house tour tuesday: the old new house

last week i got to dream a little. it was actually perfect timing because we recently sold our first home (not the home we are living in now, but our first home that we purchased together a few years ago).

it was a little bittersweet.

we had dreamed of owning our own place, whether it be a fixer upper or not. when we finally got it, my husband and i put our heart and soul into that little home. we did almost all the work ourselves, minus the hardwood floors. it was a wreck when we first purchased it as a foreclosure property. we worked night and day for three weeks straight and had it like shiny new before we moved in. fast forward five years and a kid later, and we had outgrown the little one bedroom condo.

this is how we made it to Old Towne Orange. besides being my hometown, it was also a dream of mine to live in the historic section of the city. a friend of ours (who also happens to be our real estate agent) mentioned that there was a little house for rent next door to where she was living, so we high tailed it over to the property to check it out

it was adorable. small and quaint and old. all of my favorites. it even had cute little original door knobs and old hardwood floors. but you see, after living in this adorable, small, quaint, old house for the last couple of years, i have learned that living in an old house comes with some sacrifice. no air conditioning, no dishwasher, small rooms, and even smaller closets.

this brings me to my dilemma. i love old houses and all of their quaintness, but i also love new houses and all of their squeaky, clean surfaces.

sometimes (or almost every night actually) i love to look on the internet at all of the houses for sale and dream about having more space, or a newer home.

so, this last week, my friend, the real estate agent, took me on a tour of a very cute old, but new house in our neighborhood.

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it has the best of both worlds. old and choke full of character, but a new squeaky clean that lets you dream of just moving right in and not needing to do a thing.

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no projects. no demolition.

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just a chance to move in and start enjoying the space and dreaming of all of the meals you’ll make.

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or the naps you’ll take.

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and the long soaking baths you’ll get to relax in.

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and then my mind wanders to the backyard and how it would be so fun to have grammy and papa come stay in the guesthouse.

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and be so close that we could send our son to their little house in the backyard to play

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or make cookies.

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or take a bath in their bathtub, while we are taking naps in the big house.

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then i start dreaming about painting furniture in my own little studio.

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and planning a party in our spacious backyard,

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where all of the plants are still alive and thriving and haven’t been killed yet from my lack of watering.

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i think about the swing set i would like to put in for my son and his friends.

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and all of the vegetables and fruit we would eat from our very own garden.

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and then just as i am headed back to my house to start packing my bags, i remember that though this spacious old, but new house would be perfect for our little family, and though it is completely out of our price range (probably the most important detail), i remember that i love me a good project. i love to be able to fix things up and love them back to their original. i love a good before and after. i love an old home that has some patina scratched into the floor. i love an old house that’s not squeaky new and clean. i just like an old house that has life in it. the place our family calls home.

i’m not sure where God is leading us. whether he wants us to be renters or homeowners, but one thing is for sure: he is in control and he has a great plan for us. and for now, he answered our prayers and provided us exactly what we asked for: a home that is quaint, small, and old. so, i think i’ll keep dreaming….after all, God is listening (but maybe this time i’ll dream of the closets being a bit bigger). 😉

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house tour tuesday: my new friend

i am so excited to show you all this house!

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i spotted it a couple of years ago when i was taking my son for a walk. there were cute little buntings hanging in the windows and i somehow just knew i would hit it off with the mama of the house.

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fast forward to this last weekend and i finally got to meet that mama and her sweet family. they were having a yard sale and had the most adorable old farmhouse chair in the sale that i couldn’t pass up. (side note: we had our own garage sale that morning and after ours was done, i hopped on my bike to see what the neighborhood sales had to offer. it’s a sickness i tell you. i’m addicted to old furniture and junk).

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so, after a few minutes of chatting and bonding over our love of decor/diy blogs, i got to take a tour of their cute old house.

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there are so many fun, amazing details of the inside that i think i became speechless. (which if you know me, does not happen often!) 😉

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like this giant pendant lamp that they made (they MADE! oh.my.gosh!). i want one now, too!

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or the cute artwork that she just “threw together.” (M, i want to order some artwork for my house!)

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and pieces of art that she used potatoes to stamp pops of color onto.

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my favorite art piece in her house was this little saying that she did freehand with a pen. (SO cute! and i LOVE its message!)

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there is so much eye candy it’s hard to have a favorite.

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and then before i knew it, i was onto another room. mesmerized by the furniture.

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like this old french iron bed that her parents’ found in Northern California. (swoooooon!)

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and this adorable old keyhole dresser.

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and oh! the details in the kids’ room!

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like a baby mobile made out of twigs and fabric birds that gently sways from the ceiling.

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and look at the artwork, my new friend made for her daughters’ room that she once again, “just quickly threw together.”

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and just when i thought it couldn’t get any better….

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we headed into the dining room and as i turned the corner i noticed….

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this beacon of light coming from the next room.

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the light was coming from a light fixture that the man of the house created (i nearly died).

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everything in the space is just perfect.

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from the antlers on the wall,

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to the shelves made out of wood and old thrifted belts,

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and a mini statue made out of old wire hangers.

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and, of course, another intriguing piece of art that she “quickly threw together.” (M, please throw one together for me! i love it!)

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as i was walking to the front door…i caught a little glimpse of her kitchen (they’re wanting to remodel it, so it’s not quite ready for its reveal). her lovely collection of pyrex was playfully calling my name. i love the pop of color it brings to their space.

i also love that i made a new friend. (and a creative one at that!)

can’t wait to hang out, M, and make something cool out of hangers or wire or something. thanks for the inspiration!

house tour tuesday: our nook

hi friends!

hope everyone had a great weekend. i spent the weekend in San Diego for a bachelorette party for a good friend of mine. we had a blast!

we had such a blast, that i completely overlooked house tour tuesday. whoops!

so, since i didn’t set up a tour of a house in time to take pictures for today, i took some pictures of our nook in our house.

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it’s a small space, located in the kitchen. when we first moved into our little house we used it in the traditional way of a small dining area. it worked for what we needed, but it was quite squished when we had company over.

so, after rearranging some rooms around last Christmas, this little space became our office area. it works much better for our family.

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it gives me a place to gift wrap, or get crafty. and it gives my husband an area to do our bills (not so fun for him, but practical).

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there is also a little area for our son to eat lunch, or paint, or play chalk on his chalkboard table.

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across from the desk is a message center that lets me organize invitations.

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or display quotes that speak to me.

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or cute little tags from my favorite store in Old Towne Orange (Eikon Home).

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across from the message center is a little shelf that i found at Homegoods (love that store!). i painted it blue and distressed it.

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and then filled it with some of my vintage moonstone dishes,

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and old spoons my dad gave me that were my great grandfathers from the early 1900’s.

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i topped it with a few keepsakes from our wedding (the starfish were our party favors for our guests).

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and because no room is complete in our home without a skeleton key. i added some of those, too, hanging from the old ironing board door that is original to the house (i love all of the nooks and crannies old houses have!).

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thanks for stopping by! have a great week!

house tour tuesday: the cabin

hi everyone!

welcome, to our little family cabin. while this is not Old Towne Orange, it is still in Southern California in our local mountains.

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this little cabin has a lot of history. at least to our family.

see, my great-grandfather built it with his own two hands in 1937. he had bought the land for ten dollars (yes, TEN dollars! what a steal! can you imagine if we could buy land today for ten dollars? WOW-za!).

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my great-grandfather was a contractor, so he used leftover materials and scraps to build the cabin. (i love that tidbit of information….a man after my own heart!)

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(this little black and white sign was a nod to his last name, which was also my grandmother’s maiden name. it has hung on the outside for as long as i can remember.)

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and though the cabin is small and quite rustic, it has made and stored many years of memories. when my great-grandfather became elderly, he passed it down to my grandmother, who will eventually pass it down to my dad and uncle and so forth. it has been threatened by forest fires a number of times, but luckily always escaped unharmed.

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when i was little, we would often pack the cabin so full of people that you could hear laughter echo in the valley behind it. my dad told me that once they had forty people come stay in this little one bedroom, one bath cabin.

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the grown-ups would always stay up late playing games (usually rummy) and the kids would talk or read comic books in the bunk beds (a memory so ingrained in my mind, it feels like yesterday).

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when i was little, my dad would tell me stories about how he and his friends would sleep on cots on the back porch if there were too many people and not enough beds.

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occasionally, pine cones would fall from the trees and make a loud CR-ASH through the forest. it’s a sound that strangely brings me a sense of nostalgia now.

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and the bugs. OH the bugs. we always have a bed check before you climb into the sheets. gross, i know, but necessary when you’re out in the wild. (no, we never have found a stink bug in our bed. just the occasional spider. ew. my father, however, is apparently not afraid of the stink bugs. i decided to take this picture  standing from the safe distance of the back porch.)

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(this painting was done by my great-aunt years ago. you’ll notice that there is a tree coming out of the porch. my great-grandfather built the cabin around it. for some reason, the tree was removed, but i can remember playing around it at a young age.)

the inside of the cabin, is similar to the outside: simple and rustic.

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the decor is a bit outdated and most of the furniture is left over pieces throughout the years from various family member’s homes.

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despite the dated decor, i love the simple details the cabin has….

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old door knobs, tongue-in-groove wood pine planking, and old family memorabilia like a quilt my grandmother made with her mother.

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throughout the small space, there are various quotes that have welcomed guests throughout the years. there are even guest books that have been filled with loving messages of the people who have stayed here. it’s so fun to read the words of past family members; some of which i never knew.

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the windows are all original from the 30’s. if you go up closely, you can see little bubbles that have formed and stayed in the window panes; a sign of their age.

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out of all of the cabin, i think the kitchen nook is my favorite. it holds the most memories for me, and also my first memory of the cabin. i’m not sure how old i was, but it was most definitely one of my first visits (from what i can remember). the entire table was surrounded (or more squished) with family members eating dinner. there must have been at least eleven people crowded around the table. there was laughter interspersed between the talking.

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after the dinner dishes were cleared from the table, the cards came out to play! i always loved to wash dishes at the cabin. such a strange delight because it does not have the same effect as when we are home. maybe it has something to do with the fact that doing the dishes at the cabin was always a family affair. you never had to do them alone. someone was always the washer and a few others were always the drier.

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while we were up at the cabin this last weekend, my dad mentioned that we should clean out some of the closets and cabinets sometime, because there might be some treasures.

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little did he know, that i would get to work right away (“sometime” seemed too far away). 😉

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so, i spent some time looking through the bedroom dresser and found some old long johns and slippers.

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not quite the treasure i had in mind.

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and then i remembered the hidden cabinet in the kitchen nook. it was where we kept all of the games and toys we used to play with when my brother, cousin, and i were kids.

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so, i started to pull out game after game after game. i had no idea there were so many, but some of them were from the 1930’s! the packaging alone is so cool!

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and then at the very bottom, i found these: old tootsie toy cars and trucks from the 50’s. most likely my father and uncle’s toys. my dad was pretty excited.

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so was this boy. he could hardly wait for me to take the picture of them, so he could start playing.

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so, although it may be small and rustic, i love this little cabin and all of its priceless treasures.

house tour tuesday: the fun house

happy tuesday, everyone!

welcome, to another tour of an Old Towne Orange home.

i’m excited to share with you all, a home that just makes me feel happy.

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when we first moved into our neighborhood, i was taking my son for a walk and walked by this house. to my surprise, someone called my name and when i turned around, standing there was one of my old students (from my first year of teaching).

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i was so excited to see that they were our new neighbors!

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now, when i was trying to think of what to title this post, a few names came to mind. the happy house. the colorful house. and then i decided that the fun house, was most appropriate. that’s not to say that i think it’s like a circus (although my friend, J, might feel like she lives in a circus at times because it is filled with bubbly, laughing little kids, puppies, a cat, and a guinea pig).

nope, instead this house is just plain fun. (i think you might agree)

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it is colorful, vibrant, and just happy. it breathes energy into me, every time i walk through the door.

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when i first toured the home a couple of years ago, the thing i noticed first and just LOVED was their brightly painted furniture.

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(they were the very first people to buy one of my oversized ruler growth charts. i have them to thank for starting that lil business. thank you!)

the space just oozes personality, which makes sense because the people that live in the home also ooze personality.

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they are cheerful, smart, warm, down-to-earth, and fun people.

they are also very real.

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when i first arrived at the house to take pictures for this post, my friend was a little nervous. (i’m calling you out J!) 😉

she was worried her home wasn’t clean enough, decorated enough, perfect enough to be shown on the blog.

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now let me just say, that i didn’t start out doing this weekly tour of houses, so that i could see perfect homes.

i’m not interested in perfect homes. sure, i love design and i love to see how people have decorated their homes.

but what i’m interested in are real homes.

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homes that are lived in. that show history.

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homes that tell me a story about the people that live and thrive inside.

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see, i think a home is more than just a place where we eat, sleep, and drink our coffee (the last being the most important, of course).

it’s a chance to express who we are.

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and how we see the world. or how we want our world to be. (in some cases, it’s a bright orange kitchen with ikat curtains! how fun!)

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it’s an opportunity for us to show what we believe in.

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and what matters most to us.

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our homes show the details of our lives.

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it’s how we put our spaces together that show what kind of people we are.

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maybe your home is neutral because you like it to be quiet (figuratively speaking). maybe it has striped curtains or ruffled pillows. or dishes in the sink or laundry on the table (or maybe that’s just my house?). or your grandmother’s old hand-me-down furniture. maybe it’s all blue because blue makes you feel peaceful.

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or maybe it has every color from the rainbow because bright colors just makes you feel happy. or maybe it’s not decorated at all and that’s okay.

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(btw, they found, yes, found this awesome yellow cabinet just like this in their back alley. what a find!)

whatever your home is, it is your very own. to let perfection go. to be real.

whether you are renting or owning, it is the place where you get to tell the people that visit, this is ME!

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so, whether your home is quiet, simple, elaborate, colorful, neutral or just plain fun.

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be proud of your space. and remember that people usually want to come back not because you have shiny, clean floors, but because of how you made them feel.

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or because you have cute little puppies running around that lick your toes.

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so, thank you, B family for inviting me into your home. for being you. for being real. and, of course, for being fun!

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ps. my son wants to come back to your fun house, again, soon! 😉

house tour tuesday: the surprise bungalow

i have a surprise bungalow for all of you.

actually this house was a surprise for me, too!

see, i walked next door on Sunday to go check in on my neighbors and see how they are coming along on their house.

remember, the big yellow?

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it is now the big green!

it is looking gorgeous, inside and out. i can’t wait to share all of the fabulous details the new homeowners have poured into this house. it’s going to blow your mind. at least it did mine. just a few more weeks and this beauty will be done!

in the meantime, my sweet neighbor called up her old neighbor (who also happens to live in old towne Orange) and asked if i could feature her house.

she said, “yes.” so, today we drove over and i took a peek.

oh holy moly. i think my jaw was in the locked open position for the whole tour.

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it’s in a part of old towne that i dearly adore. most all of the houses are nicely fixed up and the pride of ownership is very prevalent.

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even their garden was beautifully done. (i think i need to take some lessons from them on how to have a green thumb)

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when we first got there, i was greeted by the homeowners on the front porch. i instantly felt comfortable by the husband and wife duo.

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we chatted for a bit and then they welcomed me into their home.

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i was amazed by the amount of space i saw when i first entered. from the outside it looks like your classic old towne Orange craftsman. as soon as i walked through the door, i could see the amount of time and love that had been poured into it.  not only was the house meticulously restored, but it was made into a better version of itself!

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the living room was full of beautiful textiles

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and old furniture (look at that old scrubbed pine coffee table! drooling!)

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the more we entered, the more i loved it. of course, it wasn’t too hard to love, since the wife and i have similar taste. i loved all of her decorating choices.

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even her vignettes around the house reminded me of something i would have in my home (or actually have…hello, eggs in a nest!).

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what i noticed most about the home was that it had a cheerful, bright feeling about it. it invited you in and made you want to stay awhile. it completely reflected the same feeling of the homeowners: bright, cheerful and inviting!

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as we made our way through the house and into the kitchen, the wife and i started talking about design (a subject i could go on and on and on about and i do …i love it so much).

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to my surprise, she loved it just as much.

it’s rare for me to find someone who not only loves design, but loves to talk about design so much!

i was thrilled!

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we had a great time talking about the different materials she used and our mutual love for repurposing old things.

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while we were talking, she shared how she wished she had chosen to go into the design profession.

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my heart almost burst. i felt like i had met my long lost twin.

see, i had that same wish and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that i decided to go for it; to follow that dream.

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i told her about some of the design jobs i had gotten. how i used to feel so nervous about going into a field that is so competitive and wondering if i had what it takes (she shared those same concerns).

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we continued to walk through her house, talking and sharing while i admired her style and her very obvious talent in decorating (and crafting! look at those awesome pom pom flowers! i want to make some.)

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while we were talking, she mentioned she had thought about wanting a blog. a design blog, but she wasn’t sure if she should or where to start.

“um. yes. yes, you should! i will help!” i replied.

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and that’s when i stopped taking pictures.

i thought it would be best for her to share the rest of her home on her blog (there are lots more amazing spaces!). her new blog. her new design blog. because she has what it takes and i think she should go for it.

it’s never too late to follow a dream.

as i was leaving, this caught my eye…so, i took one more picture.

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my heart was full and happy.

(ps. thank you G & D for inviting me into your home. i was excited about getting to see a beautiful home, what a surprise to also meet two beautiful souls! and G, i’m looking forward to working together. lets chase those dreams!  it’s not too late.)

house tour tuesday: our home

i know i hinted last week about being ‘green with envy’ or ‘tickled pink,’ for our house tour this week, but you’ll have to stay tuned. i also said i would actually post ‘house tour tuesday’ on tuesday, not wednesday. but see, i haven’t gone to bed yet, so it’s still tuesday to me. what can i say, i’m a night owl!

Anyhoo, (haha..get it? i’m an owl. ok. moving on), i thought i would give you a glimpse of our home. it’s only about a minute long and i only have two rooms to show you (because these were the two that were clean).

and though i still have quite a few projects to do and painting to finish, i thought i would go ahead and share our space and the place we call home.

i don’t think i’ll do much talking tonight. just let you look around. before i do, i want to add, that our home has been created using either hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, Craigslist finds, consignment store purchases, or side of the road finds.

it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a house a home. just some patience, a little creativity, and a hot glue gun! (heh)

with that being said….welcome, come on in.

our entryway/dining room

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our family room

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our little hallway

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thanks for stopping by! come on back (when the rest of the house is clean 😉