At Least I Didn't Get Drunk With the Busboys.


So I turned 30 on Monday. 30. I don't know what 30 is supposed to look like, but I have this strong sense that I should be dressing better. You know...not so much like a college kid.

Besides being a bit sad (more for comedic affect rather than really being sad. Sort of), I had a pretty good thirtieth. Herman got me an iPod touch, which is definitely one of the coolest things I now own and makes my sad old iPod look, well...sad and old. And clunky. He also got me a few movies (including this one that I've been wanting for a long time) and a speaker dock thingy to plug my new iPod into. Woot!

My day was filled with heartfelt birthday wishes (some of which made me tear up a bit), cool gifts, my favorite foods, tulips, friends, family, and French macarons (yum!). All in all, not too shabby for a thirtieth birthday. A big thanks to all of you!

"Can I keep the presents and still be 29?"

Last Part of the Tour.


So today's the last part of the house tour. Are you glad? Can you tell I really have tried to stretch this baby out to look like I blog on a regular basis?

This is the hallway/laundry area at the top of the stairs on the second (or is it third? I don't know if we count our garage as the first floor or not) floor.

I absolutely adore these Michael Sowa prints that sit at the top of the stairs. I first feel in love with them when watching Amélie, but had no idea who made them or if they were just made for the movie. About a year ago, I found out who the artist was, and my bff (*wink*) Sumiko got me the dog for my last birthday (which actually has significance beyond my love of the print) and I got the regal eagle (hen? peacock?) to complete the collection before we moved in. There's such an air of mock seriousness in them and it makes me smile to see them every day.

Before we found this house, I told Herman that one of my wishes (that I didn't think would happen) would be to have a laundry room near the bedrooms. In Florida I got so tired of dragging laundry up and down the stairs, and of course, in Providence we had to use communal laundry rooms (bleh). So this is definitely one of my favorite things about this house. Although, it is a very small closet and they "highly recommended" getting a junior washer and dryer, Herman and I weren't too excited about that, so we took the door off of the laundry closet and went for the full size ones. And I'm glad we did.

Because I used a wide angle lens, this area is looking a lot bigger than it really is (and white. The walls are actually the same light gray as the office). So you can imagine what a pain in the arse it was, first, for the Sears guys to install the washer and dryer and then, with the water overflow situation, for the construction guys to come in and fix everything. I have to say though, that it's nice that doing laundry is no longer a much dreaded chore.

In our master bedroom, it was all about creating a comfortable, soothing, and relaxing space, and finding the perfect shade of blue was a huge part of that.

We also wanted to make the space personal and full of the lovey-dovey stuff that I usually laugh at...only we tried to do the lovey-dovey stuff in a cool way, of course. The red print above our bed on the right is a screen print that says, "All You Need is Love". I got it for us for Valentines day (awww...) because of our love of a certain Beatles song (trust me, you'll want to follow that link. I might have watched that a crazy number of times, and it may or may not be my ring tone). The other screen print says "We Are So Good Together", and was an extremely hard to track down because it's always sold out. On the right is this great bird mobile that I love, and that Dexter sometimes thinks he needs to attack, but, thank goodness, hasn't yet.

Our vows, a pop of color (love from Paris!), our very own Eiffel Tower (thanks Dean and Soom!), and some old cameras - one belonged to my grandmother, the other to my great grandmother.

About three years ago, I stepped into a friends house in Providence in which the living room was painted a beautiful brown color. I decided then and there that if we ever had a place of our own, I'd have to have brown walls somewhere. Herman was sort of hesitant about it at first, being sort of unsure about how heavy it might end up feeling. But when I got done painting the brown wall in our bedroom, he loved it. So much that we even ended up using a lot of brown in our bathroom as well (unfortunately, I don't have photos of the bathroom. There is no natural light in there, so the photos weren't coming out very well). Now, I know that a lot of people think that the whole brown/light blue trend is one that has passed, but we still love it. And just so you know, painting this wall was like painting with milk chocolate it went on so nice and deliciously.

I absolutely love have a smaller living space. And since we got to start over from scratch, we were really able to edit the junk out of our lives. But one problem we ran into was what to do with all of our books. We've had to spread them out between all of the bedrooms, and are even planning on putting bookshelves in the garage to contain the overflow. For this room, we bought the Ikea Lack floating shelves which are stronger than I thought they'd be and easily hold our collection of classics. And an owl. Naturally. We call her Helga. She's the robust German bride of our dear Bernardo.

This is one of my favorite corners of my house. Right now, we just have an extra dining room chair here, but my dream is to have this guy sitting here. But he's quite expensive and it'll take me awhile to save up for 2 (yes, two. One here, one downstairs) of them. I put my favorite pair of shoes here because they make me happy.

Just so you can see better the layout of the top floor. And Dexter.

When Herman and I were in Paris, one of our favorite places (besides Montmarte) was Île Saint-Louis (Amy, did you and Justin spend much time there?). During our last week, we were walking around there, and came across this little gallery that was showing the work of graphic artist Ted Naifeh. I love this sort of work, and we were so disappointed that the gallery was already closed. But we went back the next day, perused the gallery, and bought this poster which shows one of his characters, Courtney Crumrin, walking down the same street in Paris that the gallery is on (the street that I took this photo on). We managed to get it back in one piece and now it's safely framed and hanging in our room.

So there you have it. Our house. And of course, more photos on flickr. Hope I didn't bore you too much.

What am I going to post about now?

Guest Room


One good thing about having little disasters strike in a new home built in a community is that there is a one year period where you can call on said community to come to your aid, especially if there is water coming out of your ceiling.

Yesterday, the customer service guy and some of the construction guys came over, pulled out the washer and dryer and tried to figure out what was wrong. They ended up snaking the pipes, then cutting a hole in the laundry room area to see if they could figure it out. The good thing is that whatever was blocking the pipe must've been pushed through because when we ran the washer again there were no problems. They then patched up the wall and went downstairs to the kitchen to fix our ceiling. Luckily the water damage was minimal (seeing as how the bulk of the water came out the fire sprinkler hole), but they cut a huge hole in our ceiling just to make sure, then cut out the wet spots, and immediately patched it back up. (E - I was going to take a picture of the huge hole in my kitchen ceiling...but I couldn't get to my camera before they had it patched up). The good news is that I ran a load of laundry today and all the water stayed where it should. Woot!

So on with the tour!

Should you ever come to the SF Bay Area and need a place to stay, this is the room you will be staying in:

As you can see, there is a huge (yes, it takes up most of the room) comfy bed, and plenty of reading materials to keep you occupied.

And an owl, of course. If you are lucky, he might be filled with candy.

I saw this screen printed typographic poster awhile ago on some design blog and the graphic designer in me met the SF lover in me and we both leaped for joy and then immediately bought one. It's really quite beautiful (they also have Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Manhattan) and impressive.

Remember the Manhattan mist paint color that turned out lavender in our office that I had to paint over? Well, we decided that we would put it here in the guest room. For the most part, it looks like a nice gray, but in low light the lavender really comes out, but it's the guest room and seems to go well with the bedding, so I'm pretty happy (plus, I really didn't want to repaint another room).

And added bonus - a private bathroom! Definitely nice.

See more on Flickr! Tomorrow I'll finish (so soon?) the tour with our bedroom, one of my favorite rooms in the house.

I Called It!


So, no house tour today. Mainly because I came home from running errands and found a HUGE puddle of water in the middle of my kitchen. From whence did it come? The frickin' laundry closet...upstairs. See, I left a load of wash washing when I went out, not knowing that the stand pipe would decide to reject the water all over the floor.

I freaked out. Then called some good, some great friends, who rushed to my aid. Now I have to wait until tomorrow morning when some construction dudes come over to figure out what's going on.

Did I mention that the ceiling in my kitchen is leaking? And that my husband is currently half way around the world? Seriously, freaky things happen when that guy goes away.

If I find time tomorrow I'll post the guest room.

Office/Studio Space!


Before I went back to school I didn't really care about having my own space to work in our house. In Florida, the office room was Herman's to do with whatever he wanted. In Providence, we didn't have an extra room, so we split our living room in half and each set up a work space. I needed it, obviously, since I was creating everything by hand, printing daily, etc.

So when we moved into our new place, it was super important for me to maintain a space to work (freelance projects, personal projects, etc). The original idea was to split the office in half, but we soon decided instead to break it up according to needs. And I, apparently, have more space needs than Herman (and you'll notice that I've artfully photographed my space without you seeing his space. His space is sort of messy). There's the desk for my computer, then the bookshelf that holds all of my design books/magazines/supplies, then another desk for my printers and space for an inspiration board and Steve Nash poster. Naturally. I've also got drawer unit in the closet for all of my paper goods (love, love, love it and sort of want another one to stack on top of this one). I didn't photograph that though because our closet is a mess and half of it is Dexter's litter room.

The space works nicely, and for as much stuff as we have stuffed in there feels pretty open. I had to paint this room twice. The first time I painted I used Behr's "Manhattan Mist" which was supposed to be a nice neutral gray, but ended up looking lavender in the room. We did not want a lavender room, so I went out and bought Behr's "Silver Tradition" which worked much better (and is also what I painted the downstairs bathroom).

My inspiration board is where I like to layer up all the things I like to look at, or things that, well...inspire me. This is also the desk that holds my laser printer (the jumbo gray one), and my new large format Canon inkjet printer. I've been working on a couple of freelance projects, so it's nice to have a space that is comfortable and inspiring to work in. I also am going to start looking for a job soon, which means putting together portfolios and leaving pieces, so my inkjet will really be put to use.

So awhile ago, I blogged about the owls that started the owl obsession after seeing them in a little store in Providence, then being delighted to find them for sale at Anthropologie. Well, funny story. A couple of weeks ago, Herman and I were in a local Asian supermarket, getting a few groceries, when I wandered down the dishes aisle. I noticed another young woman with a baby strapped to her who was also wandering down the same aisle. At the same moment, we both spotted the very same owls that Anthropologie sells, in different colors, and in big mug form, and exclaimed "I've seen those at Anthropologie!" I drug Herman over and spent a good five minutes trying to decide between the white owl, the brown owl, or the gray owl. I got the brown owl, and Herman said I can get the white one later (woot!). Considering that these little mugs are only $7, and a lot more expensive elsewhere, I'd say it's a good deal.

Most of the books on this bookshelf are all design related, but I do have a few that I wanted to keep here as well. And in the interest of full disclosure (because there's no secrets between us!) I've posted a close up for you to see. Much of my geekiness (dorkiness? nerdiness?) will be found right here in my personal work space. Yes, that's an original Return of the Jedi lunch box. I had one when I was a kid and absolutely loved it. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I found this one (in almost mint condition) on ebay about a year ago. The Star Wars pop up book was a Christmas gift from Herman (and even Sumiko, who has no interest in Star Wars will tell you it's easily one of the coolest things).

So that's our office/studio space. Minus Herman's work space, that is. Over the weekend I'll post photos of the guest room for you. And as I did yesterday, I've put up more photos on Flickr.

Let the Open House Begin.


So it's hard to believe that we've been in our house for over 2 months. I've worked hard and am so happy with how everything has turned out. It feels so comfortable, relaxing, and peaceful. Just what we wanted our home to be. We are settled in and prepared to stay for awhile!

Remember these photos? The before of the pristine floors and white walls? I loved that first day when everything was new and fresh and waiting for us to put our stamp on the place. And we did...

Welcome to our home!

This is the view from the far corner of our living room (by the big window). The area is quite small, but with all of the open spaces it feels very comfortable.

The couch is from Macy's (from a collection that shall remain nameless here, given that I vowed never to go over to the dark side, but couldn't help it when we fell in love with the couch. If you really want to here). We were really lucky that our house closed at the end of January, for a number of reasons: 1. Our families gave us much needed gift cards to places that we really love - Crate and Barrel, Ikea, etc. and 2. We got to catch all of the great after Christmas sales. Our couch was 30% off, and we got a great deal on the shag rug and our appliances.

When we were living in Florida, we had a huge dining area, and Herman and I saved up to buy this beautiful table and these chairs. We loved it and were sad to leave it in storage when we moved to Providence. We figured we'd move it back to CA, but as soon as we moved into our place we realized our space would not fit our beloved table! So we bequeathed it to our good friends Larry and Amanda, who needed a dining set. That still left us without so I eventually found this great little table from West Elm, which fits perfectly in our space and opens to seat at least six. Plus, as an added bonus, one of Herman's aunt and uncle's bought it for us as a house warming gift. So nice! We loved the look of these chairs with the table, but didn't want to pay that much, so we opted for the Ikea version.

Awhile ago, Herman and I decided that we really wanted to fill our home with mostly original art that supported independent artists (think etsy, blue flip art, tiny showcase, etc.). With so many affordable options available, I've been collecting pieces for the past year and a half. We created this art wall to showcase a lot of it.

This is the view of the landing that goes down to the front door and up the stairs.

The kitchen. Still loving the subway tiles. And yes, our fridge is huge. Sumiko likes to say that all of our appliances are on steroids. She might be right...

Herman and I've been married for almost seven (7!) years, and I would get so tired of hearing him ask me, "Where are my keys?" or "Have you seen my wallet?". So, before we moved in I thought and thought about options that would keep me from hearing those questions again. What I finally landed on was getting this shelf and placing it on the wall directly in front of the garage door. You come in and voilà! You automatically have a place to put your keys and wallet. I also put a small dish on there for coins, and pretty-ed it up a bit with a small letterpress calendar, a print by one of my all time favorite artists, a letterpress postcard proclaiming that picky eaters need coffee, and (my favorite) a little postcard from this great kids store in Montmarte, Paris (roll my chicken!). It's become one of my favorite little spots in our house, and really, it works like a dream. Herman hasn't lost his wallet, keys, or phone once since we moved in!

Cot! Cot!

For a town house with less than 1200 square feet, the space is really well planned. 3 bedrooms and three full baths. Lucky us!

I took a ton more photos, but didn't want to overload the blog with them, so I put them up on my flickr page. Enjoy (if you want, that is...)!

Tomorrow I'll show you our office and my studio space. Thanks for looking!

Stay Tuned.


For the few of you faithful readers...I've finally photographed our entire house! Over the next few days or so I'll be posting all of the after (and a few of the before) photos.

I'm so happy with how things have turned out, and super excited to share it with you!

Tomorrow: the main living areas. Friday: our office/my studio space.

When "The Deal" Sort of Sucks.


I'm pretty lucky in the husband department for many reasons, most that I've mentioned here before. One that I'm really thankful for is that we share similar tastes when it comes to what to do with our home. And, unlike a lot of husbands, he really cares about these things.

There are still those times though, when ours desires really clash. For instance, he would really like to have an oriental rug (he sort of fell in love with them when we were in Turkey last year), but they are something that I really can't get behind putting in our home (I appreciate the craft...just don't like how they look).

So we came up with a deal for these sort of situations and it goes a little like this: if one of us sees something that the other doesn't really like, but can live with (ie, my current owl obsession), we give the go ahead to get said thing. But if one of really likes something that the other really, really doesn't like (ie, his desire for an oriental rug), we have to let it go.

So far, it's worked quite well for us, and we've both gladly given up a number of things. Until I fell in love with this print...and Herman really didn't like it. le sigh.

So one of you needs to give this lovely little print a home. Preferably someone who will let me admire it from afar from time to time.

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