Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fixture Fixation

I think I'm stuck in permanent house mode because I can't seem to go anywhere without noticing how things are decorated. And not in that "oh that looks nice" way but more like "I wonder if I can buy/find/make that."

So, while lounging in the beautiful Dominican Republic (that post here) I found myself fixated on light fixtures. They were everywhere and very cool. Here are my favorites:

The drum light in our suite lent a nice modern feel. I liked that it was dark green so the light was really muted keeping everything very romantic.

The open areas all had these basket looking lamps hanging in clusters from the ceiling

I really liked these flying saucer shaped lights in the Asian themed restaurant. I've been trying to figure out if they are something I could make or not. The fringe on the one over the bar was fun (and would be super easy to DIY)

This was my favorite light. It was this big tree like thing in the entrance to the Mexican restaurant. It reminds me of the bottle tree I want to make. The iron ball light was cool too.

 Recognize this light fixture I saw in Boulder?

That's right, It is the cousin to the one I have hanging in my bedroom at home. Neat huh? Apparently they were originals in the lodge where Daniel cousin was married last weekend.

This one tripped me out. It's made of antlers. Not sure if I approve but it was still pretty awesome.

So I ask, am I the only one who is obsessed with lighting? Do you notice little details more now that you have your own space to work with? I'd like to think I'm not alone out there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wabi-Sabi Me!

I try not to repost other people's work but sometimes they just put things so clearly I have to share.

If you haven't visited House of Fifty's blog you should (really, I mean that. Stop everything you are doing and go there right now). It is an online magazine that is a compendium of great bloggers and ideas that are floating around. They have quite the team.

But let's get back to the point of this post. As Pauline Willes from The English Organizer puts it:

... I learned that wabi-sabi is sometimes described as beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. The distinction is made between this aesthetic and the Greek values of beauty and perfection, often upheld in the West.

As I sit here contemplating repainting my bathroom cabinet again this really struck a chord with me. Things change, we change and that's ok. You don't have to live with things you don't like just because you just redid them. That paint on the wall doesn't have to stay the same color for the rest of your life. I remember a few months back reading an article in House Beautiful (I don't remember the exact one) in which the interviewee said they had painted their dining room 5 times in the last 5 months. At the time I thought it was excessive (and I still think it is a bit) but why not? Who says you have to pick a color and stick with it forever?  For all of us out there who really love decorating I think this is a great validation to the fact that we will never be "done" with our houses. But isn't that what makes it fun?

You can read the whole article here and I highly suggest it. While you're there, click through the summer magazine. It is a great way to waste away an afternoon.



One of the things my husband credits me for bringing to the relationship is my love of travel. It isn't that he didn't enjoy traveling before it is just that he gets too wrapped up in work to leave, but we're fixing that.

Last year for our honeymoon we went to the Turks and Caicos (pictured in this little DIY). It was by far the best vacation I've ever had (it didn't hurt that it was gorgeous as well)

The view from our room
When we got home Daniel said those magic words that I think every partner would love to hear-- "Let's do this every year" Great right?

So in keeping with that we returned to the Caribbean to enjoy our second honeymoon. It was absolutely blissful.

Since I'm trying to keep this blog about the house as much as possible I'll leave out the gratuitous bikini shots (though you may see some later as my bikini is the inspiration for the color pallet in the bathroom). The whole hotel was beautiful. Everything was light and airy and tropical without being kitschy. Check it out!

Our bedroom

I really like how they did the canopy with the fabric just draping over the pole. It left the room feeling much more open than a traditional canopy bed sometimes is.

Our sitting room. That blue/teal and brown makes a great color combo. The art over the sofa is pretty neat too. It is mirrored by the art in the dining room.

You might be able to notice that some of the shapes over the bar fit into the shapes over the sofa. It makes a nice paring over the long wall.  You could easily reproduce the effect with a jigsaw. It would be super cute with animal cut outs for a kids room

I'm loving that drum shade over the table with the mix of traditional and banquet seating too.

Looking out of our little patio to our private beach. 

The Jacuzzi tub was awesome!

 I really want to make one of these beds. Or at least a canopy like them.

Couldn't you see it? You could take the Ikea four poster

EDLAND Four-poster bed frame, white Length: 83 1/2 " Width: 63 3/8 " Height: 82 5/8 " Mattress length: 79 1/2 " Mattress width: 59 7/8 "  Length: 212 cm Width: 161 cm Height: 210 cm Mattress length: 202 cm Mattress width: 152 cm
add a few bars across the top and drape away. I think my bedroom is too small but it could look really cute as a day bed too... It definitely amped me up to tackle redoing our bed room!

I'll be sharing all the fun inspiration I found through the rest of the week as I finish unpacking and start a few more projects. I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I'm happy to say I am back, blissfully relaxed, and ready to get some projects started! (As you may remember from this post I've got quite a bit I want to get done)

I'm spending most of the day getting things settled from being gone so long. Emails, mail, bills... **sigh** back to the real world, but I wanted to let you all see a little of what we were up to on our vacation.

For our second honeymoon (as my husband calls them) we went to the Dominican Republic and stayed in a fabulous (and remarkably affordable) all inclusive resort called Dreams Palm Beach (seriously, like fire sale prices in January). Isn't that just gorgeous? 

We spent 99% of our time relaxing.

 By the pool

By the beach...

Or in our Hammock (don't you love the black toe Daniel got while we were moving?)

I'm dying to DIY one of these beds. They were strewn all over the beaches as places to lounge. I see an IKEA Hack coming on. 

 Daniel's cousin was getting married last weekend so we tied the last leg of our trip into that and stopped off in Boulder CO for her beautiful wedding in a flower filled meadow.

 I'll be back later to give you some more fun details on the decor and styling of everything. I found inspiration everywhere  (and got more than obsessed with a few light fixtures...)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Upcoming Projects

Since we are off on our honeymoon and not posting (this is a scheduled post) I thought I'd give you a run down of the up coming projects that are planned for our return (and a little inspiration to help get the creative juices flowing)

  1. Re-do back yard. Right now it looks like this
Crazy right?

and I'd like it to look more like this
from here
or this

From google
2. Paint bedroom 
3. Refinish bedroom dresser. I'm loving this one

From here
4. Paint Kitchen. This is really inspiring me

from Here
5. Build banquet seating for dining nook. Something along the lines of this
from Here

That should last me pretty well through August don't you think? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

A year ago today I married the love of my life! And it was fabulous!

Daniel and I met in college in 2003 and I knew right away I was going to marry him (he however was studying and was much to busy to notice me unless I sat on him, which I did, frequently). We wooed for years both long distance and short and eventually decided we wanted to start a life together (just to make all the fun we were having legit). It was probably one of my favorite days.

Daniel proposed to me my last day of teaching (I was laid off) and the day before we flew to Seattle to look for an apartment. It felt like after all those years of trying to find ways to be together we were truly embarking on something that would be just ours (all of our family is CA so moving away was a big deal). It is definitely the best decision I ever made. I love my family and I love my in laws and I always wish people lived closer but I love that everything about this city is ours and even if we move away it always will be.

We found an adorable apartment on Queen Ann (the one I talked about in this post) and just fell in love with the area. So much in fact we got married down the street.

Parsons Garden was beautiful, full of blue hydrangeas and absolutely lovely. We had a tiny wedding (read 17 people including us) and just enjoyed the intimacy of it all. It was absolutely special to have all the people who were truly important to us there (I love the entirety of my family and friends but there are those few who made a big impact on my life and I feel blessed to have had them there). We had a quiet family style dinner at an Italian restaurant down the street and it was delicious. Wood fired pizza, home made lasagna and the best wine I've ever had. All in all it was perfect and I can't believe it was a year ago already!  It has been a great year and now we are sitting on a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic (this was a scheduled post) and enjoying our second honeymoon. Life is good.

Some gratuitous pictures for the rest of you all. I love looking at them!
The Norman baby with his bow tie on

With my parents

With Daniel's parents
I love this picture with my Father, I was telling him not to cry because I knew I couldn't hold it together if he did. 
My best friend (and witness) Jessie and her husband Casey

Daniel's best friend (and witness) CJ and his fiancee Erin

My bouquet of blue hydrangeas I DIY'ed

Absolutely my favorite picture of the bunch

There you are. It was an amazing day and I loved every minute of it (and every minute since). Wishing you all all the love and happiness in the world!


**And happy birthday to my younger borther Alec! I can't believe you are 23!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Inspiration Board: Kitchen/ Breakfast Nook

1. I love the white cabinets with the green walls. It just looks so crisp and fresh.
2. I really want to build some banquet seating into the corner like this and DIY my own farmhouse table using the old fencing in the back yard... I think I can do it!
3. The modern feel of this light would be great for over the table. Maybe even two?
4. Paint Swatches on my walls. I'm liking the top one (Behr's Mojito) for the walls and the bottom (Behr's Wasabi Powder) for the inside of the cabinets.
5. My house inspiration colors. Perfect for pillows for the breakfast nook.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's (and Adoptive Fathers) Day!

My father is the most amazing man I know (he has traveled around the world, designs clothing, published a book, and oh yeah, took me on awesome adventures)  and with any luck I will grow up to be half as accomplished as he is. I am always rather in awe of him. So thank you dad for being such an inspiration to all of us! Love you!

My daily planner had a few quotes that I thought were perfect for this day so I'll close with them

"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong"- Charles Wadsworth (too true)

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons"- Friedrich Schiller

Friday, June 17, 2011

Love Location

Happy Anniversary Daniel! 

This little DIY is my anniversary present to my darling husband. For those of you who don't know we got married 6/21/10 (more on that later) and honeymooned on the absolutely gorgeous desert island of Providenciales (part of the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean) which is, indecently, the island in the painting.

I came across the idea when Sherry from Young House Love pinned this etsy artist's work. I absolutely loved the idea! I was skeptical that I could pull it off because I'm not much of an artist, but it turned out that it actually was really easy to create.


  • Blank Canvas (I chose 8x8 because I liked how cute and little it looked)
  • Paint for the background
  • Card stock (one piece for the land mass and some red to make the heart)
  • Paint brushes
  • Matte Modge Podge
  • Outline of location of your choice (needs to be an outline if you do it my way)
Step 1: Paint canvas all one color. I chose this in Island Blue

Step 2: Find picture of your favorite location and open in any document editing software (word, paint, anything so you can manipulate the image.
Step 3:  Reverse the image using your computer. The reason I did this was because I didn't want any lines to show after I cut it out. 

The way the island is actually oriented
Flipped backwards
Step 4: Spread a thin layer of Modge Podge on canvas and place land mass where you like it (flipped the right way again). Be sure to carefully smooth the paper down so there are no bubbles. Then cover the whole thing in Modge Podge to seal it in. 

Step 5: Place your little heart wherever it is important to you. Mine is in about the same location as where our hotel was.

Step 6: Apply one last coat of Modge Podge and let dry. 

(Another way that might work for you more artsy people out there would be to basically create a stencil and use adhesive to hold the land mass in place while you painted the rest of the canvas and then peel it away to reveal the shape after. Might work but I wasn't feeling up to it)

This would be great for a vacation memory, wedding, birth place, really anything special. You could even do a fun road trip one that went all over with lines connecting. Since I don't really work making special presents is always something I try to do for each occasion (I still feel weird buying him a present with his money :-P). And, since paper is the proper gift for a first anniversary I thought it fit. I gave it to him early and he loved it. He even guessed where it was immediately! And best of all it will be a reminder to us  

Tip Junkie handmade projects
beneath my heart