House Tour Room-by-Room Link-up Party: Living Rooms and Libraries

We're back again with the next installment of the Room-by-Room House Tour. I'm still swooning over your gorgeous kitchens, but it's time to move on to living rooms and libraries. Of course you can still link up your kitchens until midnight tonight. Here's the full weekly schedule for those interested in what's coming up next.

Here's a quick tour of my living room which is open to both our family room (and addition) and dining room.

Here's a picture of the new pillows I whipped up a few weeks ago. I love them and it makes me want to bring more blue back into our house.

Let's take a little walk down memory lane...

When we bought the house in 2002 -
 And here's the house before the renovation -
And here's today -

For reference the door on the right was the window with the yellow floral drapes, and the stairs went up the back of the house, which is now open to the new family room.

Sources: Chairs - Rowe Caldwell; Coffee Table - Pottery Barn; Blue Pillows - DIY; Monogrammed Pillows - A Needle Pulling Thread; Rug - Greenfront Furniture; Console Table - Crate & Barrel.

Your turn!! Link up your living room, library, or other formal room in your house. Please add my button or link to this post in your post.

HOUSEography House Tour Link Party

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Hour Tour Party Favorites!

Happy Sunday!

I usually don't post on the weekends but before I fall too far behind, I wanted to share some of my favorites from the my room-by-room house tour for kids's rooms, nurseries, and dog rooms! There were soooo many great entries this week and I was so excited to see so many awesome rooms for the little people (and dogs) in your lives! One theme throughout the posts was the gorgeous colors that everyone used in their kids' rooms. I love it!

Here are some of my favorite girls' rooms...

Love the wall color, adorable pillow and embellished curtains in Hannah's room...

Shine Your Light

 And the closet reconfiguration over at Little Blue Chairs...

Little Blue Chairs

And boys' rooms...

Check out the mix of graphic patterns in this sophisticated boy's room...
All About Vignettes
And this orange and blue nautical themed room...

Designed to Dwell
Here's a great boy/girl shared room (be sure to check out the before pictures of this room)...

Domestic Simplicity
And this adorable nursery (again, digging the orange)...
Beach House in the City
And of course, the dog room at Our Little Beehive (Feeney is one lucky dog)...

Our Little Beehive

If you've been featured this week or previously, grab this button!

HOUSEography House Tour Featured

There's still time to link up your kitchen to this week's house tour. Click here for more information!

And, please take one second to vote for HOUSEography by clicking here (and that's it!).


Porch Clean-up

Here are the long promised new pictures of our screen porch. I spent about an hour and a half cleaning and reorganizing a couple of Saturdays ago. This past weekend, I also finally got around to adding the tie-backs which really cleaned things up and keeps the curtains from blowing all over the place.

I re-arranged the lounge end of the porch to take advantage of any breeze coming through, and for a better view of the street. I'm sure Handy Hubby can now picture a television hanging on the side wall. Ummmm...no.


The centerpiece of above was a HomeGoods clearance rack purchase. I think it was $9.00 or something. I stuck the candle in it and the placemat was from Pier 1 a few years ago.

My mom picked this bird house up at a yard sale. Not sure what she paid for it but I don't think it was much (if anything). My parents are semi-professional yard sale negotiators. Case in point - My dad recently bought a Bose speaker system for less than $20 which worked perfectly and included all of the pieces (the seller even called my dad after finding the one missing cable!). I never find deals like that.
Anyway, the birdie vacation house is currently hanging out under our portable drink cooler which doubles as a buffet when we are eating out there, and triples as storage for placemats.
These pictures were all taken right after we finished eating dinner which we try to do as many nights as possible in the summer. I was going to take my son's booster seat out before taking the pictures but I decided to keep it real for you. This is a spare booster that we keep on the porch. Makes eating outside so much  more convenient which means we do it more often which is why we have a porch to begin with!

Here's the old layout in case you're curious about the change. It looks a bit larger in the current arrangement I think but it's still a small porch.

Of course, doing the work on the porch only makes me realize what bad condition it is in compared to the rest of our house. I suspect there is some significant termite damage but we have reinforced the main posts with additional 2x4s a few years ago so there's no worry about the roof falling in. Hopefully.

Sources: Wicker furniture - Sears; coffee table - hand-me-down; lanterns - HomeGoods; rugs - Target; dining chairs - Pier 1; table - World Market (long ago); pillows - Restoration Hardware (stripes); chair cushions - Home Depot; chippy trunk - used (obviously); cooler on wheels - Kohls; curtains - Ikea (more here)

p.s. Don't forget to get your house tour kitchen posts up before Monday night! It's a great party - check it out here

p.s.s. Please vote for HOUSEography daily on Picket Fence Blogs by clicking here (and that's it!).


Officially Obsessed: Trays

Not sure if this is an obsession or adoration, but I am in love with trays. I've posted about this on several occasions (here and here) but now it may be a full-blown addiction. I keep finding more and more uses for them and I cannot stop! Help me! No, don't help me. I like them and I plan to continue.

Here's my latest conquest. We have a messy area of counter on the end of our kitchen counter near the table. There's a handy outlet here for plugging in the phone and cell phone chargers, which also requires pens and  but it's also close to the table so the obvious place for salt and pepper shakers and napkins for the table.

It was hard to keep everything corralled in that area so I had been thinking through some possible solutions - a closed box, open box, or a tray. I settled on the tray but I'm not foreclosing the idea of an open box which may ultimately work even better - we'll see.

But, for now, a tray is what I needed. I started digging around the house. Fortunately I had picked up a cute black and white melamine tray at Hobby Lobby a month or two ago (my first trip - nearest one is 45 minutes away in Maryland). Dropped it on the counter and tossed my junk onto it. Suddenly - pretty classy!

It's a small improvement but hopefully things will stay on the tray instead of creeping all over that corner of the counter. Doubt it, but maybe!

Any quick and easy organization projects on your agenda this week?


Open Floor Plan Connectivity (and some new pictures)

Not long ago, we dreamed of an open floor plan home. Expansive spaces instead of small rectangular rooms connected to each other only through narrow openings in our 1940 home. After our whole house renovation, our house certainly has an open floor plan by most standards.

We now have a totally open kitchen and family room. (here are the long promised new kitchen and family room pictures!)

The family room connects to the living room (in the original part of the house), through a wide arched doorway.
The living room connects to the dining room through the original arched doorway.

Only the dining room and kitchen are divided by a short hallway and our new stairwell. I actually like the separation between the dining room and kitchen because I feel removed from the mess when we eat a (rare) nice dinner in there.

When we planned the renovation, we made a concerted effort to make our house flow between rooms and for there to be connectivity in the architecture and decorating - archways, floors, molding and trim work, and paint. The archways between the rooms not only help with the openness, but also with continuity in the architecture and between the rooms. The small archway between the dining room and the hall to the kitchen was an on the spot decision during construction. I was standing in the dining room while the sheetrock was going up, looking at the space between the rooms and realized that a typical framed doorway would not make any sense here so we changed it to an archway.

To further accentuate the continuity, the crown molding and baseboard are the same throughout the first floor. (More on crown molding here). This way your eye travels through the rooms without distracting interruptions cause by the change in the molding styles.

We chose to have everything in the main areas of the house painted the same color, Duron Ivoire. This is by no means a requirement for improving the flow in an open floor plan, but it's a simple way to achieve it.

In the decor, I often choose furniture which can be moved between the rooms without issue. I don't have rooms decorated in a style other than "my style" so there aren't any themes, color schemes, or anything else that makes furniture (or lamps, pictures, and rugs for that matter) suitable only for a single space in the house. When I want to redecorate, I just move furniture I have between the rooms!

Do you have any tips or tricks to creating continuity between rooms in an open floor plan?
p.s. Don't forget to link up your kitchen in this week's house tour party! Click here.


House Tour Room-by-Room Link-up Party: KITCHENS!

This week on the room-by-room house tour link party we have KITCHENS! Unless you live in a dorm or hotel, you probably have one of these so link it up no matter what the condition!! I know there is a ton of crafty cuteness out there so let's see it!!  Waiting for a remodel? Tell us your plans, get ideas, and find some motivation to get it fixed up!

Here's the full room-by-room schedule for the Type A folks out there!

Here are some pictures of our kitchen. We started here before the whole house remodel -
This kitchen later became a half-bath, hallway and coat closet!  And now our kitchen looks like this...


(Yes, there is tons of daylight in our kitchen but it never looks that way in my blog because I usually end up taking pictures when the kids are in bed.)

Sources: Cabinets - Kingswood Kitchens (Newport style in White); Counters - Honed Absolute Black Granite; Stools - Home Decorators; Table - Craigslist; Chairs - World Market; Clock - Target; Calendar - Linnea Designs; Island Pendants - Amazon; Chandelier - Kathy Ireland Home(discontinued); Paint - Duron Ivoire (also available at Sherwin Williams); Curtains - JC Penney (discontinued); Sink Faucet - Kohler; Pot Filler - Giagni; Refrigerator - Samsung; Stove - GE Cafe Dual-Fuel; Dishwasher - Bosch; Canisters - Crate & Barrel.

Your turn... Let's see those amazing, or soon-to-be amazing, kitchens!!

If you link up, please include my House Tour Party button or a link to my blog in your post or somewhere on your blog! And, please feel free to spread the news on Twitter and Facebook so we can build a great library of decorating ideas!

HOUSEography House Tour Link Party

Like this post? Vote for us by clicking here (and that's it!) - THANK YOU!


A home office for me?

After thinking about the home office quandary last week, I started thinking about places that I could put a desk area for work on occasion, but also for sewing, maybe occasional gift wrapping projects. The obvious location was the rarely used guest room upstairs but there is no room in there and that will hopefully become Alex's new room within the next year. We don't need two office spaces upstairs. I have some ideas and started looking at desks, so stay tuned for more details...

Now for some highlights from last week's home office, craft room, and mom cave party. Thanks to everyone who posted. It was a really good party!!! These spaces are amazingly inspiring - no wonder you are all amazing crafters and bloggers! Here are a few of my favorites (and there were many more)...

Check out this amazing space that Cassie carved out of her house for her craft projects and home office stuff -
Primitive & Proper

Don't have much space? There is definitely a trend towards offices in closets. Check out this one created by Elizabeth of The Mustard Ceiling -
The Mustard Ceiling

Don't have a closet, pick up a discarded television armoire on Craigslist and make one like Lisa of Shine Your Light -
Shine Your Light

I almost died when I saw this amazing crafty space where Shannon of Cary Hairbows makes crafty magic -

Cary Hairbows

Feeling inspired? I certainly am!!!

If you've been featured this week or previously, grab this button!

HOUSEography House Tour Featured

Don't forget to link up your kids' and pets' rooms in this week's leg of our house tour!


90 minutes of free time on Saturday afternoon...

Somehow I ended with a free 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon. How did that happen? We had friends in town who were running late with site-seeing at the Smithsonian. VERY easy to do! So, when I got the call that they were going to be late, Alex was still napping and Elizabeth was playing at a friends' house. Hmmmm.... I considered an hour and a half of blog reading, or internet surfing. I opted for something truly productive (no offense bloggers!), and decided to tackle the inch of pollen and dirt all of our screen porch.

It quickly looked like this.

A few weeks ago, I washed the curtains. Be careful if you have these Ikea Lenda curtains - they shrink in the dryer. In my case, it worked out fine because they were too long anyway. Puddling on a dirty porch floor is not a good look.

If hubby had been home, we would have taken all of the furniture out and scrubbed the floor. He was golfing in Myrtle Beach, so I took all of the cushions and anything breakable out and just started hosing everything else on the porch. Worked perfectly. Pollen and winter dirt and grime - gone. I did get the mop and vinegar out for a few really dirty parts.

I did finally get everything back together and changed it all around, but forgot to take a picture in the daylight! Sorry - this is an evil blog tease!

But, as I was cleaning, I started realizing how much work our porch needs - the support columns are rotting and termite-eaten, the screens are stretched out, lath strips are missing on several parts of the outside, the floor needs to be scraped and painted, and everything needs to be painted. Ugh. Some decisions are going to have to be made... soon.

What do you do when you find yourself with 90 minutes on a Saturday with no t-ball, scouts, or dance classes to shlep to?


House Tour Room-by-Room Link-up Party: Kids' Rooms, Nurseries, and Pet Room

We're back again with another leg on the house tour. We're doing kids' rooms, nurseries, and pet rooms this week. Can't wait to see all of the great things you have done for the little ones in your lives!

Here's the full room-by-room schedule for all of you who like to plan ahead!

As you probably know I have two kids - Elizabeth is five and Alex is almost two. I have had so much fun decorating their rooms and documenting it. Early next year I think we'll move Alex to his new big boy room (currently the upstairs guest room) so we can reclaim our home office. At that point there will be so much furniture flying around the house that hubby may need a spreadsheet to get everything to where it needs to be!

So, here is Alex's nursery -

Sources: Wall color: Benjamin Moore Raspberry Truffle; Crib - Costco (old); Chair - used; Chair slipcover made by me; Quilt, crib skirt, and window valance made by my mom (!); Dresser - used; Rug - JC Penney; Lamp - HomeGoods; Personalized pillow - Little Bit Funky. More info on Alex's nursery here and here.

Now Elizabeth's room... A few weeks ago she told me that her new favorite color is blue. Of course, after years of pink and pink decorating, she decides she now likes blue. True to five year old form, she now says that she has two favorite colors - pink and blue. Crisis averted. She is decidedly not into princesses though which is pretty funny considering that most of her friends are all things princess right now.

We have some more changes to make in this room this spring. More on that soon! More on Elizabeth's room here and here.

Sources: Walls: Sherwin Williams Quaint Peche; Bed - JC Penney; Dresser - antique; Chair - PB Teen; table and chairs: Ikea; Bedding: HomeGoods; personalized pillow: Little Bit Funky.

Now it's your turn! Show us your kids' rooms, nurseries, pet rooms, pet areas, etc. You guys have so many great ideas - I'll especially looking at your little boys' rooms since that will be my next major interior decorating project. Show me what you've got!!

If you link up, please include my House Tour Party button or a link to my blog in your post or somewhere on your blog! And, please feel free to spread the news on Twitter and Facebook so we can build a great library of decorating ideas!

HOUSEography House Tour Link Party

I'll have some favorites from the craft room, home office, and mom cave party later this week. You ladies have some really inspiring spaces - maybe I can blame my lack of craftiness on my lack of crafty space?  Ummm... no. There's still time to link up (til midnight tonight) - click here.

Like this post? Vote for us by clicking here (and that's it!) - THANK YOU!