Monday, December 7, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cutting board storage

Since our range is deeper than a standard cabinet depth, we used "bump-outs"to make the cabinet deeper for just a few inches on both sides of the range.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Trash drawer

We looked at multiple ideas before planning our kitchen cabinets. One item we were able to incorporate was a pullout drawer for a small trash can plus a recycling can.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Laundry room location

At one time, the average house traditionally had a laundry room located in one of two places. A popular solution was in a closet that was located in the kitchen area, possibly even in the garage. Some were not even closets, but had the appliances in the open.

Ceiling fan in laundry room

If you are planning a laundry room that has a rack to hang drip-dry clothes, one of my friends suggested putting a ceiling fan in that room. I went with her suggestion and find that it helps the clothes to dry quicker than when there is no air blowing on them.

The added bonus is the cooler air when I'm working in the room. It's a win-win!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Charging stations

Because of a suggestion, we added outlets in various places in our house. There is an outlet in the kitchen pantry for cordless appliances (Dust Buster, etc.)  There are outlets in a couple closets for people to charge their cell phones, Kindles, etc.

Adjustable shelving

Often it is the little things that make a difference, and one of my favorite ideas is adjustable shelving. I had purchased metal shelf extenders of all sorts to make better use of the fixed shelves in my former pantry. While these shelf extenders solved my problem and gave me more space, I love having adjustable shelves in my new home.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


"Where are the spoons?"

"Anyone know where I can find a hand towel?"

"Has anyone unpacked the plates?"

On and on it goes.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A different perspective

We've moved our bodies, clothing and kitchen necessities into our new home. Some of the furniture is here, while other furniture was left to stage our previous home while it's for sale. That presents some interesting challenges, but I am not going to talk about that today.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Piano caster cups (DIY)

I needed felt bottom caster cups for my piano in order to keep the wheels on the legs from hurting the new wood floor. I didn't think about this in time to get them ordered and shipped to me. Although I live near a major city, I was not able to find a store that had these in stock.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Easy fix!

  When moving a dryer from a house, it leaves an opening where the dryer vent goes into the wall. Air conditioning and heat can escape, plus it gives easy access to critters. With the help of an associate at Lowe's, we discovered a PVC piece that fits perfectly over the dryer vent in the wall. 

The dryer vents are standard 4 inches. Easy fix!  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"To Be Moved" chart for movers

My husband has done the homework and found movers he wants to get bids from.

One of the men came this morning to see what we need moved. I was worried because I was going to take this man on a tour through a maze of boxes. Not only that, but some of our furniture would be left behind to stage the house.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What's in a name?

Lauren made a suggestion that has been most helpful. "We'll call each room by the name it is called on the floor plan." When she mentioned this plan, I never realized how important it would become. With a floor plan laying on a make-shift table and now on the kitchen island, anyone can look to know exactly which room we are talking about when we mention a name.

Layers of light

NOTE: I realize lighting designers refer to the three lighting layers as ambient, accent, and task lighting. The 'Layers" referred to in this post are simply my personal thoughts on a single home, and how we planned for our lighting needs. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Christian door?

I've lived with 6 panel doors for 28 years, and have a new house full of the style. I had never heard the nickname for these doors until today. According to a few blogs I found, the top represents a cross, while the bottom two raised panels represent an open Bible. Many call them Cross and Bible doors and they possibly could have originated from an old Quaker design.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Still a work in progress

HOUZZ to the rescue!

Love at first sight is real! There was so much I loved when discovering this photo (below) on Homestead Kitchens Houzz Ideabook.  Click! The photo was immediately added to my powder room ideabook and served as inspiration for our space.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Binder, boxes and bills? Oh, my!

Building  a home generates a great deal of communication, both electronic and paper. It is best to find a system to store these documents. After trying various options, I developed a system that works for me.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ceiling "medallion?"

For a long time I have admired the incredible ceiling medallions in historic homes. After shopping, I was able to find historic copies that we love. I only wish I knew where the originals hung.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Building = stress = divorce?

This was not something I had heard until we started building our home. While building a home together may not be a leading cause of divorce, apparently a good percentage of couples who build a home together actually do end up divorced.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Finding extra storage

While planning our house, we had studied the floor plans and searched for places that would be possible storage. One "dead space" didn't seem useful until the house was framed.

When I discovered this narrow triangular shape between the walls of a hallway, family room and half-bath, I stared at it long enough to realize it would be a perfect location for a bank of shelving. If we had opened it up to the hallway, it could have been a bookcase.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Folding plastic shopping bags - space saving hint

When I read a hint about folding the plastic bags from local stores, I had no idea how much it would help me while packing. What has to be my least favorite part of moving seems to take up the most time. I've lost count of the number of boxes I've stuffed full and taped shut in anticipation of the upcoming move. As we get our current home ready to sell, we want to get as much packing done as possible before it's listed, hoping to make the move easier after our current house sells. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nautical lighting

While spending some time in Galveston for our anniversary, we noticed a few different versions of a classic nautical light design. This photo, taken by my husband, is of a street lamp on The San Luis Resort property.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Memories of wishing for some sort of privacy

Please don't misunderstand. The bathroom pictured below is lovely. There are so many beautiful features and just looking at the photo causes me to feel relaxed. I can imagine leaving this calming environment without a worry in the world. It takes spa to another level! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dawn dishwashing liquid?

Just not sure if this is for my friends, or if I'm including this so it will be handy when I need to find it again. One Good Thing, a super blog by Jill Nystul, has a great deal of incredible information. It's where I found a post titled Original Blue Dawn . . . It's Not Just For Dishes Anymore.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sweet grass baskets

CBS News shared a video on Charleston area sweet grass basket artists. These baskets, available on street corners and in various markets around Charleston, are some of the most wonderful I've ever seen. Southern Living magazine calls the baskets a "must-have" and "a glorious souvenir and symbol of the Lowcountry - and our South."

Poogan's Porch in Charleston

We missed eating at Poogan's Porch while in Charleston, but it's on my must-visit-list when we get to return. I keep hearing about those biscuits that sound scrumptious.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. "

I have no clue how old that quote is. Life has not handed me lemons, and this is not a whine post. I simply chuckled to myself yesterday as I thought of the quote while moving some boxes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Budget friendly cabinet hardware

When homeowners are given a task that involves a cabinet hardware allowance, and a trip to a store that specializes in selling hardware for builders, it can become confusing to try to see how selections fit in the budget. I will readily admit to having only visited a few of these stores, but it does seem to be standard practice for prices not to displayed on the hardware selection boards. I have heard others ask about the availability of price lists, only to be told there is no such list.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Classic lighting

Everything I read indicates that sconces on either side of mirrors provide better bathroom light because they do not cast shadows on faces. However, there are some spaces that need above-mirror lighting for various reasons. Our full bathrooms have above-mirror lighting because of space allowances and the mirror designs.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Visual Comfort and Emerson

Like most of the finishing touches on our new home, it has been a chore to find lighting reminiscent of a historic home. The hours, days and weeks spent searching should qualify my husband, our designer and I for some type of research award after we successfully uncovered some needles in a haystack.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


During the spring of 2015, the home decor stores are packed with nautical themed elements.  At Pottery Barn, you can create a tablescape with dishes and accessories that are stunningly beautiful, yet created for outdoor use (i.e. melamine collections of all styles and colors). In addition there are creative elements that bring the nautical or beach theme inside a home. Lanterns, pillows, frames, candles, throws, hardware and more help provide the perfect nautical touches. What fun!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ceiling medallions

A pair of Ekena Millwork ceiling medallions came from the warehouse in a wooden crate. The builder had to open this crate since we didn't even have the correct tools. (I guess we could have returned to Lowe's where we purchased the medallions to buy the right tool, but the builder offered to do it for us.)

Weir's Furniture - Dallas

Exploring Highland Park (Dallas) last weekend was a delight. We visited an old friend, Weir's Furniture at 3219 Knox St, and had time to casually wonder through their nearby warehouse outlet as well. It was years ago that a former neighbor told me about this store, and it became a must-visit when we are in Dallas and have time to run by.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Photos from Charleston

Anyone who loves Southern home styles will probably fall in love with Charleston. I can't wait to return after we have our home finished and actually have some time to enjoy a trip.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Random photos

A few random photos. None of these spaces are complete.

Choosing stone slabs

The appearance of the engineered stone slabs used in the house were not as huge a concern for us as the marble slabs that we would use. We wanted to be involved in choosing the slabs for our bathroom so we visited a few warehouses with our salesman. I was surprised at the enormity of these warehouses filled with stones, so snapped a photo of one small corner inside the Earth Stone warehouse where we found our marble.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Easy chalkboard

Have you seen Crate&Barrel's new chalkboard placemats for less than $10? Nothing to keep us from framing one or more of these gems to hang on a wall or place on a easel.

Pinterest has tons of Chalkboard ideas.

Don't forget to season your chalkboards.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thinking ahead

Making a decision with the future in mind is not as easy as simply choosing something that is trendy at the moment. For longevity, wiser decisions are often made when the future is one of the factors being considered.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Searching for light fixtures

If you read this blog often, the following statements are repeated in several posts. Chances are small that any store has the perfect light for every space in your home. The internet becomes a great resource. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Brick flooring update

These photos are from two rooms with Inglenook brick tiles. I'm anxious to see these floors when the spaces are completed and furniture in place. I love the look of this brick.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sanity break

Building this house has been a labor of love, but also very overwhelming at times. The number of decisions required often pile up faster than I can keep up with. Today I took a sanity break and visited one of the beautiful painted churches in Texas. It was the opening day of their first ever quilt show. I do hope it becomes an annual event. It was medicine for the body and soul.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Adjustable shelves

When planning cabinets and shelving, we chose to ask for adjustable shelving in several spaces, including the walk-in pantry. I wonder how many times I have tried and failed to place an over-sized box or jug on a pantry shelf only to find that it was too tall. The 2-liter bottles of soda would end up on the floor and the boxes of cereal would find another home.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


One of our family members has a wonderful little "house" in his backyard. It's a one-room space that he once used for an office before he retired. I always thought it was wonderful that he had such an awesome place to work, but also wished I had a reason for such a place in my backyard.

I'm not sure if I'm behind, or if this is a new trend. I've realized that men have their man-caves. Now ladies have their "She Sheds," according to Houzz and other sources.  I'll admit to liking the idea.


Monday, April 13, 2015


Because of a deed restriction in our new neighborhood, a formally drawn plan must be submitted for approval before the lot can be landscaped. The deed restrictions are tight, including the yards and gardens. I would grip to myself about it, but I realize that is part of what makes me love this neighborhood.

I made a trip to Lowe's last week to return 2 items and came home with nearly 100 plant photos on my cell phone. 'Tis the season to plant. Sharing some beautiful plant photos today.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Brick flooring

Although the installers have only spent one half of a day on this floor when the photos were taken, it is so exciting to me to have this incredible brick in my kitchen. I have always loved brick inside a home and couldn't wait to share these two photos.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Exterior shutters

Looking back on a busy day, my favorite part was realizing all of the shutters have been hung. Although I have watched as they appeared around the house, we now have shutters all across the front of the house today, which is exciting.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Choosing hardware - step 3

If you are working with a hardware store dedicated to supplying cabinet and door hardware for builders, there is a big chance the store will send someone to walk your house and do a "take off" of everything the house will need.

They will make a note of each door knob/lever and whether it is right-handed or left-handed. There will be measurements of drawer sizes and it will probably have notes about any special limitations for pulls. For example, we have a few raised panel drawers that have limited space to hold a drawer pull.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Raised floors

The bottom of our cabinets once seemed to be levitating, but are now becoming even with the finished floor level. Because of the wood flooring we ordered, the remainder of the flooring (tile and brick) has to be raised to the wood floor level which is 1-1/2" above the slab.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Choosing hardware - Step 2

This will be the third new home we have moved into, the first after owning a computer, which makes a tremendous difference in finding resources for our home.

Looking back to the previous two new homes, I realize there were no websites for hardware companies or anyone else for that matter. We walked into a store, presented the employee with a budget, she pointed us in the right direction, we made selections and it was over.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Choosing hardware - Step 1

Walking into a home hardware store with walls full of knobs and pulls is not unlike looking for a diamond in a box of cubic zirconia. It's possible, but both time consuming and frustrating.

And back at the house..........

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Differing opinions

It is always amusing to me when I hear different opinions of home styles. While one of my good friends would move into a nearby home in a heart beat, I find the home to be totally opposite her normal taste. She explains that she loves the unique style and the open spaces inside the home. Yet this unique style is what disturbs me since it does not seem to fit into my "comfort zone." It leans closer to contemporary style, while remaining a only a tad traditional. It simply leaned too far away from traditional in my view, but my friend disagrees with my assessment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


It has been almost 39 years ago that my husband and I first discovered the French Quarter lanterns that grace countless buildings in New Orleans, and I found myself fascinated by their simplistic style yet beautiful craftsmanship. Years went by without much thought being given to these lanterns. Periodically I would notice an advertisement for Bevolo lanterns in a home design magazine, but still never gave it much thought. (I did, however, have an ad torn out and in my file for future reference.) 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BIG lesson - FLOW

One of the BIG lessons we've learned while building our home, is that NOTHING is an island unto its self. EVERYTHING works together to create the whole.

Monday, March 23, 2015

"In memory of a master"

Philip Simmons, 1912-2009, was a master blacksmith whose reputation as a Charleston "smithy" was legendary. Legend has it that one didn't visit Mr. Simmons to tell him what you wanted. Instead, you invited Mr. Simmons to look at your house and tell you what he saw for the ironwork surrounding your property.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Charleston House & Garden tour starts this week

On March 19, the 68th Annual Festival of Houses and Garden in Carleston opens for visitors.

Since our house is nearing completion, neither of us feel like it's a good time to leave town. That leaves me to relive a previous Charleston trip through Houzz photos, although I would love to be heading to the airport to catch a plane to my favorite southern city.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Basket weave porch floor

Today's neat find:
The basket-weave brick pattern on the front porch floor worked out beautifully. Although BW isn't original, I see mostly herringbone patterned floors in this neighborhood. This is just unique enough instead of being like the standard, which is what I had hoped for. Besides, I like basketweave.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Powder room inspiration

 When the powder room photo on the below was found, it was my immediate favorite. The style and size fit our house plans perfectly. Although I wanted to paint the vanity, not use wallpaper, and have a port-hole window, this became our inspiration.  

Monday, March 2, 2015


Motorola - Verizon
When you need to talk to multiple people at the same time, but it is not practical to schedule a meeting, a conference call might be the answer.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Listening and learning

As frustrated as a homeowner gets when people won't listen to him/her, it leaves me to wonder about the "tradesmen" and skilled artists who must have the same reaction when homeowners won't listen to wise advice.

Today held multiple meetings. One meeting was with the artist who will paint a ceiling medallion in one room. In my "wisdom" it is now the perfect time to paint, but the artist has a different idea.

Lighting challenge

This post is not meant as a complaint, but as information that might be helpful to anyone in the Houston area who is searching for lighting for a historic style house.

We all know that stores cater to the needs of their customers, which is only wise business practice. Since the vast majority of the new homes in this area have had a Tuscan, French, contemporary, or a more decorative ranch style influence for the last several years, it only makes sense to specialize in lighting for those homes. Having what the customer base wants is what pays the bills for the lighting store.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SUR-prise! SUR-prise!

As Gomer Pyle would say

SUR-prise! SUR-prise!
I took one of those online quizes and thought I'd share the results.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Due diligence and patience

While we don't want to slow down the building process, we have realized that sometimes we need the time to "get it right." We have diligently tried to stay ahead of the builder, but sometimes that is not easy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

.....and "crazy week" is hopefully coming to an end

Sometimes a person must laugh when things are simply so bizarre, and we find ourselves shaking our heads in wonder about what is going on. Maybe it's because we are all so overwhelmed with jobs and life that our minds become confused at times and we say or do things that make no sense to anyone else. I'm not sure, but having so many "crazies" in one week makes me wonder if this is a "trend" or a fluke.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A masterpiece by the master artist

Photos taken by a friend. Not to be republished.  
Last Friday afternoon, as I was in a hurry to lock the house and head home before dark, I failed to notice the beautiful sunset. When a good friend who was with me pointed it out, I was awestruck by the beauty of the cloud formation above the water.

The photographs can not do justice to the incredible view we saw that evening.

This will be an awesome place to set in the late afternoons/early evenings and watch as God once again picks up His paint brush and creates another masterpiece for us to enjoy.

Psalm 8
1. Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.

3. When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4. what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

9. Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Let's talk brick flooring

With walnut flooring ordered, we settled on brick floors for the kitchen and a few nearby areas. When starting to look for brick, there just didn't seem to be a product that worked well in this space. It needed to look good with the nearby walnut flooring. The product also needed to work well with the grays on the walls and cabinets.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Multiple ceiling fans with one control

There are a couple places in our house that will have multiple ceiling fans which share one wall switch. Until the electrician explained to me that we need to buy "vanilla" fans, I would have not thought anything wrong with just choosing any ceiling fan.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Blue, it is!

The wood under the front porch is beautiful, and would be lovely if stained. Several of the workers suggested we stain the wood instead of painting it, and I will admit we seriously considered the idea.

If it had been any other house, that gorgeous wood would have seen stain. But the "southern" aspect won out and we have decided to paint the porch ceiling Piazza Blue from the Historic Colors of Charleston by Duron.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


A couple close friends/relatives have recently put vinyl flooring in their homes. I never paid much attention until I happened to be looking at one of these beautiful floors BEFORE realizing it was vinyl.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aw.......the walls...........they have CoLoR!!

My daughter shared a great "cartoon" with me, which I forwarded to Lauren. I'm sure she probably relates even more than I can because she may have more clients than me who have untrained eyes for color.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sigh! Budgets, costs, etc.

As we visited with a lighting salesman on Friday, my husband remarked about one chandelier we had priced. He commented  that he would have to eat every meal in the dining room to get his money's worth out of that particular light fixture. Of course we all laughed because it's sad, but very true.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Front porches and sidewalks

There is a beautiful old house in a city north of me that was built by the great-grandfather of one of my daughter's childhood friends. This friend and her family lived in this lovely home for a few years. The large rooms and wooden flooring were enchanting. But the idea of sleeping porches outside the bedrooms always intrigued me. These screened in porches seemed like a perfect place to spend a night during the summer when the weather was hotter inside than outside.

Inspiration house #3

Inspiration house #3 was briefly mentioned, but there is more to the story than already told.
"One day, we finally found ourselves staring at a home we both instantly thought was wonderful, but of course, it wasn't for sale. Grrrr..... We even watched the home for awhile, checking the real estate map periodically to see if it was listed."

Friday, January 2, 2015

Let's DECLUTTER.......

A Home Storage Solutions post caught my attention this morning. The aim is to spend 15 minutes per day to declutter one specific area of our homes. There are calendars and helpful information on their website. I'm willing to give it a try.

January details and calendar