Monday, February 28, 2011


Look what I found peeking out of the ground Saturday morning!

...but then on Sunday morning I woke up to more snow :(

Friday, February 25, 2011


The current state of our bathroom project as well as my current state of mind. 
Will this room ever be finished???

Well, at least the rough plumbing is done. 

From this point on, however, the progress will be more apparent. The sheetrock will go up and the tile will go down. The bathroom will start to look like a bathroom again. I can't wait.

btw, to see some completed projects across the blogosphere, visit Deja Renew

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hello My Future Kitchen

I'm drooling over this kitchen designed by Steven Gambrel. I love the white cabinetry, marble countertops, coffered ceiling, glass cabinets and dark stained floor. The gray blue glass subway tile backsplash is to die for. All that natural light! Filing this dream kitchen away under "Someday"...
Elle Decor, photo by Simon Upton

Monday, February 21, 2011


One of the major purchases on the list for 2011 is a new sofa for the family room. The one we are using now is actually sectional we bought in a pinch to fit in a specific space in the old house.  Truth is, we never liked it and actually put it out on the curb just before moving day until we realized, um, yeah, we're going to need that in the new house...
We have a couple of considerations that isn't making this purchase very easy...our dogs. Cute as they are, they are very messy little monsters. 

Harry and Georgia

We are going to need a couch with upholstery that hides dirt well or something that can be easily cleaned. Since our dogs like to sit on the back cushions and look out the window, the new sofa will need to have a tight back or cushions that don't lose their shape. I'd also prefer a sofa with mid to high arms to lean against. 
See? I told you it wasn't going to be easy.
Here's the short list:
Cameron sofa from Crate and Barrel

 Pros: Tight back, high arms, clean lines, neutral color and shape
Cons: Unclear how well this upholstery will hold up, a tad bit ordinary

Hovas sofa from Ikea
 Pros: Inexpensive, cover is machine washable, replacement covers are only $50-$250 depending on fabric
Cons: Cheap construction, not wild about the rounded arms

Monroe sofa from Room and Board
 Pros: Quality construction, many "easy care" fabric options, price, tight back, loving this fabric color
Cons: There isn't a nearby Room and Board to check it out in person

Hutton sofa from Room and Board

Pros: This is a statement sofa! High arms, deep seats for lounging in front of the TV, quality construction and plenty of fabric choices
Cons: Too formal for a family room?

Slipcovered Metro sofa from Room and Board
Pros: Optional slipcover is machine washable and has a nice tailored fit
Cons: This color is still a little light to hide dirty doggie paw prints. Will all stains really come out in the wash??? Reviewers stated that cushions loose their shape (however, R&B offers replacement cushions.)

PB Square Grand Slipcovered Sofa from Pottery Barn
Pros: Saw this one in person. Comfortable and large. Slipcover is available in a Stone Slubby Canvas that is the perfect shade of greige. Machine washable. Replacement cushions available.
Cons: Unlike the Room and Board option above, you can't just take the slipcover off and have a perfectly upholstered piece underneath. Replacement slipcovers don't appear to be readily available on the website. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Choosing a Paint Color

Some of the materials that we purchased for the main floor powder room were easy decisions, but there are others that we're still on the fence about. The decision making process can become daunting because we know that whatever we pick out today is going to be what we'll need to live with for years and years. Naturally, after spending all this time, money, and energy, we want to love the finished room!

Luckily, the decisions left to be made, like the wall color and window treatments, aren't permanant fixtures. But they'll still be a hassle and incur a cost if we want to change them. In a house that has plenty of rooms needing attention, I don't think either of us will be excited about repainting a room that we already crossed off the list.

So...sometimes it helps to have a visual to lay out the options.

Chair rail, charcoal gray walls

White walls, picture molding

Black walls! 

Navy walls

Decisions, decisions...which is your favorite?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Handmade Online

It is no secret that I do most of my shopping online. It is so convenient and I love that I can find virtually anything that I'm looking for.  I know Etsy has been around for a while, but I just started looking to it as a decorating resource. I've used it to purchase pillows like this one:

and these:

I considered this lighting fixture for our downstairs bath and would still like to find a place for it elsewhere in my house

But one of the handmade items I'm most excited about are the custom curtains and roman shades that are available. There are so many options! Here are just a few of my favorites.
These are from Kona Interiors

Custom Drapery Panels from SLCDesignsHome

Monday, February 14, 2011

We Made Fire!

One of the things we had on the "to do" list at our old house was to convert our fireplace to gas, but we never got to it. Like most people, we love the ambiance that a fire brings in the colder months, and one of the benefits of our new house is that the fireplace is in the family room where we spend most of our time. Learning from our previous experience, we knew that if we didn't make this project a priority, it might never get done.
I had my heart set on a birch log set. Unfortunetly we had to pay a premium for it because for some reason, birch gas log sets aren't very common. Of course, that just made me want one more!

After ordering the log set, we hired a plumber to run the gas line into our existing firebox.

A vented gas log set requires that the chimney damper be open at all times. For this reason, the firebox needs to have glass doors to prevent the warm air inside the house from escaping up the chimney when the fireplace isn't in use. Luckily for us, our fireplace already has glass doors so that wasn't an added expense.

After what felt like a million years the log set was finally shipped from the manufacturer to the retailer and they came out to install the logs and connect the gas line.  Ta da! 


Our new fireplace will really help to make the last few weeks of winter bearable

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have You Seen the Chairs at Crate and Barrel Lately?

Great fabrics! I'll have one of each please :) 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a New Kitchen

The kitchen remodel is going to be the mother of all projects that we tackle in this house. Even though the renovation is still YEARS away, we talk about it constantly. We discuss cabinetry colors & styles, countertop materials, flooring, appliances, lighting options, and most importantly the general layout of the kitchen and how it will flow with the rest of the house. Up until this point, when Chris and I talk about making changes to the kitchen floor plan we've had to rely on lots of scrap paper or the occasional paper napkin if we're out having dinner. As a result some of our best ideas have gotten lost in translation. 
And then...Chris discovered some software and created some almost to scale renderings of what we want our kitchen to look like someday. 

We took out a wall between the kitchen and dining room (right side of drawing) which expands the space and improves the flow.  A kitchen island is something we've been dreaming of and it looks like we'll have enough space to make it work. We also added a door and some stairs down into the backyard. 

Bird's eye view

Viewing the kitchen from a backyard corner, you can see a built in china hutch that I've been dreaming of. 

This will be the new view from the dining room. 

By the way, this is what the current view is from that same angle. Once the wall is gone (where the mirror is hanging), we'll be able to sit in the living room and see clear through the dining room and kitchen into the backyard. 

Now, we're no professionals when it comes to designing kitchens or working with this software, but man, we're having fun. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dark Baths

Super dark bathrooms are dramatic, moody, and all the rage.

apartment therapy


apartment therapy
Windsor Smith


Friday, February 4, 2011

The Fixtures

Thanks to everyone who offered us their opinions on what faucet we should use in the downstairs powder room. We decided to take advantage of Restoration Hardware's Annual Bath Event and selected this faucet in polished nickel from the Vintage collection. She's a beaut, isn't she? 

 I wanted to match the finish of the faucet to the sconces that we also got from Restoration Hardware. The online description of the sconces wasn't very helpful--all it said was polished silver plated or something vague like that. I had no idea whether to order chrome or polished nickel. If I had to choose, I would have gone with the chrome. So I'm glad that I went to view it in person because seeing the faucet against the sconce showed that polished nickel was a better choice. It looks much warmer compared to the cooler chrome finish. 

We got the TP holder and towel ring from the same collection. 

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