Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

The New Office Inspiration

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Posted by Rebecca, October 19th, 2011

No, I’m not talking about the Office with Andy Bernard in charge (which just isn’t the same, btw), I’m talking about the office we plan to move upstairs that I mentioned here. I’ve blogged about how I’d like to build a window seat and Mike posted about how he’d like to do some dramatically large lyrics on the wall, but other than that we haven’t told you much. We have received an estimate to continue the hardwood flooring we added to our hallway and master last year into the remaining 3 bedrooms. That would mean that our entire upstairs would be seamlessly full of this…

This was our plan all along, we just tried to break up the expense over 2 installs. Since we’re getting serious about moving the office, we figured the carpet should go before we do so. Macky looooves shredding that particular type of carpet and whenever he weasels his way into one of the spare bedrooms, he immediately goes to town. This would probably drive us crazy after about…. an hour of sitting in the new office.

Then we bought a couch and a tv so the addition of the floors got put on the back burner. We like to only tackle a major expense at a time, so we’ve decided to wait until November/December to add the floors (depending on our contractor’s availability). In the meantime, Mike and I have been scouring Pinterest for some inspiration. Yes, Mike sneaks on Pinterest and sends me links to things he likes quite often.

First, the chalkboard walls. We want chalkboard paint walls behind our desks. We’re both desperately missing a space to jot down notes, code and to-do lists in our current office and chalkboard paint is the natural choice.

(from Craftaholics Anonymous via Pinterest)

I love the clothesline for inspiration pictures in this one, though I’m not sure it’s chalkboard paint, it could be!

(from The Marion House Book via Pinterest)

(from Decor Pad via Pinterest)

And the classic chalkboard calendar from good, ol’ Martha.

(from Martha Stewart via Pinterest)

Other than giant chalkboard walls and a built-in bench, we’re not entirely sure what we want to do with the rest of the room. The room is so large that it’s hard to visualize and I’m afraid we’ll end up with 2 smallish desks floating in the center of two 15 foot walls. Then today, Mike found a few ideas that I think can work for us.

First, some wall cabinetry flanking either side of the desk to break up the large chalkboard wall…

(from Blueprint Bliss via Pinterest)

Second, maybe some high, open shelving to keep the “backsplash” area open for chalkboard writing.

(from Design*Sponge via Pinterest)

Furthering the open shelving look, I like the idea of doing just one continous shelf around the top of the room. Sort of like the top shelf in this picture…

(from Marcus Design via Pinterest)

Whatever we decide, the change will likely be gradual. I know Mike wants to get settled into the office quickly, but we’ll still tackle one project at a time and see where the room takes us. We just know we want it to be streamlined, clean, full of storage and uncluttered. We’re currently having a serious paper issue in our office. Meaning that, Mowie chews paper… in our office. She ate my softcover, rented textbook last night. Needless to say, we’re reaching our limit with storage-less desks and we’re looking forward to some new solutions 🙂

This Used To Be My Kitchen

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Posted by Rebecca, October 6th, 2011

Whenever Mike and I drive to our hometown, we bust out some version of Madonna’s “This Used To Be My Playground”. Sometimes it’s “this used to be my Riiiiita’s” (my first job scooping Italian Ice) or “This used to be my Targeeet”. Have no clue what I’m talking about? Well there’s an official Madonna YouTube channel!

YouTube Preview Image

Why am I rambling about Madonna songs? Well this weekend we took a trip to my parents’ house (who live about an hour away now). They are remodeling their kitchen and I wanted to take before pictures. Remember how I always say that I want old house to remodel because of the awesome before/after pictures? Well, of course I jumped on the opportunity to cover this on the blog! Plus this isn’t just any remodel, this is the remodel of my childhood kitchen. The one that has remained untouched since we moved in when I was 2 years old. Yes, it has been the same, minus several appliance upgrades and new flooring, for 25 straight years.

Yes old dark grainy cabinets, florescent lighting, faux brick backsplash, faux wood laminate countertops, a lack of storage space and cabinets that no longer stay closed. The 70s had a lot of style. When we moved in there was actually brown and orange peel and stick laminate flooring, which my parents upgraded to Pergo maybe 10 years ago? We also used to have a robin’s egg blue stove, brown dishwasher and a brown refrigerator. Those were the days.

Let me tell you a little about my parents first. My dad was green before green was ever cool. However, he isn’t eco chic like many people today and chooses function over form. He once famously rewired a halogen lamp to fit a more energy efficient light bulb…which then protuded out of the light and was the became the ugliest lamp ever…but we dare not throw it out. They’re just very practical people, which is something to admire in a time of waste and consumerism. Though I inherited the urge to complain to Mike about wasting and things sitting in landfills, my mom often reads my blog and wonders how the apple fell so far from the tree. Hi mom! 🙂

My mom had been telling me that they were looking at cabinets and having a contractor come to let them know if they could remove the soffits, which I thought was a great idea. I recommended that they get rid of the hood and get a microwave with a vent built in, to save counterspace. We also talked about some pull out drawers for pots and pans, since their storage space now is nearly impossible to navigate. My dad works with a lot of contractors so I knew they had professional opinions weighing in, but I was completely floored when my mom sent me the plans for their new kitchen.

Yes, they moved the fridge. Why didn’t I think of that? My mom had mentioned to the contractor that when she cooks (which she does often), she casts a shadow on the stovetop. So the guy moved it, making it look more open overall.

The dishwasher is also moved since it was always in the way of the stove and the corner cabinet. Another genius move.

The new stove area, complete with overhead microwave. That door on the left is my old room 🙂 On the right is the laundry room, which they are also getting some cabinetry for. My camera battery died after literally 5 pictures, so I didn’t get a chance to get everything.

As if all of the appliance moves and tile backsplash weren’t enough for me, I was also sent the electrical plan.

It’s hard to see, but it’s full of recessed lighting and under cabinet lights!

Last night my mom asked me to look at the cabinet website and help her pick one out, so I told her to go with a white linen (not a complete bright white) in a simple bevel.

Look familar? Yes it’s similar to ours, but my mom always admires our white cabinets and in a small kitchen with little natural light, I think white is the way to go. They still have to choose hardware and a tile for the back splash, but they still have some time for those extras. My mom mentioned doing a Silestone counter top, which I think is a great choice.

They’re hoping to have it done by Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to see (and share) the finished product. As I said earlier, my mom loves to cook and she really deserves an awesome kitchen. 25 years and 3 kids is long enough to wait, I think 🙂

Crossing Disciplines

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Posted by Rebecca, September 14th, 2011

You already know that we unexpectedly painted our powder room a bold charcoal gray. I knew I wanted some bright white floating shelves, so we picked up some inexpensive ones from Target and we’re currently in the midst of hanging them.


Since the gray was a complete compulsive move, I didn’t have much else planned. The room is dark and needs pops of white (which we plan to add more of with the shelves, frames and some crown molding), but I also feel like it needs a fun accent color.

My initial instinct was to go yellow. Gray and yellow are about as hot as brown and blue were 5 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I like the combo and I’m planning to add some yellow to our living/dining rooms, but it seemed a little not me. I’m just not a warm color person and for the amount of bold I want in this bathroom, it would be a little too much yellow for me. Maybe elsewhere yellow, maybe elsewhere.

Last week, I realized how much charcoal colored clothing I own. It has become my standard neutral over the past year or so. You already know about my sweats and flip flops, but I also have a few other pieces, such as my sneakers (from Target)…

A scarf (also from Target)…

A dress (from Loft)…


As well as a pair of cargo pants and numerous shirts.

As I got dressed one morning last week, I started to browse my color-coded shirt selections for something to go with my sneakers and scarf (please excuse the iPhone quality on this one)


I then remembered this outfit I have pinned on Pinterest and have always loved for the aqua scarf and gray tank.

(via Polyvore on Pinterest)

Does Pinterest make anyone else think outside of their normal wardrobe? I’m suddenly more bold in my clothing choices. Such an unexpected perk of joining that site 🙂

So I went for a pale blue shirt to go with my gray scarf.


Then a little light went off in my head. Why don’t I use my Pinterest outfit to inspire my bathroom?

I love the aqua and gray and I even love my take of the light blue and gray, though this other shirt I have is probably more accurate to the Pinterest scarf. 

It has more of a minty green tone to it compared to the light blue shirt, though it’s subtle. 


And so that’s how it began. I figured going with a refreshing, but bright blue tone would incorporate the powder room into the color scheme of the remainder of the house. Otherwise it would scream “hey I’m completely bold and randomly dropped here!”, but I believe it will still be way more dramatic than the rest of the downstairs rooms.I attempted to buy a mirror and some paint this past weekend, but Lowe’s was out of what I had in mind. Hopefully the upcoming weekend will be good to me and I can put this little vision of mine together and show you what I have planned 🙂 

ps- I inititally planned to photograph myself in all of these outfits while standing in the bathroom for some comedic effect, but the thought of changing all of those times before it gets dark out in 20 minutes was just draining. If anyone else would like to stand in their bathroom, in outfits that match their walls, please do so for my entertainment 🙂 And if you’ve ever decided on a color palette while standing in your closet, please share that too!

West Elm’ing

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Posted by Rebecca, September 8th, 2011

I haven’t been home before it’s gotten dark out all week, so I haven’t had a chance to take any pictures around the house. Soo I figured I’d share some of my favorite finds from a recent trip to West Elm. I wanted basically everything in there, it was just one of those days when they had a bunch of great stuff. I bought a lot, but nothing is ready to show yet so onto the list! 🙂

1. Organic Ironwork Bedding

I’ve loved this since I first saw it pop up in an email West Elm sent me. I already have 2 duvets for my king sized bed I don’t yet have, so I really had no need for this. Buuut, I picked up two euro shams for our new sectional that hasn’t come yet. More about those (and the sectional) next week 🙂

2. Parsons Desk in Polished White

This picture doesn’t do the finish on this desk justice, so here’s one I snapped with my iPhone…

I would looove to have one of these for my side of our new office, but at $299 and with no office plans in sight, I didn’t buy it. This desk was one of those things that I’ve seen online, but could never tell how sophisticated the finish looked in person. I really thought it was some in-store only version of the parsons desk.

3. Weathered Wood Spheres

I’ve mentioned these urchin thingys before, so I picked up both sizes for our family room. They still have the tags on them but I love them! Once I get some daylight I will be sure to snap pictures of my new friends 🙂

4. Spring Floral Duvet

Yet another one of those items that I’ve seen online, but it really caught my eye in store. I seriously carried around two of these euro shams for most of my trip, but then decided to go with the Ironwork ones above. Tough choice, considering they were on sale. I wish it was rational to have 100 duvets….

5. Lacquer Bath Accessories

I pretty much loved all of these and stood in front of them scratching my head for a while. We have soap dispensers and a tray for our master, but nothing for our hall bath. I decided to use some serious restraint and only get a small navy tray to balance all of the white in our hall bath. Our shower curtain has navy in it and I figured it would neaten up the stuff we keep on the counter for guests.

6. Harbour Rope Pillows

I went into the store with goals in mind and a shopping list of sorts. One of the throw pillows I planned to get for the new sectional wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, so I snatched up 2 of these in white. They were on sale and I already had 20 inch inserts I’m not currently using. Hello texture 🙂

7. Hammam Stripe Hand Towel

I’ve been fascinated by these things since I saw them on an episode of Dear Genevieve. They feel like a heavenly piece of fabric, but they somehow absorb water well. I passed these up because they didn’t match any of our bathrooms, but now that the powder room is dark gray, my little imagination keeps going back to them…

8. Floral Kaleidoscope Napkins

These were definitely not on my list, but I bought them anyway. I loved the pattern and I often use a napkin to line our bread basket. Then I got the idea that I might possibly want to sew them together to make a pillow. As if I need anymore throw pillows, I seriously have a problem.

9. White Lacquered Box

This is part of the Lacquer Office storage, but the box is no longer available online. I figured it would look great on our entertainment center (following Emily Henderson’s styling rules of books, boxes, vessels and structural items). I think it was like $40 though so I walked away 🙁

10. Dimpled Drinkware

We’ve had a few glass casualties lately and wouldn’t mind a few spares. Our current ones are hefty ones from Crate and Barrel that we got for $1 each on clearance. These were $8 each for the large size (which we use the most). I think I’ll wait for them to go on clearance…

I think I said this during my last West Elm list, but WE is my new go-to, I-know-I’ll-love-it store. Once I get my new pillows up and running (sectional is coming on Saturday!!!) and the tags off of my urchins, I will be sure to share them with you. In the meantime, is there anything I missed? What have you guys been drooling over at West Elm?

ps- I don’t get paid for my West Elm lists… in fact, I paid them for my addiction. But I got pretty stuff so it’s okay! 🙂

On Earthquakes, Hurricanes and…Emily Henderson

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Posted by Rebecca, August 26th, 2011

I think those 2 words and a name would sum up my week pretty well.

On Earthquakes:

This came first, the first one I have ever experienced. As I’ve mentioned before, it broke one of my beloved Ikea frames…

On Emily Henderson:

Then, last night came meeting Emily Henderson…

Wait, whaaat?!? Yes you read that right. And yes, that is me standing next to her since you probably wouldn’t know that otherwise because I have no pictures of myself on here. I suppose I should rewind a little, eh?

A few weeks ago, I was sent an invite to a meet and greet with Emily. The catch was, I wasn’t allowed to post about it until after it was over. Maybe the other catch was, I had never been to anything like this before I had no clue what to expect. But I figured it would be a fun way to meet people and get to talk about one of my favorite things- this blog.

So I hopped on the train into the city and headed to the restaurant solo. I was a little early (totally strange for me) so I met Emily right away. She’s one of those people that makes you entirely comfortable off the bat. Just so genuine, humble and easy to talk to. I love her so much more now. Not that I didn’t love her, but you know what I mean. What a gem, that Emily 🙂

I had no business cards, as I decided I was going to wing it and go for fun. Turns out, everyone had one and I never realized how long my blog name was until I repeated it a million times at a loud bar.  Also turns out, that no one really knew my blog which made it even harder to explain what I do at this gig. The overachiever and perfectionist in me was kicking myself for not being more prepared. It’s a flaw and a blessing all in one.

All in all, I met some really amazing bloggers, writers and people starting new businesses and I am so thankful for the experience. It was such a nice change from the norm and it was great to feel like I was there to build something I love so much and put my blood, sweat, tears and minimal spare time into. Though I wasn’t sure at times if my lil blogging self belonged there, it was a great learning experience for me to see a whole industry I’ve never been exposed to. I normally sit at a desk, doing math all day, which may explain why I’m awkward. Mike told me I should be proud of myself. Proud that I walked into a room with a bunch of people I didn’t know and managed to not get drunk before talking to anyone. So I guess I’ll be proud and quit kicking myself now 🙂

I’m off to invest in some cards that will fit www.thelilhousethatcould.com….

On Hurricanes:

On Sunday, we’re expected to get hit by Hurricane Irene. I have never experienced hurricane force winds, so now I’m getting an earthquake and a hurricane in one week! We’re planning on moving our beloved patio furniture in to protect it…

We stocked up on food and we are just hoping that none of the giant trees in the backyard find their way through the house. The perks of living in a new house? We have no power lines out front as they are all underground. The downside of living in a new house? They don’t build ’em like they used to! Let’s hope this place can withstand some strong winds. Cross your fingers for us and fellow east coasters, please stay safe. There’s a difference between being paranoid and being prepared.

I think that all explains where I’ve been this week. Okay, maybe it only explains where I was last night. Do you think it would be safe to use a nail gun during a hurricane? Just kidding… sort of… I have molding to finish and if I’m trapped in the house… 🙂

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