August 24, 2011

a library in our foyer

I have trouble sleeping.  Most people can fall asleep in fifteen minutes or so after lying down.  If you're like Andrew, it's more like thirty seconds.  But me?  It's takes me a solid hour at the very least to fall asleep no matter how tired I am.  Most nights, I go to bed when Andrew does (around 11pm) but don't fall asleep until 2am.  So what do I do with those solitary hours?  I read.  A LOT.  So much so, in fact, that we're bursting at the seems in our closets right now with books.  It takes me on average a week or less to finish a novel.  Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year, 8 years of constant reading...yeah, that's a lot of books.

We'll be doing a built-in bookshelf in the foyer eventually.  Something along these lines...

I pulled these four images from Pinterest.  There are things I like about each of the inspiration pics - the arches, the bench seat, and yes even the hidden door.  We have a coat closet on the wall that we'd like to add the structure, so I'm thinking this might be the perfect solution!

This project is not going to be happening any time in the next year, unfortunately, but I thought I'd share anyway!  Until I have proper storage for all my finds, I'll keep them tucked in my master bedroom closet.  Can you imagine how many more shoes I'll be able to fit in there once they've been cleared out?!  Woohoo!

One more thing - would anyone be interested in reviews of some of my favorite reads?  If so, comment and I'll think about adding a book review column!

August 23, 2011


I had to share this.  Not a huge fan of Britney, but this cover is bananas.

August 22, 2011

egyptian pinhole pendant

I was watching Sarah 101, one of my favorite shows on HGTV, when I saw what might be the prettiest pendant ever.  EVER!  Have you ever seen anything like this?!

They're handmade Egyptian pinhole pendant lamps and you can get them here.  I will be ordering one of the larger ones for our bedroom.  Oh yes I will.

PS There are only two more days to answer my poll on how you found out about Barker House Love.  It's on the right side of the screen - please take the time to click! :)

August 19, 2011

back from Portlandia

Andrew and I took a mini-vacation this past week to visit his brother on the west coast.  It has been lots of fun reconnecting with Aaron and his wife, Adrienne, but I'm glad to be back in the swing of things here.

A snapshot or two from the trip:

Aaron is an extremely talented shoe designer and Adrienne is a full-time artist.  Both of their artistic work is pretty amazing.  I may be highlighting their work sometime in the future, so don't touch that remote!

August 17, 2011

This one's for you...

Thank you!!!  I am so excited to say that this humble little blog is getting some not-so-humble traffic!  I don't pay all that much attention to blog stats and such - I just like writing and when I started Barker House Love I just hoped that at least one person would have a good time reading it.  So, I was jaw-on-the-floor blown away when I saw that last month I had around 2,000 hits on Barker House Love.  Of those 2,000 people, there were readers from all over the world.  I'm talking the United Kingdom, Cambodia, Australia, France, Japan, India...just to name a few.  Seriously?!

After doing a happy dance around my living room, I suddenly realized that this little project of mine has grown past what I envisioned it to be.  I've been thinking about how to make this blog something that you, the reader, would come back for again and again and have decided the easiest way to figure this out is a poll (or three).  I'll be doing one a week.  If you could take a few minutes to answer the poll on the right side of the blog, it would help me out so much!  I want to know what makes your heart go pitter patter.  What will make you come back again and again?  If you choose "other" or something that requires explanation, leave me a comment below and I promise I will read and consider what you've said.

Again, thank you so very much!!!  Sally Field gleamed as she said what I feel right now about your readership:

August 9, 2011

HGTV love

HGTV has loads of new programming!  Have you noticed?  I must say, I hope that I have something to do with that.  You think I'm joking.  Well, we were actually asked by Nielsen ratings company in one of our formers homes to view what we watch.  They paid us, so of course we were all for it.  During that time, I made sure to watch what I LOVED and not just what was on.  Why?  Because what I was watched would hopefully get bigger budgets if Neilsen was paying attention.  

Seems to me like they were, because only a few short years later, HGTV is getting bigger budget shows, guest celebrity appearances, and have even pulled high end designers from other networks to start series of their own.  Here's a few new ones that I've noticed:

Candice Tells All
I have to tell you, I was getting a little bored with Candice's designs.  Yes, they are all fabulous.  But they are also all the same.  After watching her do the same stuff over and over again for years, I finally gave up on her show and cancelled it from my DVR.  This new show of hers is a little better, but it's still the same design sense.  What I DO love about this is that Candice gives pointers here and there.  Very practical and useful info.

I love Sarah.  OK that sounds creepy.  I really love her updated traditional style and her show.  I don't really know Sarah herself.  ;)  Sarah has been in television for so long (mostly airing in Canada), but I feel like she's just now getting some of the attention she deserves with her new hit, Sarah 101.  It's pretty similar to some of her older shows like Design Inc and Sarah's House, but it's a little quirkier and goes into some of the reasoning behind her style choices.  Love every bit of it.  Tommy is so funny to watch, too.

I always knew Sabrina had more potential than she was showing in her previous home staging show.  Maybe her involvement with Target stores as their stylist made the peeps at HGTV notice her potential.  Or maybe they just didn't know what to do with their extra budget thanks to my loyal watching. ;)  All joking aside, the concept of this new show is perfect and I am sure I will be a loyal follower.  If you don't know about this one yet, definitely check it out!  What she does in this show is exactly my goal with my house.  High design, low budget.

The Outdoor Room
This guy gives me hope for my back yard.  His designs are really well thought out, although most are pretty extreme.  I'm not sure I would actually sign up for this show myself for fear I'd never be able to sell the house later without doing some major re-design, but it's only because I live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood.  Maybe he'd prove me wrong, though!  Either way, I love watching this show simply because I have no clue as to what to do with my outdoor space.  Jamie is a great source of inspiration!

I have followed Courtney and Robert for a while now.  They were previously on a show called 9 by Design on another network.  While I am so happy to see that their talents have afforded them another series, I have to say... I'm not diggin' their new show.  It seems sooo static and nothing like their personalities.  They are stress balls.  The way they do things is chaotic.  Their seven kids rule the roost.  And those are the things I love about this quirky couple.  HGTV has managed to take all the quirk out and I'm bored.  I may or may not delete the rest of their series from my dvr.  Haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning toward giving them the hack.

So there you have it.  HGTV is getting better and better every season!  Now all they need is Martha.  Or me.  You know, cause we're the same person. ;)

August 8, 2011

all things southern, part 3

Time for more southern charm!

Vintage furnishings and architecture are one of my very most favorite thing about living here.  In my opinion vintage is the new black, and nobody does vintage like The South.  There is a real appreciation for things with character, history and charm here.  Not everything is new and shiny and perfect.  Kind of like life.  I have made it a priority to include vintage pieces into my decor and those are the things people always comment about!  It's not the brand new couch you paid $3k for.  It's the $100 side table that sits beside it that you picked up at an antique mall.  Go figure. :)

Another thing I love is outdoor living and entertaining.  While we still get snow once or twice a year, it is not ALWAYS too cold to be outside.  People regularly eat dinner with their family on their patios, have a backyard barbeque or spend their weekends gardening.  There is quite a bit of homeowner pride in outdoor spaces and for good reason!  It is more visible to the rest of the neighborhood than your interior space and is one of the best things you can do for resale.

We plan to add a fence, stone or brick patio and some awesome outdoor furniture very soon!  These images are a great inspiration for me and I hope they are for you as well.

Southern food is actually not one of my favorite things about living here, BUT I know there are so many people out there who love it.  So here's a few Southern traditional dishes you should try.

collard greens

bbq pork

shrimp n grits

po boy sandwich

Mertz (Heart and Soul) is probably my favorite place in Charlotte for soul food.  Everything there is yummy, but I especially like their soul rolls and collared greens.

I hope you've enjoyed the "all things Southern" blog posts!  If I did my job right and really showed some Southern hospitality, tonight you'll dream about sitting outside under a canopy of Spanish Moss in your entertaining space drinking an Arnold Palmer from your mason jar in a vintage rocking chair with a southern gent in a bow tie who promises to add bead boarding to your beach bungalow.  hehe ;)

August 4, 2011

Family Tree - Rose

Rose is Andrew's mom.
Her day job is in real estate.
She is a master at reupholstering furniture and does needlepoint as a hobby.
I used these things about her personality to come up with this:

Real Estate - the house
Upholstery - yellow upholstery pins
Cross Stitch - yarn

I am now officially half-way done with this project!!!  I can't wait to show off Andrew's.  He's working on his own, which means it's probably going to be the best one. :)

August 3, 2011

all things southern, part 2

I kind of feel like I'm getting sponsored to do these posts.  I wish!  haha  But seriously, the state of North Carolina did not tell me to say how much I love it here.  :)

So, I've already talked about how much I adore bow ties, bead boarding, and rocking chairs on this previous post.  I was so inspired as I was writing, that I made two more posts, each with three things I love about The South.

First up, mason jars!  I can't tell you how much I love these.  They can make any affair a bit more casual and...well, southern!  I have a collection of 30 mason jars for entertaining from home that I use all the time.  I got them at Hobby Lobby for much cheaper than it would have been to buy nice glassware.  It's also much more "pro" looking than plastic cups.

If you're lucky enough to find some vintage blue glass Ball jars, they are the perfect vase.  During the summer, I constantly have fresh flowers on my table in mason jars.

Next up, the colorful and beautiful beach bungalow.  My hear leaps when I see these.  Oh man, if we had the cash flow to buy one of these, I'd so do it!  New homes are cheaper than these charm-filled cutie pies, unfortunately, so until I can afford one I'll be dreaming of these!

The insides of bungalows are some of the only older homes that are open, airy and light.  All the more reason to love them.

The last Southern thing for today is Spanish Moss.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.  When I visited Charleston, South Carolina for the first time during a photo shoot over 3 years ago, I stopped breathing from the beauty of Spanish Moss.  Swoon!

Bald Head Island has lovely moss throughout the island.  Here's a few images I took at a recent wedding that highlight this wonder of nature.

I have one more blog post on all things southern to go, so if you have a suggestion for something you love about the South leave a comment!  I may be persuaded to add a part 4 with your note!

August 1, 2011

DIY: earring holder

I have been looking for a cute earring holder ever since I decided to get my ears pierced a few months ago.  Do they not make them anymore or something???  I can't tell you how many places I went to with absolutely no results.  Finally I looked up "earring holder" on Pinterest and found a picture of an old letterpress box with hooks on it for earrings.  Bingo!  I took it one step further and added the cork board for the earrings that can't be draped onto a hook.  I think the solution is genius and really beautiful!

The entire project came to $14.75.
$10 letterpress box
$2.50 cork
$2.25 hooks

I love it and am so excited to hang it in my bathroom!  Now all I need is more earrings. :)

UPDATE: So, thanks to my awesome friends and a surprise birthday party, I've now completely filled this thing up.  Maybe I'll make another!