Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Boring

June 11, 2005 | 20 comments
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I figure that if Nate can go on and on and on about his garden, I might be indulged if I take you on a tour of my house.

We live in a faceless neighborhood in a mass-produced, cheap house that does nothing so much as call the phrases ‘suburban sprawl’ and ‘soulless’ to mind. Hence the paint.

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This is our entry way. I share it as the only domestically-inclined project (goal: display heirloom photos without putting them in frames) that I have ever successfully undertaken. (Please don’t ask what happened to the curtains or the quilt. It isn’t pretty.) Somewhat difficult to see in this picture is that all of the glass containers have photos in them.

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This is the Red Room. We try not to talk about the white elephant in the middle of it.

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This is the other side of the main room.

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The dining area. The huge table is new. It has a granite top because I wanted something my boys couldn’t destroy. Notice Legoland on the left. Sorry the photo is so dark.

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The rest of the kitchen. You’ll notice that my theme is Rosie the Riveter. I chose this for asthetic reasons but also because it is such a complicated symbol. You’ll notice the Yellow Room in the background. That’s where I go hide when I’m eating something I don’t want to share with the kids.

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Here’s four pictures of the Green Room: study, computer room, library, and toy room. I can’t figure out how to rotate the fourth one. All of our books used to be in this room but due to my overindulgence, we recently added four new bookcases to the hallway.

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This is the room that my boys share. It’s a slight miracle that it looks normal. They dismantle their beds, move the mattresses and food storage, and make forts on a daily basis.

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This is our bedroom. I have no idea why it is orange. Some days I look at it and think, What was I thinking? Other days I like it.

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I have no idea why I am posting photos of my private space to the entire world except that it is possible. I am reminded of that phrase about nuclear giants and ethical infants.

UPDATE: Amira asked for a picture of the front of the house. Here it is:

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20 Responses to Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Boring

  1. Steve Evans on June 11, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Cleanest. House. Ever.

    Very impressive!

  2. Amira on June 11, 2005 at 4:30 pm

    Love the pictures, Julie. What about some shots from outside, too?

  3. Mark B. on June 11, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    This is right up there with Jackie Kennedy taking us all (or at least the few of us who were alive back then) on her tour of the white house. As I recall, they had a red room too.

  4. Miranda PJ on June 11, 2005 at 5:42 pm

    I love your baskets!

  5. Susan M on June 11, 2005 at 6:00 pm

    I love the idea of the baskets. However I can’t stand wicker anything. So pokey.

    You have a lovely home. I also could never do red. It looks dramatic and great, I just wouldn’t want to live in a red room. Blue or earth tones are more my thing.

    We live in a small three bedroom apartment with 3 kids ages 11, 13 and 15, and because we don’t want them stolen, our living room is currently full of three bmx bicycles, one Jesse James West Coast Choppers bicycle, three surfboards, several snowboards and skis, a couple skateboards, and a skimboard.

  6. Raine on June 11, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    I enjoyed your house tour. I’m totally envying you with that granite table and Rosie the Riveter theme. Where’d you find the table? It must have cost a mint and weigh a ton.

    Also, does your baby have any difficulty sleeping in a room with orange walls?

  7. annegb on June 11, 2005 at 8:17 pm

    Well, that was just delightful, thank you.

    How did you mount those pictures? I have a lot of pictures like that and your idea is wonderful. I love red. I first used it in our family room against the garage sale black and white couch, we chose coca cola and I was amazed how it warms up a room.

  8. Julie in Austin on June 11, 2005 at 9:03 pm

    Raine–

    OK, we cheated a little on the table because it is actually two tables pushed together. I wanted something big because we homeschool, but I hate those insert thingies for expanding tables. Plus, the space was square and not long and skinny. They really weren’t that expensive. I don’t know what city you are in, but they are from Sofa Mart. They are heavy, though. I can’t budge them.

    The baby is a great sleeper; doesn’t seem to care about the walls. He only naps in the crib because we co-sleep.

    annegb: The pictures on the fabric are done with a product that iron ons the photos. The ones on the trays are copied, dipped in a mix of water and plain glue, and then placed on the trays. The ones in the jars are on overhead transparencies taped to the glass with teeny bits of clear tape.

  9. Heather O on June 11, 2005 at 10:47 pm

    Julie, you are a BIG FAT LIAR! I remember a LONG time ago you wrote that you would like to have everybody in the Bloggernacle over for dinner sometime, but that would mean that everybody would have to be in Austin, which we aren’t, and that your house would have to be presentable, which it never is. HELLOOO! That house looked at presentable as it gets–it’s gorgeous! Now I’ll have to sit back and be jealous of your book publishing prowess AND your house.

  10. Julie in Austin on June 11, 2005 at 11:20 pm

    Uh, Heather, I think you are violating the comment policy ;)

    Seriously, tho, I thought it would go without saying that it doesn’t normally look like this. As in, that’s why I took the pictures, to memorialize such a rare occasion. . .

    And you have an amazing memory. That was a throw-away line in a conversation from about a year ago. (Must be hard, Nate, to have a wife like that.)

  11. Soyde River on June 11, 2005 at 11:27 pm

    Not as good as Jackie Kennedy. I remember her pointing out the pictures….

    “There’s this one, and that one, and that other one over there….”

  12. cooper on June 11, 2005 at 11:42 pm

    I had forgotten where you lived. As soon as I saw the house from the outside i knew it hasd to be in Austin. I love that city! My favorite area was Balcones! There is a gorgeous pink brick home there that I would have loved to live.

    Books! So many books! It’s wonderful. I love your blue kitchen! We just got a square table too! It makes way more sense for us.

    Thank you for the tour!

  13. Vicki on June 12, 2005 at 12:07 am

    I love all the color! Our house had one red wall and a bunch of yellow, the previous owners painted it over in chocolate milk-colored tan, and not very well. Is your baby mobile? Just wondering because of the legos. And I think the Rosie the Riveter kitchen is great. I have a magnet but that’s it.

  14. Julie in Austin on June 12, 2005 at 11:10 am

    Vicki–

    With the last baby, I worried myself sick over what would happen to Legoland when he started walking.

    Then the big day came. And nothing happened. He never once put a Lego in his mouth.

    So with this baby, I haven’t given it much thought. If he’s a toy eater, we’re in big trouble, I guess.

  15. Vicki on June 12, 2005 at 2:15 pm

    See, my baby SOOO wants to eat the legos so they can’t be out (except at the kitchen table) when he’s awake. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it soon.

  16. Karen on June 12, 2005 at 2:26 pm

    Julie, we both decorated our bedrooms with Georgia O’Keefe. I just knew we were blogger kindred spirits! I’ve got color all over my house too…and I love that with a little mess and a tired weekend, I can change it all.

  17. danithew on June 12, 2005 at 3:04 pm

    I like the variety of bold colors you have throughout the house. Or is bold the right word? I don’t know … anyway, I like the colors.

  18. Tony on June 12, 2005 at 4:49 pm

    “We live in a faceless neighborhood in a mass-produced, cheap house that does nothing so much as call the phrases ’suburban sprawl’ and ’soulless’ to mind.”

    Gee, sounds like you love your home and neighborhood… (insert “roll eyes” icon here)

    Why did you buy what and where you did if you feel that way?

  19. Julie in Austin on June 12, 2005 at 5:39 pm

    Tony–

    Good question. We bought this house immediately upon my husband graduating from school and at the peak of the tech boom, so options were limited. We ranked cost, commute length, safety of neighboorhood, and school quality (we didn’t know then that we would homeschool) over living in a neighborhood with a lot of character. Now that I’ve gotten paint all over it, I like the inside of the house well enough. The neighborhood is still ugly, but the people are nice.

  20. Jay S on June 14, 2005 at 1:02 pm

    looks good – Plants go a LONG way towards adding character. We just moved to a pretty bare house in Vegas. We added some plants and beds and It looks much more inviting! Plus it gives us an excuse to get outside, and our son likes helping with the gardening.

    I think gardening is one of the best hobbies a family can have. It encourages working together, being outside, and creates opportunities to learn about living things. Plus what kid doesn’t like to get his hands dirty (Except my cousin’s boy, but we won’t talk about that).