Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Dining Room Tour

Sergio was excited about this home because he would finally have an office.  Problem with that?  He thought this was going to be his office.  This room is right in the front of our home and has a nice view of the front yard.  It is also right off the kitchen.  When we were looking for a new home, I was picturing family dinners and parties and a place to bring friends.  I wanted a dining room and no other room in our home would have functioned as a dining space as well as this one did.  Our compromise?  We put the guest room to work double duty as a home office.

It works.  (though I know he still secretly hopes he will have a home office in here one day)

Originally, this space was going to be reserved to only white, black, and wood.  It quickly filled with color and textiles.  I love color.  I own it.  I also love that this room has a wonderful view of our front yard.  Our last condo didn't have windows, just a sliding glass door, so I welcome windows.

We love the built in shelves too much to paint them.  We decided right away that we would leave them in their natural wood state.  We MIGHT line the back of a few of the cabinets with temporary paper to add some interest.  My mother in law gave us the two canvas photos on the bottom shelves for our 2nd wedding anniversary.  I have purged a lot of books from my collection over the years, but the ones remaining are favorites that I would never part with.  The serve ware in the cabinets are the items that are too big to fit in the cabinets beneath.  The cabinets store the rest of the serve ware and small kitchen appliances.

I just love the wood French doors.  Chase and Bandit know the rule: no pups in the dining room.  It works... sometimes.  I make we bought the four high back chairs from someone on Craigslist.  They match the table pretty well.  We bought the table at an estate sale.  With the exception of one 6 inch area, it is in lovely shape and had really pretty details.  I have it covered with a table cloth to protest it and to add color to the room.

The chandelier was the light source in our old kitchen.  At first, I thought it would be too small for the space, but it works perfectly.  The mirror from Neiman Marcus was the first wall decor I bought for my condo back in 2007.  The wreath around the Zebra head was on super sale at Anthropologie after the holidays.

That view makes me so happy.  For me, one of the main selling points of this property were the oak trees and our lovely neighbors.  From here, we can see both.

My mom gave me the pillow in the middle.  I bought the two feather pillows when I was decorating an apartment for a job I was going to start in Del Rio, TX.  I quite that job before I moved, so the pillows stayed with me in San Antonio.

I love candles in hurricanes.  They are functional decor that works for me.  I bought the black and white painting in the corner when I first bought my condo back in 2007.

We knew we didn't want a "normal" dining room set.  We also knew we didn't want to pay a ton for dining room chairs.  We bought this old antique theater seating from someone on Craigslist for a steal!  They are from the 1900s and the designer actually held the patent for the folding chairs that today's chairs are modeled off.  This completely collapses into an easy to store, 6"wide piece,  I cleaned the seats up with some oxyclean and freshened the wood with coconut oil.

That wood wall screams seventies to me, but this home was made in the eighties.  

At first, I wanted to have a bar cart in the living room.  Once I started styling these shelves, I knew that the bar would be best in here, so I didn't feel like I had to fill the shelves with useless items.  The Vera Bradley champagne glasses are from our wedding.  I made the cake toppers.

My parents bought me the little penguin ice bucket from an antique store in Panama City Beach, Florida.  Every year, Sergio's family has a white elephant for Christmas.  Since I have been involved, the white elephants have been alcohol themed.  We came away like bandits this year.  It helped stock our bar.  Sergio's cousins gave us the little reindeer bottle holder.  It's supposed to hold wine, but vodka works, too.  The red label on the Enchanted Rock vodka makes me think of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

I love terrariums so I have them sporadically placed here and there.  Like I said, the dining room was going to be black and white and wood all over.  The pillow pushed me to add color.  Lots of color.  The black and white table runner found it's place on top of the floral table cloth.  

So far, this room has been used as the food room for our New Year's party and we had dinner with Sergio's mother and stepfather here.  We have yet to have an actual dinner alone here.  We've had multiple barbecues on the deck already.  I think we need to give this room a time to shine and use it for it's purpose.  One of my "things for a different year" choices is to have a dinner party once a season.  Hopefully, this room will be able to serve it's purpose soon.  Rooms deserve to have lovely memories made in them.

Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Kitchen Tour

Needless to say, we finally got around to taking photos of our home!  I love taking pictures of the different rooms because I know they will evolve over time.  Most of my furniture and accessories are kind of interchangeable, so I frequently rearrange and redecorate.

When we started looking for a house, our original plan was to make sure that we found a large, open kitchen.  Well, the house we fell in love with had a small kitchen.  Bigger than our old one, but still small by comparison to what we thought we would buy.

Nonetheless, it works for us perfectly.

The home can with the appliances and counters/backsplash.  They would not have been my first choice, but they seem to work pretty well with our accessories.  I really wanted a kitchen with white upper cabinets and dark grey lower cabinets, but I can't bring myself to paint these.  I love the wood quality so much!

When we were deciding to buy a home, I knew that I would have a magnetic knife rack again.  I didn't have enough wall space in the condo, so I had to take it down.  Glad I was able to put it back up.  We just took the spice rack out of the pantry because it's more convenient for me to have all spices next to me while I am cooking.

The window looks out into the screen room.  The kitchen is still too small for the pups to have their own eating space, so we just fit their bowls here and there.  We replaced all the cabinet pulls with knobs from Anthropologie.

The little camper van that you can barely see is a Christmas decoration that I leave out all year.  We love camping, so that little musical guy makes us smile.  Also, I have an addiction to wood bowls and spoons.  I got that little chicken in Savannah when I lived in Georgia.  The Mackenzie-Childs treat jar was Chase's Christmas gift last year.

The pups think "Table for Two" refers to any two, even them.  I made that little felt sign.  I sell them in my Etsy shop.  That little table was one of my first "splurge" furniture pieces.  I love it.  My mom picked up those chairs for me at an antique store.  I bought that mirror from someone on Craigslist.

We bought the Serious Eats cookbook as our "guest book" for our wedding showers, engagement parties, and ring warming ceremony.  We asked guests to choose a recipe and write a little something for us to read when we are cooking- advice, stories, or well wishes.  It's nice to read what everyone wrote every once and again.  Sergio bought me the tiny owl cookie jar for our first Christmas together.  The rest of them were gifts from my parents over the last few years.

It's so nice to have the pass-through windows.  We have sunlight in the kitchen, which I have NEVER had before and we are able to pass food and drinks to people in the screened porch or out on the deck.  I added the black and white tassel to the overhead light to tie in the other Mackenzie-Childs items.  Those bamboo shades came with the house.

When I bought my first condo, I read something about a Swedish tradition of putting something unexpected in the kitchen.  The person writing the article had a lovely wooden sheep placed near her stove.  When I found this sheep a few months later, I knew it would have a home in my light blue and silver kitchen.  Even though that kitchen is long gone, I still have this little guy with me.  The cabinets to the left of the refrigerator are the only functioning pantry; I miss my kitchen storage from the condo.  Those magnets are inspiration and reminders for me.  My friends even say that they help them refocus when they read them.

We lost a lot of kitchen storage when we moved to this space.  For some reason, our tiny galley kitchen was equipped with a large pantry and lots of cabinet space.  BUT we traded the storage in for an eat-in kitchen, which we love.  Saturday and Sunday mornings are spent making breakfast and sitting in the little nook.  Our first Christmas breakfast was cooked in our little kitchen.

For me, home is about the memories we can create in it.  Every decorating detail, every piece of furniture is placed with memories in mind.  I think about how the candles and music and coziness will make someone feel.  I hope they make guests feel at home.  I know Sergio and I feel that this little space was made just for us.