Welcome Part 4: the Dining Area.

My dining area is tiny. There’s only room for a four seat table and my bar cabinet. But it’s the perfect size for me right now.

The first thing I did, before I even had any furniture for the space, was replace the existing light fixture with this structural one that a lot of you will recognize from IKEA. It doesn’t emit a lot of light, but with the patio doors being right there I don’t really depend on it for that purpose anyway. It’s definitely something that has better looks than function, but it remains of my favorite things in the house.

Because of the limited space I really wanted two things out of a table. I wanted it to have nice lines and I wanted it to not stand out against it’s surroundings too terribly much. Luckily I was able to find a set that met both of those requirements and not break the bank. Once again, thank you IKEA!

Somehow over the years I’ve acquired quite a collection of barware. I love chrome and glass and wanted to be able to showcase it instead of hiding everything behind cabinet doors. Thankfully, this china cabinet that I restored has a glass door, allowing me to do just that.

Next: the Hall Bath


Welcome Part 3: the Kitchen.

I have to be honest when I say that the kitchen was the biggest reason I bought my house. I love the white, I love the all the storage and I love the set-up. After living in apartment galley kitchens all of my adult life this is a dream come true!

As much as I adore stainless appliances, I went with a white fridge. The stove and dishwasher were already in place and I wanted to maintain consistency. I like to keep it as cleaned off as possible – no magnet collections or anything like that.

Right now my counter is a dark, dappled gray laminate. It’s in great shape and will do for now, but eventually I’d like to install stainless counters. Perhaps even a built-in drain board next to the sink.

This is only a small fraction of the cookbooks I own. The rest are squirreled away in a cabinet next to the oven. The binders on the left are full of the recipes I share on The Daily Eat and the books are some of the ones I like best.

There’s isn’t any backsplash in place, only wall. I’ve been seeing a lot of subway tile lately that I’d love to employ in this space. White please!

I started collecting my Fiestaware in college. Now I have eight settings and some random serving pieces. I love looking at them all stacked up in my cabinets. Most of my other “supporting” dishware is equally colorful or glass. Right now I’m on the market for a set of white dishware for entertaining.

The only window in the entire kitchen is above the sink and is shaded with custom 2 inch wooden slat blinds. My hope is to take them down and in their place put up a few glass shelves when I can grow herbs and succulents.

There’s also a flush mount light fixture (unseen in photo) overhead that I’d like to replace with a modern pendant lighting.

Next: the Dining Area


Welcome Part 2: the Living Room.

The living room is where I spend most of my time. Even though I have a studio/office I normally do crafts on the floor here. I just love all the space!

The fireplace is the focal point. I’ve always wanted a mantle and love showing off little things on mine. My bird collection sits perched in a line front and center. The tarnished mirror candlesticks that were one of the best gifts ever are on the left. A tall, wide-mouthed recycled glass vase with sticks sits on the right. And of course, my beloved For Like Ever print backs everything up standing tall in the back. I’m considering painting the mantle itself black to match the fireplace screen, right now the white is just standing out a little too much for my liking.

On the left, my bird collection. On the right is one of my favorite purchases – a long wooden tealight candle holder. I always get a ton of compliments on it.

I eventually want to replace this couch with something long, low and modern. What I do love is the coffee table – black lacquered wood with copper panel inlays. And it’s a hand-me-down! Score. So is the copper leafed floor lamp on the right that I can’t seem to part ways with. Although I do plan on replacing the table once I get a new couch in place. The two canvas piece on the wall behind the couch is my own work.

When I got my first job this TV cabinet was my first purchase. I got it at Pier 1 and talked the manager down to 50% off for the floor model. It houses my behemoth 32″ TV that is not a flatscreen. I’d love to replace it soon than later, get rid of the cabinet and mount it above my mantel. Then follow suit and re-situate my entire living room towards the fireplace. Another option is to still ditch the cabinet, but in its place put a long console to set the TV upon. The green bowl that sits on the ground was a gift from my mom and is one of my most beloved possessions.

The two sets of shelves are part of the same collection as the cabinet (since discontinued) and house the majority of my book collection. (They look a little tilted in all the photos, but it’s just my camera going fish-eyed without my consent.)

The Mandarinetto print has been with me since college and was probably one of the very first pieces I bought that reflects what my style has become. As you can tell, I much prefer to lean large frames that actually hang them on the wall. I’m slightly obsessed with the Eiffel Tower and have managed to collect quite a few. I stacked a bunch of my coffee table books, then set the figures on them to vary their heights. It also manages to show off the books at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

If I’m not sprawled over the floor working on a project I’m most likely in this chair. This faded chair that badly needs to be reupholstered. It’s another hand-me-down and was bright and vivid paisley when I got my hands on it. I’m hoping to go with something really graphic when the time comes to give it a makeover. Behind it is my gallery art wall, which is one of my favorite things. It shows off pieces from some of my favorite artists as well as some of my own art. Next to the chair is a cute little tray table. The top pops off – the actual tray – and the legs fold up. There’s also a ring hanging off of it for a bar towel. This is really my favorite corner in the entire house.

The prints on the wall are from Uptown Minneapolis’ fusion restaurant Chino Latino. They were menus from a few years back. At the end of the hallway is a movie poster for The Endless Summer. I love the bright neons and pop art feel.


Welcome Part 1: the Foyer.

The day is finally here. The day many of you have been asking about since last July when I moved in to my first house. The day where I show you where I spend my days, my nights and my in betweens.

I’ve decided to break it all down into posts about different rooms. Bite size pieces are much more manageable than one lump some, or so I think. They’ll be spread out over the next few days for your perusal. As with any house things are always changing and being updated, so this is really only the starting point.

This is basically the extent of what goes on in the foyer. Easily one of the most boring areas in the entire house. Peanut and Roxy think the bench is theirs and use it all of the time. Sun-bathing being on the more important in their lives and all. Peanut also likes to keep watch over the front yard from this vantage point.

The big picture plan is to eventually tear up the white tile and carpeting and install something like this bamboo chestnut flooring throughout the house. The tiles are textured, which makes them really difficult to keep clean, especially in the kitchen. The oatmeal colored carpeting was brand new when I moved in, but I’d love to get rid of it. Although I’m suspecting anything else wouldn’t hide hairball stains half as well!

On a smaller scale, I’d love to replace the light fixture. Then ditch the bench and clock and lean a large scale mirror against the wall.

Next: the Living Room


The Kitchen Faucet Project.

Ever since moving into my house last July one of the things I couldn’t wait to replace was the shoddy old kitchen faucet. It took nearly a year, but with the help of my mom and stepdad (okay, mainly my stepdad) I can call it finished! I love the new faucet’s gooseneck shape and the pulldown hose feature. There are two buttons on it that allow you to flip back and forth between stream and spray and needless to say, well, I kind of feel like a rockstar in the kitchen now! If you like it as much as me you can check it out here. One more project done and in the books!

PS: Sorry for the bad lighting in the photos – the weather was all over the place yesterday!


Roxy + Peanut.

Lately I’ve been hearing some mumbled meows around the house. From what I can gather there’s a little bit of passive aggressive behavior going on (ignoring the litter box in favor of other areas and who knows what else) due to lack of blog fame.

Some other blogger’s pets (Paco, Morran, Chuck and nameless others) get screen time and, well, Roxy and Peanut don’t. I need to remedy this asap for the sake of my carpeting, so I’ll skip right to the introductions.

Name + Origin: Roxy, after the clothing line for surfers, natch
How We Met: given to me by my mom’s neighbors – straight from a farm in Arkansas!
Birthday + Sign: August 10 + Leo
Hobbies: sleeping, cleaning herself, hacking up hairballs from previous activity, flopping, chattering
Likes: lasers, bubbles, salty snack foods
Dislikes: when Peanut tries to get some lovin’, strangers
Arch-nemesis: my mom’s cat, Jack

Name + Origin: Peanut, the vet named him after a childhood pet
How We Met: adopted from Roxy’s vet after being abused and abandoned
Birthday + Sign: July 4 (approx.) + Cancer
Hobbies: keeping watch over the yard, acting as a garbage disposal for unwatched food, fetch, playing in water (I promise he’s a cat)
Likes: toys, bird watching, eating peoples’ hair, attacking Roxy
Dislikes: dairy, wearing hats, the doorbell
Arch-nemesis: the vacuum

So now, hopefully, we have all that cleared up. Welcome to Design Crush, Roxy and Peanut. You make my every day so much better.


The China Cabinet Project.

Here’s the back story of my cabinet.

This small china cabinet sat in my grandparents’ basement for a good 40 years before I got my hands on it. How it got there is another story: my dad found it waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck in front of a neighbor’s house. He used it to display his model collection (so cute!) for a few years before it was relegated to the depths of the basement. There it languished and accumulated old carpeting tools and other bits and pieces. And a ream of old typing paper, which is what I remember it most for.

A few years ago I was living in Cleveland and getting ready to move to Oklahoma City. I asked my grandma about the old cabinet in the basement and if she wanted it any longer. My dad drove it up to my apartment in the back of his pick-up and it was mine. And it sat in a garage for almost three years.

I knew something needed to be done to make it presentable (the years in the basement hadn’t been kind), but didn’t think the wood would stand up to refinishing. So painting it was. And glossy black it became. It now houses the majority of my barware collection. I love how the stainless steel pops against the black!


My Ten Dollar Drawing.

My afternoon was made when the swallow drawing I ordered from Alicia at Ten Dollar Drawings showed up in the mail! She made it more “tattoo-y” than specimen-like for me upon request. I can’t wait to frame and hang it on my gallery wall. (Thanks, Alicia!)


Pittsburgh Print.

Let’s be honest, there’s aren’t exactly a lot of homages to Pittsburgh out there. At least not gorgeous ones like this Pittsburgh print from JHill Designs. I would have paid full price (I snatched up the medium), but this bad boy is on sale for 20% off through the end of the day in honor of the Steelers beating the crap out of the Cardinals in the Super Bowl last Sunday! Yay. Now I’m homesick.