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Just Commit Already

9 May

Now that the bathrooms are starting to wrap up around here – we have two more BIG projects in cue. The first is the kitchen gut and remodel and the second is the attic conversion to a master suite. Both are so daunting that we’ve just been dragging our feet on them. Plus, since they are more involved, they’re also more expensive, so all our hemming and hawing has given us a bit of time to add some cash to the reserves to actually PAY for them. 🙂 For reference, here is a shot of the kitchen when we moved in. I think she was going for the wine and Tuscany type of look. 🙂

Kitchen | Before

Kitchen | Before

The cabinets in here are actually quite nice, and the kitchen even has granite counter tops – both are just terribly not our taste. We will probably craiglist the whole kit and caboodle. Never sold an entire kitchen before, so I’ll keep ya posted! 😉 Since we moved in, we made a few minor revisions to the space, most notably, painting over the faux finished walls and green trim. Now, it’s time to bring this space to the next level. So. excited! The absolute best part is, since the kitchen is so very small, the price tag is also a bit more manageable. Score. Overall, we are looking for simple lines, lots of function, and bright, white cabinetry and counters. Here is an inspiration shot – would love the rug, too!

White Kitchen

Kitchen Inspiration

The first step to the kitchen reno, was ordering the appliances. Since we can’t measure for new cabinetry until the appliances are installed, I knew that I had to get my rear in gear on this one and just commit already. Like any girl with a kitchen renovating dream, I had my eye on some top end Viking appliances when we first started looking. (Not) being the cook in the house though, my pure motivation was looks 🙂 He he. Jay (of course) also liked the idea of the Viking set, but after we started searching around a bit, a few things started to sway us toward more affordable options.

First, the Viking fridges are actually made by Kitchenaid. Go figure. After looking around at all the fridges, we just kinda shrugged our shoulders and we were like. Yep, that one will keep my milk cold, too. We really became less and less keen on shelling out lots o’ similions for a fridge that was more or less, jacked up in price due to the name plate attached to it. After seeing Aubrey and Lindsay’s kitchen reno here, I was starting to become a bit more receptive to some other options as well. Namely the GE Cafe line.

Here is the fridge – love, love, lovely.

GE Cafe Counter Depth

GE Cafe Line | Counter Depth Fridge

And here is the gas range. We bought them both. :0

GE Cafe Gas Range

GE Cafe Gas Range

And…. here is the scoop on our search. Once we decided to nix the Viking line in favor of something more affordable – I started my search at Lowes. They are having a pretty awesome deal where if you spend $5.999 or more on appliances, you get a $1,000 Lowes gift card. PLUS we have our 5% cash back at Lowes this month (which caps out at $1,500 per card, for our two cards, an extra $150 back) AND there is a GE Cafe line rebate right now for $450 off if you purchase (3) appliances. Given these sa-weet deals, I had my oven, fridge and dishwasher all lined up and ready to go to purchase at Lowes. And then, I saw the total populate in the shopping cart. Yowzers. Granted, this did not include the $1,000 Lowes Gift Card OR the $450 in rebates, but still. That would be our initial out of pocket cost.

Lowes Shopping Cart

Lowes Shopping Cart

Being so reluctant to part with $7,000+, I thought I would do some quick online shopping around, just to see if I could snag a better deal. And snag a better deal I DID. Did you notice the capital D.I.D. Fo shizzle. Build.com, ya ever heard of it? Yeah – me neither but we are now BFF’s. They had this tricky little promo where they didn’t tell you the price until you put it in your cart. Before I put it in the cart, the oven and the fridge were like $200 cheaper each. So my $1,000 Lowes gift card, and $150 back in credit card rewards were still tipping the scale.

Build.com Shopping Cart

Build.com Shopping Cart

But then, a magic fairy came and sprinkled fairy dust on my shopping cart, and brought the prices down to $1,764 LESS than the Lowes options. And THEN I found a 5% off coupon online! Win-Win-Winning! And the extra good news is that our local distributor just happens to have a floor model available of the dishwasher, and that is marked down to $799 from $1,600. And THEN, we realized that there was free shipping with build.com, where Lowes was going to charge $100+ for deliver of each one. Sweet tamales, say it ain’t so Joe!

So the final breakdown is as follows for our new sweet fleet of stainless appliances.

  • Fridge – $2,124
  • Gas Range – $2,201
  • Dishwasher – $799
  • AND there is a $450 rebate
  • So the grand total is $4,673 

We plan on selling our appliances for a few hundred bucks, so that should knock the price down to right around $4,000. Since we were initially budgeting to spend closer to $10k on a Viking suite, this make me very, very happy! We are having these guys delivered in a week or so, and I couldn’t be more excited. Only downside is that this means we have to get crack-a-lackin’ on the rest of the kitchen reno. Exciting, but also expensive and daunting! I feel like we are on step 1 of 100 right now. Each step gets us closer, though!

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Snagged Me a Winner!

20 Mar

Every once and a while, the craigslist God’s smile down upon you and bring a lovely little addition. And this little vintage table, wait – for  – it – only $30 beans! Considering the MDF ones at Target are like $100 buckos, I’ll take used and solid wood, any day. Here is my latest find. Did I mention I only paid thirty bucks 🙂 Not my BEST craigslist find, but I’ll put this one in the solid category for price, and beauty. It scores quite high on beauty, no?

Vintage Brass Hardware Table

Vintage Brass Hardware End Table

Here is a close up of the lovely brass vintage hardware. I’ve had hardware nearly identical to this pinned on pinterest for quite some time, so it’s super exciting to actually have a piece of furniture with these lovely details now! Plus, I’m pretty sure it would have set me back close to $30 bucks just for the hardware, if I decided to DIY a piece similar, so I’m pretty pumped about the price.

Vintage Brass Hardware Furniture

Vintage Brass Hardware

It’s a vintage Thomsasville side table. I wasn’t super familiar with the brand, but when I did a wee bit of research, I found that their current stock of tables go for $400+. Huzza!! I can definitely tell that this side table is made really, really well. Of all the craigslist finds, I’ve gotta give this one the best marks for drawer quality. These things slide like butta. The construction is really high quality, and I’m so glad I scored this one!

Vintage Thomasville Side Table

Thomasville Side Table

For now, it’s nestled between the couch and the side chairs, so it’s kind of hidden a bit, which is sad. Moved some stuff around the house to style it a bit, and I’m loving this as a new addition to the basement.

Antique Brass Table

Antique Brass Side Table

Mad props to the hubby for schlepping his bum down the street to snag this beaut. He even picked up the groceries while he was out. Virtual high five, Jay. You ROCK!

Loads of Potential

18 Jan

So when we moved into the house, we realized right away that our current Master Bedroom was small. We kinda missed our his and hers closets in the last place. Jay got the boot to the second bedroom downstairs, and I tried to make the most of the current closet space. It has tons of great storage in it, but it’s all up high. Like grab a ladder and tote your tuckus up there high. Not exactly the best thing for your morning, I’m running late for work, rush.

I also realized that the only space in our teeny tiny bedroom where extra storage could fit organically was in between the closet door and the entry door. Problem is, the space is 30″, which is pretty small for most dressers out there. I had it in my mind to do an IKEA hack on this dresser, but then, I found this guy – for $15 on craigslist. It was actually listed for $20, but I used by suave negotiating skills to get it for $15 😉 Still haven’t ruled out the idea of dressing up the IKEA dresser, but for now – I think I am going to try modifying this guy and take the economical route.

Bedroom Cabinet

Bedroom Cabinet

Although it doesn’t look like much right now, I think it’s got some serious potential. Look, even Malcolm thinks so! 🙂

Malcolm in Cabinet

Malcolm in Cabinet

It’s got lots of depth, which will be really great for storing all my stuff. That doesn’t fit in the closet. Yep – too much stuff. I’m thinking about putting some baskets in there for storage. Favorite thing about it – the drawer on top is super smooth. Thing slides like butta. Which ya know, when you are getting your duds on craigslist – ya never know how it’s going to be. Right now the drawers need to be modified to slide in and out easier. They are presently a tad too big, so they hit the doors each time I slide them in or out. Not good for easy access – so Jay will help me modify them.

Cabinet Storage

Cabinet Storage

I’ve got my mind to paint to all white, with some beautiful new hardware on it. Only trouble I’m having is trying to figure if I want to do the same hardware on both the drawer and the cabinets, or knobs on the cabinet doors and a pull on the drawer. I’m leaning toward the same hardware I intend to use for the basement built-in, below. This way I can give it a trail run before I buy the entire lot. I’ll keep ya posted 🙂

Hardware Option

Hardware Option

Design on a Dime

10 Jan

I love having a designed and beautiful home, but equally important to me is living a frugal and financially sustainable lifestyle. Yes – sometimes I feel the pinch when I splurge on an item for a room – but overall, I’ve found some great resources for getting the look you love, for a little bit less.

Craigslist: If you have not met yet, let me introduce you to your new best friend, craigslist. Not only do I find lots of great pieces of furniture and other home items on craigslist – I’m also able to sell lots of stuff that no longer fits the bill here as well to help fund future home design projects. Man – it’s crazy the staff people will buy on craigslist. Case A: We had a bunch of ferns that kept popping up at our old place – I didn’t like the look or the location – sold em’ on craigslist. Old doors, sold on craigslist. Bushes out front. Old furniture – list goes on.

Yeah – you have to be willing to dedicate the time to people coming by your abode, but overall, I like the thought of a few extra dollars in my pocket. Often when I am saving up for something for a room, or a project in the house, I’ll hold off on buying the item until I have a stockpile of cash to pay for it from our craigslist sales, which helps me feel better about spending the cash.

Here is a table that I purchased off of craigslist. I got a set that now flanks the couch in the living room for $15 each. Solid wood – so not too bad!

Craigslist Table

Craigslist Table

Resale shops: For my price point, I typically find much higher quality items at resale locations than I do if I’m buying them new. Sure, IKEA and Target have their place, but sometimes you are looking for an item to stand the test of time. For instance I scored the dresser in the picture below for $20 from our local salvation army. Sure it’s got a few {small} scratches on top – but for the workmanship and quality you simply cannot beat the price, right?! The mirror was also a resale find, a local favorite {Treasure Mart}, and I was able to snag that baby for $40. A wee bit higher – but still much better than what you would pay at a full-price retail location.

Living Room: Progress

Living Room: Progress

Look for discounts, shop sales: As hard as it can be to resist an item you have your eye on, I make sure to train myself to hold out and wait for a sale or coupon {ideally, both!}. For instance, Overstock.com is always sending out coupons, so I waited to get an extra 10% off on the living room rug. I’ve got my eye on another rug {this one} from World Market, but I know that they often discount their rugs up to 50%, so I am waiting {on baited breath} to pick this rug up.

If you don’t mind getting the extra emails – sign up for email notifications from your favorite stores. Overstock, Macy’s and World Market {to name a few} are constantly sending me coupons that I keep on hand for big, and small, purchases I intend to make.

Here is the rug I want from World Market. I’ll be the first in line to buy in when it goes on sale. So. hard. to. wait!

World Market Rug

World Market Rug

Estate Sales: This is a new one for me, Jay and I recently stumbled across this – and I got to tell ya, it’s fun! It’s like the perfect trifecta for me – touring people’s homes, snagging great bargains and hunting for the perfect item to help complete our space – I really love estate sales. Sure it’s sorta creepy to be buying some dead dudes stuff … but ya, know, can’t win em’ all, right? Sometimes estate sales are total duds, but usually we find a few winners in the mix.

Recently snagged these paintings for 50 cents at a recent estate sale. Score!

Estate Sale Paintings

Estate Sale Paintings

Search for the look for less – or – DIY: As mentioned in our bedroom renovation post, we found the look of something we loved, and decided to try our hand at making it. Sure, the $2,000 version may look a bit more polished BUT I prefer the extra $1,800 in my pocket, and a bed that looks pretty darn close to the real McCoy. If your willing to put a bit of extra work in on your end – you can save mucho dinero.

Bedroom: Progress

Bedroom: Progress

Do key word searches to try and find similar items to one’s you have your heart set on, but are out of reach for your current budget. These chairs for instance really fit the look I wanted for the room, and at $199 each {on sale}, I couldn’t resist em’! I had my eye initially on one’s from Pottery Barn that were over $1,000 each – so I was pretty happy to pocket that extra cash and still have some great chairs for our living space.

Upholstered Arm Chair

Upholstered Arm Chair

Homegoods! Seriously, pretty sure this one needs it’s own category! 🙂 I think half of our house is from Homegoods 🙂 First thing I do when I hop in is take a quick scan of the clearance section – which usually has a few winners right off the bat.

Splurge! Sometimes it’s alright to splurge 🙂 If you find an item that you love, and you know it’s going to last for the long haul, it can make sense to just fork over that extra cash and suck it up. Yes, it pains me to spend top dollar on something, but if I know it’ll be with me till my final hour {or a solid chunk of time} than I bite the bullet and just commit already.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention online locations like Overstock.com {great for rugs} and Wayfair {great for lighting}. If you are looking for a specific item, it always pays to do a thorough search online to see the locations that have the best deal for you.

All things considered – I really like the hunt of looking for bargain’s on beautiful pieces for our home. One of our favorite weekend routines is to hit up our favorite locals for deals. I find it pretty satisfying to snag a deal on something you know will look lovely in your space.

This Little Light of Mine

6 Jan

Chandeliers. They can be lovely things – classy little details to brighten up the space. Or – they can be brassy 80’s relics that take the wind right out of your sails. Our home had the latter when we moved in. I think by the second day Jay was climbing up on the table to remove it per my insistent requests. Actually for a few days there – things were looking pretty dark around here as the hurry up and get r’ done side of me wanted to post all of our OLD lights on craigslist, so that we could buy new ones. Alas the old ones must have been priced to sell because those babies flew off the shelf before I could restock the abode. Flashlights were our trusted friend for a wee bit there 🙂 Sometimes I get ahead of myself.

We started with this guy, in all his golden glory. I considered spray painting it and looking for a drum shade to go over it, but after doing some research, I found that option almost as pricey as a new one, and a bit more risky if I didn’t like it and was stuck with a lamp shade that wouldn’t work for anything else – given the size.

Dining Room Light - Before

Dining Room Light – Before

If I had NO budget –  I totally luurve this light (or this one). But alas, $100 is more my style for a light vs. ya know, like a grand. A girl can dream, right?

Arteriors Rittenhouse Bronze Chandelier

Arteriors Rittenhouse Bronze Chandelier

This was a bit of a trial and error experience. At first, not wanting to gamble with purchasing a light online and then not liking it, I opted to take the conservative route and buy one off the shelf from Home Depot. I really liked this light in person, with one, notable, exception. The bottom portion of the light reflected down – hardcore – into your face. The first night, Jay and I tried to eat dinner under the light and I swear I could see spots from the light when I woke up the next morning. The jarring lights-in-our-eyes was not the peaceful ambiance I was going for over our romantic spaghetti dinners. Or our left overs nuked in the microwave dinners for that matter.

Home Depot Light Dining

Back to Home Depot it went. And then – I found the WINNA! Totally affordable – check! Super classy – check! Overstock.com to the rescue with this beaut!  When we got it and installed the light, it was love at first sight. I feel like I should break out into that song on the overstock.com commercial now – but I won’t – just to spare y’all 🙂

Online – the photo looks much more coppery than I wanted, but once installed – it looks much darker, more of an Oil Rubbed Bronze, which was the look I was going for. Huzza! Here it is in the Dining Room:

Dining

So overall – I highly recommend the light and think it adds tons of class to our dining room. I feel like I have to host a dinner party now! 😉

Let’s Talk Doors

2 Jan

There were many lovely things about our home that we were head over heals about when we bought it. There were also – shall we say – some taste specific items that really didn’t jive with our abode vision. Case #1: The Doors. The doors were rather odd. They were original to the house (Score!!) so they are solid wood, and have great detail to them. However, they were all painted off-white (or pink), with a really, really odd, wooden insert in the middle. Not my cup o’ tea.

Door: Before

Door: Before

So, we (and by we, I mean Jay…) schlepped them off to the garage and sanded those suckers down. Once we had them out there, we did notice that they had more blemishes then we originally thought, but we will just chalk that up to character. 🙂 I took a few coats, 2-3 at least per door, but we now have a much more modern version of our doors, which I love!

Detail Shot - White Door

Detail Shot – White Door

Painted Doors

Painted Doors

We purchased all new Kwikset hardware for them as well, which really finishes off the look if I do say so myself. At about $14 a pop, this update made a HUGE difference in the way the house looked, with only a bit of cash. Plus we were able to sell the old hardware on craigslist, bringing the total cost per door down to around $5. Woo-to-the-hoo. That’s my kind of home improvement 🙂

Going on a Rug Hunt

1 Jan

Designing a room that I love is an iterative process for me. Jay would say a wee bit too iterative, but ya know, you win some you lose some. If something doesn’t feel right to me in a room – it usually gets the boot pretty quickly. Insert our living room rug. After re-purposing the initial rug to the Master Bedroom, I found a steal on one online. Although I loved the way it looked virtually – I knew the second I laid it down – no go. It actually photographs nicely – but in person – the wool is too pixalated, if you will. {Photo below}

Living Room: Progress

Living Room: Progress

One quasi dangerous thing I have found about decorating a home is that I have always been able to sell items that don’t fit the bill on craigslist and since I usually have a coupon in hand for my initial purchase, I tend to be able at least walk away even, if not make a few bucks. Craigslist, it’s da bomb, what can I say. My best craigslist win was finding a pair of antique lane coffee tables for $5 – that I was able to sell for $200 George Washington’s. Yep – that was pretty sweet. I was lucky enough to unload this rug at no loss – so the next rug is more of a swap. At least that is how I explain my madness to the hubby 🙂 So here I am, on the hunt for a new rug. I’ve always loved the look of a natural fiber rug, a la the photo below. Nice neutral space where I can add some pops of color with accessories, tres chic.

Living Room Inspiration

Living Room Inspiration

Living Room Inspiration

Living Room Inspiration

I finally settled on this one from Overstock. Added bonus – it’s $75 less than the previous rug, so now I have some cash-o-rama to dedicate to the next project around the place. Arrri-bbaa!!

Jute Rug for Living Room

Jute Rug for Living Room

Craigslist Score!

31 Dec

Craiglist for the win! I’ve been totally on the hunt for a stellar pair of cane back chairs to start making the basement sitting area look a bit more put together. We had one lonesome cane chair sitting there for a while, but the details were a bit too ornate on the legs for my style. So I was perusing craigslist and found these winners – a SET! Eeee! I’ve had my eye on a pair like this ever since spotting them on the Little House Blog a few months back.

Set of (2) Matching Cane Chairs

Set of (2) Matching Cane Chairs

Single Cane Chair

Cane Chair with Tufted Backing

The ones I found are almost identical to the one’s on the blog I spotted, with one major bummer. The cane does not wrap around the back, bummer dude! Some genius in the 50’s or something decided to remove the cane on the back and upholster it. In ugly, brown, fabric. Can a cue a whomp, whomp? Alas – I have plans to reupholster them and add some snazzy throw pillows, perhaps some like these? (Via Etsy)

Pretty Pillows A'la Etsy

Pretty Pillows A’la Etsy

This area of the basement will be getting some built-ins in the next few month and a nice natural fiber area rug to start bringing things together. The chairs = a step in the right direction! Consider me pumped.