My Favorite Gadgets for the Home

Susie Homemaker I am not (it may be pretty, but not always tidy), but there are some little gadgets we have at home that really are amazing at making life easier and that I see as really valuable investments in our hectic, busy lives.  I thought I’d share them here in case perhaps you needed recommendations or have your own life-saving device to enlighten us all about!

I hesitated to buy this Dyson cordless hand vacuum for a long time and tried cheaper versions that sucked (or actually, didn’t suck!) This thing is AMAZING. It acts as a dust-buster and powerful vacuum all in one- amazing for easy cleanups or a quick clean before company comes. INCREDIBLE if you have kids and dogs. I have clients who keep one on every floor of their house. For my smaller house, one is fine. :)

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My Renovation Progress

We’re entering the final phase of our sunroom renovation (well, new build, actually since we tore it down). I CANNOT wait to get into this room! I already love it so much and it’s not even full of pretty things yet! We’ve been working with the fabulous Nik Monahan from Monahan Contracting (best builder experience to date, for real) and everything is coming out exactly as I had hoped.

Last week the V-groove walls and ceiling went up and I got really giddy. Between that and the windows there is SO much light, which is a lovely departure from the rest of our house which tends to be on the dark side with low ceilings. We’re adding wood beams to the ceiling, which will really be exciting.  And today it’s all being painted Benjamin Moore White Dove (which is the trim color throughout the lower level of the house)

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Our Renovation- Phase 3: The Sunroom

I am SO excited that starting mid-August we are breaking ground on our sunroom renovation (shown above in the book)! This will be the FINAL bit we do to this house before selling it (probably in the next 2-4 years) but we all agree its going to be a great investment in the property and one that really changes how we live in the house now that we have a tiny toddler running around messing up all our stuff. :)

Right now the sunroom is not heated or air conditioned and clad in leaky old sliders with peeling laminate flooring. Really, not much of it can be salvaged so we are just knocking it down and re-building it, but 5 feet deeper and with a vaulted ceiling so it can serve as our family room.  We’re toying with making the fireplace double sided so you can see it from the living room or family room too, which would be pretty cool.  And since these drawings were done (by my dad’s architectural firm), we actually decided to eliminate the sliding glass door and instead copy the windows on the opposite wall to give us more wall space for toy storage.

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Updating my Kitchen/Dining Room To Be Kid Friendly

Yesterday we came to a crossroads in the battle of Henry vs. My Decor.  While most of my previous choices have been okay (and some changes made already, like my ottoman)- some have not. Namely the grasscloth in my dining area off the kitchen.  Last weekend I made Henry blueberry pancakes and blueberry juice ended up splattered on my paper.  After an incident with mashed beets and a close call with a crayon I’ve decided its best to replace it with vinyl grasscloth- which has gotten SO much better looking in recent years!  Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between the real deal and vinyl.

And while we’re at it, we decided we want more room in the dining area for Henry since he seems to love playing in there.  I loved our dining table set up and style since it’s our only dining area and currently provides some sense of formality- but we’re going to get a corner banquette instead so we can push the table into the corner and gain more floor space.  Since we NEVER have dinner parties there’s no point to having anything formal! So now basically I’m re-doing the whole room!

A reminder of what it looks like now (at 5:30 this morning- pardon the lack of light!).  We had to remove a window in order to make our garage big enough so I hung Ballard window-style mirrors there instead to make the room feel more open and reflect light.

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Prepping Our Home for the Holidays!

While I’m crazy busy right now with work, Henry and life in general, I still wanted to get our house a bit festive for the holidays so this weekend I popped over to some of my favorite garden shops, grabbed some greenery and got busy both inside and outside.  Having a now teetering (somewhat walking) toddler around makes things a bit tricky but we made do!

A little glimpse of our tree decked out in Frontage’s stunning blue and blush ornament set, ginger jar set (sadly sold out, similar here) and Crate & Barrel’s glitter stars :)

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