Thursday, August 30, 2012

Already sad about the idea of leaving

We got the house! 
It looks like we will be moving into our LAKE HOUSE in Davidson in a year.
I am so excited but my stomach is in enormous knots thinking about it. Usually, I love moving. The idea of getting rid of a bunch of junk, packing and unpacking is my thing. Sometimes I have dreams about unpacking and I wake up happy.
Reasons I am sad to leave this house:

  • It is beautiful.
  • It is spacious.
  • The views are gorgeous.
  • We have done so much work to it. I love it. Our new house has someone else's feel.
  • Going along with the last one- we put lots of money into fixing this house up and we won't have any money to fix up our new one.
  • I love our new master bathroom and we will hardly have a chance to use it.
  • There is SOOOOO much storage. My mom and sister keep loading me up with their junk and I still have enough storage space left for them to unload 3 more attics.
  • It has a garage. Our new house will not.
  • Everything is updated.
  • It has an awesome kitchen. Scott spends a lot of time cooking and I spend  a lot of time entertaining Cora in a play area in the kitchen. Our new kitchen is not so exciting. Scott will also really miss the gas stove and having two kitchen sinks along with about 50 other features in the kitchen.
  • The neighbors are great.
  • There is almost no yard maintenance. We have zero grass. We just have to do a tiny bit of leaf blowing and a little weeding here and there.
  • We are close to uptown Charlotte.
  • We have deer and owls in our backyard!
  • Cora was born here (well she was born in a hospital but this is her home).
  • Cora took her first steps here.
  • We have a laundry shoot! It is like a secret passageway! I was super duper excited to learn about it when we moved in here.
  • We lived here when we got married.
  • soooo many more reasons.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Heart Circles!

Let's start this post out with a small sample from yesterday's to do list and then a list of what I actually did.

Wanted to do:
  • post a couple blog posts
  • clean up the house- mainly put away the "this goes in this room" piles
  • get the garage organized
  • write a few thank you notes
  • clean out the bonus room cabinets
  • start a new painting
50%... not too shabby considering sometimes I write "have breakfast" or "brush teeth" on my list just to get the satisfaction of checking something off. 

Actually did:
  • Dropped some tupperware under the deck that Cora was practicing opening and closing while watching 2 big deer and 2 baby deer in the backyard. (The cutest baby deer in the world... how can we leave this house?!?!?!?)
  • Went on a neighborhood walk with daughter and had an awkward conversation with 7th grader waiting for the bus, He was very polite but I think he was worried that the bus would pull up and people might see him talking to the spazzy lady. On the walk we spotted at least 7 squirrels, some looking pretty darn scraggily.
  • Turned the quinoa, black bean, tomato, cilantro, avocado and cheese leftovers from the party into quinoa, black bean, tomato, cilantro, avocado and cheese patties that i think I might be able to get my husband to help me eat. ***Please do not be confused by this and think that I am the chef in the house. No chef here.
  • Read lots of books with Cora- and by read I mean she studies a page while I get out as many words on it as I can before she turns it. 
  • Tried to teach Cora to color. She tried a lot and got very frustrated with it which resulted in the next thing I did.
  • Calmed down a cranky baby with my "Cora Calm" playlist and some snuggle walking (this baby will only tolerate snuggling if you are in motion).
  • Talked a lot about shapes as she did a great job getting them in the right holes in her shape sorter. They put a smiley face on the circle and called it a blueberry. From what I can tell she's not buying it.

Back to the reason for this post... my love of circles. When I paint I naturally like to paint circles and when I find things that inspire my art they are often some sort of circle. So, here they are:

How do you like that me calling these ovals circles? Just go with it please!
I love the pattern on these circles and the contrast.

I am insane- I think that I saw this pattern in the background on Modern Family. So, I watched it again online and took a screen shot of this when it appeared.

This one reminds me of candy. I love the textures and I want to eat it.

This one is simple and I like it!

I love how this is a little clean and messy at the same time.

These next 2 are mine. I painted them at the same time.

This one resides in my living room. ps I heart green more than I heart circles.

I am officially inspired. I am going to paint my sister a painting for her new house in Michigan!!!! Luckily, she likes circles too!

Dining Room Oak Party

Oak cabinets and I are not really pals. You may have figured that out from the post that I wrote about ugly 80s cabinets (the ones with the good lookin' oak trim). The beautiful, wonderful house that I moved into four and a half years ago came flying some serious oak cabinets! We will start our oak tour in the dining room. It came equipped with a sweet wet bar straight from the 70s with all the oak you could ask for.  The top was a strange, orange vomit color with random swirls.

Hello my new pal Glidden Gripper.  It is a primer that you use on slick surfaces and it really grips.

  • I lightly sanded the cabinets
  • Painted on the Gripper
  • Then painted black over the Gripper

Now, it is a lovely home for my board games.

The other big change in the dining room was changing out the spot lighting used for the previous owner's sword collection to a more appropriate chandelier.

I found a chandelier that I loved. The only problem was that it only came in bronze. So, I spray painted it black.

I bought the table from my favorite store- Craig's List.  It was painted a similar green to my walls.  So, I primed and painted away.

Then I added three green table runners (my mother in law had sewn a ton of these for my wedding and I was happy to reuse them) topped with three bamboo table runners, and some cool napkins from Target.  I bought a couple extra napkins and framed and matted them because I loved the pattern so much.

The black and white art was a construction DIY. I was painting a baseboard and I had it resting on my knees. It kept leaving long white stripes on my jeans. I do not like waste but I do like random lines on canvas. So I grabbed a  few canvases and quickly painted them black. Then I laid the baseboard on top of the canvas and let the mess I was making on my jeans turn into art.

I hung the art on the wall and decided it needed a little something else. So, I painted a rectangle of green that was a couple shades darker than the wall color and hung the art back up. Tada! Instant framing!

My mother in law sewed the valance for me out of a shower curtain.

And that, my friends, is what I call the dining room oak party!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Decorating The Foyer

I put the finishing touches on my foyer a few years ago and I really like how it turned out.

If you have ever seen even five minutes of HGTV you have heard how important it is to have a good entry to your house.  First impressions are key.  So, I put a lot of thought into the foyer of my house.
The front entrance to my house is two glass doors, a tall glass panel on either side and another tall window.
Here is a photo of the front of my house before we moved in.  Even though how the previous owners decorated the foyer was not to my taste I still had a good first impression because of all of the windows.

Here is a photo of how the previous owners decorated the foyer.

I decided to use six huge, standard sized frames and do custom matting. Custom framing is expensive. It is a good bit cheaper to use standard size frames and have custom matting done. You can find large frames for reasonable prices if you spend some time looking.

Hobby Lobby is now my go to place for frames and matting. Every other week their frames are 50% off. I went to my stash of fabric and scrapbook paper.  I buy random fabrics that I love.  Same with scrapbook paper- if I am inspired by a design, I buy it and add it to my collection... which contributes to a very nice collection of cheap art.  I picked out my favorites.

I was going for a color scheme of blues, greens and yellows with whatever extra colors were thrown in.  I came up with about half of what I needed to fill the frames.

Next, I went to the best fabric store in the world- Mary Jo's fabric in Gastonia, NC (about 30 minutes from my house).  MOTHERLOAD... I was a fabric buying fool.  Just one more item needed and according to some online stalking Ikea had the perfect fabric to complete the project.  Only problem was, at the time, the closest Ikea was 4 hours away.  Luckily, I had a trip to Portland, Orgeon coming up and being the clever city that they are, they do in fact have an Ikea.  So, I made a special trip, had a lovely vacation, flew home and put the finishing piece in my art display.

Hanging the frames took me about about 5 tries each to make them look evenly spaced. I look forward to lots of patching when I move out (or, more likely, when I change my mind about what should go there).  The bookshelf is from Target and, even though it was only about $250, at the time it was one of the most expensive pieces of furniture I had ever purchased.  I filled the shelf with knick knacks that I was proud to display.

Here's a breakdown of how much the art display cost:
frames: 6 at $25 each= $150
custom matting: 6 at $11 each= $66
scrapbook paper: 8 pieces for 30 cents each= $2.40
fabric: 8 pieces (most were 1/4 yard)= about $20
total project= 238.40
bookhself: 250
knick knacks: already owned = free!

Loftin' it up!

About my love of lofts:
  • I love to rip pages that inspire me out of magazines and catalogues. I cannot tell you how many of those pictures have been of lofts (and of beds in alcoves). 
  • I was obsessed with bunk beds when I was young because I knew it was the closest I was going to get to a loft. 
  • I was thrilled to get the top bunk in college! Anyone who had their dorm set up with two top bunks and desks, etc under the bed got instant awesome points from me.
  • I love the idea of a library ladder and lofts can make that happen.
  • A loft is like a secret little hideaway.
  • Lofts are the best location to have when you are in a dart battle. I learned this from many years of ski trips and the mandatory dart gun battle that comes along with them.
The house that we are looking at has a perfect place for a loft and it would add some much needed square feet.

Here are some photos of lofts that make it work! *sorry I didn't save where I borrowed these images from.

I like how this one used the end slopes as storage.

Funky! Kelly, this is your color!

Love the modern railing

 I like the little alcove at the top left. 

Open! Good Lighting!

Cool spiral staircase 

What a view! Amazing windows! How cool to get to experience that view from an even higher level 

 Beautiful beams!

Fantastic bookshelves!

80s Cabinets

The first thing from my list of things to change on the house we are interested in is the sweet, sweet 80s cabinets.
ps I like that the dishwasher has the clean/dirty magnet on the front. I was pretty stinking excited when one of those showed up on our dishwasher when I was little. Seriously, that thing is C L E V E R.

Here is a photo of the kitchen in the house we are interested in. Replacing the cabinet doors would be fantastic but the budget master in me knows it isn't feasible. I think a little paint and some new door pulls could go a long way.

Below is a before and after that I found here.
I would probably go white but I like their bold grey choice!

I know the appliances were replaced too but what a difference some paint and hardware makes!

The perfect house?

My husband and I are not in the market for a new house quite yet but we are always looking. Recently, we found a livable fixer upper in a great area and...


It.Is.On.A.Lake! Waaaaahat! That's right. I said it. We had no idea that living on a lake would be so appealing but man oh man it certainly is!

We checked out the house. Loved it. Put in an offer. Right now, it looks like the chances of us getting it are less than 50%. That hasn't stopped me from writing a list of what I would like to do to the house on a major budget.

Here she blows:
  • spray paint all hardware on doors
  • paint kitchen cabinets (they are the old school ones that you see in old apartments... no paneling, just flat).
  • tile or hardwood kitchen
  • raise kitchen counters up a bit
  • new hardware for kitchen cabinets
  • new faucets in 2 bathrooms and kitchen
  • either frame out mirrors in 2 bathrooms or get new, smaller mirrors
  • new chandelier in dining room
  • paint whole house- walls
  • paint whole house- trim
  • depopcorn the whole house. my husband and I depopcorned the ceilings on 3/4 of our current house. QUITE AN UNDERTAKING! convincing him to help me with this in a new house might be impossible.
  • take down wall paper in kitchen and 2 bathrooms
  • paint bathroom cabinets in both bathrooms
  • new hardware for each bathroom's cabinets
  • new light in both bathrooms
  • new counters in both bathrooms
  • new outlet covers
  • new outlets
  • tile or hardwood baths
  • hardwood in dining room, living room, den and hallways
  • new carpet in bedrooms
  • add a loft above the dining room
  • glass in screened porch
  • change out fluorescent light in kitchen
  • figure out if there is any way to raise kitchen ceilings
  • new doors
  • new closet systems- all closets
  • beef up mantle
Seeing a list like this might turn some people away from a house but for me it gets me more excited about the house. I love a house project... mainly because I love a good before and after. I love to be able to change something to exactly my style.