Saturday, February 27, 2010

Coastal Living - February 2010

One of my favorite parts of Coastal Living is "Lindsay's View".
Lindsay is the editor-in-chief of Coastal Living and he has the most incredible way with words. It's always such a treat to read his stories.
There was something extra special about one of the paragraphs he wrote in this months "View".

It says,
"The evening after my interview, I wandered from my room to the water's edge, and for the first time in my adult life I felt like the person I truly wanted to be: unguarded, imperturbable, utterly content. I don't know about you, but wherever and whenever I'm gazing at the shore in the half-light, I vow to hold on to that feeling of peace and carry it with me always."

I really connected with his message because I find myself vowing to do that very same thing every time I stand before the sea and watch the waves dance with the sand.

One day, I hope to live a little closer to the ocean- in a tiny timeworn cottage that smells like summer and feels like freedom.

The February issue of Coastal Living is filled with lots of photos of beautiful, beachside abodes.

On page 36, you will find a house made of shells and stones...

There's a story about an open-air villa on page 68...

And on page 86, you'll find an article titled, "Haven on Earth"...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all three places, and it made me look forward to visiting Tybee Island even more!

"Just Beachy" on Tybee Island, Georgia

I'll sign off with one of my favorite sea-inspired quotes...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Hope you're having a great weekend!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Reading Room Ceiling Re-do (Part One)

Here's what's been happening in the reading room over the past couple of days...

Next up- crown molding and the new light fixture.
I can't wait!


I'll be back soon with more photos and video of it all put together.

In the meantime, happy Friday!

PS...For those that asked about the guest bathroom reno, well, Mr.Kevin needed a little breaky-break from it. There's no natural light in there, and the lack of sunlight was really starting to get to him- so he's only been working on projects in rooms that have windows lately. That's kinda how we roll. When we start to feel tired or overwhelmed by something, we just move on to something else. We've got a plethora of projects left to tackle around here, and since renovating our house has become Kevin's full-time job, and blogging about it has become mine, it's important for us to try to keep our heads happy while we document our reno adventures and make this house our home.


But don't worry, I'm sure we'll both get antsy to finish it eventually!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Decorating with Flea Market Finds

As we continue to ready the reading room, our friend Jennifer is sharing a guest post here on our blog today. She is a super talented lady and we're so excited to have her!
Her topic- Decorating with Flea Market Finds.
(My favorite!)

Take it away Jennifer!


Ever find yourself wondering what to do with those unique flea market finds you fall in love with, and trek all the way home with, only to be greeted by the husband at the door who is curiously scratching his head over your so-called “treasure”? Well, if it’s rusty and crusty, industrial and unique, chippy and aged with a great patina, that instantly spells out t-r-e-a-s-u-r-e like no other, in my book!

One of my favorite flea markets is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. On my most recent visit there, we showed up an hour before the sun decided to make its debut. (Note to self: Bring flashlights next time. With batteries that work.) It can be all too easy to get distracted from what you’re there for. So during this visit in particular, my goal was to find a unique side table to sit next to the sofa in my living room.

These fabulous old grain sack pillows are a good example of a major distraction. Their textures were so alluring. I think I squeezed nearly every one!

I found this booth set-up especially inviting too. All that's missing is a bottle of vino, a loaf of fresh bread, a couple of friends and some good conversation...

A trip to the Rose Bowl is never complete without bumping into a character or two. While on the hunt for my side table, my friend Lu took a moment to pose with a rather patriotic cyclist. (Note her stash-filled cart behind the Velocipede wheel. That was just one of three trips to the car and back)...

These old factory light bulbs caught my eye in a big way too. Too bad they weren’t on my want list.

I was still determined to find a unique side table, so we moved on.

Then just when I was about to give up all hope, I stumbled across this gem. The one I’d been waiting for. Yes, I realize it’s an old, industrial medical table- but it had my name all over it, and I couldn’t hand over my twenty-five bucks fast enough!

And here it is! My new side table, in it’s new home. Re-purposed and miles outside of the box...

With the exception of the lamp and rug, everything you see here was either a flea market or antique store find. The fabulous Chateau Bradbury sign came out of an old restaurant in Ventura. The large, white armoire came out of an old nunnery.

Don’t let that little lamp fool you- it really packs a punch, and fills this entire corner with light at night...

I stuck to a grouping of strictly cream and white colored items when creating this vignette. The old ironstone pitcher, vintage clock, piano player paper on a roll, antique French documents and tall bundle of vintage yarn all came from various flea markets and antique stores.

But this side of my sofa looked really naked, so I created some interest by placing an old , black leather suitcase (antique store find) underneath an old, black wooden document box (flea market find)...

To break up the black, I placed an old souvenir book from Paris on top of the suitcases, along with a pair of bleached white antlers. (Both items were flea market finds, and in case you were wondering, the antlers were naturally shed. No animals were harmed in the creation of this vignette!)...

I hope I’ve inspired you and offered some insight on thinking outside of the box, looking at objects from a different perspective, and re-purposing things in unexpected ways.

Thank you for inviting me to guest post on your blog Layla!


Jennifer Grey


Thank YOU Jennifer!
I can't believe I lived in Los Angeles for eight years and never once made it to the Rose Bowl Flea Market! Next time I'm in L.A- I definitely look forward to going there with you.



Houzz Ideabook: Creating Wall Groupings That Wow

This week's Ideabook is all about adding some vibrancy to your vertical space.
Wall groupings add a lot of pizazz, but getting them "right" can be a daunting task. What should you use? How should you arrange it all? There are lots of things to consider. So I've outlined some helpful tips, and featured ten fabulous photos as inspiration that will hopefully alleviate some of the anxiety associated with creating walls that wow.
To check it all out, just click on the badge below!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Reading Room Reno Continues...

Our reading room may look fine and dandy at this angle...

...but the ceiling is another story...

Not to mention, there is some trim work that needs finishing too...

(You can see what color the room used to be up there by the ceiling. Eek!)

So starting tomorrow, Kevin plans to rip down the drywall on the ceiling...

...and expose the original, tongue-and-groove wood ceiling underneath.

As well as remove this light fixture...

...and replace it with this one...

So after lunch today, I took all the bedding off the bed...

And all the pictures off the walls...

...and moved it into the guest bedroom.

Of course when I saw all the pillows piled up on the guest room bed, I couldn't help but play around with a few different looks, just for fun...

70's flashback.
I hoping you remember him....

Ahhh, the good ol' days.


Anywho...back to the reading room.
After Kevin finishes removing the drywall on the ceiling, painting the wood planks "barely blue", installing the new light fixture, building and installing the cutest little custom shutters on earth (no pressure honey), and putting up crown moulding- I'll get in there and finish painting my quote...

It's going to say,

“Draw on the walls, read every day, believe in magic, laugh a lot, have wild imaginings and transformative dreams and celebrate every gorgeous moment”.

And when that's all done, I look forward to re-staging the room a little too.
(That's the best part, isn't it?)


One new addition I'm excited about displaying in the room (if I can get it framed in time) is this awesome photograph by Tim Irving...

It's called "The Button Tin", and I adore everything about it!
If you haven't see Tim's work before, you must visit his Etsy shop.
You will love it!

The room has to be camera-ready by next the end of next week.
(That's enough time, right?)
I look forward to documenting our progress here on our blog throughout the next couple of weeks, so y'all come back and see us, ya hear?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Day Makers

Today began like almost every day does.

First, consciousness.
(Wow that sun is bright....must get window treatments at some point)

Then my laptop.
(Wonder how many new emails and blog comments there are?)

Then a glance at Kevin to see if he's still asleep.
(Which he always is)

Then a glance at Max to see if he's awake.
(Which he always is)

Then the question he loves to hear me ask him, "do you wanna go outside and go potty?"
(Which, of course, he does.)

Then layers of clothes.
(Our heater broke earlier this month.)

Then outside with Max.

Then back inside for a bowl of Chocolate Cheerios, and a tiny glass of orange juice.

Same old, same old. Nice, but nothing too exciting.

Then all of a sudden, after a trip to the post office around noon, today quickly turned from same old, same old to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

I received the coolest little work apron from my new friend Polly...

I put it on in the car on the way home from the post office, and I'm still wearing it as I write this post at 11:00 at night.


I love it.

Thank you so much Polly!


Polly's sweet gesture really got me thinking today.

Thinking about all the special, creative and thoughtful people I may never have the opportunity to meet in person, but whose thoughtfulness and talents will positively impact, contribute to, and influence my life.

We all know people like this.

They're risk takers, and "day makers".
They give and give, and expect nothing in return.
Their shiny, happy people.


My blog friend Erin is one of these people.
She inspired me without saying or typing a single word today.
She simply sent me an email with a smiley face in the subject line, and a photo of a page from this book in the body...

"She" by Kobi Yamada

She sent me the page that reads,
"She turns her can'ts in to cans, and her dreams into plans".
Isn't that the best line ever!?

I immediately forwarded Erin's email to my Mom, with hopes that it would have the same positive effect on her day as it did mine.


Then, while browsing the blog-o-shere tonight, I "bumped" into another friendly soul who brightened up my night with the strokes of her paint brush...

By Trish at The Old Post Road

They say that art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and that if you look closely enough, you can see angels in every piece. I certainly agree with that statement when it comes to Trish's beautiful paintings. This pretty picture brought me so much joy tonight!


Well, it's close to midnight now, so I guess I better go crawl into bed.
But before I sign off, I'd like to send out a big ol' virtual bear hug to everyone reading this. It's an honor to have you visit my blog, and I hope you have a very happy and inspiring week!





Just for fun....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Guest My Nest - Maple Street (During)

Remember the Maple Street house I blogged about last year?

Kevin and I used to walk by it every morning and just dream about what it would be like to live there.

It's one of those houses that always smiles at you as you stroll by.

It's one of those houses that never looks lonely, even if no one is living there at the time.

It's one of those houses that makes you feel all sunny inside.

Shortly after I published my first post about it in April of 2009, I got an email from the couple who had just made an offer on it. They happened upon my blog post while searching Google one afternoon, and said they'd love to have us come by for a visit some time after they moved into the house.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. Tony, Lisa and their daughter Madelyn have been living in the house for a couple of months now, and we were so excited to meet up with Lisa to see what they've been up to lately.

While Kevin ran around and shot photos and video footage of the house, I chatted with Lisa about her experience buying and living in it.

I was dying to know what she thought about the house the first time she saw it.
She told me she had been in love with the exterior of it for about a year, but it wasn't until she entered the home for the first time that she realized how much work the old place needed. As she and Tony walked from room to room, she wasn't sure if he was going to be up for the challenge of renovating it. But much to her surprise, at the end of the walk-through, Tony looked at her and said, "I think we should make an offer". That was exactly what she was hoping he'd say. :-)

She went on to tell me that the house was built in 1898 by a relative of Daniel Pratt.

Mr. Pratt founded the town of Prattville in the 1830's, and his cotton gin factory quickly became the largest producer of cotton gins in the world. Before becoming a successful industrialist, he worked as an architect in Georgia, designing huge plantation homes for wealthy planters in and around Milledgeville and Macon. Apparently, his homes were some of the most beautiful in the state, featuring large white columns, broad hallways, and spiral stairways. I would have loved to have seen the home he designed for himself here in Prattville, but unfortunately it burned down at some point in time. I searched for information about it on the internet and found an article that described it as a "white frame house that featured New England architectural elements characteristic of Pratt's style." It had a narrow, two-story portico with a balcony, an art gallery in which he displayed paintings by southern artist George Cooke, and a grape vineyard on the hillside behind the house that provided Mr. Pratt with wine for entertaining. Sounds pretty dreamy, eh?

Well, you can imagine how happy Tony and Lisa were when they found out one of Mr. Pratt's sofa's was included in the sale of their house...

Isn't it beautiful? It's still got the original upholstery on it, and it's in perfect condition. Lisa said she's going to use it under the large window in her dining room.

Which, by the way, is far from being finished- but has come a long way from when they first moved in...

Lisa has plans to repaint the walls, refinish the original wood floors (which I think look great already!), remove the previous homeowners window treatments and display her gorgeous china in a big, old china hutch. She's also looking forward to moving her plants back onto the porch as soon as it's warm enough. :-)

Just off the dining room there's a small butlers pantry...

Such a neat little surprise of a room separating the dining room and kitchen!

And speaking of the kitchen, Lisa also has plans to have the 1930's metal, art deco-style kitchen cabinets professionally re-finished, but I think she's done a great job of updating them in the meantime, don't you?...

Here's what they looked like when she and Tony moved in...

I have to admit, I think the seafoam green was pretty too! :-)

While we're talking about the kitchen, check out the beautiful blue beadboard inside the pantry...

And get a load of the old liquor cabinet located near the floor...

It still had the original key in it!

The day we stopped by, Lisa was working on what will eventually be their master bedroom...

She said they had recently removed lots of wallpaper and bleached the walls. The day we were there she was in the process of re-plastering parts of the walls that had been damaged over the years.

Once she's done re-plastering, she's going to paint the walls a dramatic, smokey blue color...

Since it's not a super huge room, she's going to keep the furniture to a minimum. All she plans to use is this antique dresser and a huge, four-poster bed.

(check out the fireplace in the reflection!)

Her goal is to have the room finished by Easter, and she promised to let us come back and take a look at it when she's done. (Woo hoo!)

For now, they're calling this room their master bedroom...

It looked like this when they moved in...

Quite a transformation so far, huh? It's located on the back side of the house, and because of all the windows, it had a very "sleeping porch" feel. When Tony and Lisa move over to the room that will eventually be their master bedroom, they plan to use this room as a guest bedroom. (Lucky guests!)

Just outside the room they're currently sleeping in, there's a small sitting room...

With an incredible built-in cabinet...

Lisa got the chairs at my favorite flea market (J&G) for $15 a piece. She plans to give them a mini face lift at some point, as well as remove the wallpaper from the walls, paint and refinish the wood floor. (I bet those bin pulls on the built-in cabinet would look gorgeous stripped of the paint that's covering them too!)

Since this sitting room is also off their daughter Madelyn's room, they plan to use it as a den for her and her friends to hang out in.

Other projects on Lisa's list include removing the paint from the transom windows and french doors in the parlor...

(Can you believe someone painted over them!?)

Replacing all the old window treatments...

And decorating with lots of pretty, antique elements...

But other than tearing off the scalloped trim across the front of this mantel, she's leaving the "man cave" alone. This room is strictly Tony's domain and Lisa said she's going to leave the design decisions totally up to him.

Check out that old swing-arm pot holder!

We had a lovely time touring the house with Lisa, and enjoyed meeting their 16 year old dog, Bernard, too...

He is an absolute sweetheart, and you're going to love his appearance in the video Kevin shot...

We look forward to hanging out with Tony, Lisa, Madelyn and their precious pets again sometime, and we can't wait to see all the changes they make to their "Maple Street Marvel" too!

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