We'll Be Home For Christmas

>> 12.20.2011

AKA: what our new house looks like with our furniture in it

After owning the house and leasing it back to the owner for ten days... then taking two weeks of our own time fixing it up... we finally actually moved into our home last week (after which, I promptly got sick!). For documentation's sake, I thought I'd post what the house looked like a couple of days into the move:

True story: I strategically planned our move so that we would not go one minute without losing cable tv usage. Like that's the most important thing to worry about right now... Oh, and my big girl thinks that the world revolves around her now because we've temporarily replaced the coffee table with her bed.

A few things about the kitchen:
  • I'm DYING to get rid of that tiled bar, but Nate said that we need to finish with the projects in the garage apartment first. 
  • I'm still in love with the paint color. Really. LOVE. One day I'll take good pictures of it. 
  • I'm the crazy person that hired movers and plumbers to drive around the city all morning in order to swap out the appliances from our old house to our new house. To make a long story short, not only did the plumbers not really hook everything up (note the refrigerator sticking out of the wall because the ice maker isn't connected), but they also managed to help flood the entire garage of the old place. Just thinking about the experience again gets me in an ALL CAPSSSS mood.
  • We have a serious case of "I don't have a spot for my dog food anymore" disease right now.
 The second bedroom is where all of the extra stuff is. Nate is most excited for this room because we're making it into an office/ workout room. It's a pretty decently sized room.

 It's crazy how switching around some furniture and accessories can easily put a wrench into your decorating plan. I'm not happy with anything about our master bedroom right now. Expect many posts to come.

The whole coffee table/ dog bed has seriously gotten to her head. I can't tell you how many photo-bombed pictures I had to not post.

The bathroom is obviously in progress!

 With the move, we bought both dogs new beds to enjoy. Hugo still prefers using his old bed.

 I think he is destroying his new bed in an attempt to symbolically communicate his hatred of the move and desire to go back "home." It could just be that he's upset with us for getting an Invisible Fence system- more on that later.

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Looking for Lighting

>> 12.07.2011

Due to some notourstyle/ oversized light fixtures in the majority of the house, we're been on the lookout for some new fixtures. I actually like the dining room chandelier in the new house, but want to center it in the room which would be next to impossible due to its massive size:

 (before)

Again, the living room light is just too big for the space:
 (before)

Don't tell Nate, but the bedroom chandelier is actually growing on me and it will probably be the last to go...
 (before)

The positive is that while they aren't working for us, my guess is that we should be able to sell them on Craigslist pretty easily (oh, and you know I'm already looking there for the replacements).

Since I'm now officially on the hunt for new lighting, I was happily surprised when I wondered into the Lowe's lighting section last week and noticed a few options that were not only pretty affordable, but actually attractive (unlike most of the fixtures that I've seen in the past):
This bathroom fixture could end up saving me a trip to the Restoration Hardware Outlet (where I usually get nice fixtures for cheap). I'm obsessed with how expensive it looks compared to the price!


This one could be a good alternative to the super low hanging fixture in my living room (or kitchen or hallway) and isn't bad at <$100 (better than most overstock.com options).

This one reminded me of the West Elm Globe Pendant, but a little more rustic (and slightly  more expensive).

We should be replacing some of the fixtures sooner rather than later so stay tuned to see where we end up! Where do you like to look for thrifty lighting?

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More Paint and Priorities

>> 12.06.2011

After reading some of the comments about brown bedroom paint, I wanted to avoid turning my bedroom into a cave and went lighter. We also went ahead and gave the more expensive Valspar paint+primer another shot because the Lowe's people said that we might have better results with a lighter color compared to the dark blue-grey we painted the dining room with... and they were right! With this paint, we only needed to go back and do a few touch-ups after the first coat. Here's the "Ivory Brown"  in action (in the evening and with bad lighting):
(now)

It reads as a slightly darker neutral in person and flows well with the living room/ hall color. We also went ahead and painted the ceiling and trim in this room and the living room- the before vs. now really shows off those yellow ceilings!

(before)

I know that a lot of people would rather have the blue walls from the before picture, but they were in really rough shape so we had no choice but to paint them. In the end, I think that going in a more neutral direction will give us more decorating options as far as fabrics and rugs.

We I also made another improvement on the new house over the weekend:

Yes, we will continue to eat our meals off of a Rubbermaid container on the floor... but I refused to go one more minute without putting up the tree (and no, Nate, my time could not have been better spent elsewhere)! This image kinda-sorta reminds me of Christmas 2009 when I believe I swore  off doing renovations and moving during Christmas... oops!

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Painting

>> 12.02.2011

As I've mentioned before, I'm not the greatest painter, but I'm probably worse at deciding on paint colors! Check out the assortment of samples I went through while deciding on the colors for the living room, dining room, and kitchen:


Trust me, even at $3 each, the money is well spent in my case! I couldn't believe how horrible some of the  brown shades looked when up on the wall (especially in the bathroom...).

I went ahead and took the opportunity to test out two different levels of Valspar paint quality and I must say that the $10 more a gallon paint went on more smoothly, but needed just as many coats as the cheaper stuff so I'm not sold on it.

We also splurged on the Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Cloud White) for the trim. I'll let you know in a few weeks if I think the $50/ gallon paint was worth it.

While the fancy paints aren't exactly my favorites, I do have to endorse the Shur-line paint edger. It takes a bit of practice to keep it from dripping, but it must take 1/4 the time to paint around the trim and ceiling with this thing compared to using tape and a paint brush!

Anyways, back to the colors... We used a really unscientific way of making our selections:

1. I wanted a light neutral for the living room and Nate said that he was over the gray paint that we have all over the first house so I looked out for something that leaned in the brown direction.

2. Nate wanted a pop color somewhere in this new house and I thought a blueish color would look good with the light living room, wood floors, and black and white kitchen/ bath.

3. We found a bunch of grey-brown-blue colors and went to Lowe's three times because the samples weren't working.

4. I used Google images to make sure the colors I was leaning towards weren't too crazy on other rooms (and found one in a very chic blogger's house- sold!).

5. Finally, we got the kitchen paint color customized because buying paint samples was getting expensive.

And here they are:
(now)

(before)

The living room is Valspar's Woodrow Wilson Putty and the kitchen/ dining is a variation of Valspar's Ocean Storm.

FYI, I'm absolutely in love with the dark grey-blue color and glad we took a risk by going bolder. More pictures next week when we have some furniture moved in!

PS We're thinking about going browner in the bedroom. Anyone have a brown bedroom? How do you like it?

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