Making Some Sentimental Map Art

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We wanted to elaborate on our response to a question Alyssa asked on Wednesday about the framed map in the photo below: What you see in the white frame on that shelf is a card included in the City Walks: New York boxed set. For those those not familiar with the City Walks series, they’re small boxes that include 50 “adventures on foot” through different cities across the globe. That means you get 50 unique cards outlining different walking tours, complete with a map, directions and fun facts about the things you’ll see along the way. I got the New York edition as a gift when I moved there but had no idea what to

Beach Houses We Love & Some Shore Shopping

beachhousebungalow

I know we were supposed to be devoting every blissful second to relaxing, but we caught ourselves taking beach decor inspired mental notes throughout our entire trip. Talk about inspiration overload. This house literally took our breath away. Situated right on the water and within walking distance from a number of yummy seafood joints, we think this traditional beach house is perfection. The all white exterior and tin roof keep it simple and allow the linear details (those railings! those windows! that awning!) to shine. This adorable beach bungalow’s exterior color palate made a major impression. How great are the pops of green with the tan and white? Thanks to two dominant house colors and

On The Road Again: Cottage Living

islandparadisegulfmist

As we revealed on Saturday, we spent the last week soaking up the sun on a tiny island off the west coast of Florida called Madeira Beach. We’ve returned to Virginia with slightly darker skin, a boatload of shells and tons of fun stories to share… starting with the tour of the the totally sweet cottage we stayed in all week long. From the start we knew we wanted a unique, tropical experience, so we avoided the ubiquitous beachfront hotel and sought out something more private (and dog friendly). That’s how we stumbled upon the Island Paradise Cottages of Madiera Beach – the affordable and stylish answer to our lodging needs just steps from the

Another Dirty Little Secret

burgerbythepool

We’ve been sneaky. No, not living-a-double-life sneaky… secret-vacation sneaky. That’s right. John and I quietly slipped away to a tiny series of islands off the west coast of Florida and have spent the past seven days swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, eating boatloads of seafood, blogging from the beach, and working on our tans (or in my case, sunburning my left ear). We’ve had mucho fun celebrating what we affectionately refer to as “Honeymoon Part Two” (since our actual honeymoon nine months ago was spent in the far northwest: Alaska, we thought it was fitting to continue our celebration of newlywedism in the far southeast this time). And just like “Honeymoon Part One,” our

Our Dirty Little Secret

basementfullgaragesale

Ok, so between all the pics and video tours you may think you’ve seen every inch of our house. On the contrary our dear readers. We have an entire room that you’ve never been privy to. Until now. You see, under our sunroom is a private entry basement. This means that the only way to get there is to walk outside and down a few steps. And since it’s not exactly easily accessible (or easily seen) we’ve been using it as more of a dumping ground than an extra room. We hesitate to show you the chaos that inhabits our little basement, but here it goes: Now granted, this isn’t exactly a finished room, so

Bowl Me Over

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Here’s a quick steal for those of you looking to spice things up in the kitchen without having to actually turn on the oven. Get your mitts on these festive scalloped bowls. We recently picked ’em up at Target for $3.99 each. Where else can you get something decorative, fun, and perfect for entertaining for around 16 bucks for a set of four? You can set ’em out as candy dishes or use them to serve up ice cream sundaes… … and they look just as good when they’re not in use. Check ’em out on the second shelf of our glass front cabinet. It’s always nice to know we’re in good company. Our friend

How To Pick Granite Counters (Avoid This Mistake!)

pashminagranitecounter

At a recent open house, our suspicions that a last-minute countertop switch saved our kitchen were confirmed when we saw this kitchen with a granite countertop in Blanc Noir- the style that we almost chose: In fact, we did choose Blanc Noir, but when we viewed the full slab (as opposed to a tiny sample that Home Depot provided) we pulled a last minute switcheroo from Blanc Noir to Pashmina. And this open house kitchen was all the proof that we needed to be sure that we absolutely without question made the right decision. Here’s our granite counter in Pashmina for comparison: Our fears that the Blanc Noir granite would be more busy and patterned

Removing The Scalloped Trim On Our Porch For A Cleaner Look

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Since you see the front of our house all the time in the blog header, you may be surprised to learn that it’s due for a major overhaul. Sure it looks sweet from afar (especially when all those azaleas are in bloom) but the sad truth is that up close it’s definitely less than picture perfect. The old slate path is jagged and chipped. The country looking scalloped header above the porch is totally not our style. And the screen door is old and rotten. We tried to save it for a little while by painting it a cheerful yellow, but sadly it had still seen better days. So yesterday I said “smell ya later”

If This Were Your Bookcase…

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…what color would you paint it? We adopted this snore of a bookshelf in Manhattan about three years ago and it’s one of about ten pieces that made the move to Richmond with us in a minivan. We’ve always treated it like an “until we get something better” piece because there’s nothing terribly special about it, but somehow it has lasted this long, so we figure it’s about time we make it work. We’re going to give it the ol’ Young House Love paint job (the wood is a little too red for our house anyways). And seeing a pretty painted green bed on google gave us the confidence to try something other than white…

Painting The Back Of Our Glass Fronted Kitchen Cabinet

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Lately I’ve been noticing glass front cabinets with a twist. The twist is that the backs of the cabinets have a little somethin’ extra. Sometimes they’re wallpapered. Sometimes they’re beadboard. Sometimes they’re upholstered. And sometimes they’re painted. So after living with our very own glass front cabinet for a little while, we decided to join the club. In about two hours I painted the back of our corner cabinet the same beachy blue-gray color that’s on the walls. I left the shelves white and just painted the back wall to keep the contrast high and make the white plates and dishes pop against the new moody backdrop. Can I just say that it was so

Bracketeering

enlightenedbracketologist

As March Madness follows us into April, we thought we’d offer up a way for all you non-basketball fans (like us) to get in on all this bracket business. It’s a little book called The Englightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything. It’s fun. It’s yellow. And we find it’s a great little nugget of pop culture entertainment to have around the house (ours lives in the guest bedroom). Here’s the gist: the editors have gathered 101 experts on 101 different topics to determine the winners in 101 different bracketed categories. From the epic battle between apples and peaches for the fruit championship, to (Sherry’s personal favorite) the ranking of the “Most Jersey” town in