Thursday, October 31, 2013

coffee table round-up

hey everyone! happy halloween! i just sent the kids off to school and we are all excited to go trick-or-treating tonight. Big A is going to be a rockstar and little a is going to be Ariel on her wedding day. if you know my kids well, you know that these costumes suit them perfectly. 

and as excited as i am about the fun later tonight... today, my post has nothing to do with halloween. i've put together a round-up of coffee tables because there are so many great ones out there and i can't decide which one to pick. so i need your help. check them out!

ok, so as you are considering the options, keep in mind that i would like to eventually have a fauxdenza in the living room, under the TV... and also that my bar stools will be visible because the bar separates the living room from the kitchen and the stools will be on the living room side. let's continue:

1 // i love the modern and clean design of this round table and think it would pair well with the fauxdenza, but it's a little high in price for my budget.

2 // this would not be my first pick, but it could add a fun design element and spice things up a bit with it's worldly carvings. also more than i would want to spend on a table.

3 // i love this marble top, clean, and simple table. it is just so pretty and it could tie in with both the fauxdenza and stools. lots of $$$ though...

4 // this is MY number one pick. i am so inspired by the blog House Tweaking and how all her pieces flow so nicely together. i love her coffee table and this one is pretty close. and also it's the cheapest coffee table out of all of these.

5 // this one is my husbands number one pick because it's multifunctional. he likes how it looks, a little industrial, but also that it has a second shelf for storage. we could put some baskets under there. while i think it would look great with the stools, i'm worried about how it would look with the fauxdenza... what do you think? 

6 // this is my husband's second pick. it's a better price than #1 (more than $100 cheaper!) and has a similar look. i could get into it. 

7 // this one is closer to our budget, and would keep with the warm tones around the house. my husband thinks it looks too much like an accordion though. 

8 // ok, here's the deal. as is, i don't love this table. but this blog has a great DIY (hint: they whitewash the top!!) that WOULD make me love it. it's cheap and i think would look great with both the stools and fauxdenza (they have a fauxdenza, too! doesn't it look good next to it?). baskets underneath could help with extra storage and it would require minimal work to make it perfect. 

so, there you have it. my husband and i can't agree. some of them are perfect as is, but will it work with the overall look and tie all other pieces together? and some require a little extra help. then there's the issue of round vs. rectangular (my side tables are round... FYI)... 

which is your favorite?

xo, tara

p.s. sorry about all the times i wrote the word fauxdenza... it's a pretty obnoxious word, i was starting to annoy myself!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

documenting our current home: the living room & office

i have been a busy girl this week. i've got a fire under my seat to sell all the big ticket items that won't fit into the new house, and i have already sold a lot. i realized i hadn't taken pictures of the living room in it's current state before selling the coffee table and chaise lounge! oops! so you'll just have to visualize, and here is the link to my last living room update from almost two years ago. a few things have changed, but not much.

so let's get started in the entryway. 

this little cabinet is actually meant to be a changing table. i used it with both the kids. it was given to me by my sweet Uncle Bubba after my late Aunt Diana passed away. i'm not sure where she got it or how long she had it, or whether or not it is a family piece with any history, but my Aunt Diana was my dad's favorite sister and i grew up very close to her. i loved and adored spending time with her and my uncle when they would babysit us, they had all the Disney movies and a cabinet full of fun games. she gave the best hugs too! we lost her to cancer about 14 years ago. oh, how i miss her! so, needless to say, i am not getting rid of this piece. i don't have a place for it in the new house, but i think i'll squeeze it into my closet and try to use it as a vanity. i was also thinking it would be a great gift wrapping station, but i'm not sure where.

looking into the living room from the front door. i love my gallery wall. its about 95% finished. i never did trace the kids silhouettes onto those little oval wooden plaques... and i also made the geometric print as a filler for a much larger family print that was never printed and framed... but now that we're moving i don't think we will do another gallery wall. so sad. i'm just so nervous to put all those holes in the wall at our brand new house! (and i'm also kind of worried about what our landlord will think about all the holes we put into this rental! eek!) i have heard of 3M picture tape, so i'll give that a try. we're thinking of maybe doing a gallery wall in the stairway. we'll see. 

also, those two chairs are new to us! aren't they great? my dear friend Pam gave them to us, they were her mother's. they're the perfect shade of green to compliment all the aqua i have. and they're in perfect condition. i love them so much!

i'm on the hunt for a new coffee table. i'm saving up for it though, since i am spending all the money i made from selling furniture for my new dining room table. and those two little cubbies that hold the DVD storage boxes  on the right will not be coming into the new house with us. 

looking into the living room from the dining room. one of my biggest issues with the living room is all the wires hanging out and looking all messy. but it's been two years since we upgraded our TV to a flat screen and i still have yet to do anything about it. that's something i'm going to make sure to do in the new house, tame the wires!!! 

this sofa table is from IKEA. it stores all the kids craft supplies, puzzles, and games. this table will become the TV console in the new house. but not permanently. i have big plans to make a wall anchored fauxdenza like this one! i need to save my pennies first!

 also, i'm killing this plant. i think it hates me because i never water it. it's so sad. notice the chaise lounge is missing from the right corner. sold it. 

my little office area. i love it. and i love this desk. but sadly i am selling it. there's a little cut-out in the wall in a little lofty type area at the top of the stairs in the new house, but this desk is 2 inches too big to fit in it!!! WAHHH! we'll probably built simple built-ins into the little cut out for our computer at the new house.

also, more nasty wires. 

this house has a weird loft/ledge that serves no purpose... but looks funny with nothing on it, so i have been collecting filler decorations. its kind of nice now, draws your eye up and gives you something nice to look at. before i realized i was allergic to cats and had to give my sweet Ziggy kitty to my mother-in-law, he would go up there to escape the kids! haha!

looking toward the kitchen from the desk area. more lofty/ledge filler decor. a big chest and some vintage suitcases, a typewriter, a record box... i have no idea what i will do with all this stuff in the new house... but i'm not willing to part with it yet. it's what gives the house character. 

i again have to apologize for the bad pictures, i did my best! 

even though there is still a little over 2 months til we move, i am getting so excited! i'll be blogging about a coffee table round-up later this week. i have so many fun ideas in my head about paint colors, and possible doing a small pallet wall below the bar. i just can't contain myself. 

hope you're not sick of all my posts yet and all my crazy stories about my furniture. i love pieces with history.

xo, tara

Friday, October 25, 2013

a treasured table tall-tale

ok, it's not really a tall-tale, it's a true story. i just couldn't resist that alliteration. and it's also a confession. 

you guys. i found the second table of my dreams (the first being my current dining table). its a miraculous story of favor and delight. 

after making my inspiration board for the kitchen, i double checked with my husband (who was away for the weekend at the time so we couldn't discuss those items together) to make sure he liked all the things i picked out. and, for the most part, he did. his only concern was that the table was small, knowing how much i love to entertain. i assured him that i loved the table, it was in our price range, and i was ok with getting creative when we entertained... so he agreed. 

yesterday, we went on a field trip with little a's class and carpooled with my friend, Robin. while discussing our excitement for the new house, the issue of the small table was brought up. she is a totally Godly woman and was pushing back on my impractical love for the table. my husband was suggesting that i look for something that had the option of expanding, something with leaves. i felt my heart panic and get defensive. i mean, i loved the white tulip table i picked out, i had done a bunch of research finding one that was the color i wanted and in our price range. now i had to go BACK to work and look for something else... because there was NO WAY a white tulip table with leaves would ever be found, especially not in our price range. 

as we sat in the car discussing the need for a table with leaves, i found myself thinking, "are you going to submit? are you going to submit?".

i have to admit, i didn't want to. my heart was set on the white tulip table. i knew it would be impossible to find one with leaves. and i knew it definitely wouldn't be in our budget if we did. so i just promised to keep looking, but held on to my original plan in my heart. 


this morning i had some alone time in the car between parent/teacher conferences so i decided to call my best friend back home, Bekah. she updated me on the goings on in her life and i felt the need to confess. i've been feeling convicted by the amount of time searching for the perfect _________. (i have a long list of priorities & desires for the new house. plus, being such a dreamer i can get lost on the interwebs. i have the carpel tunnel to prove it.) i feel a conviction in my heart to not let this new house consume my heart. not let things consume my heart. not let people's opinion of my things consume my heart. i want to have a pure heart, a grateful heart, a heart that seeks the Lord first and above all things. to not let my Pinterest time replace my bible time. my heart is so easily swayed by all the pretty things! 


after parent/teacher conferences were over my husband gave me a little alone time to peruse some stores for a few items on our priority list without my children. it was wonderful. i decided to go to a local vintage thrift store that carries tons of retro furniture, looking mainly for bookshelves or a coffee table. i walked around the front part of the store and turned the corner to another section, and there it was. the heaven's parted and shone rays of sunshine down upon...


crazy. i know. but there was one problem. they would only sell it as a total set for $595.00. well, i don't have that kind of money and i really don't love the chairs. i asked several times if they would consider selling just the table and they said it was a firm set. well, this particular store has another rummage sale type store owned by the same owner. and he is usually at the rummage sale. so i decided to give it a shot. 

i show up at the rummage sale, and the owner is standing right behind the counter. i walked right up and got to business. i said, "i was just at your other store and i found the beautiful white tulip table with leaves and was wondering if you would be consider being flexible and selling me only the table?" we chatted back and forth, about why i didn't want the i love this's part of my vision... just bought a new home...i showed him my inspiration board...i'm crazy. 

so he said he to write down an offer on a piece of paper and he would consider it and tell me by tomorrow. i said great. 

then i proceeded to walk around the store, hunting for bookshelves and coffee tables. because i seriously did not believe he would sell me just the table. and especially not for the price i offered. 

then it happened. he found me in the store and said he would do it! i screamed and jumped and squealed! 

this baby will be mine by the end of the weekend! 

so i texted my friend Robin, who was in the car with us yesterday during the "great leaf debate" and told her, "the Lord hears all your prayers, even the silly ones about impossible tables to find in your budget". 

and the Lord told me, in the most loving and gentle way, even when i didn't deserve it, to trust in Him. 

thank you Jesus. 

xo, tara

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

documenting our current home: the kitchen & dining room

when i was little, i loved going to my Grandma Shirley's house and looking through the albums she kept of all the different houses she had and how she decorated them. i always thought it was peculiar that she took so many pictures of the same room all from different angles, but now i wish i had those albums. she passed away almost 10 years ago and i regret not snagging it when we divided up our most cherished possessions of hers. (i also regret not getting her album of Tom Selleck magazine clippings, but that's neither here nor there...) 

i've decided to take a cue from my grandma, who is greatly missed, and take pictures of our current home. after living in this rental for 3 years (the longest place my husband and i have ever lived in, and almost the longest house i've ever lived in my whole life!) i finally feel like it has a style and most of my to-do projects for it have been done. at least in the common areas, upstairs is a different story. but i digress. here are the pictures. i'll start with the kitchen & dining room. 

i do not claim to have any photography experience of any kind, so please forgive the crazy lighting, dark pictures, and blinding white spots! this is my beloved dining table. we purchased it at the Encinitas Street fair, and it is supposedly solid Rosewood imported from Africa. i knew it would be my forever table the moment i laid eyes on it. my desire is for it to be an heirloom, passed down to my kids and theirs. sadly, it will not fit in our new home, but i will be storing it in the garage for a few years until we are able to upgrade. the chairs are from IKEA (similar here). the map is a sheet of framed wrapping paper from Paper Source. (to see my future kitchen's inspiration board, click here.)

it's a little hard to see but that green picture on the wall is a chalkboard. it's where we keep our memory verse for the week. i'm always changing the design based on my current pinterest inspiration. i made the curtains from fabric purchased at a store here in Fresno called Home Fabrics. i just sewed all the way around the edges and clipped them with drapery clips. 

view into the kitchen. i'm not wildly in love with this kitchen by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a good size and has lots of counter space for all the cooking i do. we will still have a large bar area for stools and plenty of counter space in the new house, so i'm pretty excited about that. we'll also have granite counter tops, which makes me happy because i loath grout. 

i purchased the stools from Craigslist, but you can find similar ones here

i would love to spray paint them a fun bright color like these ones at The Butcher's Daughter in New York, but i have have a lot of bright "pops" of color all over the house and i fear it will soon look like a circus up in here. what do you think? what color would you paint them? i love them in this yellow!

last but not least, my favorite part of my kitchen, the bay window. i'm a plant murderer, so they all look sad and droopy, but i love having luscious green plants too look at while i'm doing dishes. and no, it doesn't always look like a dark dungeon in my kitchen, it's just this bad photographer's lack of lighting wisdom. 

so there you have it. it's been documented. in it's most clean state. it's nothing special, but it gets the job done and i've managed to add little personal touches here and there. now i can't wait to sell half of it and pack the other half! 

xo, tara

Saturday, October 19, 2013

kitchen inspiration

i have some really exciting news to share, and if you follow me on instagram, you already know what it is!

some of you may remember the almost house and all my dreams for it from two years ago... a few days away from closing escrow we backed out of our dream home. we wanted to make sure that our finances were in order before committing to home ownership. well, another opportunity to buy a home has come to us and we are taking it! we put the down payment and signed all the paperwork yesterday! i'm so excited! this new house will be a downsize for us, but we are excited about it. we're losing about 300 square feet and we will feel it most in the dining room area. in fact, there is no dining room. we will need a small 4 person round table to fit into the kitchen. until we can upgrade a few years from now i will be storing my beautiful 8 person table in the garage.

well, i'm back to dreaming and since i am such a high dreamer, an inspiration board was necessary. here is my vision for my smaller but still stylish and highly functional kitchen & dining space.

after seeing this inspiration board i completely fell in love and felt like it was just "ME". i call it modern rustic. what would you call it? so here is my own spin on it, i hope my husband feels the same! haha.

1//i just love the colors in this print, i think it will pick up some of the colors in the curtains for the living room, which is REALLY close by 
2//getting the most out of the drawer and cabinet space will be high priority, and i would love to also make it pretty with this bamboo drawer organizer
3//another print from the same designer, love it
4//i think 2 of these pendant lights would e pricey but also look amazing over the bar separating the living room and kitchen
5//and this pendant light would be just as amazing over the dining table
6//the turkish tea towels are all cotton and apparently super soft
7//these knit bags would make a fun twist on a fruit bowl
8//rustic cutlery with wood details ties in all the warm tones
9//4 faux sheep skin rugs at such a good price draped over the dining chairs would be so comfy
10//there really isn't anywhere to store our large plastic (read: ugly) trash cans, so i wouldn't mind this pretty tin one being in full view
11//i'm totally addicted to enamel cookware right now, and West Elm has such a pretty line right now
12//cabinet space will be pushed to it's limits so a little extra storage couldn't hurt
13//this cowhide rug would be a splurge, but i really good one!
14//more enamel ware, LOVE!
15//i have loved these chairs for a long time!
16//this is such a good price for a tulip table
17//this rifle paper print would look lovely with the other two

so what do you think? what color should the walls be? i love bold colors but i have a lot of bold accents (like aqua and emerald green)... so many things to consider when you can actually make big changes in your own home! i'm sure you'll being seeing more inspiration boards in the weeks to come. 

any since my birthday is coming up in less than two weeks (and Christmas!!) you can consider this my wish list. wink. 

xo, tara