31 October 2011

we see the light at last

Would you ever in a million years think that something that looks like this...

would arrive at your house looking like this?

After a loooooooong wait in even receiving it (ordered via Fab.com, just in case you'd like to let my cautionary tale influence your future buying decisions), we waited even longer to tackle putting our new David Trubridge pendant light together because it was all a little intimidating.

The goal, of course, would make it all worth it, helping us get a little closer to our new dining room vision...

And thankfully, having Mark's parents around finally gave us the guts to put the light together.

Time for a family light assembly party. We totally know how to throw down.

The minimal directions were pretty confusing, but eventually we got the hang of it, though with sore thumbs from pushing little plastic pins through about a hundred little bamboo stick figures. It kinda reminded us of the Death Star, though our light is far from a fully operational battle station.

No less than an hour in (equivalent to four person hours), success!

And now the first of many big changes in the dining room is in place. A couple more are done too, and I'll tell you all about them later this week!

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13 October 2011

you know you live in the sticks when...

... your driveway is blocked by sticks. Well, okay, logs. Split logs. For making fire. Without which you would quickly turn into an icicle.

In case you have ever wondered, this is what three cords of wood looks like. Or at least what three cords of wood looks like right after the dump truck that brought it pulls away.

So, yep, this is how we're heating our house this winter. (Though, thankfully, we also have a gas furnace. But turns out that utilities are way more expensive in rural areas -- who knew! So even though firewood is pricey, it's a better deal than heating the house with gas. Crazy.)

But as for that big pile that's preventing us from using the garage, all I can say is thank goodness for parents and in-laws.

That's right. We're slave drivers. Just kidding. We're not. They insisted on helping. And now the lawn is neat and tidy, just in time to get buried with feet and feet of snow. But we'll be thankful in the spring that we didn't leave all of those pine needles and pine cones down.

Now where did I put that magic wand that will make the wood stack itself?

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10 October 2011

musical chairs in the great room

I've never been particularly known for my patience. It's just not a virtue that comes naturally to me. But I'm working on it.

Though I nod in vigorous agreement when I read decorators and fellow bloggers espouse the value of decorating your home over time, and not rushing to buy everything just to fill it up, when faced with a fairly empty home, I practically scream, "Let's get it finished already!!!"

So that's why I haven't posted any photos of our "great room" until now, and it's an act of great patience and discipline to do it. You see, virtually everything in the great room is currently a stand in. Here's how it all began, and where it's heading...

At the final walk-thru (above). Green walls, burgundy shades on the chandelier, and no furniture.

Move-in day, with boxes everywhere, and not enough furniture to make the room cozy.

Enter my old flip-open Ikea dining table, circa 2001, with a set of four Danish modern chairs I scored at the Rose Bowl flea market for $100 (total, not each... I tell ya, I'm getting way better at this flea market thing). The chairs will get some new upholstery and a little touch-up oil soon.

Getting the Danish chairs means that wishbone chairs won't be a part of our future, at least not right now. So nix those from the mood board I posted about here.

Also, that table, the gorgeous Big Sur from Crate and Barrel, is a little too pricey for us. So we'll be getting an unfinished farmhouse style extension table soon, and then we'll have lots of room to host Thanksgiving dinner.

As for that light, it FINALLY arrived (only 6 weeks after ordering it), it's crazy complicated to assemble, and I'll show you all about it in a future post.

Next up, dealing with that chandelier, since we had to have something tolerable in the meantime.

Those shades had to go.

Fortunately, they were easy to pop off. Much better. (Hint: You may see that chandelier again, after a little spray paint, in our bedroom, which is badly in need of a new fixture.)

So that left us with a very livable dining area, but a sad and bare "living room" space around the wood stove. We have a sleeper loveseat on order, and it will be here any day now, but we'd need something comfy in the meantime.

Time for a game of musical chairs!

Remember those brown leather chairs from up in the family room?

They're now residing next to the wood stove, and the futon is serving as a temporary couch in the family room. The "coffee table" (above) is borrowed from the guest room, where it is the desk chair and supplemental storage.

This is definitely a "use what you have" moment. But we just wish it didn't require schlepping furniture up and down stairs in order to rearrange.

Because I can't help myself, we've also hung a few things on the walls.

These letterpress prints of rock climbing gear are my favorite, made by Michelle at Quail Lane Press on Etsy. We've bought lots of her stuff to hang around the house. (And she's super nice and packs things really well to boot!)

The glare makes it a little tough to see, but that's another one of Michelle's gorgeous prints, of the gondola at Squaw Valley. A woman after my heart. Her piece de resistance is this amazing hand-drawn letterpress map of Lake Tahoe that will soon get a prominent wall location upstairs. Stay tuned!

So even though it's not where I'd like it to be, the great room, if not yet great, is at least getting good. But there are a lot of changes in store, like:

  • The walls will soon go from green to Benjamin Moore "Swiss Coffee" (matched to Olympic no-VOC, of course).
  • The area by the wood stove will soon get a fantastic secondhand midcentury modern chair that's currently being held hostage at the consignment store until we can find a vehicle big enough to fit it, and the new mini loveseat will be arriving soon.
  • The dining area will get the big new table, as soon as we can pick it up (same problem as the secondhand chair), and the fab new light fixture.

And once all that stuff happens, you know I'll tell you all about it. Because it's not like I can keep it to myself.

How have you coped with "in between" home decor? Have you found creative ways to repurpose pieces from around your home, to avoid new purchases? Please tell us all about it!

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05 October 2011

guest post: modern ski lodge interiors

For lots of us, fall is definitely in the air. Anybody else craving a little more coziness in your home? Something that transports you into an apres-ski vibe, even if you don't ski? It's chilly and raining here today, and it makes me want to curl up on a big sofa in front of a roaring fire, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, sipping hot cider. I'm craving some ski lodge comfort.

Enter Susi from Design Shuffle, our guest poster today, who's going to share some ideas for getting a cozy ski lodge vibe in your own home, no matter how humble a space it may be. While guest posts can be fun and super informative, I'm not about to hand the reins over to just anybody. So when the folks at Design Shuffle approached me about sharing some ski lodge-style interiors, I had to check them out first. I'll let Susi tell you more about Design Shuffle, but I signed up (find my profile and link up here), and found it a pretty solid resource. So far the pictures seem to come mostly from interior designers' portfolios, but if you frequent the same sites I frequent, you already see tons of DIY decor ideas and on-a-budget updates, and so a few high-end inspiration photos might be a welcome change. For fun, if nothing else. (Full disclosure: I'm not getting perked for saying that.)

So even if you can't curl up by a roaring fire, at least you can enjoy a little cozy eye-candy today, with some definite practical ideas (Hermes throw notwithstanding). Take it away, Susi...

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Hi I’m Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a fabulous social media site where design lovers and design professionals can network, share projects and find inspiration. There are tens of thousands of images to browse through for inspiration. For inspiration, I love visiting blogs like Postmodern Hostess, to see what creative projects everyone is doing. I'm excited to be guest blogging about great modern ski lodge interior design. These aren't the old school ski lodges of the past. Modern ski lodge interiors will inspire charming, cozy design for your home. Let's take a look...

Interior Design 

Modern ski lodge interiors are as cozy as traditional lodge interiors, but less about skiing and more about cool lodge style. Cozy throws, like this one from Hermes, artfully displayed firewood and natural wood furnishings can all give a lodge style to any room.

Interior Design 

This living room is at the Fjall Ski Lodge at Falls Creek. Lodge style that you can incorporate into your own space includes antlers and cozy fabrics. Antler chandeliers or wall mounted antlers definitely have a lodge feel.

Interior Design 

Warm woods of lodge interiors look great paired with earth tones and creamy whites. Antlers make great lodge style accessories.

Interior Design 

Based on Scandinavian and mid-century design, this contemporary ski lodge dining room is all about pale colors and sleek lines. Introduce pale woods, reclaimed wood and pale grey to get this look.

Interior Design 

This super contemporary ski lodge bedroom design, from the White Pods resort in Switzerland, has some great lodge design elements that could be transferred to a more traditional room. Faux fur throws and pillows add a luxurious lodge style to a room.

Interior Design 

Modern ski lodge style is about playing with the classic patterns and colors of traditional ski lodges. Using Western inspired textiles in unexpected ways makes them feel more modern.

Interior Design 

Modern mountain style, including ski lodge, is an eclectic mix of styles; tartans mix with sheepskin; leathers mix with wools.

Interior Design 

Even more traditional ski lodge interior designs have modern touches that can translate into your home. Love the birch bark furniture and natural stone? Use these to inspire pattern and palette. If you are craving more interior design inspiration, check out Design Shuffle, where you can connect with interior designers around the world, including San Francisco interior designers and Boston interior designers!

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Thanks, Susi! That second photo, which I've had pinned on Pinterest for a while, always makes me drool. So gorgeous. Also, though all those antlers seem a smidge morbid, I've recently learned from some of the antique dealers at the flea markets I frequent that plenty of antlers are harvested "sustainably" (i.e. without killing anything). You have to ask, but most antlers are cruelty-free. That makes me feel a whole lot better about them, and even makes me think they could make an appearance in our house.

What are you doing to make your space more cozy and ready for chillier temps? What are your favorite tricks for making your home a comfy, cozy place?

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