7th House on the Left

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.

HIS + HER FAVORITE THINGS

posted by Greg & Ashley  /  19 Comments

Happy October, everyone! The weather is getting cooler, the leaves will soon start changing, and before you know it, we’ll be sitting down for a big Thanksgiving dinner. So let’s get started with this month’s favorite things…

1. Hoodies – Warning: This is going to sound very un-manly. I love hoodies. They’re a bit too casual for work, but I try to wear one whenever I can during my off-time this time of year. I’m super-excited that the weather has cooled down to the point where I can wear one without looking crazy. It was in the 50′s last night! Bring on the cold weather!

2. Our Local Farmers’ Market – I know, I know. I’m a little late in the year to be talking about this, but I only just recently discovered the joy of our local farmers’ market. Ashley has been going there all her life, but after a year of living in the area, I’d never been. That problem was rectified last month, and now I’m hooked. Eating apples, peaches, and other produce that I know was just picked by a local farmer is a great feeling, and everything tastes better, too! Every few days since we first went, I’ve been going back to replenish my stock of fruits and veggies. I’m already looking forward to next year when I can take full advantage of the entire harvest season.

3. SplashTop for iPad – I love this app. Sure, it lets you remote control your computer, but tons of apps do that. The joy of Splashtop is if you are on the same local network, you can watch Flash videos in real time! It really does feel like you’ve got your whole computer on your iPad while you’re using it. Of course, movies and such don’t work quite as well over 3G, but you can still remote control your PC or Mac remotely over the airwaves. This is my new go-to app for remote-controlling my personal computers, and I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.

4. Husky Screwdriver – This is one of those things I didn’t know I couldn’t live without. I use my Husky “tweaker” screwdriver almost every day, and it’s a lifesaver. There’s not much more to say about this. If you work on electronics or computers (or even if you don’t), you should have one of these in your tool arsenal. At $5-10, it’s a great investment.

5. Espresso Maker - You might realize by now, I’m a bit of a coffee fanatic. It’s not that I drink a ton of it, mind you. I just love a truly good cup in the morning. One thing I’ve been really hankering for lately, though, is a nice latte from home every now and then, and that’s not possible without an espresso machine. If you’ve never done any research on these steam-era marvels, you should. They’re really fascinating, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the skill it takes for your barista to pull a good shot of espresso. In the near future, I think we’ll be starting to shop around for something to scratch my espresso itch. I’ll probably start pretty small and inexpensive, but I’ll be sure to share my success (or defeat) with you guys when the time comes.

6. Rostov’s – Speaking of coffee, Rostov’s is one of the local coffee roasters in the Richmond Area. Again, we like keeping it local whenever we can. If you’ve never had a cup of coffee made with beans that were just roasted a day or so previous, you’re missing out. Whenever someone says, “I don’t like coffee,” I just reply, “You just haven’t had the right cup yet.” Rostov’s is a great place to start exploring your coffee options. They’ve got all sorts of different beans, roasts, and blends. If you find all of that a little confusing, that’s okay! I found the staff there to be extremely helpful the first time I wandered in. They helped me pick the right bean for my tastes, then offered to grind it for me right there. If you’re not in the Richmond area, just do a Google search for local coffee roasters (or, you can order Rostov’s on their website). You’ll never go back to grocery store coffee again.

Now for the birthday girl’s favorite things. I’m pretty sure she’s giving me some birthday present hints in here somewhere…

1. Twirl by Kate Spade - Even though I’m kind of a “perfume junkie”, I’m a tried and true Clinique Happy and Amazing Grace fan. I like perfume to be light, airy, not too fruity and slightly floral. In last month’s Birchbox (which I talked about in this Fave Things post), they included a sample of Twirl by Kate Spade. Let me say, I have used that little sample until there is not one molecule of perfume left! It smells SO good! I’ve noticed that the scent changes a bit by the end of the day – but in a totally good way. They decsribe it best… “the fragrance dries down to a base of luminous musks and a touch of a French macaroon—straight from the patisserie, of course.” … Yum, right?!

2. Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio – I started using this eyeshadow in college, then switched between a few others for a while just for something different. After getting tired of those, I switched back to the Smashbox Eyeshadow (in Focal Point) and wondered why I quit using it in the first place! In short, it’s awesome for everyday and can be easily amped up with a tiny dab of water on your brush. I don’t see myself going back to the “others” anytime soon.

3. Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder - Magic. In. A. Bottle. For my hair anyways. A few sprays on the roots adds immediate volume. I also use it on the ends of my hair to add a little extra texture. It’s also slightly tinted, which makes your hair appear thicker. Overall, this is one of my new “must haves”. If you decide to try it out, make sure you get the right shade for your hair. My hair is medium brown with chunky blonde highlights, so I use the “Blondish Hair Powder” and it blends in really well!

4. White Pumpkins – Last year, I loved the idea of trading in the traditional orange pumpkins for the Martha Stewart-ish white pumpkins – or “fairytale pumpkins” as they call them around here. But this year, I’m kind of obsessed with them. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed a lot of the local patches, markets, and farmers selling more white pumpkins this year, and they are selling out fast! We haven’t decided what we’re going to do on our front porch yet – but I’m pretty sure at least one white pumpkin will be involved.

5. Sephora’s Beauty Insider ProgramApparently this is the month for beauty products. I’ve been a Sephora shopper for years (since 2005 according to my Beauty Insider account) and over the years I have become a huge fan of their Beauty Insider program. (It’s free to join, by the way!) With every dollar you spend, one point is added to your Beauty Bank. As you save up points, you can “cash them in” for special Insider products. (The 500-point perks are really nice!) They even have special deals and store events specifically for Beauty Insider members. Aaaaand, when your birthday rolls around, they send you a special birthday gift – for free! My birthday is coming up on Friday, and along with the order I placed last week, they sent me a bottle of Philosophy’s Vanilla Cupcake Shower Gel. How nice!

6. Mercury Canister – Another ZGallerie favorite! Ever since I did the DIY mercury glass candle votive a while back, I tend to be distracted by mercury glass items wherever I shop. I love how it can add a little bit of subtle “bling” to a any room. This little canister would be cute paired with a stack of books and a small vase of flowers. Love it!

7. Real Simple Wall Organizer – I picked up this Real Simple dry erase weekly wall organizer the other day at Target. We’ve only used it for a few days, but we already love it! We hung it on the side of the fridge and it has proved to be really useful. It’s not too big and bulky to take up a bunch of room, but it’s the perfect space for Greg and me to keep track of our weekly happenings and major to-do’s. And it has a nice, linen frame that you usually don’t find with the “norm” wipe-off calendars. Yay for pretty organization!

How about you? Do you have any current favorites? Leave a comment and share them with us…

THE FAQ EXTRAVAGANZA

posted by Ashley  /  30 Comments

Last week marked our one year anniversary here at 7th House on the Left. Technically, one year for the blog and our 10 month anniversary living in the house. We know it sounds totally cliche, but time REALLY does fly! It seems like it was just last week when we posted the very first post. And it seems like yesterday when we started moving furniture in the house. Yes indeed, cliche or not, time flys when you’re having fun.

Over the past year, many questions have come through our inbox. We don’t have a bajillion FAQ’s to warrant having a dedicated FAQ page and our house isn’t anywhere near “done” enough to have a bona-fide “source list” to answer the “where did you get that?” questions. With that being said, we decided to gather up some of our most frequently asked questions and answer them in a post…

Where did you get the “Rare Prints” sign in your living room?
Pottery Barn. Unfortunately, they don’t carry it anymore, which is a complete shame because we get 4+ emails a week from people asking where they can get one! It’s one of our favorite pieces in the house and we are SO glad we snatched one up when we did. A fellow blogger, Susie Harris, actually saw our sign here on the blog and decided to DIY it! Read how she did it here!

Who designed your blog?
The blog was designed by yours truly. Basically, I do all of the graphic design stuff and Greg does the programming, coding, and makes it happen. We make a good team : )

Do you design websites and/or blogs for other people/companies?
We used to, but due to our busy schedules, we’ve hung up our web design hats. I have a graphic design background (more accurately, an advertising background) and occasionally take on clients to stay fresh and “in the zone”. As for designing for the web, there just aren’t enough hours in the day… or brain power.

Has anyone ever told Greg he looks like Seth Rogen?
It’s funny that a few of you have actually asked this because there aren’t that many photos of us on the blog yet (I know, I know. We’re working on it!). No exaggeration, promise… he hears it 6 days out of the week. Quite a few have even asked if he was Seth Rogen. Which is weird because what would Seth be doing in the middle of Virginia? Anywhere we go… Chick-Fil-A, Target, Cracker Barrel, Wallgreens, Starbucks we hear, “Has anybody told you that you look just like that guy from [insert Seth Rogen movie here]?”

When do you publish new posts?
This isn’t really a FAQ, but it’s a new-ish thing around here so we though we’d throw it in. We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We post the occasional giveaway on Tuesdays and even sprinkle an Etsy Thursday in here and there. We also may pop in for a random update from time to time, depending on the project at hand. But all in all, we keep to the MWF schedule to keep our brains organized and so you know when a new post is up waiting to be read. Yay for schedules! I feel better when things are more organized, don’t you? Also, when a new post is up, we let you guys know via Twitter and Facebook.

How do you design your His + Her favorite things boards?
I use a mixture of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. If the product photos need to be edited (the background taken out or cropped) I do that in Photoshop. When it comes to laying it all out, I head over to Illustrator and put all of the pieces together. You could also easily do the layout in Photoshop though. As for Greg, he normally just gives me his list of favorites and I put his board together for him, since he’s usually busy with his daily “nine-to-five”. Of course, I always make sure to show him his board when I’m done to get his “seal of approval”.

Where did you get the bedding in the guest room?
The white sheets are 100% bamboo sheets that we picked up from Tuesday Morning for a steal. (They’re SUPER soft and comfy, by the way!) The gray quilt is from Target (the Thomas O’Brien collection), and so are the yellow and white quilt (the Dwell Studio collection), the gray Euro pillows, and yellow flower pillow. Who doesn’t love Target? The blue pillows are from the long lost, yet very loved, Nate Berkus collection at Linens ‘N Things.

Did you ever find a second Jonathan Adler-esque lamp?
They’re talking about this lamp I picked up at HomeGoods way back when. Sadly, no. Since it doesn’t have a mate, the lamp is in my office (you can see it here) and I think that’s where it’s going to stay. I really like it in there, so it kind of seems meant-to-be. However, one reader emailed us from Ohio saying they saw it at their Home Goods and even offered to go back and get it for us and ship it! Seriously, how did we get such awesome readers this early on?

Where is your go-to vacation destination?
Yes, this is the one random/just for fun question. I don’t think we’ve talked about it much on the blog (except for maybe a little in this post), but Greg and I are total Disney World fans. We’ve been to London, Ireland, Canada, and even Australia. All of them are really awesome destinations, yeah. But when it comes to our number one go-to vacation destination, Disney World has them all beat. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. It might be more of a sentimental connection though. Growing up, my family went to Disney World for vacation every single year – sometimes more than twice a year. No, my family members don’t have their houses decked completely in Mickey Mouse ears… though the jury is still out on my cousin Dana (kidding!). We all just enjoy fun atmosphere and the magic that is Disney. When Greg and I got married, for our honeymoon, we spent two weeks at Disney World. I had the best time showing Greg (who had only been there once when he was 10) around and got to show off my Disney World vacationing skills. Since our honeymoon, we’ve vacationed there twice and still can’t wait to go back again. Ugh, I could write an entirely other blog on this. Don’t hate on the rather stylish Mickey Mouse shades.

What kind of camera do you use?
On the blog, you’ll find a mixture of photos taken with our iPhones, a Sony Powershot, and a Canon 5D Mark II.

cute puppy box

What breed of dog is Bentley?
Bentley is a full breed Promeranian… though sometimes we wonder if he’s part squirrel. Or deer. Or kangaroo. Or cat. Or fox, even. But nope, his papers beg to differ.

What paint color did you use in your living room (guest bedroom, laundry room, etc)?
We get this question so often, we decided to add a paint colors button to the sidebar. Even so, we decided to include it in today’s FAQ round up because it wouldn’t be an honest-to-goodness FAQ roundup without including the MOST frequently asked question of all time. So, for kicks, here we go: The living/dining room, and Greg’s office were painted Martha Stewart’s Cobblestone (#MSL241) in satin. The hallway is the same color, though in flat. My office and our master bedroom were both painted Restoration Hardware’s Slate in subtle velvet finish. The guest bedroom and laundry room were painted Martha Stewart’s Artesian Well (#MSL117) – the guest room in flat and the laundry room in satin. The trim and doors were painted Sherwin-Williams’ Extra White (in semi-gloss). Whew! That’s a lot of paint!

That about covers the frequently (and not so frequently) asked questions we get around here. If you have a question we didn’t cover, ask away in the comment section!

FACEBOOK ONLY GIVEAWAY ALERT! This week, we’re giving one lucky “Facebook-Liker” a set of our favorite interior design books (the ones I talked about in this post!). So click on over, “Like” 7th House on the Left, and find out how to win!