Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone!  As everyone knows, I love Christmas.  Almost as much as Easter! 

My favorite way to celebrate the season is always a crafting party with my friends.  This year, my favorite project was this wreath.  Didn't it turn out cute?  It's made from paper octagons folded and pinned.  I think my inspiration was a Martha post somewhere, but I think my own version actually turned out pretty well!

We hosted 10 people on Christmas Eve for dinner.  It was our first dinner in our new dining room and on our new china!  To decorate for the event, I hung some silver garland in the bay window:

Flowers aren't exactly easy to come by this time of year, so I arranged a centerpiece of silver trees and tinsel on a cake plate.  The husband gave me a truly wonderful Playmobil animal advent calendar at the beginning of the month and some of the little critters snuck into my centerpiece.

Fox on the left, proud boar in the middle and baby deer on the right.  So cute!

Speaking of the dining room, I realize I haven't shown anyone the new house layout!  We finally reunited the two sides, and set up the dining room on this side.  Just in time for our inaugural dinner.

As seen from the far side.  Check out the festive swag around the opening!  (No molding?  No problem, slap up a swag around the hole!)

We swapped the living room furniture into the other side so that the tree could stand proudly in the bay window.  I am the luckiest girl in the world, as not only did we get the tiny tree for the craft room (see my last post), but also a big one for the living room.  What's that you say?  You'd like to see the tree?  Oh, OK!

Look at how festive it is!  This was on Christmas Eve, full of wonderful gifts underneath.

OK, so the tree is awfully pink for the new husband but they're mostly my vintage ornaments.  Maybe we'll try to dude it up a little next year?  (Or maybe not.) 

The new living room isn't totally fleshed out yet, but here's the initial cut at it.  We did manage to hang one large piece of art which feels like a big accomplishment.

Check it out.  Cuteness, right?  The tree is on the right in all its bushy glory.

The husband is surprisingly supportive of my weird antiques like the channel-backed chair, which actually looks charming in the living room.  (We're still working on where everything lives.  Like for example, where do the bicycles live?  For now, they live in the living room, behind the chair!)

I keep forgetting that it hasn't been very long in this whole process, it feels like we've still got so much work ahead of us.  But for now, it feels good to be bringing the year to a close as a married couple who have a living room AND a dining room.  What luxury!  Happy New Year everyone!  May the new year bring everything you are hoping for.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crafting of Cuteness

The rumors are true!  I have a craft room!  It is gorgeous and I've even broken it in by making an apron for a friend and hemming half a pair of pants.  (Why only half a pair is a long story, but luckily I work with all males and either they did not notice that one leg of my pants was hemmed and one was safety pinned, or they were kind enough to not mention it.)

Check out the cuteness!  I've got a nice worktable with room for sewing and room for my laptop.

And a cute seating area in the corner with a tiny girly lamp.

Storage for my wrapping paper, stationery, candles, etc.

Laid out some of my favorite crafting supplies on my pink dresser. 

The picture is a pic of my great-grandma and I.  I love the fact that she is wearing a cute pink cardigan and that we both look super mischievous.  I think it helps set the tone in the room.

A bunch of built-in storage (a little messy right now but it will get better!)

Got all my supplies arranged easily within reach.

This is how it normally looks:

But this is how it is looking for Christmas!

Yay!  The husband surprised me with a tiny tree perfectly sized for this space.  Some friends helped me craft the ornaments for it, which makes it even more adorable.  With the big tree in the window below it, it looks like the tree grows up through our house.  So festive!  I love this space and I look forward to all the creativity it may foster in the years to come.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Middle Ground

Well fair readers, I apologize for the long gap in postings.  See, I was hoping to be able to have my next post be this wondrous compilation of beautifully decorated rooms that had miraculously snapped into being.  The reality of unpacking is that most of the rooms in the house are in a state somewhere between gorgeous-done and barely-liveable.  So, I'm trying to be content with this middle ground, since it is actually a vast improvement over where things were a month ago.

Today I went around the house and highlighted my favorite parts of the middle ground to show you guys.  There's still a lot to be done, but a couple of things are looking pretty good.

The living room is shaping up fairly well!  My beloved blue couch and vintage coffee table are clearly loving being in the bay window.  I love the wall color.  Clearly, I have a problem with the color turquoise.  Let's not talk about it...

 I managed to unpack some books and wedge them into this bookshelf, and my beloved Airstream trailer lamp made it through the move unscathed.

On Friday after Turkey Day we had the Art Hanging Rodeo of 2010.  The Art Hanging Rodeo was an effort to not be one of those couples who live in their house for a year and never hang their art.  We only managed to come up with a couple of pieces we definitely wanted to hang, but it's definitely feeling a little better.

The first thing to go up was the mirror seen above.  Although not technically a piece of art, it is essential in the art of making sure you don't look like a trainwreck when you leave the house.  The adorable Pyrex bowl on the left is the key bowl (essential for a forgetful person like me) and on the right I managed to get one of our wedding photos in a frame.  Everything feels like progress here.

We also made some progress in the kitchen!  Part of that progress was finally getting the wallpaper underlayer up, in preparation for doing a skimcoat on the drywall in the room.  Unfortunately, that rendered the walls a patchy, shredded mess, waiting for the loving touch of Tracy the Taper.  So let's not look at that, but let's look at what else we did!  The husband put up a third shelf, the better to accommodate our burgeoning Pyrex collection.  He says we can pretend to be chic and eco-friendly and say that it was made with "reclaimed wood".  Which means it was made out of an old section of bleachers he had to scrape the gum off of.  Don't worry, he sanitized it later.  Hopefully the germs of long-gone jocks won't hop into our Pyrex.

He also cleverly mounted some hooks for our skillets above the stove, so my new treasure, the Le Creuset grill pan can be seen in all its glory.  (What was I just saying about a dangerous obsession with turquoise?)  Well anyway, these shelves are still in need of a good sort, but they're on the right path.

We even managed to hang my favorite kitchen art.  To me, Nikki McClure means you're home.  (The wood paneling means you're in Texas.  Wait, no..)

We have a guest room!  With clean sheets and a nightstand with a clock and a lamp on it.  Whoa.  This is a major level of achievement in this room which was previously just stuffed to the gills with boxes.  (Aaaand there's a couple stuffed animals snuggling on the bed.  Why didn't I think about how embarrassing it would be to reveal that my decor still includes the stuffed bear that I was given at birth?  Oh well...)

This area I'm trying to turn into a cozy reading nook.  I don't think I'm quite there yet.  How can something look sterile and messy at the same time?  Hmmm.  Not my finest decorating half hour.  Hey, nowhere to go but up, right?

I've been slightly more successful with this reading nook.  The chaise we already had in this location, but this weekend we got one of my favorite paintings up on the wall behind it.  This piece was done by a dear friend of my family who has since passed on, and it was given to me by another dear friend of the family, so it has lots of love wrapped up in it.  The perfect thing to grace our new bedroom.  Speaking of new, remember how this same space looked a two months ago?

Yay for progress!

The bedroom continues to get cuter in other ways too.

 My new dresser setup.  During the Rodeo, we put up a print of the swan boats in Boston Common here.  This corner makes me happy.

So that's about it from the home front.  Because my mother would have a conniption I won't show you pictures of the mess, but I'll try to keep showing you our small successes.  Hopefully our next installment will feature kitchen walls and a craft room!  Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's a Bedroom!

It's official everyone!  The windows are in and so am I!  I have finally moved from my old house into the new one and it feels great.  First, a little recap on the windows.  Check it out!  We went from this:
 To this:

 To this!

Yay!  There's no molding up yet, but its a vast improvement on what we had before.

Last week we had the epic move.  All of my stuff is now crammed into the house and not at all sorted yet, so there are just piles of stuff everywhere.  Let's not dwell on pictures of that, shall we?

After the epic move, we celebrated our first night with the new windows with a little slumber party.  We had brokered a deal with the crew of friends who helped us through the-night-before-drywall, wherein we had promised them a slumber party on the inaugural night in the new bedroom.  So, we made a giant dinner, slapped our dining table in the living room and everyone came over.
(Nice face Jon.)

And then slumber party!  (Becca in the back rocking the Japanese tourist look.  Wrestling/pillow fight happening in the front?)

 Yay slumber party!

The slumber party was on Thursday and on Saturday we managed to move our bedroom in.  Check it out!

We're using our new wedding presents, gorgeous new comforter cover from Restoration Hardware and linen sheets from Crate and Barrel.  I've never had linen sheets before but they were recommended by a friend and are completely luxurious.

So warm and cozy!  (The dark brown thing in the lower left hand corner is the chaise, which is helping to hide the mess.  So no pics of that for now.)

This day wasn't particularly lovely, but you can see how lush and beautiful our view is.  I haven't managed to capture the sunrise over Bellevue on film yet but it is a totally gorgeous sight from our bed and I'll try to post some pics soon.

So there you have it!  We have a bedroom!  Very exciting.  Sleeping in our bedroom feels amazing and its so nice to have a nest just in time for winter.  I'm feeling more settled already.  Now its time to work on the closets, bookshelves, and endless, endless boxes.  I have to say, there's nothing to ease the pain of unpacking like snuggling in linen sheets.  Snuggle Central!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Walls, and Paint, and Carpet, Oh My!

The post you've all been waiting for!  Yes, its true, we have paint on the walls and carpet on the floor.  And as my friend Jill would say, it feels glooooooooooooooorious.  Let's review how the whirlwind of the past five days has gone.  Friday night our wonderful friend Christyne (see the StyneTineSteamDreamTeam post), came over to help us paint the primer coat.  There are no pictures of that event since it wasn't anyone's finest half hour.  We wrapped up at 1am, and at 7am I left to go pick up paint!

We chose Martha Stewart Enamelware for the bedroom (a light robin's egg blue), Behr Cumulus for the hall (an almost-white-but-really-faintly-blue) and Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue for the living room.  (A mysterious color that looks dusty blue in some light, but minty in others.)

Before we could slap any of that on the walls, well, we had to have walls first.  The drywall was up and primed in the bedroom, but some other spots of the house weren't so lucky.

The hallway is done in a lovely often-painted-over wallpaper effect.  We chose not to rip it out for expediency's sake, but there were also some old and very terrible patches on the walls.  The above photo is Fred patching the patches.  Slow work but so worth it!

While Fred slaved in the stairwell, the team got started in the hall and in the bedroom.  Here we go!

Our dear friend Paula is super stoked to be taping trim in the hall!  (Her delightful boyfriend Dennis is behind her, gamely painting the ceiling.  A guaranteed crick in the neck!)

Our awesome work buddies Joe and Pam.  This is Joe's ninth shift working on the house, he's an animal.  Pam just moved here and intrepidly navigated the foreign bus system to come help.  Joe's sister Emily is cutting in trim on the left side of the pic, she's in town visiting and totally gave up a morning of her vacation to paint a stranger's house.  (I'm getting all verklempt just thinking about how great these people are.)

Saturday our crack crew of painters helped us put on the first coat.  Sunday morning a second crew came and we got on the second coat.  We absolutely could NOT have done this without a lot of help.  Thanks a million to Christyne, Jake, Joe, Emily, Pam, Amy, Todd, Paula, Dennis, Giancarlo, Kate, Bret, Krystal, Molly, Ian, Susie and Charlie.  We can't thank you enough!

Wanna see the finished product?

Ta-da!  OK, just kidding, that's just the paint.  Before I show you the finished-finished product, let's review how horrible the carpet was, shall we?  Well, we certainly didn't help things by painting on it, by the end of Saturday the carpet mostly looked like this:

And in some spots the carpet definitely told a story.  Like in this spot below.  I'm pretty sure it's saying "Fred's roomate was ironing her clothes on the carpet, and in the middle she had to go make toast."  Nice.

So the finished product?? 


Beautiful, creamy carpet in our bedroom and look how gorgeous the walls turned out!  So light and airy!

Dark grey in the living room looks awesome with the walls and the white trim totally pops with the darker wall color.

The guest room is rocking an oatmeal-colored carpet, which goes quite well with its blue walls (lovingly painted by a previous inhabitant, luckily.)

Even the stairs look awesome!  (And who doesn't love a two-tone blue stairwell?  It's so gorgeous!)

I'm in love with our new rooms!  Everything looks so much better now its amazing.  Once the windows are in, we'll be done with the enormous tasks and on to the little ones.  Shall we step back and review?  Oh yes, lets.

We started here:

And now we're here:

It makes me so happy I just had to flop down and make a carpet angel!  (Just like a snow angel but with carpet!)


Thanks again to everyone who helped.  We are so lucky to have such awesome friends.  We owe you big time so if you ever need a Bundt cake, help lifting something heavy, or someone to cut in the trim, you know who to call.  (And BTW lemme know if you wanna come over and make a carpet angel.  Any time.)