Just a reminder…

…that RICE DESIGNS has a new home! For those of you that subscribed and got email notifications of new posts, that subscription (sadly) doesn’t apply anymore. (In fact, you can’t even visit the old blog, because all traffic is forwarded to the new one!) So make sure you check out ricedesignblog.com. I will soon have an email subscription set up on the new site! Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to say hi on the new blog!



You should head over to ricedesignblog.com! There’s still some tweaking to be done, but the new site is up! I’ll be back soon for some details about the move, but for now I just have to step away from the computer screen and enjoy the beautiful weather (and perhaps tackle the mountain of laundry)! Have a great day!

back again.

Oh, I was doing so good with regular posts and then… well… not so good. Oops! I don’t have much time to write today. I’m in the middle of spring cleaning. On Tuesday evening I got the urge to switch the living room and the dining room. And then while everything was chaotic anyway, I decided to do early spring cleaning. Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe our home’s condition right now. And since I really should be trying to regain some order instead of writing, I’ll just leave you with a picture to make you feel better about your housekeeping. You’re welcome! Be back soon for more exciting things!



And sadly, those pictures don’t do justice to the chaos. See… your house really isn’t as messy as you thought it was. Perspective!

rambling about craig.

Well, his list that is. You know. Craig’s List. Oh brother. Someone take the laptop away from me!

I was browsing Craig’s List earlier. Not because I’m looking for anything. But because I think it’s fun. Maybe I need to find a better hobby. But until then, I thought I’d share some of my findings and thoughts on those findings. Do you use Craig’s List? It’s addicting. Nothing like the rush of finding a great bargain or exactly what you’re searching for. Well, except for maybe making cold hard cash selling something you no longer need. That’s pretty great, too.

As I was browsing the Richmond VA Craig’s List, I came across the listing for this chair..


Richmond, VA. Comfy Chair. $60

Seriously. Whoever listed this chair knows how take a picture for their ad. Because usually yellow, orange and brown plaid does absolutely nothing for me. But suddenly I kinda like it. I actually think in the right room, with the right decor, this chair could be great. Maybe in a little boy’s room. That simple wood frame is pretty great. And if yellow, orange and brown plaid really isn’t your thing, you could recover the cushions. But bravo, seller, for taking great pictures. I need to find another adjective besides ‘great’ to use for the rest of this post.


Richmond, VA. Solid Wood Dressers (small). $20 each

Simple. Solid. A fun coat of paint could bring new life into these babies.


Richmond, VA. Wooden table (with leaf). $50.

Way to go, people of Richmond, for taking nice pictures for your ads. And for including important information like dimensions. This is a cute wooden table. The top could use refinishing, but hey, once you pile it with mail, dinner and your kid’s homework, you probably wouldn’t even notice the discoloration. I’m a big fan of round tables and I think this one is lovely. Plus an extra leaf is pretty awesome.


Richmond, VA. 2 Chairs. $75/pair.

I love these chairs. With new upholstery on the cushions, they could be awesome. Nice clean lines. Solid wood. Check it out. Don’t be turned off by upholstery that isn’t to your liking. You could change it.


Charlottesville, VA. Antique Dry Sink and Cupboard. $125

Dry sinks are awesome. And this one has a great (ahh, there it is again) shape. Having a baby? Get a dry sink. Use it as a changing table. Then when your kid’s taking care of business on the toilet, you have a nice piece of furniture for your home. It’s what my parents did when I was born. And what we did. With the same dry sink. Very sentimental. You know the hypothetical question, “if your house was on fire, what’s one item you would take with you?” My answer is the dry sink. (It should be noted that Gabriel and Tristan are safely outside, away from the burning house. Tristan saved our box of keepsakes. Wait, what am I thinking?! I’ll get the box, Tristan can haul the dry sink. Gabe would probably rescue his beloved giraffey/lamby-giraffey… or maybe Iron Man).


Charlottesville, VA. Dresser. $30.

No, this dresser probably isn’t the most lovely piece of furniture you’ve ever seen. However, I just got one similar for G’s room, gave it a good scrubbing and painted it white, and I love it now. If it’s sturdy and solid, there’s a lot that can be done with the clean lines of this piece! I usually don’t go for a ton of mid century modern, but was pleasantly surprised when I painted it white.


Charlottesville, VA. Steamer Trunk. $75. 

Always keep your eyes open for trunks. We have two and I love them. One, a $5 yard sale score (serious bargain) is storage for gallons of paint and has our TV sitting on top of it. The second, a Craig’s List find (for $20?) lives under the window in the dining room. I’ll be honest and say I can’t remember what I’m keeping it in. Must not be important. But it provides a nice place to perch by the fire and look out the window. It’s also some extra seating in the dining room. Trunks are multi purpose and ones like this are also beautiful. So if you have $75 and live close to it, you should go get it.


Charlottesville, VA. Antique Boxes. $100 for the set.

I love these. And I wish I could get them. How lovely would they look in the corner of a room, or even beside a bed. They’re beautiful. I love them.


Roanoke, VA. Bistro Type Chairs. $30/pair.

These are just cute.


Roanoke, VA. Trunk. $40.

Nice trunk. Nice price.

And that concludes sharing and rambling about random Craig’s List finds. Have you scored anything from Craig recently? Sold anything? When you’re looking, remember to look at lines, shape and structure. Upholstery and finish (paint or stain) can always be changed. Also, you can now make your browsing experience more user friendly on Craig’s List. Select (pic view) at the top to see little thumbnails of each picture. Then you don’t have to click on the ad to see that that “nice bookcase” for $20 is really the same one you can buy at Walmart for less money. And you can also choose to see only listings by owner. Then when obnoxious mattress stores decide to use Craig’s List as free advertising, you don’t have to sift through their hundreds of “FREE LAYAWAY! FREE LAYAWAY! FREE LAYAWAY! ALL MATTRESS SETS!” ads. Surely our local Craig’s List isn’t the only one plagued by those!

Happy Craig’s Listing! Check back Monday for an update on the bedroom makeovers happening at our home!

the hair saga and {diy pixie cut}

TGIF anyone?! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Tonight, this lucky wife gets to go on a date with her husband. (Many thanks to the in laws for a generous gift card to the best restaurant in town. I plan to get all dolled up and eat a great big delicious filet followed by creme brulee. Pure luxury. Yum. Also, thanks to a brother in law who’s coming to babysit! Hooray for date night). And tomorrow night, some new friends are coming over for dinner. Date nights and new friends. Sounds like a fun weekend to me.

I usually write about crafts and home things, but today I’m going to write about… hair. For many months, I’d been dreaming of taking the plunge and getting a pixie cut. I pinned hair pictures. (Do you have pinterest? You can find me here)! I saved them on my desktop. I had them on my phone. I even asked a woman, who was in front of me in the checkout line at the store, where she got her hair cut (she had a really cute short cut). But I never did it. Well, until this past September while we were at the beach. Something about the saltwater and sand that gives me courage!

The week at the beach (back in Sept.) was the week of the haircut. I got three different cuts by two different ladies. When we left for vacation, my hair was about shoulder length, maybe a bit longer. I can’t really remember.


This was the picture I brought to the first girl who cut my hair. She talked me out of it, saying my hair was too thick, too wavy, it’d be too much work. Halle Berry has to have her hair cut every 8 days to keep up with it. Blah blah blah. I left with a bob. Nothing wrong with a bob. But it’s a long way from a pixie. And at this point, I’d made up my mind that I wanted a pixie. Without going into the whole long story, the first haircut was free, so I didn’t feel right going back and complaining. Besides, she clearly didn’t want to give me the cut I wanted, and I certainly didn’t want someone cutting it that wasn’t confident in doing so.

Which leads me to my first tip: Go to someone who is comfortable and confident with cutting your hair. It’s OK to ask if they are. Be nice about it. But ask. Going from long hair to short hair is kind of different than trimming an inch and adding a couple layers.

Anyway, here’s a kind of awkward self portrait of the bob.


So we went to plan b. Per my aunt’s recommendation (they live year round in Nags Head) I made an appointment with a different lady at a different place. And she was awesome. I brought my mom and aunt with me again, and also my cousin’s wife. It was an event. They brought wine. I’m not kidding. It was fun.

I came with even more pictures of what I wanted. We talked a lot about it and then she started slowly. I was there for over an hour. Snipping here. Snipping there.


I brought this picture. It’s one that I’d been holding onto for months. Michelle Williams always has great hair.


I also brought this one. I like the horse as much as her hair. I’m not sure who she is.


And this one of Carey Mulligan. Or at least one very similar.

Tip #2: Find lots of pictures. When you’re looking at pictures, consider your own hair type. That last picture is super cute. But there’s no way my thicker brown hair is going to look like her wispy blond hair. Not going to happen. So take that into consideration.

Tip #3: Go to someone who will listen to you and talk with you. Don’t just plop down in the seat and sit silently. Talk. And start slowly. You can cut more. You can’t cut less. 

She kept snipping. We kept looking at pictures and talking. And we eventually reached a stopping point, at which point I looked like this….


Definitely much more pixie than the first bob. And I was pretty happy with it. But after a day, I knew it wasn’t quite right. Am I high maintenance? Maybe. At least I was this week when it came to hair. Silly.

So I called the lady back and she had me come in. I knew what I wanted. Shorter in the back. Shorter in the front. Just a bit… shorter. Less poofy.

This time, it only took about 15 minutes of some snipping and thinning. And I left looking like this…



I was pleased. As for the first girl telling me that pixies are a lot of work. False. The only thing that might be a lot of work is maintaining short hair. Because hair grows. If you have the money for it, I imagine it’d be fun to get your hair cut every 4-6 weeks. Who doesn’t love a little pampering. But fitting an extra $30ish(plus) dollars into the budget just for hair might not work for you. It doesn’t for us!

Which brings me to the diy part of this post. What do you do if you don’t want to pay someone to cut it for you? Cut it for yourself, of course!

Keep in mind… I am no hair stylist. I have no training. This is just what I do and it works for me!

1. Go get yourself a good pair of hair cutting scissors. Orange handled fiscars don’t fit the job. I speak from experience.

2. Invest in a pair of thinning shears. I love these. They look like scissors, only they have little teeth and only cut some of the hair. It’s more forgiving than regular scissors. And it lets me take some weight out.

3. Get a mirror on the wall that lets you see the back of your head. It’s a lot easier to cut your hair when you can see the back of your head. Again, I speak from experience.

4. And just like before, start slowly. You can always cut more. But whatever you do to one side, do to the other side. Looking at least relatively even is good.

5. Don’t be afraid to mess up. It’s just hair. And you’ll be surprised how quickly it’ll grow out.

6. Cut when it’s dry. This is a personal preference. It’s easier for me to see where exactly it’s going to fall and lay when it’s dry.

7. Look at lots of pictures… again. I have a whole board on pinterest with hair pictures. Look at your pictures and really take notice of how it’s cut. Not just the overall shape, but how it’s cut.

8. Don’t cut horizontally across your head. You’ll get funky ridges. Cut going vertically. It’ll lay better.

9. Don’t let it grow out too much before you trim it. You don’t want to completely lose the shape or style of the cut you had, or it’ll be harder to get back. Well, unless you’re a pro.

10. Have fun. It’s just hair! I thoroughly enjoy cutting mine. It’s fun. It’s creative. Yes, I’ve messed up. But it grows out. Right now, my hair is probably the shortest its been, and not necessarily on purpose. But I don’t hate it and it’ll grow!

Here are couple pictures that inspired my current cut (well, they were inspiration once I realized I got a little scissor happy)!


Michelle Williams. Photography by Peter Hapak




This was our Christmas photo. It was taken in December, but I had recently given myself a trim.

So how was that for a long post about hair! What do you think? Would you ever take the plunge and get a pixie cut? And would you ever cut it yourself?

*Update: If you search, there are probably a lot of thorough tutorials on places like You Tube that could teach you to cut your own hair!

collecting chairs


One of my hobbies, I suppose you could call it, is thrifting. I love a good treasure hunt! I save up spare change and head to my favorite stores to see what kinds of goodies I can find. I know, I know… I’m such an adrenaline junkie. In the past 6 or so months, I’ve scored two of these great barstools at different thrift stores. One lives in the living room, the other in the dining room, and they’re great for perching on when people come over. They swivel and they’re actually quite comfy. I still need to give this one a good cleaning. I’d love to eventually find 2 more and one day use them at a bar in the kitchen! Are you a thrifter? Have you found any treasures recently?