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Do You Have a (House) Type?

23 Jul

While I was organizing my Pinterest boards (so strangely satisfying!) I discovered something about myself.

I totally have a type…a type of home that is.

Check out these homes I’ve pinned to my My Home page.

Source: bhg.com via Katie on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Katie on Pinterest

 

 

Classic with a porch, anyone? I love a traditional home, especially a bungalow. Throw in some worn brick or stone, a hardwood front porch and dark shutters, and I’m in heaven.

How about you? Do you Pinterest boards reveal a type?

If not, check out this fun little quiz to determine your house type.

My result?

Historic Fixer Upper! I’d say that pretty much nails it for this DIY antique-crazy girl!

What are your results?

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Pretty Across the Pond: England

13 Jan

Take an American girl with an obsession for antiques and hats, plop her down in the middle of the English countryside with a cute baby and a dear friend and what do you get?

Basically the best week ever.

Last spring I was fortunate enough to visit my dear friends Abby and Simon for their son Harry’s christening in England. Harry just happens to be my godson and the cutest baby ever.

I’d been to London once as a teenager, and it’s lovely, but this trip was where I fell in love with parts of the rest of the country. It’s a long-distance relationship but I’d say it’s pretty serious.

As I was sorting through photos to print for my upcoming gallery wall, I decided to share just how pretty this country is. If you’ve been there, you know. If you haven’t, find a way. Perhaps Kate Middleton needs an assistant or something.

Notting Hill House

First up, the village of South Zeal in Devon (Southern England).

This was the first of many homes I fell in love with while visiting and it just happens to be the home of one of Abby’s neighbors. The entire street winds up a hillside as if drawn by Bert himself. There are even sheep grazing across the road. Sheep!

South Zeal

Photo courtesy of Geograph.org.uk

Anyway, back to the house. Blue door, blue gate and English bluebells, all set perfectly against century old stone. I’m not sure how old this home is, but there are some on the street that date back to the 1600s. Between that little fact, the blue door and the sheep, I was ready to move in.

South Zeal Pub

Next up, the village pub, Oxenham Arms. It’s been in this very spot since the 12th century. I’ll just let that little gem sink in for a moment. We had a drink here, where I naturally had a pint of that week’s special, Kate Loves Willie (I arrived the day after Prince William said I Do). Who doesn’t love a slightly off-color Royal Wedding joke while sitting in a 12th century bar?

The people at this place were lovely and highly entertained by the fact that I was from the American South. It probably had to do with the fact that in between calling them “y’all” I repeatedly asked if they realized just how old this place was.

They did.

Here are some more photos of places in and around Devon. The area is surrounded by the moors and is beautiful at every turn.

Devonshire Cream Tea

This is the place I experienced Devon Cream Tea, the area’s speciality. It was good, but I most enjoyed the scenery. I could have stayed and listened to this brook for hours.

Horses in Devon

Path Sign

Stone Wall

Abby, Harry and I took a day trip to Dartmouth, a town at the mouth of the Dart river that sits on the Atlantic Ocean. It turned out to be my favorite place we visited.

Hogwarts Express

We took the Hogwarts Express Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway to Kingwear Railway Station, where we hopped a ferry to cross the Dart River.

Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway

Dartmouth

Dartmouth

Dartmouth

Atlantic Ocean from Dartmouth

Atlantic Ocean from Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth dates back to medieval times and like any proper English town, it has its own castle. Abby and I hiked up to it (pushing a baby stroller) and were greeted with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

On the way back down, we stumbled upon (probably literally – it was quite steep) the place where the Mayflower was docked before setting off for America. This history nerd just had to have a photo.

Dartmouth

After spending the first part of the week down South, we packed up and headed North for Mr. Harry’s christening. And now…the cutest baby in the world:

Harry

Told ya. That little guy is a heartbreaker.

We traveled to Preston for the christening. While there, we took a little day trip into the famed Lake District, which lives up to its reputation. It reminded me a bit of part of the Blue Ridge Trail through the Appalachian Mountains. Oh, and also, The Land Before Time.

The Lake District England

The Lake District England

The Lake District England

The Lake District

The Lake District England

Oh, England. It was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to return.

Have you been to England? What is your favorite part?

A Few Suggestions for Elin’s Dream Home

11 Jan

As you may have heard, Elin Nordegren (Tiger Woods’ ex-wife) recently bought a $12 million Florida mansion. She then promptly had it demolished.

No, Tiger wasn’t in it. And, turns out, she had a good reason – termites. The 1920s mansion was crawling with them and it was beyond repair.

Here’s the house before the wrecking crew got a hold of it:

Elin Nordegren Home

Beautiful! But, not so lovely when it’s being chomped at by creepy crawly creatures, I’m sure.

It turns out Elin saw the beauty in the home too and she has decided to build a close replica of it on the property – that means nine bedrooms, two kitchens, two Jacuzzis, a pool cabana and a three-bedroom guest house.

My dear Elin…may I offer some suggestions for filling your lovely new space? By the way, I’m available to move into the guest house at anytime.

Source: themetapicture.com via Katie on Pinterest

Recommendation number one, an in-home lazy river. Your first thought might be, “Why would anyone need this?” Just hang with me for a second. You are not just anyone. You are a woman with the ability to tear down a $12 million mansion and start a new one in its place, all in the span of a couple of weeks. If you can’t have a lazy river in your house, who can? Plus, it’d a real time saver when traveling from kitchen to kitchen. It’s simple logistics, really.

Source: apartment34.blogspot.com via Nichole on Pinterest

Speaking of kitchens, plural. Make one of them your show kitchen. You know, the pretty cake that gets the bride-and-groom topper, not the hardworking sheet cake behind the caterers’ cart. Because if you’re going to have two kitchens, why not? Who cares if this one doesn’t contain “plates,” or “silverware” or “food.” This one is impressive. And nobody tears down and rebuilds a $12 million mansion to blend into the shadows.

Source: houzz.com via Katie on Pinterest

And, then…let’s just behold the wonder that is this closet. Can it really even be called a closet if it has its own telephone? One of these clothing palaces is obviously necessary in each of the nine bedrooms. A girl’s got to see what her attire options are for all activities, whether it’s bulldozing or floating through the dining room.

So there you go Elin – a little help from me to you. Hopefully you’ll take it to heart. And seriously, the guest house will be just fine for me.

Got any suggestions for Elin’s dream home? Leave them in the comments or link to Pinterest!

HGTV Dream Home 2012

4 Jan

Every year, HGTV gives away a house. A whole house.

And every year, I think how overwhelming it must be to win a house. A house! But overwhelming in a good way of course – a problem I could certainly get on board with.

This year’s house is in Utah and its rustic exterior and interior match the landscape. As with most of the giveaway houses of the past, I like some of the decor choices and I’m not a fan of others. Let’s explore:

HGTV Dream Home Foyer

I love the front door and the hardwood floor (which flows throughout the home) is stunning. I’m also intrigued by the art on the wall. What do you think? It looks somewhat modern, but understated.

HGTV Dream Home Great Room

The great room is a stunner. That stone! I’d move in for the fireplace alone. Two things I’m not a fan of in this room: The painted white walls above the stone (I’d much prefer a more rustic stained wood) and the blue-checked chairs (they seem a little out of place to me).

HGTV Dream Home Master Bath

The master bathroom is beautiful and naturally sunlit. Is that penny tile? I like the way it’s neutral but still visually striking. Ah, and a bathtub. In my bathtub-less existence, the mere presence of a tub inspires high marks from me.

HGTV Dream Home Outdoor Living Room

If the great room fireplace sells the house, this fireplace is the cherry on top. I love outdoor living space and the stone makes this a natural extension of the interior. In continuing the looking-a-gift-horse-in-the-mouth theme of this post, I’m not a fan of the glass-topped decorator tables or the blue striped pillows. But I’d gladly overlook them as I settled in with a book in this spot.

To see all of the rooms in the 2012 HGTV Dream House and register to win the house (really! a whole house!) check it out here.

What do you think? What rooms do you like best?

It’s a Wonderful Life (and a DIY Home Makeover)

5 Dec

Ahh, Bedford Falls.

Bedford Falls

It may be my favorite movie town. Snowy streets, twinkle lights and frosty windows – who wouldn’t want to live there? Well, George Bailey, at least at first, but that’s kind of the whole point of the movie…

Anyway, in addition to the classic charm of It’s a Wonderful Life, it’s also one of the best DIY home makeover stories of all time.

Don’t believe me? Read on…

Bailey house

Here’s the old Granville house, the house everyone but young Mary thinks is uninhabitable. It’s even become a neighborhood game to throw rocks through the windows.

The home has been vacant for at least 20 years (seems to have been a rough 20 years from the looks of the place, but just go with it.). Mary sees its potential and she wants to live there one day.

That’s a girl with vision.

Mary gets her wish when she marries George and they move into the dilapidated house. At first, it’s a wreck. Leaking ceilings, broken windows, creaking staircases…but Mary knows it has good bones, as they say, and gets to work.

Mary Wallpaper

As her family grows, she makes the house into a home, one room at a time.

And, she wears cute little dresses and hats while doing it!

I think part of the reason I love this movie so much is because I secretly want to be Mary.

Bailey Bedroom

She makes a romantic honeymoon suite for herself and George and later creates a cozy master bedroom. In the movie, you can see the room is filled with what is clearly an eclectic mix of furniture, like this beautiful wrought iron bed.

It's a Wonderful Life Zhu Zhu room

Later, Mary creates a whimsical little bedroom upstairs for her children. Even though the kids are bunking together, the room feels warm and playful.

It's a Wonderful Life Stairs

There are still quirks to the old house, but it’s all part of the charm. The loose part of the bannister plays a key role in the movie. When George is frustrated, he sees it as one more thing in his life that isn’t perfect. But once he realizes that it really is a wonderful life (c’mon, you knew that was coming) the broken old banister makes him happy to be home.

It's a Wonderful Life Living Room

This is the ultimate reveal.

The Bailey’s living room went from having a caved-in ceiling and rotting floor boards to being the setting of the ultimate Christmas scene. The Merry Christmas banner and tinsel covered tree, along with the toys scattered about, complete the transformation of the old Granville house into the Bailey home.

What are your favorite Christmas movies? Any other great home transformations caught on film?

Dreamy Kitchens

18 Nov

Happy Friday!

It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving and that makes me think of all the yumminess that will happen in the week ahead. And parades. But mostly yumminess.

And where’s all that yumminess coming from? If you’re lucky, it’s coming from one of these to-die-for kitchens.

Let’s do a little dreaming, shall we?

brick ceiling kitchen

via Pinterest

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Perfection. That ceiling gives me goose bumps – arched brick and wood beams? Yes please. And a chandelier. C’mon, people. Who doesn’t secretly want a chandelier in their kitchen? (Or, more realistically, who never really thought about it but now wants one really badly?) And don’t even get me started on those floors. I could make some serious turkey in here.

pantry

click for source

A walk-in pantry – the perfect accessory to the perfect kitchen. No more rummaging through drawers or navigating a packed counter at Thanksgiving – it’d all be neatly tucked away. And being able to see everything you have would cut down tremendously on re-buying the same cans of pumpkin on every November shopping trip. (Seriously. Dark pantry + the lure of pumpkin spice has resulted in a serious pumpkin surplus at my house.)

dream kitchen

Dark wood and white cabinets are the kitchen equivalent of true love. It just works. These floors go on for miles so Thanksgiving prep would be a breeze no matter how many people are milling about. And they’re just calling out for slippered feet.

And can we just take a moment to stare at that tile? Lovely. I’m also a fan of the beautiful wood table in the center – such a gathering kitchen, perfect for the holiday.

aqua sink

To close out the kitchen dreaming…what’s Thanksgiving prep without the perfect sink? And why shouldn’t it be encased in aqua cabinetry? This is my dream sink, large enough for just about anything you can imagine but still a piece of art in its own right. Plus, I’m a sucker for a giant over-the-sink window (especially with that view).

What’s your dream kitchen look like? If you could add one thing to your current kitchen, what would it be?