Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Heart Furniture

When we started saving money for our down payment and planning to buy a house, we made it our goal to save enough so that we'd also have money to fill our house with furniture. Wouldn't that be nice right!? Wellllll, things didn't exactly turn out that way. Buying a house is kinda pricy. And when I say 'kinda', i mean 'really'. Even after lots of planning and saving, we greatly underestimated all the costs involved. We didn't exactly factor in the need for a new refrigerator and washer/dryer, and we didn't think about the must-have items we'd have to purchase right away such as ladders, hoses, and lawn mowers. They ate away our budget like a fat kid at a buffet. As a result, for the last few months our house has looked really bare. I'd say only half the rooms in our house had any furniture. It practically echoed in here. While we are so fortunate to be at a place in our lives where we can purchase the house of our dreams, we know it comes with lots of challenges (and Benjamins) to make the house our home, so we keep reminding ourselves to be patient. It's so easy to get wrapped up in owning your first home that you want everything to look perfect right away, and that's not always realistic. We're learning to become content with the fact that making renovations and buying furniture are all in a marathon of home ownership, not a race.

That being said, after six months of living in our house we finally purchased a few pieces of furniture. Holla! It's beginning to look less ghost-towny in here.We still have LOTS of furniture and decor to purchase (we're very sorry to our guests who have to stay on our air mattress when they come over) but we've made some progress, and I'm here to share.

Home Office
I am lucky to work in the contract furniture industry so I was able to furnish my office for free. Can't beat that! Our showroom in Dallas was updating their samples, so I was able to snag a desk that they would no longer be using.

 The desk and side chairs are courtesy of DARRAN furniture. The task chair is courtesy of Neutral Posture.

Other than the furniture, we haven't touched this room so we still have tons of work to do in here.  It sure does help working from home though, when you have a place to work.

Almost every time we have people over, we congregate in the kitchen or living room, so we knew barstools would be well worth our first  furniture purchase. We both gravitated towards the industrial style swivel stools so we were on the hunt to find a deal. We first fell in love with the stools at World Market, but they don't adjust high enough to be a true bar height stool.

We of course love the West Elm version but they're more expensive than we were wanting to spend.

I was casually looking on Craigslist and found two stools for $75 each that were absolutely perfect. They were taller than most industrial stools we found, and the seats were darker which we liked. I asked the guy on Craigslist where he bought them so that I could go buy two more matching ones. You'll never guess where he got them...Gordman's. I didn't even know they had furniture. (For all you Texas peeps, Gordman's is like Kohls but a little less expensive). I drove over to Gordman's that same day to check out the sitch, making sure they still sold these stools. Turns out, they were only $99 and they had a 20% off coupon. For those of you who didn't graduate from 2nd grade, that's only $80 each! Why would I ever buy $75 used stools from Sketchy McSketchter on Craigslist when I can buy them brand new for $80? I tried striking a better deal by letting Mr. McSketchter know that they were on sale for only $80 but he wouldn't budge on his price. His loss. So off to Gordman's we went to buy our 4 stools.

Devin and I are uhb-sessed with how they turned out. Bear is too.

Dining Room
I saved the best for last. For almost five months, it practically looked like no one lived here when you walk in. If you're entering our front door, you immediately see the formal living room straight ahead and the dining room to your right...both of which have had no furniture. That had to change. We were searching on Craigslist for dining sets almost every day but nothing was catching our eye. Had we been looking for country style 1980's oak tables, we could have had one months ago, but those don't exactly butter our biscuits. And then finally we found the ONE. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

We just need some new artwork and an area rug to call this room complete.

We found this gem at Hobby Lobby, on sale for 50% off. We are in love.

Eventually, I'd like to get two accent upholstered chairs at each end of the table, but the contrast in fabric colors does the job in the mean time.

We love how it looks in the space. We got the table and all 8 chairs for only $300. Not too shabby! It did take some work to look this good though, including reupholstering the chairs and touching up some scratch marks. You'll have to wait until the next post to find out how we did it!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Night Scape

I have been MIA lately and I wish I had a great reason for it but I don't. As I was thinking of excuses of why I haven't written a blog post in the last month, I just kept picturing the inconsiderate, unforgiving, Texas hater, Nice policeman that gave Devin a second ticket for not having an updated Oklahoma license and registration. When Devin tried explaining himself ('We just moved here', 'we're busy', 'Please forgive me for my sins') the cop responded with 'All I hear are bad excuses,' and wrote the ticket. Ouch.

I promise I'll do better. On my last 2 posts, I mentioned that I'd share what our half bath looks like now, so I'm here to deliver. This bathroom was by far the most painful and time consuming room in the house (besides the kitchen cabinets of course). Who knew such a tiny room could pack such a big punch? Maybe that's why I waited so long to write a blog post....I didn't want to revisit the pain. We'll get to the details but first I need to share a few BEFORE pictures:

The wallpaper was golf themed. It even came with a golf course border.. Augusta, St. Andrews and the whole gang were there.

In the kitchen we textured right over the wallpaper, but I figured we'd try removing it here since this was such a small room. That was a horribly bad idea.

We started out using a steamer, trying to peel off the top layer of the wallpaper. It was coming off in huge strips so I was feeling really good about the situation.

And then we got to the backing.

 We tried every technique in the book to get this stuff off the walls. Steamer, water, sponge, fabric softener, beer (just kidding), and the list goes on. It was coming off in teeny tiny little strips.
We found that a trowel worked best scraping it off, after we soaked it with a sponge. Every now and then, we'd get lucky removing a larger strip but that was few and far between.

 The backing took us days to remove. This turned into one of those projects where we would work for a few hours, get tired and irritated, and then start all over again the next day. When the torture was finally over and we got to the bare walls, we removed brass light fixture so that we could get it out of the way before texturing and also replace it with a new little gem we found at Lowe's.

Texturing was pretty easy in this room since I mastered the process in the kitchen. My biggest hurdle was doing it in the dark (remember...since we just took the light out). Picture me with a trowel in my right hand and the flashlight shining on my iphone in my left hand. I'm pretty coordinated. I basically followed the same texturing steps that we took in the kitchen, minus having to fill in wallpaper seams since we were obviously working with bare walls.

We waited about 24 hours to let that dry and were ready for paint.

I was debating for a while on paint colors in here. My initial thought was something neutral. I taped some color swatches of greys and tans on the wall and they just weren't tickling my fancy. Rooms like this are perfect candidates for fun pops of color since they're so small and won't overwhelm you. This room connects to the light blue laundry room however, so I didn't want to go crazy making our house look like skittles. (Taste the rainbow.) So my next idea was to try a slightly darker shade of blue in the same family as the laundry room. It would still provide color but it would blend well with the existing colors. I grabbed a bunch of swatches, picked the best blue and off to Lowe's I went.

Here's where it went wrong. The color I chose was Valspar Aqua Dance which was the middle color on the color swatch. The Lowe's guy thought I pointed at the the darkest color on the color swatch (It's called Night Scape in case your curious. Yes, it's as dark as it sounds.) We got home not realizing the color mistake and I started painting away. For about 2 hours. Let me remind you again of the light situation in the bathroom= zero light= I had no idea it was the wrong color even after I started painting. Devin walked in to check out my progress and immediately noticed how dark it was. At that point, I was already too tired of this tiny bathroom taking so long, and too invested in the two hours of painting I had already done, so we just went with it.

 I used Valspar's virtual painter to give a visual. Here's what we originally chose: Aqua Dance

And here's what we got: Night Scape

We actually don't mind Night Scape, it's just not what we chose. I don't tend to select colors that dark on my own so it kind of pushed my painting envelope a bit. I was fine with the color for a few hours but started resenting it after maybe the third or fourth coat of paint. Maybe that's why I don't choose dark colors. But we prevailed and finally finished the room.

We also painted all the brass fixtures and mirror silver with our buddy, Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint in Satin Nickel.
Shout out to Leigh for the adorbs monogrammed Pottery Barn towels that she gave us for a wedding gift.

Don't you love our new light fixture?? It's quite the improvement from what we had before.

We had a little Night Scape left so we painted the oak coat hanger in the laundry room to tie in the colors even more

I found this PRECIOUS rug at Tar-Jay. And that was AFTER I picked the colors. It almost looks like I planned the laundry/bath colors around the rug. Can I say SCORE?!!

While we are done with the walls, we can't call the room done quite yet. Here's what we still have in the queue:
  • Get rid of the seashell sink. We've been eyeing something like THIS at Lowe's that we'll probably replace it with. It's small scale and super cheap.
  • Replace the tile. That's a longer term goal but ideally we'd like to have hardwoods or laminate flooring throughout most of the house.
  • Add crown molding. This should be decently easy considering this room is so small and is a perfect rectangle.
  • Replace the mirror. We spray painted it as a temporary fix. I love this one and this one and this one but it'll all depend on how it looks with our new vanity.

So that's it! Our Night Scape bathroom. I'd take Night Scape over an Augusta Golf bathroom any day. 

Now I can't WAIT to show you some of the furniture we've purchased. That's up next.

Adios Amigos!