Sunday, March 30, 2008

The office

After referring to our new office below, I realized that we haven't shared photos of (and blabbed on and on about) the cabinetry that has made our office a little sanctuary. It has a grey/blue finish that makes it truly unusual (so don't feel obliged to enjoy it as much as we do!). I'm going to have to read one of those nifty articles on how to arrange your books, etc. in a visually interesting manner so that our clutter doesn't overwhelm the cabinetry.

Before the clutter on move-in day


Mr. Big has been put on notice that within the next 5 years, I might want to replace our heavy wood table with a sleek, modern stainless steel alternative. 5 years buys both of us some time. I just think a modern desk would look fab in the room, but there is always the chance that my mind changes (again).

Once I get us a bit more organized, I'll treat you to all the cool drawers, inserts, etc. that we now enjoy. Apparently I love getting that cool stuff, but don't love getting it set up! :)

For the files

We've started to find certain spots in the house where it would be useful to have a low table or bench. It will be a while before we commit to anything, but this simple small bench from etsy seller pianonobile catches my eye.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Where is the number for that guy....?

Our home is not completely organized yet.(shocker). And despite spending a fair amount on a beautiful home office, it started out it's life as the the catch-all room for the house. This makes it particularly difficult to find that one receipt (feel free to replace with card, instruction manual, phone number, etc) on a moment's notice.

Today I stumbled across this handy Home Maintenance Organizer on Knock Knock. What a clever tool to keeping everything in one place.

I particularly like the important Phone Numbers summary, life expectancy (of fixtures, etc.) chart, and maintenance calendar. Keeping everything in one spot seems way too obvious. And by the way, why didn't I come up with this idea?

See Jane Work also sells a good general organizer that holds all your critical documents, such as insurance, certificates (life, marriage, etc.), caregiver info, etc. This is worth a peek as well.

After shipping, duty and all that extra stuff that comes along with living on an island, $30 spent on each of these littly buddies might just keep my sanity. Might.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Backsplashes galore!

The day has arrived. Our kitchen is finally complete! When all the tools make it off the countertops, I'll put up some proper photos. I just couldn't resist a few for the moment. The backsplash adds depth and color into the area. (No mom, not your colors, but it still qualifies in my eyes...)

The mudroom will be grouted today. The wrong size tiles were shipped to us (these were supposed to be similar in size to the kitchen but in cream colors), but fortunately, the larger version is appealing. And just because I was thinking that I'm itching to take the house just a tad more modern, I decided not to offset these boys. (yes Friedemann, I'm sure that you are shaking your head "nooo...keep it simple". I just couldn't help myself!) Hopefully I can get some photos of a complete mudroom this weekend as well.

So after a lot of quiet days, everything has burst to completion very suddenly. Wooohooo!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quick drop off

Oh, I'm late for work, but it's never too late for dropping off a few inspirations for the home. A few wall decals that are catching my eye for various spots in the house.

Jungle Peas White by

And for the record, the backsplash in the kitchen did get up yesterday. It looks lovely. I can't wait to see it grouted today. Progress!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Concrete countertops and wine rooms

The post below about our new Caesarstone countertops made me realize that I haven't posted any images of our concrete countertops in the bathrooms. They are nice and my favorite is this chunky one in our powder room. Without natural light, it's difficult to get a good picture, but this should do for now.

The wall tiles in this bathroom give a bit of texture against the smooth concrete. It's one of my favorite spots to send visitors. And for those who are "in the know", we actually have a secret door from here to Mr. Big's favorite spot...the wine room.

He is so protective that it took over two months for me to earn a key to his secret hideout. Two my own home! Eventually I think it involved spontaneous cooking on my part that brought on the key. I guess he realized the chances of that happening again were slim. ;) Our relationship is that much deeper now.

Caesarstone countertops

Progress has slowed down substantially since the holidays. Substantially. But apparently today was a good day because we came home to find our kitchen and mudroom countertops installed. (Enter sigh of relief here)

They look fabulous. Full stop. Caesarstone was definitely the way to go. It has all the characteristics of concrete without the upkeep.

It has a nice consistent color to it, looks very impressive and seems easy to clean (based on the first wipe which no doubt tells a lot...). In fact, it looks almost identical to the real concrete countertops that we put in our bathrooms. I'm not sure if I'm ready to admit it, but I'm pretty close to committing that we would have been better off with Caesarstone everywhere. Gasp. They are beautiful and easy. What a combo.

The wall tiling is scheduled to be completed tomorrow. It doesn't seem feasible to do it all in one day, but I've certainly been proven wrong before. These two items get us much closer to the "complete" feeling. Then again, I'm sure there is something else waiting around the corner to get done that we haven't noticed yet. Let's just hope it's not a biggie...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Virtually strolling through the streets

My lovely husband introduced me to seeking out artwork in our travels. It's now one of my favorite parts about visiting a new city. And no, I have absolutely no insight into art, but find it fascinating how different pieces evoke different reactions.

Many of our walls are bare, and absent any big travels in the near future, I have taken to the internet for some virtual strolling. Wow, are there ever interesting pieces to be found. A few of my favorites so far (most are quite large pieces):

Natures Abstract II from Jeff Maihara, a Canadian photographer

Dawn by Jessica Torrent

Mystic Garden by Jessica Torrent

Four Horseman from Briana Taylor

I've struggled with Etsy in the past, but had a really good time today looking at artwork. Thanks to those who have given me encouragement to try it again. Also, ugallery is a great site to view student artwork at reasonable prices. I'll definitely be back.

Well, it's a holiday here on the island and obviously I'm taking advantage! Lazy, lazy day...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Slowly coming together

Last weekend I was bit by the decorate bug. A few changes (hopefully enhancements) were made to the general living areas. A week has passed and they still feel right. There will be months and months of more changes to come, but here's a peek at our current arrangements.

The dark leather couch will be finding a new home once we have the drive to start looking for new couches. For now it works. I'm also looking for a slender side table for between the two linen chairs. We saw the perfect option at a gorgeous store in Healdsburg, California last October, but didn't ultimately decided not to take the plunge. Just goes to show that sometimes traveling treasures should be taken more seriously...

The first thing my talented mom imagined when she walked in our (still being built) home back in November was a little sitting area to the side of our big wall. She was completely right! Now we have a cozy little nook. In a fit of luck, she and I found this great Oly chair here on island. We had some time to kill due to a flight delay and stumbled across these charmers. We shopped at virtually every furniture store in Orlando and New York only to come back home and decide that these were at the top of our list. Score!

Our final countertops should be installed in the next two weeks. After that, the will tiles should follow very quickly. We're definitely eager to see the kitchen and mudrooms completed. The stools in the picture above will be outside eventually, but we really don't have a better place for them at the moment. And I'm still pining over the Kou chandelier, but that is at least another 1-3 years away. In the meantime, an inexpensive light from Bo Concepts is working fine to give us some ambiance.

What a nice feeling to have a livable house!