What We've Been Up to

So I'm finally back!! I've missed everyone - both blog readers & writers- like crazy!!! We've been busy, of course. It's been 2 weeks since we moved into our new house. Here's what it looked like the first night:



The first thing we attacked was the kitchen. Below is a pic of my husband and one of his best friends pretending to help take apart the cabinetry ;)

Here I am taking off the screws that keep the front of the cabinets in place:


Christian was also really great in assisting Dave with the babyproofing of the lower cabinets:
Here's where we got the first Friday night after we moved in: (Oh yes, and that's definitely a dumped over bag of dog food on top of the fridge and my dog going crazy after all the food that spilled on the floor- that's when we knew it was quitting time!!! )
The next day, my (amazing) husband put up the beadboard and then painted it white.


We used $3 cheapie brackets from Home Depot, but I love the black against the white and am really happy with them:
Dave installed 12" painted shelves all the way accross the wall. (I can't thank him enough because he did all of this in the middle of the move!!!)

When I received Cowtan & Tout's sample of Botanique Spectaculaire I was in Heaven!! I had thought it was going to be in black and white and was surprised that the colors used happened to perfectly match all of the fabrics I'd chosen for the living room. No joke. And I already have tons of that Ralph Lauren greige I love so much ("Hopsack") which PERFECTLY matched the leaves in the wallpaper.


One of my best friends, Lindsey, and my cousin, Jen, came over on Sunday to help out (thank you!!!) and Lindsey and I painted the remaining lower cabinets while Jen watched the little guy. (I really gouged the lower cabinets with the belt sander because the I only had really heavy sandpaper and was too impatient/ lazy to go to the store to get a finer grade for the belt sander. Oh well! you can't really see it now-- I hope!) Below is Lindsey digging in to the painting:



And finally, here's how the kitchen looks now:
Still lots left undone but I'm much happier with where we're at:
I have to say that I LOVE open shelving more than I could've dreamed. It really is such simple, easy living. We use almost everything up there all the time and clean up is such a breeze. I don't dread putting away the dishes nearly as much!!
Below is my Grandma Maestranzi's colander and I love it up there right above the stove:


Here's my favorite white bowl my mom gave me. It was brand new a few years ago & has seriously aged with wear & tear !!!! love it.
I found the chandelier (below) on that NY flea market trip with Eddie Ross and was undecided about it when I left. I loved it but planned to put it in my dad's house & couldn't get a hold of him. Eddie was so sweet and picked it up for me a couple of weeks later & mailed it to us when I decided I wanted it. I'm still waiting on new wax drips/ covers but my husband rewired it & got it up and working & I couldn't be happier with it!! It was in an old hotel in NY that has since been torn down:

Here's a detail of the hammered finish:


Here's the breakfast area as it is now:
I picked up the vintage saarinen-style table on Ebay and love it!! I was really picky about the shape of the pedestal because I found that some of the immitations don't have pretty lines & others do. I really loved the lines on this piece & since there's no way we could afford a real one, we went for this one.Here's our little parrot who sits on the window sill. Christian loves him:

So, I ended up changing my mind about the wallpaper when the Studio Printworks Pineapple paper arrived:And here's why I've come to this conculsion. I LOVE both and will consider using the other somewhere else in the house BUT I'm in the mood for color. Bright color. And the Cowtan & Tout paper has color already, but very subdued color and it won't be as easy to inject fresh colors into all the time with accessories. Being in this all-white house you'd think I'd be in Heaven, but I've already moved onto the stage where I want to add color. And I guess since it's so bright & warm out I'm looking for bright!! I think the black & white will be a better backdrop for bright color. So, I'm going to paint over the greige on the cabinets and I'll be going for a fun color. It will take about an hour and I figure it's a cheap & easy color fix. I'm considering a kicky green, inspired by our parrot or maybe even a turquoise or aqua ... whatever we go with, I'll be aging so it doesn't look too new. Below is a pic of my fun little magnetic spice rack that I made from a cookie sheet: (yet to be hung!! :)

I saw the idea in Real Simple way back in college & have taken this baby with me to 3 homes since! We've also been really busy outside and a friend of mine is a landscape designer & she and her husband have been amazing!!! Below is a pic of him in the yard with my husband taking down a tree!!! He's been coming over and helping so much!!
The next order of business was the living room. At this point the white was driving me mad!!! But now that I think of it, it was more than the white, it was the overall sterillity of the place:
My mother-in-law and I made white linen drapes & my husband hung them with Christian's help:They softened the room incredibly!!! (I have no idea why this is underlined but oh well- computers are the worst and hopefully it'll go away!!) I didn't hem the vertical edges because I was impatient and wanted them hung & because I also wanted a raw look. I figured it I didn't like them I could go back later, but I love the look!!!



Here's what the living room looks like for now:

We're using all of our old furniture because the basement is a complete construction zone. (My father-in-law came to visit and worked so hard down there & I can't wait to show pics!!!) Eventually, a lot of these pieces will be going downstairs and we'll be bringing in newer things (like the reupholstered craigslist sofa!!) but for now, this is what we're working with. We went out to Lucketts this weekend to find a mantle and here's what we found:
It's raw oak from an 1800s house in Pennsylvania. Currently we have it nailed into the wall and when things calm down a bit I've got big plans for making this baby look a bit more realistic. That's my grandparents' old camel sadel in front of it for warming your hands in front if the fire ;) ;) Below is a close-up of my old man oil painting I scored at a thrift shop: (I really love him)
Below is a close-up of one of my favorite etched pitchers. It, too, has old men engraved all over it!! hahaha I think I may have a new living room theme?!! ;) ;)

My favorite thing about the house is all the light & windows. I still haven't hung much & have plans for the main wall...
Here's an area of the dining room where I just sort of stuck a bunch of things on a whim because I was mad for some color. I used my desk and a huge oil painting and some botanical prints:

I just stuck a bunch of accessories all over & didn't put much thought into any of them as most of our things are still in boxes but I was actually really happy with how my collection of things has finally seemed to just work together:

I found these pillows for $5 at a thrift shop a few years ago. Putting them on the sofa really made me happy because like I said before, I was CRAVING some color & energy:


Below is my pretty door knocker lady. She's been moving around since we got here on various surfaces:

So, that's it for now. And this is me for now:


so glad to be back!!!
xoxo,
lauren

62 comments:

Emily said...

I love the open shelving in the kitchen. It looks so clean and airy!

Stacy said...

Everything looks so great already. Can't wait to see what develops over time. The open shelving in the kitchen is a lovely look...but I'd love to know if things gets dusty and grimy? Let us know after you've lived with for a while.

Susan said...

You have been quite the busy bee! Thank you so much for the inspiration (and the push to finish my home projects). Now - PLEASE, PLEASE - tell me more about your white couch. I love the lines of it and am putting it at the top of my wish list.

GracefulElegance said...

I am really SO impressed! This most definitely gives me inspiration on my own renovation project. Thanks for sharing!!

Kara @ KSS said...

Your kitchen looks very cute. I wasn't sure how I'd like open shelving, but it looks good. :)

Blueprint Bliss said...

Lauren- it all looks so great. Can't wait to see more. And we're glad you're back!

DesignTies said...

Glad to have you back Lauren! Camila's posts were great, but Pure Style Home is all about YOU! :-)

Love what you've been doing to your new home so far. It's looking fab! Funny your need for colour... I'm wondering if it's all the wonderful light in your house causing white to read a little harsh?? I'm not a colour expert!! Love how you've been injecting a little colour in things though... I'm sure that will do the trick for you!

Finally - I wanted to say how impressed I am that you're so settled already!! It's been over a year and most of my stuff is STILL in boxes!! Granted, we've been doing some major renovations... but I'm so wanting to put things back together soon! Can't do much of that until the basement is done though... maybe the end of the summer!

Looking forward to more updates!!
Victoria @ DesignTies

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Lauren, so nice to officially met you! Thanks for stopping by. I've got you on my Google reader & have been popping in here from time to time. I just adore your style & what you've accomplished in your new house. Those shelves in the kitchen are awesome. Now I see you want to paint the bottom cabs something brighter. You'll have to check out my post from a couple weeks ago, Edie's kitchen, she painted her lower cabs in aqua, so if you haven't seen that, check it out.

And I see you have also been shopping with Eddie. Me too, in Atlanta last Jan. Wasn't he a blast?! And your light fixture, oh my gosh, love it! I'm sure you loved my little fixture today too.

Anyway, I will definitely come back to see what else you are up to & thanks for adding me to your bloglist. I'll do the same! You have some great taste.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Lauren!

Ah! It's all looking so great. Happy to see that you settled on the pineapple wallpaper. I love it and I love the idea of a punch of color on the cabinets. I love green so that is my vote!

Everything is coming along so great! It all takes time, but you've already done so much. I get so tired just even thinking about all the work we did on our home before we moved in. I totally understand your exhaustion!

I'll give you a ring tomorrow. I'm fighting a cold and my throat has taking the biggest hit and I've barely been able to talk since Sunday!!!!!!

Kara said...

HOLY SMOKES! That was SO WORTH THE WAIT! Lauren, your kitchen is such a great before and after. Magazine worthy, woman! Can't wait to see what else you are doing. You are amazing!

Kara said...

LOVE the pineapple paper too. Good choice.
xx

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

L, everything looks great ! You have quite the catch with that husband of yours, mine would have bulked at tearing down those cabinets... love everything!

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Your desk is absolutely divine too!

my favorite and my best said...

great job you!!! looks fantastic.

kay* said...

holy crap i can NOT believe how pulled together everything looks already! the kitchen looks like it should be in a magazine - serioulsy! awesome, awesome job!

Sue said...

Lauren, You have really done a lot in the short amount of time you have been in the house! The open shelving kitchen is so cute! I have so much stuff- i fill 2 full 7ft. pantries- that I could never do it! But I like it a lot- it's so clean and fresh looking! It's cool that you have displayed the colander from your grandmother.It's an art form to do open shelving! Take care. Sue

Velvet and Linen said...

Wow, you have been busy, Lauren!
I love love your kitchen. Open shelves are the best, and the white and black color scheme works perfectly.
Can't wait to see what color you decide to paint your cabinets.
The pineapple fabric is going to look beautiful!
Enjoy your new home!

xo
Brooke

Maria Killam said...

Lauren,
That looks so amazing! I love what you did, such a huge difference, it's really fun to watch the progress, you took some great pictures so we could feel like we were there! Your little angel is so cute, kids have to be a part of everything (and so much easier to take care of when there's so much activity, they love it).

Great to have you back!
Maria

Romana said...

wow, wow, wow! you have been crazy busy! and the results already speak for themselves, great job! loving the open cabinets and your living room already looks great! hope you get some sleep now!
Romana

janet said...

welcome back, and oh my gosh i have always wanted to do this to a kitchen, remove top cabinets. Our cabinets arent even two years, there is no way dh would go for it, (they are nothing to write home about) lol i can hardly wait for the day. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful and everything else is looking fantastic too, love your living room. keep sharing
hugs
janet

Catherine@Simply Natural said...

I'm so inspired by what you have achieved in such a sort space of time Lauren. No wonder you are taking a little nap on the couch - you deserve it!
The living room looks like you have been living there for years! The white linen curtains were a great choice and I love that the fireplace adds character and a focal point to the room.
I'm loving the little blue desk, the things you have decorated it with and the painting behind it. Perhaps the colour of the desk could be the new colour for your kitchen cabinets? Kitchen is looking fabulous by the way - loving the crisp black and white theme and that chandelier is fabulous!
But what I love most of all about these pictures is seeing sweet little Christian bobbing up all over the place - it looks like he has had a ball the last two weeks!
Glad to have you back and thanks so much for sharing your journey so far.

Bethany said...

Everything is looking so great. You guys really got to work. The mantel is a total score. I love it. So was your craigslist sofa. Way to go!

Michelle said...

Congrats on home ownership!!!

So much to love...you have a great eye :)

The collinder has a great new location!

Cote de Texas said...

LAUREN!!!! I am SOOOO proud of you!!! It looks so beautiful! I gasped at the kitchen - it is just beautiful! I love the gray cabinets! :( - but I'm sure you will make them better! I love the shelves and the beadboard and that CHANDY!!! omg!!! to die for!

the den is wonderful with the curtains. Curtains make everything better!! love love love what you have done and can't wait for more!!

Congratulations!


Joni

Things That Inspire said...

Wow - you are really transforming the place! The kitchen is particularly striking. The old brown cabinets really dated the place, and the shelves make it so clean and modern. I look forward to seeing more updates!

Kati said...

you've done some amazing work! where did you get those gorgeous table lamps in your living room from??

alice said...

I can't believe you've done all this in 2 weeks. You must be exhausted, but it really looks great. I love the Kitchen. I can't believe it's the same place...totally inspired that I can get my bedroom painted and done this weekend now :)

alice said...

PS- I'm feeling the urge to ditch the greige and incorporate color too.. what is going on!?! Must be the seasons!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Ooooh Welcome back lauren! Missed you!

What tremendous work you have done! Everything looks amazing...the kitchen looks like night vs. day! The wallpaper will be an amazing adition. You remind me of us when we moved in here...non stop work for about 6 weeks!

I love the chandy and I also love the island...what is it? YOUR FURNITURE LOOKS GREAT!

Kudos, girl (and hubby and friends and family!!!)

Kristin Hughes Photography said...

Lauren - It looks amazing. Can I move in? :)

I adore your kitchen and the little breakfast nook.

What are you plans for the dining room?

LindsB said...

HOLY CRAP- YOUR HOUSE LOOKS AMAZING!! I can't get over the before and after of the kitchen- it looks like it was suppose to look in that house all along. Seriously, everything looks so beautiful you did an amazing job, and I can’t WAIT to see what else you have in store for the house!! I'm still in shock, it just looks so fabulous!!

Sweet Nothings said...

yay! its looking great!

Anonymous said...

I've been dying to see the first "after" photos of your house. It looks great! I'm glad that you decided on the pineapple wallpaper because it is more neutral. I love the way the curtains turned out. Will you have shades or is it private enough that the windows can be left uncovered? I'm looking forward to seeing the reupholstered sofa!
Noelle

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Lauren!!! Your home looks great! I wish I had your DIY spirit. My husband isn't too handy and I'm a big chicken when it comes to projects.

Nice work!

Lauren said...

Thanks everyone so much for all the sweet encouraging comments!!! (The lamps are from Arteriors Home and the sofa is Restoration Hardware) xoxoxoxo

brynalexandra said...

You are so extremely talented!! The work you have done, and in such little time, is truly breathtaking. I can't wait to see more!!!!

BethanyEyre said...

I can't believe this! It's amazing how much you've accomplished. I've been trying to sort out window treatments in my home for ages. Where did you find the curtain rods? Are curtains difficult to sew?

kathleen said...

How industrious! The kitchen transformation is fantastic. I don't have upper cabinets in my kitchen, but if I did, I removed them immediately and put up shelves. Nice work.

ness lockyer said...

It is looking great...you really get going dont you???
Guess what?...YOU WON MY GIVEAWAY!!! So just email me at marleyandlockyer@gmail.com and I will post them over to you.
Congratulations.
Ness xx

Maria Killam said...

I came back to look at your wonderful transformed house! Love it!

Haven and Home said...

Oh my gosh, you are a genius. I can't believe how wonderful your kitchen looks! The house is coming along amazingly, I can't believe it has only been a few weeks!

PS- Christian is the CUTEST boy!!!!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

You are definitely inspiring! I can't believe it. I'm going to go study these pictures more! Thanks.

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

oh wow you have done such an amazing job....I particularly love your kitchen it's absolutely fab....well done.....enjoy your home sweeeeeet home xxx

Jackie Von Tobel said...

WHOOOAAA, what a transformation - you have great vision! I love love love the kitchen re-do, as well as everything else. Enjoy your new home and take it easy.

Love Where You Live said...

This is beyond impressive. You've done sooo much so quickly. You are passionate. REally nice, Lauren. I can't wait to see more....!!! Have fun, as I know you are. -susan

nkp said...

I am so inspired with the way you have transformed your kitchen. It already looks fantastic, but that wallpaper is going to make it absolutely stunning. I have been itching to paint my cabinets and am closer to taking the plunge now that I have seen your talented efforts.

Your home looks beautiful, especially considering your recent move. I am WOWED!

Rachel said...

WOW!! Thanks for sharing your new home with us. It's wonderful. I love the new feel of that kitchen!!

KatyO! said...

found you through Everything LEB. great kitchen redo!! love the entire look ... good job!!!

paula said...

I am in awe, such beautiful work. I just love the open shelving and that light fixture is stunning. So happy you got it:)

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Lauren! The kitchen looks Uh-Ma-Zing! Yee-Haw! ;)

Terri said...

Lauren, your house is GORGEOUS. You are my fave decorator by far - your style is so natural and yet refined. I love everything you guys did! The kitchen is gorgeous - can't rave enough about how impressed I am. You must be thrilled in your bright new house. And what a gorgeous family - your little boy is just a darling and what a good helper.

Big hug, xo Terri

Tennille said...

Lauren, Your house is BEAUTIFUL!!! I cannot wait to see more:) Thanks so much for sharing-

Chris said...

That is quite amazing , wow you are making me think , oh no this could get messy .
Keep up all the good work .
Chris

Sherri Wheat said...

I love love LOVE the new look of the kitchen...actually the beadboard and the shelves are things that I am wanting to do to our kitchen but I was planning on doing that to the opposite wall and not take down the cabinets. Now...you've given me new ideas! I think I will try to talk my husband into taking down the cabinets.Wish me luck on that one:)
Btw,where did ya'll get the shelves?

Thanks,Sherri

Meg said...

I'm hooked. This is my new favorite blog. I've never seen anything that is more my taste than your decorating!!!

Jennifer said...

I just found your blog and absolutely LOVE it!! I am curious what you have in your kitchen as the island/table. I have been looking for something to go in mine and I love the look of yours. Do you use it to eat at or do you use it for prep work as well? Thanks so much!

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

Hi, Lauren! I just got back from a two-week trip and I'm blown away by how much you've accomplished in your new house! The kitchen is FABULOUS - the wall, the shelving, the lighting - it all looks amazing! The living room looks great, too. I love that curved chair, the lamps, the drapes are perfect and all of your little touches are so pretty. And your Saarinen looks great! I actually think you made the right choice in not going with the real thing- despite what I said earlier. When you're furnishing a new house, I think there are better ways to spend your money. Anyway, great job! You are amazing and so is your house. xoxo, ALEK

Pink Wallpaper said...

hey lauren, i have been so out of the loop but i wanted to tell you how great your house is looking and i can't wait to follow your progress!! you have me itching to move!

Lauren said...

Your kitchen looks fabulous! I totally understand craving color though... I love reading your blog, and can't wait to see more of your new house!

Vanya @ Endless Inspiration said...

its looking great, the kitchen is a triumph - well done!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I cannot believe the transformation of your kitchen! That is so fantastic and so inspiring. I have a wall of open shelves in my current rental and I love, love, love them. So easy to get and put daily use items away. Will definitely be doing the same for my 'dream home' one day. I had to laugh about your need for colour. I personally loooooove colour on the walls and like to have neutral furnishings and the last two rental homes I have had have all white walls which drive me nuts until I can put up some colourful artwork! Seriously, it sends me crazy...