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Open House!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ok, guys, I think I'm finally ready, so...

Who wants to see my house?

(Because, really, it's not nerve-wracking at ALL to let the whole internet see your whole house and judge all your stuff and decorating skills and/or lack thereof. Nope. I am SO calm and at ease and please pass the eggnog.)

[chugging]
[slamming down glass]

Right. LET'S DO THIS.

Our tour begins here, in this gallery front room:

I'm especially excited to show you guys that back wall, because I just finished those gears two days ago!

John and I cut them from MDF at the same time we made the tree topper one a year or more back, but they've been sitting in the garage ever since. I based them in copper, and then used three different spray paints - a hammered copper, metallic bronze, and gold to create this finish:

 This one's a bit dark. The others have slightly more variation:

 That's an LED branch with peacock feathers left over from last year's tree topper in the vase.


Doo-dads. (Technical term.)


The art and clock are new, too. The clock was a recent gift from my parents' collection, and I bought the print here on DeviantArt (and for cheap! I love DeviantArt.)

K, now the other side of the room:

I don't think I've ever shown you guys my hot air balloon hooks behind the front door. When I bought them they were bright white and shiny, so I beat them up with a hammer, sanded them down, and slopped black glaze on to grunge them up. They're a real bugger to photograph, since there's no light over there, but here's my best shot:

 Here's the view from the front door:
We have a relatively small house (1400 sq ft) but this big open area makes it feel a lot bigger. 'Course, you ARE looking at the vast majority of the house right now. :)

Ok. So. Straight ahead is our back room, with the kitchen to the left and the dining room to the right:


 You've seen my dining room before, but here it is again, decked out for Christmas:


Alas, still no steampunk light fixture - although John's been drawing up blueprints for one just this week!

There's actually a plasma globe in that lantern next to my ray gun. It doesn't really show, but the purple streamers of light in it look really cool next to the gun. (The post the lantern is sitting on is just a painted piece of PVC pipe. )

This was the hardest - and last - vignette I put together. I scrounged through the house looking for anything fuchsia. (The star is sitting on a cup I hold my makeup brushes in, turned upside down.)

Here's the top of that cabinet:
 I like all the sparkly clear glass and silver. 
(The plexiglass NOEL is edged in silver glitter, so you can only see it clearly from an angle.)

Random close-up:

Sometimes you lovely readers will send me an antique key or two. I just want you to know they're all being put to good use. :)

I've had several requests this past year to post more pictures of my kitchen, so I did my best! Here's the side you've seen before:


And now the other side:

 
John and I gutted the kitchen down to the studs about four (or was it five?) Christmases ago, and rebuilt it all ourselves using Ikea cabinets. It's a really tiny galley kitchen, only about four feet wide, but I love it dearly. (If you're wondering where we keep the food, there's a pantry/laundry room through the bifold door at the end. And the ceiling is flat; the wide-angle lens just makes it look sloped.)

Further proof of how tiny our kitchen is: I can't actually stand IN the kitchen to take pictures of it. This was taken through the window over the sink. Note that we only have a two burner stove top over there. Note also that we don't cook, so this has never been an issue. :D 

We painted the wall finish ourselves, too. It's modeled after some ridiculously expensive tile of the same shape and colors.

And finally, our back room, complete with my treadmill desk eyesore:

See the giant tree through the windows? It's so big that you can stand in one place and see it through three of those windows. Pretty awesome.

When John and I bought this house (which is also our first house) it was high-gloss Pepto pink inside and out, with dark wood paneling and shiny pink ceramic tile throughout. Some day I should post before and after pics for you guys, because they're really fun to look back through, just to see how far we've come.

BUT, that's definitely enough rambling and pictures for now - and this is my last Christmas show-and-tell post, promise! I hope you had fun, because now I'm off to grab all the junk I had to hide in other rooms and strew it around the place again. (Just keeping it real, yo.)

One last night shot of my front room, since it's prettier with the curtains open:

 Mmmm. Glowy.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Posted by Jen at 11:00 AM Labels: , ,

101 comments:

  1. I Love it, and I really adore the kitchen!

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  2. I don't have any Christmas up yet except for a dinky paper Advent calendar and a white styrofoam Advent wreath. It's been much too crazy. I've been decorating vicariously through you - just leaving up Epbot in the background and sometimes scrolling through and sighing lovingly.

    I love how different the decor is around the lady's portrait vs two years ago. I was just showing Mr. Haiku and he agreed - awesome work, you guys.

    I'm only about two days done from all grading done for the semester. Next time, I'm going to be an art teacher.

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  3. Wow! Beautiful house! come to Washington and redecorate ours!!!

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  4. These are beautiful! Are the walls in the kitchen painted or did you get some kind of tiling done? (I find the kitchen especially interesting because I live in New York City where *all* kitchens are small.)

    Also I am blaming you for my obsession with hot air balloons. First the ornaments and now the hooks! I am moving this spring and I suspect I am going to drive my boyfriend crazy with balloon decor.

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  5. I love, love, LOVE those wall gears! I would make some for my house, expect we haven't got it built yet, and I have no space left on my mobile home walls.

    Also I don't decorate for Christmas, becasue again, temporary mobile home living, so your posts gave my a wonderful feeling. I have saved so many of your Christmas tutorials that I think my future house might explode from them. :)

    Thank you so much Jen!

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  6. I am IN LOVE with your kitchen!!!!!

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  7. I cannot imagine how you could ever be nervous about showing us your fantastic decorating skills. If I had the money, I would hire you. My house is small too and to think the wonders you could do with it. In the meantime, you are my inspiration.

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  8. I ADORE your house. Just enough steampunk, not overly feminine - this is how I want my place to look one day. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  9. You're home is beautiful! I'm loving all the Christmas decor. You did a fantastic job!

    Before and after pictures would be fun to see!!

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  10. Your home is so elegant. I love it.

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  11. Your house looks beautiful for Christmas! Thanks for the tour! =)

    (And thanks for helping me prove to my husband that you hid some mess out of frame. He was getting on to me about my creativity being messy when he saw your house, and didn't believe me that you would hide stuff before the photos, hehe.)

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  12. wow amazing! WIsh i could hire you to come redo my house. Your's is beautiful ; ) Thanks for sharing!!

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  13. Those gears you made for the front room are so cool! :)

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  14. Your house is so pretty! One of these days I'm going to find time to decorate hopefully as we'll as you do!

    PS The steampunk wedding is coming together...I get more excited about it every day!

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  15. It's beautiful! You have a great eye for putting vignettes together-very inspiring. We have 2 young kids so decorating with that many "breakables" would be a challenge, but it's so great to see your style and tuck ideas away for later!

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  16. Wonderful! I love the hot air balloon hooks; the way you "aged" them they look like something adorable and unique that has been in your family for decades!

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  17. I'm probably a bit older than most of your fans, but I love your style. You do Steam punk, elegantly! I don't know how you do it, its not overdone, but the YOU comes through to make it warm and inviting. You are very talented. Please keep it up. You make me want to incorporate this style in my jewelry making, thanks for the inspiration. your house is beautiful. Oh, and BTW, hiding the clutter is what all creative people have to do! LOL!

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  18. Our house is about the same square footage (1425, to be exact), but it's not NEARLY that open! So jealous! And I have serious handscraped floor envy going on too. Plus, how do you keep so many doodads around with two cats? Mine would be all up in that stuff, knocking it over and trashing the place! (Not to mention the geekling we have as well, but he's easier to train lol!)

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  19. Jen, your house is lovely and Christmas-y! Thank you for being brave and sharing!

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  20. Your house is fantastic! Seriously- you may stress over it, but you are a great decorator! I would go through & mention what all I love about your house, but that would just be repeating your entire post! :) I have not been in the Christmas spirit this year, but your posts are definitely helping! :)

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  21. You have a very nice house.

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  22. So pretty! Love it all! Especially the plasma light and ray gun. Too funny! The balloons and the gears are cooltoo!

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  23. What a beautiful home! I might not want to ever go out of it either. :) And I'd love to see the pepto-pink before pics!

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  24. Love, love, love! As far as house size, we live in a condo that's smaller than 600 sq ft, so I envy you a bit--haha.

    Keep showing us the result of your creativity--you and John are both amazing!

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  25. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TREADMILL DESK!

    My husband wants a treadmill (I think for a desk) but we're still in the saving up for it part of the plan.

    I really do want to know more about how you use it.

    And your house looks LOVELY.

    nicole@nicolehannah.ca

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  26. Your home looks beautiful. I adore the back splash in the kitchen!

    A 2 burner stove, I would never survive.

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  27. When you and John are tired of your current exploits, you could hire yourselves out to remodel/redecorate homes. Mine certainly needs your help! It's not so much decorated as much as has stuff put places because it needed somewhere to go. I still love your apothecary drawers and want some of my own someday.

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  28. Your house is so beautiful!

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  29. @ Games Mistress: the kitchen wall are painted, yes. Well, faux-finished, if you want to get fancy, but that's just paint with glaze over it. :)

    @ Tori - Our cats are *extremely* well-behaved - something I realize every year when I see other cats destroying Christmas stuff! I think it's because we're able to spend way more time with them then most people can, working from home, so we've been around to train them more diligently. They'll still go after danglies or feathers, tho, and once in a blue moon something gets knocked over when they're zooming through the house playing. :)

    @ Marissa - Ooh, we've been there! Our 1st 2 yrs of marriage we lived in a 500 sq ft condo, too! So, yes, this house feels like a palace in comparison. Ha!

    @ Nicole - Ah, here's my post on the treadmill desks - it's a DIY hack, and really easy to make!

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  30. OMG! I love, love, love you house! Everything looks so amazing and put together. I feel like I need to do a massive cleaning and de-cluttering now.

    My eye was immediately drawn to the clear glass display in your dining room. I'm so glad you added a close up. I really like what you did the with lighting and glass.

    And count me among those who was inspired by your treadmill desk. When DH decided he wanted a treadmill my only request was that I could easy use it with the laptop. It is just a shelf made of pieces of spare 2 by but it works. Now if only I used it more...

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  31. LOVE it!!! Do you remember the name of the color of your living room walls? It is THE perfect color.
    Squee!
    Love your decorations...Christmas & every day!

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  32. Beautiful house!
    No eggnog needed!

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  33. That is absolutely amazing. I never would have thought of decorating my house in Steampunk, but I have a sudden desire to rip it apart and start. You guys having amazing talent!!

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  34. I have to admit I don't come over here much (tend to stay on CakeWrecks), but I followed your Facebook link and OMG OMG OMG OMG. Your house is stunning! The Christmas tree is beautiful, but that takes backseat to all the "doo-dads" and gadgets and WOW. Amazing.

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  35. Beautiful! I love your style!

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  36. You LIVE here?!? Your house is gorgeous!! O.o Real people don't live in such gorgeous houses. You must be a figment of my imagination... My imagination ROCKS!

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  37. I love your house! Very homey & warm! You should be super proud! I also love your ragdoll kitty cat! My favorite breed and makes me love you even more!

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  38. Thank you for sharing - love your house and your style! :) I adore the walls in the kitchen (already loved the rest of the house, but the kitchen was new to me) - at first I thought it was old recycled wood planks that were painted (which gives me an idea - thanks!), but I love that you did them yourselves. Why is backsplash tile so darn expensive?! Pat yourself on the back with a job well done!

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  39. Jen.

    Can you adopt me?

    I'm at college half the year anyways so you don't even need to take care of me!

    I just want to be in such a beautiful house for once in my life.

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  40. It was amazes me how you can create a cozing and happy feeling with your decor. I loved it. Sometimes I think abouth holidays decorations and then I think, what for? Nobody will see or enjoy it. So I just perv over other peoples holiday's decorations when the post it on their blogs. :D Have a very happy christmas and new year. And thanks for all the fun!

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  41. Your whole place is very well done, but my favorites are your "gears" and the plasma ray gun (I think that's what you called it). I see now where all your creative cake posts come from, general life creativity! Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Nice work on the remodeling. You are my kind of people, cheap and not afraid of stealing ideas. Also happy to see you fessed up about what is hidden in the other rooms. I get a bit depressed when looking at neat-as-a-pin rooms when my family room looks more like an episode of Hoarders.

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  43. @ Heather - the color is Familiar Beige by Sherwin Williams, #SW6093. (John just dug out the paint deck for you to check - and he says now you HAVE to use it. Ha!) We've also used Interactive Cream and Kilim Beige a lot in the past. Both are gorgeous, go-with-everything colors that we used extensively in our pro painter days.

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  44. "...decorating skills and / or lack thereof." Right. Sure. My place looks a lot like that -- in my dreams.

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  45. I was very worried until the end of your post when you said you had hidden all the mess. Ahhhh. I feel better now. What a lovely, comfortable home!

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  46. You're house is gorgeous! And you're kitchen is fantastic. You really have amazing taste!

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  47. Your house is beautiful...I am jealous that you can really deck out since you don't have kids to come right behind you and destroy everythign that you put into it :)
    On a side note though, I would have loved to see a picture of your penny table decked out for Christmas also.

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  48. Your house is adorable and your decorations are FAB!!! :)

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  49. I love love love love your house! Especially since it's so obvious how much you love it and put into it. We have a teeeeeny little townhome, and we've been slow to figure out aesthetically what we want. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  50. That is one beautiful house! You did yourself very proud...love it!

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  51. Thank you for sharing! It really looks like you've achieved the cozy Christmas feeling you've talked about. a complete Christmas transformation!

    I would love to hear more details about the gears and how you did the spray paint finish. They look amazing and I'd love to make some for our slooowly progressing steampunk bedroom

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  52. Just beautiful, Jen!
    I cannot believe you painted your kitchen like that...I thought those were tiles. How long did that take you guys to get the "tiles" just right? The only part I didn't like was your butcher knife collection. That totally gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don't have knives like that because they scare me! Other than that I'd do a house swap with you in an instant! Gorgeous with all the Christmas decorations!

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  53. I love the way you decorate and put little areas together. You think of putting things together I never would have thought would go together. Your use of color combinations and lighting is awesome! way to go!

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  54. I don't understand, there's like nothing on the floor. How do you work such magic?

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  55. Jen, your house is precious!
    (And I really wish I lived there. In a non creepy way. You know.)
    And you could never post too many christmas-y posts.

    I plan to spend my winter break making festive things you have posted about.

    <3

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  56. Your decorations are wonderful, but I find myself also oohing and aahing over the gorgeous RED leather couch and chair... and the cat posing so prettily under the Christmas tree. I know you say you have cats, but I can't believe that thing is real because 1) it's posing so nicely and 2) it's not attacking the tree.

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  57. Your house is gorgeous. I love the way you decorated it. All your mad little knick-knacks are brilliant. WOOOOW !!!

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  58. Girl. Just...GIRL. Your house is adorable! I love that except for a few things that are obviously Christmas-oriented at first glance(i.e., the tree, wreaths, and the glass "NOEL"), you could pretty much leave your place exactly as is all year round; they're decorations, but they're unconventional enough to not SCREAM "CHRISTMAS!!" at you, like most do. Does that make sense? And is it weird/obsessive/selfish that I wanna see your craft room/office and bedroom as well? ;)

    You are inspiring me in a huge way, as you have been for ages, but since the new owners of our house want us to stay (YAY NOT MOVING! We've been here almost 6 years, and we love it) and are going to paint the outside of our house and do other repairs right after New Year, I am feeling SUPER nesty and crafty; I can't wait to get started on some of the DIY and craft/decorating ideas I've gotten from you!

    Cheers, thanks a lot!

    Storm

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  59. With how beautiful thouse rest of the house is, you have MORE than enough eyesore points to spend on something as useful as the treadmill desk!

    Seriously, my place is like, 90% treadmill desk level eyesore, but most of it is no where near as amazingly functional.

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  60. Your home is gorgeous, I love your loungeroom, it's amazing. This is the sort of house I would like if I a) had talent and b) owned a house instead of renting.

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  61. Jen, it's beautiful! I love the colors in your house. They make it very warm and cozy. You did good, sister! :)

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  62. You had me at gears on the wall and fuchsia ray gun:)
    I found you via Pinterest and your penny desk project - too cool!

    I want you to know you cost me a whole hour this morning when I should have been doing other things:)Love your presentation style - it's a lot of fun to read!

    My favorite is the awesome cabinet in the dining room - LOVE it the doors are inspired awesomeness and I love the sparkly decorating you did up top - the Christmas version is cool too.

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  63. I'm always so jealous of people who can decorate like that! My little gatherings of things around the house always make my husband get on this "I don't want to hurt your feelings but I really don't like that look!"
    Plus, well, with three kids (and, yeah, ok, really I'm kind of clutzy), we don't have a lot of nice, pretty things laying around!
    Looks awesome - way to go!

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  64. Your house is adorable, your decorations are FANTASTIC, and your kitchen may be tiny but I LOVE it!

    You guys did a beautiful job -- I cannot believe that backsplash is just paint! What kind of paint did you use, and does it have some kind of a clear coat? That gives me wonderful ideas; I'll never talk my husband into spending money on a tile backsplash with so many other house projects having priority, but paint I can do!

    Most of all, I just love your creativity and your can-do attitude about making stuff that most people buy. You and John are SO talented!

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  65. Very lovely and unique - thank you for sharing! I especially love the kitchen, but maybe it's because I also recently re-did a rental kitchen with IKEA cabinets and love it more than my own kitchen! You definitely have talent with decorating and putting together ideas - the Christmas decorations especially. I don't know how you would even find out about this in your area, but my sister-in-law does work on the side being hired to come in and decorate houses for Christmas (for the decorating-challenged folks with $$ to spend). Just an idea maybe for an opportunity to share your creativity :)

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  66. I love it! You decorate with a perfect blend of "traditional" Christmas, and that geeky, steamy edge we've come to know and love.

    Thanks for sharing! Now go enjoy Christmas!

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  67. Jen your house is absolutely STUNNING! You have the most amazing taste, and I love how you spend the time to make every piece classic, unique and timeless in its own right. You seriously have mad vignette making skills! Wish I would set a table top as lovely as you. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  68. Thank you for linking that gorgeous print! It was just what I needed for a large alcove. Added bonus - Deviant Art has free shipping today. I can't believe the money I nearly wasted for far inferior prints. Can I ask where you found the perfect frame?

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  69. Lovely house and even more impressive: getting the cat in the first photo to pose decoratively next to the tree.

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  70. I love ALL of it! It's really gorgeous! I'd especially like to know how you did the kitchen walls. I adore your tiny kitchen! Just enough storage to hide what you need to, and places to display pretties and cool stuff! Just what a kitchen should be! ¯(ツ)/¯ Your house is really beautiful. Would love to see the 'before and afters'!

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  71. What a beautiful, interesting house. Great job! LOVE the air balloon hooks. :D

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  72. The kitty under the tree in the first pic is the cutest thing ever! What a beautiful home!

    Also, the glasses sitting on that tiny shelf in your kitchen freak me out but I think that's because I'm from California where EVERYTHING needs to be surrounded by wire in case of an earthquake. Boo.

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  73. Amazing house photos. I'd post pictures of my house, but it's a pain to artfully crop out the random toys/papers/etc that seem to replicate and spread while we sleep. It's kind of like having Household Tribbles. (Only without the cute fuzziness.)

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  74. I have an important question: How do you keep your doo-dads from looking like clutter? Because your house looks interesting and quirky, and mine just looks messy.

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  75. **sigh** I can tell you don't have children. I'm a wee bit jealous. Beautiful home.

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  76. @ Tara A. - the frame & mat came from Hobby Lobby when they were running a big sale - 60% off, I believe. They even framed it for us for free, adding the hanger & little rubber corner bumpers & paper backing & everything. (Of course, it DID take three tries for them to cut the mat properly, and the mat was a special order, so the whole process took over a month. Still, for all the money we saved, it was worth it!)

    @ Dana - I think the doo-dads vs clutter thing is a matter of personal taste, but I find it helps if you group things by color, or at least have 3 pops of the same accent color to tie it all together. Other than that, just stare at it & keep trying new things until it looks right to you!

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  77. So. Those keys. Yeah. My son has managed, by dent of having teeny little five year old hands, to lock the antique key in the corner cabinet, and nobody here is adept at picking the lock.

    The third key from the left looks EXACTLY like the one he locked in the cabinet. Or maybe the fourth.

    I don't suppose I could borrow them long enough to unlock the cabinet? Didn't think so. Sigh. Oh well. I'll have to figure out how to pick the lock.

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  78. LOVE IT!!! And I'm not a big steam punk fan but I sure like the way you do it! We finally got some lights in the yard to make our kids happy, plus the usual tree & stockings. The Lego Star Wars Advent calendar was on sale & the kids have been enjoying it very much.

    Haiku Joy, don't feel bad. I remember grading biology tests & labs right before Xmas. There is no free time! (Until Dec 26th, of course!) Best of luck to you! :-)

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  79. Dear Jen,
    I've just moved into a less-than-400sq. ft apartment in Hong Kong (let's not talk about how much it costs, or even how many digits are in the monthly rental price). I love getting to look at your luxurious, GIGANTIC, so comfy-looking, stylish, American home! (It makes me miss living in American homes...) I couldn't even dream of buying a single wreath or else I might not be able to walk to my bedroom! Perhaps I will email you pictures one day for your entertainment. :)
    Thanks for the lovely eye candy! I hope you enjoy your home! :)

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  80. So beautiful! (Does anyone else hear Jim Carrey saying "B-E-A-utiful" every time they spell that word? No,just me? Okay then.) I love your style, Jen. And I REALLY want to see those pink "before" pics!
    Do you mind if I tease you for a minute? I can't help wondering what two people who don't cook are doing with such a display of knives! Are they for defense? (Or are you going to tell us that they're really just painted on there. I'd believe you; you've demonstrated enough talent!)
    One final thought to share from my coffee-charged brain this morning: We have some Christmas decorations outside. Not a lot, just what we could manage, and I discovered something kind of cool by accident. If you have just one of those stags that light up in your yard all by itself it looks like Harry's patronus. It's awesome! Every time I come home at night and that stag is lit up I yell "Expecto Patonum!" and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy. It's working though; no dementors in sight!

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  81. so, when are you coming to westford, ma to upgrade/decoreate RENOVATE my house? please oh please? your place is GORGEOUS and so creative!

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  82. Gorgeous! I love it all! You are a decor genius! Thanks for sharing! SO GLOWY! ahhhh - Kermit arms
    SusanM

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  83. These are just absolutely stunning. My roommates and I are all going to our parents' for Christmas, so we haven't really decorated. Thank you so much for sharing these!

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  84. Absolutely gorgeous! I especially adore your kitchen! Thank you for sharing!

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  85. You're home is absolutely gorgeous-with or without Christmas decor! I also super love your kitchen-it looks fantastic!!
    I'm really wanting to throw out most of my stuff and redecorate completely, modeling it after your stuff! :p

    Merry Christmas, and keep up the awesome!

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  86. Stunning! I really love it. Thank you for sharing. I am both inspired and jealous.

    I've only a naked pine tree up so far. Although, I DO have the Christmas Stuff totes in from the garage.

    I am hosting Christmas this year, so I will be VERY busy the next few days! I think I may be in the Deer-In-Headlights stage of preparations.

    Andrea

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  87. You have a beautiful house and I love how you have decorated it! First thing I noticed about your front room was those gears! What a neat touch! Then I noticed the elaborately staged cat under the tree ;) Nice touch, haha! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy Christmahanakwanzika to you and yours!

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  88. your house is lovely. I covet the light fixture over your dining table. Where did you get that?

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  89. @zoomom... Now I need to go to Canadian Tire and buy a stag, darn it! :)

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  90. Longtime Cake Wrecks and Epbot reader...just wanted to say that your ENTIRE home is just gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. You both have such enviable talent (actually, more like GIFTED) and I enjoy everything you post about and make.
    So again, so beautiful...my daughter is a budding Steampunk fan so she will truly love seeing these pics!

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  91. I LOVE it! :D

    Did you pose the cat in the first picture, or was that totally random? (Knowing cats, it was a blue eyed miracle I'm sure!)

    You and John can come do my house next year. ;)

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  92. I LOVE your decorations! So Pretty! So Steampunky!

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  93. Your home is lovely and you can see the work and love you have both poured into it. Just like your blogs and everything you've shown us, it's beautiful, classy and fun! Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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  94. Beautiful home! Not sure if you're interested, but I saw steampunk/Victorian fabris on equilter.com last week, and thought of you! Actually, after seeing your home, I don't think you need it, it's perfect as it is!!

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