|Katie held still for the camera. Thank you, Katie.|
|Slow cooker black bean soup (smitten kitchen recipe), with cheddar and plain sour cream.|
|Santa put nuts and peanuts in the stockings again this year.|
January is spent at home. Warm food on the stove or in the Crock Pot. Christmas nuts and fruits and yes, candy canes remain on the table or in the treat bin. Money is still low from Christmas. Mr. B's vacation time starts over, meaning he can take time off to do household projects. (There are no weekends on the railroad.) Christmas decorations come down, and my eyes take in what's left. My mind takes off... what can be done with what's left...
Our house was built in 1950. It isn't big. It's a modest one-story house, situated in a neighborhood on the cusp between good and not-so-good. When we bought it, we had big plans. Then things went sour for a while - very sour - and we couldn't do the things we'd planned.
Now bit by bit, room by room, we're finally making our home look the way we want it to look.
Sometimes I get distracted. When the girls, Grandma, and I went on a walking tour in Wichita's Historic Midtown district in October, I found a house I could really daydream about.
|This used to be the "Christmas house." It was the most magical house in the world at Christmastime.|
Before that, it was in this movie.
Just kidding. That's the historic Wey Mansion, and while it's for sale, I can't even imagine owning it.
|Four bedrooms, fabulous bathrooms, remodeled kitchen and laundry area, hardwood floors...|
No, this sweet craftsman four-square has been on my mind. My grandmother lived in it for a short time in the '50s (I think it was a kind of boarding house then), and even though it wasn't officially part of the tour, since it is also for sale, they opened it up for tours. The price is awesome. The house has so much potential. I have redecorated it in my mind, over and over again...
But we're not in a position to buy a house. We own our own house. Danzel, let's get back to your own house, okay?
Last year, our January project was to paint and decorate our living room. (I made a Pinterest board for that. See?) The Christmas tree is down, and Mr. B spent yesterday rearranging the furniture. I'm not sure if it's better than our previous arrangement, but it does refresh the space.
|Note cards from Out of Print, purchased at Watermark Books|
We snuggled on our cozy, hand-me-down love seat last night and attempted to watch Downton Abbey on Mr. B's ancient laptop. Alas, either it overheated or wasn't plugged in well enough (it won't hold a charge), and we had to move to the desktop. But we got our fix! Yay!
Real quote from the husband: "I want to be a Dowager Countess."
This year, we have several projects to choose from. We still need to refinish the floor in the girls' playroom. (I think the bedroom will be fine.) The two rooms that need the most help, though, are our kitchen and dining area (one room) and the family room/den.
We know we will paint the tiny dining space yellow. We also want to put peg board on one wall, attempting to use it as storage while maximizing the space. Someday I want to paint the cabinets in the kitchen white. The cabinets are new - our house was a flip - and the wood is modern and cheap, especially compared to what we have in the family room.
I have a Kitchen/Dining board on Pinterest, too. I love vintage kitchen stuff, and I want to bring a lot of reds and bright greens into the space to mix with the yellow. We decided we couldn't afford to go completely Mid-Century Modern/Atomic cool. Instead, we're going Granny Chic. Eclectic vintage with a little kitsch. I have a Pinterest board for that, too.
|One corner shelf over the sink, by the pass-thru.|
|The other corner shelf.|
This was our family room before we moved in.
|The knotty pine! The stone fireplace!|
|I love these windows.|
That cheap carpet? It was toast within a week of moving in. It tufted up so badly that it killed our vacuum cleaner. This carpet is my most hated thing in this house. My sworn enemy. It must be replaced.
This is our true 1950s room. And it needs help. A friend of mine asked why we don't paint the knotty pine and I just stared at her. This isn't cheap '70s fake wood paneling. This is good stuff. It's a keeper. And under the carpet is some old-fashioned beige VCT or linoleum stuff. It needs a good cleaning, and I don't know if it's in good shape or not. I'm worried that we need carpeting in here to keep the room warm in the winter, but I really dislike carpet.
So I've been combing the internet, looking for inspiration. One of my favorite online resources for homes like mine is Retro Renovation. Pam, the fabulous site owner, has started a new spin-off site called Knotty is Nice! I'm glad I'm not the only person under 65 who doesn't mind this old paneling. I started pinning photos like crazy. Through Knotty is Nice, I discovered the blog Betty Crafter. This house is full of knotty pine, and in the rooms with the wood, they installed apple green VCT for the floor. I must say, I love this idea. Green is my color, you know.
So this is where my head has been for the past few days. Swimming with ideas, daydreams, plans, and schemes. January is my nesting month.
And this nest needs a little feathering before cabin fever sets in.
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