Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Before Shots, Part Deux

Hi all. I just can't tell you, three posts in, how much fun I am having with this blog! Of course I am still figuring some things out, especially all the ins and outs of blogger.com. If anyone else uses it and has any tips for me I would welcome them! For now though, let me show you around upstairs! You should feel privileged...my friends rarely see the upstairs rooms of my home, as they generally hold all the laundry piles (dirty and clean) and don't make the cleaning cut when I actually clean!

OK, let's start this tour at the bottom of the stairs. Walking in the front door of the house, the stairs are in front of you and to the left. There is a weird part of me that wishes we had carpet covered stairs so I could get in on the all the awesome stair makeovers people are doing! I do love ours though, although this runner isn't so much my taste. I've (of course) got some ideas about what I want to do instead...with kids, we will have to have a runner of some sort on the steps, but I definitely want something jazzier than this. I'm totally stumped on what to do on the wall going up the steps. I have family photo and kids' artwork galleries going in other areas, and I want to do something different and unique here. But what?!

Moving up now to one of my favorite spots in the house, the upstairs hallway. The stairs come straight up to a little landing (I'm standing on it in the first shot), off of which is the master bedroom, and then there are two steps up to the right. The two kids' rooms are to the left in this shot. On the wall to the left is where I am putting a kid's artwork gallery. I plan to totally fill the wall with their stuff. I just love the way that looks, and seeing the pride in their faces when their work is displayed prominently is priceless. Obviously there will be lots of bright color on the walls, and pretty much every color in the rainbow, and I've been torn about balancing that with a simple seagrass or sisal rug on the floor, or going all out and finding a super bright striped rug. Thoughts? Also, loooove the built in bookcase (is there anything better than built in bookcases? NO!). I am toying with the idea of painting the back of the bookcase an amazing color, or maybe even papering it. I recently got on a kick and ordered a bunch of my favorite books from child- and young adulthood with the covers I remember as a kid (the updated Judy Blume covers were not doing it for me, I wanted the 70s bell bottoms and 80s feathered hair!), and I plan to put those and my kids' favorites in here.

The two photos above are the master bedroom, and it's really hard to give a sense of how this room is laid out. Like I mentioned, the MBR door opens off the landing at the top of the stairs. Looking in that door is the long hall you see, which is our dressing area (sounds so fancy for a place that houses my three pairs of jeans, 42 sweatshirts and 14 pair of flip flops!). It is really nice...we have his and hers closets on the left, plus behind the door is a good-sized walk in closet with lots of shelving and another hanging rod. The his and hers closets we use primarily, but the walk in we haven't quite figured out yet. I will get a pic of that and show you another time. To the right off that hallway is the master bathroom. To the left as you walk in that first door is another door, which goes into the main part of the master. It looks tiny in this photo but is really large, especially with no space taken up by closets. There are three windows that look out into the trees, and I think it is going to be amazing in a couple of months. My husband and I are both loving this space. The blue is not one we ever would have chosen on our own, and we love it. It is such a peaceful, serene room. I think I only have one painting on the wall so far, and that may be all we put up. I don't want anything to "clutter up" this space, in any sense.

Another favorite spot is this little mini-hallway off the main upstairs hall. It is to the left in the shot of the hall above, and the kids rooms both open off this hall; the door straight ahead is a linen closet. I just love the feeling that the kids have their own little wing.

This is my 6-year old son's room. I love the kids' rooms; they are really large and have a lot of potential. Bennett has asked for a Star Wars room in this new house, and we are granting his wish.

My youngest daughter's room. Not quite as bright as her brother's, but much, much bigger than her tiny nursery at our last house. She moved into a big girl bed in conjunction with our move, and she loooves it. She is a great independent player and spends a lot of time playing with her dolls in here, which I think is so neat. My sisters and I spent a lot of time playing in our rooms as kids, and that was something my son didn't do much of; maybe one of those boy/girl things, not sure. I developed an obsession with owls when we lived in our last house, since we had at least two that nested on our property and who we got to watch quite a bit. I was soooo sad to leave them, so I decided to decorate Brooke's room with owls. Luckily that is quite a huge trend right now and it's been really easy to find stuff!

Finally, my oldest daughter's room. (You have no idea how I struggled with what to call this room. Gina is away at college and I don't know how I will ever bring myself to feel that she doesn't "live" here. Do you know what I mean?) For a lot of the year this will function as a guest room, and the challenge will be making sure Gina feels that she can make her mark in here while making it a welcoming space for guests. It is a "bonus room" over the garage, and is a lot like the room Gina had in our last house, except that room was super dark and not welcoming at all. This room gets great light, and the slanted walls start a lot higher up which makes a big difference. I love love love the built in bookcase under the window. We had an extra king size bed which is going in this room. I actually just picked up an upholstered headboard that I had made for in here yesterday, and today at Target found the most perfectly coordinating bedding ever. The fabric for the headboard is so color specific, I thought I would just have to go with a solid quilt, and I was stunned to find something that went with it so well. AND, the bedding has some California poppies, which are my favorite thing in the universe. As my husband would say, it's like ya read about. I can't wait to show it all to you!

OK, so...that's our house! Now I can get into the fun parts of going through each room and showing you what I've done, telling you what I plan to do, asking a bazillion questions about what you think, and showing you the gajillion inspirational photos I see in blogland, on TV and in magazines...it'll be so fun! I plan to post two or three times a week, and I hope you'll pour a cup of coffee, a glass of tea, or a tumbler of whiskey and join me!



  1. You are amazing! I'm enjoying this soooo much.

  2. So gorgeous! I want to clone your house and plop it down on a little farm in Idaho for us!

  3. I am jealous of your hardwoods! In our new house we have hardwoods only in a few rooms, the rest of the house is all carpet!

    Beautiful home!

  4. I agree - those hardwoods are wonderful. I am in the process of ripping out carpet (way too much!) and getting new floors in. However, the patina on those floors are wonderful. Your home is quite stunning!

  5. I saw your comment at Nesting Place, congratulations on your new blog!

    I'm green with envy over your hardwood floors! Your home is lovely. :)

  6. Hi there! I love your new home...just gorgeous!

    I did get your comment about giving me a "Stylish Blog Award," and I thank you. I will try to get around to doing a post awarding other blogs and mentioning you as well. It might take me a little while!

    Thanks again...I look forward to seeing how your home evolves!

  7. Valarie,
    Just found your blog and really like it! Your home is wonderful, you are going to have such fun designing it! Am looking forward to seeing the rooms as you get them completed!
    I am your newest follower and would love for you to visit me! I will be checking back often!