Monday, January 27, 2014

Back Home with Big News

Hi Everyone! I wanted to (finally) check in and let you all know that David and I made it back home safely just a few days before Christmas. With the holidays and trying to somewhat move back in to our house, the days and weeks have flown by. We are now working out all the details of purchasing our home but that hasn't stopped us from already tackling a few DIY projects. I'll be back later with a few updates and tips from our adventures so far in ceiling scraping, painting, and ripping out old carpet.

But in other news.... David and I brought home a little someone extra home from South Africa!


That's right!! We have a little one on the way! We are so excited for this next big adventure! He or She will be here in just a short 5 1/2 months so we have a lot to do in order to finish the remodel and decorate a nursery!!


If you follow me on Instagram (alauraorr), you have already seen these videos but, just for fun, I thought I'd share our families' reactions to the news of our new addition.  At Christmas we gave the new grandparents, aunts and uncles, and great grandparents each a Curious George book along with a note that asked them to read the book to Baby Orr in July!



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Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Fireplace is in YOUR Hands!

I am completely stumped when it comes to what to do with our fireplace in our home remodel. The plan, regardless of color, is to paint (or stain) both the brick fireplace and the built-ins on either side. But my dilemma is what color?


The plan is for the walls and trim to be white throughout the kitchen, living and hallway. We will have light pine wood floors and also replace the existing mantel with a more modern, rustic slab mantel (similar to this).  For option 1, we could continue with the light and airy look with a white fireplace and white built-ins. But would the fireplace be enough of a focal point or would it simply fade away?

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For option 2, I thought about going with a bold, charcoal gray on the fireplace with white built-ins. I love the contrast but would it be a little too much?

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Do I switch that color scheme around and do a white fireplace with gray built-ins?

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Or maybe meet in the middle with a medium shade of gray with white built-ins?

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I realize asking for your opinion without providing you a photo of the fireplace wall makes this difficult. But I have searched and searched and this is the best I could find (from Christmas back before the blog!)


Friends, I need your help. As you can see, I have no idea which direction to go! My fireplace is in your hands - which option would you choose? Comment below with Option 1, Option 2, Option 3, or Option 4. Or if you have any other ideas, I'm all ears!! Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Living Room Inspiration

Now that we have the star of the show, I have enjoyed playing around with a mood board for inspiration for the living room that works around our new chesterfield sofa.


These mood boards are just that - inspiration. Besides the sofa and a couple of kudo horns from here in South Africa, we don't own anything else shown on the board. So don't be surprised if the final result isn't an exact match.

You may have noticed that I am drawn towards decorating with blues, greens, and grays - and somehow a Michelle Armas painting seems to find it's way in to every mood board so far. Seriously, that woman is talented! I thought this painting was a great choice for color inspiration but, sadly, it looks like it is no longer available.


Half of the living room with be torn down in the midst of our renovation but we do plan to update the fireplace and built-ins with a few DIY projects. Our list includes:

To - Do:
Scrape popcorn ceilings
Install new hardwood flooring
Paint (or stain) brick fireplace (more on this later!)
Build wooden shelves for built-ins and remove glass front doors.
Repaint walls, ceiling, built-ins, trim and doors
Replace ceiling fan
Replace mantel
Bring in art, curtains, etc. 

I love the way this room is heading but I'm a little stumped on what to do with our tall brick fireplace. I'm getting my thoughts together and will be asking for your advice soon!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Too Good to Pass Up

Y'all! We bought a sofa this weekend! Sight unseen, never sat on, clear across the world but we I just fell in love over a computer screen!

Pottery Barn

I wasn't even considering a sofa like this for our living room. I have always loved chesterfields (even more after admiring my friend, Jenn's, new addition!) but never thought I could afford one or be lucky enough to run across one. But this past week, I found a Craigslist ad for this sexy, tufted, extra large, sofa that has now changed all of my plans! It's in brand new condition, rarely used, and (in my opinion) will only get better with age! 

Pottery Barn

I know finding a great deal on Craigslist is nothing new, but Texarkana's Craigslist NEVER has anything good! So when I saw this Pottery Barn Grand Chesterfield Sofa pop up for almost half price, I had to act quick!! Our lovely Aunt Nancy went to scope it out, did all the negotiating for us and he'll even be waiting for us in our living room when we get home (thanks again, Nancy)! I'm so in love and can't wait to see this piece in person! Here is some inspiration photos of some sexy chesterfields strutting their stuff! 

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My brain is filled with ideas for our living room mood board that now includes this sofa! Check back soon to see how he fits in! 

Tell me about your Craigslist surprises!  Anyone have a chesterfield they love? Or bought a couch before without seeing or sitting on it? 


Friday, November 1, 2013

Pretty Pine Flooring

Flooring for the home remodel has been one tough decision for us.  I like the look of hardwood flooring and wanted it throughout the house. But my gosh, the price!! We looked in to other options, like using carpet in the bedrooms, but my heart was still set on wood. Plus, my eco-minded husband loved that they were not packed with chemicals and toxins that are found in other flooring options.

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But then it came to what type? In an effort to keep our costs down, and to bring in the rustic feel we both love, we have decided to go with pine floors. Pine floors are a soft hardwood which does come with both its pros and cons. They can ding and dent much easier than the harder hardwoods, such as oak, but we feel that a few dents and dings might simply add character to our floor making it a great option for us.

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We also have decided to try to DIY the flooring using the same technique that Young House Love used with an underlayment called Elastilon. We'll be sure to keep you guys updated on how it goes when we get started! In the meantime, here are a few of our inspiration photos.

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What is the best flooring option in your opinion? Would you choose wood over carpet for your bedroom? Next on the shopping list is a nice big rug so we don't step out of bed on to a cold floor.


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