Rainbow Fueled Photography

For everyone I love and everyone they love. The spectrum of colors and experiences that make this world so lovely to live in.

_DSC8267fridastudio2bloomfallcolors_DSC8164_DSC7940cruise23  cruise12 _DSC8065

Mountains in the morning.

_DSC8240 dentonmuralgardens7 _DSC8259

heart


Shifting landscapes

Traipsing across the parking lot of the Home Depot this afternoon, I was confronted with a harsh, and deeply unpleasant reality. As the vicious sun attacked my helpless pupils and a band of sweat hugged the back of my neck, there was no more denying the truth. Summer is coming.

Austin has been blessed this year with an uncharacteristically long spring season. A mild winter was followed by an outpour of restorative rains that resulted in a long and fruitful growing season, cool spring afternoons and many a porch beer.

The encroaching heat serves as a disappointing reminder that soon we will replace counting fire flies over IPAs with swatting mosquitoes over profanities. The end is nigh, but I am careful NOT to take for granted the swath of magical spring nights we were fortunate enough to enjoy before the season turned against us. Not just this year, but every year. The garden has seen some amazing transformation since we first made it ours some 4 years back.

veggiegardensveggiegarden

sidepatio

palletplanterfrontyard2

frontdriveway

backyardwideangledoodlehousefrontyards

backyardwhole

backyard2011-2015

backpatio


Raindrops on Roses (and other things)

Couldn’t help it this morning, I had to take a few snaps of the rain on our abundant supply of garden blooms.

ladybanks01 rose02 rose01 iris04 iris03 iris02 iris01 rose03

Stay tuned for some more garden updates in the very near future!


Flooring for the kitchen–a diy dilemma

Our DIY kitchen renovation is unquestionably the largest project we’ve undertaken since buying the house, but I can’t rightly call it finished. There remains one critical eye sore in the room as it stands—the flooring.

doodlehousekitchen

 

It’s this very unpleasant tiling–beige with brown marbling–that is suppose to have the intended effect of camouflaging dirt. The unfortunate truth is it does the opposite. Even after a deep clean, the floor ALWAYS looks dirty. Mark my words, 2015 will be the year that we finally toss the dingy tiles in favor of something a little more fresh and fun.

But what?

As I recently wrote, for our renovation projects, it is important that we make era-appropriate style choices for upgrading our space. But that leaves me with a lot of questions for what to do about the floors. My first instinct: classic linoleum.

b02635caa1dea7b7898b2c2180df94d5

midcentury kitchen linoleum floorslinoleummidcenturykitchen

NYT2009020317443808C Spectacular-Linoleum-decorating-ideas-for-Winsome-Kitchen-Midcentury-design-ideas-with-back-bar-stools-blue-cube-dallas-dining-table-german-lights-midcentury-modern DSC02775-Resized

But picking the right shade and texture of flooring to match our eclectic and busy kitchen, would be a challenge. Enter the wonders of photoshop to help point me in the right direction. Right away, two clear winners stood out.

The classic checkerboard:

checkeredkitchen

 

And dark grey:

greykitchenfloor

 

Linoleum definitely fits in with the ’50’s scheme, but the more I thought about durability and style, the more I started to wonder about other contenders. I knew I was a fan of the darker grey color for the floor, but wondered if something a little more sleek would make sense.

Dark grey tiles, perhaps?

greytile

I am definitely a fan of the way the floor tiles sort of mirror the mosaic backplash, but one of the reasons I was drawn to linoleum in the first place  was because I wanted to avoid having grout, if at all possible. The kitchen arguably gets more traffic than any other room in the house. And the fewer cracks and crevices in which dirt can collect, the better. Which led me to my final proposition: concrete.

I’ve always loved concrete flooring, but had reservations about how that industrial look would fit in with a mid century vibe. While there is potential for it to clash, I’ve equal reason to believe the contrast could be a refreshing change.

5f2f0b183ce8e70914c2fd5e69bb0f2ejack-barnes-architect-pdx-eco-cottage-kitchen1-via-smallhouseblissHow-To-Stain-Concrete-Floor-decorating-ideas-pictures-in-Kitchen-Contemporary-design-ideas-

contemporary-kitchen

While it’s not an exact science, photoshop confirmed my suspicions. There could be some real potential in demolishing the existing tile and giving the concrete underneath some TLC.

stainedconcretefloors

brownstainedconcretenaturalconcrete

 

I’m a big fan of how the polished concrete reflects the light (which the small, one-window kitchen definitely needs) and how it would likely make for easy cleaning. What say you Internet? Am I grasping at straws or could there be something to this whole concrete idea? Does the industrial flooring complement or clash with the warm wooden cabinetry? I’m legitimately flummoxed.

 

 


The office gets a face lift

I have found there are some things in life that, try as I might, are more-or-less inevitable. It goes without saying that at some point throughout the year I will:

  1. Get a sunburn
  2. Eat too many girl scout cookies
  3. Buy a gallon of blue paint with which to makeover a room in House Doodle.

While there is currently an empty box of Samoas (formerly Caramel DeLites, formerly Samoas) sitting in my recycling bin, I am writing today about Inevitable Life Event Number Three: Blue Re-Do!

This time, the office would be the victim of The Doodle House Blues. It was, after all, the only room in the house that still boasted the same bland beige color chosen by the previous owners. Yes, a renovation was clearly in order.

 

eclecticoffice

Our office gets a lot of use. A studious history teacher, Heath uses the space to prep (mentally and academically) for his lectures, and as a frequent work-from-home gal, I wanted a place where I would feel productive and comfortable. There were two inspiration rooms that I chose to emulate for our new work space.

From Elle Decore, John Robshaw’s New York City Home:

10be6a1c52b91f8a36fb88efb54e02cd

And from Houzz, this sophisticated and cozy work space:

eclectic-home-office

Heath has always longed for a stately, near presidential, library in which to pour over his history texts, while I tend to prefer a more eclectic atmosphere. I liked that both of these spaces found a way to mix textures, color and patterns to create areas that feel both formal and welcoming. Common elements were the vintage oriental rugs, tufted seating, dark wall colors and minimalist desks. We could work with that.

In an attempt to create a home library, also on the wish list for the new space was a wall of books. Inspired by a bracketed bookshelf some of our pals recently installed in their new rental, we figured we could  try something similar in our home office.

0d4e50e2f005e256f4079a5627ce8b14 cd289c798a28851aceea5164eba27046 Maya-shelves e24cac69eb8d541798e4731263aac438

 

We are both pretty pleased with how things turned out.

doodle house office before

doodle house office makeover

 

Aside from the paint job and shelving, here’s what we did to update the space:

  • Replaced the pink day bed with a green chesterfield sofa, picked up for an extremely affordable price thanks to the always great Room Service Vintage
  • Exchanged the flimsy plastic blinds for bamboo Roman shades
  • Added an oriental rug (formerly from our living room)
  • Spray painted the file cabinets white
  •  Added hair pin legs to the desktop
  • Added an Eames-inspired desk chair
  • Exchanged Stella in the photo for Wyatt (Stella will have nothing to do with the new office, she is deathly afraid of the sheep skin throw…that’s a whole other deal.)

I’d still like to switch out the ’70s ceiling fan at some point, but all-in-all we’re both head over heels for the new space.

comfy eclectic home officechesterfield couch office blue home officeeclectic blue home office

kilim rug home office

Working from home has never been more enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Preservation vs. Rejuvenation: Questions about updating older homes

Over the weekend, I was *THRILLED* to find that Apartment Therapy featured our DIY kitchen renovation on their blog.

I have never hidden the fact that AT is a huge inspirational blog for me, so it was really humbling to see our kitchen featured on their site. One thing that surprised me, however, was many of the comments. Namely, many people were surprised (some pleasantly, some not so) to see I kept the knotty pine cabinets rather than paint over them.

I can’t say I blame those curious commentors. In fact, when we first purchased our new house, I even wrote a blog entitled “Naughty Pine” all about how much I hate how knotty pine cabinets look. They were, I reckoned, dated and dark and dirty. The fact that I decided to keep them surprised me as much as anyone else. So, why did I do it?

For one, we didn’t have it in our budget to rebuild the cabinets or change the general layout of the kitchen. That certainly plays a significant role.

But why not paint?

It’s generally acknowledged that kitchens and bathrooms are the spaces in homes that age most poorly. Today, it’s all about granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. But in the ’90s it was mostly country chic that dominated the Better Homes and Gardens catalogs. The ’80s, dark wood trim surrounding stark white cabinets seemed to be all the rage. And in the ’70s, avocado green appliances were the standard. What I’m getting at is this: every era has had it’s signature look that ultimately becomes dated and disliked. Trends and fashions are cyclical and even if you renovate to achieve the most modern look possible, history says it will one day be out of style, old fashioned and in need of a yet another “upgrade.”

A traditional ’90s kitchen from gardenweb.com

An '80s kitchen with lattice wallpaper

An ’80s kitchen courtesy Mirror80

So rather than try and completely modernize the kitchen, I decided to embrace the era in which the house was built–1957–but still give the kitchen some life and updated style. It’s why we bought a Big Chill fridge (my most prized possession) and opted to keep the classic, mid-century cabinets in their knotty pine glory while still bringing in a shiny and new countertop and back splash.  At the end of the day, a 2012 kitchen in a 1957 home didn’t seem like the best fit.

There are a handful of other blogs that reinforce this ideology. Retro Renovation, is one that very intentionally focuses on preserving the original integrity of older homes, and which has been a valuable resource for me. Check out some of their time capsule homes.

midcentury-banquette

Courtesy: Retro Renovation

Another local blogger (and amazing photographer) that understands the importance of balancing history with modernity is Heather Banks of  Brady Bunch Remodel fame.

westterracekitchenremodel_0006(pp_w713_h474)

Courtesy: Brady Bunch Remodel

At the heart of it, what I’m trying to say is this: old homes have their charms and their flaws. And while it’s certainly tempting to demolish and reconstruct your home (if you have the means) to a more modern and magnificent space, there’s also something to be said for preservation. And I hope other caretakers of homes of other eras will find ways to enhance AND embrace the features that make those spaces a part of their city’s history.


REDEMPTION! A dresser “recovers” from a botched paint job.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the tragic saga of the dresser that turned into a chicken. Today, I’m happy to report that the dresser makeover that went horribly wrong has been corrected! Or, at least it’s slightly less repulsive?

To jog your memory, our story began with a completely adequate dresser that I destroyed when I forgot what the color “gold” looks like.

The original

Dresser before

The Inspiration

c714bb35144f23ab1abc3533b7d0cb53

The Resultunnamed

The result was more eeek than chic and whatever my next move was, I knew I wanted to retain a geometric pattern because, well, it’s simply the best.

6c3664d45221b32c2c0de55d9448d05e ef6aaedf2f4b57084b23d4a349e46350 894995fdd910599569a968867ccb83e4 82515374fd147425ee16262293f8eaea Geometric Mid Century Dresser WD-3 cd829dd8eea2cc95c1992c3449f166dd IMG_1214PNG-1 e18d109c0de0476bf81e15ddea93245e herringbone-painted-dresser images fa5e9c5eedf8d9427c0afdc0dab86a2c

But I also knew I couldn’t be trusted with paint again. Nor was I especially eager to repaint what took several painstaking hours to achieve. My solution? Cover the drawers in a large-scale geometric fabric print. Much like these crafty Design Sponge artisans did.

designsponge

An afternoon trip to local upholstery shop Spruce got me just what I needed. After looking at a handful of fabric samples and even wallpaper swatches, I ended up walking out some clearance fabric for $20 that was just barely perfect amount to cover the front of the drawers. No paint or sander was needed. Armed with just a staple gun and a pair of scissors, in 30 minutes I was able to save the dresser from the DIY disaster hall of fame.

geometricdresserdesign

bluegeometricprintdresser bluegolddressermoderneclecticdresser

I’m not sure this is going to be my permanent solution for glamifying the dresser, but at least the fabric do-over is a vast improvement from where we started, and it didn’t require an obscene amount of effort or money to achieve. Let’s upgrade this project from a D-I-Why did I do this? to a D-I-Why, it could have been worse.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,025 other followers