January 30, 2010


For being a blog about my house, Musings from the Front Porch has very few pictures of my house. So today we’ll do a tour of the house the day I closed on it.

The pictures aren’t perfect, but they’ll give you a good idea of what I was starting with.

Luckily, no heavy lifting was required. The hardwood floors running throughout the house were refinished a week before I put my offer in. The whole house had recently been painted a very, very pale yellow. All I had to do was buy a fridge! I always thought I would be ok with doing work on a house, but move-in-ready has it perks. Lots of them.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

The banner shows my house on a snowy winter day (I plan to change it out with the changing of the seasons). Here’s a shot on a beautiful sunny day in June. How I miss the warm weather!


From the front door into the living room and dining room

living room/dining room

The dining room

dining room

Kitchen, sans refrigerator


My first dishwasher! And other half of the kitchen

Before 004

Office (notice the double chair rail!)


Guest room

guest room

Guest bath
Before 009

Master bedroom

Master bath

master bath


½ bath in the basement. With no walls.
random toilet

And there you have it! The “before” shots.

Thanks to Emily LaMaster for many of these photos and for all the help cleaning the house the day I moved in!

January 23, 2010

DIY Designing: Clip It On

Today's the launch of a new column -- DIY Designing. I'll walk you step by step through fun do-it-yourself projects I've done in my house. First up: Clip it on.

This idea isn't completely original. I've seen this project on many of the blogs I read and it was too good to pass up. The basic idea is putting clipboards up to serve as little inspiration boards in your office, craft room, etc. With a new blog (and blank space above my desk) I need plenty of inspiration.

The first step: survey the scene. While I originally planned on putting up six boards (2 rows of 3), my office has a double chair rail. The top row of boards would have been much to high to use and the look would be imbalanced, so I settled for just one row of three. Take-away lesson: do what works best for your space.

After making sure the desk was centered on the wall where I wanted it

Before 1

I carefully measured the width of the space. Then I measured the width of the clipboards to determine how much space would be between the clipboards.

For all you English majors, here's a quick example. Say my wall space is 50 inches and each clipboard is 9.

9 x 3 =27.

50 - 27 = 23

23/2 = 11.5

So there would be 11.5 inches between each clipboard. There are a couple of more math steps necessary for the placement of the nail holes, but if you are interested in that just leave a comment and I'll walk you through it. I won't bore the rest of you.

So anyway, here's the shot of my wall with the nail holes up. I definitely recommend having a laser level when hanging a series of pictures or clipbaords.


After checking to make sure everything was measured correctly and nails were lined up, I hung up the boards on a little metal pieces on top. Note: when choosing which clipboards to use, make sure there is some way to hook them onto the wall. My choice was a $.97 wood board from Wal-Mart.


Blank boards

Looking good! All you have left to do is put up your inspiration pieces; I choose pages from magazines. You can also clip on swatches of fabric and paint chips to create a custom mood board. Have kids? This is a great way to display artwork because it's easy to change out.

Final 1

side view

Grand total of Clip It On = $2.91 and about 20 minutes.

So there you have it! The first edition of DIY Designing!

Have great ideas you want to see featured on this column? Leave a comment below.

January 20, 2010

Style Spying: A Loft in Denver

I've just returned from the most wonderful visit from Denver to see Danny and Nicole. The two recently relocated to Denver from Huntsville, AL. They sold their house in AL rather quickly (lucky them!), so rather than rushing to buy a place decided to rent a very cool downtown loft.

For this first edition of my Style Spying column, we're off to snowy Colorado.

Look at that view!

From your first few steps you can see Nicole's uncluttered style works great in such a modern space. And we even get to say hello to Scarlett!

Nicole has chosen a palettes of cool teals with pops of red and orange throughout the space. I love how the dark wood of the table contrasts with the light floors.

The master bath is a very modern space. Love those cubbies for additional storage!

And the master bedroom

The guest bath is a smaller version of the master.

Here's my room/Nicole's office. Full of natural light and spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.

Finally the kitchen/living room.

Thanks, Nicole and Danny, for a wonderful visit and for being the first feature on "Style Spying." I promise to be back in Denver soon!

January 14, 2010

A long holiday weekend in Denver

In a few short hours I will be heading off to Denver to see my friend Nicole and her husband Danny. We're planning on spending the weekend skiing, hiking, going to a hockey game and lots of eating. What a great way to spend a holiday weekend!

No posts over the weekend (it's a vacation from my computer, too), but check back next week for a peek at their Denver loft and photos from the fun.

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

January 10, 2010

Homeowner lesson: remove hoses in the fall

There will be many lessons learned as a new homeowner. Newest lesson learned: remove hoses from spigots in the fall.

This is common knowledge, something I've even heard before. But it's hard to remember things that you don't readily need to know. So as Louisville plunged into a bone-chillingly cold spell, my hose was still attached. Only when we were preparing for a major snowstorm (and for us that means 3 inches) and I was doing online research did I rediscover this useful tip.

For other novices like me, hoses connected to spigots may cause interior water lines to freeze and burst. It's best to remove hoses in the fall before the chilly winter temperatures hit.

But since I didn't do this, last Wednesday night with temperatures maxing out at 15 I went to remove my hose by the back door so my pipes wouldn't burst. A half-hearted twist yielded no movement; a full-hearted twist still yielded no more movement. Nor did the defrosting of the pipe with a towel wrapped in scalding hot water, WD-40 or the challellock pliers.

Daddy offered several help tips over the course of 4 phone calls, but still the hose stayed fused to the spigot.

The next morning I tried again to get the hose off with no luck. It was then I discovered the secret weapon: titanium loppers.

After all, a hose is a lot cheaper to repair than a broken pipe.

January 09, 2010


Welcome to the Musings from the Front Porch blog! I've been wanting to start this blog since moving into my new house last June. And now I finally have!

I'll be sharing the design transformation of my house from a blank slate to the cutest house on the block. Glad you are along for the ride.

{I am still working on the design of the page, but I am going to post content in the meantime for all you adoring fans.}