Happy Labor Day! I can barely believe it’s September. It feels like we just flipped the calendar to June and while summer is technically in full swing for a few more weeks (and it certainly feels like summer outside), fall temps will be here before we know it. Before we head into another month, I thought it would be fun to share a roundup of the things I’ve been up to and interested in over the past few weeks.
My fall wish list is all about the classics. I didn’t take advantage of too many Labor Day sales, but I did snag a few things to round out my wardrobe: a black shell (can be worn on its own or over blouses), a black turtleneck (my old one shrunk in the wash), black pants (although there’s a good chance these are going back), a tie-neck blouse (love the powder blue color), and a striped t-shirt. I’ve been tired of my weekday wardrobe, so provided these all work out, they’ll serve as good foundation pieces for the upcoming seasons.
Our trip to Seattle is fast approaching. We’re heading to Washington for my brother’s wedding in three weeks. He lives in Selah, but since I hadn’t been to the state before, we tacked on a few days before and after the nuptials to explore the Seattle area. Any recommendations of what to do? Where to eat? Best breweries to visit? Instagrammable areas? Coolest natural areas that are within a two-hour drive? Any and all ideas are welcome!
Last week we started — and finished — Killing Eve. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so enthralled with a show that I actually put my phone down for the entire thing. I can’t wait for season two.
A few months ago, we purchased a ceiling fan to replace the one in the bedroom. However, we quickly learned the junction box couldn’t support a ceiling fan (perhaps that’s why the old one wobbled dangerously) and after talking to our electrician, we decided we didn’t want a ceiling fan that badly given the cost of installing a new box. So, we recently bought a pretty fixture instead. The hole from the fan is too large for the new fixture’s canopy to cover, so we’re adding a ceiling medallion. I love the traditional look of a medallion, especially when it’s paired with a modern fixture. Here’s a tutorial on how to install a medallion if you’re curious.
Alright, it’s too hot outside to actually start making slow cooker recipes, but this one for chicken tikka masala is one to have on hand for when things do cool down. We make it at least twice a month during fall and winter. When you assemble it, make a second set of the spice mixture to store. It cuts down on prep time the next time you make it.
The Hearth & Hand floursack towels are fantastic quality for the price point. I bought a lot of them last fall when the line first debuted and they’ve held up beautifully.
I may have been frugal when it came to clothing in August, but that certainly wasn’t the case when it came to our house. This month I purchased linen sheets (so luxe), ordered a dining table, bought a chair to make sure I like it with the table before ordering the other five, and finally found a light fixture for our bedroom. On top of that, we booked a post-Thanksgiving trip to New York. I have no doubt I’ll redirect my attention to clothing come September. While it’ll still be warm enough to wear summer favorites, I’m excited to pick out a few additions for my fall wardrobe. If money wasn’t an object, I’d start with these Rachel Comey earrings in the malachite and amber option and this bag in green. On the more realistic front: this blazer. I can’t get over how much I love that green herringbone fabric.
See all of this year’s sartorial additions here.
- Leith ruched body-con dress in heather green ($56) – I bought this sexy little number in black last month and loved the versatility so much that I bought it in heather green, too.
- Who What Wear polka dot midi skirt ($30; worn here) – I love the bold print on this skirt and it feels well made, especially at such a low price point. (It’s even lined!) The only downside is that there’s a chemical smell to the material. I haven’t washed it yet to see if that’ll help, but Febreze didn’t do much.
DIDN’T WORK OUT
Things I tried and didn’t love.
- 1901 button-front skirt in camel – This was a darling of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but it runs incredibly small. I tried my normal size and a size up and both were too snug. Ultimately, the fabric quality wasn’t that great and I was tired of going back and forth with new sizes. I’d rather save up for a wool a-line skirt that will hold up year after year.
- Staud ‘Shirley’ mini tote – I struggled with this one. I absolutely love the tote and the quality is excellent. However, I felt foolish spending money on something so trendy that I might not reach for next year. The same could certainly be said for the Rachel Comey earrings I bought, but my love for those far surpass the love for this bag. That said, I kind of regret sending it back and wonder if it was just the camel color that I wasn’t crazy about enough to keep?
- LOFT bouquet smocked flare dress – This is flattering, but I just didn’t love it that much in person. The colors were more muted than they appear online and it just felt a little lackluster.
Well, the biggest news of the week is that Madison is dealing with an unprecedented rainfall, leading to flooding throughout the county. While we had heavy rain earlier this week here on the east side of town, it was nothing compared to the downpour that clobbered the west side. But we’re not totally in the clear just yet with more rain expected. For those of you unfamiliar with the city, Madison is on an isthmus. The city opened the locks at one lake to allow the water to rise and flow over the isthmus into the other lake. If we get more rain, the city’s east side near the isthmus (including our neighborhood) is potentially threatened. As it stands now, we’re just outside the predicted flood threat by a couple of blocks, but who knows what will happen.
Other than that uplifting update, I’m all about being a homebody lately and continuing to make improvements around the house. This dining room chair arrived the other day and it’s gorgeous (and a knock off of this one). We’ll see how it looks with the table once that arrives before purchasing the other five. Since we had planned for this large purchase and we still have to book our hotel for Seattle, I opened a United credit card. With a $3,000 minimum spend in three months, the bonus was 60,000 miles – enough for a roundtrip ticket to Europe. Combined with the miles I already have accrued, I’ll have enough for a trip to Japan! (Dave isn’t quite there yet, but he’s close!)
And with that, I hope you have a lovely weekend!
- Thirteen psychological thrillers to add to your reading list.
- A modern tiki table setting. (I love that she used a terrarium as a cocktail glass and I’m eyeing up those placemats.)
- If you’re wondering how you’ve lost friends in adulthood, this may be why.
- I’m loving this bag in forest green, largely because of its contrasting acrylic handle.
- Ten home styling tips. (I’m all about that last one.)
- Is online shopping combined with cheap prices turning us into hoarders?
- The pattern of this asymmetrical dress looks gorgeous for late-summer evenings.
- What to do before deciding on a paint color.
- Why you should keep a travel journal. (I use the Day One app on vacations to record what we did.)
- I’m incredibly inspired by Jaclyn Johnson’s home.
Finds Under $50:
- The perfect warm-weather sweater when it’s just a little chilly outside.
- So many good housewares from H&M right now: a wool-blend rug, a small wood cutting board, a throw blanket, the curves on this candlestick holder, and candle holders in a mix of black and brass in a tall and short version.
- An easy drape-front blouse for work to weekend.
- Straw bags are a summer classic. Snag this one for your end-of-summer beach trips or store it for next year. (It’s on sale, so it might not last long!)
- Love the look of acrylic earrings, but don’t want to spend a lot? This Etsy shop has some great options!
Earlier This Week:
- Going sporty in this week’s “The Coveted.”
- Sharing photos of our dining room from when we closed on the house and talking about the plans for decor.
image via Unsplash
I spend most days from 5 to 7 a.m. perched in front of the computer with my coffee (always iced). On days you don’t see a blog post, it’s because I’m spending my time scouring the internet to find pieces for our house. Since the house is such a big part of my life and occupies a lot of my free time, I thought I’d share more updates into how things are progressing, starting with a room that has been untouched since we moved in: the dining room. After we painted and had the floors refinished, we put a decades-old table and chairs in the room (a hand-me-down from Dave’s parents) and turned our attention to the rooms we’d use more often, namely the master bedroom and the living room.
The room hadn’t been a priority for three reasons: furniture is expensive, it takes awhile for us to find pieces we both love and agree on, and we were fine using this coffee table as a makeshift dining space. We’re classy people, folks. Not having a proper dining space had been wearing on me, though. I mean, how else do you throw dinner parties like a proper adult if there isn’t a table and chairs for guests? How do I surprise Dave with a romantic meal without a table to set it on? Where do game nights happen? So many things happen in a dining room!
Where We Started
First of all, you can totally give me flak for these grainy, low-light photos. Shoddy “before” pics are one of my least favorite parts of home blogs, but I think it’s mostly because no one wants to spend time photographing a room that sucks much less editing those photos. These were quickly snapped on my phone before we laid down paper and started painting.
To give you some idea of the layout, these were taken while standing in our living room. I love the large archway, which gives the first floor a spacious feeling. To the right, there are three windows that look at our neighbor’s house, so we’ve left the shades there for now to offer privacy while we figure out what we want to do. The doors at the back lead to our deck. And the doorway to the left goes into the [less-than-photogenic, but a project-for-another-time] kitchen. That ceiling fan is just so hideously awful that I can’t believe someone kept it up for so long. (I say that, yet we’ve removed the blades and the shades and have been rocking that look for a year.) The walls were this depressing creamy yellow. I wondered if a chain smoker lived here at some point, but there are areas of paint in various rooms that were true white, so I think it was a design choice. (We painted the room white, for the record.) The red oak floors had their original finish from the 1920s, which is great for future owners because floors can be refinished roughly ten times before too much wood has been sanded away.
And, yes, it will forever drive me nuts that the patio door isn’t centered between those two windows. I’m hope there was a structural reason for it.
I honestly don’t know how to categorize our style. Mid-century modern, certainly. A bit of traditional. (I have such a penchant for schoolhouse lights.) Scandinavian. I prefer a more masculine palette that’s heavy on blue, green, grey, and brown — but with brass thrown in for good measure. And, ultimately, we both want our home to feel collected and not like it was plucked out of a showroom at any given time.
I feel like a lot of the rooms in this collage reflect that in some way. When we looked at some of the images that really spoke to us, it was clear that going mid-century modern for the dining room table and chairs would be the perfect way to ground the room, and serve as a jumping off point for both modern and traditional accents. Plus, a statement light fixture is obviously crucial to my future happiness. And that dark paint? Let’s just say I’m very tempted.
The Best Part: Shopping
So, where does that leave us? Well, we purchased our table this week! I also ordered one chair to try with the table to make sure we like it in person before purchasing the others. It’s available at a few different retailers for slightly less, but paying $10 more per chair for easy returns at Home Depot was too tempting to pass up. I originally considered going with these chairs, but I just wasn’t feeling it. (Don’t get me wrong, though, that chair is gorgeous. I have one in our living room.) Below, you’ll find a look at where things are headed — at least in Photoshop. I’m loving how these pieces look together, and I’m crazy about the light fixture (an “inspired-by” version of this). My only hesitation is that it ships from Greece with a $75 shipping charge. It’s an affordable price point for a statement light fixture, but I’m not sure I feel comfortable spending that much sight unseen. If that’s the case or if the dimensions don’t work in our space, we’ll go with something else. We’re also keeping an eye out for a vintage storage cabinet similar to the one below just so that everything isn’t brand new.