Archive | July, 2011

Craigslist Show & Tell

29 Jul

Although I’ve only made 1 craigslist purchase (which I still need to refinish….), I have fun checking out the ads pretty reguarly.

Most items that I’m drawn to fall into 2 categories:

#1- Items I would love to have but am far to cheap to pay what they’re worth.


#2- Items that are super cool or weird or otherwise eye-catching but I could (or would) never use.

So now its time for Craigslist show and tell!

Category #1:

Antique Coffee Grinder. Yours for the low sum of $450!

3 Wedgewood plates for $48. $48? Why 48? Why not $50? Why not $45 or $47, or maybe even $42?? I really only want 1 of these for my pintrest challenge project. Maybe I can get 1 for $13 or $17... still more than I want to spend on a plate.

Drool. Too bad I'm to cheap to spend $200 on them. <pout>

Category #2:

Antique pedal grinding wheel- only $100! I imagine it would be fun to use, you'd get a work out, and its cool looking on top of that. I think you should buy it and I'll blog about what you make with it. Deal?

Because everyone need a cow kitchen set. Only $15!

$2225. My favorite part? Picturing the property that it was salvaged from. Go ahead, let your imagination run wild!

What? School chair meets boogie board.... uh, yeah. I have no words.

The less common Category #3 is things I’m actually considering purchasing.  Surprisingly I found one definite and a few more to think about today:

Set of 4 table legs for $10? I think you have a home with me as our future custom office desk.

$150 obo. The table might look kind of cool if I mix it with the chairs in the next picture.

..with reupholstered seats of course, and maybe a fresh coat of brighter paint. $135 for the whole set.

I haven’t quite decided if mixing the farm table and wrought iron chairs would be blow-your-mind-amazing or just a hot mess, so I’ll probably chicken-out on both those purchases.  The table legs are going to be mine though!

What have you bought or seen on Craiglist lately?


Challenge Accepted!

27 Jul

What do you do when your favorite bloggers join forces and issue a design challenge based on one of your website addictions?

Emily Henderson from my favorite HGTV show Secrets from a Stylist, Sherry from Young House Love, Katie from Bower Power Blog, and Lana from Joey and Lana Make a House a Home have issued a Pinterest Challenge!

You should totally go over to the link above and check out the hilarious video that explains the challenge.  And check out their blogs while you’re at it, because they’re all fantastic and someone could loose hours poking around (in theory of course, because I would never do that… yeah, lets go with that.)

Basically they’ve all decided to take on a DIY project THIS WEEK based on an inspiration image from pinterest and challenged all their readers to do the same.  You bet your pants I’m joining in the fun!

I have one project in mind that I was hoping to tackle soon anyway, so why not do it before next Tuesday?  I may even get ambitious and try to get to more than one.  Maybe.

Anyway, here is my chosen Pinterest inspiration image:

A plate wall/custom wall art.  I know it’s not a HUGE undertaking, but I’m planning to repurpose wall art that I already have to make this happen.

I have this piece of mass-produced metal art.  We got it for the (pictured) kitchen in the apartment and have had it for almost 2 years.  I still like it, but I do not like seeing it in everyone else’s houses too. (That’s the design snob in me talking again.)

The metal art as it is existing is going to be chopped apart and if I can pull some free time out of my hat, I’ll play with paint on a few of them too.  I have more ideas of how to make this project super special and totally new and improved, but you’ll just have to wait and see what happens!!

Do you have any pinterest inspired DIY projects you’ve been wanting to do?  Now’s the perfect time to jump in!  Not on pinterest yet?  What are you waiting for?!?!

2 Years Ago

26 Jul

2 years ago right this minute I was getting ready to get married.

Text from Hubby. So glad my sister got a picture of this.

My favorite picture from our photog: this was NOT posed, just us being us, and she captured it AMAZINGLY

Happy Anniversary My Love!

Living Room Progress!

25 Jul

One of my personal rules to live by is:

You aren’t allowed to complain about something if you’re not doing anything to change it.

For example: you can’t complain about the size of your rear if you don’t get up off of it and work out.  (the exception is things you can’t change of course, but if you can’t change something, you can change how you look at it and stop complaining anyway).

Hubby pointed out to me that Friday’s post was a laundry list of complaints about the living room so I figured I should practice what I preach and put my $$ where my mouth is and whatever other cheesy cliche’s apply.

So I did.

I’ve been far too ADD with design ideas lately, so I just need to focus on one room at a time.  I’m putting jewelry organization/display and some other projects on hold and focus on the room that irks me the most: the living room.

2 notable changes were made over the weekend.

#1. Harry Potter’s room has a new door!  No, Harry Potter does NOT live with me, however we do have an awkward closet that spans the entire space under the stairs.  We call this Harry Potter’s room, or the hall closet, whichever you prefer.  The bi-fold door to this space was the only non-white door in the entire house and was a very awkward orangey wood tone that was not finished well in the first place.  Since the hall is wide open to the living room, I consider them 1 large space.

Pre-primed white doors with paneling similar to the other doors in the house were less than $50 at my friendly local Home Depot, so I was on the ground running.  I’ll spare you the enthralling progress shot of painting white primed doors white satin and I’ll jump to the after.

As a finishing touch, I picked up a mercury-glass knob from Anthropologie and put up a mirror from HomeGoods to give the space more presence.

You like?  So much better if I do say so myself!


Weekend Project #2:  New vignette/storage.

I’ve been hunting for some type of table to put against the stair wall, but am challenged by the narrow space.  While looking at HomeGoods, I fell in love with a small asian style cabinet that was too deep.  After re-measuring the area several times (hoping that somehow the space would multiply- no luck), I decided to bring it home anyway.

It worked as I was hoping next to the chair (which Hubby is all about replacing now, yay!).  I took down the brown curtains (not the hardware yet though) and styled the new cabinet with a new “&” sign, Starry Night (removed from the opposite wall), a few tag-sale books, and Archimedes the owl.

I’m so pleased to see the living room finally start evolving!

Living Room Sparks

22 Jul

Aside from the organizational challenges that come with a small house, my Achilles heel has been the living room.

I’ve been struggling with how to design the space to make it special without replacing all the furniture, which our budget and Hubby would totally let me do (said with dripping sarcasm).  It’s your standard small living room.  Nothing architecturally notable.  With pass-throughs to the hall and dining room, there was only 1 way to layout the tv and seating and the furniture, rug and curtains that looked so phenomenal in the apartment look lackluster in the house’s living room.

I’m always hesitant to admit this, but I preferred the layout of the living room when we first toured the house to our furniture layout.  The previous owner had more of a collection of smaller scaled pieces and not just your standard couch, chair, coffee table.  Although her pieces weren’t my style, the overall composition was effective:

Now I really don’t want to show you our current living room, but I will anyway….

It doesn’t help that I’m not particularly happy with our living room furniture.  The rug and coffee table were purchased when hubby and I moved in together (and I think both are too visually heavy for this space) and the couch and chair were purchased with wedding gift $.  Ugh, the couch and chair.  Let me just say- in the future, couches will be purchased for style AND construction, NOT style and low price.  In less than a year, the couch back cushions started looking terrible and the fabric started  bubbling.

The chair is not abused as much, so it’s in better shape, but its still not ideal.  When we were picking them out, I kept pushing toward a non-matching chair in a different pattern or color than the couch.  Hubby insisted on the matching chair, and I picked my battles.  Now, however he denies that the discussion went down that way, but we all know who’s right (eh hem, me).

Ok. Enough complaining and on to the “sparks” part.  Ideas are forming (FINALLY)!

I’ve been obsessed with this sofa image, and its gotten me thinking about what I love about certain spaces.

I love an eclectic and chic collection of pieces and textures.  I don’t want a living room that looks like I went to the furniture store and bought the complete vignette they had on display (which is the vibe I think our current living room is giving off).  As a designer myself, I feel like its the biggest cop-out for me to have a ‘collection’ that another designer selected to market to the masses.  Don’t get me wrong, furniture store collections look nice and I wouldn’t hate on you if you had them.  I personally want a distinctive space that you won’t find walking into any furniture store or anyone elses house.  I’m a design snob- I admit it.

Look, no cutains!

So here are my plans for our living room so far:

  • The curtains gotta go.  I love the look of floor to ceiling curtains, but after giving it the old college try, it’s just not effective in here.  We don’t need the curtains since we have the plantation shutters, so out they go.
  • Textured paint treatment.  In the apartment I had a satin stripe treatment in the same color and it was subtle but chic.  I’ll either do a similar satin stripe (at a smaller scale) or do a glossier stripe in 1 shade difference.
  • I’ve resigned to the fact that the sofa’s going to stick around for a little while.  I’m going to keep my eye out for chair(s) that I could reupholster, though.
  • Artwork or a mirror behind the couch.  I have some DIY thoughts on that, so it’ll be a surprise.
  • I need to do something with the sad little Starry Night canvas (from a fleamarket for just $10! I did have to fly home from Florida with it as my carry-on though).
  • Coffee table.  I’m looking for it’s perfect replacement.  When I see it, I’ll know.
  • Mount the TV on the wall.
  • Accessorize & style!

I will conquer this living room beast eventually!!

What do you think of these ideas?  What would you change/do differently?  I’d love your input!

*all images via Pinterest


20 Jul

Last week, I neglected to give the proper importance to a major milestone in our lives.

1 year ago last week, as an early anniversary gift to ourselves, Hubby and I adopted our first fur-baby, Daisy.  (Yup, we’re nuts.  It’s fun this way.)

Hubby had cats growing up, but the closest I ever had to a real pet before Daisy was a dog-next-door.

Day 1

She picked us.

We called the Baypath Humane Society ahead of time to make sure we could take a cat home that day.  The woman Hubby spoke to asked him a few questions about what we were looking for and she said she had just the cat for us.  When we got there, she took us right to Daisy.  Although Daisy was a little shy at first, when Hubby picked her up, she immediately started purring.  How could we NOT bring home the little ball of fuzz?!

Daisy was just under a year old and had already had a litter of kittens (the feline version of a teen mom).  She still looked like a kitten herself!

It has been so much fun over the past year seeing her personality blossom.  Much like most cats, she’s a diva and a princess, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We waited until we moved into the house to get a sibling kitty for her to play with and the difference in her was monumental!  She started purring more, cuddling more, and was obviously happier.  Having a brother to chase around the house and beat up suits her very nicely.  Although she’s a few months younger and almost half his size at 8lbs compared to his 13, she’s totally the alpha.

As one of my best friend’s so aptly put it: she filled the fuzzy void that we didn’t know was missing in our lives.

Ok, that’s enough cheese for one day.  Check back Friday for my living room inspiration and ideas.

Curb Appealed

18 Jul

I would be doing a happy dance right now if I wasn’t so pooped from the weekend’s projects.

Saturday, the house got a facelift in the form of a bush-ectomy.  Birds chirped in happiness, the sun shone in approval, and the choruses in my head were singing “Halleluiah.”  Ok, so I may be exaggerating a little, but the outcome was well worth the effort and I couldn’t be more pleased!

Here’s what the unsuspecting front yard looked like in the morning hours:

Let the games begin!  The helpful parents made the trek from CT with all their tools to help.   I learned long ago: If I don’t have the tool I need, don’t go out and buy it, Handy Dad probable has 3 extra. (and often times, borrowing tools leads to helping hands too- win-win!)

First step of a bush exorcism?  Expose the roots and start hacking away at them:

Next step?  Attempt to yank it out with my parent’s mighty CR-V.  The irony is that Hubby and I have an 8 cylinder Jeep Grand Cherokee that has no trailer hitch or any place to attach any towing assembly to, making it as useless as our other car (a convertible) for towing.

Well, the mighty CR-V let us down this time (shocked? yeah, us too).  Indiana Jones, uh..I mean Handy Dad and Hubby continued hacking at the roots of this bush while Mom and I got started on the lesser of the two evil bushes.

All the while, my furry project buddy was supervising.

Once we hacked out the roots as much as possible, mighty CR-V  did prove useful as a big heavy object to attach a ratcheting pulley to.

Eventually the evil bush forfeited and Hubby celebrated the victory with bad Braveheart impressions (I’ll spare you).

The lesser bush was far less climactic of an extraction after the excitement of the first bush.  Once we excitedly had both bushes removed, Mom and I sent the men to dispose of the bushes while we plotted the beautification of the 2 new dirt holes.

Better already, right?

Mom kept busy with Hosta relocation (since they were previously squished in between the gigantic bushes and the stairs), while I worked on creating a stone border on the right side to match the one that already existed on the left.

Soon enough we were ready to start figuring out flower location, although I saved the actual planting and mulching for the next day.

Ready to see the outcome?

Have I built up enough anticipation yet with all the pictures?

Maybe I should make you wait until tomorrow to see the final product….

Just kidding!!  Here’s what our front yard looks like now!

The new stone border might need some more love when I get up the energy to quik-crete it in place (like the other side), but it is good enough for now.

Isn’t the front yard pretty?  Now can you see why I was feuding with the bushes?  They were in the way of my lovely garden!