Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dining Room Corner.

I love that it feels almost like Spring (even though Spring has officially started). While it isn't warm yet the light in the house has been amazing.  Here's a quick photograph of the dining room corner.


We are very lucky to have two very large windows facing West in our dining room. The windows open up to a breeze-way which abuts an alley instead of another house.   This small difference between our house and our neighbors houses makes a huge impact in the amount of light we get.

Gone are the days when I would site quietly at the table in the early morning hours, enjoying my latte, and staring out the windows.  These days there is a flurry of activity in our house starting at 6 AM which may include early morning paper shredding...



Kiran eating his breakfast.

Jai eating his oatmeal with a fork.

I recall once sitting at the table and lazily thinking that I should install a wind chime outside the windows.  A good way for me to jump start my spring house projects will be to finally hang the wind chime...maybe next weekend....

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Limited Color Palette.

Something strange has been happening...I have been noticing that I am increasingly drawn to rooms with limited color palettes.  I still love rooms with white walls and tons of colorful furniture and accessories.  However,  there is something about decorating with a limited color palette that creates a sense of harmony.  I love everything about this Palma, Mallorca home of Danish fashion designer, Malene Berger.  The white walls; black and white art and textiles; silver accents and the wood trim are just perfect.











All images are from Elle Decoration UK.

I have no intention of changing my whole house.  I am however considering editing the amount of color in the living room.  Every Spring I get the urge to change things around and this year is no exception despite the fact it feels nothing like Spring.  As far as major renovation projects for our house, I would really like to start the kitchen renovation (highly unlikely); or add a roof deck (unlikely as we would replace the roof first so this will end up being a very expensive project); or dig out the cemented back yard and replace some of the really old cinder block boundary walls and figure out what I want to do with the back yard.  I am also considering painting our room in a dark inky color and installing a wall of closets.  While this project is do-able and relatively inexpensive for Scott and me to tackle it doesn't look like we will have the time to work on it this Spring.  Both of us have been really busy at work lately and we just don't have the energy at the end of the day to even plan this project! So it is likely that, this Spring, I will be limited to only re-arranging the furniture and editing. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Living Room is White!

When we first renovated our house I decided to paint the living room a pale yellow.  I loved it in the beginning but I ended up not liking yellow.  I decided I wanted to re-paint the whole house in white.  Scott and I finally painted the living room and dining room white.  Since we were painting over yellow in the living room and pale blue in the dining room we primed all the walls first.  It took us a whole week to prime all the walls and then we painted all the walls and ceiling in Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Moonlight White.  I absolutely LOVE the white walls! It is a great backdrop for all the paintings and furniture.   Here's a corner of the living room:





These pictures aren't very good.  It was a rainy cloudy day and the light wasn't very good.  Hopefully I'll get around to posting more pictures of the living room and dining room soon.  With two kids are house seems to have tons of stuff strewn around.  While Scott and I both clean often we also believe in letting the kids have full reign of the house.  We don't have a designated "play area" and Kiran and Jai generally like to spread out in the living room, dining room, kitchen, their room, the guestroom, our bedroom and the backroom to play.  Every evening Scott and I put away all the toys, costumes and cardboard houses and every morning and every evening the kids stuff seems take over the house again.

 Here are some close up pictures of our amazing new lamp:










The lamp is called the Otis and it is designed by Logan at OneFortyThree.  It has a 180 degree swivel and it is the perfect reading lamp for the couch.  All Logan's lamps are fabulous.  I am planning on getting another one for the living room and possibly a few more when we get around to renovating the kitchen. 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Back Room is Black!

I have been lusting after a black room for ages.  I have been threatening to paint out the back room (my room) all black for a while.  I started small by painting out one wall.  Then I started to timidly brush on some black on the other walls. Things stayed that way for a couple of months and it probably would have stayed that way for a lot longer.  However, our house was to be featured in the Passyunk Square Civic Association House Tour and the weekend before the tour Scott and I decided that we just had to paint the room. Scott wasn't sure about the black but decided that anything was better than black streaks on all the pale pink walls!

This room is off the kitchen and tiny.  I was sure that if I painted out the walls, ceiling, moldings and the radiator in  black it would make the boundaries disappear and make the room look larger.  Well...mission accomplished.

 


I love the way the room looks (Scott does too).  It is super cozy and all the bright colors pop against the black.  I used Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Chalkboard paint because nothing else looks as matte as this paint.  This tiny room has bookshelves, a day bed, a desk a filing cabinet, a chair and two side tables! It definitely does not look tiny anymore. 

Kiran and I painted the old lamp found in Scott's grandmother's attic a few years ago.  I designed the lampshades at Fenchel Shades to fit the lamp.  The rug is a cheap kilim found on eBay and the curtains are from Urban outfitters.  I am considering painting one wall in our bedroom black as well...

Here's what the room looked like when we bought the house:


And this is what it looked like after we renovated it:









Monday, November 25, 2013

Office Room Update.


The office room is finally a great organized space for us to work in.  I generally use this room when I work from home.  I love the sunlight streaming in from the south facing window.  I need to find another location for the printer which is currently taking up a lot of space on the desk. 



I moved some of the non cold hardy plants from outside into this room.  These tropical plants love the heat and the sun.  Most of my flowering tropical plants continue to flower through the winter in this room.


I spend a lot of time in this chair reading/writing and working: 


My view from the chair:


The nude drawing are by Scott's mother and we found a bunch of them in the attic at his Dad's house.  The lamp base is vintage that we bought at a thrift store in Dallas.  I designed and ordered the lamp shade at Fenchel Shades


The only thing left to do in this room is to install some shelves in the nook over the radiator.  I am hoping that when  Scott is off from work during Christmas he'll have the time to install the shelves. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kitchen Inspiration.

When we purchased our house the one thing that we knew we wouldn't need to spend any money on right away was the kitchen.  It was white, it had white kitchen cabinets, a decent counter top, a tiled back splash, and working appliances. Well, now we have been in the house for six years and the kitchen is falling apart.  Our microwave stopped working, the dishwasher stopped working, the refrigerator is in pretty bad shape and the cabinets just look ugly.  While we splurged on a Bosch dishwasher we haven't bought anything else. I am dreaming of a brand new kitchen with lots of white subway tiles, cement floor tiles and lots of dark grout.

I am in love with this light fixture and the amazing white subway tiles with dark grout:

Via Desire to Inspire

I love everything about this kitchen.  I love the cement floor tiles, the white subway tiles on the walls with the dark grout and open shelving.

Source Unknown

I would really like to incorporate a sitting area with maybe a wall of bookshelves. 

Jenna Lyons Brooklyn  Kitchen via Domino

I love how you can just throw open these doors and bring the outdoors inside.  Also these tiles are amazing!

Via Dwell
Our kitchen is tiny.  Since Scott and I cook all the time we have been dreaming of a larger kitchen.  We hope to some day combine the kitchen and the back room (which I use as my room for my various projects)  into one large kitchen.  The kitchen is next to the dining room and the back room is next to the kitchen and leads into the back yard.  Unfortunately the back room is a cheap addition (built sometime in the 50s) and the wall separating the kitchen and backroom is  a load bearing wall. 

We would need to remove the entire back room; build a new room; and install an "I" beam if we wanted to open up the kitchen.  Also, I would like to install large glass doors that will open up into the back yard.  This renovation will cost a lot.  So for now I am just dreaming of what I would like my new kitchen to look like.
 
When we do the kitchen renovation I would also like to dig up the cement in the back yard and plant some bamboo at the far end of the yard, build up the walls on each side and plant a few small trees in the ground; and then re-cement the yard so that we can continue to have a table with chairs and an umbrella outside. Clearly none of this will happen soon.  For now I am content planning all the details. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's a Jungle Outside!

I overheard Kiran telling one of his friends at his school that we have a jungle outside our house!  Every year we sprinkle several sun flower seeds in the tiny cement-less area where we planted our tree.  Every year when the sunflowers bloom and we get visits from the most amazing array of birds I have ever seen in Philly.  There are these small birds with bright yellow feathers who come several times a day and they are so beautiful to watch.  They hop from flower to flower eating something (seeds?).  At the end of summer we pick a few flowers and remove the seeds and dry them inside.  Once they are completely dry I wrap them in paper towels and store them to be planted next summer.

Kiran and Jai outside our house

A half eaten sunflower









Our little garden patch also has a cold hardy saucer hibiscus and Rose of Shannon which faithfully bloom every year. I also planted an ornamental grass which is HUGE now.  I had no idea it would get so big. 

The hardy Saucer Hibiscus and Rose of Shannon
In the front of our house we have several potted plants.  Most of the plants stay outside year round.  I move the pot of Canna Lillies and the purple pot with "Wandering Jew" to the basement during winter.  Most of the plants are perennials and I also have some ever greens.  This is really not a very good picture because most of the plants are not in bloom.  But generally the orange rose plant (Joseph's Coat), the hydrangeas, the butterfly bush, the red rose bush and the Canna Lillies are in bloom from Spring through late Fall. 

The Front of the House