Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

It’s Drive By Time (yes, really we should call it “Drive By Shooting” but this is a non-violent blog and I just can’t bear to title it with such a horrible name!)! I had so much fun getting these photos for you, it had been way too long since our last Drive By neighborhood tour! I really felt like you were all right there ooh’ing and ahh’ing with me. Some of them were so hard to shoot! These houses are not all out in the open, mind you. We are talking gardeners in the front lawn, gates and privacy fences, bushes and shrubs and GUARD DOGS. Luckily my husband was with me to drive as I did the shooting.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

I really put myself out on a limb though for a few of these shots, so I have to apologize on the ones that are crooked or slightly out of focus! I was so nervous about getting caught by security crouching down in the rose bushes. Sometimes I had to just shoot and run like crazy! It really can look suspicious when you come leaping out of the shrubbery and get startled by unsuspecting dog walkers. I hate when that happens. But it is all a part of the dangerous world of drive bys.

So, fasten your seat belts — here we go! These next few houses are in the Irvington and Grant Park area of Portland. These houses are more out in the open than the ones coming up in the next neighborhood so we didn’t have to deal with so many obstacles. I love the purple door and trim on this one! It became pretty clear to me after viewing my photos in the first part of the tour that I was drawn to Tudors…

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

And check out their downspout! No detail too small!

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Ok, now we drove over the river to the westside of town to Dunthorpe, not too far from where I live now. This is a beautiful old neighborhood my parents used to live in. I’ll show you their house in a future drive-by, I forgot to take a picture of it! Dunthorpe is one of my favorite places for drive-bys because the houses are not McMansions or wanna be mansions, they are the real deal. Really old stately places owned by people who don’t need to impress you, they are beyond that. They like their privacy.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

This next house is the one where I risked life and limb for the sake of my blog post. See the bushes in the forefront of the photo below? Yep, those are the ones I had to crawl through to get a glimpse of this beauty.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Once I got in the bushes I was able to get a little closer:

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Once I made it to the “other side” I took a look around and saw this!

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Oh! Happy Gasp! Can you imagine the parties I could have here?! I was so excited! I saw something you couldn’t even see from the street! I got a little lost in the moment and before I knew it I was running across the lawn towards the fireplace (see how it is a little bit blurry? That is because I am running as fast as my legs could go, closer and closer!).

I was really picking up speed when my husband shouted to me from the car:

“Meli? Meli?! Where are you?”

Darn, I had to turn around and make my way back to the car. Next time, if I leave my husband at home, I might make it around to the back entrance. Before I jumped in the car, I snapped a quick picture of the neighboring house.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

For the rest of the tour my husband made me stay in the car. He threated to leave me in the bushes next time — he was so embarrassed.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Ok, now this was my personal favorite (below). It was really hard to get a picture of because my husband would not let me get out of the vehicle, but I did the best I could while hanging out the car window. I loved the lights hanging in their front window! This was my fairytale house. The gate was absolutely beautiful!

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Many of the houses had their gates locked shut. Probably as a precaution against people like me.

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

I really really wanted to get out of the car and get a little closer to this house and to that white gate! But, this was the best I could do while strapped in the car. This is such a homey home!

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

Now this house (below) was in such a picturesque setting! It was hard to really capture how striking the landscape was. The other amazing thing was that the property was surrounded by a moat. I’m not kidding! We figured that out when we backed into it. Another awkward “Drive By Moment”! Time for us to leave the neighborhood!

Sweet Escape: Drive Bys

I have more pictures to share but they are going to have to wait for another Drive By.

Thanks for joining me everyone! If you missed the first Drive By from October 2007, click here!

Inspired Rooms

Inspired Rooms

Oh how I love this topic! Inspired Rooms! I named my business and blog “Onerror” for a reason! Actually, several reasons. I’m not a decorator at heart. Yes, I am technically a “decorator” and yes it is something I love! But I don’t usually decorate to decorate, if you catch what I am trying to say. There is a distinction in my mind between simply decorating a room and being inspired to create a beautiful home.

I read the definition of Inspiration yesterday on Cre8tiva’s new and thought it was worth sharing:

INSPIRATION

Definition from Bartleby.com, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
1. a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.

I love all of those definitions!

As you may know, my motto begins this way: “When life inspires your home…” (see sidebar for complete quote). While I appreciate beautiful things, beauty alone is not the main consideration I have in deciding what to put into a home. From my perspective having a house full of beautiful things without significance, meaning or at least a story behind them is having a house void of its soul. Beautiful, yes! Shallow, absolutely. Having an “inspired room” rather than a “decorated room” feels altogether more romantic, intriguing and thought-provoking!

One of the ways I encourage having an “inspired room” rather than simply a “decorated room” is by using items in your home that have significance or memories attached to them. Objects that can become portals to your memories and tug at your heart strings! While I know many people want to wipe the slate clean and decorate from scratch (in a different style from their parents or to erase a less than happy past), I still encourage people to consider ways to incorporate things of meaning into a new décor. Perhaps decorate with things you actually use in day to day living! Books are a great example of that, assuming you read them or look at them now and then!

Inspired Rooms

Your everyday life will be greatly enriched if you have a sense of connection to what is in your home. It is far better to go slowly with your decor than it is to rush through it with wild abandon in an effort to complete it. Inspired rooms require patience. Inspired rooms require layers that you cannot create at whim. Life must inspire your home and life doesn’t happen in one day. Inspired rooms are never “finished.”

Now, just to clarify, I think it is entirely possible to go overboard on the “inspiration” and forget the importance of beauty and appropriateness! I personally like to interpret my inspiration with something beautiful or at least decent looking! It is possible to take something rather ordinary that has a beautiful story or memory behind it and turn it in to a something lovely! It is the overall feeling of a room you are going for rather than each item standing out as a masterpiece. Balance is really a key factor here. Too much of anything can be nauseating.

You want a room that says “You are home and LIFE is BEAUTIFUL here.” Inspired rooms are subtle but magical. Inspired rooms are not only for rich people or style snobs, but for everyone who wants to love being in their home. Inspired rooms are for people who want to live authentically. I think LIVING is the exciting part, that is the key! Inspired living should be the focus. The home is just where our life spills over into visible form. The more you focus on living an “inspired life,” the more beautiful and wonderful your home will become. It won’t be able to help itself, beauty will radiate from within!

Inspired Rooms

Ok, I’m going to move on to ask for READER PARTICIPATION on a specific dilemma! Yep, most of the time I let you slip in and out with nary a peep if you feel like it. But now and again I like playing my PARTICIPATION REQUIRED game. Ah, yes, it has been awhile since we played that game! Today I hope some of you will have some ideas to share with two of the sweetest bloggers out there.

THE DILEMMA:

Blogger Jenn of The Bowerbird’s Nest emailed me a photo of her sweet teenage daughter Jacqui’s baby shoes and said she wanted to use those in some way in her home. But how? Jenn and Jacqui have great taste. They are a mother and daughter from Australia who delight us with tales from their daily life and are wonderful examples of women who understand “inspired living.”

So, how do we incorporate these adorable baby shoes into their home? These shoes are meaningful to Jenn and they bring her such happy memories when she sees them. I immediately thought of a (The Container Store sells one) but thought maybe some of you super creative gals would have some other suggestions for her to showcase these sweet reminders of days gone by.

If you don’t have an idea for the shoes, you are not off the hook! Tell me ways YOU create Inspired Rooms in your home! Here are a couple of my favorite ideas: I bring home drawings and paintings from vacations for my walls, I frame poems and quotes, I display books I love and family antiques.

Now it’s your turn to share!

Related topic: How to Create An Authentic Home

Credits:

Top Photo: Better Homes & Gardens online

Middle Photo: : Something’s Gotta Give set

Bottom Photo: Copyright , used by permission

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