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Design Projects

Lofty Dreams of Attic Conversions

My mind is often prone to wander off towards dreams and fantasies of a more unrealistic nature, which is why I presume – when we have a whole brand new house to plan for with reasonable needs like space planning and painting, I can’t stop thinking about the attic.

It’s a real romantic notion.

Since my childhood I’ve journaled. The voice has changed throughout the years but most times I write as if I’m communicating with an audience. That audience is often a girl that came after me, maybe I helped to make her, my child or my grandchild. This girl is sitting up in an old attic somewhere, breathing in the must of a generation gone by, flipping through the pages of all my most silly dreams and tales of the times that I lived in, interesting if only because they happened in the past.

It’s dramatic and it looks like something like a scene from the NeverEnding Story.

the-never-ending-story-attic

With that in mind, imagine my surprise when we popped our heads through the attic opening to find this roomy, spacey spot in our new home.

shaniqua-attic-unfinished

Wouldn’t it be irresponsible of us to have this much space above our heads without some usability?

My mind wanders from storage and stories to a full on finished conversion.

We had a contractor over this weekend, and he appeared overwhelmed with the thought of re-routing all of the pipes and ducts which proved the dude right, that I was pre-mature for pondering it, but I’m thinking long game here. There is an INCREDIBLE view on the other side of those eaves.

For now, I’ll settle my silly notions with thoughts of HVAC and insulation and we’ll pocket this dream for another time in the future, but since I’ve already indulged myself, I’ll share the attic conversion inspiration images that I gathered while dreaming.

attic bath attic master

attic queen bed

attic romantic embellishment guest room

attic working space

bold window end that I  ove

crazy talk but what about a solarium over the kitchen

glass dormer

 

 

 

 

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Designing Ideas for our New Home

At some point in the house hunt, the dude and I started referring to the blue paned house, aka Silver Springs as Shaniqua. It is a reference to the street it’s on, but really it’s more about personifying the home that we couldn’t get out of mind. The name has since grown on us, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even Heffe’s kids have taken to it.

We got to take them over on Saturday and get a few measurements. Part of our negotiations allowed the previous homeowners a leaseback for 30 days after closing. We had to make formal arrangements to see the home, but we were thrilled to find it mostly empty.

It feels more real than ever now, and we’ll be glad to finally have full access at the end of the month.

welcome shaniqua

Step into her little foyer, where you are immediately greeted with a set of stairs! I’d really like to change that, but we’ll have to wait and see what’s possible.

Come on up!

Shaniqua Living Room 700

We previously discussed the wall of traditional shelving. After seeing the home empty, I’m leaning more towards removing the entire thing. It’s just so heavy and that crown moulding and cabinet facing is not speaking my language.

I’m curious to hear from Sarah, and you if you have any opinion on the matter.

It might be interesting to see what the dude and I could do with some more personal choices for that wall. I’ve seen his carpentry work firsthand, he’s gifted. We might prefer to design something ourselves, but what would that look like?

Where do you see a football & futball lover’s gigantic TV fitting in?

Shaniqua Living Room other side 700

To help me think, I’ve taken to the drawing board. While we there on Saturday, we grabbed all the measurements so I could put together a floor plan. It was a rather painstaking process, but I’ve finally got it pulled together, and relatively to scale.

I used Homestyler by AutoDesk. It was fun and I really lost myself working on it for hours. You can even go fantasy furniture shopping and outfit your entire house with new products from select retailers that they have partnered with. Pretty futuristic robot awesome if you ask me.

Now that I have saved the base floorplan on my free account, I can really play around with thoughts of moving doors, busting out built-ins and contemplating kitchen reconfigurations. I’ll be fantasizing here until we actually get moved in!

304 Chautauqua Floorplan

Shaniqua Floor Plan 3D

 

 

 

 

 

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House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all

Now that the house purchase is complete, we will happily be bringing the HOUSE HUNTING series to a close.
(… until Sarah decides to move again, which could happen any minute knowing her crew.)

But as for us, let’s have a cheer since we are donezo! I’ve never been more grateful.

The news came in last Friday that we officially closed (10 days and ten thousand headaches beyond our contract close date.) We were pulled through the mire a bit on the nuances of lending protocol, so it was hard to feel anything more than mere relief. The champagne is still chillin’ in the fridge.

Thank God for our real estate agent, Joyce Gottlieb though, who I can’t recommend enough. She was super savvy and tough as nails on hard core sellers and less than stellar funding agents. God bless her! I wish I could buy 50 more houses with her.

So, here we are! We own a home, and it’s literally a fairytale of an entrance. It’s like the Southern California version of the little cottage in the woods that lured Hansel and Gretel. Though I promise I won’t be tossing any children into cauldrons up in here.

storybook front entry

In slightly anti-climatic news, we agreed to allow the sellers to remain in the home for an expressed 30 day period after the closing. We heard that we may have access as soon as next Friday. Fingers are crossed for that, since I’m chomping at the bit to get inside and I’ve already purchased a gigantic piece of rattan furniture (a total wacko thrift store score cause that’s how I roll) for some of the SoCal style that this home calls for.

I can’t wait to style the newest batch of TEOT Pillows on it.

Until then, I have upwards of 200 cellphone photos to pour through, but I cannot WAIT to get inside the emptied out version of our new home, devoid of the Safari-luxe style of the sellers, and onto a blank canvas. I’m starting to brainstorm a bit, and so far my fantasies are a bit unbridled. Dude already said no to a swinging hammock in the Sunroom. Please let his mind be changed.

This is the future hammock room. Upon close inspection, I realized that this room has been sponge painted… and it made me laugh because it’s hideous and horrible and just weeks ago I was trying to convince everyone that this faux finish deserved a new reputation. I still believe it needs a new approach.

Sunroom at shaniqua

Sunroom at shaniqua 2

But for this room, I’m contemplating paying some homage to my southern roots, and painting that beadboard ceiling a plantation porch blue, as seen here.

Of course, I don’t even know what we will put in this room if not a hammock. It will take some living in this house for sure, to see how we spread into these spaces. We clearly do not need multiple dining tables as the current homeowners have. Boy, I can’t wait to open all of those windows and capture the ocean breeze as it creeps up the canyon! We’re only 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean!

Another space that I’m all geeked about, besides the dudebar that I shared with you last week, is the art studio. I’m not sure how this coin landed on heads, but Heffe volunteers up this extra space that was carved out behind the garage to me and his sweet daughter, my right hand / partner in artistic crime, for our studio. Again, once we start living, we’ll see what the living brings… but I’m thinking this is TEOT headquarters for sure, especially since the demand for more pillow inventory is upon us. Can’t wait to build out some storage shelving, a little spot for photography and of course a desk and inspiration board to tack up all my fancies. One day, we’ may even carve out a spot for a pottery wheel. #dreamsarefree

shaniqua art studio

art studio 1

Maybe we’ll get adventurous and take a sledgehammer to that bathroom too!

The short story version of this home, and how we were able to snag it in this redonk market is that it has some structural issues that were scaring buyers away left and right. The sellers had been under contract more than a handful of times and each time the deal got away from them when the buyers discovered undisclosed information about some settling that has occurred over the past 50 years.

By the time we came along, the seller’s agent was shoving engineer’s reports and buyer inspections into our hands at the mere mention of possibility. You may recall that I started swooning and acting like a maniac over this home back in Feb. I practically tricked Jeff into going to see it since it was listed as a 2br and we needed no less than 3 for our fam situation.

Between the fact that the home was falling down a hill and its lack of legit bedrooms (despite its rather large footprint) we wrote it off.

But we just kept coming back to it, and as born witness on this very blog, we had a heck of a time competing with all cash buyers on every other house that we put a bid in on. So, along with our genius agent, we submitted an intent to purchase at a price that we felt accommodated the worth of the home taking into account the massive repairs it warranted. So basically, we got what we felt like was a deal, and they finally got to sell their house, albeit not for what they thought it was worth. We had several consultations with structural and geological engineers, and all of the reports were studied until we found some peace in the risk of buying a home that is settling into the ground. And we went for it.

Anywhozitz, that is behind us! YAY.

Here is a look from the master into what was once a third bedroom. The seller had converted it into the mister’s dressing room and office by opening the wall with an arch. We feel that we can easily close this up and bring the hallway door towards us to reclaim that space for one of Heffe’s youngins. Word on the street is that this will be an Xbox dungeon for gamers only. I can’t wait to find out if I’m going to have to walk by closed doors, or if we will be able to satisfy the carnal need for Call of Duty decor without compromising aesthetic palpability. We shall see.

rustic-midcentury-renovation

There will also be a struggle with the built-ins, and I would love to hear your opinion. Part of me wants to remove them completely. They are uber traditional in stature , and they are taking up the only good portion of wall that we have in the whole living room. Meanwhile, our only choice for mounting the largest tv of all time is either within the shelves of this monster, on the fireplace (where there is currently no mantle) orrrrr we have discussed a hidden screen/projector combo.

built ins at shaniqua

This is the room it sits in.

living room silver spring

shaniqua-living-room-bookshelves

This post has grown so long, I won’t launch into the landscaping and my dire hopes to claim some access from the garage into the foyer, nor will I bore you just yet with manometer readings and what a settling house on the terraces of the Pacific Palisades really means for the structural stability of this home if we indeed ever get rain again here in Southern California. We’ll talk about that another day, I’m sure!

But thank you so much for bearing with me and for allowing me to relish in this excitement. It’s truly an unbelievable house and I’m so excited to see how the dude, the homies and I turn it into our home! <3

For more pics of the home, see SILVER SPRING & DON’T JINX IT.

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TEOT Launches Custom Pillow Collection

We’ve sourced, sewn and styled a whole prolifery of pillows from on-trend vintage global textiles and one by one we’re uploading them to our TEOT SHOP. We are selling them.

What do you think?

We like to call this little girl in the middle Lotty Dotty.

Lotty-Dotty-we-like-to-Pahty-on-Rattan-PILLOW-vintage-african-textiles-by-The-Estate-of-Things

PillowsonRattan

She likes to party.

We have a thing for blue you know. It’s really apparent in all of this wonderful vintage indigo fabric that we scored at the Santa Monica Antiques Market. It’s from Africa, and most of it is from Mali specifically.

A-group-of-indigo-pillows-hmong-and-african-styled-by-the-estate-of-things

If I had to choose my favorite combo, I think I’d lean this way, below.

In fact, I’d be happy if this scene were replicated exactly in my own home. I’ll do my best to recreate it, it’s going to be hard without that rattan bench in my life.

SarahStyling

I would take a little dose of Sarah styling all of my accessories too.

I’ll tell you why we are doing this! It’s proof of concept. If we can get some product moving online, we can get a brick and mortar storefront in Southern Pines, NC.

You see that simple correlation too, right?!?

on-rattan

JK JK JK. I know, it’s gonna take more than a few pillows to get the store moving. We’re working on it. We have to crawl before we walk.

One thing I learned is that styling these few vignettes with Sarah, and shooting them – well it was just about the most fun that I’ve had “working” in a really long time. It made me feel like this is EXACTLY what I want to be doing. I only regret that there are 3000 miles between Sarah and myself – so we can’t do that daily.

White-Mudcloth-Pillow-features-Hidden-Zipper-by-The-Estate-of-Things

 

Buy some incredibly fairly priced pillows from The Estate of Things Pillow Collection, and make our dreams comes true!

Right now, we just want to prove to ourselves that we can make something happen!

The-Estate-of-Things-Slideshow-PILLOWS

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This or That: Which West Elm Bed?

It’s Friday, or as the Instagrams like to say lately, FriYay!

I’m not sure how I feel about that (the Friyay thing). What about y’all?

Here’s another serious question that I’m pondering.

Which-West-Elm-Bed

???

It’s time to start thinking about a new bed. Aesthetically, I’m 95% sure I want a simple, clean, and rather plain, low profile, upholstered option. I’m even leaning towards a neutral, which is uncharacteristic, so I assume that it means I’m a grown up now.

Turns out though, I am a grown evolving mess of a lady that seeks constant change and malleable surroundings.
My big idea is that I can drape or tuck the textile of my most recent fascination over this style with the kind of commitment I favor…

None!

There is so much more that will need to be considered as I start contemplating wants and needs for a new bedroom style, but my feeling is that this is a good direction. I just need to weigh the pros and cons of the low profile versus the height, and the footboard versus the platform. The dude and I like a low profile much more than a tall stuffy formal arrangement, but scale is something to consider, since our soon-to-be-bedroom has some ceiling height to consider.

Anywhatever, I’m sure you don’t care about all that. I wouldn’t if I were you.

But what do you have to say about the beds? Any ideas? Any experience with West Elm furniture that should make me reconsider? Am I totally up your alley because I’m assuming that I can just toss a mudcloth over one of these one day and suzani the next without ever feeling trapped into one style?

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