Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Peek into our Packing Mess…

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Our house looks like a tornado went through it…leaving boxes upon boxes in its wake.  I’m going to be taking a little break from blogging as we move today and settle into our new home. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last Week’s Thrifting Haul

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You just never know what you’re going to find.  I found lots of decor items last weekend, and a baby gate too (not pictured—who wants to look at a picture of a baby gate?).  Our little guy is very mobile now and the new house has an open stair down to the basement so a baby gate is  very  necessary. 
See that cute little footstool?  I thought it would be darling reupholstered in a velvet…perhaps with the legs painted or at least stained another shade?  $1.
Tin platter of the Sacre Coeur in Paris.  I have happy memories of that lovely church near Montmartre—this will go on a wall eventually.  25 c.
Two geometric metallic balls…50 c each.
Orange glass bowl…$1.
Cake plate (brand new Threshold brand from Target!) $1.
My favorite find of the week---metal urn, also a dollar.  I’ve seen these all over blogland and finally have one of my own now to decorate with!  Yay!  I could see this with evergreen boughs in at Christmas time. 
Blue basket (also originally from Target) $1.50
Garage saling can be really hit or miss, and I’m calling this week a hit.  :)  Our citywide garage sales are this weekend but I doubt I’ll have much time to go as we’re closing on our current house and the new house and moving on Thursday.  (EEEP!)
I’m excited to see what the garage sales are like in our new neighborhood! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our (prospective) new house

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We’ve been holding our breaths on this one, hoping and praying that all would work out…and it appears to be!  We are getting close to the closing (moving all our stuff this weekend!).  It is going to be busier than normal around here for a while as we move and settle in. 

We’re very excited!  I have to say that once we found this place, a lot of my sadness at leaving our current much-loved home was mediated.  I think a lot of that was just that leaving felt so much like an ending, and now it feels like a beginning too which makes it much easier to embrace.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does in my head.  :)

The lot is 4.5 acres, mostly wooded, but with one huge grassy area close to the house (for kids to play/garden!)  Lots of mature trees, lots of flower gardens to potter about in, a couple of small outbuildings, and a chicken coop!!  Yay!


The house itself was built in the 1990s, so considerably newer than our existing house.  The outside of the house is a colonial style which I’m really happy about (we looked at sooo many homes that were simply hideous on the outside!).  It looks very similar to this (though the colors are different):

The house hits all of our “must haves”…4+ bedrooms, finished basement, not requiring a lot of work, 2+ acres, and a floorplan with good flow.  It will need some updating (still stuck in the 90s/early 2000s) but as far as we know that will all be cosmetic.  After doing lots of extensive remodeling on our current home, it is really nice to know we won’t be remodeling constantly for the next 10 years to get the house the way we want it! 

Now, that’s not to say I/we don’t have plans to turn this builder grade home into something a little more special.  :)


See?  Very orange…ugly vinyl floor…and those lights on the vanity!!  But, everything is in great shape, and has the space we are looking for.  It will be rather strange to go from 1500 square feet to 2700 square feet!  But nice to not have to juggle the 9 mos old from room to room for naps/bedtime.  This will be the nursery:


Again, not my style (yet)…and the floor looks really dark and just bad here—it is actually brand new carpeting and not that dark IRL.  It is a small room but is next to the master bedroom so is a perfect nursery. 


This is the kitchen.  I love how open it is to the dining area (this picture was taken from the dining area).  And, dining area below:


I was trying to take these pictures really fast as we were walking through showing my in-laws the house last Sunday.  Hence the crooked, dark photos.  :)

Right off the kitchen/dining area is something that I just love.   It is a sunroom/4 season porch.  I’m really excited about it!  It has a gas fireplace out there and lots of screened windows and doors.  I can just imagine sitting out there on summer evenings when the mosquitoes are bad outside with the breeze blowing in through the windows and doors.  Eventually I would like to extend the deck area outside to make it even more usable. 


Another favorite thing about this house (upstairs):


The master bedroom closet.  Seriously, it is bigger than our largest bathroom at our current house.  I feel actually a little embarrassed about this as we certainly weren’t setting out to find a “luxury” master bedroom by any means.  I would have been happy to find something the size of our modest current bedroom and closet.  However, now we have both a big closet (with a window…how interesting!) and a big bathroom attached.  It’s not what sold us the house (um, that would be the backyard!) but it is a nice perk!

I’m planning to take more pictures as we move, but I think this is enough for today.  It may be kind of like vacation pictures…the vacation-goer loves to show their pictures, but to the viewees, it can get kind of old!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Tale of Two Knobs

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A long, long time ago a wife was in need of two knobs which would grace the door of her newly-repainted bathroom vanity. 

“They must be perfect” she said. 

“My dear, only you are perfect” sighed her husband, “but what kind are you looking for?  I will be travelling the long road right past the Hobby Lobby in a fortnight and I would love to get some for you.”

“Well,” she said, “I can’t decide.  The ones that are currently on there are just so uninspiring.  I used that magic spray paint on them but they still aren’t what I want.  Let me think.”

A fortnight passed.  The wife still hadn’t decided what she wanted, though she knew she would know when she saw them.  The husband was about to leave on his aged steed when the wife had an idea.

“You know, my love, that the wise ones gave you the power of sending telepathic images to my mother’s old sailing trunk!  Use that power to show me what knobs they have, and I will send my hawk to tell you which ones to get.” 

The husband wondered just how this would work, but like all good husbands he agreed to try the plan.  Later that day, she saw a flickering image on the side of the trunk and she knew he had reached Hobby Lobby safely. 



“Oh, no, these are definitely not the ones.  When I said glass I meant clear, like water, not glass like a clay pot.”  she messaged him with her first hawk Griselda.

The next images were a little less dim, and she knew he had gotten the message about clearer glass so that gladdened her heart.

photo(5) photo(4)

“None of those are quite what I was looking for.  However the ones one the bottom middle of the last image are almost what I am looking for.  How big are they?  Are they large like a goose egg or small like an acorn?”  She send her second hawk Redwing with this message.

After many long moments, she finally saw that he had sent her another picture.

photo(6)“Ah, middle sized like a bantam’s egg.”  she nodded.  “But I was looking for something a bit more, well, primeval looking.  Like it was from the 600s instead of the 1600s.”  This time she sent her fastest hawk Monrovia.


“I think he really is getting the idea.  Hmm, what about that one on the lower right with a slight cast to it, next to the sign with the runes?”  Again she sent one of her last hawks to fly quickly with the message.


“Well done!  That is the one!  Godspeed my beloved husband to my side so that I may fasten them to my vanity and complete my project that we have toiled so long to complete!”  She send her last hawk Esmerelda with this final missive. 

The husband returned with the knobs and there was much merriment and feasting in their humble abode that day.

And they lived happily ever after. 

  (true story)


Friday, June 7, 2013

When Styles Collide

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What do you do when you like this

(via Miss Mustard Seed)

and this


(via BHG)

at the same time? 

Or this:

(via coco+kelley)

and this:

(via ish and chi)

What would your house look like?  (Mine would probably look like a 90 year old woman trying to be 20s cool.)  Is there a way to marry very different styles so they complement rather than compete?  I’m sure there is, I just don’t know how to do it yet.  I am a chef by training and when I was in cooking school we learned all about fusion cuisine…taking elements [in this case, ingredients and cooking methods mainly] from various cuisines and combining them in different ways to create new eating experiences.  As you can imagine, this can go very very wrong, but it can also be great…as in the case of a very amazing white chocolate ginger cheesecake served with a chili toffee ginger sauce that I had at a restaurant called Wagamama way back in the day.  Oh yum. 

So…fusion decor?  I’m trying to figure out how to do it without it looking ridiculous.  Or maybe it shouldn’t be mixed anyway. 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot (and I don’t really have the answers…not an expert here!) as we shift gears from an old home to most likely a much newer home.  With our 1927 home I always felt very comfortable decorating in a more vintage style, and I have loved that!  I do think that the interior of the home should be similar to the exterior so it isn’t a huge jolt when you go inside a traditional home to see a modern interior or vice versa.  So, with a newer home as a possibility, I’m wondering what to do.  Try to make the home look older?  Go more colorful and modern?  Or maybe mix a little?  Hmm.  Fun possibilities, but a little bit of uncharted territory for me. 

I guess I’ll have to wait and see.  I’m sure my 90 year old self in neon capris will go along with whatever. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bathroom Reveal


I’m finally ready to share pictures of our 2nd floor bathroom that we remodeled!  (Only a few months after it has been done…oops!  I’m blaming it on this 9 month old and moving.)
So, without furthur ado…
As you can see, I haven’t done much decorating in here.  Since our house is on the market, I figured there isn’t much point in personalizing this room much as who knows if the future owners will have the same tastes or not.  Plus, no real point in making nail holes in the freshly painted walls!  So, no window treatments (I would have used bamboo/reed blinds like in the kitchen), no shelves, few pictures, little decor.  We weren’t going to spend a lot of money on fancy finishes since we have no way of knowing if we’ll get that money back out of the house when it sells.  It looks pretty bare, I know!
Here’s a list of what we did with this room:
  • Removed old floral wallpaper (yay, it’s gone!!)
  • Re-tiled shower/tub surround
  • Tore out old blue plastic tile on wall
  • Installed beadboard paneling where plastic tile was, installed trim
  • Removed old medicine cabinet, installed new one
  • Put in new groutable vinyl tile (post to come on this)
  • Repainted and trimmed out old vanity
  • Installed new sink, towel bar, and lighting
We ended up doing it all ourselves (my father-in-law helped with the shower surround) and it took about 2 months.  We worked on it bit by bit rather than doing it all at once, which is why it took so long.  As anyone who has remodeled an old house knows, there are always, always things that come up that you didn’t forsee.  Walls are not square, plumbing is strange, radiators make it difficult to install flooring. 
Although our time in this house is limited, we are enjoying our “new” bathroom for now!  Our 2 year old demands to “go upstairs to the bathroom” whenever he has to go, so we’ll take that as a sign that our whole family is happy with how the bathroom turned out. 

And as for what we did with that old laundry chute…well, let’s see!
A secret storage place for (yep!!) toilet paper!!  I love when design can meet function.  :)
Within easy reach of the toilet.
I love this free printable (from Simple As That) that I printed and popped in a Ribba (Ikea) frame for instant art.  Plus, we’re big G.K. Chesterton fans so this is perfect!
We think our new bathroom matches the rest of our “cottage-y” house so much more than it’s outdated previous self.  I apologize for the lack of photos that show the whole bathroom at once--it is a small space and I don’t have a wide-angle lens for my camera!  The room is much much more pleasant to be in now!

You can read other posts about our bathroom project:
 60's Bathroom Gone Wrong
Bathroom Inspiration
Tiling the Bathroom Shower