Sailing in Maine

29 August 2014

A highlight of this summer’s trip to Maine was scooting a bit farther up the coast to spend a night with our friends the Terhunes. Both Graham’s family and my family go to Maine every summer, and this year, our annual trips overlapped! John and I packed a lot into our 24-hour-ish visit to Brooksville, including a freshly-harvested mussel lunch, a sailing adventure in East Penobscot Bay, a croquet and artisan pizza cocktail hour, a homemade spaghetti and meatballs dinner, and a morning walk. Graham and Sam posted some photos from their trip on their blog today, and I just had to share a few – they encompass everything I love about Maine, even though our “Maines” are a little bit different! It was so fun to experience someone else’s most special place, and we’re already looking forward to returning the favor next year!






Almost all photos by Graham – go see his post!

John and I also put together a short video from our adventures. He got a GoPro camera from his parents for his birthday, and the quality is amazing!! I’m kind of in love with our little two minute film:

Happy Labor Day weekend, friends!

Replacing my Toms

25 August 2014


I’ve had a pair of gold chevron Toms for a few years, and they have sadly seen better days. Since that pattern isn’t available anymore, I’ve been considering a few different replacement options – the coral stripes, ash denim herringbone, and navy polka dot linen. I’d like something that’s interesting, but neutral enough to wear with most outfits. The gold chevron was perfect in that way!

I’m also open to a different kind of shoe, if it fills the need my Toms currently do: slip-on, more support than a ballet flat, and fairly slim in profile. I can spend hours walking around a city in my Toms and still feel okay at the end of the day. Any suggestions I don’t know about? Or, which Toms pattern would you choose from these three?

August in Maine

22 August 2014

August has NOT been business as usual, my friends. I feel a bit like I haven’t touched my computer since I finally got our home tour posted (that’s not actually at all true, but it feels like it!). We were in Maine for ten days, and then I was at a work retreat for the past three days. And on Monday I leave for a quick two-day trip! And then a week from today we’re going to Asheville for the long weekend!! All completely wonderful things, but they sure don’t leave a lot of time for typing in between.


And there are so many things I would love to chat about! Maine with my family was just the best. The eight of us only get to be all together 1-2 times a year, sadly, so we make it count when we do. Board and card games galore, big family dinners every night with appetizer hour on the porch before, rainy days and open ocean, jumping off the wharf, walks every day, tennis, berry picking, boat rides, playing with our little niece, sailing, visits with friends… except for when I do things like get married, going to that tiny island is the best part of my year, every year. It’s the best place on earth.


I thought I’d ease back in with a little decor update, because even though I just posted a home tour, things are always evolving in the Thomas household! We’ve been looking for a long, low banquette for our guest room (the Magnolia Room, as one of you deemed it) for quite awhile now. When a photographer I follow posted a photo of a piece she was selling, my email to her was out the door in about two minutes flat. Didn’t it look adorable in their son’s room?? She was asking $200, which I thought was great for a solid wood piece.

It’s a big and heavy sucker (too big for our SUV), so we rented a Home Depot truck to bring it home. Between traveling between HDs to find an available truck on a Saturday morning (you can’t reserve them!), the 3-hour round trip, and carrying it up our front porch stairs (I am not what you would call physically strong), the homecoming was a bit of an ordeal.

After the struggle getting it in the door, we knew there was no way the two of us were getting it up another flight of stairs to our guest room. So into our bedroom it went, and we actually adore it there! John’s dresser moved into our closet, and I got to move a bunch of my stuff out of the closet into the drawers. It really anchors the room! I wish I had a photo to share in its new home, but alas, travels.

I will be back with more soon! :)

House Tour 2014: Upstairs

7 August 2014

Welcome back to our happy home! :) If you missed it, here’s the downstairs. Even though, as you’ll see, many of the upstairs rooms are far from finished, I wanted to include them in this year’s tour for comparison’s sake. I know they will change drastically in the years to come!

Let’s head up the stairs…

The Stairs:


We painted the hallway and the loft Benjamin Moore “Whispering Spring” colormatched to Behr No VOC in eggshell. I like how the pale blue peeks into the downstairs! We also switched out the pendant light and hung a favorite watercolor (love those wood Threshold frames from Target). I’m planning to convert the newel post to a squarer design, but YHL has mentioned that they’re going to take on a similar project so I’m waiting for their instructions :)

The Loft:








I like that our upstairs “hallway” is really just a big, open space. I’ve claimed the loft as my workroom (and lovingly refer to it as Tinsel Town). Though we generally try to keep our home simplified and clutter-free, my prop and party collection is the exception – it’s kind of part of my job, and definitely my weakness. I’d love to add another wire shelf to keep things organized. We also have some art waiting to be hung.

The Small Bedroom


You might think this is a “before” photo, bless you, but sadly, it is not. Remember that pile I referenced in my August goals? Here it is. (Why yes, that is a gigantic Irish dance trophy on the right, thank you very much.) Looking forward to getting it sorted! Otherwise, this room will probably stay mostly empty until it turns into another guest room or a kid’s room down the line.

The Guest Room:







Our guest bedroom is probably the most “finished” room in the whole house, and we’re quite pleased with it! I’m particularly proud of the bed, which we bought for $100 at the flea market and I refinished. The pineapple lamp was also a flea market find, and also repainted by me. I’d love to add a low dresser and a comfy chair down the line.

The Blue Room:



Since this room, too, is still waiting for its ultimate purpose, we’ve left it pretty much as-is in the meantime. The stripes came with the house, and the sheets were mine from childhood.

There is also a bathroom upstairs, but we have not done anything to it, and I actually forgot to photograph it :)

The Back Yard:





Disclaimer: These photos were the first I took for this home tour, back in June, so our yard doesn’t look quite this green right now! Since moving in, we’ve planted some bulbs, an azalea, two peonies (from roots, so they’re still quite small), and two elephant ears. We’ve also overseeded the grass, and built the raised bed, John’s pride and joy. Like the kitchen, we’ve dreamt about some larger-scale (and larger-budget) changes we could make, but we’re not sure how much we want to put in given our time horizon and goals. Our focus right now is to create a little more privacy, so we’d like to demo the current deck and replace it with some sort of patio, and add more plantings along the fence.

Thanks for all your kind comments, friends!! Excited to see what changes the next year will bring!

House Tour 2014: Downstairs

5 August 2014

The last home tour I offered up was about one year and two months ago – just a few days after we moved in. Things certainly look different now, and I like the idea of marking our house’s progression for posterity (roughly) once a year. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to share so openly before our space is completely “done,” but hopefully it will be an encouraging reminder that not every home is transformed in a week, and not every homeowner has an unlimited budget. We’ve tried to make changes with thoughtful consideration, and purchases with our budget priorities in mind (and with hearts of contentment). There are definitely things we’d still like to do (and I’ve noted several of them throughout this post), but for now, please enjoy a peek at our home!

P.S. “Before” photos are included where I have them!

The Front Porch:


This summer, our front porch has really grown to be one of our favorite parts of our home. We’ve sat out there for hours in the evening, chatting, eating peaches or cherries, and living life slowly. Yes, rocking chairs really do make your life that idyllic. Since moving in, we’ve hung our American flag, added solar lights around the stairs, and added the rockers. Future plans include painting our front door, and growing something up a trellis on the side for a little more privacy.

The Foyer:


One of the first things we hung after moving in was that little plaque by the front door. I love it! Before moving in, we painted the entire downstairs main room Benjamin Moore “Simply White” colormatched to Behr No VOC paint in eggshell. If I was doing it again, I might have gone with a truer white – Simply White can look a touch too creamy with the amount of sunlight we get. We’d like to replace the light fixture and add a console table and a rug.

The Kitchen:






I love the bar in our kitchen – it’s where I sit when John is cooking! Since moving in, we’ve purchased a refrigerator, added the wire shelf, hung art and our rotating instagram bulletin board, painted a chalkboard wall, added new bar seating, and replaced the pendant lights. One more major improvement we are considering making is adding a vent hood with an exterior exhaust – we cook almost every night, and I don’t love how the smell lingers. Vent hood owners, do you think it makes a difference?

While we are considering other cosmetic changes, like painting our cabinets, switching out the tile for white subway tile, or replacing the cabinet doors with a simpler style, I think we will ultimately hold off and save that money.

The Dining Room:




“Dining room” is a bit of a generous term, since our table is really just situated in the open space between our kitchen and seating area! The only real update we’ve done in this space is to replace the chandelier with a lantern. Down the road, we’d like to get new chairs (our current ones were free hand-me-downs!), replace the blinds with plantation shutters, and maybe add curtains.

The Powder Room:


This teensy room received a fresh coat of paint (Sherwin Williams “Tidewater” colormatched to Behr No VOC in eggshell), a new and improved towel ring and new hand towel, and some art in honor of our home state. We’d like to replace the mirror with something more interesting, and maybe replace the light, as well – or just switch the finish to oil-rubbed bronze, like the towel ring. By the way, hardest room to photograph!!

The Living Room:







Y’all know our rug was one of the first big purchases we made after moving in, and we’re still pleased with it! We also hung our gallery wall, added a few new couch pillows into the mix, and hung a landscape canvas from our wedding day (our Christmas present to each other last year!). Down the road we’d like to move the trunk elsewhere and replace it with a larger, square coffee table.

The Hallway and Laundry Room:


This unassuming area might end up being the site of our biggest improvement down the line! I enter our home through the laundry room every day, since it leads to our garage, and the door swinging in from the garage and the door swinging into the laundry room from the hallway do not play nicely together, especially with full hands. I’d love to convert the hallway door into a pocket door, then knock out the two walls of the closet to create a mudroom area with seating and lots of hooks. I would definitely paint the pocket door a fun color!

The Master Bedroom:








Our bedroom was one of the only rooms the previous owners had painted, and we liked the soft gray, so it stayed! Otherwise, this room looks pretty similar to our bedroom in our apartment. A headboard/frame is on the top of our purchase list, so hopefully that change should happen soon (see my monthly goals!).

The Master Bathroom:




Not much has changed about the master bathroom since we moved in, but it’s on my radar! We’d like to paint the walls (I’m thinking Ben Moore “Sea Salt”) and frame out the mirror with wood.

I’ll be back with the upstairs soon!

P.S. How many times can you spot our cat Jack in this tour? :) She is quite the busybody, and was following me around the whole time I was taking these photos.