Tuesday, December 20

More jaw-dropping fire screen options

Fire screens by John Lyle Design
Have you ever seen a fire screen like the one below? Amazing. 

I'm loving...

These fire screens by Philip Nimmo Ironworks...

Monday, December 19

Introducing the newest (smallest) McElveen

Caleb Reese was born last night at 10:14 PM! He is so precious and such a blessing to our family! Way to go Reese and Linds, you did good.

Sunday, December 18

"D" is for drywall

As I write this we sit in Greenville waiting for baby Caleb to arrive! In fact, my parents just hightailed it over to the hospital. Busy is the word of the week with finishing up work, Caleb, the casa and traveling for Christmas. If I were president, I would make today through the new year a national holiday. No workin' just eatin'.

On Saturday the drywall was (almost) finished upstairs and this week there will be more of the same.

Post-church, Nate and I laid a concrete bed for our new hearth. We said that it is good we decided to head to Greenville because it just forced us to do it. No more thinking about it. (Apparently, Nate spent Saturday counting, re-counting, pressure washing and re-counting the bricks we will be using to make sure we had enough... such a planner). We actually found all of the bricks laying around our property in random places.

Before laying some Quikcrete (we just discussed how that word should be spelled), Nate spent a day re-enforcing the hearth from below with some concrete blocks.

In other news. I can't stop looking at this office done by Kelly Wearstler...well mostly just that painting.
I'll introduce my newest nephew once he arrives!

Tuesday, December 13

Sleigh bells and big bellies and insulation...

We went to the lumber yard very early this morning (they are doing a custom handrail for our new fancy- schmancy stairs (photos below!!)) and on the way home Nate told me, "I like it when you're on coffee." ON it. Like a drug. I, also, like it when I am on coffee.

Coffee literally makes the sun brighter. My thoughts...
I am now officially obsessed with Vampire Diaries. That's what I do instead of blogging these days...Nate told me that I had to stop watching it because I woke up screaming one time. You would have screamed too if Nate had been trying to touch you with his bloody leg stump that was taken off in a scary supernatural manner. Yes, you would have screamed. I am always a sleep talker/walker. Nate overreacts and tells me I am annoying, Reacher just groans and pushes me further away with his legs.

Christmas is 12 days away. I am officially done with my Christmas shopping, boooyah.

My newest nephew seems to be on the way. I think his official due date is now Christmas Eve. Poor buddy.  I tried to find a picture where you can see Lindsay's cute baby bump, but it is almost impossible to perceive in photos....but I know Linds doesn't feel that way in person! Mom, Dad, Reese and Linds in Oklahoma last week at Reese's graduation from Orthodontics residency/school. Yay!
Back at the ranch things are a-happenin'.
By the end of the week there will be insulation and drywall upstairs, along with a myriad of other things! We will be able to use heat...translation: y'all feel free to come visit next week! They also took down the half wall around the staircase and we will be getting grown up railings and such.
Some photo story-telling...

Keep you posted.

Friday, December 2

Let the fiesta continue

The fiesta in my living room that is.

This week our house was once again filled with worker bees as we renovated our fireplaces (not a literal we...we have mad skillz but not that mad). They were in serious need of repair with crumbling fireboxes and flues. We bit the bullet and went ahead with the $$$ fixes because it's one of the reasons we bought it in the first place and we were going to do it at some point anyway so why not now. Take a look. We no longer have to block them off as safety hazards and energy sucks....Just remembered that we DO have a safety hazard...see the giant gaping canyon in front of the pretty new firebox?
 We had them remove the buckling hearth and now have to reinforce it from below before laying a new one...if you give a mouse a cookie...Now, of truly garish nature, our master fireplace. The shoddily laid pink marble surround is going away along with its interesting mantle, but the firebox is oh-so-pretty. The guys were able to add another 8-10 inches to the depth. What a happy surprise!
And from outside: they built up the chimney to code, new flues, liners, cap, dampeners...the works. Some of those words were probably made up in my mind.
I see some of you are still jealous of our Tar Heel blue house...but as Clemson alum it turns our blood to ice. Sorry, little bro (UNC alumni), its gotta go. 

And the porch?
Almost there. 
Wired and ready to go for outdoor speakers, two fans, and two receptacles (plugs for us SC folk). 
Remember what it looked like before??

Still in the pipeline are our front steps and new walkway (we have to meet with the Historical Society to be approved), drywall hopefully by mid- January, insulate upstairs, reinstall moulding, paint hardwood floors upstairs, paint downstairs...overwhelmed, so I'm stopping. 

In other news, there have been some seriously fun finds recently...
I got this onesie Troy wall sconce from Habitat for $100...retails for $567. He has a future home, but not a current one. And is wonderfully large in person. 
And this table lamp for $180...retails for $840. Shazam. 
Mom got an amazing pair of sconces but I can't find them from any of our vendors and no mo' iPhone means no pictures on hand. 

I have been exhaustively searching for the perfect fabric for our lake house drapes, picky I might be...and it is a lake house so we don't want to break the bank. Today I found this Oscar de la Renta fabric and it will be perfect...it has a hand-made folksy look and beautiful colors. I may just have to go buy the rest of the lot tomorrow before work. 
We are making one pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and pepperoni pizza tonight...it will change your life. 

P.S. I am a professional run-on sentence maker. It would make my awesome Aunt Tracey (and little brother) cringe and turn blue, so don't let them read it, Hannah. Just pictures. We don't use sentences in my profession, or math. Calculus was a waste.

Thursday, December 1

It's an Etsy holiday

Check out the Luxe girls (me included) top Etsy picks for the holiday on our blog...

Wednesday, November 30

Note to self

1) The find my iPhone feature on iCloud only works if your phone is still alive
2) Next time you're in a car accident make sure you walk away with your vehicle's registration...not the other guy's.
3) Try getting a tangible paper calendar, iCal and all other systems with the "i" in front of them seem to have it out for you...but who really cares about appointments.
4) 100 year old, uninsulated homes are really quite chilly
5) Despite the energy savings, turning your water heater from "Very Hot" to merely "Hot" when your house hovers in the 50 degree range is just plain stupidity.
6) When all of the fluorescent light bulbs that hang above your plastic drop ceiling finally burn out, try replacing them...you can really only tell if the chicken is fully cooked when the lights are on.
7) NC State Vehicle Inspections are legit, please do them in a timely manner.
8) Front headlights are expensive.
9) Cockroaches are unfazed by hairspray...and room spray. Only husbands can do the trick.
10) When you and your husband fight over who gets the dog on their side you have reached a new low...turn on the heat and get a king sized bed.

Friday, November 18

Porch, ceiling, great finds

I was trying so hard to be a bit more consistent with my posts, but this week just sent us for a loop. School, work, house, work, school...you know. Good news... I'm 99.9% done with my project for school (due the week after Thanksgiving, man, I love being ahead of schedule).

Last weekend. We had several helpers with the front porch project...here is where we started:

Nate took the "siding" that had been added when they first lowered the porch floor off. The term "siding" can mean anything we have learned. In our case it was particleboard. Crumbly. Yuck.
Dan and Nate got started removing the flooring that need to go and tearing down most of the steps. After consulting with a good friend, who is also a contractor, we decided to build the new porch on top of the existing one.
You can see in this photo how the original porch floor came up to the front door and the current level of the newer porch floor.
After removing the particle board siding, Nate added that plastic stuff (really, it's called that) in case water came up towards the house. Like rain. Or giant snow drifts as Daniel pointed out...because of those mad blizzards we get here in North Carolina. You know. 
Next, they began framing up the new porch floor. We had the help of an awesome guy who has worked in construction before. We would have a crooked porch without Chris.
This is where we ended on day one...look at all of our happy helpers...at least two of them were very, strangely excited...HUGE thanks to all of our worker-bees!
On day two, Nate and Chris finished the framing and began rocking the porch flooring.
 And this is what it looked like at the end of day two...and today for that matter.  Sorry, the photo might make you feel like you are riding one of those giant swinging pirate ships at the state fair...
 Muuuch better, wouldn't you say? Hopefully, we will get the rest of it finished this weekend.
It's amazing what a couple of inches can do for the proportions of a home.

Yesterday my mom came up and cleaned our house for an entire day. She must love us or something. Thanks mom! Then today we went all over Charlotte and got some amazing finds! Will share those with you soon! Nate's home from work, gotta jet!

Monday, November 14

Ah-mazing, how does she do it?

Jenny on Little Green Notebook has once again pulled a stunning DIY out of her back pocket...This woman has some serious patience! Check out what she made and how she did it.

Saturday, November 12

Say it ain't so

And that is our inside temperature...

Friday, November 11

Design Shuffle Guest Post :: Eight Vintage Chic Rooms

I am so excited to have our first guest post here on The Life of Riley. When the ladies at Design Shuffle contacted me about doing a guest post I was thrilled...fodder for my readers who are tired of pictures of our creaky, old house! Have a great weekend...don't forget about Nate and his carpentry venture...I'll take many photographs.
Hi, I'm Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a fantastic social media site that showcases designers and their projects from around the world. I love following the house renovation on The Life of Riley so I'm excited to be a guest blogger here. My post today is about eight vintage chic rooms that range from sophisticated to shabby, with one thing in common: gorgeous vintage style and great decorating ideas. I hope you enjoy! Vintage Chic Rooms 
 Vintage pieces and a chic cool pastel color palette are gorgeous in this eating area. The vintage half dome light is perfect above the round top of the Tulip table. Vintage Chic Rooms 
This chic black, white and pink room is full of vintage pieces. A set of white painted vintage chairs around a Tulip table makes for a chic dining space. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 A vintage mirror and vintage botanic prints against zebra patterned wall paper make for a chic vintage room. Other vintage touches like a tortoiseshell patterned coffee table add to the vintage chic look. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 This living room design is so chic with its mix of vintage pieces. A vintage bar cart and a vintage black & white photograph gives the room a cool Mad Man chicness. Interior design ideas reminiscent of that era are so popular right now. Vintage Chic Rooms 
 This guest room/home office is a gorgeous example of mixing vintage pieces and interesting textiles for a chic look. The eclectic looking space is full of vintage chic charm from the desk chair to the daybed to the art.
  Vintage Chic Rooms
 With the trend of thrifty chic right now, mixing in vintage thrift store and flea market finds with new pieces is all the rage. A vintage chair, light and birdcage give this living room a chic look. Vintage Chic Rooms
 This home office is filled with chic vintage finds set against a gorgeous bright blue wallpaper. The eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories could be called effortlessly chic interior design. Vintage Chic Rooms
 For a vintage chic look that is has a touch of shabby chic, look for vintage pieces that show their age. Vintage floral paintings add a feminine style to this pretty bedroom design. [ Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / †5 / †6 / 7 / 8 ] Do you have any vintage pieces you can incorporate into your home? Find some great vintage ideas at Design Shuffle and learn about the history of interior design!
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