Wednesday, June 11, 2014

And We Have Wallpaper!!!

Two of our rooms were wallpapered today and I couldn't be more excited!  Still many more layers of lighting, art, and accessories to complete the rooms but they are on their way!

Rocco's Red Room

My Office

Rocco's Red Room Paper:  Maharam

Office Paper:  Serena & Lily (can you see a trend?)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Rare Find

A red diamond, a parking spot at Whole Foods, a husband that enjoys cooking and taking care of the kids (at the same time),  a car that is as functional as a mini-van...yet not a mini-van,  and my little friend, the Northern Hairy Nose Wombat....

These are all rare finds.  And, after my 10th house I came to the conclusion that just as rare is a white kitchen in Ohio.  Yes, my friends, I wanted a white kitchen more than anything.  In fact, I have been dreaming about a white kitchen for some time now.  It was the deal breaker for me.  It either had to have a white kitchen or we had to buy a house that left us enough money to make a white kitchen.  As you can imagine when these pictures showed up as Milly's kitchen it got my attention right away....

So, here I am in my white kitchen!  But, there is still work to do!  Since this is really the heart of the house I have taken it on as my first project.  Obviously the big design elements are fabulous...the brick wall, the wood floors, the WHITE cabinets.  However, I have a few changes planned to turn it into Milly's Kitchen.

The beauty of Milly's kitchen is that it's open to the family room.  The first thing we did was add wood flooring to the family room to make the space flow better and feel more open.  Next, I mixed some of our old pieces with new to create my story board for the project.  Here is a list of the new items to come!

1.  The first item I knew I had to have were the Riviera Barstools from Serena & Lily.  I have had a slight obsession with these for awhile and wanted to build my design around them.  

2.  Paint color for the kitchen walls:  Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter

3.  Exiting chairs from Ballard Design.  Sadly, these chair are not available anymore.

4.  The dining table was also a huge part of the beginning planning.  After looking at all my resources I ended up selecting the French Urn Pedestal Table from Restoration Hardware.

5.  Existing rug for under the barstools from Crate and Barrel.  I really love this rug.  An easy way to make a room pop is to add a black and white rug.  It goes with any style and always looks fresh.

6.  The Roark Modular Ring Chandelier by Ralph Lauren Home for over the dining table. 

7.  Lugarno pulls from Restoration Hardware.  6" pulls for upper cabinets and 3" for lower.  

8.  Existing chairs from Ballard Designs.

9.  In addition to the kitchen, I added a few elements from the family room to make sure the two rooms compliment each other.  The Slipcovered Spruce Chair from Serena & Lily will sit by the fireplace on the family room side. 

10.  Racing Stripe pillow from Serena & Lily will act as an accent pillow.  

11.  Paint color for family room:  Benjamin Moore, Silent Night

12.  We added on (the beauty of carpet tiles) to our awesome FLOR area rug in Vintage Vibe in the family room.  

13.  Also high on my list were new lights for over the island.  I wanted to use these for Martha but didn't have a spot.  Happy the Hood pendant from Rejuvenation are finding a home in Milly's Kitchen!

14.  What's a kitchen without a good egg picture?  I love the scale and soft blue color of this print from Wisteria.

15.  And last, but certainly not least is my beloved birdie paper from Schumacher.  It will be an accent wall behind the table.  

A little bit French, a little bit eclectic and a whole lot of us!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


When we found out we were moving back to Ohio I was convinced I would never love another house like Martha.  I even vowed that I would not care about my next house.  As my friends asked, "Are you excited about getting to pull together a new house?" I would respond with, "No.  I'm done.  I can't do it again and I don't care.  This next house is just going to sit as is."  I could tell from their faces that not one ounce of them believed the words that were coming out of my mouth.  But, as good friends do, they would still add words of support to encourage me to be more excited about my next house.  They knew I would come around before I did.

The journey to our new house was not as picturesque as how we had come upon Martha.  It started with a battle between my husband and I on location.  Carried forth with an exhausting house hunting trip where we looked at 30 houses and didn't like any of them.  Then, just when we arrived back to DC, our new house posted.  We liked it but we were 6 1/2 hours away.  So, we did the only thing we could, a Face Time walk-thru .  Then, just like that we bought a house we had never seen in person.  

I liked the house.  It's new.  It's nice.  It's bigger than Martha.  But, it was just a house.  I did my first walk-thru of the house (in person) and it was what I expected.  Afterwards I was relieved but still not ready to commit to making it "Our House". 

After the closing we had set up a meeting with the current owners to go over things in the house, any tips they had, services we should continue,  the basics.  It was an overcast, windy Ohio day and I was ready to just be done.  I rang the bell and the nicest lady answered.  She was packing and in the midst of the chaos I had just gone through.  There was a box neatly packed with all the things we needed and an organized file storage container with the warranties to everything in the house.  She loved her house and I instantly felt connected to her.  They had built the house.  They picked out every finish, every color, every detail.  No one knew that house better than her and she was sad to leave it.  I knew exactly how she was feeling.  She was leaving her life too.  Her little boy would have to find new friends and she was also leaving a best friend neighbor she had gone to college with.  After meeting her I knew the house had been built with love and I had no choice but to keep loving her house as I make it "ours".

So, as my friends knew I would do before I did, I am starting over and working on my new house just as I did Martha.  She has great bones and some interesting details.  She is young but still has some of the same refined traits as Martha.  I can not compare the two because they are so different but I feel as though they both have a sense of understated elegance.  I will have some remnants of Martha throughout but it will be a new look.  I won't move as fast on this house but I hope for steady progress.  She will be a good house or better yet a great house!  I will put aside my fear of not posting anything until it's finished and focus on the little steps and progress we make.  With that being said, I would like to proudly introduce Milly... and I can't wait to make her "Our House"!

Sorry Milly's debut picture is so small but it's all we have... for now!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Martha...The Final Chapter

We were only supposed to be in DC for 1 (maybe 2) years.  I was never supposed to love it here.  It was never supposed to be home.  Quickly the years began to became two...two became 4 and in a blink we found ourselves at year 8 and thinking this was going to be a long term home for us, possibly a forever home.  We found ourselves in a house we loved and neighborhood we loved even more.  Then, just like that, we got the call we had been waiting for...we were moving home but leaving home at the same time.

The past few weeks have been the definition of "bittersweet".  Excited to move near family but teary eyed over leaving our friends, our house, and our new "home".  In the mad chaos of everything we finished up our last few projects and put the For Sale sign in front of "Our House".  It had truly become our house too.  Completely transformed into what we dreamed it would be.  There are always the few things you can't have or aren't in the budget (white kitchen, master bedroom addition) but overall Martha was perfectly ours and we loved her.  She sold in 4 days and just like that Our House became someone else's.  

I know I can't take Martha with me to Ohio so the next best thing was to have Bonnie Sen Creative come to capture everything she had become.  I will cherish everything about this renovation and will always have the pictures to remind me of our first house.

Family Room

KDL Interiors Office

Family Room

Chopper at His Favorite Seat in the Front Window

Office Detail

Entering Dining 

Dining Room

View to the Sun Room

Chair Detail

Sun Room

My Three Bulls (Boys)


Powder Room

Master Details

Master Bedroom

Master Bed

Master Bath

Rocco's Room

Max's Room

Full Bath

Full Bath Details

Walking Down Stairs (I didn't have time to make this vision real...but always thought this would be the perfect spot for a super-sized picture of my boys)

Laundry Sink

There she is...Our Martha.  My heart aches when I think about leaving her but it's on to a new adventure.  She will never be forgotten and will live on in our hearts forever.  To steal a quote from a statue at my alma mater... "To Think that in such a place, I (We) led such a life."

Thank You Martha, Thank You Friends, Thank You DC.  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Small House BIG Art

Wow, what a difference art makes!  While Martha is small in stature her walls are making BIG statements.  After waiting for about a month we had three great pieces come in one week.  They add so much to each room and are making it feel even more like our house!  Art does many things in a space but some of my favorite aspects of art are...  

it gives warmth...


and in some cases...a little humor!   

So, take a hint from Martha and don't forget to color your walls!