Monday, June 27, 2011

Loving Lucite

Yesterday, I told you about my search for a new coffee table.  While I do love the glass and metal, I'm also loving lucite and solid glass.  Here are a few of my favorite images~

{All images via}

Again, these images all show a great mix of modern and tradition--the look of collecting a room overtime.  I think that's everyone's goal--to have a stylish room that looks like you casually threw it together. 

So, what do you think of the lucite?  Do you love it?  Or do you think it's too trendy?
A month or two ago, I sold my old coffee table on Craigslist.  It's pictured here~

I bought the coffee table before I started re-doing our living room.  With the evolution of the room and the the patterns we brought in, I felt like the room was just a little too heavy.  I'm not a huge fan of our leather couch although it's super comfy,  but with three dogs we really had no choice.  It makes the room heavy, and the coffee table wasn't helping lighten the load.  Basically, it just wasn't right for the room.  So, like the fate of many other past purchases, onto Craigslist it went.  Thankfully, I was patient and got close to what I paid for it on Craigslist. 

Unfortunately, I've had a tough time finding a replacement table.  It's a large room, so a lot of tables would be dwarfed in the space.  I seem to be gravitating to glass and metal tables.  Here are pictures of a few rooms that include them.  Most of these room mix modern and tradition, which I really like.

{All images via}

What do you think?  Do you like a more traditional wood table or do you like a more modern touch? 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just Dreaming

It's been a crazy week at work.  Sorry for the lack of posts.  Today, I'm just wishing I were here...

{Personal photo. Maui, Hawaii}

Monday, June 20, 2011

Living Room Lust

I'm trying to get my living room finished and needed a few fresh pics for inspiration.  Here are a few of my favorites I recently found~

{Erin Martin via}

{Urban Grace Interiors via}

{Kara Mann via}

While they're all different, they all share a similar style.  At least I've honed in on the look I'm trying to achieve.    Long drapes, lots of seating, large coffee table, neutral with pops of color...  Getting it right is the tricky part...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chandelier Love

I think you've all see the first phase of our master bedroom board and batten project here.  Last week we added another layer of the project...a new chandelier!! 

It's the Druid Hills 8-Light Chandelier by Murray Feiss.  I got an awesome deal on it from Capitol Lighting through  My shipping was a bit delayed.  I called Capitol Lighting and immediately got to speak with a real person.  He didn't know the answer but told me he'd call back the next day around noon and let me know what he found out.  Not likely, right?  Wrong.  He did call back exactly when he said he would and had the answer for me.  I highly recommend them and will use them again!

Yes, it took a tremendous amount of sweet talking my husband to convince him that we could live without a ceiling fan.  Eventually, he was convinced, though.  But, being really honest, there are several small fans that we keep in the bedroom that you'll never see in any of the pictures I post!  I tuck them out of the way before I start snapping pictures!

I love my chandelier, though.  Now, I'm headed to bed to stare at it!   

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Old House - Day 5

This week I took you through the progress of the kitchen "update" at my first house.  We started by replacing our out-of-date ceiling fan and fluorescent lights with sleek canned lighting.  Then we tore out the down-hanging cabinets that divided the kitchen from the dining room.  Next we refaced the cabinets and added new hardware.  Finally, we finished things off with new stainless steel appliances-oven, microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher. 

Remember, here is where we started~

And, after our labor of love~

Extra touches to finish the room included removing the scalloped edging above the kitchen sink and replacing the knobs on the cooktop along with spray painting its edging black with appliance spray paint  for a more finished looked.  The cabinetry is painted Sherwin-Williams Pure White.  The walls are Sherwin-Williams Rainwashed.  We also replaced the old patio door with a new vinyl patio door.  It took us almost two years to complete these projects.  We had to spread the expense out to meet our budget!  All in all, we ended up with what looked like a brand new kitchen and dining room for around $5,000.  Far better than I expected a new kitchen to cost!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Old House - Day 4

This week I've been sharing the renovations of the kitchen in our first house.  After we updated the lighting, removed the cabinets separating the kitchen and dining areas, and refaced the cabinets, the next step was to update appliances.  Honestly, this was the expensive part of the project and didn't happen fast.  The dishwasher went out on it's own.  The refrigerator, microwave and oven were purchased over time as my budget allowed.  This was all done before we got married, so my budget was pretty tight then!  We sold what we could of the used appliances on Craigslist, which helped.  We used a local company, Metro Appliances, to buy at warehouse prices.  They could usually beat Sears and Lowe's prices by several hundred dollars!

Here is the picture of the original appliances~

And, here is the picture of the updated appliances~

Check back tomorrow for the final before and after pictures of the project!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Old House - Day 3

This week I'm reliving the glory days of my first major home project--the kitchen.  We started off by replacing the kitchen lighting and then removed the down-hanging cabinets that seperate the kitchen from the dining room. 

Our next step was to reface the cabinets.  We sort of stumbled into this phase of the project when one of my neighbors who I did volunteer work with recommended her carpenter.  He was so easy to work with and very reasonable.  We originally brough him in to patch the hole left in the ceiling when we ripped out the down-hanging cabinets.  He actually taught us how to do the work ourselves and made us an offer on refacing the cabinets that we just couldn't refuse.  We refaced all of our kitchen cabinets for only $500!  Painting was seperate and cost around $1000.  If I remember correctly, we had 22 doors and 5 drawer facings.  Cabinets that look brand new for $1500, though!  How can you beat that!  It's amazing what a difference it made in the kitchen.


Check back tomorrow for the transformation to all sleek stainless steel appliances!  Goodbye 1960s oven!  You'll see the work finally come to life!

Something fun: The carpenter who did the cabinets also makes solid surface guitars (out of Corian, I think) for several country singers including Zac Brown and Jake Owen.  Pretty cool, huh!


My scale of funny ranges from "Ha Ha, that's cute" to "I just snorted Diet Dr. Pepper through my nose."  Today, I had one of the latter moments when I a link on Facebook to the Cake Wreck's-Baby Shower Edition put together by the blog Pregnant Chick.  So, there's this website called Cake Wrecks.  It's really funny in its own right.  But then, Amy, who writes the blog Pregnant Chicks put her own spin on a few of the cakes.  Click here.  You must.  It's so hilarious.  Make sure to read the captions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Old House - Day 2

Yesterday, I told you about about my first house, and the start of our low-budget kitchen renovations.  Our first project was to replace the ugly kitchen lighting with a few sleek recessed canister lights.  Our next project was to knock out the hanging cabinet that seperated the kitchen from the dining area.


I wish I could still find the pictures of us tearing the cabinets down.  We very foolishly thought this would be an easy project.  We started with a rubber mallet trying to just slowly knock each board apart.  I can remember the first few taps of the mallet.  No luck.  Slowly, we started hitting harder and harder.  Still, no luck.  Finally, I stepped back and let him just whale on it.  All we could hear was the sound of the revurberation of the unwaivering wood.  We ended up using a reciprocating saw to essentially cut the cabinet from the ceiling. 

It left a hole in the overhang, which you can see above.  We drywalled in the open space and added trim to finish. 


Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures.  These were taken long before I really even knew what a blog was. 

Check back tomorrow for the before and after of the cabinet refacing and then later this week for the before and after of the appliance upgrade!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This Old House

This time four years ago, I was in the middle of negotiating my first home purchase.  I was single and about to turn 27, tired of renting and wanted a yard for Bobbie the Beagle.  I focused on an older neighborhood with great starter home potential.  When it was all said and done, I bought this little girl~ 

A three bedroom, 2 bathroom 1400 square foot ranch built in 1960.  I bought her all by myself.  No help from family.  She was all mine.  I was so proud. 

She had some minor updates, but for the most part she was a project.  I wish I could find more pictures, but I think I have enough to tell you her kitchen story.  When I moved in, this was the state of the kitchen~

The previous owner had used some decent ceramic tile on the floor and counters, but otherwise, the kitchen needed some help.  I quickly set to work's not my color, so the top accent was the first thing to go.  For everything else, though, I had to save-up. 

About four months after I moved in, I met Eric.  There's a really long list of reasons why I love him, but his love for DIY is high on my list.  The first project we took on together was the kitchen lighting.  You can see in the picture above that there were two strip fluorescent lights with a nasty white and gold ceiling fan in the middle.  After several failed attempts to make a different type of light fixture look right in the room, we decided to just go for it.  We removed all three fixtures, moved the wiring, patched the existing holes and cut in canned lighting.

Yes, that's my kitchen dishtowel wrapped around his face to protect from the drywall dust.

So much better than the fluorescent lights and the gold/white fan!  The funny part of all of our project at that house was how quickly discards would disappear from the front curb.  I think that white fan only last about 30 minutes!!

Regardless, if I wasn't sure about marrying him before this project, I was when it was finished! 

Check back this week for more on our kitchen adventure!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wisteria Outlet Superfinds!

I've been crushing on the French Colonial Armchair from Wisteria for some time now.  

But at $799/chair, it wasn't going to happen.  So, about six weeks ago, I stopped by the Wisteria Outlet store in Dallas when I was downtown for a hair appointment.  I didn't expect to find anything.  I just wanted to look around.  The Wisteria Outlet carries more than just their outlet items; the front half of the store is set up in displays of their regular merchandise with the clearance and scratch-and-dent in the back of the store.

I looked around at several of the French Colonial Armchairs that they had on display, when I almost gasped.  The price tag said $379, but it wasn't in the outlet section!  I stood by the chair until I could waive over a sales lady.  I asked if she knew of anything wrong with the chair.  She said no, and we concluded that it must have been mispriced.  Me being the furniture shopper that I am, I knew that $379 was the then-current price of Wisteria's Chinese Chippendate Chair.  We concluded that they had put the wrong price on the chair I wanted.  But the wonderful Wisteria sales lady agreed to honor the price.  I think I may have done a happy dance in the store. 

Now, the real problem.  I had one chair, but I needed two!  The Friday before Memorial Day, I noticed on the Wisteria Outlet's Facebook fan page, that all outlet items were 25% Memorial Day weekend.  Out I went again... prepared to pay the full price less the weekend discount.

And, then I scored again!  There she was!  My French Colonial Armchair in all of her scratch-and-dent glory.  In the back.  I had the husband in tow.  We thoroughly inspected her.  She had a few minor flaws, but nothing we couldn't fix with our handy stain pen.  She was priced at $400.  Already a $200 less than what I was prepared to pay.  I *kindly* asked him to sit in the chair and not let anyone touch it (more like "SIT IN THE CHAIR.  DON'T MOVE") ; I wanted to confirm that the 25% off also applied to clearance items!  It did.  Happy dance again!  I scored my second chair for a mere $300!  Nearly a 65% discount!!

I love them!  They need a throw and some pillows.  I'm on the hunt for those.  But most of all, I really love how my diligent shopping paid off big time!  Both chairs for less than the price of one regular priced chair.  Let's just say, I heart the Wisteria Outlet.  For any of you Dallas peeps out there, it's right at the entrance to Love Field (Mockingbird and Cedar Springs).  Stop by and see what kind of deals you find!  And, I bet you can't tell which one was scratch-and-dent!!!

P.S.  I'm a Today Show junkie.  I've watched for as long as I can remember.  I cried this morning during Meredith Viera's last show.  I was pretty skeptical when she first started.  I didn't think anyone could ever replace Katie, but I really grew to love Meredith.  While she's very pretty and likable on TV, seeing her live in Rockefeller Plaze a few years ago--she is beautiful and real.  I'll miss sharing my morning with her.  I'm excited to see Ann at the anchor desk tomorrow though!   

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Banded Curtains

Do you believe in love at first sight?  Some argue that it's merely lust.  What was it like for you?  Did you know immediately?  Did you have to think about it?  I'm not talking about your husbands, ladies!!!  I'm talking about that special piece of home decor! Get your priorities straight!!

My latest love at first sight item is banded curtains.  From the first time I laid eyes on this image in Tobi Fairley's portfolio, I knew I had to have them.  I guess it's sort of that same way for some girls and their shoes or purses.  Not me.  I'm the drape obessed one.  I'm just cool like that...

And, then I saw this image from the fabulous design portfolio of Sarah Richardson.  I must have these drapes now.  Obviously, all the cool girls have them!

I've already been to the local fabric stores looking for off-white fabric that is cost effective because I'm going to need a lot of it!  I've yet to be successful.  I'll probably head back out this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Craigslist Craziness!

I love Craigslist.  Well, maybe I just love selling my stuff.  I sell stuff on ebay, too...  I've never bought anything on Craigslist, but let me tell you, I've sold a lot of stuff. 

Maybe it's just that I like to negotiate.  I negotiate contracts for a living, and it tends to carry over into my personal life.  My husband would tell you that I try to bargain and negotiate everything... 

It's generally understood that when you price something on Craigslist, you should price it to negotiate down.  That's always the way it's worked out for me.  Sometimes people just pay what you ask--which is frankly a little disappointing for me.  I like the thrill of the deal!

This past Sunday morning I listed our super craptacular patio furniture on Craigslist.  See below.

Honestly, it may look better in the picture than it did in person.  Yes, it is missing the seat cushions on the chairs.  I made sure this was fully disclosed in the Craigslist post.  The seat cushion of the "loveseat" is pretty moldy on the back.  Frankly, it was gross.

I bought it at Kroger in the Spring of 2007.  It served its purpose, but it was over four years old.  It had seen it much better days. 

I listed it for $25-"frame in good shape but needs new cushions."  In two short hours, I received 26 emails from prospective buyers.  Then it happened.

"I'll pay you $40 if I can pick it up this evening."  Then the next email.  "Whatever your highest offer is, I'll pay you more if I can come get it now."

And my response, "$50.  You can come get it right now!"


Why anyone in their right mind would pay $50 for my worn-out patio furniture is so far beyond me.  Crazy!

My other recent Craiglist experience was a little different but still in the crazy category...

I decided I wanted a new coffee table.  I listed my upstairs and downstairs coffee tables separately, with hopes that I could just sell one to fund the new downstairs table.  I listed them pretty close to full price; it was no real loss to me if I didn't sell one, so why not try to get as much as possible?

Here are their listing pictures:

Then I got the email.  A young newlywed wanted to come look at one.  When she left my house, she took both coffee tables and an end table!  I think she paid me about $100 less than the total I paid for all three originally!  So, now I have no coffee tables--upstairs or down--and no end table at all upstairs.  And, I can't find one I like for downstairs!  Boo!

So those are my crazy Craigslist stories of late!  How have your experiences been?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!