Monday, November 30, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year: Phase 1

Shiny Glitter!
Sparkling Lights!
Fragrant Pine!

C'mon in! It's Christmas Time!

Thanks to the gentle, but constant prodding of my oldest daughter, Christina, we started putting up decorations before Thanksgiving this year.The color scheme of our new family room is red and silver. I decided that the theme would be "Elegant Whimsy".

 I just love these little cubbies! It was the great idea of our site manager, Steve.

The Dollar Store is a wonderful place to find decorations on a tight budget. I took my time looking for specific decorations that I knew would last for many years, despite the fact that they only cost $1. For the picture on the bottom, I took a clear plastic votive candle holder and turned it upside down, stuffed it with silver tinsel and put the candle inside. Then I wrapped the ribbon around it.

The window in the kitchen is one of my favorite spots. I call it my "Candy Corner".


A bit of whimsy in the powder room.

I love candles and we want to have a nice table setting this year that is little boy-proof. Here is the centerpiece. Now I just need to find place mats.

Our great room is where the tree is located and I'll feature this room when it's done as well as the front porch decorations. I want to create a type of "Winter Wonderland", a whimsical environment that shouts "Merry Christmas!" wherever you look. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Outdoor Project!

Our family loves basketball. Of course we have a adjustable hoop on the driveway. We had a hoop that hung on the rail in our great room (23 ft ceiling) but after the boys basketball team come over, I noticed that the wood of the rail was getting bent. So no more basketball in the house. We installed the hoop so that we can play on the large lower deck. (37x15) But no dunking allowed!

Cedar pathway from the grass to the stone patio which leads to the deck (below, left)

 Homemade picnic table and bench from leftover materials. I used leftoever Trex for the tabletop and leftover exterior trim for the trim work. Sanding will smooth the screw holes and the trim can be painted any color. (above, right)

I put up rails along the deck walkway that goes from the bottom of the stairs to the beginning of the lower deck. (left)

Because our drain field is so extensive we can't dig down more than 12 inches in any spot. So we decided to go with a metal play set rather than the wood play set we would have preferred aesthetically. It took 2 days to build and the boys absolutely love it. It comes with a canopy that can be hooked to a hose to produced mist on a hot day.

(Below) One side of the upper deck. We purchased a glider loveseat from Tuesday Morning. The pitch of the umbrella (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) can be adjusted. My color scheme for the upper deck is red and orange. The scheme for the lower deck is blue...and yes, that planter needs to be taken downstairs! (bottom right)

Grass didn't get far for us because our soil was depleted of nutrients and crabgrass took over. We have just begun a 4-6 month process to invigorate and rebuilt our soil. Hopefully we will have the grass of our dreams next Spring!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Favorite Details

Here are several of my favorite construction and decor details! 

This "family" sign is above our menu wall in the kitchen. The photo was taken before my son's graduation party began.

Our architect and friend Louis DeLaura designed built-ins all the way to the window. We wanted to make use of the 4 feet of space from the front of the built-ins to the exterior side wall of the new family room. Most of the built-ins would fit until the stairwell along this wall. Our lead guy, Steve Croushorn of Countryside Construction Company, fashioned this closet and made the doors so that you'd never know it was a closet from the outside. Love this!

Our lower deck is a bit over 32 feet long. Enough said. But if you look at the top left of the picture you'll see a wood door. This crawl space has a concrete floor, light switches and outlets and we use it for storage.

I love the way Steve Croushorn fashioned the new banister to mimic the construction of the rails of our six year old addition which we call the great room. The french doors (above pic) lead into the great room. 

We wanted to put a dividing wall into this front room to create a proper foyer, however our budget was large enough with other priorities. Right now, I use a room divider to create a foyer and a play area for the boys. I love the fact that I can stand at the kitchen sink, see who is driving up and watch the boys play. 

See that mirror? Our old side door used to be there. I never liked entering the kitchen directly from the outside. Now this wall is a wonderful banquette that is perfect for serving large crowds. And I can look outside and watch the kids play basketball while I cook.  The cabinets are from Reico and give me much needed storage. With a large family, it's vital that we can spread out in the kitchen. I love the new granite. It took me a long time to decide how to coordinate with the older speckled granite. CogwellStone supplied our granite. They have great selections!

I see this picture (below) and immediately want to go sit outside. I love, love, love this look. I got the idea for the black paneled door from a picture on Houzz. The stone below the columns compliments the color of the Trex decking. Builder's Lighting did a great job helping me find the lighting that would give Craftsman-like character to this 1970s ranch. 

I decided that turquoise would be one of my accent colors in the new family room.

Most of our curb appeal pictures aren't wide enough to include the mud porch. What a needed area! This is our main family entry and I can set up a chair in the shade while the boys are on their bicycles! (This is an older picture, the driveway is now paved.) Thanks again to Jefferson Area Builders for a fantastic job on our project! 

Curtains from World Market and the sofa from Ashley Furniture. Table from Ikea.

Below is a $2 find at the SPCA Rummage Store.

Decorating our master bedroom was so much fun. The goal was to have a cozy and romantic retreat. Check out more bedroom pictures here:

Friday, May 29, 2015

My house is smiling: Curb Appeal

Every house should have a smile on its facade.

The face of this house used to look like this:

In fact, the first week that we lived here almost ten years ago, a friend named Beth tripped on that cement step. It was a horrible, uninviting entry that we avoided at all costs.

Last week our house started smiling:

This is my inspiration picture. Soon, the facade will look similar to this: 

and here it is!