Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Farm Table Find

This being the first year owning our own house, Max and I decided to host Thanksgiving (or "Foodie's Superbowl" as I've heard it be called... Kalin) this year. That being said, this was a huge reason I had a giant push to make sure we got the dining room/living room wall knocked out as mentioned here and here. After living with the room being opened up for awhile and some talk about our giant current eat-in kitchen area, we've decided we do not need a formal dining room, just a really nice semi-formal eat-in with lot-o-function.

Now hearing this you might think, so why did you knock that wall out then if you didn't need to. Well its still nice to have a large living area not always centered around the television. A sitting area if you will. We all love the open area and walking through and playing with Turk around the living room is great.

So back to the eat-in. The area is about 10' by 20' which if you are good with math is a sizable eat-in. Definitely a good area to keep as a semi-formal dining room and dropping the formality all together. We are quite modern overall and who really needs a formal dining room anymore. The area is also right next to the upstairs laundry space so when we finally get new appliances and move the laundry up out of the basement I can use the table and a duel purpose folding area. Bonus for when I decided to put those super mom jeans on one day (joking, I'll never wear mom jeans).

Speaking of mom, my mom found us a wonderful farm table just in time for Thanksgiving for $29. Yes, I will repeat that, $29! Max and I were in Madison visiting my college roommate Erika and her husband, Chris for the Wisconsin vs. Purdue game when I get a call that she was out at a craft fair with my aunt, went to the local used furniture store on a whim and found two rockin' farm tables. With the help of modern technology and video texts messages, I was sold on a half finished oak beaut with straight legs, decorative grooves and a leaf. Score one for my mom the deal finder and one for the Badgers who won that day against the Boilermakers 62-17. Whoop!

To make the table story more interesting, to ensure we had the table before Thanksgiving, Max and I had to go back to my hometown of Hillsboro, WI, to get it. The only catch, the day we planned to go was the first official snow storm of the year. Wet heavy snow and about 5"-7" of it depending on where you were. And Hillsboro being three hours from Milwaukee, we had quite a long drive. 8 hours to be exact. But we got it home safely and this is the end result.

The previous owners primed and painted the top a flat black leaving the legs stained. They didn't even get around to painting the leaf black, just left it primed dark gray. Even though it will have to be refinished, it really looks great! Can you believe this was only $29?! I just need to refinish it.

My advice for any readers, if you are going away to an area with a small town used furniture shop, definitely go in. You might be pleasantly surprised what you find. A similar table can cost anywhere from $600-2500.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bathroom - Bringing It All Together

The plumber came. He conquered. Sort of... We have two sinks and a toilet.

The story behind the "sort of" was he had to come back on two separate occasions. The first day he was supposed to install all these things for us and then we would be done with the plumbing. Max and I left him to make his magic while we were off at work. That day I got sick at work with the flu (funny part was I was scheduled for my flu shot a couple days later) and came home early. I planned to see either a working plumber or already installed fixtures. To my surprise, I came home to only an installed toilet. The garage door was still open so I thought maybe he had to run out to get something or was at lunch. Not so much. He never came back that day.

After three calls and two emails, we still couldn't figure out why he did not finish the job. We did get him to come back though. Luckily, this time he came on my day off and I could ask what was up!

The plumber explained that when he was there before while the walls were down, he told Max that he was going to need to move the lights in both bathrooms to line up with the new up-to-code plumbing which is 15" from the wall and other plumbing areas. Neither of us recall this statement. Max can be forgetful/absentminded but I remember details. This guy did not tell us that.

Anyways, we will need to move the light fixtures at a later time or replace them with some sort of a fixture that swings. I told him just install the sinks and we'll worry about the lights later. So he did. Finally.

Let's start with the half bath first. We installed a basic pedestal sink from Menards, the Torino Pedestal Lavatory 4" Faucet Center. The whole shebang for $59. Not too shabby.

We reused the chrome finished faucet from the main bathroom because it was quite new and the faucet did not need to match anything else in this bathroom. Quite shiny, you'd swear it was new!

See how the light fixture does't match up...ugh. We'll figure it out.

This give you a little taste of what it will look like with the upgraded college mirror on the wall. We just need to get some frame wire for it.

Onward to the main event! The full bath!

Here is the toilet from the first round of the plumber's visit. I mentioned here that we got a Mansfield Summit 3 from Menards. I mentioned it was supposed to have a high flush power. It totally does. WHOOSH!

On his second trip he installed our West Elm 2 X 2 Bath Console Sink with Faucet. It completely changes the look of the room and makes it more modern. Max loves the little towel bar on the front. That boy, he's always thinking of function. The contrasting wood grains and colors give the room another layer of depth.

Here is a shot of the sink basin.

Max's parents convinced us to get the matching set faucet. I'm so glad we did. It looks amazing. Pretty much is the cherry on top of a sink sundae.

Here you can tell the light is off-centered. Again.

Speaking of Max's parents, Mr. Fix-It-Mark and Ellen, stopped by last Saturday to put the finishing touches on the room. Mainly just trim work. Thank God. No more insane work days for awhile.

The room looked great before but its amazing how trim just pushes everything over the edge of awesomeness.

The window brings in so much light during the day. It's amazing. You really don't need lights at all.

Max installed my new Goodwill found draw curtain ($10) and Target curtain rod (also $10).

Together we put up my favorite part of the room. The Moroccan inspired mirror from Lowes for $65; allen + roth 30" X 30" Quatrefoil Octagon Framed Mirror. I completely love it. We hung it at a different angle than shown on the box or the website. Gives it a little different spin. Not that it wasn't already different.

We re-installed four of the five shelves that were originally there. The open concept closet was an idea for our inspiration bathroom from here. The lowest shelf was left out to leave space for a basket hamper.

This is about half of the things I need to wrangle in baskets in said closet. And I truely do mean wrangle. We bought a cabinet to put some of our everyday things but cannot install it until we move the light.

While the trim party was going on, Mark trimmed out the inside of our hall closet... Yeah, I'm amazed too...

So in review this is where we started:

This is where we are currently at but we still have the finishing touches to go:

Few more little things (toilet paper holder, baskets, couple of shelves for decor, pictures, hamper, new shower curtain and towel) and we'll have it all put back in order for a final reveal!

The total plumber bill was $3333, which if you can remember our $3000 budget for the main bathroom has been WAYYYYYY over shot. In our defense, we didn't foresee updating all of our home's cask iron plumbing. I'll have the final break down later in the final reveal. Luckily, part of that number can be broke down for the half bath.

So far we've been working for over two months on the two bathrooms. I'm so happy to have them both functioning and the bulk of phase one of the house is completed.

Who is ready to party?!

Anthropologie, I Heart You

I love Anthropologie.

Not for clothes. Not for the housewares. Not even for their sales.

I love stealing their ideas!

Here is a lovely fall ideas to add color to you goards and pumpkins from my local Milwaukee store. They nailed a pattern in to the goard and used colored string to connect the pattern. I've pinned similar things on Pinterest and I've done something like this in wood shop in junior high, but never like this! So creative! Props to their visual designers. Seriously. You just made fall that much better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


No, I didn't fall of the face of the planet. Like Pluto, I'm still there, just hanging out in the back of the blogging world.

Max and I had a fun weekend at a Badger game with some college friends of mine and now my camera is MIA... We have been keeping up with the projects though. I will try to post photos with his camera tonight! Bathroom is basically done except for towels and such. The main work is finished! Can't wait to show you all with the stories of what followed.

Until then, here is a reminiscing photo of Turk two years ago. "Baby Turk" as I like to call him. Come on, who can resist cute puppy photos? OK, maybe cat lovers. Anyways! He's three months old here and it was the day after I got him. He's about 12 lbs. and very tiny. This is basically a cat's bed.

Also, like us on Facebook if you haven't already. Even if posts are updated, home improvement ideas are always getting posted!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bathroom Wall Color

Now that we had a fresh start on our bathroom, it was time to start making it our own. I wanted the bathroom to have a woodsy but spa-like feel. That being said, that was where the faux wood floors and wooden accents in the sink and new closet shelves were coming in. I wanted a very peaceful feeling when I went in there too. You know us girls, retreating for hours to take longs baths, plucking unsightly hairs, bleaching and waxing things men never want to know about. Insert Mel Gibson in What Women Want here. So you want a place you can be there for awhile.

For my spa-like feel, I chose Pittsburgh Paint's wall color "Hearty Hosta". I wanted it with a hint of sage but still a lighter green. 

When applying it to the wall, it didn't quite look that way. I should have done some test pots. My bad.

Since we only had the one light in the bathroom and we needed to replace it, I started painting around the electrical hole. And continued by cutting around the edges of the room. With trial and error of painting a few rooms now, I highly suggest using the Surline edging paint brush. It's short handle and beveled bristles make it much easier to use and control the paint than with a roller edger which we used in the bedroom.

So when it became time to install our new light, we ran into a slight problem. The electrical hole was too big and showed behind the circular fixture base. We had to fix that before we could continue. Max taped the corners off with drywall tape and then used drywall mud around the area. He was careful not to cover any vital parts. The tricky part was doing it all in one fall day since we had no light in this room now. With the days in fall being shorter we were on a time crunch to get this all done one Saturday.

We did the first layer of tape and mud early in the morning and set a fan blowing directly on the spot to dry it faster. While that was drying we ran other errands and even went to the pumpkin patch...yay! As soon as we got back, it was almost completely dry so Max sanded it and applied another layer of mud. And then more fan...

A couple of hours later (2:30ish) that layer was dry as well. I rolled our texturized primer over the surface and then more fan...

About an hour after that it was ready for a coat of paint. And more fan...

Around 5PM and before it started to get too dark we couldn't do anything, we started to install the light. We go the fixture from Ancona located at Menards.

We had no issues with the install. The light went in very easily.

Three coats of paint later and here is the final result with our floors finally uncovered. Can't wait to start putting everything back in place! Are you getting as excited as I am?!

What Women Want photo from here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Win A $350,000 Custom-Built House?!

I randomly ran across this one on Facebook. Zillow, the website we used a lot to assess areas and homes we were interested in buying at the beginning of this process, is giving away a $350,000 custom-built home to one of their Facebook fans. Sounds pretty amazing right?! Just like them on Facebook to be entered in the contest. Hey, we can all dream right!

I am no way affiliated with Zillow, just felt I should share this with everyone. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

(Sponsor) Poor housing market

I appreciate the guest post, Jewel Rodgers

In the last couple of years, my wife and I have seen the socioeconomic status of our community steadily decline. There have been a number of break-ins in our neighborhood, but we are unable to move because of the drop in the housing market. We have lived in the home for six years. Sadly, what we owe on the house is significantly more than what we would get if we sold the house on today’s market. It is amazing to see how much the value of homes in our area has dropped over the last three years. We would like to move to a different area that is farther out from the city, but we will most likely be in the house for another five years before we can even break even on the home. Because we cannot move, we recently installed an adt wireless security system. My wife feels much better about leaving the house knowing that the police will be alerted if anything out of the ordinary happens. I also feel safer going to bed at night knowing that we are secure in our home.

Salvation Army Furniture Finds

On my never ending quest to find a dining room table for before the Thanksgiving holiday, I swung by our local Salvation Army store. I did not find a table unfortunately but they did have a wonderful range of furniture that sometimes the local Goodwills do not. Salvation Army has a pick-up program making it easier people to transport furniture for donation.

This wonderful dresser for was $35 had a sold tag on it. Sad face. I completely would have bought it. It wasn't meant to be. Definitely will have to keep an eye out for something similar!

This small metal shelf would be a great addition to any home for $4. It easily could get a couple coats of paint and be brand new. Or if you are adventurous and love patterns (like me), leave it as is!

This chair was in pristeen condition and would love a new fabric makeover for $15. It would be great in an office or a bedroom corner.

My favorite find of the day was this buffet. The ornate design of the hardware and the carvings was amazing for it's $35 price tag.  The hardware could easily just get a coat of Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze and there is about a million different ways to paint/stain it.

The coolest part of the buffet was the top. There was this Moroccan design on the top. LOVE it!

Although I didn't go home with anything this day, I definitely feel that this will definitely be a new furniture find place. They have such a variety of furniture in such great condition.
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