Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oar Decor

I've heard it said, that when you think about design for your home, you should think about how you want your place to feel. Not so much look, but feel. While I've often thought that my taste bordered somewhere along the lines of country farmhouse to lake house getaway, with modern clean lines, and traditional nods, that doesn't describe how I want it to feel.

I want it to feel relaxed, casual, comfortable, and I want it to engage the outdoors. These are all things that I'm taking into account when shopping and designing for our home.

Now that many of our large furniture pieces have been bought (for the living room anyways), I get to start thinking about how I thoughtfully want to fill our walls. Space is at a premium, and I want choices to reflect us and the feeling of our home.

That leads me to this wall at the bottom of our stairway. I haven't shown you our stairs much, as they are very much in the before stages. 
The blue carpet is going, and will be replaced by wood treads and white risers, as well as a runner. At the bottom of that landing, I would love to plank the wall that is directly ahead. Not to mention a coat of fresh white paint, new barnlight fixture (we already have it, but we need to have the electrical placement adjusted before we can install), new switch plates, and something to fill the bare wall.
You know what I'm thinking of? Some oars.
Oars can come across as very coastal,
which is a no no in our Sierra home.
But I think they can also come across as very lake house.
I'm all about a good lake house.
They add age, character, texture, and shape.
Doesn't this just make you want to hop in a canoe
and spend the day on the shady banks of a lake?
Original Source Unkown
Hickman Design Associates
If a dreamy blue lake house is up your alley, 
you might want to check the rest of this home out!
Original Source Unkown
I found these months ago, which are by an artist outside of the US.
I thought that if I wanted to add some color to that stairway, 
this would be the way to go.
And then, this spring, 
I couldn't believe it when the big retailer CB2 started selling a similar option.
Many other big retailers sell their own version of the oar as well.
I think I'll be looking to collect some authentic antique oars, 
like this pair that I found on Etsy, to create a mix of aged woods.
Ebay is a great source for antique paddles, so I'll probably be shopping there too.
I cannot wait to start collecting some oars that I love, but I think that might be putting the cart before the horse (isn't that how the saying goes?). Before you get to decorate, you have the joy of tackling all of the larger (and more expensive) renovations first, like planking, electrical, and installing the new stairs. 

Speaking of lake houses, me and my fan-bam are enjoying the shores of Lake Tahoe this week for our annual family trip, followed up by a visit from Jon's mom in just a few days. Next week I should have plenty of pictures from our fun to share.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Inspired By...

I pinned an image over on pinterest several weeks back and after seeing that one room, I really wanted to take the full tour of the house. The photo originated from a real estate listing for a home in the Sonoma, CA area. The home must now be off market now because it's no longer featured on their site, and I wish I had taken notice of the square footage and acreage when it was still active. It comes across as a smallish house, and probably serves as someones vacation home in the Napa Valley.  So, who wants to snoop around with me?
The rustic country entrance is a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit mountain cabin.
The kitchen was the original image that peeked my interest. 
It is tiny, but quaint. From the white planking, galvanized barn light, 
roman bamboo blinds, and the gray-green cabinetry
(I would love to know what paint color that is!), I was kind-of, sort-of, swooning.  
The mix of the refined marble countertops and the antique butcher block island: Bravo!
Oh, what's that you say? 
More white planking, more roman bamboo blinds, 
contrasting dark window casings, nautical sconces 
and the mix of textures. Yep, smitten.
Who wouldn't want to settle into this room for their weekend retreat?

Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind having a glass of wine (okay, bottle) in this backyard.
I wish the tour they provided was longer! What eye candy. So what do you think? Does this place strike a cord with you? As I try to define and hone my design taste further, I'm always interested when I find an entire home that hits on numerous design choices that I'm attracted too. This one just does that. Happy Monday y'all!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Buzz Turns Four

Today is an amazingly awesome day, and its awesomeness is two-fold. Our Buzz turns four today and it's also my final day at work.
7 months
9 months
14 months
One of my most favorite pictures of him, two and a half years.
For Buzz, we celebrated with a firehouse bash this past Saturday (July 5th, which coincidentally was my actual birthday,).  A friend of mine with four, going on five, told me once that each of her girls has a birthday party every other year. It seems so logical now. Throwing this party took it out of me, and it was only a casual backyard BBQ! Last year, we stayed in and celebrated Nolan with a small family affair. This year, we wanted to go big and throw him a true celebration including friends, cousins, neighbors, and playmates. It was also the first time that we'd be having many friends over since tackling projects in our house.  Our sweet boy looked forward to this party for months. 

I think kids birthday parties can be a little bit cray-cray these days. For me, balancing the cooking, deep cleaning of the house, tidying up our yard, and a few decorations, all with two kids running around, was exhausting. I wanted the party to be thoughtful and fun, but I didn't want to kill myself with loads of details and decor. Luckily, Buzz was completely happy with how it all came together.

I unfortunately did a terrible job of snapping pics that day (as I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, right up until the last moment), and Jon was manning the grill, but I managed to pull together a few that were worthy of sharing.
One of Nolans besties from preschool came , which had Nolan over the moon. 
These two are pretty sweet together
(in a wild,and bouncing-off-the-walls kind of way)

There was a pinata.
A couple of months prior, Nolan was too shy to try a pinata at a friends house. 
But not this time.
Now knowing that it's filled with his absolute favorite thing (CANDY!)
he couldn't wait to see that thing dangling in the air.

Somewhere along the way in life, I've discovered there are two things that I am terrible at:
baking cakes and sewing. 
So I left the cake baking to Costco this year, 
and can I just tell you it saved me much heartache and probably a few tears. 

It was fun having our yard filled with so many kids, 
and made me appreciate our home even more.
We are very much enjoying the little boy that Nolan is becoming. 
Here's to another full weekend ahead, including some winery style celebrating with friends, 
an airplane show at our local airport, and my whole family is headed into town.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nolan's Room: Bringing the Outdoors In, Part I

I've been holding out on y'all. I started working on little projects here and there in Nolan's room back in November, but I haven't shared the updates with you yet.

Back in the end of October, sitting in my office at work, an obsession to start working on Nolan's room rooted itself in my head, and I couldn't shake it. Spending time on the kids rooms didn't really seem like the best use of our time and resources. Aside from our kids (and myself cleaning), no one spends much time in their rooms, and our dollar bills could certainly be put towards areas with much more traffic. But when you're obsessed with design, you don't always follow the path of logic. I think the urgency stemmed from the fact that Nolan's room is the darkest in the house (and coldest, poor guy). Despite having two nice windows, it doesn't receive a lot of natural light, and the dark carpeting, dark ceiling, dark blinds and dark window trim, were killing any potential the room had. So I figured if I could tackle just a few things than it would be worth while.
Here's Nolan's room on our final walk through before receiving the keys.
His walls were the same yellowy peach color
as the main living floor of our house.
The ceiling is certainly my favorite feature of the space.
Here are the pictures I snapped as I was about to dive head first into the room. 
A little unpolished, you might say?
The bed that we have is too large for the space,
but it belonged to Jon's grandfather so we want to make it work.
That little nook with shelves holds so much potential (white planks please!)
but I haven't been able to settle on just which direction I want to take it.
Oh you know, an old dresser, some dirty laundry and some paint samples. NBD.
(This photo makes it easy to see how yellowy peach 
those walls really were.)
The window trims had been painted a dark brown,
which actually proved itself to be a great opportunity.
Here are some of my favorite kids room that I was pulling inspiration from
when I set out to tackle Nolan's space.

I'd long been thinking of an outdoorsy/adventure/animal inspired room, with some industrial touches, and soon it consumed me. All I could think about was making his room look at the least a bit better. It's safe to say that this buffalo check duvet cover that I had spotted months prior over at Ikea for a totally affordable and kid-room friendly price of $39.99 was my initial inspiration for the space. I used it as my jumping off point.
Next, I spotted this print from Fox and Quill
and my inspiration was in full motion.
It incorporated earth tones, was playful, had a bit of whimsy, 
and featured the outdoors. 
Because this room will also serve as a guest bedroom when it's needed, I wanted to keep the space feeling youthful and fun, but designed for an adult to feel comfortable in.  I created a design board to manage my ideas, and this is what it evolved into:
First things first, I had to do something about the color on those walls. In November, I had several weeks off of work. In a haste, I grabbed a paint brush, an available can of the same creamy white paint that we picked for the main living floor and I started painting. At some point in our home journey I've learned that there will never be enough time to finish the projects I want to tackle. I have to make the time, find the time, and squeeze in moments whenever I can. I painted between nap times. Taped off the trims while the kids played. Stole moments when Jon was at home. And I finally finished it, weeks later (yes, it took me weeks, and this is a tiny room!). All by myself, I might add.

With a visit from Jon's mom just a week away, I had a good excuse to work on a few more touches in Nolan's space. Next week I'll share images of how the room is looking today. It's not done, but it's headed in the right direction. Here's a sneak peak: