Doggie Dog Dog!

Meet Jackie, our new labradoodle!
She's a super sweet 5 year old, who we adopted yesterday from the NorCal Poodle Rescue. She's still a little scared of things, but I think will adjust soon.


New Danish Teak Table!

I am so excited! Not only did Brentan and I find a nice, rectangular table from craigslist, it is a beautiful Danish teak table! I really <3 craigslist sometimes.
I swear, I would have had to pay $500 for this at the Alameda flea market.


Green Filing Cabinet and the Alameda Flea Market

Brentan and I picked up this free (and heavy) filing cabinet yesterday from a craigslister. It was an ugly tan color, with no excitement. So after the Alameda Flea Market yesterday (which is AMAZING!!) I went to Home Depot, bought a can of spray paint and painted it green. It is an awful similar green to that in the kitchen, which I think ties the rooms in the house together nicely!

And it gives a nice pop of color to the office, and a great place to store files, which were previously all over the floor.

The office is still coming together. At the flea market I was keeping an eye out for a pretty vintage low and long cabinet or bookshelf to store all of our crap. There weren't any in good condition or quite what I wanted. What there were many of were pretty Danish modern kitchen tables--unfortunately none in our price range! I'm keeping an eye on craigslist for a good one.

PS. I'm linking this to DIY Day! Hooray!


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I'm off to the farmer's market, and then to make some creepy halloween decorations in time for trick or treating tonight. I'm excited to be in a neighborhood with lots of kids, and hope we get a few trick or treaters!


New Decor: DIY Art and a Bar

I just finished up these paintings the other day, after being a work in progress for about a month and a half! Sarah helped me create the painting on the left. We went to Michaels and got some crafty stuff (paint, canvases, etc.) when she was here in September. We faux 'woodblock' printed it inspired by a print of a real woodblock print we saw in the store. The other canvas we put 3 circles on.

Well, after putting everything away, I decided I didn't really like the canvas with just 3 circles, so finally, finally Brentan and I painted over it the other night.

I think they look really nice, if not a little small for the wall in the picture. It was way cheaper than buying 2 canvases with pre-made art on them too! And now our little house is just a little more personalized with Sarah, Brentan, and my fingerprints on it!

I also put together this little bar schene on the wall next to the TV where the kegerator is. Don't pay too much attention to the creepy hand, that's just the tap handle. I got the mirrored plate at an estate sale a few weeks ago and I LOVE it. So mid-century and really pretty, and exactly what I was looking to put here. The art above it is from an ad in an old 60's magazine (Holiday) that I also found at an estate sale and framed. It's for Seagrams, and I liked the color and thought since all my friends from Boston love gin and tonics it's a little dedication to them! :) Then I put together a little still life on the top of glasswear and alcohol bottles I already had.

I'm looking to make a little skirt with some wild pattern to cover the base of the kegerator. It just looks like an ugly mini-fridge so I thought it needs some interest. I still have to find some good fabric and measure it all out and find some time to do it though...


Sonoma Wine Country

Last Sunday Brentan and I went up to the little town of Windsor, CA in Sonoma County to meet up with Uncle Lloyd and Helene who were there for the past week tasting wine and eating good food with their wine group from North Carolina.

We went to a few wineries with them and had a nice dinner with their group! I took a few pictures at Acorn Vineyards, which was super tiny.

Wine country was not as snobby and upscale as I thought it would be. I had only ever been wine tasting in Vermont and Maryland, which are not known for their nice wines like Sonoma County is! (Not to say Vermont or Maryland wine was bad) I did have some delicious wine on Sunday though!
Oh boy, Brentan enjoyed those fresh-from-the-vine merlot grapes! Where can we buy those? :)

It was a party. Lloyd has some wine for the party later, too!


Lonny Mag -- The new Domino?

A few people from the ill-fated Domino magazine have returned to the design publishing space with the launch of Lonny Magazine. It's an online magazine that has a similar aesthetic as Domino, and many, many more pages. And it's free, since it's online!
Thanks to Design*Sponge, which I love love love, I found out about the cool new magazine. And the first issue features the apartment of the editor of DS, Grace Bonney. Very cool, and I am already looking forward to the next one!

Things have been very good here-- Carpet is being installed as I write, I'm working more (yay money!), and I took a quick trip up to wine country this weekend. A full report on that to come....


Fresh Home Table and Thailand Send-Off Party!

Becky was visiting on her way from Boston to Thailand this week and we cleaned up the backyard for a going away shindig for her and to celebrate the new backyard! Sarah B also came to visit, but more on that later. I got a cute outdoor tablecloth from Target on sale that matches the benches to the table. Love it. Also love the table and benches that are made from the plans in the summer edition of Fresh Home magazine.
Becky and I posed for some photos before the party as we relaxed for the afternoon with lemonade and design magazines (along with an Economist that neither of us read!). Oh I love these gorgeous warm fall afternoons here!


Pebble Beach, Monterrey and Guests!

Despite the patio makeover, which is still going on, I've had a little bit of time to chill out, relax in the end of summer California weather, and entertain a few guests in the new home. Last week I took a quick day roadtrip with Brentan and my grandparents to Monterrey and saw a few things...

Brentan had a good time exploring old buildings.
Grandpa caught a giant sea squid.
We had lunch at the Pebble Beach golf course, and watched people as they finished the 18th hole.
And I saw giant dahlias...
and giant cacti, as inspiration for the garden!

Sarah came to visit this week and we had a delightful time picnicking, exploring, pretending we were undergrads again, and meeting up with old friends. Pictures to come as soon as she sends them to me!


Pretty Patio and Pergola PLUS Picnic Table

Brentan is finishing up the pergola on the patio right now as I sit here and blog! He started a few days ago, sawing and drilling, and now we have a beautiful, California, redwood pergola, that seems ubiquitous in our neighborhood. After deciding to put one in, I started noticing them everywhere, even at the gas station down the street. It is going to provide some much needed shade in our backyard! It is still not quite finished, as I said before, but you can see the results.

In process:
And mostly finished!
We're looking for some cute, durable, cheap lights to hang around the pergola (since Brentan hard wired it for electricity, of course), so if you have any suggestions, please tell me!

You might also notice these cute built in planters that Brentan made all by himself:

I love them, and the colorful poppies and snapdragons he picked out for them! (I also love him, because he made me a pergola, AND a picnic table)

A picnic table for the patio is still in the works, mostly because I haven't had time to finish painting/staining it, and it was RAINING here for the last few days. From all that I've heard, rain in September in San Francisco is unheard of. But here is the table and benches in progress, they will eventually be a blue-aqua color on the base ("Wipeout"), and natural color stained redwood on top. More to come...
Also! We put up these cute mid-century house numbers to go with our mid-century house:
Also! You might want to know what we decided on the carpet! We dumped Home Depot, and went with the large carpet store. We managed to talk the sales guy down to only $300 above Home Depot, and we will get much better installation, continuing service, and product. I'm really happy about it. Installation in about 2 weeks!


Spotlight on the Kitchen

Kimba over at A Soft Place to Land has picked my kitchen redo as one of her favorites in her weekly Do It Your Day posts! I am so honored to be picked, and thanks for the many comments on my blog! I posted a comment attached to that post, but thought I would reiterate what I wrote here:

My husband and I did all the work on the kitchen project, without the help of professionals. Just to clarify a few things on what changed:
-Primed and painted the cabinets white
-Tore out a tile counter top and replaced it with one from Ikea
-Retiled the backsplash with white subway tile
-Installed under cabinet lighting from Ikea
-Painted the walls green

And we did it all for about $1000. Saved so much by doing it ourselves!


Guests! and hating Home Depot and Lowes carpet

As of yesterday our house looked like this:

But now it is all clean because we have our first guests visiting tomorrow! My grandparents are coming from Connecticut to visit us and go to a Bar Mitzvah in Palo Alto. So they get a nice, freshly painted room, with new (to us) furniture, thanks to my friend Kate! Here is the "Before" of the guest bedroom:With our mess in it:

And the "After":

Like always, it needs a little more personalization, so this isn't the complete after. In fact, Brentan and I went shopping yesterday for new carpet for the bedrooms and hallway. So it will look even nicer in a few weeks when we have it installed! I really hate Home Depot and Lowes right now for their service on carpet. Brentan and I first went to a few carpet stores where the people knew everything about the carpet, installation, and anything we want to know. At Lowes, they tell us it is about $40 just to get a non-refundable measurement and quote, and we walk out. The carpet stores don't charge anything. At Home Depot, the woman there tells us it is a $50 measurement. Plus, she doesn't even work in the carpet section and doesn't know a thing about the carpets. Not a thing. So half of me wants to go with a carpet specialist and get great service, and the other half says we are on a tight budget and the only thing we can afford is Home Depot carpet and installation despite the crappy service. A guy from the carpet store is coming on Tuesday to measure (for free!), so we'll see if we can talk him down a bit, and maybe save $500 from his quote. Always the dilemna... expensive specialists, or cheap big box stores.


Bathroom "After"

The bathroom is finished! Brentan worked very hard last week, and I did very little since I was at work most of the week. It looks great!



Brentan installed new tile on the floor and countertop, (Do you like the blue decorative border?), replaced the faucet, and painted the walls. I painted the cabinets and all the trim, and designed the color scheme. :) It still needs a bit more detailing, like new handles on the drawers and some towel racks and just a little more warmth and coziness. But you can see the big changes to the room, and how it is just more inviting.

Any ideas for pictures/decor above the toilet? I'm open to something fun, since the rest of the bathroom is pretty conservative!

Also, look what our house has:
No blue tarp on top of it! Yes, that's right, our house got a new roof last week too! By far the most expensive of our renovations, yet the most inconspicuous.
I need to plant some flowers in the front yard to cheer things up a little in that barren yard, but so far there's just been time to focus on the interior.

Next project to tackle:
Put drywall on the water-damaged room, and paint the bedrooms (as well as finish up the living room arrangement).


Kitchen "After"

The kitchen is finally finished! There are still a few more things to touch up, but for the most part it is done! Brentan and I unpacked all of our kitchen things, and set up shop in the kitchen. I forgot that I own so many kitchen accessories. I just have too many! (But I'm going to love being able to use them again.)

So here are the official before and after shots:



And this is a better picture of the color we painted the walls. Do you like it? I didn't know if I liked it at first. It is very vibrant, and is definitely growing on me.


Still Painting

I'm still painting the kitchen cabinets. I had no idea how much work it would be to paint all of them!
Step 1: Scrub
Step 2: Sand
Step 3: Prime
Step 4: Paint
Step 5: Sand
Step 6: Paint
Step 7: Wipe
Step 8: Attach hardware and hinges
Step 9: Hang on cabinets

And I need to do 1-7 for each side of the cabinet doors, as well as for the cabinets themselves. I'm on step 6 right now, waiting for one side to dry. So I'm almost there! And then I get to paint the kitchen (bright green!). Brentan installed new countertops (which you can see in the last post) and just finished grouting the new subway tile backsplash, which I am SUPER excited about. I've seen it in design magazines and such for a while, and really wanted it, and now I have it! Pictures to come, hopefully tomorrow or the next day!


Kitchen Remodel

So many things have happened since that last post. Brentan arrived here in California, we "moved in" without really opening any boxes yet, and started remodeling the kitchen in the new house! We've been working really hard, for about 10 hours a day (except for when I'm working), and making good progress. Here are some before and "during" shots. I hope to have the "afters" by tomorrow or Thursday!



We do have one room set up in the house:
It still needs a new coat of paint and new carpet, but that will wait until we are done with the main living spaces.

The living area:
It has gotten even messier since this picture!
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