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Now that school is finally O-V-E-R – we’re back!  In an effort to fully recoup after three years of being stretched thin, we’re starting out slow. Our first project involved sprucing up some great furniture that was given to us by a close friend (THANKS- WE LOVE IT!). The furniture is a great color and in awesome condition, so to add our own style to it we decided to update the hardware. The original hardware is shown below.

Old Hardware

The first step was just removing the hardware, which was the easy part! Then we visited both of the local hardware stores to find suitable replacements! After drilling a few new holes (yes Meghan, that’s what she said) into the drawers and cabinet doors we installed the new hardware. All of the updated drawers took up nearly in the entire spare bedroom.

After replacing the hardware, next on the agenda was moving the old furniture out and the new furniture in. Major progress has been made in the master bedroom since we bought our house just over a year ago.

Original Before:

Looking at these pictures makes me really proud of our progress so far! When we first moved in, I couldn’t wait to get started making changes.The work we did in December made pretty big strides from our original state.

In Between:

Now, the new bedroom furniture gives our room a whole new feel, and we couldn’t be happier.

After:

Master Bedroom with New Furniture

Master Bedroom with New Furniture

We’ve made some progress, but as usual there is always still more work that needs to be done:

  • Figure something out about the TV situation (anyone notice the books under the TV?)
  • Bed improvements
  • Curtains and wall hangings
  • Lamp situation
  • Painting molding
Total time to improve – approximately 6  hours (including moving all of the furniture to our house, shopping for hardware, and cleaning out old furniture/restocking new furniture – Thanks for the help Dad!)

Total cost for new bedroom furniture  – $84  Not to shabby!

Setting the Table

After a few weeks of having the dining room table and buffet situated in place, I was feeling the urge to take it to the next level. During meals, Max and I found ourselves worried about damaging the surface of the table top or turning the buffet into the place where we dropped our keys and stuff when we came in the door. The buffet issue has taken a lot of discipline to walk the extra three whole steps to drop our keys on the Ikea shelf in the kitchen. (we were stink eyeing each other each time we came in the door to see who would mess it up first)  We’re pretty adjusted at this point, but to solve the table dilemma something had to be done.

For a week or so I’ve been just thinking about replacing the place-mats and maybe getting one or two extra to put in the middle of the table. Then during some consignment shopping I came across a set of gold/silver leafed chargers. Prior to that shopping experience, if you had said charger, my mind would’ve drifted to cell phones, cars, or batteries. Now, I have a new definition to at to the list, it’s a platter  and it seems fancy. I got a set of 10 of them and each one was less than a $1.00! As I was putting some felt feet on the bottom of one of them (to protect the table), I noticed a Crate and Barrel sticker. I was looking them up on Crate and Barrel and they run $15.00 or more a piece. Snap! It turns out I got quite a deal!  Here is one of the chargers with felt feet.

Charger

Also, I’ve been looking on houzz.com, and I’ve noticed a lot of people put plants on their dining room tables. I liked it. Between the chargers, the plants (thanks to my re-potting project), and a new set of place-mats I think it turned out pretty nice! It really makes the room feel much more homey.

Set Table

BOOM! Dining Room Furniture Arrives!

Here are the much overdue photos of our awesome new dining room set:

We certainly splurged on this purchase, but I did have a 10% coupon! The dining room table extends (on both sides- EXCITING!) and there are six chairs. There is debate of possibly purchasing more chairs toward the end of the year. The buffet was um well it was definitely an impulse buy. We were standing there and I was like, “I want that too”, then Max said his famous “well  what are we saving for anyway” line and of course the sales lady nodded. Here is Max modeling the new buffet:

Looking in the catalog, I loved the wax refurbished pine style of this furniture, but in person the finish did not seem very accident proof. I asked the sales lady, and she was less than convincing. It was decided that we are just too clumsy a family to purchase furniture that looks like it might absorb a spill. I was a little bummed to settle for the darker wood, but I’m loving how it all looks now and how well it is coming together. More pictures to come!

House Plant Re-potting Project

I love plants, and I think they work as great affordable decor to make a home feel cozier. I have been pretty lucky to have a good survival rate of my little green friends which is good because it helps when the plants stay alive if you’re using them as decor. So at this point – I know most plants will stay alive, but it always surprises me when one out grows its pot.

I’m annually re-potting these guys into larger pots, and at the rate I’m going I’ll never have to buy new plants just bigger pots. I’m certainly no expert here, but it seems when you take care of your plants they seem to multiply.  Not to mention I have some pretty great family who give house plants as presents (Thanks Ruth!) and split up their plants to help me expand my collection of friends. (Thanks Aunt Nancy!)  I mean really – who doesn’t like free home decorations?

Up until just recently, it didn’t bother me that I had 10 different kinds of plant pots which didn’t coordinate because most of the time they were free. After the move into this new house, it’s really been bugging me. Here’s what I’ve been looking at for since July- all of the plants just sitting in the living room in a pile.

Let me tell you, there are like 12 plants in that pile, and once I was done I felt all WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!  I decided today would be the day to do something about it since I’ve finished up my painting project for the weekend yesterday. I knew I wanted to choose some new pots that were neutral to enable me to place them around the house to create some flow. I picked out two packs of three various cylindrical clear glass vases. I also purchased some rocks to make the vases a little more interesting. See  the new glass pots below.

In addition, I think the wrought iron accents on the new dining table and side tables (as seen above in the before picture) take away from the new silver light fixture in the dining room. To help re-incorporate the silver back into the room I placed silver lamps on the side tables, and the other half of the pots I choose today were silver metal pots. See the new metal pots below.

To start I dragged all my mismatched friends outside.  I started breaking up the plants into smaller portions to fill all of my new pots. An extra bag of potting soil makes this work a lot easier. I found myself scrounging to make sure all of my extra pots were filled with the leavings  from my old pots. Once I was finished, I was feeling whooped and I was very dirty. The new homes for the plants look great and the whole house is starting to look more homey as a result. All in all I purchased each pot for just under 7 dollars, and some of them were quite large – not a bad deal considering how the whole turned out below.

Let’s Get it Started in here….

Queue Black Eyed Peas music please!

In anticipation of the arrival of our new dining room set (scheduled for delivery next Saturday) and sparked by the delivery of our new couch, I was not so secretly planning on tearing out the carpet in the dining room and living room. I have in fact been talking about tearing up this carpet since before we even bought the house. First the plan was to do it last weekend, and the weekend before that, but sometimes Hurricane Irene comes along and messes up your plans! So when I informed Max of my intentions to tear out the carpet this past Thursday, I was surprised he didn’t seem too prepared to hear me say that TODAY IS THE DAY!

Here are a few before pictures of our living room and dining room prior to the arrival of the couch.

Above is the view from the far left corner of the picture below. For those of you who don’t know Elsie, she is our boxer. She’s a ham, so she will be in many more pictures.

This is the view from on top of the stairs. The room has been like this since we moved in, and after some preliminary lay out planning we decided to go couch shopping. If you referred to the preliminary lay out, you’ll see the initial design had a sectional sofa. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a sectional sofa that met our requirements (detachable back pillows, tall back, and priced right).  Our first step was moving out all the furniture, well except for the new couch because there was no where to place it.

We started in the far left corner of the picture above and then worked toward the front. Here I am below, really working hard to pull up the padding. (Posing here, it’s way easier than I’m making it look)

I scored the carpet using a utility knife (being careful not to dig into the hardwood below) to make into sizable rolls for Max to take out and load into the truck. The padding was already in nice size sections, so we just rolled it up and hauled it out. About 20 minutes later, the easy work was finished. Next came the tedious part, removing all of the staples used to affix the padding to the floor. We  popped up the staples using flat head screw driver, and we used a small pair of vice grip pliers for the trickier ones. The staples and removing the double sided tape left  took  just under two hours with both of us working at it!

There was one fairly major discolored location of the hardwood. You can  see it on the left side in the picture above. Here it is close up, and isn’t it  great luck that it was also the location of the double sided tape -I wonder if it’s more than a coincidence?

Overall, we are pretty happy with the condition of the floor. After sweeping and swiftering, we moved all the furniture back into the room. We aren’t even close to being finished the grand plan for this area, but this part of the project took about 4 hours from start of moving the furniture to clean up. Below is a before and after for close comparison! We are very happy to have hardwood again!