Home Tour (Pre Design Execution)

Since we’re on a home run here, I figured I would give some ‘in progress’ shots of our Casa Del Gato (lovingly named to represent the true lord’s of this manor).  As stated in our previous home tour here, our home was built in 1889 and originally housed a family of elves cobblers. There is still much to do but after a few requests I thought I would give you cyber buddies a peek at what it’s like pre-design execution.

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IMG_7365Here’s our dining nook as it looks now. I have big plans for this space, as seen here.  Hey there ‘Tan-Land’, as N*Sync so perfectly put it, “I wanna see you out that door, baby bye bye bye. BYE BYE!”  (cue hand puppet gesture as camera pans out)

IMG_7370Excuse the dust and dingy staircase, but as you can see this landing also doubles as a makeshift doggie daybed. The maid (read “I”) sometimes forgets to swiffer this spot. If only Harry Potter slept beneath these stairs…

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IMG_7374I just got this Victorian Settee a few days ago from a sweet sweet lady with the most amazing collection of Victorian furnishings I have ever seen. Entering her home was like walking in to an Austen novel, needless to say we became fast friends. I had originally planned on reupholstering this settee in a rich jewel tone fabric, but this faded velvet is kind of growing on me…

IMG_7375Here’s our little hall of mirrors, pardon the sparse collection.  This is just a temporary arrangement. I have big plans for this area as well. Big. Bold. Plans.

IMG_7379And through the hall you have come to our living room. Unfortunately shotgun houses are known for loooooong hallways and broken up floor plans. We believe this was originally the living area and ‘shoe shop’. We’ve wondered at the two main entrances to our home, and it seems that when our home was built in 1889 it also operated as a cobbler’s studio and shop. The front of the home was likely the ‘public’ area while the back of the home operated as the ‘private’ living area. I like to imagine little shoe building elves prancing around in my living room by the fire’s glow. I highly doubt this was the case.

IMG_7398Here sits the guardian ‘cat herder in her usual spot of the house. I think she’s found just about every position you can lay on this sofa, it’s lent itself to a lot of napping and snuggling that is for sure.

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IMG_7403So we all know that the three design building blocks are color, pattern, and texture.  I may have taken these guidelines a bit past the ‘classy’ line in my home but I’ve got plenty of time to class it up peoples. You’re only young once, why not enjoy it.

IMG_7406Vintage cameras were kind of what started my vintage hoarding collection. I fell in love with them, and in my late teens and early twenties kept acquiring and amassing my collection because they were small enough to pack with me as I would move from place to place. Now that I’ve settled in a bit, my collection has found a home and somewhat like mogwai at midnight they’ve found themselves some water and multiplied their number to amass an army full of vintage buddies.

IMG_7423I like to think that her arm fur is really fringe from a cowgirls buckskin jacket, much like the one Doris Day wore in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. This makes me very happy. (I know, Im weird)

IMG_7428Yup, Im a sucker for this pattern. I want it in a wallpaper so I can cover my whole house in it. It looks somewhat like the print the mad hatter would plaster his house in; or one that a vegas card shark would use in his kitschy bathroom, floor to ceiling.

IMG_7386I picked up this Ikea chandelier on my birthday shopping spree and spray painted this moulding my mom picked up at a yardsale to really make it pop. I love how it has a modern/victorian vibe, much like what I feel I would find in a Europan flat.

IMG_7435I’s a sucker for old beaten up luggage. All of these were roadside/dumpster finds during my Highlands dwelling days. When they passed a ‘No Curb Dumping’ law in the area my heart sank. At least I got these babies while the gettin’ was good!

IMG_7442These vintage stamps were a gift from Stephen’s mom, man I’m glad I married in to some good pickers! This rams head came from one of our favorite local digs, The Floyd Street Stock Exchange, held on the first Thursday of every month in Louisville, Ky. It is literally the most fun you will ever have at an auction. Free drinks, local food trucks, and awesome pieces at amazing prices. I almost don’t want to tell you about it because I want it all for myself. It is that good.

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IMG_7456One fine day, in the land of Nawl’bany, Adrian decided that she could no longer live in her sad and barren Tan Land; so she set out on a quest for color. This quest led her to the kingdom of Home Depot, where she remembered the stories of old, when her mother had told het that “Color flows a’plenty on the isle of Oops Paint“. So, on a quest for treasure Adrian set her sails for said isle with high hopes of colorful riches. After a few misadventures, and some scrappy scavenging, Adrian found the holy grail of color. Behold, the Oops Paint wall, where gallon buckets are $10 and candy stripes are always in season.

IMG_7463King Tut was a gift from a friend, who at her yardsale proclaimed, “It’s all free, I’m tired of looking at it”. How could you ever tire of looking at this mug? Such a happy camper that Tut was, just brightens up any space ‘eh? I also snagged my gilded David bust (which oddly resembles my husband very closely), from the same generous friend. The Mid Century serving bowl was gifted to me by a close friend’s Mid Century loving mother, and the black milkglass glasses were thrifted at a local market. I snagged the glass lamp from Target, and the quirky cobalt leopard shade from Home Goods. This GEM of a table was another Floyd Street Stock Exchange find, and last but definitely not least this glorious orange Mid C swivel chair was purchased on my annual birthday thrifting extravaganza from Louisville’s Crazy Daisy Antique Mall. How bout them apples?

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IMG_7410Here’s just a peek at my vintage bar cart, she’s still in progress but we’ve come a long was from the $3 yardsale find she once was. These numbered glasses have been a favorite find of mine, and this teak ice bucket was a score at an estate sale in one of my favorite neighborhoods.

IMG_7387So here’s a tiny snippet of my latest Goodwill find, this MASSIVE Carnival Glass lamp rocked my world. Just wait ’till I DIY the heck out’a this sucker, it’ll rock your world too!
IMG_7388A couple of years ago, during a very trying time in my life I took a turn towards writing. This seems to be the pattern for me, as writing always soothes my soul and helps me convey the masses of emotions toiling in and welling up inside me. This year for our anniversary my not the usual DIY’er hubby surprised me with this canvas quote. I quickly exclaimed, “I love it, who wrote that?” He sneered and said , “You don’t remember? You did!” He had gone back through my writings and found this snippet. What a keeper.

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Moody Blues, How to Decorate Small Spaces With Tall Ceilings

As of late, I’ve had a slight obsession with dusty old royal’s. Blue hues, that is (and possibly all of the Masterpiece Classic’s dusty old Royal Families, as well). Up until now, I haven’t shared much of my home with y’all, so I figured it’s high time I gave you swell subjects a peek of what my home is and what it will be!

If you saw my previous post you got a peek at my home as a blank canvas. Well now it looks something like this…

My Dining Nook, full of vintage charm and modern warmth.

Perfect for entertaining or elegantly enjoying kraft mac and cheese, in blue box elegance.

dining nookAnd my kitchen reading nook, for whipping up mocktails and brushing up on my literary refinement by brass lamplight.

kitchen reading nookOkay, well maybe it doesn’t quite look like that yet, but by golly it will soon! I am just in love with this masculine color combo. Who says you can’t mix blue and black? Watch me prove ’em wrong!

Can you tell I’m a sucker for brass? I swear every time I go thrifting I bring something home that’s either brass, or tasseled. I think I have a problem. Within the past year I have scored a cane chair, lamp, and bar cart very similar to the ones in the photo above. When I created these design boards I wanted to keep in mind the pieces that I have and love, and design the room around them.  Since I have rather limited space, It’s important that I also keep in mind the scale of my rooms. I have very tall ceilings and long windows on the first floor of my home, with a rather small floor plan. If I’m not careful, the wrong design decisions can leave my home looking pretty awkward, like Shaqueal O’Neal in hipster worthy faded skinny jeans and suspenders. With that kind of height, there are some things you just don’t do.

So here are some things that you should do in small spaces with high ceilings…

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First things first, you want to create an inviting yet cohesive flow. How can you achieve this look? Follow these key steps.

  1. Add color, pattern and texture (these create dimension and makes the space comfortable & inviting)
  2. Bring the eye up to the ceiling (this creates depth & height and makes the space feel open & spacious)
  3. Add light (lighting sets a mood and creates a cozy and romantic environment for entertaining & living)
  4. Create visual interest on blank walls (this brings your eye back down from the ceiling & makes the room feel cohesive & ‘finished’)

Above are a few of the key pieces I need to create a balanced design in my ‘dining’ area.

I have a rather traditional dining set we purchased when we downsized while moving in to our  previous  loft apartment. The chairs look something like this…chair 1We bought the chairs and table as a set, which was the perfect decision for our loft because we had very limited space and a matching set created a cohesive look. Our look was also much more ‘modern meets traditional’ then.  All of that has changed and I am ready for our new home to represent our more evolved design taste. As you have seen from my previous post here, we have very tall ceilings but limited floor space with gorgeous hardwood floors. To create the illusion of a more open floor plan, ghost chairs are absolute magic. Little trick for small home dwellers and cramped apartment renters out there, lucite & glass are your BFF’s! They are functional and beautiful without obstructing the flow and floor of a room. Got a beautiful rug but can’t see it because of your chunky wooden coffee table, switch that baby out for a glass topped table and ‘voila’, your rug becomes a focal point and your room looks 10x larger! I have beautiful 100+ year old hardwood floors, and it’s about dang time people appreciate them. These ghost chairs will not only open up my floor plan and make my room feel larger, but their traditional form & modern lucite material will add a ‘modern’ element to my dining nook while mixing well with my more traditional table…ghost chair

Just add a graphic punch of wallpaper under my chair rail, a Dusty Royal above it, and some pretty victorian elements and “Presto”; I’ve got the chicest little dining nook on the block!

My Home, The Blank Canvas

When we bought our home last year, we had already acquired a fine bit of furniture from our previous apartments. Our first ‘home’ was a cozy apartment nestled on Speed Avenue in Louisville’s Highland Neighborhood. Our Apartment faced the street from the 3rd floor, looking out into the tall trees allowing a ton of sunlight to filter through the leaded stained glass windows on to the bright white crown moulding and hardwood floors. We were only about a block from Cherokee Park, and we were surrounded by an assortment of the best shopping and dining around. I walked to work every day, it was Heaven.

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Then 2 very exciting things happened, we inherited a puppy and I was offered a job as the tenant relations liaison at The Henry Clay Building; 2 very good reasons we had to move. So we packed up our belongings and moved into a beautiful modern loft style apartment overlooking the patio of the gorgeous former ‘Henry Clay Hotel’. Downsizing meant consolidating our furniture and trading our larger pieces for smaller more modern and streamlined pieces. We had HUGE industrial sized windows and 2 tiny balconies that our pets glamorously sunbathed on every evening after work. I took the elevator to the office every day, it was Heaven.

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Alas, our puppy grew into a full sized Australian Shepherd and that little herder needed a yard. One of the many reasons we wanted our own home. We had searched since our engagement in the Fall of ’10. We found a few homes we liked, and fell in love with a beautifully restored shotgun/camelback home in Historic New Albany. The home was built in 1889 and became a part of the Renaissance Midtown New Albany Project, where it was completely restored and refurbished. We loved it, and just as we were about to put an offer in on the home ‘Kaput’, the local bridge over the river was shut down! Traffic was a nightmare, and with the two of us working in Louisville we didn’t want to subject ourselves to that kind of crazy unless we absolutely had to. So we stayed in The Derby City, but I just couldn’t shake the thought of that adorable house.

Fast forward 6 months and the bridge RE-OPENED and voila, the house was still on the market and the price had been dropped. “Shish-Bang-Boom” and the house was ours, except not really because buying a house is anything but instantaneous.

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The day we got the keys to our new home, I zipped to Target and the hubs and I picked out our very first ‘Welcome’ mat. We placed it on our new front porch, it was Heaven.

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When we bought our house it was perfect, it was like a brand new home with the Victorian character still in tact. But, it was too perfect. Everything was very tan, and bland, and very much ‘builder grade’. Our gorgeous original hardwood floors were a big selling feature, but against all the tan they just didn’t ‘pop’ like 100+ year old wooden floors should! The beautiful staircase and moulding details were pretty much what stole my heart on this one. I just imagined myself drinking my coffee and peacefully reading the newspaper in this little nook. The backyard was large and fenced in, sitting on a double lot with plenty of room to expand,  which was perfect for our active Aussie pup!  And all of this totaled out to be only half of what we had been paying in rent. I mean if you are renting, stop whatever the heck you are doing (I mean wait, don’t do that because you’re reading my blog…) and buy a home right now! But seriously, buying our home was the best decision we have made as a couple. Renting has its advantages, like that guy who mows your lawn every tuesday, but landlords tend to dislike the fact that you’re dressed in your pajamas  spray painting your furniture in the back lot at 9 at night. In your own home, anything goes, well almost anything.

Without further-ado here is the ‘before’ product, our home all empty and untouched. Stay tuned for our crazy colorful changes…

living roomThe living room, man I miss that natural light. Stupid curtains, who needs privacy?

hallYup, that’s a shotgun for ‘ya. Loooong and narrow hallways. As you can see the front door opens facing the hall to the kitchen, all the more reason I can’t wait for a kitchen re-design!

kitchen 2Brand new kitchen, it’s perfect but just not me. I’m thinking bright white and moody blues. It’ll be a stunner when finished!

kitchen 1I really scored with this chair railing. I have big plans for you Mr “traditional”.  Bye bye ‘tan land’ and hello moody blue & monochromatic graphic print!

dining roomThis right here is what got me. SO. IN. LOVE. Gah, I’m a sucker for a good staircase (cue ‘Gone With The Wind’ soundtrack).

bathBrand spanking new, and basic as all get out. I’m thinking drama, drama, drama. Hello black & white striped flooring, how do you do?

bedroomThere is so much natural light in our bedroom, which sits at the top back of our camel-back. With a door or dindow on every wall of this tiny space, furniture arrangement is something like tetras meets design star. The ultimate challenge…

And there you have it, a quick peek so you can better understand what I’m dealing with as I spout off my design ideas and inspo. Oh my, how I love interior design. It sits right up there on my top faves next to cuddly cats and pudgy puppies. I heart it!