Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making it feel like HOME: Our Guest Room

Here's the skinny on our guest room.  Our guest room is in the back of our house, and was clearly an addition to the rest of the house.  It is, what I like to call, "the armpit of the house."  Excuse my graphic expression, but it's just sort of the low point of the house.  It lacks the 1930's charm of the rest of the house.  It is full of tacky finishes and materials.  In a nutshell, there is much to be addressed in this room.   It has a very odd shaped impractical closet, faux wood panel walls, pine floors (instead of oak to match the rest of the house), wimpy crown moulding, tacky doors & door knobs, etc.  And to top it all get's the worst light in the house.  We hope one day we can renovate this room to match the charm and quality of the rest of the house, and maybe add a bathroom to make this a master suite (making our house a more desirable 3br 2ba).

But for now, all I can do is decorate and try to make the most of what we have.  

So here are the pictures...

Our Guest Room went from this:

To this:

To this:

And finally to this:

This is the one room where our floors didn't get refinished.  There was rotten wood under the floor in this room, so we had to cut the floors open to repair it.  We patched it back together and at some point we will replace these pine floors with oak floors that match the rest of the house.  In the mean time, I call this "the red room".  Redish wood floors, burnt sienna-ish trim on the windows.  
We borrowed this rug from our friends, The Boneys, because they weren't using it in their current home. It is crucial to cut down the red factor in this room!

These curtains are LENDA in a natural linen color from IKEA, and are the same as the ones I bought for our living room.  Eventually I'd like to invest in some rings, instead of tab tops.  
I bought my bamboo sticks from Hobby Lobby, and had to glue two together for my double windows.

I gave it an eclectic feel by pairing the rough and tough pheasant and dear antlers, with the mercury glass, feminine plate, and girly floral dresser.
This is just an old wicker dresser that my parents have had forever.  It was originally white, then in college I painted it cobalt blue (pictured in 2nd picture from top), and now for this room I spray painted it light gray.  The knobs are from Anthropologie.  

The paint colors are all Benjamin Moore.  Coastal Fog 976 is on the walls, Sandy Hook Gray HC 108 on the baseboards and crown moulding, Pumice Stone is on the trim around the windows.  

I made the 3 pom-pom pillow shams to go with this old quilt I got from Target and used in college.  I'll post about that separately.

These sweet little globe lamps were my grandmothers.  I took the one on the left with me to college and broke the upper globe moving in!  Lesson learned.  Antiques and college don't mix.  

I made the bedskirt out of burlap, just as I did for our bedroom.

So here's the recap...



So that's the run down on our guest room.  Considering it's our ugliest room naturally, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!  I think I'd like to be a guest in that room?  Yes, no?  

But let's be honest, this is how it actually looks most of the time...

Doesn't every newlywed's guest room look like a storage unit!?
Don't lie.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Til next time, Sista!

This weekend Chris and I went with my parents to see my sister, Emily, and her family in their new home in Madison, MS.  They moved two weeks ago, and have had almost non-stop visitors ever since, helping to ease the transition.
Their house is gorgeous!  When Emily is satisfied with how it's setup, I'll have to go back and take pictures for a blog post.  She is an amazing decorator.
They moved into a development called, Reunion, which felt like a fairytale!  It is a gated community of new homes, a country club, community pools, community tennis courts, playgrounds, a lake, horses, etc.  Everyone rides around on golf carts.  They have already made lots of quick friends.

Here are some pics from the weekend.  (I forgot my camera, so these phone pics will have to do.)



(who spent the entire weekend on top of their kitchen island, because she was scared of BeiBei)

Beau and BeiBei played constantly!  They were two peas in a pod.  It broke my heart to take BeiBei away from him at the end of the weekend!  He cried "BeiBei!  BeiBei" while we drove off.  

 Chris and BeiBei snuggling on the ride home...

Emily took me to Premier Fabrics, an awesome fabric store in Madison!
They make their own fabric and everything is $8.99-9.99 per yard!  It is all screen printed cotton fabric.
I got such a good deal on all my IKEA curtain panels, but now I have been wanting to go back and make some printed cafe curtains for privacy and more color.  If you're on a budget, do what I did... use cheaper fabric or ready made curtains for your long panels (ceiling height) and then you can splurge a little more on pretty fabric for cafe curtains (since there's less yardage required). 
So my mom got me some fabric to make some cafe curtains!  I can't wait to start making them.

I got this for my living room...
This for my dining room (or possibly office)...

This, in blue, for either my bedroom or my kitchen...
The store is called Premier Fabrics.  They have some really great stuff!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Myth Busters: Goldendoodle Edition

Here's the Before & After for BeiBei's trip to the groomer to get a "summer cut".

Isn't it drastic!!!
Just kidding, you're not seeing things.  She is exactly the same, just a little cleaner and fluffier. 
Let me start from the beginning.  When we first got our goldendoodle, I asked our vet if she would need to be cut down for the summer.  He said that her fur insulates her from heat, and she won't need to be cut down at all.  I also read this on a website I found online.  So, Chris and I have been holding true to this philosophy and were committed to leaving her hair long for the summer.  (We think it's so cute, and it saves the cost of grooming!). 
But then everywhere I looked I kept seeing goldendoodles & labradoodles that were getting shaved down for the summer months.  One of our neighbors shaved theirs, and said she seemed so much happier.  Well, I started feeling guilty and started to question the wise advice of our vet.  So I made an appointment for her to be groomed.  I was so sad about having to get her cut down, and we were sad about the $90 it was going to cost us!  (See yesterday's post)
I reluctantly dropped her off at the groomer yesterday morning where she would stay all day.  
When I returned to pick her up after work, she had been shampood, conditioned, moisturized, blown dry, brushed, toenails clipped, teeth cleaned, ears cleaned...but not cut.  
They were running behind schedule and so they invited me back to watch her get trimmed.  When I went back, I started chatting with the groomer.  

 Here's how our conversation went:

ME:  I am so sad to get her cut!  I hate it, but she's been so hot, so I feel like I have to.

GROOMER:  Well, if you get her cut, she's gonna be even hotter.  She's cooler with her coat on.  It protects her from the heat.

ME:  Really?  Well, that's what my vet said, but everywhere I go I see doodles with summer haircuts.  Are you sure, cause she has been SO HOT outside!

GROOMER:  Well, of course she has.  It's really hot outside!  Aren't you hot too?

ME:  Well, yeah.  But all she does is pant!

GROOMER:  Yeah, dogs are gonna pant in the summer.  It's just what they do.  She's gonna be hot, but so is every dog.  She will be fine!  She's not gonna overheat.  As long as she has some shade she'll be fine. 
(I was thinking, okay I know I heard this from my vet.  But coming from someone who makes a living giving doggie haircuts, this MUST BE TRUE!)

ME:  Well, is she hotter than other dogs?  Is this breed just really not meant to be outside in hot weather. 

GROOMER:  No, she is fine!  She doesn't have a tight thick coat.  She has a light and airy coat.  It's totally different. 

ME:  Well...why are we cutting her then? 

GROOMER:  I don't know.  She looks good.  I can tell you brush her and take care of her.  The only reason to cut down a goldendoodle is if their fur gets matted, and she doesn't have any mats. 

ME:  Well...I guess, don't cut her!  Or just do the basic stuff to clean her up while we're here. 

They went ahead and trimmed around her eyes, sanitary grooming, trimmed between her paws (she slips and slides all over our hardwood floors), and shaved her belly down (which does help to keep her cool).  
They adjusted my bill from $90 to $45.  
It's hilarious to think, now, that we basically paid $50 for our dog to have a day at the DOGGIE SPA!  
Needless to say, she has never looked so glamorous!  
I decided to have a little photoshoot to make it all worthwhile.    
(Notice the panting...but don't be alarmed.)
(BTW, she has the longest tounge ever!)
Moral of the story:  Trust your vet.  A simple phone call to the breeder will likely suffice to get the info you need for your dog.  Doggie Spa days are an expensive way to get your info.

*The advice I recieved from the groomer was specific to goldendoodles, I don't know anything about other breeds or mixes. 

In the Birmingham, AL area I reccommend Doggie Styles groomers.  Their facility was clean and professional, the groomers were very nice, and they were honest with me about doing what was best for my dog!

Doggie Styles
195 West Valley Ave Ste 124
B'ham, AL 35209

Friday, June 18, 2010

A good & a Bad!

The good:
I had my first real live paid decorating consulation yesterday with my first real live paying client (a sweet friend from church)! 

I was a little nervous, because when I am decorating my own house, I have so much time to think about how I want things to be.  I was nervous I wouldn't be able to come up with ideas and solutions on the spot for someone else's house.  But I DID have ideas, and solutions.  It was SO FUN!  We worked on her living room first, and made a few small, but impactful changes.  Next we worked on her bedroom and COMPLETELY rearranged it in about 20 minutes.  It was a transformation.  We've still got lots to do in there.  I'm having a blast (and I think maybe she is too!).
Thanks, friend, for trusting me with your home!  Maybe she'll let me blog about the results! 

*If you want to schedule a decorating consulation email me at!  (Don't worry, I'm cheap $!)

The Bad:
Okay, maybe it's not THAT bad, but I had to take BeiBei to the groomer today to get a summer cut.  I am so sad about having to cut off her adorable shagginess!  We tried to resist it, but as June has come into full swing, it's clear that she is just too hot.  I asked for a puppy cut (which means just a little shorter all over, but NOT SHAVED).  I hope they do what I asked!  I anxious/scared to see how my precious pup will look when I pick her up.   

Shaved Goldendoodle (NOT the look I want)
*I have also read on sites like this one that it's best not to shave your goldendoodle down to less than a 2" coat, because their skin is very sensitive to sunburn, and their coats help to insulate them from the heat.

Goldendoodle with a Puppy Cut (I'm hoping she'll look more like this...)
I'm crossing my fingers.  I'll keep you posted!

Backyard Planter

Sometimes my mom will get me something and say "I got you this _____.  It should go in the _______, next to the ________, on top of the _________ that I got you. 
Usually it works out, because it'll be something that wasn't really on my radar at all, and so if she wants to contribute it's just an added bonus. 

She brought over this planter (specifically intended to go in our backyard on our patio).
The next day she dropped off the exact plants she wanted me to plant in it. 
So all I had to do was get to work...
BeiBei was getting SO EXCITED about her new flower buffet! 
You see, I probably could have told my mother that BeiBei MIGHT destroy this.  But there's a famous expression in our family, "You didn't Ask."
Hopefully, BeiBei will be able to resist, cause isn't it fun & pretty...?
Good Job, Mom!  Thanks for the backyard addition. 
I'll post another picture once it's grown a bit.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roll Tide Rug

I've been lusting after this houndstooth rug at the fabric store for months.  Finally, it hit me that it would be perfect in our bedroom.  So I took it out on approval, just so I could dream about it for a few days, then I would probably have to take it back. 
But I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't take it back.  It was a part of our home, now. 
So I scrounged up what's left of my birthday money, what's left of last months allowance, and all of this months allowance and bought it!  (Don't be fooled, it really wasn't all that pricey, but my allowance isn't much.)
*I strongly reccommend couples incorporating a no-questions-asked allowance into your budget.  Each person has a set amount they can spend on WHATEVER THEY WANT without feeling guilted by the other person.  Try it!  It'll save you a lot of fights over purchases.   
I think it really finishes the room. Okay, fine, let's be honest, it'll never be "finished"...but it really amps it up a notch!

BeiBei loves it too...
Chris and I graduated from the U. of Alabama, and we are bama fans.  So, I love that this little touch of houndstooth paired with the crimson-ish pillow references the U. of Alabama.  This rug is chic (I think!) but also fun and relevant to who we are! It's those subtle personal touches that really make a house a home, without sacrificing style. 

So the moral of the story is, you don't have to put THIS rug in our house to show your love for the Tide. 
I hope I've shown there are more subtle ways to symbolize love for your alma-mater. 

I think I'm in love.  Now, let's just hope no one walks on it. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Please Vote!

My sweet, sweet nephew Beau (age 5) was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy about 2 1/2 years ago.  This has been heart breaking for his parents and our family, because unless they can find a cure, this disease is terminal.  Currently, Duchenne MD is the #1 genetic killer of boys.  God is sovereign though and is gracious to show his love and comfort to us and to Beau!  The researchers are making some very promising breakthroughs (even new developments in the last few weeks), so we are very hopeful!  But they need more money and support to keep going with the research!!!
Winning the Pepsi Refresh Project will fund an entire year of Duchenne research!  
Please click on this link to vote!  
Please vote everyday!


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