the people there are just awesome. These are the Duraseal swatches they have on hand. Unfortunately I don’t think the wood it’s on is oak, but it’s a good start. I decided I wanted to take home Antique Brown and Dark Walnut. They were kind enough to pour quarts for me out of the gallon cans so I didn’t have to pay $80+ to get these home. There is a third Duraseal color that Alex and I were interested in (Medium Brown), but they didn’t carry it, so I let it go.

The name of the stain is below the swatch in this photo, FYI. The right side has poly on it.


Once back at the house, we tested it on the floor. The left is Dark Walnut, and the right is Antique Brown.

Drumroll… I chose Dark Walnut.

It’s just a hair lighter and less red than Antique Brown. Both colors are gorgeous. The floor guys said they do almost every house these days in Dark Walnut – that’s why they were out of the stain to begin with. So – my floors are going to be basic but at least they are pretty!


And that is that. Hope we like em!

If you’re reading this because you’re frantically googling hardwood stain colors, my advice to you is have an end goal, but don’t even try to make a decision until the color is on the floor. These photos are never going to be true to life!


UPDATE 5/9/16:

They look AMAZING! This is a quick snap after the first coat of poly had dried. They are exactly what we hoped they would be!

FullSizeRender (38)


Our First House

Here it is – the house that started it all! We accomplished and learned so much transforming this house. We honed our skills (okay, Alex did) and our aesthetic.

Most of the before pictures are from the real estate listing when we bought the house, which is why they contain furniture/decor.





I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those aluminum awnings. We closed in January, but braved the cold to rip those things down as soon as we could. We took them to a metal recycler and laughed all the way to the bank. It felt great to be able to stand up straight in the house and see out of the windows at the same time.

What this before photo doesn’t show is the chain link fence that surrounded the yard. We lived with it for about a year before we tore it out and fenced in the backyard. It was such a daunting task that turned out to be surprisingly easy – we wondered why we had waited so long. I was also super excited to swap out the porch columns  – we wrapped a treated 4×4 with cedar boards and painted them white.

Other changes like painted shutters and door, new house numbers, doorknob and deadbolt, light fixture, and landscaping really gave this house curb appeal. I also painstakingly scraped and painted the window frames and storm windows on the front and back of the house – it made a huge difference. It took us over a year to get to the landscaping. It’s satisfying to see it look better and better as time goes on. Our hydrangea in the middle is exploding with new growth, and the ferns came back strong. I’ll miss the giant dogwood tree (in the right side yard), which is just starting to bloom in these photos. It fills the upstairs windows with white blossoms. I usually hang Boston ferns on the front porch. And yes, even I was shocked to discover that I have a “thing” for wreaths on front doors.





In the living room, the obvious change is paint color. This paint color is Eiffel Tower, and it’s a perfect dark gray that never leans purple – the undertone is brown. In here the main difference is better use of space with the furniture – it took me a while to land on this arrangement, and it made the room seem twice as big. I never decided on curtains, so we just have two inch blinds on these windows, and it works.





How could I forget – the refinished hardwood floors! This was the most intense thing we tackled on the house, and although they turned out great, we’ll hire professionals from now on. At the time, saving the $2-3k it would have cost to get them professionally done was a no-brainer. But I shudder at the memories of working until 3AM, trying to avoid renting the sanders for another day. The most stressful thing about refinishing hardwood floors is the self-doubt. We were in constant fear that we were going to ruin the floors if we left a trace of dust in the poly, or gouged them (as I did when I made a go at using the belt sander – that officially became Alex’s job). We stained them dark walnut, which turned out gorgeous.





In the kitchen, we made cosmetic updates, but they were time consuming. The cabinets are original, and they are stick-built, which means whenever someone does demo the kitchen, they will likely ruin the walls and have to take the room to studs. If we stayed here another 5 years we would probably do it.

We took all the doors and drawers to my parents’ workshop and stripped them. I think I remember 6 layers of paint? Maybe 11? It had a horrible latex roller texture. We took them as close to bare wood as we could, routered the grooves in the faces of the doors, and patched and replaced hardware in the correct position. The insides of the cabinets also got a major makeover – there was (likely asbestos) linoleum sheeting on the shelves. We recently added some wire baskets on gliders that made the kitchen SO much more functional.

The shelves to the right of the stove were a lucky find – they had been in my parents’ kitchen decades ago, and since then had been storing paint cans in their basement. It happened to fit the space perfectly, so Alex built a butcher block top and we gained 12 precious inches of workspace! Speaking of the countertops – believe it or not, the red laminate really grew on me. I find it so unique and charming, and easy to care for. We considered replacing it with something neutral like dark gray, and the thought made me sad!

We wired a pendant above the sink, replaced the faucet, replaced the appliances, and painted every surface. I’ll miss this sweet, humble little kitchen!






Renovating this bathroom was the very definition of snowball effect. We found a new-in-box acrylic vanity top (the existing one was swirly cream and stained) at the Habitat Restore, which just happened to be the correct size, so we decided to replace the vanity top, and hey, while we’re at it, the faucet! Might as well paint the walls, too, right?

This is where it all went nuts. There was some peeling paint on the walls and ceiling, and once we started to scrape, we realized there was no end – the paint was no longer adhering to the plaster, and the wall needed major repair. Around this time we had overnight guests who, after taking a shower, noticed there was water in between the tub surround and the actual tub. You could hear it squishing as you walked on the tub. Those plastic tub surrounds are so creepy. They might look clean from the outside, but you should see the nastiness lurking beneath!


Once we realized that we were going to have to gut and re-tile the walls, we decided it would be silly to live with brown floor tile that we didn’t like. The irony is that the previous owners had paid to have this bathroom renovated with the tub surround and new tile on the floor shortly before they listed the house for sale. It was torn out within months.

We took our sweet time renovating this bathroom. Since we had the second bath upstairs, we closed the door to this room and let months pass when we were too busy to work on it. It was so worth the wait. We had the tub reglazed, tiled everything, repaired the plaster wall, painted, added crown molding, a new fan and light. The only thing that stayed the same is the toilet and vanity (which we painted and changed the hardware). Alex made the shelves from leftover Western Red Cedar that my dad used on the exterior of his workshop.

The paint color is Plumage from Martha Stewart’s former paint line at Home Depot.


There is nothing particularly special about these rooms. We used to have one as Alex’s office/guest room, and the other as my office, but when we found out we were expecting we combined the offices and cleared out the other room for baby. Obviously baby is never going to live in that room, so now it’s a guest room that is currently coated in moving boxes.










Ah, the master bedroom. I will miss this space so much. This was another space that we didn’t really expect to renovate, but once we got started it really changed! I was mostly out of town at tradeshows while Alex, his brother, and my dad tackled this space. It started by removing the drop ceiling above the staircase (see before photo below).



The doorway to the bedroom was short so that the door could open, and Alex literally had to duck through it. So that came out. That’s when they realized the closet and wall separating the stairs could come out entirely. They tore it all out, built the knee-wall and the closet, and united the space by removing the peel & stick tile that continued in the hallway to the bathroom. When we refinished the hardwood floors, we sanded the black porch paint off and the dark walnut stain made these floors gorgeous!





About a year after we finished the downstairs bathroom, we started this one. The peel and stick tile had come unglued and slid around the floor, but the rest of the motivation for changing it was purely aesthetic. We ended up totally gutting the walls and insulating the room. This bathroom also had a plastic shower stall, and Alex did an awesome job at building the nook and tiling the whole thing. I have always wanted a painted wood floor, so instead of tile we painted the floor with oil paint (color is called Chimayo Sage). We re-trimmed the windows and did new beadboard halfway up the walls.

We moved the medicine cabinet higher on the wall. Alex couldn’t see the top of his head before, which is just unfair because he has great hair. The medicine cabinet, sconces, and sink were the thrifting scores of a lifetime. The medicine cabinet is a vintage one that Alex cleaned out and spraypainted the inside to a perfect, glossy mint finish. The sconces are so near and dear to my heart. I looked for small sconces for WEEKS, it was so frustrating. I have always loved old porcelain bathroom sconces, and I almost choked when I found these at the Restore for $1 a piece. We aren’t taking them to the new house because they fit this space so perfectly. I hope the next owner appreciates them as much as I do. You may have heard me sing the praises of the sink we installed (we found it at Goodwill for $6 while shopping for Halloween costumes), and weirdly I only have one poorly-lit photo of it (see below). We took it out and put in a new pedestal and faucet when we decided we were moving. Nobody comes between me and my American Standard shelf-back. IMG_2345 (1)

Finally, for the built-in storage, we used two Restore cabinets that were in great condition. I painted them with Benjamin Moore Advance, added an oak door for the top, and Alex built the slide-out laundry basket. The storage is so ample, it’s practically empty – we are not product junkies by any stretch, but it’s nice to have the space. We also added the baseboard heater in this room, which made showering in the winter downright cozy!


I don’t have a “before” shot of this angle, but we really cleaned up the landscaping here. Alex put up the lattice and tidied up the beds, and built stone steps and retaining wall next to the corner of the house.






Oooh this was a fun one. We knew the garage needed re-painting but when we finally went after it, we really did it right! We borrowed our neighbor’s pressure washer and gleefully blasted almost every scrap of paint off this old garage. Then we primed and painted every surface, making it feel almost like new! Alex never ceases to amaze me – he built the new double doors out of material found in the garage. Our garage went from maybe-a-crime-scene to little jewel box. Our knockout rose has just started to recover from the beating of the flying paint chips. We even flew an American flag on the garage-door side last summer, it was really sweet.

So, that just about covers it. It’s hard to boil down years of work into one blog post, but I’m glad to have a chronicle of most of the changes we made in the house. While writing this I realized how much of the weight Alex bears during our renovations. When we plan projects it feels like we do it together because I can use a drill and I get very dusty, but let’s be real – he is the one that gets it done. He is skilled, precise, and fearless, and I’m so grateful for him! Maybe I’ll learn how to tile, just to say I can!

Bathroom: Part 1 – the Plan



The plan for the bathroom:

  • Tub: The tub is original and I am hoping it will clean up. We had the tub in our current house re-glazed, which looks nice, but my goal is to have the original finish. I want to be able to wash the dog in the tub, use tub mats, etc – you can’t do those things with a re-glazed tub.
  • Shower Tile: We’ll do subway tile in shower, to the ceiling. We will likely take the wooden trim off the window and tile into the window frame. We need to find a piece of marble or something for the window sill.
  • Window: The window will be replaced, like all the windows in the house. It will be white with 6 over 6 colonial grids, and tempered diffused glass. So excited to have a window in the shower!
  • Electrical Work: The electrician is adding a recessed light in the shower and a bath fan in the center of the ceiling. The spaceship-esque vent is being replaced with a normal rectangular vent that will be closer to the wall with the door. Thank goodness!


  • Lighting: The plumbing will all stay in the same place, but the sconce is being moved up about 10 inches. It’s super low right now. I haven’t chosen a sconce yet, but this is the style I’m leaning toward. Image: pepeandcarols
  • Toilet: We are going to replace the toilet, mostly because the one in there now is the widest toilet in all the land.


  • Sink: The sink we will use is the same one that I put in the master bathroom in our current house. We found it at Goodwill for $6 if I remember correctly. It’s a vintage American Standard shelf-back sink, and I’m married to it. We took it out and replaced it with a new pedestal when we decided we were going to move. Marriage is forever.  Image: deabath
  • Floor Tile: The floor tile is our “splurge” for the room. We looked everywhere for slightly oversized, 3 inch hex tile in a matte black marble or travertine, but by golly it just doesn’t exist. So we are going with the Tile Shop’s Noir Hex tumbled black travertine tile, 2″ hexagons. I had noticed it on blogs, and we loved it in person at the Tile Shop. We only have 25 square feet of floor space in here, so the 2″ hexagons are probably better anyway.
  • Walls: The walls are going to be shiplap, either to the ceiling or halfway up the wall. We have done a lot with beadboard in past renovations, and I’m ready to switch it up. I don’t think houses in this area were ever built with shiplap (unlike the houses in Waco on Fixer Upper), but I’m okay with faking a little historical charm. I really don’t want to follow the typical DIY ship-lap route, with hobby board or lauan plywood, etc. We haven’t quite figured out how we’re going to do it, because for some reason you just can’t buy it at Home Depot or Lowe’s in our area.
  • Medicine Cabinet: My dream is a oiled walnut, mission-style medicine cabinet with mirror. I am going to commission my dad to make one, but for now I might actually use what’s there and paint the frame black or something. Medicine cabinets are of two persuasions these days: stinkin’ expensive, or plastic garbage.