Now, to reminisce. Remember the before?
You were probably wondering what in the heck we were thinking.
The house wasn't in rough shape...but it's 1957 bones were in dire need of some updating.
I didn't show you much, because it's still in need of window treatments, wall paint, and small tasks like re-magnetizing a few cabinet doors, but remember my post on the updates to our kitchen? I can't wait to outfit those windows with custom romans (which means $$), but my patience is still being tried on that task.
So, now that you've been reacquainted with her raw, in-need-of-love state, here's a few photos of some progress we've made. Again...sorry for the iphone photos...I may or may not know where my good camera's charger is at the moment... :)
Here's what you see when you first walk in the door. That desk was my mama's when she was my age...and I (regretfully) painted it a minty-white shade when I was in that phase. I have plans for her: like new, chic brass hardware and a new coat of high-gloss paint, but that's pretty far down my list. I love the rich gray, brown wall color (Curio Gray by Sherwin Williams), and the dark gray on the closet doors anchors the space and mimics the dark hue of our couch and the gray of our dining bench. I chose a cowhide rug for the space, since the foyer juts to the right in a rigid L-shape. The organic shape of the hide really works to de-angle the space and create a smooth transition into the living area.
Here's a head-on view, though I don't think this pic does it much justice. That oversized brass lamp and gilded shade were maybe $20 at an estate sale--a score I'm totally in love with. I love their extra-large scale. That mirror was a marriage gift to my grandmother, hailing from the mid 1930s. I treasure it, and love that it's the first thing I see when I walk in. I love my little bamboo, caned side chair...though she's currently where our lasso hangs out. I've been a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to hanging things on the walls, but I really want to wait til we get our window treatments and furniture settled.
Again, I love that some of our most-treasured things are the first thing we see when we walk in the door. That burled wood humidor was my first wedding anniversary gift to Maple--it has his initials carved in the top. The rich texture of the wood is incredible! Stacked atop the humidor are some of my very favorite vintage books (some which are my grandfather's), anchored by brass horse-shoe bookends (horse shoes are kind of our thing, with Maple's dad having been a jockey and all). That iron horse head tray came from an antique shop in Ashville, and those decanters on the left were wedding gifts.
THE DINING AREA:
High on our wish-list was a table that would seat eight, since we love to have friends over for dinner. Guaranteed to be a painful expense, I did some looking around on craigslist and, as fate would have it, found a reclaimed barn door in amazing shape that happened to be the perfect dimensions for a table of eight. We sanded and polyurethaned the top, and maple built me a simple parsons base (he's amazing, and I've yet to paint it). All-in-all the total project, door n'all, ran us about $150--an incredible steal. The high-gloss black chairs hail from Boston, and belonged to my mom and dad when they were first married. The turkish kilim rug is the most incredible pattern I've seen--a piece that Maple and I will forever treasure. The space is a bit akward (again, with the L), so from day one I envisioned pushing the table against the wall with a built-in bench. Not only does it create a super cozy dining space, you don't have decide which way to walk around the table, and the wide walkway gave us room for a console/serving table on the opposite wall. Those pillows are simply a fill-in (I'm thinking of having one extra-long pillow made to span the length of the bench), and I'm not sure that's the perfect spot for our treasured cotton painting (given to us by Maple's uber-generous mom), but we'll have to see what works when we find the perfect light fixture (preferably a sleek, mid century mod hanging lamp).
Remember my vague mention of my pottery barn drapes? I was so anxious to get treatments on these windows that I decided to forgo the expense of going custom. But--I told you I had a little trick up my sleeve to make these look a bit more custom and tailored--and fit the simple, refined, masculine scheme we're going for in the bedroom. With a few packets of iron-on, 1/2" bias tape and a little DIY elbow grease, I transformed these PB drapes into the custom drapes I'd envisioned all along.
They're still in dire need of a good steaming, but here's the finished effect. Soon that dresser will be painted with a rich green-black (I wanted a bit more depth to the color than stark black), and updated with simple, sleek hardware. The wall color (hard to tell from the grainy photo, I know) is the perfect light gray--Dolphin Fin by Behr. We really want our master to be light and airy (easier for us to wake up in the morning), but restful, calm, and masculine. We still have lots of work to do in here (hence the lack of photos), but I'm pretty happy with the progress.
So there you have it: a mini sneak peak at the progress (and inevitable shortcomings) of a house in progress. Patience is certainly a virtue for good reason, and I've really had to learn to be okay with how things are at the moment and really enjoy the fruit of our labor and the time that it takes to actualize our hopes and dreams for this house. There's so much to do, and really...it may take years to check everything off our ever-evolving list, but it will get there. That's the fun of it, I guess--getting your hands dirty and really making it your own. So cheers to that, I guess: having a vision, having a dream, and doing anything and everything you can to realize it, no matter how trying and time-consuming that task may be.
P.S. Here's a teenie glimpse into our living room if you're a hair curious.