Monday, September 15, 2014

I Don't Want To Be a REAL Adult!!

I think people would agree that my whimsical sense of style reflects the fact that I just don't EVER want life to get REAL on me........wise people say stuff like, "that is when you learn the most"....I say stuff like, "I already know everything so leave me alone or I'll tell my Mom on you"

I have TECHNICALLY been an adult for almost 15 years, but I have never really felt like a real adult.

Well, up until a couple weeks ago.

This whole "build a house" thing kinda blew up in our faces :-/

We sold and moved out of our house and then moved in with my parents thinking that we were close to finalizing our home plans and breaking ground.

NOT the case.

The ENTIRE month of August we THOUGHT we had a builder and we actually DIDN'T.

Kind of hard to build a house when your builder is MIA.

It took about 4 weeks to figure out what in the world was going on.

Then, life got REAL and I had to be an adult about it. Gross.

We realized we were homeless, and builder-less, and didn't have access to the plans that we had paid for and had nearly finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My first reaction was to cry and be all "I just want to go HOMMMMME!"
BUT I couldn't just go home because I sold my home.
I contemplated moving back in with the new owner.
The woman who bought our home is nice and all, and obviously has great taste, but I don't think she wants me to move in with her at this point in our relationship.

Anyway, my next feeling was anger/rage.
BUT then I realized that I didn't know the whole story and getting pissed at someone and threatening to ruin their life BEFORE you know the whole story can make you look like a senseless, self centered fool, and that isn't my style. Well, most of the time it isn't. I typically reserve that side of myself for my husband. Mostly so that he feels like he won the lottery every time he comes home to me.

I eventually resolved to put on my big-girl panties and call my attorney so that we could figure out what in the freaking world had happened.

I will save you all from the entire, very long story, and just say that LIFE HAPPENS.
Even though it sucks to be on the receiving end of someone else's life happening to them, it is still wise to remain calm and collected while your attorney sorts everything out.
It is also wise to invest in a few barrels of wine and a new pair of shoes.

We are in the midst of finding a new builder and getting our hands on our plans.

So, that is how far along we have come in the building process since it all began LAST APRIL!

BUT let's look at the POSITIVES:

1. We weren't in the middle of building our house. Better to lose a builder early on than at any other point.
2.  I am suddenly more educated on the whole legal end of the process.
3. We are much more aware of the fact that the ground freezes in the winter, which is coming upon us faster than I can restock the wine barrels!!!
4. All the stress has me back at the gym!!
5. I didn't hurt anyone OR land in jail as my husband feared.
6. I wanted to build a house for the experience and knowledge and to be able to share it all with you.... I will leave you with another very important home building tip.....HIRE AN ATTORNEY.

It's just a good idea to have an attorney review EVERYTHING that you sign. Not because there are builders everywhere trying to screw people, but because bad things and life just happen.
Building a house involves LOTS of steps and LOTS of people.
Something is likely to get sticky with at least one of those steps or one of those people.

We are all hoping that this is the extent of my REAL adulthood experience.

I'm gonna go put on my tutu and eat ice cream for breakfast now.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Give Me the Acrylic Wash Stand and No One Gets Hurt!

When I figure out what I want and something isn't easily attainable, I become dangerous.

These acrylic wash stand legs have me on the prowl....

You can configure ANYTHING you want at Palmer Industries,

This is VERY DANGEROUS information to give a girl like me.

I have already located a dealer and prepared my husband that he will have to sell both of his kidneys and 500 quarts of plasma.

After almost having to buy me a puppy today, he is pretty ok with this arrangement.

Waterworks has a pretty reasonable model....

By reasonable, I mean that I didn't almost choke.

It's just so pretty!

I do love how you can customize what you want from Palmer Industries.
That means you could add a metal or glass shelf to the bottom for storage. 

Then, I would use a pretty boxes for at least a little bit of storage.

Like these...

...just big enough for emergency products.

Honestly, if it came down to it, I would totally screw the storage option if I couldn't afford it and just go for the pretty legs. 

Love makes you do stupid things.

Do these washstands make you want to sell your kidneys?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bye Bye House.....

.........i can't even believe how fast 5 years went by...

I LOVED watching The Mindy Project and drinking wine in my corner...

This wall became think I almost painted over it five minutes after I finished it....

Bailey's big girl bed was built just in time for her 3 year old birthday party.

This was the first room that I decorated and I never got around to putting up window treatments!

Our bedroom was last...

Two pics made it into Good Housekeeping!

AND there is more excitement with a new publication coming in November!!
I would have never guessed that when the photo shoot was happening that I wouldn't even live in the house once it published. How quickly things can change!

It will be bittersweet, but awesome.

Now we just have to wait until November and in the meantime...


Monday, September 1, 2014

TOO MANY decisions.... the most common complaint about the home building process.

I get it.

That's why I'm just not going to make decisions that are not 100% necessary.

Like paint colors.

WHO made up the rule that you absolutely MUST pick all your paint colors when it's time to have the painter come in?????

I know it's easier for the painter to paint and probably less expensive when your stuff isn't in the space, but it's absolutely the DUMBEST time to pick paint colors.



Think about in the world are you supposed to pick the perfect colors BEFORE you even live somewhere?? 
BEFORE you even have the important pieces of furniture in place??
 and BEFORE you have spent ONE single day in your home?!? 
How can you even see a true color before you have experienced the lighting?
Before you even know how the light changes throughout the day??
The idea that you will pick perfect paint colors based on tiny swatches and a piece of a carpet sample is absurd. 

The rule SHOULD be that the painters come in when YOU are ready for them to come in.
Not when it is the easiest and least expensive.

it's YOUR money. YOU decide when to spend it on painting.
Whatever the cost of painting after the fact is, it's still way better than the cost of re-painting after you already paid. No one likes paying for things twice. No one likes an all beige or gray house either.

Plus, living with primer is not the worst thing in the world. 

Another stupid thing to pick right away is lighting.

I see too many homes with these...

NO Ceiling boobies!!!

I have seen my fair share of homes that are in the range of $500,000 up to at least a million, and seen booby lights everywhere. The only thing that irritates me more is when stupid parents let their kids go to school with lice.

Please DO NOT build a $500k home and have these lights installed because the builder said he can get you a pack of 2 for $22. I will make fun of you and I might not wait until you leave the room.

I would rather see this.....

or at least a start towards the fabulous things to come...

I especially dislike "builder packs" of assorted lighting.

I understand that the selection of every little material gets overwhelming and when it comes to the final piece...the cherry on top....the scrumptious dessert saved for last....people give up.

That is the DUMBEST time to give up. 

This is where most people, trusting their builder's advice, will overpay for some seriously mass produced ugly. Don't do it!

I know that I will ABSOLUTELY NOT be able to afford the type of lighting that I will want in the new house right away. I will also not be able to find the perfect lighting because I never find the perfect things when I am actually looking for them.

So, my plan is to invest in some ceiling medallions......they can cost as little as $10 or $ then plop a bulb in the center. Done.

These range from $45 to $80.....

....and they are the perfect foundation for the pendant or chandelier that I can't afford or find.

Lighting makes a huge statement and can be the most fun part of decorating your home, so don't skimp or rush your decision. Put in a bulb and call it a day.

And at the very least, if you're gonna put in a booby light, at least make it look like a real booby.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cremone Bolts, Pom-poms, and Monogrammed Everything!

The top three things that are going to be used in abundance in the new house....
..just because they make me giddy.
Like a little girl with new sparkly shoes kind of giddy!

Since the main topic of this blog for the next year or so will be about building a house, and the things you should do and should NOT do, I think it is important to focus on the things that are definite DO'S.
Not just relating to the building process, but to the decorating process as well.

My DO list is pretty long.....

1. DO hardwood floors instead of carpet.
 Carpeting in the new house will be kept to a minimum. Mostly because I just can't stand it.
I could probably tolerate some leopard print like this Glen Eden wool carpeting:

I even like the Antelope version:

I think I can hear my Mother cringing.

2. DO try to find interesting hardware instead of using all the same throughout the house.
It's how to achieve a look that is personal and filled with character right off the bat.

I'm collecting as I go to flea markets and vintage shops.

3. DO dream about your future pretties.

It's all in the details and it's never too early to start daydreaming or collecting them.
They can make the unexpected hurdles and bumps in the road much easier to deal with.

Take a look at the hardware on the cabinets below:

image via Amber Interior Design:
That zebra/tiger backdrop is sooo gonna happen!

That mean looking hardware is called a Cremone Bolt.

I know, I was like, "Cre-ah-mone-what-ah?? THAT is what those things are called?!?!"

I was walking around describing them as those long rods that when you turn the knob it makes that cool click-y sound and the rods go up and down. No one knew what I was talking about.

Well, I am going to retrace my pre-Cremone education days and tell some people what's up.

It'll go a little like this:

"I would like to see your selection of Cremone Bolts. You know, that classic element of French architecture, which gets it's name from the fact that it was created in the Cremone region of Northern Italy in the 18th Century."

They'll be all "Day-um! You can have these for freezeez, girl!"

That's how it will go down.

Anyway, be prepared to see some Cremone bolts. Like all over the place.

Another little pretty that I am very much looking forward to is pom-poms....

even some BIG pom-poms.....

Last February we went to New Orleans and  I spent a little too much money on some pom-pom napkins....

just cuz. I couldn't help it!

I would even put them on my sun hat...

Expect to see pom-poms on most of the new drapes...

My seamstress, Momma O, is gonna be up to her nose in pom-poms all winter!

Even Bailey's new bed can have pom-poms!!

I found a headboard just like that one at the flea this year for $15! I can't even wait to paint it!

 4. DO Monogram some things for the new house!
As a little gift to yourself that you can open on move in day.

Especially gold or silver metallic monograms!

Mark and Graham is one of my favorite places to get monogrammed goods.
Their packaging is superb and I have been known to reuse their boxes as decor.
Packaging is a huge selling point for me....I am such a gullible consumer!

Now don't be surprised when you come to the new house and see pom-poms, cheetah print, and monograms all over the place. I warned you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Make Sure Your Furniture Will Fit!

I ALMOST made another kinda big mistake.
Remember when I didn't even notice that there wasn't a hall closet in the plans for our new house?
Wellllll, I recently learned that 15 feet on paper seems WAY bigger than 15 feet in reality.
It's like when you're really hungry and you pile food on your plate thinking you could totally eat an entire grocery store and then you end up eating about half of what you piled on.
So, those 15 feet in your mind somehow stretch out to be somewhere around 30.
Our minds can seriously stretch reality.
So it's best to put reality on paper. 
If you don't have AutoCad at your disposal, or an assistant named Megan, who loves cranking out some floor plans on AutoCAD, you can easily put your space on paper...

Just get out some graph paper and a pencil, and steal some crayons from your kid.
My kid got a little upset with me because I used her NEW crayons. For SCHOOL.
I'm a bad mommy.......using the crayons I purchased and all.
Anyway, just set your own scale. Like one square equals 6" or 1 foot. Whatever is easiest. 
I find that most residential spaces will easily fit on one sheet of graph paper with the 1 square = 6" ratio.
Once I have the room all mapped out I go and measure the furniture that I know I want in the space or go shopping online for what I want in the future. Then, I can really see if the idea in my head is close to reality or a far fetched dream.
In my husbands case, his idea WAS NOT close to reality.
At least not for our future great room.
He got all hot and bothered over a 9 foot sofa at Restoration Hardware.
I laughed at him.
I tried to explain that it just wasn't going to fit but he didn't believe me until he saw it on paper. 
Once he realized how much it would cost to MAKE the 9 foot sofa fit he suddenly decided that a 7 foot sofa would do just fine.

It can be so cruel!
Another example of a stretched sense of reality was our Parlor Room.....

TOTALLY looks big enough, right?
Especially for a room that is hardly used.
Well, it was fine at 12 feet by 7 feet if we wanted to get ALL NEW FURNITURE!!

I don't think so.
 I am too in-love with my little white sofa for that to happen!
Plus, buying sofas is not particularly fun.
BUT buying fabulous pink chairs is VERY fun!
Back to my Parlor dilemma, I immediately informed our builder that the parlor had to grow by at least 18 inches.
Those 18 inches made a HUGE difference!
They meant having enough room for my little apartment sofa AND end tables.
End tables are important in my world.

Just for reference, that pencil line was where the room ended before we added the 18 inches.
The apartment sofa by itself was a tight squeeze. When you can't even fit an apartment sized sofa, it might be time to make a change.
The moral of the story.........don't assume your room dimensions will work just because the numbers seem reasonable.
If I hadn't made my little graph paper layouts, I would have discovered on move-in-day that I had a pretty white sofa problem in the parlor room.
Remember, it's not up to your builder to know whether or not your stuff will fit. His energy is better spent elsewhere.
It might sound ridiculous, but you should visually move into your house before the plans are even finalized. You will be way ahead of the game, saving yourself tons of stress and some serious dough!
Such dough could materialize as something awesome!
or something sleek and shiny!

WARNING: Your family might get annoyed with you having to document the measurements of every little thing AND your child might not appreciate you ruining the nice tips of his or her newly sharpened crayons. In your defense, you were trying to save money and stress and the results will be worth all the stubby crayons. 
I hope that if you are building a house at some point in your future that you can learn from me and my almost-big mistakes as well as my "OMG! what was I thinking?!?!?" mistakes.

What will I learn next???


Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspired By Soap

Sometimes the inspiration for a space comes from a piece of fabric, an item of clothing, or even a bottle of hand soap.....

You all know how I am currently obsessed with the design of our new bathroom...of all rooms...well, yesterday while shopping at TJ Maxx I spotted this bottle of hand soap and it called my name.

Please note: I am NOT an expensive lotion and soap person.
I buy what gets the job done and that is that.
BUT on occasion the design of a product will entice me.

Alchemy not only has me hooked on their fragrances, but also on their product labels and designs.

I can design my entire bath around these soaps...

Chinoiserie anyone?

How about Puriste? 

This silly and regularly expensive bottle of soap magically made my bathroom design come together in my head.

This is what the hand soap did in my head.... made an explosion of light pink and Chinoiserie happen! 

I immediately envisioned very light pink walls....

Benjamin Moore Pink Peony


or Pink Pearl

Since this is for my bathroom not just any pink will do. The wall color that I pick MUST complement my skin tone.

The one on the bottle has just enough peach...

It also made me want some Chinoiserie fabric to happen.
Maybe something covered in Braemore's Emporer's Garden....

Or if I had a 9 bajillion dollars I could use Manuel Canovas's Pegoda.
Drapery panels perhaps?
I only need $3000 to make that happen....Jeesh!

or I could just do light pink or white fabric with a trim.....

and save the printed fabric for a chair....

While on my Chinoiserie search I came across some fabulous things....

paintings by Ann Harwell that would fit right in...

you should check out the shop: Annechovie on etsy. 
I am certainly going to stockpile a few paintings for the new house!

Stopping over at Beth Connelly's Chinoiserie Chic is always a good idea when you're looking for some Chinoi!

She recently posted this image of Kirsten Kelli's work that was recently featured in Veranda.
Chinoiserie Chic never ceases to inspire....

I could easily stock up on prints from her shop, Pink Pagoda, as well.

How charming is this print, The Merchant's Wife???

Do you see the sort of madness that just one bottle of soap can create?? 

I really shouldn't be allowed out of my house.

Would you paint your bathroom pink??