Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I heart visits

We recently had a visit from a very special family from back home. Besides catching up on all sorts of fun bits, they are building a house as well so we had lots to talk about.

Fortunately, their process seems infinitely more organized than ours was. They have weekly printed agendas that they review with their contractor each week on site. Heaven. And when the first item on the agenda was the weather forecast, you can immediately tell that they are dealing with a first class firm. She knew everything on her status, down to the fact that they were 3 days ahead of schedule. Wow.

Anyway, onto the fun visit pictures. I adore their oldest son. He's got these honest deep brown eyes that you can't help but fall for. Yum. He's just that guy that you know is going to woo the girls when he gets older with his calm, sensitive, but charming ways. He's all heart and then some more.

He wasn't too sure about the water to start, but when you turned your back, he was testing it out. Hey this is kind of cool...

And then there is his little brother. He couldn't be anymore different. Where he is all love, his brother is all spirit. Fiesty, fun, ready to check this world o-u-t. Hmmm, wonder what's going on around here...?

In probably the biggest surprise, Mr. Big and their youngest son literally fell in love with each other. Everytime we turned around they were cuddled up together...

...sharing their own laughs

...checking out the stingrays

...enjoying the beach

...sleeping on the boat ride home

...we really clicked man.

I mean seriously? You're buddies and all, but it's time to give the child back to his mom. And yes, he was safely returned. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it was so that Mr. Big could put his cooking skills to the test. Blech...squid.

All in all, it was a great visit. Thank you so much guys for traveling so far. It was so memorable and we can't wait to come crash at your new place!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sticks not stones

There's something that draws me to decorating with branches, leaves, reeds, and pretty much anything natural. Typically, my attempts don't turn out as intended, so here is a gallery of inspiration pics for future reference.

Photo by Philip Harvey

Styled by Glen Proebstel

Photographed by Karina Tengberg

Image from Decor8

Photograph by Anders Schonnemann

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Any ideas for Houdini dogs?

I've brought our beloved Jordan back into our yard 4 times this morning. Yes, 4 times. It seems that he has burrowed a hole under an area of our fence. This is after letting himself out of his indoor space (paw + lever = free dog) and learning to open the gate (which is now permanently locked) . I'm at the end of my rope with him today (although you've got to love his tenacity).

And please don't think it's because we don't exercise him. Normally we do, but he came down with heart worm and is required to be confined without exercise for 3 months. He's almost through it, but he just can't seem to wait. Before his treatments, we had never known him to venture far. On Thursday we found him about a mile from the house playing with other neighborhood dogs.

Any good ideas out there? Crud...there he goes again.

Update: He's jumping the fence. This is so much worse than we originally thought.

Always a good reminder

Lovely ceramic tag from Paper Boat Press.

Need more countertop space?

Here's an interesting idea for a small kitchen. No surprise, but the neutral colors are lovely as well, especially with the slightly iridescent tile backsplash.

Designed by Carl & Company

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tea time

Any girlfriends out there that might be interested in a cup of tea? Lisa Cohen's photography makes me want to skip work, invite over a few gal pals, and enjoy the morning.

This kitchen that she captured is fantastic as well. With a big farmhouse sink, lovely tiles, and folding doors to hid the range (why didn't we think of that?), this looks like a cozy space to congregate.

I think that my style is starting to soften up a bit from when we first started the house. I notice that I'm getting drawn more to "comfortable" as opposed to "modern". Perhaps that's a good thing...or perhaps that means we'll have a really confused home. :)

Blue and white again

We've got two rooms with a cobalt blue and white theme that I've been working on. These images really helped with getting them to flow better with our other neutral rooms.

This is another great example of subtle blue and white. I need to keep reminding myself...keep it simple.


This image has been in my files for a while. Something about it makes me feel easy, breezy, covergirl cool. Aahhh...wouldn't it be lovely to live in this space?

But this morning I really looked at it. Who has a chest with a total of maybe 10 items in it? And only five hanging items (all white nonetheless?). Aahhh...there's so much room between inspiration and reality.

Am I the only one that would have this baby jam-packed with goodies?

Good spaces

These don't really fall into a particular category...more just general decor. Things that could be done in a random hallway, guestroom...pretty much anywhere.

Perhaps it's all the paneling? Or the wood against a white wall?
I'm enjoying this image from interior stylist Atlanta Bartlett as featured on Desire to Inspire.

This vignette feels like it was put together with finds from the owner's travels.
Home designed by Michaela Scherrer as featured on Desire to Inspire.

Lovely neutral shelves, vases, and goodies that don't go overboard.
From Apartment Therapy.

More well arranged shelves. This is so much harder that it looks.
Designed by David Jimenez.

Not a fan of the antlers, but definitely enjoying the small pops of color on a white wall.
From Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

There may be a way out

So with new pool table, I've been slowly waiting (dreading) Mr. Big's request for an overhead table light. I doubt I could get away with this, but it does get the creative juices flowing.

Note to self: There are options that don't have Miller Lite plastered across the side.

Lazy summer days

Summer is filled with so much optimism, so it's certainly welcome this year. Although these probably aren't right for our yard, this picnic table and turqouise benches just make me happy.

Image from Coastal Living and featured on Decor8

Is anyone else looking forward to summer? Perhaps it's been all the doom and gloom in the economy...I'm ready for some lighthearted play time. Leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Doesn't every couple have a pool table story?

Since we first thought of building our home, my sweet husband has envisioned a pool table. I (mistakenly) believed that his interest might slowly wane, seeing as we had never once been on a date to play pool nor had he ever met his buddies to play pool. But as time passed, the vision became more steadfast. (Enter perplexed look here)

We eventually decided that the table would go outdoors in our covered "pavilion-type cabana thing". It was a perfect spot...close to the bar, good ventilation in the case cigars appeared, and well away from those that wished to slumber late at night.

You can probably imagine that shipping a pool table across the Caribbean isn't the cheapest endeavor. But even moreso, it's virtually impossible to find an outdoor pool table that doesn't look like a plastic spaceship. When we did, they were $$$.

Eventually I turned to our local second hand market to see if we could test the waters before emptying our wallets. Because the outdoor space will actually be enclosed with doors when not in use (not really so outdoors, is it?), I was particularly interested in this table for $300.

Wow, was it ever worn. The wood and felt were stained and the poor table just looked sad. Mr. Big wasn't so sure and when I suggested that we paint it high gloss white, all of the color drained from his face. Let's just say that I realized how much he really trusts me at that moment. With potential ridiculing from his friends on the line, he agreed to take the thrifty route. This is a recession and all...

Although the outdoor space is not complete, we unveiled the table at his 40th birthday. Must to my relief, it was a huge hit. A few coats of paint and a new grey felt top did the trick. And it has so much more character than the big bulky new options that we had considered.

It has been used quite a bit since then. Apparently it has a very slight tilt in one direction...I was pleased to hear that it's easy to fix (coaster under one leg anyone?). So yes, Mr. Big was correct, it should bring lots of fun memories and conversations.

Just before I finish up, can anyone pick out which pool cues came from my friend and which came from Mr. Big's friend (for his birthday)? Yep, the bunny ear cues with scantily-clad women came from his friends. We're all class around here... :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cozy Glam

I love tips! A special someone recently pointed me in the direction of Catherine Regehr's new home collection...well actually, all of her collection. L-o-v-e her Porcupine Loop duvet covers. They would be a great way to add texture in a neutral room.

Her line is sold exclusively at Provide Home in Vancouver. (Aside: I'm very glad that I don't live in Vancouver because this store looks far too appetizing for my own good). Fortunately for us, they have a few further photos of her collection. The duvet cover that they show is almost too good to be true. So romantic. And her pillows! Their texture is breathtaking.

As for her fashion...yum.

To the tip miester, keep them coming!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What a cute kids room

I know, I know. It's totally unrealistic. And yes, I'm going to be conned into a bright red plastic car bed, but we can still imagine right?

Image by Malin Ngoie

There was definitely a designer involved here

It's a 3-day weekend in Cayman and I was trying to figure out if we could find a cool spot for anything like this.

From Danielle at The Style Files

While I don't think we can, I started to look more closely at this layout. It's designed to perfection. From the built in seating, to the protective glass (to block excessive wind when eating at your built in seating no less), to the mirrors reflecting the sea, it's just perfection.

While we don't have this view, the wheels are turning about creating permanent seating. We definitely have the space. Watch out Mr. Big. Your girl is getting motivated again....

If you are designing a new kitchen...

You may just need to plan for one of these.

They also show a similar option for storing away your laptop in built in cabinets. Toys are so much fun!

Time for some bedroom inspiration

It's 4:30am and Jordan is up barking...at iguanas? cats? random cars? the wind in the bushes? Your guess is as good as mine. I've collected a few photos of master bedrooms over the past few months in the case that I became overwhelmed with energy to complete ours. Nope, it's not going to happen at 4:30am, but then again, maybe this will be the start.

Swedeish bedroom featured on Desire to Inspire. Love the separate sitting area empahsized by the rug.

Further proof that space is nice. And how about that ceiling. Yowzers. Photo by Ken Gutmaker
and featured on Desire to Inspire

Doesn't this room just look cozy? Strangely, the fringe on the blanket and pendant really work for me
(but wouldn't for Mr. Big). Image as posted on Decor8 (originally from Living Etc. gallery).

Great natural light and wood tones in the room (featured on Decor8 and originally from Living Etc. image gallery)