The only thing constant is change

Carpe Diem, or in other words, Seize the Day! This painted wall is one block from my house and I love this little reminder when I pass by it each day.

Carpe Diem, or in other words, Seize the Day! This painted wall is one block from my house and I love this little reminder when I pass by it each day.

I’ve been thinking about this whole blogging thing a lot lately and one thing that sticks out in my mind is that most of the guidance out there on how to have a successful blog is to focus on and master one topic then write about it and share it with the world.  For me, that one topic has always been interior design, decorating, home projects and remodels, but over the years, I haven't felt truly inspired on a weekly basis to produce a blog post on this topic.  I'm sure this is pretty obvious with the fact that I go weeks at a time between blog posts.  I have a true love for design and decorating, I would even go as far as to call it a passion, but when it comes to having material to post consistently on this topic it has become difficult for me.  I feel like I have a lot of things to say and a lot of things I want to share with others, but I don’t always have a brand new project to post pictures of or a new room decorated.  A lot goes into making a space look pretty and to be honest I don’t always have the time, energy, or for that matter, money to create blog worthy posts on this topic.  With a lack of projects to post, I get a little down on myself which snowballs into a lack of inspiration and a lack of posts.  

I want to talk more about life and how I want to live it.  Endless inspiration instead of forcing a post.  I want the one thing I master to be living a beautiful life, or at least what a beautiful life means to me.  This may mean that I only have five readers, but I’m okay with that.  I want to cultivate a more authentic way of writing and sharing.  So I asked myself, "What do I love?"  I'm a true homebody, so of course anything to do with home and entertaining, but I also have a love for travel, fashion and even healthy living.  This is a moment in time when I’ve decided to shift my focus a bit and write about what I love and what I’m inspired by.  I know this may not interest many of you, but I’m going to follow my heart on this one.  At this point I'll still continue to share home projects when I have one to share, but in between those posts I'll be sharing whatever my heart tells me to in that moment.  

This may mean that over time, Revival House may morph into something else entirely, but right now I'm just not sure what that something else might be.  I'm human and that means that I change my mind sometimes, some might say too much.  I may even be considered a little crazy  or weird by some. But in reality, I'm just a girl who has learned to never give up on her dreams - no matter how far-fetched they may seem.  I hope you'll continue to follow along while I chase them.

"You have the right to change your story." -Sam Egube

 

#littlehousebigplans

So I mentioned in yesterday's post that the boys and I have moved to a home built in 1867.  It's an all brick, Italianate style duplex.  These homes were originally built as housing for the factory workers in town.  There are several groupings of them up and down my street and I'm sure over time some of them have been torn down and filled in with the newer structures that I see mixed in.  I'm a sucker for an old home with good bones and loads of character.  This home has been updated on the interior throughout the years, but enough of the original details were left untouched to help me fall in love with it the first time I saw it.  It's a little less than 1400 sq ft, but it's the perfect size for the boys and I.  I've always loved small homes and feel like they're much more cozy.  I've done a few things to make the house more "me" over the last several months, but I still have a lot of projects on my list (hence the #littlehousebigplans hashtag).  I was able to finish the front porch updates over the weekend, just in time to put up a few simple Christmas decorations.

Updates: new deck paint, mailbox, front door color & porch light

Updates: new deck paint, mailbox, front door color & porch light

I was able to paint the decking at the beginning of the fall, but didn't finish the other updates until this past weekend. 

Sources:  decking - Behr Deck Over Boot Hill Gray,  front door color - Sherwin Williams Tricorn Blackvintage brass mailbox,  Moravian Star porch light, Ikea striped doormatfresh garland - Home Depot(no online link), boxwood wreath

Up close and personal.  And yes, that haint blue porch ceiling was there when I moved in.  I know...lucky me!  I love a haint blue porch ceiling.  If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, no worries, you can read this little article.  It's definitely more of a Southern thing, but I've noticed on my many walks around town that there are plenty of haint blue porch ceilings around here.

And here's how it looked when I moved in.

The only thing missing in this picture is the jumbo, overgrown bush that covered the entire front of the porch.  One of the first things I did when I moved in was have my Dad help me tear that out and planted a few small shrubs and flowers.  I'm hoping to up my gardening game next spring, but this works in the meantime.  Notice the red deck paint, red door and red mailbox.  Lots of red going on.  It wasn't bad, but the black is definitely more my style - simple + classic.

Here's a look down the street.

So, that's the outside.  Next up is an indoor tour along with the projects I have planned.  Stay tuned.

Keeping it Real

The last time I wrote a post here I was living with my husband and our two boys plugging right along with my daily life and working hard to get my business off the ground.  Fast forward six months and things have changed drastically.  

I'm currently separated from my husband of 7 years, we're finalizing our divorce and sharing custody of our two sweet boys.  I've moved into a home built in 1867(yay for a new project), not quite a fixer upper, but still plenty of things to do to make it my own. To say it's been hard has been an understatement, but I can sit here now, in this moment, and honestly tell you that I know I did the right thing.  For the first time in a long time, I'm excited about life and what the future holds. 

The last six months have been a big transition period and I took time off from the business and blog to refocus and figure out what I really want in my life...this one life that I've been blessed with.  I took time to exercise, do some yoga, and take better care of myself all around.  The town that I moved to is on the water and I spent a lot of time outdoors this summer, taking lots of walks to the park and bike rides with the boys, exploring all the old houses in town along the way.  I did all the things that are good for your soul and I feel like a new person.  My boys are my top priority.  Working my full time job is a necessity to support them and myself, but as I've put things into perspective, I've decided that the rest of my focus is going to be on growing this business and blog so that one day I can leave that full time job and spend my days doing what I love with those that I love.  And what I love is designing, decorating and styling houses.  Although I have designed a few top to bottom and decorated several others, I'm currently working on my own.  More on that next time.  And pics of the house too!

Be Brave : Wallpaper Edition

Wallpaper is back!  Or maybe it's never really been gone.  Either way, I've always been a fan and I'm pretty sure it stems from my childhood.  Watching my mom take on the task of wallpapering different rooms in our 1920's home has always stuck with me.  I loved that she was so willing to switch things up around the house.  If she didn't like it a few years later, no big deal, she'd switch it up again.  She was never afraid of change and put her heart and soul into making our house a home.  I'm happy that I inherited those qualities from her.  Taking risks when it comes to decorating is second nature to me.  I tend to think of my house as a design laboratory of sorts - it's where I can try out all of my crazy design ideas.  

wallpaper is back

Case in point, about a year and a half ago, I wallpapered the dining nook in my kitchen with my mom's help of course, because she's pro at this point.   I still love it.  My husband didn't love it at first, but he's gotten used to it.  When I eventually don't love it anymore, I'll take it down.  Simple as that. 

Many think of wallpaper as risky and out of the box, but if home is where you feel most comfortable being yourself, why not take some chances and give your space some personality.  Be brave. Go for it!  And if there were any doubts that wallpaper has crossed over into the mainstream, then feast your eyes on this room from Joanna Gaines from the latest episode of Fixer Upper.  Here's a link to the full blog post if you want to see the before & after. 

fixer upper wallpaper

If I'm being honest, I don't love everything Joanna does only because I feel that a lot of the homes she makes over look like one another when they're finished and all feel a bit "themey".  Regardless, I do feel like she's truly talented and has an amazing way of bringing awareness of design to the masses.  I really like this room above because of the wallpaper, without it, it would be a bit blah.  Just my two cents.

So with all this talk about wallpaper, you're likely wondering where's the best place to get yourself some.  Here are a few of my favorite sources:

fave wallpaper sources

1.  Hygge & West - I love this 'Pajarito' wallpaper in black and white from Laundry Studio.  There's a great description on the website about the inspiration behind each of the wallpapers.  Genius, if you ask me.  Hygge(pronounced hoo-ga) & West has a collection of wallpaper from various artists and brands.  Some of my absolute favorites are part of their line up.  If you're interested in going the DIY route, their website even has a "How to Wallpaper" video that will come in handy.  It can seem like a daunting task if you've never done it before, but speaking from experience I can say that the key to getting it right is an abundance of patience.  One other tip, make sure not to go-it-alone.  Wallpapering is definitely a two person job.

2.  Anthropologie - The selection at Anthropologie is a bit pricey, but there are some really great options on their website.  Take a look around and see for yourself.  If you have a favorite wallpapered room that you scoped out on Pinterest, chances are that the source of that wallpaper is likely Anthropologie.  If you're thinking of costs, keep in mind that you don't have to wallpaper an entire room.  One wall is good, a small powder room, the ceiling of a kid's room or even inside a closet.  I'm planning one day to wallpaper the inside of my closet.  It would feel like a special place just for me.

3.  JuJu Papers - If you like to support small, artist owned businesses, then JuJu Papers is a great source for you.  They happen to be a favorite of designer Genevieve Gorder.  Click here to see JuJu Papers at work in Genevieve's home.  I love their simple hand-printed designs.  I have my eye on the one in the picture above for an upcoming project.

I hope this gave you a bit of inspiration and hopefully some motivation to be brave when it comes to decorating! 

"Go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is."  - Jimmy Carter

Guest Post | The 6 Commandments of Craigslist

Today, I want to introduce you to my design soul sister, Ms. Ashley Whiteside of  Whiteside + McCarty.  Ashley hails from Oklahoma City, which like Baltimore, has seen a newfound popularity with millenials based on the affordable housing and emerging design culture.  I have at times thought that Ashley and I share a brain, especially when it comes to how we see all things related to design, decorating, and renovating homes.  We haven't actually met in person, although we will one day(I'm sure of it!).  Crazily enough, we met via a Facebook Group called Being Boss.  The connections you can make via the internet still amaze me!

I could go on and on about how much I adore Ashley and her impeccable style, but one of the things I'm most impressed by is her ability to make any space look like a million bucks on a modest budget.  And what's her secret? Yep, you guessed it, Craigslist!  And lucky us...Ashley is sharing her tried and true tips for navigating the wild world of Craigslist.  You too will be a pro when you're done reading this!

The 6 commandments of craigslist:

How to buy vintage furniture that doesn't look cheap and ruin your life

Photo by michelle leach of @magnoliaadams

Photo by michelle leach of @magnoliaadams

Perhaps the other girls my age were busier having social lives and learning marketable skills, but I was too busy playing house to notice. Does that sound like a nod to a time long since past? It was yesterday. Hi, I’m Ashley, and I’m an interior decorating addict. In my defense, it’s my full-time job, as I am a stylist, home rehabber, and abstract artist.  My career is built on years of practice and legitimately thinking that “Craigslist Expert” might not hurt to list on a resume.  

Seven years of dipping my toes in the buying-junk-from-a-stranger water have led to some absolutely wonderful experiences, truly. While Oklahoma City is seeing some great growth, this big little town has introduced me to friendly people that have no idea what their grandmother’s dresser is worth. My home is now furnished approximately 80% through secondhand sources, predominantly through Craigslist. That’s 4 out 5 items, if you’d like it simplified, and as proud as I am of my sleuthing, even I have to laugh at that. Why go to the trouble, when current retail stores have regular hours and don’t require making arrangements and your mom saw that movie about the Craigslist killer, so…? BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ALL OF THE DOLLARS. Also, it’s completely true that they don’t make furniture like they used to. Perhaps of chief importance to me is the need for mixing old and new, while incorporating unique, storied elements into a designed space. Oh, and the environment, something, something.

Should you find yourself wanting to parlay into this fantastical world of weirdo opportunities, there are some guidelines you should know. These tips and tricks can help you navigate the actual ins-and-outs of the process, but I can’t help you with your paranoid mother.

1.   YOU SHOULD USE THE APP OR YOU’RE WASTING VALUABLE MINUTES.

I use an application called cPro that allows to me search and categorize pretty easily. There’s a marginal cost for the app compared to the headache that is using the full site on your iPhone. For real, I’m laughing at you if you do that. Once you have the app downloaded, use it to narrow down your hopes and dreams so you are sorting through the least possible amount of riffraff. Note: there will still be riffraff because sometimes another person’s trash is so totally actually trash.

Search options I frequent: a) vintage, b) midcentury, c) retro, d) modern, e) rug, f) dresser. Here’s a fun game — ask my husband how many rugs we’ve owned. Oops!

craigslist app

This isn't an ad for their app, but I'd be a free spokesperson if they asked.  Functional search, ability to save favorites and remember who you've emailed - that's some real handy 2016 space age stuff that's incredibly useful for buying dusty relics from the 70's that belong in Palm Springs or wherever.  Sweet, sweet irony.

2.    ASSESS VALUE BEFORE MAKING ANY CONTACTS WITH A SELLER.

Say you find a rad lucite chair that you’re pretty sure was in Domino Magazine last month, and would look great by your bookshelf. Nonporous surface, good condition, and may just need a wipe down. You can pick up pretty nearby, and are getting it for $20, even though they are $200 new. This scenario is pretty ideal!

What would be a game changer? Not being realistic about costs needed to fix up an item, including drive time, reupholstery, man hours, and the like. Especially if you aren’t sure you love it, don’t waster the seller’s time! Just don’t. Neither of you win if that’s the case. Keep a level head.

This credenza was destined to be our media center. For $30, including the trip to pick it up and paint + stain I already had on hand, this damaged piece got a new life and looks significantly nicer. Compared to the brand new piece I admired from an online retailer that clocked in at $1299, I was happy as a clam.

3.   MAKE A REAL PLAN AND EXPECT IT TO HAVE ALREADY SOLD.

Earlier this year, I found the ultimate Craigslist gold, and knew I was in for a treat. The listing had only been live for ten minutes when I saw it, and immediately called a friend with a truck because I knew this giant shelf wouldn’t fit in our SUV. It took seven phone calls to find someone that was available right away, but I did all of this before contacting the seller because there are no rules that would require him to hold this piece of heaven for me so I wanted to play fair. Of course, it should have sold in that time, for every reason. Maybe because it was Friday night during football season, but the rest of OKC was asleep at the [Craigslist] wheel. I snagged

milo baughman double cantilevered brass etagere

a Milo Baughman Double Cantilevered Brass and Glass Etagere, worth thousands, for, well, let’s just say less. Maybe that’s karma though, as I’ve missed the prize dozens of times before, and that’s just the way it goes. Don’t go in entitled because you’ll always be disappointed.

craigslist finds

LEFT: A set of two Midcentury six-drawer dressers and a mirror for $50.  Needed a cleaning and some vinegar to the cut "old" smell.  I later saw this piece elsewhere for $800! RIGHT: The queen Ikea platform bed + floating nightstands was mostly assembled and looked brand new - $200 for all.  The antique 9x12 rug in my favorite colors? $150

4.    RULES FOR ENGAGEMENT:

  • Take someone with you. Period.

  • Meet in a public space, like the Target parking lot near the entrance.

  • Arrive with cash ready. Offers are ok (unless price is stated to be firm, or if you lowball).

  • Have an exit strategy, and a reason for leaving. Don’t dawdle. Plan this and discuss it with your buddy.

  • Do all four of those things every time or we are in a fight.

5.    WALK AWAY FROM THE DANG THING IF YOU NEED.

Sometimes it isn’t what you expected, and life goes on. Don’t buy it anyway! Beyond reasons of a seller misrepresenting or under representing the facts, you need to be decisive and realistic. Answer honestly: Where is this going? Will I actually fix it up? Do I know how to actually fix it up? Am I sure I really dig this or is it just a popular thing amongst all the cool people I know and pretend to be like? From there, go with your gut, and don’t get stuck with a garage full of projects because that’s serving you NONE.

shopping craigslist like a pro

LEFT: A campaign desk in good shape met a can of Martha's sample paint, for a grand total of $45.  The vintage chair came as pictured for $20.  A little bit of 80's never hurt anyone, I think?  RIGHT: My sweet toddler used this art deco waterfall dresser in her nursery for a while - $50 and weighed more than a grown man.

6.   KNOW THAT CRAIGSLIST ISN’T FOR EVERYONE AND DON’T FEEL GUILTY.    

Different strokes for different folks, and if it doesn’t appeal to you, fine! If you aren’t enjoying it, feel free to leave the goodies there for those of us who are invigorated by the chase.

ashley whiteside

Thanks so much Ashley!  If I thought I was a savvy Craigslist shopper before, I'm truly a pro now! // Ashley Whiteside is the owner of Whiteside Art & Interiors, where she plays Fixer Upper meets Secrets From A Stylist for Oklahoma City, though her collaboration on oversized abstract paintings with her toddler, Nora, is her favorite project to date. Find out more at whitesideandmccarty.com or by following on Instagram: @ashleyswhiteside.