Saturday, January 29, 2011

Design Inspiration

Well the exciting news is that we are closing in less than two weeks! The not so exciting news is that we still have a ton of paperwork to do. We need to get our final insurance paperwork finished (we're planning to do that today) and now that the loan is out of initial underwriting they are requesting more documents that we have to scrape together. *sigh*

To keep myself entertained and excited about home buying I'm doing a post on interior design inspiration. I've been slowly collecting images of interior design that inspire me and embody the feel I want in my own home. I would love to be at the point where I can start making deliberate design decisions and not just using whatever is laying around and our new house is a chance to do that. Interior design for me is a balance of things that have personal meaning to you, things that are functional and things that you picked out specifically for their design. Somehow it all seems to come together. I am a pretty sentimental person and I'm a big fan of having items that were gifted to me proudly displayed on my mantel. In the new house I want to continue this and also add some design touches that I choose because they will help me give the room the vibe I want it to have.

So, with that in mind, I'm collecting images that give me that warm fuzzy feeling in the hopes that I can create a similar feeling in my own home very soon.

Things I love about this room include the amazing roof, the guitar in the corner, the pendant light and the colorful blanket on the bed.
Here's another one with a guitar, maybe it's because of the house I grew up in but something about having musical instruments out and accessible just makes a place feel warm and inviting. Any trip to my parents house always involves either guitar strumming or a drum circle or some kind of impromptu jam session at some point in the evening. I also love the tree imagery in this room and the contrast between warm and cool. 
Love this dining room, the lamp is exactly what I want in our dining room. I like the distressed look of the table too but the style of furniture is not quite as modern as I would want to go.

Now this is a table that is rustic and modern, just the way I like it. Eric and I want to get a big long table with benches like this some day when we have a mess of kids :-)

On this one I love the gray wall color of course and the industrial light fixtures are to die for. The ladder as an umbrella hook is also a cool idea and because I am a photographer part time I am definitely drawn in by the camera and tripod sitting in the entryway.

Oh wow, love this room! While it is much more industrial feeling than our house it reminds me of it because of the wall of windows (which I think was the reason I feel madly in love with our house to begin with). I showed Eric this picture and we both loved all the plants and how fresh it made the room feel. We have big plans to incorporate plants in the interior of our house. 
Love the wall color and the shelving in the corner. This is from the same house as the picture above.

And same house again, I am so in love with this place. More gorgeous plants, gray walls and beautiful hardwood floors. I am also pretty smitten with that coffee table.
So that is it for now, just doing a little daydreaming about what our house will look like one day. Maybe this will give my readers a clearer vision of what I mean by rustic modern. I will most likely continue to collect images of spaces I love and share them here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Love Atlanta

This is a little off topic but it's something I've been thinking about since last weekend. Last Sunday Eric and I took a little hiking trip up at Vickery Creek in Roswell, GA. I like a trail that has some kind of payoff, either a scenic overlook or some kind historical significance. This trail fits the bill on both counts and it runs right along the Chattahoochee river which make it another win in my book since I love trails that go along water. At the end of the trail you get to see some cool mill ruins that date back to the Civil War and you find yourself almost in the middle of downtown Roswell. After the hike we headed over to Swallow at the Hollow for a yummy BBQ lunch including fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. As we were digging in to our delicious lunches I got to thinking about how much I love Georgia, specifically the Atlanta area. It's the perfect mix of Rustic and Modern with Southern tradition and the cultural opportunities that come with any big metropolitan city. It's a place where scenic hiking trails and rustic Southern cooking live not 20 minutes away from world class restaurants and museums. I love that I get to have the best of both worlds here. Every time I think of moving I stop and ask myself if there is any other place I know of that can offer me what Atlanta can, the answer always comes back no and I couldn't be happier to be staying put in the place a I grew up in. I love you Atlanta! Don't ever Change!

Just a few pics from our hiking trip to Vickery Creek

Eric on the snowy trail

Photo courtesy of Eric :-)

The Chattahoochee

Us on the covered bridge near the end of the trail

Covered bridge

Eric enjoying some BBQ wings at Swallow at the Hollow

Fried Green Tomatoes, just another thing to love about the South

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lighting Plans

No real news on the the actual purchasing of our house as of right now. The loan company is working on doing their thing and we are still working on getting our insurance squared away. So for the time being I will continue to post about my plans for the new house. In this post I'm focusing on my lighting plans and we finally get to see a bit of my modern/industrial tastes.

I think lighting plays a huge part in how a room looks and feels. I've always been a big fan of natural light which this house has plenty of. However we will need something to light up the rooms after the sun goes down so lighting fixtures deserve some thought and consideration. I've been trying to notice the lighting in spaces that I am attracted to and take note for when we start replacing lighting in the house. I've already drawn quite a few conclusions about the kind of lighting I want in each particular space.

First of all, lets talk about the dining room chandelier. This is a space you can see right when you walk in the door, it's kind of like a first impression so I wanted it to be perfect. The current chandelier is a retro, smokey glass number with a gold mounting. I really wavered on whether I loved this thing or hated it. Is it cool and retro or out of date and tacky? Finally I have completely made up my mind to chuck it. Even though there are things I kind of like about it it really doesn't fit our style or the vision we have for the house. 

After researching lighting online like crazy I've pretty much got my heart set on something like this for over the dining room table,

It's simple, clean, industrial and modern. You can find fixtures like this at some fancy home decor places for some pretty high prices but this particular model is available at Home Depot for all of $30. Yay for cheap stuff that fits in to exactly what I want!

The next lighting area I considered was the kitchen. This is the current fixture,

There's something about this one I kinda like, I think we will keep it around for a while and see how I feel later on.

An area that really needs attention is the hallway where there is currently a bare bulb hanging out of the ceiling.

With this one I have to be a little picky because I can't have anything that hangs too low. Eric is 6'5" and anything that protrudes from the ceiling too much will mean he will be hitting his head on it constantly. I'm thinking of going for something simple here. Maybe something like this,

                                                                             Or this,

The first of these is another cheapy from Home Depot and the second is from a more expensive company that I absolutely love called Barn Light Electric. Which one of these I get will probably depend on how poor I am feeling by the time we get around to replacing this light fixture, we'll see.

The last fixture that I plan to replace in the near future is the light on the back porch. You can see the bare bulb hanging out on the left in this picture,

For this setting I am seriously in love with this mason jar fixture by an etsy shop called Lamp Goods

I also found this super cheap alternative that has a similar feel at Home Depot so I may be getting this one instead,

Those are all my lighting plans for right now. There are a few other fixtures that will need to be replaced eventually as well including the ones in both bathrooms and the ceiling fans in all three of the bedrooms but the stuff I mentioned above is all that I have planned out at the moment.

If anyone is interested I've been making a list of lighting comapnies that I love, here are a few links to these.

Home Depot
Lamp Goods
Barn Light Electric
Restoration Hardware

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eastern Hemlock and other plants in the new yard

Since a lot of the snow has melted now I was finally able to make out for a visit to my Parent's place this weekend, and for a visit to our house! I love going over there and just dreaming about all the stuff I want to do to it, I feel like it is home already and spending time there feels very comfortable (even though I'm not technically supposed to be there since we haven't closed yet, shh!).

I took a bunch of pictures today to use for future blog posts and for this one I thought I would talk about some of the awesome plants that are already growing in the yard. I was really excited about this one beautiful evergreen tree that is growing in the front yard but I had no idea what it was. I did a little digging with my mom and we identified it as an Eastern Hemlock. Cool! I think it is a gorgeous tree, it has a beautiful shape and color and adorable tiny pine cones. Here are some pictures of it.

Eastern Hemlock in our front yard

Close up of the needles and cones, so cute!

I also snapped some photos of the other plants in the front yard, I love that we have some great older plants such as well established holly bushes and a huge Magnolia tree!

Big, gorgeous Magnolia tree. There is something just so delightfully Southern about having a large Magnolia in your front yard.

Holly bushes in the front garden all around the mail box. Should make for great future holiday decorations.

Mail box with holly bushes and some spiky plants that I have no idea what they are.

Crepe Myrtle, I can't wait to find out what color it is :-)

Maybe some day I will get around to exploring the back yard, although I'm pretty sure it has been left relatively untouched since it is mostly natural and wooded. Being the tree lovers that we are however, we plan to plant even more trees in the back once we move in :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

House Update

We just got an email from our loan company and they informed us that the loan is out of the initial underwriting and the processor has it now and is working on it. Also the title report came back late Friday evening. I had no idea what this meant so I asked my mom and she sent me this helpful explanation of the loan process mortgage process flow

It looks like we are about to step 4 in this process, final loan approval. Everything has been slowed down a bit due to the snow but I was excited to get this email and know that we are one step closer to owning our own home! I spent my snow days working on a painting project that will one day hang over our fireplace and dreaming of what our house looks like in the snow. My parents took some pictures for me, doesn't it look lovely all covered in white?

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Woodsy" Design Elements

My interior design tastes have gone through a lot of changes over the years. I went through my poster decorating phase in high school. In college I continued with posters but moved on to more sophisticated versions such as reproductions of Japanese wood block prints and surrealist photographs. When i got my first apartment I started making more conscious design decisions and went through an Asian decorating phase.

When you get married or move in with a partner you take on a whole new decorating challenge. You have to create a space that merges your two styles and becomes not overtly feminine or masculine, something that maintains a bit of gender neutrality while still reflecting who you are as a couple and as individuals. I always think seeing how couples decorate and combine their households is really interesting, and when I got married I was excited to give it a try with Eric. In the end it is all about finding the common ground, what design elements do you both love? For us it came down to natural materials, specifically wood.

If you've ever been to mine and Eric's house (our current rental that is) you probably will have noticed that we like things that are made out of wood, things that have a tree motif, or things that remind us of the woods and/or being outdoors. We plan to continue this trend in the new house and even amp it up a little bit. Playing off our house's exposed wood beams and trim and emphasizing the "cabin in the woods" feel that we love so much will be a priority. We also plan to infuse things with a bit of industrial modernism but for this post I am focusing on the "woodsy" elements.

To start with here are some woods and camping inspired products that I am craving from etsy

 Tree Slice candle stand braggingbags Rustic wood floating shelf wrenwoods Smokey the Bear Note Cards EmsOddsAndEnds Tree Bark Ring MarcusBerknerJewelry Feather desk Lamp portrhombus Campfire Pillow maverickjune Tree Pillow Cases MARIESCOSYCUSHIONS

As I was lusting after all of these woods inspired home items I decided to take a look around at what we already have and I realized we are well on our way to creating the cozy cabin feeling we want in our new house by virtue of already owning a lot of natural wood items and woods inspired accessories. I took some pictures of some of our very own woodsy design elements and here they are.

Wood kitchen items all gifted to us by friends and family, we love natural wood grain!

Our wooden cooking utensil collection

Vintage camping inspired TV tray my parents got for us

A painting I did in 2007 inspired by a hiking trip to the North GA mountains

Branches shower curtain given to us by good friends Susie and Richie for our wedding

Woodsy bedroom curtains from Ikea

Natural wood shelf Eric picked up at a thrift store, perfect for storing my painting mediums!

Tree wallet I got Eric for Christmas, not exactly a home accessory but it fits the design theme

 Surrounding myself with things that remind me of the woods makes me feel pretty good inside, like I am going on vacation to the mountains. I can't wait to put all these things to good use in our new space where I think they will fit in very well.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dresser Redo

Things are moving right along in the buying process for our new house. We turned in all our loan paperwork this week and hope to have all of that resolved and the loan in place very soon. We also recently found out that the appraisal went very well so we are good to go on purchasing home owners insurance. This is all great news as we are slowly getting closer and closer to our closing date.

Here is a little before and after post about a dresser that was a hand me down from my parents. I don't remember where it originally came from, I just know that it was used when we got it and that it used to belong to my brother. It's a cute little dresser but badly needed a fresh coat of paint and some updated hardware and I finally got around to making some changes to it this weekend.

Before picture of the dresser, it's a little dinged up and pretty horribly cluttered on top too.

Before detail of the old hardware.

When deciding how to redo the dresser I kept in mind the color scheme and style that Eric and I have been talking about for the bedroom in our new house. As I mentioned before, my current color fascination is for everything gray. We have decided that we want to paint the master bedroom in the new house dark gray and the adjoining bathroom light gray. We want the new bedroom to be different shades of blue and gray with some red elements as an accent color. With all this in mind I decided to paint the dresser a light gray color and add some red accent pieces to it. Here is the result...

After- painted a light gray and updated hardware.

I silk screened a red gazelle on the top of the dresser to add some interest. The gazelle image was inspired by art deco motifs depicting gazelles.

Detail of the new hardware.

Newly organized drawer, it will never be this nice again ;-)
This drawer reorganization was inspired by a post from apartment therapy 5 Tips for Organizizing Dresser Drawers

After picture, back in it's original space and de-cluttered a bit.

As with any project, the cats couldn't resist the urge to be a part of it. I ended up with little gray paw prints all over the floor and this cute picture of Reese "helping".

Hopefully I will have some news on the house buying front next week. Until then I will just keep posting about my interior decorating/design ideas and how they relate to the new house :-)