Browsing Category "Household"
16 Mar
2015

Second Floor, Taller than Before

When we last left off, I’d shown you the first floor of the house. Now up the old staircase to the second floor. A quick note- this used to be a 2-family home. I have just scratched the surface into hunting down my house’s history but this wall you see here would have been fully closed off and this staircase would lead to the second story/second family property while the entire first floor belonged to another family. Kind of crazy to think about.

Staircase First

Once again, here’s a layout to help you orient yourself in the house.

2nd Floor Plan

We’re combining that front bedroom/sitting room into an office for the time being. We’ve got some crazy plans for a desk that we still need to work on and some major built ins we hope to include but we have hopes that it’ll end up really nice.

Office Fireplace

Office Closet

Office Brick

Office Door

The majority of the walls involve doors, windows, or fireplaces so as you can see it can be hard to fit in furniture. Hence all the planning we’re doing so far.

We’ve got a guest bedroom that we’re just using for storage right now. Hopefully the guests stay a way a bit while we figure out some things around here. When we do pretty it up we have a really nice brick wall and pocket door to work with.

Guest Bedroom Door
Guest Bedroom

There’s also a nice guest bathroom up here

Guest Bathroom

As well as laundry and linen closets

Laundry and Linen Closets

Then we come to the master suite. Let me tell you right now that this area has been a pain since we moved in thanks to the lack of weatherproofing on doors and windows, a squirrel getting into the bathroom vent, and yet I still love it.

Master Bed

This door here goes out to a deck. We’ve got it sealed off for winter right now but we hope to get out there and get planting soon. I’ll make sure you can see it when I show some exterior pictures.

Master Closet

Master Bath

There’s still some things to improve upon on this floor but it already feels like home. I hope to be back soon with some pictures of the third floor.

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28 Jan
2015
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The First Floor

My new house is located in the Tower Grove East neighborhood of St. Louis City. I didn’t even know about the neighborhood until late 2013/early 2014 when I started scouting future neighborhoods. I’ll include a neighborhood description in a later post, preferably after it gets warmer and I can start taking longer walks.

The new house is 3 stories tall and was built in 1899 as a 2-family home. I’ve been compiling a house history too so expect a history lesson at some point too. In 2012 it was combined into a single family home. We bought it from the buyers who took it over after that renovation was complete.

Since the house is a little overwhelming, I want to break down some of the house tour by floor. It’s easy to get lost in the layout so here’s the basic map of the first floor:

First Floor Plan

It’s a long and skinny room that’s wide open. I tend to hate open floor plans and when I first walked into this house back in July (5 months before we closed but yet another story for another day) I remember saying “Why did we pick this house again?” which was a little harsh. This house is pretty cool on the first floor but every floor just gets cooler. It just so happens that the first floor is super intimidating from a decorating standpoint. I have many ideas and yet none at all. If you have ideas as you look through the pictures, please oh please scream them out.

First Floor Open

This is a shot from the front end of the house looking straight to the back.

First Open

And now looking from the back door to the front entry. There’s a lot of square footage in between so I’ll show you some of that too.

First Floor Fireplace

One of the coolest things in the living room is the fireplace. This is the best maintained one in the home and one of the best I saw in all my house hunting. That cool design on the front of it is hand painted and all of this tile is original. I’m fairly certain the exterior color scheme is based around the colors here.

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2

The kitchen is bigger than my last one but has fewer cabinets. You’ll see why that’s not a problem in another minute. What I really love about this kitchen is all the arches. It’s St Louis so you have to have some arches here. The door on the left here is a pantry. At my last house I had a floor-to-ceiling cabinet that functioned as a pantry so I was excited to have something bigger than that when I got here. I’ll post a pantry makeover soon since that’s one of the first projects I did. Next on my task list has to be drawer pulls since opening each drawer takes two hands right now and I can’t do that while cooking.

Wine Bar

See why I don’t mind fewer kitchen cabinets? I have even more in my dining room in the wine bar. Or coffee bar. Or tea bar. Or brunch bar. I’m clearly undecided, though wine bar is probably a certainty with the built in wine glass storage and wine fridge.

That door to the left up there goes to the basement. To the right of the wine bar is a door to a powder room. Ordinarily I would assume you all know what a bathroom looks like but I do want to show off at least one neat thing about it.

Powder Room

Okay, that’s two things. The bathroom and many other rooms have functional transom windows. We tend to keep the powder room one closed because well, you know but even our front and back doors have the transom window feature. I’m also really into the vessel sink in this bathroom. It’s not usually my thing but somehow it just works in here.

There’s just so many features like that in this house. There’s original flooring refinished, 5 panel doors, transom windows, dental trim, 12-foot ceilings, 10-inch baseboards, original fireplaces, and all that exposed brick that appears on every floor of the house. Sure there’s growing pains after a move but this house has so many beautiful things that I’m willing to look past it.

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9 Dec
2013
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A Real Christmas Tree

One of my easy 30 before 30 goals was having a real Christmas tree. All this one required was going out and buying a tree and tree stand.

real christmas tree

It’s never quite that easy. I also needed new lights since my old little fake one required so very few and then I needed a garland of some kind since I didn’t quite have enough ornaments either and then I needed a tree skirt because I didn’t actually have one before, just some fabric. Other than those little additions, this was quite an easy project.

christmas tree

christmas tree

I love putting up ornaments each year. I have always had a red, silver, and gold theme going on with my husband and then we throw on some old favorites. I’m realizing my ornaments kind of have a monopoly on the tree.

tree ornaments

I already had quite a few wrapped gifts waiting to go under here. I’m waiting on a few more to arrive and I still have at least 2 to make. Here’s a little photoshopped up dreamy version of my tree.

tartan christmas tree

Nova still isn’t quite sure what to think of the new tree. My biggest worry is that she will try to sneak a taste at the presents. She has learned how to unwrap gifts on Christmas morning and now seems to think every package just might contain a dog bone. Tough luck puppy, those are all hidden till when Santa Paws arrives.nova christmas

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1 Apr
2013
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Coloring Revisited

I just bought a new rug. The photos on the Pottery Barn website made it look bright but I knew from the comments to expect more taupe than white.

pottery barn bird floral rug

pottery barn bird floral rug

This was the untouched reality (though without much natural light)

pottery barn bird floral rug

I’m totally into my new rug and how well it goes with my other art in my dining room but the taupe background fooled all my usual sites for extracting a color palette. They just kept pulling out the brown even though I wanted to see the greens, golds, pinks and blues. I even tried a site listed in the comments, Dominant Colors, but just ended up with more mud.

dominantcolors

I finally found success over on Colourlovers. If you join the site you can upload a color and use a selector to choose which 5 colors you want until you have the perfect palette.

colour lovers

Knowing I have plenty of neutrals in my room already, I was searching for an accent color pulled from the rug that I can use to paint a piece of furniture I bought around Christmastime. The palette came out a little rainbowy but I think I have 5 really gorgeous colors to choose from.

Bird_Floral

Just from seeing each color, I know I already have a color much like the far right one in the room. I’m leaning towards the sienna shade or the more aqua one. What do you think would look best in the room?

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4 Jan
2013
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Take 5: Month 1- The Kitchen

Last year, each month I posted a to-do list for 2012 from Get Organized Now. I still love them and highly recommend checking them out. This year I want to swap out how I plan my household to-do lists.  I want to give each room in my house equal amounts of love and opportunities for improvement. Each month I plan to write out 5 ways to improve each room in the 28/30/31 days.

For this month, I’m starting with the kitchen. This is the most complete room in my house and only needs some finishing touches. Here are 5 things I want to tackle:

1. Paint the ceiling

I repainted the room but some paint hit the ceiling. A good new coat should make the room look more complete.

2. Seal the grout

When I did all my tile I had to let the grout rest before sealing it. I think 6 months is plenty.

3. Clean out the fridge

Time to check those expiration dates and use up some condiments with some creative recipes.

4. Create a dog station

My dog Nova has a little corner of the room with a dog bowl but I think something that says she has her own little spot would be more than welcome

5. Un-Christmas the Kitchen

I still haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations from my ladder bookcase. In fact, the whole room has little touches of Christmas all around. It’s time to pack it all up and give my bookcase a new look.

What room of your house will get updated first in 2013?

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2 Dec
2012
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December Task List

We’re down to the last Get Organized Now calendar of the year. Next year I’ll have new way to tackle household projects. For now, here’s the last few tasks to try to get in before the year’s end.

Source: Hello, Cuteness

November was a busy month for me. I’ve successfully transitioned into my new job, I ran a 5K, I started on my fireplace and I managed to survive Thanksgiving. In December I’ve got one last 5K, some shopping to do (don’t we all!?), and I want to make a bigger dent in that fireplace. Plus I’ve got these items I want to get in too:

  • December 9: Shop local. Window shopping is okay, just make sure to do it with those you care about.
  • December 11: Start planning your Christmas menu and turn it into a Christmas grocery list.
  • December 18: Clean out the fridge. Eat all those leftovers and wipe down those shelves. Make sure you have plenty of space for all that food.
  • December 19: Write down what tasks need to be done before Christmas (like charging batteries or cleaning) and assign each task a day. Remember to embrace the fine art of delegation and don’t do it all yourself.
  • December 25: Enjoy your Christmas celebrations!
  • December 28: Find a place for all your new items. This is a great time to decide if you need to keep an older item you upgraded. Start prepping for your 2013 donations by rounding up all the excess.
  • December 31: Imagine what you want out of the next year. Don’t just make resolutions, make a plan that you can stick to.
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30 Oct
2012
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November Task List

November already! This last month flew by. October was hot and cold, windy and sunny, and busy busy busy! This month I’ll be shopping for Christmas gifts (I hate the post-Thanksgiving crowds), stocking up my freezer, and transitioning to a new position at work. I’m not sure I’ll have time for too many projects but I will try my hardest to do what I can.

nov-cal

Source: Pickle Lady Farm

Last month I managed to tackle my closet, finish sorting through my clothing, do some restocking, and I’m working on eating the last of my frozen summer goods. The month ahead theoretically will also have a day trip and my first 5K race. I can’t wait to share some details! Here are this month’s Get Organized Now checklist items designed to keep me on track.

  • November 1: Have a fall cleanup day. Rake and sweep up all that debris. This is especially helpful considering the superstorm that some people are getting. You might want to bump this item down the list till all the wind in your area has passed.
  • November 4: Falling back means changing clocks and batteries. I also suggest using that extra hour for more sleep but if you insist on waking early, make yourself a warm breakfast.
  • November 6: Go vote! Do it! I highly suggest between 10 AM and noon or from 2-4 PM if you can. You’ll make my life easier if you do since I’ll be fixing voting equipment that day.
  • November 8: Time to plan your Thanksgiving meal. Call any hosts for meals you’ll be attending to confirm what to bring and how many to serve. Write down your ingredients, how long your dish will take to prepare and shop your sale ads. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite dishes that week in case you need any ideas.
  • November 18: Clean out any purses or bags. Include envelopes for receipts and coupons. Cut any coupons you need to get ready for Thanksgiving meal shopping or some fun on Black Friday.
  • November 22: Write down 10 things you are thankful for. You don’t need to share it but use the day to reflect.
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29 Oct
2012
Posted in: Household, Life
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Thinking of Fall

It’s been a busy fall at my house. I’ve been finishing the final weeks on my work’s big project and soon I’ll be moving on to a new office and new responsibilities. My husband and I took a big trip to Europe. I finally finished the Couch to 5K program and I have 2 races lined up.

That hasn’t stopped me from having some fun either. I went with some friends and family to my old high school’s Homecoming football game. My littlest brother still goes to school there and it was a big anniversary for me as well. I was most excited to see the marching band. I’m a former member and my little brother (that’s him on the 45 yard line playing the sax) has won several championships at competitions this year. I’m a proud big sister. As a bonus, the football team pulled out a win as well.

house fall decor

door-fall

I’ve been dressing the house up for fall too. Some pumpkins and some coleus plants add a nice seasonal look with purples and oranges. I have a yellow wreath I use each year. This year I paired it with an owl hanging I found at Michaels. I love the bottlecap eyes…and the fact that it was on clearance.

garden

Here’s a glance at the garden as of 2 weeks ago. Since then we had a tornado warning that knocked down leaves and now a frost warning that froze everything up. The garden barely survived the horrible summer. Remember how gorgeous it looked back in May? I had a hydrangea die, one just barely survived. All the dwarf rhododendron died before the end of June. We planned to replace them with more boxwoods but after a boxelder bug invasion I’m not so sure now. The regular rhododendron made it till July but then they died too. The azalea survived. My husband had bought some geraniums and added them and they thrived as did our coleus plants. We’ll definitely be trying to makeover this garden again next year. I’d like to imagine this year was just a freaky year of drought but I need a low-maintenance plan that can survive drought, massive rains, hail, winds, and me.

october table

For my October table, I wanted to use complementary colors. I know a blue and orange table isn’t traditional for October but I loved how rustic it felt. I was able to shop my house for this project, using my blue willow china and blue cobalt glasses. The matching cobalt wine bottles are from some riesling I drank and the pumpkin votive holders are from Pier1. They match last month’s design. The flowers in the basket were actually a gift holder my husband gave me years back that comes in handy every year.

The only new item I bought for the table were the mini pumpkins. I wanted to buy some napkins but I had the hardest time finding some matching blue napkins. Has anyone seen some deep blue napkins that might match my blue willow or blue cobalt? I’d love to find some before the next time I use them all on the table again.

How was your month of October?

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3 Oct
2012
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October Task List

I’m back from my crazy long vacation and I hope to post some info on that as soon as I sort through my 1400 photos. Oh yeah, It was an awesome one. I’m quite a bit behind on chores but coming home to a clean house made it easier. I definitely miss having meals prepared for me and turndown service at night.


Source: Anything But Perfect- available for download

We’re into the last quarter of the year which means prepping for Christmas, winterproofing my house, and for my work to get crazy one last time. My real goal for the month is to lock up the last of my summer clothes and finish up all those 90% projects- you know, the ones that need just one last go to be fully completed. Just remember, slow and steady wins the race so choose a few items to tackle from this month’s Get Organized Now checklist and you’ll feel ahead of the game.

  • October 5: After a long week, enjoy your family with a fun family dinner. After heading back to work after 2 weeks of together time, it’ll be nice to relax together instead of giving into the jetlag.
  • October 13: Clear out those coats and accessories. Make sure all gloves have a match, toss anything you haven’t worn in a while (look for a winter clothing drive in your area!) and have all the next week’s items in a convenient grab-and-go spot.
  • October 16: If you haven’t already decorated for fall (I never do before October 1 but I’m slacking this year!) then put out some decor. Pumpkins are always a safe bet and will last you through Thanksgiving.
  • October 20: Outdoor cleanup time! Empty planters, trim back any plants that get a fall trimming and put away any lawn furniture before the winter snow and salt damages it.
  • October 22: Stock up on Halloween candy for those trick-or-treaters. I live in a neighborhood without many kids so I don’t see many besides some cute relatives but I’m always glad to have the leftovers.
  • October 24: Spend your entire evening offline and if you’re really daring, turn off all technology. Hang out with family and resist the urge to be introverted by reading. Play board games, talk about your day or just relax in silence.
  • October 29: Surprise your coworkers by bringing in a treat. Bagels, doughnuts, or flavored creamers for a coffee bar are always nice. You can add a fall twist by throwing some apple cider in a crockpot and serving with a cinnamon stick.
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19 Sep
2012
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September Centerpiece

I’m actually on time with this month’s centerpiece!  I know some people love to jump on fall themes in September but in Missouri it is often so warm that I’m not thinking about fall. This week has been quite crisp so I broke out some apples and had fun with a fall themed centerpiece.

apple centerpiece

I used a basket (previously seen in my June centerpiece) and stacked some books in the center to give it some height. Then I added in a candleholder from Pier 1 and some apples. I’ll have some apple recipes coming soon as a bonus. They’re perfect for some fall freezing.

I also dressed up the table with some new napkins from Home Goods and what else- more apples. The room sure smells very fresh and crisp, just like the weather outside.

What’s on your table this fall?

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