Bonus

Ok – so when you start your house search saying things to your realtor like “Does this house have off street parking” and “Oh, they’re counting this weird room you walk through to get into the kitchen as one of the bedrooms” Or, “Oh, there’s a furnace in the middle of this room” and “Whaaaa – this house doesn’t have AC?!” *we live in NC!* – when you land up with a house that has a bonus room, over an attached garage, you’re sorta like slapping your self every morning, noon and night. Not polite dainty slapping but full out smacking yourself silly.

Yes, if y’all didn’t catch that we have a whole other room over a garage that we can use for things like guests! and TV’s! and parties! I’M SO EXCITED.

Refresher – this is the room on move-in day. Red, very red. But also very large. Me likey.

Bonus Room Over Garage

Any room that is large enough for a pool table is basically like a Greecian palace to me.

So we’ve got some big plans for the space that I wanted to share with y’all before I show you some of the progress we’ve made on the room next week.

Overall – this is the look and feel I’m going for in the space. Soft, light, open and airy.

Living Room Mood Board

Looking like this (more or less) when we’re done…

Bonus Room Design

I fell in love with Benjamin Moore moonshine, and really like how it has a tinge of blue to it, so that’s my color inspiration for the space. Here it is in a bedroom I love (almost makes me want to paint our bedroom this color, too!)

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

Another cool thing about this room is that it has a little wet bar built in. Don’t get me wrong, it needs some a lot, of refining, but the plumbing and all that jazz is already up there.

Since the space is so small, I’ve got some ideas on how to give it a wow factor and really snazz up this part of the room. Right now, I’m inspired by photos like this.

Small White Kitchenette

Our space will need to fit a mini fridge, and possibly a dishwasher. On cabinetry we plan on keeping it as minimal and simple as possible.

I also love this photo, sans the peninsula, since that wouldn’t fit in our space (just a row of cabinets against the wall).

Small Kitchenette

Cute, simple and easy to decorate :)

Ok, one more, I’m on a kitchen kick over here. The bottom portion (with cabinets) on this one would pretty much make me weep with happiness I like it so much.

Butlers Pantry

The one downside of this wet bar is that is means we have a half bath up in this room vs. a full bath. Eventually we plan on adding a shower up here, but realistically, that’s at least a year out. When we do add the bath, we’ll do a very basic stall type of shower since this room will only be used by guests – so there’s no need to go crazy although you know I’ll be fighting the urge! :)

Some progress photos up next week! It look SO MUCH BETTER in this room already, I can barely contain myself, y’all!

Pale’s in Comparison

Our new house is pretty open concept. Much more so than past houses in the sense that one wall color, more or less, covers most of the downstairs area. I had my heart set on going really dark in the dining room this time,  but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would clash with the Living Room wall it connects to a bit too much. Likewise, when thinking about the Living Room color, we had to pick something that would work nicely with the Dining Room.

We landed on Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore).

Open Concept Living Room

We used this color in our bathroom remodel in the last house and I knew I wanted to also use it in our next house. It’s a great color with a slight gray undertone.

You’re probably noticing some other changes in the room as well… Y’all – craigslist is my bff as of late. You’re looking at a Pottery Barn Sectional that I snagged for $450 right there. It’s in immaculate condition – like brand new. This thing retails for $3,500. SCORE.

Open Concept Living Room

It’s super comfortable and fit our room just right. I also splurged (for me) on a quality chair that was recovered in a restoration hardware velvet upholstery for $300 on craigslist.

Restoration Hardware Upholstered Chair

This guy is so comfortable! The cat I’m afraid loves it, so it’s normally covered in cat hair (hence the blanket, ha ha!)

It’s the perfect addition to this corner, since it helps us hide H’s toys a bit!

Restoration Hardware Club Chair

And the final new addition to this space, are some sweet pillows I scored on clearance at Target. I’d been eyeing these beauts for 6+ months, but couldn’t justify spending $25 each. Well low and behold, I found them on clearance last week and along with a cartwheel promotion, I got them for $5 each!

Threshold Throw Pillows

Here is one final view of the room – first a before shot:

Family Room off of the Kitchen

And … progress!

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Sittin’ Pretty

I love, LOVE, buying our furniture and household duds used. I mean, I get plenty of shopping fixes from dear old target and online locales, too, but there is really nothing better in my book than scoring a serious deal on a piece of furniture I’d never be able to afford new. As far as creating a cohesive and styled space though, this approach can lead to a slightly longer timeline to get the exact look you want. Over time it does give a more gathered look though, which I definitely like! This is one of the photos I’ve been saving that has that collected over time look.

Gathered Living Room Look

Or this. Love how everything works together and it looks layered yet intentional.

Eclectic Living Room

That being said, a room like the photo below completely has me at hello – but all the matchy matchy = money money since it’s all got to (more or less), be purchased new, as a set. Every once in a blue moon I’ll get super lucky and find a set on the list, but it’s rare, and fleeting – so you better be prepared to drop everything and run type of thing.

Living Room Design

I’ve been dreaming and scheming the past few weeks about what I’d like our Living Room to look like (hint, not like this) and wanted to share some of my favorite inspiration images for the space. There are a few key elements in this room I’d like to play up over time, one of them being our fireplace. I love this photo, and have it pinned for inspiration.

Fireplace Trim Ideas

That marble surround. Mmmmm hmmmm.

This one also has be thinking about different options for our fireplace wall. Both I think would be relatively easy to do – and similar to past projects we’ve done with board and battan.

Fireplace with Detail

You’d think having a one year old that always has blackberry juice dripping down his shirt would have cleansed me of this urge, but I can’t help it, I’m still a total sucker for some nice neutral linen upholstery :) It’s just so darn crisp and clean. Lurrrve.

Living Room with Built-ins

We’re not huge TV watchers, so for now I’m not worrying too much about a space to fit our TV in this room. I like how the picture above tucks it over to the right of the fireplace though, tres chic. Someday I’d like to put in some built-ins on either side of the fireplace, but I’m thinking a project like that is still a year or so out.

I love when I stumble across a website that has all the answers to all the design dilemmas we have in our homes on a daily basis. Laurel and Wolf is an online interior design service that can help create a pulled together (and affordable to create!) space in your home. Here is their website – check it out to get some ideas!

Quick teaser – we finally decided on a color for the Living Room space and painted it! I can’t wait to show you some progress photos next week!

 

Pea Green and Fire Engine Red

I’m flexible to a certain extent with the colors in this house right now. In the name of keeping our sanity, there will be some rooms that we take longer to get to than others. Our Master Bedroom, for instance (and the rest of the upstairs for that matter) is a dark green color right now. Not enough to offend me. Not my favorite, but we’ve been a bit slower to pull out the paint brushes for the upstairs.

Now in the Dining Room and Living Room, we had something entirely different going on. By day, the walls looked like a mustard yellow and red, and at night, they turned into pea soup. They were just a bit too loud and in charge in for me.

This is a view of the Living Room / Hallway / Kitchen soon after we moved in.

Living Room Move In Day

Overall, we both love how open this space is and I know with a few coats of paint it’s going to shine like a diamond. :)

This is how the previous owner had the furniture arranged and although I like how they incorporated extra seating, I think I’d like to leave the walk way between the eat-in and the Living Room a bit more open, so I’m not sure I’ll put in furniture along that opening.

Family Room

You can see that the sofa kinda blocks off any foot traffic coming in from the kitchen area in this photo.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

Ultimately, I think we’ll eventually position

On the opposite wall from the view above, we have a little fireplace with a nook to the side. Eventually I hope to put a built-in bookcase in that little space to the right of the fireplace for extra toy storage and Living Room accessories.

Living Room with Two Tone Walls

Speaking of toys … ha ha! This is about half of them 😉 The big old basket I bought for him is now over flowing, so it may be time to re-think the toy storage strategy and/or move some of his old “baby” toys up into storage.

Toy Storage in Living Room

Henry’s favorite thing is to remove the toys from the toy box, so I’d hate to rain on his parade and limit the toys he can chuck out of the box (with a gleeful little grin!).

Side note – this little one is also obsessed with the concept of having steps in his abode. Since he’s been in an apartment for much of his little life, this concept of a mountain he can climb whenever his heart desires makes this little dude pretty happy. He especially loves it when the kitty joins him :)

Baby climbing steps

Another baby related adjustment we’re having to make in this house is all. the. cords. This house came with really nice window treatments, but these window treatments also have super long cords. Right now our windows look like this around much of the house to keep Mr. H from catching on them.

Cord Management for WIndows

 

Paint is My New Patron Saint

Chalk it up to a year of apartment living, but I forgot what a difference a can of paint can make in my life. It didn’t come easy, with dark red walls to start off with, but y’all – we officially have our first painted room checked off the list. And it feels SO much more like us!

This is what we were working with on move-in day.

Dining Room with Built in

And this is what we have now! Nothing too Earth shattering, but definitely better!

Dining Room After

I wasn’t able to wait very long before the paint brushes came out, and I’m super glad we decided to tackle this room first, since it’s the room you enter right off the bat when coming into the house.

Here is a view of the hall that leads from the Living Room down into the Dining Room/Entry. Still thinking of ways to decorate the walls a bit – I’m thinking some matted family photos may fit the bill.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This is how the entry looks now. I still need to find a big console table to put in the window. I have a lamp I scored on Craigslist that I think will look perfect in this entry – I just need a piece of furniture to put it on! Oh, and we need to paint that door something other than red (charcoal, perhaps?)

Foyer Revere Pewter

And for a before – this was the entry on move-in day.

Entryway landing

This is how everything looks coming down from the steps.

Foyer Revere Pewter Paint

Here is another view where you can see the Revere Pewter paint color a bit better. It’s super soft and soothing and it brightens up the space a ton. I’m in love 😀

Revere Pewter in Dining Room

So anyway, I think that Revere Pewter is definitely staying in my back pocket as a look to love (evidence here and here). Share with me your go to paint colors, y’all, I still got LOTS of rooms to paint 😉

Dinner Is Served

As soon as we found a house I was (of course) immediately drawn to the corner of the interwebs I think we all know too well, full of all types of juicy things to look at. Yes, pinterest, my fellow house renovation addicts. This is the land of obsession and alllll kinds of inspiration.

Ever since our offer was accepted, I started thinking about how I wanted our Dining Room to look once the space was finished. It’s the first room you see when you walk into the house, and right now – it’s screams 1992.

Dining Room with Built in

I LOVE built-ins. I do not love these built-ins.

Dining Room Built in

That being said, even though they look sorta funky, I’ve found even after just a few weeks of living here that they’re functional. Really great storage and with a small kitchen, they’re a perfect place to store those huge casserole dishes you pull out like twice a year.

So although I know we’ll be getting rid of these particular built-ins, I do think I’d like to keep the concept going as we continue to renovate down the road. So with my pinterest obsessed way, I stumbled across this gem and it’s officially become my inspiration for what I’d like to do with the space.

Built-ins in Dining Room

I mean – if I ever find this style table on craigslist, I’m going to literally die and stop whatever I’m doing to go and get that sucker. I swear, it’s just the loveliest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. And truly, as much as I love those linen chairs, with a one-year old, that’s just not happening. Unless your going for a modern tie die effect via spaghetti sauce everywhere.
Grasscloth in Dining Room

We’ve also got chair rail in this room, so this photo caught my attention, too.  Eventually we plan on adding in some nice trim beneath the chair rail to make the room look a bit more polished and finished. In the more immediate term, we’ll just plan on painting it white though.

If my budget allowed for grass cloth, I’d be all the heck over that, but alas, a gallon of paint is a whole lot cheaper, so for now I’m thinking Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter which should give the room a similar look. Not nearly as classy, I know, but hey – it’s the look for less, right?!

Since this room also opens up into the foyer, I want to keep the color consistent in both spaces.

Entryway landing

My heart is so drawn to entries like this. Swoon. That picture is enough to make me want to buy a country farmhouse with 200-year old pine floors.

Farmhouse Entry Way

Or something like this … an old dresser off craigslist with some sweet little lamps on it?

Entry Way

So these days, you’ll find me with paint brush in hand, doing some hard core craigslist searching on the side 😉 Next up I’ll have some after photos of our Dining Room. It’s in progress now – can’t wait to share the changes with y’all!

Going Up

Now that y’all have had a chance to see our downstairs last week, I wanted to stop back with a few photos of our upstairs space as well. Our new house isn’t large by “American” standards, but it’s absolutely huge to us. All said and done, the house is around 2,200 square feet. All our other houses never got about 1,500 square feet, so we’re kind of scratching our heads on what to do with all the extra space.

Upstairs we have (3) bedrooms, a laundry space, and (2) bathrooms.

Hardwood on stair landing

When you get upstairs, there’s a little hallway that connects everything together. The doors to the left there are the laundry space – it’s just a little closet area. It would be nice to have a full room, but meh – it’s got lots of shelving in there so I think we’ll be just fine with it the way it is.

Niche at top of steps

There’s also a little bookcase at the top of the stairs. Other homes in this neighborhood actually have this bookcase as a small linen closet, and I like that idea, so we may convert it back in the future. Other than the bedroom closets, there really isn’t a place upstairs to store a vacuum and other essentials, so I think it may be better served as an extra storage space.

As you can see with the Master, and the hall side by side, there is a lot of dark green in this house. They’ve basically used 3-4 dark colors throughout the house, so I know we’ll be stocking up on primer when we get new coats of paint up on the wall 😉

Master Bedroom with ensuite

This is the first bedroom we’ve had that’s big enough for a King! It’s a-mazing!!! King beds feel like 52 times larger than Queen beds to me :)

We also have a bathroom off to the side with this ginormous (albeit rather dated) shower.

Walkin Shower DImensions

And another area for a double vanity up against the wall AND we have a little toilet room – ha ha! Just add it to my list of things I’d never have in my house. 😉

Double Vanity in Bathroom

The other two rooms upstairs are for our little guy and the office space.

Upstairs Office Space

Once again – more dark green 😉

Dark Green Paint Color

Oh and last but not least, we also have a bonus room over a garage! Pretty cool, huh? This is a vast and open space that I know will be great for guests once we get rid of the sea of red 😀

Bonus Room Over Garage

 

Annnnnnd – Here we go again!

Oh, my. I know, I know. A year plus – where has the time gone. Well, you guys – we’ve got a new house and we’ve got all kinds of plans for it so I thought I’d swing by and fill you in on some of the details since I’ve been getting some follow up emails from all y’all asking whats going on over here.

Well, first off – had my little guy last March. And then Jay’s job moved from Durham to Raleigh – so being the bike riding, bus loving people we are, we had to move along with it, since a 25 mile bike ride was just going to take too much time out of the husband’s day – if you know what I mean. We knew we wanted to be close enough to Jay’s work that he could ride the bike, and close enough to downtown that I could hop on the bus to get to work, which made our window of possible homes pretty small… and LORDY is it a tight market down here. Y’all – for those trying to buy a house in the Raleigh, NC neck of the woods, perhaps you can relate, but it took up over 9-months to find a house. 9 MONTHS.

I can’t even express to you how happy we are to be out of our 1-bedroom apartment we moved into nearly a year ago, thinking we’d be there for a few months. Nope – almost a year later we finally closed on our house. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

I’ll post some more detailed pictures of the inside over the next few weeks, but wanted to share a quick snapshot of how the house looked before we purchased it.

So – like I said – we’ve been search for a city house. For all you urban dwellers, you know that this usually means tree lined streets, beautiful little bungalows and tons of character. Well y’all – we live in a subdivision on a cul-de-sac, in the city. I know – WEIRD, right? I’m still getting over it.

Urban Newer Home Raleigh

That’s the front of the house. Built in 2006 – so to us, that’s brand spankin’ new. As Jay put it, this house has a door bell – that works. Which more or less puts it in another category than our previous abodes. 1930’s vs. 2006 – some differences in the wiring, shall you say. Pretty generic and subdvisiony from the front for sure. Not NEARLY as quaint and cute (IMO) as the other neighborhoods we’ve lived in, but y’all, new houses do have some advantages I’m finding out.

Here is the entry way, it’s large. What does one do with an entry way this large. I’ve yet to figure this out.

Entryway landing

And here is the Dining Room.

Dining Room with Built in

As you can see – just because a house is newer does not mean that it has finishes that don’t look outdated. I love the concept of a built in – but this one has a tad too much maroon laminate for my taste.

Dining Room Built in

Speaking of maroon laminate. Drum roll, please! This is our kitchen. Quite a looker, huh?

Small kitchen design

It needs some love. But it has a pantry. A pantry!! These are things I never thought I would have. I can barely handle it, it just makes my organized crazed self so dang happy.

In case you didn’t have enough maroon in your life – here is another angle.

Kitchen layout for small kitchen

The kitchen leads into the breakfast nook – which is a really nice additional space in the house.

Breakfast Nook off Kitchen

And then the rest of the downstairs leads over into the family room. Love the open concept and how everything feels connected.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

It has a gas fireplace, too. I know we’re going to love that come winter!

Here is another angle – it’s a bit of an awkward room (as far as layout is concerned) but I have a few ideas on how to get everything situated nicely in there!

Family Room in Kitchen

I’ll swing by soon to show so additional photos of the upstairs spaces.

Cheerio!

Reason 564 Why I Love My Husband

Man – ladies, gotta come out and say it – I’ve got quite the catch :) He went up a solid 10 points in my book after he helped to bust out a closet from heaven. See, old house = small closets = hair brained pregnant women without enough places to store baby crap. Why do baby’s come with so much crap – it’s sorta ridiculous.

So one afternoon, I started sketching up some storage solutions for our Master Bedroom. A whole lotta work, and more money than desired later – we now have this!

Built_In_Armoire

AND this!

Closet_Armoire

Which equals a whole lotta storage! One side just for Jay.

Closet_Storage

And one side just for me!

Built_In_Armoire_Storage

Although it’s not much space (and it’s pretty high up) there is also a shelf at the top that I’ll get some baskets for down the line. I figure it’s a great spot for seasonal stuff I don’t need on a daily basis.

Basket_Storage_In_Closet

In other news – my life is pretty much complete now that these little beehive handles have made their way into my life :)

Martha_Stewart_Hardware

Nothing like adding some more storage to make me happy as a fool on a warm summer’s day.

Built_In_Closet_Storage

Our Sun and Moon

Or should I say our son and moon. Hardee harr harr. 😀 Well, our little one is mere weeks away, so Jay and I have been trying (trying) to get some things beautified over here. At the top of that list is the little man’s nursery. I keep telling Jay that before I pop this human out, I want the house to (as much as possible) feel done, serene and like a peaceful place to bring baby back to. That’s my goal. Some days I feel closer to it than others – we’re a work in progress over here.

So a few weekends back, Jay and I (and my sister, too) tackled some artwork arranging in Henry’s room.

Constellation Artwork

For a galaxy inspired nursery, I can’t think of a much nicer addition than some constellation charts for our little guy.

We hit up IKEA a month or so ago to get the frames and I found some free archived constellation prints online (here) that we just took them to Kinkos and paid $20 to have them cut to size, and printed on nice heavy cardstock. Not too shabby.

Constellation Art

Notice another addition in this shot?

Constellation Nursery Theme

When we were at habitat scoring the $11 sink for our bathroom, I also spotted a nice little chandy sitting in the lighting section. After our steal of a deal on the sink, the $20 I spent on it felt a bit steep, but heck – still not bad!

Wooden Chandelier

I love how the artwork looks up in the space and I think it adds the perfect focal point for this main (previously empty) wall in the room. A few final details and this space will be ready for baby!

Constellation Artwork

If y’all haven’t noticed – I’ve been recalibrating a bit over here the past month or so. As I look ahead to motherhood, and to raising our family, I really want to be actively present for my kids. I want them to know that mom is always here for them, and that I’m never too busy and can always make time for them. I don’t want to miss the details of my life. I want to see each moment, cherish each second, for the beautiful gift that it is.

I think in our modern day, technology driven world, that it’s very easy to become distracted from truly living and embracing our day to day and I’m feeling the need to put blogging in a space that it belongs for me in my life – and daily logging of our renos and home life just felt like a bit much. I’ll still be here – just a bit less! :)

After all, before you know it, April will be here and we’re going to have another human in the house – crazy sauce!

Constellation Nursery