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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Biggest Design Dilemma Solved Itself!!


For  those of you who have been following along with me on my blog you know I am a gal that likes order, neatness, symmetry, and an uncluttered atmosphere in my home.

When we chose the floor plan for our new home there was one element that gave me angst, and I mean big time angst. 

I won’t even admit to you how many hours I spent thinking about, planning, and sourcing ways to deal with this one problem.

In my great room we have one wall that is the focal wall of the room. On this wall is a slight niche for the TV and a fireplace, side by side.

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In my world the fireplace should be in the center of the room flanked by two bookcases, and one will hold the TV. 

Since I was not the architect on the job, nor did they ask me to be, this is what we have to work with. You can see for a gal that loves symmetry this can be a big problem.

Well, this week we moved into our new home. I already had a nice console table that would work under the TV that I thought would look nice, and it does. 

I might want a larger piece down the road since we also plan on getting a larger TV, but luckily I don’t feel the need to make a change right out of the gate.

1st day after move to New House

Once my hubby placed the TV on the console table I immediately noticed how it pulled the room together because it was black, and black & white are at the base of my home. 

It also balanced the fireplace opening. Now I don’t have a problem admitting when I am wrong and boy was I wrong about the TV wall.

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The TV has been installed on the brackets on the wall and it works great there.

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We are both very happy with the results and for the fact that we don’t have to address this wall immediately like I had originally thought. In fact I made my hubby promise me that would be the first project he would do for me right after we signed the papers.( I am a planner)

I do have plans for molding to make the entire wall look and feel like one large composition. 

It is going to take a lot of planning, measuring and blue tape to get it right, and when the time comes we will be up for the challenge.

Sometimes, even in design, things have a way of working themselves out so relax, and don’t over think it until you see how it turns out.

Two black boxes side by side will add balance to a room, who knew?

The TV is my friend, not my enemy.


The TV/Fireplace wall will have a paneled molding treatment on the entire wall, floor to ceiling.

Here are a few images that I have pinned for inspiration…….

This first image is the closest to what I have envisioned for my wall. On the left you will have  to visualize a console table with the TV on the wall and panels behind it. 

The over mantel treatment is almost exactly what I want except for how low the sconces are hung.

I see sconces hung this low all the time so I am sure there is a reason for it, however for me they just look too low. 

How do you feel about the height of the sconces? Maybe I should do a blog post on this subject? HMMMMM?

Very similar to the other one. It has clean lines with just a touch of elegance and that is the look I am going for in our new home.

This treatment does not go all the way to the ceiling like I want, but what I do like is the treatment behind the TV.

None of the above images are exactly what I want, however by pulling an element from one image and then the others, I can come up with what will work best in my environment.


1. When looking for ideas for your home always think of the images you are looking at as inspiration only.  Gather lots of images. ( I pin mine to a pinboard on Pinterest)

2. Try not to take the details literally, or you will overlook some good inspiration, and feel paralyzed.

3. Choose rooms that make you feel good, and then analyze what it is about the room that you can apply to your own.

4. When looking at your images for inspiration try to save some that you don’t like as well, and keep those separated from your likes. It is just as important that you are very firm on what you don’t like.

5. Often times likes and dislikes can look very similar, but there will be one detail that will make you, personally not like it. 

6. You need to be very aware of what you dislike so you don’t fall into the pitfall of adding it unconsciously to your room. That is why it is so important to examine images and all the details, big and small.

Using myself as an example:
For instance in my looking I discovered I do not like large entertainment walls with shelving and doors. I prefer a simple console type piece. 

I also discovered I do not like sconces place low on the wall above fireplaces.

7. Start applying your idea to your area on paper first, and start with the area that is the most important to you, or at least the area that will dictate the outcome of the design. 

In my case it will be the over mantel first, because it will set the lines that will go over to the TV area. 

I am starting with the fireplace because I have a much smaller area to work with than I do on the TV wall.

The measurements and lines I create above the fireplace will flow over to the TV wall where I can actually add more if need be. There needs to be a consistent flow of lines so it will not start looking like a puzzle.

I love design! I am always on the learning curve and it is inspiring and a challenge all at the same time!!

Moving and making plans for the future sure is fun and we intend to.........


Sunday, October 25, 2015



Completed new house

The much anticipated moving day has come and gone. 

We moved into our new home On Wednesday without a hitch. Everything went very smoothly this time.

I think it is because we had a dress rehearsal 6 months ago when we moved out of our previous home into an apartment.

1st day after move to New House

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised that our furniture fit in the new house so well. We only had one chair that did not make the cut in the great room, but we found a place for it in the office. 

I took  these pictures you are about to see of our new home the very next day, on Thursday so I could show you all how it is looking so far.

We still have some things to move in, and a bunch of boxes in storage that need to be brought here, but right now we have what we absolutely need here in the new house. 

Our plan is to bring boxes here a little bit at a time and either keep, purge or donate.

I did a lot of purging before we moved, however, as many people told me that have experienced a move like this said we would need to purge even more, and they were right!

1st day after move to New House

We might be totally tired, but we are still smiling from ear to ear, and having a lot of pinch me moments. It is still hard to believe we get to live here.

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The great room is where I spent the most time tweaking furniture. 

I have two chairs in there that have to be angled, and I will be honest with you I like angled furniture in a room when it is placed in a corner, but it has to be exactly angled at the right position when it is in the center of the room, and angled for my eye to like it.

This girl who loves order and symmetry is learning to live with angles and asymmetry in her design world.

1st day after move to New House

I am finding it so interesting to see how everything looks so good with a white back drop. 

Having never lived with white walls before  I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am loving them.

All our walls and woodwork are painted Sherwin Williams Swiss coffee.

The furniture came in before the rug because we had the furniture in the apartment, but the rug was in storage. 

I immediately loved the furniture in the room, but when the rug went down the whole room came alive.

Black and white is a staple as the base for my rooms, and this rug fits the bill for me.

It was fun to see how my new black spindle chair worked in the room as well. 

I must have moved that chair twenty times to get just the right angle. 

It literally can be moved a half inch here or a half inch there until it feels just right. I am kind of like a Goldilocks when it comes to details like this. 

I went through the same process with the white chair and ottoman in the same room.

1st day after move to New House

The biggest surprise of the day was the TV, and it’s placement. 

I am not a big fan of TV. I watch it, but to be honest usually only at the end of the day right before bedtime. 

The TV has not been visible in a room for years and it has never been a focal point. We hid it in an armoire for years.

The white console table came in, and then the TV was placed on it. As soon as the TV was placed the room pulled together beautifully. 

How can a TV play an important part in the d├ęcor/design of a room?

It was because of it being black, and it mimicked the black opening of the fireplace, it  also created balance and weight in the room which was needed because of all the white and light in the room.

Who would have thought a TV could do that? 

I have to be honest I would have never in a million years given a TV such design kudos!! 

We have plans on purchasing a larger TV and it will be hung on the wall. 

Our builder has a tech guy that will come and hook up the TV. It is part of the  media package when you purchase media wiring in the walls and the TV wall mount.

1st day after move to New House

The house has great flow from one room to another and the great room and the kitchen/dining area feel like one big room because of the nice open floor plan.

The above image was taken from the kitchen side of the large island looking into the great room.

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This image was taken to at night and it shows how the great room is backed by the kitchen and dining area.

1st day after move to New House

This is our dinette right off of the kitchen. You can see my computer on the table, this is where I will be writing my blog post. I decided to switch sides so I am now facing the great room as I type this. 

1st day after move to New House

The bar stools fit perfectly under the island. However my hubby is not as happy with them as I am so that might be addressed in the future.

I can hardly wait to get my hands on the glass front cabinets once I find all my platters and white ironstone. 

In our previous home we put mirror on the back of the glass front cabinets, and added lighting inside the cabinets and under the cabinets.

I must have gone to the cabinets to turn on those lights a dozen times. 

So something that was not even close to the top of the To-Do list got promoted to the very top of the list. 

The lighting will give this part of the kitchen such a nice glow at night. We have a light in the hood, but it is too bright for ambient lighting, however it will be great for cooking.

1st day after move to New House

Right off of the great room there is a little entry hall into the master bedroom. My antique French marble table fit the bill perfectly. 

It needed to be open piece in order  for air flow for the air intake grid. 

The table and plant help camouflage the intake grid. I will be hanging the antique mirror that goes with the table soon.

The master bedroom was another pleasant surprise for us.  

This home is living larger than we anticipated.

1st day after move to New House

Another pleasant surprise was how well our cream furniture looks on the soft white walls. The carpet has also turned out to be the perfect  back drop color for our room.

1st day after move to New House

Again and again the white walls are turning out to be a pleasant surprise for us. 

Excuse the wrinkled pillows please! 

We have paper blinds on all the windows for privacy until we get our window treatments selected. More on that later in another blog post.

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We have an office and another bedroom, laundry room and of course the two bathrooms that are not quite ready for company yet.

We are learning and discovering things about our new home at every turn....... 
  I LOVE white walls.
  • Our new home lives much larger than anticipated.
  • Angles are my friend.
  • Asymmetry can be interesting.
  • Our cream bedroom furniture feels very restful backed by white walls.

1st day after move to New House

Walking back through the house to the entry hall where I will say goodbye for now.

1st day after move to New House
We are tired, happy, grateful and I hope you all will come back as we continue to…..



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today Is The DAY!!!


It’s here! The long awaited day.

We are moving into our cottage today!! To say we are excited is an understatement. 

Last night we were talking last night and we still can’t believe we get to do this!

Throughout the week we have been taking over a lot of this and that’s this week and will continue to do so even after the movers move all the boxes and big stuff. 

The agenda for the rest of the week will be to try and find spaces for all our stuff, and there will  probably be some purging involved along the way. (kind of dreading that part, but all part of the process.)

The carpet situation got resolved on Monday. There were a couple of issues, but it all got ironed out in the end, and now we have the carpet that I chose. 

It looks just like I wanted it to look, and now the base of our home has a nice flow. Before it was, “ Hmmmm? I wonder what she has planned for these rooms?”

Ribbet collage Wrong and Correct New Carpet

The wrong carpet was a greige with a green undertone. 

You might not be able to see it on your monitors, but trust me on this one, it was dreary. Also the wood flooring is more mellow than pictured with more brown undertones so the new carpet has a nice flow.

The correct carpet is a nice sand color, and it just flows with the hardwood and the tile in the master bathroom. In fact the carpet looks almost the same color as the grout, the counters and the shower walls. 

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The other thing you cannot see in pictures is this carpet has a subtle texture, just a little pin dot, for texture, not a color just the weave has a pin dot.

The  take away from all of this is...

 ......make sure you get a sample of the carpet you chose, if at all possible. Also try to be there on install day to make sure they have the correct padding installed. 

We upgraded the padding, and when we stepped on the carpet it felt like there was not enough padding.

Once the carpet was ripped up my suspensions were confirmed, wrong carpet color, wrong padding. They had to scurry to get the right padding here.

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We are up bright and early this morning and ready for the big job of the day!!! 

Next blog post will be written from our new home. Now that is exciting!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

NEW HOUSE UPDATE: Making Some Progress!


When I left you last we had received the keys to the house, and we found out they had installed the wrong color of carpet. You can read about it HERE!

The last couple of days we have been taking over things/stuff to the new house. 

We have movers to move boxes and the heavy stuff, but I am packing up the kitchen stuff and making trips back and forth. 

We are not moving too quickly and taking our time, which is quite different than our first move from our previous home to the apartment which was a crazy fast move and I don’t move necessarily very fast anymore.

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It has been a fun week of hanging paper blinds, putting shelving together for the garage, and putting items in the kitchen cupboards.

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These shelving units are going to work out great for our needs and trust me they will be filling up very quickly.

We also have plans on adding overhead storage units. I will have to do a lot more purging I am afraid, and I am not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to a neater, more organized area.

We got these at Home Depot, and they are nice and sturdy. They had 5 star rating, with over 600 reviews, and they are on sale right now!  If you are in need of some storage shelves you can find them here. 

All our walls and ceiling are sheet rocked and painted. We have never had a finished garage before, it sure is nice and so much more pleasant to look at.

blue and white pumpkins with ornament cabbage (5)
I finally got to buy some Fall flowers and pumpkins for the porch and patio area. It felt so good to place them in our new home.

blue and white pumpkins with ornament cabbage (3)
We have a nice side back patio area that we are really going to enjoy using. We placed our black wrought iron table that we got when we were first married 46 years ago, it has served us well.

I had custom cushions made in a bright cobalt with white trim to update their look.

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On each end of the patio I placed our black Chippendale styled planters with white cyclamen. 

Cyclamen grow throughout the winter months here in California so if I keep them watered they will last for a few months. 

These planters were also purchased at Home Depot. They use to sit on each side of our front door at our previous home. You can find them HERE!

New house pumpkins and flowers (3)
They need to get a quick spray of some black paint since they have been open to the elements for some time. Nothing prettier than a fresh coat of black or white paint to freshen something up a bit.

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We made a fun discovery on our walk thru. Our oven and microwave ovens have a screen saver that you can change according to the season. 

The candle flickers in the jack o lantern. It is so cool. My kids are going to love this feature.

With each passing day the house is already starting to tell me what it needs. 

I am discovering different things each day and loving our new home.  I have already learned that it is going to live bigger than I anticipated, it has a wonderful easy flow and it already feels peaceful and welcoming.

Tomorrow they will be installing the correct carpet and hopefully our mover will let us know when he can move us.

Moving teaches one to go with the flow, that is for sure. I will be busy unpacking and trying to decide where to place the furniture we already own. I think so far everything will work, but that is yet to be seen.

More to do and see, so come back and see what we are up too.

Next big decision is window treatments!!!

Until then I will continue to:
"Enjoy The Process!"