Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inspirational Bedroom Designs; Which is Your Favorite?

Greetings Everyone!

We hope that everyone had a great Christmas Holiday.  It has been a busy one around here! Now we have entered the time where we are all suffering from post holiday guilt; mainly from eating one too many pieces of fudge, and visiting the dessert table one too many times.  Thankfully the new year is right around the corner and we can again make a resolution to exercise more and eat healthier foods; just like last year right??

Today we find ourselves indoors, far away from post holiday shopping.  We aren't the only ones, as a blizzard is currently taking place just outside our window here in Indiana.  I am sure the local merchants are disappointed, but for us it makes for a perfect day of slowing things down, and enjoying time with each other.

It was also one of those mornings where you just didn't want to get out of bed.  In honor of staying longer in bed, we have decided to show some of our favorite, cozy bedroom spaces.

Which one makes you want to sleep in a little longer?

Love the blue used in this bedroom.  The canopy over the headboard really gives the room height.  Also love the little secretary in the corner as we have one that is very similar.
I know this picture has been floating around for a few years, but we still love it! The entire space has a rustic french style, from the beams to the arched french doors.  If I am correct, this has some hints of a Jack Arnold designed home.

Another elegant bedroom with what appears to be a matching baby bed also under a canopy.
Love the dimensions of this bedroom and sitting room.  Again we love the blue color used on the wall and some of the fabrics.  If I had a sitting room this large I may never leave my bedroom!
Source Luis Aceved Interiors
This four post bed with canopy gives a more masculine vibe with darker colors and woods.
Who wouldn't want to wake up next to this roaring fire? With a blizzard outside, this may have been as far as I made it today.
Maybe it is just us, but we never seem to get our beds to appear as cozy and fluffy as the photographs.  Would love to spend all day rolled up in this bed. Love the molding detail along with the often seen French yellow and blue color combinations.
This is one shot of our current master bedroom.  At the new house we intend to use this set in our guest bedroom, and go with something similar to the first photograph in our new master.  This duvet and bench were great Pottery Barn finds!

Now that some of the holiday craziness is over we plan to return to house planning.  January is the final push to get all of the bids and estimates completed.  Depending on the circumstances, we could be sharing construction posts within the next few months.

Wishing everyone a safe day!

- Tonya and Rob

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Holiday Gingerbread House

Greetings Everyone!

We thought we would stray away from house updates during the holidays because we ourselves are taking a little break.  The holidays are busy enough without having to meet with contractors.

We anticipate that this past weekend was a busy "baking weekend" for many of you.  It was no different at our house.  One project that we tackled was the yearly gingerbread house.

The first time we made this gingerbread house was in 2008.  We got our inspiration from the Williams Sonoma Gingerbread House. 
The first step was to make a pattern out of cardboard, and then trace that pattern onto our homemade gingerbread.  We made enough for two houses and had some friends over to share in the fun.  From start to finish it took about six hours to make all of the gingerbread.  Now it is time to assemble!

Since there were no instructions we just had to go for it.  We used royal icing as the glue for the entire gingerbread house.
It was also handy to have a soup can or two on hand to help hold up the walls as they set.
Now that is starting to look like a house!  For the windows we used yellow construction paper.  Next time I think we will draw some window grids on the paper.

We used cereal for roof tiles.  This particular cereal was called "muffin tops" and was quite good!  They actually taste like little blueberry muffins.  We made some quick window shutters out of candy since our piping skills are not up to Martha Stewart standards.

The roof is starting to take shape. We are now about two hours into the assembly process.

Slowly we add the roof tiles one by one.  This is when we start to think that the house is too big.
The roof is done and its time for landscaping.  We made a few bushes for the front and back of the gingerbread house, as well as some potted plants.  

Now the house is ready for candy and icing.
We added icing in the roof valley to give the appearance of snow. We also added ice cycles to add some character, but mostly to hide our errors.  Like I said, we are amateurs.

Complete!  We added some final touches with the red front door and welcome mat.

Again, we won't win any prizes from Martha Stewart, but I think this gingerbread house came out pretty darn close to our inspirational photograph.
If going through the 12 hour process of baking and decorating your own gingerbread  house sounds like too much work, you can order one through the Williams Sonoma Catalog.
Wishing you success in all of your holiday baking!
Tonya and Rob

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our French Inspired Fireplace Mantel

Greetings Everyone!

We can't believe it has been over a week since we have visited all of our blogging friends!  We have literally had no time to focus on anything "home construction" related, and can only assume that this trend will not change until the beginning of the year.

That being said, we did make one selection last week regarding two of our fireplaces; the mantel surround.

 We have chosen this cast stone mantel made by Dracme
It is appropriately named; Louis XV
Our Rumford firebox will take up the entire area inside the surround.  Rumford is known for creating tall shallow fireboxes, which causes more heat to be reflected into the room.
Source Dracme Cast Stone Fireplace Surrounds 

The debate over if we should use a solid masonry fireplace has been put to rest.  With all of the new developments and improvements in firebox inserts, we find no benefit in using solid masonry. 

Initially we felt that solid masonry would add to the aesthetics of our fireplace, yet in our design everything but the firebox opening is hidden behind the wall. The herringbone pattern visible inside the firebox insert is masonry. 

We felt we needed solid masonry to get a large firebox, which is also false.   Our firebox will have a 48" by 43" opening starting at floor level.  That is huge!  

We also felt that we needed solid masonry to achieve the proper exterior aesthetics, which is also false.  Our two chimney stacks will still be framed to the same size as the masonry chimneys and will have stucco or brick applied to the exterior for a completely authentic look. Wait until you see the chimney cap options, which are worthy of their own post!

The benefits of using an insert over a masonry fireplace; We will achieve the same look both inside and out for about 1/3 of the price of solid masonry.  Our fireplaces will also be more energy efficient.  Nobody will know the difference, unless you follow our blog!
One of the gas log sets we are considering is by Ramussen.
Rasmussen makes this Tipi Gas Log Set for larger Rumford fireboxes.  The Tipi set is designed to be tall so that the flame fills the entire firebox.  

Source Rasmussen "The Gas Log Company" 

Love this tall Rumford firebox insert.  This unit, like ours, looks just like an authentic masonry fireplace. Love these tall fireboxes!
 Source Rumford
Rumford also makes great outdoor fireboxes.  Take a look at this beautiful outdoor room featuring a large Rumford firebox as the focal point.
Source Rumford 

This outdoor Rumford Fireplace also has a large opening with a Tipi style fire wood stack arrangement.

Source Rumford 

For the serious outdoor cook, Rumford also makes great outdoor kitchen units. Check out this design that incorporates an outdoor pizza oven.  Who wants this on their patio? I do!
Source Rumford
That's all we have for this past weeks home construction selections.  If you like these fireboxes, you might enjoy thumbing through other inspiring images on Rumford's Website.  You can also check out and price cast stone fireplace surrounds on Dracme's Website.

Wishing everyone a great start to their week!
- Tonya and Rob

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our French Inspired Kitchen: Selecting a Range

Right now we are in the kitchen design phase of our new home.  Ever important to the feel of a kitchen are the seemingly endless appliance options.  Gas, electric, or both?  Stainless steel or cabinetry panels?  Glass or no glass?  And perhaps the most important of all; How much do you want to spend?  These are some of the questions that get thrown around when trying to make a few decisions on your kitchen.
I am sure that there are other posts out there in blog land that talk about selecting the perfect range.  We want to share our short list of range options to get your feedback, especially if you have first hand experience with one of the brands or models shown.
For the range we are obviously looking for a French inspired design. More importantly, however, is that we get a quality range for the money.
48" Dual Fuel ILVE Majestic
This is an amazing range from Ilve.  It sports three cook top options, which can include a 5-7 burners, a cook top griddle, or a Coup de Feu.  It also comes in seven great colors.
Source and visit Ilve Appliances.
 La Cornue
La Cornue has nearly endless configuration options for their ranges.
 Visit La Cornue

43" La Cornue CornuFe
This unit is the current leader in our search for a quality French inspired range. It has a standard configuration of:
(3) 12,000 BTU Burners
(1) 17,000 BTU Burner
(1) Simmer Burner from 600 - 6,000 BTU
(2) Side-by-Side Electric Convection Ovens
Source  Williams-Sonoma

43" La Cornue CornuFe - Continued
The CornueFe comes in a variety of colors.  Here our favorite, Provence Blue, is shown.
Source Williams-Sonoma


Much like La Cornue, Lacanche offers a number of configuration options.  Visit their website below to see some of the models available.  The "Sully" (shown) is in the running also.

Source and visit Lacanche here.

Another beautiful Lacanche Sully in black.
Source and visit Lacanche here.

Just for fun, here are some of the refrigeration options we are considering.  We also plan to utilize refrigeration drawers in the island across from the range.

36" Sub Zero Built-In Refrigerator with Glass Door
This is the current leader for our refrigerator selection.  Love seeing everything through the glass.  Maybe this will make us keep the refrigerator clean at all times!
Source Sub-Zero
48" Sub Zero Built-In Refrigerator with Glass Door
This is simply an amazing refrigerator.  There is nothing else to say.  I would be happy to have this unit sit in our kitchen.  Unfortunately I am forced to answer one of the questions mentioned above; How much do you want to spend?
Sub Zero

So these are some appliances we are considering.  Please let us know what you think, if you have used them before, or if you can suggest other options.

We have also visited the Bentwood Kitchen showroom in Chicago and will be sharing our experience and some samples in a future post.

Have a great day!

-Tonya and Rob

Thursday, October 25, 2012

French and European Inspired Staircases

Greetings everyone!  I hope today finds you doing well! 
Before I go too far today I have to say that there are a lot of HomeGoods fans out there!  Our last two posts have featured some of our own HomeGoods finds.  You all must enjoy seeing HomeGoods finds because the posts have been visited at a staggering rate.  If you missed either one, you can still see them here:  Ralph Lauren Canisters  and our Ralph Lauren Lamps.
Today's "Which is your Favorite"; Staircases.  Like so many other things, it's all in the details.  From the railing to spindles and steps, each gives a staircase its own unique character.
I have to say that we have become a huge fan of Phoebe Howard's work.  She pays so much attention to details.  Everything feels so simple and elegant.  Favorites on this staircase are the iron triple spindles and the simple black iron railing with scrolled ends.  We also prefer seeing individual steps when looking at the staircase from the side.  Can you say put me in our new home?

This staircase features beautiful double iron spindles.  Love how the staircase curves down into the foyer. This space has several European features from the half circle roman arched front door, to a quarter circle arch opening leading down the hall.

These next two photographs are of the same staircase.  Really like the warm feel of this curved staircase.

Again looking down from the above staircase.  Such a grand staircase with a variation of curves and platforms.

We want to have a unique staircase going down into our basement.  Again one goal we have for our new home is that we want it to feel old world.  To do that, we want to incorporate stone on the staircase leading down into the basement.  This spiral staircase would be perfect for descending down into an old basement.  So interesting to see the individual stone steps pivoting on a central point.

We have had this photograph in our "inspiration" file for some time.  Highlights of this photograph are the stone walls as you descend down into the basement.  It gives the feel of walking down into the foundation of an old home.  The wood beams and stone floor makes it look like you have entered a basement hundreds of years old. 

Beautiful curved staircase with iron spindles. 
Favorites of this photograph include the stone arch wall over the entrance to the staircase.  Like how the fireplace has also been integrated into the same wall. 

This colonial inspired staircase is just gorgeous.  Love the simple wood spindles and "floating" appearance of the staircase.

Do you see one of these in your home?  Which is your favorite?

Don't forget to also check us out on Facebook.  There you will find video links to materials, products, and techniques we plan to utilize when we build our new home.

On Saturday we will be in Chicago to tour the Bentwood Kitchen Showroom.  Can't wait to share what we find!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Tonya and Rob

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ralph Lauren Canisters at HomeGoods

So I guess this proves I frequent HomeGoods all too often.  Last week I showed you some pictures of a Ralph Lauren lamp I picked up for a fraction of the price at HomeGoods.  If you missed the post you can check it out HERE.
I think nearly all of us have walked through HomeGoods and have stumbled upon a great find.  I mean the kind of find that makes you rush back to the front of the store and grab a cart if you didn't have one already.  That's how I felt when I turned the corner and found the HomeGoods associate setting these gorgeous Blue and White Ralph Lauren Canisters on the shelf.

There was only one set, and I just had to have them.  And the best part you ask??? I got them for nearly 1/2 of the normal price!

These Ralph Lauren canisters have so many details.  I just love this color of blue, and the patterns are just perfect! 

If you're looking for a good find, give HomeGoods a try.  You may not always get lucky, but on occasion you find a great item like these Ralph Lauren Canisters.
On another note; the whole time I was taking these pictures our King Charles Spaniel, full of energy as always, was trying to get my attention.  Well he of course got the attention he was seeking.  After we played for a bit, and he got a little too tired, he layed down right in front of me.  Camera still nearby, I just had to grab this cute shot of him.  How could you not love that face?
See everyone later this week for our next "Which is your Favorite" picks.  We also invite everyone to join us on Facebook.
Have a Great Day!
Tonya and Rob