Dining Kitchen

Episode 177: Elsie’s Historic House Mood Board

This week, Elsie is sharing the vision she has for her new home. She’s breaking it down and sharing all her mood boards, plans, and current projects. 

Elsie is also sharing an embarrassing story because she knows you all love it when she looks like a clown. Lol.

You can find the podcast posts archive here.

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Show Notes:

You can donate to the victims of The Covenant School shooting HERE

Here are some pictures of Elsie’s mood board for the new house:

-We mention Cheap Old Houses

Colors + Wallpaper:

-Green, a little bit of pink, red, blue, and a little bit of white

-Nova’s bathroom is Oval Room Blue from Farrow & Ball

-Goldie’s room is Sulking Room Pink from Farrow & Ball

Check out William Morris Wallpaper and House of Hackney Wallpaper

-Spooky decor from Anthropologie


-Buying antiques and some new furniture

-A roll-top desk for the office

-Antique piano


-Mid-tone or dark floors

-Stained diamond wood floors in the entryway


-Using ceiling tiles in three rooms


-Elsie got this art piece: Tall Girl by Julie Blackmon

-Oil painting portraits of people from Etsy and eBay

-Original art from favorite artists

-DIY art (like a portrait with eyes that move)

Kids art

-Check out our Kid’s Art Frame DIY


-Adding a pool

-A little house for the pottery kiln

-A firepit

Here is a sketch of Elsie’s new backyard:

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Episode 177 Transcript:

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week I’m sharing the vision I have for my new home. I’m breaking it down and sharing all my mood boards, plans, and current projects with you. I’m also sharing an embarrassing story because I know you all love it when I look like a clown.

Emma: Who doesn’t love a clown? 

Elsie: Okay, so before we get in, I wanted to just acknowledge that this week has been like a very, very, very hard week for our family and the whole community in Nashville because we had a school shooting. I don’t know if it’s the first one we’ve ever had, but it’s the first one that I can remember since I’ve lived here and it was a very traumatic event. I always knew that eventually, it would happen in my own community. Just based on the statistics, and when it did, it was weirder and more horrible than I imagined it would be. So I just want to send my love to all parents everywhere for the huge weight that we have to live with at all times. Yeah, that’s all I have to say about it, it’s horrible. We will put in the show notes a way to support the people affected in the school. There’s a good resource, so yeah, we’ll put a link to that and it’s at least something, showing support it’s at least something. It’s just the worst week ever. 

Emma: Yep. Pretty much. 

Elsie: Well, I guess we’ll just get into the podcast. 

Emma: Yeah, honestly, I wasn’t sure I was reading the outline, and now that I know it’s your embarrassing story, great. But I was unsure, so I was thinking about what’s my embarrassing story. Yeah, so I’ll have a bonus one at the end since we started with something important but heavy. I’m just teasing for the end. Anyway, let’s talk about your house and moving.

Elsie: Okay. Yeah, I feel a lot of love for Nashville right now, like I always do. But yeah, moving, it’s like extra sad right now. Okay, so this week I wanna share about my whole mood board for the whole new house. So I have not shared very much of it yet because I have been trying to recap my current home. About a month or two ago, Emma said to me, she was like, if you don’t share way, way more of what you’ve done in this home, that is just like a waste and you need to do that. It’s weird when you don’t really notice. It’s hard to realize what you’ve shared from another perspective. Do you know what I mean? I’m bored with my house cause I’ve lived here for three years almost. I felt like I had shared it a lot, but once I got into it and started making, more videos, more before and afters, and things like that, there was so much more. So I am really glad that you encouraged me on that, Emma and that’s really the only reason that I haven’t started sharing my new home yet is that I just wanted to wrap that up and sort of like keep things in order. But I’m almost done and so I think this week I can begin sharing more about our new home and it will start with this podcast episode. So in the show notes this week, I am going to put some mood boards that I’ve made. Just some personal stuff, some pictures. I have this little notebook that I carry around at all times that has the drawings of my yard and it has the floor plans and things like that, and it has mood boards in it that I printed out and things like that. So I’ll just kind of put a bunch of that in the show notes so you can just look at it and some of it might not be super coherent or organized, but at least it’ll give you a visual idea. The main thing I wanna convey with this episode is the mood that I wanna go for in the new house because there really is nothing finished to show yet. It’s actually like pretty constructiony looking at the moment, but I’m excited to talk about it cuz I think I’ve said little things, but this is the first time to devote a whole episode to it. So it feels really special and it is very exciting. Even though I know to the internet, it probably seems like I just started, I actually started like a whole year ago when we were still thinking of moving to New York. That’s when I really started designing this home because I started designing a historic home at that time. And pretty much all of the ideas were translatable to our new home because I didn’t ever have a home picked out. I was just designing for the idea of a next home and knowing that it was gonna be an old one. 

Emma: Yeah, let’s start with colors cuz I feel like that bleeds into everything else and we can also talk about wallpaper with colors cuz I feel kind of like what’s going on the walls, but colors are more than just wall colors, but still.

Elsie: Yes. Okay, so I have to give a shout-out to our friend Elizabeth whose Instagram is cheap old houses because she is like my best texting friend about old house stuff and she helps me so much. So anyway, she is also designing her dream old house. We were like in the same boat, in the same time of life, and I sent her pictures, or maybe it was like a video tour of my new home and I was like, what do I do? How do I make it feel like the one thing I didn’t love about the home when we first looked at it in pictures online is that it just felt very modernized and plain on the inside, while the outside is stunning? The outside is like one of my favorite houses ever, but the inside, a lot of the rooms, there’s not a lot of original woodwork going on, there’s just not a lot, it’s pretty simple. It’s been modernized over the years and things like that. 

Emma: And can you remind people if they didn’t hear some of the last episodes? I think everyone probably knows you’re moving, but can you remind people of the age of your home and what is the original era? 

Elsie: Yes. Good idea. So it has kind of a spooky history to it, which I’m not sure I’ve shared yet. But it was built in 1904 and then it burned down almost completely in the 1920s. So it was pretty much rebuilt in the 1920s. So in some ways, it really is more of a 1920s-style house. 

Emma: Right. So much was rebuilt cause you fired. 

Elsie: And I think that when I look at the pictures and the staircase and it does feel a little more craftsmen and a little bit less Victorian. So I kind of felt like for me it was a permission slip to kind of use those whole 30 years however I want, which I love because I like a lot of moldings and stuff from the Victorian era but I also really like the 1920s. I like the kitchens, I like the fireplaces. I really like craftsman-style woodwork too, and I honestly think they blend together really well. A lot of old houses have a mix of both, so it’s kind of between those two eras. 

Emma: I love it. 

Elsie: So yeah, Elizabeth’s advice. So when I sent her the pictures and I was like, what do I do? She said, the one thing that first comes to mind is that It will feel so much more historic when it’s not all painted white, it’s actually painted like light gray, but the whole house is like light gray, and I think that’s like a thing that makes a house feel modernized. It’s a thing that people didn’t do so much in the past that they do a lot now it’s just painting the whole house one color. So one of the first things we’re doing is adding a good amount of color in. I don’t think we’re going full hundred percent, we’ll still have to layer in more later. But I put in as much as I felt really confident about, and I did do some white just because I didn’t wanna do a bold color that I wasn’t sure about, some white just to freshen it up, and then a lot of statement-colored rooms. Some of the colors that we’ve used, some of our previous color schemes, like our current home, the color scheme is like a lot of green, a little bit of pink. I guess that’s it. So I’m still using those colors, but I really wanted to add red because I’m really inspired by the home alone house with like all the green and red.

I really just wanted to try it not everywhere and not always green and red together in the same room, but I don’t know I just feel like it is in a lot of historic homes, you see a lot of red, so I’m giving that a try. And then the other thing I’m giving a chance to is blue, which I tried here for the first time in my kids’ library. 

Emma: I’m more shocked by that than the red. That’s funny because blue’s like such a neutral. Really? But I’m like, you’re doing blue. I had no idea.

Elsie: I have a problem with royal blue, but I don’t really have a problem with light powdery blues. In the kids’ library, it was called a silent film and it’s like a powdery dull blue and I feel like it was pretty, I liked it. Yeah, we’re doing it in Nova’s bathroom, it’s like a cute little clawfoot tub bathroom and we’re doing oval room blue, which is like a historic color. From Pharaoh and Ball and then in Goldie’s bedroom we’re doing, this is so dramatic, perfect for her sulking room pink is what the colors are called Oh my gosh. Isn’t that perfect? 

Emma: Yes, yes. Cuz Goldie is so much drama in all the best ways, that’s perfect. 

Elsie: Yeah, she really is. We’re very excited and I feel like, so excited to just go more all in with color, with paint, and definitely with wallpaper too. So the wallpaper that we’re choosing, I was really happy with the William Morris wallpaper that we used in our current home. So I want to find someplace to use that green one again cause it was so special and I really liked it. The one that’s kind of by the hidden library armoire. And then other than that, I wanted to try to find some wallpaper with a little tiny, like traditional feeling, but a little tiny edge to them or a little bit of like a spooky. I think I wanna push my style a little bit away from whimsical and a little tiny bit towards haunted looking just a little bit. It just feels right, and it’s in my soul, it’s the thing you want underneath the thing you feel like you should do, kind of thing.

Emma: Yes, I am actually this, I know this episode is about your house. But I also just want, since we’re talking about spooky, and giving yourself permission to do a little spooky. I am kind of trying to do something with my office. Elsie can see it right now as we’re on Skype while we record. It’s just a blank canvas, which is nice because you could do anything but I’ve been in the house now for five months and I feel like, okay, you need to at least start making a plan to make this an inspiring space cuz you work in here every day. So anyway, I have three wallpaper samples coming and they’re all spooky. That was one of the searches. I was looking at things on Spoonflower cuz I just love their wallpaper. Yeah. And I was like, spooky, bones, bats, Halloween. I was just seeing what options they had for these search terms and I found three that I was kind of interested in, they’re spooky, but like subtle spooky, where one of ’em has mostly flowers, but then there are a few bats flying around in there. That’s my top choice but we’ll see because I’m gonna hang the samples up and kind of see. And then there’s one that’s like, it just looks like an abstract, neutrally with a little pink, but when you look at it closely, it’s all ghost. It’s like everything is actually a ghost, but when you stand back, it just looks like an interesting texture. I have one that’s like potions, it’s bottled with like kind of flowers, it’s really pretty, they’re all like pretty and have like more upbeat colors, but all of them have something spooky about them, if that makes sense.

Elsie: Beautiful, that sounds fun.

Emma: I feel like I never gave myself permission. I go all in for decorating for Halloween, and then I was like, you could have one room in your house that’s spooky all year round. So why don’t you just make your office that? But not too spooky, just a little bit.

Elsie: Yeah, just a little bit. I have a great love for that, so that’s very exciting. I can’t wait to see which one you choose. 

Emma: I’ll definitely show you as soon as they come in and I hang ’em up, I’ll be like, here’s from this angle, here’s from this angle. Which one do you want? 

Elsie: Nice, that sounds perfect. Yeah, so one of the wallpapers we were looking at is from House of Hackney. Do you know that brand? It’s so cool. They have a castle and they have an episode on the show, the Discovery Plus Show For the Love of Kitchens and it’s like my favorite one, it’s really good. Anyway, their wallpaper is one of my favorites. I think we used, I don’t know, maybe I haven’t used one yet, maybe I’m just always trying to. Anyway, so there’s this one, this kind of like jungley looking, it’s a lot of trees and there’s like very, very subtle people figures in the trees and it’s very cool. It’s a little bit creepy. So yeah, that’s kind of the wavelength I’m thinking. Okay, so anthropology has a lot of really good spooky hardware right now. They have a toilet paper roll holder, a towel bar, some light fixtures that have little hands, there’s a hand holding a light bulb. There is a hand holding a little rod that holds the toilet paper, and then there’s just a hand that just sticks out of the wall as a hook, so I got a bunch of those. I will link them on the show notes and then from, I can’t remember where else, but there was another place that had some sconces that had hands that were really just really pretty and classic. Like really classic looking and really subtle. So I got a whole bunch of those and I’m using them in two locations. So yeah, I just feel so high on this theme cuz it’s fun. It’s like a secret double meaning because I just love spooky stuff with all my heart.

Emma: I agree. You should tell them about the Julie Blackman piece you got for your house because it’s not spooky, but I think it has a vibe. 

Elsie: Well, yes. Okay, so if you haven’t heard of the artist, Julie Blackman, just look her up. She has a beautiful coffee table book, Emma got it for me as a housewarming gift and she lives in the neighborhood where I’m moving. So, when I was there a couple of times ago, we were able to go to a show in the neighborhood of her art and see them in person really big, which is exciting because there are a couple of places around town that have them hanging up and you’ll, once in a while you’ll see them in people’s houses, but it’s pretty rare. And they’re fine art, they’re very expensive. I was joking to Emma because we bought one for the Airbnb and then she got it at our house and she was always like, oh, we’ll share it and I was joking, like you owe me one and so when we got in there, she was like, you can buy one. It was so happy. I was like so high. I was like running around all the rooms thinking about it and so I ended up getting this piece called Tall Girl and you’ll have to look it up, you just have to see it. And it’s my first piece of legit fine art for my home ever. So I feel really excited about it and it’s in the pink house right now. It looks way, way, way too big for this space. So I’m excited to move it when I have a chance. But yeah, I love her work. I’ve always loved it since I first heard of it in college, so it’s been a long time. She’s incredible and it’s just cool because it’s local art, which is really special. 

Emma: Yeah. It’s local, but she’s certainly internationally known, and yeah, her work is so unique, as Elsie said, it’s like fine art photography, she’s a photographer. It’s a lot about childhood, there are not a lot of adults in her photographs. It’s not that there never is, but it’s mostly focused on childhood. They also feel very timeless. They also kind of like play with some sort of like darker, heavier themes at times, which is really interesting. It’s just very cool what she makes of the world around her. So love her art, and I love the one else you picked out, Tall Girl. I can’t wait to see it in your new house. I mean, it’s really cool in the pink house. But yeah, I think it’ll fit better in your slightly spooky new house. It’s gonna be beautiful. 

Elsie: It fits in my theme, Halloween all year is definitely. Okay, so let’s talk about furniture. So at this point, I should mention that we have an episode coming up in a few weeks called Selling Our Home Fully Furnished because right now at the time of this recording, our house is under contract and you know, I’m a little so I will wait until it’s fully sold to release that episode and talk about the details a little bit more and it’s just about our experience. But our house at the moment is under contract to sell as fully furnished. So, it does come into play though for what we’re talking about, cuz the next thing I wanna talk about is the furniture. 

Emma: So now you know why she’s like, I’m getting a lot of furniture. And you’re like, don’t you already have a lot of furniture? Well just wait for an upcoming episode, you’ll see. 

Elsie: So yeah, we’re not moving hardly any furniture, we’re moving like two things and my pottery kiln and mattresses and stuff and a ton of personal stuff. But yeah, not hardly any main furniture. So kind of from the beginning I knew that if I had a chance to get a historic home I really wanted to do historic furniture because I just think it fits the house perfectly. And Emma and I have this weird obsession with the knives out at home. I think that’s kind of the path I wanna go down a little bit like a version of that. I love antiques so much and buying new furniture there’s nothing bad about it, obviously, I’m gonna buy a few things new, but I just love old stuff with history, the feeling that it brings into your room is different. It’s like it has a soul or something. Maybe I’m being too weird about it. For example, the little swan mantle that I just got, that I think I’m gonna be able to use in our kitchen. It is so unique and special and has a story. And it came from a whole other state and it’s historic. You could make something that looked like it was a replica and still somehow it might not feel the same. There are just little imperfections and stuff. So I’ve known for a while that I wanted to get primarily old furniture, and I think we’ll get a few things mixed in there that are new, and then we’ll get lots of stuff. But I think for the furniture, it’s just, it’s so easy in Missouri to find antique furniture. We have amazing flea markets, the Facebook marketplace is pretty good there, I think for the size of the town, it’s really good. 

Emma: I would agree with that. 

Elsie: There is more shopping everywhere you can drive around. If you are willing to drive a couple of hours in any direction, there are more antiques. So yeah, I’m planning to collect pretty much all the new furniture. There’s one piece from our house that we just got, which is this little vanity for Marigold’s bedroom. We got it after we knew we were moving with the intention of taking it to the new house. So that’s the only thing we were taking with us, and it wasn’t in our real estate photos, so it doesn’t really count as the fully furnished thing.

Emma: You’re not pulling a fast one on anyone.

Elsie: Right. Right. I’m really excited by the idea of having furniture that matches the age of the home, and also just the process of collecting stuff. I went to relics the other day and I was just looking at the little riding desks that I could use as an entry table. And there were ones with moldings on them that were like animals. And there were ones that had the claw foot, the lion-looking feet, like bathtubs half. There were ones like that, but they were carved out of wood and it’s just magical to me. So I’m really excited about old furniture right now. I’m so happy. 

Emma: Yeah, it worked out. So yeah, why don’t you tell ’em about the floors in your house, because I feel like that’s one of the big things you’re doing before you guys move because you’re not doing like tons and tons and tons as some people might expect but the floors are kind of a bigger project.

Elsie: Yeah. I can tell you everything we’re doing before we move in one sentence, it’s all the floors, painting most of it, adding one bathroom and Jeremy’s studio. So that’s it, for the most part, we’ll move into it and it’ll be pretty much the way it is now, which is perfect. We wanted to move in and not be renovating and just like really enjoy our summer, Christmas, fall, Thanksgiving, Halloween all that. And then after the new year, I think we’ll probably do a big renovation, but I wanted a little bit of time to bond with the house before we got into it. Yeah, that worked out really well for me in our current home, was to live here and overthink it before we started. So it’s something now, especially with the kitchen, like when Emma first found out, she was like, you’re gonna move in without doing the kitchen. And I was like, I know. I know. I know. 

Emma: It’s just such a project once you’re in but if you don’t hundred percent know what you want yet, I think you’re right. It makes more sense to live with it.

Elsie: I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake.

Emma: Yeah, exactly, and that’s an expensive mistake. You don’t wanna redo a kitchen twice, obviously. No, I think it makes sense. I just think when you redo it, that will not be a fun few months, however many months. 

Elsie: Yeah. We’ll get to that when we get to it. So anyway, let’s talk about the floors. So for the longest time, I have been like light wood floors only. I love whitewashed floors, and I’ve done it in three houses in a row, and I really like them. The first time we did it, it was because we had our pug who sheds a lot and it’s really hard ironically, now that we are deciding to do dark floors for the first time in more than 10 years. We are also planning to adopt a blonde pug because it’s the only dog that Nova wants, and she specifically told me not to get a black one. I was like Nova! So it’s fine. I think we’ll just have a lot of little hairs on our floor, but it’s worth it. And I can’t wait to be living with a baby pug, it’s my fantasy. It’s all of our fantasy. 

Emma: It really is, a friend of mine, just got a pug and we went over to their house the other night and I got to hold it. I’ve been very like no more dogs until our son’s older. I don’t wanna change diapers and have a puppy at the same time, it’s just so much work. But yeah, I was holding that little pug and I was like, I don’t know, maybe we need to look around and see if any need adopting. But I’m like, no, no, no, Elsie’s getting one. I’ll just go hold Nova’s pug. No, no, no. Don’t do it. But yeah, it’s hard. 

Elsie: Nova’s completely set. So anyway, yeah, let’s talk about the floors. So I feel ready and excited to do dark floors and it’s been such a long time since I looked at them and was like admiring them but I just feel like it fits the age of the home and it just feels really right to me, so I’m really excited. I think we’ll either be in a mid-tone or a dark, it definitely won’t be light, but it might not be the darkest possible color. It might be something kind of in the middle. So I sent colors to our wood floors person this week. And the other thing that we’re gonna do that’s special is in the entryway. So you’ve probably seen those like painted diamond floors where it’s like wood and then painted parts. We’re doing that butt with stain, so it’s like they’re gonna be stained diamond in two colors of stain, like a light stain in a dark. So I’m really excited to see how that turns out. There really were great floors that were usable, so there was nothing to add. The only floor we had to replace was the kitchen. So I really wanted to do like a statement floor, like the last couple of houses I’ve done like at herringbone floor, and it’s so pretty. But we decided that we would do the statement as the stain detail instead of the way the wood is laid. So I’m excited to try it. We’re keeping the way the rail, the staircase original would work, we’re keeping that dark color, so we’re kind of just gonna choose a color that blends well with that. So yeah, I feel really good about that. And it’s like a big evolution for me to be able to accept original dark wood and not think about painting it. So I feel happy and excited that my brain is finally evolved to that point. 

Emma: Yeah, you’re growing up. No, I’m just kidding. I do like though that you’re kind of always open to change. I think that one of the really fun things about you is you’re always changing and evolving and it’s fun. I don’t know. 

Elsie: Yeah. You just never know, I like it too. I like the idea of something you used to be so against, now you completely love it. 

Emma: I think it’s neat. Yeah, it’s not even that, it’s like growth cuz it’s not bad that you didn’t like it before. I feel that way about things in my life too, but I just like the idea of staying open. I guess it’s kind of like the book we talked about somewhat recently, the like, you know, think again. It’s like, yes, he’s sort of talking about, knowledge and political ideas and all sorts of things. But I’m like, also though home decor and colors you’ll wear.

Elsie: The joy of being wrong about wood floor colors. 

Emma: Yeah, exactly. Think again about your floor color. 

Elsie: Okay, so dark floors, lots of statement colors, lots of molding, lots of little brass hands, and spooky details. The next thing I have down is, getting my master’s degree in antique shopping. So I’m obsessed, let’s just put it that way. I’m obsessed and my list is a full-page long thing that I wanna be looking for. And some of it I have been trying to hold off because until our floors are done, it’s kind of not good to buy furniture because then it has to be moved twice. So I’ve been trying to just keep it at bay a little bit. That’s also probably why I started with lighting. So I bought all the lighting kind of immediately. It was the first thing, and since all to my in-law’s house, they brought it all over in a truck. It was so magical opening them all up. Oh my gosh. They took hours to put together, all these antique chandeliers with all their little parts wrapped individually in bubble wrap and staples and it was horrible, but it was also so fun. I am very, very passionate about the light fixtures and the next thing I’ve been working on is buying a lot of little wood detail pieces and also ceiling tiles. So I’m trying to convince our wallpaper lady to hang the ceiling tiles because it’s a different type of project and it’s not wallpaper. Yeah, I think I’m gonna do the ceiling tiles in three rooms, and they’re really cool, they’re really different. There are ones that are kind of like wallpaper, like a sticker that you can stick on. And then there are ones that are made of metal, and there are ones made of plastic and there are ones made of foam. And almost all of them can be painted once they’re up there, which is interesting. I think that you just have to see them in person to see which ones you think look the most authentic, because some of them look a lot, in my opinion, a lot more detailed and authentic than others. But once they’re up on the ceiling, they might all be pretty good and something really cool. The ceiling tile thing is that you can put it over popcorn, people who are thinking about skim coating or something, or like some of our ceilings, it’s not popcorn, but it’s like a texture that they put up to try to hide how bad it looked. It’s another kind of texture that’s just kind of like brush stroke looking and we have really old ceilings. So it’s just a great way to cover over ceilings and make them beautiful and really different from wallpaper, different from painting effects. It’s something I’ve never tried before. 

Emma: Yeah, I think it’s gonna look really cool, and it very much reminds me of our old store because it had the really old ceiling tiles it was a really old building. I feel like I stared at that ceiling all the time while I was working in the shop. So in my mind, it’s like ceiling tiles, the red velvet store and I think they probably still have them, we went recently when Elsie was in town. Yeah, it’s a tea house now and it’s so cute and busy and awesome. We were like, let’s make this our spot. But it’s where our old store was and yeah. I dunno, I always think when you say ceiling tiles, I just always think of that.

Elsie: Yeah, me too. The other place I think it kind of came from is that I spent so much time last year shopping in New York and a lot of ceilings there have it, and a lot of apartments too. I wasn’t planning on getting a brownstone, but I looked at them a lot. The brownstones have really, really good ceilings and moldings. There are so many of them that are so pretty. So I think I got an obsession that won’t quit for that kind of ceiling. Like really, really detailed ceilings. The antique list, it’s so long and I’ll just narrow it down to like one or two obsessions. So one thing that I am completely fixated on is having for my office a vintage or antique roll-top desk that where it’s like you roll it, it kind of hides the surface of the desk with a piece that rolls down. Hopefully, everyone can just visualize in their mind what it looks like. In my mind it’s just like the murder she wrote desk, right? It’s an old-timey writer’s desk, it’s very cool. And the thing that makes them extra special is that some of them, not all of them, but some of them have secret compartments. And the secret compartments, it gives me a tingle in a special way that it’s unmatched. Like it scratches an itch. Right? I am completely fixated on having secret compartments. I don’t know why. I don’t know what I would put in them. I have no reason. You know, in the old times’ secrets, it’s a lot of hidden love letters type. I love it. I love secret compartments, so that’s one of my favorite categories is antique furniture with compartments, . And they’re always in plain sight, but it’s just like a piece that you wouldn’t think to pull or, you know what I’m saying? It looks like a piece of tremor molding usually. And then you pull it out and it’s like a little file cabinet. For my second one, we are leaving our white piano in Tennessee because of the fully furnished cell of the house. And honestly, I always hoped it would stay here because it looks really good in this house, it’s perfect. It has a special spot and pianos are really, really expensive to move, it’s kind of like a pottery kiln actually. It’s much better if you just leave it and the next person can use it and you can buy a new one in your new spot locally. And pianos are also really available to buy used Grand pianos, upright pianos, all of them. So, we were always hoping that the new owner would want the piano, and they did, which is great. So we are shopping for a new grand piano for Jeremy’s studio, and then an upright piano to go in our dining room. Jeremy says if the kids are not in piano lessons by the end of the year, it is a personal failure on his part as a parent. He’s very serious about this because he’s a musician and our kids are five and seven and they haven’t started piano yet, it’s very important to him.

Emma: Well, great news. I know of a piano teacher that you will be able to walk to her house for her new house. 

Elsie: That’s great news.

Emma: I have a few friends who send their kids to her for a piano. 

Elsie: Oh my gosh. That’s perfect.

Emma: I know. It’s a great neighborhood. 

Elsie: Yeah, and I don’t know what piano exactly we’re looking for but I know that I want it to look a little bit spooky. I want it to look a little bit haunted. I would like wood if possible, not painted, not black, just wood for both of them. But yeah, with the grand piano, I think it’s a little harder to come by they’re usually black.

Emma: Mostly see those shiny black ones. 

Elsie: Yeah, and I think the for the studio, it’s like he cares so much about playing it, the sound. And then for the other one, he might be a little more, because it’s kind of for the kids. 

Emma: So I know we already mentioned one piece of art, but I’m sure there’s other art that you’re thinking about in the house. So other than the Julie Blackman piece, tell us about the art that you have planned. 

Elsie: So the biggest category is that I wanna collect antique art, original art. So when I went to the Paris Flea market last year with Sherry, I got my first landscape painting. So I’ve been saving that, and then I’ve been collecting the oil painting portrait of people from Etsy and eBay. It’s a really fun collection. I kind of wanna do a wall of people somewhere. I think that’s a good spooky nod type of collection. I wanna collect some original art. I have a few favorite artists and I just think it’s exciting to get a few pieces here and there.

I want to obviously make art for our home. I wanna make some special pieces. I have a vision of making a portrait with ice that move. Yeah, it’s very important. I’m really excited. And then other than that, I wanna fill up the house with kids’ art. We have these really awesome frames that I found on Amazon last year. I will link them in the show notes and they open and shut like a door. So it’s already on your wall, you don’t even have to take it down, and you can open it and put a new piece of art in and just shut it. You don’t even have to take the order out, you can just layer it in there and just always keep updating your kids’ newest art into the frames. So they’re really awesome and they come in different finishes. So I have the white ones for our current home and our next home. I think I’ll probably get the Walnut one and they come in sets, they make a good gallery wall. So yeah, kids’ art for sure. 

Emma: I love it. What about outdoor spaces? You mentioned the exterior of the house is like a 10 outta 10, but I’m sure you’re still planning things for the yard or just things in the future. 

Elsie: Yeah, so the front of the house and the front yard are a 10, outta 10, they’re so beautiful. There are a lot of giant mature trees along the sidewalk leading up to the home that I can’t wait to fill with pumpkins, line with pumpkins, and things like that. But the backyard is actually pretty close to more like a zero out of 10. It’s kind of nothing. Yeah, you’ve been back there. The side’s pretty cool. The side has a little fire pit area and you can put a dining table and there’s like a hot tub. The backyard’s just like a garage. A garage, right in your view from the kitchen, and that’s it, and then nothing else really back there.

Emma: It’s nice that you have a garage, but Yeah, it feels like it’s not put together yet. It’s just bare bones. 

Elsie: True. So one of the biggest questions people ask is are you going to add a pool? Because I’ve been romanticizing my pool in our Tennessee house looks so hard for three years.

Emma: Sure. Well, your girls have always had their swim lessons and you guys use it a lot. So I get why people are always asking that. 

Elsie: Yeah, I think there are people who have a pool in their house and then they realize it’s not for me. And then there are people who like really love it and I feel like it, it’s a thing, I really love it. So we would really like to add another pool and we’ve been working on designing it. Our friend Sherry told us to, she basically said to design everything before I do my first meeting. Have a picture for everything and like just show them exactly what I want. So that’s what I’m trying to do to prepare to get a quote. I have no idea how much it’s going to cost, I have no clue. So I couldn’t even guess. So we’ll see when that comes around. But yeah, we have a pretty intense plan for the yard and we kinda wanna move everything around and have a beautiful fence, beautiful trees, and hopefully, a beautiful pool. And I really wanna put a little house. This kind of is a house there, but I’m not sure if it would fit, but is a place for the pottery and I was thinking it could be like gardening and also like a pottery kiln. I think it needs to be detached from our house after experiencing what it’s like, it’s pretty fumy. And a fire pit and then just like a part of the yard for the kids to run around. So I will post a picture of my sketch, it’s so funny. And you’ll probably be like, wow Elsie. I made it on an airplane. And yeah, if it actually works out that I can afford it and it turns out that way, I would be amazed. It probably won’t, but we’ll see. Try for it, shoot for the stars. 

Emma: I’m rooting for it just because then I can bring Oscar over every Saturday morning when we’re up, which currently is like 6:00 AM and we’ll just be over there by 7:00 AM. I’ll bring you some McDonald’s hash browns and we’ll be in your pool.

Elsie: Oh, hell yeah. That sounds great. That sounds like the dream. So let’s go on to the embarrassing stories. You said you had one, so why don’t you go first? I wanna hear it. 

Emma: Yes, mine’s kinda lame anyway, so I wanna go first cuz I saw the outline like I said, and I wasn’t sure if you had one or if I was supposed to be thinking of one. So I was like, what have I done lately that’s really stupid and so mine is more like a recurring thing that I’m doing. Okay, so my son’s almost two and we don’t really watch a lot of TVs, but when we do, it’s mostly like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street. But his special treat is he loves cars. So we will watch like 20 or 30 minutes of cars, not every day, but pretty often. So we’ve watched all three cars, movies, there’s like a little TV show, it’s called Cars on the Road. There’s a whole bunch of shorts, all the stuff on Disney Plus. So if you have a kid who loves cars, that’s just why I’m telling you where you can find it. Yeah, I had never seen any of the Cars movies before having my son but he just loves cars. Cars were like one of his very first words. He’s just always been interested in cars. We used to sit on the porch when he was basically a baby and like just babbling and he would see cars and point at them. And then he started saying cars, he just loves cars. So anyway, so we watch all of the Cars movies. It’s a big part of my life. And the embarrassing thing is I’ve noticed that it’s just kind of like in my brain now like it’s almost become like my religion or something because I’ve started relating things, and I say these things to adults. I’m not saying them to Oscar, I say these things to adults. I start relating life stuff to cars. I’ll give you an exam. It’s so dorky and I kind of don’t even realize I’m doing it. And then I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m talking about cars again, and I’m talking to like my adult friend. What is wrong with me? So I’ll give you one example, but I have done this a number of times, but one was I had a therapy session, I go once a month right now and my therapist’s name’s Kelly and she’s really nice. And anyway, I was telling her about kind of like my career and how we’ve been blogging for almost 15 years and we’re not the shiny new rookies we’re like in this different phase and I was like, it’s kind of like in cars three when Lightning McQueen realizes that he’s an older race car and he needs to like change up, he can’t be the new rookie anymore. And I was kind of getting into it and I was just like, oh my God. I’m like telling you how the plot of cars three is how I feel about my life and my career. I’m just like, oh, I’m such a toddler mom. 

Elsie: That’s cute, Emma. Oh my gosh, that’s so cute. 

Emma: It is dorky, but that is my whole life. Cars and Daniel Tiger. 

Elsie: We’ve all done it. It does consume you for a while for sure.

Emma: I know. So if everyone’s like, do you have anything interesting in talking about, I’m like, well, let me tell you how cars relate to life. No, I don’t. 

Elsie: Aw, okay, my story is an oldie but a goodie and I did get permission to share this story. A long time ago, it was probably 10 years ago when I still lived in Missouri, we got an email, I remember I was at work from our, now very good friend Erin, she has a business called Sun Woven and it’s beautiful weavings and things like that. And she sells other things it’s great. So anyway, she emailed for the first time, introduced herself, and asked if I wanted to meet. And also she said that her husband, Creighton was from this famous band called Band of Horses, and I was like, holy crap Band of Horses, it’s a very cool band. I was very excited to meet them. So went to a cute little bar downtown and we had drinks and it was great and it was wonderful. And then kind of towards the end of the night, I saw Creighton going over to the bar, seeming like he was paying. And when he came back I said, Oh my gosh, that was so sweet of you, you didn’t have to do that, we weren’t expecting that, thank you. And he kind of said nothing. And after probably less than a minute, a couple of minutes, someone brought us our bill. So, it was very embarrassing. And then the next day magically they invited us to hang out again and then guess what? They paid for it and it was so embarrassing that made it even worse. And now we’ve been friends for a long time, like 10 years. So it’s not a big deal. And she claims that she doesn’t even remember it, which I think she’s probably lying about. But maybe not because it’s like your embarrassing moment other people don’t always care. So anyway, that’s mine, just thank you. Thank you so much. Oh my gosh. So sweet. 

Emma: I wasn’t expecting that. She probably doesn’t remember. She’s probably telling the truth. Although she is very nice. So she could just be letting off the hook. But I do feel like, I remember awkward things that I have done years ago, like when I said something awkward to someone and there’s no way they remember. It’s just burned into my brain of like, yes, oh my gosh, why did I do that? And it’s like not a big deal, but it is funny. 

Elsie: Yes. The worst. Anyway, that’s our embarrassing story time. Let us know if you like embarrassing stories. Also, let us know if there are other segments that you want us to bring back that we haven’t done for a while. I like hearing requests cuz that gives us ideas and it helps us do things that are interesting to you. Okay, so thank you so much for listening. If you’re enjoying our podcast, we would really appreciate a five-star reveal. Like I’m not ashamed to say it we only want the good ones, please not the bad ones. Next week we will be back with a rewatch episode of Father of the Bride from 1991, Nancy Myers Classic. In the meantime, here’s Nova. All right, I’m back with Nova this week. We have a joke, right? Nova?

Nova: This week of the Joke. I have like a few jokes and they’re all about space. 

Elsie: Okay. 

Nova: How do you get a baby to stop crying? 

Elsie: How? 

Nova: You rock it? Where do cows live? 

Elsie: Where do cows live? Where?

Nova: On the moooooooon. And how do you plan a party in outer space? 

Elsie: How?

Nova: You planet. And when do astronauts eat lunch? 

Elsie: When?

Nova: At launch time.

Elsie: Oh yeah. That was a good joke. That was a whole bunch of jokes. All right. Do you wanna tell everyone to have a good week? 

Nova: Have a good week! 

Elsie: Bye.