Inside Our Christmas

Last weekend was full of decorating for Christmas! And with continual tweaks being made (always) I wanted to share with you our red and plaid Christmas wonderland!

The Dining Room
I wanted to keep the decor simple but still make a big impact and fill the space. I created depth by layering the plaid table runner and the greens.  I used extra bulbs to fill the glass vases and sprinkled some votives throughout for some nice mood lighting in the evenings.

Ornaments
We have a super tall skinny tree in our dining room as well, this tree is used for all of our ornaments, mostly B’s and one’s we’ve collected together.  I have yet to inherit all of my childhood ornaments from my parents, but then I think we will need a much bigger tree! I love opening the ornaments every year, they all have meaning and memories built behind them.

Cozy Living
The Merry Christmas sign was inspired of course by something I found on pinterest and one of my wood crafts! I hand painted the lettering, and used 100-year-old wood from our attic, it’s pretty hefty. The polar bear also holds special meaning, although it was a lucky find last Christmas season – my grandma used to have a ledge of polar bears, and it wasn’t until after she passed I truly appreciated that sentiment and wished I had asked for a few of hers.

The Tree
Here it is!  Our first REAL tree! She is a beauty.  Lots of lights and gold and red accents to trim the tree. And of course an angel as the topper (she was tough to find!)  – the last missing piece is a tree skirt.

I love being able to enjoy the house decorated, last year we were just moving into our house on December 13th – so throwing some decorations up and the fake tree was all we managed amongst the other chaos!

Merry Christmas!

Transformation Tuesday no. 3

Remember that post when I “designed” our future dining room? (In case you missed it see here: House Hunters – Dining Room Design)… I also mentioned that we were having a custom table built, well table is complete, and dining room is complete!  We ended up going with my original design, but ran into some problems with the chandelier.

WORDS OF ADVICE: Don’t fall in love with something “available online” only to find it’s no longer available online or in any of the stores… also try and find similar models from different sights, just as back-ups or comparison.

I could not find a replicated chandelier of the one in my original design post ANYWHERE. It was my mission, I was so determined, but found nothing! And I called almost every Home Depot asking for the Hampton Bay, Menlo Park 6-light chandelier… I even went as far as upstate NY near my parents searching for this bad boy. Sold. out.

So… I had to try and find something else, it was hard but we finally found a replacement that we both liked and played into the character of our 100-year old home. We also went with chairs from Target, not only are they durable (and beautiful) but getting two chairs for the price of one (if that) is unbeatable!  Our table was built by a friend’s friend who is a carpenter, we were able to pick the wood, customize the size (8-feet by 4-feet), legs, spacing, height…everything. We ended up staining and finishing the piece ourselves to save some money and it came out great.

Before

After

photo 2

Final touches; side table with table-top lamp, new blinds, decorative bowl for the center of the table and place mats, and I am sure about a million other things along the way! I am completely in love with this space and can’t wait to entertain and have many dinners, game nights, and parties around this table.

Happy Dining!

House Hunters – Living Room Digs

Even though we have moved into the house and are pretty settled, we still have future decorating plans (that’s a given, right?) and one that is going to make a huge impact is our living room. I feel like there are so many ways to go with our furniture and style.  Also not being a designer; I have a hard time describing my style. So if anyone out there wants to help this girl out, I would love that!

Ideally, I would love to start with neutral bases for our big furniture pieces – whites and beige’s or grey’s.  Then from there start bringing in the color with an area rug, ottoman, pillows, and light fixtures. Something like this;

Pulled from How to Decorate via Pinterest – Site linked to picture.

How to make this my own:

01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05

This is still a work in progress – but a starting point. I have really struggled with my living room, I feel like there are so many possibilities, I am just focusing on staying patient and when I see it I’ll know! How do you help decide on your designs?

House Hunters – Bye Apartment

Moving this weekend ends an era at 12505 along the lake. This was B and I’s first place together and honestly… I love our space. But I didn’t love all things that came along with it… especially over time.

Things I won’t miss;

  • Slamming doors in the hallways
  • Cigarette smoke coming up from the opened windows
  • Close neighbors
  • The barking French bull dogs underneath us
  • Our parking lot
  • Cat lady leaving cat litter in the halls

Things I will miss;

  • Our massive closets
  • Being super close to work/downtown
  • Prime running location
  • Our fireplace
  • Our cozy bungalow
  • The Pontiac couple’s fights across the street

We’ve had laughs, we’ve had cries, yelling, and parties. We’ve hung pictures and decorated for the different holidays. This was our home for 2-years and now we will start all of this in our new home. I will miss our little bungalow on the lake, as I have liked to call it. It was a cozy, warm and inviting space that will always have a special place in my heart. I knew as soon as we saw this space that it was going to be ours, and I think B had the same feeling when he walked into our house, we just had to do some convincing to each other in both respects.

Transformation Tuesday.

It’s my inaugural Transformation Tuesday! Are you excited? I am, this means we are starting to wrap this up! But since we aren’t quite finished or moved in, here are a few of the projects we’ve completed, although small in tow, have made a huge difference.

1. Carpet Removal – Hardwood Please
This one was simple… as soon as we saw this carpet, and the gorgeous hardwoods in the rest of the house we just had to tear this up. So we did, the first weekend we got in the house.  And with Moz’s help, poof! The carpet disappeared… luckily it was in a small area of the house.


2. Wallpapered Built-In’s
My first initial instinct was to add a little more life into these beauties by painting the inside yellow so they would pop! Then I remembered I had some left-over embellished wallpaper from when we made our bar (I’ll share in a future post).  After some measuring and cutting, I soaked the pre-glued wall paper, waited 5-minutes and then placed into the built-in’s… wah-la! Instant character.  I love this patterned wallpaper because it reminds me of tin ceilings, without actually having dark tin ceilings in your house. The pattern is subtle enough that it isn’t too distracting, and it brightens the cabinets up just enough, I love it.

I can’t wait to share more before and after pictures with you! Honestly, I have to keep reminding myself to take the before AND after pictures… hopefully we can get the majority of the work finished up this week.  We have been putting in long nights after work, and full weekends for the past three weekends. It’ll be nice when it’s all over.

Happy Homeowning!

House Hunters – Office Space

After two full weekends of house work, and keeping Lowe’s in business, the anticipation of moving into our house has been building… I just want to decorate and organize!!

Again, I blame pinterest for all of my design aspirations, including our future office. I want our office space to be chic and elegant but also sporty, we have some sports memorabilia that I’d like to be able to include in the same vein. So I feel like (once again) the contrast between dark navy blues with whites and greys is a good balance – but I know I can’t use this color pallet for every room… right? Another reason I love this color pallet so much is that it’s still sophisticated without being too girly, because frankly I would love to do something like this… But I wouldn’t do that to B. *smiles*

My inspiration:
MadeByGirl: Anya Kucheryavenko, small office defined by navy wall behind shelves, darling

Pulled from “Made By Girl” Blog via pinterest – Site linked to picture.

How to make this my own:


01 / 02 / 03 / 04

In the next week or two, we should finally be moving into the house. All of the work we have been wanting to get done is nearly under wraps! Then the before and after pictures will start coming… so get ready!

Until next time…

Homeowners.

As of Thursday evening, B and I are official homeowners… we got the keys to our house! The process has been so long, that the reality of it all is hitting me in waves.  We had a 60-day close, plus we are having some work done on the house, so there has been a lot of downtime.  Fortunately we have time left on our lease until the end of December, so we can get the house in tip-top shape and move in as needed.

We got a lot of work done around the house this past weekend, before and after pictures to come in a future post. But MY biggest accomplishment of the weekend was deciding on paint colors for the dining room and the living room… now only 5-other rooms to go… oh… and the actual painting…

We also met our neighbors this weekend, both sides seem super nice.. so I’m happy about that.


#homeownerselfie

Wednesday Reminders.

Life seems to be one big race to the next vacation, the next meeting, the next holiday, the next weekend… shall I go on?  It’s little reminders like this; that help put life in perspective, let you take a step back, breathe in a deep breath, and realize all in good time.  I know more great things are headed my way, but it’s hard not to be eager and impatient, our society is all about knowing things… Right. Now.

In light of all that, today marks a big anniversary for B and I, and also marks a new anniversary and the start of our next adventure together… our house! I’m thankful and reflective today of all the great things in my life and all the great things yet to come. #happywednesday

House Hunters

Recently Bentley and I have been looking at houses, hoping to find our home. After renting for the last 3 years (and even longer for B), we are both at the point where if we are going to be paying hundreds of dollars a month on rent, we would rather pay towards something that could be ours and build equity.

We have been on the search for a week and already we have had two house heartbreaks. We’ve found that the houses we end up seeing and loving, usually end up with an offer literally the next day. Then they’re gone. Just. Like. That.

We are eager to find a house, but also aren’t on any timeline, we still have time on our lease but at the same time are hesitant to look at houses knowing how quickly they get snatched up, or how quickly we’d have to decide and place an offer at the risk of entering into a bidding war. Only to end up having time remaining on our lease.

Recent homeowners, what’s your advice to first time home buyers when going through this process? Have you lost a house? How many houses did you see before you found the one?

Happy House Hunting!

xo- eb

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