The Art in Father’s Day

Waking up to a rainbow outside has to be a sign of a start to a great day.  It’s the day to appreciate dad.  My husband and I won’t have a chance to visit our parents this year, although we are fortunate to celebrate with our children in the new home.

It finally rained and the best thing to do when it rains is my husband’s favorite activity, which is go to the movies.  He goes to the theater almost every weekend (mostly solo) and the movies aren’t even good most of the time!  I think he goes just for a story.  We saw the movie Tag which is about grownups who continue to play a game of tag every year in the month of May in an effort to remain youthful.  They quote Benjamin Franklin:

“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”

Theaters have really changed!  The aisle widths are larger, seats are over sized and  recline.  This is a big improvement!  I wish the airlines would do the same.  Really why bother going to the movies if you are more comfortable at home?

The bar stools came in this week so now we have an excuse to break in the new space with Father’s Day dinner watching the baseball game at the bar.  On the menu, hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad and fruit.  For desert, banana pudding, my husband’s favorite!

It still looks pretty bare in the house.  Slowly it will get there.  I’ve been looking for some art for a prominent niche.  For some reason inside the house feels more modern and I’ve been leaning more towards modern decor.  I found this mid century modern brutalist nail art by an American artist, Corey Ellis that I think would be perfect. It would go next to the fireplace in the niche.  Brutalist from what the Internet says is a period after World War 2 whereby things built were completed with unrefined materials, simplistic in design and built with strength.   I really like the idea.


brutalist nail art


The Art in Father’s Day

Windows of Opportunity

We have been working out the quirks of the new home.  We have some issues with the technology and with the AC units.  Things to be frustrated with, however so long as you are determined to resolve, it will be ok.  It’s been a couple of weeks and we are working on windows.  For the bedrooms, I convinced my husband to let me install blinds from the local home improvement store.

We had two drapery makers come out this week.  One was double the price of the other.  The lady that was less expensive was Russian.  I love her!  We work well together.  She brought books of fabric and it was super easy to make a choice.  Once the room has the fabric, it will be cozy.  It would seem the trend in window treatments is simple panels, geometric designs and mainly neutral colors.

I spent most of the beginning of the weekend getting the guest room ready for my daughter.  It’s still a room with random furniture, just less of it now.   It has an eyebrow window and to cover it for privacy has been a challenge.   There is a balance between living like you are in a fish bowl, exposed and covering all the windows up.   While looking at blinds that will fit the wide window, I learned that a Palladian shelf can be installed in the window to provide the middle support that is needed to hang the blinds.  One quote I had was $900+, however I can do the shelf and the blinds for $180.  In the meantime, I used a shower curtain tension rod with her sheers for some privacy until the order comes in.  By leaving the arch and the three windows above it open, there will be enough privacy and enough light keeping the room looking spacious even though it is relatively small.


My husband’s office windows are too narrow for blinds and shutters seem to be a commitment to cover up the windows.  To solve this problem Nora suggested a traverse rod with linen panels.  She showed me a video of one of her previous projects and it seemed like it was the perfect solution for his office.  It will have a little bit of a formal look and masculine with the light grey solid color.  He will have the privacy he wants in the evening and the ability to enjoy the view which is of a small court yard during the day.


Tonight we had dinner together and it was everything I was hoping it to be casual and intimate.  I love it!

Windows of Opportunity

New Home Living

We have been in the new house for a week.  It’s overwhelming, I start unboxing something and then get distracted and switch areas.   It’s hard to keep focused when there is so much to do.  This week we got a lot accomplished.

My husband just wants to keep buying which is driving me crazy.  He stated he isn’t using  wire hangers and proceeded to order wooden hangers.  I put the clothes on the hangers for him and there wasn’t enough.  I convinced him to go with plastic for t-shirts.  His side of the closet… and mine…pics below!

When we left our old house, many things needed to be replaced.  We bought a new lawn mower, trimmer and blower.  The lawn needed attention!  And my husband replaced our patio cushions.  I wondered if it was a good idea to keep the patio furniture.  It ended up costing us a small storage unit for 6 months.  At least we didn’t have to put out more money for a new set.  We don’t have a grill right now so I went to the store to get an electric one, which they did not have.  I went for a table top propane grill for $30 because eventually we will do a nice grill.   An hour later I’m still putting together the pieces and it didn’t work.  Convinced that this grill would work, the next day I kept trying and finally got it to work.  So happy for hamburgers!


We are dealing with an AC problem, they have been out twice to repair it.  This is one of the many things that is stressing me out!  In Texas you don’t need to have AC problems, especially a brand new unit.

The breakfast room re-purposed to an office space is coming along.  I found some art at the “At Home” store.  You can get some great decorating ideas walking into some of the builder model homes.  I’m going for updated on a budget.  Deciding on how to setup this room was not easy.  I looked for ideas on the internet, nothing really helped.  It was weird that we walked into the furniture store, saw the desk and chair and then the vision came together.    We walked into many furniture stores, some just don’t have the style that excites you.  The desk just needs a lamp and a couple of decorations and it’s done.  Simple and no clutter.




New Home Living

A different kind of Mother’s Day

There will be no pampering this weekend.  First I have to mention how proud I am of my grad.  My son graduates in a couple of weeks, I’m talking about Lu graduating puppy class.  We completed six weeks of training.  She is doing really well with potty training.  And she did pretty well with learning to look at me (she is very focused to begin with, intense!), will sit, leave it, drop it, walk well on a leash, stay and come.  These are the puppy basics.  We name her toys and she knows which one is the ball, bone and lizard…lizzy.   She was in class with only big dogs and wants to play with everybody, although they all did pretty well paying attention.lunagrad

I have been working on making the house a home.  We ordered new furniture for the dining room and living room and it came in this week.  It’s hard to visualize the end result but it’s getting there.  My husband and I worked together on it and found furniture between 3 stores.  I really like how the dining room is coming together.  The table is 60 inches and will fit 5-6 around it.  This will be very comfortable for our family.  We found a buffet that has a unique finish and iron open doors.  The bench anchors the room and will allow for more seating and a place for people to put their things.  The decor we put on the wall and the window treatments will really pull this room together.


We got a quote for blinds on 12 windows which are not all of them, I’m hoping my husband will let me do it myself.  It’s about $100/per window to order and have them installed, and $50/per window if I do it. With the savings we can have curtains made to frame the windows.

This house features the ability to centralize the media equipment.  In the design concept of the great room, there is no entertainment center.  The set top box and sound equipment can be out of site in a centralized closet.   We spent a lot of money on a really nice entertainment center that we are not moving into this house.  No one wants them these days sadly.  We got a really expensive quote for the setup of the sound system and I’m hoping a friend can do it for less.


I think taking time to find wall decor that will make the house a home will be worth it.  So this is progress.  It’s not complete, it’s moving forward.



A different kind of Mother’s Day


It’s here!  Finally.  The house has been cleaned everything is done and we are ready to close and start the 6 week move process!  We are really happy with the design decisions we made and now have more to make with the interior.

our house

We purchased the sofa sectional after visiting the house and taping off the dimensions to see how it would fit.  We have agreed on the smaller 60 inch round table for the formal/only dining room and instead of buying the chairs that go with the set, we found some tufted chairs for $75/per chair!  This will not only save money, it will give it a casual – formal look.  We still need the buffet and the bench for the opposite walls, window treatments, a rug and artwork.  We have a long way to go.

I finally have decided on a setup that will work for my office which is in the breakfast room that we are not using for dining.  This is a win that I sold my husband on this idea.  I know I will be happy in this space.



I am also happy my husband is helpful in making the decisions on what we need.  We sold our last house with the refrigerator which means we need to buy one.  As it turns out, this was great because our new refrigerator will need to be counter depth!  These are things you don’t notice until you start putting in the appliances.  Our last house had the refrigerator on a separate wall and it was built in for a good size depth refrigerator.  A counter depth refrigerator sticks out less and is a lot smaller because of it.  I don’t do a lot of storage, so it will be ok to have a smaller refrigerator.  The builder assumes the laundry room will have another refrigerator and allows space for it.


Since Luna came into our lives we have adjusted by lowering our mattress to the floor so she can sleep with us and jump off the bed to get to her potty pad.  Now that we are going to be setting up our master bedroom we need a solution for Luna to get in and out of the bed.  She is now 5 months and jumps on the furniture and sits on the back of the chair in the living room.  So we are going to purchase a day bed that will allow her to get in and out of bed!  I love dual purpose furniture.  It’s called a daybed and we can use it for guests, yay!


Still more decisions to make and things to do.  All of this with a senior in high school getting ready for prom and a puppy in training.  Life is really busy for us!


Three Themes

Life is such a joy with Luna!  We have been going to the dog park more often and I spend most of my time with her.  Sadly now I am dealing with her diarrhea issue.  I switched her diet to chicken and rice and she hasn’t gone in a day.  I don’t know if she was stressed by leaving her in her cage for a few hours, or if she ate too much of a bully ring, or something else.  There is no telling.  We play and she is my buddy.  We sleep together and I just love her so much.  We are going to Florida for Spring Break and have to leave her with the breeder.  I am so sad about it.  I take her everywhere and as much as possible leave when someone is here to be with her.  She is my best friend.


Still working on my daughter’s chair that matches her table.  This has been quite a project.  I didn’t realize how frustrating it would be to have the seat stained and the rest painted.  There are so many options for winsor chairs, all wood, painted, and even the two toned.  I’ve never seen the two toned with a painted wood that has a glaze.  It looks kind of messy, but it makes the paint less of a contrast and more antiqued.  This reminds me of the colors of dark coffee and light coffee.  My daughter said to just go with it.  I put on a clear finish that turned milky!  I panicked and sanded it down and re-stained the seat.  I keep having problems with the meeting of the spindles and the stained seat.  You don’t want paint on your stained seat and you don’t want stain on your painted/glazed spindles.  There is no way this will be perfect.  I will say it’s a labor of love.  I hope it turns out nice.   The struggle is real when you live in 90% humidity, drying is an issue. The chair is in the bathroom so the dog won’t get it. 🙂


I love the fact that I got this chair for free from a friend and re-purposed it.  I learned a lot about the style of this chair and it’s history for this reason.  Isn’t it cool to have a story about the very pieces of furniture that occupy your home?

Today we visited our new house to see the floors that are now in!  They look amazing!  I have dark wood floors throughout the house in the kitchen and most of the living spaces.  The bedrooms have carpet and the bathrooms have tile (as well as the laundry room).  I have learned on the first floor that as much as you can do without carpet, the flooring will last longer. We decided to stop by a furniture place I remembered passing on our search for neighborhoods.  We have looked at the regular more popular furniture stores and not found anything that we like.  This place was different.  And they charged a minimal fee to have a designer help us with the size and spacing of furniture.  I am so excited to have a designer help with our living room, dining room and my office space.  I didn’t realize how important the living room design was until I asked a design student to help make my living room in my previous house cozy and then had a stager help with selling the home.  Can’t wait to see how this turns out.  I think with someone that has an eye for design, it will be great.  The lady I met, Dawne, said her design experience came from her mother and that her mom worked in a fashion store from a young age and had a natural talent for putting together patterns.  I looked at the store’s website and found their blog.  I think it will workout perfectly.


Three Themes

30 days to close

Just about.  The house is coming along.  May of last year we chose to build a house, setting in motion a year long project.  Most of the time it doesn’t take that long to build a house.  We delayed the builder as long as they could go.  We put our house on the market in September, sold in a few days and moved into an apartment.  We dealt with the Design Center and choices with the builder, very confusing as to who does what with Toll Brothers.  We took advantage of a national sales event which gave us credits to use during the building process .  Most of the credits were used towards the extended kitchen island, exterior covered patio, and master bathroom.   For the most part we stuck to our budget.

The results are that we are happy with the exterior.  Adding corbels was extra for the elevation we chose, once painted dark,  they should pop.  My husband made a good choice with the double door entry.  And I’m happy with the changes we made to extend the kitchen island, move the fire place so that it isn’t centered on the wall, have a large covered patio and what the builder considers a luxury bath which gave us a short hallway to our bedroom off the living room.


And I like the vanity nook too (we converted the linen closet to a vanity nook for $700 bucks).  This idea solves the problem of a place to put on make up.  The nook idea worked.  All of the linens can be stored in the cabinets.  We are liking the floor plan!


Not sure we are loving the the cabinet and interior wall paint selection.  The builder grade paint has very little pigment.  Hopefully with neutral you can’t go wrong? My husband thinks it looks like we couldn’t make a decision between warm tones and grey tones.  I wish the builder would have had a little more options in customizing the kitchen cabinets.  They are a little plain.


The fireplace stone is from Eldorado stone and the color is castaway.  At the last minute, I went for a warmer tone on the stone choice.   We won’t get the exact living room setup as my idea picture I had posted a while back, however it will be close enough.  To get the firebox off the ground and narrow is really expensive for some reason.  And I though it was expensive enough just to make the change we have.  The fireplace is not wood burning , it’s just gas, so there is no need for a hearth which sticks out too much in this space.  For now we are leaving out the mantel as well.

The wood floors are to go in this week.  I still can’t believe we are this close.  For four months we have been living in the apartment.  I can’t see us living in the house, however I am looking forward to it.  It will be a major change in routine. Everything will be different.

So much to do before then.  I submitted all of the paperwork they requested for closing which was a lot.   Who doesn’t have things they don’t want to do?  Who knows how long we will be in the new house.  I remember when we moved into our previous house, I had hopes that my kids would go to school there and that we would stay in the house for their entire school years.  We were really fortunate to achieve that.  I wonder what it would be like to know ahead of time how it will work out?  We still went through hell with my daughter and had to change schools, for the most part it worked out.

Who knows what life will bring in this new location.  The best advise is to not be tethered to anything.  God provides what you need and you need to go with it.  I really wish I would have fully understood this earlier.  Still, so happy we were able to achieve our life in one place for a long period of time.  That is done and can’t be taken away.


30 days to close