Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recent Wares

The big stuff is exciting, but sometimes it's nice to look around at the smaller things that make home what it is.  There are some recent acquisitions around here that are making me smile, and while we're in need of rugs and a sideboard and armchairs and dressers, etc. etc. I find myself wanting to stop and inventory the little happys.

This marble trio from West Elm has me swooning over this corner of the kitchen.  That big slab is for rolling out dough, but now I'm dreaming of what marble countertops would like in place of the current stainless steel.  A dream that will have to live in my mind for now...and on Pinterest boards. 

I don't love the look of paper towels out on the counter, but function over form on this one so I set out to find the prettiest holder I could. 

I think the petite boxwood wreath hanging on the kitchen window is so charming, it's simple and fresh.  Perfect for going into spring. 

In the photo below, do you see those sponges peeking out?

I know sponges are an odd thing to hone in on, but the natural colors are so nice, much better than the neon ones I used to have.  The devil is in the details. 

This sweet boxer figurine, I recently pulled him out of a keepsake box. He belonged to my beloved Grandma who passed away when I was 13 years old.  I give her credit for my love, and by that I mean obsession, with dogs.  She had a boxer growing up so this was extra special to her.  It's a good reminder for my minimalist tendencies that not all tchotchkes are bad, a few could really mean a lot to someone one day. 

My new Kate Spade purse.  I've been searching for a new bag for months and finally got this one last week. I'm not one to have a purse collection, I have one bag that I carry day in and day out until it just can't go anymore. My old one was a tan Coach leather bag I carried for 3+ years and it was really looking long in the tooth.  I love this new bag, I think it's so classic and more importantly it layers in  nicely with the wall and the frames. 

I figure since this is where I'll hang it, it needs to look good on display.  Maybe that's why the search took an inordinate amount of time. 

This antique bench Matt found on Etsy.  It's mission style and is such a neat piece.  I like to imagine Frank Lloyd Wright would approve.  Its final landing spot is slated for the study, but it's hanging out in the living room for now. 

The girls seem particularly interested in it and I'm not really sure why.  
Must have years of good smells. 
That's actually pretty gross. 

But how cute does Birdie look when she yawns? 

And finally, a toy basket.  As I've mentioned before, Birdie was used for breeding before we adopted her and she has strong mothering instincts.  She would always carry "babies" around the house and I could tell it frazzled her a bit to not have a holding pen for them.

Now she walks by throughout the day and picks a baby up or drops a baby off, but she always knows where to find them.  We've taken to calling her "Mother Bird." 

Shep buries Nylabones beneath the babies in an effort to hide them from her recently adopted sister who came from a rough background. We're so proud.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Feasting At The Table

The wait is over, the dining room table is all settled into its new home.  We got the ball rolling on this back in September after the arrival of our desk.  We were so enamored with the desk we knew we had to have something similar for the dining room.

On delivery morning Shep assumed monitoring position, priming herself to screech her head off at the truck that would dare pull up in front of her house.

Whereas my sweet simple Birdie just thought it was neat there wasn't a table in the room for a few hours, more space to play with her toys.

The deliveryman told me it he would get it as close to the front door as possible, but there was no way he could bring it inside because it weighs 400 pounds.  Ummmm.  So this sat outside for about 8 hours until we could get back-up.  

In fact the shipping crate is still sitting on our front patio and will be there until our next bulky trash pick-up which is still 2+ weeks away.  I'd say we're a favorite amongst the neighbors.

But anyway are you ready to see the table?

Here's where we were last time we visited the dining room...

And here she is. 

Isn't it stunning?

Made by Elpis & Wood it is a solid piece of walnut, 80 inches long, which explains why it weighs so much.

Elpis & Wood is based in Washington, and they are talented to say the least.

This table is a masterpiece, truly a work of art.

It is beauty in the purest form: it doesn't need any ornamentation, it's not gaudy or garish. It doesn't scream that you look at it, you just do, simply because it's impossible not to.

Just look at those natural curves, it feels so cool to run your hands along the edges.

It goes well the West Elm bar cart which is great since we bought that for the dining room after first moving in.

What it doesn't go so well with is the hand-me-down knotty pine buffet that we've had for years, but that's fine because we've never planned on keeping that piece in here anyway.  The search for a sideboard is in progress. 

As for the chairs, I'm really pleased with how they look around the table.  I didn't want anything with wood grain because I wanted there to be no competition with the table.  These add nice texture and the chair legs ended up matching the table legs perfectly.  

All six chairs fit around the table nicely, but since we eat almost all of our meals at this table it felt a little austere to have four empty chairs when it's just the two of us most of the time. I also like how those other two ground the wall over there, I think its ended up being a nice look. 

Elpis & Wood sent us the photo below while it was in production, they told us they could cut along the straight line which might be a little more functional or cut along the dotted lines for a more organic look. 

We talked about it a little, but it was a pretty easy decision to go with the dotted lines.  See how things like this curve would've been cut out if we chose the straighter edges?  Character upon character.  

This table embodies our mantra for the house which is "buy it right the first time" it's one of a kind, it's solid as can be {it's not MDF or veneer} and it's a work of art.  Not every piece of furniture we collect will check all of those boxes, but we'll try.

This means the house will fill up slowly, there will be lots of searching and waiting, quality isn't cheap. But I can play the waiting game.  What I can't do is go around dusting a bunch of stand-in dummies, I'd rather look at empty space and imagine what's to come.  It's usually worth it.

{More dining room posts hereherehere}

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Everyone's A Captain

I sort of breezed over the fact that we had new dining chairs in this post so I wanted to come back and give them a proper introduction.

These are what we had in the dining room before...

And now...meow.

They are West Elm's curved upholstered chairs in dove gray. We got six of them, originally we were thinking these would just be used as captains chairs, but due to the nature of our table I didn't think any type of wood grain chairs would look right and coming up with an alternative proved to be a little difficult.  Speaking of our table, it's officially in transit! We should have it in the next few days.

I thought ghost chairs might be a cool option for the other four, but we really want guests to be comfortable when they come over.  While ghost chairs would have been a neat look, they don't exactly strike me as a linger-over-dinner-with-wine type of chair, whereas these are as comfortable as most arm chairs.

You might be thinking, but why get the chairs before your long awaited table arrives, what if they don't look good?  I'll tell you why.  Because as much as I love to hate on Black Friday it turns out I'm as powerless as the next crazy when it comes to West Elm.  They were having a "buy more save more" event so one of these chairs basically ended up being free. Also, I'd like to say we went to West Elm at an acceptable hour, 5pm. There was no forgoing Thanksgiving Day to wait in lines.  But why am I trying to defend myself?  A Black Friday shopper is a Black Friday shopper.  Oh well.

One of the chairs is currently hanging out in the kitchen until the table comes, see what I mean about them being comfortable?  Maybe a little too comfortable.  I can see us now inviting friends over for dinner and Shep helps herself to an empty seat and the baguette.  I learned long ago not to underestimate her.  She abhors the fact that she's not human.

On an unrelated note, I brought home my first paperwhite a few days ago.  I've always loved them from afar, but didn't really know what to do with them. I was admiring them again at Whole Foods when a nice employee gave me the confidence booster to bring one home.

When he was telling me about them he said "A lot of people can't have paperwhites in their home because of allergies." To which I replied "Well I don't have allergies."  Just like that, a blanket statement as if I were 7 years old. There was an awkward pause because I think he was expecting me to go on, say something like "Well I don't have allergies to pollen, it's cats that really get me."  But no, I pretty much just wanted to show off that I have no allergies.  It's the little things. 

Now watch Spring 2015 come back to bite me.

{More dining room posts here + here}

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 in Review

Here is our Christmas card from this {last?} year, never mind that Christmas was 2 weeks ago.  It's fine.

Let's be honest, this is one of those cards that I'd usually get and think "wow this is a show off card"  and it totally is.  There's no use denying it.  Two zero one four was huge for us!  And now it is forever immortalized on a card,  a card that is probably in most people's trash cans at this point, but let's hope for recycling.

I'll start from the beginning...

In March we had the chance to go on the vacation of a lifetime, a safari in Tanzania led by a fellow HBSer who was very familiar with the region.  We paid and showed up and the whole thing was beautifully planned out for us as well as the other 30+ people on the trip. Kudos to him, that was a huge undertaking and the trip was a dream.  I think about it every day.

We just got to stare at animals for hours on end each day.  Be still my heart. 

This was our safari guide, James, with our game drive group. He let us listen to The Lion King soundtrack and Toto's "Africa" on repeat.  Needless to say he deserved a good tip.  Not to mention he knew everything there was to know about what we saw on the drives. 

 We also went to Zanzibar on this trip, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania 25-50 kilometers off the mainland. It was stunning. 

Then in May we went to Maui with some of our closest friends to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary and Matt's impending graduation.

The whole gang on a sunset cruise 

Elyse and me on the boat. 

Feast at Lele

Krista, we were also celebrating her impending graduation from HBS and her birthday. So much cause for a vacation. 

Then later in May Matt graduated from HBS.

Us and our families, such a special day.

In July we bought our house and moved to Oklahoma City. 

Shep accompanied us to the closing table...and was mortified to learn they didn't request her paw print on the contract. 

And in November we adopted sweet Birdie. So basically, I had a baby. 

I used the back of the card as a moving announcement of sorts.  

So that's a wrap of 2014, I think my show off card was warranted.  Of course we still plan to travel and just be fun human beings in general, but it's hard to imagine another year with as many exciting events as that one. 2015, you have some big shoes to fill.
01 09 10