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Oh yeah, we're Keeetchin' ReeenOvaTORS

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do.  With Insta giving the 1000-words-in-a-snap synopsis, it might be redundant to blog, but I'm feeling optimistic.

When we bought this house, we hoped to do quite a bit to bring it up to speed.  It was, for the most part, totally livable, just not the style we would choose.  For example, over the past few months, we've had the basement completely renovated from a dark, cold cave to a warm, usable space.  Hopefully, I'll get around to detailing that, but today is about the KEETCHIN.

To preface:  I have some guilt over redoing this kitchen.  The people we bought the house from apparently prepped the kitchen for selling purposes - painted, and put it new granite.  They put a fairly nice face on what was still a 1970s builder-grade kitchen.

Just a note of opinion, here, while I'm at it:  Why do people renovate only to sell their home?  Why not put in the nice features to enjoy them while you live there?  As a buyer, I'd rather you leave the old stuff, and knock a few grand off the asking price, so I can make my own selections when it comes time to remodel. Sans the guilt of feeling wasteful.
So, yes, I feel guilty busting out a kitchen someone else thought was the bee's knees. 

We've lived with it for about six months to really get a feel for what did and didn't work for us in the space.  It's a decent-sized kitchen, but didn't maximize the space. There's the working wall of all the appliances, which left little counter/prep space.  Then, there was the fridge and pantry - pushed into a small walkway outside the main part of the kitchen.
The little side bar area (on right in pic) wasn't deep enough for any small appliances, nor were there any outlets.  Basically, nothing more than a catch-all for all for the papers, lunch boxes, etc that traffic through here.
I liked the idea of having an eat-in area, but a round table (staged for selling) ate up a ton of real estate. 
After visiting with our contractor about the feasibility of moving appliances around, I came up with a rudimentary sketch that included plans to replace the double ovens with a single range, move the fridge into the main kitchen area, and add additional counter space with the sink placement under the window.  
The area vacated by the fridge in the passage-way would become a coffee station, with storage underneath for heavy small appliances (cuisinarts, etc), and the pantry would rotate to be accessible from the main kitchen.
We needed the storage the side cabinet provided, but planned it to be more of a standing desk/computer situation.
It'll be a tight fit, but we plan to put in a petite banquette/table along the back wall.
...Cabinet company rendering

I've been inspired by the greige kitchen movement.  I want ours to be classic - with touches of brass, nickel, white and black.  
 Well, you know - in a non-Martha/realistic version.

My working design board...
Some decisions are still in flux, but we're going with a shaker-style cabinet in a warm, mid-tone greige.  I think the color is actually called mushroom.  Or is it stone?  Not sure. 

We're about nine days in, have endured demo, and living with the essentials in a mock-kitchen.  Amazing how complete you can feel with an espresso machine and a hot plate.

And.  There's progress to report. 
So it's a good day to blog.

The Mulligan: Skylar's Nursery Reveal

So, if you were sorta, kinda following me through the One Room Challenge link-up, you know I didn't quite make the deadline to showcase my One Room in all its glory.
In my case, it was my baby girl, Skylar's, nursery.
There was a snafu with the wallpaper hanger's schedule, and I was bummed I couldn't reveal with everyone else who participated, but I got over it quickly when...
It happened.
 Remember, her room is barely ten feet square - it's so tiny, it's really tough to photograph without distortion. 
I decided on simple styling - you could easily go overboard with such a small space, and why would I try to compete with that wallpaper?   The other side of the room holds the closet, and her changing table, which I'm still in the process of refinishing (read: barely sanded).
 The crib linens are the Katie from the uber-talented, Bailey and her Biscuit Homegoods.
 The Fiery Red is perfection, isn't it?
 Is that a Skylar in there?!
We painted the walls BM Mint Julep, and the rug was an Overstock find - it's nice and cushy, but has a major shedding habit.  The crib is the Babyletto Hudson.       
The brass floor lamp is vintage, and may I mention my husband hates it, can't understand why I'd buy it.  As Skylar gets bigger, standing up in her crib, etc, I'm sure it'll find another home.
If Ben has his way, it'll be by the curb. ;)

I'm so in love with this little jewel box of a room.
I'm even more in love with its inhabitant.
I think it's safe to say we have one satisfied customer!
What do you think?  Was it worth the extra wait time?

Surprises of the House and Non-House Kind

We took a little staycation in DC this weekend. We were having some work done in the house that was best done with us out of dodge, and honestly, we needed a little time away from all the craziness of living in as-yet-unpacked boxes and ongoing renovations.
The weekend started off with Avery losing her first tooth at school. She didn't even realize it - I think it went down with her lunch.
Saturday, however, just as we were getting settled into our hotel with room service and PJs, Isla fell off a chair, and hit the edge of a coffee table - putting a deep gash into the back of her head. Ben spent the rest of the evening in the ER with her, while I held down the fort with the baby and Avery, all the while feeling so guilty that I wasn't there when my little girl got three staples in her head.

Apparently, they were out of the skin glue.
So, chalk this weekend up to two firsts: toofers and stitches.

We went on to have a good time in the city, and all was not lost.
After all, we came home to this:
So, stairs got a B&W paint over, walls went from beige to Cornforth White.  Can't see, but the interior doors also went black.  Then the Stark Antelope runner(s) went down.  I bought them over a year ago on OKL, and have been waiting.  And waiting. to use them.  They feel so good, and offer a tremendous buffer against stompy little feet.
In the words of one Ferris Bueller, It is so choice.
We're trying so hard to put our stamp on this house - to make it our own.  I think this is one small step for Mankind.

P.S. - Stay tuned....Barring any other crash and burns, nursery reveal coming rurl soon.

Master Bedroom design - Help me decide!

 I won't have much progress to report tomorrow on Skylar's nursery, but I need your thoughts, impressions, etc on our master bedroom design.
Right now, we are minus a bed (boxspring/mattress on the floor is charming, btw), and I'm quickly tiring of looking for the most awesome bed.  We just need to get one bought.  Like. Now.
Not wanting to make a rash decision, I put together a few design schemes to help persuade my purchase....

I'm fairly set on deep navy walls, and we already own the bedside tables and lamps.  We need more clothing storage, a rug, and I'd like some mirrors to place behind the nightstands.

Here ya go...

Room 1:  Soothing palette using some lilac floral fabric I already purchased for some kind of canopy, pale gray bed, moroccan shag rug, and a midcentury-esque chest of drawers.

Room 2:  The wall mural from Anthro is a game-changer (thank you, Linda for the heads-up). In this scheme, paired with a navy velvet, clean wingback bed, french gilt mirrors, and a nubby jute rug.

 Room 3:  More or less the same scheme, warmed up with a chocolate velvet bed, layered kilim over the nubby jute, and a dash of black with the dresser.

So, which one?  Talk to me, Goose.

ORC - Week Four - Short and Sweet Update

I'll make this snappy...
If I were a gambler, I'd put 70/30 odds on Skylar's nursery being finished by week 6.
Yesterday, paint went up on three walls.  Major, MAH-jor improvement.   The back wall will be papered next week.
Full Disclosure:  I had them painted.  I fully intended to do the painting myself, but we had painters here working on another project, and when they agreed to paint the nursery for $150, it was too good to pass up.  They had it done in less than two hours, too.  Would've taken me two days.
Ask and ye shall receive.
 You can see the new, BM Mint Julep compared against the old, murky mauve and feel the life being breathed into this room.  When the Perroquet wallpaper goes up on the back wall, I think this tiny room is gonna positively SING.

Since that's all the progress there is to report, I'll do a quick little prop to Sherwin-Williams, and their Harmony paint line.
Since this is a baby nursery, I wanted low or no VOC paint.  The Harmony line is no-VOC, and actually has formaldehyde-reducing properties.  The sales guy at SW told me it would actually make the room smell good after painting.
It's true - there was a pleasant, fresh (not perfume-y) smell coming from her room as the paint dried.
I approve.
Up next:  Wallpaper, light fixture, window covering, and a redo of the changing table (I hope)
Until then..

One Room Challenge: Week Three

Week Three. (ORC, hosted by Linda at Calling It Home)
More like Weak to See.
Not a ton of pretty progress to feast your eyes upon this week.
The rug did come in, and I'm fairly pleased with it. The colors are slightly different than they appeared in the product image - more purply-lilac than the pinky-lilac I was aiming for. Then again, it could be that the sweet, mauve color currently on the walls is giving the rug the heebs.
For a wool rug, in the odd size I needed, and the under $300 clams category, it'll work just fine. It also offers such a nice, plush contrast to my (ahem, haven't been vacuumed/mopped in over two weeks) hardwoods.
No judging.

 In other news....Our stuff arrived from Brazil - woo hoo!  We're still up to our ears in unpacked boxes.   Progress is sloooooow with three Little People in the mix.
My old changing table made it through Giese customs.  Sweet. 
 I have big, shiny plans for her - hope you'll approve.
And, that's about it.  I really, rully gotta get the walls painted.  I don't mind painting, and the three itty walls should be easy to knock out, it's just a matter of getting the ball rolling.
Thus, the call of the ORC.

One Room Challenge: Week 2

Have I mentioned I'm a little indecisive these days? Welcome back to the One Room Challenge link partaaay: Week 2.
As of last week, I had jumped on this ORC bandwagon as a way to focus my energies on getting one room in our house more or less completed. We moved in from Brazil in August, and the "to do" list for our circa '70s builder-grade home is long and distinguished.
Giving myself a six-week time limit via the ORC may or may not put me on the road to madness. Either way, it should be fun for you to watch.

As promised, I put together a design board, with the key feature of the room being the c'est magnifique wallpaper from Anthro. The more I put the sample against the wall behind the white crib, the more I thought there wasn't enough contrast. A quick polling of family & friends furthered that notion.
So, I kept thinking what other papers I love that would be a better contrast.
Perroquet, duh.
I do love me a good parrot.

And so it shall be.
Since I'm using the black colorway, I'll pay extra attention to lighting choices in the room to keep it from being too gloomy. Maybe I can get the hubster to spring for some sconces.
Paper ordered.
Rug ordered.
Hope I can get my paintin' pants on sometime soon!