Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

A Room With A View


Posted by Rebecca, August 24th, 2011

Remember back when we painted our office stripes? I last left you with the office looking like this…

Months later, we haven’t done anything else to this room. I lost steam, inspiration and I was no longer excited about it. Mike and I always planned for this to be a temporary office, as we always thought that when we have kids, we’d make it a playroom. Which is why we bought some Ikea desks instead of going with the built-ins we priced out at Lowe’s back in the fall. The past few months we’ve found ourselves saying things like “someday when we move the office”, or “in our dream office we can do x, y, z”. Usually, the office looks like this…

We have (okay Mike has) a lot of hardware that needs a home. Those boxes are full of parts that he’s putting together to give us some additional storage space for pictures, etc. This room has no closet. This is a problem, especially since this room is pretty much in our entryway.

Last week we finally admitted that this office was not working for either of us. It’s not my dreamy, crafty, inspiration filled space and it’s not ideal for Mike either, who wants a desk that doesn’t connect to mine and a wall to write some notes on. We realized it was idiotic for us to continue to work in this space if it’s not well, working for us, just because it’s called the office on the floor plan. Especially when we have 3 spare bedrooms that are not being used!

Cue the future office!

This is our largest spare bedroom. It’s still rocking the builder grade carpet and white walls. In fact, it doesn’t even have a light fixture yet.

But it does have a small walk-in closet for some much needed storage (which is currently housing just my wedding dress and some spare bedding..)

Printer, computer parts, random stuff that I don’t know what purpose it serves can live in here. Our current office has no closed storage, so this will be a nice change.

One other thing Mike and I decided we wanted is our own walls. While it looks pretty and sleek when desks are one piece or along the same wall, it’s not going to work for us. We have two completely different sets of needs and this room is large enough to handle a desk on each wall.

Probably Mike’s side…

And my side…

This room also has something else, a little pond view πŸ™‚

We had an awesome pond view for a good 6 months until they built the house across the street from us. Sidenote: the other name I considered for this blog was Across The Pond, which thankfully I didn’t choose because a blog by that name already exists! πŸ™‚

We don’t have any concrete plans yet and we have only just begun to look around for ideas. We’ll probably move our current furniture up there in the next couple of months and feel it out. We really have no concept of the size of the room since there is currently nothing in it, so we’re not sure where we can put bookcases and a seating area (which we definitely want!)

One idea I stumbled upon while reading Made By Girl was this built-in shelving/bench area from Jenny of Anything Pretty

(via Anything Pretty)

Don’t see the shelves? Hold on there’s a close-up!

(via Anything Pretty)

The bench also has storage, how genius! This would fit in perfectly with this spare room and would provide us with some much needed storage. I’m not sure if I’d want to do the curtains since this will be an office, but we shall see. I’ve been looking for a room to do these built-ins I pinned on Pinterest a while ago, so it’s nice to see how I can accomodate two windows!

(via Pinterest, original link is broken :()

Don’t worry, we will never, ever paint over our office stripes. In fact, we hope to do them more justice by getting some furniture out of that cramped room because we love them that much. Like I said before, we don’t have any serious plans but we have plenty of time to think this out. It is not easy to design a space for 2 different people with different needs. Rather than meeting in the middle and having us both settle, this time we want to make sure we both get exactly what we want. And that is going to take some time and some long hard thinking…

ps- We were not spared from the wrath of yesterday’s east coast earthquake. One of our Ikea frames did not make it out alive πŸ™



Posted by Rebecca, August 15th, 2011

During our staycation last week, we finally got around to swinging by a local model home we’ve wanted to check out. No, we aren’t planning on moving, we just love house hunting. I think we also like feeling justified in buying our house by seeing what else is around. I’m that person that types random cities in and just looks for the house with the most pictures.Β So far our house is still our favorite πŸ™‚

We went into this model not expecting too much. I knew the homes didn’t have much land and I wasn’t thrilled with the exteriors. I didn’t even plan to include our little real estate outing on the blog, but I loved the floor plan of the house we saw. Plus this house had some major perks as standard: 10 foot ceilings downstairs, finished basement included, hardwood floors, entire downstairs and upstairs hallways painted in a color of your choice, granite counter tops, fully sodded lot.Β After we walked through once, I had to go back through with my iPhone and snap some pictures. The house was super bright, so please excuse the poor quality in some of these.

First, the front door was wood and oh so charming.

Then, the entryway. Not entirely different from ours, but with one major difference- the basement stairs were also open.

I have never seen anything like that before and thought it was a great idea!

Through the entryway was a family room that opened to a kitchen/nook area, probably my favorite part.

Our floor plan is also open, but as I’ve mentioned before I am seriously disappointed that there is no room for stools at our island. We were told there would be space (since there was no model of our house when we bought it) and after we moved in, we realized it would be way too tight. And with that, my stools at the island dreams were crushed. Otherwise, I guess we have a similar vibe going.

The family room had what appeared to be thick crown molding. Upon further inspection, we realized it was just regular crown molding with a half round piece of molding under it. The space in between was just painted white- totally doable in our living and dining rooms! πŸ™‚

I just realized I lied to you. The family room/kitchen combo was not my favorite. My favorite room was the imagination room. No, I am not Willy Wonka, this house really had an imagination room instead of a formal living room. It was very small, but it was left open… to your imagination.

On the wall they offered some suggestions for what you can do with this room…

Craft Studio!

Wine Gallery!

Fun Place! Yaaay!

Second Servery! (Is it me or does this sketch make it look like a man-kitchen? Is this a new trend?…)

Pet Lounge!

Guess which one I would use? And why I loved this floorplan?…

…Pet Lounge. Or as we call it around here, A Place To Put The Litter Boxes. They are currently in our laundry room and I would love the separate the spaces. I hate hanging out in their bathroom for more than 5 minutes at a time, especially since Macky has no shame and will not wait for me to leave the room to start his business. This is why I have never even taken a picture of the laundry room, nevermind post it here.

Onto the upstairs, which wasn’t fully staged so the only room I have pictures of is the master. I loved these blue flowery pillows and white pintuck comforter on the bed. Probably too girly glam for Mike though πŸ™‚

I loved the mass amount of storage in the master bath…

Hey look, it’s a rare glimpse of Mike and I πŸ™‚ I recently realized that I am that person with no pictures of myself on my blog. I’ll work on including more than just my elbow in the future, but the focus here should be how each vanity has that nice tall cabinetry on the side. I would diiiiie for that.

Finally, on the topic of bathrooms, the hall bath had a nice little feature I wish we had. The vanity was separated from the shower/toilet by a door. I’m sure our future children would appreciate that.

We were really impressed with the floor plan and the little perks, though we love the exterior of our house and our larger lot more. As we were leaving, Mike said something interesting… we had looked in this development during our house hunt. We only drove through and left because the homes were so close together. So I guess we didn’t love the floor plan too much to choose it over our current place.

Lil house wins again! πŸ™‚

Art Inspired


Posted by Rebecca, August 11th, 2011

As part of our staycation, today we headed into New York. One of the perks of living sandwiched in between New York and Philadelphia is that we are fortunate enough to have so many wonderful things to do within driving distance (plus about 6 Ikeas, no exaggeration). All we knew for sure today was that we were going to a Yankee game at 1. We were delighted when we walked outside this morning and saw how gorgeous the weather was.

We had a great view from the 2nd row of the bleachers, but my goodness it was hot in direct sunlight. We were roasting and decided to leave after 6 innings. My friend Shannon was with us (hi Shan!) and we decided to hit up a museum. We wound up at the Museum of Modern Art (commonly known as MoMA) and managed to get in for free since the company Mike works for receives free admission for up to 3 people. Woohoo we saved ourselves $60!

I thought I had made all of the museum rounds for college classes, but as we walked in I realized that I don’t remember ever being at MoMA. Maybe with a high school art class but I don’t remember it. We were pretty exhausted so we didn’t stay too long, but we did manage to browse most of the place. I wasn’t sure if you could take pictures at first, but then I saw nearly everyone had a giant camera around their neck. I figured I’d take the opportunity to snap some highlights on my fancy…iPhone.

First, the very literally house related. This is a cross section of a house from Niagara Falls, NY that was going to be torn down. Those are 3 different pieces, so no, the stairs are not going into a doorway πŸ™‚

I loved seeing the architectural details up close and personal. Like that thick baseboard, they don’t make them like that anymore!

Then there was an entire area dedicated to furniture/interior design. There was this very West Elm-like industrial light fixture that was made out of a cluster of single bulbs (maybe the West Elm designers have been hanging out at MoMA?)

And this cabinet, which looked like it was straight out of Ikea but instead the drawers got taller and wider as you moved down and over.

When I first saw this next display, it reminded me of the Brady Bunch house. But then I realized that the 70s are totally in style right now and most of this furniture could be in any West Elm/Ikea today.

This bubbly thing was called the cloud bookcase. I wish they would have stuck some books in there, but I guess museums are not meant for staging. A mini version could make for a cool wine rack though πŸ™‚

This next stack of drawers just reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, so I had to include it…

Then there were the art pieces that set off a little light bulb in my head in terms of inspiration. All of these things I think I can use as a starting point to create some of my own art.

First is this panaramic ocean view made out of single prints arranged in a line.

I had to do something like this for a Fundamentals of Design course I took as an elective in college. All it takes is to stand in one spot but focus your camera on different areas as you move along. I did mine with Times Square back in the day.

Next was this departure/arrival board.

When I saw this, I got the idea of using this as a personal travel log. I’ve always been interesting in displaying our travels and I think it would be fun to list all of the places we’ve been on a board like this! I was thinking departure and arrival can be dates instead of times. Of course, it wouldn’t be functional, but maybe just a painting or print.

And finally, I love a good mosaic. This one takes the cake.

No that is not a photograph, it’ is actually small pieces of magazine pages!

I had to make something like this out of magazine pages in high school, but mine was awful. I tore the pieces rather than making them a consistent shape (like these circles) and was overly ambitious with my image. It ended up looking like a 4 year old made it. I would love to attempt something like this again, but I think I’d learn from my high school mistakes and use some simple circles and would definitely not make a face! This artist is clearly way more talented than I could ever be.

That’s the quick summary of our MoMA trip. We cut it short because we had to sit down for a good hour before our legs decided to function again. Regardless, it was a nice unexpected stop on our staycation!

Knocked Up


Posted by Michael, August 3rd, 2011

No, mom, this entry title does not mean Rebecca is knocked up.Β  I wouldn’t tell you via the blog; I’d do on Facebook instead.Β  Or via an email.Β  I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know after our 5-year plan to have kids.

Every time Rebecca and I watch Knocked Up, one of us always brings up how we love the house in this movie.Β  Then we spend the next 5-10 minutes discussing why we love the house so much.Β  And then we spend the following 5 minutes laughing about how whenever we watch this movie, we comment on the house.Β  It’s a vicious cycle.

Anyways, as we watched Knocked Up the other night, I had the idea to highlight the areas of the house we love and post them!Β  Original, right?Β  Right!Β  So for your viewing pleasure, here are all the things we love about the Knocked Up house!Β  (btw, it was incredibly hard not to label Katherine Heigl in every picture).

Okay, I don’t like this pool and seating area.Β  I like the idea of this pool and seating area.Β  Got it?Β  Good.

Actually, is that house for sale? We want to trade up.

ps- This is our 200th post! So far we’re doing well on our list of goals we set out in our 100th post, which can be found here.

Island Dreaming


Posted by Rebecca, June 28th, 2011

Remember waaay back when (last week) I was envious of Dana’s kitchen island?

(via House*Tweaking)

Well I think it may be partially possible, we can probably add the shelves but not the stools. This excites me beyond belief because I have wanted to add a different countertop to our island since, well, before we moved in! I thought we could add stools to our island and we planned to extend our countertop with butcher block long before this blog was born. But once we moved in, we realized that the salesperson was wrong when she told us we could fit stools at our island πŸ™ it would be too close of a squeeze near the refrigerator and the lower cabinets next to it.

Despite the sad news, I never gave up hope of making our kitchen more customized. For a while, Mike and I thought we may want to add a sunroom type of thing to the back of our house so that we could extend our island.

(via another model home in our development that has since sold)

But obviously, we have since added our patio and we will not be putting any additions on the back of our house. It was a fun dream while it lasted!

Mike and I have been thinking about adding a bookcase area to our island since I discovered Dana’s. When we talked it out, we realized it was completely realistic if we made one simple change.

The cats can’t eat anymore. I’m kidding I’m kidding. Yesterday, I moved their bowls out of our eat-in area so that it now looks like this…

Now that I look at this picture, it looks like Darwin is standing there like “Maa! Where’s my food!?” He was just photo bombing, as my cats always seem to do. Actually, since Darwin was diagnosed with kidney disease and started his special food last week, we’ve been feeding him separately so his bowl got to stay in the kitchen until he gains some weight. It’s back there by the sliding glass door for now.

Macky and Mowie are now dining, in the dining room. They feel all classy and stuff.

(Yes my cats are messy eaters. Sometimes the placemat and dog tray can’t even contain their messes)

We figure that we only use the dining room for special occassions and during those times, we usually leave just one bowl out for the cats or put their food in our bedroom. This keeps them protected from the chaos and foot traffic, and makes a little more room for people to walk around. Since our kitchen/eat-in area is an area we use daily, we figure we can spread ourselves out a little and let the cats eat in their own room. Don’t worry, we really don’t eat at the same time anyway. They’re on a 8:30am/8:30pm schedule. We usually eat our dinner around 6:30 πŸ™‚

With the bowls out of the way, we have a lot more room to plan our island area. We’d probably move our garbage can to where the recycling basket currently is.

Then probably move the recycling basket to the opposite corner so that we can extend our island about a foot or so. I thought it might be weird that we have a half wall across from the island and I wasn’t sure if the island was lined up with it, but apparently the island isn’t lined up with anything! It sort of falls in between the half wall and the cabinets behind it.

We have a lot more space now to push our small table over so that there’s still a nice amount of open space in the area.

I think that if we add a rectangular table down the line, we will have even more space. But I’m not ready to part with my $199 table and chair set just yet.

These pictures were taken while heating up some leftovers for dinner. The toaster oven magically appeared on the countertop halfway through my pictures.

Just incase you were wondering where we keep our gargantuan toaster oven πŸ™‚ Yes we have the fanciest toaster oven around (it’s a Calphalon one we received as a bridal shower gift) and we use it probably once a day. I am not exaggerating, that thing is my favorite appliance in the world.

While I had a bagel, Mike had some Chinese food. So please ignore the weird combination of food on the island during these full kitchen shots πŸ™‚

Wouldn’t an island bookcase like this one look wonderful where our garbage can is?

(via Megan at Honey We’re Home)

I can’t wait to give it a try. We’ll probably mark out the area and make sure it’s not too intrusive before making any decisions. It’s on the short list right after finishing our chair rail/wainscoting project πŸ™‚

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