Tuesday, March 24, 2015

House Tour + Insta-gratification

It's been a good long while since I posted an old school straight-up mommy blogger style post. And I'm sorry for that!

I'm still trying to find the right balance to keep you, my faithful old friends, satisfied and entertained without traumatizing my new audience at CNA. Because let's be honest, I'm not going to radically alter my voice or content, but some trauma you have to ease into.

The new blog is almost up and running, the design is going to be beautiful, and I can't wait to show it to you. In the meantime, I'm still "here," and so I figured why not post a little fluff to pass the time?

Oh, also, I finally embraced the modern world and joined Instagram yesterday. Welcome to the 90's, Mr. Banks. (And you all were right: it's the most fun of all social media.)

So something that I really, really love (because I'm a creeper?) is seeing other people's homes. I'm a would be decorating junkie and an HGTV addict, so there's nothing more fun to me than seeing somebody else's style/space and being able to envision them more accurately in their natural habitat when I'm reading their words. (If you're trying to decide if you're disturbed or flattered, go with flattered: I want to see your living room.)

Anyway, do you want to see my house? It's been enjoying a little TLC while I KonMari'd the shit out of my wardrobe/kitchen/bookshelves/decor, and I'm much happier with the way it looks now as opposed to 2 weeks ago. Much.

It's still not perfect, you know, because it's a work in progress. But it makes me happy to coax it along; I get a rush of satisfaction from finding a new spot for a tired piece of furniture or a neglected vase. Cheapest of thrills.

So, here you go, a virtual tour of casa del coffee:

First up, the living room/front entry way.

I just bought gorgeous (and cheap!) long white curtains at IKEA and I'm dying to get them up around that bay window. I have aspirations of hanging them high and wide and framing the gorgeousness of all that natural light that floods into the front of our southern facing house. And since we have a blackout shade we can close at night for privacy and light control, I was free to go with my heart and choose impractical ineffective and oh-so-lovely white. 

The oriental rug was a wedding gift and, while beautiful and expensive, is totally not my taste, but it's here and it's lovely and so I work around it and let it do most of the heavy lifting in terms of pattern/color in this room.

Next up, the family room. The blankest of blank canvases right now because I just spent an afternoon "quieting the space" ala Myquillyn and now it's sitting pretty and plain and waiting for the right touches, not just putting up with whatever I happened to have on hand the weekend we moved in. Not that there's anything wrong with going ahead and throwing something up on the walls, but after a year of not quite right, I'm happy to let it sit semi-undone for a bit while I figure it out.

(I should have disclaimed this sooner, but me + my iPhone 4 are do not a professional photographer make, and I'm not really that skilled on the layout end of things, either, in terms of uploading images. So if this looks like the work of an amateur, at least I'm transparent.)

Most of our stuff is thrifted, and here's the big fat caveat with that: it takes multiple visits to multiple thrift stores over multiple weeks and months to arrive at a "finished" product, at least for me it does. So even though I've found some amazing stuff over the past year and a half since we moved in here, it did take lots of time and patience to get there. Not thrifted: the white china platter (wedding gift), the leather couch (our first repatriation purchase upon arrival Stateside, American Furniture Warehouse), and the round framed mirror (Walmart. Shudder.) Everything else: Goodwill/Saver's/Homegoods/mom and dad's hand me downs.

Next: the opposite of a gourmet kitchen. But whatev, it's a decent-ish size and I have a huge pantry, and my husband is really gifted in the charism of doing dinner dishes before bed. So I've got no complaints. Wait, no, I do have one; the heinous "white" linoleum hanging onto the beleaguered floor for dear life. At least it's not carpet?

Heading down the hall we find ourselves in the master bedroom. It's big enough to fit our king sized bed (the luxury!) but not really big enough to fit anything else, and that's fine by me. I keep it as visually uncluttered as possible because I feel 100% less stressed when it's clean and calm.

(How do I get such amazing shots? I'm telling you, it's the 2 year old camera phone and the steady caffeinated hand. #gifted #blessed)

Oh, I forgot, here's a shot of the basement which contains two semi finished guest rooms, an avocado green full bath with some missing ceiling tiles, and a laundry room and play room. 

That stairwell, my friends, is the reason there's zero toy clutter on the main floor. (That and I'm ruthless with the donations. Ruthless.)

Moving on to the nursery wing.

How cool is the boys' dresser? It weighs 200 lbs and our landlords didn't want to bother taking it with, so we inherited it. Legend has it the original owner/saint decopauger is now happily tucked away in a convent somewhere, none the wiser that her lovely original piece now primarily houses Pull Ups and filthy pajama pants.

And my favorite space in the whole house? (Well, at least until this past weekend's decluttering fest); Genevieve's room.

We don't have a dining room because we're not fancy like that. Actually, it's because I opportunistically transformed the space into my gym/home office while nobody was paying attention. I'm sure if we were trying to fit teenaged boys around our kitchen table we might need this space, but for now I'm super super lucky I can use it this way. Nothing fancy, but it's a happy place that lets me get my work done.

And finally, some random shots of the front porch and our front yard, where the children frolic as I survey my kingdom from behind the storm door or the bay window. I'm sure the neighbors can't handle how hands on my parenting is.

Okay one last shot: Evie can stand! If anyone is still hanging on after this endless stream of blurry cellphone pics, you deserve to see something cute.

What about you? Up for showing a little behind the scenes of your home? Maybe you could throw a little something together and drop a link down below? I'm all eyes, because the only thing better than Pinterest is personalized Pinterest, you know?


  1. dude. i am very jealous of your clutter free house. I also am really into stalking other people's living spaces, so thanks for that. Welcome to instagram....

  2. You can have decorative objects on your coffee table and toddlers don't throw them everywhere? Super impressed.

    This is from six months ago, but here ya go - http://adamandcaitlin.blogspot.com/2014/09/house-tour-six-months-in.html

    I need to do a new one soon!

  3. Your home looks very clean and organized. not much makes me happier! I am doing a series of posts on my blog of our home. This is my favorite room: http://handmaidrose.blogspot.com/2015/03/musicprayer-room.html

  4. I've photographed the crap out of my house. I love seeing what other people are doing and I'm so happy that I'm finally at a home where I can really inject my own style that everything is: SEE! I DID THIS! ISN'T IT GREAT??!!!
    simma dah nah

  5. I love a good declutter session. Preferably while the kids are napping and can't claim "that's my favorite!!" as another plastic birthday trinket goes into the donate pile. We moved into our new place in October and our nursery is my favorite place too. Mostly because I practically killed myself hanging stars from the ceiling like a crazy person. Sadly, I have yet to photograph that masterpiece!

  6. I love seeing people's houses too! The highlights for me were the cool Saint dresser, and that gorgeous rug in the baby room :-) And you might be inspiring me with all this talk of de-cluttering....

  7. It is clutter free! You're obviously amazing. I feel like my too-small house has been photographed to death, I mainly want a new house for the instagramming potential.

  8. I am super impressed with how clutter free your home is! I am serious...you should write a blog post on how you keep up with de cluttering! I have tried many systems to no avail...Flylady is too much to keep up with. 40 bags in 40 days of Lent just didn't happen. I have a hard time decluttering on top of the regular duties of laundry, cooking, etc. I would seriously love any tips or advice you have!

  9. The next time you're in the DC area you'll come declutter my house, right? Your house looks fabulous and I'm taking mental notes for wall-hanging arrangement ideas!

  10. I love seeing other people's home too!! I think that's why I love House Hunters. And yes!!!! to decluttering. I've been on a major kick the last 6ish months and am making myself do another 25 things per month until our garage sale. It's getting hard but so satisfying to find more things we don't need!!

  11. You had me at Myquillyn and quieting the house! I love her site, and I would've signed up for her Cozy Minimalist program if we weren't getting our house on the market. Thanks for the house tour. I don't have a house tour on my blog, but you can click around my 31 Days to Letting Stuff Go! Lots of camera phone pics of cluttered space and donation piles! Ha! ;-)

  12. I love seeing other people houses too. :) Thanks for sharing yours. It is beautiful. And Evie at the end is the cutest baby ever!

  13. I love a good house tour! And welcome to instagram- I'm katetellsstories on there- lots of fun pictures of my kids acting ridiculous

  14. 1) Go Evie! 2) Your house looks great -- and WAY cleaner than I could ever hope to keep my own. 3) If you're a creeper, then I am too -- I love seeing people's homes and would love to hop blog to blog to see tours from everybody. You should do a full-on link-up or a blog hop! 4) I have an old post on our house, but focused on its history. I should do another one focused on decor/how we use the space/etc.

  15. A few pictures into this post, you can see the girls' room. Though, we've moved it around a bit for a bigger bed for Anni, the general idea is the same. :)


  16. This is probably more than you're bargaining for but I have included a FB post with pics of our current place we're renting and the second link is to a series of posts on my blog about our bungalow as we prepped it for sale before our move west. I must admit the pics of where we live now remind me of how little we've done in the past 5 months but honestly we're probably moving again this year so not too motivated to put up lots of pictures! Enjoy :)



  17. Yay! I love a good house tour!

    Where did you get that Psalm 37 (?) print in your kitchen? That's my favorite psalm (we used it as our wedding psalm!) and I've wanted to get a print and frame it!

  18. YOU'RE ON INSTA!!!!!! Woot! You better bet I clicked over and followed before even finishing this post.

    Your home is lovely. The hubs and I have been ruthlessly cleaning out, donating, and rearranging furniture. Just making up for last Lent when it was all I could to keep my head vertical, first trimester that I was. the freedom from clutter. The absolute blissful freedom. It sure is something, isn't it? (Says the lady who at midnight is cleaning out baby clothes and packing them up for the pregnancy center.)

  19. OK FIRST, people are cracking me up with their comments! :)

    Second - that gold mirror, gimme! And that cute white tray?! Please. Like, PLEASE.

  20. LOVED this post! I'm finally starting to work on my house again now that the new baby phase is over. This post was a good kick in the pants reminder to finish up a few projects, so I can take pictures and put them on the blog!

  21. I've been meaning to do some house posts for forever because my husband busted his butt on the bathroom and kitchen renovations, but between forgetting to take before pictures and never taking after pictures because I'm not the best homemaker... yeah. Excuses. I'll work on it! Your place looks great! You're so uncluttered, I'm very impressed. Clutter is my #1 nemesis and I let it win 90% of the time.

  22. I love this! I want to declutter my whole house right now. I have a project for my girls' room that I need to hang up so I can finish the blog post... plus I was recently thinking of doing some before/afters of a house tour, since I came across the ones we took upon move in and how horrendous our previous kitchen was.

  23. I'm reading that book now. Can't wait to get started. I love the whole "if it doesn't immediately bring you joy when you hold it, toss it". I can already think of clothes that will be going the way of the Goodwill.

  24. I am totally with you in wanting to see inside everyone's houses!! I think there is definitely something to envisioning people in their space - to the point that I'll sometimes even ask friends/family what room they're in when I'm talking to them on the phone (maybe that's even creepier than just wanting pictures of houses??)

    Anyway, my blog is originally a renovation diary, so here's our (old) house tour: http://findingformerglory.blogspot.com/p/house-tour_22.html We just closed on our new house last week, so lots of projects & pictures to come :)

  25. Joining the chorus of admiration for the clutter-free main level - it makes my heart smile :) I have no excuse for our tornado-tastic house... our daughter isn't even mobile yet (well... she rolls, but that's it) and spends her weekdays in daycare! I definitely agree with the other commenters about a post on your de-cluttering methods/philosophy.


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