Introducing the New World Headquarters for Poe Communications

After a very trying five weeks full of dust, construction and contractor butt cracks, I am back in my office (sort of) and y’all….it is gorgeous. Poe Communications aka Poe Industries Building/Construction/Contracting Services and Project Management Inc. got a major upgrade (thanks to all the damage done to my office when we had to get completely new framing done on our house, but I digress).

I say “back in my office (sort of)” because just like “Brokeback Renovation,” our contractor just can’t seem to quit us. He’s got a few little details to attend to (some wall patching near a couple of outlet plugs, some sink scratches in the adjoining bathroom caused by haphazard painters and their trowels), but he keeps putting off the final bits and blobs. So I haven’t hung my artwork back up yet, and my desk is floating in the middle of the room so the workers can eventually do the patches they need to do.

But, here are a few pictures of my new office from the other morning. The lighting is crap because it was a lovely sunny morning, but I was too excited to wait for good lighting.

Office overview

Obviously, when considering what I wanted my worldwide headquarters for my multi-media infotainment empire to look like, I did what every self-respecting work-from-home writer does: I stalked Pinterest. (*I also relied very heavily on the advice of my own personal interior design guru, XFE).

From Pinterest, I immediately gleaned that my previous desk was far too modest for such an impressive endeavor as content creation and promotion. So, I immediately upgraded that bad boy to a giant frosted glass and chrome slab of sleekness (from Ikea. Sorry, Pinterest. I know everyone else had Jonathan Adler desks, but I didn’t win any lotteries this week. And I really, really like my Ikea table/desk!).


I also saw a lot of blogger offices with those twee little bar carts with cute little mint julep cups holding cute little striped straws. Yeah, that’s not me. I see you’re stupid bar cart and raise you a wine fridge. Also, note the lack of glassware. At Poe Communications, happy hour starts whenever I say and we drink from the bottle.

wine fridge

I also saw a lot of blogger offices that used a gold Moroccan poof as an additional seating option, but I knew that was not going to fly here. After considering a bean bag alternative, I finally settled on a nice, roomy velvety throne like chair for Petunia, the president of HR here at Poe Industries to sit on.


Apparently, she prefers the sunny spot on the floor.

HR Petunia

But I did cave to conventional blogger dictates when it came to the lighting. I would have to get a chandelier. And, it’s probably my favorite thing in the room (besides the wine fridge. And the striped wall, which was XFE’s idea).


Isn’t it glorious? And my second favorite thing (or is it my fourth?): XFE moved my rarely-used-but-when-needed-it-is-essential printer onto a shelf in the linen closet. H


Poe Communications sure has come a long way from it’s early days at the dining room table. From this first office incarnation:

early office

To this inspiring space:

Office overview 2

Now maybe I can get back to work! (and blogging).

House Update: Pretty, Pretty Things

There have been a few developments on the decorating front. Stuff we ordered when we moved in suddenly started to pour in at a rapid place. Which is all very, very exciting. Come, take a walk with me through the Poe Palace (fine, it’s Chauteau de XFE, but I was consulted on some of the decisions.)

First up is the biggest deal: the shed, which we had built and which was fraught with difficulties, including discovering that our first choice of wood stained our concrete while it was piled up outside in the rain. Then, our contractor Rob started putting it on the shed front anyway, only to discover a day later that it would continue to run and stain our concrete and anything else it touched. So it had to go.

Shed 1

BUT, the shed was so worth the wait. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Shed 2

The (non-leaking) wood is called ipe and it’s very fancy. Especially for a shed.

Shed 3

The shed is the home to our grill and the Big Green Egg, which is why it’s so fancy. Can’t have the BGE just slumming it. So we had a shed built that’s only slightly less nice than our house. Speaking of….


That’s my new shower curtain. It’s a chandelier. Cuz I’m fancy like that.

Chaise 1

My chaise from West Elm finally showed up. It’s a bit more “stuffed” and less sleek than I expected, but it’s really comfortable.  And, well, it’s not really returnable since we custom ordered it, not that I ever would return it. It’s just a bit mushy compared to XFE’s sleek white couch.


It’s even Petunia approved.


As you can see, there’s also a new piece of art hanging in the dining room. It’s a bull. His name is Sonny the Longhorn.


It’s by an artist named Jennifer Moreman from Tyler, Texas. Funny story: every time we go to a steakhouse and they have those old Western paintings of bulls, XFE cracks a joke (apparently, he was not joking) about needing a painting like that for our house.

With that in mind, I began searching around for something similar but modern. I found Moreman’s shop on Etsy, but her paintings were prohibitively expensive. Recently, while looking for house stuff, XFE sent me a link to a sale on One King’s Lane, but I never opened it.

A day or two later, I remembered Moreman’s Etsy shop and sent it to XFE with a note saying I knew it was expensive, but maybe we could buy it for Christmas or something. He responded right away about how he saw this artist on OKL and for a lot less. It was total kismet.  I love it so, so, so much. It combines my Texan heritage,  our inside joke, and our love of modern art.

Finally, you might also have noticed a new dining room rug peaking out and you would be right.

dining room rug

It’s a gorgeous peacock blue.

dining room rug 2

We’re missing a dining room chair because we’re having new seats made to replace the rattan. And it’s cheaper than replacing all of the chairs wholesale.

So that’s the latest on our decorating adventures. The rest is just small decorative stuff, but all the major pieces are in place. We even bought a pillow (the one behind Petunia in the picture above), which we got for free, basically, because of our recent One King’s Lane purchases.

Weekend in Review: Burgers, Backyards, Sweaty Runs

This past weekend was gloriously devoid of an agenda. My house-spouse XFE took care of most of the errands when he got back on Friday, so there was very little running around. Only one brief trip to Home Depot, which is pretty unusual since we moved into the house. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t at least stopped by, the folks at HD would have sent out a search party and plastered Missing posters over the greater Northern Virginia area.

We spent Saturday poking around places like TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and World Market looking for decorative items and pillows. We’re not really knickknack people. We don’t collect things. This, however, poses a slight problem when you have multiple large flat surfaces to decorate. Thus, the trip to Homegoods, et. al. We mostly came up empty, except for these very cheerful striped pillows to classy up our plastic Adirondack chairs.

My personal interior decorator XFE did order these gorgeous mercury glass candle holders from Gilt. I have a candle addiction (no, seriously. I have a stockpile. And I have a blaze going pretty much every night.), so these are perfect for the house.  They came in Monday and will definitely fill some surfaces.

Personal chef XFE did a pretty good job of keeping my weight up this weekend by visiting his favorite man in the whole world, Steve the Butcher at Let’s Meat on the Avenue. The result was burgers with thick cuts of bacon, avocado, and cheddar and sriracha spiked mayo on Saturday.

Those burgers fueled my 3.87 mile run on Sunday (nope. Couldn’t make it one more time around the block for an even 4.) I started pretty late (around 9 am) and just about died.

Not really sure why I started my run so late. Oh yeah. Because this is the forlorn little cat face I have to tear myself away from when I go for a run. She sits at the top of the stairs and just watches me walking away from her.

After the minor heat stroke, I stayed inside the rest of the day, which suited my borderline agoraphobic/misanthrope personality.

We closed out the weekend with the inaugural Big Green Egg effort at the new house. Ribs, pork and beef, and corn on the cob. After dinner we sat on our cheap plastic chairs, lit some outdoor candles (I told you I have a problem), and finished off an Austrian red wine, called, I think, zweigelt (??).



I know there were other things going on Sunday night, including the closing ceremonies for the Olympics. I was fine with missing out on that until I found out that this awesomeness happened. That Kate Moss sure knows how to bring the fierceness.

Now that the Olympics are over, I understand there’s discussion of future events to add to the Olympics. One of the main contenders is pole dancing. Which brings us to this.

By Popular Demand (for all the creepers out there)

We’ve been getting a lot of requests to see the new house. Mostly, I’m sure, folks want to pick apart our design aesthetic and say things like, “hmmm, isn’t that rug from Ikea?” To which I say, “HA! We’re not done yet.”

And which has been the main reason I haven’t wanted to post pictures yet. We’re not done. Things are very much still a work in progress. But, we think it really is coming along nicely, and since so many people have asked, and we’re really quite house proud, I thought I’d post some photos. Hopefully, we can use them later on as ‘before’ photos. Without further ado or qualifiers:


This is immediately inside the door. We’re actually looking for something to replace that entry way table. Maybe something with a little height? Also: artwork needed throughout the house.


This is on the entryway table. It’s a painting of our house that I commissioned as a housewarming gift for XFE. It was a bit of a frustrating experience dealing with the artist (was supposed to be 7-10 days, received it a full month later), but still worth it.


The living room. That glass console table needs a lot. Books, artwork, just everything.


Another view of the living room. The cream leather couch is new (XFE;s perch), as are the cocktail tables, rug and entertainment center. We have actually ordered the Blake chaise from West Elm in dark gray for my seating area (to replace the old couch in the bottom of the frame) but it’s still about six weeks out. I believe very slow children with small fingers are making it. Or something.


Another view of the rug, the travertine topped cocktail tables and the entertainment center. We’re pretty obsessed with all three of these items. We plan to have the television mounted on the wall and then we’ll paint the entire living room a nice, medium gray tone. And get much brighter pillows to brighten things up.


The dining area and into the kitchen. We’re looking for a new rug to go under the dining room table after moving the gray ikea rug upstairs for Petunia (you’ll see later).


The kitchen. Forgive my lighting. I did this photo shoot early in the morning, five minutes before leaving for work. This place is really, really bright in the morning.


Another kitchen view.


View from the sink of the backyard. This is very much a construction zone right now. We’re having a shed built and in fact, you can see the materials under a tarp on the left hand side. I’ll take pictures of that, and the backyard, when all that’s done.


The hallway towards our bedroom (and our crooked comforter). The washer and dryer are behind those doors on the right.




We bought that duvet cover in Ireland and we’re thinking it might be time to replace it with something else. But I like that it’s silk and therefore, Petunia hair slides right off it. Also, the black and white photos on the wall were all taken by XFE and come from each of our trips. We obviously have more to hang. We’ll get around to it.


My overstuffed closet. My shoes are in the narrow closet between mine and XFE’s. See Toons photobombing AGAIN? She tried to get in every photo. I’m pretty sure that’s why this photo is blurry. I probably was trying to shoo her away.


My bathroom. Still in love with it. I love everything about it.


This is the second bedroom, basically the Petunia room. it’s pretty small and we have the two closets packed with stuff from our old shed (the wine fridge, luggage, golf stuff, winter clothes). That’s the old Ikea rug that used to be under our dining table. Since we want to paint the walls gray in the dining/living area, we thought it was too much gray, so we’re looking for maybe a turquoise or some other blue rug to go in the dining area. Let me know if you have any good suggestions (modern, geometric design preferred).


XFE’s bathroom. The walls are actually more brown than this picture suggests, and it’s a really big bathroom, but since it doesn’t have a sparkly glass sink, obviously, I took the other one.


He does have this very spacious and incredibly cool pebbly shower. In fact, it’s so spacious, he’s ordered a teak bench to sit in there. We also added the glass doors, which it did not come with. He also wants to paint the walls, maybe some kind of blue. He says “something more spa-like.”


So that’s our house! Still a work in progress, like I said. We’re still moving things around, buying things, hanging things.  But we have a lot of ideas and we’ll keep posting photos as we go. Let me know if there’s anything you want to see more of and I’ll post it!