Love Hate Relationship {a ceiling fan story}


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Ceiling fans. Le sigh. Not always the prettiest element in the room, but does the benefit outweigh the negatives?? I had that internal debate recently. Here’s how it played out…

Our new family room had no overhead light. There’s a bug-eye recessed bulb that is front and center over the fireplace, but otherwise, nada.

And I get that it’s meant to light artwork, but the TV connections are there and who wants a giant light glaring down at their TV? Silliness.

So, I would be good with an overhead light only, but my better half is a fan guy. And I get it, I like a nice breeze and a little air movement as much as the next guy.

So I picked a fan for our bedroom super quick. Inexpensive, boob-light, nice wood tone. For some reason, that is not a detail in the bedroom that I have strong feelings about. I just hate waking up sweaty. And those of you that know me, know that I “glisten” when the temp hits 70.

But it took me almost 2 months to pick out the fan/fixture combo for the family room. I’m going for a retro-farmhouse-industrial-cottage vibe and that’s tough to find. Oh, unless you have $500 plus for a ceiling fan. And even then, it’s slim pickin’.

I finally ordered a Hunter fan and light kit.

It’s the Savoy in black and 12″ Schoolhouse Globe, also in black. The light was back ordered for a while and after seeing all the blah options I know why. It was a bargain ($192 for both!) on Amazon and with our Prime 2-day shipping that made ordering through the big A a no-brainer (and it’s out of stock again. I’m telling you, it’s good stuff. You could get the weathered bronze and use a matte black paint if it continues to be unavailable. That was my back up plan).

This is a beautiful ceiling fan! I am In love with it. My husband hung it while I was out and he was worried because it is SO different than normal ceiling fan lights. It’s oversized and definitely doesn’t recede into the ceiling. He peeked out the garage door as I pulled in and shyly declared that he was finished and “eh-heh, hope you like it??” Have faith, oh cute-but-skeptical husband of mine.

But I’m LOVING it and know it’s going to be even more awesome as I add other schoolhouse fixtures in the open kitchen and family room space. Oh, and the aforementioned husband loves it, too. Not just for its breezy ways, but also for its dashing good looks.

Next up, painting my existing curtain rods matte black and adding curtains to soften up those windows!


The nick of time! {guestroom preview}


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Well, the guestroom is ready for its first boarder!

guestbed1  Barely.

guestchalkboard22 hours to spare.

guest room, book art, tassel Phew. I don’t think I’ve ever cut it quite that close before.

guesttassel1And I’m going to have to blindfold her to walk her from the bottom of the basement steps into the bedroom because it is a HOT MESS of crapola.

guestlampThese are just a few quick peeks at what I did. To see the “before” check out my post from last week. I’ll be back with the details soon, but for now I’ve got to go. My sissy is coming to visit tomorrow!!!

TDC Before and After

We all love chalk!


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My little first grader is back to school this week! We had our typical morning photo shoot and she rocked it! I have to admit, making the little chalkboard sign is one if my favorite parts of the new year.

chalkboard sign I use it for birthdays and other events, too.

chalkboardcollageEach time, I swear I’m going to get a chalk pen or some other fancy, erasable device, but each time I end up struggling through the process with remnants of sidewalk chalk and leftover bits from a package of crap-ola stuff from Ikea.

chalkLess than ideal.

Emily at Jones Design Company has some great recommendations and I think I need to get a couple of these to try. Or at least some regular crayola chalk. Keeping a fine point on the sidewalk stuff is next to impossible! Also, Martha has a new product out, erasable liquid chalk, but it looks like its more for stenciling and I’m a free-hand, wing-it, smudge it with my elbow kinda gal. But it’s awesomesauce for all kinds of stuff and here are some cute examples of how to use it.

But then I wonder, hmmm, if I buy some fancy chalk who can I blame when it doesn’t look all professional a la Dana Tanamachi?!

Have you all tried any of these things? Any tips so I don’t waste my money. I know “real” chalk will always be a staple, but it’d be nice to know which you think is best.

I just love back-to-school time, even if I don’t love letting go of my girls (the little one heads of to preschool for the first time after Labor Day. sigh.). It must be the smell of a bouquet newly sharpened pencils.

Ready or not, here they come! {tackling the guest room}

So, the countdown is on. We will have our first houseguest in a little over a week.

And all I can say is YIKES!!!

guest bedroom "before"

(Naked mattress, leaning headboard, bag of Ikea goodies to return/put together)

This is the current state of our guest room. Now, it is a HUGE improvement over the last one. Not because this is a complete, hot mess, but because in NOLA we didn’t have a mattress for the bed. We had a frame. A box spring. Sheets. Blankets. Etc. But instead of a mattress we had an air mattress. That leaked. And was too big for the frame.

guest bedroom "before"

(Frames and wall art of various sizes, precariously leaning bookshelf, two plant stands, an unpacked box, a piece of a kids tent)

Luckily, my parents and sister were the only people subjected to this horror in the short 10 months we lived there. But they would wake up each morning (or around 1 a.m.) with their booty approximately 8 inches lower than the rest of their body, resting uncomfortably on a hard bed base. Restful? Notsomuch.

But, we had used the full size mattress for the bunk bed and still had the other pieces so it seemed like a good idea at the time. No one had to crawl down to the floor to sleep on a glorified pool floatie. But I already mentioned that it leaked. Poop. It didn’t really work out. Thanks for loving me and not complaining.

guest bedroom "before"

(mangled baby dolls, some of the mortgage docs from buying the house, a few shelves)

So, we’re ready with a brand new mattress! And a queen, no less. Fancy stuff over here, folks. Fancy schmancy stuff.

I plan on eventually painting this room, although I kind of like the shade of blue. I THINK its Behr Shale Gray, but as I’ve mentioned before, this house has A LOT of different paint colors. Fifteen to be exact. I suppose I shouldn’t exaggerate. It was only 14 before I added in Windfresh White. But, the current total is 15. I’m hoping to get it down to 6 or so. My life is crazy and hectic enough (reference the above guest room photos) without a lot of competing color on the walls.

My inspiration is this guest bedroom and the master bedroom at The Lettered Cottage. I always like her style and I’m a BIG fan of red so its a no-brainer. And I’ve got a bedroom Pinterest board with tons of ideas. I feel like it can go a little more feminine and cottage-y than our master.

guest room design plan

1) My mom gave me this quilt when I was a newlywed (bridal shower, maybe? I can’t remember, Mom) and I’ve always loved it so it will be front and center on the bed.

2) I’d like to get a black iron bed frame eventually, but for now the $10 head board that I got at a hotel sale in England works great (although it needs a tiny bit of touch up paint right in the center!). This one is the right price, but I’d need to check out the finish. I want black, not bronze.

3) These little wall lamps came home with me from my first east coast excursion to Ikea and I love the black and white cord.

4) I need to do something about end tables (I’ve got some randomness that I’ll perch next to the bed for now) and I like this and this because they pick up the touch of gold in the lamps. And why not this guy? Every room needs some black! And apparently I like round. Maybe something more angular for the other side of the bed. I have a couple of porch balusters from my grandfather’s childhood home (maybe a couple more in the garage at home? Mom? Dad? Bueller?). They’re just the right amount of greyed wood and chippy white paint! They might get worked in as a side table down here, too.

5) I have dainty white Ikea curtain panels (similar to these, but purchased back in 2005) that will find their way onto the window. They won’t be much for blocking light, but will provide privacy and soften the room. I’m hoping to add a lined bamboo shade at some point. Probably.

6) I have some cute artwork to hang that I’ve had for a while. And by art, I mean book pages I framed and some “broken” wall hangings that I got from Hobby Lobby in 2003. I love them both so they are art to me!

I’m so excited to have a devoted guest room that is truly comfortable! There is a connected full bath and plenty of room in the closet for hanging clothes! When we have company, it’s usually family from far away that sometimes stays two weeks or more. I love, love, love that we can offer them their own comfy place to escape my shifty moods our family chaos. It’s down in the basement but with that full size window and the nice cool temp down there I think it will be the perfect getaway. Not that anyone I love requires it. They are more than happy to plunk down any old place, just like in the book The Relatives Came. They love me. Or is it these two cuties???


Either way, we’ll have visitors soon and I’m excited.

While it won’t be the “finished” version of the room, I’ll have a livable (and hopefully pretty) arrangement set up by my sister’s visit next week. I’ll be sure to show it to you as soon as I’m done! Well, done-ish.