Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our First Home!

This is it- our first home. We officially get the keys tomorrow and can start moving stuff in this weekend.

We've got lots of plans for decorating and a few for renovating, so there will be many more pictures to come. For now, here are the pictures of the house that were posted on the realtor's website. I should say that our realtor has been absolutely fantastic through the process. I'll post more about the process later. For now, here's where we get to call home!

Exterior Front- It's hard to see from this angle, but there are hooks on the porch just waiting for a porch swing!

Exterior Back- We're thinking one of the first things we'll do is add a fence, for Loki, and a stamped concrete patio, for us. Family Room- This is the main room on the first floor. It's the part of the house that is the two front windows on the porch. On the side you can see the tile area just inside the front door.
Family Room- This is what you see when you come in through the front door, if you were standing in the picture above. The fireplace is at an angle, which means it faces into the family room and into the kitchen. We love how open everything is!

Breakfast Nook- This is the fireplace as seen from the kitchen. We're not 100% sure about the light fixture, but we'll see how it looks with our table. Can't wait to make the walls something other than the lovely builder's beige they are now!

Kitchen- Cabinets are already painted white, which I was leaning towards doing anyway in the other houses we'd looked at. The counter tops are granite and were just added. The doorway you see in the back leads to the pantry and the laundry room. There is a door so we can close it off when we have people over. It's huge! We'll have tons of storage space. I've already picked out a shelf for my cookbooks.

Loft- This is what you see as soon as you come up the steps. This will be Andrew's office and a relaxed reading area.

Master Bedroom- It's huge! And so is the closet. We're going to be able to fit a dresser in the closet and free up some space in the MB for a sitting area. There are three big windows in the back, so we'll get lots of light in the room.

Master Bathroom- The sink will eventually need to be replaced, but for now it'll do just fine. The tub is set back and the shower is on the side of the room facing the sink. The closet is actually off of the bathroom and not the bedroom, which will make getting ready in the morning even easier. No chance of waking up Andrew while I'm getting ready to leave the house!

Guest Room- This is one of the other two bedrooms upstairs. Both are pretty much the same. There's another full bath upstairs as well.

We've been waiting and waiting and waiting and now it's finally time to move in! Loki's been a little confused with all the packing. His tail wags when we bring out suitcases, but that's because he thinks that means we're visiting my parents. We keep telling him that he's getting a back yard, but he'd rather chew on the cardboard boxes that have taken over the apartment.

Just a few more hours, and we'll be there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Going Green Tip: Search for Secondhand

This week's tip for going green:

Search for secondhand

Don't let someone else's perfectly good items go to waste. A gently used version of whatever you need exists. Auction websites and thrift stores make secondhand shopping easy and affordable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Going Green Tip: Consider Compost

This week's tip for living a greener life:

Consider compost

Food scraps that end up in ladfills can't decompose properly. But composting yard and kitchen waste is easy! And it naturally fertilizes your soil and plants.

Friday, August 14, 2009

HomeGoods Style Quiz

Brianna, you are an Earthy Modern

You keep up with culture, style, and trends, but have an appreciation for timeless forms and simple lines. You value good design, quality craftsmanship, and prefer the streamlined to the overly embellished or cluttered. You also appreciate the warmth and individuality of natural materials and handcrafted things and are inspired by colors and forms from nature. This contrast is what makes your home intriguing and comfortable. You love mixing up different textures and are sensitive to the tactile qualities of objects. Your style is grounded and solid, not flighty or frilly.

You value creativity. You are stylish and fun loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.

Don't forget that color looks best when paired with some neutrals for a little visual relief. If you go wild on the walls or with your upholstery, pull back a little on the rugs or curtains or vice versa. Each room can definitely have its own color palette, but think of your home as a whole, with each room transitioning to the next. Some tricks: go for fairly neutral hues in hallways, or add some colors from one room into the neighboring room, even in the form of accessories or fabrics.

1. Your Design Challenge: UNIFY

The good news is, you probably have many things you love and have collected, and no one would ever say your home is boring! You've done the hard part; now you just need to pull it all together. If your furniture seems like a mish-mash, unify it through similar upholsters or slipcovers. When grouping objects, try to find something they have in common. If they share a shape, color or material, they will look like a collection. A tray is every decorator's secret weapon for making groups of small objects look purposeful and sculptural. If your accessories are all over the map, try subduing the upholstery or wall color, so your small items are the stars.

2. Your Happy Place

Choose a color or two that harmonizes with the tableware you already own, and collect things like linens, glasses, dessert plates, or platters in those hues. This is a fantastic way to liven up a plain, white table setting. And if you can, set the table the night before a dinner party, so you can really take pleasure in tending to the details.

3. Be Party-Ready All the Time!

Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you'll be able to set a spread—instantly!

Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, keep some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.

Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Going Green Tip: Clean Green

This week's tip for living a greener life:

Clean green

Household cleaners are often made with chemicals that harm your body and the planet. Instead, make your own with simple but effective products like lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tuscan Dinner Party

Tuscan spritzer

Hors d'ouvres
Pinziminio (crudites with olive oil)
Marinated olives
Warm salted almonds
Sliced salami

First Course
Spaghetti with white clam sauce

Second Course
Sliced steak with radicchio and Parmesan on arugula
Tuscan white beans
Zucchini fritters

Third Course
Affogato (vanilla ice cream in hot espresso)
Biscotti with vin santo

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wedding Wednesday- Modern Font

We had a very traditional wedding. It was beautiful, and totally suited us. But a part of me could have gone a little more modern in a few areas. One would have been the font we used on our paper suite.

Modern Font

My favorite modern look for fonts is having all lower case letters. It looks great with a font like Centruy Gothic.

I thought about using it either on our menu or on bar cards, which we wound up not doing. Someone may have been a little bit too ambitious with the projects she took on by herself. Not naming any names, but she was the one at the wedding in the ivory dress with the amazing veil.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going Green Tip: Size Matters

This week's tip for living a greener life:

Size matters

Smaller is better when it comes to cars and houses, among other things. Small sizes are more energy efficient, use fewer materials, produce less waste, and cost less money.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Iced Tea Party

black tea with fresh ginger
green tea with cucumber
herbal tea with summer fruits

watercress and radish
goat cheese and tapenade
chinese crab salad