Monday, January 24, 2011

Gray and White

It's no secret that gray is my favorite color (I-i-i felt so symbolic yesterday).

Anyone? Anyone?

But I love, love, LOVE the combo of gray and white. Take gray of pretty much any shade, put it next to something white, and I'll swoon. There are a few examples of this in our house already. Gray walls and white trim, obviously. A charcoal piece of fabric framed in a white frame. Charcoal gray glass tiles surrounded by white subway tile (both set off with medium gray grout).

When we moved in almost two years ago, the second room we made over was our bedroom. The first was the guest bathroom, which we've already completely redone again. Honestly, we made some decisions in our bedroom that we wouldn't make again. But this is a much bigger room, and these decisions involve a lot more expense. So we're going to work with them.

We do love the paint color we chose, truly. It's what started the color inspiration for our entire house. So I'll give us an A+ on that. But the trim color is not so great. I would have already redone it if not for the French doors. And I'll eventually do it anyway. I originally chose a muslin color when we thought the common rooms were going to be a tan/brown. But now I want all the trim to be BM Simply White. It's going to be a bitch of a job.

The furniture? Meh. The style is okay. We wouldn't choose it today, but it's not bad. We're just not into matchy matchy anymore. We would not buy a matching set today, and we would rather have a medium wood tone. And really, we would SO rather have smaller scale furniture. But the biggest mistake by far was the brand. We bought from Ashley Furniture, and we are SO unhappy with the quality. We have known people who had Ashley stuff they were happy with (not heirloom quality, but we didn't expect that). But I would NEVER buy anything from there that had moving parts. Our drawers are awful. We've had to replace the tracks on two drawers in a year, and several won't stay shut.

We'll be replacing this a lot sooner than if we'd just saved a little more, and went with something higher quality. Or even better, waited a little longer and bought estate pieces or shopped in Houston where we had better, and cheaper, options.

I also chose bedding, art, accessories, etc. that I liked at the time, but looking back they just aren't my style. I do like certain pieces of course, but the whole neutral earth tones palette just wasn't working for me anymore.

So with some Christmas money, thanks to the grandparents, I started what will be a slow process: making our bedroom look like a part of the rest of our house. First on the agenda was injecting some gray and white, in the way of bedding.

With my money and a West Elm coupon code burning a hole in my pocket, I gambled on whether I should wait for the Spring Collection, or go ahead and buy on sale. I decided to take a chance and wait, and it paid off.

I got the new Stripe Duvet Cover with Euro Shams. And we also got the Flame Stitch Blanket (it's hard to navigate to their blankets, even though they have a couple. Put blanket in the search bar).

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Love that texture. And you know I'm a sucker for anything chevron.

That first pic was taken with my phone. Here's a truer to color, and truer to life picture of how the bed looks.

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Come on, like you all have perfectly made beds with throw pillows every day? We both love how much BRIGHTER the room looks from this change alone. It's so refreshing and just feels cleaner.

I do plan on covering a couple of throw pillows, but I have to choose fabric first. My instinct is very graphic, black and white, but then I think I should bring in some very bright color. Like a flame red, the color of my dutch oven? I love the contrast of the color with gray/blue gray.

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(making a big pot of red beans and rice this weekend. it means the beginning of Mardi Gras in our house)

Gray and White is really the perfect color scheme, I'm convinced. I've yet to find a spot it doesn't look good in. I have gray and white curtains in our office. A gray and white letterpress print in the upstairs bathroom. And now this bedding.

But there comes a point where an obsession can go to far, and I think I've reached it.

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Meet Moe. Short for Mowgli, his shelter name. He's about three months, or a little older. He's got long hair that we think will stick around, and blue gray eyes that we think will go away with age.

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He has two modes: running around like an insane wild man, or snuggling up as close to one of us as he can be. We already like him very much (you might even say love) after knowing him just two weeks. Charlie, our tuxedo cat, alternates between playing with him and ignoring him, and Sadie's coming around. All in all, he's a great addition to our family.

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Of course, we didn't pick him based only on the fact that he matched our house. But it didn't hurt.

Christmas 2010

Since it's been exactly a month since Christmas Eve, it's probably about time to post about what I got for Christmas, right?


Well, I was majorly spoiled, all around. First, from family.

My parents started it off with this insanely gorgeous bag. This picture does NOT do it justice at all.

They had it custom sized for the laptop I'm getting in a couple of weeks (for work, nothing exciting, but if I have to carry it home every day, I might as well carry it in something beautiful), and I LOVE it so much. It might be the most beautiful (fashion related) item I've ever owned.

Also fashion related, I got a pair of Tretorn for J.Crew Citron canvas sneakers. No pictures, because they're sold out, but they're pretty awesome. Definitely an attention getter.

My brother and SIL got us the new Donkey Kong Country for Wii. This is a sentimental gift for us, because I have plenty of fond memories of playing the original with my brother as a kid.

Also from my parents, you've seen a sneak peek but here she is in here glory.

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I hope to show you all the organizational goodies inside if I can remember to take pictures. We fit everything in all of the drawers from the cabinet we replaced and both towers in like half of this thing. I love it. The red accent is exactly what we needed to wake up the room. I can't WAIT until we have a) curtains, b) white shelving on either side of the fireplace and c) a chair that's been reupholstered in the charcoal and white chevron fabric I bought and am 100% obsessed with.

It will be AWESOME.

My in-laws got me a gorgeous J.Crew sweater. I've been wearing it like twice a week! It's so soft and the smoothest knit. They also got me some lotion and soap, and various other bits and bobs.

My aunt and uncle were so thoughtful, getting us several owls (favorite below, made of a found rock!) and a giftcard to Lowe's, and one set of grandparents got me a beautiful scarf.

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But then, there's my husband. He, without a doubt, rocked it.

First, I got Casablanca on DVD in my stocking. It's one of his favorites, and I've never seen it. I guess he just couldn't live with that anymore. I also got some hard candy to fuel my sugar addiction.

But there were four differently sized boxes under the tree for me. I honestly thought it was new bedding. It was the only thing I could think of that would be remotely the right size, and come in different sized boxes.

But not, the different sizes were just to throw me off.

I got four (four!) beautifully framed Sharon Montrose prints. Guys, my husband and I don't always see eye to eye on art. I know this would not have been his first choice, to say the least. It makes it that much more thoughtful that he chose something that I would love SO MUCH. He's a keeper, dudes.

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It's really difficult to photograph photographs and do them justice.

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So here are his choices in all their glory.

A silkie chicken, to go with my extremely well loved little chicken dish I keep by the sink. Perfect match.

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A piglet, who obviously is smiling. Look at his little tail!

A little innocent lamb. Such a lovely pose.

And although my favorite changes almost daily, the most consistent has got to be this little porcupine. JUST LOOK. I want a real life one. Now.

This was a lovely way to bring the (not so) subtle animal theme we have going into our living room. Our kitchen almost screams it, our guest room has started to whisper it, and our upstairs bathroom is definitely in on the act. Now our living room fits right in to the menagerie.

A post on what I got for Brett is coming up. I'm pretty proud of it, if I do say so myself (it's also home related. What can I say, we're well matched in terms of house crazy).