May 20, 2009

What We’ve Been Up to

So I’m finally back!! I’ve missed everyone – both blog readers & writers- like crazy!!! We’ve been busy, of course. It’s been 2 weeks since we moved into our new house. Here’s what it looked like the first night:


The first thing we attacked was the kitchen. Below is a pic of my husband and one of his best friends pretending to help take apart the cabinetry 😉

Here I am taking off the screws that keep the front of the cabinets in place:

Christian was also really great in assisting Dave with the baby proofing of the lower cabinets:
Here’s where we got the first Friday night after we moved in: (Oh yes, and that’s definitely a dumped over bag of dog food on top of the fridge and my dog going crazy after all the food that spilled on the floor- that’s when we knew it was quitting time!!! )
The next day, my (amazing) husband put up the beadboard and then painted it white.
We used $3 cheapie brackets from Home Depot, but I love the black against the white and am really happy with them:

Dave installed 12″ painted shelves all the way accross the wall. (I can’t thank him enough because he did all of this in the middle of the move!!!)

When I received Cowtan & Tout’s sample of Botanique Spectaculaire I was in Heaven!! I had thought it was going to be in black and white and was surprised that the colors used happened to perfectly match all of the fabrics I’d chosen for the living room. No joke. And I already have tons of that Ralph Lauren greige I love so much (“Hopsack”) which PERFECTLY matched the leaves in the wallpaper.
One of my best friends, Lindsey, and my cousin, Jen, came over on Sunday to help out (thank you!!!) and Lindsey and I painted the remaining lower cabinets while Jen watched the little guy. (I really gouged the lower cabinets with the belt sander because the I only had really heavy sandpaper and was too impatient/ lazy to go to the store to get a finer grade for the belt sander. Oh well! you can’t really see it now– I hope!) Below is Lindsey digging in to the painting:


And finally, here’s how the kitchen looks now:
Still lots left undone but I’m much happier with where we’re at:
I have to say that I LOVE open shelving more than I could’ve dreamed. It really is such simple, easy living. We use almost everything up there all the time and clean up is such a breeze. I don’t dread putting away the dishes nearly as much!!
Below is my Grandma Maestranzi’s colander and I love it up there right above the stove:
Here’s my favorite white bowl my mom gave me. It was brand new a few years ago & has seriously aged with wear & tear !!!! love it.
I found the chandelier (below) on that NY flea market trip with Eddie Ross and was undecided about it when I left. I loved it but planned to put it in my dad’s house & couldn’t get a hold of him. Eddie was so sweet and picked it up for me a couple of weeks later & mailed it to us when I decided I wanted it. I’m still waiting on new wax drips/ covers but my husband rewired it & got it up and working & I couldn’t be happier with it!! It was in an old hotel in NY that has since been torn down:


Here’s a detail of the hammered finish:
Here’s the breakfast area as it is now:
I picked up the vintage saarinen-style table on Ebay and love it!! I was really picky about the shape of the pedestal because I found that some of the imitations don’t have pretty lines & others do. I really loved the lines on this piece & since there’s no way we could afford a real one, we went for this one.Here’s our little parrot who sits on the window sill. Christian loves him:


So, I ended up changing my mind about the wallpaper when the Studio Printworks Pineapple paper arrived:And here’s why I’ve come to this conculsion. I LOVE both and will consider using the other somewhere else in the house BUT I’m in the mood for color. Bright color. And the Cowtan & Tout paper has color already, but very subdued color and it won’t be as easy to inject fresh colors into all the time with accessories. Being in this all-white house you’d think I’d be in Heaven, but I’ve already moved onto the stage where I want to add color. And I guess since it’s so bright & warm out I’m looking for bright!! I think the black & white will be a better backdrop for bright color. So, I’m going to paint over the greige on the cabinets and I’ll be going for a fun color. It will take about an hour and I figure it’s a cheap & easy color fix. I’m considering a kicky green, inspired by our parrot or maybe even a turquoise or aqua … whatever we go with, I’ll be aging so it doesn’t look too new. Below is a pic of my fun little magnetic spice rack that I made from a cookie sheet: (yet to be hung!! 🙂


I saw the idea in Real Simple way back in college & have taken this baby with me to 3 homes since! We’ve also been really busy outside and a friend of mine is a landscape designer & she and her husband have been amazing!!! Below is a pic of him in the yard with my husband taking down a tree!!! He’s been coming over and helping so much!!
The next order of business was the living room. At this point the white was driving me mad!!! But now that I think of it, it was more than the white, it was the overall sterility of the place:
My mother-in-law and I made white linen drapes & my husband hung them with Christian’s help:They softened the room incredibly!!! (I have no idea why this is underlined but oh well- computers are the worst and hopefully it’ll go away!!) I didn’t hem the vertical edges because I was impatient and wanted them hung & because I also wanted a raw look. I figured it I didn’t like them I could go back later, but I love the look!!!




Here’s what the living room looks like for now:


We’re using all of our old furniture because the basement is a complete construction zone. (My father-in-law came to visit and worked so hard down there & I can’t wait to show pics!!!) Eventually, a lot of these pieces will be going downstairs and we’ll be bringing in newer things (like the reupholstered craigslist sofa!!) but for now, this is what we’re working with. We went out to Lucketts this weekend to find a mantle and here’s what we found:
It’s raw oak from an 1800s house in Pennsylvania. Currently we have it nailed into the wall and when things calm down a bit I’ve got big plans for making this baby look a bit more realistic. That’s my grandparents’ old camel sadel in front of it for warming your hands in front if the fire 😉 😉 Below is a close-up of my old man oil painting I scored at a thrift shop: (I really love him)

Below is a close-up of one of my favorite etched pitchers. It, too, has old men engraved all over it!! hahaha I think I may have a new living room theme?!! 😉 😉

My favorite thing about the house is all the light & windows. I still haven’t hung much & have plans for the main wall…
Here’s an area of the dining room where I just sort of stuck a bunch of things on a whim because I was mad for some color. I used my desk and a huge oil painting and some botanical prints:

I just stuck a bunch of accessories all over & didn’t put much thought into any of them as most of our things are still in boxes but I was actually really happy with how my collection of things has finally seemed to just work together:


I found these pillows for $5 at a thrift shop a few years ago. Putting them on the sofa really made me happy because like I said before, I was CRAVING some color & energy:

Below is my pretty door knocker lady. She’s been moving around since we got here on various surfaces:

So, that’s it for now. And this is me for now:


so glad to be back!!!
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