Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our little Care Bear.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AO House Tour: Exterior After

Welcome to our house:

Seriously cute, right? This is what this house looked like in my mind every time I pulled up to it. I was SO happy when we finally had it painted.

Pretty much everyone looked at us like we were crazy when we mentioned that we were going to paint the brick..."What? Paint brick? But the upkeep! The maintenance!" I guess the need for my house to be as pretty outside as it is inside outweighed the complication of paint.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm kind of glad it took us a while to pull the trigger because my ideas of what to paint it changed over time. I was originally planning for off-white which I think would be just as pretty...but driving around one day a couple of years ago we spotted this light green house with white trim and a red door AND I WAS IN LOVE. I knew the red door was going to happen no matter what so when I saw it paired with green, I was totally convinced.

I will say our roof made this whole painting thing really complicated. I pine for the day that I will have a black/gray roof so I can paint my house white with black shutters. I really dislike the sandy brown/clay red situation we currently have with our roof, but I think the colors we ended up with work ok with it.

And let's not forget the teensy bit of landscaping that we did that I think goes a LONG way. We settled on a hedge of skip laurels that will stay green through the year, a Muskogee crape myrtle that blooms lavender in summer and, this summer, some petunias that kicked booty in those flower boxes.

Speaking of the flower boxes...HUGE difference those made. They gave the house just a little bit of architectural detail that it really needed. And by adding the red bench to our walkway, we finally gave the outside some dimension so it wasn't so blah.

And finally, our awesome front door got a coat of glossy candle apple red paint, a vintage fox door knocker, a new all-glass storm door (I fought for no storm door, but was overruled) and new chippendale light fixtures which...wait for it...were $25 EACH (on sale). Madness, right? And made SUCH a huge difference in spiffing up our entry.

I have a couple of more to-dos out here - keep layering the landscaping with additional plants, a new mailbox and door number and dentil molding on the fascia board. Carter and I would also LOVE to ditch our craptastic carport that is wicked ugly. It's not pictured for a reason...

This concludes the house tour!!! There are two spaces in the house you haven't seen - the 2nd guest bedroom and our master bathroom. Both are in blah, non-special stages so once they have some polish I will share. I hope you've enjoyed the glimpses into my world...


Chippendale Light Fixtures - Portfolio White Outdoor Wall Light at Lowe's
Fox Door Knocker - Vintage, via High Street Market
Storm Door - Lowe's
Red Bench - Grandinroad (don't see it anymore but Grandinroad has other great options)
Bushes - Skip Laurels
Small Tree - Muskogee Crape Myrtle

Monday, October 28, 2013

AO House Tour: Exterior Before

Last stop on the House Tour! There are a couple more rooms in the house (another guest room and our bathroom) that I'm not showing you....yet. Will be back with future posts about those.

Today, I thought we'd look at a very exciting part of our home's journey - the exterior transformation. When we bought the house, I knew it had lots of potential...if only we could paint it. So I made Carter SWEAR that as soon as we signed on the dotted line, we'd line up the paint cans and attack the project.

Of course that didn't happen so for 3+ years, the house looked the same as the day we bought it. Which is how it looks here:

Our sweet little nugget of a house. It was a bit sad in this state but now that you've seen the horror of what was on the inside when we bought it, you know that a little cosmetic work on the outside didn't phase us.

It's probably a good thing that we waited so long to paint it because my thoughts of what I wanted to do evolved over time. So last year, we finally called up a contractor (for this project, the speedy turnaround and ease of hiring this one out outweighed the DIY glory) and gave the exterior some zhush.

Come back tomorrow for the reveal...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Crush

A perfectly lovely and sweet Chinoiserie bathroom from Elizabeth Dinkel. Really love the pineapple wallpaper and the green sconce shades. This room is simple but the little touches and details are what make it special.

Hope you have a lovely weekend...see you Monday (for the last installment of the house tour!).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Catalog Pick: Lexington Applique Duvet

It's not often that catalog bedding gets me excited. I find the matching sets to be overwhelming and I prefer simple beds dressed in mostly white or neutrals with pattern confined to a pillow or bedskirt.

But a recent review of Ballard Design's current offerings showed me some bedding that strikes the right balance of crisp and decorative. Check out the Lexington Applique Duvet and Sham:

Love, love, love the hue of the applique. Looks to be somewhere between an aloe green and a blue-gray aqua. And I love how they've paired the duvet with the matelasse quilt. I would probably do the duvet with the euro shams and then do something else that coordinates for standard shams (or just use the sheets for the standard pillows).

What do you think? Like it?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

AO House Tour: Guest Bedroom

Welcome to our guest bedroom #1:

Our guest bedroom is a simple little space that is clutter-free for our visitors. These pictures are horrible at portraying the wall color which is a gorgeous seafoam blue color...might be my favorite paint color in the house. Maybe.

The curtain fabric is really the star of the show here. IT. IS. GORGEOUS. I found it for $10/yd and was positively giddy bringing it home for this room. I'll need to hunt down the name of it...

We moved our jute rug here from the living room when we got our new living room rug. This bedroom also inherited our bedroom set and bedding from when we were first married. Although I tend to not do much black furniture, I like how it works in this room against the natural golden tones in the fabric, seagrass chair (a Craigslist find) and jute rug.

I really love how serene this space ended up. I'd like to finish it out with a couple more touches but overall I want the feeling of it to be restful for our visitors and I want them to have plenty of room for their own things.

Coming Soon...(though there isn't that much in this room)

Monday, October 21, 2013

AO House Tour: Guest Bedroom Before

A warning that today's blog post is not at all interesting - just laying the foundation for our guest bedroom for the house tour.

This room is one of two bedrooms on the first floor. And like basically all rooms in the house, it was pretty icky. It certainly needed paint and an overall clean-up but thankfully didn't require any construction. So it was an "easy" fix, relatively speaking.

Nothing says charming like a door with a kicked-in hole. 

Come back tomorrow for the reveal of this tranquil little space in our house...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Crush

Is there anything cuter than a baby (wearing a smocked romper) and her pumpkin? We took Ana Claire to pick out some pumpkins and these photos captured her sheer delight at meeting her bulbous orange friend. It was a heart-melting moment.

So heart-melting, that I'm including bonus footage:

Hope you have some fun fall activities planned for the weekend. Have a good one...see you Monday!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Victoria at Home

There is a new shopping destination in (my) town that you absolutely must know about! I had the immense pleasure of visiting designer Victoria Sanchez's new storefront located in Old Town Alexandria this past week. If you don't know Victoria, you should - remember this drop-dead awesome room?

I knew Victoria's shop would not disappoint...but woah. This place is a slice of heaven:

The shop is light, bright, and cozy all at the same time. And I love Victoria's mix of stock - light fixtures, pillows, small accessories, furniture. A great place for a gift or for larger purchases for your home. And her style is amazing - loads of Chinoiserie mixed in with more traditional and more modern elements. I was a happy lady.

You know who else was a happy lady? Ana Claire...she enjoyed the visit.

Make sure Victoria's shop is on your list next time you are shopping in the DC area:

Victoria at Home
1125 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

You can also browse the shop's inventory online and give them a call to order anything of interest.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

AO House Tour: Dining Room

Welcome to our dining room:

Here's one good before/after comparison of the wall that divides the kitchen and dining room that we built. Before:


Hard to tell from the photo's angle, but that's the wall all complete. Good decision on our end.

Like I said yesterday, this room is not new to some of you. And it hasn't changed that much since I blogged about a couple of years back.

It's the first space I worked on when we moved in. I was determined to have striped walls and since wallpaper was not in the budget, I whipped out a pencil, a straight edge and called on some dear friends (I'm looking at you Tyler and Lans) to help me stripe. The. Entire. Room. Just thinking about it makes me exhausted all over again. It was quite the endeavor. Worth it. But not sure I'm up for that challenge again. The adrenaline of a new house had me going the first time...

Most of the items in this room are vintage (are you seeing a theme here?) The dining table, chairs, bar cart, sideboard, china cabinet and one of the two black chairs...vintage. The dining chairs were a craigslist find that I repainted and recovered. The bar cart was given to me by my mother-in-law (SHE DIDN'T WANT IT! Can you believe that?) The china cabinet was a random purchase at an estate sale.

The light fixture source was a gift from the blogosphere. Read the post about it here...sadly I haven't been able to track it down for the source list, but it really made this room methinks.

The dining room has been around enough long enough that I'm itching to make some small tweaks. I think it could use some refining but it has served us well thus far. We're pros at cramming a dinner party of 10 in that tiny space.

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Paint colors - SW 6415 Hearts of Palm (dark stripe), SW 6414 Rice Paddy (light stripe)
Rug - Natural Area Rugs (I think we created a custom octagonal rug)
Dining table - Vintage hand-me-down
Dining chairs - Craigslist
Sideboard - Vintage hand-me-down
Mirror above sideboard - One Kings Lane
Cane-back chair - Vintage, purchased at Chartreuse & Co.
Chinoiserie fretwork chair - HomeGoods
Fabric on black corner chairs - Schumacher Nanjing
Curtain fabric - Vintage Greef pattern
Bamboo blinds -
China cabinet - Vintage
Bar cart - Vintage hand-me-down
Corner mirror - Vintage, left at the house by previous owners
Light fixture - Read post here, originally scored on (what?) but no longer available there...can't track it down but perhaps it still exists?
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