Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Dream Closet

My new closet makes me want to do cartwheels...and I could probably do them in there! It might have something to do with the fact that the room is technically a sunroom, not a closet - so it's basically a giant walk-in lined with windows. It's basically amazing.

Pat built this amazing shoe rack using plumbing hardware and some reclaimed lumber from ReStore. He whipped them together in a couple hours - *hip hip hooray* for handy men!

The two-tiered clothing rack was more plumbing and pipe from the Depot. The hardest part of these wasn't the assembly - it was wiping off the protective coating on all the hardware! A scrub brush and some grease-cutting cleaner will do the trick nicely.

One of my favorite parts about old houses is that they usually have some built-in shelving units or drawers. This one has both in the closet...aka: more shoe space!!

The best part about this is really just having a spot for everything. No more shoving shoes into any bag I can find and or squeezing myself past shelves to access the hanging-clothes crammed in the back of the closet!

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Shop for Cheap Furniture

Furniture shopping is not the most fun thing I've ever done. The thing is, we're on a budget - and we need the basics right away. So we can't just pick our favorite pieces, and there's not a lot of time to wait out good deals. So after spending hours and hours bouncing from one furniture store to the next, I learned a couple things I wanted to share:
  1. Ask plenty of questions – is that real wood? What kind of warranty is there? Do you offer free delivery? What about fabric protection? Is there any flexibility in the price? Are the pillows included? All these little things add up!
  2. It never hurts to try to negotiate price. The worst they'll say is no. We've been able to knock hundreds off of furniture costs just by asking!
  3. Most furniture stores have 'discount' rooms tucked away in a the look for it, or ask an associate
  4. Check consignment shops and your local Goodwill/Salvation Army/non-profit. It also doesn't hurt to look at places that rent furniture – most times they will sell the stuff that comes back after a lease at a deep discount. We own a few pieces from our local Cort outlet. 
  5. You'd be amazed the things you can find at garage sales...or better yet, estate sales.
  6. Be patient, you're probably going to have to look at a lot of crap in order to find the hidden gems.
Speaking of gems: I found a chair. Correction, I found THE chair. Love is a strong word, but I’m head-over-heels. The color should go well in our living room and it's got just the right amount of mid-century Mad Men look to it. Agh, isn't it handsome??

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Movin On Up-Date

So I mentioned we're moving. Did I mention how much painting needs to be done? This is what all weekends in November are likely to look like around here - tape, prime, paint, repeat, repeat, repeat.

At least this gives me an excuse to go to the hardware store regularly. Admission: I have strong feelings for my local ACE hardware store. I'm pretty indecisive sometimes, so let's just say picking paint colors was tough. I spent a couple minutes in front of the color wall like a deer in headlights - no idea where to start. Thankfully the friendly people at Ace are super-helpful and answered all my questions. Within an hour we were off with four gallons of paint and all the supplies we needed.

Let's take a tour of the 'before' shall we?

This is the front entry - the hallway pictured has one wall sponge painted and the other is full of holes and desperate for a fresh coat of paint.

The entry hall leads into the living room and dining room. Here's the living room.

Nice and dark, right? But check out this fireplace! It makes the thought of the next 5 months of cold and snow slightly more bearable.

The guest room is off of the living room. It has one Spartan-green wall and the rest are white with the need for a new coat.

This living room leads into the formal dining room, complete with wallpaper (not much we can do about that, unfortunately) and heavy floral drapes in tones of taupe and mauve (unpictured to the left).

Around the corner from the living room is the master bedroom, with all sorts of teal going on. I love the original lighting fixtures all over this place! They don't do much for lighting, I'll be honest, but they're so unique I don't even mind the fact that we need to buy a lot of lamps.

There is a sunroom off of the master bedroom - we're hoping to turn it into a closet/sitting area. I can't wait to enjoy a cup of tea there while looking out into our backyard next spring (we have a backyard - WAHOO!).

The bathroom looks like it was painted twelve coats of the darkest, most vibrant blue you've ever seen. And the top half only got one of the coats, because it's a hot mess - you can see every single brush stroke. Yikes! The only good part is the cool antique corner bathtub...that isn't pictured very well, my bad!

pictures coming soon: backyard, front foyer, outside and fun details!

Last up in the pictures, for now, is the kitchen. It's absolutely huge in comparison to our current one. There's so much storage I don't even know what to do with myself. See that glass-pane door? It leads into the butler's pantry. YEAH!

Whew, so that's all for now! I apologize about the photo-quality. I took all of these with my cell phone the day we toured the apartment. We were so anxious to paint that they're the only 'before' pictures we have!