The Best Of What's Around 8/22/14

I took the last two weeks off from this series because I've been completely immersed in 1) pulling this house together and 2) helping the kids get settled into the new school year. One of those things is a smashing success and the other is limping along. Hint: school is going great!

Ohio…the heart of it all.

*My favorite things about Ohio so far:

1) You can buy wine anywhere. At the grocery store, Target, the gas station. It's a sweet sweet deal.

2) The people are so ridiculously friendly. It's like a whole state full of people who have never had their hearts broken. No bitterness. Everyone waves and smiles.

3) You are not required to take a written test to transfer an out-of-state driver's license. This is huge! I may have failed this test in a number of other states. I am a solid driver, I swear, but the written test is a whopper.

4) The state is rich with Farmer's Markets. All over the place.  They do not sell wine, but that's ok because see item #1.

5) Amazing schools. The buildings may not be brand new, some are quite old, which I actually love. But the teachers are wonderful and they seem to have the ability to teach what they love in a way that makes sense to them. Unfortunatley this privilege has been taken away from educators in other states, and replaced with questionable standards and assessments rather than common sense teaching. Bonus: the social studies teacher actually loves history and he is not mostly the football coach. 

I'm eyeing this navy print for new living room pillows:

Home Decor Print Fabric- Nate Berkus  Indre Lynwood Navy

or this one? or both?
Home Decor Print Fabric- Nate Berkus  Cole Stripe Paramount Ebony

I'll be there this afternoon to see (and touch) it in person. I'm one of those people who has to touch everything when I shop. I say I'm "highly tactile" my husband says I'm "highly weird" and "this is why I don't shop with you." He loves me.

*Anthropologie has made some no-so-great news in the past few days following a breastfeeding drama in an LA store. It remains one of my favorite places for inspiration and retail therapy. I like to think one bad seed shouldn't spoil the entire brand. And in the spirit of laughing at ourselves, this is a hilarious take on the style that is uniquely Anthropologie.

*Finally, my niece married this handsome guy two weeks ago.
Photo credit goes to another niece, little sister of the bride. She did an awesome job on the entire set of engagement photos. Such talent in this family!
 At one point (15 years ago) she was convinced that I would marry Dave Matthews someday, and actually resented Jason for a while because he was no "Uncle Dave." I love that story.  I hope they settle into the kind of comfort and happiness that Jason and I have, even if he is no Uncle Dave. *Hubby and niece have long since bonded.

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Join Me At Eco Chic Boutique!

I'm at the Eco Chic Blog today, talking about different decorating styles. 

Hop on over and join us!

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Interior Trim: Ivory vs. Bright White

Anyone who knows me knows this: I love a home with white trim. It's impossible to get through a single conversation without the topic of Jack White white trim coming up somehow.

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Source: BHG

It makes a home feel fresh and bright and clean.

Our last house had dark, mission-style wood trim and cabinets everywhere, which drove me crazy for nearly three years. I do not miss that dark wood, and my husband does not miss listening to me complain about it. 

The house before that had white trim, but only because I absolutely insisted, much to the disgust and discouragement of the homebuilder, who insisted that only retirement communities in Florida and Arizona have white trim. (...and don't even get her started on white kitchen cabinets!)

I wish I had taken more pictures of our Minnesota house. This is Jason installing crown molding to the top of our scandalous white cabinets.

So the question for me isn't wood vs. white. Crisp white will always win that battle. What if the trim is off-white?

The new house has all kinds of amazing trim: crown molding, thick baseboard, picture frame molding, beautiful detailed trim everywhere. But it is off-white rather than bright white.

mudroom in the new house

The main wall color is SW Latte, which is beautiful against the ivory trim. 

built-ins at the new house

The actual color is Steamed Milk, but it doesn't look as dark as the picture below suggests. Yes, my home is currently painted Latte and Steamed milk. Absolutely perfect for the Starbuck's Lover in me.

Spring/Summer 2014 Color Palette

 This is a better picture to show the contrast. Of course, it appears darker against some colors than others. The cool blue brings out the warm tones in the trim. 

I thought about painting it all bright white. Seeing the transformations at The Lettered Cottage and Bower Power, I thought, "Maybe I should go for it!"

I had that crazy thought in my head for about 15 minutes, then I came to my senses. There is simply too much Steamed Milk trim in this house to repaint, it's in great shape, and it's a nice enough color. It just isn't crisp white. #crymeariver

So I've decided not to paint the trim, now I need to find the right shade of gray that won't make the trim appear dingy or yellow.
Revere Pewter
Revere Pewter (Source
Balboa Mist  Source
Edgecomb Gray Source 

Sometimes it just requires a shift in how I see the things I like. 

This is one of my favorite rooms by Muskoka Living Interiors, and I see shades of white combined with ivory. Although the doors and trim are white, the built-in cabinets are definitely off-white.

staging living spaces How to Stage Your Own Home for Sale

But really, there are still a zillion boxes to unpack so let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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Focus On The Positive

Every time we move, I find myself muttering the same things during the first month of unpacking. "I'm too old for this" and "I can't do this again" and "Seriously. We are not moving again."

The process of unpacking all of our belongings and trying to rearrange the puzzle so everything fits in a place that makes sense and looks nice, feels like playing with a Rubik's Cube. And the Cube is my life, and I'm not a fan of that game to begin with.  

So, with much left to do, I choose to focus on some areas that look somewhat settled. Although, disclaimer, these areas are only temporarily settled. They will be changed.

And I will walk swiftly past scenes like the one below, which just make me want to pour a glass of wine and watch HGTV all day. 

No Mom, I don't drink wine all day. Just all night. Ha!

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Linking here:

The Road to Domestication

The First Day Of School

The morning sun is always right in their eyes when I take "first day" pictures.

I think they've perfected the goofy pose.

Then Ella grabbed the camera and  took a picture of Jason on the first day of school. Girl cracks me up. 

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New House Tour - Grand Finale

I can't believe the number of times I've said to myself that this house feels like it was made for our family, from the moment I started obsessing over where everything will go and then eventually began unpacking our belongings. It all fits. From the floor plan to our overall style. 

We have lived in every size and configuration imaginable, and some fit us better than others. Some made me grouchy on a daily basis. (Salt lake City, I'm looking at you) Louisiana was an amazing, fancy, beautiful home, in the truest sense of a southern-style home. But it was small and there was no basement - it remains one of my favorites, nonetheless.

Our home is wherever the five of us are together, whether that's a tiny starter home in Northern California, or a chopped-up, mismatched rambler in Fargo. 

I'll find projects wherever we go, because I like the style our family has developed over the past 12+ years, not the finishes and colors the previous owners chose. And because I'm super persnickety.

Having said all of that, let's tour the basement and exterior. 

The basement is basically a family room (most likely a future man cave), a guest room, a bonus room of some sort, storage, and a walkout to the back yard.

The bonus room will be used for an exercise area and that's currently where my craft hoard is living.

When I took these pics the electricity hadn't been turned on, so you'll have to trust me, that room is huge.

Oh - there's a full bathroom too. Again, no lights, sorry.

guest room

guest room

The guest room is huge. Attention MOM: the guest room is huge, and I'll pretty it up for your stay. That goes for all future guests, but my Mom always needs extra coaxing.

The exterior is probably my favorite part of the whole house.

This is where we will live on chilly fall nights

And rumor has it, this is where the snake lives

Whatever. Snakes don't scare me. I'll share this yard with Bigfoot. It's just so nice to have a private back yard. 

So that's it!

Now let the unpacking continue and the customization projects begin...

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