Duck, duck, duck, duck…


And horse.

So apparently my little self-imposed Dude Get On That Already challenge is just a sick joke where the universe tells me: “hey crazy lady, stop hoarding animals in the playroom.” But at least I’m getting things off the floor in there and up on the walls of the rest of the house so they can actually be enjoyed (or that’s just the denial talking). So without further ado, two more thrift store finds from here and here. Yes, this week was a double whammy of getting on that, since no painting was required. And they’re both over a year overdue. Another big surprise. So it was time to get these guys up on the wall (especially give the untimely death of our dear friend Ramsey).

I made John hold this so you can see the weird way we hung him up in the right place and at the right angle with just two nail holes (instead of ten while we scooched him around to find the right spot and cursed ourselves for not making some sort of a template). We just stuck some painters tape around him (sticky-side out) and poked holes in it where the hooks for the nails are (just stabbed the tape with a pen there).

Then we held it up about an inch from the wall and moved it around until we liked the placement. I stood back about 8 feet to judge while John did the moving-around thing. Once we liked the placement we shoved him up against the wall so the painters tape stuck…

And then we pressed it against the wall firmly around the back of the ol’ bird to make sure it would stay on the wall.

Then when we pulled our little $8 thrift store duck off.

The tape became a little duck-hanging template. See how our little pre-poked holes are left stuck to the wall to show us exactly where our hanging nails need to go (and on the exact right angle) to hang this guy?

So here I am hammering those babies in (this guy’s really light, so no screws and anchors were required). Once the nails were in I just ripped off the painter’s tape while screaming Kelly Clarkson.


Yes, the concrete greyhound underneath Sir Duck (an old V-day gift from the hubs back in 2008) is further evidence that I have an animal problem.

But seriously, how bad-a$$ is this guy? We love that he’s flying towards the front door. And if the rest of the dining room weren’t full of secret book projects we’d share more panned out pics to show how the dark wood tone picks up on the big chunky dining table nearby. Soon hopefully.

Now onto matters of the iron-horse kind. From the start we had plans to hang this equine delight in our bathroom with a towel through the ring. So a year after adopting him for $7 from a Delaware thrift store I finally did. He looks a bit lackluster now because the room is a big white box, but once we get around to painting and tackling some other updates we think he’ll be downright dapper.

It was fun to keep both of these guys au naturel. I mentioned the possibility of painting them both back when we bought them last year, but I think we’re moving into a phase where sometimes we just like things with some texture and some timeworn “patina” (aka: as they are). But you know I’m still no stranger to the ol’ spray paint can, so I think it’s one of those 50/50 things. Ya never know if I’m going to spray paint you or leave you well enough alone (or hide you in the playroom for a year, apparently).

How have we not had a hand towel hook in the hall bathroom for the last year? That’s the main bathroom that all of our visitors use. Yeesh. Glad we finally got on that. Our towel just used to lay in a heap next to the sink, but now it has presence. It has pizzazz. It has animal magnetism.

In summary: our bathroom has 99 problems, but a towel hook ain’t one.

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the five million upgrades that we’d like to do to this bathroom, so maybe it’ll be next on the ol’ agenda (after we finally finish off the never-ending kitchen makeover). Oh and since folks have been asking if we’ll have anything left to do once the kitchen is done (ha!), here’s just a smattering of the bigger projects that come to mind (along with about a million smaller upgrades/projects as we go):

  • We have not one, not two, but three full bathrooms that are untouched and in dire need of some upgrades
  • We have a sunroom that has seen zero action since the day we halfheartedly plunked random old furniture in there (aka: move-in day)
  • We have an untouched playroom full of pillows, fabric, more animals (?), and goodness knows what else that we’re planning to turn into a useful kids bedroom/playroom
  • We’re going to convert our carport into a garage
  • We’re going to build a pretty major walk-out deck
  • We’re going to paint the porch, remove the scallops, stain the concrete, and box out the columns for a fresher look
  • We’re going to hang crown molding in a bunch of rooms that don’t have it
  • We’re going to add some wainscoting in the hallway (not the frame hallway, the other one that leads to the three non-master bedrooms)
  • We’re going to refinish our wood floors
  • We have a slew of 30-60%-done rooms that we’d like to someday finish, like the living room, the master bedroom, the guest room, the dining room, etc
  • We have a full-blown front yard, side yard, and backyard makeover on the agenda (we like to tackle those slowly over time, like we did at our first house)
  • We want to build some outside entertainment for beansie, in the form of a sandbox and/or a playhouse or playset
  • We want to double side the fireplace between the kitchen and the living room
  • We even daydream about bigger projects down the line, like changing the roof-line to add some peaks to the front of the house (to match the ones in the back, which were added when they did an addition in the 70s)

So yeah, there’s lots to do! But back to the fact that I need Animals Anonymous. Do you think Animal Hoarders is going to show up at my house? If they do, they’ll just get to chat with our house-sitters since we’re currently on a plane to Portland. Haha. The joke’s on them.

Speaking of our currently-in-flight status, we’re most likely going to post the second post of the day a little early (at noon EST during a plane change) and then won’t be available to approve comments between 1-6 EST while we’re on our second leg of the flight, so bear with us if there are only a few comments for five hours and the rest are hanging out in moderation! We moderate so we don’t miss questions (when thousands of contest comments roll in early in the week, it’s easy to lose them otherwise), but they should pop up eventually!

Have you guys finally hung any art or bathroom accessories that you’ve been meaning to hang for, oh, over twelve months? Let’s commiserate.


  1. Carrie says

    You’re always switching it up on us! I was trying to think of what paint colors these bad boys were going to end up when I started reading the post. I think they look great the way they are. BUT we all know $herdog has an animal hording/spray paint addiction so I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see if the goose and horse stay the same. :)

  2. Sara says

    I’m surprised you hung that awesome horse towel ring so far from the sink. Was there not space on the wall to the right of the mirror (possibly over the toilet)? I just think that the inevitable drips from wet hands reaching across the whole counter would drive me crazy, but I’m a nut like that!

    • heather says

      What? You didn’t want to hang your hand towel over the toilet where flushing (if someone doesn’t close the lid) shoots up awesome germs onto the towel you wipe your clean hands on? COME ON NOW. What’s the fun in that? It’s like Russian Roulette with wonderful bacteria!

  3. Ashley says

    When I was a kid, six of us (yes, SIX) shared one full bathroom in our tiny townhouse. And it was decorated, floor to ceiling, in a mallard duck theme (hello, welcome to the midwest). So this post is sort of giving me flashbacks of my sister banging on the bathroom door while I painstakingly crimped every last hair on my head. Your duck is way cuter than any of the ducks in that bathroom though. And I love the horse!

  4. says

    y’all continue to steal my heart day after day. I scream Kelly Clarkson all the time on random occasion. and I’m officially obsessed with portlandia and love that y’all are going there and watching clips.

  5. says

    Part of me was like ‘Oh wow… they have MORE animals to hang up.’ But the other part of me went ‘Of COURSE they have more animals to put up.’
    Also, how cool is that HORSE!?

  6. says

    Hi, My name’s Katrina and I’m addicted to white ceramic animals.

    But seriously..I am beyond obsessed with the horse. I really don’t know how my life thus far has been complete without one of those!!

    We recently moved to Minnesota and, as a result, I’ve become consumed with the idea of a glossy white mounted deer head somewhere in our apartment. You know, to create sort of a chic Minnesota lodge look. Everyone thinks I’m totally insane, so seeing your blog makes me feel like I’m not totally crazy. Really, it’s like a support group for those of us with white ceramic animal problems. :)

  7. says

    I do love the flying goose – it’s very Wawa (do you have those near you – like a 7-11/Cumberland Farms type place?)

    Anyway, all your great finds have me itching to head out to some thrift stores this weekend!

  8. Gina says

    That horse is awesome!!!!!! When you mentioned that you weren’t painting the duck/goose I was like what-the-wha? But I really like it!!! I could also see it painted some fun funky color just because the piece is so traditional. You may have mentioned this and I didn’t catch it but will there be any videos of you guys from the conference for those of us who can’t attend? Best of luck – you two crazies will do great!!

  9. Courtney says

    I got a giant horse painting – 48 x 48! – over the weekend and named him Barnaby. Then I figured as long as I was at it, I might as well hang the other stuff that’s been sitting on the floor since I moved in almost two years ago! I might be with Sherry on the animal hoarding – a solid chunk of my art is horse-themed.

  10. says

    I’m most looking forward to this one: “We’re going to paint the porch, remove the scallops, stain the concrete, and box out the columns for a fresher look”

    This is exactly what I want to do (we have the same scallops, columns as you), but my husband can’t envision how great those changes would be.

  11. tracy says

    I love that you’re hoarding little animals. Makes me not feel so weird. I currently have 3 ceramic birds of various color/size, a goose head, 3 wooden birds similar to your goose, and a hedgehog planter. And yes, they all have names. So hoard on, my friend, HOARD ON!

  12. mribaro says

    Now that you’re slowly changing (spraypainting a wooden animal is not a must), and that you have yourself mentioned the word “patina” I’d like to share a link to one of my favorite blogs: It’s a wife-husband team (she’s interior decorator, he’s an architect, they have three children), and their whole style turns around things with patina. They mix well-weathered things with industrial details, but in a nice, elegant way. They have even produced a book recently titled “Patina Style” Though I prefer a freshly painted (and improved) things, I also like how a time-worn piece that shows it, here and there, adds to the time dimension of one’s place. I hope you find it inspiring :)

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