Playing With Fire

We've made a few minor changes to our fireplace this season. Minor changes with huge benefits. And all the was required were two purchases! No power tools, drilling, hammering, etc. Easy stuff - pretty nice when that happens, right?
First, we bought a new fireplace screen last weekend. We purchased the mission studded fireplace screen from Restoration Hardware. The picture below is a "before" and is of our old screen. The screen came with the house. It was a tri-fold and stuck out about five inches. And it was ugly. At least in our humble opinions.

The new screen is a flat screen and it fits just over the opening for the fireplace. A near perfect fit. It gives us a lot more space in that area. Our second purchase was a new grate. It is designed more up and down than our old greate (sorry but I don't know the official terminology) and really keeps the smoke from filtering out of the fire box and into the house. Instead, the smoke filters up through the chimney. We had a big problem with the smoke smell last winter. It could really be overpowering at times. This helps so much! What a great investment!

The picture below shows the new screen and the new grate. Oh yeah - and the featured puppy is Shelby! She loves the fireplace.


Images of Christmas

In an effort to keep blogging during this busy time (I'm in my last two weeks of the semester which means, papers and tests and all sorts of great things) some of my posts will be really short.

Anyway, I am in love with this Christmas mantel design. It is from Pottery Barn (some people hate PB but I happen to be a big fan.) Love the Christmas images it evokes - simple yet has a warm, holiday feel with the candles, stockings, and pictures of friends and family on the wall above the fireplcace. Maybe next Christmas our mantel will look similar!
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Choose a color, already!

This is our living room wall. Can you tell we're trying to decide on a color? Well, I should say we were trying to decide on a color. I've finally decided to give in and go with my husband's number one choice - the olive green color - the middle color in row of three. I still think it is going to be a bit too dark given that the trim color in the living room is very dark but the color of the blinds we're going with are pretty light so...anyway, Chad's usually right so I'll just go with it.

I'm kinda scared but...
(haha, I'm just kidding, Chad!)
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Possible Porch Lights

For the past few months we've been looking at ways to light our front porch and our side entrance. The house came with lights for both but about 10 months after moving in our front porch light just decided to quit working. Not altogether shocking but kind-of annoying - more so when people are coming over and we have no way to light up the front porch. We haven't been that aggressive in looking at lights thus far because Chad is in the process of re-wiring the house anyway so it will be a few months before we have totally switched over. In the mean time, it gives us time to to research and dream about "One Day." (When aren't we doing that?!)

We've looked several places, mostly online. One of our strong finalists has come down to Old California Lantern Company. They have some great looking products although we haven't talked to anyone who has bought anything from them. (If anyone out there has any experiences - let us know!)

Specifically, we're looking at the 40 Hillcrest series. Here is the one for the front porch:

Below is the light we're considering for the side porch. That porch is built differently so we'll have a hanging light there. I'm not too crazy about the link chain it hangs from but I love the light fixture. Of course, both lights will be in the same finish. Probably very similar to what is shown in the image above.

Hopefully we'll be getting these sometime in the next few months. There will definitely be a pic on here once they are installed!