Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nobody likes change...or do they?

We live in a ranch home that I bought 5 years ago thinking that it would be my starter home that I’d be moving on from in a few years. 2 years after I purchased the home, I met my husband at a local hang out I visit on a weekly basis. He moved in 3 months later, and the house seemed to get a little bit smaller with every passing week. Then we got a dog. Then we got married. Then we got another dog…

Along the way, we’d been making improvements…new garage door, new driveway, new windows throughout the house…with the intention of selling the house and moving to a larger space the spring after our October 2007 wedding. But then my company announced that, as a money-saving plan to try to beat the failing economy, they would not be giving us raises in 2008. Suddenly, moving on into a new home was out of reach.

Thankfully, our savings account combined with my stellar credit allowed us to be able to add on to the home during the spring/summer of 2008, and we plan on living in this little “starter home” for another 10 – 15 years now. We’re pleased with how it all worked out, overall. The neighborhood is perfect…quickly filling up with young families, its centered in a tract that’s surrounded by main thoroughfares, but far enough away from them that they aren’t a nuisance to our lives in any way. We’re close to the freeway that leads us downtown and to the airport when needed, and we’re a little over a mile from grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping in every direction.

Having made several improvements along the way, our decorating style has evolved as well. Today, I thought I’d share the living room changes, and I’ll share more changes that I’m making this week in particular before Friday is here.

When I first moved in, I was single, and I had my heart set on having a house that my friends could all enjoy along with me. So I went out and bought myself a great, big, comfy sectional that would allow for loads of people to gather in my living room whenever they dropped by. But the couch took up the entire room! It wasn’t long after Jesse moved in 2 and a half years later before we donated the couch, and brought in a new one from Crate & Barrel that we felt would be more fitting to the area we had in the room.

But the proper arrangement for the space has eluded us. Initially keeping the couch in front of the large picture window in the room, we had a galley feel to the area, as the kitchen entrance is on one end of the long room, and the suite of bedrooms is on the other end.

So, as I said the other day, I decided to move things around a bit. I first moved the couch around 3 months ago, but only wound up putting it on a diagonal in the room, which seemed to help a bit with the flow, but not a lot. So completing the change by placing the couch along the north wall of the room was the key. As I now know for sure. My husband and I both feel like it has completely opened the room up, and look forward to entertaining this holiday season now! Now if I could just manage to get that round coffee table I want…

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That would be a kick in the pants...

Woo! I just got the call back from West Elm, and they scheduled me to have a second interview with their GM next week! (For those who haven't read my other blog, I'm interested in (a) getting off my butt more often, and (b) making more money than I currently do. So I applied at West Elm about a month after they opened a local store here in Overland Park/Leawood, KS. They didn't have any openings/hours to give me at the time, but things have changed - like they do - and they'd like to see if I can work for them part time.)

I could so, soooo use the cash right now. Plus, we're coming up on the end of football season here, anyway, so I didn't really know what I was going to do with my extra time on Saturdays.

Cross your fingers that I get some sort of job there! (I applied with the intent of working in the stock room, to be honest. I don't know what kind of hours they have to offer right now, though...I'd happily take a sales floor position, too.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I LOVE it when that happens!

My husband thinks that I have a bit of a lamp fetish. I have to correct him often and tell him, "No, honey, I don't have a lamp fetish. I have a lamp, clock, and mirror fetish. Get it straight!" You'd think that after 3 years, he'd have it figured out by now...

I've been lusting after these Mead Mercury Glass Lamps from PB for weeks. I think the bedside lamp (which is the smaller, more squat one in the picture) would be perfect in our living room! Over the weekend, Jesse and I picked up some art to help finish off the master bedroom suite, and I had wanted to go to PB to check out (i.e. BUY) the lamp that I'd been dreaming of for too long, already. But I was tired and hungry by the time we were done picking out the art. So we went home instead.

This morning, I looked up the lamps online...I don't know why. Maybe to make sure I knew the name of them before I headed into the store? Anyway, I saw that they were on sale, which pretty well made my day.

Over lunch, I went to Target to make sure, sure, sure that they didn't have something similar for a lower price. (Which they did not. However, they do have a lampbase that is the exact knockoff of an acrylic based table lamp that I saw at PB when I went to buy my lamp. For $50. So there's that.) After finishing up there, I headed with hope in my heart to PB down the street. I wanted them to have that lamp in store so badly, so I could take it home and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.

Going to the store itself is a dangerous thing for me to do. They have awesome linens that are all holiday-inspired right now! And how cute would it be to do up the guest bath in holiday-inspired linens for our family when they come to town? It'd be too cute, is what it would be. And we already have perfectly lovely linens in there that are softer than anything I've ever owned, and they'll love those, so I just needed to get away from the pretty things, dammit.

Fortunately, I know exactly where the lamp section is in that store, so I bee-lined it as well as I could (after said sidetracking by the linens...), and found my lamp. And then I saw that they had additional colors of their dupioni silk shades available in the store (which I cannot find examples of online, so I'm very sorry I can't show them or even link to them here!), and I figured it might be nice to have a red shade for the holidays. And then, OOH!, I could get pillows and a throw for the couch in a similar red shade, and tie it all together, and how clever am I? So I set aside the two shades I wanted, and went off in search of a salesperson to help me get my lampbase.

The pillows there are just not justifyable, expense-wise, right now. So I put off buying any pillows, and purchased my lamp for a total of $40 off the regular price. The lamp itself came with the "gold" lampshade, for a total of $89. The extra red shade I bought was $39.

I'm far too excited about my purchase, which is how most of them go when I let them get all built up like this. But if I hadn't waited, I wouldn't have gotten the sale price, so I think my decor angel was watching out for me on that one. Thanks decor angel!

I can't wait to find pillows that match that red shade now...


I woke up early on Saturday morning, listening to my dog whining at the door to the bedroom, indicating her desire to come in and sleep with us like she usually does. Unfortunately, she and her “brother” were relegated to the living room that night, due to some infraction or another that they needed to learn a lesson about. I called out a quiet, “That’s enough, Iz!” And the whining stopped…at least for a little while.

It was probably about 3 or 3:30, but I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Suddenly, I had that other arrangement on my mind for the living room…the one that might allow more space for entertaining, and just living in general. Would it work? It had to work! Jesse’s family is coming to town for the Christmas holiday in a few weeks, and I’ve been worried about where we’ll all sit when they’re here. What will be most comfortable for everyone? Where will we put our tree this time around? And, ugh! That couch! Having only just bought it two years ago to replace the enormous sectional mistake I bought when I first moved into the home, I didn’t expect it to wear out so quickly. We bought it at a high-end store! We paid a fairly high amount for it! It should have lasted longer than this, dammit.

Regardless, were stuck with it for a while. And I wanted to put it against the north wall of the living room, like I’d been planning to do for a while…

This is what keeps me awake at night. Along with the lamp I dream of buying for the same room, and the bookshelves that my husband, Jesse, will install for us today in our new master bedroom, allowing us to put the items currently on the bookshelf in the guest bedroom into a new home, so we can move that piece of furniture out of there altogether. It’s taking up too much space, and makes the corner it’s in look overcrowded and like an afterthought.


Welcome to the new space I’ve created in order to share my ideas and inspirations that ramble through this overcrowded noggin of mine every minute of every day. I’m an avid lover of all things clean-lined, but traditional in nature. I love pieces inspired by retro style, from the Hudson collection found at Target (you heard me), to just about anything you can find at West Elm. I get loads of ideas from the magazines I troll through, as well as from watching hours upon hours of HGTV, and reality design shows like Top Design. I haven’t really been searching the blogosphere for inspiration yet, because I’m already overwhelmed by the things going through my head as it is…I’m afraid of what might happen if I add a new layer to the mayhem! But now that I’ve found a place to put it all (duh, the internet was such an obvious choice, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before now), I’m sure to find new and fun places to link to that will hopefully inspire more than just me along the way.

Don’t be confused by my blogroll or the links that I share. I get inspiration from fashion, food, party planning, and landscaping. I figure it’s only fair to share the ideas, regardless of where they come from.

So enjoy! And tell me what you like and don’t like! And help me by sharing your ideas and inspirations, too. I’m looking forward to getting all of this…stuff…out and in your world, too.