Skip to content

Category: My House

the blue door house intro

I’m so excited to finally introduce you guys to the The Blue Door House. We’ve been here eleven days now — we’re starting to remember where we put the measuring cups, we’re only bumping into furniture and walls a few times a day, and we’ve tried two new local taco places, so we’re on our way to feeling settled. It’s a pretty big change for us – moving from a gated apartment complex/fortress situation to a single family home in a new-to-us neighborhood. The move hasn’t been without its challenges, because duh, moving is the worst. But when we make time to throw a ball around with Finn in the yard at dusk when the fireflies are out, it definitely seems worth it.

The Blue Door House Floor Plan

So, the deets: it’s a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, ~950 square foot ranch house built in the 50s. We’ve also got a single carport and a nice-sized fenced yard with a small concrete patio. And a big storage closet off the carport that we’ve somehow already filled?? It’s kind of crazy because technically we’re only gaining about 150 square feet of interior space, but the house is so well-appointed that it feels like we’re getting a lot more house than that. I’ll always appreciate squeezing the most function out of a small home. There’s just something so darn practical about it.  Like how all the closets fit together. It’s like a little puzzle.

I snapped a few quick and dirty iPhone pictures of how the house looks today — try not to forget the part where I said we’ve been here eleven days. 😀

royal blue ranch

small white 50s kitchen

mint windsor dining chairs with white round table

original pink tile bathroom

blue door house master bedroom

blue door home office

blue door home patio

blue door home guest room

Some highlights – the original pink tile in the bathroom is in fantastic condition, the yard is yuge, our king-sized bed fits in the master, the guest bedroom exists, and there’s a good amount of storage. Not pictured but hugely significant: not having to park in a parking garage and lug our groceries ten minutes from the car to our door. I wish there was more counter space in the kitchen and the flooring isn’t my favorite, but honestly it could be a lot worse and that’s what rugs are for. Also, since I feel like I heard the sharp intake of breath when you all saw the bathroom picture — there’s a ton of built-in storage behind the door. All is not lost.

It kind of felt like the house ticked off every single box as we were looking at it, and then some. The windows are brand-new and energy efficient, as is the AC unit. There’s covered parking. The yard is so perfect for Finn. It had three bedrooms when we would have been okay with two. There’s a dishwasher — a surprisingly uncommon feature of rental houses in Austin. As much as I tried to talk myself into the no-dishwasher thing I just couldn’t. More power to those of you who can and have!

Now that the move is behind us, the fun part begins. Sooo many more words to come on The Blue Door House! Let me know if you have any questions, like where’d you get that Austin print or why did you burn my eyeballs with these ugly pictures? (Lol seriously though, I’m sorry – I really wanted to get this post up and didn’t have time to bust out the real camera.)

 

18 Comments

saying c-ya with cyanotype: DIY cyanotype key sunprints

So, good news first: we found a place to lease next year! A bona fide house with a yard and storage and everything! We are thrilled: me, to be done with house-hunting and to start planning a new space, and Matt: to have me done with the house-hunting part. Let’s just say I take to house-hunts like a fish to water. An incredibly stressed, frazzled fish who systematically checks five different housing websites every six hours.

But, sad news: did you guys know that moving to a new place typically means leaving the one you’re living in currently? The first lease you signed together, the first time you made a home together, the place where Matt finally watched The Office all the way through? I’m super sentimental and even though I could not be more excited about our next place (it is SO cute and having a house will be so fun and now we can actually have more than two people over for dinner and not make them eat on our couch AND A YARD FOR FINN) but I can’t stop the feels about leaving our cozy little apartment. Home means a lot to me.

DIY cyanotype key sunprint

Commemorating our first place together seemed important. When I saw Little Green Notebook’s cyanotype prints for her playroom, I knew that would be perfect. Cyanotype prints work really well with flat objects – leaves, dried flowers, etc., so I thought I’d make a print of the key to our apartment. The cobalt color of the paper is so pretty, it looked pretty easy, and I could order the kit on Amazon which is just so dang appealing. Here’s the quick how-to:

how to make a cyanotype key sunprint

How To Create a Cyanotype Key Sunprint

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Sunprint paper kit (this is the one I used)
  • House key
  • 9″ x 12″ tray or dish
  • Water
  • Paper towels or paper bags
  • Heavy books

making a cyanotype key sunprint

  1. Keep the paper in the kit while you’re setting up – any exposure to sun will start the reaction, so keep it protected until you need it.
  2. Fill a tray or long pan with water. You’ll submerge the paper when it’s done sitting in the sun, so you want this ready to go. 
  3. Lay some paper towels or paper bags on the counter so that you have a place to set the wet paper to dry.
  4. You’re ready! Take a sheet of paper, lay it outside in direct sunlight, and place the object you want to make a print of in your desired position on the paper. Let the paper sit in the sun for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or so. The longer the paper is in the sun, the deeper the blue hue will be when it has processed. I experimented with different times and liked the ones in the 3-4 minute range. Probably a good idea to buy some extra paper if you want to experiment a lot or are looking to make several prints. 
  5. When the paper has been in the sun for the desired amount of time, pick it up and lay it in the water, completely submerging it to stop the chemical reaction. 
  6. Gently remove the paper from the water and lay it down on the paper towels or paper bags to dry.
  7. When it’s dried completely, use some heavy books to sit on top of it to remove any wrinkling or curling on the edges.

DIY cobalt cyanotype key print

Voila! A pretty sweet way to commemorate your first home together. Or your first place of your own. Or the key to your shop. You get the gist. And since I technically spent a grand total of about $1 on the print, I wanted to dress it up in a really special frame that I might not normally splurge on. Enter Framebridge!

framing a DIY cyanotype key sunprint with Framebridge

Framebridge was the perfect answer to a frame for this pretty but unusually sized print. Here’s how it works: you go to their site, choose a digital image or upload a picture of your physical art, enter the dimensions of the art, and then click through their frames where they mock up how the art will look in the frame. It’s incredibly satisfying if you’re super visually-motivated like I am. As soon as my eyeballs saw the blue key print mocked up in the burl-wood Cairo frame, they fell out of their sockets like a cartoon boy dog looking at a cartoon pretty girl dog. 

Framebridge review - pretty details!

Once I got the eyeball situation figured out, I sent off my print to Framebridge in a package they provided with a shipping label also provided. A few weeks later, I got my got-dang gorgeous frame back and had to deal with my eyeballs all over again. They even dress up the backing with this pretty Matisse-style print. LOVE. And bonus for yall: use the code bigadventure15 to get 15% off your first Framebridge order!

framing a DIY key sunprint with Framebridge

cairo burl wood frame from Framebridge with a cyanotype print

Still a little sad about moving, but I’m really glad to have a little physical memento of a home and a time that was pretty great to us. And yes, I realize that I also have two years of blog posts, but who knows how long this “internet” thing will stick around. 

 

I was provided with product by Framebridge, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support ABA!

How to make a DIY cyanotype key print
1 Comment

rosedale apartment tour: living room

I’ve mentioned that we’re planning to find a new place to live this spring. We’ve officially given our notice to our apartment complex and it’s time to find a house to rent! As much as I am SO BEYOND ready to say goodbye to apartment life…I am also me which means I’m already getting sad about leaving our first home together. What better way to indulge this nostalgia than with one final room tour, complete with before photos? (If you missed them, I’ve already done tours of the patio, bedroom, and study.) 

The Rosedale Apartment- Living Room

The day we got our keys! I remember walking in and feeling like it was HUGE…all 800 square feet of it. We were coming from my Tiny Apartment (500 sq ft) that we shared for about 6 weeks, so walking into this place that was over 50% bigger was so great.

mcm teak credenza by europa furniture

It was big enough that the furniture from my last place felt super dinky. These bookshelves were a great proportion to act as a TV stand/storage at the Tiny Apartment, but here they were dwarfed by this big wall. (This is actually the photo Matt sent me when I was standing in front of the credenza I wanted to buy and needed to know how big it would be on the wall, hence the tape measurer.) And the big, heavy, slightly too small to be comfortable chair that we never used but I kept because I liked the lines of it is now gone. It was a post-KonMari casualty. 

The Rosedale Apartment- Living Room

And then we found a much better solution. There’s a whole post about it here if you want to learn more about the ‘denza!

I made a trip to Ikea for some basics, like the plant in the bottom left that is now plant heaven, the faux sheepskin, and the hanging light over the couch. There’s also a whole post on great Ikea staples if you’re planning on making a trip!

I haven’t talked about this a ton, but when we first moved into this place it was my first time designing for myself AND a live-in boyfriend. At first I was reserved, trying to stay with more neutral pieces and to tone it down on the accessories. Then we enter this phase, where I can now CLEARLY see that I was pushing my boundaries. Good God. I like stuff but MAN. That’s too much of it. Points to Matt for never, ever complaining. 

a cheerful black accent wall

Getting rid of the furniture we never used (and re-homing the peacock chair to the patio) was definitely the way to go here. It feels way less cluttered/suffocating, and the black wall helps ground the colorful art. Obviously there is a whole blog post on the black wall. It was one of those projects that was super great because it was super easy, low cost, and high on impact. When we move, 95% of my tears will directly stem from nostalgia and 5% will be related to the fact that we have to paint this wall back.

And here we are today in Primary Colorville! I joke, but I’ve really found a love for primary colors in this space that I didn’t really know I had before. Full disclosure: we neeeever use the hanging light over the sofa as I have an allergy to overhead lighting. (This is not true, if you want the actual truth then please read this essay by David Sedaris. I agree with every word.) I just like the shape of it. 

Yellow tulips never hurt the situation. For a more detailed post on the couch and rug, head here. I’ll miss this cozy spot and this light-filled room. When we first moved in, I actually had the thought that there wouldn’t be enough room for art because of all the windows. I’ll never worry about that again – the light is definitely one of the best parts of the room.

Finn’s spot. 🙂 We’re dog-on-the-couch people, and specifically bought a sectional so all three of us could fit. No regrets.

Grateful for that evil eye talisman warding off any stink eyes cast our way, for that tiny perfect table that fit in that impossibly small little nook, and for hydrangeas that stay pretty for so so long.

Things this spot is good for: naps, snuggling with a dog named Finn, binge-watching The Office, staring at the wall opposite of this and thinking about painting it black, blogging, reading The Nightingale, working from home, scrolling through Instagram for hours, and watching The Shining for the first time. 

Had to keep one little corner where I let myself go a little crazy with accessories. Do you not keep a disco ball with your sandals in a hot pink basket? 

A nice shot of Leif and where the black wall ends. More importantly, this is the where Finn sits and waits for Matt to throw him toys.

Just a few small updates to the black wall since I posted it- I moved a bit of art around, added another piece of art, added the aloe vera, and we installed a sound system (hello subwoofer on the right!) You can actually barely see the three speakers sitting on top of the credenza- black wall FTW!

I’ll miss you, little living room! Who else gets as nostalgic as I do during a move?

Sources below for the stuff that is still available or wasn’t purchased from Ikea, Craigslist, or vintage stores. FYI, this doesn’t always work in readers or email view, so you may want to click through and read the post in a browser.

6 Comments