Category Archives: On the Road

Out and about: Homearama!

Homearama Fall 2011 just wrapped up at the end of October here in Hampton Roads. If you’re not familiar, Homearama is a big home and garden showcase where new construction houses are all dressed up and shown off. In this area, Homearama has been around since (I think) the early eighties. I used to go faithfully every year because there are few things in this world that I enjoy more than walking through other people’s houses (keep those doors locked, folks), but in recent years, it’s just sort of slipped off my radar. In fact, they’ve started holding Spring Homearama, too, and I’ve never gone to any of those. Anyway, my friend Deb and I did make it to this year’s Homearama, which you can read more about here, and it was really nice. 

I really liked that there were only 9 houses this year. Back in the day, it was pretty standard to have 15-20 houses open — and that’s just too many. Also back in the day, the houses tended to be these giant cavernous structures…gorgeous and amazing, yes, but SO unrealistic for your average Joe. This year’s houses were definitely large, but still cozy…and they were certainly pricey, but they felt like they could be home, as long as you ignored the price tag.

I also loved the coastal and cottagey feel to all the houses. Some were pretty modern inside, but outside was nice and casual and lovely.

Here’s where I apologize for my pics – these were all taken with my phone. I didn’t take my real camera because I didn’t want to be the girl holding everyone up while I tried to get my camera settings adjusted and whatnot. It wasn’t packed when we went, but there was a steady stream of folks in each house, so I was a hasty picture taker. Here are some things that caught my eye:

Great ceilings – we saw several really pretty and detailed ceilings. I loved this one, which was in a casual media room. Such a nice architectural touch.

Outdoor spaces – Homearama has always had amazing landscaping and amazing pools and gorgeous outdoor kitchens and on and on and on. This year had some beautiful spots, and my favorite was this second floor covered balcony. It was really cute, set off the upstairs central landing . I loved the gauzy curtains!

Fun furniture – it was very refreshing to see a very eclectic mix of pieces throughout the houses. It wasn’t just contemporary or modern, it was vintage and distressed and funky and whimsical. Lots of great pieces that I would love to have for my own! 

Amazing built-ins – you know I love a built-in. One of the houses was sponsored by The Closet Factory, and there were built-ins by them EVERYWHERE. Seriously, you couldn’t find a corner or wall expanse that had not been claimed by The Closet Factory. They were all gorgeous, no doubt, but it was a bit of overkill. I did, however, really love the breakfast nook they set up in the kitchen – this is what I want my kitchen to look like!

Creative storage – all of the houses had amazing closet spaces in the master bedrooms, which has always been a Homearama tradition. Like, major whoa closets, bigger than my office…some bigger than my bedroom. Most of them were seriously tricked out with shelves and racks and jewelry trays and shoe racks and full length mirrors and kitchen sinks (that’s a joke). But I think that Deb and I were both most impressed by this one tiny little cabinet that we found in a master bathroom – girls, behold!

THAT MAY BE THE BEST THING EVER.

Amazing windows – all the houses had amazing windows throughout, and I really loved the little accent windows we saw in a lot of the more cottagey houses. My favorites were these in a master bedroom – lots of light without sacrificing privacy, and they made a great headboard!

Weathered woods – this made me happiest of all. I saw lots of weathered wood used throughout, and I support this! It really enhanced the coastal vibe, and I just always always always love weathered wood in furniture. ♥

Gorgeous!

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On the road: Thrift Store Heaven

Mister and I hit the road a few weekends ago with the intention of swinging by a few local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, to see what we could see. I also wanted to check out the Habitat For Humanity thrift store – also called ReStore – mainly because I’d seen a lot of talk about it over on Young House Love. I think Habitat is an amazing organization, so I’m happy to support them, as well. We decided to hit the Habitat store first…and we never made it any farther!! This place was awesome! Filled with anything and everything you can think of – entire lengths of kitchen counter, full walls of cabinets…hardware and tools and random pieces of things…all kinds of chandeliers…tons of glass vases and other small decorative items…and so much large scale furniture! ♥ I totally didn’t take any pics of the store itself because I was just all “look at that! oh, look at that! ooh, look at this!” from the moment we walked in.

The reason we didn’t make it to any other stores is because we filled up the car (well, SUV) right here at the very first stop! Check out this cool stuff!

These are a little scratched up, but they’re a nice heavy wood, and they’re great little accent pieces. They were only $2.99 and $3.99! (Similar bowls at some of my favorite stores are $40 and up, so yay me.)

This was the first piece we saw, which was clearly marked at $29.99. 🙂 Let me say right now, before I go any further, that Mister did find everything we bought, except for the bowls. I will also say that he found these items because he moved through the store faster than I did, and therefore saw them first, but still, props to him for recognizing great stuff that I would love. 😉

Anyway…this cabinet is really big – it’s hard to tell in the pic, I think – and I think it would be so cute with a shabby, weathered paint job, and then perfect on the wall in our downstairs bathroom. Yay!

Just $19.99 for this table! This will be another painting project, and then we plan to use it on the back porch to house our outside stereo…we think. We’ll see how that works out, but for 20 bucks, we couldn’t leave it there!

And finally, my absolute favorite oh-my-goodness piece of the day! I lovelovelovelove this dresser – and it was only $49.99!!!! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m so happy we found it! I go in the guest room every few days just to look at it and smile. True story.

We were so happy with all the cool stuff we found…and THEN we realized that it was 50% off the whole store that day! 50%!! We got all this awesome stuff for just over $50!!!!! ALL THRIFT STORE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES SHOULD GO LIKE THIS!

Be sure to check out your local Habitat thrift store, if you have one. For my local folks here in Hampton Roads – this was the store on Providence Road. They were super nice and helpful in there, too, so be sure to check it out!


I could live at Ikea.

So, if you recall, back in May we hit the road for a weekend, and that road trip included a stop at Ikea, which is one of my most favorite places to stop ever! There are wonderful things there. They also play the best movies on the TVs in their living room displays; we saw The Cat In the Hat (the original cartoon), Mary Poppins, and Charlotte’s Web. That’s how they get ya.

Anyway, we did do some shopping which I’ll share later. For now, here are some of my favorite things!

Those plates and bowls are actually from the kids’ section, so they’re wee, but oh so adorable!

I would like to have all of these lights in my house. ♥

There are always great art prints to be found at Ikea. I love the Picasso sketches at the bottom.

We do plan – some day – to redo our kitchen, and Ikea is certainly a likely option for new cabinets and stuff. We really like this dark kitchen, and the island is amazing. I forget exactly what Mister was doing at the sink, but he’s cute, right? ♥

We really REALLY like this white kitchen with its bead board paneling look – this could very well be the kitchen we want for someday. Different counters, probably, but everything else is just perfect for our cute little cottage house.

We also found this great living room set – again with the paneling we like – and it looks like it would be perfect for our front wall in the living room, where we’ve thought about adding some built-ins. We brought home an info sheet so we can do some measuring and figuring to see if these cabinets would fit. I think we’d probably go with open shelves up top and the closed cabinet on the bottom…I think. The great thing about Ikea is that you can do so much mixing and matching to get the perfect fit.

Yay for Ikea! I’ll get back to you soon with some pics of what we brought home.


On the road: Lucketts Spring Market

The Lucketts Spring Market was all these things, in no particular order: busy, hot, smelly, fun, muddy, awesome. Leesburg, VA is a precious town, with a gorgeous historical district, and lots of really cute antique shops in addition to Lucketts. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway.

I didn’t take my fancy camera with me, so I was just using my cell phone for pics, and I didn’t get any good ones of the market overall, or of the crowd. You can see more of that at the Lucketts blog, as well as on the Miss Mustard Seed blog.

There was SO much to see there. Mister and I covered it all…I think…and saw lots of really great things. There was a ton of furniture pieces, which made me happy, and just a plethora of anything and everything else. Today I’ll share some of my favorite finds from around the market.

That table full of blue glass items drew me in so fast….you guys know I can’t resist glass. The dresser above was really a very deep teal color, which my cell phone just couldn’t fight the sun to capture. I also just love old photographs, whether they’re of people I know or not, so I loved looking over the photo displays I came across.

There were two of the wooden theater seats available, and just $42 each, which I thought was pretty awesome. They’re a great blank palette – you could do any sort of fun paint treatment and they would just be precious.

I loved both of these things.

We also toured the Lucketts Design House, which is a gorgeous old farm house filled with just beautiful stuff. And I mean like really filled – this house is packed! I wish I had gotten more pics, but there were SO many people in there, and it was SO hot, so we didn’t spend a ton of time in there. But truly, every room was just marvelously set up with so many gorgeous items: great refinished case goods, beautifully upholstered couches and chairs, and really lovely accent pieces, all with a very vintage feel that was both rustic and glamorous.

At the market, we also found some weird stuff. Weird, but cool. Like this:

The giant head didn’t have a price tag on it, and we didn’t feel strongly enough about it to find someone who could tell us the price….but I feel pretty sure that IF it had been sitting there with a clearly marked price of, say, $5 – it would have come home with us.

We also found some things that were just weird.

We also, unfortunately, saw several copies of this sign:

I love the shabby, distressed look of it, but NO NO. No apostrophe needed!

Overall, the market really was a lot of fun and I’m so glad we went. Be sure to check back here tomorrow to see exactly what treasures made their way home with us! Yay for treasures!


On the Road – soon!

Ohmahgah – we’re hitting the road tomorrow morning and heading to Leesburg, VA for the Lucketts Spring Market! I didn’t even know this existed until about a month ago…I’ve been reading the Miss Mustard Seed blog for a few months, and she’s been talking about Lucketts since she has a booth there…but I didn’t realize that Lucketts was in Virginia until recently. I’M IN VIRGINIA!! Mister has been pleasantly agreeable to this plan, and even made the arrangements. That’s why we ♥ him.

It’s about a 4 hour drive for us, so we will not be there when the gates open, but hopefully we will make it not too long after. They’ve got almost 200 dealers participating this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing so much cool stuff! Antiques, refurbs, collectibles, vintage clothing and jewelry – this is going to be awesome! I would love to come back loaded with treasures…but even if not, I know I’ll have tons of pics to share with you next week!

Happy weekend, everyone!

P.S. Be sure to check out Miss Mustard Seed’s blog, linked above – I adore her refinished items, and I’m totally inspired by her. ♥


On the road: Staunton

*picture by me

I told you about our trip to the mountains for Valentine’s Day (yay!)…while we were there, we did take a trip in to Staunton, VA for some sightseeing. Staunton is a very pretty town and we spent most of the afternoon in the historic downtown district, as seen above. Because it was Sunday, and not tourist season, a lot of the cute little shops were closed. But they looked precious when we peeked in! We had a really nice lunch at a little restaurant called Under the Clock Tower which is located — can anyone guess? Under this clock tower:

*picture by me

We were the only customers in there, which was kinda awesome. The food was really yummy and they were really friendly, so I recommend it next time you’re in Staunton! Speaking of that, I do want to share the two shops that were open..and get this, this pertains to my to-do list! Yes! We hit a few antique shops – so cute – so let me tell you about them! Okay!

First was 17 East Beverley Antiques. This was a really nice shop – like, fancy antiques. They had all sorts of furniture, jewelry, home decor, clothing, and so much more. They had a few really awesome vintage suitcases, for pretty reasonable prices, but I didn’t buy any. I kind of regret that. We actually didn’t buy anything here, but there were some things I would have loved to pick up!

There was also a room with tons of vintage pin up art – so awesome! These were the real deal items, though, so they were not cheap by any means. If they had been, you know, like $5 a piece…oh, we would have wiped them out. 🙂 But they were not, so we just drooled over them a bit and then went on our way.

After we left 17, we went wandering around the rest of the town. We happened to glance down a side road and saw an Antiques sign that seemed to be pointing down an alley. So we gave it a shot…and I am so glad we did! While 17 Antiques was nice and neat and orderly, this place was a big jumble of stuff and kind of dirty…which I really kind of prefer when I’m hunting for cool old stuff. This was Frontier’s Antiques, owned by a very, very nice man who was more than accommodating.

That’s Mr. Glover. He had some great architectural salvage in the alley, and then he opened up two massive rooms for us to explore. One was full of glass and china and bottles and cabinets and baskets and on and on and on. The other was mostly furniture, and some really nice pieces, too. He was wonderful with his prices, and more than willing to bargain a little, which was fun. 🙂 We did spend a little bit of money with him and got some things I’m really excited about…but that’s gonna be a separate post. I also just realized that I didn’t take any pics of the furniture items…for shame. Either way, next time you’re in Staunton, please be sure to stop by Frontier’s Antiques on Central Avenue, and plan to spend an hour or so combing through all sorts of treasures.


On the road: Steeles Tavern

Mr. and I headed up to the Virginia mountains for Valentine weekend, and instead of a hotel, we opted for a cabin. Best decision ever. We found some cute little cabins at Alpine Hideaway and booked the Pond View Cottage. This place was SO adorable – just right for two people, with a super comfy living room and a luxurious bed piled high with pillows (which I love!). The website makes a point to say that this cabin is not secluded…but we still felt like we were tucked away from the world!

Be sure to check out the links above for some great pictures of the cabin – they’re much better than mine. I will share this one, from when we first arrived — the cabin owners had the little teddy bear and balloon waiting for us, along with a little box of Godiva chocolates and a really sweet Valentine book.

There were lots of little surprises around the cabin, really just in how well it was stocked. Things were labeled, very helpfully…there was a binder full of menus from local restaurants…everything you needed to get a fire going…lots of little sample-sized goodies…and it was all just so clean and cozy and so thoughtfully decorated. We could have stayed for a whole week.

The cabins are located in Steeles Tavern, VA – about midway between Lexington and Staunton, so there are plenty of places to explore. Plus, if you like driving like we do, it’s lovely to just cruise around the area to enjoy the scenery – rolling hills, lots of farmland and cows, the mountains not too far off in the distance. Beautiful!

If you’re looking for a getaway, I’d absolutely recommend Alpine Hideaway. It’s a gorgeous location, they’re very focused on giving you an amazing experience, and it’s so much sweeter than a hotel or even a B&B because you truly get your own little corner of peace and quiet.