aligning the lines

As  I mentioned before – my eyes need to be able to relax before my body can.

Looking at a place where too many lines are not aligned makes me restless. The least thing you want to feel in your own home. I am no architect and could never construct a house but am saying that there are some architects that can do their job better than others.

My parent’s home is a superb example of how important it is that a house has straight lines and that this concept is followed throughout the house. An electrical outlet aligned with a doorframe or shelf. A window aligned with the door across. The height of doorframes versus window frames. Position of doorknob to light switch. It is endless. Once you got used to that you are addicted.

Unfortunately many of the cookie cutter developer homes do lack this thought. I takes me a while to figure out what is off with a room but then it becomes very obvious.

This house in Texas I would rate a 6 out of a 10. Some changes are possible, others will never be solved. We do our best, we are no builders and money does not grow on trees.

One example were the ornate window frames we had in a few rooms. Easy to be solved. Done! 

Here is our living room built in wall before. A lot of crazy non-aligning going on there. Do you see? Shelves versus mantle, top of cut out versus wall on the left, doorframe in the back hallway on a totally different height, etc. ImageAt first I only wanted to get rid of the arch on top and the little overhang to the left. But the domino effect hit us hard in the living room! Oh, my dear! It was the last built in that we agreed to stay in. “People want that in their living rooms”, we were told. And we wanted to stay within our budget and willing to compromise here – to compromise a lot.

As always one thing led to the other and long story short: All is gone now!

And while at it, we took off the wooden panel over the fireplace and opened up the drywall up until the ceiling.

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Oops, shit happens! The fire place exhaust duct on the right side could not be removed so easily. So we had to close it up again but were aligning the lines! We stayed within the same height than the opening on the left side of the room.

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While at it, the fireplace mantle was made a little thinner, too.

Before:

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after:

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The fireplace is in need of some changes for sure. But no granite for me! Most likely just paint. We already went overboard with the rest of this room…

On a different note: the hardwood floors had been in and out again within 24 hours. Long and frustrating story to be told another time.

secret of a remote remodel – The Angel

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Remodeling a house is a tricky process. But remodeling a house in Texas and living in Germany is very tricky! Numerous trips back and forth are not only very, very exhausting but also very, very expensive. So our stays in Texas are usually full of hard work, lots of decisions and even more running around. Well, of course there is the yummie food and the great shopping, too – if time allows. And the occasional cowboy boots for sure!

But – after all- the most important thing is our Angel on site. A very dear friend who we just met in September of last year, we had coffee and instantly connected. She is now the master of the key, the voice of reason. She gives the best input and besides being a wonderful friend she is our remodeling Angel in every aspect. Having gone through many remodeling phases herself she knows everything from paint finish, to best deals for appliances to shutting off the sprinkler system.

Really, you do need to winterize pools in warm Texas?

Dear Angel, we are so grateful we have met and that we are in this adventure together. Bringing Eurostyle to Texas without going too overboard!

Leather stairs anyone??

white walls for art

We love to live with art and the best canvas for art display in my eyes are white walls.

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Sure, I have been down the accent wall road and we do have some accent walls in our home right now. But I am willing to give them up, we will see. I am not a fan of trends, so I do not care if they are “in” or “out”. It is our home, we can do whatever we like!

If we feel like another accent wall, we will go for it.

If we do not feel like one, we will pass. That easy. Why would you care what others say about your home? Those wanna-be designers who want to dictate the rules in your house? Really?

But for this project we choose all white. We grew up with white walls and feel most at home with them.

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Today in the world of pinterest and with the blogs it is easy to loose track what you really want from deep inside. It is tempting to just go with the flow, since you are exposed to the mass of pictures all around you. But I like to do what our family feels most comfortable with. And of course sometimes it is hard to tell whether you like some style because you have seen it so many times that you finally feel comfortable with it or because you really loved it from the beginning.

Everyone is collecting inspiration everywhere. Everything is inspired by something. No one is really “inventing” interior design in my eyes. It is the ability to sort your inspirations and transfer them into your own style or your clients style.

That said, I might have another accent wall in the future…

And, I will always love buddhas. Not because they are trendy, but because our collection reminds us of our travels and how we transported them back. As I mentioned before, every piece of art in our home has a very unique story to tell. And sometimes it is a story about the struggles with carry-on restrictions on the plane.

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The painting is by Vladimir Prodanovich. We happened to find him on a trip to California several years ago when he used to have a studio in Laguna Beach. He now works out of Florida.

simplifying the counters

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The kitchen is fine, there is nothing wrong with it.

Just, we wanted to spice it up a little. When we started we did not really know what we wanted in detail.

We thought we needed paint, we needed to upgrade the appliances, the countertops had seen better days. Of course this leads to the backsplash, the sink, the faucet.

Starting to discuss the new overhang at the bar area we were questioning it altogether. The domino effect had us again!

So, no overhang.

Then why would we need the two tier counters?

Ok, let us remove that.

How easy is that and what would it cost?

This is what our commications was all day long. Decision making is so exhausting. But my husband keeps telling me that it also burns calories…

The work began.

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The walkway between kitchen and wall gained so much space! And the kitchen does look less like a kitchen now – at least if you are looking from the living room. The white walls and the white outer cabinets blend in more.

Easier on the eyes – at least on mine!

Now the next steps are the new counters.

Also, in this picture a little sneak peak into the wood flooring….

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antique fair success

Strolling through the booths at the Antique fair Urban Market in the pouring rain was not really an easy task with two jet lagged kids. But of course the mood lightened as soon as our son spotted this old worn metal sign – art for the bedroom, the gym room, the dining area?

Time will tell.

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Schlepping it back to the car it shielded us from the rain – always seeing the bright side of life, right?

Also our son wanted this jar for decorating pencils.

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fireplace inspiration

There is no doubt that we are in need of some fireplace inspiration.

But is this it?

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I gues not so much!

We had been to the RV Show in Houston this weekend and wanted to get some ideas for our upcoming summer vacation on Route 66.

Of course the kids opted for the version with bunkbeds and entertainment centers and 4 big fat flatscreens, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, balcony and outside build in BBQ area…

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The price tag on their favorite RV was over $400.000.

finding a home for cook books

This is how I store my cook books

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So for the kitchen renovation a proper space for them was always on my agenda.

Above the fridge there were these doors…

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Just so simple – we took them out.

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And here with the new paint.  You might need a stool to reach them once the fridge will be in. Or use the space for some other decor.

But anyway – the kitchen looks more interesting and lighter now.

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