the tilton: who am i?

My latest project, the Tilton room box, arrived from Earth and Tree a few weeks ago. In the past when a new house came, I’d tear open the box and begin assembly ASAP. But the Tilton stopped me cold.

With my previous houses, I’ve proceeded leisurely, letting the design unfold over time. But this project is straightforward. I need to make decisions up front because there are pretty much just four walls. Once I get going, the basic construction will move along lickety-split. That’s the problem. I don’t want to get started because I don’t have an end point.

This is my first room box, and the concept is simple. It’s just a single room. It can be the maker’s favorite room, or it can have a theme, like Christmas.

A Christmas setting was my first thought, especially since it would be a fun distraction to decorate for the winter holidays in May. But I wasn’t 100% sold on this. It seemed like Christmas would require a ton of tchotchkes, and I’d end up with a lot–maybe even the majority–of items not made in the USA. Made in USA is a big deal to me, even if I don’t achieve it 100% of the time.

I also considered making an efficiency apartment–one room that contains an entire living space. But in the course of sourcing potential pieces, I found one of my favorite Etsy shops, Phillip Nuveen, had shuttered. Phillip Nuveen was (is) a super-talented, multi-media artist, but a primary passion was designing and making miniatures. He had an uber-modern aesthetic and I loved just about everything he did. I’d been waiting for a project I could fill with his work and I thought this was the one. But his absence left me hanging.

The third choice, and the one I’m mostly leaning toward today, is a bridal salon. Playing dress-up was one of my favorite pastimes as a kid, and evening wear was the frontrunner. When I had my First Communion, the “uniform” was a white dress and veil. To my mom’s horror, I insisted on wearing the veil to church for weeks thereafter.

A few years ago, I considered opening a bridal salon filled with the cast-off gowns I’d come across at local thrift stores. (Who would abandon such a treasure?!) I never followed through because, frankly, I’m not a businessperson. I just needed a good cover for my obsession.

You can see why “Say Yes To The Dress” remains one of my favorite shows. It launched fantasies of being locked overnight in Kleinfeld Bridal. I’d have that glorious storeroom all to myself and go rack-to-rack trying on every one of those delicious numbers.

All of this leads to the logical question, dear reader, to which the answer is no, I’ve never been married. My passion doesn’t stem from fond memories of my own search for “the one.” In fact, I don’t like the idea of getting married. I don’t want the groom. I especially don’t want the wedding guests. I just want to wear the dress.

So, the concept of the Tilton as a bridal salon began to take shape. I headed to Etsy for a little retail recon. I wanted to be sure there would be enough items available if I went in this direction. Luck was with me.

A remarkable, handmade cabinet set from Jim Larson Designs was a no brainer, as was a glorious five-light chandelier by Jacqueline Getzan. Pink chinoiserie for the walls? Yes! This dress, so very Kleinfeld, was a must-have. I found a pretty gilded leaning mirror, and a one-of-a-kind round sofa (although, I preferred another only to find it gone when I returned for a second look).

I’m not sure when or how the fog lifted, but I stopped looking at items and I began looking at price tags. As I totaled the cost of my potential dream salon I realized I faced a choice:

1. dollhouse bridal salon; or, 2. four-day getaway to Hawaii?

OK, I’m kidding. No, actually, I’m not. Going from the former Trash House, whose interior was constructed from, well, garbage, to top-of-the-line furniture and accessories gave me a paralyzing case of sticker shock.

And so, the proposed bridal salon sits in pieces on my kitchen table and prettily assembled in my head. I still may go for it. I mean, let’s face it: at my age, I’m due one big, expensive wedding.

But, I’m still going to leave the actual marriage to the next girl.


  1. aprintzencoxnet says:

    Oh, my goodness! Brilliant… A Bridal Salon. I say, “Yes” to the dress. 😁 The humor you incorporate into your reality is amazing. Love your transparency in your comments… “I don’t want the groom. I especially don’t want the wedding guests. I just want to wear the dress.” ❤️


    1. the host says:

      And you know me, so you know it’s all true!!!


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