The Search for Home: CONTRACT SIGNED!!!

I KNOW how scary this place looks right now... and I need help!!

We finally got the contract back signed today and are scheduled to close in a month if all inspections go well. (!!!! craziness!!!) :)

If anyone has ideas for me on the front of this house, I'd LOVE them. (please! please!!) Here are some details: the siding is vertical cedar, the window screens/ storms you see in the top windows are dark brown vinyl. (I'm not very happy with that but know we won't have it in our budget to get new ones.-- is painting an option??) The cable cord you see will be going. yuck.

The windows themselves are aluminum & I actually like them.

We'll be painting (haven't decided upon colors yet so I'm up for suggestions) and I'm thinking about pulling out a dark rich gray from the stones and going white with the trim. (Now, you KNOW how much I want a white house- but do you think that would be totally weird with the stone??) My husband is planning on adding a pergola along the front right side sort of as a porch but with a patio underfoot. Basically like what you see below (similar color too! :) but extending along the whole front right side of the house:
Kind of like this (below) but in all-white:

Eventually I'd like to add some more Craftsman elements to it and it would definitely need some more rooflines but that is SOOOOOO far in the future it's not even funny. (And a tin roof!!)

Anyway, we're SO excited but I'm staying a but grounded because things have been so strange with this whole deal and I won't be able to totally relax about it until we close. I know how talented & creative you all are & I'm really in need of your ideas so please send them on!!!!

The Evolution of a Room: The Extra Bedroom

I was looking through some old pictures on my computer & I came across some before & afters of the extra bedroom in our old townhome. It was just so interesting to see the progression of the room over the 3 and a half years we lived there. [Warning: these come from my pre-design-obsessed days so please bear with me!!! ;) ] Here is what it looked like when we first moved in. (I painted it white because it was a terrible brown-beige):

It was my office and also the room we cared about least. At the time I was working for my family business (a company that manufactures locomotive components) doing PR. I put the chaise lounge we already had in there and we purchased a little black desk with a hutch on top from Luckett's for around $270. The rest of the things were trash-picked, garage-sale items or thrift store finds that we just sort of would come accross. The mirror below, was given to me by a friend of my grandmother's, an award-winning teen author (Bebe Faas Rice) and I painted over the blue wood for white. It was inset with black glass. (That now too is painted)

Here's the black desk & hutch we found. I wasn't in love with it but was in dire need of a desk & it was sturdy & I liked the lines (and price!!). I filled it with moss balls (leftover from our wedding) and other accessories to be switched in & out on a whim.

I used 1 iron rod with white panels to save on not having to buy 2 panels & because it also saved space. (The chair seriously KILLS me now but I found it to be taken out for trash & didn't have one so I quickly brought it in & painted it white :) ... I LOVE trash-picking.

After living there for a bit... and not being happy with the room, I decided it was time to actually do something with it. I chose this gray-beige and used blue accents with greenery. It was an odd color-combo but it worked. I loved the jolts of blue and it gave me some place to put the blue items I owned that didn't work anywhere else. I actually found a lot of comfort in the room as it was in this stage. It had an earthy quality & was sunny enough to handle such a thick color.

I used this folding table (below) as an extra workspace for projects. I recovered the seat of the file cabinet bench (ikea) in a blue & white stripe because I was in a serious nautical mood. (Notice the striped pillow on the chaise too--- I couldn't find large enough stripes in a fabric I liked so I cut strips of blue fabric & sewed it together with a natural twill.) I had plans of replacing the handles on the closet door to a nickel but we never got there. :)

Below are some of the blue bottles I'd accumulated. I like pretty little things in window sills in the warmer months. It just reminds me of simpler times for some reason. My grandmother often has a little vase of flowers on the window sill in her kitchen.. maybe that's why???

And here's the chaise lounge with (a much skinnier!!!) Ashby:

Below is one of my mushrooms prints ($1!!) scored from Goodwill. (I lost them over this Christmas when I hid them away to put up my feather wreath & have now forgotten where I stashed them!! arg!!) hahaha I love the white against the walls and also the little glass knobs on the drapery tiebacks.
And finally, when the little addition came to our family, the room was once again transformed. By this time I had my business up and running and had a much clearer vision for the room:
I won't go into much detail about the nursery since I've posted on it before & if you're interested you can read all about it here. But as you can see, the chaise stayed, as did my striped pillow. I stuck with coastal (STILL not over it ;) and the baby got a ship painting & a porthole mirror.

One thing I want you to check out is the carpeting change. We originially ripped out the old carpeting (it was yuck!!) an attempted to sand down the plywood & stained it with an ebony stain. I know how crazy that sounds but I saw it in a resturant & it totally worked. (And we were really trying not to spend!!!) Well, it didn't work for my house. Our dog is white & the floors never looked clean!!! Anyway, we recarpeted and I LOVE this carpet. (Shaw's "sisal touch" in fawn) It looks very much like sisal but is a fairly soft burber.

Anyway, I just thought it was so interesting (and funny!! :) to see how rooms evolve and how we evolve as decorators/ homeowners. I think it's really important for people to be okay with not having it all completed at once. In the real world we often have tight budgets & can't have it all right away so it's vital that we learn to work with what we've got. It's also important to spend wisely & really get to know yourself and your style before you start spending. Fortunately I didn't have a budget for decorating when I first started out or I could have done some serious damage!! eeeeek

I hope everyone had a great weekend & just a quick update on the house--- they have verbally said they will accept our offer but haven't signed the papers yet. (what is going on?!!)



My Style Today: In a Picture

Alek of the new & super-stylish blog From the Right Bank to the Left Coast tagged me and a few other bloggers to do a post feauring 1 photo (only 1!!!) that sums up our style. [WARNING: I will use the word "love" way too much in this post!!!]

I chose this image of Chaffee Braithwaite's living room (featured in Cottage Living- I've posted on it before). But I love everything about it: It's light & airy, natural, textural, there's lots of white , gray & an ethereal quality to it... The room is focused on the outdoors & nature. The coffee table (not sure of the material) has a beautiful texture & I love its strong clean lines. Of course I love all the slipcovered white upholstery & my sofa at home is almost exactly like the sofa pictured. (LOVE shelter sofas for hanging. lounging & cuddling!)

The wheatgrass on the coffee table along with the branches on the desk over looking the window probably make this space for me. I'm working on some wheat grass for a client right now.

I also can't think of a place I've ever seen a ghost chair where it made more sense than this: You can see that beautiful view straight on through the chair. (My opinion on ghost chairs is that there should be a reason for using them, like in this case.)

I also love the casual vibe in the room: The books piled next to the chair, the throw "tossed" on the chair... I like that the throw on the chair could be replaced with virtually any color and it could change the feel of the room. (I'd probably have some pillows on the sofa too)

I also love the draperies right up there under the crown molding with the small rings on a white rod. They blend right into the walls [color: Benjamin Moore "Revere Pewter"] and it works perfectly here because the focus is on the gardens outside, not the draperies. The lamp is prefection to me & reminds me of my own glass lamps. And finally, I love the sisal carpet. [Fiberworks Island's Color Collection from Jobson's Carpet ] It brings in more of that natural feeling I love.

SO- now I'm tagging YOU to choose just 1 picture that sums up your style. You can either put a link to it in the comments section or you can put a link to your post. Can't wait to see what you come up with!! :)

I'm off to one of my best friend's wedding in NY this weekend so I'll be back Monday!!! Have a great weekend & I also wanted to let you know that the house people came back & might be considering our offer now!!! So we'll see!!! :)



Entryway Plans

I was putting together a little entryway design together for a client & thought I'd share. Below is the mirror I chose, which looks beautiful in both traditional & contemporary settings:

Here's the demilune console: (which I LOVE & have ordered from Ballard but isn't available until May 28th!!! I have been scouring for something like it & haven't been happy with what I've found. Any ideas anyone??) She needs lots of storage for her dogs' leashes, their "plastic baggies" for walks, and for the jumble of things that naturally collects near the front entry.

I've purchased a mix of garden cloches in 3 sizes & will be putting potted plants in them for the top of the table. My client has a much greener thumb than I do & will hopefully be able to keep them alive! :)

Below is the lamp in a dark bronze finish. It's got a more contemporary feel to pull in the modern art that will be filling the large stairway across from the console table. (16 paintings framed in shadowboxes done by the client's brother- I can't wait to show you pics of this!!!)

And here's the little entryway design all together: (Click on it to see it larger)

( The image is a PDF saved as JPEG & I can't get it to show up any larger on blogspot. Does anyone know how to make it larger??)
Also, I just wanted to thank Camila from High-Heeled Foot in the Door SO MUCH for being such a sweet (crazily sweet!!) friend. I was feeling a bit down about the whole house situation yeterday & there was a knock at my door. There were flowers!!! She sent me a beautiful bouquet of hydrangea, snapdragons, roses & carnations!! Really, if you haven't gotten to know her yet, you must go check out her fun, stylish & witty blog, where her sweet, exuberant personality just shines through the pages/ screen.
Anyway, thanks everyone so much for all the kind wishes, advice & support. I feel silly for getting so emotionally involved in a HOUSE when there are real issues going on in this world & we've got so much to be thankful for. I'll get over this & just wanted to say thanks.

Nina Griscom

Ok, deep breath. Here are some gorgeous images of Nina Griscom's country home featured in Elle Decor. I fell in love with this house when I saw it. Her style in this house is perfect to me: a natural mix of traditional & modern... lots of sculptural elements, interesting things, whites & naturals... just love it. Below is the living room:

Below is the sitting area at the back of the living room. Nina admits that the gorgeous wooden chaise is not comfortable & it's there purely for its looks. How gorgeous is this part of the room?!! I checked out the price on her horned chair ($5000 eesh!!- sold at her store) and decided I could live without it.

Here's a view of the living room from the dininig room:

Below is the dining room. It's full of my favorite things: the huge urns, the wine rack... I'm on and off about the chandlier- love it for the photo & for certain seasons but am not sure I could live with it all the time. How beautiful is the table setting?!! The horn candlesticks?!!! LOVE. And check out the chalk board placeholders. Such a whimsical mix of nature & luxury.

The halways in this home are treated as beautifully as the rooms. This is something that can be tough to do in small spaces & lucky for Nina, this was not an issue. They're just so airy & interesting. LOVE the shelves below. Cheaper versions are definitely on my shopping list. (Endless seasonal accessorizing opportunities!!!)

Below, the sphere on the slavaged pedestal makes this study. Picture reading a book on the windows seat in there on a lazy afternoon...

How great are these floating shelves (below)?
The walls in her library are made from dried tobacco leaves applied by hand to wood panels. Amazing, huh?!
Below, the master bedroom is simple & luxurious. How pretty are the Greek key benches at the bottom of the bed?
Below, the guest bedroom. I really love this room: the seagrass rug, the mini zebra hide, the facing geese, the caning = so perfect. And the color on the walls?!!! Anyone have any ideas (Maria, if you're reading?!!! you usually know!!)

Well, have a beautiful day. I have a house to get over. :(

The Search for Home: Rejected

Well, got a phone call from my realtor today and they didn't take our counter-offer. And guess what else? Now they're not even willing to go as low as they said they would before.


I promise I'll put up a real post up soon.

Atlanta Bartlett: Starvecrow Cottage

Ok, so after this crazy roller coaster of a day (and posts- sorry!!) I just wanted to show you another great Atlanta Barlett location, Starvecrow Cottage (love that name!)

This one is a contemporary bungalow in East Sussex. Obviously a bit too minimalist for me personally, but I can still appreciate its beauty & its nature-focused spaces.

The living room, below: The hide rug & painting warm it up a bit but I'd still need some more.

The all-white bathroom. There is some strange GI-Joe/ action-figure/ cartoon stuff going on in this house: (?? don't get it.)

Below, the crazy kids' bedroom. Very space-age but could you imagine how cool it would be to stay there as a kid???!!

The master bedroom is below. See the army fatigues???!! Anyone get this?? (Because I totally don't)

Below is a scary wild pig. It adds some spunk to this place though.

I would love this only if I had a LOT of land:

Below, the vintage/ mid-century modern kitchen:

And, finally, I'm actually LOVING this shower:

Anyway, have a great weekend & thank you (SO MUCH)all again for your help & advice!!!
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