Country Living...Island Dreaming

September 28, 2014

Garage Storage

Recently, I kicked off one of my cleaning frenzies by tearing into the Back Hall Closet.  But the fun didn't stop there.  I soon discovered that part of my problem was having too many shoes in that closet.  With a husband and two boys, I really can't avoid all kinds of stinky sports shoes taking up space.  And who wants them smelling up the inside of the house anyway?

Why not move those rancid things out to the garage?

So while I was at Lowe's I picked up one of those metal shelves.
These things are great for garage storage and easy to assembly!


I placed the shelf right next to the back stairs to make it easy for the boys to remove their shoes before entering.  I don't mind if they keep their everyday shoes or sneakers in the laundry/mud room, it's those golf and football spikes that make me crazy!  Did you ever notice how much caked on mud a pair of spikes can hold?  Not only will this keep my house smelling fresher but it will keep dirt from being dragged inside.  (Speaking of dirt, I think I have to freshen up the paint on the door and stair risers!)

Now the shoe dirt can just fall to the garage floor
instead of being dragged through my house.

I had a couple extra baskets left over from my hall closet
so I am using them for extra storage...
a spare umbrella, Rosie's leashes and brushes...

The bike helmets now have a neat place to rest too.

And the roller blades can be neatly stored 
near a whole box of knee and elbow guards 
(that my boys refuse to wear).

On to the next project!
By the looks of things, 
I will be buying some more white paint for the door and stairs!

Do you have any tips for garage storage?

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September 26, 2014

A Model Home Tour

In my last post I mentioned
(at the end of my mid-life-crisis babble)
that I recently toured a model home.


Now, there is no denying that we all just love a decorated model home!  I mean who can resist, really?  Well, let me tell you - this one from Toll Brothers did not disappoint!

Let's go inside!

 Now, I apologize in advance for all the not-so-perfect cell phone pictures, and for the fact that I didn't even bother to sharpen any of the photos.  I just took too many pictures...

Anyway...
 I love this bonus room/conservatory!
Look at those windows.
Wouldn't you just love to sit and read a book there?

 This is the other end of that room.
And check out the view!

 And the ceiling!
You know I just love beadboard!

 Ok, now I want this family room.

 And the ceiling!

 And the back staircase.  On a side note, I forgot to take a picture of the front staircases...but believe me, this house has quite an entrance...

 And quite a kitchen.

 Look at all this space.
I want that stove.

 And that huge frig.

 Great office too.

 Check out the tile wall in the half bath.

 And here we are upstairs...

Another look at the fabulous family room.

 And into the master we go.
(I was standing in the sitting room but forgot to take a pic)
 This seems to be the only picture I took of the master bath.

 Because I was heading to the workout room at the end.
Now this is what I need to exercise!

 One of the spacious closets...


 And some more beadboard in another bedroom.

 So serene...

 And a nice room for boys...

 With a fun bathroom.

 It's a jack and jill bath attached to a cute girl room...

 I don't have pink in my house with boys...sigh.

In this model they even finished the walk out basement...
This is the first thing you see when you walk down.


 Then you turn and see all this!
Now, who wouldn't want to just live down here!

 Seriously, just imagine...

 Another tile wall in the bathroom.

 My kitchen isn't even this big...or nice.

 A fuzzy picture but I love the "log wall".

 Yes, another shot of the kitchen bar area that blows me away.

 And if that isn't enough, there is a wine/poker room.
How's that for a man-cave?

 Sit down, have a drink...

 Or come watch a movie over here..
If I go missing, you know where to find me!

This was just the first of two decorated model homes
 at Toll Brothers Mountain View at Hunterdon.
I will show you the other one next time.

If you are in that area of New Jersey you should really look at this new neighborhood.  Not only are the homes gorgeous, but the views are just stunning!  And whoever decorated this model did such an amazing job!  I don't think I can pick a favorite room!

What was your favorite room in this model?

Linking to:
Craftberry Bush - The Inspiration Gallery
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks Link Party
Nancherrow - Fridays Unfolded
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
The NY Melrose Family - Whimsy Wednesdays
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
DIY by Design - Fall into Fall Party
Elizabeth and Co - Be Inspired
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday



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September 24, 2014

My Affair With a House

There are a few houses in my neighborhood that I have had a crush on over the years.  Whenever we pass one of them, I always tell my husband, "If that house ever goes up for sale, I want it!"  He just brushes my comment off with the rest of my hair-brained ideas.

(not the house)

Then recently, one of my favorites went on the market.

I know the house.  In fact, I know the house well.  I was friends with the previous owner and when she put the house on the market a couple years ago, I had to restrain myself from putting a bid on it.  It just didn't feel right.  It was her house then and it would be strange to buy it from her while she was so sad to be leaving the area due to her husband's job transfer.

But now...now the current owners have been there for a couple years.  I have never met them (and have no plans to at this point!)  From the real estate listing, I can see that they made a few changes such as adding some hardwood floors where there used to be carpet and painting the kitchen island a different color.  It no longer feels like my friend's home and is far as I am concerned, it's fair game to whoever wants it.

The house is about 1/3 larger than mine, has an updated kitchen, a ridiculously large master closet and ALL of the bathrooms have been remodeled.  It has a gorgeous walk out basement and huge living area that leads out to a screened in porch.  It is completely move in ready.  The only thing I would change would be some paint colors and a few window treatments.  It's perfect.

Sure, it is a little out of our price range, but if we consider the money we will have to put into a full kitchen renovation in our house (and a full master bathroom renovation after I break that one to my husband), it isn't that much more expensive...
(A tile example...)

So, the other day I mentioned it to my husband.  "Well, go look at it!", he says.

What?  Who is this man?

Well, apparently, he knew exactly what he was doing.  After 16 years of marriage, (wow, has it been that long?..) he knows me.  He knows the house will probably be sold long before I make a decision.  He is still waiting for me to pull the trigger on this whole kitchen renovation...Yes, it's me, not him stalling on that one.

Anyway, that night I fell asleep with visions.  Visions of cooking in my new huge kitchen, visions of the boys playing in the massive lower level (which I really can't even call a basement!), visions of cocktail parties and gatherings in our cozy new screened in porch....all kinds of visions.  I actually had a dream that I was moving all my furniture in.  In the dream, I was standing in the front hall as various pieces were placed in the new rooms.  I was giddy with excitement.  The dream house was becoming a reality in my mind.

But the next morning, instead of feeling excited, I felt sad.  As I lingered in bed,  I could hear the kids rustling around in their rooms and I thought about how this is the only house they have ever lived in.  This is the house that has evolved with them.  I still have marks in the doorway from the baby gates.  There is still a stain on the carpet from something that spilled years ago, dents in a couple walls that still need to be fixed...

Yeah, you might think you know where this story is going.  If you read my blog, you know I can be very sentimental and I do tend to get attached to things.

But you have to realize, I am going through a mid-life crisis here.  Some people may buy a sports car or have an affair...but my affair is with a house.  A house I may or may not ever have but the thought of never buying another house makes me feel like I am getting old.  It hit me one day that I may never own a beach house.  How devastating that would be, especially since I regularly pin images to my Future Beach House board!  And the thought of never having a custom "dream house" is a little heartbreaking.  I'm not getting any younger here!

Ironically, a few weeks ago, someone accidentally called me by the name of my friend who originally owned "the" house!  How weird is that?  No one even knows that I have considered buying the house!  I took it as a sign...

After all, it's not the house that makes a home, it's the people inside.  I know that I will feel at home as long as I am with my family.  And that family of mine would just love all the additional bells and whistles this beauty has to offer!

Will I really be happier in that house?  I don't know.  I am pretty happy now so I don't know what I would really be accomplishing.  Does every single dream in life have to be fulfilled?  Probably not, but it is fun to imagine sometimes.

But then again there is also a certain comfort in knowing that you have put down roots in one place.  That your children have memories of growing up in one house, chasing their dog around in the yard they have become familiar with over the years.  Is it that important to chase every dream, or is it more important to appreciate what you do have?

Yeah, you were right.  You did know where this story was going...I think we are right where we are supposed to be.  

I didn't even bother attending the recent open house...




But,...even though I didn't waste my time attending that open house, I did attend a couple other open houses in a new subdivision recently... just for decorating ideas of course!  But hey you never know!  I will show you those pictures in my next post.  I gave you a quick peek of the front porch an bathroom above.  Yeah, I am such a tease....

Have you had an "house affairs" lately?


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September 20, 2014

Deciding on the Porch Decor

Now that we've had some chilly days here and there, 
it's about time I started thinking about 
my front porch decor.

Here is how it looked two years ago,
because apparently I never took a picture 
last year!


And the year before that...
That little white sign is from when we were "spooked"
You can read about that HERE.

Anyway, this year I am thinking about hanging a wreath on the door...

Maybe something like this...
I think it would really stand out against the black door.

I plan to use the urns I bought this year...
I will refill them with either pumpkins or mums.
This picture was taken in the spring but believe it or not
the flowers are still alive!
Shocking since I have such a black thumb!

I will also add a few more mums around 
and possibly a lantern or two.


So that's my plan!

And now that I am finished with my school event obligations, 
I can get decorating!

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