Architect Ken Pursley, Photograph by Stacey Van Berkel for Garden & Gun
M is already scheming great plans for “when we live on the farm” - riding his bike, getting a dog, driving a dirt bike, buying a horse. Whoa, there, Little Buddy. (I told him no dog until this new Baby’s bigger, dirt bike riding can wait until he’s 5, and a horse when he can pay for it. I’m a bit of a dream crusher some days.) But I love his excitement. My kids are going to embrace farm life completely, and I’m delighted.
One of his favourite things to dream about is our garden. He’s “helped” my parents with their gardens in the past, and he and I have done a few potted plants, but we’ve never had a yard for planting anything. He can’t wait until we can grow our own. He’ll pick up our copy of Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman and we’ll draw up lists of all the fruits and vegetables we’ll grow.
I’ve told him we won’t have a garden this summer. I’ll be super pregnant and trying to set up the house. Also, our yard will likely be a bit of a muddy mess from the basement excavation. And Sean and I aren’t ready yet to sit down and seriously plan out our yard - financially or mentally. I told him we could start our compost, though, and that seems to appease him. (Thank you, Curious George for making my three-year-old stoked about composting.) In the mean time, we’ll just keep dreaming.
Here are a few pictures I’ve collected so far:
(Home of Kathryn Windley, Photograph by Mikkel Vang for Country Living)
If our yard is still a mess next summer, I’ll likely opt for some container gardening to start out. (image from Martha Stewart)
I like the simplicity and symmetry of these raised wooden beds… maybe not that many when we first get started! (And we’ll need some kind of fence to keep dogs or stray cattle, pigs, goats, bunnies, donkeys, ducks, etc. out of the gardens. Seriously. My sisters-in-law could start a veritable petting zoo!) (Home of Neko Case, Photograph by Bjorn Wallander for Country Living)
Design by Jimmy Stanton, photograph by Bjorn Wallander, for Country Living
We’ve gone twice now to visit our house in-process up at Warman Homes. What a cool, strange experience! As I opened a door or walked through a hall I tried to convince myself: I will be doing this thousands more times! This is MY house! Crazy. After years of waiting and dreaming it’s pretty surreal. Little moments of praise to God around every corner.
The first time we went it was just us and the kids.
Little M has pretty much wrapped his brain around the whole idea now (This is our house. This is my room. A big truck is going to move it to the farm. We will live there soon.) And it was really fun to see him get excited.
We visited on a Saturday and there were tools all over the place (duh.) But no workers. M wanted to know: “Where are the workers! Why are they not working on our house!?” Be very afraid of that kid if he’s ever your boss some day. ;)
Little L was also super excited. Maybe she sort of understands. Maybe she was feeding off of our excitement. But mostly it’s just a super great place for hide-and-go-seek.
I loved being there and seeing for myself how light and bright the house was! (After 10 years of living in apartments or basement suites you can never have too much sunshine!)
On the first visit I was thrilled to see some of the light fixtures installed. I had picked them from pictures and descriptions online, and had my fingers crossed that the finishes would look right and the scale would work. I was really happy when I saw them in person. (Obviously that chandelier will be lowered after the house is moved.)
On our second visit a bunch of Sean’s family came with us, which was really fun. By that time our kitchen cabinetry was installed. Seeing our kitchen was definitely a moment of complete disbelief. ”No way is this my kitchen.” I could probably fit all 5 of our first kitchens into that kitchen and pantry area.
That island alone would take up the majority of our condo kitchen. (Kidding. Mostly.)
And most of all, what hit me over these visits is how perfect the timing is. God knew all along. All that waiting and pining for this - and now is the right time. Now, after we know much better what we want and need in a house. Now, when we can share this adventure with our young children. Now, when we’re at this time in our lives and marriage. Now, when we’ve seen His faithfulness and been stretched in our trust, and contentment, and maturity, and perspective about what really matters in life. Now, when we still have so many years of living ahead of us. Now, when we are so overwhelmingly struck with what a massive blessing this is. Now’s the time.
I mentioned awhile ago that I’ve been dreaming of the design schemes for the bedrooms in the new house. For the most part I’m trying to reign myself in when it comes to decorating plans. I know that:
A. You should live in a house first. Let it inspire your direction for colours, furniture placement, etc.
B. “Brand new house.” Unfortunately those words don’t leave piles of extra cash lying around for decorating purchases.
C. Shortly after our move-in we will be welcoming Baby #3. I don’t know about you, but having a newborn eliminates me from productivity at anything for roughly 6 months minimum. (Hint: Expect blogging hiatus.)
But it’s also really hard not to get all excited. And a part of me would really like to establish some “done-ness” in the kids’ rooms over the summer so that it really feels like home for them. (And I discovered that this actually matters to my son, who has lamented how much he misses his old room in the condo the entire time we’ve had our temporary stay at The Pink House.)
So with some consultation (and a few veto decisions on my part. Sorry, kiddos), we’ve come up with the colour directions for their rooms.
I want it to feel like a yellow room without screaming YELLOW! This is hard to do. The trick to success with yellow (and red, in my opinion): no yellow walls, just accents of yellow. Keep the walls neutral. So the yellow polka dot fabric will be the drapes - providing the major sense that the room is yellow. It’s a nice buttery soft yellow, which is hard to find (most yellows I found were a more lemony hue or more golden.) L also asked for “boo and geen” in her room, so the warm aqua blue background on the floral with green, yellow and pink in the flowers is a lovely pairing and provides the vintage feel I want. I’m thinking the floral may end up as a headboard. With two patterns as bold as this being featured in large areas any other fabrics will likely be more neutral - yellow, cream or white solids, or small scale stripes or gingham.
I knew from the start I wanted yellow - it’s sort of my colour for Little L. Her name means “light”, and her disposition is usually so cheerful and humourous that yellow’s always been the colour I associate with her.
Some other gorgeous yellow fabrics I considered (but eliminated, largely due to cost)…
Isn’t this one so incredibly beautiful, yet understated? I’m still tempted to use it somewhere else in the house, but at $30/yard I’m not sure I can do it.
I knew I wanted a floral and that I wanted yellow. So this one also tempted me.
I reeeally love this large scale floral. It has the prettiness of a floral, but a not-too-girly colour scheme. And it pairs well with the polka dot. But it was $10 more than the floral I chose and had a more limited palette to work with.
For the Boy room M and I were in definite agreement that the main colour would be his favourite, “dark blue”. Navy is my go-to colour, and is a colour I’ve always associated with M. (OK. I realize I sound crazy colour coding my children. It’s how my brain works. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?!) But we aren’t exactly in agreement on the accent colour. He also loves orange, but I felt it would turn the room too modern, and good orange fabrics are hard to find. He also offered red for consideration - which I’m still open to - but didn’t want the room to turn too nautical (which I feel red might do). My sister-in-law recently decorated my sweet little nephew’s room with a nautical feel and I LOVE it (I’d love to show you some time), so I don’t want to be too copycat. Plus I’m really liking the way this deep spruce green looks in the mix. And I may or may not have already decided that green is the next baby’s favourite colour. ;)
M loves plaid (I find it so funny that a 3.5 year old has a favourite pattern) and I want a mix of fairly low key (not too graphic) patterns - stripes, plaids, herringbone, etc. Sort of what you’d see with mens’ suits. That navy ticking will likely be the roman shade and I would love to see that navy and white plaid on a headboard. We’ll see.
So that’s where I’m headed! Whaddya’ think? Anyone else colour-code their children? Man, that makes me sound super type-A and controlling. Really, I’m not. I’m not! At least 57% of the time. ;)
Design by Jenny Wolf Interiors
Do you ever find yourself captivated by the small details of design or decorating? When I saw this little vignette from a Jenny Wolf design it immediately resonated with me. Yes. To all of it: the beadboard, the wall mounted faucet, the marble countertop, the antique mirror, the tiny equestrian painting (postcard?), the coral pink roses, the soap dish, the grey-aqua-green walls. All of it. Enjoy some of Jenny’s beautiful work with me!