Friday, June 24, 2016

Welcome to my House: Bedroom & Master Bath

I am so excited to link up with Kelly's Korner's real home tour.  I had a new house when she first did the home tour, but I never participated.  8 years later, I am doing some updates and redecorating and am sharing my home here. 

In a rare decorating request, Mr. 31-derful asked me to have it painted dark blue 2 years ago.  I took that to also mean "add an accent wall, get a blue chair, swap the art around and eventually add curtains to offset the blue."  Ha!  Be careful what you ask for! Our bedroom is on the main floor while our guest bedroom and kids' rooms are upstairs.  It is actually quite bright (hence dear husband wanted the dark color), but very hard to photograph.  Here is the view from an interior angle.  
The bed is from the Stanley Louis Louis Collection, and we are constantly buying cheap white linens wherever we can find them.  These were Tuesday Morning I think:

On my side of the bed sits a blue wingback chair with nailhead trim that I love, but rarely actually sit in!

My beloved West Elm frames were above the bed when the walls were beige but I moved them to the other wall because they were way too busy after I added the wallpaper.  Right now they are filled with some vintage wallpaper samples and chicken prints from Ikea:
Also on my the side are my night stand, some beloved wedding photos and whatever I am currently reading:
Over on Mr 31-derful's side, he has a larger version of the nightstand and his grandfather's valet.  Keeping it totally real, there is a sleep apnea machine over there too.  He is in great shape and is probably the thinnest man in America who needs this!
The nightstands are from Pier One and, though they were not a huge purchase, they were money well spent.  I still love them all these years later.  I added the blue pulls recently. Agate and I are having a moment!
Turning the other way, you can see our closets (we have no case pieces so our closets hold everything).  You can read way more about my closet organization here

On the right is our ketubah, or Jewish wedding contract.  It is a meaningful piece of artwork from our wedding that basically reminds us of our wedding vows and promises to each other.  As two lawyers, we can tell you it isn't a binding "contract," but it is really important to us!

Moving into the master bath, we have everything his and hers.  A tub for me:
 A shower for him:
 His neat and tidy vanity:
Mine that is always a train-wreck (this is the keeping it real part):
And a potty for both that nobody needs to see!
Here is one last shot of the room from the hall:
Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How I spent my summer vacation

I am sure you are wondering why on June 23rd I am already writing a post called "how I spent my summer vacation."  In early May, I was at my wit's end between numerous school activities, volunteer commitments, and still trying to maintain our home.  We were frazzled, to put it very, very mildly. Neither I nor my kids could keep up that pace. Hoping to live in the moment more,  I purposefully made few firm plans from the day school let out  (5/20) until when they left for sleepaway camp (6/19).   We had dental appointments and I had a conference.  Other than that, in a totally uncharacteristic move for me, we had a "Yes Month!" 

image via

 Do you know the book Yes Day?   A boy's parents give him a magical day by saying yes to his requests?  In real life, we still had some discipline and rules, of course.  My idea was to say "Yes" to reasonable requests of my kids to show them that I valued our time together.  Obviously, I know they are more important than my daily chores, but I am not sure they are always getting that message from me.  I knew that these few weeks constituted the whole precious summer at home for my kids.  After sleepaway camp, our trips are timed in a way that, before we know it, they will be back in school.  So I tried just. giving. in.   

So what all is involved in Yes Month?  For us, it involved ALL (me too) of us climbing through the tunnels and monstrosity at City Museum:
Picnicking (including Izze soda, which is normally off-limits) at Shakespeare in the Park:
Strawberry Picking at Theiss Farms (followed by Jam Making):
Finding Dory and Angry Birds (and letting them get their own popcorn):

Their dance recitals, which were technically on the books, but we just cleared the weekend for them (including my parents coming up to visit for the occasion and my inlaws spending the whole weekend with us too):

  Baby had tennis lessons, which we never had time for with school activities:

We tried two new restaurants and went to three different pools on multiple occasions (including leaving to go swimming one night after I already had my Pj's on).  I gave in and bought the food-themed floats that are everywhere (we got the donut, pizza, and watermelon):

We had a lemonade stand.  You should know that I  normally loath lemonade stands because the kids always trash the house making the lemonade, never consider the fact that they have to pay for lemons or cups, and expect me to drag out the tables and chairs (which they then never bother to put away).  During Yes month, I even let them wheel the cart up to the elementary school and provide live music!  

We also took a Mommy and Me Yoga Class, had approximately one million playdates and sleepovers with too many friends to mention.  It was a big month, with big activities chosen entirely by my kids. 
Here's the rub.  It wasn't the big things that I think they are going to take away  I also said yes to baking cookies after the kitchen was closed for the day.   I let big girl make oodles of lip-balm (which is her super-messy new favorite craft--after getting essential oils at a soap factory, another yes month activity).  Baby played with her easy bake to her heart's content and I cleaned up the mess (even though she promised she would clean ,I knew by saying yes that I'd end up doing it).  I declared an open-craftroom day where even my good paints and ribbons were fair game.  

Though I love swimming, I don't always love getting in the pool due to my own insecurities. But I did it for yes month-- I even did a handstand in the country club pool!  Speaking of...I let them make what they called a "country club" in the yard--emphasis on the  "country!"  I allowed them to rig a hose to our swing set and affix a slip-n-slide at the bottom.  And you know what?  I went in the yard in my suit and went down that slide myself (you can take the girl out of Tennessee.....)!  

All the while, my mantra was that the time was fleeting and  that I could do the chores while they went to summer camp.  That  I would have my me-time come 6/19.    Our house got pretty messy, I am not going to lie.  That was hard for me.  I will spend at least a few days of "my" time just cleaning up the wake of  yes month.  Even though they are gone , there are still loads of laundry to do (in fact, a yes month produces a lot of  extra laundry)!    I did raise my voice once or twice about sibling rivalry or ingratitude, but overall, I think yes month worked!  I know I made some precious memories.  So now they are both off at sleepaway camp, making precious memories without me.
  But guess what? I miss yes month!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Eat Here!

I am tickled pink that Kelly's Korner is  doing a tour of homes again!  I always loved her link-up party, but never really participated other than as a reader.  Now I am linking up in addition to following along.  My goal is to stop by every home and say, "howdy!"

Over the last few months, I gave my traditional dining room a modern makeover (it is still ongoing to be honest)!  We have lived in a modern home for 8 years but held onto Grandma 31-derful's traditional furniture for a long time for all sorts of reasons. Mostly because we really did love it! Here is how the room looked in March (view the full room with accessories here):

Unfortunately,  the furniture was showing some cracks (literally), so I made plans to do this:

I am still working on art and accessories, but as of this morning, our dining room looked like this:

The biggest change is that our traditional case pieces have been replaced by these buffets that I had built by a local craftsman.  He expertly combined my vision of two buffets--one mid-century modern and one funky 2016!

He welded an "exoskeleton" and painted it an antique bronze color before floating the deep gray cabinet inside.  I swoon for the handles he turned from zebrawood!  And the zebrawood also appears on this beautiful top!

Another big change is that I added curtains where there had previously been none.  I had the JCPenny's custom drape division come out.  Y'all, it is just as good (if not better) than the fancy place that I used for another project at about 1/3 the price.  A designer comes with books of fabrics and possibilities--the process was really fun.  I also added a Roman shade to the den while she was here.  I think they turned out great--that antique bronze rod and that fabric doesn't look like what I think of when I think of Penny's.

Somehow the gray in the curtains pulls out the brushed nickel and cork fixture so that I love it even more:

I added the granite art that you see above.  It was quite the saga and after lots of Homegood runs, returns, internet searches, and customer service calls, I have two!  But now I think the scale is a bit off--I am going to fill the middle with this beauty to make an agate triptic:

I left the Greek Key chairs that I adore and the table is sticking around awhile too:

I moved my plant stand to the wall and kept some beloved art pieces:

In my earlier post, I misidentified this blue vase as a Pier One Cheap-o, when dear husband reminded me that it was a wedding gift!  Wouldn't you know it, he is right!  It is handmade and signed and everything , so I left it along with my good silver candlesticks!

In the center of the table I am using this vase, but it may change one day soon!
So that's where we are today!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My 2008 Dream Kitchen (that I still like in 2016)!

I am so exited to link up with Kelly's Korner, who has resurrected her home tour.  I had a brand spanking new house when she first did the home tour, but I never participated because I didn't really blog then.  I am so happy she brought it back....I can play along and see how all the other homes have evolved!

We custom built our home in 2008.   After living in a formal old Tutor, this open-concept, modern home was everything I wanted in that year!  I started out with very clean-lined barstools and kitchen chairs selected just for this sleek house.   You can those here;  I just started softening up our lines with new chairs in 2016.  I have few more minor changes on the horizon.  You can see the kitchen is really just a part of  our main living area:

I did initially hope to get a Sub-Zero fridge and a Viking stove, but quickly found out that I was not in that "range."  I got mostly Kitchenaid appliances, which have been great! We also use a Samsung Microwave Drawer and Miele Dishwasher, which have been equally good.

Built to my specifications , the kitchen has double-stacked, frameless cabinets to house my oversized collection of platters and serving pieces.

I put in a big double sink and picked granite that I still adore.  I selected long brushed nickel handles that were the new rage at the time and spent hours with the cabinet maker to get a just right color to warm-up for the clean-lined shaker cabinets.  Below  you can see the nuts that are ever-present on our countertop (except for when my sweet niece with an allergy comes).  They are sort of "our thing."  At this point they are more for the guests who expect  to find them sitting there than they are for us.

Since everything was planned with me in mind, it just works for me! I still love it, even though if I were doing it today, it would be white with a gray backsplash and bronze wherever you see that brushed nickel!  I try to keep the counters pretty clear with an appliance garage, but somethings you just need everyday!You know, toasters, coffee pots, a wee-bit of fridge clutter, and a behavior chart (just keeping it real).....
Our kitchen table is nearby and usually has fresh flowers from something or other.  These flowers are courtesy of my girls' dance recital this weekend!
I just got the Arhaus Chairs this Spring and moved the rug in from another area. I plan to update the Room and Board Table with a new wood or zinc top soon.

That's really the whole kitchen tour--thanks for stopping by!