I feel like I am always apologizing for the radio silence around here but really, I am just getting caught up from being out so long. Work is busy (which is great) and the kids are enjoying the last days of summer vacation. My Father-In-Law also passed away and so, hopefully understandably, my energies have been focused on other things.
In any case, we had such an incredible time on our vacation to Australia this summer, which was busy and flew by……but yielded so many great memories. One of our absolute favorite spots to visit is Noosa Beach in Queensland. This trip, we rented a home within walking distance to the beach on the water for a little over 3 weeks total. It was fun and so convenient. Our favorite thing to do every morning was to walk to the beach and take a walk up into the headlands. The headlands you see to the right in the photo below are actually a national forest. We struggle to find somewhere like this in the US with beautiful accomodation, restaurants and shopping…..amongst such a beautiful natural backdrop of protected land. (Any suggestions?)
My husband is Australian and since I met him nearly 9 years ago, we’ve been to Australia 4 times. Noosa has always been on the agenda and we dream of owning there someday. Who knows……don’t we all dream? When we got home I thought it would be fun to somehow capture a slice of our heaven on earth and bring it into our home. If you have read my blog for a while, you’ve seen these photos…..which have got me thinking.
We have an entire blank wall in our playroom….and I’ve been talking to a company who makes wallpaper from photos (and removable wall fabric and vinyl). I am considering merging the photo below with one with a wider shot of the beach, turning it to black and white and using in the playroom.
I’ve known for a long time I wanted to do an oversized black and white photo of the kids having fun in the room. But when I started getting quotes to frame the photos I had made in acrylic I was shocked at how expensive it is. This solution is not much more and the kids would love seeing themselves….plus it was the look I wanted from the beginning. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve given myself a self-imposed tight deadline to make a decision….I’ve gone back and forth on this too long and I need to check this room off my “to-do” list. Can you relate?
What do you think?
I ran across this image on the Instagram feed of Erika Powell (Urban Grace Interiors) a while back. She had it custom made and slipcovered for her daughter.
For the next phase of Harry’s room, I know I want to keep the foundation— the roman shades in a Christopher Farr fabric with a Duralee trim. And of course, the rug I had custom cut from Stark to fit his room.
And I know at least one of the new fabrics I’ll introduce into the room will be a darling camo from Clarence House.
I had initially been thinking of a pair of iron twin beds…..but ever since I saw the image from Erika’s instagram feed, I’ve been thinking of an upholstered day bed with a concealed trundle. Perhaps in a neutral linen slipcover, with pillows made out of the camo. I went on a search of great looking rooms with trundles for this post and really had a hard time. I’ll likely have ours custom made. I want to make sure it is made wide enough that Harry doesn’t feel constricted as he grows…. He’ll have this bed for a while….so I’ve got to be practical. I love the idea of doing a slipcover as well….. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Harry will be three in October and I am thinking the new bed situation isn’t too far off…… We shall see where this vision takes us….
This is a quick view of our playroom as it looks daily. Unstyled and keeping it real here, people. Plus, photographs when there is no natural light to speak of is not good. The walls are a pale grey….you’d never know it from the photos…..they look beige, oh well. The artist who did my living room paintings said he’d teach me some elementary photography skills (probably so he can get some decent shots of his art vs. my pitiful skills). Must take him up on it. Anyways, I digress….
Kids Art Explosion
The third empty wall in the room is the stark reminder of a Pinterest project gone so wrong (I am just not a DIY-er)! The only reminder of this bust are the two lone picture hangers left in the wall. See them?
But, last week I went to plan B in the room and had the two images blown-up (round two since I destroyed them the first time around). I received the images today and all looks good except they added white borders to the photos once printed–so frustrating. So, now I’ve got to go find someone to cut that off (I am not messing this project up myself again!)
I am planning to hang one on top of the other, framed in acrylic. They will both be the same height when framed, but the lower image will be wider and they will take up much of that blank wall. Acrylic framing is expensive so I am making this a semi-DIY in that I’ve bought the standoffs online (amazing customer service!) for framing / mounting and have found a local (Dallas) plastics company to cut my acrylic to size…..using a low-glare product for the front. Edges will be polished for a finished look. It still isn’t cheap…..but at least with this solution I’ll be able to change out the art periodically. So when the kids are older we can do posters or more updated photos.
Slowly but surely, progress is being made.
Where to start. You may recall that during our remodel in 2011 we had initially planned to add a mudroom off of our kitchen. In the end, we decided to pass on this…..modifying the house but adding no square footage. We are pretty conservative, and didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew. We told ourselves we’d save and add one if we needed it.
Fast forward to Saturday. Kids were napping…..husband and I were hanging out and I checked my email to see someone was trying to find a home for their 1 year old goldendoodle. We called them immediately and almost hopped right in the car to go look. We have a lot of travel coming up and the timing couldn’t be worse but in the moment we thought it was a good idea. Long story short, we got on the phone with a dog trainer we know (who trains service dogs and lots of the politicians dogs in the DC area) and he completely talked us off the ledge….
But……it brought back to the front burner the discussion around the need for a mudroom off the kitchen. Surprisingly, my husband isn’t just on board, but is enthusiastic. So of course, I’ve gone back to my inspiration files to get some ideas while we crunch some numbers and talk to our builder (who I happened to run into at the grocery store during the whole back and forth with the dog’s owners).
Anyways, long story short….here is what is really speaking to me. In addition to a spot to sit and put on shoes and hang jackets, we want to do a half bath, a broom closet and a place to charge computers/ipads/phones…..nothing too crazy. This next image looks perfect. I might do pull out trays or drawers for the shoes…..but really, there isn’t much I’d change.
via Flickr (anyone know the source?)
Here is an image I’ve shared before. See the drawers for the shoes….and the flooring is probably the route we would go…..we have the same material in the entrance to our back-house (my office) which would be about two steps from the mudroom door.
On this next one, I like the tall cabinets on each side. Good for keeping things like step stool, vacuum, sports equipment, etc. I am all about storage these days! I’d add a cushion on the bench and our ceilings are 8 ft, so we couldn’t do the arch….although it is nice.
This last image intrigues me. I do like how the furniture gives it more the feeling of a living space than a mudroom. We probably need something more utilitarian….but it does appeal to me.
See anything you like?
Any Mudroom “must haves” to share?
With my website still being migrated it has been nice to be forced to take a little slowdown on the work-front and the result is that it has freed up some time to focus on the house a tad. After getting help from a reader last week by identifying an artist I’d admired, I was delighted to learn that his studio is a stones throw from my house.
I am going to do a set of four of his images and we played with combinations earlier this week. I drafted this post before I’d made a decision, but I did finalize my selection yesterday. These will be on two walls facing each other from across the room. Apologies for the quickly snapped iPhone photos. Do you have a favorite combination from the photos below? Any idea which set I chose? All original artwork is by Don Bodine.
Later that day I ran into Schumacher to pick up some memos for the front porch swing and chairs and saw this Mary MacDonald fabric on display in the front of the showroom.
I immediately knew the fabric would be perfect for pillows on our living room sofas. The drapes in the room are a Manuel Canovas silk (see below) and the sofas are a neutral linen with a touch of metallic sheen.
I am thinking of doing two larger pillows on each sofa with a neutral linen and fun trim or edge detail and a pair of the Schumacher flamestitch pillows as accents. Slowly but surely around here these days.
Hope you have a great Weekend!
Did you have a good week? I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on my website. Why, you may ask, haven’t I launched it yet? Well, we are so close…..but have decided that I need my own dedicated server so that the site will load quicker. I have over 14,000 fabric skus from one vendor alone, thousands of rugs and lamps and accessories. All of these products have hi resolution images…..and it was starting to affect the speed with which we could shop the site. So, we are in a bit of a holding pattern waiting for the upgrade to be complete. Once that happens, we can load the few more vendors we want in the shop before we launch and then we are ready to go. I am happy we’ve made this decision now vs. wait for issues once we go live. And I recently added a new trade only fabric vendor to my line up on the shop and I am so excited to share with you.
Call it the promise of spring, but I’ve been focusing on doing a few things around the house. I am working on getting an arrangement with orchids made in my giant clam shell for the foyer. Finding the perfect height to compliment the mirror is harder than one might initially think. My husband came to me with the below inspiration image (who knew?) for a rug in the foyer. I’ll admit….despite the yellow front door….I had never thought of doing yellow in the foyer.
Thanks to reader, Libby, I found the artist I was looking for in my post earlier this week. Lucky for me, his studio is a stones throw from where I live and I am meeting to pick out two pairs of his line drawings next week. Finally, the living room is making some progress.
Speaking of the living room, I am doing a custom pair of mirrors to flank the fireplace.
The process has been slow……bit I think we are getting there. Just waiting for the CAD drawings to make sure everything works. The mirrors will be similar to this one….except the dividers will run perpendicular instead of at an angle. And the mirror will be antiqued. My mirrors will be quite a bit wider than the inspiration. The mirror floats in the frame, sortof like how the painting is framed.
Finally, I am trying to refocus on finding a fabric for the porch swing and chairs on our front porch. I thought I had found the perfect yellow Ikat fabric last year, but two not right CFAs later, we decided to move on. I’ve got the below Trina Turk fabric on my radar. I think the yellow and grey would go well with our grey shutters and yellow front door. I am not 100% sold though……What do you think?
We have a relatively low key weekend planned around here. Other than a birthday party and soccer practice, we have no set plans. With temps supposed in the 80s, I am thinking it is the perfect weekend to tackle the garage which needs a major clean out. We shall see. Oh yes, and I promised my husband I’d try to make him this cake….
Hope you have a happy weekend!
My office is in our backhouse (upstairs over our detached garage) and consists of a large room, two walk-in closets, a little kitchenette and a full bathroom. I feel like I want to be a bit more colorful in the space…..a little more daring then I’d be in the house. However, there is a possibility that my step-son will move to the US for college and if so, he’d live back there most likely. I hope this comes to fruition and it means I’ll have to search for alternative space—-but time will tell….we are working on the whole immigration stuff. In the meantime, I just keep my inspiration file growing…..and try to keep moving forward inside the house!
I am loving the yellow cabinets in this showhouse featured in a 2011 issue of Style at Home. Yellow paint can go so terribly wrong…..but here I love it.
I also love it in this San Francisco home…..from a real estate listing.
Truth be told, I don’t think I’ll be painting my cabinetry bright yellow…..or even going with yellow tile……I’ll probably leave the yellow in my life as it is. Until I thought about it…..I didn’t realize how much I’d already used the color around the house!
Maddie and Harry’s Playroom….
(which has SOOO much more art hanging at the moment)…
Outside at our house….
(before our stone walk was finished and the grass was fixed!)
Especially during winter months when the landscaping looks more bare, those yellow pots continue to make me smile.
What colors are you liking these days?
I get so many emails about my kitchen chairs…..you may recall them, they are from Guildmaster and were fairly reasonably priced and sold in pairs. I purchased 6. And here was a photo of our kitchen right after the chairs had arrived. (Sorry for the miserable photo.)
I had new cushions made for the chairs to fit our design direction.
All was good with the chairs….loved them. Still love the look, etc. Until……during Christmas my step-son leaned back in the chair during a family dinner and the below happened. We were all a bit shocked…..speechless.
I, of course, emailed photos and was initially told that the chairs were discontinued (wonder why?) and that they only two left in a red color….which I could purchase at a discount and have re-finished. Simultaneously, I took the offending chair to my custom furniture person here in Dallas who promptly showed me the inherent flaws in the design of the chair. He said he’d try to fix the chair but I still don’t have it back. Time will tell…..
In the meantime, I complained some more…..and Guildmaster sent me, free of charge, the two red chairs they had offered to sell me. My only costs were the receiver’s fee (non-retail furniture ships freight and has to be delivered to a loading dock) and of course the fee to have them re-finished to match the ones I have.
So, earlier this week I took another of our chairs to the restoration shop so that they could match the paint…..and look what I noticed on this chair.
At that point I wondered if I should even bother to deal with these chairs. But I’ll be honest I really have better things to spend my money on at this point. And I am already spending the money to have the chair repaired (he is having to drill dowels down to support the back and repair the lattice which apparently was just glued together…and is all cracked from from hitting the floor when the chair broke.) So, I have kindof accepted that eventually new chairs will be in our future. And I have learned my own, very personal, opinion on this manufacturer and how they chose to handle product issues.
But, in this story there is at least a glimmer of good news…..when the time comes, I think I have another option. Look what I saw in the Dallas market (new introduction) earlier this week from a vendor I have purchased from time and time again.
I’ll post more on this new find tomorrow.