Monday, December 20, 2010

A Tour de France

House number two from a home tour a few weekends back was certainly a tour de france. The house sits across the street from Rice University and I have always admired it's beauty as I would jog the Rice trail. Ok, so that's a lie. I would admire the beauty as I drove past, probably taunting the runners by waving Shipley's donuts out the window. That's more my speed.

And I digress. The house was perfectly lovelyful inside. I immediately thought of my first blog crush, Joni Webb at Cote de Texas and how much she would love this pretty little babe. I've actually hoped that Joni and I would cross paths one day as she picks up her daily Starbucks behind my pad as I'm walking the pup and she rolls down her window to compliment his curly locks and then invites me over to become her new best friend. It could happen. He does get a lot of compliments.

Digress again. On to the house...

Joni would admire the lovely dupioni drapes pooling effortlessly on the reclaimed floors (actually from France mind you) and the exquisite antique (maybe repro? I don't know) mantle probably from Chateau Domingue (which I got to tool around in when manfriend and I bought our Christmas tree from the Pope tree lot and my insides started doing a happy dance. They were selling an antique settee/bench situation for $14,000. I wish I could have gotten a picture of Will's face). 

Could I be more awkward taking this photo? 

This table looks like one they sold at Wisteria months back that I had a mediocre to intense mental affair with. 

This house really had amazing fireplaces. Too bad we can hardly use them here.

The master was roped off so this was as far as I could get into the suite. This entire suite is probably larger than the Mr.'s house. 

How could you not like this. I feel like when you walk in you're instantly cleaner than you were before. And that Mr. Clean himself is going to pop around the corner and give a good scrub down and you can go about your business for the rest of the day.

Goodnight! Sweet decorated dreams to you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peek Into the Past

When you move out of a house you love do you ever find yourself wondering what it looks like once the new owners move in? I find myself doing that constantly with my childhood home and hope that the owners love it as much as I did and still do. My parents sold the house during my freshman year at college and wanted to downsize. A decision that still to this day breaks my heart. Sorry, mom, it does. 

There were a lot of memories there. I grew up on a beautiful, shady and charming street and lived in what I thought was one of the prettiest houses on the block. My two very best friends in the world lived houses away from me and we spent the summers and weekends running from house to house. 

Besties Katy and Hannah circa 2004 in my dining room/sun room.
They're going to murder me for posting this.

I learned how to ride my bike at this house. Developed my passion for cooking and design there. We wrote all of our initials in the brick outside when we landscaped. The house is a big piece of my life and of my memories.

It doesn't make it easy that I have to see the house inhabited by someone else every time I make my way over to visit Katy and Hannah when they're in town. I know the house has traded hands a couple of times since we sold it. Recently, I noticed that the current owner looks like they have great taste and I became very curious. 

Sometime last year Katy's mom found out that the house was being showcased on a kitchen and bath tour. As curious as I was, especially since I knew they must have done a major renovation to the kitchen, it would have been too hard for me to attend. The other tour goers would have really wondered why a house was bringing me to tears. So, I decided to stay home and stalk in a different fashion in order to not frighten complete strangers. 

I discovered that the current owner is actually the designer, Peggy Hull of Creative Touch Interiors. She's done an incredible job updating the house to where it should be and maintaining the architectural integrity of the house. I really love it. But seeing all the improvements has really made me miss it.

The house's current kitchen.
The kitchen looks incredible. This is exactly what we were wanting to do to the kitchen had we stayed put. While we lived there we did a major renovation to the house and added a laundry room (was previously in the kitchen and was NOT functional), my brother got a new room and we tore down the garage and rebuilt with a garage apartment equipped with a kitchenette and bathroom. We also did MAJOR landscaping to make the front and backyards looks like English gardens. When we first moved in, there was only grass. My mom has quite the green thumb and lovingly and painstakingly cared for the gardens every weekend. A memory I will always have. So, the kitchen was put on hold since we accomplished all of those projects.

Previously, the window was boarded over (HORRIBLE, I know) by the owner before us to make room for his industrial stove. He apparently filmed cooking shows in the house for PBS or something and needed a full range. It made the kitchen dark and dim and wasn't necessarily inspiring. 

My mother wouldn't have been able to peel me out of the kitchen had the kitchen looked like this when we lived there. We all would have been very fat and happy.

We did have many a happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and dinner parties in our kitchen. I even started a quick little cake baking business in this kitchen and sold cakes to my mom's friends. Sadness.

Downstairs powder room looks the same with the exception of the wall coverings (is it tile or paper, I can't tell really) and drapes. Looks lovely and warm!

My parent's bathroom. Vanity looks the same. They've done wonderful tilework in the shower and installed new light fixtures and medicine cabinets. This bathroom has always been itty bitty. My mom would dry my hair every morning in elementary when I sat on the toilet in this bathroom and I tried not to fall back asleep. 

The "kids" bathroom. Looks like the same vanity with a new sink and faucet and stone. New tilework and fabulous fixtures in the shower. It wasn't, however, fun sharing this bathroom with my brother.

The living room looks amazing. We lived in here while it had cream walls and red walls. The whole family painted the room red together. Don't ever paint with your family. They've obviously painted, refinished the mantle, new tile, added ceiling lights, drapes. Looks lovely! But really makes me miss it.

That large mirrored piece on the right is what caught my interest in the house. You can see it from the street. I knew someone with good taste was taking very good care of the house.

Girls in my living room (facing the other direction than picture above) in our awful (again, sorry, mom) dining room chairs at my 18th birthday party.

I'm just guessing that this is what they did to our downstairs addition. Burst out the wall for the bay window. Previously, it only had one window looking out into the garden and there was a wall of storage for my parent's books and papers, etc. Served as a little office for them. It was also our laundry room since the previous laundry room was taking up space in the already tiny kitchen. 

I think this must be the house given the color of the floors. Noticed that they've refinished the floors to a lighter shade than we had them.

I think this must be in the dining room next to the french doors leading out to the garden. The walls have been painted cream. Ours were a mustard color which we kept from the previous owner which you can see in the picture of Katy and Hannah up top. 

My buddy Marina and two besties who still live on the street, Hannah and Katy at my graduation party in our garden that my momma created.
Again, they're going to kill me. And wow my hair was long and healthy.

And there we have it. A little peek into my forever home (in my heart at least) and what it looks like now. Thankfully my bedroom wasn't featured on her website. I probably would have cried like a little baby. You've done a wonderful job, Peggy Hull. Thank you for loving this home. I hope it brings you and your family as many happy and wonderful memories as it brought me and mine. And now I'm crying. Gotta grab a tissue.

The Little Things

If there is one thing I love more than design, it's striving to become a hostess with the mostest. I've had many gracious hostesses in my life to learn from. Will's mother is always warm, kind and absolutely accommodating when I visit. My mother has always known how to throw a killer dinner party and they always go off without a hitch. And our friends Jon and Christina are wonderful hosts when we venture back up to Frog country and always make sure we're comfortable in their sweet little house.

This weekend, Jon and Christina made their way to the big city and I wanted to return the favor with special little touches to make them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I obviously needed flowers.

Don't get too comfortable with those hydrangeas though. Died. Day after I bought them. Rude little water eaters.

But I did get peonies. Which we all know I have a slight obsession with.

They would clearly need water as most humans do.

And they obviously needed wine as most of my friends do.

Clearly the location of the note was of great debate.
And they would need a nice place to rest their heads.

Which makes for a nice little set up.

When Christina walked in she exclaimed it's like we're at Hotel ZaZa but we're at Hotel LaLa. If that's not a compliment, I don't know what is!

This picture is merely to showcase my fantabulously amazing new lamp from Horchow.
We ended the weekend as most good weekends end with a trip to Tiny Boxwoods for a chocolate chip cookie and steak and egg breakfast pizza.

The weekend also ended with this scene. Nice work, guys. We had fun! Clearly. Come back soonly.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Becoming a Professional House Stalker Tourer: The Putman House

SURPRISE! If you guessed the loverly home with my No. 1 fave dining room of all time from my post here, you're right. I went on another house tour this past weekend. Mainly because I obviously have an addiction to peeking into people's lives and homes for just a nano second so I can imagine what it must be like to live in such a fabulous pad.

When I found out that this splendid home was on tour, I instantly sprang. The home was featured in the April/May 2010 issue of Lonny and I fell in love. Not just because it's fabulous. But it is in my childhood neighborhood. Adds a bit of nostalgia to my day-to-day.

The owner/designer is Ashley Putman. She is clearly tres talented and I think we should be besties. Either that or I should be her babysitter. Holla at your girl, Ashley.

Anywho, I painfully dragged man friend with me but only subjected him to two homes. The first and most important was obviously the Putman home.

All dolled up for the holidays.

Amazing lacquer doors and moldings everywhere you looked. So shiny I could see myself!

Who wouldn't love a little red loo?

They have incredible taste in art and clearly have a passion for it.

All their wellies were lined up in a row.

And then there it was. The shining beacon of beauty I was waiting for.

That fabulous painting is new since the Lonny exhibition.


Favorite picture of the dining room.

Shut the front door. I officially went to a happy place at this point.

What a delightful way to greet yourself to the second floor.
It really says, "hey we're really fabulous and read a lot and you should probably be jealous of us."
Well, Putmans, I am. I really really am.

More lacquer. Lacquer lacquer everywhere! But this time in charcoal. Raaar.

I just thought this was hilarious. So out of his element.
Thank you, Will, for always putting up with my insane obsessions. You're a special kind of manfriend.

I mean, could it be more picturesque? And it's across the street from the neighborhood park. Stop it.

It was really hard to peel myself away. But, we only had 15 minutes to cruise through another house before they kicked us out. More on that house later. For now, Casa de Putman, I will remember you fondly. You have a little piece of my design heart forever.

Some of our best newlywed friendlies are visiting tomorrow so I've been super busy spruce-ifying the pad for their arrival. I'll share some little touches once the weekend is over.

And just because I couldn't help it... Will's roommate picked this little man up today. And my heart threw up love bullets and we're certain to be soulmates.

Meet Roger. We're tight.
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