Category Archives: Everyone's an interior designer

Not that I’m suggesting you’re bored

But, you know, if you’re looking for something to do besides watch me not have contractions. (For the record, I usually feel like I could be in labor everyday for the last month. I usually have tons of contractions. It’s disconcerting that I’m not. Although, less painful, so I should be thankful, I guess.)

I’ll let you know when I get desperate and decide to go “jogging” at 9 months like my friend who shall remain nameless. (I’m sure those people slowing down to stare were just concerned for your safety.) (They probably weren’t laughing at you.)

Anyway, back to my point. Sometimes I run across things on the internet and I think, why didn’t someone tell me about this sooner? So, I’m going to be the friend who tells you about it.

Have you ever heard of Houzz.com? If you like to look at houses, for fun and education, this is my favorite site. You can theoretically, spend hours just looking at pretty kitchens. (Not that I would ever do that. Or go to bed at 2 am because of it. Ahem!) Or built-in bookcases. Or just colors that appeal to you. (Who knew I liked blue and orange so much?) (And, strangely, I like their iphone app as much as the website. That’s never happened with any other website.)

Pinterest.com is somewhat new, and I find it a little confusing still (or maybe chaotic?) but, it pulls me in every few days. It’s basically a place to put pictures (which are really only useful if they’re linked) for things that you like. The best part is when you follow someone. Because then you can look at their pretty pictures.

I tend to assume everyone has heard of Etsy.com, and yet I still run into people who’ve never been there. I just can’t imagine. I love etsy.com. It’s basically my go-to place for unique things. Everything is either handmade or “vintage” (found at a thrift store or garage sale and resold). You do have to wade through a lot of junk sometimes, but the nice thing is that you can save your favorites in your folder and then you can often find new things through other’s links, which means after awhile you don’t have to sift through the junk to find what you’re looking for. And what amazes me is that some people that I’ve followed for years are now selling their wares in big name shops (Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters, anyone?). (it’s mostly people who make jewelry and clothes but I’m sure there are others.) So, do you think Mr. French would let me redecorate our theoretical family room with a map theme? ‘Cause I really want this pillow. And this would be perfect in my old kitchen. And wouldn’t this be funny on our French letter bedspread? And last, but not least, do you think I could get this with a bowtie? (I mean, if we have a boy.)

And for a random assortment of blogs that you might find interesting:

Annie’s eats

Clients from Hell

Reagan’s Blob

Tales of me and the husband -I like to read other people’s stories.

August Fields -They built a house that I would gladly move into tomorrow.

Knight Moves -I would also move directly into her house, but maybe not with my kids.

The Local -This one might be hard to explain but I guess I find it interesting to see news from another country’s perspective. (Why not Sweden?)

22 words -the name doesn’t match the random assortment of stuff you can find on this site. But it’s usually interesting.

There you go. Something for everyone.

I would go for a jog now, but it is 103 outside. I think I’ll put it off until tomorrow when it’s supposed to be 105.

(Mr. French was just telling me that he was telling people at work that he was taking me to Six Flags this afternoon to ride rollercoasters. At least the kids will have fun. 🙂 )

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Filed under Apparently I have no shame, Everyone's an interior designer, She's having a baby

And then I ate my words…

I’m not a big fan of the over-stuffed, over-sized furniture thing. It’s just not my style. I’m fine if you like it, it’s just not something I would pick.

Normally.

But I guess I have a high tolerance for change.

I think I can make do with a lot. I have my limits, but I can make do with a small apartment in a questionable area of town with a distinct lack of furniture for 8 months or so.

Maybe it’s the baby coming or the realization that what can be bought on Craig’s list, can also be sold on Craig’s list, but we’ve recently acquired some furniture.

If I saw this couch in the store, I wouldn’t look at it twice (unless Mr. French made me). But I have to say, I really like this couch.

First, it’s huge. Eight feet long, in fact.

It’s as wide as a single bed and all six of us fit comfortably on it, right in a row. Plus, there’s an ottoman, which I never realized was such a genius invention.

So, in short, I love my very large, oversized, comfortable couch.

And you want to hear something funny? The people who sold it also have the matching loveseat and chair. They got rid of the couch because it was just so huge.

(I didn’t move any toys or children, nor straighten the cushions so that my friend, who thinks I keep a tidy house all the time, can be assured that, in fact, I don’t.)

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Filed under Everyone's an interior designer, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French

I had a dream…

the other night that I was painting our bedroom. About half way through the prep work, I was thinking I really wish this was done already.

What a relief when I woke up in a barely furnished beige apartment, huh?

But, actually, come to think of it, I did just paint my bedroom.

And this is how it turned out.

(Just kidding. We’ll call this before.)

This was last summer, as you can probably tell by the gentle mid-summer light streaming in from the east window and dancing off the walls. Or by Felicity’s shorter hair. It’s probably all the same.

(Those are my paint clothes, by the way. I wouldn’t normally put them on the internet but I thought you’d enjoy the contrast.)

(Of Felicity! Not my clothes. Just the contrast of Felicity’s younger self with her um, older…uhh… Oh! Hey, look! Another picture’s coming up.)

This is late at night, after the walls were primed. I stayed at the “woods house” for a week by myself with all the kids so that I could paint the bedroom. I could only paint at night and during naptime. Mr. French thought it must have been like a vacation or something.

This is after I painted but before we finished decorating.

If you’re paying attention (and I’m sure you were!) you’ll notice the seasons changed. We not fast decorators. Apparently.

Also, we should maybe think about curtains.

Someday.

That’s a new picture over our bed. We saw the original (after we obtained this print) at the Cleveland Art Museum when we went for our 10th anniversary.

I’ve had that dresser for the last 18-20 years, I think. Mr. French’s was from his grandfather. Someday, maybe we’ll get matching dressers. (I just realized that I could say the same thing for the nightstands.)

I think this is the first time that we’ve actually decorated our bedroom.

Better late than never, I say.

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Filed under Everyone's an interior designer, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French

Since no one bothered to ask…

Did you see that massive picture hanging over our “dining room” table?

Let’s back up a minute, shall we?

Mr. French buys all the pictures for our walls. End of story. I entered this marriage inheriting more pictures than anyone I knew even possessed. We’ve since bought more.

But, here’s the kicker.

We didn’t bring any with us to Texas.

I know. And that would be the second time we’ve done that.

But fear not. Mr. French, as only Mr. French would, procured a new picture for himself.

And let me say one more thing. There is no way on earth I would’ve done what Mr. French did to procure this picture.

NO way.

But only because I’m a chicken and not because it’s illegal or anything. (just wanted to clarify.)

So, we’re looking on Craig’s list for a used washer and dryer. And boy, is that a story for another day. Like when someone tells you they’re “right at Hwy 1604 and something exit” but they’re, in fact, three miles off 1604 and something exit and also on some no-name pot-holed dirt road in some backwoods industrial park place with a bunch of old washers and dryers out in the elements behind the shop….but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

After one time too many spent at the laundry mat and on the phone with used-washer/dryer salesmen, we finally found someone who seemed legitimate. So we drove over to his place. He showed us the two sets he had to offer. He was a roof repair guy and would often pick them up when people were getting rid of them, to make a few bucks by selling them. Fair enough.

As we’re leaving, Mr. French stops to ask him about this picture hanging on the wall behind their kitchen table. The man tells us about how someone was selling it really cheap at a garage sale and he comes home with it and his wife likes it. He shrugs his shoulders.

“I really like that painting.” says Mr. French.

I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t.

We get back in the car and leave. We’re barely out of the neighborhood when Mr. French and I decide to buy one of the washer and dryer sets. Mr. French calls and sets up a time with the guy. Then he gets off the phone.

“Can I tell you something, but you have to not get mad.”

Now why did he have to add that on there?

“What?”

“I just don’t want you to put the idea down before you’ve heard it.”

“Just tell me.”

“What if I asked if I could buy that picture?”

Heavy sigh.

“He can always just say no, right?”

But he said, “Yes.”

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Filed under Everyone's an interior designer, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day

If a picture is worth a thousand words…

Then you’re going to have to be content with a thousand words.

‘Cause I got no pictures.

What a week.

I blame the baby. She started off the week sick and decided to cry off and on during the night a few times, sleep in our bed a few times, kick people in the face a few times (okay, just Mr. French).

1. All the crown molding is up and we love it! It’s makes such a big difference. But here’s my thought. The Amish would never put crown molding up in their houses, would they? Wouldn’t it be too decorative? And yet, they still do such a beautiful job with ours. How is that?

2. The beginning of the week was overcast and dark so I didn’t take any house pictures. And then Wednesday was a beautiful bright day. And I totally forgot. Then Thursday was rainy and a little overcast but I decided to try to take pictures anyway. I was even going to take pictures with clutter! and dust! so you don’t think I’m perfect, but alas, the batteries were dead. And so, mysteriously, were the other set of rechargeables. So I recharged them and they held a charge for around 2 seconds.

3. I think we need new rechargeable batteries.

4. I was saying goodnight to the boys the other night and I was laying on J’s bed, feeling cold, so I suggested maybe I should sleep in his bed tonight. His eyes got bright and he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “Except Daddy would probably get mad.” And he smiled and with a little twinkle in his eye said, “But maybe you could sneak.”

5. My boys roll their eyes when I tell them their beds are all messed up. How can you possibly sleep with the covers messed up? I say. And then they roll their eyes and look conspiratorially at their father. Is sleeping with messed up covers genetic? I certainly can’t do it.

6. This is our third fall. I know this because this is the third time I’ve done all the fall leaf clean up. I know this because I remember these sorts of things.

7. I read this book. It was a good read. He’s funny and a good writer. It’s short and easy to read. But I didn’t identify with him at all. And I don’t think it was because he’s a father and I’m not. I think it was because his experience of parenting was so different than mine. He suggested that everyone is lying about how really truly absurdly difficult it is to bring home a baby and that wasn’t my experience at all. I believe him and know people who also struggled. I think it’s because I’ve always been extremely comfortable with babies and I can get by on less sleep than most. If I felt as tired after the baby was born as I do when I’m pregnant than I would probably struggle too.

8. The book also talked about bonding with babies and it reminded me of when S was born. I had been worried about having a second baby. I just couldn’t imagine loving another baby as much as I loved C, and immediately after his very fast birth I was worried because I didn’t feel the same sort of feelings that I’d remembered (fifteen months prior) feeling with C. I was worried all the way up until the next morning when I awoke suddenly and realized I didn’t know when I’d last fed him. I instantly thought he must have died and just when I was about to panic, I realized he was lying right next to me, sleeping peacefully. And then I sighed with relief, both because he wasn’t dead and because right then and there, I knew that I must love him or I wouldn’t have been so panicked.

9. Speaking of panicked and minds jumping to conclusions, whenever and I do mean whenever, any of my children sleep in or I can’t find them when and where I expect to, I immediately think they’re dead. My mind goes there instantly. That’s normal right? I even think that way if Mr. French is a little later than usual. The moment before I realize he’s late, I’m fine. But the second I realize he’s late, I start worrying.

10. And you thought I was so laid back.

11. I love how Felicity is both fiercely independent and such a copycat. She has to do everything we do, but she has to do it herself.

12. She takes a walk with her father every evening. She waits at the top of the stairs for him to finish work. As soon as she sees him coming, she runs, yelling, to the hall closet where her backpack is sitting.

She has him wrapped around her little finger.

And there’s not much room there because there are three other boys hanging on too.

13. I’ve always thought of my Dad as adventurous. I always said that if we’d been alive during the pioneering days my Dad would have been on the wagon train. Westward Ho! But I think I would have been too. Sometimes I think if I could just travel, I could get it out of my system. I have a strong desire to see the west.

14. But I also just like to stay home.

Alright, I think 891 words are enough. 893. (Wait, does that count as word?)

899 But who’s counting?

902 Apparently this blog is and they’re doing an excellent job, I might add.

915 just sayin’

15. Okay one more random thought. One of the Amish men that was here working asked about our kids. I told them their ages. He said he had three boys and a girl. I asked about their ages. He said, “4, 3, 2 and 4 months.”

Whoa. No words.

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Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Boys will be boys, Everyone's an interior designer, Forgive me for being sentimental, French toast, Girls are not boys, I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, Oversharing, Why does no one get my jokes?

Our maple tree is aflame but my living room is not.

It's on fire!

Don’t you love fall?

You were all (all four of you, thanks for playing) good guesses. I didn’t really give you much to work with.

Since I’ve been thinking about it for well over a year, I’ve considered a whole range of colors for the living room and front hall. It’s a very open floor plan (you can see straight through the back window standing on the front stoop) and I think that makes it harder.

But Esther got it right.

Yeah, it's yellow.

The color is called “saffron”. (Sorry for the flash. It’s been overcast a lot lately. Once the crown molding is up I’ll take better pictures.)

But she was at an advantage since she’s actually been to this house.

And once more, with feeling.

My sister came in second since brown was what we painted our first house and we thought about it for this one.

If you had asked me what color I wanted my living room to be 10-12 years back, I would’ve definitely gone with red. But I’ve kind of gotten away from that lately.

The half wall you see used to be glass blocks. (Yes, the kind that are in basement windows and showers.)

But we changed that last year.

Don't fall!

No, seriously, don't fall in.

That's weird...

We think it’s an improvement.

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Filed under Everyone's an interior designer, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, That was fun

Yesterday

Yesterday was the conclusion of Operation: Paint the House.

And by “House”, I mean the entryway, hallways, living room, and around the window in the dining room. (Oh! and the laundry room door. Don’t forget that.)

Everyday, during naptime, late at night, early in the morning, just painting. Or getting ready to paint. Which, frankly, takes as long as painting does.

We’re getting crown molding put up and when I realized that if I could paint everything in a week, I wouldn’t have to tape at the top. So, I planned the operation. And I thought, it’ll be tough, but it’s totally doable.

Until I started. And then I thought, this is crazy.

It’s like having a baby. Before you get pregnant, you think it’ll be hard but survivable. In the middle, you’re pretty sure you’re going to die. Then you’re holding that sweet bundle of gurgling baby fat* and you’re pretty sure you’d do it again in an instant (or a year or two). By the time the kid’s walking, you’re convinced you made the whole nauseous thing up.

And no, this is not some back-handed baby announcement, although you know I’m not above that kind of thing. It’s just that I seem to compare everything to childbirth.

I thought you said it wasn't white?

So here’s your assignment:

If you could paint your living room any color (husband, toddlers, and rental notwithstanding), any color at all, what color would you paint it?

Now, who else would show you the ugly primed walls?

And, more importantly, what do you think we just painted our living room? (that’s the hallway, by the way.)

I’ll give you a hint: It’s not beige or white. Or black. (I’m so helpful!)

*You’re welcome!

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Filed under Everyone's an interior designer, Moving is my hobby, She's having a baby, Why does no one get my jokes?