Tuesday, August 24, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

A short while after we moved into our house three and a half years ago, we hired a contractor to remodel portions of our house. While I still love everything we did to the house, my favorite things tend to be in the small details. Or the comfort. Or the many photographs hanging on our walls. Here are some glimpses.

I recently snagged these Thro pillows from Haute Look for $15 a piece. Thought they would make a nice addition to our dining room's robin's egg blue walls - I've been wanting to add some orange.

One of the best features of our remodel, I think, is the fireplace surround and mantle in the dining room, built by our own contractor, Brent. I knew what I wanted, showed him some examples, and he produced! I found it so funny that he was worried the final product was too big, that we wouldn't be happy. Instead, it was exactly what I wanted.

Not only do I love the mantle, but I love things on and around it. The stained glass. The yellow vase with dried purple flowers.The West Elm candles from my friend Erin.

And of course the painting of Mt. Saint Michele, which I commissioned from my friend Ashley Hamm for B's birthday a few years ago. I gave her our photo album from our trip to France in 1998 for a little inspiration. She chose to paint the Abby, which sits at the very top of the Medieval city. I've climbed those steep steps a few times, and the view from the top and a walk around the cloisters is well worth it.

I love a good stack of coffee table books, like here - topped with blue pottery and seashells. (Notice my love of many things coastal? I have a love for pottery too.)

And of course a good book at my bedside (currently Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by Kristin Van Ogtrop). If only I had more time to read...

I mentioned that I love photographs. While I would like to add more art to my walls (preferably of the original variety), all of the photographs of my children bring me such joy. I see no need to replace them!

I love my wall of photographs in the hallway...

A few of my favorite photos above my vanity (especially that one of our baby girl at the Arboretum)...

The first piece of furniture I bought on my own dime was this antique cabinet, at a city wide garage sale in Austin. My mom found it and brought me to it. I loved the bright green with hints of blue and white paint peeking through, the french door front, the glass knob...and all these years later I still enjoy it and find uses for it (currently housing some of my art pottery collection and law books).

Our house has 5 window seats - 4 upstairs (with dormer windows) and one large window seat in our living room, behind our sofa. This one is by far my favorite - a perfect place for a Saturday afternoon nap, for the boys to read books, for V to watch her older brothers play in the backyard.

And a peek at 2 of the upstairs window seats...

And speaking of upstairs, as a converted attic it includes lots of great architectural features - slanted walls and ceilings, a brick wall, and pockets of storage wherever it would fit. I love the little bookshelves and cabinets - they certainly make great storage for a playroom. When our friend Amy showed us the house, I think the upstairs is what sold us. We are working on moving L & E upstairs where they can each have their own bedroom. Stay tuned for that transformation.

And one of my favorite corners upstairs has these growth charts - reminders to enjoy L, E and V every day because they are only growing taller and more independent.

I could probably show you more, but I think these pictures offer some good insight into what makes our house our home. While it is far from perfect and has a running "to do" list, we love our home and the comfort it provides.

Monday, August 23, 2010

things i heart

this week's post is to showcase things/areas we love about our homes.

 i love so much about this house, it was hard to choose just a few things.  here's what i am come up with.

i'll start in the kitchen.

this red piece was left by the previous owners for me since i basically begged and begged for it.  the first picture is the base and the second is the top detail of the cabinet above it.  i love the chipped paint, the wood top and just the uniqueness about it.  

another thing in my kitchen that is new is a fleur de lis stained glass piece i got in lafayette when we were there for a wedding in may.  i love the simplicity and the reminder when i look out of my kitchen window that home isn't too far away.

this piece is a build in hutch that the previous owners painted a perfect color blue.  i adore it, the beaded board backing and the lighted cabinet for my stemware.  

finally, this little corner vignette is a favorite of mine.  i love the plate i found at red door interiors in baton rouge.  the bowl is from royal standard also in baton rouge.  ( i think i see a theme of fleur de lis here....)

next are a few areas in my great room.  this is a room in the house we rarely use.  first and foremost are the chairs that i bought when we decided to move.  i have gotten SO MANY compliments on these chairs.  and the great news is i bought them at Marshalls for only $199 each.  gotta love a good bargain that brings in compliments.  


these candle sticks were purchased at an estate sale.  i love them!  that's all.  

n this great room i went with an overall black and white color scheme.  while in baton rouge a few years ago i picked up some pieces that would add a southern flair to this room.  the wrought iron brackets and fleur de lis mirror on my built in bookshelf are two of my favorites.  

this iron tschotske is something i found at paul michael in canton.  LOVE it so much i got one for my mom too....

we recently purchased a dining room table ( only took us 3 years) to help complete the look of the house.  the dining room was basically being used as a secondary playroom which wasn't great for showings.  here is the dining room now.  i just love the way it looks.  also included is a hand painted medallion above the chandelier.  

in our family room i have started a picture wall.  the idea was to mix in black and white pictures of things i like along with pictures of the kids.  as you can see i haven't really...achieved that yet.  but i get a lot of comments on the canvas picture i had done from a snapshot i took of m&mk in the bath a while back.  

in our half bath we have a corner cabinet that i struggled with setting up.  when target had their displays with furniture from a lot of cultures, i found these mini frames.  stocked up on them and put pictures of lee and myself when we were kids along with one of my mom and another of my dad when they were younger.  this is the bathroom most visitors  use.  also included is a picture of the cabinet in that bathroom.  when i saw that the first time we looked at this house i was in love.

in my master bathroom i have a long black wooden rack to hang towels or wet bathing suits.  i really love it. here is the center medallion.

 i really love our playroom.  the kids get so much joy out of this room, although i think i have probably picked up and reorganized this room no less than 50 times in the three years we have been here.  

one random thing in our house that i love is a bottle opener and a copper cup that we found in boerne, texas years ago.  in our first house this was in the kitchen, but now it is on the wall in the garage next to the beer fridge.  

finally, i would be remiss without the mention of my fabulous pool.  we have so much fun in this 100+ degree texas heat with the pool.  it makes our house perfect for entertaining and the kids have really grown comfortable with the water. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

i proudly introduce you

despite the planning that annie and i did before starting the blog, i'm going to break ranks and post the same week annie posts.  initially we thought we would post every other week, to keep it fresh and not to bombard either of us with "blog" homework.  i had my first entry all planned out.  i knew what i was going to say and had started researching and saving pictures of examples i wanted to share.  then global views walked into my life...or i walked into theirs rather.

last week was market in dallas and as neiman and i were leaving on friday we stopped in the global views showroom so she could show me a light fixture she has her eye on.  once i crossed the threshold the nuptials were official.  i was in love.  the colors, the layout, the PRODUCT!  honestly, i could gush about this joint all day, but i will just post a few pictures of things that caught my eye while i was in there.  i was so in awe, that i was halfway through the showroom (which is huge) before i remembered i had the ole nikon with me...so i started snapping pics and went back to get the first thing that caught my  eye.  which was.....

this lamp.  why this lamp?  well you see, some things take me on a journey back to childhood at lightening speed.  this lamp was one of them.  in my grandparent's house, there was a lamp between their la-z-boys.  you know how all of our grandparents had their "chairs" and how they were facing the tv and slightly angled toward each other as to create an illusion that there was conversation going on between the chair's occupants.

anyway, they had this lamp;  i swear it was THIS lamp.


and global views had THIS lamp:

while you can't see it very clearly, the lamp has three trays that go up the lamp's post.  i wanted to buy it then and there.

the love affair continued as i savored every inch of that showroom.  i even went back twice to some areas.  when i turned a corner and saw the square footage was double what i initially thought, i knew i had married the right showroom.

next to catch my eye was this chair.  something you will learn about me through this blog is my love for detail.  i remember when kate spade first came out with her boxy basic black bag.  it was no-nonsense.  it was simple.  but inside...there was COLOR!  ooohhh!  how i loved those pocketbooks.

this chair has neat details on the legs.  just thought it was special.

now usually scales and i are NOT friends...nope, no way no how.  but near the back of the showroom i saw this and for some reason i really REALLY liked it.  odd, but true.

as we were leaving this piece stood out to me.  i like the mixture of the raw wood and the big huge silver knobs.  mixing elements is also something that gets me going.

finally there were a few items made from these glass links.  one was a chandelier that went from the ceiling to the floor.  i thought it would be spectacular if you had a 30' foyer.  here is a  picture of table lamps made in the same fashion.

that completes my first entry.  i'm so happy i finally got to share the news and proudly introduce you to

mrs. global views. ;-)

Before and After is an Understatement

I love seeing the before and after pictures of remodels and watching a homeowner's vision come to life. But in the recent Country Living, I found a remodel that takes the cake. Seeing the before pictures, this couple not only had vision but also an abundance of courage. Truth is, I have always wanted to do a complete floor to ceiling remodel of an old home (and the city girl in me still dreams of a home in the country with lots of room for children to play, flowers to grow and outdoor living). But would I have had the courage to take on this century-old run down farmhouse?

I love everything in the after shots - the simple, clean palette, vintage fixtures, decor that stays true to the house and its surroundings. What I wouldn't give to have that bathroom with that view - I would find a reason to relax in the bathtub with a glass of wine every day. And perhaps most of all, I love that this is a family home - where children were obviously considered in making the house beautiful and functional. With children central to my life, I can appreciate anyone who finds a way to infuse practicality in their design without foresaking style.

Here are a few of the more dramatic before and afters (for the full effect, click here):

Would you take on something so bold?