Home & Interiors

Coming Home

October 13, 2014

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This summer we moved out of our old home – the one Fox was born in, the one Braid was built in, and the one Jeremy and I were married in. I thought I would be a little more nostalgic as we moved out – I had this idea that I might walk through our empty home and shed a single tear in each room as I recounted all the life we had lived in that space. But just hours in and I was already settling in to our new home – a midcentury modern split level with a mint green kitchen – as Jeremy handed off the keys to our old home to our new tenants.

Moving homes this summer didn’t make any sense – financially or otherwise. We were still sorting out up from down after bringing a tiny person into our lives. But when this house became an opportunity – even through my postpartum haze – I had a vision and this home was the backdrop. A vision of becoming the mom I want to be – of creating new traditions and rituals that would bond our little family together like Gorilla glue. A vision of finally coming home. And now here we are.

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A big thanks to Greer for capturing us, just as we were on any given rainy Saturday morning.

Wicker Chair

August 4, 2014

WickerChair My sister and I have become obsessed with scouring Craigslist for home furnishings. Well, Craigslist scouring is kind of her obsession and she then narrows down the listings and presents them to me – I simply respond with a “yay” or “nay”. Tara is always pushing for me to email or text the seller and I get exhausted just thinking about coordinating the maybe-shady and decidedly uncertain transaction. Some people are cut out for this sort of thing – but I think I’ve become spoiled by the convenience and certainty of Amazon Prime. My sister seems to have amazing luck with Craigslist. For example, recently she bought a coffee table. She texted the seller and within 5 minutes had a response. They arranged a meeting within the hour and I decided to go with Tara to the seller’s house just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of scam that ended with my sister being sex-trafficked in Russia. We arrive to the sellers house which is an amazing house converted from an old Catholic church – and the seller is a nice doctor lady wearing a fitted polo top, a knee-length khaki skirt, and refined minimal jewelry and makeup that gracefully says “I come from old-money.” It was a super pleasant exchange and the seller even gave us a sneak peek of her Chouse (church + house = Chouse).

So you see, I have a screened-in sun porch that needs furniture and it calls for furniture of the rattan, wicker, or bamboo nature. This one set of bamboo furniture kept coming up with a description that looked something like this: wicker furniture set wicker couch and chair. $190. excellent condition. The listing was accompanied with multiple photos of a dark bamboo (not actually wicker) chair and couch completely unstyled in the middle of a lawn. The chair had cushions covered in pink and green tropical fabric (very Miami). The couch however was not pictured with cushions. The furniture had good bones and the price was pretty competitive based on some of the other listings I had considered. My sister urged me to send an email – so I did. Here’s how it went:  

ME: Hi! I’m interested in your wicker furniture set. Do you happen to know the dimensions? Are the couch cushions in good condition / clean? Also, would it be possible to deliver? I live in NW OKC. Will pay asking price.

[I hate negotiating. I’m always willing to pay asking price which my sister says is ridiculous. Apparently half the fun of buying stuff off Craigslist or at garage sales is haggling. I’m just not into it.]

SELLER: We will be back in town Tuesday. I will email you measurements when we get home.
[Note that only one of three questions were answered. I’ve learned in life and work you can only ask one question at a time via email.]

SELLER (5 days after the previously mentioned Tuesday): are you still interested in the wicker set?

ME: Yes, definitely! I just need to know the dimensions and if you would be able to deliver. Also, does the couch have cushions or no?

SELLER:
75 X 33 X 28 COUCH 33 X 33 X 28 CHAIR We don’t have a way to deliver.
It does have the seating cusions [sic].
You are more than welcome to come by and take a look at it.

After 6 more emails back and forth we finally coordinate a time for me to swing by and look at this wicker furniture set that is actually bamboo.

So it was a Friday morning and instead of working I made Tara come with me to check out this wicker furniture. Because if anyone is really going to be kidnapped and sex trafficked in Russia it’s probably the girl who gets on boats with strangers (that would be me). So we hop in my MINI Cooper and make our way not too far from our own neighborhood. We end up at a modest but cute ranch-style home – the front porch has some promising bohemian style including rattan furniture, ceramic turtle planters holding succulents, and wind chimes made of shells. After knocking, ringing the doorbell, and knocking again a lady – who is clearly stoned – answers the door. “Hi, I’m here to take a look at the wicker furniture.” She looks confused, tells me to hold on, and shuts the door. About five minutes later a shirtless man comes to the door and tells us to meet him around the side of the house. We’re definitely about to be sex trafficked. So we go around to the side of the house when a few minutes later we hear the garage door (which is on the FRONT of the house) open. So we head back over to the garage located at the FRONT of the house. Granted, it was only five steps from where we were but still, lousy instructions would have never happened at the Chouse.

Okay so, finally my eyeballs are on the wicker furniture in a garage that smells heavily of cigarette smoke. Tara and I sit on the couch which happens to have shredded-to-shit cushions on it. Tara looks at the shirtless seller and says “These cushions are in terrible shape.” Dude (who is also clearly stoned but probably not going to sex traffic us) says “Yeah, that’s why we didn’t include them on the photo.” Tara fires back (in the nicest way possible – like she was truly giving this guy some Craigslist education) “Yeah, most people include that kind of stuff on the listing. So you know… potential buyers are aware of it before they come out to your house.” Dude just kind of shrugs and says he’ll ask the confused girl, who apparently IS the owner of this wicker furniture, if she’ll take $100 for the set instead of the asking price of $190.

So THIS. This is why I don’t do Craigslist.We headed back to my MINI empty handed and with no deal in place. We drove down the street to a  bustling garage sale and found this wicker chair for $10. I loaded it up in my car and as I drove off feeling like the Universe had delivered my sister said “You should have offered $5.”

Little Things

November 26, 2013

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As Thanksgiving approaches and everyone on Facebook gives daily #gratitude I’ve been thinking lots about what I’m grateful for. And I’d have to say, lately, it’s been the little things. Fleeting and temporary moments of beauty that can easily be overlooked or taken for granted. Like a good hair day. Or fresh nail polish – before it’s had a chance to chip. Coming home with my favorite flowers from the grocery store. Kanye West and tie-dye. Long breakfasts and slow tea. Late night conversations with old friends that you never want to end. An extra minute of morning cuddles and hard kicks to the stomach (ribs & hips) from a sweet tiny human.

I’m grateful for the little things – the perfectly imperfect, impermanent, and ever-changing little things.

What little things are you thankful for? 

 

Dining Room in Progress

September 17, 2013

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The title of this post is “Dining Room in Progress” but the truth is my entire house is in a state of transition – a perfect metaphor for my whole life being in a state of transition. The only room that feels truly complete and comfortable is our living room. It’s cozy, layered, and eclectic – which is how I want my entire home to feel. So I decided to start with our dining room next – which is right off the living room.

First off, we sold the 1957 Haywood-Wakefield mid-century modern dining room table. This was bitter-sweet for me. Our H-W table was the first piece of legit grown-up furniture I had ever purchased – as in, it wasn’t a hand-me-down and it wasn’t IKEA. I’ve had countless dinners and conversations with friends around it. That said, I had a vision for something new – something a little more conducive to daily family dinners vs. the occasional friend dinners. I searched up and down online and off for the perfect dining room table but it just didn’t exist (or was way out of my price range if it did).

That’s where my new friends at Bent came in. I hired Bent owners and designers Chad and Travis to custom build a low, round table made from a local Oak tree. They were collaborative and awesome through the whole process and now we have a solid table that I can imagine passing down as an heirloom piece to my children one day. I wanted a table that felt casual and bohemian but solid and durable. I love the idea of getting cozy on layered rugs, pillows, and throws – I can imagine spending hours around this table talking about life, vision, and travel with friends and family alike. I can even imagine creating new holiday traditions and meals around this table. It already feels like a big part of our home.

But the dining room is still in progress. I’m inspired by Sibella Court’s interior styling book Etc. to bring pieces I love and a “curated clutter” kind of vibe to our space. Another thing I love about her style is that she’s able to make even bright colors feel moody, refined, and atmospheric. So here’s what I have left to do:
• Add more pillows, layer in more rugs, and add a throw or two to the seating area
• Find and hang a new chandelier
• Add more art / visual interest to the wall behind the seating area – my sister found a bunch of drawings my dad did as a kid that I’m excited to hang in this space
• Find a chair and create a sitting nook on the opposite side of the dining room (not shown)
• Bring in a low plant bench under our window for succulents and other collections of things we love

I’ll be sure to share the “after” once it’s done! Then on to the master bedroom, guest bedroom, and baby room!

Night Light

September 9, 2013

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It turns out that I’m afraid of the dark.

I didn’t fully realize my scaredy-cat tendencies until I started waking up to pee an average of 3 times throughout the middle of the night. I used to be the girl who would hold it all night out of laziness – or I would press on my bladder to see how dire the need-to-pee situation was. Now the threat of UTIs has me naked and half-asleep, ping-ponging my unfamiliar body while cradling my large tight stomach, down my striped Beetlejuice hallway multiple times a night. Every night. When there is a full moon out I can see just enough to be creeped out. When the moon is new I might step on a cat and try not to think about stumbling into a rape-murderer on my way to the bathroom.

Once I make it to the toilet I begin to wake up as my eyes adjust to the dark. I always find this opportunity to reminisce about the scariest movies I’ve ever seen including Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Paranormal Activity, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I try to keep from looking back down the hallway for ghosts or shady silhouettes. I always feel safest when I have a cat accompanying me – especially if it’s Mister Scooty Boots. Then I run/shuffle back to bed, jump in, and assure myself that it’s actually Jeremy next to me with a Hellen Keller style pat down of his face (he usually sleeps through this).

One time, after waking up from a particularly disturbing nightmare (which seems to be shockingly common these days) I actually woke and recruited Jeremy to escort me to the bathroom. I even devised a strategy where I stayed behind him and then jumped ahead of him, per our proximity to open spaces and entryways, so he was always a human shield between me and the things that go bump in the night. He listened with patience and zero condescension as I recounted the horrific details of my nightmare – which of course didn’t seem quite as scary when spoken aloud. “No really. It was terrifying. If only you could see it in my head. You had no legs and there was blood EVERYWHERE.” (Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the most out of the trip and am rocking back & forth on the toilet, per a commenters advice, to completely empty my bladder). Together we’d stumble, nekkid, back down our hallway to our bed and I’d almost laugh thinking about an actual bad-guy-out-to-get-me taking witness to the scene.

Last weekend Jeremy and I were wondering around Lowe’s gathering random things for our home, from lightbulbs to tree stakes, when I decided to pick up a night light. But first I had to ask an employee where they were located. “Excuse me sir, can you point me towards your night lights?” “You mean for kids?” “Yeah … ahem … or for adults.” Some of the more stylish ones also touted changing color LEDs. I don’t need a disco party in my bathroom – I just need a little bit light to ward of the scaries. I settled on a night light appropriate for a grandma’s bathroom and am currently on the hunt for something a little more worthy of my modern sensibilities. But since plugging that bad boy into the wall my night life has completely changed – I’m able to pee in confidence with about 80% less fear than I was experience pre-night light.

Moon image is a poster via Urban Outfitters – overlay by me. 

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