Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warmest wishes to all who have helped us through this tumultuous year. After M. finishes the Christmas pageant at church, we'll meet at my folks house for a traditional Swedish smorgasbord in homage to my Danish/Swedish roots! I hope it is a tradition that M. and I carry on in our household in future years. I chose the photo above (from Country Living) because the carved horse and santa look so distinctively Scandinavian.

After Christmas, we're headed to Vermont to go snowshoeing! This had been our annual tradition save for last year when we had to cancel last year post-fire. Being able to go this year makes us feel like we really are getting back to normalcy and I think we're both really looking forward to our first time away, just the two of us, in over a year. We always take it as a time not only to slow down and relax, but to reflect on the past year and talk about hopes for the following.... I'm most looking forward to the hush of a vermont landscape blanketed in snow, the way M.'s cheeks get so rosy in the cold, the crunch of our snowshoes... taking it all in like a cleansing breath-- the serenity of just the two of us surrounded by such beauty. (snowshoe photo from Sundance Catalogue-- our snowshoes are distinctly more modern ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy birthday

Today is my thirtieth birthday. Just wanted to take a moment and thank the two people who made it all possible-- mom and dad! I love this photo of the two of them-- from M and my wedding day little over three years ago. I am truly the luckiest girl in the world to have so much love in my life-- family, friends, and of course my wonderful husband. This is also my 100th post on my blog... ah life's milestones!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jim Thompson

Here is some gorgeous fabric that I was introduced to today at my new favorite store. You cannot get any idea from the photo how beautiful it is--- it's a chenille but with this kind of shimmer to it from some kind of rosegold-color chenille woven throughout. It's Jim Thompson "Luna" and I'm going to have to get a better photo... but if you click on it to make it bigger you can see it. Most amazing thing about this fabric is it is Waterproof. unbelievable-- no joke you can put it under the faucet for minutes and reverse side doesn't even get wet. Wipe it off with a towel or your hand and it's dry again. Sadly I think it's out of our price range, but as long as the interior design place lets me keep the samples, I'm going to continue to dream...

family room

It's really rewarding to see a vision of a room slowly take shape. I'm feeling that way about our master bedroom, our music room (though I haven't yet posted on that) and starting to feel it about our living room. We're planning to keep a neutral color scheme here. The walls will likely be benjamin moore "alpaca" or "fairmount oaks". This room is right off of the dining room which is right off of the kitchen-- all an open floor plan... but the room has some added interest in that the rest of the house has 8ft ceilings, but this room is a vaulted 11 ft ceiling. The room gets great light from the box bay window that will be behind the sofa and the fireplace (gas!!) will add some coziness to it. Anyway here are some inspiration photos:

I was drawn to the check upholstery in this photo, the bookcases and all the light streaming from the windows. I'm tempted by the natural fiber rug, but I think we want something that is softer, more family (and bare feet) friendly, the kind of area rug that you want to sit on to play scrabble. Back to the upholstery, I was warned that doing a check fabric, particularly a large check fabric means that you get 'waves' when someone sits on it... good point and not one I'd thought of. In any case, I think we're leaning towards doing a plain cream colored sofa and save the checks for an accent chair and/or throw pillows. (I'm sorry I don't have a photo credit for this, I have so many pictures I collected before I started blogging... if anyone knows, please chime in!)

Here's another neutral color scheme-- where you can see how lovely the light colored sofas look especially with the interest of a couple throw pillows. I imagine our coffee table will be kind of similar to the one pictured here, only less distressed and with a more sturdy leg. More on our coffee table below... I really like this room, but it's more austere than what we'd really be comfortable in. (again have to apologize that I don't know where I found this photo....)Here's the chair (from ballarddesigns) I promised dear husband after he finished his master's degree. He was lobbying strongly for a leather sofa... for multiple reasons (not the least of which- I'm a vegetarian) I just couldn't go there. This is a compromise. I'm also not a fan of recliners at all, but this really looks fine when it's folded up. Anyway I think a leather accent chair might actually look really great with our overall scheme... and I know he will love stretching out there for an afternoon baseball game or when he goes back for another degree and needs a chair to do his reading in. ....still have to measure carefully to make sure it will fit.
I'm getting increasingly frustrated with my lack of vocabulary when it comes to furniture and fabric. I think I'm going to have to get "Furniture for Dummies" (...actually, do they make that? hmm might check out the library.) Anyway, the point of posting this chair is for the fabric. Is this called a buffalo plaid? (if so, I think that's kind of unfortunate) I think I'd want a chair that structurally has more contrast to the "man chair" above but I really like the back and arms of this chair and the shape of the cushion on the seat. Also I'm not so wild about the casters(?) aka the wheely things on the legs.

Here's the rug we're thinking- which ties the whole color scheme of the room together. I'm increasingly nervous because it just went on sale at Pottery Barn meaning that the stock is probably limited. We started brainstorming last night about what other easy-going friends with storage (basements/garages) we might be able to lean on.... we have no place to store anything right now, but it would be really sad to have this rug go out of stock on us before we're able to buy it....
I'm nervous but also excited about our decision to do a black distressed wood on the entertainment armoire. I've always been a standard stained wood person, so this is a jump out of my comfort zone... but the above inspiration photo (from helps me envision the potential. We met last night with the guy who's going to build our piece. M. found him online and even though he usually only works with interior decorators/architects or boutique stores, given the economy he was willing to work directly with us! He builds all his pieces from reclaimed wood-- usually barns, but sometimes houses. It was amazing to sit with him and actually design our piece. It will be similar to the inspiration photo above, but with bifold doors on the armoire part, and two small drawers on the armoire below the tv cabinet part and above the storage cabinet. The side bookcases will be symmetrical, both with doors. Even though it's a bit of a splurge for us, buying a similar piece from a regular retail store would be comparable but not one-of-a-kind or with so much character. Especially in this economy, I'm really happy to work with someone directly-- to have a quality piece of furniture that was not shipped over by some big company from china-- but one that was hand crafted by someone we've met. He will also be building a coffee table for us. The coffee table will be a distressed white painted bottom, with a stained top. The legs of the table are old barn posts!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

present "decor"

I promised that I wouldn't go too much into headache and hardship... but the current rental we're in is... uh... well it's a short term furnished rental- so maybe what you'd expect. It's basically a studio apartment and it feels even smaller because we have M.'s bike in the room along with various pieces of RH bathroom fixtures (incl a medicine cabinet). Anyway it's funny trying to pick things like crown molding or look at fabrics or even paint samples in this place. Fortunately we both have a good sense of humor with it all... and never lose sight of how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and food on the table period.
That said, here's a lovely picture of dear husband, on a funny stained loveseat that is only feet from our bed (with a mattress that feels like sleeping on marshmallows and actually audibly goes "booing-ingggg" when you sit on it).... surrounded by my musings of the future... moldings and fabric samples.

PS that lovely rocker in the corner did NOT come with the apartment. that is ours and we can't wait to get it back home.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Master bedroom

I'm leaning towards Benjamin Moore "Paris Green" for the Master bedroom. It's a soft green, almost grey. Below are some inspiration photos of rooms with similiar colors on the wall.

This, I thought I got this is from Cote Texas? But now I can't find it on her blog. I love the check on the headboard and pillow and the contrasting bedspread-- the splash of warmth it brings with the kind of Moroccan pattern and deep red. This photo is a little dark, but I also think the paint is a shade or two darker and more green than what I'm hoping for.

This room has almost celebrity status on RMS. The posters name is hpj185 and she does have some beautiful rooms- this being my favorite by far. Word has it that this again is a slightly darker paint color "Sandy Hook Gray" by benjamin moore but I love love love how she's added some subtle light blue accents-- note the toile on the pillows. These chairs are a little too big for our space, but I like the style of them. The artwork is not to my taste nor do I love the four poster bed for this space but the color palate is just gorgeous.

Here it is... where I first "discovered" Paris Rain. This is from an interior designer/blogger in Stamford CT, "the stamford wife" (great name, no? it amuses me particularly having grown up in fairfield county myself!). This, I believe, is a bedroom she designed for her in laws. Here the soft green is paired with a pale pink which is soothing and lovely for a bedroom. I love white bedsheets- a white cloud seems the most perfect place to dream. I like the way she's dressed up the bed with a kiss of pink pillows. (Also I like the four poster bed in this room)
Also I just noticed that it seems like the ceiling may be the same color as the walls? This is a question mark for me-- what to paint the ceiling in our bedroom given the way it is dormered.... I don't want to feel too boxed in but also dont' want to ruin the nice lines of the room.

Here's another photo of the rms room (I don't know why these appear in a different order than how I try to upload them). Here you can see the toile on the curtains and also the check bed skirt.
I'm realizing that one of the appeals of going with this soft grey green is the gentle tranquility it brings when paired with a clean white-- and the romantic air it acquires when accented with with a touch of light blue, or deep red, or a blush of pink. It's a flexible color-- one that can go formal or be toned down, but one that is generally restful and serene. Also, I'll admit, I like the name, "Paris Rain"..... we'll see how it looks on poster board later this week.... stay tuned!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bedroom One (guest bedroom)

As our builders have told us it's time to focus in on paint colors-- suddenly my "vision" for each room has kicked into high gear. The nice thing is having been thinking on-and-off (okay, obsessively) for months about this-- my ideas are pretty well formulated. Never-the-less I'm bad with finally making decisions and I'm also easily distracted by a beautiful room in a magazine (or friend's home) both which cause me to suddenly re-think everything. That said, i thought I'd start posting some of my inspirations/ideas. So first what I'm referring to as "the guest room". We're thinking that back bedroom will likely be the "baby" room when the time comes--- though if/when a baby #2 arrives on the scene (okay we're thinking future/future) then this "guest" room will also be a kids room. Hense the issue-- we are not looking at having the house professionally painted every five years-- so we need a color that's gender neutral and will work both for a guest room and then for a kids room.

These are my inspiration photos. Basically a neutral cream palate with calming but cheery yellows and an accent of a deep red (we just go the most beautiful quilt, actually). For the walls, I'm leaning towards Benjamin Moore's Rich Cream, though "Sand Dunes" is also an option (if it's not used in the hallway) as is something more yellow-- even possibly "Old World Romance". Note that the inspiration photos have dark wood floors like what we're thinking. I like the dark wood furniture and frames around the artwork. Our guest bedroom is substantially smaller than any of the above pictured, but it gets nice light... I think this color scheme could easily transition into either a little girl or little boys room and even work as they grow older.
*First photo is from Pottery Barn. I'm not sure where I found these other ones.... (I'm trying to be better about giving credit where credit is due!)

saturday photos

Here's standing in the kitchen. The french doors out to the deck on the far left. You can see the hot water heater and the red/blue pipes through the wall, but that is where the desk will be. Next to that are the steps leading down to the mudroom (hall) and laundry/powder room (see the slanted ceiling. To the far right is the closet/pantry in the kitchen.
I LOVE the way the morning light comes through the sliding french doors.

These are the three windows that will be behind the sofa in the family room.

Sorry this is blurry, I had the camera on "night" (since that's when we're usually at the house!) This is the laundry/powder room. What I thought was cool were those two metal boxes-- those are for the sconces that will go on either side of the vanity mirror.

Here's looking from the dining room into the kitchen and beyond to the music room/front hall. Look at our front door!

master bed

Here are the tansom windows that will be right above our bed. Amazing (re)building a house-- our architect actually used the measurements of our headboard (one of the few things that was saved post-fire) so that the windows will be right above that. We may be able to see some stars at night... or at very least have a cool breeze wash over us in the early spring.

This photo is from Country Living (via thank you!). I like how these window treatments draw the eye up... and make the dormered ceiling seem more spacious. I wonder if something similar would frame our bed nicely-- give attention to the window and the romantic lines of the ceiling. I would do a flat rod across the top, but gather it similarly on each side as in the photo...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

this is G-rated, I promise.

They built the seat in our master bath shower which was a surprise the other night. I never thought there would be photos of me in the shower on the internet... and M. is really excited about this as you can see... but here they are....!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

this just in

it's almost 9:30pm and dear husband is on his way home from work. he stopped by the house on the way home to pick up the mail and just called from his cell phone to report-- WE HAVE A FRONT DOOR!!! wowzers. that's exciting. i kinda feel like we should get a holiday wreath to put on it (even if it's fake since it's not painted yet and we wouldn't want to mess with the wood...) hm....

i'm so proud

Look at my newest project. I'm incredibly proud of it. I took the architectural plans and white-ed out the walls that were changed (so I can draw them in later)-- basically the closet in the second bedroom and the laundry/powder room downstairs-- so I'm looking at plans that are current. Then I took those paper protector things and attached them to the inside of a manila envelope and slid the plans inside. What this gives me is a perfect little folder that I can open up and see the current house plans-- but here's the real exciting part-- the paper protector allows me to take the paint samples I've cut out and stick them right on the surface-- and then peal them off/re-attach as necessary. Brilliant, no?
I'm sure the people on the train think I'm completely certifiable, but the commute home just flies by! I feel like a little kid working on an arts and craft project, or playing house.
I am completely enamored by the number of colors.... no joke, I can entertain myself for hours just flipping through the Benjamin Moore fan deck. This, however, takes it to a whole new level.

pocket door hardware

I neglected the pocket door hardware for the french doors into the music room. There are a surprising number of options, even staying within Baldwin hardware but here's what I'm leaning towards. These pulls (in ORB) would go on the face of the door-- practically speaking they will save the white trim from gookie-ness, but I think it also looks better to have some kind of hardware on the face of the door. Then we have the options for how you actually pull the door from its pocket.
Option one. Clean, simple... but might it be too difficult to open?

Easier to get a hold of the loopy thing but not as refined looking? Would this be easier or more difficult to keep clean?

Last option- this is what my parents have on their (single) pocket door. Might be more than we need though? Would the bigger profile of the hardware be a detraction or would it look nice?
I'm actually kind of stumped on this one.... will revisit tonight with dear husband.

door jewelry

We're back to interior knobs. Poor husband thought it was all decided and hopefully it is, but I just like to be extra sure. Here's what we're leaning towards for interior knobs. It's the Baldwin "colonial" knob from their images collection.
Here's a more simple door knob, also Baldwin, but the "Classic". I think the price point is the same so we're leaning towards the one that has a little more interest.
M. really likes these egg-shapped knobs. (Also Baldwin). I think they are kind of cool and I like that their profile is smaller, but just think they might get old fast or look dated in a couple years or something. For awhile I was thinking maybe we'd do egg knobs on the closet doors and round ones on the interior doors, I think that could be nice looking- but it might be better to keep it simple.

Here's what we'd like to do for the front door: Baldwin "Madison".

Monday, December 8, 2008

evening visit

Circuit box is in and wires going everywhere!

The furnace in the crawlspace off of the garage. We've been back and forth with the gas company-- hope is to get the heat on by the end of this week, because they want to turn the water on and can't do that unless the heat is on (or the pipes will freeze!).

Here's M. after a long day of work, but looking happy. Look at all the recessed lights in the kitchen/dining area. The flash on the camera is deceiving-- it's pitch black in the house by the time we get home from work- we are manuvering around with our flashlight and blindly aiming the camera.

Here's the other furnace that's in the attic. This will heat the upstairs.

Here's my washer/dryer hook up. I am SO excited that i won't have to walk through the garage to get to the laundry. No more dropping socks in the cold, dirty garage!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


PS apparently I've only just figured out how to post text IN BETWEEN the photos. this has the potential to bring my blogging to a whole new level. haha.

Plumbing, Electric, HVAC

M. showing off where the showerhead will be in the master bath.

Electric wiring.

We have a water heater!
This week was more electric, plumbing and hvac... not the most drastic changes to witness, but necessary stuff and still exciting for those of us that are easily excited ;).
The hope is that next week will be inspections on all of this so that we can turn on the heat, bring in the HW flooring to acclimate and insulate and dry wall. unbelievable, no?
The disappointment of the day was that the inset medicine cabinet that we already bought is not going to fit in the master bath. sigh. The good news is that they make the same thing in a mirror-only, so hopefully it's an easy exchange. The other exciting thing that we have to finalize is the lighting-- A. and A. (our builders) had a few suggested changes to the lighting plan which seem to make sense. More on that to come...