Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Dramatic Traditional House Tour (in which I find the perfect kitchen in an awesome house)

So, friends.

There was this one house.

Kenny and I toured it on the Parade of Homes in our city.

It was awesome.


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I LOVED that this house moved away from the traditional brown/beige outdoor color scheme but kept it classy. The dark colors were eye-catching and that roofline? So cool.

The dramatic flare was not only on the outside of the house. Here’s the living room, with a bold charcoal fireplace as the focal point. Also. Friends. I’m gonna need 9 foot ceilings someday. And lots of furniture that’s tufted. Plan on it.

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THE KITCHEN. Was so so dreamy.

I probably have said this before, but this? THIS? Is my dream kitchen. I cannot even begin to explain how much I love cabinets on top of cabinets. ALSO, that island. And the light fixture. I’m also gonna need a million bucks while we’re at it.

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And it just gets better. See the transom window above the doorway? Duh, love it.

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Okay, and here’s my one and only teeny tiny complaint about the house: the master bedroom bedside light fixtures. I think they’re a little too wierd/don’t match the house style, but hey, if someone gave me this house I’d deal with it. The fact that they’re hanging is pretty intriguing, however.

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Here’s the master bath, which, while not palatial like some I’ve shown in these house tours, is pretty great. No bathtub, but that’s one less thing to clean, right?

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What was your favorite? I plan on pinning that kitchen so hard. You?

Want to see more? Check out this Pottery Barn style house (the master bedroom is phenomenal), this amazing nautical beach house (with a bunk room!), this moody yet classic home (the kitchen is. incredible.), this colorful modern home (surprisingly cozy), and this lake house (BEACH). Dreamy sigh.



Lake House Tour (in which I am wooed by rippling waves and beachy decor)

The very first house Kenny and I saw on the Parade of Homes was actually quite modest (in Parade terms–not in Annie/Kenny budget terms). From the outside, it looked quite charming. It was in a nice suburban neighborhood with other houses of similar size.

I loved it–from its peaked architectural roof down to the fake foamy grass.

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I walked in and felt right at home. 🙂

The front door was painted an awesome light blue and the light fixtures in this house were works of art. Also–check out that basket bench. PERFECT.

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The entry flowed seamlessly into the livingroom which sported large windows overlooking the manmade all-sport lake.

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The hardwood floors were light colored, which made everything feel airy and bright.

This was the view of the living room from the open staircase. It was a large room, but the tight way the furniture was distributed made things still feel intimate and cozy.

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THIS light fixture over the dining room table was my favorite. The view was not bad either.

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The master bedroom featured a tray/coffered ceiling and another great lake view.

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And the master bathroom. Was. Perfect.

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Unfortunately, I neglected to get a picture of the kitchen, which had gorgeous white cabinets and marble countertops. You’ll just have to take my word that it was fantastic.

What was your favorite part of this great house? Hands-down for me: each and every light fixture. Like curtains and trimwork, lighting is one of a room’s most important features.

Want to see more? Check out this Pottery Barn style house (the master bedroom is basically going VIRAL on Pinterest), this amazing nautical beach house (with a bunk room), this moody yet classic home (the kitchen is. incredible.), and this colorful modern home (surprisingly cozy). Dreamy sigh.


House Tour: Moody and Classic (in which I embarrass my photographer self further by sharing blurry photos)

Though our local Parade of Homes was weeks and weeks ago now, I’m still salivating over the pictures I took.

This house’s 5k of square footage is no exception.

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First things first. Could the sky be any blu-er? Seriously beautiful. I loved the way the house was set back from the road with an enormous yard yet lots of privacy. If I lived in this house I’d probably plant a half-dozen trees just above the sidewalk eventually because I love trees, but still.

The interior of this house was both moody and classic–they used a lot of traditional molding styles but racheted things up a notch by using more masculine colors. Here’s the family room looking out onto the wooded backyard.

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The bathroom near the front door was also done in similar colors. I took this picture because I loved the prints on the walls–don’t they look like oversized instagram prints? And that vanity. So bold–yet it works. Not sure if I could handle those stripes in my place, however. I’m not that cool.

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The kitchen was amazing. Where do I even begin? Everything felt very cozy and warm despite the large room sizes because of the darker colors used. I love the two-toned cabinets and don’t even get me started on those pendant lights.

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If you turned just to the right of the above picture, you’d see this non-traditional sliding door–much like the ever-so-popular barn doors that are cropping up everywhere (much to my delight). I had to include this blurry picture because the door was so unique despite the embarrassment it is causing me…let me tell you, I am a pro at taking blurry pictures. Once blurry pictures start becoming popular, I’ll be all over that trend.

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Here’s the second bathroom on the main floor (there were like 5 or 6 full baths in this house…take your pick!). The design of the shower is what won me over, and I thought the pendant lights (there were two) were very cool.

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And then we got to the master bedroom. The tray ceiling was definitely the focal point of the room.

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Here’s the first shot I snapped of the master bathroom and closet…gah.

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And then the second, looking the other direction. So many great tile choices and built-ins. The far “room” with the diamond pattern on the walls was where the toilet was. I think this bathroom alone rivals the size of our apartment. 🙂

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To conclude: yes, I could probably be quite content to live here, but I’d have to invest in a housekeeper or quit my job to clean the house full-time. I’d have to think about it, but it may be worth the sacrifice.

To see our other house touring adventures, check out this Pottery Barn style house (huge), this amazing nautical beach house (perfect), and this colorful modern home (surprisingly cozy). Dreamy sigh.


House Tour: Colorful and Modern (in which I step into a real-life version of an Ikea catalog)

A few weeks ago, Kenny and I went on our local Parade of Homes. It was fantastic. My favorite style of house tends to is usually pretty traditional/craftsman-y, but when I saw this sleek, modern house, I figured we should go check it out just for kicks.

I actually really liked the outside. The yard? Fabulous. The backyard extended for a long way behind the house and there were lots of mature trees.

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When we walked in, we couldn’t help but smile. It was such a cheerful house! The livingroom was a bright aqua/teal and had a low fireplace and concrete mantle and hearth. The designer had also decorated with lots of brightly colored accents, which I (of course) loved. (Shaking hands were of course a factor in this blurry picture).

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Along the side of the fireplace just inside the front door was the most beautiful staircase ever. Each tread was floating from the wall and there was a glass and metal railing running up it. I was a little nervous to walk on those stairs thinking that at each step they’d collapse and I’d fall to a gruesome death, but I obviously survived.

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In the background of the picture above, you can catch a glimpse of this happy little bathroom with the bright green countertop. Who knows? The green counter might actually disguise piles of hair better and then you’d have to clean less.

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The basement was also brightly colored and didn’t feel very “basement-y” due to the high ceilings and walkout level. The “mantle” above the TV was actually where all of the TV’s electronics were stored. Smart, right?

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Under the stairs going down into the basement were these glorious shelves. I could see fitting a whole lotta IKEA in those cubbies.

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Upstairs there were a couple of bedrooms, a bathroom, and a master suite. There was a master bedroom deck off this second level, and the views out the corner windows were pretty stunning!

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I had to take a close-up picture of the artwork in the master bedroom. Isn’t this awesome? I’m scheming up ways to DIY something like this but I’m afraid my attempts would look more like vomit and less like this inspiration picture.

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Both Kenny and I agreed that if we had to live in a more modern, contemporary home, we’d sacrifice and live in this one. I usually think that modern homes are to stark for my liking, but I think the wooded setting, huge windows, and happy colors of this home won me over.

If I ever had to design a house, it would be a terrible mish-mash of floating staircases, antique oil paintings, vomit paintings, and half-finished projects, so it’s a good thing that it’s not in the cards yet. But someday….well, you just wait.

To see our other house touring adventures, check out this Pottery Barn style house (huge) and this amazing nautical beach house (perfect). Dreamy sigh.


House Tour: Sunny Beach House (in which I make plans to build a bunkroom in our apartment)

It’s Friday! And summer! Which means that I spend time outside that I used to use for crafting…which means that here’s another house tour from that time we paraded through homes.

This one was a fantastic beachy house on a small, man-made lake. The exterior was a fun, mustard yellow color which I never would have chosen but that I LOVE.


The kitchen was my DREAM KITCHEN. Ken had to support me from falling over as I ran around gasping over each and every feature. I loved the coffered/tray ceiling, the cabinets on top of cabinets, the pendants, and that stove. GAH. Oh, and that’s an outdoor fireplace on the deck to the left.

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My very favorite part of the kitchen was the island’s wooden countertop. It made the kitchen feel warm and inviting, and the wood looked so rich! I SHOULD have asked the builder how he made this as it was gorgeous–about 2.5 inches thick, and it looked like a solid slab (not like butcherblock), though I can’t fathom that this was one piece. It had routed edges and was beautiful. So shiny.

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On the opposite side of the kitchen was this built in wine rack, and in the hallway to the left, there was a drinking fountain! The family who built this custom home has four young boys, and I thought this was the PERFECT touch.

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The kitchen was open to the sunny living room. I have a huge weakness for orb lights like that one, and in this house, it complimented the rounded ceiling perfectly. Also, that is patterned carpet–not a rug–that DUH, I also love.

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Here’s the first floor master bedroom. I DIED. This is what my future bedroom will look like…and it will DEFINITELY have that tufted bench at the end of our bed.

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To the right of the above picture was the master bathroom. I love the trend of mounting lights directly onto the mirror–it basically doubles the amount of light and makes everything look so sparkly.

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Here was the laundry room and wrapping station (wheee! sheeep!)

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The stairs going up to the second floor led into this nautical loft area–perfect for snuggling four small boys, amIright?

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There was one guest room on the second floor with this beautiful bathroom.

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Isn’t it cute?

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Here is the guest bedroom. Again, what’s with all the light? Not fair.

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AND THEN. Here’s the four boys’ bunk room. How amazing is this? The beds are on the first level and then there’s so much potential for playspaces/forts/nerf gun wars on the second level.

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Here’s the boys’ bathroom, which was designed with a sort of locker-room feel. Here’s the boat sink. A teeny urinal was in the nook to the right.

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The bathroom had two identical stand-up showers. So smart!

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It seems anticlimactic to end with a picture of a shower, but I’m assuming that, if you’re like me, you’re gonna go back up to the top and look at each picture again and again. Once you tire of this house (is that possible!?!), you can check out a Pottery Barn-style house tour here. And then you can just clicking back and forth between these two house tours, as I intend on doing.

GAME: what’s your favorite part? I loved how this family customized their home to meet their needs. And now I want to sleep in a bunk room. Think Ken is game?