Tuesday, July 1, 2014

megan's visit

Megan, aka my older sister, aka Schmee, finally came to visit! We've seen each other a lot over the last several months, but it just hadn't worked out yet for her to come here. It was driving us both insane. I've been bouncing house/decorating ideas off her since we bought this house (and vice versa since she bought a house last year too), but you can only look at so many photos and inspirational Pinterest boards before you have to just see everything in person. The free decorating help aside, I was really happy to spend a whole week with her. We haven't hung out just the two of us like that in ages.

Her visit came at the perfect time. I've made a renewed effort recently to focus on house projects. If decorating a house is like writing a novel, then the last few months have been one long slog of writer's block for me. I'm not very patient. I hate having to wait for inspiration and clarity, but I think the fog has finally lifted. I recently had a lightbulb moment, and I'm starting to see how everything is going to come together, which is good because I have 6 months until we host my family for Christmas. That seems like a long time, but my to-do list begs to differ. It won't all be done by then, of course, but I'm sure everyone would at least appreciate having a place to sleep.

Here is everything we managed to squeeze into one week.

We shopped for (and found) treasures at barn sales in Frederick, Maryland. I came home with this cute little dresser. I loved the shape of it, and at $150 its was a pretty great deal considering similar pieces are going for almost $700!


We went to a baseball game and the Nats finally broke their curse against the Braves. I think Megan is good luck.

baseball selfie!
We made a strawberry rhubarb pie. This  lil' baby attended a USA soccer watch party/BBQ with us, but the pie didn't make it home.


While I was at work one day, Megan cooked a delicious dinner of spring pea & asparagus lemon risotto. I didn't mind.


Since she made me dinner, I thought the least I could do was make her a Pimm's cup. I've been obsessed with Pimm's cup cocktails lately. They are the perfect refreshing drink for a warm summer evening.


We went to dinner at Roses' Luxury - one of our favorite new places in D.C. The food is swoon-worthy. If my waistline was no object, I would eat here every day.


gnocchi, a.k.a. tiny pillows of love


megan said this dessert tasted like a meadow. it turns out meadows are delicious. 
As if cooking dinner and schlepping to barn sales and home stores wasn't enough (I'm sure she really hated all the shopping), we made Megan earn her keep. This light fixture in our entry had to go. I've hated it from day one. It was way overdo for an upgrade. 

ugly old fixture
shiny new fixture
Luckily, Megan has experience in this department. She's hung a few fixtures in her house.


Not so luckily, hanging a new light fixture in an old house can be quite complicated.



But she was determined to finish what she started. She's a lot like Dad in that way. Again, I didn't mind. It was a bit of an adventure, but after 5 hours and 3 trips to the hardware store, we had achieved success. This is what homeowners do on a Friday night. If you don't already own a home, get excited.



hanging out in some natural light before we left for work this morning.
do you see the sheet of gold dots sitting on the chest (far right)?
they are leftover from the bathroom project,  and i have big plans for them.
and that chevron entry rug? i have big plans for that too.
and those two wallpaper samples hanging out in the dining room? yep, even more plans.
so many exciting things happening. stay tuned!
It was more than worth it! I love how it turned out! It's amazing what a difference a new light fixture can make. My excitement level over this light fixture officially means I'm old & home owner boring, but I don't care. The midcentury vibe of the fixture is perfect - it works in our old house while still remaining modern & playful. The brass fixture also plays off the brass drawer pulls & gold lamp on the chest. Hiding in the backdrop of the photo is our new fireplace screen, which adds even more shimmery warmth to the house. I love how the geometric shapes in the light fixture and fireplace screen complement each other.

One of the hardest parts of decorating is making things flow from room to room. When you walk into my house, you see into the entry, stairway, living room and dining room. Making sure all of those spaces blend well is a challenge, but I'm pretty thrilled with how it's coming together. It's making me anxious to finish with some other projects and ideas I've been pondering.

a closer look at the fireplace screen
One project done, one to go. Remember that dresser we bought? You didn't think we were going to leave it like that, did you? It was in pretty good shape, but it still needed a little TLC. But you'll have to come back tomorrow to see how it turned out. How rude of me.

We really put Megan to work. I feel a little bad about that. I'm not sure it was much of a vacation for her. But we did make sure to reward her helpful efforts in a big way. On her last night here, we took her to get her very first lobster roll. I felt like a parent introducing my kid to something new and wonderful. You'll have to ask her what she thought, but I don't think it disappointed. Lobster rarely does.


mmmmmmm, lobster

Thus ended the trip. I kind of miss her already. 

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