Housey House Stuff & A Big Idea

Well, I can’t believe it’s been four months since I last posted.  So what’s the status of this old blog?  I don’t know.

But what I do know is that all of the kids are in traditional school this year.  For the first time in 12 years, I have time alone during the day.  While this would be a perfect segue into the Great Soul Searching of 2014 of what will I do?, I’m not up for writing that beast right now and, really, you just want to see the house stuff.  There are a million and one ideas I could pursue, but at the moment I’m taking a breather with my family, managing the cottage business, and focusing on the house, making it cozy and such.

To get me out of the house a bit, too, I am working on a little design project for a medical office and will teach a handful of elementary and middle school art classes in Asheville, North Carolina, this school year.  Otherwise, no other commitments.  And, I like having the margin to be available for any needs that arise in our circle.  The breathing room feels precious, sacred.  So, yeah, the blog, I’m not making any big decisions about it now, even though it is an embarrassment to me.

Like anyone making decisions for their own home, I’m scared to death.  I have a semi-clear vision for this house, but it is soooooooo easy for me to get derailed.  My attention is turned to the layers of the house–rugs, drapery, wall treatments, etc.  You know, the things that could be fat, expensive mistakes.

Some fabrics I’m mulling over:

I love this Cindy E. Barganier, New Turquoise Chain, for my daughter’s room.  I think.

www.tphblog.comShe is sold on it so there is kind of no going back on it.  The colors are just too similar to her artwork that I’m afraid it will be matchy.

Aya by Larsen is the top contender for the living room:www.tphblog.comAlthough, the first pick was handpainted Tangled by Porter Teleo, to which Sherry Hart introduced me, but the colorway was off a bit.  Instead I’m going to use it as inspiration for wall painting in our front entry hall.

www.tphblog.comI can’t decide about Aimee from Clarence House.

Aimee Clarence HousePart of me adores it and the other part of me is all, “whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?”  I mean, look at all the colors!  But then, look at all the colors.  Partly it feels good and Bauhaus-y to me–or, it feels like kids + marker.  This color bonanza is under consideration for the mint kitchen.

So that is about as far as I’ve gotten this year on interior work.  I took the summer off and spent with the kids.  A fair amount of my time was spent on finishing the landscaping.  I’ll have to post some after shots, but here is the pic I took when the cypress tress arrived.  It is funny what one fights about with one’s spouse.  He wanted cypress trees.  I didn’t.  But then he didn’t want a wife who blows all his hard-earned money on endless rounds of furniture, so, compromise.www.tphblog.comYeah, so, one of my millions of ideas is this:  remember up there a few paragraphs I talked about my precious breathing room?  I’m thinking about homeschooling again…just for one year.  I guess it was the whole traditional school with rules and set hours and dress code and rules, that I started to get all itchy in that independent streak of mine.  But!  This time would be different.  We’re thinking about world schooling.  Learning through traveling the world.  Trust me, it took my husband a full month to come around and actually talk it over with me.

Unlike a lot of world schoolers, we would not spend the whole year abroad; but, instead, we would take trips in 2-6 week increments with 6 weeks or so in between trips for instruction about our next destination.  My husband would join us on some of the travel, but mostly I would be traveling alone with our children, hopefully never away from hubby more than 2 weeks at a time.

Anyway, we talk like it’s happening.  The kids are intrigued.  There are many details to work out.  But now it is just for me to decide if I can really handle it.  It isn’t all crepes in the shadow of the Eiffel tower and curry on the beach in Thailand; it can be, as I experienced on our recent trip to Europe, car sickness and abdominal cramps and diarrhea in a public restroom.   So I need to know if I’m ready to deal with my own diarrhea and diarrhea of three kids, so to speak, in a foreign country before I commit.  But I need to decide soon because planning will need to start right away.  And, if we do this, I will be consumed with this until August of 2016.  I share in hopes you will add some insight!

Okay, no promises on what will happen here on the blog, but you can keep up with TPH on instagram.  See you there!

It’s a Girl! | Nursery

What are you doing in four weeks?  Well, my dear real-life friend Darlene of Fieldstone Hill Design will be having a baby girl.  Oh, jealousy, I can’t help but envy all the newborn snuggles and sweet cheek-to-cheeks in her near future.  Sleepless nights…it just doesn’t seem to matter with the third baby.

Bebe bebe bebe nursery image

She has invited designers to dream up fantasy girl nurseries that she has posted throughout her pregnancy–all beautiful ones, take a look.  And she took a chance and invited me to participate!  But she had to lay some ground rules for me knowing my penchant for painting internal organs and decorating with bare body parts:  ”no intestines but nudity is okay.”  Well, I didn’t want to flirt with controversy so I avoided any semblance of either, but there are aviary parts.Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 7.08.58 AM

And there is a sweet mural.

Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 7.08.27 AM

I couldn’t help myself on the mural, thinking back to my little business of designing nurseries and painting murals in Houston.  That was a happy job.

Hop on over to Darlene’s and see the complete room that I dreamed up for her little soprano.  Darlene wrote some super sweet stuff about the writer of TPH, which has me thinking surely she has me confused with someone else (thank you, thank you!)  And, thank you, friend, for inviting me to contribute!  I can’t wait to meet your sweet girl!


In other news, I figured out the laundry room layout so that I’m happy…and it has a sink!  Thank you all for leaving your thoughts on the idea of a laundry sink–I agree with you!  I’m sure I won’t regret it.  And thank you to patient Darlene, who has a million-and-one nesting things to do, for fielding my late night emails and frantic texts about the laundry spatial problems–you are the best!  I’ll share the plan soon.

Cottage Bedroom Redo | Art & Bed

The art for the cottage bedroom redo is moving along…faster than I thought, so that is good.  The painting to go over the bath tub is almost finished.


My apologies to real landscape painters.  I wanted the painting to be mainly sky–something kinda dreamy for tub soaking.

The other little painting is a collage piece made from strips I cut from an old survey left in the house when we bought it.  This is it in the beginning…I’m still wrestling with it, and when I triumph over it (I hope), I’ll share photos.


After I finish this post, I will work on my little watercolors while the kids and I watch The Christmas Carol…a little late, but whatever.

Now, prepare your eyes.  This is the bed I ordered from Overstock.  I will take the bedding, uh, in a different direction.

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 9.30.20 AM

The prelude to this story is sad.  I found the most gorgeous vintage brass bed on Craigslist (in king, so rare), but I couldn’t fit it in my car and by the time I found wheels that could, I lost that puppy (I know, Master Craigslisters, I did so many things wrong here).  It wasn’t a good week.

For the bed, I had ruled out wood (too much on floor and ceiling) and painted wood (too many painted pieces in the room).  And, ick, an upholstered bed would look nice and soft but would be totally grody in a rental.  Metal seemed like the perfect solution.  So I was completely crestfallen to lose this brass bed, and new was too expensive for the budget.  But this bed from Overstock had great reviews and the price was right.  I ordered knowing that I will need to apply some kind of decorative finish–probably soft black.  We’ll unpack it this weekend, and I’ll get to work.  I’ll let you know!

But it would be so fun in a bright color–did you see the bed painted green by Grace of A Storied Style?2013-01-08_0016

I’ll save the rug for the fabric post.  I hope to procure the fabric today!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Happy 2013!

Well, it looks like the party has gotten started early.  Wishing you all a safe and happy start to the new year!

Alys Beach

You know you want to rent a beach house here.

Or, build your own–there are still plenty of lots available.

How about right on the beach?

Funk soul brother, check it out now:  Alys Beach, Florida.

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