Friday, August 28, 2009

A State of the {Dis}Union: Part 1

I've been debating internally on whether or not to post pictures of the new house as it stands now, but I've decided that -- at the very least -- posting pictures will help provide a benchmark for future progress...and hopefully act as an incentive for me to get moving and finish unpacking already. And, on the off chance that any of you are currently in the midst of moving, you can at least take comfort in knowing that you're not the only one out there living like that.

So here's where the house stands (mostly empty) today, warts and all. So far, the entryway is completely bare, save for a blue and silvery gray runner I scored on sale at Horchow. Since the staircase curves out there's plenty of room for a bench or console table, but that's definitely not at the top of my shopping list right now.

Next up: The study, which still has a few important things missing (like storage), but at least the major pieces of furniture -- the desk, chair and daybed -- are in. After putting together the mood board for the study, I decided to go a slightly different direction with the desk and desk chair. Last month I purchased the Porter desk from Pottery Barn, which is a great size and has some excellent divided storage in its single long drawer. Since I decided to go with a large, substantial desk, I decided to keep the chair light and airy and went with the classic Louis Ghost Chair by Phillippe Starck, which I purchased off All Modern (and shipping was speedy and free!). I was a bit hesitant about splurging on the chair, but it's actually quite comfortable and I love how it looks in the room.

Unfortunately, with the large desk and daybed, there's little space left in the 11 x 11 room, especially since the french doors open in and not out. I'm hoping to find some shallow shelving for storage, but it's going to be tricky working with the little space I have left. First on the "to do" list for this room though will be hanging the art work, mirror, cork board (i.e., inspiration board), and the chandelier.

After all that hard work, the dining room has become the de facto storage closet for stray art, knick-knacks that are still searching for their final home. My goal is to have a table in here by Thanksgiving when Dave's family descends upon us, but we'll see what sort of budget I'm left with after the major pieces for the family room are purchased.

Speaking of, the family room is definitely the tabula rasa of the entire house. Quite literally, I have absolutely zero furniture to put in it. Since it's the hub of the house, getting at least a sofa in here is my top priority right now decorating-wise.

But at least I have something to hang over the fireplace, right? I ended up buying this Marisol mirror from Restoration Hardware thinking it would go in my master bedroom, but its substantial (48" diameter) size made it better suited for the fireplace and I'm happy with how it looks next to some of my mother's blue and white chinoiserie urns.

Behold my dirty little secret: My kitchen has become a repository for wayward vases, lamps and chotskies. What you don't see is there are even more stuffed into the pantry (we haven't had much opportunity to grocery shop, so it's become yet another temporary storage closet). I've realized something important about my shopping habits over the past month or so: I'm actually a bit commitment-phobic when it comes to purchasing major pieces -- like a sofa -- so I've been procrastinating by buying accessories, which are less expensive and, frankly, more fun to shop for. Thus, I have vases and lamps but no tables to put them out. I have no regrets though on the Kate lamps from Circa Lighting. They just arrived this week and I'm completely in love; in fact, I would've given up a table for years just to have these. Given their substantial size, I'm thinking they're more appropriate for the family room than for the dining room (where I had originally envisioned them).

The breakfast nook fits the old table and chairs rather nicely, and I'm pleased with how the woven blinds turned out. The spa blue benches for the back and corner walls are currently on order at Ballard Designs and should be arriving shortly. Since space is rather tight here, I think using a bench along the back wall will really free the space up some, though I'm not sure what I'll do with the extra chairs.

The master bedroom, bathroom and closet are in decent shape -- at least I've gotten all the boxes unpacked and all our clothes, etc. put away. Since we're working with our existing bedroom furniture, we have all the basics, but what we really need is that certain something special to really make this room sing. I'm going to be hanging some of our pictures this weekend and I hope that will help make the room look a little less stark. Still though, I got my bedding from Williams-Sonoma earlier this week and I love it -- it's like sleeping in a fancy hotel bed. That said though, I think I need to punch up the bedding with some more colorful pillows. You know me, can't leave white enough alone....

So that's it for the downstairs portion of this tour. I'll be sharing some photos of the upstairs' rooms later on this weekend and I think you'll be surprised at how much farther along it is than downstairs...though perhaps that's my own fault as I think my desire to really decorate this house from the ground up necessitated much of our existing furniture going upstairs. In any case, Dave and I have another fun-filled weekend of hanging art, unpacking the last few boxes, and sofa shopping ahead of us. Hope everyone else has a wonderfully relaxing, fun and only semi-productive weekend!

23 comments:

Christy said...

I love it. The house, the decor, the truthfulness about the unpacking, the design, everything. I can't wait to see more. And that rug from Horchow? SWOON! Gorgeous!

Things That Inspire said...

I have to admit, I loved seeing your home 'as is' - so many people imagine moving into a new space being like the show Design Inc, where a team of designers and stylists spend days preparing the space, and the new owners waltz in with everything in place, down to a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the front hall. I like to see and read about the 'real' deal.

My sister in law just finished building a home, moved in mid July, and I still have not seen a single picture of the interior despite the fact that I hint, beg, and plead every week. She told me that things are so out of order she can't even bear to take a picture. I will probably have to wait until I visit in October.

By the way, you had asked about how to find a designer. I would recommend talking to some of the Houston bloggers - in particular La Dolce Vida since her style seems most similar to yours. Joni of Cote de Texas might know of someone too, but her style seems a bit more European than yours.

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

This is so exciting!!! I love how you're shaming yourself for not being further along - I swear, you're further along than I am in a bunch of rooms and we've been in our house for 8 months! But seriously, the choices you've made so far are just beautiful, and I can't wait to see the end result! (Eeek, love the ghost chair!!)

Cristin said...

It is coming together so nicely! Love the ghost chair in your study. It takes time to pull it all together. Have patience with yourself and enjoy the process. You are doing great!

xo,
cristin

Kitty said...

Girl! Will you adopt me so I can live in such a beautiful home? Your floors are off the hook and your mom's Blue and White urns are to die for! Love, love, love the progress you're making!

Shannon said...

I absolutely love your new house. I can't wait to see how you bring it all together. My favorite thing so far is definitely the mirror over the fireplace. Fabulous!

Nichole said...

It looks like you are doing an amazing job. I moved almost a year ago and one of the bedrooms upstairs has been permanently named "the room of no purpose". I may have to seek professional help.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

You bought the Kate lamps? I adore those & I agree, worthy of giving up a lot for those babies. You must be so proud of your beautiful home? It is going to be a show piece! Happy Saturday Averill ~

Jenn said...

Averill - the house looks like it's coming together so well! But I completely understand your current despair. I hate having incomplete home projects, and living in an unfinished house would definitely get under my skin.

However, I think you are miles ahead of where I would be (which most likely would be rocking back and forth, muttering to myself, in a pile of empty cardboard boxes)

Love the Restoration Hardware mirror and that gorgeous blue in the dining room!

Patch said...

Great progress! Keep up the fab work.

maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

please, please post pics of the house as it progresses. it's looking wonderful so far & I adore, sunburst mirrors. U found the perfect plac for it.

Style Redux 2 said...

Averill-Love it all so far. Two points. First, I saw a comment above about finding a Houston interior designer. I hope it's not for you. The last thing you need is an interior designer. I read a quote by a woman whose home has been in many magazine and self designed. She said she would no more have an interior designer do her home than she would have someone dress her every morning. Trust your own instincts. They are stellar. Second, take your time and buy what you love. To paraphrase Miles Redd, buy the best and you only cry once. The ugliest homes to me are those done all at once by interior designers. The most beautiful to me are those done over time.

Kellie Collis said...

Those floor boards are amazing, i just adore them. So stylish and classy.

pk said...

Love the ghost chair and the mirror over the fireplace! I'm glad you're taking your time in pulling it all together. It can feel frustrating at the time, but it's better to take your time and get pieces that you absolutely love that are unique rather than just pulling it together so that you're not embarrassed to have it incomplete. You're not a "cookie cutter" personality and if you settle for that you'll be disappointed. As Style Redux said, trust your instincts.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

It's really refreshing to see "in progress" pictures. When I moved in I rushed to buy things just to fill the space, and now have some regrets. Better to take your time. The sunburst mirror is absolutely divine! It looks amazing over the fireplace. You have great taste - it'll all come together eventually!

Brenna said...

Thank you for the honesty! I, too, really enjoy seeing the "in progress" photos. It shows that homes are not made in an afternoon, which makes me feel better about slowly putting mine together. It takes time to find pieces you love. The mirror is perfect over the fireplace, and I am in love with your study wall color. Good luck on the sofa hunt!

Christy said...

I just want to second what style redux said. I honestly think you could quit being a lawyer and be a designer yourself!

Maple said...

LOVE the set up over the fire place- I might have to get that mirror myself! I totally feel your pain- my two spare bedrooms held misc items for at least the first 6 months I was in. I didn't have anything on the main wall right when you walk in until about a year ago. Just think about the fact that someday you'll be laughing cause your house will be so full of stuff that you can't fit any more furniture in!

sarah @ realestatestyle said...

I love your new house!! Also, loving the runner in the hall. great find!

Sarah Klassen said...

I'm so glad you posted these, Averill! I can see where you're coming from, but at the same time, it's so nice to see and be a part of the progress. I was reading your post and laughing throughout, though especially at "can't leave white enough alone..." -- too funny!

As your house it taking shape, one of the qualities I've noticed about you is that you are a perfectionist. You have very fine, good taste. Finding the perfect, quality pieces will probably take you some time, but you won't settle for something that you don't love. I can already tell that your home has such a warm and welcoming feeling -- I really like the little surprises that you have included throughout, such as in the study -- the wall color and choices of furniture. All harmonious and stunning together, but not expected. Can't wait to see the next chapter...

annechovie said...

I am so happy you are showing photos, Averill! I love watching the progress and things are coming together very nicely. Happy Anniversary to you and Dave on Wednesday!

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

I love the way your office is coming together! It looks like you've got some great pieces. I also love the Kate lamps. My husband works for Visual Comfort / Circa so I love all of their stuff, naturally!

Happy Anniversary! Your wedding looked lovely.

Alicia said...

Breathe. Rome was not built in a day. I actually loved taking my time when I first moved up in size to my last home. I got to work over time & sales...always the best!!! I love what you've done & again best advice I can give is don;t worry...shop happy!!!

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