Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Breakfast Room - PLANKED

My first house related post of 2018 is a little project we had done at the verrrry end of last year...

We added planks to our breakfast room walls!

Our breakfast room is a space we use a lot, but you have seen very little of here on the blog. The area sits right off the kitchen and is a highly utilized area of our home. We eat there, we work there, I fold laundry there, it's really a central hub for us. The space is big and currently holds our china cabinet and a large 6' round table we purchased right after we moved in.

The Before:

Not bad, just a little plain. 

This house is full of giant walls and this space is no exception. I've done pretty much nothing in this area since we moved in because I am stumped on how to decorate the big blank wall. One element that really helped add life and interest to another big, blank space in our house was the shiplap or planking we added in our mudroom area, so we started talking through the idea of adding it in this space as well. Not only were we sure the planks would up the cozy factor, but we thought it would add some nice balance to the back of our house. We have an open floor plan and the breakfast room is in the same visual area as the mudroom; So, the addition of planks here would add cohesiveness. 

This conversation got kick started as we made plans to have our first floor painted. We didn't want to pay to have the wall painted only to cover them with wood. So, Brent asked the painters if they did trim work. Turns out they did and were able to provide us with a very reasonable quote to add 1 x 8 planks to our breakfast room.  It caused us a little heart ache to pay for something we knew we could do ourselves, but at the end of the day it just made sense to go this route this time. Time being the main reason. 

Much like the mudroom, the results were instant and we are SO happy with the vibe now

Still no art, but the room feels 10x's warmer and more interesting. The crisp white color and additional 4 chairs we got for Christmas help too! Oh, and I'm testing the universe and TRYING to pull some of my plants out of the hospital to see if they can thrive in other areas. Fingers crossed!

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Croix's 2nd Birthday

On Saturday we celebrated Croix' 2nd birthday with a Croix Town Party!!

Croix is obsessed with all things car and truck. Specifically red cars and red trucks. So much so in fact, I actually wrote him a song last year. Wanna hear it?

*Set to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star*

Red car, red car where are you?
We've been looking all through town. 

Up, up, up the road we go.
Down, down, down but no one knows. 

Red Car, red car where are you?
Red car, red car, We love you. 

It was an instant hit :) 

As we started thinking about what to do for his birthday, one thing was for sure...He was getting a red car!  And what does any car need? A town to ride around in of course! So, Brent and I went to work and built him a town full of places he frequents often.  Places like......


Complete with popcorn and apples - his favorite items to purchase !

And Home Depot:

He got this little workbench and tools for Christmas and he has been obsessed! Now he can officially pitch in on all of our projects around the house.

And lastly, there was a Starbucks, a bad habit he picked up from his Mom. 

One of the cool things about this car is it can be operated with a remote control. So, everyone took turns maneuvering Croix + friends (Hi Aria!) around the town. 

Even his cousin Gates enjoyed some time on the road with a red car of his own!

The town turned out to be our last DIY of 2017 and was relatively easy to put together. Weeks ago we made a run to Michaels and picked up wooden letters to spell out our 3 stops (Target, Home Depot & Starbucks). We also picked up some foam pieces to form the Target symbol + the red balls that sit outside of Target.

A few days before the party we started getting everything painted.

For the roads we cut out strips of brown paper and painted them black. Once dry, we used white spray paint to make the lines. The day of the party we cleared everything out of the garage and put the town together. It was relatively simple and super cute and most importantly Croix was all about it, especially THE CAR. When we brought the car down he said"wow!" Genuine excitement, it was so cute!

It's hard to believe how much he's grown in a year. The night of his first birthday he was able to stand by himself for the first time and now only 1 year later he can say whole sentences and run, skip and dance anywhere and everywhere. He's growing up and it's equal parts thrilling and heartbreaking to watch. But from what I hear that's what this whole parenting thing is all about. Happy Birthday Croix or as he says it "HAPPY DOO-DAY!!"

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas - The Shearers

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from our family to yours! 

I so appreciate all of you for reading The Cow. It's one of my favorite creative outlets and it wouldn't be the same without your feedback and kind words. I wish I could send you all a Christmas Card, but since that seems complicated I thought this would be the next best thing.

The day before Halloween we had some family photos taken for the holidays. If you don't think my head was HUGE the next day due to the fact that for once in my life I was ahead of the game, then you are wrong. I could barely fit through doorways... :) We got the images back a week or so later and were so happy with the results. Time seems to be going by faster than ever so it's nice to capture these moments and seasons of life because before we know it things will change.

All photos by Morgan Blake

Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday House Tour 2017

Merry Christmas Eve's Eve's Eve!

I can not believe we are only 3 days away from the big day! I've decided I'm all about Christmas falling on a Monday. I love that we can work a full week this week and still have two days to prep for festivities! Speaking of prep, I'm very excited to tell you all that I made dressing! ME! The girl who literally learned to boil water like 2 years ago made two big pans of dressing! I'm praying its good because if it is, my street cred in the cooking department is going to quadruple.

This has been a busy month, full of gatherings, shopping, wrapping, cooking, work and planning for 2018. Lucky for us we got started on our decorating right after Thanksgiving so we have been able to enjoy the happy scene all month long! I look forward to decorating for the holidays each year, especially now that I'm a mom. It's fun to transform the space you already deem as your "happy place" into a magical version of itself. Each year we tweak the decor we have and have fun planning out how to spruce up new areas in our house that have recently come to be. This year those areas include our brand new mudroom and our dining room!

Come on in, let me show you around...

As you know the mudroom is the newest space in our house and we are really enjoying it! The area oozes charm without even trying, so throw some plaid, a wreath and a little twinkly tree in the mix and POW. Happy city over here. 

Up next is the dining room which houses the antique mantle we revitalized earlier this year. I have been itching to throw some garland on this beast from day one. beautiful right? 

This room has been totally transformed as we make way to host a Christmas dinner for 21 this year. 

We really loved the idea of having everyone at the same table so Brent and his brother Scott worked together to add plywood to some folding tables we already had, to act as an extension to our dining room table. Thanks to Brent's Dad for this awesome idea! We threw a table cloth over everything and now it's just one big, giant happy table. 

We've been doing a little bit each night to prepare and I'm happy to say we are in good shape. The goal this season has been to slow down and really enjoy the moment and that's just what we plan to do! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bell Cabinetry & Design Holiday Tour

You know what goes realllllly well with custom cabinetry? HOLIDAY DECOR!!

This is our first holiday season in the new Bell Cabinetry & Design Buckhead Showroom and I'm slightly embarrassed to tell you I've been pumped to deck these halls since some of the designs were just ideas swirling around inside my head! One hood in particular was literally destined to sport a wreath. Luckily the showroom was also slotted to be the location of two holiday parties, which made getting the space holiday ready necessary not just fun. 

The Monday after Thanksgiving I enlisted the help/guidance of my mom, the Holiday Decor Whisperer, and fellow designer Addie Sandidge  and we got busy decking the halls! The showroom has 5 kitchens, 2 baths, a pantry, a closet and a mudroom, each with it's own style. The goal was for individual vignettes to feel cheerful and festive in a unique way while maintaining a cohesive feel for the showroom as a whole. No easy fete, but we were up for the challenge and ended up being pleased with the end results! Let me show you around.....

Here's a view of our front entry, note the Santa hat on our logo.

The first vignette as you enter the showroom showcases our Heritage Collection.

This display is classic, elegance so we wanted the d├ęcor to reflect this vibe. A beautiful magnolia wreath plus mercury glass Christmas trees and balls did the trick.

Next up is our Studio display AKA the kitchen with the hood made to play back drop to a wreath. 

And a boxwood wreath at that. Oooooh the charm. 

This kitchen is fresh, clean and happy with open shelving, a farm sink and a subway tile backsplash. We let the wreath on the hood be the "wow" and then just added hints of cheer here and there with pops of red and more boxwood clippings scattered about. 

Our back Milano Collection Kitchen sits right off the conference room with floor to ceiling steel windows and door. 

We kept the decor on the kitchen itself minimal and focused our attention on adding wreaths in a grid pattern to the conference room window wall! We loved the impactful, yet understated effect. 

Lastly, one of my favorite little spots in the showroom is our mudroom. 

A few mini Christmas trees, a festive scarf and tiny lumberjack kissing a red nutcracker make this spot cozy and bright!

Well, there you have it, a little peak at the holiday scene currently happening over at our new showroom. Each day we light our Fir & Firewood candle (best smell ever!!), turn on the Christmas Tree lights (we have 3, not pictured!!) and some days we even crank up the holiday tunes making this the hap hap happiest 3,000 square feet on the block!

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Our House - Year 2

It's hard to believe we are in the last month of 2017 already! This year has truly flown by, but before it's gone I want to take a minute and look back at all we've accomplished here on the home front. Back in October we celebrated our two year anniversary in this house and I'm happy to say we feel 100% more accomplished this year than we did after year one.

Our house is feeling more and more like a home and more excitedly our home with each project we complete. Some rooms are finished and some still have a ways to go, but a lot of them underwent some type of improvement this year.

Let's get the party started with The Living Room:
Earlier this year we added a chandelier, curtains and a coffee table to this space and man does it feel good in here. We definitely spend a lot of time in this room, so it's nice that it's one of the more completed areas in our house.

Up next...The Dining Room:

This room definitely saw a lot of action this year. We wrapped up our antique mantle restoration, figured out our chair situation around the dining table and added curtains. We also incorporated antique brackets to separate the dining room from the foyer which really elevated the whole space.

The last area we dug into this year was our mudroom
We touched every inch of this space and after adding planks, replacing our entry door, updating our laundry door and building out mudroom storage over the antique bench we reupholstered I would say we can officially consider this room D O N E.

And lastly, the never-ending project - The Outdoor Kitchen:

This is the most updated shot we have. It's from April and we haven't made much project since then. Next year is our year to finish this beast, I can feel it.

The process of updating, furnishing and decorating a house can feel overwhelming, exhausting and expensive. If you all are anything like me you know it can be hard to work through spaces, one at a time when what you really want to do is blink and it all be done. But in all honesty, I'm a sucker for the process too. Even if I had an unlimited budget and all the time in the world, I know I would still take forever because often times the best rooms are those that are collected and perfected over time. As we wrap up year two I'm feeling excited and proud that more rooms, especially on our first floor, feel like "us" as compared to the empty caves they were this time last year. So, cheers to progress and embracing the sloppy, tiring, expensive and rewarding journey!

All photos are my own. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Painted it White

This month has been a bit of a whirlwind on the home front because we finally pulled the trigger and hired painters to take our house from beigey-non white to white!! When we originally moved into this house I was thankful the walls were light and all the same color. It was definitely a vibe we could work with, and considering I was 7 months pregnant at the time I was happy to leave it be at least for awhile. However, as room after room began to take shape, I found myself growing increasingly annoyed with our off-white background. The mudroom was the final straw. We were so excited about the progress we were making on this remodel, but it was SO hard to take progress pictures. The hallways itself was already dark, and even after we changed out our garage entry door to one with glass, those pictures were blah because of the creamy trim around our pretty new blue door. We were over it so we decided it was officially time to go white. Once we wrapped up the actual build of the mudroom, we made some calls, got some quotes, and decided it was worth it to hire someone to do this big job. I have to admit it was a hard pill to swallow, seeing as how we know we are more than capable of painting, but we knew it would take us weeks to accomplish a task this big with a little Croix-Boy running around, so we decided it was worth the investment.

So...the game plan was all walls, trim, ceilings, stair rails and treads on the 1st floor + the stair hall and upstairs hallway were to be WHITE. Benjamin Moore's White Dove OC-17 to be exact.

The crew showed up and in a matter of minutes our house was covered with plastic. It looked like a scene out of Dexter, but to me the whole scene equaled PROGRESS, so it was all good with me. It took the guys 2 1/2 days to get everything completed and one quick return trip to get a few odds and ends tidied up and they were done. It was as if they were never even here, well, except for the fact that now our walls were white! A crisp, clean, beautiful white.

Here's a little preview.....

I know this is only a tiny peak, but oooooh the difference. Makes my heart AND eyes happy!

All photos are my own.