Dining Room Progress & Plans

Hey, friends, I can’t believe it’s been a year this month since we bought the money pit new house.  I’d say the last 16 months have kicked my booty.  I’m taking it slow this summer to make up for the frenzy that was last year’s summer-o-neglect for my kids.  I’m making casual mental design notes here and there around the house, but I won’t dive into any big projects until school starts back up.  Plus, the decorating budget was swallowed by the exterior project (grading, hardscaping, and landscaping) this spring; so there’s that.

But enough spaces are tidied up so I can share my plans in the meantime.  One of my favorite of the bare-bones rooms so far is the dining room.

www.tphblog.com Sherwin Williams Night Owlview from the entry | paint: Sherwin Williams Night Owl | arabescato marble fireplace surround

The space was built as a living room with the dining room in the front of the house (where we have our living room), but it made more sense to me to have it as a dining room with the traffic flow.  And who doesn’t love a fireplace in the dining room?  I also like that we can see the kitchen table from the dining room table–very handy when we have guests over and we adults in the dining room can keep an eye on the kids in the kitchen.

www.tphblog.com Sherwin Williams Night Owlview from the kitchen table | more about the chalkboard closet here

I’m really happy that our existing round table fit perfectly in here–and the Panton chairs flare out a sweet little ruffle around it.  A big mirror is in the plans for above the fireplace.

IMG_7284Our house is like a rainbow vomited inside it.  So I like that this room is more subdued–hopefully with restraint on my part it will stay that way!  The curved sofa (my $15 yardsale purchase, reupholstered) will keep the fabric for awhile–low on priority list.  I bought some inexpensive pillows from Home Goods to experiment with tone-on-tone layering here and make the blue sofa feel more deliberate.

www.tphblog.com Sherwin Williams Night OwlI have plans to do a 8 x 12′ painting behind the sofa, aiming for big impact on that wall.  The painting up currently is one from my senior project in college, an old sentimental piece.  I’m not sure where it will eventually land.

www.tphblog.com Sherwin Williams Night OwlThe lighting is from Antique Factory–newish that had a brushed nickel finish, which I painted white.  We love it–especially at night!

www.tphblog.comThe blank wall across from the table will be the spot for a cabinet/console/sideboard for storage, custom-built because it needs to be a specific size for the space and it will be a fun opportunity to design something (choices!).

www.tphblog.com Sherwin Williams Night OwlThese lamps below, Currey & Co, that I scored from Sherry Hart at the recent Designers Stock Exchange tag sale will sit on the future cabinet.

Actually, I bought all this stuff from Sherry.  I’ve coveted those pink chairs ever since Ally Kim of From the Right Bank  bought them and then later sold them to Sherry…who later sold them to me, ha!  Ally and I have a history of swapping…uh, Platner-style table and red chandelier.  I like having friends with good taste!  For now the pink chairs have landed in the living room.  Maybe too much metal?  But I LOVE the pink here.  This is another room to tackle once school is in session.

www.tphblog.comSo I guess I do have one big project I’m working on this summer–but it is one I can do con mis hijos.  We are spiffing up the treehouse that came with the new house.  It is sturdy–just needs some TLC.  And don’t you know that once I got it in my head to do this, it is all I’m thinking about and working on, losing sleep,  you know.  The kids are active in the process, doing the work and and hatching ideas–which is a great exercise in relinquishing control for me.  While they have parameters I’ve set (control freak), they are putting their stamp on it for sure, for true ownership.  Because, sigh, it is their treehouse, not mine!

The before, last fall:www.tphblog.comAt Christmas, Chris (resident TPH handy do-all) removed the rickety slide and added a swing to the structure, with a new zip line nearby.  So, already we’re off to a good start!  And I found these two lovelies this week to get the design story going:

www.tphblog.comThat tumbling block quilt!?!  My daughter is going to make pillows from it.  I popped into the bathroom at this antique mall after buying the chair, where I saw the quilt hanging on a ladder.  Uh, gross, but I’ll take it!

Stay tuned…and hang with me on Instagram for peeks!

Spaces I’m Loving

Want to live vicariously through some awesome ladies who are actually getting some things done?  Me, too!

Have you seen Darlene Weir’s nursery reveal at Fieldstone Hill Design?  The room is full of gorgeous and meaningful details.  The room has soul.  And I know this to be true because I have stood on that beautiful fuschia rug with my own two feet back in March and felt the soul and depth in this historic stone homestead.

www.fieldstonehilldesign.comAnd, I, along with some pretty fabulous ladies, just so happened to be with Darlene shopping when she spotted the Peruvian embroidery art that became the room’s inspiration piece for the rest of the design.  I love how so right she felt about the art when she saw it–no second thoughts, no doubts.  Done and bought.  It is fun to see that happen and watch a room then be built around it.  Lucky Georgia Luisa!


And, then there is the piano room by Christine Dovey.  Uh, wow.  She completed this room for her clients during the most recent One Room Challenge…in six weeks.  She wrote that she originally planned for this room to be painted black, but you can see it was just destined to be that softest of pinks.  Floral art.  And, floors.

pianoroom ~~~~~~~~

Local Atlanta designing dynamo and friend Sherry Hart also participated in the One Room Challenge, redoing her dining room.  She has lived in her home over 20 years, and this fact makes me like her transformation even more.  She shows the evolution of the room, what she has kept over the years and how little tweaks to the existing pieces make them seem new.  There is so much to love–a little gold, marble, textured walls…and the floral window panels, of course, seal the deal for me.   Sherry’s eagle eyes spotted the lucite table base while shopping with Ally, Kathy, and me–another stop-the-design-bus moment.  And here is where I fancy myself a good luck shopping charm, preposterously.  Nevertheless, please take me shopping with you.


The color inspiration for our basement lounge is Ashley Hannan’s den.  She shared the finished room on her blog late last year, but I die all over again every time she shows it.  Rich Benjamin Moore Gentleman’s Gray on the walls begs me to cozy up and never leave…bring me some nachos please, Ashley?  Classic pieces (a pine dresser for a steal!) and crisp white make for a timeless room.  She is promoting slow decorating as she works on their new home–and I’m all over that approach these days.


While all these rooms are distinctly different in style from each other, the execution of each space is right on.  I find the mix of modern and traditional elements in each room compelling as well as the precise editing.  There isn’t too much, too little.  Ahh, just right.  I’m taking note of what pulls me into these rooms as I work on our new home.  Well done, ladies!

One last thing, you don’t want to miss this:

Screen shot 2014-05-20 at 3.17.28 PM

Just Busted

This simple vignette in the home of designer Luis Bustamante was the lightbulb moment for me on how to solve an awkward space in our kitchen.

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 9.24.40 AMThank you, BUSTamante, for the inspiration!


Thank you to my daughter and her friend for creating the fireworks art.

This enormous chalkboard in the kitchen has become a favorite spot for me.  I’m definitely leaning toward over-scale in this house–fewer things, but bigger.  Over-scale, ever-evolving–this chalkboard (with hidden closet–you can see a wider, in-progress shot here) was the perfect solution for this space.

And it’s a fun photo spot.www.tphblog.com


Of course I don’t keep the beautiful torso on a tiny pedestal in front of the board–she’d fall over into a heap as soon as the kids ran in the door.  My very favorite decorative piece, she stays safe and sound in the living room.  Until next post, see you on Instagram!

Nesting Place, the Book

It’s a rally cry for imperfectionists.  It’s encouragement to the desperate perfectionist.  It’s permission to love your home where you are now.  
Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 12.08.11 PMAnd it is full of beautiful photos styled and taken by its author in her rental home.  It is The Nesting Place, the book.

nesterMyquillyn Smith sent me a pre-release copy of her book, signed!, that I nearly read in one sitting.  I didn’t even need to use the disco ball bookmark she included in the package.  I also ordered another copy from Amazon to keep at the cottage (the signed one stays home with me!).

I’ve read her blog since I discovered it in 2007; and, so, I was excited to read the backstory to how she has arrived at her decorating manifesto: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  She starts the book detailing each house she and her husband have lived in during their marriage so far– 13 houses in 18 years!  The following chapters are filled with encouragement, wisdom, tips, and have-I-mentioned-her-gorgeous-photos?.  In short, the book is like sitting down with her over iced coffees in striped paper straws–conversational, warm, real.  I promise you, you will love your home even more, even without changing a thing, after you read her book; and, furthermore, you’ll have the confidence to embark on that project you’ve been mulling over, fresh from Myquillyn’s pep talk, to really adore the house you’re in now.

cottage(I won’t even tell you how excited I am that our little North Carolina cottage is mentioned and pictured within the book.  You couldn’t handle that much exuberance!  Mr. Sunburst Mirror and Sculptural Candlestick Duo are enjoying their moment for sure.)

I’d say the book has a truth for everyone.  For me and our new house (we’ve been in it for 5 months but have owned it for 11), the truth comes in that the decorating can be slow, it won’t look anywhere near done or perfect for a long time.  But my people are here, it’s neat and clean, it has lovely natural light and a specially-crafted shell and for these positives, the incompletion and imperfection and memory of a difficult remodel do not diminish from a beautiful artwork in progress.  Don’t you like to see an artist midway through a piece?  See the process and direction?  That is what is happening here and will be happening here for awhile at the Painted House.  A curtainless window, a rugless floor, a settee that needs redoing, a table that needs painting, chairs that need new fabric all testify to this fact.  I’m embracing Myquillyn’s philosophy.

sofaAs for that sparkly bookmark, it rings-around the partial neck of the torso in the living room–a true Myquillyn move.  (The torso would wear a Myquillyn eye patch, too, if she had, well, an eye…or head.)

torsoThank you, Myquillyn, for the beautifully-written and -photographed book!  Follow her at her blog, Nesting Place, where she and her husband are renovating a farmhouse and barn on the site of an old sawmill.

Checking In, Links, and an Unscientific Instagram Study

Hey, everyone!  I’m happy to say that I’ve been plugging away at projects here in the “new house” (the family and I still call it that).  While the to-do list is still as long as sitting through a piano recital, I am pleased that we’re making progress.  Having our first dinner guests over recently was a kick in the motivation pants I was needing.  The dining room, finally free of moving boxes and stacks of art, was dreamy to dine in at night with the pretty chandy aglow and a vase full of dogwood blossoms.  Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 2.25.12 PMAnd, nope, we didn’t serve quesadillas as the dining room was designed for.  We had burritos, decidedly more sophisticated than q-dillas, with cashew-salsa verde sauce and pico de gallo, and chocolate cake and raspberries.

Having guests over in our new place and watching all the kids laughing around the whole house filled me with joy.

I’ve made the decision over the last few weeks that I’d work on the house with the few free hours I have instead of blogging.  Am I considered a blogger anymore?  Whoops.  But I do feel like I am at a point where I can show in-progress photos of the house–if I wait until the rooms are finished, I wouldn’t post for years.

Also, I need to post the last stop on the loft tour.

Speaking of which, thank you to my friend Myquillyn for featuring my loft tour recently on her Saturday Bird Watching post!

She is living exciting times right now with the launch of her family’s new encouragement website hope*ology and her new book The Nesting Place, which you can pre-order on Amazon, coming out the end of the month!

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.42.38 PMI’ve pre-ordered mine, and I can’t wait to get it.  She was the first decorating blog I found, way back in 2007.  I’ve loved watching her grow her blog into a successful business and now a book–blessings and talent for sure!  We also love advertising our cottage on her blog each summer.  Thank you, Myquillyn!

Thank you, also to Erika Ward of BluLabelBungalow, who wrote the sweetest post about her family’s stay at the cottage recently.  Erika, Erika, she is like a calm, radiant angel with a wicked sense of humor.  I loved working with her on Room Service Atlanta, an organization that she and Dayka Robinson co-created to coordinate designers with service projects for those in need of beautiful surroundings.

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.20.42 PMAfter seeing this photo on her blog of little Cam’s cheeks, I should have crashed their mountain weekend for some baby love.

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.22.29 PMphotos | BluLabelBungalow

Thankfully I didn’t have to suffer long for a baby fix…

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.23.27 PMphoto | Fieldstone Hill  Instagram

I had some quality time with Georgia Lu, who brought her mommy along, in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay.  My friend Natalie, from 4th grade, and I made a road trip out of it and just swung into Pennsylvania to see Darlene’s historic stone house before settling in on the bay.  People, it’s gorgeous and full of the charms old homes bring.  I don’t know why this bellissima signora doesn’t show us around her house more.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.34.14 PM

I took this photo whilst resting on Dar’s vintage silk sectional, sipping coffee and falling under the spell of this room.  She’s got skills and a husband who baked us two loaves of homemade bread to take on our girl trip.  Seriously.

So while I’m away from the blog here, I am still making appearances on Instagram.  I told my friend in the middle of the Great Instagram Boom of 2014 (when my feed grew substantially from Jenny’s endorsement), that soon a mass exodus would occur when everyone realized who they started following.  And I was right!

I love being right.

It wasn’t until I posted this photo that I noticed I was losing followers with every new post–offensive, ill-compositioned oranges:

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.13.51 PM

Hmm, I thought, this is fascinating!  So I embarked on a week of charting “unfollows” corresponding with each new photo I posted, just to see if there was a trend–because this social media stuff is so interesting to me.  While I was so tempted to post shocking or calculated photos, I didn’t because I felt it was manipulative.  So I just posted photos as I normally do, in the moment and spontaneous.

The first one was my husband biking at sunrise on the beach.  ”Hey, sweetie, your photo cost me five followers right away!”  He loved hearing that, ha!

But the photo that cost me the most was interestingly the one in which I proclaimed, “free da be me.”

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.13.16 PM

I’m free to be me, but not everyone will like it–especially if they think those are my legs and bottom, with a stick up my rear.  Or they hate Frida.  Those red stems belong to my partial mannequin not me.

The photo of our powder room resulted in the fewest unfollows.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.23.45 PM

From my official study, I’ve determined outdoors/family/silliness lose the most followers among my group.  Interiors lose the fewest.  I know, you’re asking, don’t you have better things to do, Angela?

It is just so interesting!  While I’m sure people are just mainly cleaning up their feed, my imagination can’t help but create a scene of my photo popping up on a person’s feed and she screws her face up in disgust, pulls her pointed finger above her head before plunging it down on the “unfollow” button, and yells, “darn you, angenigma, and your germy kids–no more!”  Or something like that.

But enough about the people who left the party early, I’m so grateful that such personalized communities exist–and I adore the interaction with others on my photos and the photos of people I follow.  If you follow my Instagram feed, thank you for the coming along for the ride where I’m free da be me!

I will be enjoying the dogwoods until next post. Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 12.04.40 PM

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