My Kind Of Office

My office is kind of (OK, very) weird. And very me.

I love it.

Wanna see?!?!

The leopard carpet was installed by the original owners (who were obviously some seriously kindred spirits); I just had it deep-cleaned prior to our move-in.

And those walls are kind of crazy, no? The plan is to change them to a pale mint green one of these days, but for now, they’re kind of growing on me. It’s like a cozy little cave in there; I think it’ll be awesome in the winter with some candles lit.

(Oh, and in the background you can see the patio I got locked out on during our first week here.)

Oh my rug.

(I told you I actually bought it.)

It’s from Trash & Vaudeville, and you saw it in this segment. I had some trouble figuring out where in the world it would look non-ridiculous, and then realized: oh. There is no way that it looks non-ridiculous. So let’s go for extra-special ridiculous by making it hug the pelt of another member of the feline family.

I finished off the room with a ’50s-style chair that I found at the Salvation Army, a World Market computer desk, an antique crystal vase with faux flowers that I placed on the floor, the photo of us from our Love shoot with Catrine Westergaard, and Lilly Pulitzer’s Ramshackle Glam watercolor (above).

And this is my work cabinet (an Ikea stainless steel cabinet with a butcher-block top that used to live in our kitchen), accessorized with an antique Coca-Cola sign that used to belong to my parents, and a collection of photos of family and friends.

(Virgil’s a fan of the rug, too.)

Weekend Snapshots

In a crazy turn of events, we spent most of this weekend fixing up the house.

(Starting to notice a pattern here?)

It’s fun, actually. I’m a little confused as to why I haven’t grown enormous arm muscles yet, but maybe I still need to lift another rug or two.

This is Kendrick’s studio (he gets the garage all to his lonesome) mid-makeover.

So far, we’ve removed the questionable-smelling carpet, bleached the floor and painted it a dark walnut, and put down a sort of improvised “area rug” of indoor/outdoor modular carpet tiles (so they’re easily replaceable in the event of spillage).

Rock Band is also present and accounted for.

New rug love! (from @nuLOOM)

And here’s our new rug - step 3 of 300 of our ongoing living-room makeover (next up: stalking the Restoration Hardware outlets per reader recommendations).

We swapped out the coffee table for a more ’50s-style one that we’ve owned for about six months now but have been procrastinating about putting together because it looked like it’d be such a pain.

(It was a huge pain. Or so Kendrick tells me.)

And here’s where our old coffee table ended up: on our patio, in front of a two-person rocker/glider thing that I bought at Christmas Tree Shops (Olivia, thank you for the tip!) for thirty dollars. Yes.

Here’s another picture of my Morning Coffee Spot, just for kicks and because baby overalls are cute.

Dream Updates

Totally agree.

I spent last night half-watching Breaking Bad and half-obsessing over the living room and what I want to do to make it feel more “us”. The thing is, pretty much everything in it right now is hand-me-down stuff that’s way nicer than the stuff we would have otherwise owned…but still sorta not quiiiiite my taste.

Want to see what my taste is?

This, more or less. (That’s Reese Witherspoon’s Ojai house, which has to be seen to be believed.) With more sparkle, color, and fluffiness in the form of throws and rugs.

Above is the rug I ended up going for: a soft grey chevron from nuLOOM.

And here’s what else I’m doing to switch it up:

1. The orange chair has officially been moved into the dining room for the time being. There’s still the orange/yellow problem, but it seems less pronounced somehow, and I like having a cozy little extra seating nook in an unexpected spot.

2. The orange chair has temporarily been replaced by my beloved faux-Eames rocker. It’s too small for the space (I prefer it in its previous home, our sunroom), but for now it looks fine.

3. We’re swapping out the brown couch for a bigger, more comfortable one in a soft linen color. The one pictured above is from Restoration Hardware and costs approximately as much as our house. But it’s also deep and gorgeous and generally amazing, so I’m going to try to save up for it.

4. This is my grandmother’s ancient wingback chair. I’ve been storing it for years now (it’s presently sitting in our garage), waiting to figure out what I want to recover it with.

I’m thinking something like this.

5. And then, like One Last Today suggested, I’m going to add a few extra splashes of color with a throw pillow or two.

Whew.

When is all this happening? Don’t know. Eventually.

The plan is to hang out here for awhile, so we’ve got time.

Question For You: Rug!

OK, fine: enough of you said “rug!”…I’m going to look into a rug.

BUT.

Help?

I’ve been puttering around on Nuloom’s website, and can’t decide whether to go for color and pattern and just make the room crazy and amazing, or to tone things down a bit with a softer piece (you can see all the rug styles here). I’m open to pretty much any suggestion (other than jute or a totally solid piece; don’t want to go that simple), and would love to hear what you think.

As a reminder, here’s what the room looks like now (you can see more shots here), but two notes: 1) I’m planning to replace our brown couch - which is too small for the room and not particularly cozy - with a light grayish/brown one with deep pillows, and 2) I’m tired of decorating around my orange chair and am probably moving it elsewhere.

Thoughts?

Sprickets Or No

The other night, I ordered pizza and the delivery man would not let me tip him.

He wanted to welcome us to the neighborhood, you see.

This is all very confusing to me.

Last week, we had sixty thousand cardboard boxes that had to be disposed of, and I wasn’t quite sure how mass-quantity recycling works up here, so I resigned myself to calling up the Public Works Department.

Really, let’s take a moment now and try to imagine what this phone call would entail in New York City. First, you would not speak to a human being for at least two hours; you would be transferred through a series of horrifyingly confusing menus and finally end up getting disconnected. When you did speak to a human being, he or she would respond to your question as if you had asked them how to whip up a nice little cote de bouef. And then you would be disconnected.

Your boxes would stay where they were unless some kid down the street who was moving the next weekend decided to steal them.

When I called my town’s Public Works Department the other day, this is what happened: a nice man picked up on the second ring, and told me no problem, oh yes, he knew the house we were talking about, welcome to the neighborhood, he’d be happy to take care of the boxes right away. And within two hours, they were gone.

He had even picked up all the little stray papers and stuffing things that I’m sure fell out of the boxes while they were being loaded; our curb was spotless.

This is all very confusing to me.

It’s also why I am staying put for the rest of my life, sprickets or no.

Jordan In The House: Moving Day!

Season 2 premiere.

Woo!

(Thanks to Alex Foley for the awesome camera work!)

Weekend Snapshots

This was where I spent the bulk of Saturday: in our attic, clearing out the thirty or forty boxes that we’d piled up there to deal with “later”. I have plans for this space - I’m thinking a library on the side pictured above, and a guest bedroom on the other side - and will post pictures once it’s all pulled together. In the meantime, though, it’s fast becoming one of my favorite spaces in the house.

We took a break to eat at The Wobble Cafe, per reader Katherine’s rec.

You know, you can find kid-friendly restaurants in the city, of course, but in my (admittedly limited) experience “kid-friendly” mostly means either that you’re at a diner, or that it’s more “kid-tolerated”. Which is, you know, fine: I totally get why most restaurants aren’t exactly over-the-moon about having pasta sprinkled on their floors. But still: it’s nice, sometimes, to go somewhere that’s clearly set up just to make your little ones (and thus you) happy.

The Wobble Cafe is all cute mismatched everything, kids’ drawings on the walls, and straightforward food. Plus an awesome (and clean!) play area filled with toys and books, so kids (and my husband) can be entertained while waiting for the food to arrive.

While they played with trucks, Squirt and I paged through The Gallery of Regrettable Food - a collection of the worst recipes from the ’30s through the ’60s (Boiled Cow Elbow with Plaid Sauce, as one example). It’s fantastic, and so funny (and a great gift for a foodie).

And then I broke in the hammock.

I have wanted a hammock my entire life. No exaggeration.

This was my Great Find from Super Saturday: a C. Wonder picnic basket. I wasn’t sure it was the kind of thing I actually use, but I Twitter-sourced to find out whether I should buy it, and the answer was “yes and yes and yes”. As always, you guys were right, because presto: two weeks later, and it’s in the rotation.

And this was where we took our picnic basket for its first outing. Joy all around.

You Know, I Thought This Would Take Longer

And by “this”, I mean a ridiculous, embarrassing, kind of scary, could-only-happen-to-me new-house moment.

I thought it’d take longer than five days, in any case.

Yesterday afternoon I was hanging out in my office (!) with Indy, sort of half-putting away things and half-reciting Sneetches on Beaches from memory while he sat on the floor turning pages (it’s his favorite book of all time). We don’t have A/C anywhere except for in the master bedroom (the house is shaded by lots of trees, and is cool enough that a couple of fans seem to mostly do the trick for now)…so after awhile I got hot and decided to pick up the baby and step out onto the second-story patio to stand in the breeze for a minute.

Except the patio is small, extremely high up (it overlooks a recessed part of the yard), and unsafe (it has widely-spaced railings that are totally not OK for small dogs and babies; we’re adding plexiglass to them this weekend), so I shut the door behind me to keep Lucy and Virgil from joining us outside.

Except I didn’t realize that the door locks.

Automatically.

From inside.

So there I was: mid-afternoon, all alone in a completely silent neighborhood where I know exactly no one, trapped on a teeny patio holding a baby who absolutely could not be put down for even a second thanks to the aforementioned unsafeness.

With no food or water or cell phone.

I started getting all Worst-Case-Scenario-Foreseeing, and pictured myself standing there for hours and hours, unable to move more than two feet in any direction, my panicky baby in my exhausted, shaking arms, until Kendrick finally came home, himself in a total panic because I hadn’t answered my cell phone or picked him up from the train station. That would not have been fun.

So I started yelling.

I did the “HELLO? I NEED SOME HELP! IS ANYONE THERE?!” thing, completely scaring the pants off of my son, and after about ten minutes the loveliest man in the world walked through the woods into our backyard and came to our rescue by entering my house from downstairs and unlocking the patio door. I can think of ways that I’d rather introduce myself to my neighbors than by screaming my head off and having them discover their new local space case stranded on a balcony with a baby, but hey.

Later on, though, I killed a fairly enormous spider all by my lonesome without freaking out very much at all, so I figure that balances things out a bit on the Competency Scale.

Daily InstaGlam

Look who's excited about his new toy. #ramshackleglam

Look who’s excited about his new toy. 

For the first time ever, we are more than five feet away from our sleeping child. #ramshackleglam

For the first time ever, we are more than five feet away from our sleeping child. 

(Follow along on Instagram and Twitter.)

Weekend Snapshots

Remember how I said I can breathe better here?

I also sleep better here. And this, for me, is a big, big thing.

The deep sleeping that happened this weekend may also, however, have been a byproduct of the fact that we have not stopped moving for five days. Between the hours of 6:30AM and 11PM, we’re hammering, folding, Home Depot-ing, arranging, and wrangling (animals and babies).

But let me take a moment to say: hello, my love.

I know you’re not going to believe me, but I have literally never been to Costco before in my life. I had no idea what I was missing.

That box of diapers that’s half the size of Kendrick cost just a couple of bucks more than the teeny-tiny package we used to pick up a couple of times a week from the corner bodega. Let’s not even get into the price of that dog food bag.

Proud new convert over here.

One thing we didn’t do a ton of this weekend: cooking. I whipped up some bacon-chocolate-chip pancakes on Saturday, and last night I made ribeye steaks and corn, but mostly we’ve been doing improvisational, whatever-we-can-scrounge-up meals…

like Top Ramen and Sauvignon Blanc, accessorized with some Yodels for dessert. (We watched The Rock while eating this particular dinner, so it was like a perfect storm of things I love.)

Of course, we took a little time out every morning for some family wrestling in our new bedroom. (I really love this picture.)

Two more things the weekend was full of: home improvement projects (lots of B&As coming your way!)…

and bubbles.

Oh, and bugs, but that’s another story. (Did you know that there a lot of bugs in your house when you live next to a lake and woods? This is something that hadn’t occurred to me pre-move, but oh it has occurred to me now.)

This is my favorite room, I think. I spent the entire afternoon there yesterday, catching up on work and making accidental eBay purchases (wait until you see the ridiculous thing that is about to become the centerpiece of our living room).

And if you’re in the New York area, you saw that torrent of rain that came down last night. I couldn’t resist. (The clicking you hear in the background is because when one of the stove burners is lit - we were boiling corn - the other one won’t stop firing…any suggestions? Google has failed me on this one.)