Last Monday, I opened our mailbox and found myself!
Last Monday, I opened our mailbox and found myself!
I wanted to get in on the covid quarantine rainbow hunt, like I described yesterday in my post about messages of hope during the pandemic, but my 20-month-old son isn’t quite old enough to draw a rainbow and my tween is a little too old to be interested.
I’ve seen a lot of Eric Carle inspired tutorials on Pinterest, but most people don’t get his steps all the way correct.
He did an interview with Mr. Rogers on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood many years ago where he showed his exact process.
What people frequently get wrong when emulating Eric Carle is that he didn’t use traditional paper for his creations. He used tissue paper. You know, like the gift wrap kind.
This makes the medium harder to work with for toddlers, causing tears. But it also allows more dimension and light to filter through.
After the little guy painted sheets of different colors (we used finger paint, though Eric Carle uses acrylics) I cut the sheets into arched strips, then taped them together on our window.
Around this time last year, I shared my pregnancy announcement. I showed y’all my babymoon in Paris portrait session, but aside from that, it was radio silence over here about anything baby. But yes, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy in the summer.
As you know, we moved to our new house recently. What you may NOT know is that we moved in exactly three weeks before I gave birth.
My pregnancy was less than ideal, and at one point I was put on bed rest. So when we moved in, I wasn’t able (nor did I have enough energy) to get started on my projects! It was looking like the baby would come into the world without a space to call his own.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know that my little family is now living in house number three. The first was a little mid-century ranch in the the Westbury subdivision of Houston, Texas. It was a foreclosure and we did quite a bit of renovations prior to moving in. We lived there for a little over three years, decided we were moving to Connecticut, then I shared a before and after of our first home.
Next up, we owned a little Cape Cod style home. It was smaller than our previous home, but newly gutted with brand new just about everything–pipes, electric, windows, drywall. Brand new. It was small and on a small lot, but it had a really lovely view of a pond directly behind it, and I’d hop in my kayak in my backyard and row around a bit sometimes. We also had the pleasure of seeing a lot of wildlife in our backyard. It was lovely, but then came time to move, again. So, I shared a before and after of our second home and a subsequent post about maximalist decor in a small space.
Now that I’m back to blogging, I’ll introduce you to home number three.
Prior to yesterday, the last time I wrote was when I had only a few days left before we moved into our new house. I shared with you a home tour of our first Connecticut house, though it was staged in those photographs for selling. As promised, here are some pictures of what our communal space looked like as we lived in it.
Upon entering our previous home, there was a mud room just big enough for a small closet. On the other side of that door, you were first greeted by these stairs.
I wallpapered the stair risers with this gorgeous metallic wallpaper from Jonathan Adler. The paper was a real splurge, but I still have enough to do a decent size project again and it was, in my opinion, the biggest “wow” feature I could have in a small space.
They’ve since discontinued this wallpaper from Jonathan Adler, as well as most of the others that were produced by his brand.
On the wall going up the stairs was my collection of photographs from our travels and some of the more exciting experiences we’ve had that were on or off the bucket list. I called this wall my “gallery of adventures.” With it being up the stairs, it was very hard to shoot, but here’s a glance.
Almost all of the frames were thrifted, and if they weren’t already a shade of bronze or gold, I sprayed them with Rustoleum Metallic.
The pink French door led to the mudroom. I painted it myself. It was white, along with everything else, when we moved in. Check out New House Project Plans to see the beginnings of this space. It was a real blank canvas.
Those footstools were from Homegoods. I thought they were totally unnecessary when I bought them, but I couldn’t resist the fact that they were the perfect colors to go with the rug.
I ended up putting them near the entrance so that we could sit and remove our winter boots somewhere other than the stairs. We did this, but far more frequently we’d move them over to the coffee table as additional seating for board and card games.
Both of the wingback chairs were thrifted for $25 each, but a few years apart. One day I’ll at least reupholster that mauve-y one. The black and white striped pillows were a couple of my first sewing machine projects. The fabric is from Ikea.
When we moved in to this home, one of the first things I did was remove the bamboo blinds and add sheer curtains. It allowed for just enough privacy but made for a lot of natural light that ultimately helped the small space feel larger.
Here’s a wider shot of the living room. In it you can see the weaving that I created with a hula hoop. Going through these pictures is making me so nostalgic!
For every meal (or any other activity), I sat on the right, facing the water. I really loved the view of the pond and that we could see it from so many angles of the little house.
We added these shelves out of necessity–there wasn’t much cabinet space in that kitchen at all! They were simple shelves from IKEA with traditional white brackets from the hardware store for support, painted gold.
There originally wasn’t a light fixture above the dining table at all, so when I had this one from West Elm installed with stained glass lightbulbs, it made a big impact.
And in the center of it all was our not-once-used fireplace and the definitely used TV that came with the house. We hadn’t had a TV for a few years prior and we left it when we sold…but I admit, we bought another TV 🙃
And that’s all she wrote! This space, and the projects that I created within it seem like ancient history now, but there may be times I want to reference it or I may decide to finally share half-written step-by-step tutorials for some of these projects.
I loved this house well and I had so much fun making it ours, adding my personal style everywhere. The following pictures don’t fully reflect my personal style, because these were the listing photos for the house just prior to us buying it (sight unseen!) and after my friend Ky and I pulled up our bootstraps and prepared the house for showings.
If you haven’t sold a home before, you probably don’t know: you don’t just take pictures of how you’re living in it. You’re going to want to do quite a few things before you put it up.
As mentioned in our moving announcement, our house sold in three days! We had an offer and a back up offer quicker than we could have imagined.
These are photos that we had listed online of our house when it was on the market in 2015 when we bought it, and months ago when we listed it.
Last One Room Challenge from Calling it Home post this week! If you’d like to see how things progressed week by week, check out the first week, the third week, the fourth week and last week‘s posts. But really, who needs all that? This is the good part, when things are finished.
Remember what it looked like when I started?
And the plan I drew up?
Well, here’s what we’re looking at now: Continue reading
This is the last update post before the big reveal this upcoming Wednesday, and I definitely was feeling the pressure of a nearing deadline. On Wednesday, I used wood stain to give the inexpensive baskets I bought a more cohesive look.
The above lighting isn’t the best, but you catch my drift.
Thursday looked like this all day:
And I eventually added all of the sewing and trim that I wanted to add to that shower curtain.
This is only my second sewing machine project, my first being Tobias’ Elvis halloween costume, and I was really proud of the results. Even though it was very simple, it makes a big difference to me!
The wallpaper finally arrived in the mail this week, which is really good because there were other things I was having to hold off on doing until I had installed it. It’s going to make a world of difference!
Here’s where we are now…
My One Room Challenge List:
See y’all on Wednesday!
Still working on the One Room Challenge from Calling it Home that I told you guys about few weeks ago and updated you on last week! I’m waiting on that wallpaper from WallsNeedLove, but that didn’t stop be from getting a lot done this week. However, as I got through some tasks, I realized more things I wanted to do!
The first thing I did was make the cornice board.
I know the poms + the stripes look a little circus-y. I’m trying to go along with the decorations that alpacas have in Peru, like the shower curtain that inspired the room.
I think once the wallpaper is installed, it’ll tone those colors down. We’ll see. Luckily I already had them on hand, I got them nearly free after the holidays in the gift wrap area.
And it matched with the hat decorations I bought in Peru that I’ve styled on my tissue holder.
You know that old frame?
I forcibly removed that old artwork, spray painted it with a lacquer white, and will hang it correctly once that wallpaper comes through.
Let’s take a moment to remember how glorious that wallpaper is!
A just can’t wait!
I bought the accessories, as planned.
But I just don’t like how the wood colors don’t match. I’m thinking I’ll stain them.
I also decided I wanted to build a bath caddy. Here’s my progress so far with that:
I also had different cabinet hardware picked out, but the knobs were so big that they touched. I decided to replace them.
Here’s where we are now…
My One Room Challenge List:
Yesterday, the students and teachers at my son’s elementary school celebrated Dr. Suess’ birthday by dressing up as their favorite book character. Tobias has been pretty obsessed with Harry Potter since we began reading the books every evening, (we’re on book three, no spoilers, please!) so his choice was obvious from the get-go.