Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Hidden Trash

Don't get me wrong, I love my simplehuman slim trash bins. As far as trash bins go... these are hands down the best. Seriously, check out the reviews on Crate & Barrel. They really are great, especially if you are a recycler like me.


With the ginormous cabinets in our new island though, it just made too much sense to install pull-out trash bins. This would not only free up some floor space, but also keep the trash hidden. Again, I went with simplehuman. They make two similar size pull-out bins that fit our cabinet with room to spare. One holds two smaller bins that's perfect for separating recyclables. With a 20% Off BB&B coupon and a handy $50 housewarming gift card – I was good to go!



I even put little labels on my recycle bins that should help people figure out which bin to put their junk in. I hope.


Removing those trash bins really opens up that corner! Plus, I have the perfect spot to put my little step stool now. Oh happy days...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sandra's Island Story

In between all my own fun house decorating projects, I managed to help my best friend Sandra with one of hers! Sandra has a beautiful kitchen, but it just isn't big enough for a table. We all know how everyone likes to hang out in the kitchen, so this was not her favorite feature about her new gorgeous home.


I love to scour Craigslist for inexpensive treasures and I happened upon this cutie for only $150 beans. I convinced her it would be the perfect size, provide some much needed seating and also some precious counter space.



It is hard to tell from the photos, but this cutie-patootie island needed a little lovin'. One afternoon I swooped in and helped my BFF. We sanded, sanded and sanded some more. Then, we painted the legs a fresh coat of ivory to match her cabinets. Last, we treated the top with butcher block oil. Oh, I can't forget about the stools. We spray-painted them black to coordinate with her lovely black granite countertops and to let those gorgeous turned legs on the island get all the attention they deserve.

KITCHEN BEFORE:


KITCHEN AFTER:


Isn't it the cutest? If it wasn't all wood and splintery, I could eat it up. Oh, and most important – Sandra couldn't be happier. Now her guests have the perfect place to rest their toosh while she does her thang in the kitchen. Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One Year "House" Anniversary

Can you believe it has been a year since we started our house building adventure? In honor of this landmark, watch the fun little video of our house evolving over the past year.


video

Friday, July 31, 2009

Our Porch Makeover

We had a TON of outdoor furniture from our old house because we had two front porches and a pretty sizable back porch. However at our new house, we only have a tiny front patio and a smallish 12x12 screened-in porch. As I mentioned before, I am trying to make good use of things we already own, so I did my best to coordinate our mismatched items. Here's what it looked like...


I called it our "Kumbaya" room because of all the random furniture arranged in a circle around the room. Here's a look from outside.


Somehow I convinced Andrew to help me stain the porch one weekend. I explained that it would make a huge impact for a small price tag. Of course, we seriously underestimated how much time it would take, but it was worth it!!

Here's us working...


Look how amazing that expresso stain looks against the green siding already...


Not only did we stain the railings, but we also painted the cement floor, hung a ceiling fan, spray painted many accessories, put down an area rug, installed window boxes and hanging plants and did some other stuff too. It took us about 2-3 weeks to finish everything.

Oh, and most importantly, we had a yard sale. I told Andrew that I would put all our mismatched furniture out there and whatever money I made would go toward a new patio set. When I didn't sell everything, I put the rest on Craig's List. Wouldn't you know... I sold everything!! And you better believe I bought a new patio set!!

A reminder of the unimpressive before...


Here's the dramatic after!


I originally had my heart set on a different set from Target, but Andrew was luke warm about it. I finally found this La-Z-Boy set that's only sold at Sam's Club... on sale of course. I had to pay $40 for the membership, but it was well worth it. The cushions are so plush and comfortable and isn't the fresh green color so delicious?


Do those lanterns and planter look familiar? See if you can find them in the before pictures... it is amazing what a little white spray paint can do!


I owned the copper window boxes outside too, but they were a grungy galvanized steel. I sprayed them this copper color to match the hanging planters. I love the way they pop against the green siding. I even planted some herbs in them, so they are more than just decoration!


Our new rustic outdoor fan makes it easier for us to handle the North Carolina heat. It is hard to see in this photo, but the glass bowl is actually bubble glass. I have a bit of an obsession with bubble glass so this was a no brainer for me.


No doubt Andrew's favorite feature in the entire patio is this mounted tv. It wouldn't surprise anyone to know that this was one of Andrew's biggest priorities when we moved into this house. I believe it was hanging up by Day #3. We scored the mounting kit on Craig's List, and I found the wire hiding kit at Lowes.


Remember those other two hanging pots I mentioned in an earlier post? Planted with green sweet potato vine and yellow lantana, they now flank our porch.


I am so proud of all the work we did on our own. I love how coordinated the back of the house looks now with the deep browns, soft white accents and vibrant pops of green.


Now you know where to find us on most evenings... enjoying our new cozy porch!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where We Hang

I was really worried about how our big 'ole sectional was going to fit in this space. Now that just seems silly because it's as if this couch was made for this room.


Did you notice the rug? It was a very generous birthday/housewarming gift from my parents. (My mom was a bit obsessed about getting us an area rug for this room.) After a LOT of looking, we found this rug on clearance at JCPenney.com. I love how it is chic and sophisticated, but colorful and fun at the same time. Thanks Mom & Dad... you know we would still be rugless if it wasn't for you!


The console table our TV sits on is a loaner from Andrew's mom until we get something of our own. Stay tuned for updates on that in a future post.

Here's a look at the other side of the room. This is where Andrew gets most of his work, I mean fantasy baseball, done...


A view back into the kitchen area. I don't think we realized how much more space we had in this house until we got our furniture in here. We're no longer tripping over everything. Happy, happy!


Next up: Our screened-in porch makeover! Here's a sneak peek...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who's coming for dinner?

Remember our blank slate of a kitchen...


Well, it has been gaining a bit of a personality...


I finally got my island! It is big, beautiful and I love it!! The butcher block adds such warmth and character to the room. Once I get new barstools, I'll be able to seat four people at it.


Plus it has a huge cabinet base where I'll be able to hide pull-out garbage/recycling bins.


I kept my word on getting rid of that hideous faucet. After a bit of grunting and cursing, Andrew's father did a bang-up job of installing this beauty for us. Thanks Al!!


Here's a sneak peak into the living room. More on that later...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's been awhile...

Sorry for making everyone wait for a new post on the house... we've been busy bees working on it!

We still have several empty rooms, nothing hanging on the walls and a few unpacked boxes. We have made some significant progress though and it is really starting to feel like home. I'll be posting photos of some of our more complete rooms over the next few days. For now, enjoy some photos of our more lively front patio!

The boring BEFORE:


The bright and sunny AFTER:



I've been trying to repurpose as much stuff from the old house as possible. I scored this charming bench at the Raleigh Flea Market a few years ago for $60. It just happens to be perfect here! It could use a new coat of paint, but I'll get to that eventually...

These copper hanging pots were hanging from our old front porch (I have two more that will make an appearance in a future post) and the side table was on our back porch. The only new things you see are the two striped toss pillows, the plant hanging hardware and the actual plants.

Yippee for low-budget improvements!