Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mud Room

Our house is missing a foyer. No mudroom, no coatroom, no "keep the detritus contained" room.
We are sick of tripping over the pile of shoes that accumulate, even though we have a nice shoe rack, and we determined we needed a mudroom. Looking to the walk-out (or in our case, walk-in) basement, we found a place to build a mud room.

The goals are simple:
1. Look stunning
2. While containing all our clutter

Here's where I looked for inspiration.

I like the varying heights of the shelves, good for the vertically-challenged in our house:

The retractable closeline in this photo is brilliant. Perfect for snowpants and mittens after sledding or raincoats after playing in the monsoon:

I like the upper cabinets here to keep everything out of sight. Since our basement has a low ceiling, this is out, but I can still dream...
This is pretty much what I want to end up with:
An open locker for everyone with a bench for sitting while you slip on your shoes, and an open hole for the inevitable pile of shoes. All this while looking good!
All photos from

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer o' Fun!

We bought the Beechnuts a swingset for their upcoming birthdays, and to prepare for its delivery, we had to make a level spot in our tiny, sloping yard.

Jeff dug the trenches and used the laser-level to create a platform out of 4x4's.

I ordered the mulch and then did the research in true "Ready, Fire, Aim" fashion, and discovered some people bed their playground areas with pea gravel. Yes. Rocks. Doesn't that seem mean? Our kids are accident prone so even though we are surrounded by termites, I felt that the mulch might reduce the number of hours spent pinning down a crying child to apply neosporin and band-aids. (Sorry Dad, I went with the wood mulch.)

Swingset installed! Begin Summer o' Fun!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baking for 1

The newest Beechnut has turned 1! To celebrate, I baked a rainbow cake just for the birthday girl. I'm sure Martha Stewart would fail me on the final presentation, but all the children at the party approved of the cake!

The cake recipe came from this site, found through Tastespotting. It was pretty simple to make and the kids went nuts when they saw the inside. I also made cupcakes using the same method and they were pretty popular.

Happy Birthday, Beechnut2! We love you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Before & After: Dining Room

The kitchen remodel has caused an avalanche. A big slow avalanche that takes 12 months to make any real progress. The red paint in the Dining Room was giving me anxiety when compared with the new beige-y paint in the kitchen.

Here is the "Before" Dining Room in the least flattering photo I could find:

When I realized the Beechnuts and I had plans to be away for a few days, I bought the primer and paint for Jeff to tackle the painting in our absence. As soon as we left, Jeff stared at the paint cans, reached for the phone, and booked a painter to do the work.

The blue-gray of C2 Melodic makes the room feel much larger and airy, which is exactly the feeling I wanted. I hadn't realized how the former red paint was so overwhelming until it was gone.

We moved the map to be centered with the room, not the section of wall. Now it is centered with the chandelier and the dining room table.

The buffet came from our friend's parents who didn't want it anymore.

I unpacked some long-forgotten china and silver.

I bought the fabric for the chairs in the Pottery Barn Bettina fabric to match the curtains (bought on sale).

I think the rug should be different, but I'll live with it for now.
A painting on-loan from my sister in London gets a more prominent position in the house.

I love the pattern in the curtains and chairs, I think it makes the table that once belonged to my grandmother feel young. Well, younger!


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