Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Spring Fever

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Posted by Rebecca, March 3rd, 2011

We visited our neighbors this weekend and as we were leaving they said something along the lines of “well pretty soon we can hang out outside and grill!” Mike and I looked at each other, realizing that not only do we have no outdoor “hang out” space, but we don’t even have a grill. The back of our house still looks like this….

We put zero effort into thinking about this space. Well, realistically thinking for the near future. I have high hopes of a pool with a waterfall and slide, but I know that’s not likely to happen. I am not a good landscape/hardscape envisioner… I am still new at this part of homeownership. I can think of the “feel” and “mood” I’d like our outdoor space to have but as far as actual materials, layout, size.. I am clueless.

After our neighbor’s reminder and the long and cold winter we’ve had, we started to think that this may be our big project of 2011. I love being outside when it’s nice out and sitting on the porch by myself got old quick last year. We originally thought we’d do a deck, but a) it’s expensive to do composite b) there’s maintenance involved with real wood with a dark stain and c) not sure if it would be the best place for my firepit dreams. So then we thought (in our dreamland) that we’d do a deck with an eating space with stairs down to a patio with a firepit/loungey area. Then we decided that we didn’t want to eat up too much of our yard and want to keep our future options open. So we started to think about just going with the patio.

Once again, not only I don’t know much about this, but most patios don’t really do anything for me. We don’t want pavers and figured we’d go with stamped concrete. I just wanted to get a base down that we can work with over the next few years. I’ve seen some different things done with planters and whatnot that peaked my interest in outdoor space a liiiitle, but for now I was settling for just a start. So we were thinking we’d go with a fieldstone or cobblestone pattern to compliment our house, though neither option really overwhelmed me with excitement. Then Mike discovered this stamp pattern…

No that is not hardwood, it is stamped concrete! Mike found this idea on a local contractor’s website. We contacted him immediately to get an estimate. I have a love for wood that is dark and rustic, so to be able to have the warmth of a deck combined with the ease of concrete? Heavenly! I’ve never seen anything like this before and it definitely had that little extra we were looking for! Here are some more pics I found while googling…

(via)

(via)

I love the added texture in that last picture! Now, Mike and I can almost guarantee that this pattern and color will be the most expensive stamped concrete option in the history of the world… we just have that sort of luck. But we figure it can’t hurt to ask around. The next question we had to tackle? What size do we want.

Mike asked me what I wanted out of the space and since he often responds to me with “I’m not following you” or “can you put that in terms I understand”, I had to do one of my awful Paint sketches that are not meant for the general public…

I’m hoping we find a creative contractor that can do better than my pathetically planned out rectangle. We would like all of these elements, just in a well thought out and planned space. So we started throwing some ideas back and forth after thinking for it a bit, so I revised my sketch to push back the grill to save some room for growth…

Mike then elaborated on this and came up with the best sketch ever…

Wait, do you need a close up of the best part?

I married such an artist.

But I think we just came up with a patio the size of our backyard. So I came back with this one, cropping the patio at the edge of the bar and table and adding a lower level for the loungey/firepit…

I think this will still be too big, considering the mass amount of dead space in the center, but hopefully this is just a jumping off point. We’re hoping to actually go outside to the backyard (what a novel concept!) to get an idea of how large we want this thing. We had an appointment with the concrete man for Saturday, but we had to cancel it because we forgot we had other plans. So hopefully, concrete man will come soon with tons of ideas, thoughts on maximizing our space and a cheap price!

Until then, our Paint wars will continue…

 Update! For those of you just finding this post, we did go forward with the wood plank stamped concrete! You can read all about it in this post and here are some of our very own after pictures 🙂

A New Addiction

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Posted by Rebecca, February 28th, 2011

Mike and I were busy bees this weekend, working away at finishing our office.  I have lots of good stories to tell of trips to Ikea and long overdue purchases, but it’s been a very long day!

My rough day was made much better when I came home to see that some fabric samples I ordered from Fabric.com had arrived. How did I not venture into online fabric shopping before?? I am in love with all of the possibilities! Here’s a little sneak peak at the first round I am considering…

I think I have a front runner and seeing this picture has given me even more ideas. I love seeing different patterns together like this, especially when designers make it easy for you by matching the same colors in a bunch of different styles! I am just learning to venture out with patterns and textures, so the online option takes some of the intimidation out of the way. It’s like a whole new wooooorld! Cue the Aladdin! Wait.. more about that tomorrow…

Did I just pull a teaser? Maybe 🙂

Striped Walls

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Posted by Rebecca, February 17th, 2011

I couldn’t think of a good title today.

Since we moved in, I’ve had striped walls on my mind. Originally, I thought of doing a light tone on tone horizontal stripe in our bedroom. I’m not sure where I got this idea, since I had it in my head long before I discovered house blogs. Probably some show on HGTV! I was thinking something like this…

(via Apartment Therapy)

Our bedroom is large and I knew the walls needed something, but I was too intimidated to try a stencil or wallpaper. If I ever made the bed and took a picture, I could show you a decent angle. And I’d rather not show you the uber embarassing kitten conference, unmade bed, pants on the ground picture again. So here’s an equally awful and creepy picture of the wall behind our bed, taken from our sitting room which has no light fixture in it (hence the ghostly looking cat…)

I just couldn’t imagine stripes in here, but it was the easy solution. Then I decided to man up and attempt a stencil.. attempt still pending.

So I diverted my need for stripes to another room after seeing this must-have inspiration photo from Elle Decor…

(via Elle Decor)

I fell in love with the dramatic contrast and figured the perfect place for something so bold would be the powder room. Until one day recently when I was analyzing the powder room and I realized my beloved stripes wouldn’t look good in there.

The ceilings are pretty high..

And the door is actually at an angle, so the room isn’t a perfect square.

At this point I figured that maybe I’d just use my dark brown stripes in our future basement. Note: our basement is no where near finished. By the time we finish it, I’ll probably think of something else. I have no clue why it took me so long to think of this, since this was my original, original idea, but the office could use some stripes.

Way back when we were buying office furniture and all gung-ho office, I wanted to do stripes but knew the bedroom needed a fancy wall paint more and I didn’t want to be the stripe house. We’ve lost some motivation in the office, since it needs so much organizing and I was having a hard time visualizing the finished space. We went with the furniture we could afford and I wanted to balance the Ikea modern with some more traditional elements to keep it classy. I think the stripes will do just that.

To reassure myself, I download Google SketchUp last night and played with it for just a half hour or so. Awesome program. I just fiddled and wasn’t aiming for perfection, but this is what I got…

The walls on the sides are the same color as the darker stripe, SketchUp just does a 2D shadow type thing. The room is missing the bay window on that left wall and the gallery wall would be on the right wall. The white line at the top is crown molding we’d eventually like to do. We’ve been eyeing up these white chairs from Staples and that’s as far as I got last night. I didn’t rotate that one chair, but then I realized it was kind of funny to keep it like that because we will probably never push our chairs under anyway! The paint color is the Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster we’ve had in mind since we moved in, though we’ll have to throw a little sample on the wall before deciding. The color in this SketchUp is far more purple than the actual color. Here’s a little image from the Benajamin Moore site…

We’d probably pair the Smoked Oyster with the Elephant Gray or Portland Gray. Smoked Oyster definitely has some purple tones (to make my purple loving self happy) but falls into the brown/gray family as well. That is the only reason why Mike agreed to it as well, I even gave him the option of a green!

Anyway I’m super excited about my new area to put some stripes. Now maybe the office will make some progress soon 🙂

Spreading the Love- Sawdust and Paper Scraps

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Posted by Rebecca, February 10th, 2011

If you browse my archives over there on the right, you’ll see that today marks one year since my first post (or posts, I was anxious!) First was the obligatory introduction post and the second was about my love for a Walmart tissue box. I don’t really consider it to be my ‘blogiversary’ or anything, since I really just started for myself and told not a soul in the beginning. When I started, I didn’t even know who Young House Love was and I thought I had an original idea going. Yes, I am naive, I thought for a minute that I invented the house blog. Once I was finally confident enough to spread the word, I decided to join Twitter where I discovered so so many wonderful bloggers that I have learned from and have been inspired by. One of those people is Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps.

I discovered Sandra just a few weeks ago, at 2 am, while I was wide awake and browsing Twitter on my iPhone. Once I clicked the link for her blog I was in awe. First I spotted these built-in bookcases

I’ve mentioned my love of built-ins before but the amazing thing about these? Sandra built them herself. Talk about motivation to learn how to use a saw!!

Little did I know at that point that Sandra also built the entertainment center in her basement…

As well as a playhouse for her daughter (which started as a closet!)…

Holy talent.

She also created our dream office

We wanted an office layout like this, but buying cabinets was too pricey for us and we are not talented enough to make our own like Sandra does. How awesome are those countertops??

Instead we went with a much less attractive Ikea version…

My poor little office looks sad! Hopefully someday we can have beautiful cabinetry too!

Finally, my absolute favorite part of Sandra’s house is her picture frame collage

I’ve been dying to do something like this, but we don’t have much of a staircase wall. Luckily Sandra did her hallway too! 🙂

We’ve been planning to extend our living/dining room moldings up our stairs and into the hallway, so this picture frame arrangment would be wonderful. I love how Sandra mixed frame colors and sizes, but unified everything with the black and white pictures. I have had this image in my head for 2 weeks!

Finding a blog I have never seen before is like Christmas morning for me. One that keeps me up at 2 am is like a trip to Disney World, so I just had to spread the love. I am so happy that I’ve found Sandra, as well as so many other ridiculously talented bloggers in this past year. Maybe someday I can be as good…or I can at least attempt to use a saw by my next fake blogiversary. But until then? Blogs are more inspiring than HGTV. Yeah I said it 🙂

Visit Sawdust and Paper Scraps for many more impressive projects and special thanks to Sandra for letting me use her images!

I’m Blue Da Ba Dee

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Posted by Rebecca, February 8th, 2011

Okay so remember this shot of our family room after we hung our roman shades?

Well it’s a little blah, missing something. My original plan was to keep the family room fun since it’s a room that can be fun.  I didn’t feel the need to make it classy or formal and I wanted to get away from my blue/brown color scheme. So I thought I’d add pops of green in.  I’ve known since we went to Hawaii that I wanted to add some of our amazing pictures above the mantel, so I decided to go for a Hawaii inspired color scheme.  I figured we could incorporate some green from these pictures…

So for a few months, I had some striped throw pillows with various blues and greens on the couch and some green plants around.  But the plants died and I couldn’t think of how else I would like to incorporate green to give it enough of an impact in the room. Then I found this gem in Crate and Barrel…

And my plan switched. That pretty gemstone of a blue? That is my new accent color.

We have no shortage of Hawaii pictures to work with…

Seriously, are those not the most inspiring pictures you have ever seen?? That dolphin is not photoshopped… AT ALL.  And this is just a small sample I pulled out of the over 3,000 pictures I have sitting on my laptop. I couldn’t even find some of my favorites at this very moment. I love that place.

So I had my vase and my pictures for a few months now, but I wasn’t sure how to bring it in elsewhere, when we decided that our white roman shades weren’t enough and we needed panels.  Cue the Merete pretty blue panels from Ikea…

Then I got sick and didn’t get a chance to hang them.  But while we were at Bed, Bath & Beyond last weekend getting some hardware to hang them, I had a throw pillow revelation.  I knew I wanted some texture, but I didn’t want anything too solid against the curtains. Then I found this beauty…

I cautiously walked it over to Mike, half hiding it, because I could have sworn he was going to say “TOO GIRLY! NO WAY!” but he loved it.

I love the texture, shades of blue and how it almost mimics water. We picked up 2 of them to add to my collection of pretty blue accessories…

That picture in the frame is one of my Hawaii favorites that I didn’t stumble upon tonight. It’s in one of the millions of folders!

After finding those pillows, I am so excited to finally accessorize this room. We’re planning on getting a sectional one of these days and If I could only refrain from getting sick and having mass amounts of homework for long enough to hang some curtains, I’d be a happy camper. Almost as happy as I was here…

Not another soul in sight. This is the first time I’ve seen this picture because we have just so many.

I received an email today about using my frequent flier miles and within an hour of that, I received a promotional email from one of the resorts we stayed in for part of our trip. I take it as a sign from god that it’s time to go back. Until then, I’ll be snuggling with my Hawaii blue curtains and pillows…

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