Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Parade of Home

Happy 8th Month-i-versary to us and our house!
Wait...that's not a thing? Well...sure it is. And the traditional gift: photos.

Ok, maybe not at all, but we had a bright sunny day earlier this month, and in a crazy stars aligning like they never, ever do twist, the house was actually kind of clean, AND the kids weren't around. Say what?! So I took advantage, and snapped my heart out for 10 minutes, capturing a little moment in time in our kinda new but not really so new home. So far I've only given video tours, so I figured this would be a nice change of pace to show some still shots without munchkins in the background (/foreground), plus it'll save you hearing my repetitive rambling  (you get to read it instead!) in which I can't remember what projects we've even done since the last tour. (If you can't resist that ringing endorsement, then by all means, check out all of our house tours.) And bonus...I even have some "befores" mixed in here. Yay for progress!

(Foy-ay if you're fancy)

Here she is:
I don't have a "before" and this is really the only "after" shot I took, but...that's about all there is to see in any case. Cabinet (which hides various extra vases/candles etc.) was a thrift find on our first weekend in Pittsburgh. Coat rack and disco ball are remnants from my window dressing days. Mirror (with a very unfortunate cracked center piece) is almost a decade old from Old Time Pottery. And if you look closely you can spot the first white ceramic animal of the tour.
OH- and that giant ruler? My handsome, obsessed with burning things, husband made that beaut. Love him. Love it. Just haven't figured out how we'll mark the kids heights on it yet.



This is the room directly to the left when you enter the house. It had beautiful French doors that were just waiting to smash my kids' beautiful American fingers, so they quickly went in storage (the doors, not my kids' hands). It was painted a deep, deep red, and had a traditional brass chandelier. The previous owners were using it as an office, but alternatively it could probably be a dining room. Thankfully we have a very large eat in kitchen, and when we do work from home, it's from the couch, so this space was free to use for the kiddos. (and all of the kiddos' junk treasures)


We painted the walls grey (a now defunct color called Mickey's Shadow from Home Depot- the same shade we used in Piper's nursery back in Pittsburgh), put up Ikea shelving (one repurposed from our old "three seasons room", one recreated based on our old dining room set up- which we actually sold with the house). We also added the world's biggest, yet shockingly low-functioning light fixture from West Elm (via Craigslist, naturally).

The lower cabinets store our printer and various other boring/ugly necessities like that, arts/craft supplies, and all of our games. Oh- and entirely too many decorative animals, clearly.
This is where most of the toys are housed, but that's a daily losing battle, of course.
We try to keep the rest of it corralled to these buckets...again, only mildly successfully.
Oh- and what's that gigantic house, you ask? mom's neighbors were tossing it the week beore Christmas, so we figured we'd save it and give it a shot. (Well, I figured that. Dustin figured I was crazy like always...) It fits...technically, but I won't deny that's it's massive. Time will tell if the kids adore it enough to keep it (and maybe give it a white-washed makeover...) but for now it's fun. It fits their play kitchen, and hides some of the chaos that comes along with said play kitchen, so it's just fine by me.

Living Room
Before (fancy panoramic before!):


We really haven't changed anything...except adding furniture. I thought we'd repaint, but the light brown is growing on me. It actually works surprisingly well with our obsessive amounts of grey, and helps warm everything up.
Our main purchase was a crazy huge couch (Macy's), which we LOVE. It was a big commitment (space and money) but it works so well in the space. Plus it's practical for the kids, but doesn't look like we just gave up on life. So that's a win.
Other than that, we have: old lamps from Lowe's, a new ottoman from World Market (love living near one of those again!), and side tables from Homegoods. The tables are a total crazy color, and I anticipated painting them something neutral like oil-rubbed bronze...and maybe someday I still will, but for some reason the teal grew on me, so I've just left them as is. (Speaking of leaving things as is...please ignore the curtain rods everywhere. You know I do.) Oh- and I know the star is the couch, but I can't tell you how much we love that ottoman. Yeah, it cracked Fin in the head pretty good, but it's still ten jillion times safer than an actual coffee table, and with the trays (from Target) it's still functional. We're debating building a long (loooooong) console table to sit behind the couch to hold drinks etc. I like the idea, but I'm worried I'll end up wanting to tchotch it up (that's psuedo-yiddish for put a million ceramic animals on it). Art is a big work in progress (isn't it all...?) But at least we're making some progress. Having things on the wall, even blank things, really does makes it feel homier.

And then we have the Craiglist piano (with separate Craiglist deal bench). It's about 100 years old, sounds kinda decent (after a professional tuning), looks pretty decent and makes me so happy. Every time someone comes over they ask me who plays. And I one really...anymore. But lots of us could. "If you own it...they will learn..."
(P.s. Yes it's missing the center foot peddle, but 1: we have it, it's just not attached and 2: who uses that one anyway?)



Not a bad before...I mean, unless you really like owning a fridge. But other than that the kitchen was in great shape. Not my dream kitchen when it comes to the finishes, but the layout is awesome, so I can forgive all the other temporary sins. (like that light fixture. woof.)

We haven't done a ton, but a couple quick updates have helped make it feel a little less country, and a little more "us". We swapped the pendant light for a new one (that's right! New! Something not from craiglist, the trash, or some crazy scratch and dent warehouse sale...what a novelty!), added the world's longest table plus a mix of chairs (Metal: Target, White: Amazon, High Chair: Ikea)

Oh, and the cow. Of course the cow. (Piper named her Jenny, and we love her.) 
And I've been wanting to do a chalkboard wall somewhere in the house, but I couldn't figure out a good spot where the kids could actually use it, and I wouldn't feel pressure to have it look all pinteresty all the time. Perfect solution? Under the counter! When they want to draw, we just scoot the stools out of the way, and let them go to town. And it's inconspicuous enough that their doodles can stay up without making my house look too wild. Win win!
(gumball machine: garage sale, Stools: Flea Market)

Other than that we haven't touched it, really. We bought a new fridge, and a dishwasher. We'd love to get a new stove, but I'm holding out for gas, which would require running a line (not crazy expensive, but also not free...thus, not done. yet.) We did hang our little foosball men to hold coats (inspired by this), and are attempting some sort of organizational system for papers and such, but we're not exactly experts in that territory, as the papers and random junk tend to take over every horizontal surface in sight.

So that's about it! There are about a million teeny little things we'd still like to do (and some big things that might stay on the list for a while too...) but for now, it's home, which is pretty fantastic as-is.
And maybe someday I'll get my act together and take some shots of the upstairs...We've been promising Piper a big-girl room (she's jealous Fin has pictures on her walls), so that's next on the list (we even got her a new bed, but after our first foray into bed swaps we're waiting to introduce that until we have a full plan...and maybe some serious floor padding.)

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  1. was there a prize if we counted the correct number of white/silver ceramic-y animals? my guess is 14. I still adore the cow and LOVE the fact that you have moved and added stuff to your wall behind YOUR gigantic Macy's sofa before I have added art to the wall above my gigantic Macy's sofa. #iprocrastinatemore and the piano. I prayed for a piano for about a year and couldn't commit to one or find one i liked and there you go and find one. Yours is a hundred times awesome! thanks for the virtual tour!

  2. Love how you've taken what would be a cookie cutter type house for anyone else and turned it into a house that has character and more importantly, reflects you guys. I also love Jenny, but I sort of keeping hearing it as said by Forest Gump because I love that movie and the name Jenny will always be heard in my mind as said in Forest's voice. Remember when you used to go into people's closets and transform their wardrobes? I think you should do it with houses! You and Dustin and Rachel could have a killer HGTV show!

    Loved the virtual tour as narrated by the one and only, Courtney.

  3. p.s. I also really love the stools and the metal chairs at the kitchen table. Swooon!

  4. Great job on transforming the house to be your own style! Everything looks amazing! The cow is amazing and that house in the playroom was a wonderful save!! You have inspired me to look on Craigslist for items. Thanks for sharing!