Monday, October 31, 2011

An Unhaunted Halloween

Do you have that house in your neighborhood that looks uninhabited and haunted? Maybe the paint is peeling, the landscape is overgrown, and just it just looks downright creepy? That house that the neighborhood kids make up spooky stories about?
Well, our house could have been that house when we bought it.
Little by little Chris and I are doing our best to make it look less haunted. What better way than to clean up all the trim in our family room?

Chris added quarter round toe molding to close up the small gap between the floor and the baseboards. It is a small detail that makes a big difference.

Then we got to work and painted every square inch of trim in the room. Here are some before and afters.



 What a difference a little white paint makes!

Now that the trim is painted, Chris and I can finally put the tools down. Our work here is done!

 All that is left to do is patiently wait for the backordered wallpaper to be delivered and hung.
And I suppose Chris has some side tables to build...
And there are still pillows and accessories to purchase...
And I guess we'll need lighting...
And artwork...
And drapes...
Hmmmm, I guess there's still quite a bit left to do in here.

In the meantime, we're planning to move all the furniture in and start enjoying the room.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Power On

Along with all the cosmetic updates we've been enjoying on Hazard Ave, we've also been taking on some not-so-glamourous projects that come with an old home. The kind of projects you shell out a lot of money for, but they don't look any prettier when completed.
When we had our house inspected before we moved in, the inspector noted that the wire that services electricity to the house "was at the end of its life" and needed to be replaced. Same with the electric panel. Not exactly a fun project, but if we want to be able to turn the lights on, they were both going to need some attention. So while the electricians were here wiring our family room and rehanging our fallen chandelier, we also had them replace the service wire and electrical panel.
 In anticipation of a major kitchen remodel in a few years and eventual installation of an air conditioning system, we had them install a 200 amp panel. Chris and I ooohed and ahhhed over all that empty space in the box. In the short term, we'll no longer have to worry about blowing a fuse when running our wallpaper steamer and clothes iron at the same time. That's happened. True story.

As much as I hate to spend a lot of money on something that isn't beautiful, I have to say that it feels so good to be on top of some of these repairs. 

Have you endured a similar "no thrills" project recently? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The One That Almost Got Away

A couple of weeks ago, I popped into my local Salvation Army on the off chance I'd see something for our family room.
I nearly fell over when I saw this puppy.

 This glass table was part of set including two side tables with a price tag of $99. It was nearly identical to this acrylic one I'd had my eye on from CB2.

My thought process:
I haven't sold Chris on the CB2 one yet...what if I go through all the trouble of getting the set home and he hates it...wait, how would I get all of this home? Chris has the pickup truck...plus, I only want the coffee table, what would I do with two side tables I don't want?...I don't have any cash on me...how come I never have cash on me when I need it???

So with no cash, no truck, and no word from Chris that he liked it I just walked away.

Later that day I got in touch with Chris and he agreed to check it out when he got home from work. When we finally got there, I found a big fat SOLD sign on two of the tables..
Are you KIDDING me?
I should have just bought it when I saw it! I should have put it on hold!

But wait...why was the sold sign only on the side tables and not the coffee table? Maybe the person who bought the set only wanted the side tables...

I tracked down 3 store employees to finally get to the boss lady in charge. She said that someone bought the set but only wanted the side tables so donated the coffee table
back to the store. She just hadn't put a new sticker on the coffee table yet!

She sold it to me for $50.

After we brought it home and I was cleaning it up, I noticed the branding on one of the legs.
It didn't take me long to find it online.

Available for $713.40!!!

And to think I almost let it get away...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Icing on the Cake

We're this close to finishing up our family room! You can imagine how happy we'll be to be done.  As I mentioned last week, Chris was busy working on the crown molding. The room already had it, but it was dinky and we wanted something more substantial.  Beacon Hill Brownstone Chic needs big crown!  Here's a good example of how small and wimpy it was before.
We like to use two layers of molding. The first layer is baseboard placed upside down, then Chris attaches the crown on top of that. The result is a really wide and decorative molding that looks like one piece once it is all caulked and painted.
Chris has had some practice installing crown molding in other rooms on Hazard Ave and at our last house and has picked up a few tricks. Along with making "tough guy" faces, he makes a mock up of the two molding pieces together so that we can make sure the scale is correct.
Here he has built a template showing the angle of the crown and the overall length of the assembly once it is put together.   Using his template, Chris was able to find the appropriate height to install the inverted baseboard...  This accommodates the imperfections in the ceilings and walls and ensures that the molding is as consistent as possible.
Installing the upper level of crown after the inverted baseboard went up.
Now that the crown is up, the ceiling color is a little more obvious. I chose a cool gray like Casey suggested to contrast against the warm walls. It is Reserved White by Sherwin Williams.
 So what's left to do in here?
Chris is going to add quarter round molding to the baseboards in order to hide the small gap between the baseboards and the floors. Then we'll need to caulk and paint all the trim and molding.
We're in the home stretch...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why You Should Listen To Your Mother-in-Law

When my in-laws were visiting back in September, an additional wallpaper sample arrived. It came long after I'd already made my decision about which color I wanted, so I didn't think anything of it.
My original selection
But my mother-in-law suggested that I consider the new sample it because it was a touch lighter and more neutral.
Nope. I was sticking with my decision.

Fast forward to last week when I finally placed the order. I got a call the next day that it was backordered until JANUARY 2012.
WHAT?!?!?

That's okay. Chris and I decided that we could hold out until then. At least it wasn't out of stock.

So I primed the walls with the wall prep tinted the color of the grasscloth and we've since had a chance to see what it looks like throughout the course of the day.
Hmmmmm. Perhaps it is a tad too dark after all...maybe a bit too "gold" also...
My original choice is the one on the left. The new sample is the one on the right.
So I changed our order to the paper my mother-in-law suggested in the first place.
Which, unfortunately, is also backordered.
Rats...

As far as we are concerned, our new selection is close enough to the tinted primer, so we're not going to bother re-priming the walls.

Thank's Renee :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Take Two

Do you remember the occasional chair I purchased for $30 at the Salvation Army?
Well, the plan is to use it in the renovated family room after it has been reupholstered. I ran into a little setback the last time I attempted to paint it and have only now had a chance to devote any time to it.
It was looking like this when we left off.
Then I got the go ahead from the upholster to strip the entire thing down to the frame.
So I made it look like this:
My paint sprayer made painting this bad boy an easy job.
Here it is all painted and waiting to be picked up by the reupholster.
I used Valspar's Ebony Field. It is a shade of green/charcoal/black that goes perfectly with Schumacher's Betwixt fabric.

Only two days after the upholsterer picked up the chair, I got a call that it was finished!
So along with all the other furnishings that we've already accumulated for the family room, the chair is hanging out in our formal living room waiting to be moved into its intended location.
Just a few more weeks...


Also, if you are curious to hear more about how we transformed our Powder Room, head over to Cottage & Vine where I'm participating in Rene's series, "My Favorite Room" today. Cottage & Vine is a fantastic blog full of eye candy and inspiration. Warning, you're not going to be able to tear yourself away!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Fireplace's Dark Side

Chris and I made a ton of progress in the family room over the weekend. Like I mentioned last week, Chris started beefing up the existing crown molding.
He's not quite finished yet, so more to come on that next week.
In the meantime, I caulked and prepped the walls for wallpaper using a product recommended by our wallpaper guy.
 I had it tinted to the shade of the grasscloth we're using. It isn't an exact match, but it is close enough so that if wall shows through the seams over time, it won't be obvious.
 Let me tell you how nice it is to not be looking at the skim coat anymore. It is starting to actually look like a room now!
 But the highlight of our weekend was painting the fireplace.
  It would have gone a lot faster if Georgia hadn't tried to help...
I used "Rock Bottom"by Sherwin Williams in an eggshell finish.  (I'll need to use a sealer on the mantel so that it will be easy to clean.)  I love the way it turned out. Dark and sophisticated.
Beacon Hill Brownstone Chic here we come!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cozy Throws

There's no denying that Fall is officially here. I can fight it kicking and screaming, but it isn't going to do me any good. The least I can do is prepare for it, and what better way than to get all cuddled up with a cozy new throw?

These are a few that have caught my eye recently. Of course some are outrageously expensive, but a girl can dream :) 

Williams-Sonoma Home $249 

Cococozy $285
Land's End $25

Pottery Barn $99

Land's End $89

Land's End $79
Serena & Lily $225

Now all I need is a good book and mug of hot chocolate.  Happy weekend! 

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