1. Melissa from the Blue House
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Oh my gosh, this cracked me up because it SO reminds me of my remodeling adventure with my own husband. He’s all worried about that boring stuff like sewer pipes (pshaw…) and DOES NOT GET why we need ONE MORE MIRROR!

    I have an antique mirror collection too, but I like the 1930s-ish art deco ones. 🙂 One day I’ll post a picture…
    My own brutal truth about remodeling:


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

      Why don’t they “get” that the sparkly stuff is what it’s ALL about? Also? I think carpet on your front lawn is fine… however, if your neighbors do such a thing, it’s a total violation.


      • Melissa from the Blue House
        June 11, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

        Oh you are SO right. One of my neighbors throws carpet on the roof and/or yard? I’m the first one on the phone with the city. Ain’t trying to live like that.

        When it’s THEIRS, you know.


  2. Sue
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

    Large golden gilded mirrors and marriage go together like a horse and carriage which I fully expect to see you two riding in someday. $150 steal! Thanks for the inspiration to hand two big boys next to each other…are you listening House Beautiful?


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

      LOL!! That’s my tweet for tomorrow!!
      p.s.– WHERE is House Beautiful? I’m tired of waiting!!


  3. Garden, Home and Party
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    I love the mirror(s)! I can see them working beautifully in your house. In fact that is exactly what an 1890 Victorian deserves and needs. Clearly, Paul is coming around since he’s willing to fetch and haul these treasures and then install them so that they don’t fall off the wall. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.
    Could you please come to California and search my Craigslist for me? I’m convinced you are the craigslist whisperer.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

      WAIT until you see next week’s post. What I got? Is. Crazy… It definitely helps to live in an area where there IS stuff like this… Philadelphia is full of old houses that are turned into student apartments… or just bought by people who are insane. Why else would they get rid of this?


  4. Danielle
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    There is something so magical knowing that you have an antique mirror collection. Of course, you do! It suits you. Shiny – check. Stunningly Victorian – check. Totally works in your home – check! That last one isn’t true for every space, but you guys nail it. (That pun was for Paul. I’m a giver like that.)

    PS. You haven’t said… are you watching Downton Abbey yet? It’s just so gorgeous! I could watch that show with the sound off.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

      We polished off all Downton Abbey in like three hours. We both loved it. In my next life I hope to be Maggie Smith. And to live in a castle.


  5. Alex
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    Great. Now every time I leave a thrift store I am going to have to go and hunt down one for you by default. Don’t ask me how I am going to ship it over the border mind you…


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

      We could start that company… giant stuff, moved for really expensive prices. It would be good to go with our tall-rain-boot endeavor.


  6. Sara
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    Love, love, love, love this!!
    “And I was like— OH MY GOD. Who would do such a thing? We have to move.”
    You’re hysterical. Does Paul laugh when he reads your blog posts too? 😉


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

      Paul says that it was so funny the first time around, he has no laughter left. (With all sarcasm possible.)


  7. mrscarmichael
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    Don has told me I can only buy modernist mirrors from here on in so am on the scavenge for Mies van der Rohe discards. Think Palm Springs is calling next time Mr Draper enjoys a lost weekend there.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 11, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

      You’ve had Don to yourself, ALL season… but come the finale? He’s mine. I will be holed up with him for DAYS.



  8. Julie
    June 11, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    I love the mirrors – they are gorgeous. I have recently been turned on to blinging out some old furniture. I discovered metallic paint and now I can’t stop thinking of what I can paint with it to make stuff look more fancy-schmancy.

    Another hilarious post – loved it!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

      I tried to buy bulk mirrors– like what they make disco balls out of. It was only $500 for like 200 pounds.

      Like you– I imagined the possibilites were endless. Fancy-schmancy indeed.

      Paul said it seemed unnecessary. And I didn’t know where I could hide 200 pounds of mirror pieces.


  9. Becky
    June 11, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    I read your blog because your home is gorgeous and because of your iron will to make it so. 🙂 Those mirrors! Divine. And – just my unsolicited opinion – in the very first picture, if you were to paint your plants’ pots gold, that would kick that corner into Divine Diva Status! Just a thought. Love your blog!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

      A- I love you.
      B- You are a genius.

      Those plants are about to get way fancier. (Or tackier, if I go overboard.)


      • Becky
        June 13, 2013 @ 10:51 am

        YES! Can’t wait – a tutorial perhaps?


  10. Laurel
    June 11, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    BRB, emailing this post to my husband so he understands that my predilection towards finding absurd brass bowls and wall hangings at goodwill and craigslist is much easier on him than gilded mirrors weighing as much as my car. I am easy by comparison.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      Wait until he sees what I just acquired. You will look like Mother Teresa.

      I do this as a service to all other women, FYI.


  11. Kristen Campbell
    June 11, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    I literally laughed out loud multiple times during this post. I believe your husband and mine should start their own blog…perhaps it will make them feel better about their predicaments 🙂 And, on the mirrors, **LOVE**


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

      Paul does sometimes threaten to start his own blog… I said– good! I could use the referral traffic. 🙂


  12. Laurel
    June 11, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

    By the way. Those things are awesome, I envy you both for the mirrors, and for your ability to convince your husband that helping you move such things is in his best interest.


  13. Jessica@CapeofDreams
    June 11, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    Oh my god, I am glad someone else shares my obsession with mirrors. It makes me feel like less of a freak. What else can you hang on the wall that makes a room look bigger and more full of beauty and light. Nothing. That is why mirrors rock.



    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

      Hey… you weren’t kidding! You DO share my obsession! And yes– NOTHING doubles the light/windows/space the same way!


  14. tammigirl
    June 11, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    I think my poor, sweet, unsuspecting husband thought the fact that we built a brand new house and made all the selections would mean it was not a fixer-upper. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Project, project, who wants to do a project? Not him, that’s for sure. Lucky for him I deal with all of it. I enlist the kids or my mother if necessary. Sometimes I even enlist the help of whatever neighbors I can find outside. (Hey, who doesn’t?) But the thing is, I never expect him to do the lifting, cutting, nailing, painting, swearing, making bargains with God, pushing, ripping out, ripping apart, sanding or caulking. All he has to do is go with me on Craigslist trips so I don’t get killed alone. And really, that’s not asking much at all.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      If I did all the projects? There would be NO LIMIT to the CL stuff I would bring home!! If Paul protested– I would be like, NICE TRY. 🙂

      I’m not even sure he’s appropriately concerned that I not be ax murdered when going to look at potential treasures!


  15. Mandy
    June 11, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

    I love these so much I wanna die!! I love love love old mirrors and am so extremely jealous of your gorgeous collection. $150 IS free! Well done.
    A reflection always looks better surrounded by gold. *sigh* beautiful. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

      A reflection always looks better surrounded by gold. — Stealing this quote!!

      I knew you would appreciate them!


  16. Sandi
    June 11, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

    You and your spouse crack me up. I want to just watch you from the staircase and flash scorecards maybe.

    Thank you for sharing your SHINY STUFF. 🙂


  17. AnnetM
    June 11, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

    I’ve missed you. Why did you wait so long to make me laugh all over again?!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

      ARG! I thought about writing a post about how tired and busy I was… and how real life thinks I have other things to do… but it sounded whiny.

      Also, mirrors are just more interesting.


  18. Jocelyn
    June 11, 2013 @ 8:19 pm


    I can only imagine how heavy those mirrors are… you seem like the kind of people who, collectively, know how to hang them properly… 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 12, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

      Dirty looks… and saying — NOT LIKE THAT… repeatedly.
      Two key factors in the safe transport and hanging.


  19. Clare
    June 11, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    I’m glad to see you back posting. Your home is so lovely!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 14, 2013 @ 10:59 am

      The world seems to think I should do other things than just post to this blog… it’s some kind of glitch with the universe I’m trying to sort out.

      Like dealing with the cable company or insurance… a frustrating bureaucracy.


  20. the misfit
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    See, I actually want my husband to focus on the icky, glamor-less, practical stuff. That would free up my time and energy for finding the perfect curtains and hanging wallpaper and stenciling things. (And scouring craigslist.) It’s not that he doesn’t do any work – far from it – but his attention (even to enormous, life-sucking projects) is laser-focused when they are in disaster mode, and vanished three seconds later into Facebook and the NFL draft coverage on the internet and the history of Middle Eastern nation-states and a whole lot of other things that are clearly a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. Whereas I have maybe a quarter-strength version of Paul’s focus: I shall address the Herculean task, and I shall not rest until I have conquered it or I am dead. My track record is unbelievably good (at least, unbelievable if you know me and how pathetic my resources for this sort of thing must be), but I really only LOVE the shiny things. I worked myself into near collapse (not an exaggeration) over my kitchen floor, but I had a clear vision of a stunning antique floor at the end of it. I have NO SUCH LOVE for fixing the water problem in the basement. I want my DH to take that problem on and make it his own. If he does that, I will built a double gate for the back yard, dig and line a brick fire pit, waterproof a pair of wooden tables so we can use them for barbeques outside, re-lay all the pavers in the side yard, rebuild the collapsed grape arbor, build a new threshold for the porch, and dozens of other things – all during the summer I have supposedly taken off from home projects. But if I have to waterproof the basement, then all the pretties will have to take a back seat and there will be ENDLESS SADNESS.

    Although getting the husband to insulate the house AND transport the pier mirror would obviously be the best of both worlds. (You are a very lucky lady.)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 14, 2013 @ 11:08 am

      I don’t know why some tasks are just obviously a total waste of time. I further don’t know why those are the tasks that might actually improve your life at some point in the future—like, say, when your basement DOESN’T flood.


  21. Lynne Rutter
    June 12, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    I love these gilt mirrors and curse the distance between me and the mountain of affordable antique gilt mantel and pier mirrors that you clearly live right on top of. As a gilder may I please as that you please take my advice and get the professional help of a qualified experience gilder/restorer before doing anything to “touch up” or clean the gilt frames. You can learn to do this some of this work yourself by taking classes– and what better place to do that than in New Orleans at the Society of Gilders conference in October. Yes, we have a society, because we are gilding geeks and every old mirror frame is our long lost child.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 14, 2013 @ 11:25 am

      I think my brain melted while reading your comment. I will now spend the next hour reading about that society.

      Several people, including Brian (our antique-dealing neighbor) have made suggestions about making casts… and duplicating the missing pieces. And I saw a frame that Brian replaced a corner on and re-gilded (?) and you would NEVER know it wasn’t original. (well, maybe YOU would.)

      This is probably horrifying to you… but for some reason, I have no interest in improving these. If I could afford to pay someone, by all means… but also, I love them just as they are, and I don’t think .02% more love is worth the effort to learn how to restore them myself.


    • Tara
      January 21, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

      I have recently acquired a beautiful gilded Victorian style mirror made in Philadelphia in 1941. It is in very good condition but does have a couple of spots that need touching up and a small inside trim section Is missing. I also live in Philly and have no idea if I should repair this or leave it as is. I have no idea of value and really just want to hang and enjoy it. I see that Victoria has painted some of her mirrors. Would you or Victoria be able to tell me who to contact about restoring it ?


  22. Eadie
    June 13, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    OH, I’m so happy to have found you. Really enjoying your writing style, sense of humor, and great photos (of the house, and also the fabulous pics of you). Love your layout, too. Now I’m off to read about you, you, you in the ME, ME, ME section. Thank you so much for brightening my day. I will be reading your blog from now on….. xoxo


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 14, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

      Thank you, thank you, THANK you, for your comment! It totally made my day!!

      So nice to “meet” you!


  23. J-C
    June 15, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Oh GOD those are f****** gorgeous! I’m super jealous! I actually adore antique mirrors, and I have several, but mostly smaller ones, and none that are this fancy. I find that they can look nice stacked against each other “layered” on a shelf or the top of a cabinet.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 16, 2013 @ 11:07 am

      I KNOW, right?? Incidentally, on another topic– I am surprised I have gone an entire year of blogging without using the f-word. Some things are ONLY described via it, and lately I’ve been feeling like I need to break it out.


  24. Robin~All Things Heart and Home
    June 17, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

    I totally understand your mirror-love! Tell Paul you in no way have enough mirrors!!!
    And the post just made me giggle! Thank you xo
    All Things Heart and Home


  25. Alex
    June 20, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    You have us all laughing on gardenweb, and practically intoxicated over potential finds! A few of us have found ourselves VE’d by craigslist in the last few days, including me! I found a rug that ignited my inner Jean Harlow and MUST come home with me. I priced getting it cleaned before calling the seller, I was so excited.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 29, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

      Life has been nuts, and I am finally wading into my neglected comments. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE my name being synonymous with CL-hunting.

      Made my day.
      xo Victoria


  26. Barb
    June 25, 2013 @ 12:00 am

    Hello Victoria! Glad that I found you on Romantic Homes web-FB site! Love, love your mirrors!!! When I went to England over Easter break in 2005 to visit my brother and his wife and family (they were stationed at RAF Molesworth, about 2 hours north of London for four years with an USAF/RAF posting), Linnea, my sister-in-law and I would go thriftshopping. I found two of my favorite mirrors while at a shop not far from their farm house, both of which flew home with me after 17 days across the Pond. 🙂

    The mirror I missed that should have been mine was at an antique faire on a weekend, though… The one-that-got-away-and-was-snatched-up-by-that-snobby-man-who-didn’t-want-to-even-discuss-his-find was a lovely, carved marble with cherubs inside an oval top-piece over a mirror! It sold for 150 pounds… I went into a tent to the right first (after carting some things back to Linnea’s car) then went into the left tent. I ALMOST went into the left-hand tent, something told me to go there. I missed my one big destined mirror by less than five minutes… :(((


  27. ThrashWaltz
    June 25, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    Woman if you lived anywhere near me I have an antique mirror that I would legit give you for a steal. EG: I would let you steal it because A) it doesn’t go with my house at all and B) I am an enabler.


  28. CateS
    June 26, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Ok, so my mother’s parents had a lovely tall pier [?] mirror that ended up with my parents after the grands downsized in the 1960’s. It ended up on the front staircase landing in our 1800’s home. When Mom downsized from the 2 story with full basement [which was full of grandparents stuff] to her ranch over walkout basement in the late 1970’s, she planned for the mirror. Builder was amazed/appalled to have to plan on 12 foot ceiling height in front part of home for mirror. My sister now has it in Florida –


  29. Sandi
    June 28, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    Loving your posts! I found you via facebook and have just read and drooled over your mirror posts! What beauty you have found…looking forward to seeing what else you unearth on Craigs list. 🙂


  30. Xenia
    June 28, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    I absolutely LOVE this post. It was so funny and I enjoyed looking at the wonderful photos. Your husband is very lucky to have such a wife as you. Two things he can say for sure is that you will NEVER bore him and that you will always provide him with a BEAUTIFUL home.


  31. Meridith
    June 28, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    I just found your blog via Momastery and am howling with laughter at the way you write and also, how I can relate….we own an 1893 Queen Anne and oh, boy, where do I start? The way I am now trying to see cracks in the plaster as “interesting” textures as I find new ways to arrange framed art? No, how about the way our back deck stairs are rotting and I refuse to use them but somehow that’s not number 1, that’s number 23,309 on the list because who needs a back porch when it’s the size of a postage stamp anyway? Anyhow, looking forward to following your blog! 🙂


  32. Maggie
    June 28, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    A friend forwarded me your post about the ginormo mirror because they thought maybe I had a secret second life. HA! I laughed the whole way though the post because I think, at some point, I may have said and/or done everything in that post. I needed more! I read another. Ridiculously amazeballs wardrobe that can transport you to both Downton Abby AND Narnia! I was bouncing and squealing with excitement for you! Holy CRACK, it’s like I have a twin ….I haven’t stopped reading!

    My friends tell me I have an illness…my addiction to finding magical things on Craiglist. HA! FOOLS! They just don’t understand……I am required to own these items. No final destination required. No actual NEED. Doesn’t have to serve a purpose. Just must be mine. Period. The end. And then…….we add sparkles! I emit sparkles…it’s true. I leave a trail of magical shininess in my wake.

    I decided I had to share you with all. I posted your blog on The Facebook with this comment: ***Fair warning to all who know me… this is what you are getting into with me. ***

    Thanks for taking the time to share with us, and may the magical Elders of Craigslist continue to bless you!


  33. kelly@mysoulfulhome
    June 28, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    I like you and your growing mirror collection!


  34. Pj
    June 28, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    I don’t recall having given birth to a child before I was married, but you may be my own flesh and blood. In 2009 my husband & I started restoring a 5400 sf Antebellum home (refer to FB page) where we plan to operate a B&B. He has learned to smile & help me drag home “finds”–including 2 cast iron mantels that match our home’s other 6 original mantels, which we drove a total of 5 hrs. to pick up. Also a few armoires, buffets, dining tables, mirrors, etc. etc. Also a nearly new tufted leather Chesterfield sofa/bed that nearly us loading & unloading in the truck. And an antique 4′ cast iron double basin sink I bought online & had shipped to a dock 50 miles from our home. Tomorrow marks a milestone anniversary, so if he has plans to kill me in my sleep he’s doing a pretty good job of acting like an adoring husband. He does as much as humanly possible to make my dreams become reality, & I’m happy to know that you found his clone for your own projects. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! 🙂


  35. Pj
    June 28, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    (sofa nearly “KILLED” us loading & unloading


  36. Vivian Mandala
    June 29, 2013 @ 6:33 am

    Oh my god, I’m hiding in the kitchen, because it’s so early, only me and the baby are awake. I’m trying really hard not to laugh OUT LOUD *I have a really loud laugh* from your post.

    When something is your destiny, it’s your destiny…you’re better off not denying it, just go for it, right?

    Really enjoyed this and looking forward to stalking you all day.


  37. Chervelle Camille
    June 29, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    Okay, you are hilarious!! I want to keep you in my pocket and pull you out when I need a good laugh therapy. Your Craigslist aficionado is pure enlightenment. Thank you!


  38. Victoria
    June 30, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    Just thought I’d say how much I’ve enjoyed your posts -probably cause they remind me so much of myself. (I’m not excluding the idea that we are somehow distantly related or the exact same person residing in two bodies).

    We bought our house cause I loved the stairs, so it seems fine to buy one for hinges. My husband would probably get along great with Paul, his one great frustration is me halting his progress, especially when I have no idea what exactly is involved in the task at hand.

    Anyway, loved your posts that I’ve read so far. Your house looks absolutely amazing -it was clearly destiny to have all those treasures in that house together!

    Can’t wait to read your other posts, although I fear reading this is only going to enable my love for antique treasures that won’t fit in my house.

    (These are some of those posts that are particularly me….

    “We walked in… and I was like OOOOOOOOOOh. Did you see the hinges? Paul? Did you see the hinges? Paul? Did you see the hinges?”

    “It was the look that said—you have failed, on all fronts, to prepare me for this job, and I cannot believe I relied on you to accurately gauge the situation, and now I am in an unheated building with no tools or skilled assistants… I am surrounded by idiots.”

    After an entire hour—all we had done was remove the doors.”

    “They are essentially GIVING AWAY my destiny on a street corner, and you’re going to let some homeless dude put it in his shopping cart and wheel it away.”

    “And I was like—look at me. Look me in the eye. Do you really believe I am leaving here without this? Because I’m not.”

    Thank you for writing them )


    • Victoria
      June 30, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

      oh, and loved this …..

      “When we were bringing the cabinet pieces in, Paul said—where do you want to put the mirror? And I was like, I don’t know… let’s move it around and see where it looks best!!

      Paul said—how about you just pick a spot?”

      I can’t count how many times we’ve had that conversation!


  39. Betsy
    July 1, 2013 @ 5:34 am

    Here I am….crying AGAIN!!!! laughing so hard….I have GOT to go to sleep! you are sooo funny….I love youir attitude…. “$150 ….practically FREE!!!!!! All or nothing and all FOR NOTHING is even better!


  40. Betsy
    July 1, 2013 @ 5:35 am

    Your attiude…..AND your mirrors, they are gorgeous…I’ll have to tell you about the mirror I hid in our closet for three months….shhhhhh!!!!….I didn’t want HIM to know about it!


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