Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The patriotic living room

Our new house has wallpaper in a lot of areas.  Most of it is coming down {plaid bathrooms?  No, thank you}.  However, there is this blue grasscloth wallpaper in the living room that is actually really pretty. 

Property Photo
This picture is from the listing online - we haven't moved yet.  Note the peach trim and the navy wallpaper on the right.
It has specks of blues, grays, and beiges.  It's in great condition, and I was contemplating leaving it up when Handsome Hero said, "I really like this wallpaper a lot!" and asked me to see if I can work with it.  Do we make a pair or what?

Here are a few challenges I've been thinking through.

1.  The same wallpaper is also in the entry, the dining room, and the hall.  I'm taking it down in those areas so that it isn't so overwhelming.  I have never tried to take grasscloth down, so I hope it isn't too hard.

2.  I love blue, but have leaned in the past toward the teal side, so most of the pillows, pictures, and other decorative items will most likely not work in here.  That's fine, because they'll look great downstairs.  And it means I get to make new pillows and such for this room.

3.  Whatever I do in this room will have to be carried to some extent into the entry, dining room and kitchen, which are open to this space.

4.  I am not sure exactly how to accent this shade of blue outside of going red, white, and blue.  And while I am as patriotic as the next girl, I don't know that I want my living room screaming that.  I think I will be able to tone down the Yankee Doodleness of it by putting this picture over the mantle.

This is The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano.  Our replica was painted by some poor college kid, and I love it because in this version, the woman is wearing red heels, while in the original, she's barefoot!  It's in our orange living room now {funny how a picture can work with such different colors}.  I can pull the gold and black from the picture to use in some spots around the room and hopefully have a cohesive {and not too overly star spangled} space.

The more I've thought about it, the more excited I get.  I am starting over and I already have a plan.  We've asked the seller if they would sell us the area rug you see in the picture up top.  After we hear about that, we'll be a bit more settled into a scheme.

*We've also asked if we can buy an AWESOME orange leather couch in the rec room downstairs.  I'm drooling over it as I speak write.

Here's my plan:

1  Paint the trim WHITE!  I am going to hire this out if it isn't too expensive.  It would take me months to get all of the mouldings and doors painted in the limited time slots I have with two little kids and a baby.

2.  Pull down the wallpaper in the dining room, entry, kitchen, and hall.  The bathrooms will come later.

3.  Paint the entry and hall a pale gray/blue.  Paint the dining room in a darker gray.  Paint the kitchen in a light color, either cream or gray.  We will eventually paint the cabinets white, and I want the kitchen to be light and airy.

For inspiration, here are a few pictures that follow a red, white, and blue theme that I really like.

Classic navy, with very few red accents and lots of white trim.  Very clean.

Beautiful white cabinetry - I'm a total convert to white cabinets.  The blue stain on the island is very cool.

I think I am going to steal the red stool idea.  It's wonderful!

Very fun and a bit funky with that round red pedestal at the end of the island.

I love the drapes!
red white blue modern

Very airy and light feeling.
red white blue modern

All via
This is busier, but because the walls are white and the accents are black, I think they pulled it off very well. 
Very elegant.  I don't love that ottoman, but I've been thinking of making a tufted ottoman that could do double service as a bench and coffee table for the living room.   

I like how classic this is - and I like the brass chandelier {shock, gasp}.

This one is fun to me.  It's a bit quirky but elegant.  Those drapes are adorable!

 I think it could be beautiful.  Don't you?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Before and Afters

I started this blog for two reasons: to share our family and the funny side of our life and to showcase how we are making this house our own.  It's been two years, and I recently came across the pictures used to market this house back in 2010 {when we bought it}.  I thought it would be fun to show the before and afters.  It's pretty encouraging.  It helps my itchy fingers remain calm when I think of all the projects awaiting me in the next house.

Disclaimer:  You all know by now I don't take good pictures, and along with blurriness, I had an especially hard time with lighting this time.  The kitchen kept coming out very dark.  Sorry about that.

Piano room {aka formal living room} 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


Dining room 2010 - yes, that is a line of paint.
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913

2012 - Oh, I had so many projects yet to be done in this room.

Kitchen 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


Eat-in area 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913

2012 - sorry about the lighting.

Living room 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


Master bedroom 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


Upstairs bath 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


Front of the house 2010
4812 N Tanglewood Dr, Appleton, WI 54913


It was fun to see so many changes put together like that.  I didn't remember how different this looked two years ago.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures when we first move in so I don't forget this time.  My itchy fingers are getting ready!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Super G.G.

My mom came to help us after I broke my ankle and we could. not. have. done. it. without. her.  Seriously, if you are in trouble, you want my mom.  But you can't have her for long.  She's mine and I must have her back.

At the pumpkin patch
Not only did she take care of me, the family, and the house, but she also helped Handsome Hero by caulking, organizing, cleaning, painting, and any other job he gave her to get ready to list the house.

On a picnic
He said she was the best employee he'd ever hired.  She said he was the hardest boss she'd ever worked for. :-)

Feeding ducks
Only an awesome mom and G.G. could do all that work, then drive for two days to get home, catch a cold, keep the kids for a week while Handsome Hero and I went house hunting, and still find it in herself to go to an apple farm, take the kids to feed the ducks, go on picnics, go to playgrounds, etc. 

She may have made some comments about being a frail old granny, but I'm not buying it.

Would you?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The third child

You have plans.  You have dreams.  You are not going to be a statistic!  You will share the love and megapixels equally!  You're kids will grow up feeling unitedly embarrassed of your everpresent camera.  You  are a photography machine!  You will do a baby book for the youngest just as you did with the oldest.  Nevermind that you haven't filled out the baby book for number two.  That's beside the point.  You may not have even bought the book yet for the youngest, but you will!  You just haven't found the time to look for it yet.  It's okay, though.  For now you'll just take pictures. 
Lots of pictures. 
You'll capture every moment.
But then, you look through your pictures of the last month and realize something.  This is the only picture you have of the baby by himself.


And you coach yourself:

Self, you are going to use this as a wake up call.  You are going to treat this as the kick in the pants that it is!  You will keep the camera with you at all times to capture these precious moments.  They will not be forgotten!

And you feel better.  You feel invigorated.  You grab the kids and go to the park where there are always great photo opportunities.  You're turning over a new leaf!

And when you get home, you look on the counter at your camera that never made it into the car.

And you sigh.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How're you doing? It's been awhile.

I've really missed the blog over the last few weeks {really since Nate's birth}.  While I don't see being able to write every day for awhile, I hope to do at least a couple of posts a week.  Of course, I thought I was going to be able to write a lot while I was bedridden, too....

Anywho, time for an update!

It has been a wild ride for the Lewis's, getting the house ready to put on the market, listing it, driving to Tennessee, looking for a new house, finding one, selling our current house, and driving back.  We are in the eye of the storm right now, so it's calm and I can actually update this little blog of mine before it all starts up again.

We are very excited to be able to say that we bought a new house and sold our current house in THE SAME DAY!  We didn't expect to sell it in this economy, but we had an offer in two days!  Unfortunately, we couldn't accept it because of some contingencies that the relocation company wouldn't allow, but once those were cleared up, they submitted the offer again and we were able to accept.  Woo to the HOO!!

Here is our new house.  Many pictures will be forthcoming, but here she is in her unassuming glory.

Property Photo

Doesn't she look sweet?  She's a shy house.  She doesn't like to brag about her assets until she gets to know you.  But when you are invited over, you get to know her from a different angle:

Property Photo

Since she is very demure, let me tell you what you are seeing.  Off the left of the picture is the gate through which you drive to come around to the third car garage/workshop.  Handsome Hero was actually giggling when he saw that!  Above the garage door you see the covered deck which leads to the sunroom that spans the rest of the length of the house.  Under the sunroom is a huge covered patio that looks over the yard. 

You might say that this house had me at Hey, y'all!  We are in the South after all.

I'm very excited to get to Knoxville and get cracking on the many projects that a new house brings.  I'm sure there will be many posts on decorating and settling in.  Posts on things like painting peach trim white and tearing out 80's wallpaper....