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Introducing Mack

24 Jul

I’d like to introduce y’all to the newest member of our family. Please meet Mack.

We adopted him on Saturday from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. He’s a very sweet 4-month-old beagle/miniature pinscher mix with a big personality. We’re hoping he and Smoky will be the best of friends. No doubt y’all will be seeing more of both of our animal children.


Another Little Master Update

28 Jun

One of the wedding gifts we received was an amazing round teak mirror, which we finally got around to hanging (after having to do a little TV switch so the mirror could fit behind it) this past weekend. Here’s what this particular wall of the master bedroom has looked like before at various stages:

And here it is now:

I really love how it looks. Something with rounded edges was definitely needed among all those right angles. It’s also nice to finally have something on that wall to make it feel finished.

Living Room

23 Jun

Of all the rooms in this house, the living room has had the slowest evolution. It started out with the same beige walls as many of the other rooms (seen here and here) in the house. On a casual first glance, the new color (Valspar’s Oatlands Subtle Taupe in flat, which we also used in the bathroom) might not appear that different from the old one, but the end result is a vast improvement. The old was a neutral with more brown/pink undertones, and this is decidedly more gray, which I’m all about. Here’s the room in it’s current state:

You’ll notice that the wish-list chairs were purchased and have arrived. I love their modern shape, tapered brown legs, and happy apple green color. The two touching arms are a perfect perching/napping/neighborhood-viewing spot for Smoky.

The covers on all the sofa throw pillows are going to be replaced. (The green one in the green chair is staying.) I used them in my first solo apartment and my first home, and things are due for an update. The two orange ones will be recovered in the graphic turquoise fabric I mentioned here. I’m still searching for the perfect fabric for the other two. We shall see.

Here’s another angle:

That’s a whole lot of blank wall space, which is why I ordered these:

I’m kind of freaking out in a good way about all the colors—so many options! I’m not a painter (in the artistic sense), but I’ve been itching to create something big and colorful and graphic on a scale much larger than my colored pencils can handle. I know I want two relatively large canvases to hang side-by-side to create one large statement piece to fill that vast expanse of grayish-beige, and I plan to use lots of color. I have a few ideas in my head of what I want to paint. My plan is to just go with one and see what happens and if I’m feeling it. Results to come!

Portrait of a Lady

21 Jun

Long before I mentioned it, my wish list has included having a pet portrait of our cat, Smoky, done by Yellow Brick Home. I pretty much fell in love with this talented duo’s work from the moment I saw it. So about a week and a half ago, I finally ordered my own custom piece, and it arrived today!

If I had to describe Smoky in one word, I would say that she’s amazingly sweet (OK, that’s two, but she’s seriously the sweetest cat ever), and I wanted that sweetness captured in the 4 x 4–inch portrait. That’s undoubtedly a pretty tall order, but Kim and Scott (the Yellow Brick Home team) nailed it and captured her sweet face perfectly.

And y’all, they’re so prompt. An hour or so (maybe not even that long) after I placed my order, I had an email from them giving me the details of what they needed to get started. I inundated them with pictures and information about Smoky like any proud pet parent would do, and they got back to me quickly with further information and questions. In addition to being speedy, they’re superfriendly (just like they seem from their blog) with a genuine enthusiasm for pets and capturing the personality of each of their animal subjects.

The portraits are $39 each (plus the cost of shipping), which is pretty amazing for a one-of-a-kind custom piece of art. I am so thrilled with what they created for me and whole-heartedly recommend them! Go here for more information and to peruse their portfolio of adorable portraits.

I was in no way compensated for this review. I just wanted to share the fantastic experience I had with these übertalented people.

Master Bedroom

17 May

Like the guest room, this room started out with beige walls that needed some repair work and another set of the collapsible white plastic closet doors that were used throughout the house. When these images were taken, we’d already started to patch the walls and were in the process of installing crown molding.

We painted the newly installed crown molding and the rest of the trim in Valspar’s Bistro White in semigloss and painted the walls a gorgeous grayish blue (Behr’s Blue Fox in a flat finish). This was the result:

Following the paint, Ty built a bed and bought a bedspread and shams in his favorite shade of red (crimson), and I made a few throw pillows. We also brought in a rug that Ty’s uncle brought him from Afghanistan—gorgeous. Smoky particularly likes it.

Um, so that was probably a tad obnoxious, but so it goes. This is what the room looked like.

Then, we replaced the miniblinds with 1-inch white faux wood blinds and added white curtains, a dresser, and mismatched night stands and lamps, which got us to this:

I have more plans for this room, and at the top of the list is buying a closet door (it’s on the to-do list), get matching white bedside lamps (since the night stands are mismatched, I feel like we need some symmetry somewhere), buy a full-length mirror to replace the temporary gold mirror leaning against the wall, and figure out some art for above the dresser. I have some ideas in my head of what I want for all of those things, so some updates will hopefully be coming in the near future.


22 Mar

Of all the rooms in this house, the kitchen has undergone the most dramatic change. We started with a chair rail and two kinds of wall paper: a gray marbled paper on the bottom (hence the gray outlets) and a white textured paper on the top that actually would have been pretty had it been in better shape and covered the walls from floor to ceiling. One of the first projects (if not the first) that we tackled in this house was removing the wallpaper in this room. Here’s a before and during shot. It was a hot mess.

Once it was removed and the walls were cleaned up, we painted them a beautiful turquoise blue (Valspar’s Sea Serenade in eggshell). This look isn’t for everyone, but we love color, particularly blue, and it suits us perfectly. This was also the light fixture we were working with. It was fine as is, but we wanted something a bit lighter to balance the bold walls.

We added an Expedit bookcase from Ikea to house books, wine glasses, serving pieces and cookware, and Smoky’s food and water. And we simply spray painted the light fixture white for an easy and inexpensive upgrade.

I know there’s a group of people who would suggest I paint the cabinets. The reason we haven’t is simple. The finish on the cabinets is pretty and since we’re not going to be in this house for many years, I can live with them as they are. Plus, I know many, many people would absolutely love them just as they are (not to mention that it would take forever to sand, prime, and paint them).

We also put the Europe map print from These Are Things (which I’ve mentioned before here and here) in the kitchen, and I love the yellow against all that blue.

Smoky was giving me the stink eye because she wanted to go outside. No worries. She got to spend a good bit of time outside over the weekend.