February 25, 2011

The big debut!

by Shelly

This has just been the craziest week over at the Van R house.  Rushing around to prep the house, watch after a 3 year old (on the days she doesn’t have preschool), deal with client projects and general household upkeep has really taken it out of me!  I so admire those other design bloggers who have three kids, a thriving business AND a successful blog that is updated regularly.  Um, can someone please share with me how they do it?  But all the chaos the last few days paid off for me, when this morning I opened up my email and saw our house photos from our real estate agent.

Of course the interior wasn’t completely finished.  I had a long list of to dos and to buys that I had wanted….

…upholstered head chairs for the dining room,  new tables for the living room, a bench or sofa for the end of the bed in the master, window seat cushions for two of the bedrooms, rip out carpet and travertine and lay wood floors….  Oh yes, there was a LIST!  But we are on to bigger projects my friends!  Cause let’s face it, this home really is really pretty all ready.  And man oh man, have I found some beater homes just looking for some TLC!  Yikes!  I’ll admit though, it thrills me and terrifies me all at the same time.   I’m a perfectionist and a clean freak, so those two personal characteristics are always a struggle for me.   I need to just CHILL…or may end up the female version of Jeff Lewis!!  haha!

So, much to my husbands’ disapproval I have been staying up late at night planning scheming on ideas for our new house. That we haven’t even bought or found yet of course! There are a few bloggers that have really inspired me to realize I CAN transform an ugly house for myselfI usually only do this for clients…but why?  (cause I’m a germ-a-phobe, clean freak is probably why!) There is SUCH opportunity to put your own stamp on things.  As a designer I should totally know this right!?

Julie Holloway’s home via Milk and Honey Home

Lauren Liess’ home via Pure Style Home

Janell’s home via Isabella and Max blog

So although we will be leaving a home that looks beautiful in photos, I am eager to really dig my heels in on a whole home redo that says…”Hello everyone! Welcome to the Van Rozeboom home!”.   I can see the silver lining!


February 20, 2011

Time for a change

by Shelly

Ok, before you start reading I want you to know that I am NOT trying to have a pity party!  I’ve been a bit MIA for a while not only because I have been busy with design projects…..but after months of trying to avoid what we so desperately did NOT want to do, we are making a grown up decision and we are selling our home.  This is definitely not an easy decision for us, especially me.  Being a Cancer girl I tend to get emotionally OVERLY emotionally attached to where I live.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you may recall that we moved from the first home we ever owned with a whopping 1100 square feet, to our current home with over 3300 square feet!  We never in a million trillion years dreamed that we could own such an amazing place.

Our first home

Our current home

And of course we had planned on spending many, many years together here.  Our little one just this year started preschool right across the street from our house.  And the hubby spends one weekend a month brewing beer with two of our other neighbors who we’ve grown very fond of.  Men and their beer!  And then there’s our wonderful neighbors who moved in next door a couple months after us who have two little ones that our girl just adores.  But the reality is the hubby and I are both small business owners.   The economy is not good and although we had NEVER gone through any rough times in the past… don’t they just have a way of showing up RIGHT when you make a large purchase?  Ha! It’s sort of funny now and it was good while it lasted.

So here we are…one year and seven months later doing it all over again.  Cleaning up closets, tidying up the garage, getting rid of extra “stuff” that’s been sitting around and general staging… doing our best to make it look like a model home ya know?  But we’re now super excited to have a “project” again.  We want to find a place that has potential, but it’s been neglected and is aching to be loved.  A place where I can FINALLY put my interior design skills to work!  Sounds like my kind of fun!  But the tricky part is finding a place that is at the right price, the right size, and in the area we like.  Not easy.

So who knows where the wind will take us at this point. We’re hoping to sell our place quick and then maybe we’ll rent a place for a while until we find a place we love.  It’s all up in the air…which is quite scary, but also thrilling at the same time.

Wish us luck!

**we’ll need it!**

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February 11, 2011

Napa Valley getaway

by Shelly

Two weekends ago the hubby, little one, and I took a trip up to Napa to spend some time with dear friends of ours.  I had been to the area before, but only to visit Napa’s rivals over in the Sonoma wine country.  Wine is wine to me.  And California wine is pretty darn good whether it’s from San Ynez, Paso Robles, Sonoma, or Napa in my book.  But what I was dying to check out were the quaint shops and amazing places to eat that are in the Napa area!  Since we were trying to keep the trip on a budget AND we would be toting along our three year old, we knew that one night of fine dining was all we really could fit in.  But that was just fine with me!  I’ll take what I can get friends!

So when our Napa friends suggested a few new eateries that we could all go out to one night, I absolutely JUMPED when Tyler Florence’s new restaurant, Rotisserie and Wine was mentioned.  I’m a HUGE fan of his style of cooking and have made some amazing meals in the past from his recipes.

So, the first night we were in town our friends lined up a sitter for all our kiddos and off we went to stuff ourselves silly!  The restaurants’ ambiance absolutely floored me the moment we walked in.

{via SF gate}

{gorgeous chandeliers with wine barrel “shades” at the entrance of the restaurant}

{more gorgeous lighting-wine bottles, over my gorgeous friend Carrie}

The cabinetry was all done by Christopher Peacock.  Tyler and Christopher hit it off after meeting on the Oprah Winfrey show.  Seriously UNbelievable let me tell you.  Just beautiful.  I give my left arm for a Christopher Peacock kitchen. Humm, but then cooking might become a bit difficult. Ok, maybe my left leg….but then my jeans would fit funny.

I know, I know…not the best picture.  But this is what you get taking a picture from an iPhone, sitting down at your table from a girl who got up at 4am that morning and drove 7 hours.  What I’m showing you here is the lovely waiting area.  Look at that floor to ceiling subway tile, the settee and chairs covered in linen grain sack cloth, the AWESOME wicker fish trap cocktail table….LOVE IT ALL!  It really was much lovelier in person. Promise.

And then,

there was



{the best devilish sort of eggs I’ve ever had}

{rack of lamb on pureed yams}

After reading Yelp reviews about how yuck the yams were I of course had to try it.  And yes, Tyler..they are a bit TOO sweet and TOO pureed.  My kiddo would have liked it though.

{beef and bones plate and the roast chicken with salsa verde on top}

YUMMO-LICIOUS chicken! And the beef plate was good.  Although I SWORE I was not going to touch the marrow.  I’m a foodie for sure, but THIS was a bit too out of my comfort zone.  Amazing what a little wine and persuasive friends will do to ya though!

Yes, it’s probably just like you imagine it would taste.  Great beefy flavor, rich..but the texture. Whoa.  I’m a texture person…and this, well it was jiggly.  I know I sound six years old right now, but it was.  And it gushed in your mouth.  Again, thank you wine!  I had to try it though because Anthony Bourdain is always going on and on about how good this is.  Umm, whatever pal!  I’ll stick to a good ol’ steak next time!

The restaurant was a wonderful experience all in all and I will definitely go back if we ever make it back up to Napa.  But in the meantime I am uber inspired by the interior of the place and would LOVE to design a dining room with Rotisserie and Wine in mind.

Ballard Design French Grain Sack Pillow-for side chairs,  Roost Recycled Dining Table,  Wisteria Simple Iron Chair-as side chairs,  Pottery Barn Torrey Dining Chair-as head chairs,  Daltile White Subway tile,  Restoration Hardware Salvaged Wood Cabinet,  Williams Sonoma Everyday Dinnerware,  Pottery Barn Maxwell Flatware,  Yava Recycled Drinking Glasses


February 14th is right around the corner.  As far as Valentine’s Day is concerned I know that most of us girls think it’s all about spoiling US.  Our men are suppose to buy us flowers, take us to a really nice dinner, throw in some diamond earrings, and maybe even splurge on a massage for our aching backs.  But you know…some guys actually DO like this holiday too.  They may not realize it because they’re always stuck buying stupid, ginormous teddy bears holding hearts that say “I love you” on them.  Seriously. Yuck.

Guys like to be told you love and appreciate them too!  I usually try and go out of my way to spoil my main squeeze.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or totally elaborate…I’M SERIOUS!  And hopefully you’ll get creative and think of your own ways to show him you are still head over heels.

Last year I found a seller on Etsy who paints song lyrics (or anything else you want) onto rustic looking boards.  Honestly, this really would be the easiest do it yourself project.  Take some worn boards, dry paint over them and then rough it up with sandpaper and then use letter stencils to paint out your wording.  In any case, I’m lazy..so I bought our wedding song lyrics.  They now hang proudly over our family room sofa and have become sort of our family motto.  And more importantly he really liked this gift!

But if you’re looking for a little something to get your guy that DOES NOT include teddy bears, hearts and balloons, then how about this for a great weeknight romance idea?

Meal:  Steakhouse Steaks with Roquefort Cheese Sauce, Sauteed Mushrooms and Crispy Onion Rings found here. (YES, I made this meal a few Vdays ago and the boy LOVED it! And so did I. Make sure to have a nice bold Cab with it too! YUM!)

Dessert:  Molten Mocha Cakes found here. (Another hit! And pretty darn easy to make.)

Watch:  High Fidelity (A romantic movie that guys and girls like.)

Gift:  You know you’re guy loves beer (at least most do). So why not make him a gift basket of some unusual beers!  Try some exotic imports or small batch ales.  Then fill it in with some artesian pretzels, gourmet mixed nuts, smoked sausage and some bold cheese.

Hope this has given you some ideas for an easy at home Valentine’s night that won’t break the bank and can easily be thrown together this weekend!

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February 1, 2011

Tackling some projects

by Shelly

I’ve had a LONG list of to-dos for our home since we moved in over a year and a half ago.  But the budget has been SLIM to say the least.  So lots has been put on the back burner for now.  But there are a few little things that I knocked out the last two weeks that cost little to no money and made a noticeable difference.

First up, the front door which I blogged about some time ago here.  After putting off this project for MONTHS, we finally got around to painting it after all our rain and unusual cold back in December actually made the paint crack and show the old red paint the door use to be featured in.  In an effort to continue to create a home that has a nice visual flow from the inside out, I decided to paint our door a shade of blue found in the living room and dining room of our place.  The dining room is currently Ben Moore HC 143 Wythe Blue.  Love it…gorgeous, oceany, and serene.

{HC 143 Wythe Blue}

We tried this on the door, but it just didn’t have the right amount of punch.  It needed to be darker since our home has sort of a large presence from the street.  We ended up settling on a more true blue paint color Jamestown Blue HC 148.  It’s not as green as Wythe, but it still works with all the blues going on in our home.

Here is the before of our front door….  It LOOKS blue in the picture, but I promise you it is more brown in person.

And here is our front door now…..

One day I tell ya…those black ugly “Old World” looking outdoor lights will be GONE!  Can’t you just see some classic carriage lamps there? Something like…


or this

or even this.

Ummm and did you see that there is a recessed light over our front door?  Who does that!?  That too my friend, will be gone someday soon I hope. Yuck.

Then of course a few days later I decided I needed to tackle another project.  Our bedroom balcony patio.  We had some serious winter this year in Southern California.  No really…we had near freezing temps in December, tons of rain and high winds, and even a bit of hail.  In our neck of the woods where 65-70 degrees is normal year round, this was a weird season.  The balcony just got hit badly and our plants died, the wicker was chipped and beat up and the whole thing was just dirty and filled with leaves. So I decided that everything needed a nice new coat of spray paint, cushions needed to be washed and plants needed to be put in.

Here is the before….{sad}

And after….

{MUCH better!}

{iron planter has been repainted and new plants and flowers have been put in}

{perfect spot to catch up on magazine reading on a warm weekend morning}

So with those two projects out of the way it’s on to cushions for the window seats in the little ones room and the guest room.  Off to the upholsterer!!!