spring living room


this really may be the prettiest spring here on the central coast, at least for the 14 years that we’ve been living here!  because of our massively wet winter, our hills are ALIVE and so very green.  i’m a big fan.


with the change of season, i thought it might be fun to share our main living space with you, and you can see a few small changes we’ve made here.  while we do have a playroom/game room/guest room/laundry/catch-all room downstairs that is huge, none of us really gravitate that direction because it feels really basement-y – dark and chilly.  and dark.  but this upstairs space with our living room, kitchen and dining room, this is where we do all our daily living.  we tend to do school mostly at the dining room table, but migrate to the couch and coffee table, too.  basically, at the end of a school day, you can’t see the top of any surface because its covered in books and paper.


so while the kids were away at school (they go 2 days a week), i scrambled to clean and straighten the living room and snap some pics to share what i’d love for the house to look like if no one ever lived here.  but we do and we’re a messy bunch, so these pictures are all lies, LIES!  just kidding, we just can’t keep it clear of clutter for long because we really do spend our time living here, not so much cleaning. (blanket above from nine space and pillow from target {similar})


our couches are from ikea and for the price are holding up great.  we’ve had them for years and i’m kind of done with them.  i still love the brightness they lend to any room, but i am on the hunt for something new for our new house.  i’m leaning towards a caramel leather but am not willing to make such a huge decision until we live in the space for a bit and see how much space i need to fill.

we’ve only had white slipcovered couches and they are so easy to maintain.  i won’t say they always look amazing, but i love that i can take them off and bleach them clean.  yes, we even had them through babies and toddlers.  they survived just fine.


the pink pillow is from target and i want to find a couple more in that color.  lily has currently stolen that one for her bed, so i’m missing that soft springy color in here.  the sequin pillow was made from a tank top.


i’ve now got 3 fiddle leaf figs under my supervision (i’m long-term plant sitting the big one for my mom until their loft is built with our new house).  they aren’t dying or dead, so i’ll call that a win!  i found that round basket (what are they called again?) at a local shop called letter & grain, and it fit the plant’s pot perfectly.  the vintage fruit crate was a gift from a friend years ago.  it has served many purposes over the years, mostly as some sort of a book shelf.


i splurged on this little stool from serena & lily, and its just so pretty!  its perfect for a plant stand, but i’d love to use it in a bathroom next to a tub or shower (our current bathrooms are way too tight for that).


my dad and i made that coffee table from reclaimed wood and facia board from the deck of my childhood home (with the pretty green flakey paint).  its on casters so it rolls easily out of the way for vacuuming or wrestling sessions.  i’m thinking it might look great on our next front porch, next to the outdoor fireplace (you heard that right.  eek!).  the stump side table was from my parents’ house as well (thousands of trees have been cut down due to the drought & pine beetles).  we’ve got several of these throughout our house, like in our bedroom and on our porch.


such a weird fireplace.  why off centered?  i totally get it if it went with the style of the house to be off kilter, or if there was wood storage on one side, but no.    oh well, i try to ignore it and pretend the fireplace is usable and that sean and i snuggle up in front of it every winter night.  but again, no.  but, i am super thankful for a mantle and centerpiece for the room.


the mirror was a christmas present to myself from urban outfitters.  it is exactly what i’ve been wanting and it has a designated home in the new house already.  in my mind, my entryway will look like this and the mirror will live there.  i’m trying to only buy new things that i know will work in the new house.

the gold and glass container is actually from target’s outdoor section.  when i was looking at other vases and lanterns in the home decor area, they were so much more expensive.  but this one was pretty affordable and so i justified it.


i have a really hard time walking away from a vintage blue glass mason jar when i see one, but my collection is pretty much done, i think.



this galvanized tub is another item that has lived many lives in our homes, from a drink container at parties to a blanket container here.


that big oversized pillow (from target) against the fireplace is perfect for sitting on around the coffee table when we have our growth group over or are playing games.


this giant slice of wood was from a tree by my parents’ house.


the strand of wooden beads were from leftovers from gracie’s craft camp party.  i would love to have a strand of varying sizes or really big ones.


rocks from my kiddos


the succulents are doing better than i expected inside.  i can keep them alive outside, but not as well inside.  they are covered with beach glass from our trip last summer to seaglass beach.


here’s a pulled back shot to give you a better idea of the layout of the room.  we never put the shades down on those windows – i should just tae them down and tuck them away until we move…


this is one of my favorite new pieces of art from minted.  its so simple and i love the colors!  i haven’t decided what to do for framing any of the pieces i got, so for now this giant bulldog clip works!


this shot gives you an even better idea of the split level layout, with the front door halfway down the stairs (behind the chairs in the upper left of the pic).


speaking of those chairs… gah i love them!  i spotted them at anthropologie awhile back on sale then had to wait for a few months on them since they were backordered.


they are really pretty comfortable and their price was better than most of the other rattan chairs i found.


the view from the dining room, with a blanket we got in greece draped over the back of the couch.


there you have it!  if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section!

modern farmhouse: exterior inspiration

as i mentioned last week, we bought some property and are in the process of designing a house!  my plan is to walk you through our whole process, so today we’re going to talk about my inspiration for the overall look of the exterior of the home (full pinterest page here).

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration

sources 1/2/3/4

while the term is getting quite a bit of over-use, or maybe the style is as well, we’re going for a “modern farmhouse” look.  to me, that basically means clean lines and some classic elements mixed with more modern elements as well.

our main structure is going to be a simple rectangular two-story “box” with a lot of windows.  we are looking to build this home in the most efficient ways possible, both in terms of time and money.  while our last house had several pop-outs, interesting architectural elements, and a variety of roof lines, this one will be one roof line with 4 exterior walls.

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration


while that starts to sound a bit stark, we’re going to add in fun elements that will keep it both farmhouse in nature and modern.  while many of my inspiration pictures feature board & batten siding, we’re going to stick with wide horizontal siding, painted white.  i have been wanting a white house for so long!  we’re planning on a metal roof, which would be one area where we’d be splurging, so there’s a small chance that will get nixed (please, no!).  we want some metal elements as well, so we’ll probably do a porch roof with black metal trim, but warm it up with stained wood on the underside of the porch roof, like in the image above.

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration


we are planning on 3 structures on our property: the main house, the garage and loft above attached to the main house, and hopefully a barn (i’ll give more details on that in another post).  the 3 structures together will form a “u” shape that will be a courtyard in the front, and will be our main outdoor living space.  while i love lots of grass, watering and maintaining it just won’t work for us, so we’re planning on using DG (decomposed granite) as the main ground cover, with concrete pathways, and lots of trees, plants, and raised gardens.

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration


while this picture gives a bit more of an interior look, its the doors that catch my eye.  our windows and doors will all be black.  i’d love for them to be steel, but thats just way out of our budget, so we’re looking at alternate options.

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration


i’m also trying to decide of the exteriors of the 3 structures should be the same or different.  while we’ve nixed the idea of a wood exterior (too much maintenance), i love the mix of a white house with a weathered wood structure next to it – so pretty!

modern farmhouse exterior inspiration


this is my favorite exterior element i’m determined to work into the plan: a glass bridge from the main house to the loft above the garage!  isn’t that stunning?!  i love the simplicity of the 2 buildings and the modern glass enclosure.  for those of you wondering, the loft above the garage will be for my parents, who did the same thing at our last house.  they don’t live with us full time, but are here on average a week a month.  they like to have their space, but also still be close and connected with us.

we’re wrapping up the main design plans and heading into engineering soon!  any questions or ideas for me?