Two Story Cottage

Breakfast Space Beginnings

Dear Friends,

The breakfast space is in progress and I’ve got some things to consider.  I know all of you in blogland are full of opinions so feel free to jump in with your thoughts.   As I said before, we are NOT doing a lot of furniture buying right now so I have the same stuff from the old house.  Our table is a dozen years old and on the small side but I’m partial to it.  It was our first “as a couple” furniture purchase.


The little corner cabinet fits right in that happy spot so I don’t anticipate moving it.  I do plan on putting some fun art on the wall.  Maybe some art that the kids have done?

Rug or no rug? 

We’ve gone back and forth about a rug in the breakfast space.  Our current table just blends with the hardwoods so a rug would break that up nicely.  It would also define the space a little more and help beef up the table.  However, the lifeline of a kitchen rug is almost always short.  We threw away the rug from under the table at our old house.  We couldn’t even give it away.   I could always paint the table frame to help define it a little more if need be.


Lamp or  no lamp? 

I haven’t found a good spot for that particular lamp in this house.  I like it there right now but I’m still deciding if it works.  I did get a new, more modern chandelier (pendant)  for the breakfast space.  It was a good deal too!  If you are interested, it was an Amazon purchase.

The wallpapered chest holds all of our school and craft supplies which is a must.   The breakfast area doubles as a homework and project spot.


Curtains?  Panels?

The current window treatments are from the previous owners.  They blend okay so I’m leaving them for now.  However, I love to fabric shop so I am looking forward to sewing either a new valence or a pair of panels.  I like the look of the layered window treatment over the roman shades even though I’m not typically drawn to valences so I may end up doing just that.

Oh, and we eat breakfast at the bar.   We use the table for dinner.  So, there is rarely any breakfast happening in the breakfast nook.  Go figure.




School Daze + Chalk Art

Dear Friends,

It’s that time again.  The school year is ready to mow us down like a big yellow bus.  Unlike years past, we were actually ready this year.  Practically playing chicken, waiting for that proverbial bus because summer was kind of long this go around.

That is a lot of bus talk for a carpool family.

Because of our move, we had a lot less travel and many more summer days at home.  I daydream about those free days when our schedule is nutty, but by mid-August we were all craving more structure.  Sure, there were pool outings, trips to the library, and a handful of camps but all of that had run its course.

I guess summer ends for a reason.


Luckily, Reid has another year of preschool before we hit the big time.  The 4’s program will take some getting used to for all of us.  He goes four half days and will be getting ready for the big K.  I know he will be worn out with all of the big kid work they do.

Lacey on the other hand starts first grade.  That is a longer day which means we don’t see her until almost 3:00.  I’m going to have to adjust to that because it just seems so late!  I certainly didn’t go that long in elementary school.  Times have changed for sure.


I hung my diy chalkboard in our breakfast space back in June.   I was so excited about summer and the endless possibilities!   Rather than post an autumn message, I figured I’d keep this one around a wee bit longer while we properly mourn our loss of sleep.


I did change the first line because summer days are drifting away, y’all.  Bring on fall.






The Naked House

Dear Friends,

Mr. C thinks mentioned recently that it looks like we are moving.  We aren’t but I get his drift. It certainly feels that way at our house right now! I’ve gone into back-to-basics mode and done some serious decor removal.   It isn’t permanent but I wanted a chance to ponder a few spaces without interference for a little bit.

I can even pretend to be a minimalist if I want to.


Honestly, it started with the broken lamp heard round the internet.  I stowed the sofa table in the hall so I could evaluate what I wanted  to do with the space behind the sofa.  Somehow, emptying the mantel helped me think.   I needed a clear picture to figure out what will work best.

Like decorating dominoes, one thing led to another.


I cannot leave the sofa hanging out with a naked backside.  It just wouldn’t be right.  The wheels are turning and I’m working on a solution.

In the back of my mind, I’m also prepping for a few things coming my way from my grandmother’s house.  As I mentioned, she passed away earlier this month.  She didn’t own much and lived simply in her two bedroom place, but there are still treasures in the form of furniture, dishes, pitchers, glassware, etc.   Sentimental items mixed with fun, vintage decor.

Just like I’m not afraid to add things, I’m not intimidated by subtraction, although math was not my friend in school.  I’d like to make sure that we are using our house as efficiently as we can.  I like my pretty and practical to collide.  Another thing I’m contemplating while the blank walls are talking to me.


I kept it real for you today.  A photo of not just our lack of curtains, but an everyday mess. No staging – this is how we live.  We aren’t a robot family, you know.

I told Lacey that starting kindergarten at a brand new school was a blank slate.  I’m liking the idea right now, truth be told.  We can blame the broken lamp but sometimes, you just need to breathe.


P.S.  I see the pictures and am itching to decorate.  Maybe I am cured.  Oh, the ideas…

A Chair in the Breakfast Room {Pretend Banquette}

Dear Friends,
I thought I’d show you a couple of updates to the breakfast room. Before Christmas, I finally got a seagrass rug.  It is from Home Decorators and is just what I was looking for.  It is rough on the feet but has already proven to be spill and stain -resistant.   With small children, I can’t see any other option and so far this seems to be much better than the indoor-outdoor rug that we tossed during the move.   I wouldn’t choose a rug that is quite so textured for the family room but I am pleased with the quality.


Also, I took down the curtains for a cleaner look right now.  I actually took them down to finally lengthen them but I found I was enjoying the fact that they were down.  I’m not against putting them back up but that has fallen by the wayside for now.


This chair has taken up residence in Reid’s room, the living room, and now the breakfast room. I love the banquette look but our windows don’t really allow for that so my corner chair will have to do.  I’m finding it to be a cozy addition.

I tried it there once before but it was before the dresser and rug so it seemed to stick out.  Now it tucks right in.  Oh, and I’m excited about a makeover on the horizon for that dresser!

Do you have any “extra” seating in the kitchen or breakfast area that isn’t at the table?


A Dresser in the Kitchen

Dear Friends,
  The furniture shuffle has come to a halt, thankfully.  After several weekends of huffing & puffing we have successfully cleared hallways and shifted as many big, heavy things as we could manage.   This has been a good reminder of why we are not moving again ever.

A recap:

*Chad’s office furniture (desk & lateral file) moved upstairs to the bonus room (from the little corner study/living room).

*Reid’s bookcases went to the bonus room to “re-join” the office group they came from.  

*The industrial cart went from the kitchen to the family room.

*Reid’s (& Lacey’s) nursery dresser came downstairs and replaced the cart in the kitchen.

*Reid’s new mid-century dresser went upstairs.

And to think we don’t even have a big boy bed for him, yet!  Oh well, one thing at a time, right?

I really like the dresser in the breakfast area.  I loved the cart there from a visual standpoint but the dresser ROCKS from a usage standpoint.

Hello, arts & crafts drawers.  Hello, school stuff.  Hello, awesome.
It fits great, thankfully.  It is a little taller so there isn’t as much space on top but that doesn’t bother me.  I’m itching to change the knobs.  Like right this very minute.  I’m thinking coral.  And I’m looking into a (working) fabric roman shade for that door.  

Those nine little drawers are begging for paint or wallpaper.  I’m thinking sooner rather than later.

I’m excited about the future of the breakfast area!!

Coral & Turquoise in the Kitchen

Dear Friends,
    After Lacey’s birthday bash, we had a set of balloons floating from room to room.  The balloons that wouldn’t die.  The balloons with a lifespan longer than most goldfish.

Well, the balloons found a home in the corner of the kitchen.  They caught my eye in the light.  The pink and orange “popped”{insert balloon joke here} with the Hazy Skies backdrop.

It got me thinking.  Maybe I could add a couple of coral-ish accents in the kitchen.  Which would tie in to the family room.

I’m contemplating this terracotta rug from Ballard Designs for under the kitchen table.  It is a “Bring Home Ballard” special and I’m really drawn to it.  The latest catalog shows it full size and it appears to have a strong coral hue.

$19-179 depending on the size
Examples of coral and turquoise that I found browsing Pinterest…
For Traditional Home by Tobi Fairley

I haven’t made any decisions yet but the coral fever might be spreading.  Watch out! 🙂

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