Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Hawaiian

I wanted to share more pictures of Hawaii today.  We started our trip at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on the island of Oahu.  We stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki, which is next door to the historic Royal Hawaiian.  The Royal Hawaiian first opened in 1927 and originally cost $4 million to build...I can't even imagine how much money that was back then! It's been called the Pink Palace of the Pacific and was frequented by celebrities such as Shirley Temple.  It closed for a while in 2008 for renovations and completed final renovations in 2010. 

A few days before we left, I got my February copy of Traditional Home magazine in the mail.  It contained a nice piece on the Royal Hawaiian.  I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful it is in person.  My pictures don't do it justice.  The renovations maintained the integrity of the original design.  The bottom floor is open air.  The atmosphere makes you feel like you elegantly stepped back in time.  From the original brass elevators to the historically perfect furniture, maps and mounds of fresh flowers, it is just perfect.  And, did I mention it's pink???

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Floors!

Yesterday, I shared progress shots of the new hardwood floors we recently added to our living room here.  Most of our downstairs was already solid oak hardwood.  We had carpet in our living room and bedroom.  After much debate we decided to extend the hardwoods into the living room.  We didn't want to take on the additional expense of sanding and refinishing the entire downstairs, so we changed the direction of the wood.  Our flooring contractor worked extremely hard to custom match the new flooring finish to that of the existing floors.  So without further ado~

And after~

We love the finished look!  It makes kitchen, breakfast area and living room really flow together! 

I was starting to wonder what my next project was going to be, but Mother Nature chose that for us when this happened!  Thankfully, our insurance company has been great.  I'm a big Safeco fan right now!  We've been meeting with roofers and painters.  It's a headache, but at least our home will benefit from it.  I'll keep you updated!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Floored!

After months of debate and lots of calls with contractors (some things are best left to the professionals), this bundle of joy arrived at our house about a month ago~

Two weeks later our lovely beige carpet went to carpet heaven.  RIP soft carpet.  It wasn't you.  It's me.  I'm a little crazy.  I have 3 dogs, you know.  It just wasn't working out.  We'll both be better off~

Then the boys got to work~

They pieced it together like puzzle~

And this baby was born~

Before and after photos coming later this week! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blinded by Bamboo

I've been admiring bamboo blinds for quite a while now.  I love the layer of natural texture they add to a room. Unfortunately, they can be quite expensive through many typical blind sources.  Smith & Noble sells similar blinds for around $200+ per standard window size blind!! 

All images via

A few months ago, I discovered Emily Hewett's blog, which regularly features fabulous spaces, frugal finds, and bargain decor DIYs.  Emily is a very talented, young desinger who recently left her full-time job as a designer for a local home builder here in the Dallas metroplex to set out working with her own clients full-time.  Emily prides herself on bringing stylish design to clients on a budget.  I emailed Emily to find out if she could help me put some of my rooms together.  She agreed, and we started our journey of trying to finish out my living room and master bedroom  I had a lot of ideas, but I was tired of bringing pieces home and realizing they didn't work in my space.  I needed help making the space cohesive without wasting money on pieces that just didn't work for me.  Emily turned out to be just the girl I needed.  She understood my budget concerns, and we've worked on my rooms step-by-step.  She's been great to recommend sources that I wouldn't have thought of on my own and to let me transform my space as my budget allows. 

Emily and I were discussing adding bamboo blinds to my living room.  I told her I wasn't sure because those I'd researched seemed pretty pricey.  She suggested I check out the local JC Penney store.  Score!  I purchased 3- 32" x 72" woven roman bamboo shades on sale for $30.00/per blind!  My grand total tax included was $97.42 for my chic magazine-worthy window treatment.  At the time I purchased the blinds, they were available online; I couldn't find them today, though. 

Here's the window before adding the bamboo blinds.  You can see the back side of our patio awning in the background.  I wanted to hide it from direct view in the house~

And, after adding our bamboo blinds~

I love how they look in the room.  So much more polished!  And, most importantly, I love the price!!

The room is still a work in progress, but I love where it's going.  My project for May is to raise the curtain rod and add new curtains.  I've been learning to sew, so I'm debating whether to make the curtains myself, do a semi-DIY curtain or to have the local fabric wearhouse, which is very budget friendly, make them for me.  We'll see what happens!    

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This past February my parents, my brother, my husband and I, along with 5 family friends, travelled to Hawaii.  We spent 3 days on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu then headed to Maui for 7 days.  It was my first time, and it exceeded all of my expectations...which were pretty high.  I took over 1000 pictures!  Since I haven't really featured any design this week, I though I would share a few photos of our condo in Maui. 

We stayed at the completely amazing Honua Kai Resort located on Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, which I highly recommend.  The stellar reviews on Trip Advisor sold me on where I wanted to stay.  Then, after extensive searching on VRBO and other travel rental sites, I found a killer deal on our 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom ocean view condo.  We had the most amazing time and can't wait to go back.  More on our trip in future posts, though!

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the incredible kitchen, which included an oversized built-in refrigerator, built-in dish washer, granite counters and back splash, all gourmet appliances, and the list goes on.  And, let's not forget that view!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Excuses

I went to visit some of my girlfriends in Northwest Arkansas a few weekends ago.  We had a fabulous weekend of shopping and great food. 

 When I returned, I found this crumpled receipt on our bathroom counter.  He treated himself while I was away~

In case you can't read it, he bought himself Ruffles, Doritos, pita chips, a cheap filet, french onion dip, a jar of peanuts, frozen french fries, Manwich with beef and buns, a 6-pack of Natural Light and 2 cups of yogurt.  I can't even start to tell you how gross I find this whole list (except for the Ruffles, of course). 

He ate all of it. 

I have no excuses for this.  I guess it's how we roll.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring 2011 Yard Updates

This past weekend we spent a lot of time working on our front flowerbeds.  This is the skanky state of affairs before we got to work~

And, here is the after.  We are certainly not landscape architects, but it is always a great feeling to step back and see the results of a long day's weekend's work! 

When we bought our house, the flowerbeds were very overgrown with a solid green wall of contractor grade shrubery.  After getting a quote from a landscaping company last spring, we decided we could just do it ourselves.  So, we started off by removing much of the original landscaping, removing the rotting aluminum edging, and tilling up the remaining area.  We added in some grasses, the crepe myrtles anchoring the ends of the house, and a lot of bedding plants.  This year we added 6 Encore azaleas, several addtional pots of Mexican feather grass, several flats of Ellepot Cora Vina (aka periwinkles), and several other additional perinnials.  We hope to add more colorful perinnials each year.  We also added 23 bags of mulch!  Yikes!  Now if we can just get our grasses and our yard to fill-in.  Our unusual winter storms in January and February took a toll on them.  Fingers are crossed!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Hail Storm, Batman!

Out of nowhere Thursday night, we had a severe hailstorm.  We definitely had some damage, but considering everything else going on in the world, we'll be fine.  The sound of the hail beating on the windows was incredible echoing throughout the house.  We sustained some damage to our roof, windows, and bathroom skylight.  A few of my patio plants took a beating, and you'll notice that our magnolia tree leaves look like they were put through a food processor.  It also beat the stain off of our fence!!  Our yard looked like a plane flewover and dumped Sonic ice!  The insurance adjustor comes in the morning.  I hope it goes well!

Here are a few shots I took during the storm and the following morning~