Friday, May 27, 2016

Belly Flop!

I have spent the last two days prepping and painting my new Craigslist armoire, three coats in all. I boiled the brass hardware to get all the paint off from the previous owners (add a little dishwasher detergent and simmer away for hours, it will come right off). Before painting I pinned color ideas, and while I didn't do any paint samples, I was 100% sure I wanted a nice bright pop of kelly green in the dining room, with brass accents and a semi-gloss finish.


Not even a little bit.

Turns out I HATE the pop of color.

All three coats of it.

And I realized that I hate it because the dining room is just too small for such a huge POP. And then debated even doing this blog post because it's such an epic failure. But really, you can learn more from one design failure than from 10 successes. At least I have! I realized that as fun as it is to have a bright accent color, putting it on such a significant sized piece of furniture in our space is a complete departure from my overall design plan for our house.

I know.

Everyone wants to see the horrible color that I chose. Though, can I blame it on Sophia? When I presented her with the options she chose "Once Upon a Time." What little girl wouldn't? But really, any of the three options would have had the same result.


John likes it. At least, he says he does. But his is hardly an objective point of view, as he is pretty much the most decor-supportive spouse ever.

I think I'm headed to Lowe's for some chalk paint this evening. Probably in the mint family. But maybe a blue. At any rate, something much less bold. After-AFTER pictures to follow!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Living and Dining Room B&F's

Finally, some Before & Afters!

I have been looking forward to seeing all of my Befores in one place, as up till now they have been scattered on my computer, camera, and phone. Of course, I forgot to take pictures before we started bringing boxes in on moving day. I realized it halfway thru, and told Ramsey that I hadn't taken pictures yet . . . "What?! Go take pictures, I'll tell people to stop bringing in boxes!"

Fastest photos ever.

So without further ado, here's the evolution (so far) of the living room and dining rooms. Somehow I just can't separate them in my mind. Maybe because I'm sitting in the dining room right now, but my whole view is living room.

The rug above is the indoor/outdoor rug I sold this past weekend to buy the new rug. Out with the old, in with the new!

I LOVE Classic Gray. After painting multiple rooms gray in the past, I have finally found my perfect greige and couldn't be happier with my selection. It lightens both rooms up, and is such a nice background for whatever we do with the space. Like fun curtains and art and lighting and maybe, just maybe, some pillows I don't mind landing on the floor every day to build forts.

And what's that? No, your eyes do not deceive you! I ordered our new living room rug from RugsUSA (70% + 20% off is still going on now) on Monday, and it arrived today to be part of this before and after post!

This is the second real grown up rug I have ever owned. The first was a beautiful gray chevron rug from West Elm that I saved and saved for and loved very much. And then we found out that Sophia had dust mite allergies. And the rug had such lovely thick pile that was too difficult to keep as dust free as we wanted, so out it went. The only rugs I am comfortable having in the house are those that are woven instead of pile.

Our new rug is super cozy, despite being woven instead of having pile to it. As soon as I unrolled it Dawson lay his face right on it, giving me huge grins all the while. The little guy seal of approval!

I think there is some sort of blogging law about taking a picture of your feet on the new rug? Obligatory foot photo, check . . . and now no more shoes on that rug, ever. We are a shoe free house, but you don't want a picture of these pregnant toes!

Love it! Kind of want to mash my face in it a la Dawson, but I'll keep it mature and just enjoy looking at and walking on it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A New Living Room Rug for $15

I ordered a new living room rug!

I fell in love with the Sierra Paddle Rug from a couple months ago when I saw it on this blog. It is a great neutral rug, but still has a fun pattern to it. No pile, so good for allergies and easy to take to the cleaners on occasion. We have had a living room rug with a substantial amount of white in it, and know I can keep it clean. And no, I'm not getting a free rug for plugging RugsUSA. You have to have more than 23 followers to get those blogging perks!

Why did I wait to buy the rug, when I knew I wanted it for the living room a couple months ago?

I knew RugsUSA has frequent sales, some as much as 70% off, with even bigger sales on holidays (90% for New Years!!). I also needed to save for it. Full price the Sierra Paddle Rug is $800. If I waited for a 70% off sale, then it would only be $243. Another sale on top of that? Even better.

So the Memorial Day Sale was my goal. I have been checking the site daily over the last week to see when they would start the deeper discounts.

And bingo, today it was up! I got the Sierra Paddle Rug for 70% off plus an additional 20% off on top of that, to the tune of $194.40. Throw in free shipping and our new 8x10 living room rug came in at less than $200!

$200 is still a decent investment in the Libby household, however. So while I was waiting for the sale to happen, I was also planning ahead how to pay for the rug. We have a small monthly amount we put toward home furnishings and minor upkeep items. I needed more than that for a rug, though, or that envelope would be WIPED OUT for May and June.

The answer for us is craigslist. Last year we furnished the den with a great indoor/outdoor rug from for staging purposes. We have been using it in the living room since moving, but it was a little small and not the right colors. The purchase price for that rug was $135 (discounted from $300), and we sold it via craigslist for $125 this weekend. $10 is not a bad loss considering we used it for a solid 8 months!

A little safety sidetone . . . John is a little nervous about my craigslisting (with good reason if you watch the news!), so our policy is that he has to be around if it's a big furniture item that can't be moved to a public place. Otherwise I meet buyers at the local Denny's. I also do all final arrangements about meeting up via telephone, not texting or e-mail. I figure a scammer from Eastern Europe won't bother with me when I insist on that precaution.

Between selling the rug for $125 and a bookcase that had been unused in the garage since we moved for $40, as well as an unused file cabinet for $15, I only had to come up with $14.40. Definitely doable with the monthly budget!

And there you have it, an $800 rug for essentially $15 out of pocket!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Living Room Design Plan

Five months in, I am finally feeling motivated to start attacking the house. The only problem is that I have had too many ideas floating around in my head, and couldn't decide where to start. One thing I have known for sure since before we moved was that I wanted to go neutral in the living room and dining room, and tie them together with the same color. Decor style is going to move toward casual modern cottage, with lots of black and white and pops of blue and green. I'll add in leather and wicker for natural elements, and also to avoid upholstery for our kids with dust mite allergies. Easy to wipe off, as opposed to our current furniture.

Now step one is complete! After painting eight different Benjamin Moore "greige" (grey/beige) colors on poster board, and moving them about the house in various lighting, I went with "Classic Gray." Home Depot mixed up the perfect color match in a flat non-VOC interior paint, and after three days of painting, the dining room and living rooms are complete! Why flat? The walls are super imperfect, so flat with hide the flaws, vs something with more of a sheen that would highlight them. 

I say three days of painting . . . but day #1 went something like this:

"I'm finally motivated to paint! Time to pick a color and get going. We'll head to the store right after chores and breakfast, I'll patch holes when we get back, and then can get the rooms cut out before lunch and roll them tonight."

Then Jude started puking, and my day suddenly revolved around making sure Netflix kept running endless episodes of Zoboomafoo and Angelina (yes, both the kids love Andgelina), and serving up ginger ale and crackers in 15 minute intervals.

End of Day #1 of painting found me checking out of Home Depot at 9 p.m., with grand plans for the next day. 

Day's 2 & 3 went pretty much according to plan, except instead of one day of painting it was 2 days and 2 coats. Which I should have expected, as I tend to underestimate by half the time it will take me to do any DIY.  Especially when Dawson is going thru a clingy phase and is only happy when being held. Which you can imagine does not speed painting along.  

And after telling you that the painting is done, any reasonable human would expect to then see Before and After pictures. But I still don't have any. So instead, I decided to give you a teaser of the design plan I have been working on for the living room. Keep in mind that it doesn't show the wall artwork I have planned, and looks a little bland as it also doesn't show some of the other pieces that will add in more color. And it wouldn't be our space it it didn't have COLOR. 

At any rate, here is a preliminary peek, and I'll be back with B&A's as well as a breakdown of how I plan to get this living room for under $1K, because I am on a tight budget for this house! Lot's of craigslisting and creativity needed. Plus buying my ideal rug at 75-90% off.

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