Welcome Home

We moved over four months ago and are still settling in: there are so many projects we’d like to get to! Updating kitchen, repainting, installing ceiling fans, new windows, adding a deck… but for now we have barely furnished the place and are still staring at a lot of bare walls. The tag sales around here have been great in helping us furnish the empty rooms in what still feels like a mansion. What a difference an extra 1100+ square feet can make.

So keeping in mind that this is a work in progress, I present to you our first official house tour, from front to back:

HouseFromStreet
The front view in mid-summer, with blooming perennials.

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HouseExternal
This side is the only sunny outdoor space we have, so the previous owners put up several window boxes to grow herbs and vegetables.

HouseMowing
First lawn-mowing.

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Check out the tropical flowers to the right! Oh yeah, and to the left is a sweet baby testing out a tricycle.

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Living/Dining Room

HouseLivingRoom
A couch will line that wall on the left. We’re looking for something contemporary to balance out the antique-y feel of the other furniture.

HouseLRWindow
Living room stained glass window, made my one of the house’s previous owners.

HouseFireplace

The fireplace we have yet to try. We now have a screen in front of it now, and plenty of wood in the backyard.
This artwork keeps changing spaces, but once we have some of our paintings out of storage, we’ll have better-decorated walls.

HouseDining
Dining area: We plan to get a rustic dining room table made of reclaimed barn wood (there are a couple of places in Connecticut and Massachusetts that make them).

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Dining area looking out to the back yard.

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Dining room stained glass

HouseKitchen
The kitchen, facing the front door.

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The den, which also serves as my office. My “desk” is a family heirloom: a farm table from Hoosick Falls, NY. The chairs we picked up at an antique store and could use a makeover.

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HouseStairs

Heading upstairs…

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Stairway window

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Jax’s room is purple at the moment. I’d like to paint it an aqua color, but we’ll get to that in the spring.

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The crib is also a family heirloom from the Hoosick Falls farmhouse, which was completely redone to meet today’s safety standards.

Bathroom

The upstairs full bath has the most cheerful Provençal look to it.

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…and more stained glass!

Bedroom1

Our bedroom takes the space of what was originally two bedrooms.

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Plenty of room for the port-a-crib, for a certain 1-year-old who likes to be close.

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I love my dressing nook.

DressingNookWindow
With my own south-facing window. The stained glass piece also came with the house.

HouseBackSide
The backyard in June (it’s covered in leaves at the moment).

HouseBack

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HouseTree

Our gigantic oak tree.

HouseBackyardTable
Set for many dinners al fresco.

Come visit!

Red Balloon Birthday Party

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Happy First Birthday to Jacob DeWitt!

BirthdayDecor

InviteOutside

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Invitations

PartySetUp
The dining room setup: even the high chair was put to use.

DenMovie
The den is just to the right of the living room and on the way outside. We had The Red Balloon movie looped and playing in here (at my desk) to set the scene. Because there is very little dialogue in the movie, it served as background music as well. Balloon garland and paper lanterns from Pearl River.

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These “red balloon” mini sandwiches were an idea I got from the wonderful Party Perfect blog, the readers of which helped me brainstorm. These photos show the toddler-friendly cream cheese version. Paris plates from Marshall’s.

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I also had an adult version: ham and swiss cheese with French mustard on pain au levain (French sourdough bread we are lucky to find at our farmer’s market, along with those olives in the foreground).

PartyFood
The inside menu: cupcakes, mini “red balloon” sandwiches, the all-important fromage plate, salad, and sangria.

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I made the pennant bunting myself out of heavy scrapbook paper and embroidery floss. It was easy to divide the 12×12″ pieces into triangles, dividing in half lengthwise and in thirds crosswise and drawing long diagonal lines from top to bottom (does that make sense?), resulting in 10 triangles per sheet. The whole bundle of paper, cutouts, labels, stickers, and punch-outs were in vintage 50s prints. I used less than a quarter of the stack and created a whole party from it:  liners for the invitation envelopes (above), the “Happy Birthday” garland hanging from the window in the center, and photo “frames” for baby photos adorning the wall.

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BirthdayGarland

StrawsUtensils

The paper straws and wooden disposable utensils are from Can Do Chefs.

Garland

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The birthday boy, greeting guests by the door.

OutsideView

Outside we had the non-alcoholic drinks: lemonade served in a this dispenser, Orangina, Perrier, apple juice boxes, milk boxes, and sippy cups for the little ones. Our wonderful next-door neighbor Jane let us borrow the beautiful folding bamboo chairs. She even had a 1-year-old-sized version. {I didn’t take any photos during the party, so I’ll post more outside pictures when I get them! Edit: See below!}

Balloons
The red balloons were a huge hit with all the toddlers.
{Hint: when mylar balloons are popped, they don’t become choking hazards as the rubber ones do.}

Update: Some more photos from Grandma & Grandpa Weintraub show the scene outdoors!

JaxBdayChair
Toddler sized French bistrot chair

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One of the most fun activities for the little ones was to smash those balloons!

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They played in a band, too

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A lone balloon at the end of the driveway let arriving guests know they were in the right place.

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We all love you, Jax!

How to frame a vintage sweater for a nursery

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This sweater has been in the family for a while. My mom wore it when she was a toddler in the 50s, and then me and my two sisters did as well. Before I get the chance to mend it and replace the missing buttons, I’ve been meaning to create a way to display it in the nursery (corner). I love bold, primary colors and thought it would be an interesting visual piece.

I’ve had an unfinished gallery frame with broken glass (oops) since August and finally decided to do something about all of these projects. The frame was perfect for displaying something with depth, but the challenge was to make the backing at the back of the frame instead of at the front. I did this by covering the backing with fabric and then stapling the ends of that fabric to the back of the wood frame. That forced the backing to the back, and because the sweater is actually supported by a string which is attached to the frame, the backing should stay in place without any stress.

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Another Street Find

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See anything new?

We rented a car on Saturday to scope out our new (fingers crossed!) neighborhood. It must have been a great day for a garage sale because there seemed to be leftover used goods all along some of the streets. Lo and behold, this lovely all-wood highchair hadn’t sold and was sitting on the curb. We made it fit in the trunk and voilà! Jax has a highchair a little sooner than we thought he would.

{He had been using the Bumbo seat from Aunt Renée at mealtime until this week.}

But will it work? The answer, in photos:

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My home design twin

A teacup collection, white wrought-iron crib, Moroccan ottoman, a large abstract blue-ish oil painting, and a yellowing book on a white duvet cover. Is this my apartment? I feel like I’ve had a vision of what our new place will look like once the above possessions of ours are finally brought out of storage.

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Check out this lovely home tour on Design Sponge. Oh, and the location? Yaletown, Vancouver, home to my very own sister, Laura. Laura, you can feel free to stalk this place on my behalf.