7th House on the Left

Last week, my mom gave Ash a call to tell her there was a guy at her office who had an old steamer trunk that he was taking to the dump. When she saw it, she immediately thought of us and called to ask if we wanted it. Knowing I have a soft spot for vintage trunks, Ashley said, “Sure, why not?!” The next day, my mom brought over this guy…

A Bit of a Fixer-Upper // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Sure, it’s been through the wringer a few times, and it needs a lot of TLC, but it’s pretty awesome, right? There’s no indication as to how old it is, but as far as I know, it fits firmly into the “pretty dang old” category.

A Bit of a Fixer-Upper // 7thhouseontheleft.com

One of the leather straps is broken, but I’m hoping that will be a relatively easy fix. Other than that, a few nails are missing from the metal parts, and the lock no longer works. Fixing the lock might be out of the question, but I have a good idea of how I could probably fix and clean up the rest of this “fixer-upper.”

A Bit of a Fixer-Upper // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The inside is even dirtier than the outside – which is why it’s currently hanging out on the covered patio until we get it cleaned up. I have a feeling the original owner took a look inside and said, “I’m not messing with that.” Hence why it was in the back of his truck for disposal. One cool little detail is the pocket on the inside of the lid that I’m guessing would have been used to hold important papers and such.

Trunk Makeover Inspiration // 7thhouseontheleft.com

So, naturally, Ash is drumming up ideas on what to do with it. She’s thinking the best place for it might be in the guest bedroom, serving as a side table next to the chair (the one we’re hoping to replace sometime soon) in the corner. I think, if it turns out to look really cool, it should go in the living room, where we can show it off. Another option would be to put it in my office to balance out all of the modern aesthetics. It would be a great place for my record player and records. I guess we’ll see where it takes us. Inspiration photos from above found here, here and here.

While I have you guys here, I have a really quick favor to ask. We are very excited to be up for the JDR Industry Blogger Awards in the Remodeling category again this year! We were lucky enough to win in the same category last year and are honored to be nominated again. If you can spare 15 seconds of your time, Ashley and I would love your vote! It only takes two clicks (or taps if you’re on a mobile device), and there’s no registration or logging in required. Just click here and vote. Just like last year, if we win, a portion of the winnings will go directly towards Habitat for Humanity. We really appreciate your support!

Disclosure: My Frozen-loving wife was totally responsible for title of this post.


posted by Ashley  /  15 Comments

It’s official. Schools are closed, the grocery stores are out of bread and milk and the hardware stores are bare of salt bags and snow shovels. Yep, RVA is having a snow day, people!

If you live in our neck of the woods, or anywhere near it, you’re well aware that Winter Storm Janus is headed our way today. Obviously a lot of the country has gotten tons of snow this winter already – which makes our measly 4 to 8 inches look like nothing – but here in RVA, all we’ve had thus far is a dusting that melted within an hour or so. Needless to say, today’s Winter Storm Warning makes my snow-loving heart extremely happy.

Let It Snow Spoon by Jessica N Designs // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I’ve always been a huge fan of snow days and getting snowed in. Growing up, my dad would put a yard stick out on the deck, right outside the living room window, so we could see how much snow had fallen. My mom would make a big pot of chili, clean the house, make sure all of the laundry was done in case the power went out, light some candles, put on a good old movie for us to watch, and open all the blinds so we could watch the snow. My mom is in California right now and totally missing out on all of this fun. She’s super jealous.

Snow Day Essentials // 7thhouseontheleft.com

comfy sweatshirt / cozy blankets / a classic movie / mom’s chili / a few candles.

Now that I have a house of my own, getting ready for snow days is very similar. Though Greg and I normally don’t do the yard stick thing – however, now that I’ve mentioned it, I’m tempted to go put one out on the patio. While I was taking some photos of our latest project (coming later this week), Greg ran to the grocery store for me this morning and picked up a few snow essentials like bread, milk, soup… and hot chocolate and marshmallows, of course. Greg’s working from home today, so while he’s in his office I’m tidying up the house, finishing a few loads of laundry and getting the chili ready for dinner (even though I follow my mom’s recipe, it never tastes as good as hers). Even if we end up getting less snow than what they’re predicting, it’s still a fun way to spend the day.

So, how about you guys? What do you do to prep for snow days? Are you expecting snow today, too?

Snatch up a Let It Snow spoon here and check out our favorite hot chocolate recipe from Barefoot Contessa here.


posted by Ashley  /  20 Comments

Happy New Year, everyone! On New Years Eve, we rolled back into Virginia from Florida – just in time to get showers and ring in the New Year in our pajamas watching reruns of Perry Mason. After a long day of driving through five states, we weren’t up for much. That makes us sound old, doesn’t it? We obviously took a bit of a blog break over the holidays, and we’ll be catching back up with our regular post frequency next week. For now, we thought we’d do a quick post a little more on the “life” side of things with a rundown of our Christmas break.

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

FAMILY TOGETHERNESS // As I mentioned earlier, we drove down to Florida (right outside of Tampa) and stayed at my Grandparents’ house. There’s nothing like your grandma and grandpa’s house for Christmas. They had every single nook and cranny all decked out for Christmas – and it was amazing.

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

My mom and brother flew in from LA (more on that here), and we were able to spend a lot of time with my aunts, uncles and cousins that live in the area (that’s me and my brother in the photo above). It was great getting the chance to hang out, be together and have some much needed down time – especially after my great grandmother passed away a few weeks ago.

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Packer (my brother’s dog, named after the Green Bay Packers) flew in from LA along with my mom and Abram. Needless to say, Bentley was more than thrilled to have his BFF around. We love it when Bentley and Packer hang out because Bentley sleeps especially well at night after playing all day. It’s pure bliss. On the other side of that coin, Bentley went from being cooped up for 9 weeks after his surgery to having over 20 people in one house at the same time. So his social skills lacked a little finesse (he was very quick to bark and growl at people – which isn’t at all how he is at home with us). This is definitely something we’ll be working with him on before our next big family get-together.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING CONTEST // On Christmas night, as I mentioned in this post, we had our family gingerbread house decorating competition. Even though my house clearly wasn’t in the running due to an “earthquake”, it was a ton of fun, and we’ll definitely be doing it again. I’m already trying to come up with ideas in order to redeem myself next year.

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

With the help of you guys casting your vote, the winner was “Mountain Cottage”, which was built by my Aunt Dee Dee. My mom’s “Pebbles’ Christmas Cottage” came in second (which won our family voting round). Needless to say, my Aunt Dee Dee will enjoy holding onto the bragging rights until the next time. When the next competition rolls around, it’ll be on. Like Donkey Kong.

WHAT SANTA BROUGHT // Since we knew we were traveling to Florida this year for Christmas, Greg and I exchanged gifts a few weeks before the festivities. Greg surprised me with a trip to Ikea to buy a few pieces of furniture I’d been wanting for my office (more on that later!). I gave him a few guitar pedals he’d been wanting for a while. He would just go on and on about them, and I’d just act like I didn’t really understand exactly what it was. In reality, I had all of the specs in my head – right down to the model number. That being the case, he was pretty shocked when he opened it.


Since, in my head anyway, guitar pedals aren’t “fun” gifts to give, I also gave him a few small gifts that I wrapped and brought with us to Florida without him realizing. (Like this geeky pajama t-shirt, the new Garth Brooks box set, and a Dalek Mr. Potato Head.)

Week before last, my parents surprised Greg and my brother with an early Christmas present of 6th row tickets to the John Mayer concert here in Richmond. Needless to say, they were two extremely happy campers. They’re both still talking about it! My mom, whom I constantly use as a sounding board for all of my decorating ideas, got me a bunch of accessories I’d been eyeing for the house (like this capiz hurricane, a lacquer office tray, a collection of Penguin Classics and a few other things). My mom and dad also gave me a copy of the original Mary Poppins script along with Dick Van Dyke’s autograph, which I admittedly got a little teary eyed over.

My grandparents gave Greg and I a Keurig Vue – something we’ve been wanting for a while, but never got around to buying. We’ve been home fore about 24 hours and have already used it twice. Love. It. Our lives have officially changed!

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

In our book, giving gifts is even more fun than getting them. One of my favorite gifts we gave this year was to my cousin, Brooke. She’s a total Disney fanatic (like pretty much everyone else in our family) and loves Alice In Wonderland. After doing an extensive amount of Googling, I finally stumbled on an artisan on Etsy who makes custom doorknobs identical to those in the movie. I died. And then I ordered one.

OUR 6TH ANNIVERSARY // Since we were already in Florida, it wasn’t a hard decision to spend our favorite day at our favorite place, Disney World. The crowds, parking and humidity were killer, but we made the best of it and had a chance to take in the amazing Christmas decorations.

Christmas 2013 // 7thhouseontheleft.com

To commemorate our anniversary trip, we bought this Beauty and the Beast throw for our “Get Cozy” basket in the living room (I sing “Tale as old as time…” every time I pull it out, haha). We didn’t have anything “big” planned for our anniversary this year because our family reunion was scheduled to be at Disney World next month. However, since my great grandmother passed away and everyone took off work to make last minute flights for the funeral, we decided to postpone it to next year. No worries though, that will just give Disney World another year to prep for the craziness that is the Porter clan.

I guess that about wraps up our Christmas vacation recap. We’ll be back later this week with our 2014 inaugural installment of His + Her Favorite Things.

PS Most of these photos are from our Instagram feed. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, look us up at 7thHouseBlog.