Thursday, May 23, 2013

House Update

I have a few new housey things to show you:

We ordered a bunch of herbs a while ago actually. We were waiting to plant them in the backyard after we had some people cut down a tree that was not in the best shape and prune a few others. (We suspected they might trample whatever was planted back there and thought it best to wait. Incidentally, that was wise foresight on our parts.) After that was done, we discovered our backyard is a favorite hangout for the neighborhood bunnies. They are so cute! But now we know we have to build some type of enclosure around the herbs unless we want them all to be eaten. It turns out everything I learned in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is true. They will eat everything.

For now, the herbs are living in the bay window. They've done well in their little containers so far, though the dill is looking a little sad. We might have to transfer them to bigger pots if they're going to stay inside.

Next is a pillow I ordered from Society6 designed by Emily Rickard. I love her colorful work so much. In her bio she writes, "I think people should be surrounded by art that makes them feel joyful!" I couldn't agree more, and her work does just that! I will probably be ordering more of her stuff in the future.

Now that I have my own Society6 shop, I wanted to test out the quality of their products. I've heard from people who ordered prints and phone cases, and everyone had positive things to say. But I hadn't heard anything about the pillows. The material is a bit stiffer than I thought it would be; Peter described it as "starchy." But as a throw pillow on the sofa, it's just fine. The print quality is excellent, and the colors are vibrant and true. By the way, Society6 is offering free shipping worldwide again till Sunday. They sure do love to offer free shipping over there, and I'm glad they do! I think I will take advantage of that myself this weekend when I have a bit of time to browse.

Last, but not least, is this adorable handmade bench by Etsy seller Signed & Numbered. We needed something just inside the back door to house the detritus that follows us in from the backyard (muddy shoes, watering can, etc.). I've mentioned before that our house is tiny; we don't have a mudroom or covered porch. I wanted something small and unobtrusive since this space is essentially in the dining room. A typical large entryway piece of furniture with coat hooks and cubbies wouldn't do here. I also wanted a pop of color because there's a lot of wood and neutrals already going on in this part of the house.

When I discovered Signed & Numbered and saw that they will make this bench in just about any color you can imagine, I knew instantly it would be the perfect solution. And it is! They also offer a couple levels of distressing in every color (and custom color combos). I'm not really into shabby chic or faux vintage, so I just opted for solid red. It's a really great shade of warm orangey red too.

I ordered the succulents you see on top of the bench from another Etsy seller, Sargeant Sailor. I was a little worried how they'd fare being shipped in a dark box all the way from CA, but so far they're doing ok. They'd probably perk up if we could have several sunny days. (It's been overcast and rainy here in DC a lot this May.) I also need to pot them properly as they're still in the plastic containers they were shipped in.

We have much more to do in this back half of the dining room. A lot of bloggers, maybe even most bloggers, wait to post photos until each room is decorated just the way they want it, but that's not really my style. I like to see progress shots along the way, and I think other people do too. I also resist the urge to only show perfect, "finished" corners of my home. That's not reality, at least that's not my reality. So with that in mind, here's a really rough sketch of what's planned for this back wall:

We are definitely painting the walls--we think a light grey--and have played around with the idea of painting the door too. There will be a glass cabinet on the right side of the door to display pottery, serving dishes, and other things we don't have room for in the kitchen. And there will be art, of course! After we've done everything else, I'll start focusing on details like changing out door hardware. But like I said, that's low on the priority list right now.

I've been looking at cabinets and sideboards, both vintage and new. It's challenging to find something with the right proportions for that small space. And, as is typical for me, everything I really love is way out of our budget. But I'm confident I'll be able to find something eventually I can live with that also doesn't clash horribly with the modern/industrial/rustic/mid-century thing we've already got going on in this space. That sounds like a horrible mishmash of styles when I write it out like that, but it's good, I promise.

So that's all for now! Our new chair for the living room is coming Friday, and we'll probably start testing paint colors soon. We're still undecided about whether we're going to paint ourselves or hire painters. We got an estimate from one company that was $750 for the living room/dining room, which is way more than I want to spend. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Anyone else in the midst of decorating chaos? Feel free to share links in the comments. I'd love to see what other people are doing in their homes/apartments. xo, Mary


  1. I love the red table that you found. It's really cute and I just love the color. Very vibrant. It looks like there is a lot of light coming into your home. I'm trying to get home living room a bit brighter. Our sofa is kind of dark and I think it brings the room done. Maybe bright pillows would help.

  2. I'm so excited to see your house come together! I like everything you've done so far, and that little pop of red is so fun. And I vote to paint the door!

    IKEA has a handful of glass cabinets that might fit that little area over there.

  3. Mary, I really love what you've done so far. I like how bright and airy your space feels. I'm also a big fan of that pretty pillow!

    I too am in the middle of re-decorating. We moved into our house August 2011. It's our first house, so we have no idea what we are doing! It's slow-goings. I've been chronicling the small changes as we go in a section on my blog:

    Like you, I'm showing things as we go. If I waited until it was finished, it would be a LONG time until I had anything to share...

  4. The colorful pillow looks gorgeous against your sofa! And we planted 24 sunflowers last week and literally overnight they were eaten. So we're trying again inside until they get much bigger. Your herbs actually looking really beautiful on that tray and would look really pretty indoors.

  5. Looks wonderful so far, very stylish and I love that pillow! There are some amazing things on Society6, I didn't know they did pillows too. Ooh and the watering can looks so adorable on that red bench

  6. Mary, you have such a good eye! It looks great so far, I can't wait for the next update.

    I very much identify with your dilemma when it comes to incorporating new furniture that goes, somehow, with what you already have going on. The husband-fish likes stately stuff and dark wood, and I like minimal and modern, but we make it work!

    This reminds me of something Frasier said about the eclectic style:
    "...the theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn't matter if they match - they will go together."

  7. SPAMMING YOU AGAIN. (Insert evil laugh here.) I love seeing little bits and pieces of your home, and hearing about what sort of creative things you're doing with the space. I've only ever lived in apartments, so I'm never quite sure what to do. Hell, I live in a basement right now, and all the walls are brick. I can't even hang pictures right now ... I'm honestly a bit scared that, when I do live in a house, I won't know how to decorate it. That I'll just leave all the floors and walls blank because I don't want to "ruin" anything or "not do it right," haha. And there is no reason to share photos of only the finished product (in this case, the house). This way, we see both your imagination, creativity, and style develop and change and come together.

  8. everything looks really lovely! I need to take some house pictures too!

  9. I love your little red shelf! It looks perfect for the space and the plans you have for it.

  10. I think it is a great idea tow draw over your pictures. If I ever get to decorate my house I will do that too ;)