November 14, 2012

Before and After: Chair

Way back in May, I shared some photos of the awesome things I found at Antique Weekend in Round Top, TX. One of the items was an old chair.

Our plan was to recover the seat with a fun fabric and leave the weathered look of the wood. Well, we finally got around to it. I found a super cute fabric (Herringbone in Pond) online at Hawthorne Threads. I left the actual task of recovering to my husband who has a little more experience than myself. I like the contrast of the crisp blue fabric against the worn brown frame. I couldn’t be happier with the result!
 


 
 

October 17, 2012

Trends We Love: Black and White

 

Lately, my Pinterest boards have been filling up with rooms decorated in black and white. It’s a classic combination that instantly becomes even more interesting with the right mix of textures and patterns. I especially love a black and white room with just a small splash of bold color that really pops.

No matter what style you prefer, from country to modern, integrating varying shades of blacks, whites and grays is sure to result in an elegant living space.

I’ve rounded up a few items from CB2 to show how effortlessly this trend can come together to create a room your friends will envy.
 

1) Bridge Architecture and Landscape Prints – Set of 2; 2) Elevated 18″ Pillow, Knit Sweater 23″ Pillow, Pin-up Black and White 18″ Pillow; 3) Trio Floor Lamp; 4) Nucha Vases; 5) Dual Pebble Sectional; 6) Reprouvé Coffee Table; 7) D-constructed Throw; 8) Family Black and White Rug
 
 

October 3, 2012

A website of my very own

Now that I’ve been doing this whole freelance graphic design thing for a couple of years, I finally got around to putting up my own website. I know, what took me so long?

I find it very difficult to design for myself. There are just so many styles and so many options, what’s a girl to do. Designing a new logo for myself over a year ago helped get the ball rolling…slowly rolling. My workload has slowed down over the past couple of weeks allowing me to finally knock this baby out and get it online. So here it is, a website of my very own:
 

 
 

September 13, 2012

Back to School

The summer has come to an end, and the boys are back in school. I have to admit I’m excited to get back to a daily schedule and leave the chaos of summer behind. The first day of school for both boys was a couple of weeks ago, but I just finally got around to getting the pictures off of my camera.

Simon started 1st grade this year, and Oscar started going to an in-home daycare just 2 blocks away from the house. He loves that he gets to ride his bike to school almost every day.

I’ve finally gotten my quiet days back. It’s nice getting work done without having a screaming child in the background. It sure makes things a lot easier.
 
 

August 6, 2012

Adding a couple of projects to the pile

I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m crazy. But he’s just going to have to deal with it. We already have a bunch of unfinished projects around the house, and now I’ve added another two on top of it all. I just can’t help myself!

I had decided that I wanted a church pew for the entry way. I began looking around for one that was 5 ft wide with the right look and feel. I spent hours on Craigslist, Ebay, and other random pew specific sites, but most of what I was finding was too big, too far away, or too expensive. Finally, I came across a posting for this pew on Craigslist, and for only $45. Wahoo!!

At the same time, I also came across a posting for a dresser that had a lot of potential. We have been looking for just the right dresser for 3 years now. All of the ones we liked were too pricey for my cheap self, so I knew we would have to find a fixer upper. I found this one on Craigslist for $40.

My dear hubby borrowed his dad’s Honda Element and drove all across the Metroplex to pick up my two new finds. Now, I just have to figure out what I want to do with them. They are both in decent shape, just needing a little makeover. So there they sit, along with the rest of our (my) projects.
 
 

July 13, 2012

Athens

Ok, as promised, I’m finally getting around to the Athens part of our Greece trip. After 3 nights on the island of Santorini, we took a 25 minute flight to Athens where we spent the next 4 nights. Since we were there for a conference, we had to stay at the conference hotel, the Metropolitan, which was a short drive outside of city central. Luckily, the hotel offered a free shuttle to Syntagma Square every half hour, and once there, everything we wanted to see was within walking distance.

The first night was spent exploring Syntagma Square and Parliament, then walking down Ermou Street. Ermou Street is a pedestrian walking area between Syntagma and Monastiraki Squares. It is full of shops, restaurants, and a cute little 10th century church sits right in the middle of it all. It was an enjoyable introduction to Athens, however, we immediately noticed the gobs of graffiti all over the place. Here is a picture just to give you a little taste:


 

The next day, I slept in while Alex attended his conference. When he was finished we took off for some more exploring. We walked through the National Gardens, then admired the Presidential House and the orange trees lining the street in front of it. We then headed over to Panathenian Stadium, built around 330 BC. We got to peak at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, but the area was already closed for the day by the time we got over there. After walking around Zappeion Hall for a while, then re-energizing ourselves with a cold beverage at a nearby cafe, we decided to find the Teleferik that would take us to the top of Lycabettus Hill, the highest hill in Athens. We read that Lycabettus Hill was a very popular place to go and that most people chose to ride the Teleferik rather than hiking up the hill, so we assumed it would be easy to find. After walking around for what seemed like an eternity, we weren’t having any luck finding it. We even asked a couple of people where it was. One lady had no clue what we were talking about, but she asked a clerk at a nearby store who gave us directions somewhere, but not to the Teleferik. We then asked a security guard who also gave us incorrect directions up a lot of very steep steps. We didn’t find what we were looking for but we did manage to take this picture showing how far up the hill we had already walked:


 
Just when we were about to give up, we came across a very fancy hotel. Alex decided to go in and ask the concierge in a final attempt to locate what we were starting to believe was a fictitious place. We followed her directions, and sure enough, we found it. It did exist! We rode it up to the top of the hill and the views were amazing. Completely worth all the trouble. Here’s a picture of Alex at the top. This give you an idea of how expansive the city is:


 

The next morning, we took the hotel shuttle bus to Syntagma Square yet again, then headed to the Acropolis. This was the first place where we were completely surrounded by tourists and even had to stand in line (to be expected, I guess). Here is a picture of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus:


 

And here’s a picture of me with the Parthenon in the background:


 

After the Acropolis, we ate some lunch, then headed to the Acropolis Museum. Each level of the museum is impressive, but the top floor was probably my favorite. On the top floor, they have friezes and other parts of the Parthenon arranged exactly as they once appeared on the original temple, which can be viewed simultaneously through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

That night, Alex and I decided to go out for a nice dinner. We headed to Daphne’s, a delicious restaurant in the Plaka that is housed in an 1830s mansion. After dinner, we found an outdoor theater, Cine Paris, just a few blocks away and at the foot of the Acropolis. We bought our tickets, then headed to the roof where we watched Snow White and the Huntsman (in English with Greek subtitles) while enjoying a glass of wine and sitting under the stars. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, while watching the movie we could look slightly to the left of the screen and see the Acropolis completely lit up. This was probably my favorite night of the trip.

The next morning, and our last full day of the trip, we decided we had had enough of walking around in the heat and just wanted to take it easy. We hopped on a hydrofoil to the closest island, Aegina. We spent the day lounging on the beach and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died after taking just 1 picture, and I didn’t have any spare batteries on me. So this is the only picture I was able to take while we were there:


 

On the last day of the trip, our flight didn’t leave until about 5:00 pm, so we decided to head to Syntagma Square just one more time, then make our way over to the Central Market. This place was crazy!! There were so many locals, pushing their way through the crowds to find the perfect sheep head, calf carcass, live chicken, fresh fish, you name it. I wasn’t able to take any pictures (besides that I had yet to replace the batteries in my camera) because there was so much chaos, and we were being pushed and yelled at from every direction. But the amount and variety of fresh food that was available was astonishing. Definitely a cool thing to see!

Finally it was time to catch our flight to London where we had an overnight layover. Then we boarded our last flight of the trip and headed back to Texas to see the boys whom we missed terribly.

Overall, it was an amazing trip. I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to do this, and just one month after our 5-year anniversary even. Not too shabby!
 

June 25, 2012

Santorini

Alex and I recently returned from a 9 day trip to Greece. Although it was very difficult leaving the boys for that amount of time, we somehow managed to enjoy ourselves. Our first night was spent on our overnight flight (yuck), but the next three nights were spent on the amazingly beautiful island of Santorini. We stayed at the Aspa Villas in Oía. Originally, their cave houses were booked when we made our reservations, but when we got there, they had a cancellation and moved us to a cave house for our 2nd and 3rd night for no additional charge. Here’s a picture of the view from our cave house:


 
Our first day in Oía, we walked around the village taking in our beautiful surroundings.
 

 

 
As you can see, the village is up on a cliff. If you want to get down to the bay, you have to take the nearly 300 very steep steps down. You can see the steps in this picture:
 

 
We managed to walk down the steps, but opted for a donkey ride on the way back up.
 

 
The next day we decided to rent a car and drive around the entire island. Many people were renting mopeds and ATVs, but after seeing the crazy drivers and narrow, windy roads we thought a car felt a little safer, or at least easier for other drivers to see. The island is only about 35 square miles, so it doesn’t take long to get from one end to the other (unless you take all of the wrong roads like us). At the other end of the island—opposite from Oía—there is a lighthouse and more beautiful views of the Aegean Sea. Here I am, a little carsick, sitting on some rocks near the lighthouse:
 

 
We managed to find our way to the red beach that we had read about. It takes a little walking and some hiking to get to it. Here is a shot of the beach from up on the hill before our hike down:
 

 
After leaving the beach, we made our way back to Oía, both of us exhausted and me a little more carsick. Since Oía is known for its sunsets and this was our last night there, we decided we should watch the sunset with everyone else in the village. Here is a picture of the old castle walls filled with sunset watchers:
 

 
We were sad to leave Santorini, but the following morning we had to catch our flight to Athens where we stayed for the remainder of our trip. Details and pictures of that part of our trip will be in my next post.

I highly recommend Santorini to anyone planning to visit one of the Greek islands. Of course I’m sure the other islands are just as amazing. Does anyone have a favorite Greek island? Is so, which one and why is it your favorite?
 
 

May 17, 2012

Antique Weekend in Round Top

Remember the metal letters my sister got for me last fall while at Antique Weekend in Round Top, TX (see here). Well, in April, I was able to drive down to Round Top (Warrenton, actually) and spend the day shopping with one of my other sisters. It was exhausting but a lot of fun. We were only able to go for one day, and we hardly covered any ground at all. It’s such a huge event. Even though I’m sure I missed out on a lot of amazing items, I did manage to snag a few small pieces for the house.

I happened upon this chair that was tucked away between a few enormous pieces of furniture. We have been wanting a chair next to the fireplace, a great spot to slip your shoes off after walking into the house. We plan to recover the seat with some sort of fun fabric but leave the weathered look on the wood. I paid $15 for it. (The duck pillow was a purchase off of Fab.com)
 

 
I came across this camera (Kodak Brownie from the 1950s) about half way through our day. At the end of the day, I was still thinking about it and somehow managed to refind the little booth that was selling it. Alex and I have talked about collecting old cameras and displaying them around the house, so I decided to start our collection with this one. Original asking price was $45, but I managed to get it for $30.
 

 
I found a pile of old bowling pins outside of one of the very first booths we stopped at after parking the car that morning. On the way back to the car that evening, we stopped by again and they were all still there. I asked if I could buy just one, and the lady responded with “Sure, how much will you give me for it.” I had no idea how much bowling pins were selling for and neither did she, so I offered $5. SOLD!
 

 
 

April 23, 2012

Sharing a room

When Oscar, our youngest, turned 2 in December, we decided it was time to move him from his crib to a big boy bed. We also decided we wanted the boys to share a bedroom. So we moved Simon out of his blue room and into Oscar’s room. We had never painted or even really decorated Oscar’s nursery after moving into the house, so we were very excited to finally tackle this room and do what we wanted with it.

First, we moved all of Simon’s things over to let them get use to sharing a room before tranferring Oscar from a crib to a bed. Here is what the room looked like at that point:


 

As you can see, the room was a minty green color. It wasn’t a bad color, but not exactly one we would have chosen ourselves. So it was time for a change. After a few weeks, we went in with paint brushes in hand and changed the feel of the room completely. We are very happy with the end result.

Entering the room:


 
Light but bright blue:

 

 
Glow-in-the-dark stars:

 
Dressers:

 
Art desk:

There are still some small adjustments to be made and things to add, but we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The boys especially like the dark blue area with glow-in-the-dark stars. Originally that was a closet, but at some point it was changed to make the room a little bigger. Almost everything in the room was purchased at Ikea, including the bunk bed. I am a huge fan of Ikea for a kid’s room.

While doing this room, we also painted Simon’s old room (now the guest room). No more primary blue!! We haven’t done much else at this point, but I’ll post pictures as soon as we get it closer to where we want it.
 
 

February 3, 2012

Revisiting the Bathroom

Back in September, I posted about our guest bathroom quickie makeover that was not quite complete (see it here). I realized I have yet to update you on the progress that has been made. We still need some finishing touches, but folks, we are getting closer. Alex and I tend to take our time on things. We do a little here and little there. That way it’s not a stressful process and just happens organically.

Here’s the “Before we did anything” pictures:

Here’s the “After we did a little” pictures:

And finally, the “After we did a little more” pictures:

We found these towels on clearance at World Market. They were exactly what we were wanting. Being on clearance was just a bonus :)

We still need to find the right accessories for the sink area. I know, why would I want to replace the Soft Soap bottle currently there? And we plan on hanging some small artwork. In the big picture, we want to rip out the entire vanity and replace with a wall mount sink. We think it would open the space up greatly. But for now, we are happy with the progress we have made thus far.
 

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