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3.24.2016

On The Surface...

 One of the best things about a brand new house?
You get to pick EVERY surface and option!

I shared recently that Mom is an avid fan of HGTV's Fixer*Upper
and of Joanna Gaines' decor style.
Mom's catching the fever and has made decor choices that will give the house
a wide-open farmhouse/beachhouse feel with some industrial touches...
and her palette choices are warm neutrals with texture.

We have more texture to add in the future, but this is what the builder will supply:

*The kitchen counter tops and island [top left]
are a tan, brown, black and white speckled granite.

*The wall paint [middle left] is tan/sand
(almost exactly what she has in the current house, and what I had in my island home).

*All of the trimwork is a crisp white.

*The counter tops [tiny white square]
in baths and laundry are solid white Silestone.

*The cabinets [top right] in kitchen, baths, & laundry room are solid white raised panel.
 .
Then there's the FLOOR





Mom wanted all of the flooring to be the same throughout the house - 
that was the approach in the model of our plan,
and it really made the space look bigger because the rooms don't have different flooring.
We knew from prior experience that there would be no Pergo. No bamboo. 
No hardwood designs on pressed mdf. And NO CARPET.

Which left real hardwood, or tile.
Only the builder won't put hardwood in baths, laundry, and kitchen.

Tile - the only option left - was very unappealing.

Until we found something called 'wood look tile'. 
Skeptical, but intrigued, we went to the showroom for our 'Options Design Appointment' 
with a list... and about a million questions.
The lovely designer there pulled about a dozen samples of 'wood-look tile'...
and my Mom IMMEDIATELY chose this one:
 Do you hear angels singing???! ;)

It looks more like 'real' hardwood than some of the hardwood samples.
It's the perfect tone - warm, not gray, not yellow.
It coordinates with the warm tones in the granite counter tops,
and there's even light beige/white in the pattern to match the cabinets and walls.
The grout (not shown in the photo above) is a medium-tone found in the grain, 
so the planks will not have dark lines separating them.
It will look for all the world like a rustic hardwood floor throughout the entire house!

It's very VERY Magnolia Homes/Fixer*Upper style, don'tcha' think?!

Last week, the contractors installed that tile in the house.
We approved the tile in the showroom and they started laying it the next day.
We gave them three days and then we drove out to take a peek... 
they were still laying tile on day four, but the crew let us in!
I screamed when I saw it. I really, honestly screamed.out.loud. 

I. Love. This. Floor.!
It is so far beyond perfect - and it wasn't even grouted or cleaned yet!
I just know that when I walk in there with Mom next Monday for the walk through,
I'll scream again. I may need a defibrillator, to be honest.

Once we are in the house, we'll be making plans for the backyard -
and Mom is thinking that she wants this tile to continue out there to connect the spaces.
We'll be checking on the logistics of that in weeks to come!

In the meantime, we're full steam ahead with packing and prep.
After inspection, we'll do our walk through, get the keys, and move in...
IN ONE WEEK!

shared online:

One Project Closer | Creativity Unleashed

3.16.2016

Plan B. No, Really.....

...welcome back to the continuing story (saga?!) of 'project HOMEWARD' !

You've seen this image of the plot plan, site plan, and floor plan of our new house in a past post:
I have an image file that's been filling up with photos of the build in progress,
from bare dirt to complete house and everything in between
(I'll create a slideshow and share it when it's all done!)
but with our walk through and delivery date just TWO WEEKS AWAY,
I thought I'd share a bit of the detail about our new house...
 This is our floor plan...
'Plan B', according to the builder's schematic: Lot 101. Plan 1-B.

(some of the options are noted there; more about them in the future...
and let me tell ya', selecting all of those options is daunting - but FUN!)

The house is wonderful and spacious,
 and there's one particular thing we love most: NO STAIRS!
There are days when we literally drag our poor selves up three levels to the bedrooms in the current house, groaning and wincing in pain, and we don't like that reminder that we are old. Not one bit.
So this one-level house is a dream! 

The layout of the house is more than perfect for the two of us and our lifestyle...
it's the SECOND reason we both fell in love with it.

(along with the 'no stairs' thing!)

There are two bedrooms located at the front of the house, 
and two more bedrooms (including the Master) located at the back.
This gives us both privacy and space for our own activities, offices, etc.
in addition to the main living spaces that we'll share.
The rooms at the front of the house will be my bedroom and 'sitting room/office'
where I run my business (and BLOG!), 
while Mom gets the luxurious master suite at the back.
The room is so huge that she plans to put her desk/office in there, as well.

The 'guest room' is also going to serve as our craft room...
We'll set up the sewing machine there, have the closet for storage, 
and I am going to build at least one work table on wheels
that can fit over the bed, but easily move out of the way for guests.
That way, it's not a room that is used only once a month... it's used a LOT!

We thought about making the laundry room 'multi purpose' and putting the craft table there,
but there's already gonna' be enough going on in that room on a daily basis.
The guest room is a more workable plan.
(We also have a workbench for the garage for heavy-duty projects.)

For us, this use of the space just makes sense.
We're re-thinking not just how our existing  furnishings and decor  will be re-used,
but also how the house's square footage can best be utilized for our every day life.

Even if you've lived in your house for YEARS, you can do this...

look at the space with a fresh eye and stop letting past use determine future use.


Is your big dining room a catch-all for junk, but never used as an eating space - 

while your tiny den is the gathering place during meals to watch TV?
Switch 'Em! 

Move the comfy sofas and the TV into the bigger room,
add a huge coffee table at a higher height, and eat in comfort while you watch the game.
Put the dining room table and chairs in the tiny den for homework or games.

Why NOT? There are no 'room police' who will report you.
There are no 'home decor rules' which CAN'T be broken
(even though hundreds of internet articles SAY there are)...

it's YOUR house. Use the space the way YOU want to!
Make your OWN Plan B!


Our other Fave Features in the new house?

*The laundry room is IN THE HOUSE, not the garage!
After 36 years of schlepping laundry to and from the garage, my Mom is THRILLED about this! 
*Speaking of garages.... it's a 3 car garage! BOTH of our cars will fit inside
(which is something that hasn't happened at either of our homes.... EVER....)
plus a one-car garage space that will house shelving for storage of all the party stuff. 
*There is a covered loggia / patio off the dining room,
which expands our entertaining space. Did I mention we LOVE throwing parties?!
*The main living spaces are big, wide, and open with lots of sunlight.
No more tiny kitchen shut off from the party!
*The kitchen has more than THREE TIMES the counter space and storage
as the one my Mom has had for the past 36 years (which was built in 1972).
She's excited about her 'Party-Planning Headquarters'!
*Off the kitchen, there's a hallway. In the hallway, there's a spot for a WINE BAR!
(We will be located in wine country, after all...
and having lots of parties. Did I mention that?)

There's a lot more to love, and you'll be hearing about that in my upcoming posts.
Next Post? Our choices for the surfaces!
(They are installing the flooring right now, as I type this, and we hope to see it TOMORROW!)

3.10.2016

Out with the Old....


Everyone knows the golden rule of selling a house...
no, it's not 'location, location, location'.
It's 'neutralize, neutralize, neutralize'!

A construction crew came last week to remove the trellis wall treatments
and to paint over the mural in the downstairs powder room.

Years ago (90? 91?) I painted a mural of a vineyard scene in it,
and Mom had Dad install white trellising to the other walls and ceiling
then hung silk grapevines and grape clusters from it.
Her family room and patio had a 'wine country' theme, and this room played off of that.

In 2013, I redecorated the house to reflect my parent's love of Hawaii
(while they were vacationing in Hawaii!)
and painted a new beach scene on the powder room wall.

(you can see that project in my Thrifty Weekend Makeover series!)

When the contractor finished, it was beige. Just...... beige.
 But it's a small room and it needs to 'look bigger' (???) to prospective buyers
....so this is what we do. We 'neutralize'.
We remove every vestige of our personalities from the house 
so that prospective buyers can 'picture themselves living here' -
as opposed to them seeing exactly how WE have lived here.
This is what real estate agents tell clients now: Erase yourself from the property.

Meanwhile the encroaching stacks of empty folded boxes are dwindling
and the stacks of packed boxes is growing in every single room.
Surfaces are empty, spaces are starting to echo,
and it really looks like we are moving at last.
.

It's gonna' get harder.
Not just the physical work of lifting and hauling,
or the emotional work of sorting and purging,
but the emotional impact of finding hidden memories
in rooms once so filled with life.

As excited as Mom and I are about this move, the new house, 
the new opportunities and a bright shiny next chapter that this move brings,
there's a lot of history here in these rooms.
History that is happy and joyful, and history that is sad and heartbreaking.
Our family's happiness and sorrow soaks the atmosphere,
and as the rooms empty out, 
those memories echo in our hearts.

I can't look at the staircase without seeing generations of our family -
my parents, my siblings, our children, my children's children -
posed on it, year after year, for photos...
And that's just one memory.

HOME means so many things...

fortunately we carry home with us in our memories no matter where we go.

2.25.2016

Sorting. Packing. Shopping? uh oh.

Project HOMEWARD  - our new house - continues to move forward, 
with lots of visible progress on the job site and also with our packing.
oh, Lord, the PACKING. Mom's been in this house 36 YEARS. I feel like this photo most days.

I promised you that I'd show you the FIRST thing we purchased for the new house...
Be patient... there's a story there!

I am totally into vintage industrial style. LOOOOVE it.
One day about seven years ago, I got a huge vintage scale FREE on Craigslist.
please don't hate me. she nearly broke my arms carrying her, if that helps!
She lived in my little seasonal store for awhile, and then we moved her into my kitchen:
Four years ago, I left my dream home and my island, and came back to SoCal.
 I've admired industrial style decor from afar since then,
because it's just not something I can do while living in my parent's home.

Well......... that's changing!
Mom has been watching HGTV's Fixer*Upper with me. And it's rubbing off on her!
Like so many of you, we love JoJo's style. 
It's very much like my own, and Mom has seen how I decorate my houses over the years...
 but honestly, when it comes to making design choices for the new house, 
Mom is amazing me by broadening her views to include a more industrial, farmhouse style!
We won't have a house that looks like Joanna decorated it, 
but similar components - like the white cabs and wood flooring and stainless appliances
and vintage accessories that tell OUR story - will certainly be part of it.
Shiplap? Maybe ;)

so...
Back in January, we were at a flea market (Trading Post 1908 here in Southern California)
and as we perused the vendor booths, we saw a few scales for sale...
we found a scale that was actually exactly like the one on Joanna's kitchen counter.
But we kept walking. I wasn't 'feeling it' and Mom wasn't, either.
We knew we WANTED a scale for our {{huge}} new kitchen island,
but it had to be the right scale and look.

Then we headed toward the last booth at the show
and all of a sudden Mom started walking faster.
She was makin' a beeline toward something, and I just tried to keep up.

She went to the far back corner of the booth and stopped, and then I saw it...
and I gasped. Really. Because I knew it was perfect. And so did Mom.
It was sitting there holding a ceramic bowl of bright yellow lemons
and had us at hello:

We can just picture it in our kitchen, 
holding a stack of vintage cookbooks and a jar of cookie cutters, 
or a terra cotta pot of basil - or a bowl of lemons.

Honestly, it's a smaller twin of the one that I used to have!

And the BEST part? the story.
 That's what homewardFOUNDdecor - and project homeward - is all about:
Telling our own stories through the way we decorate and celebrate!

Like what you see in my photos?

2.18.2016

Movin' On!

Have you ever moved to a new (to you) house?
Have you scratched your head and wondered 'How am I gonna' make THIS work there?'?

Have you had nightmares about what you need to buy for the new place?
I have a plan to help you with that!


I hinted in my first post last month that there were some big things ahead this year...
things that spurred me to come out of my 'Blogging Break'. (missed that post? it's here

Mom and I have been working on something since October
that will take a huge leap forward at the end of March.
So huge that EVERYTHING will change for us...
we're moving on into our future!


What's that? You wanna' know what this huge thing is?
Oh, okay, sure.... it's.....
After relocating from Orange County to the Temecula area at the end of March, 
we'll be taking on the utterly exciting task of decorating a brand.new.house!

We've got Pinterest boards and file folders and brains overflowing with ideas.
We've got color palettes and landscaping ideas and wall treatments inhabiting our dreams.
Our plans mix Mom's style with MY style, to create 'our' style...
which is a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit beach house,
a little bit contemporary, and a little bit industrial, a little bit rustic, and a little bit feminine!
 
Here's where homewardFOUNDdecor comes in:

I'm going to be sharing our process of
* making design choices for the house
and what inspires us as we mix our two styles
* deciding what furniture to KEEP and what to let go
* how to re-think, re-design, and re-use items in new spaces
* giving an empty, new builder home a vintage vibe with easy projects

 My goal is to inspire you and give you ideas for your OWN home - 
whether you move to a new location or you just rearrange what you have where you are!

Yes, we'll be buying a few new things...
but our plan is to re-use, re-purpose, and re-design as much as we can.
It's about inspiration, and ideas, and hands-on fun.
You've seen my Mom's house in the Thrifty Tropical Weekend Makeover series,
and now you'll be able to see how we totally change the look for the new house!

We're calling it 'Project HOMEward'...
and hope you'll join us here each week... we've got a lot to share with you!

(Yes, I'll still be sharing my seasonal decor ideas and projects, too!)
 
Coming up next: the options/finishes we chose
and the first thing we bought for the house!

2.10.2016

the Language of Love

 Contrary to just about everything I share here on homewardFOUNDdecor, 
the truly important things in life aren't decorating or crafting.
The decorating and crafting have always been - for me, anyway  
the way I show people that I love them...

The kids' rooms were always cute and fun and bright and happy, with handpainted furniture and murals that expressed their own style. The house was always clean (ish!) and decorated because I wanted my family to be proud of where they lived. The birthdays and special days of the year were greeted with simple decorations and fun food at the breakfast table (like pink milk and pancakes on Valentine's Day). The 'big' holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter were celebrated with fun traditions and decorating.

ALL of those efforts on my part resulted not just in happy moments and lasting memories, but in a deeper meaning that leads my now-adult offspring to do the same things for their own kids.
This has become a 'language of love' for our whole family,
and nothing could make me happier.

My Mom started it all when I was a girl, and I added to it... as have my kids. It's not about money - because we've never had a lot of that - but about using what you have, being creative, and investing time and effort into doing things for those you love. For me, the BEST gifts ever were the handwritten, handpainted, handdrawn cards made for me  by my children and grandchildren.

Sometimes, the simplest things can mean the most.

 There's another 'hand made' gift that is the very best one I ever received:

Valentine's Day 2015 came in the midst of some very hard days.

My Dad was fighting the battle of his life - FOR his life - against cancer.
He was weak, and tired, and spent a lot of time in his comfy chair downstairs. He wasn't going out of the house anymore, so I asked him if I could find a card for him to give to my Mom on Valentine's Day... he said yes, and I did. (I ended up overwhelmed by tears in the card department of the local CVS store, on the phone with my little sister to give me the strength to find a card expressing the love of a dying man for his wife of 35 years...) I gave him the card, he signed it, and gave it to her a few days later. 
She loved it. She still reads it from time to time.

And then, when I awoke on Valentine's Day, I found little notes taped to my bedroom door, my office door, my bathroom mirror, and my laptop:


... little love notes for me, from my Dad. 

He had written them on scrap paper and come upstairs to tape them where I would find them.

Handwritten love notes from my Daddy...
there isn't anything more precious to me now,
no other Valentine that could mean more than these.


Just a few short weeks later, on Easter morning, my Dad passed away.

I moved those notes to the back of my bedroom door, and I see them every single day. They are a constant reminder of his love, and of the effort it took him to climb the stairs to put them there for me. 
He gave me all he had to give... his love. And it is more than enough.

The language of love is time. It's effort. It's thoughtfulness.

Maybe to you, it's a cupcake, or a card, or a perfect door wreath and mantel. Maybe it's a date, or a diamond, or chocolate and champagne. We all want to be shown love in the way that makes us feel special and loved, and to show love to those who are special to us.
For me, it's the little things done with a caring heart that mean the most

 Whatever you do to show your love this year on Valentine's Day,
may it be from the heart.
Even if it's simple post-it notes... because you just never know.

 .

2.05.2016

Lampshades to LOVE

 I just can't leave well enough alone...
 I usually buy my home decor items - like lamps - at thrift stores and garage & vintage sales,
and they usually come with lampshades.
Thing is, I never like them! 
I love the lamp base, which is why I buy it,
but then I always have to add something or deconstruct something to do with the shade
to make it something I can live with... or sell.

Like MOST of my projects,
it's not really complicated...
The lamp on the left has a perfectly acceptable shade, right?
I thought so too, but when I sat it in the vignette in my vintage decor booth*,
all of the lovely detail of the three 'candles' beneath that shade became invisible.

I knew I had to do something, so I looked around me to see what I had to work with...
and my eyes stopped on those rusty, crusty wire garden baskets 
hanging from a chandelier over the table.
There was one more of them sitting under the table, and I grabbed it,
flipped it over, and sat it on top of the lampshade (shown on the right).

The wire brought out the metal tones of the three 'candles' under the shade,
and the whole thing looked a lot more 'vintage' - easy-peasy.
This lampshade started out as a simple wire frame from a thrift shop.
I tore strips of red ticking cotton fabric and found some vintage red velvet ribbon,
and simply tied loops of each around the frame.
I think it took me a whopping 15 minutes from start to finish.

I like my projects to be 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy'TM!

MORE inspiration:
view more of my lampshade transformations
a super-quick lampshade treatment
one of the most drastic lamp transformations ever

I've used chandelier crystals, metal shoe trees, wire waste baskets,
aprons, vintage piano player music rolls, belts, stencils, sheet music,
vintage linens, wallpaper, vintage ceramic tea cups, and more
to 'foof' up lampshades over the years...

a few that I gathered up in 2013 to share here on HWF:
 I hope you find inspiration for your own unique lampshades here!
Have fun creating!
...we'll leave the light on for ya'... ;)

shared online:
one project closer | creativity unleashed
shabbyfufu | share it one more time
 .

1.31.2016

the Romance of Pink

 I'm just gonna' leave these riiiiiiight heeeeeeere......


 I came across these beauties that I snapped a few years back
at The Vintage Marketplace show...
the show entry display, created by the very talented Miss Monique,
is so lovely and romantic
that I thought it would be a perfect way to welcome in February!