Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sofas: How do you like your seat?

I'd like to take a little poll, partly for curiosity's sake and partly because I've got a little something brewing…So humor me if you will and tell me your thoughts:

Do you prefer a sofa with three seat cushions, two seat cushions, or one long bench seat cushion?

I feel like the each have their own advantages and disadvantages…

For the sake of keeping other things constant, let's compare different style seat cushions with the same style sofa--in this case, the English Roll Arm style, which happens to be my very favorite :)

Three seat cushions feel the most traditional to me. (Also: I know I just recently posted this room.  It is just so good.)

source

I feel like the look comes across really balanced since the three seat cushions mimic the divisions on the back of the sofa.

source

I wonder if three cushions is the easiest style for maintaining nicely fluffed cushions?  Seems possible since the sections are smaller…

source

I also feel like three cushions could be easier for spot treating--just remove the cushion cover that needs to be cleaned, leaving the rest in tact.

At the same time, I am not a fan of sitting on seams or being stuck in the space between cushions.  Some people say that even on a sofa with three cushions, three people rarely sit there at the same time, so the two people inevitably end up sitting on top of a seam.  Not so good if you ask me.

source

Two cushions present less of a problem if you have that same scenario.  Each person get their own cushion with no problems.

source

It's a nice clean look, and I think it works best when the sofa has that one division down the back to match the split in the two seat cushions…

source

Lastly, we have the single bench seat cushion.

source
I really love that long bolster pillow paired with the lone seat cushion!

I'm seeing one single cushion done more and more these days.  It strikes me as as a more streamlined, modern look.

source

I think it's nice not to have to worry about any seams in the cushions…nobody gets stuck in a gap!  And frankly, having spent time on a bench seat sofa, it kinda feels like a big bed.
source

via 

It's a little hard to tell, but the sofa in the photo above has one long cushion.


So, what do you think?  One, two, or three seat cushions?  Maybe you think it's absurd to spend so much time thinking about the number of seat cushions on your sofa.  That's ok.  I can handle that kind of feedback too :)  I would love to know your opinion on this very important topic.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Grace

Thank y'all so much for all the kind words about our new kitchen!  Each and every comment meant so very much to me!  I hope to post the details about the kitchen soon.  In the meantime, I need to talk about my babies.  



So, (pre) school is officially out, and summer is here!  As much as the few hours of Mary Graham and mama time are nice, I have actually really enjoyed the leisurely pace of our mornings these past few days.  It has been nice to put MG down for a morning nap when she is actually tired instead of once we have gotten back home from preschool drop off and I have dragged her sweet, tired self all over the place first.  Of course I appreciate some time to myself as much as the next mom, but God has been gracious and these first days of summer have felt more manageable that I anticipated.  Dare I say I have actually enjoyed them :)

Mary Graham's first swim (besides her birth, that is :)
Mary Graham's first time swinging!  Lovingly pushed by her big bro, what could be better?

Holland absolutely loves having me paint her nails.  I must have really driven home the part about not touching anything when your nails are wet because she promptly asked me to "scratch my forehead really hard."  When you have an itch, you have an itch!
This is her "I'm too sweet to go to sleep at a reasonable hour" face.

In the days since summer began, we have visited the park.  We have run errands.  We have ridden a train and a carousel.  We have worked on Father's Day treats and baked muffins.  Wade and Holland have played together so nicely.  They have also fought over the silliest of things and I have been impatient and harsh.  I have had moments of thoughtful parenting and I have had my share of parenting moments I would rather forget.






It could be that kindergarten looms in the Fall for my oldest (I can feel my heart in my throat as I type that), but I am feeling more and more what people have always said about mothering young ones--it goes by so fast.  Mary Graham is nearly six months old.  Holland is so mature and amazes me every day with the things she says and does.  And Wade is headed to kindergarten in mere months.  I know it sounds corny, but the time when my children are all really small just seems to be like sand slipping through my fingers.  

Very excited about their new jammies from Mimi!




I don't want to waste that time stressing out about the little things.  I don't want to fret over what I have or haven't gotten done since there's no preschool to provide me some free time.  I don't even want to get hung up on how much I think I need a creative outlet (this blog is supposed to be part of that…) in order to be a better mom.

rolling around on the floor at Staples.  Clearly, I must be doing something right...


last day of pre-k :(



Big Sis reading to Little Sis
I want to find joy in the seemingly mundane moments we spend together.  I want to be content with the life we have together right now.  I don't even want to wish away the nights when I am awoken by the sounds of my baby who knows I will attend to her, and I am the only one she wants.   


She started out on a playmat…I turned away and found her far away…it will not be long before she is on the move!

These days when they feel the need to come find me just to tell me they need to go to the potty are fleeting.  Hearing one of them ask the other if they want to go play dollhouse?  It's so normal right now, but it won't always be.  How many summers will they dress up in costumes and dance around together?
  
These were their best "we don't want to go to bed" looks...
please note this is a DOLL jog stroller...

I'm going to do my very best to hold onto these thoughts when the days start to go downhill…because they inevitably will.  But I know I am so blessed to be the mama to these three, and I want to live that way.  



Cheers to you, summer.  Cheers to time with my babies while they are an age they'll never be again.  Cheers to growing in grace with one another. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our New Kitchen {Before & After}

Last weekend we had friends over for dinner, so I picked up a couple bouquets of peonies from Trader Joes.  Aren't they so beautiful?!



While I had gorgeous flowers around, I figured it would be the perfect time to give the kitchen a good thorough cleaning and finally take the time to photograph it in all its renovated glory!  I've been wanting to share it with you all for a while now!

If you remember, when we bought the house this past November, the kitchen looked like this:





Here it is today:


We are so happy with how it all came together!  Here are a couple more comparison shots for fun :)


Looking back toward the living room, there obviously used to be a wall separating the two rooms.


Not anymore!  We knocked the wall down (when I say we, I really mean our amazing contractor!) and built it back up half way for cabinets and an eat-in counter area on the other side.



While the original cabinets were charming (they were solid wood!), they didn't make full use of the space and that refrigerator really stuck out in the room.


We moved the refrigerator and put the range in its place.


We relocated the refrigerator to the wall opposite the window.

see that gap above the fridge?  One day it'll get covered up so the fridge appears to truly be "built in"
This "before" photo shows the long empty wall on the left where we relocated the fridge and added pantry cabinets.



As a result, we had to reduce the size of that doorway into the room with the stove, but since it was so large to begin with, it worked out fine.














This post is already really long, so I'll do a separate one with more information on the details of the kitchen.  Hope you like our new kitchen as much as we do!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Painted Interior Doors

There are some design elements in a room that I think strike you right away.  Fabric choices on furniture.  Statement art on the walls.  A really interesting rug.  Kitchen countertops.  Fabulous Lighting.  Deciding on these things is important and definitely shapes the feel of your home.

source

I also think there are some elements in a room that deliver a big impact in a more subtle way.  It's not secret that I love to paint things, and what I'm thinking about today are painted interior doors.  Maybe not the first thing you'd think to address in your home, but I love the way they warm up a space and create a good dose of contrast.  

In our home in Richmond, I painted the inside of our front door black.



I also painted the inside of our back door and an interior bathroom door gray (Benjamin Moore's Gunmetal to be exact).  This small change did so much for the kitchen I thought!



Our current home has lots of options for painted interior doors.  There's the back of the front door, several doors in our dining room and the hallway, which in its current state is not interesting in the least.  It's lined with cheapo, hollow core doors that are just begging for some love.

My apologies for all the junk laying around…these photos were not styled :)

{I feel the need to explain the water dispenser you can see here…I have always been a tap water kinda girl.  Well, not in California.  According to the city's water quality report, Davis water may contain boron and hexavalent chromium (Erin Brokovich anyone?), so we aren't too keen on drinking it.  The trade off is this beauty in my dining room.  Philip's parents thoughtfully gifted us with water delivered to us for the year!  I'll happy take a water dispenser over toxins in my drinking water, thank you very much :) }


Baskets of laundry, always.  Also, a ceiling light fixture that I am so not friends with.

I could, however be friends with a blue door.

source unknown

source

source unknown

Gray is nice…

source

I think yellow is really pretty in this particular space.

source

Maybe I'm just a wimp, but I'm inclined to go more neutral in our wee little house with 8' ceilings.

source


Rachel Halvorson is uber talented and wrote a great blog post about dark doors.  One of her color recommendations is Sherwin Williams' Urbane Bronze, which is actually the color I painted the walls of our master in our Illinois house.  



Black is a classic choice, and you know what they say about it--every room needs a dose.  If you're looking around your room and noticing that you are lacking in the black department, why not grab a paint brush and give a door a quick makeover?

source


source

We already have black countertops or else black would be a given for our front door.  I'm wondering if it might just be too much in our little place, and I should go with a gray or a brownish-black.  Hhhhmmm.  Too much or just right?  

source

The thing I love about a project like this is you can knock it out pretty quickly without too much hassle.    So long as there aren't any tiny people running amuck (cue the nap time chorus!), you can paint a door without much fuss.  

source unknown

So, have I convinced you?  Who else is with me and is ready to paint some doors?!