It’s Friday, High Five!

w1000_h1000Photo via Domino by HEATHER HAWKINS

Hey guys, did anyone ever tell you moving is hard? Physically, financially, emotionally…

Physically,  goes without saying. Boxes of book are heavy and even if I’m pushing furniture around the house on a towel it is real life CrossFit. I don’t need one of those silly giant tires, I have a solid pine German armoire I can push around the house.

Financially, holy cow they are bleeding me dry. Car shipping, deposits for the new house, tuition for the new school and oh yeah that packet they sent home for the school fund raise on THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Emotionally I have been moving for the last four months and I am exhausted. You know this when you burst into tears because the school sent home the emergency contact card.  You know, the card your supposed to fill out saying who the school should contact if they can not reach you in the event of emergency. Well, when you have absolutely no one to put on it, it tends to send you over the edge. Half the time I end up putting some person I’ve met once through my husbands work ,who my child would not know even if they did show up, and hope they are not a sociopath.

But wait it’s Friday and I’m supposed to be sharing my high-five moments, right? So on a happier note, I shared some of my painting earlier in the week and since then have finished painting our large living room. That means all the living areas have a fresh coat of paint and are ready for decor. I am excited for this part so I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed by the amount of work that still needs to be done and all the things that need to find a place. I am getting a little done each day and finally have one room almost complete, granted its Chuck’s man-cave but still, high-five for that!

Here are a few more I ran a cross this week…


1.The photo above from Abbe Fenimore, of Studio Ten 25 that was recently feature on in an article titled A Fearlessy designed Home in Dallas. I love everything about this house!

2. Bellerby & Co. Globemakers one of the only hand made globe studio in the world, take a tour.

3. Collected, Living with the Things You Love  by Fritz Karsh a beautiful book I ran across in Germany (in German) but last week I ran across a copy in English and had to have it.

4. The 1962 TWA Fight Center at JFK airport is about to be converted to a hotel but before it does ChronoPoints is using three-dimensional terrestrial laser scanning to document the historic building. Totally amazing technology, and architecture!

5. Photographer Jane Long ‘s collection Dnacing with Costică features colorized old photos that she has given a new surreal twist.

Have a great weekend guys, I have to get back to work!


On the Move – The Power of Paint

DSC08865Last week the kids started school (praise be!) so I jumped right into getting the new house in order. The boxes are unpacked but before any pictures can be hung on the wall or furniture can be arranged there is a massive amount of painting that needs to be done. The previous owners used a lot of dark paint in an already dark house so the first priority is making the house lighter and brighter. All the dark colors that eat up all the light will be repainted to bright crisp neutrals that will help lighten the space.

The kitchen is always my first priority since eating out of a fast food bag gets pretty old after a while and FYI makes you fat. Ten pounds later it is time to paint the kitchen and get some healthy food on the table!  The cabinets and trim (in the entire house) are creamy white, not the bright white I would normally choose but at least something I can live with. The trim color is called  Quail Egg by Valspar. All the paints I am using are Valspar since I am lucky enough to have a Lowe’s Home Improvement store right up the road. (I can’t tell you how much I missed Lowe’s while I was in Germany.)

For the kitchen I chose a Valspar color called Italian Ice. It is an icy blue that is almost white. I think works really nicely against the creamy trim. In the picture below you can see how dark the green paint was before.


Now from the chair rail down it is Quail Egg and above Italian Ice.


I decide to paint the header above the cabinets the same color as the cabinets to give the illusion of the cabinets going all the way to the ceiling with a deep crown molding rather than have the space broken up by a second color like it was with the green.

While before the kitchen was a light eating dark green.


Now it is bright, fresh and makes me smile every time I walk in.


Another spaces I tackled this week was the entry hall. It got the same Quail Egg treatment below the chair rail as the kitchen and a crisp coat of Swiss Coffee (my go to warm white) above. I am really liking how the white on white turned out and am thinking I will use this same treatment in the main living area. I can’t wait to get some art up to bring in some color on this white.

Finally the room that should be the formal living/dining room (but is a good size for neither) had a coat of dark navy that needed to go. This space will be my husband’s man cave and fortunately was already painted a nice warm grey above the chair rail. I decide to continue the Quail Egg below the chair rail in all the living spaces and keep the upper as is. I think this is one of the few rooms in the house that will not need a full paint job.

The paint is doing a nice job of brightening the house and now with a few rooms painted maybe I can get some of the pictures on the wall and at least part of the house livable. There is still a lot more painting to be done but having these few room looking lighter and brighter helps motivate me to keep going.

Now back to work for me, but I will be sure to update you on all the plans and progress.

Colorful Home Shopping

Living in Europe the last two years I really came to appreciate just how much America has to offer in retail home shopping. I had always taken for granted all the beautiful home accessories that were right at my fingertips in so many different styles. Once I realized that was not the case in my new part of the world every visit home felt like I was coming into town for supplies.. Every trip I would return to Germany with my suitcase packed full of fabric and home goods.

Now that I am back in the Sates for good I am enjoying shopping my favorite stores regularly. I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t have to pack it all up right away. I can come back tomorrow, next week, or even next month and check things out again. Over the last few weeks I have run across quite a few colorful items I have my eye on. Maybe once I get the house a little more settled I can find a way to work them in. Have a look at a few of my favorites, you may find one you can’t live without.

  1. Gold Lotus Hanging Pendant Lamp – World Market
  2. Josephine Desk – World Market
  3. Zahra Caravan Tufted Rug – World Market
  4. dbO Home Table Lamp – Blue – West Elm
  5. Zak Designs® 4-pc. Nesting Confetti Bowl Set – JC Penney
  6. With A Twist Teacup – Anthropologie
  7. Lafayette Ikat Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn

It’s Friday, High Five!

5c4a6b02b188d3afc12f21c4812ae89dPhoto via Home Adore

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to share a Friday high-five but this Friday we are finally in our house, we have our furniture and most of our boxes are unpacked so things are finally getting a little more manageable, high-five! Another reason I really wanted to write today is to thank all my wonderful readers for being here. Today is my two-year bloggiversary! I can’t believe it has been two whole years since starting the blog and sharing all my crazy adventures with you. High-five to two more great years.

Here are a few more high fives…


1. This article on how to Palm Springs your Home by A Beautiful Mess, color, color, color seems to be the key.  I’m game!

2. On my long (long) drive from New Orleans to South Carolina I listened to the audio book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ( A Mostly True Memoir) by The Bloggess Jenny Lawson this slightly inappropriate but hilariously funny book read by Jenny herself kept me awake for the entire ten-hour drive. Thank you Jenny for keeping me from driving into a tree!

3. The new Christian Louboutin Beauty line, a bit pricey but the packaging is work of art.

4. Calamityware by Don Moyer has the look of traditional china but have a closer look, the patterns depict monsters, pirates, aliens and all sorts of calamity.

5. Objet Trové Mirrors by Artist and Furniture Designer Tamara Codor, these mirrors are a collage of elegance and fun.


Thanks for reading and sharing this blogiversary with me.

Have a great weekend,


A Bamboo Look Bed, This could be the one!


Photo via Giannetti Architects

I have shared in the past that I wanted to replace our master bed once we moved back to the States. Well here we are back in the States and the movers lost all the hardware to our old bed in the move. Perfect excuse to finally take the plunge on a new bed, or I could go to the hardware store and try to find the right bolts to keep the old one going a while longer but honestly which sound like more fun?

With a new bed on finally the horizon, I decided to revisit some of my dream beds from an earlier post, mostly upholstered.  I’m still having concerns about having a fabric headboard around my husband’s oily skin and all the dust and dirt that comes with life but I was still leaning in that direction. I picked the one I liked best and showed it to my husband who promptly said he hated it! Now mind you, this is not a deciding vote since he lets me do whatever I want with the house but I do take his opinion into consideration ( a little.) Back to the drawing board…

After tons of shopping I found a bed I had not seen before on Overstock.


The Palm Bay Bed by Magnussen

I am huge bamboo fan so why I had not seen this one before I don’t know. I must have been blinded by upholstery. At $785 including shipping this one was doable and so pretty.  I did some research and found the Palm Bay on many sites from Amazon to One Kings Lane with prices ranging from $754 – $1,050

0aab27fd119c5ddfb60417d24d19467bPhoto via One Kings Lane

I love the style of the bed but I am worried about not seeing the finish it in person. They call it “toffee” but different photos cast it in a different hue. I don’t want an orange stain but there is no way to tell until I see it in person. I checked online and one of my local retailers sells Magnussen so I dropped by to see if they had one in stock. Sadly they did not did not but I found they are able to order it at only $699 including delivery. Oh the dilemma!

I figured maybe Pinterest might be able to help. I found a few photos that look like the same bed, but is it? Not sure if any of them are but one thing I know for sure now I REALLY want a faux bamboo bed. Bonus my husband like this one too!

9280f1218c17046991680d7e602170d4Photo via House of Turquoise

img6cPhoto via Williams Sonoma Home

54c4a4c5e5754_-_12-hbx-cole-son-humming-birds-wallpaper-1014-s2Photo Via House Beautiful

126Photo via J.K.Kling Associates

Now I’m torn, do I take the plunge without seeing the bed in person or do I continue my hunt?

Might be making a trip to the furniture store today.

What would you do?

Gallery Hall


We all are pretty familiar with the “gallery wall” but what about a full on “gallery hall?” This New Orleans home belongs to Kellie and Marc (my sister and brother-in-law) who are avid art collectors. With this much art to display wall space is at a premium. Lucky for them their new home, built on a long lot to replicate the traditional shotgun style homes of New Orleans, has a long hallway with lots of wall space.


To maximize the long wall and high ceilings the art is hung floor to ceiling, think the Salon Gallery in Paris, not an inch of wall wasted.


This gallery is a mix of art in all medias, styles, and colors but a gallery hall would also work with more cohesive pieces as well.


Don’t worry about household necessities like return air vents or thermostats, just work right around them and in the end they will blend right in.


and just because you choose a gallery hall doesn’t mean you can’t leave a little room for a statement piece.


So get out and start collecting because this art collection didn’t happen overnight but once it comes together it makes quite an impact!

On the Move – A New Home in South Carolina

exterior 2

Drum roll please…. the decision is made! We chose the house with the fenced yard in the great neighborhood with the dreamy sewing room!

I was really surprised that almost everyone who shared their opinion on the houses cast their vote for this one. That is except my brother-in-law who voted for one on the lake that wasn’t in the running. He’d have us living in a tent for the next three years if it meant we were close to fishing.

Yesterday we picked up the keys to our new house and we are very excited to be out of the hotel very soon. The house we chose is a brick home on .4 acres built-in 1990. It has 4 bedrooms (the bonus room over the garage is considered the 4th), 3 full baths and is 2,627 sq-ft

Let me take you on a tour so you can see what I have to work with.

This is the main living area with a wood burning fireplace and access to the screened in porch that goes out to the backyard.


The opposite view shows the built-in storage. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the storage in this house after living closet free in Germany for two years.


This room is the formal living/dining area which I will probably try to use as an office/sitting area since I need that more than I need a formal dining room.


The kitchen with a peninsula bar and an eat in dining area. The green in this area is not horrible but I might have to do a some painting just to brighten this area up.



The master bedroom, and yes the wallpaper border must go, but the walk in closet is amazing!


The master and hall bathrooms are almost I identical with double vanities and paint colors that ABSOLUTELY must go. I’m thinking those movie star vanity lights may be heading to the attic during my stay as well.

The hall to the bedrooms is very spacious, which I always love since that gives me a little room for an extra chair and a little decorating. Notice, a linen closet in the hall as well, SQUEEL!


This is the smaller of the two bedroom the kids will be using, both are nice sized and have pretty spacious closets.


We also have a nice sized laundry room that is off the kitchen an another full bath. (The new washer/dryer delivers today, progress!)


Up the stairs from the laundry room is the bonus room over the garage which I have claimed for my own. I love the built-in shelving and the fact that this room gets a lot of light.interior 2

Last but not least the screened in porch, one of the selling features on this house. I love this little room and am dying to get some plants and furniture out here.

The fenced yard allows for plenty of outdoor space for the kids and pets and bonus, the two trees are already hooked for a hammock.

I can see tons of potential in this house so I am excited to get started. Our furniture is scheduled to deliver on Friday so I had better rest up because that is when the real fun begins.

On the Move – House Hunting in South Carolina

Hello there, did you think I had disappeared? I have tried to blog as much as possible during our big move from Germany to South Carolina but this last leg of the journey has gotten extra crazy. Imagine a husband, a wife, two children, a dog a cat and ten large pieces of luggage in a hotel room on day five. What do you mean that doesn’t sound like the perfect vacation to you?

Okay me neither, so the house hunt is on so we can get the heck out of this hotel as soon as possible.

Since we still have our house in Alabama and since South Carolina will probably be our last stop before my husband retires from the Army we have decided to rent instead of buying.  Other than in Germany we have always bought our homes. We usually go for the fixer uppers because I love doing all the updates and like to be able to get creative. When buying I am looking for potential not a finished product. Rental shopping for me is a little more difficult. I know it will not be a forever home but I still want something nice for the time being. I also know that beyond paint and furniture I am pretty limited to what is already there ( i.e. kitchens and bathrooms are going to have to stay.)

We began the search with lots of driving around to look at all the houses we found online. Some were immediately eliminated because of location, extremely hot looking yards with no trees, busy streets that may take one of the cat’s three remaining legs or maybe a crack house next door. You know, the usual eliminating factors…

This narrowed our search it down to the few we wanted to see on the inside.


I fell in love with this house online, there were no interior shots but the exterior looked perfect and the lot backed up to a lovely lake. The porch across the back had the most amazing view, but the price tag was a little over our budget.



As a seasoned house hunter I know better than take the leap without seeing a houses in person and this one was a perfect example.

While the builder did a great job picking out the lot and finishing the exterior of the house, the inside left much to be desired.

IMG_5177It was filled with strange little things like this odd patch of linoleum in the kitchen, two completely unfinished bedrooms, wood-paneled walls in the two that were finished and a floor plan that just didn’t make sense. These things were not cosmetic! To be honest, I was a bit glad the interior didn’t live up to the exterior because the price really wasn’t in the budget.

The next stop was another house with a lake-view lot and this time way under budget.

a086 IMG_5163

Had I been looking to buy, this house would have been a taker. My husband loved the huge lake lot and the house which looks to have been built in the 1950’s or 60’s was completely original with oak floors throughout.

Unfortunately, completely original also meant a dark original kitchen and original appliances.

IMG_5156Not something I can fix as a renter.

IMG_5162Oh yeah, and this one looked like it may be haunted, just saying…

I guess that means no lake-views for us…

With the first two houses eliminated we were left with the last two houses to choose from.

The first is a rancher, not my favorite from the outside but with a nice big corner lot, in great neighborhood within walking distance to the kid’s school.

exterior 1The interior has lots of space (almost 3000 Sq Ft) and lots of great light.

I just love this room…

interior 1But, the yard is not fenced so we would have to add a fence at our own expense. This would not be a big deal except the house is already at very top of our budget. (My daughter cast her vote for this house because it has two master bedrooms, she is thinking one of them could be her’s.)

The second house is in the same great neighborhood as the first but is farther from the school. That means I’d be dropping off and picking up the kids everyday.

exterior 2This house is slightly smaller than the rancher but still quite large at 2600 Sq Ft. This one gets bonus points for a fenced yard (plus a vote from my son for having a swing set.)

l16914b45-m3xd-w640_h480_q80I give it extra points for the bonus room over the garage which would make a dreamy sewing room.

interior 2On the negative side, I am little concerned that this house does not get a lot of natural light. I asked the property manager if we were free to change the paint colors. She assured me we could so I think some lighter brighter paint could improve the light some.

It also has a nice screened in porch even if there isn’t a lake view.

This house also has a huge garage, while the rancher only had a car port with a storage room.

The biggest perk, the rent is $250 a month less than the rancher.

Now we have two good contenders and a big decision to make. Neither perfect but both have some pretty good pros and only a few cons.This morning we are going to go have a look at the two contender one last time and see if we can come to a final decision.

Which one is your favorite? Feel free to cast your vote!

I’ll let you know later this week which one we decided on and share a full set of “before” photos.

Thrift Store Ottoman Update


If you have followed my blog lately you know that I have spent the summer in New Orleans at my mom’s house (where I am always put to work.) Over the last few weeks we have worked on some updates to her long narrow living room. (You can read the details of the plan HERE.)  We purchased several pieces of furniture from antique and thrift store and are now in the process of updating them for the new space. Last week I shared the china cabinet update. This week I am working on the ottoman. Below are our second-hand furniture finds before, you can see above that we are making progress.


If you have never done upholstery before and want to give it a try this is the perfect project. Upholstering an ottoman like this is fairly simple and only requires minor sewing work to hem the skirt.

Our thrift store ottoman started off pretty 80’s looking with a wine colored fabric and a pleated skirt, not really the look we were going for.

Mom is more into whites and shabby chic style so we chose to re-upholster it in Covington Jasmine Serenity.


This ottoman is built like a small table. The top is foam with the upholstery stapled underneath and a skirt added. If you have a piece like this you think you’d like to tackle I recommend taking photos as you remove the parts and working backwards from your photos as you put it back together.

You can see there are really only two parts to this project, the top and the skirt.

I used the old skirt as a pattern for the new skirt, pinning it on for a test fit before stapling it on permanently.


When attaching the skirt staple right against the cording for a crisp edge.


The finished results look like a brand new ottoman and work perfectly with the new (old) china cabinet.


With the leftover fabric I was able to make two new throw pillows as well.


The next update will be the french cane arm chairs which are being upholstered in a dove grey velvet chenille, but these guys are going to the professional.


Can’t wait to see the results…

Inspiring Books Full of Color

One thing that I really missed while living in Germany was spending the day at the bookstore. I could spend hours looking at books, flipping thru magazines, and searching for a new read. Yes, they do have book stores in Germany and some do have a small English section, but the selection is limited. The also have some great design books but sometimes looking at the pictures just isn’t enough.  Yesterday I finally made my first trip to the bookstore since returning home. While the kids worked on their summer reading I took advantage and combed the racks for some summer reading of my own.

Here are some old favorites and a few new releases that whose flair for color really caught my eye.

kate Spade

1. Kate Spade New York: Things We Love: Twenty Years of Inspiration, Intriguing Bits and Other Curiosities by Kate Spade and Deborah Lloyd


2. Tricia Guild Pattern: Using Pattern to Create Sophisticated, Show-stopping Interiors by Tricia Guild

Bright Bazaar

3. Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style by Will Taylor

Happy Chic

4. Jonathan Adler 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life by Jonathan Adler

New Bohemians

5. The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney

I also ran across this great periodical Style at Home Weekend Makeovers which is full of inspiring projects and lots and lots of color. Bonus, this one is available online so you don’t even have to go to the book store to read it.

style at home 2015

I took a couple of these home with me and the rest are going on my wish list for next time.