Friday, August 8, 2014

Before & After: Curb Appeal

Things have been very busy around these parts.  My not-so new-anymore working Mom schedule is finally beginning to settle down.  And we've been working like dogs on projects around this little ranch every chance we get!

  One project that was on the top of the list for us was the ranch's exterior.  When we bought the house, we were under a great deal of pressure to just find something.  We had sold our beautiful old home and were living with my parents during the search for something smaller.  I'm not going to lie... we settled on this house.  And it was... not so pretty.

First, we had the house painted BM's Grey Mist. Then we updated the front door, added a new light and numbers, added shutters and window boxes. 
Other, less sexy changes include re-shingling the roof and re-capping fascia and soffit. 
  I love the changes and how much they've improved the house. Our neighbors have all commented and I can drive up to the house without feeling embarassed now. That's a definite bonus. 

Remember these curb appeal plans? I think we did a good job of sticking to the plan and I'm really happy with how things have turned out. 

  We still have more work to do. We've had architectural plans drawn up for a front porch makeover. The railing is rickety and the flagstone is crumbling, which is becoming a little dangerous at this point. This will also aesthetically improve the flat look of the home. And lastly, we will paint the garage grey to match the shutters. 
  In other news, we're also meeting with the architect tonight to go over our initial plans for a rear addition. I'm really excited about this process and I'm looking forward to getting started. 
  Now that things have settled down at my work, I'm looking forward to having more time to work on projects and post here. I have a few additional exterior pictures to share with you this week. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chair Options

My hubby would say that I'm obsessed with fabric choices.  I would probably agree. I'm working on the fabric scheme for our living room.  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my vintage cane chairs.  So there's been a whole lot of:

"Do you like this one?"
"Yep.  That's nice."
"How about THIS one?"
"Yep.  That's nice too."

I figured you guys would be more interested in my fabric decisions.  So here they are.  I'm deciding between the two accent fabrics, and assorted upholstery fabrics.  The chairs will be sprayed white, I think BM's White Dove most likely.  Also, the rug is new, so it's staying.  There will most likely be a white slipcovered couch.

Jason would be so grateful if you guys could weigh in so that I can stop bugging him about this.

I need to know!  Do you like the Chaing Mai or the Ornate Pool as the accent pillow fabric?  Which upholstery fabric do you like? Yes, #1 and #4 are the same fabric.  Is that a sign?

Hope you're having a good Monday!

xo Meg

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Embarking on Another Renovation

   We've been talking a lot around here about how to make our much smaller house into our permanent home.  We go back and forth on the subject so much.

    If you remember, we made some large scale decisions two years ago to right-size our life.  We sold our large old home (which I often miss, hard) and bought a smaller ranch. It was the right decision for our family and I don't have any regrets about reducing... most of the time.

   It took us a really long time to find a house in the neighborhood we were looking to live in.  There wasn't much on the market, and as a result, we bought a home that wasn't ideal.  We wanted smaller but maybe not this small.  But moving is an enormous, expensive undertaking.  That's why we've been going back and forth about moving in a couple of years versus staying and adding on.

  The thing is, this decision has to be made now because we will either renovate this house to stay put or we will renovate it to sell.  We've done that plenty of times and we know how to do it.  But these are two very different kinds of renovations.

We're currently thinking that we will add on to the house and stay. I'm excited about the idea of increasing the home's footprint to include a larger kitchen and dining area with lots of windows on the back of the house.

perfect casual/traditional kitchen
Long banquette in eat in kitchen, of course the black windows too

We would also be able to re-configure the bedrooms to include a larger closet and built-in desk for Audrey, a walk-in dressing room for us and a generous front hall closet.

In closet desk_storage.

And finally, the main bathroom could be expanded to include a separate bathtub and walk-in shower (and an exhaust fan but don't even get me started on that!).
House of Turquoise: Lauren Liess Interiors
House of Turquoise: Lauren Liess Interiors
these two via
   So you see, lots of decisions to make.  I'm leaning towards staying now that I have a vision of what could be added to the house.
  This week the plumber and electrician are here to work on the basement bathroom and laundry. I'm looking forward to sharing some progress on that work soon.
xo meg

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fab Find

We've been looking for a set of comfortable vintage occasional chairs for our living room. The proportions had to be just right as it's a really small space.  However, the comfort factor was also important as we will be using them more than 'occasionally'. 

I foun these locally last night and they are perfect. My plan is to spray them out in glossy black because we have entirely too much brown and woody going on around here. And I'm planning a reupholstering project. 

I'm thinking about grey linen and a square pillow for the back. 

Even Alice likes them. 

Xo Meg 

Monday, January 27, 2014


I'm often overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects we have on the go in this house.  We are really good at getting things 'done enough' - you know, 90% there?  Just about complete?  All the little projects that pile up needing to be completed can sometimes get out of hand for me.

I've decided to break down all the little projects piling up around here and tackle them one at a time.  This week's mini-project is my living room curtains.

This is my coffee spot:

    You'll find me here every morning at 6 am sipping coffee with my hubby.  The spot's not bad - I have a nice view out the big bay window and usually have a fire going.  My main problem is the curtains.  I bought Ikea curtains for this spot when we first moved in.  But we were in such a hurry to get the window covered that I never hemmed them!  They bunch up on the floor in a most unattractive way. And it makes them difficult to open and close. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get to this little project.

I took the time to wash the curtains, hem them, and properly pinch the pleats with the little clips.

Much better!  Sometimes it's the little things.  I love my coffee spot.

   Who knows, perhaps my next mini-project will be a makeover on that cute little footstool that I found on the side of the road! Or maybe I'll hit that ugly fireplace with a coat of White Dove!  It's inspiring just getting a little something done around here.

xo Meg

Friday, January 24, 2014

This Kitchen...


   is so good. 

 I don't think I have ever seen a kitchen renovation that is more me than this one.  I even have one of those lights in my dining room! It's exactly the feel I'm looking for once we decide to take the renovation leap.


We haven't gotten our thoughts together enough to do any kitchen reno planning at our new house but this one sure comes close to what I imagine the finished product would look like.  I love all of the materials and finishes.  The cabinetry - the mix of dark gray and off-white, as well as the simple shaker style.  Of course the subway tile and marble counters are my first choice. 

You can check out the full details about this kitchen on Create Live Design.  

so Meg

Monday, January 20, 2014

Well hello there, Blog World!

     I've been away for a long time and I've missed you.  There have been so many changes at our house lately - I think I'll share a little bit.

     First up, my long absence from cyberspace.  Although I've been reading blogs and pinning like a mad woman, I haven't been very inspired to post.  Here's why:  I got caught up in the comparison trap.  I thought for a time that I might like to make this blog my business.  And then I began to look into the world of sponsorship and increasing my online presence and got really overwhelmed by all of it.  I knew my blog would never have as many followers as some other blogs.  I wasn't a great photographer.  I wasn't enough as a blogger.  And that made me feel badly about blogging.

     Around the same time, big change number one happened.  I got a real job in my field.  So I'm working at the university here and I'm loving every minute of it.  I'm loving the extra income, using my brain and having a professional life after 8 years of being stay-at-home mom (not that being a mom wasn't some of the hardest work I've ever done... and not that I would trade those 8 years for the world).  But the transition has been a tricky.  Things are disorganized, messy and we're often eating take out because nobody has time to cook.

"Want me to pick up dinner or are you going to do it?"

"Where is my soccer gear?"

"I don't even have a clean gymsuit!"

     Things have not been pretty.  As a result, there hasn't been time to take photos and write well thought out posts. Over the holidays, I did some thinking on what really makes me feel satisfied as a blogger.  I thought about how I'd like this blogging thing to look for me.  I felt better when I wrote this blog as a journal of my life.  I was recently looking back over my posts and I really enjoyed reading about all our projects.  I'm hoping you do too.  I've decided to remove the links to my facebook page and twitter.  I'm not going to do that stuff - it's too much pressure and I really don't have time.  I added my instagram feed and I'd love it if you'd follow me so I can follow you back.

     My posts will be about the renovation projects that are going on around here.  And some other things in my life (like my kids, some outfit posts and some meal posts).  I'll still write from my heart about the things that matter to me.  There are so many things to catch you up on.  We've painted the exterior of our home and done some other curb appeal updates.  We've finished the basement and are mostly done with Elliott's Room.  But this blog won't be about self promotion and I'm not looking to be the next big blog on the block.

 I hope some of my old friends are still out there reading this little blog of mine.  And I hope you'll join me moving forward.  If you're a reader with a blog, I'd love to follow along on your journey.  Link up with your address in the comments section and I'll add you to my sidebar.  I'd really love to continue the conversation.

xo Meg