Screened Porch Ideas

Our backyard is slowly but surely getting some love.  Right now I am looking for some screened in porch inspiration.  How lovely would it be to sit outside with a bug-free breeze!  If we end up building one, I would like to have space for an eating table and chairs as well as plenty of comfortable space for sitting and hanging out.

I have saved these photos in a file for years and unfortunately don’t know where any (except the Southern Living ones) came from.  So pretty!

I love to compile inspiration photos to clarify what I like, what I am drawn to.  Looking at all my favorite photos, I do see some similarities: double doors, fireplace, squared-off roman columns, ceiling fans, and built-in sconces.







here… kitty, kitty 🙂  All *kitting* aside, though, these short walls at the base of the screens would help protect from our pets scratching the screens.



These 3 photos came from one of my favorite Southern Living articles I’ll post about later.











The Goodness of the Morning

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Practicing with my big camera’s timer    #nostaginghere


I am planning to attempt Ali Edward’s Week in the Life project this May.  For one week, she carries her camera around everywhere, snapping away at everything from the carpool line to the grocery store.  Then the next week, she puts words and stories to all the photos and one week out of a year is captured in time.

While I am nervous about all the pushback I will hear from my family as I carry my camera everywhere and take even more pictures than I normally do, I am really excited because this is the STUFF I love.

The daily mundane is what I have always been interested in.  I don’t really know why?  Adam and a friend of mine used to joke that I enjoyed the “goodness of the morning.”  I think he meant, “as opposed to just checking things off the list quickly and efficiently.”  I do know I have always been curious about people.  A friend once told me my passion was people!  That was news to me!  I will say that after dropping the kids at school on winter mornings, driving past houses all lit up inside before the sun has really risen has always intrigued me.  Do they drink coffee?  How do they prepare it?  Drip coffee maker, auto-set the night before ?  French press?  Cream, sugar?  Are they reading the newspaper or watching the Today show?  What do they like to eat for breakfast?  Or what do they actually end up having for breakfast?  Is their morning routine calm and quiet?  Or rushed, frantic, and loud?   We see people once they are out the door, in the world, but how do they do it?  What is their process? Do they feel excited to greet the day or do they want to stay inside?  And if so, what do they tell themselves to move forward?

Similarly, when I take walks on summer evenings, I love walking past neighbors’ homes, wondering what they’re cooking or grilling for dinner and it makes me smile when I get a whif of their fresh-smelling dryer sheets in the laundry.

I want every home to be loving, supportive, secure, and stable.

So what does my morning usually look like?  Truth be told, when I get up, Davis is usually already dressed and downstairs and Mary Fowler is already awake and starting her morning routine.  I usually come downstairs with both dogs and let them outside first thing.  Lately, I just pour a cup of coffee (from the previous day pot), add almond milk and warm it up in the microwave:( before adding 2 Truvia packets.  I do this because I want a cup of warm goodness immediately while I pack lunches.  But I don’t love the taste of almond milk so sometimes it’s a nice surprise when the almond milk is gone and I get to use the regular milk:)  Later I (or Adam) will brew a fresh pot.  I usually have one more cup.  He usually takes a travel cup to go.

I used to watch the Today show but I honestly don’t want Davis seeing most of the early 7am top stories- it’s a sampling of all the crazy-bad stuff going on in the world.  Not appropriate for a 9 year old, much less me!  I worry about people so I really shouldn’t watch that kind of stuff, either.  Why can’t we all just be kind and get along?!?  I pray a lot for that.

For the past couple of weeks, the kids have wanted bagels and cream cheese for breakfast;  Then we’re off to school!  When I get home, Adam and I usually split an omelette that he makes:)

So… How do you take your coffee?


Calm Sea Salt Family Room



I’ve done a few inspiration boards for clients and thought I’d share this one of mine! Sometimes I have the hardest time picking things for my own house so it has really helped to pull several pieces together in one place.

Our front family room is large and has the gas log fireplace so we find ourselves gathering in here most of the time, especially in the winter. When we moved in we painted all the woodwork BM White Dove and the walls SW Sea Salt. We bought custom-cut, fairly inexpensive seagrass rugs for almost all the main level rooms. While I love the look of seagrass, it is not very comfortable to sit on and our particular rugs show pretty much everything 😦 Thank goodness they are natural tan! But I think the time has come for me to look for a more patterned Oushak oriental rug. They are pricey so I will share as I go about my search. I want it to be pretty but also hide wear well. This will be tricky because I naturally gravitate towards the lighter colors…

This big sectional is a necessity for us in this stage of life 🙂 I fought it long and hard but I have to say that I have no regrets now. It is fugly but hard-wearing microfiber and this family (including both dogs) loves to cuddle up and watch movies on it. I love the look of linen sofas but linen will just have to do for pillows now. I cannot imagine having to worry about kids and dogs and light colored linen.

I have also tried white/light slipcovered furniture and I also do not recommend it to my clients if they will get much wear because while yes, you can take the cover off and wash/bleach it, who EVER wants to deal with all that heavy, cumbersome fabric? So, for pets and kids, medium colors and hard-wearing fabrics are the way to maintain sanity.

I already have the silk drapes, lamps & french chest of drawers. Hoping this will motivate me to get started!