Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Manor Makeover

So it's snowing. Or rather, it has been snowing and sending all of Atlanta into quite the tizzy. Lucky for me I got home with no traffic and even made it to the grocery store before they closed up early. Even though I know many people have experienced difficulty and major delays because of the snow… I love it. There's something warm, exciting, and inspiring about snow when you live in a part of the country it rarely happens.

Here's a shot of our snowy new abode, what I comically call Kale Manor. :)
And the park across the street from us.
And speaking of Kale Manor… I have been working hard to make this new house our home. This snowy night feels like the night to share some of my favorite details thus far and some of my dreams for the future. I am hoping to borrow a lens and take some decent interior shots soon so I can show some before and afters, but for now, here's what I got. :)

This go around, Zach and I decided to go with a neutral, almost monochromatic scheme in our primary living areas. That's the beauty of having all neutral furniture - you can change the look and feel of your interior very easily.

I am completely in love with our new Moroccan wool area rug
and new throw pillows, half of which I got at WestElm, the other half off Etsy. (I am a snob and will only use pillow covers with zippers and down feather inserts.)
The kitchen in our new house is pretty small compared to our old one in Charlotte. Lucky for me, mom and dad whipped up a new kitchen island to provide me with the storage, work surface area, and bar I needed to love this space. It works soooo much better now! More pics coming soon after the new light is installed!
Mom and dad also built us a new kitchen table. I am still in the process of finishing it, but I love how it turned out and these chairs…love love love!
It's no secret that I love hosting guests. I truly want people's experience in my home to be one that is refreshing and special. Because of this, I go to extra… sometimes excessive :) lengths to ensure people have a lovely time. Our guest bathroom is no exception. Besides the rainmaker shower head, fluffy bathrobe, and towel warmer, my favorite things about this space are:

1. the table lamp. Forget the night light and go for a real lamp. I love soft lighting in a bathroom! 
2. the mirror on the mirror. Most newer homes have large sheet mirrors that stretch the length of the counter top. In an attempt to dress it up and create a focal point, we attached a lightweight framed mirror on top of it. Looks great and adds that little touch of luxury I was looking for. 
3. the toiletries. If you visit us and forget your shampoo or tooth brush, no worries, we've got you covered. I am a sucker for good branding so I have fallen in love with these toiletry items, all of which are available on Amazon except the sugar scrub scoops (Etsy).  
And now for the wish list…

1. There are still a few furniture pieces I would love to add to my collection. One being, the classic wishbone chair. I have always loved Hans Wegner pieces and this is one of my favs. It is such a delightful little accent chair that is so versatile.
2. Our formal dining room is still a work in progress, but I would love to make a custom box valance this shape to dress up the window treatments and make the space feel more custom.
3. Since our house is in a… how shall I put it… "high density neighborhood", our neighbors are really close by. Because of this, some of our rooms (namely the master bath and kitchen) have very striking views of exterior siding and cluttered decks. :) I would LOVE to maximize daylight and privacy by using window film instead of privacy blinds. I love this custom map of London and hope to have it on my kitchen window one day.

 Lace window film
4. I have yet to take on our powder room on the main level, but I am thinking… I want it stenciled. Like this. Anybody wanna help me? :)

 5. I also have high hopes of one day getting around to redoing the laundry room and making it totally fabuloso. This is my inspiration. :)
Or maybe this :)
My fabulous MIL is currently reupholstering the chair in Allie's room, but I am hoping our next reupholstery project can be the ottoman/bench in the master bedroom that is in desperate need of a sprucing up. I am thinking about getting this Robert Allen fabric (seen on the sofa below) to compliment the throw pillows we already have on the bed.
Existing pillows
Making a house a home is an ongoing task, but one I love. There are so many ideas and projects bouncing around my head for this place! It brings me such joy though to create interesting and comfortable spaces that are a retreat for our family and friends.

So what's your favorite space in your home? Or your next DIY project on the books? I'd love any tips if you have experience stenciling, applying window film, or finishing wood furniture. :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sayonara 2013

So before I fully get into the swing of 2014, I must recap the end of 2013 for our family of three. It was a strange year for numerous reasons. It was a pretty hectic month, BUT... I did get the tree up...

(small preview of the new Kale Manor haha)
and stockings hung
front door lookin' cheery
and finally all the gifts wrapped. WHEW!

I also did manage to remember to buy our annual ornament. Each year since Zach and I got married I add a special ornament to our tree, tagged for the year it was added. This year I could not resist the most adorable fox I have ever seen. Doesn't he just make you smile?

Perfect for the "What Does The Fox Say" viral video year don't you think? :)

To our delight, Zach and I did not have to work Christmas Eve. We ended up spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Alabama with Zach's mom before picking up Allie and heading back home. For Christmas, Zach surprised me with a light fixture I had been drooling over for our new kitchen-

(preview #2 of Kale Manor)
I seriously cannot wait for it to come in and finish off our little kitchen project! More pics to come later on...

Allie also surprised us with a thoughtful gift-
a homemade natural beauty kit, including body scrub, assorted soaps, lip balm, proper face washing instructions and ancient beauty facts! Love her diverse creativity.
We also had a few surprises up our sleeve for Allie this year, including brunch with Uncle Ian and Nana before heading to Georgia. I am sure Allie found our conversation fascinating, but you would not have known it due to her cross-stitching. Haha She cracks me up. "To each his or eh... her own", yes? :)
Present time back at the ranch!
This year I decided to limit Allie's gifts to a want, a need, a wear, and a read. Her want ended up being a Mongolian lamb's hair pillow from West Elm she had fallen in love with earlier this year. Needless to say she was beyond pumped to have one of her very own for her new bedroom.
She also got this really cool book on how to draw people from my MIL. Allie loves to draw so it's no surprise I found her hard at work the next morning already perfecting her technique.
 New gifts arranged on her dresser
(Side story: Another morning I walked in Allie's room looking for her and found this in her bed. Cracks me up every time I look at this photo. She's a trip. )
Her "wear" item were these vintage booties. Don't you wish they came in your size too? :)
 And I also snagged these cool kicks on major clearance at Target. I just couldn't resist. Shopping for Allie is so fun. Haha
 Since Allie loves to cook and create in the kitchen, my parents got her the most adorable Rifle Paper Company recipe box, recipe cards, and a gorgeous Anthro apron since we so often admire them in the store. Watch out kitchen, here comes Allie!
Allie also got such a thoughtful gift from my MIL - a new bell for our house. For those of you that don't know, our old house had a bell on the back deck that Allie would ring every time she entered or exited the house. It became her thing and something we looked forward to hearing every time she was home. My MIL found this vintage bell for Al to put up at our new house and we all love that this tradition lives on in a new way.
This past week we also enjoyed a number of movies together. I love in-theatre dining experiences so it was fun to take Allie for the first time.
 Zach enjoying his favorite chair (Eames lounge) before our movie.
 So good! I love Mary Poppins!
Movie fans
We even went back New Years Day to see The Hobbit! 
Zach's mom ended up spending a few days with us back in Atlanta and we were so thrilled to have her. We are so blessed to have such a great mom/MIL/Nana in our life!
Isn't it crazy how similar the three of them look? (Ignore the beard...)
My parents came into town on Saturday and we had a grand time with them as well. Mom and Dad have been very busy working on two home projects for us - a new kitchen island and a kitchen table. Allie got in on the table assembly action...

(House preview pic #3)
It hasn't been stained yet, but isn't the new table awesome? They did a great job! And the island... it's made all the difference in our kitchen! More pics coming soon :)
 Zach and Allie assembling the desk that goes between the kitchen and formal dining.
After church on Sunday we loaded up in the car and headed for Elijay to visit some family. Allie loved playing with Daisy, my aunt and uncle's dog. I told Allie to smile for the picture and Daisy stole a kiss!
 Zach and Allie went on a short hike by the stream before dinner. I love the adventurous nature of these two cats.
We had a great time with our family near and far (thanks for the ribs Don!) and even got Mom in on a couple games of Clue before they left Tuesday. Allie loves this game and I dare say so does the game-hater Zachary Kale! Haha! This is the ONLY game we play as a family, but it never gets old.
We "kicked in the new year" fairly quietly, just a cozy night at home in front of the fire, enjoying yummy goodies and watching movies. 
Oh and let's not forget a sparkling grape juice toast at midnight!
And our NYE spread - prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, little smokies, zucchini fritters, and sliders.
Allie and I spent the beginning of 2014 exploring our new little town. 

It was a rather imPromPtu P Day, PoPPing in the local shops and even getting some Pie! We were pleasantly surprised with all the little treasures we found in the quaint shops. Our favorite was Peace, Love, and Decorating!

 That buck has earrings and eye lashes.

Fun with fur.
 Things we loved...

LUUURVE these chairs. And this pic of Al.

Aaaand last, but not least, the pie shop! 
Allie picked the pecan! Perfect for P Days :)
Love love love ending 2013 with this girl and starting 2014! I can't wait to see what God has in store for our family and this new adventure in Atlanta!