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Category: our home

What’s in a (house) Name?

castle howard

Good Monday morning! We got back last night from a fabulous weekend in Williamsburg and I’ll have all the details and photos up for you soon!

During the weekend, however, something that’s been in my mind for a while came back to the forefront.  All of the beautiful estates and family homes we toured had names.  Now, most of these names were probably given to the homes by the folks who run the Williamsburg conservation for the purposes of keeping track of goings ons with the homes, but naming a home isn’t uncommon in other areas as well. We usually associate house names with giant rolling estates or opposite with college hangouts (just ask anyone from Miami University), but now and again you see a regular house with a name.  Sometimes it’s a farm, or out west it’s a ranch, but it isn’t totally abnormal.

I think about this a lot because Matt and I always think about naming our farm.  We’ve spent loads of time thinking up names that either describe the terrain around the home, describe the home itself, or describe us and our family. Over the years, only a few names have stood out, but nothing has been an epiphany. Names like, Whitetail Farms (for our white-tailed deer, fox, dog, and one albino squirrel that lives in our woods).

Right now, our home is lovingly referred to as just ‘The Farmhouse’.  We’ll be out with friends and someone will inevitably say, “let’s just grab some beer and go back to The Farmhouse’  or, “let’s do happy hour at The Farmhouse”.  I love the association of the home with a destination and the sense of gathering it brings.

So, we’re still working on the more long-term name for the farm – maybe we’ll put it up to a blog vote!  But in the meantime, I want to hear about your experience with named homes.  Is there one in your family?  Have you named your home?  How to you associate the name with the feelings you get while you’re there?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

image source: Rococo Revisited

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Guest Bedroom Three Year Refresh

guest bedroom design

This post is going to be such a blast from the past for some of you! It was three whole years ago that I laid out some design plans for my guest bedroom and it was three years ago that I touched one detail in that bedroom (aside from stuffing it with random craft supplies and castaway furniture). The room was also home to all of our linens, towels, and extra bathroom supplies. It was a hodgepodge mess and here is the proof… The Before Pictures (eek!)

I had a grand plan for cleaning out the room, but there were so many moving parts. To get the room cleaned out, I needed to clear out all of my work and craft supplies, but I needed to move them into the office. As many of you will recall, the office closet held my clothes. So, just this year after Matt and I created a master bedroom closet space, I was finally able to move my clothes out of the office and therefore move the supplies out of the guest room (were you able to keep all of that straight?)

Now, the room is cleared out and cleaned up which is a starting point for a bigger redesign which will come soon enough, but right now, I’m really enjoying what a huge difference the small changes made to the room all without spending one penny.  Before it was dark and was an odd combination of colors.  It had all of my old college furniture (and still does) but the reconfiguration makes it a much brighter and refreshing place for a guest to spend a weekend.

spare bedroom design

Keep Reading for tons more photos and renovation plans!  Continue Reading…

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A Closet within a Closet

creating a linen closet1

I have quite the little surprise to share with you guys today.  Throughout this entire closet renovation, you’ve heard me go on and on about how little space old homes have and I’m sure lots of you guys can relate. As part of my grand closet scheme, I had another idea for a way to further maximize the space of the odd, unused room.

You’ve clearly seen that in the closet, there was a door which led to the hallway. Here is it from within the closet and from outside of the closet. Odd, right?  Well, we’ve learned not to even wonder why some of the things in the house are the way they are, we just work with it.

linen closet - before

So, what we did about it was create a linen closet.  Keep reading for more photos and details of the closet within our closet.   Continue Reading…

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A place for everything – walk-in closet reno

closet reno 1

We are about halfway through a moderate project in our house – a master bedroom closet renovation.  Originally, the master bedroom had no closet, but instead a little nursery-type room off to the side.  In the 80’s my father-in-law renovated the home and put in a standard wall closet with bifold doors.  Until last week, the little wall closet still existed and I just kept my clothes in the office closet.  I finally got sick of going into my office to get my clothes, but more so, having my stuff in the office displaced the business supplies into the guestroom.  We finally decided to take action and last week we shared in this post how we tore down the wall closet and decided to make the whole adjacent room into a walk in closet with a vanity.  I’m in heaven.

walk in closet renovation

closet renovation 2

master closet renovation copy

master closet renovation

Over the past week we’ve ripped out the wall that made the 80’s wall closet, we’ve repaired drywall and we’ve installed a closet organization system from The Container Store. I’m not going to lie, I’m the kind of person who enjoyed every single second of putting together the organization system.  It was sheer bliss.  I got myself a glass of red wine in the evenings and just organized my little heart out. There is space for everything!  My clutches no longer get piled in a set of plastic drawers, my shoes are no longer in a boxes in my office shelving, and I’ll have a place to do my hair and make up without taking up residence in our single bathroom.

So, now our walls are repaired, we’ve painted everything a nice deep grey/brown – Martha Stewart’s Zinc from The Home Depot – and we’ve put our clothing in.  It seems like the end, but it’s not at all.  I’m just getting into the fun stuff.  I still plan to make a light fixture for overhead, create a vanity space, add some art, put up some window treatments, include a little seating space, and replace the 80’s carpet both in there and in our master bedroom.  So we’re only about half done.

We’re to the point where it’s user friendly, but could really use some decor.  I’m proud of what we’re accomplished so far and I’m even more excited to just keep going in the direction of my dreams.

What do you think so far?

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Creative Master Closet Space

storage solutions

(source)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that it’s been a little over two years that I’ve been talking about renovating our master bedroom “closet”.  I would use air quotes on the word closet to display the sarcasm involved in the word, but we’re online here, so real quotes will do.

Old houses come with their character and other perks, but I won’t be surprising anyone when I say that ‘loads of storage’ isn’t on the list of things we love about our home. Even if your house isn’t over a century old, it’s not too often that I hear people say, “I just have too much storage space”… and that universal need for better storage is exactly why this project has been such a long time coming.  Keep on reading for some ugly before photos, the crazy configuration we have going on, and what we are doing about it.  Continue Reading…

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Secrets + Life in Print

photo

We definitely had some exciting news this weekend, our home and our lives as Grandiflora owners are featured in 614 Magazine. It’s a wonderful article about how path to living in this home and the history of its life before we moved in.

To tell you all a secret, even with the rich history of this home, our time in this house is limited.  We’ve made improvements and renovations, but all were with the understanding that we wouldn’t be here long-term.  Some of the changes we made were cosmetic, just to get us by living in a place we loved living.  Other changes were totally functional.  We needed to replace a beam under the kitchen floor and put on a new roof. We love this house and it’s such a big part of the family (read the article for more on that!) So what’s the plan? Continue Reading…

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Home (Bar) Improvement

home bar

I’m always switching things up here and there in my house, changing colors, or swapping out pieces that are old (mostly from my post college apartment). I liked having a classic console table as a bar in my home, but the drawers were starting to break and it didn’t have nearly enough storage for my (ever growing) glassware collection.  I had my eye on a bar from West Elm, still a very class dark walnut wood color, but with a more modern shape and loads of space. It’s $599 online but in the store it was on sale for $479 – score!

bar before and after

west elm bar pulp home knobs

pure home knobs

Although I did love the bar as-is, I felt that a little feminine flair was in order.  I added these starburst pulls from Pulp Home for the perfect little touch.  I also changed up the lamp with a light white sculptural one to contrast the darkness of the little hall.

I’m very happy with the swap.  I still have two more things on my list for this room, one being to update the art and the second being to change the wall color.  I’d LOVE to use this wallpaper, but might try to do a paint technique that looks like the paper instead.

Do you like the change? Any changes around your house lately?

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Minted Master Bedroom Art

bedroom art - minted

After updating our bedroom sconces a couple of weeks ago, I was on the lookout for some art to go above the headboard.  With the shelves on both sides and small space of the wall, I didn’t want anything to big or busy.

I usually think of Minted for paper party goods and invitations, but I realized that the same community of designers that create the invites make art too.  I found something simple and unique by graphic designer Annie Clark and featured it in a frame that has a large matting for a little more white space.

bedroom art

master bedroom art

 

I knew I wanted my bedroom to have a curated library look, but still be airy and calming.  I think I’m getting closer!

If you get a chance, look at all of the amazing art on Minted… It was pretty hard for me to make a decision, there were so many great runner ups!

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Media Shelving Update

shelving - 4

In our living room, we had initially created a console out of pallets for our media components and although I loved the idea, after switching to a new receiver and new electronics, they didn’t fit into the openings in the homemade console.  I’ve been on the hunt for something that was unique and had some height to it. Everything else in the living room sits lower and creating contrast in height and leading the eye up was my goal.

I finally found something that I liked, and the bonus was that it was only $70 from Ikea.  I didn’t expect to find something there that had a more unique look to it, but I found that the basic, cubic look of these metal and glass shelves, dressed up with metallic and neutral accessories made all the difference.

media shelving diptych - House of Earnest shelving - 2

It fits all of the media components perfectly and allows for enough storage for my books and accessories to be displayed. The shelves provide a great mix of modern and vintage casual when mixed with the other pieces in my living room.

I’ve actually been thinking of this little nook in my house the whole time I’ve been traveling and I’m excited to get back home and play with it a little more, adjusting some of the decor and maybe adding a pop of color.

What do you use to corral your electronics?  Do you like the change from rustic industrial pallet to the cleaner glass shelves?

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Heavy Lifting

flagstone patio DIY

We spend the better part of this weekend working on our back patio.  With a winter storm moving in (really?) it was a race to get as much settled as possible before the snow started to fall.  I can’t say that I’ve done that much hard labor in a long time.  Most of my more intense projects are manned by my husband, Matt, while I take care of the stylistic part of things (painting, sanding, cleaning, etc).  In this case, since the puzzle that is a flagstone patio had a lot to do with an eye for fitting the stones together, I really had to be involved.  It was nice to get outside for a bit after a long winter and I learned a lot in the process.

flagstone how-to

patio progress 1

Last weekend, Matt had rented a bobcat to dismantle our previous patio, which I posted photos of on Instagram (@houseofearnest), and dug out the four inch foundation.  Gravel and sand were delivered and spread and my dad (an engineer) came over to help with the all important task of leveling.  Saturday morning we were ready for the exciting part – the flagstone!  I ordered sandstone because it had a very smooth and somewhat sparkly surface while other varieties were a little more rough and matte.

We finished by shoveling more of the sand over top of the stone and sweeping it in all of the cracks.  As more and more settling occurs over the next couple days, we’ll sweep more sand into the cracks to ensure that everything is snug!

I confess, this is just a tiny sneak peek of the finished patio – obviously before any landscaping. I am participating in the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge this year and will debut the finished patio next month for the challenge! Are you excited? I am.

My back, arms, and legs are definitely feeling the effects of a weekend filled with hard work (some of the stones were over 75 pounds!) so I might be a bit slower getting around these next few days, but it’s a good thing that doesn’t affect my typing fingers!

I hope you got some good things done this weekend! Isn’t it so satisfying?

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