Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday pretties

I'm working on putting together a post from our weekend trip to New Orleans, but in the mean time I wanted to share some of the spaces that have been on my mind lately & explanations why.

The classic boho feel of this living space is perfectly causal and not too over decorated.

Aside from the amazing floors, I can't get enough of the black and gold.

Banquettes have been on my mind since we need one - I love this simplicity & the tulip table and stokke highchair only add to the greatness.

This is Amy Butler's kitchen. I love with the sliding glass storage unit. It's got the look of open shelving but much more practical.

The contrast of the white sofas and dark walls and rug is so fresh.

More white sofa love - the green/gold combo is becoming a new fav.

I saw this painted floor thanks to Julie. Wouldn't it be great in a nursery? The combination of colors is that makes the design.

Julie also reminded me of this great bedroom from the movie The Holiday. I dig the monochromatic look.

How about this before & after? What a change. Although I'm big on white walls in living spaces, I think dark in the bedroom is very soothing.

It sort of kills me that I won't be able to make our current home reflect all these great rooms, but then I remind myself that this one is just for practice - not forever! In the meantime I'll continue to gather inspiration and refine my style.

(I apologize for not sourcing the photos. I import my inspiration photos to iphoto, so I'm not the best with notating where they are from. Please feel free to share if you know.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At long last

Finally our fireplace remodel is done! Okay well only Phase 1 is 90% done, but it's done enough for a proper reveal.

Remember what it looked like when we acquired the home? It may be better if you don't remember, but here's a peek just so you can appreciate the changes.

Painted brick with a nasty cracked yellow tile hearth.

First there was the installation of the new flue and the building of the new firebox a few months back when Ben's dad came to visit.

There was a brief mini trial with some Quality Stone Veneer and while it is quality, we decided it wasn't right for our house. So, we moved on to the original plan of boxing out the brick.

And finally the tiling began!
We used used a subway style slate on the face and a mixture of larger slate slabs and the subways on the hearth. The grout (the same London Fog from our mudroom tile job) varied between 1/4" (for the large pieces) and the 1/8" for the subways. The layout got tricky & had to be changed midway but after staring at it for weeks, we finally came up with a solution. A Keystone. It's perfect for the period of our house and it's perfect for us!

It meant a lot more cuts to get it right, but after literally months of entertaining various ideas and a long execution period here's what we ended up with.

Okay. I lied. Just a little white lie. Here's what it really looks like.

The mantle isn't quite finished yet. We hated the old pieced together white painted one, so we plan to stain the new version to match our floors, a lovely Minwax Provincial. Since finding an old beam appears to not only difficult to track down and also rather expensive, we plan to simply envelope the old mantle in an oak veneer. And that will be the official end to Phase 1 of our fireplace makeover. Phase 2 includes flanking it with built-ins.

And now a bit more eye candy.

It may only be 90% done, but we feel like it's 100% better. Do you agree?

Want to know my favorite part? Now only half of our living room floor is covered in cardboard. Baby steps folks, baby steps!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photo Roundup

Let's just say that I know I'm a little more than behind on the blog front lately. So to catch things up quickly, I think a photo round up is called for. Here we go!

After we got back from our weekend in Charleston, the fun continued with a better late than never Royal Wedding celebration, complete with a "make your own fascinator" activity.
And just a couple of days later Ben & I hit up Loco Lime for some Cinco de Mayo festivities with a couple of girls from work and their husbands. How cool is it that my pregnant friends (on the right) are still up for some late night partying? Love them & their little babies too!

Then last weekend we attended a neighborhood pet parade hoping to meet some friendly neighbors.
Mia loved it and so did we, but unfortunately we didn't make any new friends - not one soul. We're pretty convinced that "southern hospitality" doesn't exist.
The rest of the day one of us was lazy....

....while the other two of us worked really hard in the side yard digging up stumps .....

(Note: This photo is from the previous week. I caught Ben trying to bounce some stubborn stumps out of the ground. The photo was taken through the glass - sorry for the poor quality!)

....shoveling dirt & planting a garden!
The make shift garden is a temporary fix. We hope to do some real landscaping in the Fall, but for now it's sooooo much better than it was!

I've also been trying to apply for a $15,000 backyard makeover from Ace Hardware and The Weather Channel, but the stupid site won't let me upload my photo. How the heck can we remedy this situation if we can't even apply? Any advice?

That should just about do it for now. I'll try to be back later this week with the finished garden photos and some other project updates that seem to have been forgotten.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cha Cha Cha Charleston

Last weekend we enjoyed a lovely weekend in historic Charleston, South Carolina. It was the first time we've been away anywhere together, just the two of us, since we moved here to Charlotte. Although we wouldn't change a thing about our Latin driving adventure, we are certainly used to "working travel" where we have to plan ahead, map it out, set up camp, entertain the dog, cook our own dinner, etc. We rarely have pure vacation relaxation. We seriously almost didn't know what to do with ourselves! Ben found us a great deal on a ritzy hotel downtown so we lived it up. Well - we're pretty boring, so living it up may be an overstatement. We actually even stayed in on Saturday night, enjoying having nothing to do but lay in a big bed and watch movies, something we haven't done since Guatemala. It felt good. Sooooo good!

It was a really nice chance for me to get to take some fun photos, something else I haven't done much of since our travels ended. Wanna see?

(Ben's still learning how to focus the camera!)