This is kind of a boring one, but it's part of the house, right? And I love looking at the interiors of people's houses, kitchens included. So here ya go!
Sadly, this blurry mess is the only "before" photo I have of the kitchen:
This is the view of the dining room, from inside the kitchen:
The corner of the dining room, which overlooks the living room.
The main things we changed were wall color and lighting. My father-in-law insisted that we needed recessed lighting in the kitchen, and we are SO glad we listened to him. We also had a pantry-in-the-form-of-a-huge-cupboard installed for our food - so happy about that, too!
The installation of the pantry:
Dining room, after:
The dining room table is from Cost Plus World Market, which we bought a few years ago when Y worked for them and we got a great discount. ;) The photos on the wall are old photos of Oakland, which I found by googling "old photos of Oakland" (haha). The prints on the left are our Laws of the Land and Bill of Rights. We also had to get a new chandelier, because the previous owners ran off with whatever was hanging there before (if you'll remember, this condo was a foreclosure). The chandelier is from Lamps Plus.
We went a little wild with the color in the kitchen. We had a really hard time with this one (and the bathrooms) because the color of the granite is a greenish-brown and looks really sick unless it's with the right color. My Father-in-Law couldn't believe we'd chosen nine colors for our house (including two different shades of gray), but even he had to admit it looked great when it was finished!
I didn't have anywhere to store my cookbooks, so we installed an industrial looking shelf from Ikea and mounted an Ikea magnetic strip underneath for my Cuisinart blades. So handy! The painting above it is the first painting I ever did, which was when I was in college. I wanted a painting I'd seen in Bed Bath & Beyond, but I couldn't afford it, so I reproduced it myself from an image I found on Google. I would never do this now (I believe all artists deserve to be paid for what they do!), but at the time I just really wanted something bright and happy in the kitchen and I had no money. Thank you to Will Rafuse for making such happy art for the kitchen, and I'm sorry that my 18 year-old self janked your artwork.
So that's it for the kitchen and dining room! Next stop, the living room.Comment
I've received a lot of emails and Facebook messages from people who'd like to know where I bought the weekly onesies I pose Charlie in every week. So many, in fact, that I think it's about time I write a blog post about it.
They say no idea is original, and while I don't agree with that (as I'm sure most creative types wouldn't), I will say that this idea was 100% snagged from someone else. So instead of giving you a step-by-step tutorial, I'll say this:
- They aren't onesies, actually! It's the same white onesie every week, with a new number photoshopped on.
- The idea came from Young House Love, and I put my own twist on it by posing her on the same quilt every week (her head used to be smaller than one of the circles!) and adding weekly highlights.
- The lovely bloggers over at Young House Love wrote a tutorial about how they did it for their baby, and that tutorial can be found here.
- This has been a really, really fun project. I haven't skipped a week since I started (which unfortunately wasn't until she was four weeks old), and I plan to stop when she's a year. At that point, I'm going to make a big Blurb coffee table book for us, plus one for her godmother and each set of grandparents.
Seriously, this project has been super fun - I highly recommend you try it yourself! And if you don't think you have the dedication to do it every week, try it for each month. :)
Last we left off, I'd just shown you the entry, with my favorite wallpaper of all time. Right around the corner is the hallway, which leads to the living room, kitchen and office. Not too much to see here except a dirty floor and white walls, right?
Before I show you the after photos, I have to warn you that I am not one of those people who thinks displaying photos of themselves is weird. I don't think it's strange to hang your wedding photos, and I don't think it's a shrine to ourselves. Those are our memories, and looking at them brings me joy every day. Now, that being said, here is our hallway:
The same wall, from the other direction (kitchen on the left, living room on the right). These are mostly our engagement and wedding photos (where else will you have such gorgeous photos of your parents dancing, I ask you?!), plus the newborn photos of Chuck. Mixed in are a few pictures of our pets and our travels.
The opposite wall:
The section furthest from the camera is our Moo Card photo collage from our roadtrip, which I blogged about a couple of years ago. The section closest to the camera has a few more wedding/engagement/newborn photos, plus a series of iphone photos of Charlie after she was first born. The two square shadow boxes have trinkets from our engagement and wedding; I'm not much for keeping "stuff" around, so this was a fun way to display a few items without having them clutter up our living space.
So yeah - needless to say, I have no problem displaying photos of ourselves. We had a kickass wedding photographer, and I don't open our wedding album. I love being able to enjoy these photos on a daily basis.
What's your opinion? Do you display your wedding photos, or do you feel weird about it, like you'd be creating a shrine to yourselves?Comment
Sometime in 2009 I got the itch to start redecorating. Unfortunately, our apartment wasn't exactly conducive to redecorating: it was small and we had a crap-ton of stuff to fit in it (our bedroom was split into an office/bedroom and our living room was split into a living room/dining room). I started dreaming about having a house to decorate, but didn't think I'd get the chance anytime soon.
When Y and I bought our first home - a condo in Oakland - during the very peak of my pregnancy-related nesting, I was thrilled. As it turns out, I really, really love interior design, and decorating our home has been one of my all-time favorite projects. I just recently finished taking photos of everything, so I thought I'd share before & after pictures with you guys. '
I've already shown you Charlie's nursery (my favorite room in the house), so now I'll go back to the beginning (quite literally): the entry. Although that might seem like a boring area, it was actually my pet project and I love how it turned out!
Okay, so first, the before photos. As a bit of a background, the condo is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in our ideal neighborhood. The only way we could afford something like this was because it was a foreclosure, and even then we were very, very lucky. The only thing on our wish list that we didn't get was a back yard, and for the neighborhood, I am happy to sacrifice that. But I digress. My point is this: this place was not in good condition when we bought it. Here are the before photos:
Yes, that is a random door in the entry way. Well, not exactly random; it's the door to our bedroom. These are the sorts of things you deal with when you buy a foreclosure.
And now for the afters!
The first thing you'll notice is the wallpaper (I hope). I have been coveting this wallpaper (Julia Rothman's Daydream) ever since I saw a post about it on Apartment Therapy in 2009. Although I loved the dark blue that they featured, this room gets very little natural light (none at all if the bedroom doors are closed). I chose the lightest version, then matched the paint for underneath the chair rail. For some reason, I've always wanted to do a wallpaper-on-the-top-paint-on-the-bottom-chair-rail-thing. I love it.
This project was one of the most expensive things we did in the house, and I didn't intend it that way. I thought I needed two rolls of wallpaper; in fact, I thought that would be more than enough. Uh, no. As it turns out, I suck at measuring for wallpaper, and ended up having to order two more rolls! This is very expensive wallpaper, but I'd already started the project and couldn't exactly leave it half-done.
Check out the wallpaper (and all it's many colors) here at Design Public. You can order it directly from the company that prints it, but I found their customer service to be sorely lacking, and Design Public was fantastic.
My one piece of advice about wallpaper is this: HIRE SOMEONE. Seriously. Worth every penny. The woman we hired did an excellent job lining up the design, and if I'd contacted her before I bought the wallpaper, she would have told me I needed twice as much.
Another detail that I love is our mezuzah by Michal Negrin, which I got in Israel. It's flashy (haha).
The little entry table was my grandmother's, as is the sculpture (she was an artist of many media). That plant is called a "Cast Iron" plant. We needed greenery, but I figured anything we got would have to be fake to survive in a dark corner - not so! This guy is doing just fine.
From the other direction, it's my card catalog (one of two)! It's very, very happy in its new home. I went a little apeshit with the organization - everything from ear plugs to screwdrivers is organized in there. Love. On top is a really cool old sewing box I found at an antiques show.
That's it for the entry! Next comes the Hallway.Comment
Despite the fact that there are probably more pressing matters to discuss, I am really excited about this, so I’m just going to talk about it now!!
I finished Charlie’s nursery, at least for the most part. I am SUPER thrilled with how it turned out, so I want to share it with you guys. It’s the first room in our condo to actually be done, too, so that makes it even more exciting. I’ll share the other rooms (with before and after photos) as we finish them. To be honest, I'll probably share them with you as they're works in progress (rather than done) because I've gotten really picky about artwork recently and it's taking me awhile to visualize what I want for each room. But I digress.
So here are a few photos. The full set is on Flickr with more detailed photos, but here’s the gist!
First things first: the before photos. When we bought this place, it was DISGUSTING. Like, don’t-touch-anything-without-washing-your-hands-and-for-the-love-of-god-don’t-sit-on-the-toilet-seat DISGUSTING. The guys who lived here were foul, foul people. Notice in these pictures that the walls are dirty.
But it was the carpets that held the most evidence of their foulness. We’re talking layers upon layers of stains. For health reasons, we decided to have the carpets cleaned using a green carpet cleaning service rather than replacing them (did you know that new carpets out-gas for at least five years? Scary stuff). You should have seen what they took out of the flooring in Charlie’s room. Gross. Here’s the before (try not to barf):
And now, for the afters!
This is the view from the hallway (more on that wallpaper later!) and the entrance to her room. Last year, I saw a nursery on Ohdeedoh with a FABULOUS art installation. I stored it in the back of my brain, and it was the first thing I made for Charlie’s room (and I made it in December!). You might recognize the lanterns from our wedding ceremony. I love the idea of re-using items, and I think they’re much better executed here, haha. The alphabet print is from my store, and the dresser & storage containers are all from Ikea.
On the left, a close-up of the changing area. On the right, the glider area. The night stand is from Ikea and matches the dresser (they're both "Hemnes"). The glider was $40 from Craigslist and came with a nasty blue cushion. My fabulous mother made a new cushion (using fabric from Ikea), plus the pouf (using a pattern from Amy Butler) and pillow. The Felix the Cat stuffed animal was a gift from my grandfather, Charles. Charlie is named after him.
I am in love with the crib. I really wanted something sleek and modern (and non-toxic), and the Argington Sahara crib really fit the bill. The crib comes in several finishes, some of them retailing for over $1k. We ain’t made of money, though, so we chose the Red Maple finish from allmodernbaby.com, which was half the price and on sale when we bought it. The bumper and crib skirt were made by my mom, along with the beautiful circle quilt, which she made using a pattern from Bijou Lovely.
No nursery (well, room even) is complete without a little art! You can see detail shots of these on Flickr, but in summary, there’s an awesome frame with three images from an old Chinese children’s book I found in my in-law’s basement, a custom drawing I did of Charlie with her animal friends, the Wish Tree from my shop, and two free downloads from tinydecorblog.com.
Charlie’s bookshelf doubles as storage. We reused the Ikea Expedit from our apartment bedroom (it was used as a room divider there) and filled it with books and knick-knacks. Can you tell we're fans of Ikea? I love it. We now live 10 minutes from one, and it has allowed us to decorate on the cheap - and I think their stuff looks great!
So yeah, that's it! I am really not into baby-ish nurseries. I didn't want a bunch of frilly bows everywhere, and dolls & teddy bears kind of scare me. Luckily I'm not the only one out there with the same feelings about nursery design, and there's a lot of inspiration on websites like Project Nursery and Ohdeedoh. I hope you guys like it as much as I do!Comment
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