Thursday, February 28, 2013

Before and After in the Living Room

I have one more before and after series for you! When I moved in, I knew the living room was a good size, but I didn't know how to use the space. It took a few years to figure out the furniture arrangement that worked for us.



What you can't see is Baxter laying on his mat in the corner of that first photo and me standing on the mat in the second.

I took Cookie Doe off the wall for these photos. If you haven't figured out why I might do that, I'll share the reason soon.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Before and After in the Kitchen

I love looking at "before" pictures of our condo. The entire place was full of builder-grade finishes and beige. Beige was on every surface and wall. In those days, this community was all rental units, so I did my best to live in the bland space. A year or so later, the community converted to condos and I couldn't wait to start making changes.

Tackling the kitchen was a big project, but after a lot of research, I worked on making the space feel more bright and open.



The view from the kitchen to to the dining space, which I shared yesterday:

Doesn't the space feel bigger?
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Before, After, and After in the Dining Room

Our dining table is in a nook-like space. I hesitate to say I have a dining room or even an alcove. It's a space or an area.

The view from the front door originally looked like this:

After an upstairs neighbor had a leak that ruined our floors, we installed eco-friendly, FSC Certified flooring from the green builder supply in Charlottesville. I loved the deep, chocolate color.

I can finally share a few wide-angle pictures that give a better view of the space.

I'm having so much fun with this wide-angle lens!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Makeover for the Bedroom

In preparing to post new pictures of our bedroom taken with that wide-angle lens I borrowed, I realized that I never shared a quick weekend project I did in the fall. I used to blog every thought and step of a project, but this last year has been hectic. Sometimes, decisions just have to be made and projects need to be completed.

I've been meaning to repaint the bedroom to make it more neutral for a while. Last fall, Marc was headed away for a few days on a business trip and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to get the painting done. Even before he was out the door, I was looking at my paint fan decks. I'm not usually a fan of beige paint and I had a lot of trouble narrowing the options down to a few that I liked.

I'll post the details soon, but let's just get to the eye candy, shall we?

Here's the super before, from when I first moved in:

Here's the middle phase, when the room was painted in Sherwin Williams' Compatible Cream:

Here's the after, with Benjamin Moore's Maritime White on the walls:

I think the bed looks much better with the more neutral color on the walls. I don't love the colors anymore and have been thinking of switching to blue and white linens, but haven't made a final decision yet.

Using that wide-angle lens, I can finally give a little perspective on our layout. The bathroom is to the right in the little hallway. The dining room and kitchen were to my back, with the dining area and front door to my right and the kitchen to the left. You can see Baxter laying in the living room and Cookie Doe's antlers (with their Valentine's Day flowers on them) peeking out from the wall.

What do you think?
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Friday, February 22, 2013

My Marble Bathroom...All of It!

Renovating my bathroom was probably the biggest project I did in this little condo. It's the only space where a room was taken down to the studs and rebuilt. I really wanted Kohler fixtures (even behind the wall) and carefully combed different sources for months trying to find the perfect shower valve or supply line for the sink. Once the work began, we found out that the drywall behind the builder's tile was plain, old drywall and the floor wasn't level. Thankfully, my tile guy was willing to do a little more work than expected, so we have waterproof backer board (I think that's what it's called) behind the tile and nice, level floors so all that marble basketweave is safe.

Unfortunately, I've only been able to share the bathroom in bits and pieces. At the time of the big reveal, I had a point and shoot camera. Even when I upgraded to a pretty good DSLR, I didn't have a great wide-angle lens. The pictures I had to share was a bit limited:

 Recently, I was able to borrow a wide-angle lens for my camera and finally got to take a nice picture of the bathroom. After many years, here it is:

I'm thinking of retaking all of my "house tour" photos now.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Removing my Monogram

I'm sick as a dog right now and have a lot on my to-do list, so I just have a quick post to share this little task I completed over the weekend.

I love monograms. I didn't particularly love my original monogram because the letters didn't intersect nicely. My married monogram is delightfully swirly. After a few months of ignoring my maiden monogram on my towels, I decided it was time to move on.

A few quick snips under the threads of the monogram and I was able to slip a craft tool under a letter.

With a gentle tug, the letter starts to unravel.

I flipped back and forth between the front and the back of the towel to grab any stray threads and the fabric backing that is used with the monogram machine.

The monogram is still pretty evident once the thread is gone. Rubbing the towel against itself helps get the terry cloth fluffed up again.

Throw the towel in the next load of laundry and evidence of the monogram disappears almost completely.

All that's left is the thread and fabric backing.

When your initials changed, did you get rid of anything you had monogrammed?
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Baxter in Cville Weekly's Unions Magazine (kind of)

I get calls from reporters fairly regularly, but they usually want to talk about what I do for work. Several weeks ago, I was surprised that a reporter called to talk about Baxter's involvement in our wedding. She was writing a short piece for Cville Weekly's wedding magazine, Unions, about dogs being part of a couple's wedding day. I chatted with her for a while, hung up, and forgot about it.  This is my busy season at work and I don't have much head space for other things right now.

I saw Unions at the grocery store about a week ago and remembered the phone call.I grabbed the issue and flipped through. I was so surprised to find that the whole piece was about our experience having Baxter in our wedding!

There were also some adorable pictures of dogs taken at wedding around our region. 

Anyone else out there have their dog in their wedding? How did it go? Any advice for others considering it?

Baxter in our wedding / Photo by Elisa Bricker

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love for Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams

A few months ago, Marc settled into a sofa in a store while I looked around. When I circled back to get him, Marc was seriously admiring the sofa. He was in love with Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams' Liam sofa in leather.  I don't blame him. It's a pretty awesome looking sofa.

 I personally like it in this beautiful, blue velvet. 
Marc liked it so much that it inspired him to create a Pinterest account and pin it to a "want" board. That's some serious love. Our place is too small for a second sofa and I'm not ready to give up my slip covered Alexa just yet.

I find myself clicking around the MG+BW website pretty regularly now. I love how versatile their line is.

There's that Liam sofa again!

 I also love how the company operates. They feel strongly about keeping production in North Carolina and they take care of their staff.

MG+BW stores are also pet friendly and they included dogs in their ads for years. When their original dog, Lulu died, I have to admit that I was a little sad.

If you don't have a MG+BW store near you, check their website. There are independent stores that carry their line all over the county.  If you're in Charlottesville, our local source is Quince Designs. Quince is between locations right now, but owner Sharon Manering will set up an appointment to peruse the line and go over all the fabric options. She's also running a 20% off sale right now!

Quince Designs
(434) 296-0062

(no perks here...just wanted to share!)
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kelly Wearstler is Launching a Registry

Most of us design bloggers are nerds for Kelly Wearstler. Even if our own homes are traditional and safe, we can't help but admire her gutsy, often intense interiors. We think about what we'd do if we procured a couple yards of her [sooper dopper expensive] fabric or how some of her jewelry might make our J. Crew and Anthro a little more hip.

She's damn cool. Even though I wouldn't do any of this stuff to my place, I like looking at it.

 And I think that I could probably enjoying spending some time in the spaces she's done for stores and hotels. 

BG Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman From Complex Globe Magazine 

When I got an email about Kelly Wearstler launching a registry service, I was intrigued. Obviously, brides are the target for this, but it would be a fun way to maintain a wishlist.  

Kelly Wearstler is currently developing her first bridal registry which will officially launch Spring 2013 on Kelly The Kelly Wearstler gift registry provides registry customers the opportunity to browse through Kelly Wearstler’s entire online product library and add items from home, ready to wear, as well as Kelly Wearstler’s collection of fine china for Pickard Fine China.
Once a gift registry is created an email can be quickly created and sent to friends and family with a visual list of all the items chosen. Customers have the ability to create unlimited gift registries through a Kelly Wearstler customer account which makes editing and adding event registry details a seamless process. 

It didn't even occur to me to consider Pickard china (the company that makes Wearstler's china) for my registry because it isn't carried in too, too many places. I wish I had! Check these out:

 I love that dot pattern, called Trousdale and the ikat is awesome!

But while the registry is targeted at brides, anyone will be able to create one and add items from across Wearstler's different lines.  Pretty cool.

Anyone else a Wearstler fan?

UDPATE: The registry page is live!

(No perks here...just thought this was cool news)
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Small, Simple Valentine's Day Decorations

I teased you with a tutorial for making flowers out of felt hearts yesterday and now I can share more. Here's Cookie Doe, our ceramic deer head, wearing some simple decorations for Valentine's Day.

Marc is oddly in love with this thing. I think he says "I really like Cookie" almost every day. 

Now to think about what I'll do for St. Patrick's Day...
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