Thanks and praise go out to my friend Sam. Because of him I've been inspired to start a new blog series. I'm calling it Rose and Thorn.
It's a pretty simple concept, but let me explain. Rose and thorn could be used to describe the best and worst parts of anything really. Example: What were your rose (best) and thorn (worst) memories from the past week? From your day at work? Rose and thorn of the new person you're dating? And so on. It's fun, I promise, and everyone can join in.
In an effort to stay focused my Rose and Thorn posts are going to be strictly about things that are going on with our house. Ryan and I work on the house non-stop. It's as much of a job as our actual job. I think it'll be good for me to vent (and swoon) over the things we work on and accomplish each week.
Owning a home is hard work and I want sympathy and encouragement, dammit!
Here it goes.
ROSE AND THORN 01
Most of the beautiful furniture we buy goes directly to the shop because I need to share. the. wealth. But, this time I got to keep the cool new thing that we bought and I feel so great about it.
We found this vintage tufted leather settee online in early March.
It was originally from an old mansion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Of course it was, look at it. The problem was this beautiful settee was currently residing at a horse ranch in Spokane. While obviously closer than Jackson Hole, Spokane is about a five hour drive from Seattle and in my opinion a five hour drive calls for an overnighter. We knew we wouldn't be able to pick this guy up for weeks but that wasn't going to stop me from trying. Luckily after putting down a deposit the owner was willing to hold onto it for us.
After almost four months we were able to schedule a trip to get this beauty. The trip ended up being one of our first big buying trips and one of our most memorable trips together. Spokane is a pretty nice place and the settee was as perfect as expected.
In an effort to keep this stunner I offered up the sofa in the tv room (I guess it's more of a tv nook) as a trade. It's an amazing sofa and it has been a loyal companion for years, but you can't stop true love, and true love is how I feel about this tufted leather settee.
The tv nook before.
Getting to the point.
This week's ROSE was learning that the settee would in fact fit up our tiny staircase and then staging the room around it. I love how this space turned out and my life is upgraded because I finally have side tables. Side tables are now something I would consider a necessity not a luxury for this space. I also feel great about getting rid of over half of the interior design books that I never ever look at.
The tv nook after.
I can't wait to finish watching Boardwalk Empire in here.
Time to be a downer.
This week's THORN:
One word. WEEDS. Weeds weeds weeds. I hate you. Landscaping has always been a job outside of my comfort zone so I never really noticed when it didn't look good or if it needed work until it got really bad. For some reason this is the year of noticing. For better and for worse.
I'm trying to be reasonable and not overwhelm myself. I've decided to take one small section of the yard and just focus on that until it's looking its best and is as low maintenance as possible.
Here's our side yard after a week of weeding and maintenance. We'd like to add a few more plants and a layer of topsoil. The tall plants are jasmine, we're training them to wrap around the fence. They're still babies but eventually they should cover the entire thing.
I figure that slowly, after a lot of hard work, the entire yard will somehow become manageable and low maintenance.
Until then my parking strips look like abandoned weed gardens.
What were your home related rose and thorn this week?
So, it's finally time.
We don't have the threat of drywall dust covering everything at any moment. We don't have to move our belongings from room to room so contractors can finish their never-ending work. Today is the day that all of our things can find homes and we can figure out the best way to use each room in our house. Hallelujah. It's been over a year. I think I need a drink. Maybe two.
No better place to start than this awkward space. It used to look like this before the fire. Yep, a real fire. It destroyed our second story. Old wiring + attic insulation, not a good mix.
Those chairs. I will mourn you forever.Now it looks like this.
What the hell is this room?
One day that angled wall with one sad skylight will have a whole row of skylights and this will be my indoor greenhouse. How urban farmer of me.
As is, it's an unused space where the cats eat. The only usable-for-human things in here are a secretary desk and my favorite plaid chair.
When I set up the room like this I had the best intentions of doing work here in this light-filled plant heaven.
Reality: Why would I do work here when just a few feet away is my bed... covered in pets? I can do everything I could at that desk but better with three sleeping creatures next to me.
Sorry little desk, it's not you - it's me.
So the desk has to go. And maybe the portraits. Don't worry, I'm sure we can find them a better home. The plants can stay. Actually they can multiply. More plants and pictures of plants everywhere please.
We need a table. With two chairs. Let's start there.
I have a marble French bistro table with a cast iron base similar to this guy.I was going to use it on our deck but whatever, it just got upgraded. So great, done and done.
I have a pair of vintage dark bamboo chairs (similar to this one) that I've been waiting to reupholster until I find them the right home. I looked for more inspiration pictures on pinterest but my god, everyone is painting their bamboo chairs crazy colors. STOP THAT. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. I guess I understand the look but it's not for me.
Or maybe I should go with the expected Tolix chairs. I do have a set of six in silver. I mean, if they're good enough for the Eiffel Tower.
Mid Century Kodawood gems for contrast? In plaid of course.
I guess if we plan on sitting there for long periods of time we might want leather wingbacks.
I can't believe I sold these wingbacks. Why?
Too many options. I'm working on it today. I'll let you know how it goes.
Here's hoping that I can make this weird hall feel like an outdoor patio. In Europe. With tons of plants. Plants, marble, plaid, leather, cheese and baguettes.