I am from small-town America with big town ideas. I am from anything with chocolate and nothing with vanilla. I am from picking wild strawberries as a kid in our backyard in the country. I am from knitting for everyone but myself. I am from trying new crafts and hiding their imperfections. I am from the working class where putting in extra hours is the norm. I am from scented pine cones and warm fires. I am from learning to survive in dysfunction. I am from camping and creating. I am from orchards and bodies of water. I am from old books with worn pages. I am from words on pages to electronic words.
I thought I'd give you a few updates of what we've got going on around our house. First, the stairs and entryway are coming along great! I can't wait to show you the finished project (hopefully early next week). If there is one thing I've learned about home improvements, they are never finished as quickly as I think they should be. The black finish continues to be a controversial subject among friends and family but I'm pretty certain we are going to love it when it's finished.
I saw these pictures on "Young House Love" today from a home in Charlotte owned by Matt and Kristin, who decided to paint every door in their house black. It only solidified my decision.
Image: Young House Love
Image: Young House Love
Now I am wondering if we should stencil numbers up the white face of the stairs. I'll have to wait and see.
Other than the stairs, we also have the upstairs bathroom, which has been an ongoing project. If you recall, it originally looked like this:
How gross was that?! Needless to say, we gutted the entire thing and I explained to Jason what I wanted instead: a bathroom like many of the fancy hotels bathrooms I stay in when I travel for work. You know, the kind that are entirely tiled and have clear glass showers. As usual, Jason did not disappoint. The bathroom is coming along nicely, but this project has been slow-moving. We do all of our home improvements ourselves (with the occasional help on how to do something from Kelby) and we both work full-time jobs, so that leaves us with evenings and weekends to get things done. Jason has to take breaks from the bathroom because it has been such a big job tiling the whole thing and it gets tedious at times. This works out well for me to create other projects (like the stairs and entryway!).
Here he is, busy at work.
So far, we are happy with the way things are turning out, but we worry a bit that the entire dormer that is the bathroom might just break off from the rest of the house due to the heavy weight of the tiles! This bathroom has an entirely different feel from any other room in our house.
We are also working on re-designing our spare room. No major remodeling changes, but we would like more of a cottage feel in this room, so we are changing the decor a bit. We recently bought new bedding and we are headed off to antique and junk stores again this weekend to see if we can find some cool furniture.
Other than that, we have some smaller projects like refinishing a chair, cleaning out closets and decorating our mantel that will definitely keep us both busy.
The problem is, we are always trying to think of ways to make things look even better. It's like we cannot rest unless we are re-designing, updating or decorating. The other day I decided I no longer like chair rail separating two different shades of a color. We have it in Imani's room and in the dining room and I have a really strong urge to either repaint it all one color, add beadboard half way up or rip it out and start all over. So far, I have done none of the above and I'm just dealing with it, hoping those feelings will change!
Everyone keeps asking me what Jason thinks of all of my decorating craziness. After all, he is the one who is doing the majority of the work.
I am happy to share with all of you readers that Jason is as crazy as I am about having a nice house. He is as addicted as I am to constantly updating it and making it better. In fact, he is also going to be adding an occasional blog post here and there so stay tuned! He will bring most of the "how tos" to the site (ie: how to install crown molding, how to make boxed trim, etc). Remember, before we bought our house, Jason didn't know how to do any home improvements. His knowledge was picked up by reading, trial and error and Kelby (of course).
On top of our home improvements, my friend Lori just asked me if I would help her re-design her entryway. I had to promise not to include any coffee cans (or rust for that matter), and no black stairs. Here is her entryway currently:
Lori likes more of a modern look, and she knows she wants to change the artwork on the walls and add some furniture to the entryway. She specifically said she wants some sort of black console to be included in the plan. It's exciting to plan (and spend her money), so I will be sure to post what I come up with.
My sister is also eager to have us help her out in Brooklyn, where she bought a beautiful condo a few years ago. She has been begging us to come down and install crown molding and help her reveal the original brick walls that hide behind sheet rock. I also promised her that I would be on the look out for something to use as a coffee table for her place while I am shopping this weekend. I think we definitely need to schedule a road trip for Spring!
So there you have it. We've got lots and lots going on . . . always! It's never-ending but so much fun! I'm happy to finally blog about it so I can share all of the adventure with all of you. Have a great weekend.