Friday, July 29, 2011

Sammi's Summer House

Long before my favorite TV show,  Sarah's Summer House aired on HGTV, my good friend Sam was busy renovating her own summer home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts along with her husband, Scott. Their little cottage was built by Scott's grandparents and was in desperate need of some TLC. This is the state it was in before they got their hands on it. 
They spent fall, winter, & spring gutting it inside and out. Now it looks like this
Quite a difference, huh? 

Chris and I were lucky enough to spend a few days on the Cape with Sammi and her family a couple of weekends ago, and she was kind enough to let me share pictures on the blog.

Come on in, I'll show you around...
This is the view of the back of the house from the water. Oh yeah, did I mention the house is ON THE WATER?
Lucky ducks :) 
View from the backyard

They blew out the ceiling in the living room to make it into a cathedral ceiling. I love those beams. The wainscoting was made using wood from the original ceiling.
The side chairs belonged to Scott's grandmother. Sam had them recovered by prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison. Yep, you read that right, there's a program at the NH State Prison that will reupholster your furniture for cheap.
The kids' room

Master bedroom. Sam found this headboard at a thrift store and re-covered it herself.

This chandelier is from the original cottage. It was an unidentifiable shade of yellow before and pretty gross. Sam spray painted it white and added navy blue shades. I'm obsessed with it. 
I'll leave you with one more shot of the water from their yard. That's right, FROM THEIR YARD!!!
Sigh...doesn't this look like a fantastic place to spend your summer? 

Thanks again, Sammi and Scott (and happy anniversary)! We had such a wonderful time! 

(Btw, today I'm linking up our old Kitchen to Remodelaholic)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hazard Ranch

Hanging a lucky horseshoe over an entrance to our house has been on my "fun idea but not a priority" list for a while now. In fact, it was on my list of things to do in our old house! I finally got around to purchasing one off eBay ($6 including shipping) and Chris hung it for me in the mudroom.
 Kinda cute, right?
 The sailboat art is also a new addition to the mudroom. I found it over the weekend while thrifting with my sister-in-law. It came in a frame, but I like it much better without.
 I also found this fun cowboy barkcloth...$6 for 1.5 yards. Not sure what I'll use if for yet, but I couldn't pass it up. Don't you just love the colors?

Between our new horseshoe and this fabric, I may have to consider renaming the blog to Hazard Ranch :) 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Room Floor Plan

Since we moved to Hazard Ave, we've struggled with the furniture arrangement in the family room. Our goal is to fit the maximum amount of people in the room and have a comfortable spot to view the TV.

We're pretty much starting over from scratch in this room, so we have an opportunity to change the layout from its current configuration, which looks like this
To get a comfortable view of the TV from the couch, one of us always has to lay down. Quite frankly, that makes eating dinner in front of the TV kind of hard (and let's face it, Chris and I occasionally eat a meal or two in front of the TV). Plus, there's not a whole lot of seating for guests.

We could add another chair, like in the drawing below, but then the best seats in the room would be the side chairs. I'd rather get comfy on the couch.
We briefly considered a love seat instead of two chairs, but this actually limited our seating even further because really, only one person can comfortably sit on a love seat. It also still leaves one of us eating our dinner lying down.
That brought us to putting the sofa directly across from the TV.
As you can see, that's not going to work either. The sofa would block all the traffic flow in and out of the room, and the two chairs would probably look weird blocking the TV like that.
Finally, we arrived at the "TV over the Fireplace" solution. 

We were reluctant to put a TV over our only fireplace in the house, but as you can see, it really does give us plenty of seating and allows for the best flow of traffic. 
Where do you stand on the "TV over the Fireplace" debate?
Have you done it in your own home?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Side of the Road Score

Chris and I happened upon this chair while walking the dogs recently. One of our neighbors had put it out at the curb for trash pickup. It looked pretty grimy, but I liked the shape.
So we hurried home, drove back to the chair, and popped it in the back of our pickup.




It was upholstered in vinyl, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt so see if I could get it cleaned up a bit. 
 The results were promising, so I kept going...

I started out using a vinyl and leather car upholstery cleaner. It worked well, but I got faster results when I tried laundry soap and water.

Before long, it looked like a brand new chair!
The seat cushion is clean, but discolored.  I think we can get by with covering it with a sheepskin throw from Ikea, but if you have another suggestion, please let me know!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Chris and I came across this house while visiting my parents in Ohio a few weeks back.

It is so perfectly imperfect, it looks like it was made to be crooked on purpose.

Turns out this home is on the National Register of Historic Places as the John Snow House built, ca. 1815.

Do you have any quirky homes near you?

(Btw, Elizabeth of the Mustard Ceiling is hosting a Mix and Mingle party this week. Stop on by and check out some new-to-you blogs!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

We're Starting a New Roofing Trend

Yay. We are the proud new owners of a two-toned roof.
Do you think this will be the next new trend in roofing?

There's one small area from the street where you can see the top of our house and our new roof.
Our nice new roof that doesn't match the rest of our house.
The matching synthetic slate roof on the mansards isn't slated (no pun intended) in the budget  until next spring. Oh well.

Btw, I'm giving the readers of a' la mode a tour of our home today, including a never before seen picture of our kitchen in its current state. Yikes!

I'm truly obsessed with Shelli's design style. You've got to visit her home tour to see for yourself.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stylish Living With Pets

Sounds like an oxymoron, huh?
Camille, the brilliant blogger behind The Vintique Object doesn't think so. She's compiled a series of guest posts from bloggers across the interwebs called "Ideas for Stylish Living with Kids and Pets". What a fantastic idea and resource!

If you have a pet (or a kid) and are looking for some fresh and interesting ways to make your life at home a little easier, you'll have to pop on over to read the entire series, including a today's guest post by yours truly.

Trust me, they only look sweet and innocent...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Life For an Old Mousepad

Do people use mousepads anymore?
We do because our mouse won't work on the glass surface of our desk. I had picked up a couple of white ones at Ikea a while back. White was nice because it blended in well with our white desk. The problem was that it got dirty quickly.

So I purchased some double stick fusible web and fabric, and followed the directions on the package.

First I traced the outline of the mousepad onto one side of the tracing paper fusible web backing.

Then I peeled away the other side of the backing (the fusible web is left on the backing with the tracing).

I found the spot of fabric that I wanted for my mousepad and laid the fusible web over it, pressing firmly so that the webbing would stick to the fabric. (The tracing outline is hard to see here.) It is also worth noting that you can still reposition your webbing at this point. It doesn't permanently adhere until it is ironed. 

I cut the webbing and fabric, using my tracing as a guide. 

I peeled away the tracing paper from the fabric & webbing, 

positioned the fabric + webbing onto the mousepad, and ironed to get the permanent bond.


This was so quick and easy that I'm trying to find other applications to use fusible webbing on. Any suggestions? 

(By the way, the fabric is by Alexander Henry and is available at Jo-Ann Fabrics)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Feeling Bright and Beautiful Today

Ever stop to think about what makes your house a home? I did just that when Aubrey of All Things Bright and Beautiful asked me to be a part of her guest series "How to Make a Home Your Own".  If you aren't already familiar with All Things Bright and Beautiful, you'll have to swing by. It is jam packed with decorating inspiration and Aubrey's witty commentary.

Come say "hello" today to check out how Chris and I have made our home on Hazard Ave our own.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chic Chinoiserie

Is it just me, or is everyone else obsessed with all things chinoiserie?

Will someone please buy this so I can live vicariously through you? It comes in 7 colors. Good luck choosing one.
Shades of Light, $350
Or maybe you need something a little smaller?
Shades of Light, $149
Of course, then you'll need some pillows to go with your new lighting...
Etsy Seller- House of Pemberley, $85
And you'll want to make that old chest of drawers look a little fancier with a set of new pulls.
Chinese Brass Hardware, $11.95 (set of 2)
Since it is your money I'm spending, you might as well go ahead and have a chair upholstered in this 
Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa, Tail Lights
Not enough chinoiserie for you? Well, you could always surround yourself in it.
Or perhaps you'd like to take your chinoiserie outside?
Home Decorators Collection, $1999

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