Holy Dyson, Batman!
"I shouldn't be this excited about a vacuum cleaner."

I suspect that most people who come to possess a Dyson vacuum cleaner say this exact same thing.

Jodi had wanted one of these a few years back when we found ourselves in need of a new vacuum cleaner. I balked at the price tag and so we wound up with an upright Eureka.

Well, that Eureka just bit the bullet, due in no small part to my mistaking it for a Shop-Vac and cleaning up random nuts, bolts and screws with the thing (D'oh!). Anyhow, we used this as an opportunity to revisit the whole Dyson dilemma. Still a bit miffed about the price, I managed to score a brand, new one from eBay for 25% less than the usual price - I can live with that.

As I was unpacking it this afternoon, I couldn't help but to notice that I felt the same way I feel when opening a new toy from Apple - this is a company that takes great pride in all aspects of their product. Designed to the teeth yet still highly functional, it is truly an impressive piece of engineering.

I'm encouraged by the fact that everybody we know who has one raves about them. The only problem is that it's so cool-looking that I'm not so sure I want to use it!
Dining Room Part 2: White, white, or white?
The first week after we moved in (highly recommend taking a week off from work when you do a major house move) we hired a painting crew (Buckets and Boards in Arlington, MA) to paint the entire "open space" area that adjoins the loft, dining room, living space and kitchen. It was originally a peachy-beige that just made the entire space look drab.

We wanted a warmer white versus a "hot" white (also disguised as blue-white or Tack Room White by Mr. RL). Once you determine that, you can eliminate about half of the "white" paint swatches -- and there are hundreds. For this "warmer" white, I didn't want ivory or yellow-y cream colors. Just something that sat in that comfortable true-white zone that wasn't blindingly bleached white.

After living with some final paint swatch selections in daylight and evening light, I chose Benjamin Moore's Simply White. It's perfect in every light. Shown here with the new credenza in place. Isn't she lovely?

You can get a lot of Ben's colors in their higher-end paints named Aura. According to our paint crew, it goes on a lot better and is a truer, more even color. It really is a great-coverage paint - no marketing bull it seems. You still need two passes which is better all-around anyway.

As with just about everything creative in my life, this room also started with a mood board. This one is not as full and final as some of the others, but it definitely pulls together the feeling I wanted for this room -- it continues to grow organically as I find things I like. The room on the upper left is the exact layout of our dining room. Except we need a table. Fairly integral to the whole dining experience, don't you think?

For the mood boards and more, I have been constantly collecting images of things that really speak to me for years. I store them in my "inspiration" 3-ring binders from Russel and Hazel , a company that carries the most beautiful office supplies. Completely worth it, because when they are exposed -- they become part of your environment.

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About Us

Christopher Scott and Jodi Vautrin are the husband and wife team behind Ourhaus, where they chronicle their adventures in home improvement, decorating and travel. After purchasing a unique loft space just a few miles north of Boston, they began photographing and writing about their projects and it blossomed into a creative outlet and platform.

When they’re not home improving, Jodi spends her days as a freelance creative director & designer with a focus on user interface and interactive design, and is an entrepreneur at heart. She serves on the board of AIGA Boston as Vice President of Emerging Ideas & Events.

In his professional life, Christopher is the Technology Director for a multi-service ad agency based in Harvard Square. In his private life, he enjoys tinkering in all its forms, whether it's rebuilding the Ourhaus home network (again), fooling himself into thinking he knows how to fix home appliances, or trying to unravel the mysteries of the guitar. He also flies planes, performs open heart surgery and sings at bar mitzvahs (though not all at the same time).

They share their “haus” with their adorable, highly food-motivated chocolate lab, Lucy.