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Showing posts from June, 2012

Meet Mr Darcy and Ms Lizzy

Arn't they cute?
Let the decorating ... and reading ... begin!

Hooks Are Always the Solution

The Problem: When walking in through the garage door, I'm usually weighted down with bags from school, shops and my purse.

Sometimes, they make it through the back hallway and land in front of the wall once known as the gallery (see post below for the before photo). When they do, it looks messy and awful -- dragging in dirt and messy stuff. Or, like in this before photo, they end up on the floor and get kicked and tripped over.

Now that I've painted the back hallway green ... it's time to find some solutions to that. And my best solutions usually include HOOKS.

So, a trip to Anthropologie netted some cool, iron hooks that I'll scatter around the wall in a arty-fartsy-yet-functional way.

The Finished Look: Four hooks now stand ready to take on the bags of our lives. A round mirror that hangs above them are merely temporary -- as I look for something dark and iron-y to add even more flare to this utility space.

Living Room Before the Sofas Move In

Here's a good look of the living room before the sofas arrive.
It's pretty much an open space of possibility. The corner table is staying and will be separating the love seat (under the red picture) with the sofa (centered under the windows). The doll house is going, of course. And a vintage coffee table is still waiting to be discovered at a local thrift or antique mart.

Two designs dilemmas exist:

1. Wall color. Right now the beige wall looks similar to the new beige sofas. What color should I paint the walls? The green from the hall? Blue? Gold? I'm accepting any and all input.

2. Window Treatments. What am I going to do about those odd, high windows in the room? I'd love to put drapes on them, to soften up the squares and add texture to the room but how? I think they'd look like silly because they are so high and square.

After picture, with the sofas and maybe a wall color, coming soon! 

Related posts:

More dining room plans

Guest Editor: The New Sofa

Hello, I am the New Sofa!

Jessica allowed me to post a quick introduction of myself on her blog. She got me and my little brother Love Seat at 50% off -- with free delivery -- at my store's Independence Day sale (early, I guess) this weekend. Which was a pretty good deal because I'm awesome. I'm a mix of mid-century modern (did you notice the slope of my arms?) and modern chic. Yes, that's orange on my pillows. Rad!

I'm excited to be leaving the warehouse and going to live in their fancy living room, which is nearly empty. I'm told I'll be used mainly for reading books, naps and entertaining guests who don't want to sit in front of the TV. I'm beige, so I'm guessing Jessica's going to want to paint the walls around me pronto. Right now those walls are beige, too.

The best part is I'm getting delivered on Saturday! Six days after she picked me out. Well, actually, she found me 4 months ago, but she wanted to shop around. Guess she liked …

Goodies From the Queen

David has a colleague in London who is my supplier of all things Royal Family related. He was just in Dublin, meeting with her, and brought me back these souvenirs from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee -- which I watched and read about all weekend. Sigh.

I'll add this to my collection of tea cups from the Wills and Katherine wedding and mug from Charles and Camilla's wedding. Hell, I think I'll now need a shelf to display my Anglophile-goodness on. Yippee!

And the cookies in the tin weren't too bad, either. 

Sophie's Wedding - A Few Photos

We went to Sophie's wedding a few weekends ago and I'm finally getting around to uploading photos.

The girls had an amazing time with their cousins, as usual.

 I ate something wrong and was throwing up the night before. Not fun. But I rallied and made it to the ceremony and reception ... and ... aww ... I just love a wedding. *sniff*

The bride looked gorgeous and was sincerely glowing. GLOWING. And the girls were the most popular bunch on the dance floor. We left at about the time Leah was throwing a fit because she wanted one of the bride's maid's bouquet.

Hallway Project: Green Continued

I was painting again this weekend. My project was all about the hallway between the family room and the rest of the house.

There are two major issue: 1) a lot of the walls have rounded corners, so where to start and stop always stumped me. 2) And I wanted green, so I've been trying to decide which shade to go with.

My first choice was the bright green from the carpet squares. I'd love to do a bold apple-green wall. Sweet!

But then I realized I like the color of the upstairs hallway and it compliments the navy wall. And since you can see that wall from downstairs, it made the most sense to keep a consistent green. (Valspar's "Grasslands" from Lowes.)

The rounded corners is still an issue, if I think too much about it, there's a sort-of wall solipsism.

But why over think it? I started and stopped when I wanted to and it doesn't look too bad.

Actually, it looks awesome! Clean and freshly green.

Of course, this project kicked off a few others -- like the bac…

First Day at the Pool Club

This summer we joined a pool club. Well, it's a membership to the town pool.

I've never been a member of a pool club before but Dave and his family were always members growing up on the East coast. So I guess it's a thing in other places.

And we're super lucky. This pool has seven slides, waterfalls, sprinklers and a sand area. In a word: it's AWESOME.

Today was our inaugural visit and we were ready for a wild time ... but then the sirens blew about 30 minutes later and we were asked to evacuate because lightening had been sighted. (You can kinda make out the storm clouds in the photos.)

Big bummer.

So, not a successful first trip, but we'll be back!

Botanic Garden Trip

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a magical place!

We went several times this winter and Spring -- and every day for a week when Leah was in a spring break class there, so I thought I knew the place.

Two months is a long time in a garden!

We pulled into the driveway and all the trees that were just budding were now full of lovely green leaves. The hill of tulips was replaced by wavy blue grass. And my eyes started popping out of my head. And we hadn't even parked the car yet!

The rest of the visit was much the same. The beds that were bare or the bushes that were dormant were ALIVE with color and blooms. The rose garden -- well, you could small the roses before even entering the area and some of the bushes were taller than me!

On of our favorite spots was the purple circle garden with more pansies than I had EVER seen. I got the kids to repeat: "Have you EVER seen so many pansies in your life?!" Too bad the purple bearded Irises had already gone away.

Another highlight for m…

Garden Update

I'm so pleased to report that the garden is 98% planted! (Er, for the first round, at least.)

I sowed a bunch of seeds two weeks ago that included spinach, parsley, lettuce and baby carrots. And I added the pepper and tomato plants.

Instead of doing bay, I reassigned the square to Leah who planted marigolds. And I've got one more row of flowers to do -- gotta attract those bees and butterflies!

The row of sunflowers is nearly ready to thin; they were the first seeds planted in mid-April. Also, the cilantro, which Dave uses in abundance in the summer to make his famous guacamole, is doing amazingly well.

I worry about my little gardens next weekend when we're away in DC and the temps here are going to get mid-90s! But hopefully Mom (who is visiting thanks to a busted pipe in her rental) and the neighbor girl will keep a watchful eye on them.

I Need I Need I Need!

Most of you know my love and adoration for all things Orla Keily. You all probably remember when Target sold dish sets with cups and plates, and I dragged Dave and the kids to three Targets in the area, snapping up all that I found.

So imagine my glee while walking through Bed, Bath and Beyond when I discovered they were selling her comforter sets, sheets, throw pillows and other bedding.


I stood in front of this display and tried to think of a single bed in my house in need of a new comforter. Unfortunately, I came up empty. All the rooms and bed are currently spoken for, design-wise. (Though, I'm still considering it for my bed ... would Dave be comfortable under all that sweet original stem design?!)

I did purchase a queen sheet set, using one of the many coupons they send in the mail. If you are in need of a comforter set, please consider either of these so I can live vicariously.