Saturday, February 27, 2010
This is what the living room looked like just after we moved in. I've since changed the furniture around, but you get the idea.
I painted the frame of the mirror above the fireplace black. (This is probably the 4th time I've painted it. I got it for $5 at a rummage sale.)We now have two small iron black lamps on each end of the mantle and several clear glass vessels with white tealights. I'm still working on it. I'd like to put up rattan roman shades on the windows, too.
The minute we tore down the red, fruit print wallpaper the kitchen seemed twice as big. We could only get the first layer off, but since Kelly was busy losing the battle in the Study (you'll see that in a minute) we decided to just paint over what was left. It was a smooth surface for the most part. We plan to do a tile backsplash and get new countertops which will hide a multitude of painting sins. (Oh, 'Relaxed Khaki, how I love thee.)
And I'm sad to say it, but I don't have a picture of my pride and joy - the breakfast bar! You can kind of see a light oak stool just behind Daisy's booty. That's where it is. It seats 2 people on each side. I already know what barstools I want. Black. I'm a little predictable, but I love black furniture. It really grounds a room. Anyway, there were two cabinets above the bar. If you were standing in the kitchen you didn't have a view of the living room. Even if you sat at the bar, you had to hunch over to see the person on the other side of the bar. But not anymore, baby! I have 2 less storage cabinets but I don't regret it for a second! Kelly even finished it off with a piece of drywall and a lovely sconce! And I can see right into the living room. Man, I really need a picture.
We made the HUGE mistake of assuming that they drywall had been prepped by the previous owners and that it would come off like a dream. My guess is that it was paneling, and in an old update, they put up sheetrock and well, wallpaper. (They LOVED wallpaper, let me tell you!) We ended up tearing it all down, along with a couple layers of the drywall. I don't have an after pic yet because it was just too painful. Kelly worked on this room alone for a week. It's painted the same color as the dining room and am excited about what it will look like eventually. I think it just may be one of my favs.
This is the dining room, as we purchased it. I love the wood-burning fireplace and the painted brick. The wainscoting, too. I've always wanted a bit of it somewhere, and now I've got it. The yellow just isn't me. (I mean US, it isn't US.) The flooring isn't too bad. It actually makes me laugh because it's vinyl planks. So I guess that makes it faux-faux wood. It doesn't look horrible, but I don't plan for it to stay too long. Kelly doesn't know it yet, but I'm sure he suspects.
The dining room, several days after we closed. Kelly calls this color 'Chocolate Pudding' but the real name is something much more boring, like 'Practical Taupe'. It really a brown-gray, with a touch of lavender. I was worried it would be too dark at firs,t but now I really love it.
The left side of the room (you can enter from either the Study or the Kitchen). The french doors lead to the back patio off the pool.
This is what it looks like these days. I'm keeping it very simple in here. I'm not sure what kind of art to hang in here, but I'm thinking something in black & white. The wall to the right of the bookcase is a loooong expanse, and though I don't want to fill it up, I need something there. Something really good. And I'm thinking black & white damask drapes for the french door to the left of the fireplace. I think it would soften the space. The lighting is bad, very bad. There are 2 fixtures, neither are centered over the dining area. I plan to fix that. I'm dreaming of the perfect chandelier. I love this room.
I really need a china hutch. A small, painted black one, to be exact. I have my grandmother's china, which has about a billion-gazillion pieces. I love it, it's very simple, bone china with a black and gold rim. I've never had a place to put it and I wanted to show it off. Just a little. Open bookshelves are probably not the best idea, but the kids and disabled granny have been warned to stay away. (Not really, but kind of). The middle shelf holds some of my favorite things. The black matted print is a line drawing print of Cafe du Monde (in New Orleans, duh), a sign that says Champs Elysses and the book 'Baking With Julia'. I've had it for years and don't recall ever attempting any of the recipes, but Julia and I go way back, and it has gorgeous photos. The bottom two shelves hold my everyday linen. If you don't currently use cloth napkins and placemats for your everyday meals, I encourage you to try it. It makes Tuesday night lasagne taste even better.
Monday, February 15, 2010
1. We are at home today, enjoying the President's Day holiday. Tomorrow we will be home for the Mardi Gras holiday. We caught more beads than we could wear at the parade and Kelly dove into a feast of crawfish. Oh how I heart Louisiana! (I don't know if you've heard, but the Saints won the Superbowl. We tend to favor the Cowboys in the Spann Fam, but it was exciting, none the less!)
3. As I've mentioned a few times, we moved. But before we actually moved furniture and hauled boxes, we painted, tore out cabinets, peeled off wallpaper (as well as some layers of drywall - oops!)painted and painted some more! We had one and a half weeks in between closing and moving and resigned to get as much done as possible. We have much, much more to do, and the topic really deserves a post of it's own. More to come.
4. Claire has enjoyed another season of Upward Basketball, and has just one game left this season. She's the master of the bounce pass and loves to play. We are practicing softball again with her travel team and will play a weekend tournament in a couple of weeks. She'll also play Dixie Youth Softball (because we're completely crazy) which starts this month. Pitching lessons, here we come!
5. Nolan took his first belt test and is now a "high white belt". Small steps, people. He truly enjoys karate and is quite a natural. It won't be too long before he tests again for his yellow belt. They've begun sparring (the official term for... well, fighting) and loves it. He'll also play baseball along side his big sister. This means several meals will be eaten in the car with evenings spent in the ball park!
6. Kelly has started baseball practice and is supposed to have their first game this week. The snow pushed things back a little and we're expecting rain, so we'll see. We're all excited for another season and interested to learn the ins & outs of high school baseball.
7. Kelly's mom is still with us as we wait for an apartment to open up for her. She's doing well although would love to be in her own place. All things considered, things are pretty good.
8. I love, love, love my job. Not only do I get snow days and holidays, but I really get to experience school with my kids. Everyday is "Bring Your Kids to Work Day!". I've learned so much during my short time there and have such an appreciation for those who educate my children.
9. I love my dog. I really do. But she drives me crazy. She barks like mad and scratches up the wood frame of the french door but that all comes with the territory, right? I think I need the dog whisperer.
Life is good. We are healthy, no major illnesses for us this year. We are settling in. I am breathing deeper and smiling bigger. We are very busy and rarely home, but that is what summer is for!
I could go on and on and on but I have a paintbrush and a can of red paint with my name on it. Besides, my brain doesn't go back farther than this past week! Forward motion, friends, forward motion...