November 28, 2012

Baby or puppy?

by Shelly

Boy, has it been a bit cah-ray-zee over at the Van Rozeboom house!  Business is busy with clients wanting last minute touches done to their homes before the holidays.  And there is never a dull moment with our rambunctious five year old, but then we went and recently added to the chaos….JUST before we were about to go out of town to the inlaws for turkey day. Not great timing!

Without getting too much into details, the hubs and I have been trying for a second baby since about 2009.  After a very scary ectopic pregnancy in May of ’09 , our dream of baby #2 has been squashed a bit.  We’ve been trying for the past four years and it hasn’t been easy as we watch friends around us easily have baby #2 and 3, while I remain in the one kid club.  This could probably roll into a much longer emotional post about that, but don’t worry..I’ll save you from that. Haha!

In any case, when you are as big of an animal lover as I am, a pet IS a child in your eyes.  So getting another dog to me is like bringing a child into our home.  Not totally the same, but my baby cravings are satisfied just enough with a pet.  Our Lab Zipper and our bitchy kitty Diva are totally family to me…well to US!  I tell Ellie all the time that Zip is my “dog-ter”. Get it?  Dog-ter…daugh-ter?  I’m a dork.  But seriously, I’m crazy for animals, much like Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out!  I totally get his crazy..not all of it…but his animal crazy..TOTALLY!

Ok, so on to the story….  I wash our dog at the local SPCA self service wash at least once a month.  After I finish with her I usually stick her back in the car and then I head over and check out the animals.  You know, just to see if one pops out at me and looks like they can should join our home.

They look like they are in dog prision huh? Poor guys. :(

Usually it’s all small yippie dogs….not our type.  Or pit bull, pit mixes, large and way too scary looking dogs…not with our 5 year old.  We have an amazingly AWESOME Labrador who is quite possibly THE best dog ever.  Well in our eyes she is. So this quest for a second dog has not been easy.

Then I found these eyes…

I wanna come home with you PLEEASE!!!!

A week later she came up for adoption, we brought Zip in to see if they would get along, that went well and she was ours!  Zipper for the record is a people dog, not a dog dog.  So this whole new puppy thing has taken our 9 year old for a loop!  The cat? Well she HATES the poor new girl. That part is going to take a while I’m afraid.

Here she is a few days after we brought her home. We named her Birdie…she’s a pure bred Cocker Spaniel which are bird dogs like our Lab and she’s SPUUUNKY!!!  So we thought a 1950s-esque name would be cute. And she’s about a year old, although that is just a guesstimate. She’s definitely a puppy though.  Chews on everything, NOT potty trained (my poor living room rug) and she wants to play ALL THE TIME.


But that face!

And then this morning I caught this….

I think Zipper is starting to warm up.  This melts my heart.

So…I got my second baby. Well, sort of.  She’s a lot furrier than I imagined she’d be, but she sleeps all night!

And what’s better than a new puppy at Christmas time?


House hunting is still in full effect, although we are still eyeing one particular property that needs a whole lotta love!  We’re working against a seller who is in full denial of what the home should cost, so it’s a bit of a tough situation.  Hopefully we’ll know more by the end of this week. WE WANT THAT HOUSE aka ugly duckling!

But in the meantime, I have been pouring over photos of ideas I would like to implement on the place if we get it! Currently the place is a BAD 1950s track home complete with bird houses…yes bird houses stuck to the exterior.  That may sounds sort of cute, but I promise you, it is not.  My plan would be to transform the whole place into a casual, but elegant coastal cottage with a touch of English flavor.  In my mind that would mean pea gravel walkways, brick patio area, teak furniture, lots of cabbage roses, herbs, lavender, ivy, hydrangea, and boxwood.  Something like this….

{via Coastal Living}

{via Coastal Living}

{via My Home Ideas}

{via Velvet and Linen}

and eventually I’d like to put in a pool like this….

{Ina Garten’s Hamptons home}

Come on new house!


March 2, 2011

Wrapup and new ventures

by Shelly

I’m back from a whirlwind two days at the Design Bloggers Conference that was held in Beverly Hills this week.  To say I am inspired and motivated (and EXHAUSTED) is a bit understated.  I’ve never in my life been around so many unbelievably talented people and learned so much in such a short period of time.  There were times I just could NOT believe that I was…..

1) sitting next to Joe Ruggiero the entire first day of the conference and then we had the pleasure of eating lunch together the second day.

2) met some of most fav bloggers/designers including Cristin Priest of Simplified Bee, Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home, Tobi Fairley, and Erin Olson from House of Turquoise (btw Erin I want to steal your closet!).  I also met a bunch of local designers and bloggers that I cannot wait to meet up with again soon!  You know who you are ladies! *wink wink*

3) at one point I was sitting next to Ann Maine the editor in chief of Traditional Home…NUTSO!

4) getting a sneak peak at Tobi Fairley’s new fabrics that I CANNOT wait to use in my clients homes!

5) received so many valuable tid bits and knowledge about the design industry that this new biz owner can definitely use.

I am pumped up now and I can’t wait for the next event in a few months, Blogfest in New York City!

But in other news, I had some personal craziness going on while I was sitting in the conference the first day….HOUSE OFFERS! We actually got our first one not even 24 hours after we had listed it!  Can you believe that…in this market?!  My poor hubby was a mess trying to contact me to discuss the offers, deal with the real estate peeps, and try to work.  He had to pretty much go it alone since I was hunkered down in a meeting room for two days. But here we are…IN ESCROW! Yep, we did it. Less than one week after we listed our home, we are now in escrow….and scrambling to find a new place to live.  As I told you all in my previous post, we are looking for a project so that I can not only really create a home with OUR touches, but also so I can build my portfolio.  We’re going this afternoon on a serious hunt with our agent. We’ll see!

So now I am pulling together ideas for all the things we know will have to be done in any place we buy…. a new kitchen, new baths, doors, windows, flooring, etc.  Here are some ideas I’ve been playing with for the most fun part of the upcoming project (in my eyes anyway), the kitchen!

Thick, eased edge countertops. Painted island with all white kitchen.

Furniture like details to cabinets. Rich wood floors.

Nice large farmhouse sink. Backsplash tile all the way to ceiling!

And my obsession…Walker Zanger tile backsplash! I’ve loved this for quite a few years now and have been WAITING to use this in a kitchen. Love.

Things are going to get CA-RAY-ZEE up in here very soon. Hope you’ll join me in our new adventure!


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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