Sunday, October 11, 2015

Happy 3rd birthday, Downton Blabby

We were such bebehs

Three years ago this week, we purchased our home (the one we joke is "Downton Blabby"). I always feel like fall is when our home is its most beautiful, probably because that's when we fell in love with it.  Zach and I love our home so much. We worked hard to make it our own, with decor and improvements along the way. And our overall goal is to make it functional, efficient and most of all, comfortable for us and for guests that visit. This is a post for the home improvement folks. I've tried to document all the little things we've done, and I personally love to see how other people update their homes. We're not professionals--this was done with a lot of saving, scouring for deals and man hours. Zach is a machine! But we love the results.

HERE is my last home improvement post, which I wrote right before Wilder was born in 2013. I guess the home improvements are our way of nesting, because we're waiting on Felicity to be born now in 2015! So without further ado, here's what all we've done since 2013:

Window treatments
With the exception of the pink flowered valances I had as a child, I've never had curtains. My roommate in the dorm made curtains for our dorm, but I've never gotten any myself. Even when Zach and I got married, we didn't have curtains in our apartment. I just always felt like curtains = PERMANENCE... which is silly, because now I know they come in standard lengths so you could most likely move them to another place! But it took me two years of living in our home that we own to decide on curtains. And we slowly added them in the house since then. But now, we've got curtains from Pottery Barn in the formal living and dining room, casual living room and all the bedrooms upstairs. I just decided on our bedroom curtains, but we'll probably get them sometime early next year.

We also got an electrician to hang our Turkish light from Istanbul over the bistro table! We got it in the Old City, for a really great deal.  (Blog post about buying it is on my travel blog HERE). I had planned to purchase one back home after seeing them all over the place, but when I priced them (while we were still in Istanbul) it was actually far cheaper to buy one there and wrap it up well to bring home. It's got mosaic bits of turquoise glass in it and it really goes with everything in the room.

Leather furniture
My dad needed new furniture, so we gave him Zach's microfiber couch and oversized ottoman and we purchased a leather couch and chair from Rooms to Go... and I found an ottoman at Pottery Barn. We love how easy the leather is to clean of pet fur, and the slightly smaller sizes gave us more space!

New art
Above in the living room, you can see two watercolor prints we got from our last trip to Italy. We purchased them in the shadow of the Duomo in Florence after taking Wilder to see inside! We also printed some honeymoon, anniversary and family photos from Paris on canvas and put them on our hallway wall. Photos are by Stacy Reeves.

Wood floors
This was our biggie! We decided to replace the indoor/outdoor carpet in the workout room to make Felicity's nursery (You can see the whole post about her nursery HERE). While we were working on that, we looked into replacing the carpet downstairs with wood, leaving our slate tile throughout. We found beautiful hand-scraped wood at Floor Decor, and Zach has a contractor friend that gave us a great deal. We LOVE the floors! We put them in the office, the formal living and dining room, the casual living room and our bedroom. LOVE. :-) It's so much easier to clean, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how warm and not over-loud the floors are.

Good view of the floor.

I think the end chairs are new since 2013 too! Restoration Hardware.

New kitchen table
After we had Wilder, we realized our glass square table with sharp edges wasn't a good fit for our family. I'd had it since college and it has been with me on four moves! We gave the table and chairs to friends with older kids, and commissioned a maker from Craigslist to build ours at a fraction of the cost of similar ones from Restoration Hardware. This is a SOLID piece. You could sit on one end and it wouldn't tip. It also holds 8 chairs, vs. the 4 our previous table held. So we can have larger informal meals. We love it. We got our chairs and cushions from Restoration Hardware.

Utility Room Overhaul
Zach spent many hours planning his remodel of the utility room. He also spent many hours executing it! He replaced the fluorescent light over head with can LED lights. Took down the shelving over the dryer and replaced it with more user-friendly shelving. Added a bench and overhanging shelf, and added more shelving to the corner. Zach also painted the beige cabinets Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray, and replaced brass knobs with nickel. We also added gray baskets to each of the shelves, and a turquoise key hanger--they weren't there when I took the photo. :-)The room is so much more functional now!

Garage organization
I don't have photos, but Zach has completely redone our garage, with the help of his dad. They took down all the stuff on the walls, repainted and placed utility shelving from my mom's old store all along the walls. Zach has carefully organized, and purged, and rearranged, and purged some more until everything has a place and we can actually fit both our vehicles inside if need be. He does a lot of the home improvement work late into the night in our nice and clean garage.  We can even work out in there, now that we don't have a workout room anymore! It's nice to have a totally functional space like that!

I think that's about it! We still have some plans for decorating in the office and hanging a few photos around the house, and the aforementioned window treatments in our bedroom. But for now, we're settled in for another baby and another holiday season at Downton Blabby!

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