Friday, July 31, 2015

Lake house remodel update

The lake house remodel is coming along great. I was a little nervous, but the expensive decision to have stucco applied over the ugly gray brick worked out fabulously. The stucco really makes the new windows and front door pop. 

Now all we need is a little landscaping and some grass. I meet with the landscape designer tomorrow. I wonder if he'll like the plan I already drew up. (I'm sure I drive my designers crazy.)



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dreaming of a Kitchen

This is a hard one. There are so many kitchens I've come across that I love, but which one to live with?

My current kitchen has wonderful distressed-black cabinets, limestone backsplash, Giallo Ornamental granite counters and mostly Viking stainless appliances. I love it, but again, like my dining room, I think the new kitchen will be vastly different - yet strikingly similar. Figure that one out.

I'm leaning toward traditional white cabinets, but with a more modern door style.

Here's the kitchen I'm leaning towards, but maybe with a few more stainless appliances to up the modern factor.

Here's my current kitchen.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dreaming of a Dining Room

Dining rooms are often among the most dramatic rooms in a house. And although they don't get used very often, ours is used mostly for doing homework, I think they are an important element in establishing the civility of a home. They're meant to impress, and I think they should.

I love my current dining room. The walls are painted a deep red that sets off dark, carved wood furniture, an assortment of crystal bowls, and a crystal chandelier. I also have a collection of Boehm plates with depictions of various American birds that hang in groupings around the room. The plates were handed down to me from my great-grandmother. Although some of our current furnishings won't make the move with us, my bird plates definitely will.

Although I love the deep red of my current dining room, I've had a red dining room for almost 20 years, so it's probably time for a change. Since the rest of the house will be warm neutrals like I'm planning for the master suite, I'm thinking something similar for the dining room would be nice. And a light, airy dining room should contrast nicely with a dark library across the gallery.

Here's a color pallet I'm considering. I loved this dining room when I came across it on Pinterest.

Here's the plan for my new dining room. I love that it will have two sets of large, arched 5' x 9' double doors on two of the walls that will bathe the room in natural light.

And here's what my dining room looks like now. Thankfully the new one will be much larger.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dreaming of a Master Suite

Things are moving a bit slow on the house. The plans have stalled at the city for permits, but my builder assures me we'll get them any day and are ready to start the foundation. The City of Houston permitting office has come back for an endless array of requests, additions, deletions. Thankfully none have required any major change in the plans.

In the meantime, I still sift through oodles of pictures in magazines and on Pinterest. Here's what I'm thinking for the master suite.

I love the colors and textures of this master bedroom. It's similar to the way I have my master done now, so it won't be a radical change. A couple updates and a few purchases and I should be able to pull off something similar (minus the dog, of course, since I already have three).

And here's my favorite idea for a master bath that I've come across. Very warm, neutral colors that I think will go well with the bedroom idea. Sorry, I can't find the picture in higher resolution.

And last but not least, the master closet. I've never had a great closet and am really looking forward to having a large one. I love the way this closet incorporates lots of shelving as well as rod space. And of course, I'll need  lots of room for my large collection of cowboy boots.

Here's a picture of the master suite on the plans. I can't wait to see it built.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Update - It's all about motive

I've been plotting. Really, I have. But it's a lot harder than you think. And with all the goings on this summer with my kids, it is taking much longer than I had anticipated.

Luckily, ideas are not in short supply, it's just tying all those ideas together that I find tricky.

See, there has to be motive for all action. I've got an abundance of ideas on what happens, but it's finding the characters motive that gets tricky. She does this, but why does she do this? That is the question. And motivation determines the power of the story. Will it be a hit? Or a miss?

I've read plenty of books where characters do unbelievable things. Actions and emotions that seem completely out of character, where no motivation is obvious. And these are very dissatisfying stories for me.

In fact, I'm currently reading a book by a mega-bestselling author (No, not one of my faves, Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown, a different mega-bestselling author) and it's taking a herculean effort in willpower to continue plodding through and not tossing it aside unfinished. The characters seem to float from scene to scene, reacting, not acting. Motivation is not driving the plot.

Another problem I'm having plotting my book is the issue of needing a certain character in a certain place at a certain time, but not yet knowing why that character is there. I just need him there, dammit! But of course that won't be enough for a good story. There has to be motive for everything.

In the meantime, I'll keep reading the underwhelming tome by the mega-bestseller. After all, there are lessons to be learned from reading bad books as well as good ones. But here's what I plan on doing with it when I'm finished...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back to the lake

We haven't been able to get to the lake as much as we would've liked this year. Only three trips. But what a great trip this past weekend to make up for it.

The kids tubed and wake-boarded. I got in a couple naps and finished the Nora Roberts novel I was reading. And then there were the fireworks, approximately $1k in fireworks launched off our dock. It was quite a show.

We had three extra kids in tow, so six teenagers total. The amount of food consumed could have fed a small nation for a day. Donuts, breakfast tacos, cookies, hot dogs, and that was just breakfast.

With the clock ticking closer to Oldest flying the coup, these precious moments spent with the kids making memories as a family are extra special.

It really was a great weekend.

Oh, the dogs loved it, too. Here's Penny on the deck. I wish I was there now.