8.19.2014

Seeing the possibilities...

I never really thought much about the ability to look at a space and envision what it would look like differently.  Even as a kid I could see something and just picture it a different colour or configuration.  Honestly, I thought everyone could do that.  Like breathing.  Then I got older and realized that not everyone can do what I do in the same way that I am seriously lacking in math skills.

This kitchen was no different.  I could see the cabinets, countertops, tile and the coveted range hood before we ever tore any of it out.  I knew that with the right design this 9x12 kitchen could bring it.

Here are a few shots of where we started:



The original cabinetry was actually in very good shape.  The construction was solid and they were built on site...back in 1970.  I toyed with the idea of keeping the lowers, but the configuration of them on the right side included a built in oven, and there was no way to convert that into anything usable.  Along with Travis' crazy work schedule and us having to be moved in by August, we opted to purchase new cabinets.

Then came the demolition part.  Funny tidbit, we started ripping the kitchen out before it was funded through the lender.  I think our real estate agent had a small heart attack when he called and could hear hammering in the background.  It all worked out fine, house funded just as we were pulling out the last cabinet ;)



Here is what the kitchen looks like today.  It was a complete gut job, but well worth it in the end.  We still have a smidge of trim work to finish up, but I am calling this kitchen "finished"...


Range hood by the talented Tuesdays with Dorie stove is a GE drop in...

Cabinets are Kraftmaid in Mushroom...


Light from Kenroy Home

Open shelving designed and built by Travis...

Fridge only by Frigidaire...



Molasses man sat in my Grandmother's kitchen...


I get asked a lot about how I am liking the marble.  I love it, as in sometimes I sneak downstairs at night, pet it and softly sing to it.  Yes, it scratches- we already have a few, and yes, it stains- those are coming I'm sure, but I find beauty in the imperfections.


Hope y'all are having a lovely week so far.  I am still sorting through things in the garage and slowly, but surely thinning it all out.  Downsizing has been a process, but I feel 100 pounds lighter for it!

8.18.2014

What makes you different...


Sara and her buddy, Sarah...


Yesterday Sara and her buddy participated in an all day training to become an Ambassador for the Best Buddies program.  She was assigned her own speech writer and they spent the afternoon talking and co-writing a speech.   They talked about what qualities Sara possessed and what Best Buddies means to her.

Here is her speech:


My   name   is    Sara ,   and   I   am   from   Houston,   Texas.    I    have   been   in   Best   Buddies   for   6   years,   and   now   I   am   a   Best  Buddies   Ambassador.

My   favourite   quote    is   “What   makes   you   different   is   what   makes   you   beautiful”.

Being   a   best   buddy   is   one   of   the   things   that   makes   me   different.  

Best   Buddies   teaches   us   to  celebrate  the   small  things.   To  find   the   happy  in   something   simple-  like  going  to   get   a   yogurt  with  a  friend,   or  catching   a   movie  on   a  rainy Saturday  afternoon.   

Best   Buddies   also  teaches  us   about  honesty  and  good  character.   I   see  people   for   who   they   are   on   the   inside.  I   don’t   care   about   what   clothes   someone  wears   or  how   they   dance,  as   long  as  they  are   a nice   person.  

I   have   Down   Syndrome.   It’s   what   makes   me   different,   but   it’s   also   what  makes   me beautiful.   It  makes  me  happy   to    meet   other   people   that   are   like  me  and   to  show   other   people  that   we    are   really   not   that  different.  

My  name  is   Sara,   and   I’d  like   for    each  of    you   to   think   about   what  makes   you   different,  and   what   makes   you   beautiful.      

Thank   you   for   seeing   the   beauty   in   me!



A HUGE part of what inspired this speech is the work that Sara is doing with The Happy Soul Project. The signs we create are so much more than just sayings painted on wood- they are heartfelt reminders of how Sara chooses to live her life, with happy, celebrating differences, and being a real friend.   Sara understands the key to living a happy life- live in the moment, celebrate the small things, and seeing people for who they really are.

Her differences make her downright beautiful...


8.16.2014

Chairish...

I was recently contacted by Chairish to create a design board around one of their accent chairs.  Chairish is a company that buys and sells lovely furniture and decor pieces.  It's so easy to list on their site, and then they handle all of the pesky details like payment and shipping.  Go here to read their FAQ's for sellers, or browse through the beautiful pieces they are selling.

I chose this Mid-Century Swedish Modern chair as the focal piece for the design...





Y'all know I am more of a neutral girl, but this green is very soothing to me, and since it's a "natural" colour in nature I decided to go with it.  I figured it would work well if paired with some more industrial pieces along with a few pops of red...

Every room needs a comfy sofa, and this one looks like you could just sink into it!


I am a sucker for signage.  I love this one with it's faded print that almost has a hint of brass to it...

 I love the diamond pattern on this rug.   Anything with a touch of black to it is good in my book!





Industrial lockers- these are perfect for any type of storage.  I love the patina of this piece...



Chairish also has wallpaper!  I love the idea of throwing in an accent wall in something fun like this navy blue fox print...

Industrial lamps are my very fav.  I love the nod to film in this one, and since it's designed to be in a living room (at least in my head!) I think it's perfect.  I would pair it with a nubby linen shade or black shade...



I love using pieces for television consoles that aren't made to be television consoles, like this lovely butcher block.  Because of it's long and narrow shape it would be perfect for mounting a large flat screen television over it.  I can just picture large baskets and piles of books on that bottom shelf...


Well, if there is going to be a flat screen television in the room you might need somewhere to store all of the dvd's...



I can't let the room go without a nod to my beloved doxies.  I like how the red in this piece picks up on the colour of the industrial sign.  Pairing industrial with softer pieces keeps the design from looking like you live in a warehouse.  Although if you do live in a warehouse I think that is super cool!



I love using pieces that look like art, but double as storage.  Living in a small house you learn to get every bit of space where you can.  These are lovely...



If you are in the market to buy or sell some furniture pieces, give Chairish a try.  If you are looking for great design ideas be sure to check out their blog


8.15.2014

Tiny Tudor exterior...

The front of our tiny tudor started out looking a bit tired and sad.  It just wasn't living up to it's potential, and I knew that a few key changes would give it some positive curb appeal...


I was not a fan of the blue- that was the first thing we changed.  I chose Sherwin Williams in Pussywillow for the trim and White Duck for the body of the house.  It's really more of a gray, but looks a bit greenish in this IG photo...

The lights are from Lowes and are Allen & Roth...


The front needed to have only one light on the left to balance out the door a bit better.  The shutters I was planning would cover up the hole that the light on the right would leave behind.  Travis built the shutters the same way he did for our last house.  I love the simple design of them...

Learn how to make your own here....

These were the original aluminum windows...

The old front door was not very well suited for the style of the house, and I wanted something that let in more light.  We went with a four glass window door in a dark walnut stain with ORB handles- plain Jane, nothing fancy.


The house numbers are from Ramsign and the mailbox is from Pottery Barn...
Door bell is from Restoration Hardware...


We also were faced with having to replace all of the front windows.  The old ones were the original crank out windows, and while they were charming, they were doing nothing to hold out the Texas heat.  We opted for Pella crank windows and had them installed by Lowes.  (later post on that, but I wouldn't recommend them installing anything again!)


The front also got new landscaping and a redo of the front stoop with some flagstone.  We still need to do some paint touch ups around those windows, but I am calling the exterior "finished"...



Now the Tiny Tudor stands proud!

8.12.2014

Downsizing...

It's funny how much "stuff" we can accumulate without even thinking about it.  I knew we had things we had to par down, but I was not seeing reality when I was looking at what we had.  Pots, pans, plates, furniture, artwork, knick knacks- so many things that I really didn't need or love.   Stuff we simply owned.  I felt like I had been paying for storage for a bunch of nothing.

Usually we are moved in by day two and I am already hanging things on the walls.  This move has been different, because I am holding each item and asking:

1. Do I need it?

2. Do I love it?

Most of the time the answer is NO, and as I'm looking around I love that my eyes are only resting on what we love and need.  The look is more refined, less cluttered, and I don't have something stuck somewhere just to have someplace to put it.



I ended up moving the fan, getting rid of one of our sofas and moving the recliner to the other side of the room.


The walls are much more sparse- I don't feel the need to hang a lot.  I am loving the white empty spaces and how clean it all feels.   Most of what I have hung up has been in the living room.  The hallways, dining room and entry are more scarcely decorated.

I am also finding that my style is yet again changing.  Less clutter, cleaner lines.  More of a modern farmhouse style.  I have a cabinet of collections that I may begin to par down as well.

The biggest challenge so far has been where to store paperwork.  We had a library with two large file drawers.  We are going to need a slimmer console for under the television- which Travis will build.  I am thinking we will incorporate a file drawer into it for all the papers.  Since it's close to the computer desk and where we pay bills it will be convenient.

This process has been good for us.  It feels healthy to size down and only keep the things we need and love.

It feels like home.