Around the House | New Kitchen Table & More!

Well, hey, happy new year!  Okay, are we all done talking about this?
www.tphblog.comWe had a wonderful, cozy Christmas.  But, I tell you what, I am charged and ready to go for 2015.  It is time to get cracking on some delayed decorating around here.  I’m trying to get as much done before school ends…because of this (99% sure it’s happening)!  So, let the zhushing games begin!

It took a year for me to decide what to do, but it was worth it:  the new kitchen table!

IMG_8251 www.tphblog.comYeah, hot and sexy…you know, as all family dinner tables should be.  This fabulousness is a variation of Grey Furniture’s Line Table.  Sarah at Grey rounded the ends for a sleek silhouette.


I picked up these arm chairs from Antiques & Beyond–love the 80s vibe going down on these babies.  Pickled (I said it) wood, contemporary styling on a classic shape, they are perfect for the look I’m after.  I’ll send them to the upholsterer once I figure out drapery fabric for the big window.  The label on the bottom says Century Chair delivered to Bloomingdale’s New York, New York, 1987.  I love that.


As for the side chairs, these are on order–a nice echo of the arm chairs.  The finish is polished aluminum, but I will have them powder coated in a color pop–to be decided.

Do you see the big marshmallow sofa here?www.tphblog.comIt is a new addition in the family room, a room that is also in the process of getting some love.  Soon:  paint on the walls, hang a painting over that skinny window (to hide TV glare), pillows, drapery, rug, odds & ends–but all this depends on that blasted drapery fabric in the adjoining kitchen.  I’ll be so happy when I figure that one out!

And, then, the chandelier for the guest room arrived!  But!  Once it was here, I decided it really needed to live in my daughter’s closet.  It should be up soon, hanging beautifully between the carved doors–seriously, she has the coolest room.  In the meantime the girl chose pink for her closet walls.  I’m liking it.  I really hope I stumble upon a sculptural white lacquer dresser soon.www.tphblog.comAnyways, I have tweaked things in the guest room and feel like another fixture is needed–it is ordered and should be here in a few weeks.  So, yeah, longest 6-week challenge ever!

And, furniture is moving around the house.  I’m trying to use what I have.  Trying!  Even though I am stretching for something so different in this house than the last one.  The yellow dresser from the loft made it to the upper floor landing.www.tphblog.comFlanking the dresser, Paul McCobb chairs, that I defiled with steel balls where the wood originally was, will be painted black and receive new upholstery.  Please tell me you see the clown face in the above photo.

We moved the Mengel Module piece to the side entry.  I do think I like it there.  I safely tucked the original knobs away and tried these carved stone ones from Anthropologie.  I LOVE that tablecloth and have it hanging temporarily until I can decide if I want to frame it for this spot (I do).  www.tphblog.comI don’t usually dispense decorating advice, but a few things struck me with this post–things of which I am proud of doing.

Take it Slow | I explored a lot of options on the kitchen table throughout the year, but I didn’t rush or settle.  We had people over to eat many times on our wobbly, scuffed temporary table, and I was okay with it knowing I was being patient for the right fit.  I’m embracing this slow decorating as my ally to get things right, and this mentality feeds my patience.

Let it Go | Perfectionism.  I’m showing you spaces FAR from complete or perfect.  I’m showing you my process, whether right or wrong.  So proud am I to be at this point.

Make Peace | Does it unnerve me to see in these photos wood floors that didn’t turn out to my specifications?  Oh, yes.  And all the other details in the remodel that didn’t finish right.  This is where I give myself grace for the impossibility of managing it all perfectly in a hurried, inhospitable environment with difficult people.  And, I have to forgive.

Stay the Course | I’ve wanted to bail many times on this design challenge I’ve given myself.  There is all the second guessing, only to come back to the original heart plan.  When I’m scared, I think I should do what is easy–but that doesn’t make my pulse race with joy.  I’m trying to stay true to myself and our family, because that is where we’ll really feel at home.

Okay, guys, until next time (catch me on Instagram)!  XOXO

An Unofficial Guest Room Reveal-ish

Hey, there, you know I have felt horrible about not sharing the semi-finished guest room with you after you kindly rode the waves of the One Room Challenge with me (as a link-up participant).  So I don’t have the finished pillows or chandelier yet, but I wanted to finally give a little peek around.  The photos aren’t great, but I had a little pocket of time today and I seized it.  I’ll take more time when the final details are in.www.tphblog.comOh my goodness, it is December 19, and I bought those mums a week before Thanksgiving.  The lamps are from Screen Door Antiques that I found when dear Fieldstone Hill Dar and family came to visit me and mine at the cottage.  She can tell you how long I waffled over those lamps…still waffling over keeping them here in the guest room.www.tphblog.comSuper bad photo below, but I want to show you how the cornice boards evened out the uneven height of the window.  I do love how a very homely craft like quilting looks quite modern when framed as a segment.  I’m thinking of you awesome ladies in Gee’s Bend.

www.tphblog.comI did finish the art in time for our Thanksgiving guests.  It was a new idea I had for my ribbon infatuation–so I kinda consider it a rough sketch or prototype.  I like how it turned out on the plywood and look forward to making more and improving the idea.

www.tphblog.comThe rug was in our kitchen (click to see more bad, yellow photos of our kitchen) in the last house, our rancher (click to see TPH’s most visited post and an amazing before and after).

www.tphblog.comThis photo gives you a closer look of the concrete floor finish–so much better than what we were dealing with before.

www.tphblog.comHopefully I’ll have lighting up in the new year.  Then we’ll have a big reveal with a marching band and sky writing.  It’ll be grand.

Until then, I’ll be Christmassing with the family, many who are really sick.  Oh, man, last night my husband and I cleaned up the most epic vomit explosion of our parenting careers.  Let’s just say that I am so happy that we tiled the walls around the boys’ toilet here in the new house.  Gross, why did I tell you that?  Hurry!  Look at this and forget what I just wrote:IMG_7832Marlowe never wastes an opportunity to be irresistible.  I think I know why he likes curling up under the Baby J b-day party tree…

Fun and color, I can’t quit you.

Have a lovely, healthy weekend, friends!

A Little Christmas

Remember that Christmas when we didn’t have enough furniture to fill our house so we compensated with an enormous tree?  And, remember that tree was so big that we didn’t have enough ornaments to fill it so we compensated with paper plates and party hats on a whim?
www.tphblog.comRemember that Christmas when we used leftover Ninja party lanterns to fill in the new-house void and distract from disparate pieces of furniture?

Remember when that Christmas is this Christmas?www.tphblog.comI hope this Christmas is a season of joy and peace for you no matter what stage of the game you are in with your house.

New Blog: West of Grey

Hey, guys, I’d love to introduce you to my friend Alysa who has started a new lifestyle blog, West of

Here is Alysa, in her son’s adorable adventurer nursery.

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www.westofgrey.comAlysa started West of Grey last spring.  Her posts are thoughtful and well-crafted.  The photos are gorgeous–her husband is a photographer and obviously the talent gets around the family.  (In fact, they shot photos of the cottage for us a while back and founded the Magic Hour Foundation for cancer patients.)  I love her Color Watch posts of liked-hued pretties for your home or body.  She selects items that don’t break the bank so the look feels accessible…because you know the disappointment of falling in love with something only to discover it costs one million dollars and your right lung.

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There are room designs:www.westofgrey.comScreen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.19.53 PMAnd local Chattanooga, Tennessee, action, too:Screen shot 2014-06-09 at 8.47.16 AMwww.westofgrey.comAlysa also documents her family’s journey with lissencephaly.  Sweet baby Oliver was diagnosed at 5 weeks old with the rare brain formation disorder.    It is hard to imagine how parents take such a gut-wrenching diagnosis.  But I see their immense faith, honesty, courage, humor, and unfailing love as they adapt their lives to a new normal.

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And I do get to see Oliver’s pinchable, chubby cheeks on her blog and Facebook.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Oliver the last time we saw his parents since he is under quarantine due to seizure treatment that has compromised his immune system.  When I hear that parents have to administer injections to their baby and worry about the real dangers of other human contact, I am at a loss for words to describe the unfairness and heartbreak.  Alysa wrote:

After three weeks and 500 conversations on the nature of God and this crappy, crappy world we live in, I’ve come to one conclusion: this is our boy. He is beautiful and he is a miracle. And the beautiful thing is, we’re given opportunity to see every tiny accomplishment he has as exactly that – a miracle. We let it slip by so simply with normal children. We check things off our milestone “to do” list. “Head up, check. Tracking, check.” With Ollie, I’m searching, waiting for the tiniest thing from which to draw more happiness than he’s already brought us. I’m not sure what his grand purpose will be (and there is one, people, I know it), but this one is pretty great. He will remind us of the beauty in the little things in life. He will remind us to take joy in simple gifts, real relationships, and defending the vulnerable.

She and Alan are pretty awesome.  I hope you will check out Alysa’s delightful blog, West of Grey.

Giveaway Winner & a Monkey

Congratulations to Maurie, who writes the blog Gracious Interiors, on winning the handmade Mexican pouches!  Thank you to all who shared their holiday memories…I’ll admit, that was a ploy for you to entertain me with stories.  There was the one with the pickle-juiced, week-old turkey and the holiday with one pumpkin pie to feed 22 people.  I loved the stories!

Maurie, it was a toss up on which souvenir from our Mexico trip to give away–I might send you this monkey instead.

www.tphblog.comwww.tphblog.comI can’t even.  I totally paid $10 on the streets of Playa del Carmen to take a few photos of my kids with this monkey.  I assumed the mites we contracted afterward would be thrown in for free.  Don’t worry, Maurie, I’m not sending you a monkey…or mites.

You do know we don’t have mites, right?

I’m ready for a guest room reveal, aren’t you?  I’m still waiting on the backordered chandelier, which they now say is backordered until the end of December and could change again.   I’m deciding what to do about that–maybe order a different one that is just as perfect?  I could take photos without it, but I think photos would be better with the chandy.  And as much as I love you guys, I don’t want to do photos twice.  So we’ll wait it out together, holding hands.  My in-laws had sweet things to say about the room over their Thanksgiving visit, which I hope made up for my unexpected early PMS (from the devil himself) that doesn’t render me hostess with the mostest.  They are the best and forgiving.

But in the meantime, I’m decking the halls here at TPH, figuring out how to have a cozy Christmas in an unfinished, partially-decorated house.  I’ll share soon. And, oh!  I just placed an order with Grey for a (long dreamed about) custom kitchen table.  It is going to be stunning!  And a navy antelope rug for the bedroom and a family room sectional are arriving soon.  So, good things are on the horizon for this partially-decorated  house!

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