Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years + Random pics

Wishing you and your families and friends all the best in this coming year!

Our evening will be spent home, in pajamas with a couple bottles of bubbly and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Thought I'd wrap up this week with some random happenings...

Aren't these ornaments precious? They were John's great-grandmother's and a gift to us from Aunt Cook.
I have a few old ornaments from my grandmother too. So I am looking forward to displaying everything together in some glass colanders next year.

I should have posted this photo a few days ago but laziness prevented me:
That's the snow drift Monday morning. up to the top step of our stoop. 1 and a half hours later, we dug ourselves out and returned to hibernation.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

China - December 2010

Occasionally I travel to China for business purposes and everyone is always asking me what it is like.

I actually like working in China since communication is immediate and much more gratifying than every day in New York. The downside is that I am a true homebody and miss John and the comforts and familiarity of home.

But... since I'm in work mode and China is 13 hours ahead of New York, time stops existing and I exist solely to work and call home. In between I manage to eat and sleep and futz around on the internet.

I imagine this is a similar way of life as astronauts in the International Space Station.

Anyway, here are some photos I took of things that struck me a few weeks ago (please forgive the awful Blackberry-quality photos)...

PU machinery

View from the Sheraton Dongguan.
The haze and pollution is, sadly, an everyday occurrence.

Pagoda in Dongguan


Sunset over the highway


Xiamen Airport

School kids at recess

Restaurant mascot at The House, Xiamen

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dining Room - Table hypothesis

Cozying up for the next day or so through this snow storm and hoping everyone is doing the same!

So anyway...

What do you think of this zinc-top dining table?
The same table is pictured and available to buy from this lovely lady (you must click on that link to see the most gorgeous table-scape you can ever imagine - and I'm not one to toss around the word table-scape lightly).

I'm kind of liking the idea of a table that has an industrial edge and especially leaning towards a table that incorporates metal materials.

The table pictured above is 78" long by 36" wide. I'm hoping it can comfortably seat 3 on each long side so we can seat at least 8.


this one from the Restoration Flatiron series:

I practically invented this table after FLIPPING OUT over the 100" long version they originally came out with last year.

It is 6 inches shorter than the first table - 72" x 36". (They call it a "kitchen table" because all of their furniture is made for people who are 10 feet tall with 25 children living in gymnasiums). I love the color of the wood top but it is a very specific color which means we would probably be limited to the exact matching wood chairs from Restoration (greyish, antiqued) or using something completely different like upholstered or slip-covered chairs.
Not sure if we could fit 3 down each side, however.

The prices on both tables are fairly affordable so that isn't a factor in this whole mess.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Much to-do about nothing...

I need to take a break from Christmas stuff and focus on what's going to happen in the New Year.

These are all the projects that have been gnawing at me - the things I daydream about. These are my zombie-crazies. And they will be eradicated this winter! I'm hoping this post is an ass-kicking into productivity. (It worked last time and I ended up completing most of the goals I set!) Let the ugly begin!


1) Closet Messes.
Empty, toss-away, organize, paint. Yes. Paint.

Front closet. Gag.

Upstairs linen closet.

2) Living Room.
Just finish it already.

Bookshelf and mantle need paint.

Staircase and stairwell walls need paint...
before, before

halfway there.


3) Lighting.
Change it.

Front vestibule sconce, barf.

Outside porch light, meh...

Living room sconces.


4) Window treatments.

Dining room needs drapes that exist outside of computer imagery.

Sunroom/office needs thermal shades.
Also shades without gross stains. (Came with the house. Don't be a hater.)


5) Furniture:

I'll be keeping a lookout for a new coffee table and a rug for the living room...

Not a comfortable set-up.

The Dining Room table/chair situation needs help.
Gigantic dining room seats 4 people.

Office desk area could be cleaned up with a new desk top, painted file cabinets with new hardware, and a clean-up wire solution.


And if I magically have extra money and time this spring, I will be all about:

- Painting the 3rd bedroom

- Tree and shrubbery removal

- New car

- New driveway

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kitchen dreaming...

Is this not the most cozy kitchen?
What I love:
- white cabinets with dark hardware
- black trimmed windows
- carrara countertops
- is that a dishwasher?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree...

We were the only ones in the tree lot yesterday due to the rainy weather. But we were able to bring home our first real Christmas tree. When we lived in apartments, I was lucky to get up my tinsel tree every year. Last year was a doozy since we moved into the house a few days before Christmas.

But by last night we put it all together with the help of John's family...

And this morning...

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments...
I have to hand it to John for being patient with my color choices. I originally had hot pink in the mix, but nixed it in favor of silver, gold, mustard yellow, turquoise and purple. But it does look pretty and I promised him we would get a better topper at some point. (Right now the place-holder is the glitter gold bow and ribbon).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New favorite thing

Last year it was all about Carrera hexagon tiles, but now I am all about the herringbone...
How gorgeous are these tiles? We need to re-tile the hearth in front of our fireplace. Love it!
I would like to use a natural stone. I love the Carrera, but that is so 2010!
The Nero marble in the first image might be the future!
Anyone say kitchen remodel?
Love love love!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One Year Houseversary

This past weekend marks the one year anniversary since we bought the house and started tearing it apart.

It's been the year of SURFACES. Floors were sanded and/or replaced and stained. Walls were painted. Trim was painted. Bathroom surfaces were completely ripped out and replaced (Floor, walls, fixtures). Lawns were reseeded. Plants planted.

Let me recap where we stand:

Front of the house:
What we did: Planted grass and added some plants under the front window. Hopefully next spring everything will fill in nicely.
Still to do: tear out that annoying tree (unknown variety) and the gigantic hemlock that is balancing precariously to the right of the house. (I'm usually against tree removal, however these are real doozies).

What we did: All the wood floors were re-done. The downstairs floor unfortunately needed to be replaced completely since the tongue-and-grooves were really worn down in spots. The upstairs floor was in perfect condition for re-finishing:
gunked-up before photos equal a perfectly refinished after, as below right:

What we did: We painted the radiator cover and the walls. This isn't even a before - more like "midway" and "after midway".
Still to do: replace lighting fixture. (Please!)

Living Room:
What we did: Floors and paint done. Painted the brick of the fireplace.
Still to do: tackle the built-in shelves (paint and display!) also get the fireplace working. And a cozy rug and new coffee table would be extra nice.

Front room / Sun Room / Office:
What we did: Floors and paint done.
Still to do: replace cheapy canvas blinds with different cheapy, yet thermal blinds. Paint desk and replace desktop. A rug and chaise lounge would be nice in here. We need a custom radiator cover made.

Dining Room:
What we did: Floors and Paint done.
Still to do: new dining table and chairs. Drapery!

That which will not be named. Nor seen. Needs to be gutted, walls ripped down. EVERYTHING REPLACED.

Staircase and Woodwork:
What we did: Half painted trim.
Still to do: Finish priming and painting entire wall of staircase. Peel wallpaper and paint back wall along staircase.

Upstairs hallway:
What we did: Floors and paint done. DONE.
before and after - different view (whoops should take a new photo with new floor)

Our Bedroom:
What we did: Floors and paint done. New bed, check.
Still to do: Ok for now, pending future trips to Home Goods.

Guest Room:
What we did: Floors and paint done. Bed inside.
Still to do: Ok for now, pending future trips to Home Goods.

What we did: Everything.
Still to do: Curtains, accessories.

I want to take a moment to thank you all for reading this blog. I hope you find it entertaining. We really enjoy every second we spend in our home (whether drooling in front of the tv or brushing away cobwebs in the basement) and we're looking forward to all the projects we have on our to-do list in the coming year! But thank you thank you to everyone, I love reading the comments you leave - keep them coming!

Because I love to talk!