hey there four eyes

Okay so I’m going to take advantage of you guys today and ask you to please help me make the hardest of hard decisions (next to you know.. actual hard decisions). My Warby parker Home Trial kit came last night and Derek was absolutely no help at all saying “did you seriously order 5 identical pairs of glasses?” No. I only ordered two identical pairs, the rest are all different. And the identical pair is in two different colors, so really not identical at all. I mean really.

I would also like to add that this was totally a coincidence that they arrived the same week we gushed over Warby Parker’s collaberation with Architecture for Humanity. I mean we aren’t THAT obsessed. Okay we are. Derek’s arrived a week ago, but he is ordering a second run to really narrow things down. And this is my second run, so I mean business. I have my favorite and Derek has his favorite (which will both remain unnamed) so we I am counting on your swing vote.

And now for way too many awkward pictures of me, when it’s definitely too sunny for glasses pictures.

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Okay, so I admit they look very similar when photographed, but in real life they are very different. And I know that five pairs come in a set, but I ordered two different colors of my favorite frames (from my first round) and they both looked brown in the photo so I took one pair out, plus that would give away my favorite and that would be cheating.

 

Which pair do you love?
  

 

I will be taking them all for a spin this weekend to get some face to face feedback as well.

 Happy Weekend!

the perks of having talented friends

One of the great things about being a designer married to a designer, is that we have a lot of creative friends. One of the bad things about it, is that we tend to argue about making design decision in our home. However, there is one thing we definitely agree on, and that is our love for iconic architects.

Our non-designer friends always make fun of us for geeking out over things like tile in a hotel elevator, so I promise you probably don’t want to travel with us either. I forced my mom to tour around Mies van der Rohe’s school of architecture in Chicago against her will. Most people probably rather go shopping or to the top of Willis Tower, but I wanted to walk the halls that were once graced by one of my all time favorite architects. Totally normal.

So when we saw that our oh so talented friend Analy had started sketching some ideas for an Architect Series we just about died.

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via @analydiego

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I immediately contacted her to let her know how obsessed we were with this idea, and she kept teasing us through Instagram with even more icons that she had added.

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Clockwise from upper left: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Zaha Hadid, and Tadao Ando

The next thing I new we had a package on our doorstep with prints from the entire serIes. I DIED.

I immediately picked up some matching frames at Ikea and found the perfect place for them above our fireplace.

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I ended up only having room for four above the fireplace, so I picked our favorites and hung the rest in our office. I just love how our buddies greet me whenever I come through the front door. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Our designer friends can appreciate these when they first walk into our house, and for our other friends they have become quite the conversation starter.

Analy has recently opened an Etsy shop where she is selling these prints along with a TON of other incredible pieces. I am obsessed with her dog portraits (obviously). She is such a talented artist through several different mediums and I am seriously so impressed with every piece she adds to her collection. She does a lot of custom pieces too which I love. It’s so nice to have original art in your home regardless of the size or subject. Having architects hanging up may be strange to some, but they are personal and special to us. Isn’t that what art is all about?

good things come to those who drive back and forth

About a month ago, my mom was here for 10 days. It was amazing. I had been working 70hr weeks at work and (although my vacation came at sort of a chaotic time) having my mom here for such a long time was just what I needed.

I don’t know how your moms are, but whenever we get together we get things done. I had definitely been neglecting our house, unpacking, cooking, general housekeeping, and instead had been working and sleeping and showering and eating. It was bad. The dining room/living room still had several boxes and that is really the last thing you want to see when you first walk in the house. Talk about a ball of stress.

My mom is one to set goals and kick me in the pants (figuratively) when I need it. So every morning she would say “Today we are going to ______.” That blank could be as daunting as “unpack all of these boxes” to “get our nails done”. Either way there was something in that blank.

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Clearly, Geoffrey is very concerned about the mess. And funnily enough, this is the only photo I have of the mess.

I had been struggling with finding an entry table narrow enough to fit between the window sill and the wall (below the mirror), and tall enough to not look like a nightstand shoved in the corner.

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I was tired of searching for “the one” and instead decided to just find something around the house that would work until I found exactly what I was looking for. Enter this little bookshelf that had been holding some extra sweaters in our bedroom.

IMG_9895It was a perfect fit. Derek actually made this in high school. I’m not crazy about the finish (neither is he) but he said I could paint it or restain it if I wanted so I think it’s the perfect in between.

After unpacking the remaining boxes (and finding a home for everything), we decided to reward ourselves with a trip to West Elm Outlet. Because. Priorities.

We were in search of several items for the house: nightstands with ample storage, new living room side tables, an entry table, kitchen pendant lighting, living room lamps, a bed frame, and a mirror for the bathroom. There were a few items that caught my eye but nothing was really right. Until we went to the rug section. Everything was marked way down with an additional 30% off, and while I wasn’t really in the market for a rug, who could pass up such a deal?

I found this 8′x10′ jute rug marked down from $350 to $112, and with an additional 30% off came down to only $78. For an 8′x10′ jute? Unreal.

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But I didn’t need it. So we kept looking.

I was kind of obsessed with this console for under the TV. Nice and leggy.

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They had my favorite pendants marked down to $14 a pop, so I’ll have to keep them in mind when it comes time to renovating the rest of the kitchen.

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I l-o-v-e-d this little gem for our utility room (currently Geoffrey’s room, eventually a future mud room), but it was still like $600 and a little beat up. No thanks!

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I kind of loved these little tripod lamps for the living room. They were an extra 30% off, but the shades ended up costing more than the actual lamp. What the.

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In the back corner there was this pile of bed. The price tag said $450, which I knew this same bed currently retails for $1800 so obviously I freaked out. I asked the sales person what it’s story was and he informed me that it was missing a piece. I asked if I could buy it anyway and he said no. I asked if I could just buy the headboard and he said no. He said they would probably just throw it away if the piece never comes in. So clearly I’ll be camping out at the dumpsters of the outlets all spring. What is wrong with people? I have money that I will give you, and you won’t take it? Whatever.

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Needless to say we left empty handed.

The next day we started on our next goal, and about halfway through realized that we both kept talking about that rug. So we dropped everything and drove back to the outlet. This is a 45min drive each way, so clearly we are crazy.

There is no way to call ahead and be like “hey do you have xyz?” because 1. they clearly don’t care about selling things, and 2. they have too much stuff to know, so we made the journey on a whim with our fingers crossed that no one had scooped up such a steal of a deal.

Upon arriving, we sprinted back to the rug section and looked exactly where we had left it. No rug. Okay maybe they put it back. We searched for at least an hour. Nothing. So we thought, why don’t we look around and see if maybe someone shoved it somewhere, or if they are using it as a display. Stranger things have happened. We were about to give up when we headed over to the Pottery Barn side and saw a jute rug under a Pottery Barn living room scene they had setup. I peeled up one corner of the rug to find the tag, and saw that it was my rug. I ripped that tag off and held it like it was the Golden freaking Ticket.

We had noticed that there were several new items back on the West Elm side so we decided to have a look-sie before checking out. I had the Golden Ticket so that rug was MINE. While perusing I found this side table marked down from $299 to $199 with an additional 50% off and not a single scratch or dent (which is a miracle). It didn’t have a mate, but the sales guy told me they come in all the time so I figured I’d drive back and forth every day until I found it ..what?

Or plan B. I pay full price for the second one since I got such a deal on the first one and then they even out. We shall see.

After collecting all of our tags, we headed to the register and then around back to claim our treasure.

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I had initially planned on using the rug in our bedroom, but it looked a little blah with our colorless palette in there. My mom suggested swapping out the living room rug and putting it in our bedroom instead since I thought the living room was looking a little busy.
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Geoffrey agreed.

The chevron was just adding to the chaos. So after rearranging all of the furniture the jute rug in the living room was definitely a win.

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 Especially with the new side table. So much fresher, don’t you think? Rupert likes it.

In the end I bought two pieces that retailed for $650 for under $180. I’d say it was a pretty successful second trip. So the moral of the story is, if you’ll drive 1.5hours for something, then it is probably meant to be. That is how Derek and I got our start anyway ;)

 

giving back while looking good

Okay so I have no idea how to transition from “oh hey I’m back from hiding” to “Oh right I have a blog that is begging to be updated”.. So I’ll just say that I’m back. And we have lots of exciting things up our sleeves.

Now what better way to dust off the ol’ keyboard than with a post dedicated to two things we love: Architecture + Helping Others. When our friends over at Warby Parker asked us to help them spread the news of their recent collaboration with Architecture for Humanity, we were thrilled to be a part of such an amazing project.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Warby Parker, here is a post we wrote a million years ago about our love for them. Or you can read it in their own words here. Since my original post back in 2011, Warby Parker has gone from 50,000 to donating 500,000 pairs of glasses to people in need across the globe. Incredible.

And for those of you who have no idea what incredible things Architecture for Humanity is doing for communities around the world, you can get up to speed by watching this 90 second video.

Today, Warby Parker is celebrating Architecture for Humanity’s 15th anniversary by releasing two fresh designs that are inspired by architecture and sustainable materials. What better way to celebrate such a milestone than to combine two institutions that strive to better our world through helping our communities in such an incredible way?

AFH_BLOG_v2 Both frames are inspired by Warby Parker’s appreciation for streamlined angles and built-to-last materials. They paired Japanese titanium with their signature acetate for an extra durable composition. Which as designers, we are seriously geeking out over.

First up, is Aslin which comes in two dashing color options:

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Aren’t they sharp? The hard part will be having to choose which color, personally I’m fond of the English Oak.

They are also releasing a new pair of sunglasses. Meet Fowler.

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How sleek are these babies? They sort of have a Robert Redford quality, don’t you think? Derek definitely has these on his wishlist.

These two styles are a little pricier than Warby Parker’s usual $95 steal of a deal, but for good reason. At $145 a pair (which is still WAY less than getting glasses from a big box store) Warby Parker is donating a portion of the proceeds to Architecture for Humanity, while also continuing with their own program and donating a pair to someone in need of corrective lenses.

We are so passionate about both of these organizations and couldn’t be more excited about such an amazing collaboration.

For more information about Warby Parker’s vision, or how to get involved in your local Architecture for Humanity Chapter go here.

 

 

how much is that creeper in the window?

For those of you who didn’t know, historic neighborhoods tend to be very.. cozy. Our house is literally 5 feet away from our neighbors to the right, and about 10 feet from the neighbors on the left. Luckily we have over 26 windows, which we love. But. Most of these windows are along the walls that look straight into our neighbor’s windows. The most awkward of which is the bathroom window. It’s not that bad during the day, but at night it’s basically a glowing fishbowl of teeth brushing and sprinting into the shower.

We have blinds on most of our windows, which works for us, but we didn’t want to really have blinds in the bathroom or kitchen because then we wouldn’t be able to open either set to let light in without A. being on display to the whole neighborhood or B. having to see unsightly junk in our neighbor’s side yard.

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Let’s get a closer look.

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I mean. No one wants to look at that while cooking. Or doing anything really. That being said, frosting the windows seemed to be the best option for us. Our front door is a craftsman style which is original to the house, but it also has windows which makes it really awkward when answering the door (or more importantly pretending like you’re not home).

To prep the windows we would be frosting, I first cleaned them with glass cleaner, and used a razor blade to scrape off any excess paint from previous sloppy painters. There was a LOT of paint to scrape. And neighborhood watch stickers. Because those keep you safe.

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So much cleaner!

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We had a roll of film leftover from our last window frosting adventure, and used the same method to apply the film. It was such a quick and easy process and made a huge transformation. Especially on our front door.

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We also removed the screen door that was just hanging on by a thread. It didn’t even close all the way and it blocked our pretty craftsman door. Now all we need to do is repaint the exterior, decide on a color for the front door, and swap out the hardware and we’ll really be in business!

The bathroom has a lot more privacy now too, especially at night!

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I’m still trying to find the perfect mirror to go above the sink. Right now we have to do the toothbrush tango. And I can only imagine what a pain it must be to shave in these conditions.

I plan to frost the back door as well, but I ran out of time (and film) this past weekend. It has a lot of extra elements (like a cat tapestry) that need to be taken care of before it can be frosted. Meow.

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