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We’ve made a few minor changes to our master bedroom since we moved in three years ago, but mostly, it still looks much like it did a few days after move in:

We have darker pillow shams now, but that's about all that's changed.

Oh, we did add a pretty marsh print behind our bed!

I still have big plans/hopes/dreams that we’ll get ourselves upstairs in the near future, but even when that happens, I want to keep the basic design of our bed the same. I know I want to go with a gray-blue wall color, and I love the quilt at the end of the bed, so that’s definitely staying. However, I’ve had the throw pillows since just before I started high school. Yeah, it’s time for them to go.

I’m thinking I’d like to inject a little color into the room, and orange seems like it would work well. I have a sunset picture in the room already, so the orange would tie in nicely with that. Right now, I’m thinking

two of these 20 x 20 pillows or

two of these 16 x 16 pillows with

one of these pillows for a little bit of fun.

I think these would complement what’s already going on in the room and the elements I know I love while adding something new and different. Thoughts?




Remember my giant yard sale lamp? The one I bought for 25 cents? Yeah, I almost forgot about it too.

Well, I finally got around to cleaning it up and getting a shade on it. Now it looks like this:

I love that shade!

The lamp is presently residing¬† in my never seen on the blog guest room. The lamp I had there was just a bit too tall for the low ceilings over the bed, and I think this one fits the scale of the room better and brings the light closer to the bed. Initially, I thought I’d paint the lamp a fun color, but now I’m not so sure. It’s in pretty good shape, and I kind of like the brass color. There’s not a whole lot going on in this room, and I probably won’t give it a whole lot of attention since hopefully it will soon become part of our master bath/closet, so I don’t really know what color to paint it. Thoughts?

Big news at Longbrake Living: we got a new rug!

Why? Well, our other rug, a jute and chenille blend, would hold onto dog hair like there was no tomorrow. Every Monday I would vacuum that sucker to death, bend down, and see millions of dog hairs still in the dang rug. It was a little lot gross. We’re expecting Colton to crawl soon-ish, and I wasn’t really comfortable doing yoga down there, much less letting Colton crawl and eat little dog hairs off of it.

Back when it was new - pretty, but not practical.

So, while it looked good from up high, it was dirty.

I wanted a new rug, but didn’t think I’d be able to find anything Hubby and I both liked that was affordable for quite a while. But I happened to check out Ballard Designs’ rugs after Christmas, and I found a great selection of indoor-outdoor rugs on sale that made them very affordable. In fact, the selection was good that I picked out a few favorites and let Hubby choose the one he liked best. Predictably, he picked¬† the one with no floral.

Because this is an indoor/outdoor rug, I can take it outside, use a little soap and hose it off when it needs a little more cleaning than my vacuum can give. And with a 70 pound dog, husband who tracks in dirt, and a little boy who’s sure to do the same, that is a very, very good thing.

I’ve got the itch.

I don’t know where it came from. Maybe it came on when I saw Kim’s new house and all her projects she’s got going on. Maybe I caught it when I looked at pictures of Caroline pulling down the sandwich shop ceiling in a dress. Or maybe it came on when we finished Colton’s room with no upcoming projects.

Either way, I’ve got the project itch.

Yardsaling didn’t help, looking at potential projects. Neither did spray painting my lamp. Or sewing burp cloths. No, I’ve got an itch and only a big project can scratch it.

So, I came up with some inspiration for our den.

I don’t think I’ve shown you our den, it’s not a very pretty room; mostly the dog sleeps on the ancient, hand-me-down, kind of gross sofa. And we dump a bunch of crap on the desk. But, I long for the room to be comfortable, usable, and pretty. I want it to be a room that centers around family; where Colton can pull out toys, paint pictures, and hang out with friends. Where I can work at a desk, sew, or workout. Maybe we’ll let the dog sleep there. Maybe.

So, off I went in search of inspiration pictures. After all, I’ve got to have a good jumping off point for the space!


I love the chalkboard in this space, and all the storage. And, how cool is the basketball hoop?


I liked the playfulness and casual feeling this moodboard has. Plus, Colton has to have a cute little chair with his name on it! (Dad, did you read that? Great Christmas present right there! LL Bean has them. Your grandson needs one.)


This one is too cute! I think the light, classic feeling this one has goes with the bookcases I already have in the space.


I really liked the balance of neutrals and colors in this space. Plus, the space looks long and skinny like my room, so it gives me some ideas for furniture arrangements.


This image was my ultimate inspiration! The wood color will go perfectly with my bookcases, and I love the “throw everything in and call it organized” bin in the table. Oh, and check out that wallpaper – you can DRAW on it. How cool is that?


But, I must confess, the den won’t be our next project. Right now, Colton takes up about as much space as a dresser drawer, and having another room for him to play in is not on the top of our priority list. Hopefully I’ll have some details on what we hope will be our next big project soon!

One of the things I knew I wanted in our son’s room was art. But what kind? I knew I wanted a few things that related to his rocket bedding, but everything I found on etsy that I really loved was out of my price range.

And what does a girl do when she wants something but can’t afford it?

Call her dad!

As the owner of an architecture and interior design company, my dad does his fair share of drawing, sketching, etc. Even though it had been a little while since he had done a painting, he was willing to take on the task. Even though I didn’t send him Rocket Dog as a point of inspiration, he found the painting I adored, loved it too, and decided to use it as his inspiration. After a couple of revisions, practice and a final take, he presented me with this:

Do you not love it? I do!

But, even though I loved this, I also knew I wanted more framed pieces, so I turned to etsy for more inspiration. Somewhere, in the many different listings I looked at, I found someone who created a three-panel “A, B, C” spelled out in buttons. I thought, “I have a lot of different papers, and a circle maker, I bet I could make something like that!” We had two three-panel frames we weren’t using, so I decided I would use them for my project. I took three sheets of paper in colors that would coordinate with the room, and attached them to the back of the mat. Then I took a bunch of different colors of paper and punched out lots and lots of circles. Then, I just practiced laying out my letters and glued on the circles once I was happy with the layout. Piece of cake, and not bad looking at all, if I do say so myself!

Was I satsified yet? Not a chance.

I knew I wanted to make a silhouette of our dog, a lab-border collie mix, but I didn’t have the tools to create one myself. So, with a little help from Google Images, I found one that seemed like it captured our looked most like our dog. I printed it out, and Hubby made it the right the scale for me. I was lucky enough to find a piece of scrapbook paper that had diagonal lines in the same colors as the ones in our room, used that as the back and did the silhouette in lime green.

(You can kind of see this in the bottom right)

And the rest of the art?

The large print above came from my mom, who was given it when she was pregnant with my younger brother by an art teacher she worked with. The smallest frame is part of a card I was given and loved, and the other two prints came from Vintage Printable (I love the “Pet Show” print!).

I also stumbled on Feed Your Soul, which has free printable art as well. I found lots of things I loved there, but in the end, I just couldn’t stop staring at this:

Isn’t it fantastic? And I love that it goes with the room and relates to the rocket bedding without being super themey.

Whew! I think that’s enough art for one room, don’t you? What do you do for art in your home? Do you have one of a kind art you purchased? Art you made? Hand me down art? Art made for you by someone special?

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I finally picked a color and painted Junie’s room, our nursery. This decision was a long, long time in the making!

Long before I was pregnant, I saw a picture of an adorable boy’s room with transportation bedding and apple green walls with a plane, train, and boat on the wall in navy. I thought it was too cute — a boy room without blue walls, and tucked the idea away in case I ever had a son.

Fast-forward to me at 21 weeks pregnant. I find out we’re having a boy, and of course, the walls of his room will be apple green. But how to pick the right shade?

First, I consulted my Benjamin Moore paint deck, but only found one green, Wales Green, I thought would be a good option. Then, I went to Lowe’s and pulled every single paint chip they had in an appley green.

Hubby helped me do an initial cutting of the paint chips and we eliminated about half of the options. We then spent a few days consulting and comparing our options, before narrowing down the choices to two — Wales Green and Apple 3, a Lowe’s pick.

I always, always, ALWAYS get paint samples to test before I commit to a whole gallon of paint, and this time was no exception. We immediately ruled out Apple 3, thinking it was too yellow. However, I still wasn’t sold on Wales Green, which I thought would have been a shoe-in.

So, back to the drawing board. One thing I wasn’t sure about with Wales Green was the lightness — I thought it might be too bright, so I picked up a sample of the next shade on the paint chip. I also picked up a sample of Stem Green, a color recommended by Pottery Barn Kids. But was I happy with my choices? No.

Blame it on hormones if you want, but every time I looked at the paint samples in the room, I liked a different one and detested the one I had liked at last look. Fed up with the whole process, I called my dad, who owns an architecture and interior design firm. He told me that if I had a color I thought was good, even if it wasn’t perfect, to go with it. Sometimes, he told me, good enough is the best you can do and really is good enough. He also reminded me that the other colors you put in a room can change the wall color. So, I went with the color I liked best, Wales Green.

Yes, I went with the very first color I had picked MONTHS ago. Whatever, I’m crazy.

Fortunately, furniture selection was not as hard.

We were able to pick our crib without too much trouble, knowing we didn’t want white and that we preferred a darker wood and a solid feeling back, the Graco Lauren crib was a no-brainer for us.

We decided we wanted to use a dresser as a changing table, so we get more longevity out of our furniture choices. Sadly, the only matching piece available in the Graco Lauren collection was a changing table. So, we set out to look for furniture locally.

Note: Please do not spend one of the hottest days of the year driving all over town (and into another) with a pregnant woman in a car with no air-conditioning. Not a good plan.

Despite the unbearable heat (seriously, it was hotter in our car than it was outside), we had a successful trip! In the very last store we planned to visit, we found a winner in an espresso-colored older kid’s dresser. Even luckier for us was the fact that the store was getting rid of their floor samples in this collection, and we could get the piece for over 50% off! After a few minutes of talking it over, Hubby and I decided to go for it!

Just when we thought we were ready to go, I spotted a bookcase with two shelves, two drawers and a pull out child-height desktop that matched the dresser. Since it was part of the set, it was also 50% off! Again, after just a minute or two of discussion, Hubby and I decided to go for both of them!

I was a little worried the color of the dresser and bookcase wouldn’t match the crib, since we hadn’t seen the espresso color in person yet, but when we got everything together in the room the next week, it was a perfect match!

Sadly, I have yet to take a picture of the crib and the dresser next to each other! You can see the rocking chair we got from my grandma, which doesn’t quite match in color, but still has a similar feel of the dark wood in the rest of the room.

Are paint and furniture choices as much a production for you as they are for me?

While I was visiting my friends this past weekend, I made two small purchases for the house. First up, I purchased this brown leaf bowl from World Market.

dsc03700What’s that? You can’t see how much I paid?

dsc03701Yeah, a buck fifty made me happy too.

I also picked up a little “L” at a really neat shop in the Old Town.

dsc03703Presently, its living inside my new media cabinet!

dsc03706I’m not sure this will be its final home — I have visions of a family photo wall, and since this has a nail notch in the back, it could easily be displayed as part of the photo collage.

Oh! And check out the newly accessorized top of the media cabinet!


The rug pictured in yesterday’s post was brand-new! Yes, Hubby got me a new sofa AND a new rug all in the same day. I know, I’m shocked too. Even more shocking though, is the price we paid for our new rug.

I always read on other people’s blogs about their amazing steals, deals and finds. I’ve never had a great sale moment, a time when I just want to bound out of the store and scream “YESSSS!!” Until yesterday.

Hubby and I had mostly decided on purchasing a color-bound sea grass rug from Ballard Designs.


I love Ballard’s style and have been impressed with the quality and delivery services when I’ve ordered larger pieces from them. I was also pleased with the price of this rug – 169 bucks, plus an additional 10 for delivery. A steal for their normal prices!

I was also quit taken with Pottery Barn’s Jute and Chenille rug, which I thought might be better than the sea grass because it would be softer, but still have the natural and chunkier texture I was looking for. img31lAt $249, it was more expensive than Ballard’s, but I still loved the style. Oh what to do?

Then Hubby, with his ever-present frugality in mind thought we should look around locally and see if we couldn’t find something we loved here and save on the shipping. We looked at a local rug store, which had some WONDERFUL rugs, but they were all very much out of our price-range (we’re talking in the thousands of dollars). Then we hopped over to Home Depot, where we couldn’t find anything that we both liked.

After a pit stop at Starbucks, we headed across the street to Lowes. We saw a great chenille and jute rug for $168, comparable to Ballard’s price, but it was a little shorter than we thought we wanted. So, we kept looking, and soon found ourselves at the clearance rug section. Hubby went in for a closer look, and he spotted it! The exact chocolate brown, color-bound, chenille jute rug we had been looking at early discounted down to $100! Why? Because it was out of its top plastic sleeve. It still had a tight layer of plastic over it, but it was missing its outer, heavier duty layer.

095955645550Still unsure, Hubby took the rug to the section where its cousins were, stealthily hid it behind the others, and we went home to measure. Since we were thinking of going with something a tad smaller, we wanted to measure to make sure it will still work for our needs. Confident it would, and assured by employees that we could return the rug if we found the size wouldn’t work for us, we triumphantly took our purchase home. And you know what? I think it looks GREAT!

Two weeks ago we FINALLY finished painting our family room!

Well, not really; we still have touch-up painting to do around the baseboards and fireplace moldings. The previous owners didn’t do the best job just painting the wall and not moldings, so we need to go back and touch that up, but the dark, depressing grey-green is now (almost) a thing of the past!


Our new sofa should be here by next week, and then the room will begin its final transformation! I can’t wait! I’m thinking chocolate curtins on the windows, a light, neutral rug and green accents.

My *current* favorite room in my house is our master bedroom. This is a shame, really, since its the room we spend the least amount of time conscious in. Still, I’m so glad Hubby and I decided to shell out a bit of dough for some nicer furniture. My grandparents wanted to purchase a bed for us as a wedding present, and I talked Hubby into purchasing a dresser that was part of the suite. I reasoned that if we waited a couple of years to get something nice, by then we’d want to have kids and spend all our money on them. We needed nice furniture, I explained, so we could have a retreat. I am soooo glad we did! I love the clean lines of the pieces with more traditional details, like the pulls. Its still not where I’d like it to be (the small dresser we’re usuing as a bedside table is an inexpensive one Hubby’s had since high school, and doesn’t quite go with the rest of the room’s wood tones), but I still love it!



View from the door. I found the comfortor at the end of the bed out in Colorado when I was in college, and it was yet another gift from my wonderful grandparents.


Our dresser. My parents gave us this mirror they purchased from an antique shop. Orginally, it was a gilded frame, but it was badly damaged, so all the gilded plaster was scrapped away and the frame was turned into a lovely pine mirror. I love the contrast between the wood tones of the mirror and the dresser.


I use this mug holder to display my jewelry. I wear it a lot more if I can see what I have!


The things on the otherside of the dresser — Hubby made the wooden jewelry box for me the Christmas after we got engaged with my “married” monogram on it.


My side of the bed with my apothecary lamp.


Hubby’s side of the bed.


Close up of one of the books and pocket-knife on Hubby’s side.


Close-up of my bedside table. The knob that came with it was silver and more modern. I found this at a salvage shop in town for $1, and instantly made the table work with everything in the room.

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.