Happy 2013! As promised, I spent my New Year’s at home with a glass of (Martinelli’s) champagne and in uber comfy style (unlike my imagined idea), no major stories to tell but a relaxing welcome to the new year.
Man oh man I can’t believe it’s already 2013. This past year has come and gone in the blink of an eye and while there were so many adventures and projects and stories to share, it feels like it all happened quite quickly really. With that in mind, I thought now might be a fun time to take a walk around the house to see what Kevin and I crossed off the house renovation project list from last year, and what we might be tackling in the coming months/year now that it is officially brand new. Here’s a similar walk-through from 2011 (wow, that seems like yesterday!).
Just for fun, let’s take it waaaay back and sneak a peek at what each of these rooms looked like before moving in as a more grand comparison.
The Dining Room
First up, the dining room. No major construction changes here (except that that left door below now leads to a hallway to the new kitchen and the right door below no longer exists – see bathroom update next) but plenty of design changes. Mmm I still love the soffits in the ceiling and the rounded walls that make this a 1930s home.
In 2012 we played with rug ideas, new lighting, adding curtains (transformed from a favorite pattern found in a duvet cover) and finding neutral art to balance out the dining room space. Plus this awesome greenery (which does not like its current location – Fiddle Leaf Fig owners with a green thumb, please email!). We still have plans to come up with comfier seating options and more light (that pendant, as beautiful as she is, does not give off a whole lot of bright).
More about all of the the dining room updates here.
New Guest Bathroom
Next is our build-from-scratch bath that used to function as three small closets (two for the hallway, one for Liv’s room). The before (photo taken from the back of the house, the same hallway from the other direction is in that top before shot of the dining room):
Here’s a quick glance at the sketches we initially created to help guide the space, not too much changed over the course of the couple of months of building in terms of layout and design:
And the crazy construction behind it:
All of which brought us to here!
Once the bathroom was finished it was time to tackle a big chunk of empty wall on the opposite side of that tub up above in the hallway. This particular hallway is a roomy space that connects bedrooms to the kitchen and the rest of the house, so it’s a natural play space for Liv and her push toys/doll strollers while we’re cooking or eating in the kitchen. It made the most sense to keep it as kid-friendly as can be.
So, I painted the lower half of the wall to encourage massive chalkboard murals and the top half with my own version of a wallpaper design using painter’s tape (after much searching and not being able to track down ‘the one’).
We have since removed my ‘shoe-putting-on-station’ because the bench really was not so great at corralling loose jackets, shoes, handbags and what not as I had hoped, and eventually became more of a tripping hazard. Ah well. On the plus side, Liv has more access to the full chalkboard and loves to cover it with her shapes and squiggles!
We plan to revamp this entire hallway space once we settle on a master bedroom/bath redesign, so this next update will likely not last through the end of this upcoming summer. But this side of the hallway needed a little storage love as well so a Craigslist corner unit received a paint update and a few favorite knick knacks. The below two shelves now house blankets and what not.
Most of this space was built and finished in 2011 (the original kitchen used to live here). But we did make a few updates such as a new fabric headboard for the guest bed, new wall collage (including this handmade favorite), new Craigslist vintage storage and chair, and rug for on top of our rug (that perty white has nothing against a dog and toddler).
Follow along with office projects here. And believe it or not this space used to actually look like this!
Our living room received a few cozier updates with a few more in store for 2013.
New envelope pillows, embroidered artwork, DIY butterfly art and a faux canvas painting made my list of top changes, though we also invested in a super shaggy/soft rug for playing with blocks and a few new pieces of bookshelf tchotchkis (this being my favorite).
So much to be said about all of the outdoor work happening around these parts in the fall of 2012! We painted the house (more to come on that, we actually still have windows and a few little areas to complete) and we’re loving the new soft tan color!
We’ve chosen white as the window trim and those front two windows have since been restored (also something we’re teaming up with professionals for) and painted. Kevin stained the front porch bench and grouted the saltillo tile under foot as well.
The jungle of a sideyard was also tackled!
A little clearing, wall building, deck laying and table building (from very cool reclaimed wood) later…
And you have one of our very favorite updates. This is an awesomely useful outdoor space now for dining, cooking marshmallows and BBQing alike. The above dining table is just off of our new kitchen so when it’s time to par-tay we push the wide doors open and join the two big spaces.
These two photos below are pre staining, but you can see how the new flagstone ties in with the rest of the backyard!
And there it is, the big stuff from 2012.
Still on this list? Much. A master bedroom/bath remodel, guesthouse makeover (we have a little back unit near the garage), finishing up the kitchen nook and hallway, Liv’s big girl room + new nursery, the garage and a few more curb appeal updates. Plus the usual day to day crafts, style boards, parties and ramblings of this blog. AND a new baby. Woohoo!
Thank you for joining us on our adventure. I feel so incredibly lucky to have an online group of friends that offer awesome suggestions, that extra encouragment just when we need it and who check in on us on a regular basis. Thank you. And very much looking forward to spending the rest of this new year with you!
Tags: Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Living Room, Office, Year in Review
Posted in Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Our Guest Bathroom, Our Guestroom/Office, Our Hallway, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
This might be the happiest purchase I’ve made this month. It was a little pricey and I was a bit skeptical, but I bit the bullet and ordered a reed diffuser for the house (and since have bought one more). It is absolutely amazing.
If your home, like mine, suffers from the smell of dogs, babies and husband feet, and you’ve tried every nose adjusting cure from here to this side of the moon, this is the missing link.
I promise this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just that enamored with my little diffuser at the moment.
I’ve tried candles (I eventually grew tired of the fire hazard – once leaving a vanilla candle to burn while running errands (!) and the growing cost of purchasing more and more), plug in air fresheners (which Kevin declared to be absolutely horrible smelling much to my chagrin) and the little motion detector mechanism that poufs Glade into the air when you walk by (my almost-best solution).
But then one day while house shopping with my parents (they’re moving to San Diego!!) I came across the most fabulous, refreshing, neutralizing fragrance. While everyone else pointed out decorative molding and beamed ceilings, I snooped around for plug-ins, candles and potpourri. How did they do it? How did the house smell so darn fresh and delicious? And then I saw it. A little glass bottle full of a lavender-vanilla oil with little reeds poking out of the top. And the house was covered in them. Sure enough, this was the smell-infusing device that my nose had fallen in love with.
My first thought – how did I not know about this magic??
That night I did a little Amazon review research and settled on Nest Fragrances in Moss & Mint (which smells nothing like moss or mint but instead a delicious ‘clean’ that makes you want to float. The reviewers were right). One week later and my second for the back of the house has just arrived in the mail and I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer.
I’ve heard that I can sub out these economically priced reeds when the Nest versions dry up. And that will make my new smell solution price-point perfect and will keep me in happy spirits when I pass by the little glass bottle every day (and every day thus far it makes me sigh and smile). Stinky construction socks, diaper pails and dog food bowl smells be gone.
PS My fiddle leaf fig is healing well! Just a few bruises left but I think she’s going to turn out just fine.
And yesterday was Labor Day! Hope you had a great one. We spent ours with Kevin’s family in Phoenix and this coppertone-baby shot about sums it up:
Liv was hop-skipping with joy over a giant inflatable water slide, while I dug the handmade wood fired pizza, cold lemonade and time with friends.
Tags: Accessories, Home, Products I Love
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Product Review, Tips & Ideas | 10 Comments »
So happy to share my recent find with you all today! I’ve been on a casual search for houseplants for some time. What’s challenging about indoor greenery is A. keeping is alive and B. finding something that is both attractive/functional/not dated.
When I came across the fiddle leaf fig in the last episode of Design Star two years back, I near crawled up to the TV screen to admire this beauty of a houseplant (tree?). Then I googled the heck out of it until I learned what it was.
Soon after, inspiration came pouring in! What a beautiful, structural indoor plant that was not quite tropical, not quite in the fern family and not quite immediately recognizable (ficus, I’m talking to you). Source for above images here.
So I called around to my favorite local nurseries and came across the unfortunate truth that such large, mature trees fall well into the $150+ range, not quite justifiable in my mind for a houseplant (piece of Craigslist furniture or new tree for the dining room?).
Then I came across a blog that suggested Craigslist as a source for fiddle leaf figs! Hadn’t thought to search for a houseplant on the site yet. But a couple of months later and still no one was looking to part.
Finally, I called up Lowe’s and asked about special ordering. Turns out they carry these large guys and my local store receives a shipment every Tuesday. Well, two or three Tuesdays later and they were always sold out by the time I had arrived. Who would have known they were so popular?
I gave up… until just recently! After picking up some paint and other supplies during a recent Lowe’s trip, I wandered through the indoor plant section as I usually do and came across one. last. beautiful fiddle leaf fig. At least I thought it was beautiful. The kind man at the register gave me 50% off without prompting when he noticed my ‘badly bruised and brown leafed’ tree purchase. But that left me with one giant tree for $22! I’ll take it. And I whispered to my new tree that she shouldn’t be offended and that she was not bruised at all.
Fiddle leaf fig, welcome to my dining room.
I had originally planned on placing you over here, where the large pile o’ sticks is. But you are too small right now and you interfere a bit with the door to the guest room.
For now, you fill this wall up nicely.
Such beautiful leaves! Here’s hoping I keep her green and pretty. I’m not sure this tree will get enough light over here… most maintenance websites suggest ‘good light’ so we’ll have to play with placement.
One day, fiddle leaf fig, you might look like this!
Next, I need to drill a hole in the bottom of this pot for drainage or switch it out into a new, nicer container pronto. Will keep you posted on my green thumb.
You can start from the beginning or jump in on any of the dining room posts here: new art illustrations, bench makeover ideas, choosing a rug, curtain call part 3,curtain call part 2, curtain call part 1, newly styled bookshelves, a buffet-over,upgrading the lighting, the before.
Tags: Accessories, Decorating, Dining Room, Green, Home, Houseplants
Posted in Gardening, Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 13 Comments »