Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 514: thanksgiving ideas

A little inspiration for your Thanksgiving tabletop ... or for your "one day" files, whatever.

Photo by Tria Giovan for Country Living

Photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner for MyHomeIdeas

We're headed to Dallas to celebrate with family, but of course will be back in time to (hopefully) cheer our Tigers to a 7th victory in a row against our cross-state rivals.

Happy Thanksgiving, and War Eagle!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 513's progress

We've been busy! You may remember that we installed an invisible fence to contain Maddie a few months ago. Well, it took her no time at all to discover that a second or two of electric shock was the price of freedom, and it was all she wrote after that. I think we were in denial for a little while, but after several mornings and evenings in a row of chasing her around the neighborhood, we realized we had to do something -- both for her safety and our sanity.

So, a conventional fence it will be -- with the electric wire running outside it to deter digging. We discovered that we could install a wooden fence for the same price as having a chain-link fence installed, and are almost finished after just three days of work (but not in a row). We rented a two-man gas auger to dig the fence post holes. Jennifer was a champ with the auger one Saturday and my college roommate Ben helped me finish up the holes the following Sunday. My dad came down this weekend and we put up about 300 fence boards. If all goes as planned we hope to finish up on Sunday.

Here, you see the finished side. The easement between our yard and our neighbor's is overgrown with who-knows-what so we decided to put the "finished/good" side facing our yard since they can't see the other side anyway. They're super nice and fine with it, but when it comes to the city ordinances I followed the "ask forgiveness not permission" rule on this one. We'll see how that goes. I can always add boards on the back side and see if the neighbors will go halvesies.

This is the back of the fence, with a larger-than-normal gate to allow dumping of grass clippings and such into the bushes.

Above the retaining wall, the fence connects to the carport. Jennifer insisted on four-foot pickets here (the rest of it is six feet tall) so she could see into the yard without opening the gate, and I think it looks really good. There's another 6 ft gate on the other side of the house.

I'm sure she can't wait to get her little hands on this little gardening area.

...And please excuse the leaves.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 510's pretty

It's so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away! Actually, for us it's just day away as we're celebrating with Wes' family this weekend. But before that, we've got a serious project going on at home, so be sure to come back next week to see our progress.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 508's big reveal

Photo by Colin Peterson for MyHomeIdeas

I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you about this! My chairs are finally done, and the story is up! The whole project was definitely a learning experience, and I hope you'll click through to read more about it.

After getting them back with the fabric on backward, the upholsterer was able to turn it around without even using any more of the scrap -- I was pretty impressed with that. They didn't charge me anything to redo them, which they would been right in doing since I didn't indicate which side I wanted to be the front. Who knew?!

Photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner for MyHomeIdeas

I am so tickled about they turned out, and almost just as tickled about this photo! So much so, that I'm thinking of commissioning Anne Harwell to do a little something with it. Perhaps as a birthday present in 2009? (I have been so awful about parading my wish lists on this blog! Terrible!)

Interior by Tia Zoldan, Photo by Jeremy Samuelson for Cottage Living

In other news, I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you (at least I hope not) that the shelter category lost a great magazine this week in Cottage Living. I know first hand that those were some of the most talented, innovative people in the industry. Cottage was certainly a personal favorite of mine and I was -- and still am -- honored to have even been in the same building as those folks.

I've debated and debated about even bringing this up, but it seems I have no choice now. It's been a scary, scary few weeks around here -- and I'm sure I'm not the only one -- and at times it has been hard to even bother with these oftentimes-trivial posts. But I've been reminded that I started this blog to have a little fun and to inspire a little bit, and there is no reason I can't continue to do that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 507: more eye candy

This time from the internet's favorite, Erika at Urban Grace Interiors. Holy crap this girl's talented! And she's an Auburn grad, to boot! War Eagle to that.

This headboard is killing me, mostly because I'm convinced I could make one. I'm sure it wouldn't be quite this pretty, but I am pretty handy with a staple gun.

I think you know why I love this porch.

She's been doing subway tile in a herringbone pattern a lot recently and I am 100% sold on the idea. Wes, are you taking notes?

Don't even get me started on this pair of secretaries. Killer.

Check out the rest of this beautiful house here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 506: Vincente Wolf eye candy

Yummy Vincente Wolf eye candy courtesy of Simply Seleta. Love the white floors and gorgeous gray upholstery. Such fun with that pop of orange!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 503

This Friday's pretty picture courtesy of my new blogging friend -- and fellow Birminghamian -- Paula at Two Ellie. Can you believe she found this gorgeous chair at HomeGoods?? And check out the chic gray trim she and her husband added to their house.

This is her inspiration for her master bedroom redo, and based on her choices so far, she's right on target. Got to love a girl who scours the flea malls and comes up with stuff as good as this. She frequents the same flea mall where I found my lone white bamboo chair! AND we go to the same church. It is such a small world.

She really sealed the deal on our future virtual friendship when she posted photos from the real estate listing of a certain Cottage Living editor's home after recognizing his kitchen from the magazine (the same kitchen that I have obsessed about ad nauseum). A girl after my own heart, I tell ya. And the rest of his house? Freakin' gorgeous.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 502's fabric flashback

Katiedid recently shared some pictures of her lucky teenage daughter's bedroom, which happens to be decked out in the same Marimekko pattern that I had in my dorm room in college. Oh, the memories ...

I can assure you that my room didn't look half as chic as this, but it was pretty much my first foray into "interior design" and I loved it. The pattern is so cheerful and I loved coming home to it everyday.

The seagrass headboard is from Pottery Barn and the pretty pierced lamp is from the Nate Berkus collection at Linens'N'Things. The side tables are Swedish antiques and that red mirror above is a flea market find (Katie painted it red).

Adjacent to the room is a cute little sunporch which was converted to a library with help from a set of West Elm white bookcases and an upholstered chair from IKEA (which is also the source for the red curtains). I don't usually love pine furniture but it looks chic here and really relates to the seagrass headboard. Katie's got great style, so of course it does!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 500: budget-friendly holiday gifts

Hard to believe, but it's almost time to pull out the Christmas decorations! I should confess that I gave in and started to listen to Christmas tunes on the radio yesterday, and am headed into full-on holiday spirit very soon. I'll refrain from posting too many Christmas-y things here until after Thanksgiving, but let's be honest, gift-giving is a totally acceptable subject this time of the year.

I doubt I'm alone in saying that the holiday gift budget this year is a little, um, bare. For us, it's totally fine. We've spent big in the last 10 months (hello, bought a house!) and there aren't many things on either of our "lists." But we'd still like to show our loved ones that we care without coming across as total misers. Enter the homemade gift. Here are a few ideas I'm mulling over.

Jacquard dish towels are almost too pretty to be covered in dish gunk. I'd bake a couple of loaves of yummy bread, wrap them in parchment and then one of these beauties. Okay, fine, it's not a steal, but that's where TJ Maxx comes in!

Style Court made a lovely set of stationery with a couple of supplies from Paper-Source and some pretty paper. I love the idea of using rubber stamps or scissors with a fun edge to make one-of-a-kind pieces. And if I can find the time, I may even DIY our Christmas cards this year. We'll see.

I love giving things that people probably wouldn't buy for themselves, and linen napkins definitely fall into that category -- especially when embellished with a fun stamp or monogram. Paint for fabric and a rubber stamp would make for an easy project, or you could have a simple set monogrammed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 499's chair obsession

I just love chairs. It's a border-line obsession, which, thankfully for Wes, I can induldge in daily for free now that I've papered my office with magazine clippings like these.

From the top: Kate Spade's living room, photographed for Spaces; Mary McGee Interiors; Better Homes & Gardens; Suzanne Kasler; Tia Zoldan photographed by Jeremy Samuelson for Cottage Living; via World According to Jessica Claire; Peter Dunham Design.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 496's pretty plans

Remember my burning desire for a chest-mirror-lamp combo? Mom to the rescue! She's had this little blue chest stashed in her garage for a couple of months (she rescued it from the same lake house renovation that produced my chair project) and offered to let us take it off her hands. It's in desperate need of a paint job, and my fist instinct was to use up the rest of the mocha brown that we used on the entertainment center, add these ring pulls and call it a day.

But after a week, we both kind of like the blue, and it compliments the chair fabric (Paisley Linen by Suzanne Rheinstein) nicely. Not to mention, half of the chests I liked in the above-mentioned post were blue. And now to choose a blue!

Chinese Blue by Farrow & Ball is the front-runner in this highly-contested race.

And this mirror is the only thing on my Christmas wish list. Pretty please, Santa!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 495: rehearsal dinner details

Courtesy of Kimball Hall

While in Atlanta for a wedding last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting lovely Kimball Hall, as it was the site of the after-rehearsal dinner. The two-story Queen Anne-style house dates to the 1880's and is now a charming place for small events and gatherings. In true old-house-loving fashion, I took as many photos of the house as I did of the lovely bride and groom and our friends. At least now I can use the excuse "it's for my blog!"

If I had life my way, this is exactly the kind of structure my kids would grow up in. There's something about an old, gracious house that just says home to me -- especially when the porch ceiling is covered with beaded board painted Robin's egg blue.

The house is sparsely and simply decorated with just a couple of antique pieces that feel right at home without intruding on the decor of the events. This handsome buffet greets visitors just after they pass through the original door with its beautiful transom windows.

A wall has been removed between the two front rooms to create one long buffet room. And I must interject here that the meal that was served on these tables was probably the best I have ever eaten! It was kind of "new Southern" with beef brisket with cranberry relish, pecan and goat cheese salad, twice-baked new potatoes, roasted vegetables, and more. And the dessert! Apple pie, peach-and-blueberry cobbler, etc., all served with homemade ice cream. Divine.*

This simple hearth was over-flowing with white pumpkins; perfect for an October wedding event.

In the new ballroom addition, the tables were decorating simply with mint julep cups filled with flowers in autumnal tones -- sunflowers, zinnias, seeded eucylptus, mums, bittersweet, and even little orange peppers -- and flanked by votives.

Photo by Charles E. Walton IV for Southern Accents

I have always thought that antique mint julep cups would make a lovely collection (Karen Carroll, editor-in-chief of Southern Accents, has one), and now I feel inspired to get started. A quick e-bay search finds them at all price points, though I will definitely read this article again before making any purchases.

*I do not know the caterer, but I'm sure I can find out if you are curious or are planning something in the area. Shoot me an e-mail if you'd like to know.