Our New House: The Before Pics!

May 26, 2014

Hey guys! Apologies for the loooong radio silence but moving really kicked my butt, in a big way! Honestly, if I never have to sort through another drawer or closet, I’ll be totally happy! We’re still settling in but are absolutely loving our new townhouse and it already feels like home. To tell you the truth, I’m actually totally surprised by how much we really do love it here, considering what a big decision we felt it was to downsize in the first place. Even though it’s smaller than our last house (a rancher), living in a split-level feels like we have so much more personal space than we had before. Something I honestly didn’t expect was how much more freedom the kids have here in our new complex…it’s like a giant cul-de-sac for them to run wild in and they’ve already made a tonne of friends! We’re all loving the myriad of trails and hiking paths in our new neighbourhood too…I’ve been walking up a storm! Now that we’ve got the basics in place (i.e. closet organizers, etc) I’m finding myself a little slow to be motivated in the decor department but hopefully showing you some “before” pics will get me hustling. Here’s a little glimpse of the main floor of our townhouse right before we moved in:

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

Birch + Bird: Our New Townhouse

It was completely renovated (we’re talking down to the studs) before we moved in so it’s a clean slate and ready for some personal touches. Brad’s already been busy and built custom closet organizers and garage storage (so awesome) so now it’s up to me to make things look pretty :) I’m trying hard to use what we already have (although I am on the hunt for a great new couch…slim pickings though!) and it felt so awesome to purge the clutter before we moved in. I’m feeling a little hesitant to decorate though, which is odd for me, but I guess I just want to get a feel for how we actually “live” in the space before setting up house. Can any of you relate? I’ll keep you posted on each room as we settle in and you can always keep tabs on me on Instagram in the meantime. Talk soon!

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Vintage Modern: Living Light in San Francisco

April 30, 2014

As I’ve been packing up our house for our move in two weeks, I can’t help but see the truth behind the saying Less is More. Although I do have a few “treasures”, I tend to hold possessions very loosely and am not overly sentimental when it comes to things. (Admittedly, having a store makes this very easy {too easy, sometimes!} enabling me to swap vintage finds when something new and shiny catches my eye :) However, having kids (or a busy life for that matter!) means extra clutter, some of it necessary but most of it is just, well, clutter. And the amount of energy I’ve been putting into sorting through such unnecessary clutter is truly a life lesson. William Morris’ quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” has come to mind numerous times and is definitely something I’ll be putting into effect as we make purchases for our new home. I absolutely love seeing spaces that look like they’ve come together over time rather than a one-stop-shop at the latest big box store and this flat belonging to Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes is the perfect example:

Living room. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.All photos by Colin Price for This is Brick + Mortar. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes.

Kitchen. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.

Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.All photos by Colin Price for This is Brick + Mortar. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes.

Blue couch. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.

Bedroom. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.All photos by Colin Price for This is Brick + Mortar. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes.

Patio. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes via This is Brick + Mortar. Photo by Colin Price.All photos by Colin Price for This is Brick + Mortar. Home of Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes.

Simple, stylish yet totally liveable, right? Located is The Mission district of San Francisco, I just love how Kate + Jesse combined mid-century pieces with family heirlooms, vintage books and the odd quirky bit of art. The overall effect is comfortable and relaxed with just the right amount of personality, don’t you think? And while I’d happily put my feet up on that couch and enjoy a cocktail or two on that couch, it’s high time I make an appearance at work so off to the shop I go! Hope you’re having a great week so far :)

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Friday Finds: Link Love, Ikea-inspired

April 25, 2014

Happy Friday! Sorry I skipped school here on Wednesday but this week has been a blur of work/packing/family and I imagine the next couple of weeks will be more of the same and then some. I’ll likely be pretty sporadic around here until moving day (and shortly after) but I’ll do my best to keep you posted and you know you can always find me on Instagram (I’m addicted, I admit it)! On a side note, did you know my shop, Spruce Collective, is on Instagram too? It’s true, find us here. Brad + I have been stocking up on closet organizers and storage solutions for our new townhouse and, of course, if anyone knows how to tackle storage and living small, it’s Ikea! Here are some great Ikea finds spotted this week:

1. Loving all of the minty greens popping up at Ikea lately (we have a couple of these green FABRIKOR cabinets for jewelry at the shop), including this HOLMSEL chair and LERBERG desk. Using stacked vintage books as the other leg is pretty darn genius too, if you ask me! (You know I’m a sucker for vintage books and you can’t imagine the hoards we have in our vintage rentals):

Ikea Livet HemmaLivet Hemma via Poppytalk

2. Can you believe that this stunner of a home in Lakewood, WA used Ikea cabinets? And that island. Seriously. Such a dream:

DwellDwell

3. Love how these two Ekby Gallo wall shelf systems are stacked on top of each other for a shared kids’ room. Might just have to do the same in our girls’ new room:

A Merry MishapA Merry Mishap via Apartment Therapy

Well, of I go to a field trip at the bowling alley with Sadie’s class before getting the last of our junk organized for tomorrow’s garage sale. Swing by Green Avenue if you’re local, starting at 9am until whenever! No early birds, everything must go :) Enjoy your weekend!

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White + Wood: Adding Warmth

April 21, 2014

Happy belated Easter! Did you have a good weekend? Ours included lots of family time, far too many mini eggs, just the right amount of red wine and far too little progress with packing. In fact, I actually bought more at Ikea than I packed here at home, yikes! Our “new” townhouse was just completely renovated and is a clean slate which is awesome in so many ways but it also means we’re stocking up on closet organizers and other storage solutions pre-move to make the transition as easy as possible. It’s also very shiny and white, definitely the newest looking space that we’ll ever have lived in (despite it’s 37 years) and I’m really excited to warm it up with rustic wood accents, vintage pieces, art and overall layers of texture and pattern. Here are some great examples of warm white spaces with vintage personality:

HomeLifeHomelife via A House in the Hills

Las Cositas de Beach & Eauvía Las Cositas de Beach & Eau

Photo by James Stokes for VT Wonen.Photo by James Stokes for VT Wonen via The Style Files

Bri Emery's bedroom. Design by DesignLoveFest & SF Girl by Bay. Photo by Laure Joliet. Bri Emery‘s bedroom. Design by SF Girl by Bay + DesignLoveFestPhoto by Laure Joliet.

Photo by Lisa Romerein/OTTOPhoto by Lisa Romerein/OTTO via One King’s Lane

Thanks to all of you who shared moving tips on my last post, keep ’em coming! Brad and I both have the day off today and the plan is to make an actual start at packing so I’d better get cracking. Enjoy your Monday!

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Open House: Green Avenue, Part 1

April 16, 2014

With less than a month until moving day, it’s time for me to get serious about packing. Like, really serious. I haven’t filled a single box yet but am finding it really hard to start as most things can’t get boxed up until the very end. I suppose I’ll start with our storage room and work my out from there. Any moving pros out there? Please feel free to send tips my way! Packing means purging and although we already made a huge dent in our clutter pre-listing date, I’ve still got a few junk drawers and bins to sort through. Organizing takes so much brain power, doesn’t it? It can be draining but it’s worth it to see the final results. I promised I’d share some recent pics of our house before we move and here are some I took before our open house a couple of weeks ago:

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Although I’ll miss our huge living room windows here on Green Ave, I’m really excited by the amount of wall space that we have in our new townhouse. I may or may not already be hoarding vintage art and signs from my shop, Spruce Collective for gallery walls galore. So much for purging! I’ve got some more pics of our bedrooms to share very soon and you can see past photos of our house (they’re much prettier than mine!) here, as well as pics of Gabe’s basement bedroom here. Happy hump day!

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