Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Home Tour, Part 2 - Upstairs (iPhone Photos)

Dwellers! Enjoy your 4th of July weekend?

We headed out to the Florida.... WE WERE READY TO HIT THE BEACH! And celebrate my 29th.

But.... we ended up getting a half day of sun, getting rained out the second day and going to see a movie, then (thankfully) getting one more enjoyable day... Then, eventually the weather forecast looked so bad Seth really thought we should head back home early to get some work done. Better to get some work done in the rain at home, than sit inside at the beach, right? Well, we repainted the bedroom. You're about to see the before and I'm sure we'll share the in-progress fairly soon.

Ready for the 2nd floor tour?

Master bedroom. You remember the stairs from this post? They lead, well, upstairs. :) You turn to the left and see a linen closet, right beside the master.

Now, standing in the doorway of the master bedroom (I told you these were photos on my phone, sorry!).... 

This is a better image of the paint color.

The door in the top-right of the photo below leads to the hallway...

Real-life side note: I just lost about an hour's worth of bloggin'. Instead of punching the internet, I'm going to zoom through this next part.

Upstairs porch: It's big. Love it! And will take awhile to furnish... only one photo on my phone though, so here's  a corner. :)

Master bathroom:
Likes: his-and-her sinks, the lovely custom feet on the cabinets, extra closet space, etc.
Need to: repaint, more up-to-date color palette, repair the shower door, repair the tub jets, and a few more things.

Laundry room: Just a few steps down the hall.
Pro's: it's on the second floor (with all the bedrooms)! And it's loads better than our tiny laundry area inside the kitchen of our condo.
Con's: No appliances (boo, our checking account will surely hate us for that)

Hurts-my-eyes Bedroom / Eventually our  office. Bad color, bu the natural light is nice enough (even though I think the window placement is kind of weird). Moving on...

The "other room".  I think it's the south-facing windows... but for whatever reason, I really love this space. I hope when our family grows (we hope to adopt fairly soon) we'll use this for a nursery!  PLUS, I ASK YOU THIS: What's not to love about the lovely butterflies all over the dang place? I mean, you want those in every room, right? :-/  Hahem, noooooo.... those need to go.

The other baths are nice enough, This sink (below) is right beside the purple room, then there's an adjoining shower/toilet area, that takes you to an identical sink area (right by the office/annoying-ly green room). We love the size of them.... and the closet size. They need a little work, for sure. Like removing those wonderfully stubborn caterpillar decals, for example... but that will happen in due time!

And that concludes the tour! We love this house, but/and we have a long list of to-do's. I sometimes wish I was a professional DIY blogger so these things could get done more rapidly... but our pace is a real-life pace that just has to work amidst real-life obligations and activities.

Any advice? Or experiences moving into your home, conquering or prioritizing projects? 



Monday, June 17, 2013

The new house, before moving in (iPhone pics) - First Floor

We're due for sharing a photo tour of the new house! Beware: These were taken during very short viewings, during lunch breaks, etc. And while I was of course considering the blog, I hoped that I could make time for actual photos with a camera... but things moved more quickly than expected so camera photos are all we got. :) 

I've already shared a similar view of the entry/hallway...

Here's a view looking to the left, into the Dining Room. We really fell for the heavy pocket doors with window panes.

And here's a view from the other side. This room might be a little bit of a challenge. It's darker than I like, but generally a great space. Also the lighting isn't our style. But as we know, that can be fixed! 

The entry hallway leads into the living room, which is open to the kitchen. 

That's my awesome daddy on the left, pulling his phone out of his pocket I think (?)... Goofy shot but it's all I have. :) 

So here's the kitchen. Unfortunately the fridge didn't come with the deal, but the bones are good. And the tall custom cabinets with pretty classic lines are a great feature.

We also loved some details like the stained glass above the kitchen door. 

This leads into an area with the dining room straight ahead (that's the door with the window panes) and downstairs bath to the left. The pantry is on the right and the guest bedroom is that one with bright ligh on the right.

Here's the downstairs bath. It's a full bath, which makes sense for this house since our guest bedroom is downstairs. ButI do love the idea of decorating a powder bath! One day... :) 

Here's guest bedroom. This is a fairly cozy space but kind of a challenge with furniture placement. The room is long and the windows are kind of strangely positioned for a bedroom.  We shall rise to the challenge though, friends. And it will be fun! I've already made a good bit of progress on this room and can't wait to share.

Check back in for photos of the second floor!... :) I hope you all had a great weekend and Father's Day!

By the way, I love and treasure your email responses. If you don't mind though, leave a comment on Dwell and Tell.  :) Just plug in your name and e-dress. 

Is anyone else moving? Unpacking? Advice on getting settled in? :) 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Three porches, Zero Chairs (But Spring is Here!)

I snapped this photo while taking a few for our last post, and thought I would share. It might not look like it, but we're slowly getting ready for Spring and Summer.

... Unless you consider "having two large porches, one patio, and not owning a single piece of outdoor furniture" not being ready. ;-)

Coming from a condo, we didn't have a place for patio furniture, so we have some catching up to do! Some things will just have to wait until the budget allows. In the meanwhile we're just enjoying the opportunity so spend more time outside watering plants or working in the yard... While constantly hunting some good deals for quality pieces. Hopefully some great sales will pop up in a couple of months!

Any tips on buying patio furniture or getting your outdoor space ready?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Newels and Hardwoods, a Peek (Before & Kinda-After)

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

As I mentioned last week, we decided to refinish the hardwoods before moving in. Boooo for the checkbook, yay for the floors!

As you can see in this snapshot, the previous owners left a few scratches from their own sweet pets. 

We decided to make the plunge and enjoy the opportunity to scratch newly refinished hardwoods ourselves. Why scratch floors that are already marked up?  There's no fun in that.  It's much more interesting to spend lots of hard-earned money and watch your dog scratch them twice, really bad, in a week. (Not that I know what that's like or anything...). Ha!

Moving along... so I decided to switch out our stairposts. Apparently, whether I wanted them to or not, the hardwood company was going to take the stair posts down,  and replace them with new unfinished rails of the same style. (It's easier than trying to get all that finish off from little nooks and crannies.)

Hardwoods + Newels BEFORE
So I'm thinking, this is an opportunity to make this minor upgrade that (I think) makes a big difference aesthetically, for the money. It was probably a difference of about $300 for two newel posts, versus them replacing them with the same style we had before.

I showed inspiration photos to our hardwood guy who very fortunately had two on-hand!

Why these newels?
1. Box newels look a little less "builder" to me than the style that was installed (I'm not talkin' nasty about "builder" homes. HEY.  We all have builder homes! But you guys know what I'm sayin....). 
2. The lines seem more classic architecturally... and suit the style of the house
3. Antique or custom newels would have been wonderful, but I didn't have the budget or time to investigate that as an option.
4. I was able to get them in our timeline (and not wait for shipping)
5. They're affordable.

Ready for a look at the "almost" after?
Newel posts, (dwell and tell)
From anothah angle...
Newel posts, (dwell and tell)

I'm really happy with the result so far! And I love the hardwood color!

Why do I say "so far"? Well, it all looks pretty good, until you zoom in a little...

Yup, my friends, there was a LOT of mess (hardwood stain that was slopped onto the trim) on the stairs, all over the trim and even the doors and door frames. Fortunately, the hardwood company is paying to have them repainted. I'll try to keep you posted on that.

So what do ya think? Agree with the update? Do you have a preference about newel styles or stair rails? Do you have any experience with hardwood floor refinishing--good or bad?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Staircase Inspiration + Hunting Some NEW Newels

I have some lovely eye-candy that I found as inspiration for our first "project" that had to be tackled at the new house, even before we moved in.

One of the things the inspector (and our own eyes) identified at the inspection was that the hardwoods really need to be refinished. The planks were cupping from moisture under the house and they were pretty scratched up in a few areas. Sure, it could have been put off for awhile, but anyone who has had this done will tell you it's best get this done before you move all your furniture inside! 

The hardwood company said they have to replace the stair rails (apparently it's easier to do that than sand down the existing post and re-stain it). I wasn't thrilled with the shape of the current stair posts, and figured, hey, may as well update those suckers now! How often will I have the opportunity to do this sort of work for me?

I started doing some digging on the posts that I wanted for the stairs. I had to make a decision within a couple of days to fit our timeline for the move so I immediately started hunting inspiration. Here are a few examples of a few of my favorite images that show what a difference a lovely stair post (newel post) can make!

First up, this dramatic, large newel post. Totally drool-worthy... 
by Rachel Rider Interiors, via Houzz
...but our entryway isn't grand enough to handle it. AND my timeline and budget didn't allow to go this route!

I quickly focused on another alternative: box newels. They are beautiful, can be very cost-effective (especially for the simpler designs), and I think they have a classic, polished appeal.

Here's an example of a box newel sained the same color as the stairs and floor... 
designed by Clawson Architect Projects, via Houzz
Here's one with a white base and a stained top...
via House & Home (April 2008 issue)
And painted black, with a matching stair rail...
via Lonny, Sept/Oct 2011 issue
Isn't she pretty painted white, and dressed up for the holidays?.... 
Maison and Demeure November 2010 issue via House & Home 

In the end, I opted for the box newels and I'm so happy with how they turned out! I shall share the results next week!

What do you think about box newels or stair posts? Do any of these appeal to you more than the other? Which would you prefer for your home? 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lots of Catching Up, And a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

I've been MIA recently, I know. Wait until ya judge.... Wait until you hear how much we've had going on!

Fortunately, most of them are housey things I can pass on.  Like, how about this...

Yup. Packing. 
And Moving. 

We bought a house! After considering lots of areas and options, we found a great house in a really wonderful neighborhood... and somehow managed to list our condo for rent and sign a lease within a week-or-so of listing it. (With this market, there's just no way to come close to breaking even, so this seemed like the best plan for us, for now.)

We've been kind of pinching ourselves, even while we were knashing teeth at times, with all these changes!... 

And then, suddenly, one of the most important people in my life passed away. 

My grandfather, Papa, met the Lord last week. He was an inspiration to me and anyone who really knew him. Even after losing most of his sight (everything except some peripheral vision), he continued living life as fully as possible, finding ways to go about his daily life. He was active, mowed his lawn, walked, helped my Gran around the house. He was known for his stories, which got longer and more interesting with age. All full of amazingly accurate details.

He was a God-fearing, God-loving, World War II veteran who saw the flag raised at Iwo Jima! I planned on interviewing him this fall about his time in the war (and his incredible stories from those experiences), and will regret putting that off for the rest of my life.

Papa made me want to be a better person. He constantly made me strive to make him proud. And fortunately, I did. I could hardly get the words "I love you so much" out of my mouth because he would immediately start telling me how much they (he and my Gran) love me, and how proud they are. He left the most beautiful legacy of love and strong family.

It's been quite a mixed bag, this last week. The stress of packing and preparing to rent our condo. The excitement of moving. The sadness of this sudden loss. And especially worrying about my grandmother now.

These housey things seem a little silly right now. But then I think about my DIY grandfather, and think he would want me to continue pursuing my interests, hobbies and passions... just like he did his own (fishing being the first on the list).

So I will continue to chronicle our tales, progress, and obsessions as best I can. Stay tuned... :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fabric-adabra Crush! (Manuel Canovas Misia)

I've been fairly in love with a designer fabric for about a year...

Manuel Canovas Misia - via
In case you haven't seen it before, meet Misia, by Manuel Canovas.

 Here she is, used as the most adorable laundry room skirt.
home of Sarah Tarthill - via Design*Sponge
I first spotted it in the blog header of Bijou and Boheme... I emailed Christine (the writer) and she was very gracious to share the name of the fabric. She found a remnant on eBay if memory serves, and had it made into a pillow.
via Bijou and Boheme
But I couldn't find it anywhere! It's typically only available to the trade. BOO! And it's from overseas, making it more difficult to locate.

Here's another glimpse at the (pricey but beautiful) possibilities...

via Housetohome

 One last detail shot..
I finally found a source, and bought it online! The plan is to frame it as wall art. I love how well it plays with so many other colors, and is elegant but modern and vibrant all at the same time.

I will share the results soon.

Until then, I will Misia you. ;)