Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our new house revealed: The basement!

One of the things that really sold us on the new house was the mostly finished basement, which almost doubles the square footage of the house. The bulk of the finished area downstairs is one big open area, but we tried to separate it into three spaces. The guest bed is in the far corner.
It's separated from the other areas by our large IKEA shelf, which used to house our serving pieces and nice dishes in the dining room. It now serves as a great room divider. On the other side is my sewing area, a huge improvement over my previous digs, with room for a much larger desk and a lot more fabric storage (some in the plastic tubs and on the bookcase to the left of the desk, most in the closest on the left).
Across from the sewing area is the play area, Beckett's space.
We put most of his larger toys and his tummy time quilt down here, and it's so wonderful to have a space for all of his things without taking over the living room.
The view from the base of the stairs, looking toward the play area, sewing area (on the left), and the guest space. The wall behind the play area separates another room containing the furnace and a lot of storage.
If you turn to the right at the bottom of the stairs, you come to two other rooms: storage and laundry on the left and our second bathroom on the right. It's so nice to have a second bathroom again, and having one downstairs creates something of a "suite" for guests, a perk for sure.
Window display.
Other side of the bathroom.
Last up for tomorrow — the nursery!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Our new house revealed: Kitchen, dining room, and breakfast room!

All right, let's move on the eating areas! For the first time, we have both a dining room and a breakfast room, so we were excited about getting a big-people table for the dining room, as we've always used our small four-person table before now.
We wanted a table that would fit at least six as-is but that also had leaves to fit at least 10. At the same time, we wanted something with "heft" and character, and those things together proved to be quite hard to find. Most of the "hefty" tables didn't have leaves at all, so we were super excited when we found this table at Pottery Barn, which has two leaves that are added at the ends of the table.
The dining room has a great bay window that overlooks the backyard. Our only real beef with the room is the color on the walls, which was there when we moved in. It's very mustard-y, and I really didn't like it when we moved in (especially next to the ketchup-y red in the kitchen).
It's starting to grow on me now, though, especially because the old owners left these Roman shades behind, which we really love. I think we'll paint it eventually (I have dreams of a yellow and gray dining room.), but it's staying for now. We have bigger fish to fry. :)
One of the rooms we love most is the kitchen. There's space! And cabinets! And really nice appliances! It's such a wonderful change from every kitchen in every rental we've ever had, and considering how much time we spend in the kitchen, it makes a huge difference. Here you can see the pass-through to the breakfast room.
The newest addition to the kitchen is the pot rack on the far wall. It was a great find on clearance from Pottery Barn, and we love how it fills the wall and adds some much-needed storage.
I'm not in love with the red. (It was also on the walls when we moved in.) I like the idea of the red, but since the kitchen is in the interior of the house, this particular red is just a bit too dark. However, it's definitely low on the painting list.
View from the dining room.
This is the wall at the top of the stairs to the basement. You pass it going from the kitchen to the breakfast room, and we've made it into a little calendar/notes area. The gate at the bottom is a swinging baby gate for the basement stairs.
We also love the breakfast room and spend a good amount of time there, usually feeding Beckett here instead of the dining room.
The gray was already on the walls, and it's definitely staying. It's a great neutral. The windows look out on the backyard and patio area.
Along with the office, the breakfast room is part of an addition to the house. They left the original exterior wall, which is the exposed brick, a look we love, and the glass-block windows. The middle window was opened up to create a pass-through to the kitchen.
We'll head to the basement tomorrow. Get excited!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our new house revealed: Master bed and bath and office!

The master bedroom was a total revamp from our old house. We've wanted a king-size bed (and a new mattress!) for a long time but didn't want to buy one until we'd bought a house and were sure it would fit. Thankfully, in the new house, we had just enough room!
The bed, dresser, and chest are all brand spanking new. It took us forever to decide on something, but we wanted to make sure we found exactly what we wanted since we plan on keeping it for a very long time. No IKEA furniture here. :)
We're still working on several things in this room, most notably the bedside lamps and nightstands. We decided not to get the nightstands that match our dressers because they were too big and too expensive, so we're looking for something that works with everything else but also stands out a bit. I hope we find something soon, though, because the old furniture and lamps are driving me crazy!
I also made a new wall hanging for above the bed. I stitched up some of my favorite Joel Dewberry fabrics and stretched them across a canvas I had. I love the way it turned out and how it works with the blues in the room.
The upstairs bath is one of the few rooms that's totally done. The periwinkle was already on the walls, and we liked how it looked in the bathroom, so we decided to keep it. The previous owners had a gray shower curtain that we loved, and though we looked all over for it, we couldn't find it, so we were happy when we found this striped one at Target as an alternative.
We made our own set with towels from Kohl's and a bath mat from West Elm because we didn't like any of the complete sets we found, and we finished the wall off with some candle sconces and a white frame.
After the living room, the office may be the room that needs the most work. The furniture's all in place (one of few rooms we didn't buy anything new for, for now, at least), but I'm working on some organizational items, and we need to get some more things up on the wall — I'm just not sure what yet!
I think I'm going to make some of these hanging fabric baskets for pens and what not next to my desk.
But the wall above Matt's desk is still a big question mark — more pictures frames? A fabric-covered canvas or bulletin board? I can't decide.
Stay tuned for more rooms tomorrow!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our new house revealed: The exterior!

Well, the new house is finally at a level where I'm comfortable posting some pictures. Things definitely aren't "done," though I suppose they never will be completely done, but they're definitely getting there.

So welcome to our new home!
Front of the house. I absolutely love that green door.
Beckett's swing and our wonderful magnolia.
Close-up of the front. Painting the shutters is on our long-term to-do list. I'm thinking navy (keeping the trim white) — thoughts?
From the end of the front walk.
Broader view. We have great trees.
Side of the front yard.
Back patio and garage — oh, how I love our garage.
Backyard and deck.
Deck and backyard garden. This raised bed was already there when we moved in, so we planted a small garden and have some herbs in a pot on the deck. Next year, we plan on taking over the corner of the backyard by the compost bin for a much larger garden.
After much trimming and weed-pulling, some minor planting, cleaning up, and a good bit of mulch and pebble laying, the yards are pretty much where we want them for this year. We're just trying to get everything to survive the heat for now, and then we'll aim to make some additions and improvements next year.

Stay tuned for peeks inside the house...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The act of eating a puff

This boy loves his puffs.

(And as you can tell from his face, he's rather fond of blueberries, too.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beckett's eight-month update

Beckett, you're eight months old today!
Our big boy just keeps getting bigger! On the unofficial home scale, you weighed in today at 18 lb, 13 oz, and we measured you (using our handy tape measure) at 27 inches.
No doubt all that growing is due to some of the new foods you've tried this month, including oatmeal, apricots, blueberries, spinach, pineapple, turkey, chicken, sweet peas, cauliflower, corn on the cob (favorite!), watermelon, and puffs. You're still a champion eater! You're also getting much better at feeding yourself puffs, and you'd eat the entire can if we let you.

You've checked out the pool several times this month with your friends Ben and Ava, and you had a great time at Uncle Mikie and Aunt Pam's pool in Atlanta. You even tried out your new floatie.
Speaking of which, you went on your first airplane ride this month! Mommy was nervous because we were traveling without Daddy, but you did great and were happy to flirt with the baby girls sitting behind us and rattle the magazines in front.
You were a great traveler off the plane, too, and you did fine sleeping in your (borrowed) play pen (though you liked to push up under the cushion). I guess you're a firm mattress kind of guy.
You loved meeting lots of new relatives during our time in Atlanta, including your new favorites, Uncle Ben and cousin Kelli.
Plus you spent lots more time with Grandmozzie, Granddaddy, Uncle Grampy, Aunt Pam, Aunt Sammie, Aunt Nessie, Uncle Rip, Grammie, and Aunt Houdie.
You also celebrated your first 4th of July in Atlanta, though you slept right through the fireworks.
And we discovered you love hammocks.
Earlier in June, Papa and Nana came for a visit, and you had a wonderful time hanging out with them and helping Papa and Daddy fix up the house.
You're loving our new home, especially your big play areas and your room, which is all finished except for hanging some decorations (soon!). You also like to try out our new furniture (especially tables) by sitting on it. I think you approve of all of it.
You've discovered lots of new toys this month and have become a big fan of things that move (like your crawling turtle) or that you can knock over (like your new stacking toys). 
You've gotten your first two teeth (finally!), and you're constantly gnawing on everything in sight. And, oh, the drool!
You like to watch Mommy and Daddy work in the yard, and you're still a very big fan of your swing.
Bath time is also still a winner, expect for that pesky shampooing business, which you HATE.
You've also had several more play dates with your friends Ben and Ava (mostly at the pool) and Nathalie.
You're showing more signs every day of thinking about crawling, and you're a pro at scooting on the wood floors and turning in circles. You're also getting very good at standing while leaning on something else, and you can pull yourself to standing when we hold your hands.
You're the best little man we could ask for.
You're our very wonderful baby, and we love you so!