Saturday, June 29, 2013

DIY Milk Glass


 For quite a while I've loved the look of milk glass. Growing up, my paternal grandmother had a milk glass cookie jar with the most delicious, week-old cookies. Whether out of pure nostalgia or a simple love for vintage things, I always knew I needed my own.

Simultaneously, I had a cabinet that was the bane of my existence because the back of it was littered with cheapo vases left over from bouquets gifted by my very thoughtful husband. Strange how something that was once beautiful and sentimental can quickly become irritating clutter.

Then I came across this idea:

I can't take any credit for this idea: I pinned it about a year ago from Home Made Modern (who gives credit to about five other bloggers). Since it seems to be making the rounds on all the hot blogs as well as Pinterest I figured it was worth a shot. Plus, I haven't seen it as a Pinterest Fail so I thought it must be relatively easy. So easy, in retrospect I feel silly for reading a how-to. It was definitely a "duh" moment.

I started with a small collection that I thought would work well together, but the Inspiration picture shows that items that don't quite work together only add charm to this project.

I picked my favorite white spray paint, Rust-oleum's Universal Gloss White. It's a great creamy white; not stark white, but not an off-white either (it's the best of both worlds). The paint is high quality and covers well, but about 90% of why I love this spray paint is that it has a trigger vs. a push down top, so my fingers don't cramp. It's not designed for glass, but it worked well enough for me.

Here we are one coat in.

It took me about 4 very light coats to get the coverage I wanted. I also lightly coated the inside where visible just for consistency. This isn't really rocket science.

A little bit of dry time and we were ready for display.

Sidebar: does anyone else love my new hour glass I splurged on at Home Goods last week? It has an antiquey brass finish that normally wouldn't be my cup o' tea, but I'm really loving it. My inner nerd keeps calling it "my time turner." Pat says it "Boone's time out timer."

In conclusion: I totally would not be opposed to more random bouquets from the hubby so I can grow my "milk glass" collection.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY Week (and a half)

Hello, hello!

I feel like I've been neglecting you all lately, only giving the most basic of house updates. I've been really busy with that kind of busy-ness you impose on yourself. Well, not anymore because DIY Week starts now.

I have a little more than a week off of work and nowhere to go so I'm finally going to knock out a few of those Pinterest projects I've been meaning to tackle, plus a few out of my own imagination (or old tricks I remember).

Here's the to do list:
I went to Michael's  today and picked up all my supplies so there goes my biggest excuse. Hold me accountable to making sure I complete all these tasks before the Monday after next. It's more like DIY Week and a Half.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

House Update: It's electric!

Not much news out of house land, except we now have electricity. By the looks of it, Boone could smell the current, although he's likely just very curious.

 I also tried to recreate the Boone/construction shot, but I couldn't seem to get the angle right. I may need to go back with an extra set of hands. This is as close as I got. Not only is the angle still not right, but Boo looks ridiculous.

One possibility could be this "Boone of the House" shot, but I think he may fade in too much.

Close up!

Now that the neighbors houses are all framed in, I feel bad about complaining about the slope in our backyard. 

 As you can see, our neighbors barely have any backyard and its all slope. The flat leveled out part is where the future garages will be.

To make matters worse, they have  barely any space on the sides of their houses while we will have quite a nice side yard. All things considered I'm feeling like we got a great lot.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Celebrity Home Tours?!

Can we all just take a minute and recognize that HGTV's Frontdoor has galleries of celebrity homes?!

It's like my prayers have been answered because aside from loving all things architecture and home design, I'm a huuuuge celebophile (real word according to Urban Dictionary). Why have they never advertised this? I've been hearing about Frontdoor for years and never thought it was worthy of a closer look. Ooops.

So while many blogs offer home tours (and I will once I can), I now offer you: Celebrity Homes.

Here's a pic of Reese Witherspoon's historic home in Ojai, CA. Yes, the home she got married at the second time around. 

Of all the reasons to be jealous of Reese Witherspoon (excluding that police recording you know you listened to), now we can add gorgeous living room with reclaimed wood beams. But they're not really reclaimed; they're original to the 1925 house.

That's Lauren Conrad's patio (I'm told it's from The Hills).

Not only is it b-e-a-utiful, it is LC personified. All of it screams her easy, breezy SoCal style without any LA crass. What? She may be a guilty pleasure. Of all the homes I looked at, hers probably matched my personal style the best.

Hilary Duff must be after my neutral-loving heart.

Would you look at that fireplace? And I can't get over that lamp! Switch out the coffee table/chair by the fireplace and I'd move right into this living room.

I've been talking a lot about backyard inspiration and Jessica Simpson hit the nail on the head.

So simple, clean, and private. It feels comfortable and undone. I'm perplexed how my neutral feelings towards Ms. Simpson and my generally negative feelings towards shabby chic decor equaled a house that I find very appealing. Jessica's full house tour is on Zillow, just follow the links.

Just for my hubby, this is Dexter's Michael C. Hall's foyer.

I love that Dexter didn't get a mega mansion with a grotto. He got a down to earth mid-century that I can really envision him coming home to. A little too modern for my liking, but it fits him so well.

Now, let's go ahead and address the Holy Grail: Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio.

Now that we've all swooned, fainted, and collected ourselves appropriately, here's his $23 million beachfront Malibu compound.

I'd certainly pay $23 million for that, assuming the current owner can be negotiated into the purchase price. I even kind of love how all Leo's pictures are all grainy like they were taken with a long-focus lens. It's in keeping with his super private personality.

Surprisingly, I was a little disappointed by some of my favorite stars. Jen Aniston was all Zen/Buddhist and very modern; it almost felt cold. Britney Spears was all "new money" (no surprise there) but I was really hoping her "new money" would feel Louisiana Chic versus Real Housewives of Wherever. The biggest let down of all was there were no Backstreet Boys (and only Joey from N'Sync, who went for the grotto among other questionable choices).

Now that I've effectively wasted tonight and all of tomorrow, I hope that you can find some inspiration or just some superficial fun through my latest discovery.

P.S. I didn't mean to feature all teeny boppers, but these things happen. What can I say other than I peaked in 1999. HGTV's assortment is much more diversified.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

House Update: Windows and Tubs

Windows and tubs, windows and tubs, windows and tubs (throw a beat behind that and we have a nonsensical rap song). These are the newest additions to our hizzity house.

We also got gas lines, air ducts, and some other plumbing stuff but that didn't fit my rhyme. Here's pictures of what's happening now:

Gas lines and water lines leading to the stove and fridge.

Back porch with windows. Can anyone explain why some of the windows are open and others are shut? Other than it's June in Charlotte...

Here's the living room with all it's windows. Not to shabby when it comes to natural light, but I'm not looking forward to window treatments in this room. Can you imagine, "one curtain down, seven to go."

Looking into our guest bath upstairs. The tub is in, plus the pipes for the toilet and sink. Apparently, when you install a tub, you need to put water into it for several days.

Boone wanted to drink that water. I decided it was best for him not to.

This dandy little shot is looking from our guest room, through the closet, over the stairs, through the laundry room and master closet into the master bath.

This shot is looking from the nook in the master bedroom, through the loft and guest bath into the office.

Master bedroom with it's windows. It was actually very bright and just messed with the ISO on my camera. One day I will learn how to use the settings on manual.

The master bath had the most cool new stuff: windows, tub, shower floor (to the left of the bench), and plumbing for sinks and toilet.

Finally, a somewhat decent shot of the laundry room. The washer/dryer will go on the wall to the left and that's a linen closet on the right. Behind that is our master closet.

Some gratuitous shots of Boone looking out a window.

And the new view of our street. The house to our right is finished with framing and they've started on the two houses to our left (not pictured...yet). All five houses are coming along quite nicely.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Let's Furnish This House, Part III

Like I said last time we talked furniture, I have a craving to look at some higher quality furniture, the type of stuff that will last so long I will have to pawn it off on our college-aged kids who will begrudgingly take it because it is free.

To be clear, I don't plan on doing the entire house with really expensive furniture (not at first anyways). I need furniture I can live on, furniture where I won't freak out if the dog jumps on the couch or if the cat decides to climb the bookshelf (true life).

I will never have one of those $10,000 couches no matter how wealthy we may become or how beautiful the fabric spun by Italian nuns may be. After all, I'm decorating a home, not a showroom.

On the other end, you may have read "I can't justify that expense" a thousand times by now, but I don't consider myself cheap at all. I just like to get the best value, sometimes that means buying the cheapest item and sometimes it's worth it to pay more.

That being said, furniture is crazy expensive even for the cheap stuff and I'm all about getting my money's worth. If I'm spending $1,000 anyway, I'd probably rather pay $2,000 to guarantee years of use and good customer service. The last thing I want to do is waste $1,000 only to be buying the same item in 3 years.

All these thoughts, plus my extreme pickiness, lead me to Bassett Furniture. And I have to say I was really impressed. If we could afford it, almost all of our furniture would come from here.

Right when you walk in the door, the lovely bedroom greets you. And while most of you are probably drawn to the chevron bed and matching chair, I cannot get over that duvet. It needs to come home with us, one way or the other.

Right behind that was this really nice cream sectional. I love a good light colored couch which probably makes several of you classify me as "crazy." Maybe. In real life, I probably won't go this light, but it will be on the lighter end of the spectrum. One of the many great things about Bassett is you can customize any piece of furniture.

I remain undecided about sectionals and their place in our future home. If we decide to go that route, this one ranks pretty high. It was super comfortable and the knife-edged back cushions would be a great fit for our kitties. That natural slouch sofas get over time (in our case, from cats perching on top of the cushions) would look intentional with knife-edged rather than "worn out" with box-edged.

Another beautiful sectional with a very neutral style. With different pillows, this couch could go from super traditional to that perfect rustic/vintage look I'm after. It's kind of a clean slate.

I found two chairs that I'm pining over:

The first is a grandma chair to the extreme, but I don't care, it was that comfortable. It's even growing on me because I could certainly see it in a different fabric. It might even add some credibility and "age" to our brand new home. It really feels like a piece that's been around forever. And for $1,300 it better last a good long time.

The other one was also very comfortable, but not as much as the first. The fabric was much nicer, but I'm concerned it may be too modern. I want to find that style that's relevant now but looks like it could have been unchanged for years. As much as I love it, I'm not sure this chair strikes that balance.

The last thing I'll show you is the part I'm most excited about: the completely customizable HGTV Upholstery Studio. When it's time to buy, Pat and I will definitely revisit this area. Two styles of couches stood out to me:

This couch is a little classier than I would typically go, but what can I say, I love it. Like L-O-V-E love. The rolled arms are really pretty and the back cushions are a good mid-point between knife-edged and box-edged.

I thought it looked a little familiar, and I eventually realized it's the same couch Christina at Carolina Charm recently picked for her living room. (If you don't read Carolina Charm, start now. Bonus points: she's also Charlotte, NC based.)

The other couch was another "clean slate." It was modeled in a sumptuous down; it was so cushy I could have slept there. As a matter of fact, that knocked over cushion is a result of me getting a little too cozy in the showroom. Either way, I think I prefer two cushion couches (like the ones behind the two I love) to three. Wonder if they can customize that...

They also had amazing upholstered headboards (I'm beating myself up for not taking a picture) which are (once again) customizable. Yay!

Definitely feel like I made some serious idea-progress on this trip. Bassett has made the short list of places to return to.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Let's Furnish This House, Part II

So the search for furniture continues: this trip took me to World Market and Furniture Row (located across from Ikea).

As expected, World Market had it's usual assortment of Pottery Barn-esque items at rock bottom prices. This is why I have an ongoing love affair with World Market, but it doesn't hurt that every time I'm there I allow myself to try a new kind of dark chocolate.

Quote me now, honeycombs are coming in style. The lovely hexagons are the right mix of rustic chic and urban style. Although they were both hiding in dark corners I found two great honeycomb composed pieces. This awesome chandelier makes me wish the dining room chandelier didn't come standard in our home (and any one who has built a home knows wishing for something to not be standard is huge). Maybe someday...

I also found this adorbs wine bottle holder. What a perfect way to incorporate the honeycomb trend without going over board.

On to a completely different, full blown trend, this chalkboard/magazine rack is the perfect utilitarian piece to hang in a kitchen or mudroom. It's also really generously sized so it would make an impact in any room and you could draw a whole month's calendar with room to spare.

These little frames hang from an oil rubbed bronze bar and remind me of this backsplash organizer from Ikea that I'm currently obsessing over. What a great way to tie together the whole open concept living/kitchen I'll be decorating very soon.

This is the Erin Cute-As-A-Button Chair and her name says it all. The style is perfect for my rustic traditional meets modern aesthetic. With very clean lines, light upholstery, and an almost mid-century appeal, the multi-colored buttons add some much needed whimsy. Not to mention it's a very close complement to the dining chairs and barstools I want.

Like always, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a new bedroom suite. Although not on the top of our list for furniture buying, we definitely want to buy a king size (or Cali King) bed within the first year. I like this one because it mixes the dark woods, antique style hardware, and upholstery. I'm still gravitating towards a fully upholstered headboard, but I'm a little worried about the upkeep (what if it's starts looking dingy? How do you clean it?). I'm also dead set on having a full bed, not just a headboard. It's good to know there's an economical option that features all my favorite styles in case we go over-budget in other areas.

The real reason I went to World Market was to look at dining room tables. I've pretty much decided that I want dining chairs and barstools from here, and it will take a lot to convince me otherwise, but I haven't found the perfect table yet. 

The challenge is our dining room will be a very square 12' x 12'. I'm often inclined to put a circular table with a removable center leaf in there so that the square-ness isn't overemphasized. Most circular tables I've seen are either very traditional or very modern. Most rectangular tables are simply too long; an 8' table would only leave 2' at either end which would certainly feel cramped.

I want to be able to seat 6-8 people, but I'm completely okay with only having 4 spaces on an everyday basis. After striking out at World Market, I decided to journey across the street to Furniture Row. Also it was raining really, really hard and I was trying to delay driving on the interstate.

A few words on Furniture Row: it caters to a very specific clientele. Granted, it's only 10 minutes from Lowe's Motor Speedway, I've never seen so many couches with cup holders, ginormous leather sectionals, and waterbeds. Yes, they still sell waterbeds. But the price is reasonable and like I said, I really didn't want to go out in the rain.

I was amazed to find a few trend-right styles albeit the store's best effort to hide them.

Yes, that's a full ikat armchair in shades a greige. Sure it was put in a lonely corner not even close to the nearest "room," but the savvy Charlottean woman who braves the NASCAR crowd could score this cute/comfortable piece at a very reasonable price. Nearby I found a super cozy rug. It seriously felt like walking on cotton balls. 

Not sure how to vacuum that with a golden retriever...

Check out this cool entertainment center! I know the farmhouse trend is pretty well in full swing with dining rooms, but now I found it in the living room staple (Pat and I have no plans to mount our TVs at this point). What really impressed me was the quality; it didn't photograph well, but this was made out of a really pretty reddish-brown solid wood. It just had that heavy feel that's so important when anchoring a room.

And speaking of farmhouse dining rooms, this table was a dream! It could easily seat ten people (we wouldn't have the space to fully extend it) but it seats six even without the leaves. I also really fancied the upholstered chairs behind the table.

I would say I found some diamonds in the rough on this excursion, but I really feel like we need to shop for some high quality pieces that could last for several years. Maybe a fancy schmancy showroom next...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Future Foyer Art, Part II

It's crazy exciting to think that the photography portion of our construction gallery could be 2/3 complete! Like crazy crazy.

I wished this meant we were 2/3 done with building the house and 66.6% of the way to moving in. Alas, it does not because we think it may be September before we're officially in the Woodward Place. That means, we're roughly only 57% there.

Back to happy things:

Remember, this is the layout I'm going for:

Since there's now a house on our foundation, it was time to pick the foundation picture for the foyer. After much consideration, I've picked this picture that was taken just after the lot was graded.

I wish it was sunnier or had pretty clouds, but no dice. I guess it's fitting because this house is officially sponsored by rainy days.

I really want picture two to be taken before the siding is on the house, otherwise it might look too much like picture three (move-in day!).

Problem is I have two pictures I love:

Oh, Boo-Baby knows how to make any picture. Siriusly, this dog could model. Yep, I went there. As much as I love this picture and Boone, I'm not crazy about the angle, so I'd need to recreate this shot straight on if this is the direction I choose to go in (with a pro like Boone, it wouldn't be a problem).

The second option has both of my favorite boys and needs no re-shoot:

So tell me, which picture do you think should hang in our foyer for years to come, Option A or Option B?