12 March 2012

READER’S HOUSE SERIES

 

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The Reader’s House today was really supposed to be on the Reader’s Kitchen Series, but after seeing pictures of her house, I decided it was too cute not to show!  The home owners, Amanda, an interior designer on leave while raising her family,  and her architect husband, along with their two young children recently moved into a 15 year old house.  The house is located in The Woodlands, a large, wooded, planned community north of Houston.  I love The Woodlands and have great memories of it as my husband Ben owned a house there when we were dating.  Of course that was in the early 80s under Jimmy Carter’s reign when interest rates were double digit.  When Ben sold his house (snort) – he was so upside down, he had to bring a check to the closing.  But that’s a sob story for another day. 

 

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This lake bordering the business district hides the building – something that was purposefully planned.   You can just barely see it through the trees.

 

The Woodlands is exactly like it sounds – a forest full of towering pine trees, lakes, and hidden winding paths for walking and biking.   The houses have natural landscaping and many yards don’t have fences or sidewalks to keep everything open and green.  It’s a wonderful place to raise a family, with great schools and churches in the area.   All these things were a draw for the Burketts whose children are now just old enough for school.  

 

 

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A Hike & Bike trail in The Woodlands.

 

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Amanda’s house – wood and stone with charming small, square windows.  Eventually, there will be a trellis over the front porch and new carriage styled garage doors. 

Amanda writes a blog which is part “mommy blog” and part “design blog.”  She is deeply religious and stated her philosophy about design on her blog:  

Before I post any pictures, I'm going to get personal {sorry}. I love design. It's a big part of who I am. I know that when God planned me, knit me together, He knew I'd love beautiful things. And while I do, very much so, love beautiful things . . . I am so blessed to know that they are, in fact, just things. So please know, when I go on and on about paint or hardware or lovely little garden gems or anything French, it's just a great love of mine. The greatest love is Him.”

I think Amanda beautifully sums up what most of us feel in our hearts.   While, yes, we all love design and fixing up our houses, still, we know that we are very, very blessed, that what really matters is a love of God, family, and close friends.  And I might add – we are all so lucky to live freely here in the United States, while so many are still enslaved around the world. 

 

 

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The turquoise blue front door is somewhat hidden on the front porch.  So cute!!!

 

When Amanda moved into her new home, she had many ideas for what she wanted to do with the interiors.  She knew she couldn’t do it all at once, so she made a list of what needed to be accomplished first, then other changes would come later.  Most importantly, all the renovations and furniture buying would be done with a strict budget in mind.  The outdated kitchen was first on the list.  The layout was good and would stay, but a few key elements needed to be changed to make it more up to date.   Some things didn’t need changing:   thankfully, all the hardwood floors had just been refinished.   But the entire house, inside and out needed painting.  The front door and doorbell were on the list to be changed out.  Additionally, Amanda dreamed of linen curtains for the living and dining room and study and rugs were needed for all the downstairs rooms.  There were little things on the list – such as a message board for the utility room – done in burlap and nailheads.   And there were big things on the list - the fireplace needed a total renovation.    

 

 

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BEFORE:  When Amanda first saw the house – this is how it was decorated in yellows, reds, and creams.

 

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BEFORE:  The dining room was painted red.

 

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When they first moved in, Amanda’s husband gifted her with this wonderful Italian wood chandelier for the double height living room.   The French chairs were a temporary fix.

 

 

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Amanda bought these vintage wing chairs for the living room, planning to recover them.

 

 

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AFTER:   Today, the living room has linen curtains, seagrass and the two wing chairs recovered that flank a skirted table.   The pine piece is a reproduction French chicken coop – with the cages on the bottom.  And I love how she staggered the blue and white garden stool in front of the skirted table!

 

 

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So pretty!!!!   To update the chairs, Amanda chose a waterfall skirt with a 1/2” flange welt, an idea she got from Charles Faudree.   The gathered skirt is a creamy linen with a hem trim in hemp.  Notice the darling painted trunk that she uses as a coffee table.  

 

 

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The curtain fabric is Brunschwig and Fils “On Point” in blue – a favorite of Amanda’s since she started out as a designer in Denver – with Douglas Associates, Inc.  The chairs are covered in P Kauffman’s linen “Florabunda” –Seaglass.  Amanda wants to someday get a new sofa – but, one thing at a time!!

 

 

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The dining room – repeats the linen curtains.  The table, chairs, and buffet are all French.   Gorgeous mirror with surrounding plates.   Through the double doors is the kitchen and family room.

 

 

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The French cabinet displays blue and white transferware.  Charming metal sconces flank it on both sides.

 

 

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Still on the list – a seagrass rug for the dining room. 

 

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BEFORE:  The kitchen had a good layout and a wonderful wide window over the sink that looks onto the back yard pool.  The backyard backs up to a natural preserve.

 

 

 

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STAGE 1:  The kitchen was done in several stages.  Here is how it was when Amanda moved in.  Corian countertops and beige square tile backsplash.  The island was non descript.

The first stage happened before Amanda moved in.  The wallpaper was removed and the walls were textured and painted.  The pot rack was taken down, as was the chandelier.   Left for the time being were the white countertops and peach square tiles. 


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Left over from previous owners - white appliances and a refrigerator that stuck out from the cabinets. 

 

 

 

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Some time later – the Corian was replaced with honed black granite with a 3 cm square edge.  The backsplash was replaced with travertine subway tiles – honed and tumbled.    A new Kitchenaid cooktop and dishwasher were installed and a Blanco single basin undermount sink replaced the double stainless sink previously there.  The faucet was installed in polished nickel providing the “jewelry” to the room.  Amanda says this is one of her favorite items in her new kitchen.  Upper cabinets at the window were replaced with bracketed shelves.  New Shaker style cabinet doors and drawers replaced the old plastic-covered cabinets.    Upper cabinets are white, while base cabinets are Benjamin Moore’s HC-105 Rockport Grey.   New Martha Stewart hardware in polished nickel for the doors and drawers came from Home Depot:  

 

 

Another huge change was the new vent hood.

 

 

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AFTER – in the final renovation stage, a new island replaced the former non descript one.  The new island, topped with Calacutta Ora marble is the focal point of the kitchen.  The edge is 3 cm square and the marble is honed.  Notice the cabinetry above and next to the stove top with its grid-like lines. 

 

 

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A new KitchenAid refrigerator was surrounded by cabinetry to appear built-in, as was a new convection oven and microwave. A towel bar from Restoration Hardware was added to island. All doors in the house were then painted the same BM gray, instead of builders white – as was the island.  This is such a great idea – and really makes builders grade doors look so much more important.  Through the double doors on the left is the living room and dining room.

 

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And, as a final touch – new woven blinds were installed in the window.  You can really see the beautiful bridge style faucet here. 

 

 

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Close up of the Home Depot Martha Stewart polished nickel bin pulls and the Calacutta Ora marble slab.

 

 

 

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Close up of the new light fixture and the bracketed shelves that replaced the upper cabinets.

 

 

 

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Close up of the polished nickel bridge faucet. 

 

 

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A recap:   from this…

 

 

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To this…

 

 

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To this.

 

 

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BEFORE:  Another big change came in the family room which sits next to the kitchen and breakfast room.  The fireplace was a major eyesore. 

 

 

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DURING:  The entire wall was paneled in beadboard.  A new mantel was built and the tile was removed. 

 

 

 

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AFTER:  the fireplace now has a stone surround and hearth, along with a charming firescreen.  A colorful rug from Shades of Light was added (excuse the puppy’s blankie and toys!) – as was a new coffee table, woven shades, ceiling fan, sectional and skirted table.  What a difference the beadboard and stone made.

 


 

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This room is so cute now!  The sectional is from Quatrine bought on sale at 1/2 off custom sectionals.  It is slipped in linen with a charming 1/2 flange in a contrasting ticking stripe.   I love how the same shades are seen throughout the house – it makes the rooms flow into each other.

 

 

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Here you can see the ticking stripe flange.  Slipcovers are, of course, kid and pet friendly and are washable.

 

 

 

 

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Close up of the flange detail and the tweed skirted table.

 

 

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Other changes in the room – as with all other doors throughout  – this was painted the same BM gray.

 

 

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BEFORE:   This French buffet was repainted….

 

 

 

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And after – it is now painted a trendy gray.

 

 

 

 

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At the stair landing, a painted Swedish style Mora clock hangs – adding a charming touch.  Amanda likes to mix styles – Swedish, French, light woods and dark woods.  She told me she likes to change things out – to keep it all fresh.  My feelings exactly!!!

 

 

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The vaulted master bedroom has a painted cane headboard and a painted French nightstand. 

 

 

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Such a beautiful mirror over the black chest.

 

 

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The bedding is a combination of white and light blue floral and ticking stripe.  The dust ruffle is burlap linen.  And no, that really isn’t seagrass – it just looks almost exactly like it!!

 

 

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Her baby girl’s room is a mix of new and antique.  I adore the headboard!   English antique bamboo side table. 

 

 

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And an antique bamboo hat rack – what a great idea – for purses and backpacks.   The curtains are lace.

 

 

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The rocking chair cushion matches the headboard.

 

 

 

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And the little boy’s room is navy and cream.  Love the animal skin pillow!  Notice his gray painted closet doors.

 

 

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And an antique hat rack for all his hats.  I love the way Amanda used the antiques in the children's room – it warms up the decor and makes it all so much more cozy.

 

 

 

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Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the Burkett’s family house!!  Their King Charles Cavalier puppy hopes so too!  To read Amanda’s blog “Unmistakably Blessed,” go HERE

 

 

 

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And, we have a winner in the Villa Cantinas weekend giveaway.  The winner lives nearby in California and plans to take her quilting group with her!  In case you would like to vacation at Villa Cantinas – go HERE to learn all about renting it. 

 

And Cindy Hattersley, the designer and owner of Villa Cantinas would like to announce her new blog “Rough Luxe Perspective” – to read it, go HERE.

74 comments:

  1. I so enjoy the Reader's House Series, and this one doesn't disappoint. Amanda has such a lovely easy style and her transformations are spot on. I especially love her French pieces and being a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owner myself, the photo of her little puppy made my day!

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  2. Such a bright and sunny place in the shade of the trees!

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  3. thanks, joni. these are always fun! donna

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  4. Love the puppy! Her house is great, but the puppy is the best!
    Karen

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  5. Love,love,love! The kitchen make over is amazing- the rest of the house divine and the puppy too cute for words!
    -linda,ny

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  6. What a pretty house, so well done!
    Efficient and handsome!

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  7. Pretty house! Thank you for sharing it :)

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  8. Amanda's home came out beautifully. Amazing what can be done with a little patience and time she really made the house come alive. Her puppy is pretty cute too!

    XX
    Debra~

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  9. I'm blushing, Joni. You have made my day, week, month--year!
    Sincerely, I have followed your blog for years. It is the epitome of beautiful, timeless French style!
    Holly sends kisses!
    Your biggest fan--Amanda

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Amanda,

      I hope you enjoyed it!!!

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us.

      Joni

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    2. Beautiful home!!! What color did you use on your front door? It is gorgeous!!

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  10. Great Job Amanda! Kudos to you and congratulations to the winner of the California get-away!

    K

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  11. Joni really wonderful I adore her painted pieces, the French buffet, the trunk, nightstand etc.

    I have been on a furniture painting kick!

    Come over to visit, I have a New Giveaway I think you will love!

    Xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  12. Sounds very interesting! I will check this out! ranch house plans

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  13. Wow. This is enormousely inspiring.

    Joni - can you tell me - did they keep he same cabinets and replace the doors and draw fronts? We have laminate doors/draws in our kitchen and want to replace them. They kichen layout is fine, and the cabinet 'boxes' are in good shape, so we wondered if we could just replace the doors with painted wood doors.

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    1. Hi there--It's Amanda--we did keep the existing structure, just replaced the doors and drawer fronts. It was a much simpler remodel {easy with kids & pups}, and it turned out beautifully. Best of luck with your remodel! And thank you!

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  14. Beautiful home! Sooo many things to love. Thanks for the tour, Joni! Love the ending with the sweet puppy. :)

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  15. I love the kitchen! I'll be doing grey lower cabinets and white upper cabinets for my own home too! Planning on doing white marble countertops, but now I'm reconsidering to go black granite after looking at these photos! Help! :-)

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    1. I love that combination - it's a great alternative to an all white kitchen.

      Joni

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  16. Very nice......love seeing the befores and afters. Amazing what a little paint can do,huh! I love how the chest has a totally differnet feel now with the gray paint, that is some reinvention! Beautiful...thanks for sharing!

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  17. Mmmmm, there is nothing better than starting a morning with a good cup of coffee & a visit to someone's beautiful home. Thank you Joni for sharing Amanda's with us. Amanda, I really like the flanges you put on all of your upholstery. It adds such flare! Your style is gorgeous. Many Blessings to you & your family.

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  18. Hi Joni - Another beautiful home! As I live in upstate NY, could you please give me the name of a seagrass brand I might look for up here.
    Thanks so much.
    Enjoy your day.
    Lauren

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    1. i'm not sure - you need to visit a carpet store that caters to designers. there is always stark through a design center.
      sorry to not be of more help.

      Joni

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  19. Beautiful job, Amanda, and such wonderful taste for someone so young! Thanks for sharing your home!

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  20. Hi Joni,
    What a wonderful home. Now I want to redecorate and paint. There are many great inspirations in this home. I love the trunk coffee table, wall sconces in the dining room, family room mantle. and the headboard in the baby girls room look so elegant and the kitchen wow! I need to go look at everything again.

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  21. This is just stunning, so elegant yet liveable and down to earth. The kitchen updates were trans-formative without a gut reno.
    I am new to you blog and loving it!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

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  22. I loved it! Ironically this isn't what I have in my house, or my style, but it's a true artist who paints a canvas that another can appreciate. Beautifully done.

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  23. Hi Joni -

    Great post and thanks for sharing some of the sources. Do you know what wall/trim color they went with throughout the house?

    Thanks,
    DAM

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    1. DAM--thank you! The wall color in the majority of the house is Benjamin Moore OC-11 Clay Beige. The blue-grey color in our Master and little girl's room is Artic Grey, also BM. The trim is actually SW, but matches BM White Dove.

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  24. I am so proud of my sweet friend, Amanda. She is one of the most talented people I know and I am so thankful for her gift. Her home is so beautiful!

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  25. What a beautiful home! I'm stealing/borrowing her idea for painting the doors gray, I just can't get over the difference it makes to the rooms. Great post!

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  26. Lovely home! My favorite was the kitchen, great transformation!

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  27. Well, I really like the butter bucket. Teddee

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  28. Those interest rates were inherited from a Republican.

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  29. Divine before & after pictures + Good show, Amanda + Joni. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  30. I adore these before and after pictures. Everything came out so charming and cozy! I am Creole and French Country has always been my favorite home style. C’est beau!

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  31. The headboard and rocking chair fabric in the baby girl's room is BENNISON Reverse Kasumi on oyster linen - love the way it looks...

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    1. Be still my heart--Bennison is THE BEST. And while I madly wish it was Bennison, it is in fact from Calico Corners, "Scramble" Color Slate 100% linen. If there was any Bennison fabric in my house--it'd have to be in MY room, I think!

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    2. amanda - Gillian is the owner of Bennison. so - if she says you have Bennison, just say, thank you! I know! haha!! it does look like it, amazing.

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    3. I have considered using a Bennison pattern several times and each time when handling the memo sample I was totally turned off by the stiff glossy look the fabric hand. I am at a loss to know what is so special about this linen. If it's because it is manufactured in England, so is Lee Joffa linen and Schumacher and scores of other fabrics. The glazing gives it a very unfriendly hand. There are much finer linens in the marketplace.

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  32. Great job - especially with "re-purposing" items!! franki

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  33. Love the blog but having quite a time getting the photos to load. Have a new computer and quick internet conection.
    Any advice?

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  34. Love the baby girl's head board...so pretty.

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  35. This was a great post. Amanda's home is lovely and even more than that it is lively. Great ideas that are dead on in your
    style but a bit more approachable for those of us with tighter budgets. I would love to see a reader page with high/low ideas
    from your most custom homes. You are a favorite for me.

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  36. Hi Joni!
    Great post as usual! And perfect timing for a new project I am working on for a client! We need to redo a fireplace wall, and this house provides great inspiration. Love the bead board and the flagstone around the firebox! And the kitchen looks great without having to start from scratch!

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  37. Very nice, simple with a little elegance. I like the whole thing and would love to wander around the lake.

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  38. A really lovely redo in a beautiful Houston neighborhood. Thank you for posting this, Joni. It just shows how much you can update/change things with a little talent and creativity (and maybe a few $$). xx's

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  39. Such a beautiful house! Loved it! This house is more reachable for your readers in regard to costs of decorating... that's why I think we all appreciate it so much more! I am another one stealing the idea of painting the doors grey. Amanda did an absolutely beautiful job decorating this house.
    Leigh

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  40. What a beautiful home. Love the french iron chandelier.

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  41. GORGEOUS home! I just love it all!! I love seeing before and afters.

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  42. Joni, Beautiful home and what a great renovation of the kitchen. Love the dining room. xo, Sherry

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  43. So beautiful and family friendly! So many great ideas too, that I can utilize in my own home. Maybe at some point we can see the backyard? Based upon the peek of the tall trees and pool out there, it looks lovely.

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  44. Very lovely! Thanks so much for sharing Amanda's talents with us. I love that you featured a home many of us can relate to in terms of size. The kitchen is SO beautiful! We're close to choosing black honed granite, so it was really neat to see it featured here.

    Jennifer

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  45. Love the house. Looks like a real family lives there. What is the BM color of the doors, please.

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  46. I was so suprised and pleased to see a house featured from my hometown! I scrolled down and was even more surprised to see a home that is almost identical to mine, obviously the same homebuilder. We have done so many updates to our house that are so similar, especially the kitchen. Thanks for letting me peek in a neighbor's house for ideas!

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  47. Hi Joni,

    very nice pictures of the kitchen! Was that a professional photographer?! I like the renovation, although the "old" kitchen did not look bad either...

    Please note, that I have changed my blog address to www.PalazzoPizzo.com
    Would be great if you could update your link to my blog - since you send me so many readers ;-)

    Grazie mille
    suzie

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  48. I always love reading your blog, but honestly, I am totally put off by your decision to start this one with political commentary. Are you as upset about the mess 8 years of Bush has left this country in? I'm not really asking for an answer, just making the point that blogs like yours are some of the few places these days where politics don't mar the experience - until now.

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    1. sorry I have to point out if you have read Joni for any length of time you would know that she voted for Obama and has ON OCCASION mentioned political thoughts- I have no idea what she thought about Bush and she has never mentioned it either positive or negative... but this was in no way a political commentary-geez the interest rates WERE high in the early 80's and Jimmy Carter was President...that is a time frame comment-not a political one... there was also a gas "crisis" but that is not a political statement either! (and for the record, I also voted for Obama and plan to do so again and did not think in any way that her comment was a knock on the present administration, previous democratic administrations, or current or past bank management)
      I hope that you continue to read her blog, as she is tremendously informative and and amazingly judgement-free, which is refreshing to say the least.
      Meredith

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    2. Another commenter not smart enough to vote. Perhaps when your gas tank is empty because you can no longer afford to fill it, when you are sick and tired of surporting everyone else's children but your own, and perhaps have an emergency but cannot be seen by an emergency physician because the waiting room is full of illegals, you and loggerheads like yourself will get the picture.

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    3. No actually upset with the mess we are currently in as a result of an incompetent that was elected to the Presidency on the promise of Hope and Change. We now have nether.

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    4. So Jon, go whine with your buddies at Media Matters and MSMBC. Hope you are enjoying all of that hope and change of which the country has become victim. Trillions of dollars in debt that we can proudly pass onto our children because we elected an affirmative action neophyte.

      I don't often defend Joni, but her introduction of her guest blogger was not political, it was a description of who this person is and where she finds her joy in her home and in her family. Sorry you have no joy, but you have chosen that path for yourself. It seems that Amanda has captured what really matters in life.

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    5. Again- wow. two different things. I was only saying that the interest rates under Carter were double digit - Ben's rate was about 15 or 16 percent - he can't remember exactly. when he went to sell it he had to come with a check for thousands of dollars just to sell it - so cheaply - it was all a joke. but gosh, that was over 20 years ago. was Carter dem or rep? haha. were you even alive then? there was nothing political, just stating a fact. that's all.
      the other part - amanda is religious, her blog is about her family and her beliefs. i loved what she wrote and wanted to repeat it. that's all. sometimes it is nice to just take the time to think about something besides material things. that's all.

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  49. Do you know what color she used on the front door??

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  50. Very pretty house. Looks very cozy.

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  51. Shocked by the religious intro to this article - what??????

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    1. Really, does it offend you or does it surprise you that Joni actually knows how to spell G O D.

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    2. No need to be nasty Anonymous. I think we all know who you are!!

      What I mean is, I thought Joni was above all of that silliness. It is what is tearing the world apart right now.

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    3. no silliness. let me explain. Amanda is a very religious person and her blog relfects this. PLUS this is her blog's philosophy. So here i am showcasing her house, when to her it's not the most important thing in her life - God is. I just wanted to respect that and let people know where she is coming from. plus sometimes it's nice to stop and say - hey design isn't the most important thing in life. that's all. i'm not changing my blog and i'm not going to say one religion is better than the other. no. that's not me you are right. i just thought her message was a good one in general and that it should accompany her story.

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    4. So we have a perfectly reasonable introduction to a guest blogger and jlonit deems it silly. Not only silly, but it's actually tearing the world apart. So good and decent people like Amanda are now the enemy of the people because they dare speak the name of God. Then if that's not enough, she excells in remote viewing claiming to know who Anonymous is. Speaking of silliness???? I bet there is a job for you jlonit in the West Wing of the White House. You could probably remote view and tell us where all the Christians, et al are.

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  52. You mentioned that the carpet is a seagrass look-alike. I can't seem to find an email for the homeowner to ask her the brand and names of the carpets used in the master and kids' bedrooms. Could you do that for me? I've been looking for an alternative to seagrass/jute/sisal. Thank you!

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  53. I love Amanda and am so glad to see her home featured here. She's a "real deal" kind of girl, and I love her taste. We share a love for Quatrine!

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  54. For me, I just simply like your blog. I like all of your photo and my pleasure to came across here. This house series were awesome. Thank you for sharing.

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