About

Welcome to my blog! 

After years of following countless blogs, researching products and home style and obsessively pinning, it’s time to take the plunge.

A massive home remodel stands before me, and I’m eager to see if I’ve got the chops to pull together the kind of home of which I have spent years dreaming. My husband, our three kids and I are looking to double our home to 3,000 square feet and I am alllll over the map when it comes to what I like. My only real jumping off point is the our living room, which we redid a couple of years ago.

What you’ll find

This blog is named Housebound in Marin because I literally spend most of my time at home. I’m surrounded by what I love and hate about this place. And my brain practically itches both with things I’d like to do and  problem areas I haven’t quite figured out. I want my home to reflect the kind of home my own mom provided. A sanctuary of rest, inspiration and love. Here, I will chronicle each step of our remodel, from the big decisions, such as layout and flow, to the smaller decisions, such as cabinet hardware and soft furnishings.

My partners in crime

Keeping me in check is my husband, who is the architect, general contractor and brains behind the remodel. He does this stuff for a living and doesn’t even bat an eye and the kind of decisions I might fret over. This, of course, will be both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, I will need to lean on his considerable expertise, especially when I can sometimes only refer to various architectural elements as “those thingys.” And yet … I secretly like to think I know more than he does when it comes to creating an organized, warm and efficient home that will provide the loving foundation of happy memories for our entire family.

I’ll even have clients! My two daughters have very strong opinions on how they want their rooms to look and have several demands, such as indoor zip lines, balconies everywhere, elevated beds and lots of pink. My 3-year-old son is probably the only person in the house who could care less about what I do … which is also why he’s getting stuck with the smallest bedroom. Sorry, kid.

My secret weapons

Despite my complete and utter lack of experience as an interior designer, I’ve got a few “talents” that allow me to indulge in the illusion that I’m well on my way to becoming the next Sarah Richardson.

First, I am an obsessive researcher, probably a leftover attribute from my 12 years as a newspaper and magazine journalist. I’m almost ashamed with how little sleep I got when recently searching for the perfect rugby striped duvet cover. Much to the chagrin of my husband, I will shun a beautiful day in favor of hunching over my computer Googling the hell out of … whatever it is that has attracted my interest.

Second, I hate to pay full price. I will often return the compliment of “Nice dress!” with a detailed saga on how I “beat the system” and got a screaming deal. I still remember the feeling of scoring our GORGEOUS hardwood floors — the ones that almost got away — at almost half off. I still get distracted watching TV as I gaze upon those beauties.

At the same time, I don’t plan to go cheap everywhere. Ikea has it’s place in my home. And so does Restoration Hardware. Let’s all play nice.

Third, I know what I like. Finally. When my husband and I got married, I bought a couch for our first house. It was a big, hulking brown thing with huge rolled arms that I eventually hated because they took up so much space. I was stuck with it for the next eight years, and all the time I worried: what makes you think something like this won’t happen again? Since then, I’ve developed my tastes. Much like dressing for your body type, I know what will work for our family. And besides, sometimes you just have to make a decision already.

Guiding principles

Here’s what will drive every (ok, most) of the decisions I make in this remodel:

– Function, function, function: I like to find the 2-for-1 in everything. Well, almost everything. This new home will not have a dedicated guest room and I wouldn’t want one even if I could. To have a room that sits around gathering dust waiting for a visitor? No thank you. What other smart ways can this room function? That’s what I’m interested in.

– Measure twice, cut once: There is little room for making mistakes in my design decisions. I don’t want to be stuck with another big, brown couch. I know I’ll feel horrible if I buy a backsplash that I’m not 100 percent about and then have to stare at it day in, day out for years to come. Be thoughtful. Get educated. Edit. And above all, make decisions beyond a shadow of a doubt.

– Know when to go DIY: God knows I’m inspired when I see a great DIY project online. But sometimes these things border on the bizarre (I’m sorry, I just can’t get behind painting curtains) or are just not worth the time it took to make them. I will happily go DIY … but only if it’s because I can’t find something exactly how I want. OR … I can’t find it for the price I’m willing to pay.

– Keep it classy: Ever since I saw the Portlandia episode “Put a Bird on It,” I’ve avoided anything with a bird. Same goes for word art (ok, um, actually, I have one of these in my house), and anything with antlers (yeeeah, I also have this), and the current obsession with blue-gray. I’m almost afraid to buy anything that resembles an owl. Ok, you know what? Never mind. Who am I to judge? I guess my point is this: yes, I still plan to go ahead and enjoy the occasional trend, because, quite frankly, they are fun and fascinating and, oftentimes, they’re a trend for a reason. But I’ll take classic and timeless any day over something that’s played out and trying too hard.

And there you have it! I hope this provides insight into what this blog is all about.

Thanks for stopping by. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Milly

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