Loft Tour | Living & Dining

My husband knew to expect a text from me blabbing my gratitude every time I stayed at the loft.  Saying thanks once was probably sufficient, but I was overcome with gratitude each new moment in this little “me place” we had created.  It was an amazing gift, blessing, for a time in my life when I thrived on a bit of space outside the home and homeschool scene to be the un-mom and un-teacher.  And because I knew, and know, that having a place like this doesn’t happen to all moms and artists who need it, I relished every second (with a good dose of guilt, ugh!) and felt undeserving of such an opportunity but never ceased to be grateful. loft tourI loved the smell of the loft upon arrival.  It was the smell of oil paint, clean, and solitude.

I’ve been so shy about sharing the loft because it seems extravagant, especially for an artist not looking to make art to sell at the moment.  And, it is such a personal space–goofy and girly like me.  But it is part of our life story, a good part; and it seems wrong to me not to celebrate life’s blessings when they come.  Heaven knows I spend enough time moaning about unpleasantness! loft tourBecause there was no TV or Internet hooked up at the loft, the days and evenings were quiet except for my music.  We had worked out our homeschool schedule so that I could slip away weekly to paint.  Every few weeks I would take a chunk of time there to fully immerse myself in painting.  It worked for that time.  Now, I look forward to setting up my studio in the new house where I can paint quietly while the kids are in school. loft tourThe loft furniture is a combination of things we had and things we thrifted specifically for the space.  I just smooshed it all together. loft tourChris, who did the amazing build-out, rewired an old photography studio light with a hot pink extension cord from Lowe’s. loft tourThe girl above the sofa, is she naughty or aghast or frightened, is my very favorite piece.  Or maybe it’s the floral pillow.  Anyway, we call her Judy, and you can read how she came to be in this post.  Maybe I love her because I had so much fun painting her? loft tourAdjacent to the living area is the kitchen.  We used all the existing appliances and cabinets but just reconfigured the space and refaced the cabinets.  I scored the brand new Circa Lighting sconces at Habitat for Humanity.  For real! loft tourThe intaglio of the nude women is by Pam Bernard, 1983, and includes a verse by the artist.  I fell in love with the colors when I saw it at Scott Antique Market.  I bought it, on a separate occasion, from the same dealer from whom I bought the plaster torso on the yellow chest.  Yep, I was one centerfold away from being known as Nekkid Lady Lady.  This piece now hangs in our tiny jadey-teal powder room–please don’t sprinkle when you tinkle!  For the sake of the art, I hung it in the bathroom a little higher than it should be hung. loft tourI found the dining table for sale on the side of the road on the way to eat a delectable brunch at The Grit in Athens.  Bertoias are from Craigslist and got shipped to the loft when they didn’t pass my kids’ comfy-booty test at home.  The cork tray and vase are old Round Top treasures that I’ve had forevah.  I made the kitchen runner from carpet tiles. loft tourI’ll just say again how beautiful the lanterns are that my brother made. loft tour

I chose the least expensive quartz countertop option, in gray, simple.  Chris, like a champ, covered the existing refrigerator in wood to match the cabinetry.  I believe he used 1/4″ board with Gorilla Glue. loft tourOff the kitchen is the mechanical/laundry room.  Chris moved one of the existing kitchen upper cabinets above the dryer and built a storage platform in half of the room to take advantage of the ceiling height. loft tourI surely did need an 8-foot ladder in this place, if not one taller.  It was a nice graphic wall element above the trash can. loft tourThere is more to the loft tour:

The Loft Bedroom

The Loft Bathroom

The Loft Bunkroom

The Loft Before

Loft Tour | Bunkroom

While the loft mainly served as my painting studio (and mommy escape, let’s be honest), we wanted to accommodate the whole family for city sleepovers and extended fieldtrips.  We reoriented an existing closet next to the front door to serve as the kids’ bunkroom. loft tourChris made a chevron door to the bunkroom, too. loft tourWe squeezed three twin beds and four storage drawers in this 9×6′ space.  Thankfully the 18′ tall ceilings offered some breathing room in what would otherwise be a tight, I’m-hyperventilating space. loft tourI cut FLOR squares for “wall-to-wall” carpet in the bunkroom. loft tourThe kids spent many hours creating their own art at the loft and spontaneously came up with the idea themselves to paper the bunkroom with their drawings.  I LOVE how it turned out, and the drawings never failed to make me laugh.  Kids are funny. loft tour

We painted one wall with chalkboard paint  and attached permanent frames that could be switched out with new art by using clips. loft tourWe sandwiched two IKEA magnet boards together in a frame for magnetic clips and magnetic architectural puzzles. loft tour loft tourThe best view was from the top bunk–great spying potential! loft tour

And, it offered a cool perspective of the lanterns and mechanical operations of the loft. loft tourThe loft tour continues:

The Loft Bedroom

The Loft Bathroom

The Loft Living & Dining

The Loft Before

TPH on B&B and FHD | OMGoodness and WTFudgecicles!

I’m just going around minding my own business, when, wham, I find myself on the beautiful blog Bijou & Boheme.  Christine has such a sophisticated approach to design that I love but know in my heart of hearts I will never achieve in this clown life I lead.  So I look at her beautiful work and design boards to fulfill my appetite for the finer things.  That my toilet paper, laundry, and my smelly-Nike-cap self made it into a post featuring more refined folks than myself is such an honor. (Have you seen Christine’s new chic new blog design?)

And, then, my gorgeous and sweet-to-the-core friend Darlene goes and smacks a link to my house on Fieldstone Hill Design.  She says words about me that I don’t believe I deserve, but she always seems to know when I need a pep talk when it comes to making design choices.  Always.  Have you seen her sons’ charming bedroom reveal on her blog?  Does your son’s room have 200-year-old stone walls?  No?  Neither does mine.  But Darlene’s boys do.  Please go look!


Boys' room at

The interest the new house design has generated certainly cheers a reno-weary girl.  Without time to blog or hang out with friends in real life because of the massive amount of work this house has been, it has been kinda lonely to exist in the middle of a million and one design decisions by myself.  Instagram totally helped me connect in a small way with like-minded humans during the remodeling process, where I could receive encouragement and inspiration–especially on the bad days.  Which were many.  So thank you to those who have cheered me on from the beginning on Instagram, to those who have just joined me in the journey, and those who have spent their blog time celebrating our new home.  Means the world!

Loft Tour | Bedroom

With just over 1000 square feet, the loft had plenty of room for me to carve out the spaces we wanted within the big open box.  We planned for the bedroom in the middle of the space, with the studio on the window side and the living/kitchen area on the other.   Chris built the room divider, with wire-brushed pine planks on the outside perimeter.  Chris, by the way, did all the build-out work here and did an amazing job! loft tour

FLOR tiles, tediously cut by hand (this is before they offered diagonal cuts!) run down the hall to the bedroom and studio.  The new loft owners requested that all rugs stay with the loft tourOpposite of the bedroom door, beautifully made in a custom-stained oak by Chris, is the vintage bar mirror we used to cover the drywall patch in the brick wall. loft tourThe mirror wasn’t quite big enough to cover the drywall so Chris built a surround…which I never got around to painting after he primed it.  Whoops. loft tourMy brother Ron made the metal frames for the ceiling pendants–they are huge at 24″ diameter and 36″ tall–and Bill, my drapery fabricator, made the removable canvas shades.  These pendants make the loft absolutely magical at night. loft tour

Because space was limited in the bedroom, I chose to do a built-in bed/closet. loft tour

The bolster pillow is made from a vintage embroidered sheet I found at the Round Top Antique Fair.  With my monogram and birds…I had to have it! loft tourThe flanking closets are simply IKEA closets wrapped in oak plywood with custom doors. loft tour loft tourThe polyhedron lighting is from Restoration Hardware…we girlied it up with a hot pink electrical cord. loft tour

The spotted carpet squares came from Habitat For Humanity loft loft tourI miss that bedroom!  It always felt so cozy snuggled in with all those pillows and a pile of shelter mags at night…and some chocolate, usually.  It was a dream.

Take the full loft tour:

The Loft Bathroom

The Loft Living & Dining

The Loft Before

The Loft Bunkroom

TPH on LGN & Vegan Biscuits for Your Weekend

Y’all, my toilet paper was featured on Little Green Notebook this week!  Did you see that?  And, also, my house.  Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.37.55 PMAnd, don’t forget, my toilet paper!

That Jenny really surprised me this week when I woke up and saw that she did a whole post on just me and our new house and my Instagram feed.  FLOORED.  DYING.  Should I wake up now?

I know I don’t need to introduce you to talented, ambitious, color genius Jenny.  You all know and love her.  Thank you, Jenny, for such kind words and risking your reputation by recommending me to your readers.

And, funny story:  yesterday I popped into an antique store before picking up the kids from school.  I was eyeballing a charming painting for the home office when I told the shopkeeper and her friend that I’d have to think it over as I currently have 583 paintings stacked on the floor around the house.  I’ll check back when I get more settled.

“Can I ask you your name?” the friend asked.

“Sure…I’m Angela.”

“I thought you looked familiar–you were on Little Green Notebook this week, right?  I’ve been following Jenny for a long time…”

Nice to meet you, Phyllis!

And, I think this pretty much means that I am famous.  Me and my Angel Soft.

So now that Jenny singlehandedly sextupled my Instagram audience, there’s no pressure, right?  I’ll just continue with cat photos…

Now let’s get down to biscuit business.

The biscuit recipe from the Minimalist Baker has seriously made my 2014 so far.  I’m from Texas so I don’t need to tell you that I’m a biscuit and gravy kind of girl.  Girlhood mornings at my grandparents’ farm saw my grandmother baking up homemade biscuits that she served alongside fried eggs and potatoes–all doused in gravy.  Now that I’m older, I like a little green with breakfast to, you know, balance it all out.  Go to the Minimalist Baker to see gorgeous biscuit photos, or stay here to see mediocre photos of a delicious vegan biscuit with vegan almond gravy and veggies.  I couldn’t put the camera down fast enough to eat it!


Soft and fluffy, yum, just like good biscuits should be (at least that’s what my husband insists, wink-wink).

Here you can see the nice rise on the heart-shaped biscuits I made for the kiddos on Valentine’s Day morning.  I do hope you try the Minimalist Baker’s vegan biscuits.

vegan biscuit

As I prepped last week’s pan of biscuits, I got to thinking about Mrs. L and how I hadn’t seen her since Christmas.  She is precious and sweet and generous and 94-years old.  We were her neighbors for 6 years in the rancher we sold last summer.  She makes us pound cake and biscuits as good as my grandmother.  I get phonecalls from her, “Angela, I just took a pound cake out of the oven–come over and get it.”  Uh, okay!

So I went to see her on Valentine’s Day.  We talked about biscuits and compared our laundry chutes and I listened happily to how she did laundry in her family of 11 siblings on a farm in the 1920s and 30s–I relished every detailed and promptly came home and laid a slobbery kiss on my washer and dryer.  She and her husband married in 1939.  All I can say is what a treasure living history is.  If there is someone in your life ripe with history and experience and gray and wrinkly–it is worth every bit of your time to soak up the wisdom, the stories, and the connection to the past.

Mrs. L built her rancher in 1954 and has been there ever since.  I used to do home tours on TPH (want to return to that), and the tour of her home is one of my favorites.  She laughs knowingly when I tell her moving is hard–that makes me smile.

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