Friday, May 28, 2010


Sooooo definitely wasn't planning on leaving you hanging THAT long! I was in Chico this past weekend for my (future) brother-in-law's graduation. Since Chico is my alma mater and this was possibly my last excuse to go up there, I decided to live it up big. My body is certainly not 21 anymore and it couldn't handle it. I came home with a MAJOR cold and was out until Thursday!

Here it is: my biggest purchase on a single item to date. A hutch!

We have a guy that does amazing custom furniture at the store and I have been going back and forth on having him make a piece for me. I was more than willing to be patient and find a piece at a flea market or craigslist, but the problem was that the wall that it now sits against is HUGE! It needed a LARGE piece to fill it up. We also registered for a lot of large platters, and with fairly narrow cabinets in our kitchen, we needed a deep place to store them.

The nice part was, I got to design every last detail. I left plenty of room for a "buffet" space. You can see the corner of our dining table poking in the first picture. I wanted an area big enough to have wine, or a cake plate. Most hutch's have a tiny little buffet area - I wanted PLENTY of space!

All of our serving ware that we registered for is white, so I wanted the top to be glass so that you could see all of the stacked, white dishes.

I have our hutch pretty centered on the wall right now, but eventually I want to shimmy it down to the right. We have a large space to the left that I want to fill with a bench. I've had my eye on an amazing five-board bench with its' original chippy paint. I can't justify the $300 price tag, but the last time I visited it, it had dropped to $250, so you never know, it may drop more!

Plus, I need to find something to cover our eye-sore in the floor!

That grate would be our in-floor sub woofer (what? You don't have one??) And that wood grate was David's solution to "making it pretty."

Hope you all have a happy Memorial Day!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Growing Up

Last week I bought my first piece of grown-up furniture. As I've mentioned before, I am bit by bit replacing my Ikea purchases from my college years along with my hand-me-downs (not the good ones!) with pieces that really fit our house. **This is part of the reason I haven't posted too many pictures of the rest of our house. I'm revealing as I complete a section!** I haven't taken pictures yet but I'll leave you with a few hints as to what it is!

Here's another hint: We've registered for a lot of this....

Thursday, May 13, 2010


We are a house full of book nerds. We love to read. I grew with a librarian for a mother (she later was a teacher) and David was the kid who never did his homework, not because he was playing video games but because he was reading. Yes we are a little nerdy! : ) So when I was designing our house I knew we had to have bookshelves wherever possible. This wall-o-books....

....sits directly across from this

When we moved in, we were so sick of living in dust, and so ready to just get our stuff in that I never really took the time to arrange the shelves the way I really wanted them. Our books, and eventually other "stuff" accumulated on our shelves. I've been meaning to re-do them for quite a while now. I was reading the latest Pottery Barn catalog and was admiring the handy work of their very talented set stylist and was instantly inspired.

Janet has also inspired me to get creative and not run out to buy things I really don't need. I still went shopping, but did it in my own house. I collected little "fillers" for the shelves to keep things interesting. I was actually pretty shocked with all of the stuff I found in my house!

{You can see our stairway to the right}

What? You don't keep your iPhone SDK programming book on top of your Apartment Therapy book?
I still need to find a picture for this frame. The brown binders are a must for me! They are recycled paper binders (sold at OfficeDepot) that hold all of my inspirations from magazines. It makes it WAY easier to find things!

{Please excuse our circa 1980's track lighting - we had issues installing lights due to the awkward pitch in our ceiling, and we had minimal room for a j-box}

Here's the "before's." It may not look all that different (or maybe it does.) But, I can promise you our shelves were a little scary!


Here's a few inspiration pics

{I would have LOVED to have the space for a library ladder}

{Love this wall to wall bookcase}

{A little more natural}

I've been seeing this more and more. I understand that an all white palette lends a much more consistent look but really - how practical is this?? You'd have to REALLY know your books! : )

{How's this for some wallpaper!}

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Santa Barbara....

....was beyond fun! The only problem was that we didn't nearly stay long enough.

We woke up "early" on Saturday morning and took the coast all the way up to S.B.

Driving through Malibu was a trip! The houses are literally hotels! Driving through I kept saying to David "which one do you think is Jennifer Aniston's house? you think it's that one? you think it's that one?..........oh no I bet it's totally THAT one!"

So we've decided that as soon as we make our first 5 mill (as in million) we're moving to Montecito. It was absolutely breathtaking! It was a little hard to actually see the houses, but it didn't matter. The gardens were enough. And they were incredible!

And I'll be moving in to the San Ysidro Ranch - I don't mind having guests!

I wish I had the words to describe how unbelievable this place is. The gardens are the most perfectly tended gardens I've ever seen. Everywhere you looked there were flowers.

All of the buildings had climbing rose, and bougainvillea.

I loved how they use gravel pathways in lieu of the typical concrete pathways that most inns tend to have.

And the rosemary was amazing!

Alicia - I chickened out on taking a picture of the lobby so I took one of the outside instead! This place made me feel like I had to be on my absolute best behavior!

I have to mention the shop that we stopped at in Montecito. It's called William Laman. It's an adorable shop located in a 100 year old barn. It had the most stunning (can you tell I'm running out of adjectives for this post? : ) open-beamed ceilings.

Ok-Last thing and then I promise I'm done. **INTERRUPTION - Did any one watch Betty White on SNL? I'm not typically an SNL viewer but she was SO worth staying up for! She did one segment on Facebook and how she doesn't understand it. She goes on to say how in her day being forced to look at someones pictures of their vacation was considered torture! I'm SO feeling like that right now!!! But I'm almost done and then I'll move on to design-y things! : )

On to my last story - because it wouldn't be right if I left you without a story of me getting caught house stalking. We were heading out of SB when I saw this house out of the corner of my eye. I literally almost got us in an accident getting David to pull off the freeway. This was the most incredible house we saw all weekend. I wish I could have gotten better pictures but it was pretty hidden by bushes, and as I said - I got caught. And by caught I mean leaning from the passenger side, over David on the drivers side and practically hanging out the window. (Are you getting a good visual?)

{It doesn't look like much here - but it was a very neat house (this is a shot of the second story)}

{This is one of 2 gravel driveways - there was a back cottage too}

I'll leave you with a few extras from the weekend!

**Thank you David for an incredible weekend and for the last 10, incredible years! I love you!**

Friday, May 7, 2010

Road Trip

Yesterday David and I celebrated our 10 year (dating) anniversary. If you're trying to do the math, we're high school sweethearts! : ) Earlier in the year we were talking about grand plans of doing a few days in Napa, driving in our rented limo from vineyard to vineyard. Come end of April, we realized that in fact our budget is more in the realm of a one night getaway somewhere a little closer by. SO, we're heading to Santa Barbara! I'm so excited!! David is leaving the hotel we're staying at a surprise. I wonder if we'll stay here:

{San Ysidro Ranch}

This is the San Ysidro Ranch, an old Inn located in San Ysidro just outside of Santa Barbara. It has a star-studded guest log - including John & Jack Kennedy, who stayed there for part of their honeymoon.

**Please know, that I would be completely thrilled staying in a Motel 6 - I just love quaint architecture and a girl can dream - maybe our 20 year anniversary! : )

I'm not going to lie to you - I just spent the last 20 minutes researching where the bakery from "It's Complicated" (filmed in Santa Barbara) is located, only to find out it's just another fictional character. Damn.

On store I know definitely does exist and that we definitely will be visiting is, Rooms and Gardens. This store has me at the entrance!

{a peek inside}

*Rooms & Gardens images via Stylebeat*

Get ready Oprah! We're coming to visit!