First, it was white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets. Then it was black and white, which I call the tuxedo look which tends to be a little more buttoned up – naturally. Then we all started going navy with the island or the lower cabinets. Now we’ve all been getting after the blue/gray island or lower cabinets and we always seem to go lighter up top.
Here’s what I think is going to have a moment or a year in 2019, white upper cabinets and natural wood lower cabinets. House Beautiful’s kitchen of the month in the January issue is, you guessed it, white + wood.
It’s the warmth for the cool, classic white kitchen. The combo is also very versatile, it swings to modern and very quickly can swing back to traditional.
You don’t really want me to explain this to you when we have great visual aides to do all the heavy lifting here.
For the Cali Chalet, the design lover in me, immediately gets to work on the challenge of updating a 90’s contemporary house to suit our family’s personal style.
Today, I’m taking a moment to share my thoughts on the exterior and I’d love to know what you think!
I wasn’t terribly into this home when we first spied the listing. My heart wanted a 60s cabin, something a little bit more Mountainy. None of the midcentury cabins were working out though, as the market moves super fast in that fixer upper range.
Plus, once we visited, it was hard to deny the lifestyle features of this big ole dog eared Crestline home. It boasts a lot of extra space for hobbies, guests and holiday gatherings.
We debated the pros and cons, and in classic “dreams are free” fashion, I took to the sketchpad, brainstorming ways to evolve the front face for a more mountainy vibe.
For funsies, I drew up a new face for the home!
My drawing evolved to include some decorative gable accents, added to newly straightened gables.
It’s fantasy hour, so I thought we should rework the arched windows into a wider grid that harkens more to the 60s era cabins that pepper the hills around this little lake town.
Doesn’t that all sound reasonable?
The illustration isn’t perfect at all, but it was fun to see ideas come to life in a 3D rendering.
This inspiration image illustrates the power we could achieve with a floor to ceiling window situation!
In reality a whole new face of windows for the front is not in the cards, but the roof legit needs to be replaced and in that project lies an opportunity to straighten out the current hipped gable accents.
My dude sees the hipped gables as an architectural feature that speaks to the Swiss influences seen throughout the town (not incorrect). But, I see it as an undesirable design idea that a builder made in the 1990s, perhaps with that intention.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on those gables and if you think I should leave well enough alone, or do you think it is worth it to straighten them out since we’re up there replacing the roof anyway?
Showing up in arrangements, installations, events and straight up grass bouquets.
The feathery plumage of the pampas grass is the preferred variety. I love it because it evocative of a feather, and it’s dried… meaning it will last and last!
Let’s dig in.
And yea, Pink Pampas grass is a real thing, Though Betsy bought some seeds via Amazon and they never made it through customs. This plant is invasive so be warned before you go making it happen in your yard.
Sarah executed an Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” theme, as each room’s design was inspired by a holiday tune.
While the traditional bones of this old literary manor are hard not to succumb too, the peach and blue color combo are reading rad trad, and rad trad is how ladies like to do things in the South.
If you are a SoPi local, enjoy this peek and we hope you can make it over to the Weymouth Christmas Open House. Be sure to scope the gift shop scene and see if you can spy the Shop TEOT goodies on hand!
Feels good to be in the holiday spirit right y’all?
Also of note, some new stairs were constructed to lead down into the sunken living room. What was there before had a big drop, and I didn’t want my baby to die, so you can see the new buildup that we added. This makes so much more sense that it is really hard to imagine it was any other way.
It’s looking so much better in there already. New hardwood flooring is going in this week and I can not wait for that major improvement.
It was fun to have the flooring discussion on my Instagram stories. It looked a little something like this.
We settled on #5 which was a strong leader in the choices that my friends and fam sent over on Instastories. I love the feedback loop on Instagram Stories…. it rivals early days blog comments. Haha.
Turns out #5 was the sole real hardwood choice among a group of vinyl options. We thought vinyl was going to be the best choice for our budget but it turned out that floating hardwood over top of our existing flooring was going to work out without any major demolition of the existing floors, so we picked the more natural option. It’s a matte Hickory in a 7.5 inch wide plank. But my, hasn’t vinyl flooring come a long way. Those other contenders really would have looked fine.
Welp, that’s the latest in progress at our mountain house project. We are headed up in two weeks with a Christmas Tree to enjoy those new hardwood floors and daydream about furnishings!
Oh hey Y’all. So, the Cali Chalet project has been moving along at its pace, but I’m long overdue for an update. Let’s dig in.
Over the first few weekends there we donned our safety glasses and took to DIY demo, banging up all of the unwanted structure and finishes in the Cali Chalet kitchen. Everyone channeled their inner Chip Gaines… except me. I channeled early term pregnant Joanna.
The homies were such great helpers.
The pups got in on the action as well!
I was pretty pregnant for these trips, and so I did more observing (napping) than I might have liked.. But I did smash what I could, particularly the backsplash tile.
Maybe as a result, we have a kid that is fairly tolerant of noisy environments.
First order of business was to remove this weird closet that was floating between the entry and the kitchen. On the kitchen side, it housed a pantry, fridge and a little wine bar situation. We saved that setup and plan to relocate it on the left wall, opposite of the stove.
In addition to the uppers, we felt the tile backsplash needed to go for as clean a slate we could get without a full demo. I’m bouncing between ideas for what direction we will take next, the easy/obvious solution being to toss up some floating shelves.
Now that we have replaced and painted drywall above the granite countertops, I like how bright and peaceful it feels, comparatively.
If you are wondering about what’s next its new floor installation, complete the refrigerator cabinetry on that left wall, and paint the cabs.
Stay tuned for more… and follow mine and Sarah’s renovation progress on Instagram for updates.
At the start of the a-frame project I requested a price quote for cable railing from a local building supplier because I knew that was the direction we were going with the stair railing. The quote I got back was about $3,000 for just the cable rail and accessories, after that you would need to add in cost for either pressure treated wood newel posts or cedar and labor for construction and installation. The supplier quoted two different cable rail systems and the second was more expensive than the first. So for budgetary reasons at this project, I wanted to come up with an alternative. A substitute that would not mean that I had to compromise the look I wanted to achieve.
Galvanized piping, electrical conduit or powder coated piping used as a part of interior and exterior railing was a concept I was a little familiar with prior to renovating the a-frame but I hadn’t really dug in on exactly how the concept was actually executed. I thought it might be a great option because of affordability, it introduced the metal element much like cable rail and it was consistent with the modern look I was striving for.
After several conversations with one of our carpenters, Thomas Clark, we settled on 3/4″ galvanized electrical conduit. I really wanted 1/2″ conduit but Thomas had concerns about durability. So based on his recommendation, we shortened the horizontal runs of conduit to 3′ between newel posts and installed 3/4″ conduit. This is what electrical conduit looks like,
After trips to two different Lowe’s stores, we purchased our conduit in 10 foot long “sticks” at our local electrical supply, City Electric in Southern Pines. They were about $5.30 per stick.
We ordered 4×4 fir newel posts for our interior railings and pressure treated pine for our exterior railings.
I wanted to keep it simple in design, so our carpenter made simple post caps to go on top of the newel posts. At first I intended to paint the fir posts but not the handrails. White handrails just end up looking dirty from all the hands using them. After some thought I left both the handrails and newel posts natural to add some warmth and contrast to our bright, white modern space.
Here’s the pressure treated pine and piping combo on the front of the house,
It’s time to apply some stain and we are just about complete on the exterior.
We got it done, we moved! Well, in reality… Sarah got it done while I had a baby. We missed coinciding these momentous events by two days. The new shop had its opening day on July 14th. On the 16th, coincidentally Sarah’s birthday, my sweet baby, Julianna, was born.
So, yeah it’s been a little while. But we finally have imagery that does Sarah’s styling work justice.
The new address is 168 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387
Let’s have a look around the new digs, shall we!
We updated with a bit of demolition some fresh crisp white paint, new shelving, refinished hardwood floors and some new lighting.
It makes the perfect backdrop for our collections to take center stage.
The new layout is quite different from that of the old shop, which was set up more like a living apartment, with separate rooms for Kitchen/Dining, Living, Bed and Bath. It is so fun to see our stuff in more of the traditional shop format. We’re working toward building up the inventory and filling it out even more!
Here are a few more styled vignettes from around the store! Enjoy and thanks for poppin in and shopping to help us support this dream we’re chipping away at!
I know you’ve been on pins and needles out there waiting to see the exterior color that was chosen for the a-frame exterior and I’m here to deliver.
Let’s review the field,
So without further adieu,
It’s Benjamin Moore Vanderberg Blue (721), who called it?
She’s bold and she’s beautiful. On the side, it’s like the forest and jewel-toned velvet got together and had a love child. On the front with it’s face to the sun, it’s a bold and modern teal.
The brackets and cedar accent fascia board on the front of the “a” haven’t been stained yet but they will all be finished to match the deck and railings. The door hardware is only temporary not going with polished brass here, my plan is to install nickel hardware and house numbers to partner with the silver of the metal railings.
Once the leaves start to change a little more it’s going to be modern cabin magic. It’s so exciting to see it come together in the end but sometimes it just takes so damn long and especially long when there are two hurricanes through here in less than two months.
The fun time of a renovation project is starting to come about now. That time mostly surrounds trimming windows and doors and the general finishing of the space, when all the walls are up and sheetrocked and the finish line is in sight.
I’ve had a deep, moody teal color in mind for some time and I had earmarked this color in my mind for a different project all together that never came about. That was a 1920s cottage but I thought that hue could work equally well on a 70s a-frame.
Although I was excited about using a color (moody teal) I hadn’t previously applied anywhere, always lingering is the blue/gray tone and the temptation to maybe play a little safer. So I narrowed the field on the fan deck, reviewed my Pinterest color board, made sure to visit all the #aframe peeps on Instagram and then bought my samples.
My initial reaction after they went up was a hard lean toward Blue Spruce. Almost immediately Van Courtland Blue was eliminated as was Riverway and Ocean Floor. But a little nugget to store away for later is that Ocean Floor is a great candidate for kitchen islands or bath vanity color. On the exterior, exposed to full sun, Ocean Floor has a purple tinge. Riverway was just too one dimensional with too much green and Van Courtland was an experiment in going light but truthfully my heart was never in it for a light color but I needed to be certain.
So the battle was on between Blue Spruce and Vanderberg Blue. The samples were up for a week and I was prepared to choose Blue Spruce but my Mom came out strongly for Vanderberg. Then Betsy put it up on Instagram and the commenters were pretty evenly split for Spruce and Vanderberg. So before I tell you what we chose, we’d love to have your vote; Blue Spruce or Vanderberg Blue?
After a couple months I’m finally settling in and I’m ready to share the latest in the New Additions category!
It’s Julianna Joy!
She is here and as a sweet coincidence, she arrived on Sarah’s birthday, July 16th. Happy Birthday Sarah! haha.
We’ve been adjusting to our new family dynamic here, and playing mama is my most favorite job to date.
Speakin of mamas, mine made it out for JJ’s due date, one day after her birth. She and my Dad walked into the hospital room and the tears flowed all around. It was a sweet moment to introduce my little Disney looking lion cub to her grandparents. For two weeks, my mom, recovering from another surgery to fend off her endometrial cancer, got to love on JJ every day. We’re hoping and thinking that holding another grandbaby (her 11th) has had healing powers.
Now that the babe is here and we are sharing our bedroom, a new level of pressure has settled over the garage conversion project. But the latest moves in that department are slower than ever. The initial goal date for building permits was now, but with some holdups on the structural engineering end, it looks like we are still six MONTHS out before construction will begin.
I met with our contractor to discuss new windows and doors, and it’s time to begin shopping. That brainstorm will surely result in something to share, as soon as I take the time to do the research!
Here is a look at the Nursery where JJ has been livin.
I rather love waking up to this view each morning. JJ actually sleeps in the bassinet at the foot of the bed, but will be transitioning into that crib soon.
We use a dock-a-tot which helps hold her tight through those sleepy time Mora reflexes. She sleeps for a long 5-7 hours at night with no break, so no complaints here.
JJ and I both love the Babyletto Recliner Rocker and its funny to me now that I was hesitant to add a rocker. I just didn’t want such a big temporary piece of furniture in my life. But, it’s good lookin and we have spent hours in it.
After long last, the windows arrived. The front windows from Jeldwen caused the delay. They took what felt like two months to come in, while the other windows had all arrived and were waiting for installation.
And we got our side entry in place with an overhang to shield someone from the elements while they are unlocking the door.
We added a square window on the right wall of the living area to shed light on that side and at that level. The size of the window in the kitchen was increased and changed from a small rectangular sliding window to a square, fixed window that has black grids and frame on the exterior.
Great turnout with the window in the new, larger stairwell. I would’ve liked for the window to have been a bit taller and my design plan called for a larger window but I was talked out of it somehow but those windows took so long to arrive, I can’t remember why.
A bookcase is going in that space under the stairs that will be re-configured soon. The addition of a small pantry cabinet behind the bookcase will provide another space for kitchen storage or for whatever the homeowner chooses to store there.
A new view of the trees and more light in the master bedroom.
The Cali Chalet is a new kind of beast for me to wrestle with so I had to search long and hard for inspiration and direction.
It’s a 90’s Contemporary Mountain Home decorated straight outta the heart of a Mediterranean Wine & Coffee lover with a flair for bird themed stained glass and tiffany lamps.
When we met this house, she did not present an easy solution to me for what she could become. Some obvious needs included toning down the mix of pine, oak trim, bamboo, tile, slate and 7 (YES LITERALLY 7) various shades of paint, all visible at once in the main living area. So, I’m taking this as a challenge and will do my best to bring it around to a cooler Southern California Cabin style that our family can relate to.
It’s so interesting to see how families manifest their own style. The Mediterranean Wine Lovers that lived here before told me that when they renovated in 2006, the entire home was covered in floral on floral from furniture to wallpaper. Boy, would I love to see that!
The laid back mountain version of our family’s style will be another fun exploration. With this home we are looking toward a more rustic and cozy application. We will lighten up the main living spaces again and seek a neutral backdrop. But, I’m leaning into some moody colors in the bedrooms – appropriate for the cold winters in this pine forest.
I’ve started to amass some inspiration on my Pinterest Board. The overall desired vibe is coming together! Here are some examples and the thinking behind the pin!
Do you think we can turn the Cali Chalet kitchen (seen below) into something more like the image above?
I like green paint lately, but not that shade of green. How about these instead!?
These dark greens are giving me the warm, cozy vibes that I think we will love on snowy mountain house weekends.
Besides toning down the main living area and darkening up the bedrooms, the Cali Chalet needs a decor direction for furniture and accessories. When I think of this home, I’m dreaming along the lines of creamy neutral tones for the large pieces and I’d like to keep the colors minimal and mix textures where it comes to textiles and accessories. I’m sure our bedrooms will include a lot of moody blues and greens to maintain that pine forest feeling.
It will be interesting to see how the elements unfold at this home away from home vacation spot. Find more Cali Chalet here.
Welcome to TEOT
We are Betsy & Sarah!
We've been blogging here since 2008, sharing our love for everything house and home, from interiors to curb appeal.
Today, we offer our design services nationwide from our SHOP in downtown Southern Pines.