I am sitting here on the first Saturday of 2013 still in my jammies at 11:30. (Don't judge!) My husband is watching soccer, and I'm obsessing, yet again, on decorating, interiors, and loving my space. Here I sit at a dining table that's too large for our permanent habitat here in the desert. But no matter how I try, I can't give it up. It's about an eight foot long, 350 pound oak dining table that used to be a library table in an historic church in Kansas City. I love this thing; it almost feels as if it has a life of it's own. It probably does.
We moved here almost two years ago and I thought I'd have this perfect home all in a matter of months. Wrong. It's evolved many times since we arrived; colors, furniture, accessories. Nothing stayed for long. The reason we bought a house too small to accommodate our beloved table? We bought a house in a location we absolutey love! You know what they say, "location location location"...and I agree.
Yep, that's pretty much our front yard. We are in walking distance to almost everything we could ever want or need; including a small mountain where my husband takes our dogs for a walk every day.
But the inside of our home is half the size of our old one in Kansas City. Really that's fine, we want to make a small "foot print". (That's what my husband says.)
So, I'm rambling. The point of this blog is that I have been reading other decorating blogs and am ALWAYS inspired. I especially like theinspiredroom.net where she talks about Anthropologie, the store, as a major inspiration and why it always inspires her.
See what I mean? Now a couple of these pics are taken from the Anthropologie shop, but if one were to walk into this store, this is the type of stuff you would see.
I haven't written here in a long time...so I want to show you what my home looks like now. Before I do, however, I want to let you know that I have this love affair with cowhide patterns. I'm also having this love affair with becoming a bit more modern, loving red, and staying eclectic...eclecticism that works though. I think there's a fine line between working and just a clutter of hodgepodge. At least in my house anyway. Because of this desire to stay modern and young I have found that I really like butterfly chairs.
(below, current arrangement of my living room)
My son thinks I like them only for their looks, and that they're not comfortable, but he's wrong. When I sit in my new found chair, it's like a lounge chair for people who love yoga.
So, below I'm going to post some pics of my home in it's constant state of evolution. Enjoy:
Two years ago.
Notice the steps...ugly, worn, ivory colored carpet...Yuck...doesn't work well with dogs and grandkids.
This pic actually is way a gorgeous pic that really didn't do the room justice on it's ugliness. Dirty carpet on the floor (I couldn't even move furniture to vacuum under the bed or dressers. difficult to keep clean., boring paint color.
Okay, below the pics are from a year ago. Notice the steps. I totally tore the carpet off. My husband freaked and said it would look "ghetto". It was nerve wracking but I had a vision. I loved that they were all wood, even though they weren't meant for "showing". We didn't have enough money to have them re-carpeted, which I would have hated anyway, and we were too poor to have them professionally done. I knew I could do something. Anything would have been better than the carpet. So I ripped it off and found thick wood steps and of course, wood risers. I would paint the risers white, and stain the wood a dark, shiny, color. I calked all the parts where there were gaps, sanded all the paint off of the steps, prepped and began. I also stained the wood part of the banister to match the steps. It took me a few days, but here they are after they were finished. I LOVE them and see them as architectural.
Notice the blue paint. I never really liked it at all but I tried. I wanted something entirely different from my taupes, reds, wheats etc. I should have stuck with what I really love. But like I said, it's all a work in progress. Also, notice the cobblers bench. I had a beautiful coffee table I got on sale at Pottery Barn but it seemed to dominate the whole, small space of my living room. I still wasn't totally happy with it all.
And below is our 2011 Christmas. The house all decked out and happy.
The chair above we pulled from our neighbor's garbage and painted it, gave it a cushion, and vwallla, new life.
So, now we just finished Christmas 2012. I have done a lot of different things including getting rid of the old paint. My husband and I laid a dark wood in our bedroom...(LOVE LOVE LOVE) and painted that room a beautiful, cheery, bright blue. (LOVE LOVE LOVE). Here are some pics.....
Soooo...notice the new color behind our faux fireplace. Also a great new jute (?), or sisal (?) rug. Our modern steel and red coffee table. I like the look, it seems much younger and open, yet still eclectic, still me.
We had to buy a new ceiling fan. While my husband was cleaning the old one that he painted black, it just fell. Yep, it just fell! Thank God he wasn't hurt. Also, don't you LOVE my new clock? I found it at Pier I and kept going back to visit it. I finally gave in when it went on sale and bought it. A purchase I will always be glad that I made!
Nope, that is not a beautiful statue of a gorgeous, above average doggy. It is my little Tasha whom I love with all my heart. And yes, she is indeed, in our beloved dining table. I love them both even where they are. Nothing much has changed in our dining room except we turn the table every now and then. Someday (???) we really want to knock out the outside wall and enlarge our dining room which will enlarge our common space.
Just something to throw in...I LOVE wrapping packages. I usually buy brown paper you use to wrap something to mail and then I also buy butcher paper. it's much cheaper than formal gift wrap and you can do anything to dress it up. I bought a cookie gun/pastry decorating kit at a garage sale for $2 and use the cookie cutters as stencils. The white design on the brown package is an example of how it's done.The ribbon, which can be the most expensive, I bought most of it at Goodwill. We have an AMAZING Goodwill. I also made my own gift tags which was so much fun.
I love my tree ornaments!!!!
Okay...on to the kitchen!!
When we moved here, the kitchen was basically builders grade. You know, the orange oak cabinets with those dirty looking handles. First thing that I did was buy some stain with polyurethane in, sand the cabinets, remove the handles and stain the cabinets to make them a chocolate color. We bought simple, modern handles at Ikea and there ya have it. However, we still had a grotty counter tops and the back-splash was almost non-existent. The sink was AWFUL! It was an off white color and would stain at the drop of coffee. YUCK. Not to mention the faucet and sink. I really did try not to complain, but as soon as we could afford it, I was on it...and now...WOW we have a beautiful granite counter, gorgeous travertine as a back-splash, and finally, finally, a huge, stainless sink. We already had this funky faucet we bought years ago and didn't use. It's one of a kind and rather industrial looking..Yep..I'm a happy, happy person. We found a great stainless table on Craigslist and I recovered some authentic 1950's steel chairs in a cheery print with happy faces.
And of course we changed the harsh florescent light. It's a good thing my husband used to be an electrician! AND, can you tell I'm very proud of my new little kitchen? I am!
Well, I'm almost done if you've made it this far. I need to mention that the two bedrooms in our main house (We have a little casita) were carpeted with the same dirty, off white carpet. We got rid of the carpet and tiled them to match the tile in our common areas. So much cleaner!
This is the front room. We bought a leather futon so the grandkids and whoever else can sleep in that room. We call it the "front tv room".
I love the wood shutters. We bought those while in Long Beach visiting our son. We paid $10 for two. I brought them home and painted them. I think they add architectural detail.
The back bedroom is our office/guestroom. We got rid of the carpet in that room as well. It feels so clean now.
Upstairs is our, my husband and my, heavenly domain. Out our beautiful windows is a fantastic view of the mountains and some red tile roofs. It's great to wake up to this every morning.
Here is our blue bedroom with it's new, dark wood floor. I sooo love it.
My handyman husband put in a great shelf in our small laundry room. Even the laundry area can't be ignored.
Last but not least, the outside of our home. We found the most beautiful wrought iron gates on Craigslist. We haven't been able to use them as gates yet and still, we have an abundance of them, so we propped one up in the front of the casita. I love them!
Our front courtyard with more old wrought iron and a great little table.
So, this is the guest house, where you'll be staying. ;-) I'm hoping to get new carpet in here someday. If someone isn't visiting this room isn't really in use. It is specifically for guests to cozy in and be comfortable. I fill it with goodies and beautiful toiletries, not to mention anything you may need for a headache, anything you need to style your hair and well..most anything.
Well, that's it for now. I think this is the longest blog I've ever posted. I usually spend my time venting and blogging my heart felt thoughts on my other blog; Thoughts and Words From the Heart. But now, in my lazy jammie time, I love keeping you all updated on my castle.
Love and beautiful things to you all...Have a great, beautiful, comfortable new year. xoxoxo