my spectacular photographer friend, janae, stopped by over the weekend to take pictures of our finally "finished" house. (is a house ever really finished?!) she managed to slip in some family photos too, and sent the above right way. i was in tears. that little girl is so precious to me. as sassy and independent as she is, she's still my little princess.
i can't wait to share the rest of the photos of the house with you. janae has a magical way of making your house look like it belongs in a magazine. and while you're patiently waiting, check out janae's sweet new blog the itsy bitsy house.
i did everything i could to find a picture of our backyard when we first moved in almost three years ago. i know i had one on here of the jungle that was overtaking our tiny plot of land surrounded by a shoddy chain link fence, but i couldn't find it. so you'll just have to use your imagination! let's just say we've come a LONG way!
jay has been working on putting in a new wood fence shadow box style over the last few weekends. he and our neighbor (who split the cost with us) finished it this past saturday. i was afraid it would make our yard look too small, but it actually makes it very cozy... almost like another little room. it's very quaint and i know will become even more so as we add landscaping and put in a real brick patio at some point!
here's some quick pics of the new fence.
here's what it looked like when we bought it. since then, jay has built a platform frame for our new mattress. so that has been painted a few times as well to match the trim of the headboard. when he's finished with the counters, i'm hoping his next project will be side tables. i'd like for the whole thing to look like one big piece.
i actually painted the tufted fabric part using these suggestions for a gorgeous painted sofa. i used a metallic paint, but because of the velvet fabric, it didn't show up very well. there's a little bit of sparkle though since i added a bit of glitter paint to the mix! it's very subtle... just a hint.
i wanted the whole affect of the room to have a bohemian feel, but not over the top. the headboard isn't quite as bohemian as i was hoping, but i think it definitely has a gypsy feel with a modern twist. and i'm ok with that!
now that most of the renovations are finished, i've slowly been decorating. very slowly it seems since i rarely have money to buy the finishing touches! pretty frustrating after your house has been in disarray for so long to NOT be able to perfect it in the end. but when is a person ever really finished decorating?
anyway, i'm still not ready to show the entire house in detail because of those stinkin' finishing touches that aren't finished! but here's a little sneak of one little area in lula's room.
the chandelier was painted with martha stewart's champagne glitter paint. it's hard to see in the photo, but it's very sparkly.
now that the inside of our house is pretty much done (not really, but we like to pretend that's the case!), we've moved outside. we've had these landscaping stones and bricks piled in our driveway for months. literally months. they all came out of our front and back yards at some point, and we've been waiting to decide what to do with them.
one thing we decided to do, was to lay stones between our driveway and the neighbor's fence. this random little area had previously been our trash pile from the renovations and looked so trashy with overgrown plants, etc. we don't want to maintain a garden or flower bed. so we put down rocks! it will also make it easier to get our cars in and out of the garage since we have a two car garage but a one car driveway!
while jay was working on the stone path one saturday, i decided to lay the bricks down in the backyard to make a "faux" patio! i didn't do any prep work. i simply laid them down. we wanted to get the bricks out of the driveway and also wanted to see how many we have and will need in the future when we create a real patio. we have a lovely back porch/deck, but i really want a brick patio on the ground in the sun. i love to sit out in the sun on chilly days.
well, the bricks didn't go far, but they allowed us to get our vintage danish fireplace out of the driveway too! i found that beauty on craig's list for free where my parents live and since they were already making the trek cross country in their suv.... well... i thought why not?! so they brought the very heavy fireplace 1100 miles for me! and i'm so glad. i love it!
lula and diesel had to try the patio out of course.
my parents came to visit for a while. so jay and i took advantage and headed to chicago sans kids for a much needed ikea run. we'd been planning this trip for months... waiting to purchase several large items for the house renovations. luckily we were able to piggy back the trip onto jay's travel schedule for work.
we spent two evenings browsing through the overwhelming ikea in schaumburg, illinois. the first night we picked up smaller items like throw pillows, drawer organizers, etc. and we debated about the bigger items.
the next day we had a ridiculoulsy rich and heavy breakfast-type lunch at wildberry cafe. it was so delicious, but the aftermath was totally not worth it!
the second night we went back to settle on, pick up, and pack the bigger items. we picked up a new crib for diesel; a sink, cabinet, and faucet for the main floor bathroom; and bookcases for the living room. without calculating we spent the exact amount of money jay had set aside for this ikea trip!
the next day we headed to fort wayne, indiana for jay's work. as i'd done the previous mornings, i worked on an article i was writing for the new springfield lifestyle magazine. then i relaxed, watched hgtv, and sewed. it was luxurious! here we picked up a long awaited for kitchen faucet at lowe's. we had a relaxing time that day and headed home the next day.
jay was so excited to put everything together and started working on the ikea items as soon as we got home. here's diesel "helping":
the items we purchased have made a huge difference in our house renovation projects. for some reason they seemed to bring everything together and propel us much further towards the finish line. the end is truly in sight! now if i can just decide what to do in lula's room!
...and this is why i haven't been blogging much lately! we decided the month of july would be our big push to get the house as done as possible. when lula goes to school this fall, we want to turn over a new leaf for our family. so...we've been painting and hammering and sanding and rearranging and selling and buying... my parents are here for a few weeks to help with the renovations and the kids, and we are getting it done!
but stay tuned! i'll be popping in here and there and still have some great guest posts on their way!
last weekend jay started working on the base and door trim. it's amazing what a huge difference the little details make. every time i tried to take a picture in the back area of our house, i was so frustrated because there was no trim! i know it probably sounds ridiculous, but the pictures looked weird and not very pretty because the background was so rough. having all the details in place, everything finished and in order, just brings peace and calm to the whole situation. i feel like i'm finally starting to breathe a little easier.
as our renovation list dwindles and i start getting revved up for some serious decorating and organizing, i've decided to take a little break from blogging for the next few weeks. my parents are coming for a few weeks and we'll really be able to crack down on the final details of the house. i can't tell you how excited i am about this! but i really want to focus on the house alone, and so the blog will have to be put aside for now.
HOWEVER, some lovely people have agreed to guest post over the next few weeks. so stay tuned and don't go away! i'll probably make some sneak appearances as well, but we'll just have to see how it goes! i'm sure i'll be posting our progress on instagram (@lulainlondon). so follow us there and we'll be back in a few weeks. enjoy my guests!