Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Casual, Beachy Vibe.

Today we're featuring a home that just makes us feel good. As you can guess from the title, this home has a casual, beachy vibe. What I love most is that the decor definitely takes cues from the ocean without being too literal. There are no shells and no photos of the beach, yet a beachy vibe definitely comes across.  The home feels like a sophisticated beach house.

How great is that bold navy on the wall? And I love the graphic print on the pillows!

With a headboard made of all natural material, accompanied by the nature inspired artwork, this bedroom has a very casual feel, yet still has a sophisticated edge.

What kind of decorator are you? Are you inspired by nature? Are you a traditionalist? Does your spouse prefer Modern decor, while you prefer Shabby Chic?  Any tips on how to merge styles with your spouse?

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's a Before & After Extravaganza!

Today, we're really excited to share a special project with you. This post is filled with Before & After photos of our latest property flip. Let me take you on a tour . . .

Before we began the remodel, the house looked like this.

 With fresh paint, new windows, a new front door, some decorative shutters and some landscaping, this house now looks completely different!

The kitchen once looked like this . . .

Today, the kitchen has beautiful walnut cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a granite counter top and travertine flooring. The bay window and under cabinet lighting definitely brings the space to life. Also, I got to use white subway tiles as a back splash. (Who can resist a great subway tile?)

The living room was once begging for some love . . .

Now, with a refaced fireplace, a new glass door, new carpet and fresh paint, this room is somewhere that one would actually like to spend some time. It's also worth noting that this room once had the washer, dryer and water heater in it. The above photo was taken while I stood in front of the utilities, so (lucky for you) you can't see them. They were quite an eyesore!

The hall bathroom was, um . . . pretty gross before we worked our magic . . .

Now, with custom cabinetry, a granite counter top and travertine tile, this bathroom looks nothing like it did before. The bathroom also gained a few extra square feet, as we moved a few walls around.

Take a look at what the master bathroom used to be . . .

Don't look too long, your eyes may bleed . . .

Now, after a complete remodel, and a few extra square feet, the bathroom looks like this . . . 

Before, the family room was drab and lifeless.

Today, the family room is full of light and life!

Allow me to show you what the backyard looked like a few months ago . . .

Yes, it was pretty much a junk yard . . .

With a new lawn and patio area, this space is a clean slate. We figured we'd leave this area without too much landscaping, giving the new owners a chance to add their own imprint to the property.

So, there ya go. This property went on the market last Friday and we'll be looking at offers tomorrow. It's been a lot of work, but it's also been a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4th of July Party Inspiration

As always, Pottery Barn has dazzled us with another great party guide. Take a peak at these images from their Summer BBQ Guide.

Beautiful flowers, festive glasses . . .

patriotic table settings . . .

and a gorgeous tablescape.

How do you plan to spend The 4th of July?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Bedroom Decor

There are a lot of changes going on at Our Fine House. Outside, we're creating a new patio in our garden, replacing the changing room by our pool and trying to keep our plants alive in this heat. Inside, we're in the middle of a major bathroom remodel, and we're redecorating our master bedroom.

I finally got around to hanging artwork in our bedroom. Since I had four shadowbox frames that I wanted to hang, I knew I needed to get my measurements just right. First, I traced a template of each shadowbox onto newspaper. On each template, I marked where the hanging brackets were placed.

Then, I taped them to the wall to decide how I wanted them spaced.

Once I was happy with their placement, I took measurements to make sure that they were all spaced evenly. I also made sure that they were level.

Then, I took my trusty hammer and nailed right through the newspaper template where I had previously marked the bracket points.

I then tore the newspaper off the wall.

Finally, my art was ready for it's new home. To create my artwork, I just placed black scrapbooking paper in each shadowbox frame. Then, I hot glued the sea stars and sand dollars to the paper.

We're working hard to complete our bedroom remodel and looking forward to
sharing all of the photos with you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our 2nd Annual Pinata Party

Last year, we accidentally threw what is now known as a Pinata Party. Yes, it was an accident.  You see, last summer, we had a dinner party with a group of our nearest and dearest friends. We thought it would be a fun surprise to bring out a goody-filled pinata after dinner. Well, the pinata ended up being a huge hit, (pun intended). Everyone loved it so much that we joked about having a pinata at every dinner party. "Can we do this every year?", one friend asked. Our friends began to throw out suggestions left and right about what our "Annual Pinata Party" should be like. "We should each bring a pinata!", "We should make our pinatas!", and throughout the past year, when our dinner party was referenced, it was always referred to as "The Pinata Party". And so, "The Pinata Party" was born. And yes, this past weekend, we hosted our 2nd Annual Pinata Party. Leave it to us to throw a party SMACK DAB in the middle of a major bathroom renovation.

A few weeks ago, we created festive invitations and sent them to our guests. The guest list was simple, - last year when the idea of having an annual pinata themed party came up, we decided that we would stick with the exact same group of people who had helped us come up with the idea.  In fact, last year, as we said goodbye to our guests, many yelled, "See you next year! Same time, same place!", as they climbed into their cars. So we invited the exact same group that had joined us that fateful evening.

We created a colorful tablescape to greet our guests.

Above the buffet, we hung cheerful pom poms that I made (and had to fight our cats for).

Green Pellegrino bottles served as candle holders. Tea lights were also scattered across the table. And of course, we placed Mexican rosary candles on the table as well.

Red and white vases held colorful flowers.

And those colorful, little poofs that you see are mini pinatas, filled with goodies for each guest.

We hung sheer curtains around our patio to add a bit of whimsy. And though these photos don't show them, we had beautiful twinkling lights and candles hanging above the table. I regret not getting a great shot of those!

It was a great night . . . and we'll start planning for next year's party soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boudoir Beauties

Thanks to “Our Fine House” for letting me guest post today! I’m Susi, a home d├ęcor writer with Design Shuffle, a popular portfolio and social media platform for interior designers with tons of interior design ideas. I have to disclose right up front, I’m not a girly-girl at heart (I’m fonder of orange than I am of pink.) However, I must admit the boudoirs I ran across for this post really spoke to my softer side. See if they do the same for you.

Just by the title you can tell this is going to be a girly-girl post about the joys of feminine style. If you are lucky enough to have a dressing room, you can turn that space into an oasis of glamour. Not so lucky? Capture the style in a bathroom, powder room or corner of your bedroom, the rooms below are sure to inspire a few decorating ideas. Boudoir must haves include mirrors, curvy lines, flowers, gorgeous lighting and luxurious fabrics. Think feminine, think sparkle, think no boys allowed. Enjoy!

Casa Sugar {via}

Modern powder room/dressing rooms can get glamour from sophisticated pastels, shiny surfaces, sparkling lights and French style.

Tudorks {via}

Designer Nanette Lepore's dressing room centers around a rich, antique Chinese rug topped by an oversize velvet pouf. Nothing says boudoir like a white poodle.

Access Decorati {via}

Stunning dramatic dressing room by Stephanie Lake Designs. Those drapes! Love the dark walls, vintage paintings and pale blue furniture. Elegant and glamorous.

Home Bunch {via}

This could be a dressing room or corner of a feminine bedroom. Love the deep pink walls, a place to lounge and the mirrored chest of drawers.

Flickr {via}

We found this photo on Flickr from Fun on the Floor. The chair with the corset ribbon back is gorgeous—so feminine!

Marie Antoinette Queen of France {via}

Marie Antoinette's boudoir in Fontainebleau is a riot of patterns and decoration. Love the play of delicate florals and rich gilding. Give you more interior design ideas to try at home?

Scandalous Fashion {via}

Finally, the ultimate boudoir as imagined by Sophia Copolla in her eye candy filled Marie Antoinette. Boudoir comes from the french word to sulk. How could anyone sulk in a room this gorgeous, filled with delicious cakes?!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Purple, Done Right

I'm definitely not afraid of color, but when it comes to purple, I must admit,  I'm a bit intimidated. I feel like purple could easily be too feminine. Too fussy. Too bright. Too dark. Too . . . a lot of things. I said that I wouldn't ever decorate with purple, but then I happened to see a home that was tastefully decorated with purple as an accent color and I may have changed my tune.

Take a look.

Aren't those curtains great? The deep purple stripe definitely adds a playfulness to the room.

 Small purple touches in the master bedroom, (like the art work and pillows), add a touch of romance.

The master bathroom wasn't left out, - a fuchsia orchid gives this room a burst of color.

The guest room is whimsical and ready for guests.

One last peak . . .

What color are you most fearful to decorate with? How do you bring color into your home?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Emergency Planning For Your Home

Getting yourself prepared for an emergency is something most people figure they’ll get around to sooner or later. But why wait? You want your home, and those in it, to be protected from day one. In honor of June being National Home Safety Month, here are a few items to take care of at home:

Smoke out fire hazards

 First things first – check the batteries in all the smoke detectors in the home. Change the batteries and replace any detectors that aren’t working properly. The Home Safety Council recommends placing smoke detectors on every floor of the home, including the basement and near sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries twice a year – the changing of the clocks is a good reminder. Also, keep a fire extinguisher, one that works on any type of fire, handy in the kitchen, which is the most common site for home fires. If you have more than one level of your home, or live above the main level of a condominium complex, consider purchasing a fire escape ladder. They are available at most home improvement stores and come in a variety of lengths.

Chemical matters
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that we can’t see or smell, so CO detectors are best
positioned near bedrooms and the furnace to warn when the gas collects in high levels. A bill signed into law in May 2010 requires that all homes in California must have CO detectors installed by July 2011. If you have children in your home, find a secure place for medicines and household cleaners, and install safety locks on cabinets and drawers to keep dangerous substances out of reach.

Road map

Create safety plans for your home and make sure every member of the family is on board. Outline escape routes from bedrooms, be sure everyone knows how to unlock doors and windows, and designate a meeting area outside of the home in case of a fire, earthquake, or other disaster. Also, familiarize yourself with your neighborhood and drive the routes to the nearest hospital, fire and police stations.

By the numbers

Make note of how to contact the local police and fire departments, as well as poison control. Keep the numbers by the home telephone and program them into the mobile phones of each member of the household.

Let everyone know your name

One of the best security systems can be found right next door. Neighbors look out for each other, and each other’s homes, and can provide much needed assistance in an emergency. If you haven’t already done so, introduce yourself and your family to everyone on the block and consider swapping phone numbers. When you’re in need of help, they could be at your door faster than emergency workers.

Whether you're just moving into your home, or you've lived there for years, the safety of you and your family is most important.  After all, the sooner you prepare yourself and your home for a disaster, the sooner you can live in your home feeling safe and sound.