7th House on the Left


posted by Ashley  /  4 Comments

I’ve never been good at math. Any kind of math class… let’s just say it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, when it came to my high school geometry class, that was a little more my style. I loved learning about the different shapes and how they work together, lines, angles, formulas… I was all there. Then came calculus. Enough said, right? Yeah, my not-so-good relationship with math class picked right up where we left off.

Recently I’ve been working on a few geometric-inspired prints for our Etsy store. The more I work on them, the more I’ve been noticing geometric designs in random, everyday things. Since we like to let you guys in on what’s going on in our heads, I thought it would be fun to put together a post with some of my favorite geometric-inspired spaces I’ve come across lately on Pinterest. Ahh, the power of Pinterest.

In this mid-century modern room geometric shapes clearly define the overall theme. Even though there are a lot of shapes going on, it doesn’t seem too busy. Image Pinned here.

The first thing that caught my eye in this comfy reading nook is the geometric mirror. Actually, this would be a pretty simple DIY project (just paint a few pre-cut pieces of molding and attach them to an existing mirror with adhesive). The shapes in the mirror mimic the shapes on the gray and white pillow. Image Pinned here.

I’m all about using wallpaper in small bathrooms. Even though you’d think it would make the room feel totally claustrophobic, wallpaper has the potential to make small spaces feel like a little jewel box of detail. This bathroom is a perfect example. Image Pinned here.

I love the combination of the weathered geometric artwork and the sleek teal ceramic lamp. The stack of books is a great way to bring home the pink, teal, white, and yellow color combination. Love it all! Image Pinned here.

This one is a little more on the light and airy side, but this is another great geometric wallpaper. The lines of the door windows really bring out the square shapes in the wallpaper design. Image Pinned here.

I love how the designers of this back yard used every inch of this long, narrow space to make a statement. The square “zones” of shrubbery mixed with the placement of the stone pavers make this backyard space a geometric shape-lover’s dream. Image Pinned here.

I used to fall in the rut of “oh my goodness, bedding has to match perfectly”. But lately, I’m all about mixing and matching, as long as the sheets are white. That’s still one of my must-haves. Anyway, this bedding is the perfect example of a mix match combo that works. First of all, you’ve got the fun combo of orange, green, and blue. Then, the geometric patterns add variation and texture to the already-unique color combination. Image Pinned here.

Greg and I are both big fans of this bedroom. We love how the vertical lines make the room seem so much taller. There are a lot of rectangles and squares  going on but it all seems to come together perfectly. Image Pinned here.

Obviously, I couldn’t round up my favorite geometric-inspired spaces without at least one nod to the popular chevron pattern. This massive rug is to die for, right?! There are many things I love about this lofty dining room… the geometric ceiling details, the clean dining table along with the fun  Jonathan Adler accents, the modern swivel chairs… Okay, I love it all. Greg pointed out that he likes the two huge globe lights and the symmetrically placed trees on either side of the window. I guess this room is a perfect mix of our tastes. Image Pinned here.

So, what about you? Do you dig geometric shapes in home decor?

We know, we’re long overdue for a kitchen “reinstall” update. Well, the kitchen is still “in limbo” so to speak. We’re sure some of you are wondering what in the world is taking us so long. Rest assured, we ask ourselves that same question pretty much everyday. I guess what it comes down to is with this being our first house, we’re just being super slow to make such a huge decision. We’re wanting to make sure it’s the right one and we’re going to be happy with is forty years down the road. Okay, maybe not forty, but you get what I mean.

From time to time, we have a slight glimmer of “maybe we should have kept the old cabinets…?”. But that thought goes right out the window when we think about making all of the “demo mess” now rather than before we moved in. On top of the dust and overall mess of ripping out the cabinets, there was also the flooring… remember, the kitchen used to be tile. We also closed in a window to make a new space for the fridge and ultimately make the layout much more convenient (more about the future layout here). Aaaaaand, if that wasn’t enough, when we ripped out the kitchen cabinets, we found at least two gallons of loose pieces of dog food under the “sealed” cabinets. Who knows how long that could have been there or what that could end up attracting. We wouldn’t have known it was there if we didn’t take out the cabinets. So, yeah. When we think about all that, all of the “maybe we should have” thoughts go bye-bye. No regrets here.

Living in our temporary kitchen has become second nature to us (read more about our current set up here). We’ve learned to use an electric skillet to cook just about anything (even boiled eggs!), storing dishes in moving boxes and super low “countertops” (aka folding tables) are the norm, and we don’t mind grilling out a lot. Come to think of it, we’d probably be grilling a lot even if we had a full kitchen. And the addition of the new refrigerator has been a major improvement on what we were working with the first few months. On top of all that, my parents live not far from here. So if I get an overwhelming urge to bake a cake, fortunately there’s a full functioning kitchen to my disposal 24/7 close by. Focusing on the positive.

As for where we are now in the process we like to call our “kitchen reinstall”, we’re in “extensive research” mode. As you know, we’ve talked about getting cabinets from Lowe’s and Ikea. We’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of both options – the pros and cons, the do’s and don’ts. We’re feeling highly educated in both cabinet options but we’re still not completely sold on either one. We know that probably sounds totally crazy and you’re like, “go ahead and make a decision already!”. We’re getting there. Slow and steady wins the race, right? We hope so.

Now that we’re educated in options one and two, we’re looking into a option number three: custom. Okay, no, not Bob the Builder – but maybe a guy named Bob. Who knows. A few months ago, I got an email from a reader, Megan – who, come to find out, was in my gym class in high school! – asking about our cabinet decision. She went on to say she was just wondering because her parents recently totally remodeled their kitchen (and added a mud room and sun room). They also had a consultation at Lowe’s (the same designer we had) but ultimately decided to go with a local cabinet guy who custom-built their entire kitchen for a fraction of the price they would have paid at Lowe’s and every aspect was customized to their wants and needs – shaker-style cabinets including lazy susans in the corner cabinets, an island, banquette area, microwave nook, etc. Basically, the whole kit and kaboodle.

Megan included a link to her blog with before and after photos of her parent’s kitchen reno overhaul and I must say, the difference is truly amazing!

Here’s the before…

reader reno kitchen

…and the after!

reader reno kitchen

I know, right?! And get this, both of the above photos were taken from the exact same spot! It doesn’t even look like the same house! The cabinets are great and the exact style of what we are looking to have in our kitchen – including the deep bottom drawers as opposed to regular cabinets and a few glass-front cabinets.

reader reno kitchen

Here’s the before and after of the old kitchen wall and their new entry to the mud room…

reader reno kitchen

I also love the thick molding around the windows and doors and who doesn’t love a good banquette area?!…

reader reno kitchen banquette

Needless to say, my response to Megan email included, “Would you mind giving me his contact information?”. We’ve already talked to the “cabinet guy” and we just need to get him our measurements/details in order to get a ballpark figure of how much it would cost. I’m excited to delve into the world of custom cabinets and learn more about the process and the ins and outs. And you never know, we just might make a decision. Ha!

Once we nail down the pros and cons of custom cabinets, we’ll be sure to fill you guys in on our thought process. That’s what this blog is all about, right?

So now time for you to dish the details… have you had experience with custom cabinets? What do you think the pros and cons are? Or how about any other avenues like Lowe’s Street or Ikea Boulevard? Tell us about it in the comments section. We’d love to hear your input…

Oh and by the way, if you happen to notice any weird things going on (broken links, missing images, etc), we’re currently working on publishing some of the upgrades we mentioned in our State of the Blog Address a while back. Thanks for your patience!

Bob the Builder image found here.


posted by Ashley  /  22 Comments

Growing up, if the TV was on you’d find one of two things: 1) the Disney channel or 2) an old black and white tv show. Eight times out of ten, that black and white tv show would be I Love Lucy. When I was little, I told my mom I wanted to live in a brownstone in New York City, marry a band leader, travel across country with my best friends, and raise chickens. When I was a teenager, Ethel was my definition of a true best friend and when I went off to college, my I Love Lucy dvds made the dorm room instantly feel a little more like home. To this day, the sound of the opening credits seems to make everything better. As corny as all this may sound, I Love Lucy is one of those things that will always be a part of my life.

Over the past three years of being married, luckily some of my love for I Love Lucy has even rubbed off on Greg. He says he sympathizes for Ricky. I wonder what that’s saying about me…? As for Bentley, he’s not the type of dog that reacts to things on the TV – except for the “ding ding ding” on the Pep Boys Commercial. He barks every time. But he tends to settle in for a nap whenever he hears the I Love Lucy theme song. No exaggeration. I think it’s because when Bentley was a puppy and it was just him and me (before Greg and I got married), I’d turn on I Love Lucy when I went to bed. So I guess he just associates the sounds with going to sleep. However, I like to think he just enjoys the show. Ha!

Apparently we’re not the only ones who love Lucy because according to the Nielsen ratings, I Love Lucy has never ranked under Number 3 and has never gone off the air since 1951. With that being the case, I’m sure a lot of you, if not all of you, have been “guests” in the Ricardo’s apartment at some point or another.

So, you’re probably wondering what’s with all of this Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel talk. Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy and since this blog is all about the place we live and our lives in it, it seemed natural to dedicate a post to all things “Lucy living” in honor of their diamond anniversary. After all, we love Lucy.

i love lucy apartment

Over the course of the show, Ricky and Lucy lived in three spaces: 1) their first apartment, 2) their second apartment (in the same building but they switched to another apartment to make room for Little Ricky), and finally 3) their house in the country. There are only about four differences between the first and the second apartment but the easiest way to tell the difference between the two is their second apartment had a window over the piano in the living room. All in all, the Ricardo’s apartment (both of them) is the one fans know their way around the most and probably one of the most iconic TV residences of all time.

Lucy had her fair share of crazy experiences when it came to buying furniture. Like when Ricky told her she could spend $500 and she ended up spending $3,272.75 because she thought the stock numbers were the prices! Nevertheless, their apartment was always sporting the latest and greatest styles of the 50′s. Over the course of 6 seasons in their apartment, Lucy underwent at least five furniture changes. After the first “makeover”, all of the furniture had a distinct mid-century modern flair with ultra tailored lines – the “in” style for the 50′s. Just like fashion, furniture seems to go in full circle because I’m pretty sure I saw season three’s couch at Room & Board…

I love the apartment’s master bedroom. Actually, before we bought the bed for our guest room, we were on the lookout for two twin beds for a fun mid-century modern look. I also like the idea of having graphic floral wall paper on the focal wall.

Apparently, their furniture was so popular in the 50′s that a furniture company in Roanoke, Virginia came out with a “Live Like Lucy” bedroom suite. Can you imagine… two solid wood dressers and a bed for $198!

In the Ricardo’s second apartment, they had a small nursery right off the bedroom. Like the bedroom furniture, Little Ricky’s furniture was a big hit and ended up in furniture stores all across the country. Even the crib bedding! You can get a good look at the furniture and the bedding in this clip of Ricky telling Little Ricky his version of Little Red Riding Hood… “Caperucita Roja”:

The apartment was small (though I’m sure not as small as some actual New York City apartments), but it seemed to have everything needed to almost get by with her crazy stunts. Including an oven that magically held a giant loaf of bread:

I imagine with iconic black and white tv shows, everyone has their own idea of what color things are in “real life”. When it came to color on the set of I Love Lucy, the set designers were told to not use anything red that would compete with Lucy’s hair. Therefore, even on set, there wasn’t much color to be had. But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine.

If the Ricardo’s apartment were recreated today, this is what I imagine it being like…

i love lucy mood board

1. Penthouse View Wall Art from ZGallerie 2. Eugene Sofa from Room & Board 3. Morse Table Lamp 4. Upright Piano from Yamaha 5. Desk Phone from Target 6. Cole Chair + Ottoman from Room & Board

If you aren’t already a Lucy fan, you must watch an episode or two! You can catch 77 episodes here on CBS.com!

Living room photos found here and here. Room and Board photo found here. Bedroom photo found here. Bedroom set ad found here.