Just got this off Craigslist today. Excited to pair it up with the Hoop Chairs! Dave says he'll set it up in the morning! Hoping in person it's as cool as I've been visualizing it to be. I've been looking for a low table so we can have another nice spot to casually eat outside. These days lower is better for the kids. I'm big on providing self service for the kids. My true desire is this table from Potted:
However, I think it's over a grand. Until I can afford it. My stone and metal Craigslist find will have to do.
I love this time of the year! The weather is cooling off. The trees are beginning to change color. The birds flock to our feeders. They line up on the fence waiting their turn for free seed. (Not that you can see that in this picture.) The pressure of Christmas has not yet hit us and the smell of pumpkin is almost always in the air!
However, for me the very best part of this time of year is the view from my pillow. Here it is! This makes me happy!
I don't get to go through Dave's pictures too often these days. He shoots a lot….like thousands of pictures in one single day. To be honest, I can't go through them all. Plus sometimes it makes me jealous of the cool architectural places he gets to visit, while I try to temper our 20 month old's frustrations. There are many at this age. Specially when there's an older sister who you're desperately trying to keep up with. Anyway, today I saw this picture. I like it. I love it. And I think he's filming at this location at this very minute….while I sit here at home trying to squeeze the last bit of me time out of the day. I know, one day, after I've blinked, this phase of life will be long gone.
I had every intention of changing our mailbox. I think it's a major factor to the overall design of an entrance and I've loathed ours for 6 years! However, for the time being I decided to paint it instead. The mailbox decision is sort of contingent on the door decision. Since I haven't made up my mind about the door I decided to hold off on any major purchases. Plus as I started looking around I realized our current mailbox wasn't too off from what I wanted in the end. A change of color might be enough to save my wallet from continuing to empty out. Something it's done since the start of the painting. Here are some of the options I was/am contemplating: The Basic Classic: Umbra Postino Stainless Steel Mailbox Found at All Modern for $99.
The house is finally painted! We're so happy, relieved and excited to have our "new" house. With the change of colors and texture it feels like a new house. Walking in and out of our front door feels so good, kind of like when you get an amazing new haircut. We all have a spring in our step!
Here are a few before and after shots:
Here are a few other picture from the exterior. I'm not ready to take pictures of the backyard. The painters left it really messy. We had a few changes and our own clean up to do. However, I'm still cleaning debris left from the two weeks of work. The painting process is a topic for another day. I learned a lot. I would do things rather different next time and I want to share/remember my experience.
I put off doing any landscaping prior to painting. The new colors are now giving me new directions. I've started adding and moving things here and there already.
This is a favorite new angle of mine. The grey really makes the trees and greenery stand out. I can't wait for the purple flowers to bloom.
The colors of the wood and the border of the roof ended up matching. It wasn't my intent. I actually wanted the wood to be a bit more red. I wanted it kind of like rust so that it would almost look like corten steel. However, when they put the sample up I really liked how it all tied together.
A detail that makes me happy is the slatted wood at the center of our windows. They had been removed when I attempted to fix it all myself. For almost four years it was an awful hole. Now it's back to its prime Mid Century self again!
I absolutely love the contrast of the flowers and plants against the grey and dark brown now. The house colors made the entire garden really stand out instead of blend away. I just love it!
I just read this article on Remodelista and it made me feel like we're ahead of the hip curve. There's a whole back story to our fireplace. You can read about right here. I was going to have it redone soon but none of us here at home are ready to let go of our art just yet. P loves to tell people when they come over that she's allowed to draw on our wall and in fact they can do it to. But no one dares....
The art work is actually not complete. My idea is missing one major element. After reading the article I think I'll have P finish what we started. The finishing touch involves her using a can of black spray paint. I won't tell Dave the plan. I'll let him come home to it finished. He might have a heart attack if he knows what's in store!
The paint job spurred a few projects. If you're going to go through the effort of painting you may as well do it ALL right. Our side gate didn't get redone when we did the fencing around the house. The rest of our property has a stylish horizontal fence but the gate continued with the old vertical wood. I decided to take this project on myself. To be honest it took me 3 days to get it done but it took about 2 days of juggling to get materials and the gumption to use a circular saw. Well, I also must say that I needed to juggle the nanny and push off all other appointments (dentist) and needs (sitting at Pete's enjoying a good book and quality me time) to make time to build a gate. It's not so easy for us stay at home moms. Plus, we have a mess all around the house because of all the work. I couldn't find things like my protective eye gear, working gloves or wood screws so easily. I ended up buying new wood screws. It's these stupid, redundant purchases that hike up the cost of projects. I hate buying anything twice. But in the essence of time I had to do what I had to do.
This past week I was finally ready: tools in hand, measurements done, nanny set and so I tackled the gate door. I ended up asking our painter how to use the circular saw and I saw the look of fear on his face. He did the cuts for me...out of pity, out of fear. I lied and told him I had less pieces to cut than what I actually did so I could cut some wood myself. I do have pride you know. And let me tell you it was the best feeling ever. I still fear the saw like nobody's business but at the time I grabbed the bull by the horns and did it! As P says "easy peasy lemon squeezee"!
I started out the project having peaceful time to myself as Dave took the girls to school. I got as far as making all the cuts before he returned with Gemma. He gave me another hour but I knew he had to be at work so I felt under the gun. I hate working under a time constraint...specially when doing something new. I make careless mistakes. But I did manage to get one of those anti-sagging tension things on the back side of the gate and 5 boards up before he came out and said I had another 15 minutes. I got a another two boards up.
The real juggle began as I continued putting boards up while tending to 18 month old Gemma. She doesn't wander off but she does want to do EVERYTHING I'm doing. She was incredibly helpful; she passed me screws and held the opposite side of each board as I screwed it in. She was incredibly unhelpful; she dumped out multiple boxes of screws into one giant pile and moved the drill bits around in the mud. But through it all she seemed to have fun and like my dad taught me, building is not just for the dudes. She is becoming comfortable with power tools. I love that!
I finished the gate in one day. Once I had all my ducks in a row it took about 2 hours. It feels so good to know that as long as we are here I can say "I built my own gate". I will look at that gate everyday and know I did that! It's a great feeling.
One of the painters cracked me up. He came over to tell me the gate looked good. And then he said "I didn't think you were really going to do it. You've been walking around that wood for days just looking at it but not touching it!" I told him I had to face my fear of the saw and do something with the kid. We laughed.
The pictures here will give you a little sneak peak into the new color scheme of the house. As of today the house is basically done. There are a few details....important details that will get finished next Saturday. I also have a huge trek ahead of me to clean up, throw away and reorganize things outside. And then and only then will I take pictures!
Our house is finally getting painted. It's been a long project in the works, from thinking about it, selecting colors, saving for it and finding the right man for the job. Every time were ready something else of the utmost importance popped up. We had insulation put in back in May (where the holes came from). At the time we didn't have money to paint so for four months we lived in a polka dotted house. Funny....not so funny.
We loathed the texture and color of the house since the day we moved in. We should have had it painted from the start but we had grand plans for construction and add on space. Our eyes were bigger than our wallets. Our plans of what to do have also changed in the six years since we've been here. The first thing to do had to be the paint and texture. My soul was hurting every time I came home.
During one of it's previous flips, the house had gotten a horrendous coat of stucco. It would have looked like a frosted wedding cake if it was white. Fortunately, the brilliant fools who redid the property didn't know how to apply stucco. It was falling off in sheets on just about every wall. You can really see it on the picture below. The dark part is the old stucco. Unfortunately, the entire house wasn't done the same way. The windows were not flush to the exterior walls so they grated the difference down with cement. Cement was also used in other places to make up for bad architecture.
Fortunately for us, our painter Martin knew how to make it all right. He is in the picture below with Dave discussing all our house issues. We found Martin from a friend who is a prop master with the most equisite taste and amazing craftsmanship. I need to post pictures of the house he redid. It's just amazing. So, if anyone is good enough for Sebastian then they are good enough for me.
My inspiration for the new colors was a house I saw on the west side. I prefer dark colors but with our summer heat it's not ideal. This color scheme could work because of the white and dark used. Perfect for our form and needed function.
Another thing that bothered me about our original color scheme was the lack of contrast. In the back yard specially, I felt I looked out into a sea of hot stone. The fence and floor are essentially the same color. In the summer all I feel is heat. The wood fence needed to get restained as well and a good contrast is what I wanted.
Over the last six years I have strategically taken pictures so as to frame out the really awful parts of the house. I couldn't always do it but I know I never fully revealed the awfulness of how we were living. But now that the end was in sight I took many pictures to document the before. Here they are. And the after is soon to come!
Within the first month of Dave and I dating we decided to go to India together. Actually, it wasn't just the two of us. The trip was in the works when we met. My mom and I had already decided we wanted to go and when I went on my first date with Dave he sort of invited himself along. A week later we were at the airport buying tickets for the three of us. How nuts is that? You start a relationship and right off the bat you go to a foreign country, not just with the person, but with their mother!!! I think we're nuts now but I thought it was pretty normal at the time.
Anyway, on our trip we bought a lot of textiles. They have such fabulous colors and fabrics in India. I stored most of these things and had forgotten all about them. Last week while searching for old curtains from my old apartment, I came across my box of Indian fabrics. I found these pillow cases that I loved at the time and love even more now!
The girls build forts and bunkers. Part of the process includes gathering every single pillow in the house. It's all fantastic except for when they use the pillow I sleep on. I don't really love my sleepy pillow getting sat on...and sometimes farted on. So, my latest goal has been to get the kids more play pillows. Finding the pillow cases from India was serendipitous!
Look at these amazing prints! I vividly remember buying these cases or shams. We weren't in a shop. In fact, at this point on our trip we were still flying solo without a guide. We ended up in a sort of abandoned factory or something and a man on a rooftop had mountains of fabric remnants. Almost all the pillow cases had an imperfection. But even the good ones had a vintage allure to them. I think I bought the three for a dollar a piece!
I also vividly remember thinking that the shams would be perfect in my future daughter's room. So, when Gemma got onto P's bed and started reading to her doll I almost cried. There was my vision come true. It's all a bit surreal.
In recent pictures it's pretty evident our house needs to get painted. In person it's been evident for about 5 years now and definitely for the last 3. Three years ago I fixed the wood on the south side windows and beams. I planned on painting the frames and then the house. My dad got very sick and passed away three years ago. I remember working hard to varnish and protect the wood before I left for Florida. It was January, the rainy season was hitting hard and I wanted, at the very least, to keep the wood from rotting. My dad passed away on that visit. When I got back the last thing I thought about was painting. It's all stayed the same since. There's been a number of pregnancies and miscarriages in these last three years. I feared being around any kind of paint fumes. Then we were blessed to have Gemma, who is happy and healthy thank God. Painting again has been the last of my worries. However, with the installation of insulation...that's a mouthful, we're now at the point of no return. We need to have the house painted! I've started getting estimates. Everyone has a different opinion about what the house needs. Plaster, stucco, some sort of latex covering, sand blast, take it down to the studs, etc. etc. There's definitely more than one way to skin a cat. There's a few things on my mind with this job. One is our budget. Two, is that no matter how much stucco or glue or plaster you use on these houses they all crack. This neighborhood is built on basically a sand foundation. Every single house in this hood has cracks. Big ones. Doors open in one season and get suck in another. Sounds awful right? Well, the flip side is that when the earthquakes hit these houses have minimal damage. They shift and handle the movement. So, I'll take the cracks over big damage. Everyone suggest fixing the cracks but it's not a big thing for me. In fact, I consider it money down the drain. Anyway, I have a few ideas on the colors. It has to be a light colored house. Our summers are God-awful. I don't want a color that soaks in the heat, although I really wanted a dark brown. Also, the window frames are white. We can't change their color or the color of the roof and the lip that comes down off of it. The roof is a dark brown. I'm also taking into consideration the wood element all around our house. I'm not sure I can afford to do the fence as well as the house at this point but I hope to have the whole house looking super spiffy in a year's time. So the pictures here are some reference ideas of what I want. I have a vision in my mind. Lets see how well it executes!