I'm Jane and I write the blog Blondie's Journals. I'm really excited that Marty is having me over today to share a peek of my home. I've been blogging for about 4 years and I really enjoy sharing my adventures in decorating, cooking, gardening and a few DIY projects thrown in for good measure!
We live in Chicago, which I think is the greatest city ever. You name it, you can do it or find it here! We live in a quiet neighborhood in a home that was built in the 1930's. We've been here 27 years, raised and are still raising our four children here. Of course my home has gone through a lot of changes, but I think my style can best be described as Cottage. I love soft, neutral colors as well as old and new pieces with a lot of charm. My philosophy is that if you pick and choose elements from styles you love and are drawn to, rearrange pieces once in awhile for a fresh look, you might just find that you have that "dream" home! Our home is very small by most standards but I think that you can work with that by keeping the size of your furniture in scale with the room and avoiding clutter (one of my big downfalls!). So let's get started.
We don't have a big porch so I make it as inviting and welcoming as I can. There's nothing city people like more than sitting on their steps on a warm summer night chatting with the neighbors!
When you walk in my front door, you find an open floor plan...on the left is the living room and the right, the kitchen with a dining area in the middle. We recently painted the whole space a soft white and I redid this whole wall with prints I found and some floating shelves. My sofa is a soft (and faded) floral, so I picked up some pink and blue here and there.
I recently painted this once old and scratched up end table. I've done a few pieces of furniture in the past and the bug is catching! Again, I keep my colors neutral and add color with accessories. My paint color in this space is Dover White by Benjamin Moore.
I love making up vignettes and this really old cabinet is fun to play with. I store most of my dishes and linens in here for when I get the urge to make a tablescape. Some people ask why I don't paint this...I guess some things just need to be left in their original state, but who knows what I'll do next year or in a month!
Our fireplace is a real monster but it's fun to decorate for the different seasons and holidays. We actually found the vintage screen which someone had thrown out. The old chippy window was a steal at a flea market. I made the letter "B" with a wood piece and some moss from Michael's. I can be quite crafty sometimes! :)
To the right of the living room is the kitchen. A carpenter designed and did all the woodwork himself. He knocked out a big closet and enlarged it as well. I'm so happy with the layout, we love to entertain family and friends and I always felt that I was stuck in a boxy little kitchen away from the fun! This picture is from before we painted, you can see the color in the living room was a mossy green and the wicked wallpaper above the cabinets is now gone.
In the center is the dining area tucked in front of a bay window. I call the table "vintage Pottery Barn", we've had it for over 20 years. I don't remember Pottery Barn being that "huge" back then, but I have to say, this table has won the test of time.
I totally cleared out the ton of cookbooks I had on these shelves for a cleaner, fresher look. To the right is the stove with a hood that the carpenter made. Cooking is one of my passions!
I had my heart set on this island that I found at Williams Sonoma and we finally bought it over a year ago. It's made with reclaimed pine and has a marble top. I have much needed storage underneath. It's a great place to make little vignettes but my old dough bowl is a constant fixture there. And I have a big thing for baskets. A really successful designer who admitted she had a small home, told me that baskets were her saving grace. I agree, and the more interesting, the better. I have them everywhere.
I also asked the carpenter to make me a spice rack. I told him I wanted 6 shelves and he just didn't believe I needed that many. Ha! This is right across from the stove so it's fantastic!
Just down the hall is the master bedroom. It's super small but we've managed to fit a lot of furniture in it. My favorite thing to do is change out my comforters, duvets, pillows, curtains and rugs whenever I want a new feel to it. This is how I have it now...a little lighter for summer. Excuse that falling down wreath! :)
I got a little bold with bright colors over the winter to help chase away those cold weather blahs! I just couldn't seem to get the color temperature right when I took this picture, sorry. The Andrew Wyeth print, "Master Bedroom" has been in this spot forever. Every time I think of changing it out for something else, I feel a tug at my heart. Do you feel that way about anything in your home?
I always wanted a garden window and this looks out over the patio. We also have my husbands armoire in here, as well as my vanity and dresser...they're just not so interesting and well, I have a TV on the dresser which isn't too pretty!
Further down the hall is our first bathroom. Again, I have it painted in a soft, neutral color so I can change out the shower curtain, towels and rugs. Most everything in here is from Target. Did I mention I love Target?!
I just recently put these shelves up for a little more interest than the picture I had here. I just had a piece of wood cut at Home Depot, bought some brackets and painted the pieces with the leftover paint from the living room. Then I basically shopped the house, which I do a lot of!
The next room you'll find around the corner is the den. I didn't include it because it's a walk thru sort of room in the center of the house with no windows, so no natural light and the pictures just don't come out well. Anyway, it's on the small side and a bit more formal than our other rooms. In it we have a white loveseat and chair and all the walls are lined with shelves and our collection of books. We keep our parrot, Nina, in here as well as she's super noisy!
So now you come to the second bath on another long hallway. The walls are rough pine which we painted white, in fact the whole bathroom is white except...
...the counter around the sink which is pale pink! I don't know why I wanted this, it's been like this forever and I still sort of like it!
We are bypassing my daughter's room. She's a college student so you can imagine what it looks like. She keeps all her clothes and books within easy reach on the floor! lol! We're also skipping the office which my husband uses the most. It's another room that looks like a bomb went off in it! So this is the family room.
The coffee table is my favorite; old, beat up pine. On the other side of the room is a big table and chairs used for homework and the occasional poker game. I forgot to get a picture.
The back door is off the family room and leads to our patio. It's on the small side but we manage pretty well. I spend a lot of time out here in the summer reading and relaxing. I love to putter around my garden and play with the dogs. Hedges surround the patio for some privacy.
My garden beds are a little free flowing and rustic (messy). I have a thing for ivy obviously! I just planted these pots so soon they will be overflowing.
Although the patio is small, the yard is big. A great place for my puppies, Milo and Layla, to run around in. We are surrounded by old walnut trees that make a nice canopy. For being in the city, we have a lot of wildlife back here; opossums, racoons and the neighbors dog who knows how to lift the latch on the gate with his nose and get in!
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my little cottage. I want to thank Marty again for having me and I want to invite you to come over for a visit with me at Blondie's Journals, where you'll find a little bit of everything! :)
If you would like to be featured on Show Off and Inspire, just send me an email.
I am linking to the following parties:
Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Alison at Stuff and Nonsense for Friday's Unfolded
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Kate at Chic On A Shoestring Decorating for Flaunt It Friday
Jane at Finding Fabulous for Frugalicious Friday
Jennifer at Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Linky Party
Jen at Tatertots and Jello for Weekend Wrap Up Party Friday
Karen at Redoux Interiors Friday Party
Aimee at It's Overflowing for Overflowing with Creativity Sat.