Jul
29

The New Design Crush Headquarters

New-Home-1-Design-Crush

 

After eight months of searching for the perfect home in Pennsylvania, I’ve finally found it. And made an offer. And am buying it.

You’ll have to forgive the shoddy realtor photos, but I don’t have any of my own. Because I’ve never actually set foot in this house. I KNOW. I’m buying it based on these photos and a video my Mom shot on her iPhone when touring it for me. Let me tell you, buying a place halfway across the country is no piece of cake! But I’m excited to share of these photos with you and take you on the journey.

Let me start by saying that this is not the type of house I thought I would end up with. Mainly because it’s not what I was looking for or like anything that’s ever been my taste. I’m clean lines, modern, open spaces. And without the renovations that have been done on this 1900 colonial I wouldn’t have given it a second glance. But a few weeks ago I spied it online, and then later that same day both my realtor and my Mom sent me a link to it as well. My response: I like a lot of the inside, but am not into the outside. And part of that still stands true, but it’s grown on me considerably. So about a week later I sent both of them to take a peek in person and the three of us all fell head over heels. As far as the facade goes, I’d love to add a wooden porch the width of the house that eliminates those three strange steps up to the front door probably about more than anything else. But like a lot of things I want to do to the interior, all in good time.

But you probably want to take a peek for yourself at the new Design Crush headquarters…

 

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The floors throughout the first floor have been refinished and (supposedly) the entire place was taken down to the studs. This is the living room right off the left of the foyer once you come in the front door. I love the high ceilings that run throughout this level. Right off the bat I’ll be pulling down those curtains in the little windows flanking the floor to ceiling fireplace and painting out the gold piece in the middle of the mantle. Eventually I plan on swapping out that tile in the hearth and painting the entire space white. I’ve always liked the look of a clean palette and really want my furnishings to be what brings color and personality to the house. The stone fireplace is much better in person (or so I hear) and is comprised of uneven bits and pieces.

To the right side of the frame is a huge open doorway into the dining room. The photo online is awful, but what you’ll find are three large windows forming a bay on the outer wall and a small built-in that’s thankfully already white. Off of the dining room is a fully renovated 3-piece bath and a small hallway to the kitchen.

 

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Nicely refinished, but those the cabinets are dated and only made fresh by a coat of paint. They’ll need replaced sooner than later. Glass tiling in kitchens and baths is a trend currently, but one that I’m not entirely on board with. (Are people getting hugely amazing deals on it? What is the deal?!) It will suffice for now, but the larger plan is to tear it out and do a half wall of white subway tile with white paint (again) above. I’m also debating whether or not I’ll replace the black granite with something different. The right wall in this photo has a cooktop (soon to be replaced with a range before closing) and a nook for the fridge. The opposite two walls are half white beadboard and half white paint. Completely livable at this point. In the corner they form I’m hoping to put up some open shelving for pretty cookbooks and serving pieces. One of my favorite parts – not pictured – are the beams on the ceiling. A total dream!

To the left there is also a doorway out to the deck and backyard, which we’ll get to in a minute, and a pantry. To the right is a doorway that leads around to a nook that has a door to the basement, as well as a hallway with a coat closet before you’re back in the foyer. I love the full circle layout a lot.

 

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Which leaves us here. The front door to the right (not pictured) has a half window and needs a coat of paint and that’s about it. This staircase curves up and to the left with a window set about halfway up. I’m not at all keen about the carpeting that leads the way up to and covers almost the entire second floor. Eventually I hope to replace it all with wood that closely matches the first floor, but that will require some savings. In the meantime, it will be good traction for the dogs since we’ve never lived with stairs before.

 

New-Home-5-Design-Crush

 

The second floor has one small bedroom with wood floors that will be my office, and three other bedrooms that all look about the same. Like this. (Not nearly as dark and dingy as this shot implies.) Again, several windows forming a large bay and a seriously decent-sized closet considering this place was built in 1900! There’s also another fully renovated 3-piece bath.

 

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Continue up a switchbacked set of stairs to the third floor finished attic. Those windows are on all four side and total showstoppers! Again, I’m not fond of the carpeting, but at least it’s all new throughout. This floor is actually comprised of two huge rooms, one of which I’m hoping to make the master and the other the walk-in wardrobe of my dreams. This plan all depends on whether or not the central AC that’s going in before closing can have its ducts run up all three floors. A bit of a challenge, or so I’m told. I’m not sure what plan B is if that’s not a possibility.

 

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The back yard is a total blank slate, you can only see about a fourth of it here. Not large by any means but comparable to what I currently have. The deck is new and beautiful and I’m already imagining having my morning coffee on it, throwing parties, and about a hundred other things! I’m also looking forward to pillaging my green thumbed Grandma’s yard for peonies, lilacs, and poppies to plant.

Closing is scheduled for September 8th, so I hope to have some better photos for you at that point. Thanks for indulging me while I share the new digs!

Jul
02

I (Kind of) Quit Sugar (Because I Had To)

Sugar-Design Crush

 

Back in May a completely unexpected thing happened. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. (I struggle not to go all Wilfred Brimley every time and say DIABEETUS.)

When I look back over the past few years, my decline is crystal clear. But I didn’t realize what my symptoms (or that I even had symptoms) were pointing to until my Mom casually suggested that maybe I should have a full blood panel run just to rule it out. So of course I looked up the disease on WebMD and suspected that’s exactly what was going on when I read the symptoms. Crap. That kicked a few things into gear, mainly doctor appointments and plenty of blood work. My numbers in the key areas were stupidly high. Awesome.

That was the first few weeks in May, and since then lots has happened. I’ve got my diet more or less under control thanks to a nutritionist and educating myself. Because I was mainly vegetarian already and didn’t eat tons of starches I was off to a good start. (It’s a misconception that diabetes is all about sugar control, it’s just as much if not more about your carbohydrate intake.) I bought the most incredible used treadmill from a friend (Built-in fans!) and use it for at least 30 minutes nearly every day. And I’m on medication. Luckily I’m not insulin dependent, but I do have a pill regimen that’s being built upon.

I started noticing the differences in myself nearly immediately. Gone was the need for daily afternoon naps, gone was the crash after most meals, gone was the near constant thirst, gone was the rapidly shedding weight I’d been experiencing… and gone were the sweets from my kitchen. I’m going to be completely honest, that last one was the toughest. (Though I’ll admit the weight loss was the only good thing going on.) This is the start of a complete lifestyle overhaul that will last a lifetime. Once my numbers get down to where they need to be I’ll be able to indulge here and there, but I’m stuck with the Big D forever.

There are definitely a lot of misconceptions about Type 2 Diabetes. One being that you get it only from being obese or a sugar hound. Though both of those things can lend a hand, in my case it was hereditary. But the thing is there’s no one way to get it, the medical community isn’t 100% sure what causes its onset. What they do know is that my pancreas has stopped producing the requisite amount of insulin necessary for my body to process glucose and get it out of my body. So without medication it just travels around in my blood and makes its way out eventually through urine, without ever being used as energy.

While it does suck, I’ve taken this thing on with a positive attitude. (I’m getting healthy! I’m getting skinny!) I mean, it’s not like I can give it back so I might as well do all that I can to treat it. So for now I’ll be living vicariously through my Food & Cocktails board on Pinterest and have a (no longer secret) board called Diabetes Food. Because that’s just the kind of girl that I am.

Jun
30

Fresh Ink

In lieu of a rather unphotogenic June that was essentially full of photo shoots for the site and plenty of packing up house, I thought I’d skip out on our monthly Instagram recap. Instead I wanted to share some new ink I got a few Fridays ago. In fact I got two new tattoos on the same day (not the first time that’s happened), and both are very meaningful designs that I’ve been wanting for awhile.

 

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My Grandpa (not Pete, the other one) had a huge hand in raising me. And for the life of me I can’t seem to put into words just how big of a spot he holds in my heart. And just how much it gutted me when he passed away when I was 17. Swallows are the bird of remembrance, and this one is based on Julia Rothman’s Daydream wallpaper for Hygge & West. I had my tattoo artist add a little touch of original tattoo style (sometimes called sailor style) in honor of my Grandpa’s Navy days as a gunner’s mate. Once he left the service and went to work in the steel mills of Pittsburgh his nickname actually was Sailor, so it felt all the more fitting.

 

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The second is a super simple design that I did in about 2.5 seconds. As my moving date looms ever closer and this phase of my life in Oklahoma comes to an end, I wanted to commemorate it. The first time I moved here I was 18, a kid in an adult’s body. Now I’m 34 and the number of ways I’ve grown and changed as a person are too numerous to count. If you haven’t guessed what it stands for yet I’ll share – a rudimentary tornado. Not only are they an ever present threat each spring, but in this case a symbol of destruction and rebirth. (And as my friend pointed out, when I bend my arm up it looks like a Delta symbol. For change.)

These two tattoos bring my total to seven, though the swallow is the first I’ve gotten that will be seen on a regular basis. And of course I’m already planning the next one – they’re addictive like that! So how about it, have any tattoos of significance on you?

Jun
16

A Moving Update

Zora neale Hurston-Design Crush

Image: Free People Blog

It’s been a few months since I’ve shared the news that I’m moving back to my hometown of Pittsburgh this year, so I thought I’d give you a candid little update on the process.

This is easily my most stressful move ever. Never before have I dealt with selling and buying homes simultaneously, let alone halfway across the country from one another. So many firsts. The real estate market is hot in Pittsburgh right now, but I honestly haven’t found many houses that I can picture myself living in. And the majority of homes in my price range are much older than here in Oklahoma City, so I guess I’ve been spoiled a bit and am having a tough time coming to grips with how much renovation I’m willing to take on. (Though it would definitely make for some good blog content.) I need to make the time to schedule a trip to check things out in person but keep putting it off. Because of the temperature of the market basically anything I’m into is snatched up immediately. Womp womp. I’m hoping to share more in this arena once I start narrowing it all down to some serious house choices, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride/panic attack.

On the financial front, after months of putting off pre-approval on a home loan I finally got it together and sent everything off this past weekend. Being self-employed the bank basically wants my first born child. Though I’m making a considerable amount more now than when I was approved for my first home loan in 2008 they’re requiring a cosigner. I realize this isn’t unheard of, but it feels like a gigantic defeat and maybe a little bit like punishment for being unmarried and self-employed. Luckily my stepdad is great and has offered to fill that gap, so hopefully I’ll soon know what I’ve been approved for this go around. (Fingers crossed, everything takes longer in Self-Employedville.)

This past week I started packing up – “decluttering” – my house so that it’s ready to go on the market once a few of these other kinks are worked out. It feels cathartic to be able to take my time and get rid of things that I don’t want to schlepp with me instead of just shoving everything into boxes all willy nilly. A few of the better discards are being set aside for an Instagram sale I plan on having in a few weeks for local OKCers (pick up only) – so if you’re nearby stay tuned!

So there you have it. This move, along with some health issues that have popped up, have made 2014 quite the handful. I’m trying desperately to keep the end game in mind, but some days it’s harder than others and the negative side wins over completely. I know these are total first world problems too, which then makes me feel guilty. It’s an infinite loop, y’all!

May
30

Insta May

InstaMay-Design-Crush

Loved the leftovers from our Paint Dipped Copper Necklace project.

Of course I’m on the peony bandwagon – they’re one of my favorites.

I’m also on the blueberry bandwagon, eating them by the handful lately.

Had some QT with one of my favorite pups at Chirps & Cheers.

One of the prettiest evenings of the spring spent in a friend’s backyard at twilight.

I read The Interestings, maybe my favorite book so far this year.

I’ve been wearing my red Swedish Hasbeens constantly!

Bebe enjoyed her first patio dinner of the year at The Mule.

One of my oldest friends from college was in town, I don’t see him nearly enough.

I’m really happy with how these remixed grocery store flowers turned out.

Turned back time to the day I had my braces removed! Ahh!

Picked up a new pair of sneaks for otherwise unfun athletic-type activities.

Follow @designcrush on Instagram.

Apr
30

Insta April

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I started off the month with a trip to Ventura, California for Craftcation where I spoke on panels about advanced social media and how I stay on track with my business.

April is generally a crazy busy travel month for me, and this year was no different.

A week and a half later I was at the New York City International Auto Show to help Nissan out with some social media efforts and check out the new incarnation of the Murano.

I’ve been wearing these three pairs of shoes as my spring staples – Bucketfeet, my 20 year old (!) Birkenstocks, and a new pair of Swedish Hasbeens (that I’m still breaking in, hence the bandages).

Bebe got a much needed haircut, check out her Before and After!

I discovered that Rainey has a head shaped like a hamburger that’s too much fun to squish.

While in NYC I went to the best party at a town home with an indoor pool that had a glass wall. Add synchronized swimmers and it got even better.

I’ve been having a moment with garden roses.

Another NYC moment, the most mouthwatering square doughnut covered with toasted coconut and filled with coconut cream. I still wake up in the morning thinking about it.

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Mar
31

Insta March

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Bebe scored herself a new sweater for cold days and was especially thankful.
I bought my first bunch of ranunculus for the year.
Peanut stole my new Hudson Bay Caribou throw.
I had the best time speaking at Chirps & Cheers for their Real People series!
The latest addition to Womb Gallery.
This Green Tea with Coconut has changed my life.
Rainey the kitten turn one – not a girl/not yet a woman.
Also, I’m fairly certain she’s actually Bebe’s cat.
I bought the cutest little yellow ceramic bowl.

Follow @designcrush on Instagram.

Mar
05

Making the Move

Urban Outfitters-Design Crush

PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you might know that I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I’ve mentioned it here and there and I’m definitely not lacking when it comes to hometown pride. My entire family (other than my mom and stepdad) still live there, and I’ve missed it since the day I packed up my bags and headed off to college 16 years ago.

So last November I made the decision that I’m making the move back to Pittsburgh.

Everything is still very much in the early stages. Only last Friday did my realtor – the very same one who sold me my current home nearly six years ago – stop by to kick things into gear. I have yet to decide whether I’m going to buy or build (I’m crossing my fingers for the latter), and I still have to do preliminary things like see how much money I’ll be approved for. I bought this house, my first, when I was still working for a design firm and now that I’m self-employed things are bound to be a little different. The good thing is my realtor says that everything is in great shape – only a few paint touchups and packing up my personality before the house can go on the market. He doesn’t anticipate it will last long once listed, so it’s really a matter of figuring out my living situation in PA and then putting it up for sale. NO PRESSURE.

While I’m definitely looking forward to be closer to my family and back in my city, this entire move feels very bittersweet. Oklahoma City has been my home off and on for the past 16 years. In fact, I’m more entwined in it than I ever was in Pittsburgh because I became an adult here. I’m a part of the creative community. I get incredibly sad when I think about leaving, but the fact is the only things truly holding me here in OKC are my mom and stepdad. And they decided to move back to Pittsburgh, too! So the story wrote itself, really.

I have no plans to turn Design Crush into the trials and tribulations of moving halfway across the country, but I’m sure there will be a moving themed post occasionally since it’s about to become such a big part of my life. I hope you’ll hang around throughout the process, and if you live in Pittsburgh say hello. I’m looking to build my future community starting now!

Feb
28

Insta February

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Bebe was ridiculously cute, as always.

It was unseasonably cold (like everywhere), and I took full advantage of my puffer coat.
I received the best valentine from my friend, artist Rebecca Rothfus.
I’m two months into my #365quotes project and haven’t missed one yet!
I found out I love blush colored roses.
I ate waaay too much sugar, specifically grocery store cupcakes.
And these macarons from Dana’s Bakery.
Peanut spent most of the month cuddled up to a fuzzy blanket on my bed.
I made bread for the first time ever! And it was so good.
My mom gave me this sweet little salt cellar.
Rainey is 11 months old now, and a super affectionate little kitty.
Piper’s been restless for warm weather and more outside time.
I’m so excited that spring is just around the corner.

Jan
31

Insta January

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2014 hasn’t wasted any time out of the starting gate, I’ve already been on two trips with a few more looming. I kicked off January with a bouquet of shocking pink posies, in fact they’re only just now dead on my mantle. On a trip home to Pittsburgh my Dad and I made our annual pilgrimage to the original Primanti’s in the Strip District. So good. I was gifted Winter Cocktails and proceeded to read it like a novel – can’t wait to try them all out! I spent over two hours at Chirps & Cheers one afternoon rolling around on the floor with this handsome furry fellow. I know it’s time to chop my hair when I’m wearing topknots 24/7, so I said sayonara to 6 inches. The day before flying out to Alt Summit I treated myself to a mani-pedi and some fun nail designs. My #365quotes project is still going full steam ahead on Instagram – I haven’t missed a day yet! I attended a fun nature themed party and slapped on these temporary fern tattoos for a little something extra. I can always count on Apartment34 for a fun photo opp! Stay Wild is such a great mantra, no matter what the degree it’s followed to. Snapped this creepy/fun pic with BareMinerals and couldn’t help but make it my new avatar across the board. And I was so happy to be reunited with this extra snuggly guy when I got home from Salt Lake City!