Tuesday, August 30, 2011

White Walls Never Looked So Good

Well, it appears that my toilet won't be moving out of the living room any time soon. I'm wondering if it ever will, or if I should figure it into the new room arrangement.  I've been thinking the room needed some extra seating, but I was leaning more toward upholstery rather than porcelain.

When last I posted about our living room/dining room makeover, we were in the middle of a little hardwood flooring dilemma. Well, I'll spare you the gory details that ensued. The bottom line is that we were pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our house is torn apart, and apparently there is no floor on the planet
at the flooring showroom that isn't more expensive than the original one.

So, we are paying extra to get the floor we wanted... the Columbia Timeworn.

In addition to the higher price tag, this floor also takes 2 weeks to ship. That means we probably won't get the floor installed for another 3 weeks. Therefore, we continue to reside in mayhem and dust.

The only silver, or perhaps I should say "white", lining is that the living room walls were painted today.

Goodbye tomato red...

Hello White Dove...

 Don't be fooled by the hardwood floors you are seeing. They are the original (too short) boards that were supposed to be removed, along with the boxes and boxes of hardwoods that are taking up too much space in my house. I was told they'd be taken out today, so I stayed home ALL DAY waiting. Do you think they ever showed up?

I don't think I've ever been more excited over white walls, because it means that something is actually happening... some progress is being made.

Oh how I hope I love the new floors just as much.

I hope something made you as happy today as my white walls made me :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friendly Places: Fourth Edition

Welcome to the fourth edition of "Friendly Places." I am so excited to show you my friend Michele's gorgeous home in Atlanta, Georgia. You won't believe the transformation this house has undergone!

Michele bought her first home in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood in 2000.

She's lived in the house for about 11 years, and a lot has happened in that time! First, there was a little real estate romance story. Michele met her husband when she was house hunting. He was selling his house in the same neighborhood. Although she chose this house over his, he asked her out and they were married a year later :).

Michele's relationship status wasn't the only change. Check out what the house looks like today.

Can you believe it's the same house?

The original home, built in 1923, was a small 2 bedroom bungalow. It was very cute, but seemed to get smaller as the family grew. When the couple's first son was born in 2005, the renovation planning began.

Michele's father lived in Ohio and just happened to be an amazing architect. He was about to retire at the time, but couldn't resist having his own daughter as his final client. (He later told her that she was his most difficult client...said with love of course ;) 

They all did a lot of research on the Arts & Crafts home style. Michele loves the warm feel of this style with lots of textured materials mixed together like brick and cedar shingles. Planning took almost a year, but in the end her dad designed the perfect house for them.

Construction began the following year. The home's square footage increased from 1600 to 4000. Michele's family grew during construction, too, with the addition of another baby boy in 2007.

The staircase was designed to have a floating landing and take advantage of the two stories of windows. This is one of their favorite features in the house since it is so central to the main living area and visually interesting. 

The interior design happened over the following year. Aside from the basic bones of the room design, Michele is a big believer in living in a space and allowing it to come together over time. Although she loves the craftsman style, she wanted her home to be interesting and eclectic. As she says, "Everything seems to be an evolution as opposed to a revolution!"

In the master bedroom, Michele could not find any curtain rods that would work for the unique windows they had framing the headboard. Instead, she used decorative furniture nail heads and nailed the curtains right to the wood work.

Michele really wanted to use green onyx in the master bathroom, but the cost was going to break the budget. Instead, they designed a tile pattern with tumbled stone and used the onyx as an accent.

One of Michele's favorite finds in her home is the coffee table, an old furniture moving cart from a company in North Carolina that makes furniture out of reclaimed wood. (She loved it more before it appeared on the front cover of Restoration Hardware a few months later!)

Given the craftsman style and Michele's love of Frank Lloyd Wright design, it seemed fitting that she put her stained glass hobby to work. During the renovation they had many of the cabinets built knowing that one day they would insert stained glass. They currently have over 18 panels of stained glass throughout the house and Michele is still working on a few for the basement kitchenette.

The basement was finished a few months ago. With three boys in the house, Michele said she agreed to the "man cave," although she prefers that they call it the "family cave."

(I don't know about you, but nothing about this space says "cave" to me!)

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of Michele's home. I think it is so beautiful and architecturally interesting, yet also very warm and welcoming. Don't you? 

Linking up to...


Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking Happy Thoughts

As I logged on to Blogger to write this post, the first thing I saw on my Dashboard was this sweet new painting by my good friend, Lori McDonough of Whimsy Studios

It immediately brought a smile to my face and reminded me to be grateful! Speaking of gratitude, I want to thank all of you who left encouraging comments and e-mails regarding our little flooring dilemma. I appreciate your words so much!

In the spirit of gratitude, I will give you a little update on the flooring situation, and I will not resort to profanity! 

After looking through every hardwood floor option in the entire showroom, and bringing home nearly every one of them, I narrowed the decision down to two floors.

The floor on the left is Columbia's Timeworn in Dockside Brown. It is distressed, but isn't wavy. It has a bit of "gray" to it.

The other option is Armstrong's Gatsby in Coventry Brown. It is birch, has a bit more waviness to it because of the hand-sculpting, and is a darker brown color.

I found out this morning that the Columbia floor would cost me an additional $1900. Uh...no thank you!

So, now I'm "thinking happy thoughts," and hoping I can get the Armstrong floor for the same price as the original floor.

Looking on the bright side, I'm thinking I can probably get the living room painted while I wait for the flooring issue to be resolved.  I've decided to go very neutral with the living room walls. They'll be painted Benjamin Moore's White Dove.

I know it doesn't sound very exciting, but I think dark floors with white walls will provide a nice canvas. I'll add color with pillows and art.

For the dining room, I'm considering this grasscloth wallpaper.

Horrible picture... sorry! It's much nicer in reality. It's also very neutral, but will add some great texture. 

So, that's the plan. I am envisioning that some day this space will be comfy and cozy, and the toilet in the living room will be a distant memory :)

Oh, and by the way, my heart is filled with gratitude today for another reason. 11 years ago today, my first baby boy was born. Happy Birthday, buddy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Who Knew Hardwood Would Be So Hard??

Are you having one of those days when you feel completely overwhelmed? Like the mess in your house is taking over... things are not put away in their proper place, tables need dusting, floors need vacuuming, laundry is piling up? If so, this picture should make you feel better.

If you've got a floor and your toilet isn't sitting in your living room, you are waaaay ahead of me.

As much as I would love to clean up this room and get the toilet back in the powder room, that will not be happening any time soon. Let me fill you in on the latest home renovation drama. I know...drama in our house... shocking!

You may recall that we are having new hardwood floors installed. We had the white carpet removed from our living and dining rooms, front and back staircases and upstairs hallway. We also had some existing hardwoods removed from our foyer and powder room. 

The removal of carpet, hardwoods, nails and staples took one day. Over the next couple of days the stair treads were sanded, and the front stairs were stained to match the hardwood floors I had chosen.

Shout out to my fellow Dexter fans!

So once the entire house was covered in 10 inches of dust sanding was done, the real fun was to begin. The guys started laying out the floors. They had only been there for a few minutes when they told me there was a problem.

The floors are 5" wide planks that come in varying lengths. The problem was with the manufacturer's definition of varying. The boards were 1', 2' and 35". Wha What?? That is not my idea of variation. I would expect some long boards to be included. These were short and nearly impossible to install in a traditional hardwood layout. They would end up looking like a stair step or brick pattern. Not gonna work!

So the project has come to a screeching halt while I scramble to find another hardwood that I like. Did I mention that it took me nearly 6 months to choose the first one?? I've spent half the day staring at these samples.

Want to choose one for me?? I need to go do some dusting.