Basement Color Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing around the blogosphere, and happened upon Lucy from Craftberry Bush’s Summer house tour.  I spotted a gorgeous painting in her house and I just had to have it. Luckily, after clicking around a bit, I realized that not only is Lucy the artist, but she sells prints of her art, including this gorgeous seagull print.

So about a week later, this arrived at my doorstep.  Gorgeous no? These colors will be the inspiration for the basement, you know once we have the walls, and molding, and floors sorted out…

New Art - Seagull Print


Of course I couldn’t possibly just leave this gorgeous print in its shipping tube for the next few months, so when we took our visitors to check out Ikea, we also picked up one of their giant frames (the Ribba in high-gloss gray) and another print that had a smaller mat in it.  The mat the frame came with was slightly off-white and much too big for the print. However they had some pre-matted art prints on sale for just $10, so we picked up a print we didn’t care for just to use the mat.

Inexpensive Art Upgrade


Here’s how it turned out. Apologies for the glare – I did the best I could to minimize it.

New Art on the Wall - Seagull Closeup

Rather than lean another piece of art against the wall, I grabbed a nail and hung it in an open spot in the dining room. It looks gorgeous there, and I think in the long run I’ll replace it with another large scale print, when we move the seagull (and probably the fabric covered canvases) down to the basement.

New Art on the Wall - Seagull

How do you pick art? Any new favorites?

Sarah Signature



Keeping Cool

I know that ceiling fans are pretty much the devil of the design blog world, but let’s face it, moving air > stale air. And if you don’t like running the A/C all day long, fans are a must.  So I’m here to announce that the the picture below is the “after” and not the before!

Master Bedroom - New Fan

In fact, here’s the fan we inherited when we moved in.  Can you say “monstrosity”!  It was WAY too low for the ceiling height, not to mention quite dated.  It also had a giant light on it, which we never used since we have a bright standing lamp and two bedside lamps.  Despite it being hideous, we used the original fan a lot, so we looked for a non-offensive one to replace it with.

Master Bedroom - Old Fan

We found this one at Home Depot. We made sure to search for one that allowed for a close to the ceiling mount, since our ceilings are pretty low.  This weekend, while most of us went shopping, Andy and my cousin removed the monstrosity and installed our new sleek, flush mount, ceiling fan.

Master Bedroom - New Fan from Bed

And the best part is that we got an inexpensive on/off remote kit so we can easily turn the fan off and on, as it’s not wired to the light switch. We chose to go with one that doesn’t allow for speed control, since we pretty much just leave the fan on slow all the time.

Master Bedroom - New Fan Remote

Here it is in all of its spinning glory. I am so excited to no longer have to stare at the giant light and ugly wicker blades.  Maybe someone at Goodwill will be able to give the old monstrosity a new life…

Master Bedroom - New Fan Spinning


How do you feel about ceiling fans? Yay or nay?

Sarah Signature

Independence Day Photo Update

Since we had family from overseas in town over 4th of July, we decided that we should take them to see the DC fireworks. (After we put them to work sorting out our backyard, of course!)

Not wanting to brave the crowds downtown, we instead decided to brave the crowds at Gravelly Point  – the park usually known as a great spot for watching airplanes take-off and land is also a great spot from which to view the National Mall fireworks.

We had an early dinner and then headed out to the park with picnic blankets and snacks in tow. The weather was absolutely gorgeous – a light breeze keeping the mosquitoes away and cool enough to be outside without melting.

Independence Day 2014 at Gravelly Point
Independence Day 2014 at Gravelly Point - Cousins
Independence Day 2014 at Gravelly Point - Cousins II

We had a great view of the fireworks (both the earlier ones on the hills overlooking the park and the main event). Taking pictures of the fireworks are never as great as actually viewing them, but here are a couple of my best shots.

Independence Day 2014 at Gravelly Point - Fireworks IIIndependence Day 2014 at Gravelly Point - Fireworks I
Did you do anything fun for the 4th?

Straightening out the Backyard

I think this is the first time I’ll be showing you before and after pictures where the before pictures look substantially better than the after.  I guess the good news is that the “after” pictures are just progress pictures and soon enough the real after will look much better than the before.

This is what our backyard looked like when we placed an offer on the house.  The yard ends just past those hedges (the pride of India is in the greenbelt, not in our yard).
Backyard - Before from Back Door 2

Here’s the view from the other side.  Lush, but crowded, making the back yard feel tiny. (That giant shed doesn’t help anything either…)
Backyard - Before from Greenbelt

This weekend we put our family visiting from overseas to work and they helped us pull out the last of the hedges, take apart the stone flower beds, build a new bed along the western fence line, and level out some low spots on the patio.

Here’s the bed as seen through an upstairs window (ignore the dirt for now).

Backyard - New Bed from Inside
Here’s the view from the green belt.  There’s obviously plenty still to be done, such as getting that shed out of there and replacing it with a significantly smaller one, fencing in the yard, and then filling in the planter bed. Eventually we’ll also build some free-standing vegetable garden beds along the fence on the eastern side and add a patio dining set.

From this angle you can also see why we need that bed.  Our yard sits about a foot lower than our neighbors, and to avoid a substantial slope in our yard, we had to create a step down. The fence will sit on the upper level and the garden bed will minimize the height difference between the yards.

Backyard - New Bed from Greenbelt

As much as I’d love to fill up this garden bed with day lilies (like the ones we have blooming in the front yard), I also like that the bed serves as extra seating, so perhaps something a little less unruly would work better.  Whatever we decided on, it will have to wait until we have the fence up.

Backyard - New Bed from Back Door

Oh and here’s a shot of our newly leveled patio.  Thanks to my cousin for removing the sunken stones and adding the dirt necessary to straighten things out.  Hopefully this solves the standing water puddles we’ve been dealing with after the rain. We’ll be adding some river rocks in the dirt beds on either side of the door (under the water meter and under the drain pipe).

Backyard - Leveled PatioDid you trick any relatives into doing hard labor this weekend?

Sarah Signature

Mascara for the Doors

Just a quick look at the molding we’ve decided on for the doors and windows in the basement.  We wanted something bulky but simple. So I spent a couple of hours on Pinterest / lots of blogs and finally found the perfect solution at Cape27.  It’s a nightmare to photograph because we started on the exterior door, but don’t worry we have 4 more doors to finish, so we’ll be back with a tutorial of how we did it & zoomed out views.

Basement - Craftsman Window and Door Molding 2

Things still look a little crazy in the basement. We have about 20 more feet of wall to plank, 4 doors that need molding (the closet, the laundry, the bathroom, and the stairwell), a new floor to order and install, crown molding and corner molding to install, and walls to paint. Phew. That’s a long list!  But for the rest of this week and weekend we’re planning on spending time with family, eating lots of grilled food, and just relaxing!

Basement - Craftsman Window and Door Molding

Sarah Signature