Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the back steps are done.

Here are a couple angles of our master crafted brick back steps.  We use this entrance into the house 99% of the time.  I thought I would include one shot with the Master Craftsman himself.

Just for fun, let's remember the handy gangplank that Dave built for us when he added the mud room.  It did serve us well for over a year.  But we can't say "ahoy mateys" when we enter the house anymore.

the storeroom.

 A place for everything and everything in its place is a beautiful thing.  We planned a massive part of the basement space to serve as a master storage area.  Mike built sturdy shelves to house my favorite clear plastic boxes.  Just yesterday I was sharing "moving tips" with my daughter.  Top two tips were 1.) purchase lots and lots and lots of clear plastic boxes. First you use them to move stuff in, then you use them for storage. Key word : clear.  And 2.) purchase a box or three of packing paper from a U-Haul Store.  The paper is thick, clean and easy to manage. 

I guess seeing the storeroom with the boxes finally unpacked and off the floor made me think of moving... being behind us!

 Martha Stewart has really cute labels at Staples.  Matching labels will make you feel more organized - and that is a good thing.
Have you seen our little guest room right off the storeroom in the basement?  Having a second official guest room has already proved to be a real blessing.  We were tickled when recent guests said they loved it because it felt like their former little New York City apartment.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

picture this.

On Saturday we followed the suggestions of our PB decorating guru Shelli Holechek and hung pictures.  More specifically, at the end of the day we had hung 37 framed pieces.  By nightfall Mike was traumatized and in the fetal position on the sofa.  The old plaster walls required special screw nails and Mike's drill.  It involved lots of instructions and in his opinion "too many words".  It is absolutely thrilling to have this done.  But I would not recommend asking Mike to hang anything in the near future.

Here is a little sneak peak at some of the finished look!  In total Mike hung two mirrors, three pieces of needlework, nine family holiday letters and twenty three photographs.  The "reading room" was transformed with the addition of all of our kids' photographs.  And the hallway now tells our family history with years of framed Christmas (or in many cases Valentines Day) Letters.

The house feels even more like home.

Friday, November 9, 2012

home sweet home.

That's all.  Just home sweet home.  It was satisfying for me to see Mike enjoying the house tonight - instead of working on it.

it's beginning to look a little like christmas.

Well, at least the stockings are out - and laying on the furniture - ha.

Having the Pottery Barn girls here made me want to try some options for our grand fireplace. It is a work in progress...

pottery barn complimentary design service.

 Like I mentioned before, Pottery Barn offers free complimentary design services - and I decided to take them up on the offer.  They come to your home for an hour (which swept by at lightning speed).  We moved furniture around and they inspired me with their fresh eyes and design expertise.  I was privileged to have Shelli Holechek and Kathy Gerkin come up from the Omaha Pottery Barn store on Thursday.  I followed them back into the store and "picked up a few things" and now I can't stop arranging and re-arranging.

 We added some sparkly touches in the dining room that I feel show off the leaded glass buffet.  I am not used to working with spaces this BIG so Shelli coached me in getting some BIGGER pieces.  (You have to remember that I am used to decorating The Little House. And Casa Blanca for durability - ha.)

This process encouraged me to get the books on the book shelves.  It was time.  Progress in being made in the "finishing touches" department.  Thanks Shelli and Kathy for the boost.

thankful every day.

Do I really live in a house where the sunlight spills into the rooms like this?  My heart is swollen with thanksgiving. 

"Oh the Lord's been good to me, and so I thank the Lord... for giving me the things I need, the whole wide world and the apple seed... the Lord's been good to me. Amen. Amen."
Johnny Appleseed and Karen Blanc 
(Learned this sweet song in Girls Scouts... and my mom still has us sing it as a table grace at family dinners.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

meet betty.

 A great big spooky and hairy spider showed up on our porch just in time for Halloween. Her name is Betty. Her young sidekick is Sally.  (Somebody has been watching too much MAD MEN.)

 Action Shot.
Today they are just hanging around.