Category Archives: Our House



(Photo- Martha Browne)

Our Bathroom

There are times when I wish I could redo a whole room especially after I come across an inspiring online image, new fabric print or paint color. But there’s one room I wouldn’t touch- our upstairs bathroom. Believe it or not, this space is fifteen years old…and I still love it.


Classic black and white tiles (subway on the walls and hexagon on the floor) are a favorite of mine. To keep it from looking stark I added craftsman style oak medicine cabinets. The same warm stain is used on the oak beadboard (nailed horizontally) in the toilet room. Baskets offer much needed texture.


Just wish I could tuck our bathroom into a box and take it with us when we move. :)

Details- Restoration Hardware medicine cabinets & towel bars, Paul’s faucets,  Barclay pedestal sinks, Kohler soaking tub, Rejuvenation Lighting, Pottery Barn hamper, Anthropologie plates and vintage enamel top table.

(Design, Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Family Life- A Summer Memory


A backpacking excursion in the Adirondacks took my son Curt and fellow hikers by this remote river. Needless to say, they took advantage of it. :)

(Photo by Curt’s friend using a GoPro camera)

Family Life- Childhood To Manhood

I’m redoing my son’s bedroom this summer. I began the project by erasing his kindergarten artwork from the chalk board painted border. As I brushed off the drawings… I felt a sudden tinge of sadness. Has it been over ten years since he stood on a ladder to do these? It seems like yesterday.


Curt is 17 now and away for the whole summer training as a guide at a camp for boys. Part of his training includes being certified in WFA (Wilderness First Aid) CPR and Red Cross/Life Guard. That means getting up at 5 am to run several miles and do distance swimming…all before breakfast! :) He just spent two weeks bushwacking (no trails) and climbing the High Peaks of New York.


Oh..sure…I’ll always miss certain aspects of Curt being a child, but they’re quickly eclipsed by watching him become a young man.

 (Photos- Martha B.)

Making A Child’s Room Their Own

~candid spaces~

Artwork By Curtis

My Son’s Journal

Our Garden Shed- Part Three

Details from our garden shed-



1. Fun collectibles- books, bumblebee plate, old photograph, concrete mushroom and my grandfather’s handmade birdhouse.

2. Danielle stands on a bench made of two stumps from trees that fell during Hurricane Sandy.

3. Wide plank flooring is already looking aged.

4. Enamel is a great surface material for my tabletop.

5. Rod iron S-hook slides over cross pieces to hold plants.

6. More is more- books, newspaper clippings and a broken rake that’s used as a hook for towels.



1. Linens for nappingvintage L.L. Bean sleeping bag along with a wool plaid blanket and ticking stripe pillow.

2. Danielle uses the cot as a seat.

3. Remember these old bottles? I moved them from my fireplace mantel to the shed window.

4. This radiator is strictly for show…not for heat. It has antique bricks underneath the legs.

5. BX cable runs to light fixtures in the gables.

6. Cleome plants have bloomed all summer.

(Photos & Design- © 2013 Martha Browne)

Related Nibs posts-

Our Garden Shed Project- Part One, Part Two

Plans For A Potting Shed

Our Garden Shed- Part Two


It’s fun hearing people’s first reaction when they enter our garden shed. They’re always pleasantly surprised. I love that. Inside this 8′ x 12′ space, I managed to fit a sink, desk, wicker chair, shelving and even a cot for napping.

By the way, that’s my friend Danielle hanging out in the shed.



1. Lumber- I chose to leave the rough cut planks exposed. Over time they will darken.

2. Sink- Directly behind Danielle is an old cast iron sink that I had stored under our front porch for ten years. It now has a home!

3. Shelves- A simple floor-to-ceiling pine bookshelf holds clay pots, watering cans, etc.

4. Stool- My father-in-law made this metal stool. It’s the perfect height for sitting and working at the sink.

5. Collectibles- Some things I’ve had for years (books, fruit boxes, tools, McCoy pottery, framed plant) and some things I’ve recently purchased (plates and hand towels).

6. Cot- I bought this World War ll era cot last year without a clear idea of how I was going to use it. But once the shed was built I knew I wanted it in there.



0. Table- Although not exactly what I envisioned, this table functions pretty well. It has an enamel top which is water proof and easy to keep clean. Plus it wasn’t a bad price- only $25! The metal lamp came from Pier 1.

1. Chair- An old wicker one from my parents. I used to sit in it as a kid.

2. Hats- My collection of garden hats hang from deer antlers.

3. Tools- Right now some of my tools are stored in a wooden barrel. Later they’ll be on the outside of the shed.

4. Plants- I love plants! Some I’ve put in clay pots and others I’ve suspended from the ceiling cross pieces using black rod iron S-hooks. This green ceramic container is from Anthropologie.

5. Burlap Bag- A West Elm bag is great for holding potting soil.

6. Straw- Two bales of straw for the vegetable beds. It’s a handy spot for my sheers and pruners, too.

(Photos & Design- © 2013 Martha Browne)

Our Garden Shed- Part One


Our garden shed looks and feels like it’s always been part of the century old landscape. But it’s less than a year old.



1. Plan– I went through lots of shed ideas and pictures to come up with my simple sketch. I kept the size small…8′ x 12′ to keep from having to apply for building permits. The plan also had to fit my salvage finds- an old door and three windows.

2. Location– I knew the general location of the shed…but there were several things to consider. What would we see from the gate and from the shed? What about the view from the house? It took some time to sort out these issues.

No footings were poured. The shed sits on cement blocks.

3-5. Lumber- I chose rough cut timber for the framing (2 x 4’s), wall/ceiling planks and floor (all 1 x 10’s). It was purchased at a lumber mill in upstate New York. This was such a headache- truck rental, four-five hour drive, finding the mill, etc. My suggestion- shop locally!



1. Three Layers-  Interior rough cut planks, on top of that 1/2″ plywood and finally cedar shakes. The shakes are done in a design (3″/7″) matching the existing house and garage.

2. Foundation- A metal grill was placed at ground level to keep out pesky animals. I piled field stones to cover it. I wanted to take pictures of the area exposed for this post. Later I will fill it in with more foundation plants.

3. Concrete Step- A pair of pavers were recycled to create the step. They sit on top of two pieces of 4 x 4 pressure treated lumber.

4 & 5. Salvage Materials– Our friends gave us two narrow windows, one large (6  over 1) window, and a screen door. Amazingly enough, they all worked together design wise.

I decided to place all the windows at one end of the shed- the part that gets the most sunlight. The other section of the shed (has no windows) is used for shelving and a sink.

6. Exposed Rafter Tails– No gutters allow for exposed rafter tails that match the garage. It was tricky getting these to look right with the door and window trim.



1. Decorative Trim- Finger jointed primed boards (1 x 4’s)

2. Roof Pitch- Initially I was going to have the roof pitch match the garage but this didn’t work out. I chose to go with 10 on 12 (this means for every foot it goes up 10 inches).

3. Fixture- Most antique barns and outer buildings used cage lights. This one I found on ebay.

4. Window– Salvage window with trim and drip cap mimics our old house. By the way…the antique bottles help deter birds from hitting the glass.

5. Future Planting design- I’ve been playing with the idea of a flowering vine or climbing roses in this location. Right now it’s just morning glory (Grandpa Ott) trailing up some chicken wire.


A list of the paint colors I used.

The back exterior wall of the shed will have a place to hang garden tools. I’m still working on it but when finished I’ll update here with an image.

08/2014-  We finally got the tools up! :)


Thank you to my husband Scott, son Curtis and our friend Daniel for all their labor in making my dream shed a reality. :)

(Photos & Design- © 2013 Martha Browne)