Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

What used to be a rather dark bedroom with pretty intense wallpaper and green shag carpet has now, through the combined efforts of my in-laws, our painter/handyman friend, and some work of our own, become the bedroom for our baby boy.

The wallpaper steamed down in one afternoon, but choosing the paint and putting together the furnishings took longer — this was a labor of love from October 2011 until just before he was born in late February 2012.

How nice to find hardwood floors under that carpeting, as we’d hoped!

So much labor put in for our little guy by his grandparents. We are grateful for their hard work!

And we are SO grateful to have that wallpaper gone! I kept saying to everyone who would listen “Even if we change our mind about the wall color, we will NEVER have to deal with this wallpaper again!”

Steps for this room:

  • Steamed wallpaper
  • Patched walls
  • Primed walls (Kilz 2 latex)
  • Painted walls (Valspar Brown Buzz, trim in Behr Cotton Fluff semi-gloss)
  • Scraped popcorn ceiling
  • Patched/sanded/painted ceiling (Behr Ceiling White)
  • Replaced light fixture with a new ceiling fan (twice because the motor on the first one was faulty)
  • New smoke detector
  • New 2″ faux wood blinds (custom cut for weird-width windows)
  • Hung curtains & rod
  • Twin Bed moved in from our old guest room
  • Twin Bedding from Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Target
  • Crib from Amazon
  • Bedding from PBK and Amazon
  • Rug & pad from Overstock
  • Dresser: thrifted — tightened up by a carpenter friend and waxed by my father in law
  • Storage cabinet from IKEA
  • Chair from our living room of our first married apartment
  • Ottoman built by our carpenter friend and upholstered by his wife
  • Bookcase – free castoff from a friend – we planned to paint it but ended up liking the red
  • Paper lantern from BlueQ
  • Puff balls via Etsy
  • Artwork by Google Maps, Etsy sellers, and our vacation photos – thrifted frames spray painted
  • Wall hanging from my husband’s room when he was a little boy
  • Books and toys from our generous friends and family


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sideboard before-and-after

Thrifted sideboard: $55

Sandpaper: $18

Wood Stain (Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona): $9

Polyurethane: (Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Semi-Gloss): $5

Foam brushes: $0.69 x 8

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First off, I must say it’s good to know we’re not the only ones with paint under our nails. 🙂

Of course this was for a worthier cause, a 9/11 Habitat service project in DC. But it made me smile.

As for what we’ve been doing lately on the house, well, school has begun once more and with both of us teaching like crazy we’ve slowed down as anticipated. If you recall my own embarrassing admission, it’s still true that I can’t stay focused on things if we have only one room we’re working on. I start to feel like I “have” to work on it and have no choice, and the levels of procrastinatory justification I immediately begin? They ain’t pretty. So we currenty have TWO count em TWO projects in the works:

Upstairs bedroom: While the summer was the big push, scraping the popcorn ceiling, mudding, sanding, priming, REpriming, painting and REpainting that room, we’re now trying to turn it into a reasonably comfortable second guest room by the time our holiday guests arrive. We purchased two twin beds (our other guest room has a queen) and are going to be piecing together the rest of what the room needs over the next few months. Considering all that is in there right now is two twin mattress sets on metal frames? It still needs a lot. Our cats, however, are pleased with the progress so far:

The second project — because there always needs to be a second project — is the foyer. As a reminder this is a smallish room but a biggish entryway, with wide doors on either side leading into the piano room on the left and the regular living room (TV, couches, etc) on the right.

Please note the partially-scraped popcorn ceiling. 🙂 For this picture, I am standing in the piano room (where the piano will someday be) looking across the foyer.

The foyer is definitely your first impression of the house — especially at night when we, like many people on this street, keep our door open and just the (locked) glass door closed. It’s wallpapered with an Asian-themed toile print in pink, and while it isn’t the paper I’d choose, it’s not bad enough to make me want to change it right now considering our other (uglier) priorities.

Since this is a matter of first impressions, I think it’s going to be a good room to have done. So we’ve been beginning to paint over the burgundy trim with first primer, then off-white trim paint. Here’s a before and after — or really, since it’s only primer on the trim in the second picture, a before-and-during:

Painting all the trim is suprisingly slow going — it turns out it’s harder when you have large areas you DON’T want to paint as well as large oddly-shaped areas you do. Also I learned VERY QUICKLY that putting masking tape, even very lightly pressed, onto the wallpaper was a bad idea (there is now a little mauve-tone gondolier man with half a head to back me up on this) but I think it’s going to look good someday. As for those pink radiators? I’m not even sure how to start.

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Three weeks ago H & I went to a huge furniture superstore looking for a 10′ by 10′ square rug for our dining room. It has ten warehouses, two just for rugs, so it was a good place to find variety. We wanted it to be wool, reasonably plush (we touched some really cheapo feeling poky ones we didn’t like) and dominated by pale colors with not too much red in it. We found one, and it was a “good” price but it was still too much money for us at this time so we decided against it.

However, that trip was very USEFUL for us in that it gave us a much better sense of what a good price was, what kinds of materials we wanted, etc. When we came home we felt better about shopping online knowing more about what we wanted.

We found a deal on Overstock.com for a rug that seemed to meet all our criteria — plus it was less than half the price of the one in the store, since they only had a few in stock. After much hemming and hawing, we ordered it. It arrived, to our joy, only two days later! Yay! Right?

Wrong.  I sliced the packaging open to see a subtle curve — a circular border. It was round. Very definitely a circle and not a square. The colors were good, the size was good, it was the same brand as what we had ordered, and now that we could feel it in person, we liked the quality of the wool and plushness, etc. But round. Not square. Quite different really.

So…. alas. Ugh, right? I hate this stuff. I called. They apologized. They emailed us a UPS prepaid return label and sent a new rug.

You can probably guess where this is going.

It arrived. It, too, was ROUND.

This time when I called, I asked for a supervisor, explained the ordeal, and they were very nice and understanding and apologetic. They emailed us another UPS prepaid return label and said they would confirm with the warehouse about the rug shape before sending a new one.

Three days went by. I called back. They were still checking on the shape, they said. Didn’t want to make that same mistake again right? Haha, of course! On the third day we got an email saying our new rug was on its way!

It arrived today. It’s round.

I called again and talked to a supervisor’s supervisor, who is named BRIAN and is very nice. He is currently personally calling the warehouse to check if a square one exists in the world.

If it does, he’ll send it and send UPS to pick up the two remaining rugs from my house.

If it doesn’t, we’ll talk about a discount on keeping one of the current ones. The funny part (funny? either it’s all funny or none of it is) is that during this process, we bought a set of dining room chairs. They have very square backs, and putting them around our round table under the round chandelier in a square room has actually made me wonder whether the room would look better with a square or… get this… a round rug.


I’m supposed to hear back from him within two hours. Trust me, I’ll keep you posted.

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First, some snow this morning in the back yard:

Moving it in!

Unwrapping it — it was still wrapped in Amish blankets (and Amish Saran Wrap, I guess) from when it was born! Also, you can’t see it in this picture, but our last name and 2008 is written where the bolts come out on the top of one of the legs… that makes me super happy. 🙂


Window view


Arnie comes to investigate:


Good incentive to change these colors, now, right? (It looks so much nicer in black & white above…)


This might not make much sense but I am super excited about how the hue of the wood matches the hue of the floor — the floors are 99 years old and a paler SHADE, but they are just the right brownness (not too red, not too yellow) and I’m so happy about it!! Evidence:


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a few pictures

This is the view left from our front door — we haven’t changed much yet but it made me happy to put some Christmas lights in the fireplace.

This is the view of our brick-floored sunporch with our new furniture — someday soon we’ll have cushions and a rug that actually match. 😉

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small progresses

The past few weeks we’ve both been so busy with finishing up our semesters teaching that we haven’t done much around here. Recent progresses include two FURNITURE acquisitions:

1. Wicker settee and chair for the brick-floor sunporch! (These are from Pier 1, and they’ve been on sale forever, but we couldn’t fit them in our car…. but last night we took advantage of our out-of-town guests’ GMC Yukon to go pick them up. Yay.) They are dark brown wicker with a cream canvas for the cushions. Pic soon. Still need a rug out there and a small table, and at some point, to paint.

2. This is the big one — we found our dining room table! We have been looking for this for about two months and went through every store in person and online that we could, but today we finally found it. It’s Amish made, solid cherry wood, round, with a “Boston” (deep medium brown but not espresso) finish, and it will arrive in 4-8 weeks. We’ve been looking for a while so when we found it and it ticked all the boxes, we decided pretty quickly. No chairs yet. But the table is the important part — we can scam together random chairs for a while if we need to. I might even buy a bunch of random ones and paint them all white for an interim solution.

In non-blissful home ownership news, our seller still hasn’t had the chimney engineer person out to do the big repair that almost made us not buy the house and was supposed to be done in 3o days (which would have been November 16). This is not good, and we need to make some calls.

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