7th House on the Left

Once in a while, Ash and I like to take random drives around the back roads of the Richmond area. Virginia is filled with so many interesting historical landmarks, battlefields, museums, and parks that you’re bound to find something that piques your interest no matter what direction you end up heading. Even though Ashley and I have lived in this neck of the woods for most of our lives (well, all of hers; most of mine), we still haven’t seen all of the attractions our area has to offer. So, it’s a lot of fun to take a drive every now and then just to see what we come up with.

Recently, while on one of our drives, we stumbled upon McLawhorn’s Red Barn Antiques. It’s right in the middle of a fork in the road, and looks like it’s been there forever. As it turns out, it was once a very popular general store, Borkey’s Store, back in the early 1900′s. The history alone makes this an interesting stop.

The items sitting outside gave us a preview of what we would find in the store. Everything out here was from an era where furniture was made from solid wood. I don’t think you could find a single scrap of particle board anywhere near this place.

Oh–Did I mention the reason all the furniture is sitting outside is because the inside is so packed with awesome stuff from bygone eras that we wouldn’t have had a place to walk otherwise? Yeah. This place is going to take several trips to even scratch the surface.

There are three huge aisles, lined with tons of great items – so packed you could barely walk through them. The left side of the store is stocked with tons of kitchen-oriented antiques and records.

While this part of the shop also has some kitchen items, it’s home to my favorite section: books. You can see a few of them peeking out of the bottom-right corner here.

I’m a big fan of solid wood, dark-stained desks. The detail work is simple and clean, but it adds that extra touch that makes this desk look special.

You’d think this was just a cool conversation piece in the middle of the store. Nope. It’s a real, honest-to-goodness, working(!) drink fridge from which the antique shop staff hands out free Cokes to its customers.

Ash and I have a fascination with antique trunks, so these certainly caught our eyes. They were a little out of our price range for the day (coming in around $250 a piece), but I hope someone gives these a good home. They’re truly amazing in person.

We found this small chest of drawers sitting outside and Ashley immediately fell in love. She said it would be perfect for the foyer.

It was very solid and had a little wear and tear but that could be fixed. Coming in at $75, it was worth a try. So we packed it up in Ashley’s parent’s SUV and took it home.

I have to admit, I was a tad skeptical whether or not it would be a good fit for the foyer. I trust Ashley’s “style judgment” most of the time, but for some reason, I just couldn’t see it. I guess it’s a “guy thing”. When we got it in the house, I had a change of heart. We couldn’t have picked a more perfect piece for the foyer. Like how I say “we” now that it looks good? haha…

For now, we’re going to hold off on painting it. Even though the worn paint looks pretty cool, we’re not sure this shade of green is quite right for our house. In some lighting, it looks a little dull and heavy so it could use a little brightening up. I don’t know about Ash, but if we do decide to paint it down the road, I’d love to find a way to emulate the “worn” look.

As for what’s going to go on, in, and above… Ash said she envisions a large mirror (like this one she found on Pinterest) and maybe a lamp to bounce some light around. We plan on sprucing up the inside of the drawers as well with some graphic wallpaper turned drawer liner. Once that’s done, we’ll probably use it to store miscellaneous items like extra candles and maybe a drawer for Bentley’s leash and his sweater collection… he’ll think he’s spoiled – even more than he already is!

So that’s the rundown on our latest find for the house! Have you had any cool finds lately? Share them with us by leaving a comment…

Thanks to the World Wide Web, over the past few weeks, Ashley has come to realize that anything and everything can be done to a pumpkin. Creative bloggers have done everything you could possibly think of… They’ve painted, decoupaged, upholstered, gilded, glittered, chalk-boarded, monogramed, hot glued, covered with vinyl, spray painted, sequined, and finally, carved their pumpkins into all sorts of designs. On top of that, we’ve also seen them made into serving pieces, candy bowls, planters, bird feeders, candy dispensers, chandeliers (I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart), clocks, topiaries, tureen toppers… the list goes on.

All that being said, we’re thinking about going with the tried and true classic pumpkin this year. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past Ashley to change her mind and get out the paint. As a matter of fact, I’d say there’s a really good chance that she will do just that by the time the season is over. Regardless of how we decide to proceed with our favorite Fall-time gourd, Ashley and I thought we’d share some of our favorite designs and concepts from around the ‘net. Hopefully these will inspire you to do something cool and festive with your own outdoor fall decorations:

1. Decoupaged Chevron Pumpkins by Tatertots & Jello 2. Monogramed Pumpkin by The Butlers  3. Puffy Paint Pumpkins by Young House Love 4. Chalkboard Pumpkins by The Old Painted Cottage 5. Sequined Pumpkins by Making Lemonade  6. Gold Thumbtack Pumpkins by MadiganMade 7. Polka Dot Pumpkins by BHG 8. Silhouette Pumpkin by The Lettered Cottage

There aren’t any “manly” pumpkins out there. I might have to rectify that… I’m thinking TRON pumpkins with glow-in-the-dark blue paint.

Have you treated any pumpkins this year? Tell us about them (or leave a link!) in the comment section…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it a million times more, but inspiration is all over the place. It’s in the simplest things… packaging, the color of an apple, the pattern of the bricks in the road, a cosmetics bag, a vase of flowers, an old door, a concert poster, a perfume bottle… yeah, you get the idea.

I had one of those “aha inspiration moments” the other day while I was busy rearranging the books on the shelves of our TV unit in the living room. We’re still in the process of finding the right “things” to be displayed with the books, but I still tend to rearrange the book collection every few days. The right side is a little more “done” than the left, but we’re getting there.

After a few minutes of stacking, switching, and moving things around, I had somehow concocted a relatively unexpected and fun color combination:

Then it dawned on me: these are the types of colors I want to use in this room. I had been going back and forth with color combos in my head for weeks – specifically trying to decide if I wanted to use red or not (I talked a little bit about that here). I’m not looking for a “designated color scheme” by any means, just a color combo to use as my inspiration when picking out things to go in the room. And by “room”, I mean the room that consists of the living room, kitchen, and dining room – oh, and my office. Right now, we have a pretty bland pallet: gray walls, white trim, white fireplace, and hopefully one day a new gray sofa. Even though it looks “blah” for now, it’s the perfect “canvas” to incorporate my new favorite color scheme.

Greg’s pretty happy with the colors, too! Well, as happy as a husband gets, haha! I’m not looking to slather the room with bright bold colors. Even though that could totally work in other spaces, I want to go for something that’s subtle yet colorful. Oxymoron, right? I’m thinking something kind of like these rooms…

I wonder if I can find a purse big enough to carry all of these books inside stores with me when I go shopping… just kidding! I’ll probably just to keep the photo of the books on my phone for on the go.

How about you? Have any “aha inspiration moments” lately? What’s your take on color schemes? 

Simple inspiration grid photos found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and lastly, here. Room inspiration photos found here, here and here. Whew! That was a lot.