Old House Love: Inspiration from the best on the RAP Spring Home Tour

*I intended to get this post up right after the tour, however that didn’t happen due to life (and work and travel and work and a busy social calendar and slow internet and the destructive power of lightening and work). But, now that I’m back with new, faster internet, here it is, more than a month later. Anyway…

There’s no shortage of pictures of gorgeous old homes on the internet to garner inspiration from, but nothing beats the real thing.

So after nearly seven years living in the lovely Riverside Avondale historic district of Jacksonville, we finally went on the Riverside Avondale Preservation Spring Tour of Homes. The tour took place over Saturday and Sunday, April 25th and 26th (like I said, more than a month later…). That Sunday, we hopped on our bikes (including my new/old vintage Raleigh Superbe… more on that soon!), grabbed a map and hit up a bunch of the beautiful homes throughout the neighborhood.

After a few hours, tired legs and a bit of sunburn, we arrived back home, inspired to do a million new home projects, go shopping for antiques and do some landscaping. Without further ado, here are my home tour inspirations:

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A standout dining room table. I’m over our small, hexagonal dining room table that I painted white. I want something that catches the eye and stretches out into the space. And fits more than four people (comfortably). This is not a high priority on our list of crap to do, but one day I will have my dream dining room table.

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Best non-fire use of a fireplace. I love me a good fire as much as the next person, but let’s face it. Fireplace season is Florida is short and sweet. I love how this one is adorned with a full, beautiful potted plant. Joel cleaned out our fireplace a few weekends ago so it’s only a matter of time before a plant ends up in there.

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Stained glass. Now this is a legit stained glass window and it is GORGEOUS. We have no plans to take out any of our windows and replace them with stained glass. But I feel like our dining room window is just asking for a lovely piece of stained glass to be displayed there.

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A LION. Our porch has one flat post that is BEGGING for a lion. We’ve been talking about this since we bought the damn house (although I think I remember Joel proposing to put a Buddha statue there at one point). Now we have to find the perfect lion… (tall, stone and badass, if you were wondering about our qualifications).

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Decorating with music. I’m a huge music fan… not necessarily of the most popular music (actually, definitely not the most popular music). I tend to prefer artists of the quirkier kind. After I saw a little music nook complete with signed copy of one of They Mights Be Giants’ albums, I was inspired to continue my small but growing record collection that now sits in our dining room. Yes, I need a record player but one day I dream of leaving my (yet-to-exist) children with my awesome collection of records.

In case you were wondering, this is my favorite TMBG song:

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Welcoming outdoor spaces that are as comfortable as they are beautiful. We bought the materials to build a patio a few months ago, and finally on Memorial Day weekend, we slaved over the entire three-days off and built the patio. It’s still not done (I apparently overestimated my ability to split 30 stones with a hammer and chisel. I wasn’t able to split one.) because we need to rent a saw to split the remainder of the stones. But once its done, I want it to have a feel like this little space. I’m excited to get it fully done and sit on a bench with a glass or wine, or a beer, or both.

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Mirrors. Besides always reminding you that your hair is a disaster and your outfit doesn’t match, mirrors are perfect for creating space through reflection. They can be simple and sleek or awesomely ornate, and go well in any room!

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Fresh flowers. One of my favorite decorating pieces! Local florists provided displays for each house, and I loved every one of them. Nothing freshens up a space like some lovely flowers. I especially like the bright, colorful bouquets.

Annnnd I’ll leave you with a few of my other favorite shots from the tour:

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The view from the rooftop of the house above was to die for!IMG_3560

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After adjusting the settings to get good color on the above photo, I realized there were bees buzzing around my head. Oops.

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