Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What Moving Brings Out in Me

I'm OCD. I hide it well most of the time. I can let my house be messy on occasion, though it does make me cranky when it's that way. When we were first married I vacuumed our apartment every morning before I left for work. I cleaned the bathrooms twice a week, I dusted the entire apartment every Saturday, and did all the laundry and put it away every Monday. I adore schedules and control - adore it! My husband used to make fun of me for this constantly.

Then something happened along the way. That something called children. Oh, I tried to keep it perfect all the time, but I was just fooling myself. It was also making me more cranky to try and keep things clean with the children crawling around getting drool, gummed up teething biscuits, and occasionally snot on things. So, I relaxed a little bit and my husband decided that my OCD might not be a bad thing. 

My mother used to tell me that I mellowed out a lot when I met my husband and then she took that statement back after I had children. She laughed and said, "Now you're laid back Paula Irene."
Truth be told I really like being laid back. It's easier. With moving though, we had to keep the house "magazine ready" as my daughter calls it. You know what? I LOVE IT! It makes me feel calm on the inside when I walk into my house and everything is in place and there aren't toys all over, or sticky finger prints everywhere. Even though I know we can't keep it that way always (it's just not practical), there are certain things that have retained their order throughout.

 I file, I color code things, I have all my books in publish date order and by author - but that's just me. It's part of who I am. I'm trying to really embrace things like that right now. 
Now when things are still a bit hard emotionally. When I'm struggling to understand a daughter that has NO organization and seems to thrive in chaos. When I'm trying to understand why my son groups toys together a certain way and saves trash. I'm trying to let them be themselves. When I was little, I wasn't so neat. I probably made my mother cringe. She patiently taught me how to do it and make it easier. It stuck with me, by high school I liked it that way. It made sense and I felt like life was easier with organization - to me it is. 
So maybe one day it will stick to my children too. One day they will see the benefit and ease of that organization. As we are packing up this house - our first - and moving on to a new one, I'm trying to keep in mind what is important. The piles of things and boxes and chaos of moving surround us constantly. The clean makes me happy for sure, but things like grass angels for luck on the grass of the new front lawn are so much more important! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mine! Well, Maybe Not...

Have you ever gone back and forth on a project? You want the piece because you want to redo it and sell it. Then you get it in your home and decide that maybe you need to keep it. For me, it was as simple as it provided more storage that I desperately needed - as well as being pretty.

Sitting in my garage I was thinking about how to paint it to appeal to the masses...
30 minutes later, it was in my living room and I had spent the entire time rearranging all the other furniture so I could make it fit!

It took some convincing the husband, but he said it could stay. I can be pretty persuasive when I want to be ;)
So the next thing you know, it's being painted in my color scheme and stuffed full of my grandmother's milk glass.

Then, one of my closest friends calls to tell me about a house for sale in her neighborhood.

So, in one weekend, I ceased working on all personal projects and took the china cabinet to be stored and staged my home for it to be put on the market. Planning, of course, to use this china cabinet in my (hopefully) new house...
Here we are a mere two weeks since all of that took place. We are moving in just over 3 weeks, our house sold crazy fast, and my real estate agent found me a china cabinet that matches my buffet.

This all means that the china cabinet pictured above is now for sale. No, I'm not finished painting it yet. The exterior is old white by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and for now the interior is Provence. The reason I'm listing it for sale before it is finished is because I need it to be sold before the move takes place. I am willing to let whomever buys it pick the interior color if they want it to be changed.

Please visit Peacock Door Designs facebook page to find out all the details.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Caning, Spline, and More...

Sewing soft goods
Small building projects
These are all things I say without hesitation that I can do. Replacing cane is NOT one of the things I say without hesitation that I can do. My first question is always, "Is it installed with bore hole or reed spline?" Which generally leads people to staring at me like I just started speaking Russian or something. But, for me it is an important question - it determines whether or not I can fix it or tell them they need to just upholster over the area. If it is installed with reed spline I can fix that - if it's installed with bore hole...lets just say I can't hand weave tiny strips of cane into an intricate pattern and frankly no one would want to pay me to do that because I would charge according to tedium.

But, reed spline isn't bad at all. When you have something that is this beautiful to start with, you just have to fix it!!!

Now, before you all think I'm crazy to love this piece, just look at the shape and the legs. I'm not super crazy about burnt orange velvet, but this piece could be seriously cool.

So I ordered some cane and spline 

Punched out the rest of the caning and got to work on what I like to dub "Spline Removal"
Sometimes this process is easy and all it takes is an awl and a little time. Other times it takes hours, a blow dryer, a chisel, a hammer, and many many growls that don't really do anything but I still make them because I can.

Then the fun part starts. Installation.

Then when you're finished you have something absolutely amazing to look at.

Oh sure, it still needs upholstery and you will be seeing it again once the upholstery is complete. I love the raw cane next to the stained frame. It looks so pretty and I could not be happier with the way this piece turned out!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bringing It Together

A while back I gave you guys a sneak peek of the grain sack stripe table. It is one of my favorites and I have now had requests for similar stripes to be done on other pieces from many different people. Yesterday I had the chance to deliver the chairs and to photograph the set in its place.

I love this set - love it!

As you can see there are 5 chairs, a bench, and a cute little kitchen footstool. All hunter green and stained wood.
We needed to jazz them up to go with the awesome table! Enter Benjamin Moore's Burnt Peanut Red. One of the BEST reds of all time in my opinion. It never fails me.

I love a good Windsor chair and these are definitely great Windsor chairs.

I love this set so much! How can you not love the bright cheery red and classic look?

I love how everything looks with her cherry sign. It just POPS!
I also have slight house envy on this project. This is a fabulous 2-story character house here and I absolutely adore it! It makes me fall in love with red all over again ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Tale of Two Pieces

Have I mentioned that I LOVE furniture?
No, really I am actually obsessed! It bodes well for my job for sure, but it can also be considered an occupational hazard. I end up wanting to keep so many pieces. I've had to start telling myself "no" a lot more lately. 
That's why I love client pieces so much. It's not something I found and bought because I loved it, it already has a home and I just get to be creative and have fun.

Adorable little wash stand - but it needed some love

Pretty mirror, with a crazy loud paint job. Just needed a little sprucing up!

We are selling our house right now, so all of my pictures are quick and most of them are taken with my phone. I know, bad little blogger! But, we do what we must.

I love the worn texture the mirror has and the two colors make it so dynamic.
Now as for the wash stand, I snapped these pictures with my phone very quickly on the sidewalk in front of my clients house as I dropped the pieces off. Someone was viewing our house at the time and I had furniture, boxes, and children all smushed into my car. Like I said, we do what we must!

I kind of fell in love with Annie Sloan's Old Ochre with this piece and the mirror. 
It was a quick turn around with some fun pieces and the client was very happy and that always makes me very happy as well.

Now on to the next 27 million things...it's never dull here folks ;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Crazy Life

Life can be so crazily unpredictable really.
One day you're sitting around with one of your best friends, just chatting about how much fun it would be to be neighbors and how beautiful their neighborhood is. The next, your friend is running and she prays that something will come up for sale in their neighborhood and later that same morning a sign shows up at a house five doors down from hers.
Calls are made, house is looked at, and from that Thursday morning to the very next Monday, the world is suddenly at warp speed. We listed our house and put a contract on the other one in 5 days! It's crazy - and we love every second of it.
I have a ton of client work, we are finishing up some little details at this house to make it perfect, and meanwhile our children have dance, boy scouts, and other after school events. House showings, cleaning, laundry, kids, cooking, painting, schedules...
There is this intense emotional attachment to this house. I made this house. There isn't a single place in this whole house that doesn't have my mark; the spin I put on it for our family. Don't get me wrong, I am SOOOO excited about the "new house", but I'm also am taking my time to have some emotional moments thinking of where we are.


Living Room

Dining Space


Jade's Room

Kids Bath

Dylan's Room

 Master Bedroom

 It's so very US and I'm hoping that someone else can see their family in this space now.
But for now, I have this amazing, blessed, busy, becoming successful, crazy, beautiful life!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kids Bath

This project was a turning point for me. This was when I found my own personal style of decor. When we moved into this house I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter and my son was 16 months old. This is our first home and I was in love with having a first home. 
This was the tiny little bathroom between the children's rooms.
There will be a million pictures, sorry about that. But, we love pictures so it should all be okay.

Builder basic yellow oak, a giant shower (no tub for washing babies), linoleum, and laminate. But, it was clean and a second bathroom which were both pluses as far as we were concerned.

Then I got super sick of it. All of us used the master bath for bathing and I was sick of moving bath toys out of the way whenever I wanted a relaxing bath. So, while my husband was at the fire station I just ripped out the wall above the shower.
We needed to know where the drain was located so we could put a budget together for the bathroom and I could be realistic about what we could put back into the space.
So my husband came home to this:

It stayed that way for a while. Then I went to town with the reciprocating saw and tore out the whole thing.

The shower base was heavy! I didn't think it would be because it was fiberglass, but man that was hard work all by my petite lonesome!!!

Me and my baby girl grouting

Me laying tile and the unfortunate red hair phase I went through

Even before grout I was enamored with my tile job!

So after 18 months of starting and stopping, problems with plumbing, burning my fingers on a just torched pipe under the sink, and finding 8 inches of wasted space behind a wall - I was finally finished!!!

Something sentimental for Dylan

And for Jade

Ending with one of the best things of all: A pencil drawing of a lighthouse done by my very talented niece Erin. 
This renovation sparked me finding my own style and taught me that I could do anything I wanted myself. I could have things like pine v-groove panelling, marble, mosaic tile, and Kohler even on the tiniest of budgets.

It inspired me to tackle other things in my home and make it a place just for us!