Monday, 5 September 2016

Quick design: Indigo and Raffia

Happy Labor Day! With all the great sales going on, I've been doing more online window shopping than usual and found some great pieces. Here's a quick design of how I'd use them in my home!

Quick Design: Indigo and raffia

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

We're all moved in! Tour our living/dining space :)

We've been in our place for 3 weeks now and it's starting to feel like home. I'd like to share some preliminary photos of the work we've done on the living/dining space.

To give you a sense of the space, here's a panoramic shot from the front door:

And another from the bathroom (which is the open door on the left in the first shot):

As you can see, the living/dining area is one open space that we've divided into a living area, office area, and kitchen/dining area. The place gets such great light, it's been so fun seeing our once-deprived plants flourishing!

We just bought a new counter-height table and are picking up the stools to go with it next week!

 I bought this ridiculous birdy table last week just because it makes me laugh. Design should be fun! And check out that coffee table my fiancee made from locally reclaimed lumber. The variation in pattern and texture is awesome in person!

With only one blank wall to work with, we reused our shelving from our last apartment and filled it with personal momentos and an Ikea plant stand my mom gifted me, which we've repurposed for the moment as a bookshelf. 

We still have lots of plans for the space, like retrofitting the dining table to have a shelf for our pots, building a console table for behind the sofa, and building an outdoor setup for our bikes. But it already feels like home and I'm pretty happy with the progress we've made in just 3 short weeks!

Also, here's a gratuitous photo just because I think my dog is adorable. Not pictured: my fiancee telling her to sit behind me ;)

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Bedroom

When we were plotting out the living and dining areas, we decided to go light, bright and colorful. We wanted to distinguish the bedroom a bit stylistically. In perusing my Pinterest boards, a theme emerged:

Did you pick up the theme? In essence, we've decided to go a little more neutral and textural, mixing more prints and less colors. We'll maintain the white and wood theme, but add in black, blue, and grey in various patterns:

Portland Bungalow Bedroom

Our goal is to do this on a budget (we're saving for our wedding), so we've repurposed items from all over our last apartment: our duvet cover, curtains, lamp, bedside table, map, TV, sconces, rug, and shoe cabinet are all now coalescing in the bedroom. The only new pieces will are the headboard (surprisingly nice for $91!) and this beautiful jewelry stand (since our new bathroom is much smaller, my jewelry is relocating to the bedroom). 

I still need to find some fun patterned blue/grey/black accent pillows or shams, but overall the bedroom is already looking really nice I think!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Dining/Work Area

As you know, we recently moved to a cute new bungalow in Portland. I shared my plans for the living area, and today I thought I'd share our plans for the dining and work spaces of the main room.

Our strategy in the kitchen and office space is to maximize storage, keep lines of sight clean, and only have out items that we find beautiful. Here are some of our inspiration images:

Again, we're going with a white/wood/beautiful textiles theme. Here's our game plan:

Portland Bungalow Seating Areas

We will cozy this up a bit with fun textiles and artwork, but for the most part these spaces will be utilitarian and meant to fade into the background compared to the living space and backyard. 

We plan to get a counter-height table to use as a prep space and dining table. We debated getting an island with seating space, but are likely going to opt out of the extra storage in favor of keeping the space lighter and less cluttered. We found some industrial counter-height stools at a local Portland store; I thought they'd be uncomfortable, but they're actually pretty supportive and will be very comfortable especially once I add a cute lumbar pillow :)

For the office space, we're repurposing the desk we had been using as a dinner table. We plan to get rid of our ugly Ikea place-holder chairs and replace it with one comfortable cognac leather chair. I really like the one pictured but it's from Dot & Bo and I've heard horror stories about that company! Anyone know of a similar, not horrifically expensive alternative?

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Living Area

Recently I showed you what our new place looks like. Since then, we've moved in and are loving our new place, especially the small yard!

Now that we finally have a home we can see ourselves staying in a for a couple years, we really want to make it our own (as much as you can in a rental). The bungalow is basically just one large square living space with a bay window across from the kitchen, bedroom/bathroom across from the front door and a window. The floor plan can be pretty flexible, but here's our planned layout:

Portland Bungalow Floor Plan

Because it's so open, the kitchen/work/living spaces all need to speak to one another stylistically. The new place gets such great light, particularly with the white walls and large windows. We want to capitalize on the open, airy feeling, which means getting rid of or repurposing some of our heavier pieces from our last place and supplementing what we already own with a few new pieces. For example, my insanely talented fiancee is creating a coffee table and console table from local reclaimed lumbar and locally-created metal legs (I got a picture text at work today of the coffee table and it looks so good!).

Here are some inspiration images for the vibe we're after in the living area, along with our plan for how to accomplish it!


As you can see, we're shooting for a mix of colorful, fun textiles, lots of white and wood, and an overall bright, breezy minimal boho vibe. 

Here's the game plan: 

Portland Bungalow Living Area

We really only have one open wall in this place (everywhere else is windows, doors, or kitchen!), so we're planning to reuse the floating wood shelves from our apartment there. This wall is bigger than our last one, so we'll fill in the empty spaces around the floating shelves with invisible bookshelves.

The sofa is floating in the middle of the room facing the window, so we'll put the new console table to put behind it with some fun lamps. I like the ones pictured here because they're a fun shape and color but still glass, so they don't feel too heavy in the room. The new coffee table is sized just right for the space, and my housewarming present to myself will be this silly side table that makes me smile. 

Finally, we have a slipper chair and side table that go in the bay window, facing the sofa, and will fill in the space with lots of green plants. I'm most excited about the plants, because our last place was where beautiful plants went to slowly curl into themselves and not-quite-die from lack of sun!

What do you think?

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

We're moving! Take a look at our new place :)

Vinny and I have been trying to find a rental home with a yard for several months now, since our lease at our current apartment ends at the end of the month. We had almost lost hope when we found this cute little ADU (accessory dwelling unit, typically a smaller complete unit on a property with an existing home), right around the corner from the neighborhood we live in now (and love!).

We stopped by today and by this evening found out that we landed the place! Take a look:

The little bungalow is basically one large room with a bathroom and separate bedroom. One wall is made up of a closet (not seen, to the left of the fridge) and the kitchen. It's funny how similar the new kitchen is to our current one, abeit the new one has more counter space :)

Turning a little to the right, you can see the door on the left to the bathroom, then the closet where the washer/dryer is, then the door to the bedroom.

Another shot of the north end of the home. The wall to the right of the bedroom is the only flat wall really; all other walls are taken up by windows, doors, and kitchen!

Continuing to the right, you see the bay window which overlooks the small yard (a major selling point for us!) and the neighbor's lovely garden.

Further right you see a door to the back yard and a small closet. Just out of frame is the front window and door, then you've come 360 degrees from the first picture.

The bathroom is basic but clean (unlike so many rentals we visited!) and has a window where I plan to put plants.

The bedroom is small, but actually slightly larger than our current one, with two windows and cathedral ceilings.

The bedroom closet will be an interesting venture into shared accommodations, as currently Vinny and I each have our own closet.

The biggest selling point for this place was that it has a small outdoor space (our current apartment doesn't have have a balcony or a window that opens fully). Here's the front window with a path to the yard (front door is just to the left, out of frame). The main home on this property is on the other side of the fence, so it's pretty private.

We have  big plans for this little patio/yard situation! You can see the bay window; just left of frame is the door that I pointed out earlier that leads outside. There's a watering hose right by the door for our dirty mutt to get clean in the muddy Portland winter :)

Last but not least, we have an outdoor shed that will be perfect for all of our adventure gear. I don't talk about it very much on this blog, but Vinny and I are outdoor enthusiasts and have a lot of accompanying gear!

What do you think? I'll be back soon with ideas of how we'll use the space!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Here's what you can do.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." -Desmond Tutu

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." -Elie Wiesel

These quotes have been running through my mind since the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the most recent in a long and horrifying string of deaths at the hands of policemen.

(And before anyone tries to confuse this topic with another, I was also horrified to hear of the police deaths in Dallas; I agree with Trevor Noah, who stated, "You can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be.")

Because I cannot be neutral on this topic, and because I am a white person who has benefited greatly from the color of my skin, I've been trying to find ways that I can help solve the problem of institutionalized racism in our country. I don't have any great answers, but I found this article to have some great suggestions of stepping-stones in the right direction.