March 22, 2017

Our First House: Living Room Design Plan

Our new living room is about 21' long and has windows on three sides, providing ample light.  We don't have elaborate living room plans since we already have our big items- couches, coffee table and end table.  But we did need a new rug and I think that will change the feel of the room to a more inviting and calming space than we had previously.

I created these design boards in InDesign and it really helps me visualize all of the ideas going on in my mind 😉
You may remember I had my eye on the Catherine Rug from Ballard Designs for awhile.  It has all of my favorite colors and the description is lovely: The soft, tonal palette of spa, grey and caramel in this plush 100% wool rug is an easy fit with lots of our favorite fabrics and wood tones. Hand tufted in a sophisticated Persian motif of flowing vines and stylized palmettes.

Mike thought it was ok but he didn't love it nearly as much as I did.  Searching for other options, I considered natural fiber rugs since they don't have a design.  A plus to that is it allows me to easily swap out my pillow covers for the seasons without having them clash with a patterned rug.
While I think Persian rugs are classic, we agreed on and ended up choosing this Pottery Barn Chunky Wool and Jute Rug.  Our local store had it in stock and is able to hold it for us until we move in.  Now that that is done, just the accent pieces are left and this room is complete (mentally that is, ha!)

Our lamps look very similar to the one pictured- an oil rubbed bronze base and a beige shade.  I don't plan on changing these out.

The texture from the mantle and the wicker basket provides a natural warmth to the room, almost like the feel of a lodge without being too rustic.

I would love to incorporate ivory drapes with pleats, but that may be later on, as they aren't cheap.

The paint color hasn't been finalized.  I am waiting until we've moved in to see how the paint samples look on the wall during different times of the day.  I've started quite the collection of paint chips since November (which has probably done more harm than good for my decisions) but am thinking a light beige or a warm gray. 

March 20, 2017

Weekend Compilation: Getting Out of the House

Happy official first day of Spring!  We did have some melting-- I sure hope to see some blooms and warmer temps soon 😊🌷

Shopping.  On Saturday, I headed up to Albany for some retail therapy and purchased an area rug for the new living room.
I'll be sharing a post this week.

Reading.  I also picked up this book and read the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Snowmobiling.  Sunday afternoon, Mike and I went snowmobiling.
We went about 20 miles out to a local restaurant to grab a late lunch and see some friends and then headed back, just in time for dinner.

March 17, 2017

Our First House: Deck Furniture

Happy Friday and St. Patrick's Day!  While I'm still thawing out from the 2½ - 3 feet of snow Winter Storm Stella dumped on Tuesday, I've been dreaming of warmer weather and eagerly anticipating spring's arrival.

Today is our four week mark until closing.  I cannot even being to tell you how excited I am for my own outdoor space!  The last space I could call my own was my apartment balcony in the west end of Richmond in 2013.  My apartments in the Fan and NJ had no access to outside and it killed me on beautiful days.  Mike and I have always said we can't wait to have our own garden.  The house sits on a little over 1.5 acres and already has a deck overlooking a private backyard with an existing garden and hydrangea bush.  I see a lot of fresh flowers and garden goodies in our near future. 😃

After seeing the 2015 HGTV Dream Home back patio (well, the whole home to be frank) I knew the style I was after.  New England, beachy, casual and comfortable.

Gorgeous, right?

A different house with a set of 4 chairs + coffee table (source)

I'm thinking the Occasional Collection from World Market could achieve this look for a steal of a price.  They had their 30% off Friends and Family sale last week, but unfortunately cannot hold products to ship at a later date, so I'll have to wait to order until we are moved in.  I'm debating between the following options:
  • Two benches + coffee table
  • One bench + two chairs + coffee table
  • Four chairs + coffee table
I would add a few throw pillows for additional comfort.

We've tossed around the idea of a fire pit but that's not an immediate priority.  One priority, however, is a grill.  I'm letting Mike handle that decision but if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear!  The finishing touches would be some potted plants and string lights.  Am I missing anything else?!

March 13, 2017

Weekend Compilation: Simplicity

This weekend was a cozy one.  The highs for Saturday and Sunday were both in the teens + windy, so we mostly sipped hot tea, read and cozied up on the couch to watch a movie.

Training.  5 miles for a Half Marathon in May.
The high was 13℉ with 20 mph winds on Saturday, so the treadmill it was!
Oh and a sweaty selfie to document. 😉

Reading.  The Magnolia Journal.
(and a manicure Friday night with Mike's sister, Carly.  Color is Marshmallow by Essie.)

Over the weekend Mike's mom finally received her copy of the Magnolia Journal, which was one of her Christmas gifts from us.  After she flipped through it, she passed it over and let me read it.  A few pages in, a word caught my eye.  Specifically the quote above, " lies in simplicity." - Mark Hyman.


I don't think it's a coincidence I have seen that word on repeat since the new year.  January 1st, Emily Ley kicked off her Simplicity Series.  Each day for the month of January, she would share a task on social media that helped to simplify your life.  This was helpful as I was deciding which items to let the movers pack and move, which things I wanted to move myself, and which things to give away and donate.

Have any of you read Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up?  That's next on my reading list.

Once we begin unpacking, I plan to do another clean sweep to really eliminate those things I have that are really just things. Clutter. Stuff. Knick knacks.  My goal is to pare down to the basics.  What's funny is I had a closet full of clothes and shoes in the apartment.  I think we both thought that it would be a quick process to find a house and have a fast closing, so I literally packed 6 tops, 2 pairs of jeans, 3 running/gym outfits, a pea coat and a rain jacket, 3 pairs of boots (brown, black and booties... because it is winter in upstate NY after all!), and 2 pairs of tennis shoes (1 pair for running and 1 pair for the gym).  That's it.  And you know what?  I've been living just fine.  A closet reevaluation will be in order too, as older Cape Cod's don't have much in terms of closet space.

I know we're almost at the end of Q1 but I've decided to make simplicity my goal of 2017, because beauty lies in simplicity.  Have a beautiful week, friends!

March 6, 2017

Weekend Compilation

Good morning and happy Monday!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Here are a few snapshots of how I spent mine.

Green Thumb.  I purchased this beautiful Croton, knowing it will be perfect in our new sunroom!

Antiquing.  You may have seen this picture on Instagram.
While I didn't buy the classic Coke bottles, I did purchase one of these jug vases.

Baking.  Sunday morning, it was 5℉.  The only logical way to warm up is by baking!
I made these Homemade Blueberry Muffins.

Reading.  I finished reading The Magnolia Story (highly recommend!)

I hope you have a wonderful week!

March 3, 2017

Our First House: Dining Area | The Chair Debate

Today marks six weeks until we close!  It still seems so far off but at the same time, it's hard to believe we've already been out of our apartment for 6 weeks and 2 days (...I'm not counting or anything 😉).  Time sure is flying.

The older I get, the more sentimental I've become about my heritage.  The coffee and end tables Mike made were from his family's barn, dating back to the 1800s, some of the furniture I've collected has been passed down from my parents, and over the years, my design style has morphed into that of my paternal grandparents.

September 2014 - two months before it was taken down

Still having some barn wood leftover, Mike wants to make our farm table.  I've requested chunky legs and am using this Sumner Dining Table (in rustic pine; discontinued) as my inspiration.  My aunt and uncle have this table and it's such a beautiful piece.

These images below are my vision for our dining area:

Now that the table is settled, I knew I wanted these Willa dining chairs from Crate and Barrel.  The only problem was once we were under contract on the house last month, they were out of stock and discontinued.  My heart had been set on these for the good portion of two years... talk about a major bummer.

I know I annoyed Mike showing him many variations of black Windsor and Ladderback chairs.  I even contemplated buying these Willa chairs in white and paining them black but Mike said that was a waste of a new chair, time, and money.  And I knew he was right.  Like all of my furniture pieces, I wanted to purchase quality chairs that would last our lifetime.

After hours and hours of browsing online, and even searching a local furniture shop in town, I was about to give up and settle for a set I wasn't thrilled about when a lightbulb went off.  Unfinished chairs!  I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner.

I immediately fell in love with these Copenhagen chairs for two reasons:
  1. They are almost identical to the set my paternal grandparents had in Cherry, which is now my father's dining set.
  2. I like to think of their name, Copenhagen, as tribute to my Danish heritage on my mother's side.
My dad is very talented when it comes to carpentry, painting, and pretty much everything around the house!  He's given my very helpful instructions for how to paint these, which I plan to share once we move and the project is complete.  Have you had any experience with unfinished furniture?