Sunday, November 27, 2011

New House Inspiration - The Lanterns

I have to admit, inspiration doesn't usually strike me. Sometimes, I'll see something online or at someone else's house and think "Hey, I can do that." And, then I try some variation and it usually results in something very marginal.

However, the best part of being married is your "better half." It doubles your inspired moments. I'm very lucky in that if my better half gets an inspiration, I know it will turn out great. We are so much on the same page in terms of what we like and what we don't like. I have a hard time picturing things in their finished form so I get excited when he finds something and can envision how things will be.

Fast forward to this weekend. There we stand in Tom's grandmother's basement (Grammy), and Tom spots something. For those of you that don't know, Grammy and Grandpa are true antique collectors. It seems every time we're over there, we find something else new and cool they have collected. The truly awesome thing about Grammy and Grandpa is how their things are so perfectly classic. For instance, she just wore a black dress to church from over 40 years ago.

This trip, I noticed two things that would be land smack in the middle of a Country Living magazine.

The first was a cabinet that Grandpa had made in high school that was filled with a collection of drawer pulls that I knew nothing about. Apparently, Grandpa really enjoyed finding metal items that he could clean up and make shine. These drawer pulls remind me of library drawer pulls and he probably had 50-60 that were all different. I told Grammy those are the exact style of pulls we will be putting in our kitchen. Here are some examples I found online that are similar to those in Grandpa's collection.

The second was a very cool, aqua farm house table that was the resting place for the lantern collection (more to come). I loved this table. It is so simple and it was painted in a great, modern color. And, the best part, it's a family piece. Every time I go to Grammy's, I feel like I need to video tape the whole visit. I can't ever remember all of the pieces and parts of her stories and it makes me sad that I won't remember enough to be able to pass the information along to the girls and Jack.

Fast forward to the inspiration. Tom spotted one of the lanterns with an aqua globe and was instantly smitten. Grammy said she knew we didn't have any lanterns yet, so we could pick a few if we wanted, which we absolutely did. We found another lantern back in Grandpa's workshop that he didn't get a chance to clean up before he wasn't able to do those things any longer. Tom loved it because of the cage around the globe and because it gave him a chance to work on a project. We switched out the clear globe for another aqua globe. He told Grammy, and me a few times after we left, how he was so excited because he finally had a plan for our hearth room.

Notice the pewter? This has made us reconsider going with pewter door handles in the house. We originally thought pewter and switched back to black. Now, we're back to pewter.

Inspiration is an awesome thing. We talked last night and have decided to add a fireplace to the room and probably panel the room as well. We'll paint the paneling a darker color and orient the sofa and some side chairs to take in the fireplace and the views out back. We've been struggling with a way to give that area character and make it different from the rest of the house. I have grand visions of the children (they're children in my visions - not crazy kids whining for my attention) sitting in that room pleasantly, reading their books and doing their homework while I prepare a well balanced meal in the kitchen.

All aspects of this vision, I know, are a pipe-dream. But, they're my pipe-dream. And, that's the special thing about building a house. You get to build your hopes and dreams into the house. It's up to you to make it a reality. We're on our way to making it happen...

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