HOUSE THERAPY: My Living Room, Before And After

This is my living room before.


This is myliving room after.

Bought this lamp at a consignment store for $20

I wanted to be unique, so I filled this dish with letters that we got as a present from my brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Sherri.


I inherited this door stop from my Aunty Lei.

You can always find a copy of Architectual Digest around my house thanks to my sister-in-law, Stacy.


I inhertited this beautiful sculputer when I married my even more beautiful wife.


We have real, wood burning fireplaces. I think nothing can replace the cozy feeling I get from the cracking and popping of a real fire.


This original oil painting was a Christmas gift from artist David Dixon. One of my favorite things in our house.


If You Want To Go To Heaven, Go Here

There is a place we often pass, on our way from "here to there." It is called the Walnut Cottage.

It has beautiful trees...

A koi pond...

Quaint window boxes...

And authentic multi-pane windows.

I've always wanted to do a photo shoot of this celestial spot, so today I walked up to their front door and asked if I could.

I was not surprised to find that the owners of such a wonderful place were just as fantastic as their house. Not only did he give us permission for the photo shoot, but...

He had Lily help him feed the fish.

The fish ate right out of her fingertips.

Let me tell you about the Walnut Cottage.

John, the owner, is a true gardener. I know this because he left his tool in the garden. Authentic gardeners are in the garden so much that they always do this. Let me show you his gardens. This is more proof.

They even have their own compost bin.

He also has many flowers in his garden.

John and his wife are very "earthy." They raise bees, harvest pears, apples, grapes, tomatoes, lettuce and, you guessed it, walnuts .

I've heard it said that "success is in the details." Well, they have details here in spades - starting with this split cedar fence that borders their property. It gives it a very rustic look.

No plain or ordinary garden hose rack here.

Same goes with their hose guards too ...

Check this out. A wood peg and wood pin used to hold together a board. If that isn't detail, I don't know what is.

Everything is functional. These shutters actually (are you ready for this?) shut. They have both form AND function.

The following photos show more details I like about their place.

Even the garage has a bungalow feel to it.

Now, more than ever, I will look forward to driving or walking by.

I Live In the Tree Streets

Nestled below the "Y" on the mountain, is a quiet little neighborhood called the Tree Streets. This is where I live.

It's called the Tree Streets, because the streets are all named after trees.

I guess that's kind of obvious, huh?

Here is my street. Cherry Lane.

One of the many great things about the Tree Streets are the glorious gardens. Let me give you a tour.

Behind those splendid gardens are charming homes. I call this first one, "The Rose Bush Cottage."

Here is one thing I like about the charming houses on the tree streets: the doors. I know you might think I am crazy, but I think a charming house with a boring door is a sin. This first door is mine.

The more I walk around the Tree Streets, the more I notice the details, like this bunny swinging under a tree, at my neighbor's house.

Like the patriotic star, on a neighbor's fence that is also...

in the planter of your other neighbor.

I also notice little details, like this tin rooster...

This stained glass house number.

This interesting architectural stone carving...

This fun crane...

The colorful "S" next to a neighbor's door (their last name begins with "s").

And like this oriental symbol, on another neighbor's house.

Patriotism runs strong here.

On any patriotic holiday, you can see boy scouts running around putting up flags...

And their mothers following right behind them.

You may think I am weird, but there are a lot of cool fences and walls in the Tree Streets. Here are a few of them.

Children are a big part of the Tree Streets.

There are signs of them everywhere.

Have you ever noticed how many fire hydrants are around? There are a lot of them. Never notice them until I am slowing down, walking around.

One last thing I want to say about the the Tree Streets is this: there is always improvement going on. I like this.

There is always someone making their home better. Like this unfinished fence in the foreground that is waiting to be painted grey like its sister fence in the background.

I can always walk around the neighborhood and see someone making their house look brighter, or...

their yards look delightful. I'm so glad to live here.

If You’re Going To Have a Laundry Room, It Might As Well Be Like One Of These

In our previous house, our laundry room was bigger than the master bedroom in our current house. I really, really,really,really,really,really,REALLY miss it. This got me thinking about laundry rooms today.

Here is a photo of a typical laundry OK, you got me. The typical laundry room is nothing like a room, at all. They're more like laundry cubby holes.

Our current laundry room is a laundry hallway that is off of our kitchen. Well, it's more like a mini laundry hallway. Actually, it's more like a mini laundry hallway that is shared with our coat racks and our fridge. It's pathetic, is what it is. Like I said, I miss my last laundry room.

We were going to turn this large storage room, off of our family room, into a laundry room, but my son Brandon moved in with us. So, we have turned the family room into his bedroom, and we are in the process of turning this storage room into his walk-in closet (Lucky kid. His closet will be half the size of my room).

My ideal laundry room would have the looks of this laundry room.

The size of and number of washers/dryers as a laundromat.

The cupboard space of a kitchen.

The hanging space of a walk-in closet (to hang and dry clothes).

Lots of counter space for folding clothes.

And would be close to the bedrooms (not down two flights of stairs and in a dingy basement).

Here are some examples of what a laundry rooms should be like:

Someday, I’ll have a large laundry room again (sigh).

My New Addiction:

I've found myself a new addiction. Pinterest. Have you heard of it?

I was introduced to Pinterest by my neighbor (and singer/song writer) Mindy Gledhill. (See to listen to her music.)

Pinterest is like the photo version of Twitter.

This is my new best spot to find fresh design ideas for my home...

Marvelous photography...

Delicious fashion...

And enticing treats.

Enough said!