Pining for Pine

If  you were to ask me a couple of years ago what popped into my head when I heard “PINE,” I would have described something like this:

Rustic Pine Bed

Yikes. Fitting for a mountain hideaway cabin, but in my home? No thank you.

When Doug and I decided to renew our lease we sat down and went through the past two IKEA catalogues to see what styles stood out to us… What were we drawn to? If we’re going to stay ten more months, let’s put some purpose into our home, right?

This room spoke to me, but I am realistic enough to know that our home will never look like this:

Pine and White Inspiration, IKEA

(IKEA catalogue)

In fact, all the pictures he pointed out included natural wood, most often pine. So I hopped on the pine train and started thinking about ways to incorporate it into our home. To be honest, using the same wood in all the different rooms is a great way to unify the whole living space together. We came up with three ways to include pine in our home, which I’ll post more about next week, when I have the place cleaned up and ready for photos. Today, I’ve got a birthday party to put together.

How about some more pine inspiration?

Large IKEA Pine Collage

(IKEA… all IKEA.) 

What design element are you drawn to these days? 


Paris-Inspired Terrace

Is it just me, or are Wednesday afternoons kind of a drag around blog world? Do lots of bloggers give themselves Wednesday afternoons off? Hope this post can serve as a little pick-me-up.

So, in my dream world I have a two-story row house that faces a quaint street and has a balcony on the top level overlooking the street. Private parking space in back, please.


Perfectly calling to mind the ubiquitous smoking terraces outside French brasseries, two of these café chairs with this little side table would be the perfect place to have breakfast or watch the world go by. The chairs are $159 each, which is pretty steep but considering that they are commercial-grade chairs I’d expect them to de very durable and last a really long time. I’d master the perfect Cafe au Lait (Photo by Piefinger) and sip it while flipping through my new favorite picture book, Paris in Color.

There is something so Parisian about smoking and ash trays. However, if you don’t smoke (I don’t) you can still use this little catch-all for sunflower or pistachio shells as you snack outside on a lovely afternoon. If you don’t have a real small dog to sit at your feet (like many Parisians do), this bronze one looks ready to play. Complete the Street-side motif with this authentic vintage street sign.

There you have it! This seriously is my dream balcony. If anyone finds 2 café chairs cheaper than this one, please let me know! 

One question: Do you prefer me writing the items in paragraph form like I did here, or bullet form like I did yesterday

Backyard Dreaming…

…On such a winter’s day.

It is much too cold to spend too much time outside right now, but our bleak and boring backyard is begging to be spruced up first thing this spring.

I got my #1 inspiration when I saw this heavenly back patio from Prudent Baby.

Click the photo to be taken to Prudent Baby for the whole backyard.

I am crazy about the colors, the different styles of furniture, the textures… everything! 

I’m not delusional–I know that to dream about a yard like this in Kansas isn’t exactly, well, Prudent given the extreme winters, summers, wind, rain, etc. So, if I went in this direction, certain aspects would have to be enjoyed in the spring, summer, and fall, and safely stored in the garage during the winter.

The great thing about patio furniture is that due to its exposure to the elements, it is the perfect opportunity to take previously-loved items, give them a little refurbishment (and some weatherproof coat) and put them in the yard to see how they do. I’m talking picked-up-off-the-side-of-the-road stuff. Take a coffee table, turn it into a bench. Take an end-table, close it in and make a doghouse. Hmmm… not a bad idea! If I get my way and we have new dining chairs sometime in the distant future (that is, after Europe) I bet you know where the current chairs will be destined!

If you said “they’ll go on your new flagstone and grass patio,” you are correct.

I love the idea of flagstone and grass because it doesn’t have to be perfect. The stones just have to be big enough and even enough that chair legs and table legs don’t sink into the grass. The look they lend themselves to is elevated from a plain concrete slab into something more resort-like.

As for the fence, I would like to use wood and wire (wire is cheaper) in a variety of directions and configurations to create “zones.” In the “back forty” I am envisioning a garden zone, a dog zone, a dining zone, a grilling zone, etc. Let me tell you. Growing up in a Southern California tract home community with a low-maintenance strip of grass in the back, I almost can’t get over how HUGE the backyard is here. Big enough for a separate structure, as I’ve mentioned before, but this space could really be a clubhouse, studio, or just “hang out” covered zone.

For more backyard brain dump, make sure to
check out my Out Of Doors Pinboard.