Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Light and Bright? Yes Please.

Once upon a time, I was scarred. When Matt and I married, we lived in the most adorable little bungalow rent house. The house had a bay window in the dining room, big white trim, and light dove gray walls. But most importantly, the windows were huge. Even though we were poor college students, renting and eating peanut butter sandwiches for meals... our house was adorable. The sun shone through the living room windows in the morning and the kitchen windows in the evening. I became spoiled, although I was unaware until later. Until I was scarred.

When we moved away from our college home and to the 'big city' we rented an apartment. I was completely oblivious to the fact that the apartment complex had decided to paint all the walls of every apartment dark brown. If I had known this, I would have never signed the lease. On moving day, we arrived with all our worldly goods stuffed into a u-haul. I opened the front door and nearly passed out. Not only were the walls a cave-like brown, but all the windows were tiny. And... as if things weren't bad enough, the apartment building was positioned just so that none of the windows ever received direct sunlight. Ever.

I tried my best, I really did. I talked the apartment manager into letting me paint the kitchen and bedroom, but it didn't matter. Next to the brown light-less rooms, everything looked bad. We stayed there for a year. I tried to like it. I tried to talk myself into buying dark brown furniture and other matching 'things.' But I hated it.

So, we we bought our house, I made a mental declaration of war on brown, or beige, or anything else that reminds me of that lightless year spent in a cave/apartment. Maybe someday I'll overcome my personal prejudice to anything reminiscent of darkness... but until then, I'll covet houses like these...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Outside Inspiration

My house projects have slowed as the weather warms. I have a very long list, a lack of motivation, and a non-existent budget. This combination does not inspire me, so until I get my excitement back, I'll just look at this picture. A lot.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gratuitous Flowers

I purchased another tablecloth. Its becoming a problem.

It Never Ends

I have been told many times throughout my life, "You just don't know when to leave things alone." I cant argue this point, even though I might want to, because it is true. This happens to apply to decorating as well. I have been in this house for over a year, and you would think the projects would be winding down. Not so, much to the chagrin of my patient husband.

One such 'never-ending' project is my kitchen. I realize the culprit of the situation. In my heart of hearts, I would like new counter tops, a subway tile back splash, new glass cabinet doors. Alas, it is not in the budget. So, I continue to pick unendingly at other things. But, I think I am finally happy with my most recent project.

Here is the breakfast nook, in its three phases:

First phase. Matt purchased this table and chairs for me right before we got married. The table had a white tile top, which I managed to crack and splinter in one way or another. Then, we lost one of the chairs to a 'forgotten and left out in the rain' accident. Mabel, in her puppy happiness, chewed one of the other chair legs down to the wood. But, like a good thrifty woman, I held onto these for six years. It was time for a change (plus, the curtains just didn't work).

Phase two. I found this table (with a huge leaf that has to be stored in the attic) and chairs at a local yard sale. I had big plans to paint the chairs and table white.

Phase three. I have a word of advice for all those that say, "Oh, just paint it, its easy." Make sure whatever your painting doesn't have spindles of any kind, because if it does, like these beloved chairs, it will NOT be easy. It took me two days, one can of oil based primer, seven spray paint cans of white primer, and a nose full of toxic fumes to finish these chairs.
In addition, I have decided to leave the table alone, for now. I haven't decided if I want to paint it, leave it alone, or perhaps stain it darker (I love dark walnut stain). Bare in mind, I will be painting the kitchen white soon. Why white? Don't get me started. I love the way white makes a room feel huge and sunny and cheerful. I love the way colorful pottery and painted furniture look against white walls. I think white gets a bad wrap as it is quite often the choice for people who think decorating involves futons and neon beer signs.
As a side note, the flowers are from my sweet hubby. After six years of hauling furniture off curbs for me, he still manages to remember that I love orange flowers. Anyway, for now, the breakfast nook is finished. At least for the next few months. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Practical Magic

I'm sure I'm not the only one that absolutely loves this movie. Normally, I love decorations that blend into a beachy feel. But... come Halloween (my favorite holiday) that all changes. I start 'darkening' things up and in my heart of hearts, this would be my seasonal dream home. Hey! It could happen!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm An Aunt!

Here she is, Elizabeth Anne. I have to confess, I'm pretty excited to have a namesake!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Office Quandary

I took some much needed time off this past week. But somehow, I didn't manage to rest. At all. I cleaned the entire house, shopped, went on a vacation, and somehow managed to squeeze in a clean sweep of my office. But I'm not complaining, it was fabulous.

I don't know how anyone else feels, but I cannot be creative in a messy space. I just sit in front of my computer, trying to write, and end up staring hatefully at the visual mess around me. So, I decided to end the madness and clean everything out. Which is what I did. I moved every last item out of my office and into the living room. I even took down curtains. Its amazing what you can decide to throw out when you try to bring clutter back into a clean space.
This is the end result. Not flashy, but I think I can concentrate on my projects now.

The Perfect Vacation

The husband took me away for our anniversary. We went to my favorite town of all time, a tiny little Victorian village. We stayed here...

Every morning we awoke to the bells of St. Elizabeth's Chapel down below...

And while Matt slept in, I got some much needed writing time on the balcony outside our room. Honestly, if you cant get inspired in a place like this, you wont be inspired anywhere!
There was a parade down in the town, and it was the most interesting thing Ive seen in a long time!
I could stay here forever!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


I'll be off-line for the next few days. Be back soon!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Untouchables

I have a huge love of unique lighting. Now, one wouldn't necessarily be able to tell by looking at the fixtures in my house, but hopefully that will change later on. I normally drift towards vintage style, but somehow, when it comes to lighting, I get a huge thrill out of the more modern fixtures. Here are a few from anthropolgie that make my head spin. Why call them the Untouchables? Well, if you seriously consider buying them, you will find out.

Citron Chandelier

Effervescent Chandelier

Bendikte Chandelier

Prismatic Chandelier Hanging Garden Globe

The Fairest of Them All

This is may be my favorite bedding of all time. Its a little bit cottage, a smidge country, and a whole lotta 70's. I love it. Granted, I may have to take a small home equity loan out to get it, but perhaps someday... its called Bella Hothouse Quilt.
This is the Chika quilt, which is equally beautiful.

And lastly, this is the Folkloric Hothouse bedding quilt. These can all be found here

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

More From Flickr

This site is where I found Polka Dot Cottage, and there are several more houses shown there. I dont know about anyone else, but Im ready for a vacation!

Weddings and Hot Dogs

I had a non-house related weekend, which is freakishly rare. I didn't clean anything, sew anything, paint anything, fix anything, or even make the bed. It was marvelous. We went to a friend's wedding on Saturday afternoon. It was beautiful, picture perfect. Then we finished the day out by going to a baseball game. I adore baseball, but I would be fibbing if I claimed I didn't have equal affection for the food group called 'hot dog.' So I had one, and nachos, and just to round it out, a cheeseburger on the way home. My excuse is that the games are four hours long and my blood sugar gets low. I'll stick to that. Thanks to Andrea and Aaron for a great time!