breakfast nook needs TLC

We started with this: the first built in we took out.

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We tried several options of art and finally settled on this piece. It was a wedding gift from a very creative friend so many years ago.

And yes, it is not centered in height – on purpose! And yes, it hangs really low – on purpose!

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So here we go in dire need of a light fixture before we get used to the bulb. Because I know that can happen. We “forgot” we had only a bulb in our last house in the living room for almost a year! Yes, really, after a while we just seem to not realize it anymore.

The light fixture in the nook has to be airy to not obstruct the view to the backyard.

Also this table is our patio table. Thanks to the Texan heat we can not use it outside at the moment anyhow. The chairs are all antique from Germany and might or might not stay in the room. It all depends on the future table. Either modern table and those old chairs or rustic table and then some new funky modern chairs.

I was into concrete for a while but am afraid of getting tired of it. Although I really, really love how versatile it would be and how elegant all my white dishes would look with a concrete table top.

My lovely friend had the most beautiful concrete table in Beijing.

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We might consider that kind of table for our dining area later. But for the nook, there is something else on my mind. Think: turquoise!

My Mini Chandelier

Before our big move I got the chance to spend some marvelous days in Amsterdam with my favorite girls travel group.

We always try to do some sight seeing, but at the end of the day what we always get accomplished is – shopping!

So while my dear friends tried on silly shoes

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…I had decor in mind and spotted a small deco chandelier on the wall.

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It was mine for Euro 5!

Now in Texas we started to hang art.

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And the Mini Chandelier found a new home. I think it goes well with the other piece of art by Ingrid Wild in my kitchen and just gives it a spin to the not so serious style in our home.

Someone once asked me why we painted the house white, just such a boring and bland color. Well, you know we are not boring and our art is not boring. We think that is enough color in our house!

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And on a totally different note: this was street art in Amsterdam. Fake poo and pee!

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powder bath – creative block

This little powder room or guest bath room used to be all pinkish and those cabinets made this already tiny room feel even smaller.

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So as I was writing before, we were taken over by the domino effect big time here: we took out everything!

We had new sleek cabinets made, we installed the new toilet and bought a vessel sink and faucet.

But now what???? I am suffering from creative block.

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You can see the dark paint swatches on the wall. I went through the black phase, the eggplant phase. Now – I am not sure at all.

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The wall opposite the door needs some art, some texture, just something – I had so many ideas but none of them felt really right. I am preoccupied with unpacking and re-arranging our other stuff and this little room had to wait.

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So our guests will still have to go in there and use the sink in the kitchen to wash their hands until we decide upon paint, art, mirror, counter top and light fixtures.

Any ideas?

Our stuff finally arrived!

So now we are in Texas!

After camping in our empty house for several weeks, we finally got to be united with our furniture again!

Two containers and two days of unloading. That does not mean everything is alreday neat and cozy inside of course. But everything is inside the house!

This is the red carpet treatment to welcome our stuff:

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We were so proud of ourselves (and so sore over the course of the next days…)

How do those dishes all fit into the kitchen cabinets you wonder? Rearranging, rearranging and rearranging … and dreaming about rearranging at night!

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Our only 6 cups of Meissen porcelain got an extra treatment!

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We made sure everything is on the right floor and in the right room. Except the art – that is all still on one pile of chaos.

Funny enough the kids are so keen on picking the art for their room. They already started putting them on “option pending” or more actively dragging the pieces to their rooms!

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before and after with paint changes

I will show you some more examples of why I am a fan of soothing paint colors. Soothing everything in fact. My eyes need to be able to relax before my body can.

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The living room before:

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and living room after:

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The office before with dark built ins:

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and after, much brighter and lighter:

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This was our old house just a few weeks after moving in a few years ago. It had been altered here and there and of course been lived in. Now all is gone, all is empty. Everything is packed up and will wait to be put together again in a whole new setting.

But currently I feel like less, less decor, less colors. I am so excited to live in an empty house for a while and to just add a little stuff step by step. I will try to keep it very minimal this time and I see a moving-in garage sale coming up…..

moving day

Finally moving day! And our artwork is receiving the white glove service!

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The fragile pieces got custom crates so that they will survive the long and hard journey on the ship.

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These crates might be used as outdoor benches, very sturdy and German craftsmanship, ha, ha.

The first load of boxes is ready to be shuttled off to the container.

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paint: before and after

Our current house in Germany was in a sad and dark place when we happened to find it a few years ago. Changing out the furniture is a sure bet to major transformation but paint really did bring the wow-effect in this case. The woodwork used to be all painted over with a dark stain and we opted for whites with warm grey tones.Image

Entry hall before:

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and entryhall after:

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another hallway before:

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and after:

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entertaining table

I love to entertain and to host big cooking events at my home. My current kitchen accommodates around 15 cooks with lots of action going on between prepping, cutting, chatting and actually cooking. Occasional glass of bubbly…

But after the work is done – we like to enjoy our food together sitting at one big table. My regular table seats only 10. So for some occasions I bought this antique French pull out table. Amazing technique from 1880!! It seats 15 food lovers.

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It holds our bounty better than our regular table – here overloaded after an Asian cooking event.

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Collecting chairs is not too bad, right? See my post here.

But for the Texas house I would like a new big table. As big as possible for the space. My major concern here is the weird layout of windows and doors in the dining room. Nothing really aligns the way I wish it would. I will take some pics next time I will be around!

quest for lamps

Lamps are sooooo difficult to buy. The standard lamps are everywhere, but we want the lamps to make a statement. I usually live without the right lamp for a while and wait for the lamp to happen – somehow down the road.

What we don’t want is this:

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or this:

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Lighting needs to be functional in a way, of course. But sometimes the function is not given, but the decor effect is great! Do you know this dilemma?

I fell in love with this textured lamp a few years ago. All male contractors made fun of it, but the female visitors got the idea….

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The Texan house needs all new light fixtures. Some will be very pratical, like closets or under cabinet lights in the kitchen. But I am sure some will be just decorative and add a cozy warmth to the room.

Like this:

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These I found in a hotel in China. I like the display in a group a lot.

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we finally do have floors

It all started in a very innocent way. We bought the house, we decided to renew the old hardwood floors and went ahead picking a color. Well, not so easy in reality! Living in Europe we were surrounded by all these gray tones over the past decade and wanted exactly these grayish-brown planks in our house with white walls. Not so easy to find in Texas since we had to keep our budget in mind and wanted to go with engineered hardwood to have the least hassle with install.

We finally, finally found a color we liked. All seemed fine. Lots of delays in delivery, but we felt good about it.

Until install day! After the first planks were glued down it was very obvious that something was wrong. The quality of the wood did not match our order and the price we paid! But the install continued since we were told that it was supposed to look like that. Really???

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Awful! You can tell. To make the long story short: we got tricked into seconds with very poor quality and with our persistence and long discussions it all ended in ripping out the floors again! New order, but same crap arrived. Travelling all the way over from Germany for a new disaster 2.0. We lost total trust into the manufacturer, seller and installer. Lots of lying, lots of trying – very, very bad experience!

So we let go and found a great new floor store and installer and started looking into other options. Along the way we totally changed our mind on the gray and went with really light wood. Even more difficult to find our vision in Texas. But our salesperson was very, very helpful, emailing us pictures of samples, looking into new sources. Staying within our budget.  Because Рkeep in mind Рwe do live in Germany and the house is in Texas!

We compared dark and light. We had samples too green, too yellow, too pink, too rustic, some with too many mineral streaks, some with too wide of a color variation.

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In the end we ordered a custom color. All went very smoothly. The install was a piece of cake.

And now – WE DO HAVE FLOORS!

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