...because home doesn't happen overnight.
05.31.14 / Made Me Smile

living room peek

It was my boys’ last week of school for the year. It hit me that it was also my last chance (for the summer at least) to get stuff done in the afternoons while the older two were at school and Mabrey was napping. Not to mention, I’m secretly going to miss spending one-on-one time with my girl. I worked on a few projects, enjoyed my last kid-free workout for a while and finally took pictures of the house (sample above) for an upcoming tour. It was just the kick in the a$$ I needed!

More kicka$$ stuff…

*Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest is in full swing. So far, I’m digging Derona’s mini duplex (the bedroom!), Drew & Kelly’s open concept, Emily’s stylish small home, Natasha’s fashionable & functional space and Brian’s off the grid home.

*A look at Bekah’s home and her thoughts on parenting.

*More tricky hex tile on a bathroom floor. (It looks great Cathy!)

*Who knew a vacation rental could be so inspiring?!

* I just realized that some of my favorite interiors were all designed by one person. Where have I been?

*Lukas won!

*I’m thinking of trying this sea salt & lavender misting spray for a natural, tousled look this summer.

*The film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. (I want to see it.)

Have a good one! The kids and I are headed to Florida next week to visit family so my weekend will be spent packing and getting the car ready. Road trip!

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

38 Comments

31.May.2014

Ooh that mist spray sounds nice – maybe I’ll give it a try too. As a Chicagoan, I was psyched to see two fellow Chicagoans in the final and although I was rooting for Lukas from the start – at the end I sorta wanted jay to win. Oh well. Are the photos you took for the house tour section of housetweaking or are you being featured somewhere? Exciting either way!

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replied on May 31st, 2014

The main goal is to get a house tour up on House*Tweaking. (I’m a bad, bad blogger.) But I’d love to reach out to other blogs for a home tour feature if possible!

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

If you ever do decide to open up to other blogs for a tour, Id love to have the opportunity to feature you on mine. I have a series dedicated solely to small home living, and since you were a huge inspiration for my own downsizing journey, it would be an honor to have you:)

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

Thank you!

31.May.2014

thank you for the link to the movie!!! We’ve been 80% paleo for a little bit now with sugar and hydrogenated oils as greatest things to avoid (vs. gluten, which we eat sometimes). This is just the kick we need to up our vigilance. Now just to teach my child to stop commenting on other kids’ food choices in front of their parents. Ha ha.

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replied on May 31st, 2014

Being a parent is hard. Everett likes to point out the junk in other people’s shopping carts at the grocery store. “He is making BAD choices, Mom!” I’ve been embarrassed way too many times to count but, on the bright side, he’s listening. I’d say we eat healthy 75% of the time but we do like to indulge in favorites every once in a while. I’m anxious to see the movie and I’d like my kids to watch it too if it’s kid-friendly. The boys are always asking me why we don’t have a second fridge in our garage to hold juice and pop like all their friends.

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31.May.2014

Can you give tips on how you photograph your window like above? I can’t get the lighting right when I try and the rest of the room goes dark.

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replied on May 31st, 2014

I, too, had that same problem. I was getting so frustrated because I couldn’t get pictures of that view of the living room to look like anything like the real life version. I got to know my camera, took an online photography class and practiced, practiced, practiced. I think I have it down now. Maybe a blog post is in order?

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

Jessica, can you make changes to how your camera meters? Metering is how the camera sees the available light and tries to choose an acceptable exposure (when you’ve got it in on of the automatic modes, i.e. auto, aperture priority, etc.). When shooting a room while facing the window your camera is trying to balance the “bright” light from outside with the much darker light from inside. This makes the room go dark while avoiding blowing out the highlights from outside. The light difference (darks vs. lights) – called dynamic range – our eyes are able to register is a much wider range than what cameras can register. Though this just keeps getting better.

In Dana’s picture above, she’s chosen to base the exposure mainly (or entirely) on the available light in the room and disregard the amount of light that is outside. This shows the room light probably as her eye sees it, but blows out much of the outside, which is not how her eye would see it when looking on that window.

A great book to check out for learning about all this and understanding how photography and light work is “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson.

P.S. Sorry for the thread/comments hijack.

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replied on June 10th, 2014

Megan, thanks for the tip! I’m going to give it a try on my camera. I’ve been wanting to post photos of our new house, but get frustrated because they don’t do justice to how it looks to my eyes in person.

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31.May.2014

Lukas is amazing. I love his minimalist style. I’m curious though, what did you think about him painting the beach house black?

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replied on May 31st, 2014

I didn’t find it as disappointing as the judges. I love dark exteriors but I don’t care for the beach (I’m weird) so I haven’t really considered what color a “beach house” should / should not be.

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31.May.2014

Fed Up looks really good. Reminds me a lot of this NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

Good read if you have time!

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replied on May 31st, 2014

Thanks for the link!

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31.May.2014

Can’t wait to see Fed Up. If you’re looking for sugar free stuff I highly recommend Sarah Wilson – her I Quit Sugar books are wonderful.

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replied on May 31st, 2014

Thanks for the recommendation! I will have to check her books out.

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31.May.2014

Lukas! I was so into that whole show! The ceiling light he created was amazing but I was torn on the black exterior. I think he made it work though. I hope they produce another season.

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01.June.2014

Oh! Either I just noticed that brown leather pouf or I didn’t realize I noticed it before we were in the market for something similar.. can I ask where you got it?

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01.June.2014

Thanks so much for including me in your Made Me Smile this week, Dana! I really appreciate the encouragement and am honored to be mentioned. Love your house and can’t wait for the upcoming tour.
Thanks again,
-Cathy
p.s. Enjoy the trip…hope you have some good car travelers!

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01.June.2014

hi dana! did you spray paint your target tripod floor lamp? or is that a different lamp? thanks!

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

Yep, it’s spray painted gold.

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02.June.2014

Hi Dana! Could you let me know here you purchased your gray w/ white trim curtains? ADORABLE!! and would look great in my house ;)

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

West Elm a few years back!

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

thanks for the reply, Dana!

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03.June.2014

Love Emily’s home! Have a wonderful trip to FL;)

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04.June.2014

Hey Dana! Where is your rug from? Have you had any trouble keeping it clean with the kids? Thanks!

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replied on June 4th, 2014

Rugs USA!

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04.June.2014

Is the wall color in your living room also tapestry beige? And did you make your curtains or can you tell us the source for the curtains. I love the combo and your rich leather couch! Thanks for sharing your home.

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replied on June 4th, 2014

Yes, the living room wall color is Benjamin Moore tapestry beige.

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04.June.2014

Ok, I just saw Tara’s comment. West Elm on the curtains… got it!

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[…] A huge thank you to Dana Miller of House*Tweaking for last week’s shout out!  Glad this little house of ours could make her […]

06.June.2014

Your home just makes me wanna come in, have a seat and stay awhile!!! Always such a pleasure to visit your blog!!

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08.June.2014

Good morning, I have just ordered the sea salt spray, I’am a hair salon owner, who also has wavy hair, so im always looking for a great wavy spray.. will let you know how it works.

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replied on June 8th, 2014

Oh, please do!!

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replied on June 19th, 2014

Ok so I really wanted to love this stuff, and honestly i just dont.. I tried it 2 ways i aired dried and i blow dried and both just made my hair frizzy, it also was very drying to my hair.. I am just one person but that was my experience with it :( Let me know if you have any questions about it.

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replied on June 19th, 2014

I was just wondering today if you had tried it yet! So it sounds like it wasn’t that great. Bummer :( Thanks for giving me an honest review. Any tips for air-drying naturally wavy / frizzy hair? Leave-in conditioner??

replied on June 19th, 2014

For the most part I use a product called color fanatic 21 by pureology, which is a spray leace in treatment and smells great, but for my wavy
hair, as a rule of tgumb,I use products that are creams and not gels or mousse, bc most have alcohol in them.. hope this helps, im still searching for a great beach spray, will keep you posted :-)

replied on June 20th, 2014

Thank you for the advice about creams vs mousse.




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