Light Fixtures

There are very few rules I follow in my design process. One of them is when it comes to lighting, don’t skimp. Light fixtures are one of those things where you get what you pay for.

Here are a few we just specified for a special someone who just happens to be a curly red haired girl moving to Nashville. These gorgeous pieces paired with some vintage finds will make Dana’s home the envy of Franklin.

It’s no lie, at Vintage Scout we’re all about good light fixtures. Call us to update, upgrade, or just freshen up yours.

Front Door Colors

I am not a huge practitioner of Feng Shui in my design, although there are certain things I make sure to take into consideration. Living here in the heart of the midwest, clients tend to look at you kinda funny when you mention that sort of thing. One thing I had not considered, but popped up on my radar (via Elle Decor) this morning, is what Feng Shui says about your front door color. Tis the season we get requests to help select exterior colors, so I thought I’d read up on this one.

In the same way it’s obvious that the front door says “welcome to my home”, the front door is also the gateway to good Chi- or Energy- entering your home. We all want good chi to enter our house, right? The proper feng shui colors attract the good chi. And the best choice of color is determined by the direction your front door faces.

If your door faces east or southeast, you should have a natural wood front door. Green or brown paint would suffice also.

South facing doors should be red.

The reason? South is the only direction that contains the fire component. If your door faces southwest, strong yellows or oranges would work well.

If your door faces west, you have permission to go metallic! White and gray are also good choices.

North facing doors should be dark; blue and black and appropriate colors.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Kinda like “there are no rules in decorating”. But if you are having a hard time trying to select a new front door color, these guidelines can be a great place to start. And as always, a call to a designer can save you some time and money here.


The Detroit Institute of Arts

Three Fridays ago I took the day off, took too long to pack as usual, and hit I-75 North. Yes, you read that correctly- north. Seems like most road trips of mine involve 75 southbound, but for some reason, two girlfriends of mine talked me into something different. Over Facebook and a couple glasses of wine, three high school friends decided to road trip to Detroit, Michigan to see Cher in concert. We had the whole weekend and luckily my friends are adventurous like me, so that’s how I ended up at The Detroit Institute of Arts.

Did you know this Detroit museum has one of the top six collections in the country? I didn’t, but think about all the old automotive money in that town and it starts to make sense. It was a truly diverse collection of just about everything from old masters to contemporary. I was really impressed.

I highly recommend a trip to this world class treasure in of all places Detroit, before it might be too late. Have you heard the rumors this collection or at least part of it may be auctioned off to save the city from bankruptcy? I’m not even going to get on my soap box here, but if Detroit is a dying city, you might as well stick a fork in it if they lose their museum. It would be such a shame to have these incredible works more than likely go to private collectors where they would never be seen by the public again. I hope they find a way to avoid selling these pieces.

And in case you were wondering, Cher was great in concert. Her opening act was Pat Benetar- bonus! Both ladies sounded great and put on awesome shows. Cheers to my fun girlfriends and to our next out-of-the-ordinary weekend!

The Rookwood Pottery Company

Lately I’ve had an infatuation with Rookwood Pottery, a Cincinnati Art Tile Company that is more than 100 years old. It began during a consultation on a bathroom renovation for a 1930’s Tudor Revival. The original tile in the bathroom was fantastic, but sadly not salvageable.

We desperately wanted to find a tile with as much personality as what we had to replace. I was familiar with The Rookwood Pottery and knew that there were several houses in the area with original Rookwood tile from back in the heyday. That lead me on a day trip down to Cincinnati to visit the showroom and factory.I was smitten! Such craftsmanship.And they have a shop dog? Sold!So after lots of deliberation and budgeting, we came up with this palette:

I just love working with clients who are willing to go for what they love. This is going to be the most adorable kids’ bath.

Now, imagine my joy when I discovered the 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, where we were staying that very evening to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, featured Rookwood in their guest bathrooms. I soon found out it wasn’t the Rookwood I expected.

Check out this link from Interior Design Magazine describing the project, but in a nutshell, each guest bathroom features six custom made Rookwood tiles mimicking human body parts like noses, ears, breasts, etc. Don’t worry, it’s very tastefully done. And isn’t the rubber ducky a cute touch in the shower? BTW- I highly recommend this hotel- such a unique place to stay.

If you appreciate unique, hand craftsmanship and are considering using historic tile in your project, take a look at Rookwood and give us a call at Vintage Scout, we’d love to work with you.

Paint It Black

I hope you all are already following me on Instagram, but in case you’re not, let me introduce you to the honorary Scouts I have been working with the last couple of weeks:

Meet Danny, Jake, and Merry. You may have deduced that Jake is my son. Danny is one of his college roommates. And Merry, well, she’s the furry one. At least two of them are creative types like me, so I roped them in to helping me with a fundraiser I’ve been involved with for sometime now.

Enter the RED Table Design Gala. It’s a bi-annual fundraiser for the ARC Ohio and this is our fourth time participating. Remember the bread Eiffel Tower from two years ago? This year’s theme was “Rock ‘n RED Hall of Fame” and among table themes we considered were Def Leppard and Aerosmith’s Dream On; however, we finally decided upon The Rolling Stones Paint It Black.

Danny & Jake hit every thrift store in town searching for random items that we could paint black, of course. Take a look at some of the common and obscure things we chose to include.

Once again hot glue played a big role and we attached the items to a frame the boys crafted out of foam core. The centerpiece ended up being five feet tall after attaching it to a stand we built so that the guests at the table could see each other. The “wet paint” was created after much experimentation with more hot glue and some gloss black spray paint. The finished sculpture ended up being a hit with all the guests, and the sponsors of our table, the Buckingham Financial Group, were treated with wax “Mick Jagger” lips and Rockstar glasses for fun party favors.

We were able to attend the Preview Party held the night before the event to see all the finished tables. Congratulations to all the table designers on jobs well done and the volunteers who organized this fantastic party.

And a major shout out to Danny and Jake. I couldn’t have done it without y’all. I’ll keep you updated with the total funds raised, but I believe they exceeded the half million dollar mark again!

All Light Is Not Created Equal

If you keep up with me on any of the social networks, you know I’m in the midst of my own renovation. And you know my struggle with selecting my own finishes. So, treating myself like a client, I said, “Self, you know you need to get those paint colors on the wall. And not just in one spot, you need to see it in a few different places.” 

You see, all light is not created equal. Shadows, time of day, reflections off other surfaces, all affect paint color. You need to see it in the middle of the wall, in a corner, next to trim, etc, to know if it’s going to work for you. And still then there’s no guarantees.Well, the winner for my master is Benjamin Moore Collingwood. It was not even a front runner for me while I was looking at paper chips. Just goes to show, test your paint on your wall or paint a large poster board to hold up. And remember that a paint color in a magazine or on a computer monitor is not going to look like that on your wall. It might be a place to start, but let’s face it, RGB is not equal to CMYK either.

Another factor to consider when selecting paint color is Light Reflectance Value, or LRV. This is the percentage of light reflected back into the room. Zero is true black and 100% is true white. Every manmade color is somewhere in between. We often hear complaints of “this room is always so dark. I want to add some light.” Well, if your red walls are an 8%LRV, you can add all the lamps in the world and your room is still going to be dark. And even dark yellow is going to have a high LRV.

Although there are many technical and theory based factors in selecting paint color, there is no magic formula. Some people are better at it than others. If you remember Dana, I call her the “color guru”; she has the gift. What you can do is increase your odds of selecting the right color the first time. First of all: do not pick a chip in the paint store and go ahead and buy all your paint without at least looking at the paper chip in your house. Paint stores make it easy these days; you can purchase inexpensive testers from most of them so you can try them first. Second of all, call in the professionals if need be. Designers and color consultants are educated in color theory and can come to your house and offer suggestions.

I’m always telling my clients “It’s just paint”. Once again, I guess I need to talk to myself like that and finish selecting my colors! How about you? If you’re a designer, do you have a tough time selecting for yourself? Or anyone out there have any good paint nightmare stories they’d like to share?

Renovating My Master Suite

I am in the middle of a full scale renovation of my master suite. We have been putting it off for years, saying its not the right time or we don’t have the money. Well, its never the right time and the money- you know that story- so I just bit the bullet and told my contractor to put me on the books.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it, renovations are tough. Everyday life becomes disrupted and then there’s the mess… drywall dust for days. The budget stretches, scope creep occurs, and something unexpected always happens. The worst part? All the decisions! Why did I do this to myself? I know the answer to that question and it’s what I continually reassure my clients in the middle of their projects: it’s going to be worth it to walk into that gorgeous new bath, actually have a place to hang my clothes, and the space I’m gonna have in that king size bed!

In the meantime; the dust, the decisions and the constant stream of contractors in the house are keeping me humble. I can’t wait to share the process with you, both in my house via the blog and your house as your design advocate.



Longing for Summer

What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?

Well, John Steinbeck was not from Ohio, that’s for certain. Being born on the summer solstice wasn’t wasted on me, that’s for certain- I’m a warm weather girl! Blowing snow and below zero temperatures have me longing for all things summer.

Sometimes creative people just need to create for no reason other than the joy of it. That’s what happens when I get together with my good friend and photographer Tricia Whitmer of Tricialee Photography. We both happened to be in Chicago at the same time this summer so we came up with this little garden photoshoot. Enjoy and I hope it warms you up a bit!

Yes, those are homegrown from my sister’s garden.I think Zip is missing summer too! Stay warm and safe out there.


All photography by Tricialee Photography, Creative by Debbie Basnett, Vintage Scout Interiors

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Well it’s not news to anyone how cold it is across the country.  I thought I might visually warm you up with some of my favorite fireplaces.

The first four are from my Pinterest Board “Fireplaces”. If I know the designer or photo credit, I post it there. If I don’t have it and you know it, please let me know; I like to give credit where credit is due. Please stay warm and safe my friends.

My Christmas Confession

I have a confession to make. I don’t have my shit together. Pardon my French, but it’s true. There is no time like Christmas to make one realize this. I can come up with a million excuses, but it all boils down to priorities and crappy time management.

This is my mantle. No, I haven’t already taken my garland down. This is what it looked like on Christmas Eve when we had company for dinner. No, I am not Jewish. Showing you this picture makes me feel like most people feel posting a picture of themselves with no makeup. It was the first year I didn’t decorate my mantle. Guess what? Santa came anyway.

This is my Christmas tree. It IS still up. I’m surprised it even got put up. The only reason it got decorated was because I paid someone to do it. Seriously.

This is our Christmas card. Despite my good intentions and actually getting my part done on time; they are still not mailed. Because they are not back from the printers. Yep, I made a bad choice on that one.

Yes, I was wrapping gifts on Christmas morning. I have no wreath on my front door or lights in my trees. And God forbid the cute ideas I pinned on my Pinterest board to do this year. I’ll say it again: Christmas showed up on the 25th just like it does every year.

I write this not for your pity, but just in case there are others like me out there. You are not alone. We could have a support group. And wine does help. However, if there are no others, then can someone just put me out of my misery now. Before I start pinning new ideas for next Christmas.

Here’s to good intentions in 2014! Debbie

Let’s Talk Turkey

If I mention Turkey art, is this what pops into your mind?

Well, think again. There is some fine art out there featuring what we normally think of as our Thanksgiving meal.Monet’s beautiful work, The Turkeys, Chateau Rottembourg, Montgeron

Wenzal’s Portrait of a Turkey. A very handsome gentleman, wouldn’t you say?

Audubon is a classic when it comes to artwork featuring wild birds. Or perhaps something a little out of the ordinary. Etsy is a favorite source of mine for art. This illustration is by The North Country Girl

Would you hang turkey art in your home?

I wish you all a wonderful family filled Thanksgiving

Residential Interior Design