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Monday, January 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

I'm excited to make someone's Monday great!
The lucky winner of my Graphic Image Giveaway is......

Thanks to everyone who participated!
Thursday, January 26, 2012


While browsing Pottery Barn to source items for a client project, I came across a great deal for our place!

Since we recently finished siding our house, I've been on the hunt for new house numbers.

Well, the search is over.

Pottery Barn Stencil House Numbers
Isn't the cut-out design fun? At $3.99 a piece and free shipping, it wasn't too difficult to get the husband's approval!

They also come in satin nickel, but I think the dark finish will be a nice contrast against our grey siding.

Now I'll need to do something about the sad little mailbox still propped up against the house!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Graphic Image Giveaway! Today is the last day, I'll be announcing the winner on Monday! ENTER HERE
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bolster Pillows

I'm pretty sure Cameron would be "thrilled" if I caught on to the idea of bolster pillows, seeing as he's already less-than-excited about all my decorative pillows! My arguments that they add color, pattern and texture so far have fallen on deaf ears.

But this shot from a Southern Living magazine just won't leave my head. Bolsters are definitely on my list of items to sew as soon as we start decorating our house.

Southern Living
Look at the the impact a single, large pillow has.

Little Green Notebook
Do you care for this look? Or do you prefer the mix of a couple pillows?

P.S. If you haven't already, make sure to enter my Graphic Image Giveaway this week!! ENTER HERE
Monday, January 23, 2012


You could say it's an addiction. My rapidly growing collection of chairs is almost getting out of hand. Just ask Cameron how many bentwood chairs are stacked in our basement, waiting to be repaired. They are housed beside my upholstery projects, my fiberglass Eames chairs, on.

Well, I just added two more chairs!

It's just too difficult to walk away from a well designed chair. Especially if it's a good deal or free, say, from the curb or dumpster!

I picked these up from Goodwill on Friday. Yes, I braved the cold and snow to do some thrifting! At $12.38 (not $12.50 or $12.99), they were a pretty good deal.  And, they're in awesome condition! I could leave the upholstery as its, but grey tweed + bamboo? Not the best mix.

I'm crazy about the shape of these chairs and that I found them as a pair. I have yet to decide where they'll go and whether or not I'll paint them when I reupholster them.

In the mean time, a few images of bamboo furniture done right!

All images via Pinterest

Leave them natural or hit them with a can of spray paint? What's your preference?

Speaking of painting furniture, check out this post HERE by Emily.  Apparently, some think this "trend" needs to be over.

P.S. If you haven't already, make sure to enter my Graphic Image Giveaway this week!! ENTER HERE
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Graphic Image Giveaway

Friends, January is a great time for a giveaway. And I'm so excited about what I’m about to share!

You may remember I was a lucky winner of some stunning Graphic Image loot that I showed you in this post. 

My new guest book is gorgeous, and I am excited for our drywall dust to be swept away for good so that we can get back into entertaining mode. The mini notebook is a fun way to keep my lists organized!

Graphic Image has been fabulous to work with every step of the way and has generously offered my readers the chance to win either a Guest Book or a 2012 Desk Diary along with a pen to match!

If you’re a reader, you could be a winner, and you’ll even get to choose your own color. (I think that might be the toughest task: Graphic Image offers so many hues to love!)

Also, for one month from this date (until February 20, 2012), my readers will recieve a discount of 20% on their purchases from Graphic Image by using the code SWOON at the checkout. Treat yourself or a friend!

To enter my Graphic Image Giveaway:
  1. Visit Graphic Image HERE and leave a comment on this post telling me what color Guestbook or Diary is your favorite.
  2. For a second entry, "like" Graphic Image on Facebook and leave another comment telling me you did so.
  3. Three’s a charm! For a third entry, share this Giveaway through your blog, Facebook page or Twitter and let me know you did in a comment.

Giveaway is open from now until Friday, January 27, 2012.  Will ship anywhere in the USA or Canada.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Speaking of new doors....I am dying to try this out.  Who doesn't love an unexpected pop of color?



Looks like an easy and inexpensive DIY project to me!
Now how do I convince Cameron?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Keeping it real

When I posted about our new kitchen, I mentioned being a little embarrased about the "before"  pictures. Well, here's something else that is a tad embarrassing...there is not a single door to be found in our house, and it's been that way for 4 years now.

For a measure of privacy, we've hung old blankets over the doorways.

Attractive, I know. So why do I bring this up now?

Well, for one, I realized that I need to get over being embarrassed about how our house looks "in progress" and be brave about sharing the not-so-glamorous side of renovating.

But here's the real reason: Cameron surprised me this past weekend and ordered all the doors for our house! Real doors. The kind that open and close!

On order: molded two panel solid core doors by Jeldwen. (Thanks, Home Depot, for putting them on sale!) I think they suit the style for our old house, while still working with the clean, modern look we prefer. They'll come primed and ready for us to paint in a deep, dark shade similar to our kitchen's lower cabinets. It may be a while before we have new hardware, but I'm hoping to find a simple lever style that's affordable. Who knew hardware can be so expensive?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Weekend projects

Happy Monday!

Here's a recap of our weekend. While Cameron was adding a second coat of mud to the closet I mentioned HERE, I started scraping away at the stairs. 

They're covered in pretty thick layers of paint and varnish which means I got well acquainted with my heat gun and a knife. What a messy, tedious job!

One thing led to another, and we just decided to tackle the whole area!

This house has had mutliple owners (it has been around since 1890!), so it's easy to spot where they've tried to fix or improve things and sometimes (usually!) made it worse.

This is the trim in the stairwell, the view coming down the stairs.  It's a little chewed up. You may also notice that the ceiling is now lower then the trim. That's due to a few layers of lath, plaster and drywall.

Cameron came up with a good solution and cut back the top layer of drywall where he screwed in a bevelled piece of trim that he can blend in with mud.
Does that make any sense? Likely not. Maybe some pictures will help.

Drywall cut back a few inches.

Trim piece added.

First layer of mud.
There's still plenty of scraping and sanding still to do, but the grand plan is to paint the tread and risers, leaving the banister its natural color. It's made from black walnut and is original to the house, which makes it over 100 years old! After the stairs are done and the ceiling and trim is repaired, we are going to start painting the walls! I've been looking at white primer for way too long, so I can hardly wait to pick out colors!
Friday, January 06, 2012

Guest book tradition

Growing up, my parents did a ton of entertaining and we often had guests at our house. I remember that we'd always pull out our guestbook after a meal or before they would leave so our visitors could sign it. As kids we loved to see what our friends would write. Now, years later we still look through our family guestbook and reminisce about visits and good times we shared. The book is full of memories, jokes, puns, riddles, etc! If you've never had a guestbook, it's something worth having in your home!

Just before Christmas I won a giveaway on Janell's blog, and chose this guestbook (and a little notebook) from the company Graphic Image

I am so impressed with the quality of these products. This book is their metallic leather (it comes in a few other colors too), it's soft and has a pretty sheen to it. 

They'll even personalize their products for you!

I'm excited to start using it, although with a house under construction, we're somewhat limited when it comes to entertaining!

Here's the notebook.

I'm always making lists, so it's fun to have this tiny notebook just for that! And, it's the perfect size to keep in my always-packed diaper bag!

What do you think about keeping a guestbook in your home? Too "old fashioned" or is it something you do already?
Thursday, January 05, 2012

Closet space

I think everyone has one of those rooms, or at least a spot in their house where stuff just gets tossed and piles grow.  Ours is the little closet under our stairs. 

What a mess! I'm pulling everything out today so we can finish mudding and make it into usable space.

I wish it were a little larger so I could try to convince Cam to turn it into something like this:

Via Little Green Notebook (my fav. house tour!)
As fun as a little tucked-in playroom would be, we need as much storage as possible, so I've been digging around the web looking for organizing ideas to use.  A few I like:



Just some random ideas for now. Anything would be better than the state it is in right now!
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A recap

After about two weeks off spent with family and friends over the holidays, it's time I get back to blogging. I do love this time of year, post-holiday-bustle, to start fresh, set new goals and look forward to what the new year has in store.

Looking back on 2011, we (with help from friends and family) managed to conquer more than one giant on this house renovation of ours. Here's a recap for you.

In March, my brother Phil came and hung drywall throughout our addition (view that post HERE). My in-laws helped us mud and tape it all. This put our basement, dining room, master bedroom and laundry room a step closer to being finished. We went from this:

To this:

And back to this:

That's how things happen around here! Actually, Cam spent the last few days cleaning it up so we can finish sanding and get ready to prime.

Then, after waiting for what seemed like forever, we got ourselves a real kitchen!

From this:

To this...

To this!!!

While it's a far cry from being finished (note the blue tape as temporary pulls!), it's a huge improvement! Read more about our kitchen journey HERE.

Around this time, we decided to build ourselves some windows. What can I say? We love DIY!

The transom windows we built add height to the walls and a ton of light to the rooms.  Here's what they look like from the outside:

(We also added the window near the roof peak so we can turn the "attic" space into a bedroom. More on that soon!)

Once the transom windows were built and installed (details HERE if you'd like), we started pulling off old siding and replaced it with new engineered wood siding and trim.

Cameron installed a new front door and built an overhang above it, along with a pergola over the front window to diffuse the bright sunlight that comes through in the afternoon.

Somewhere in the midst of these house projects, Cameron managed to completely restore a car. (Since we weren't busy enough?!)

Last, but not least...we wrapped up our summer by bringing home our first child! He's the best addition to our home for sure!

What a busy but productive year! The list of things to do is still pretty long. I look forward to sharing as we continue to work on projects this year!