Monday, August 22, 2011

Solutions everywhere.

We finally got our act together and hung photos above our couch.  This is a huge wall and thankfully, we purchased the photos and frames when we lived in our last apartment.  I wish they were a little larger - but it fills the space pretty well and it's much better than an empty wall.  
Hang something on empty wall:  Solved.
Photos are all from the 1940s of our city.  We and had them printed at the local Historical Society.  

You would not believe the math that was involved before we hung even one nail.  Math is not my strong suit.   

Keeping it real.  This is the mess that is a Monday morning in my house.
However, from this angle there are two things on the walls!  It's only taken 2 months.  

This was a purchase from last weekend.  It's apparently the "coolest" ladder at HD.  It extends up to 12 feet, and it will work on steps... and it was mega expensive at over $200.  Oh well, at least our air filters can get changed now.   It's a Werner brand... I forget the name.  
Reach tall ceilings: Solved. 

A few weekends ago, Sears was having a pretty good sale on these Craftsman Versa Track systems.  We purchased 8 'tracks' and loads of hanging accessories for the garage.  This was a perfect solution to getting all the crap off the garage floor and making more room for... walking... and parking.  Genius. 
Garage Storage:  Solved.   

We worked for a while in the garage (you MUST find studs... and mark each clearly... and check 5,567 times that the track is level... which is a process if your husband is a total perfectionist) and ended up with two of the 8 tracks up on the wall.  I already love the system and can't wait to finish the rest.  I imagine we'll only get two done a weekend.  Expect a 'completed' post in December.   

Remember my computer chair issue... or lack thereof?  
This is not (at all) the style of chair I had in mind, but Handy Hubby really wanted something that was more functional than pretty.  This chair from Office Depot did the job.  And as much as I hate to admit it... I think the Parson's chair would have been a bad idea.  I'm secretly loving this chair.
Chunky-leg issue:  Solved.

And the leg room is divine. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Master Bathroom. Update!

Finally, Finally, FINALLY I can post about how my handy husband put up our master bathroom mirrors.  During the construction process I made a point to tell them not to install the large "wall to wall" mirrors that are common in bathrooms.  I think separate mirrors seem much more custom and give a bathroom a lot more character.

I purchased a mirror right after we moved in to test out size, color, style.  I started with Martha Stewart's Saranac.  We found it at Home Depot for under $50.  Check it out, here.  Immediately, I knew it was a good fit for the bathroom - but handy husband was pretty overwhelmed with all of this projects (and cash draining from his wallet...) so I waited before buying the second one.

For the last two months we've shared that mirror, propped up on the counter.  It's been okay - but it looks pretty, um, unfinished.  So last weekend I went ahead and purchased the second mirror we needed for the master.  Handy Hubby did such a great job in the guest bedroom - I had no reservations he could do this one... it was just if I could convince him to do it.  Handy Hubby HATES being handy these days.  

Sunday was the day.  He got to play soccer, we went to the lake, I made his favorite dinner, and I finally talked him into hanging mirrors!  And I have to say... it looks even better than I imagined.  So much better than the wall-o-mirros the builder uses!



detail in the mirror

These hooks are awesome.  I use them to hang just about anything around the house!

Crazy hair day.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

living room lay out

Here are some photos I took tonight, so you can get a 'feel' for the living room space.
(horrible photos were all taken at night... sorry!)

 Walking straight into the living room area (it forces you to turn right into the playroom, or left into the living room)

Once you turn left into the living room.  (excuse the mess on the counter tops)

Opposite wall.  This is what the couch is facing.

Standing next to the back door.  (see photo #1 for reference)

 Standing by the entry way from the kitchen into the living room. (at the flooring change from tile to carpet)

empty floor plan (chicken scratch, not to scale)

We are looking at new living room furniture but I cannot pull the trigger because, honestly, I still don't know what I really need for the space.  This living room will be what a lot of people consider the 'family room'.  This is where we will entertain, watch TV at night (before bed), sprawl out on the couch, etc.  This is not a formal space, but it is wiiiiide open and and the center of the home - so it needs to be put together.   Here's the breakdown:
1.  Comfortable
2.  Seats enough people for a family of 4, plus guests
3.  Furniture arrangement flows with the kitchen and back entry way

Seems easy enough, but for some reason - not at all.  I cannot commit to a sectional.  For years that's what I pictured our next couch would be... but I'm not sure.  So I turn to you, loyal readers, for advice.  I have three different "floor plans" that I've done up.  What do you like about them, hate about them, and what would you do in this space.  

This is our current set up.  It's sad.  The love seat is way too small, the chairs are hideous... it's bad. (text says "ugly chair". "ugly ottoman", "tiny couch", "dog bed". 

This set up has a large couch on the wall, and a love seat going in front of the access from the kitchen.  There would still be plenty of space, but if you were in the kitchen you would be looking at the back of a couch, and you'd have to walk around the furniture to sit down.  There would be a chair near the back entry in the living room (similar to where one chair is located now).  We don't want a traditional coffee table.  I think we'll get an over sized ottoman regardless of the furniture set up.  This set up feels a bit more 'formal' to me than a sectional - but I don't think that's a bad thing?

This was my initial plan:  sectional with the 'L' going on the left side, with a chaise lounge on the right side.  It still 'blocks' the kitchen entry - but visually it would be more open than a love seat because there would be no back.  This includes a chair in the corner (where the dog bed currently is... see the first photo in this post) for extra seating too. End tables would flank the sectional because we wouldn't have a coffee table to put drinks down.  I *could* even put a table behind the couch (a la YHL).

This is the same sectional as above... without the chaise lounge.  End tables (with lamps) on either side, and a chair in the corner again.  I worry about this set up not being substantial enough - or providing enough seating.  But I do like the open feel of it....

Thoughts?  Please share.  Spacial planning with furniture is certainly not my strong suit!  Use that handy little comment feature below!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Does Home Depot think I'm made of money?

Cabinet pulls are expensive.

Like knock my socks of, expensive.  Who the hell knew those little knobs and pulls were so pricey? Not I.

Here's the rundown for the new house:

Kitchen:  Needs 12 Pulls (drawers), and 23 knobs (cabinets)
Guest Bath:  Needs 3 pulls, and 4 knobs
Master Bath:  Needs 11 pulls, and 6 knobs

That's a grand total of 26 Pulls and 33 knobs.  Ouch.

So I strut into Home Depot thinking I'm going to come home with a cart full-o-knobs.

Then I come across the Hickory Hardware Studio Collection:

This is exactly what I was imagining.  Simple.  Sleek.  Clean.  Just like me.
The only think that wasn't just like me... was the price.  Cause let's get real... I'm a cheap.

Pull Price:  $6.62 per pull
Knob Price:  $4.22 per knob

If I went hog wild and purchased all the knobs and pulls that I need my total would have been:  $311.38

Needless to say... my cabinets are still nekkid.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blinds, TVs, Chairs and Cabinet Pulls.

We have continued to have lots o window drama around these parts.  Remember this, and this and this?
Well, that one empty window (below) has been a mega issue.  (btw:  not one of the original master bedroom 'issue' windows).  When we moved in it was broken.  When they replaced the glass we noticed it didn't open and close like the rest of the windows.  We reported it to our builder.  And then we waited.  We waited for two months.  Finally, they decided it was the framing and all the exterior brick around the window had to come down and they had to reframe the whole damn thing.  
So, that happened last week. 
And guess what. Nothing was wrong with the f'in framing.  The "sash" (which is the lower part of the window that goes up and down) is the wrong size and I guess it is jimmy-rigged into place.  Awesome.  So that's getting replaced this week.
(ugly furniture blog post is coming soon.  I'm under no illusions our furniture 'works' in this space.)

Once we decided they weren't going to be re-sheetrocking, we decided we could hang our final set of blinds.
And Handy Husband, yet again, rocked it out.  (He had just finished mowing the lawn... the doesn't sweat that much putting up blinds.  Promise)

We also have made a fun new purchase... a 43'' Plasma.  For our bedroom.  Because apparently, we're blind.  

We had something like a 20'' in the bedroom and honest to goodness, we could barely see the thing from bed.  Our bedroom in the apartment was very small, and moving into a bigger space has really changed the size ratios of things like televisions.  
See, it doesn't look *that* giant from our bed.  Or maybe we are just 'go big or go home' kinda folks?  Make your own judgement.

We loved loved our Samsung LCD TV in the living room, so switching to plasma was a stretch for us.  Once we find something we like, we typically stick with it.  The plasma is a little thicker than I would have liked - but honestly, it's got a great picture and buying it for under $500 forgives any "thick in the middle" concerns.  

Our 46'' living room TV was a monster in our apartment... now not so much.
I even whispered to Handy Husband that I wouldn't be opposed to larger in the living room.  I hated tv before I met Handy Husband.  He's changed me.  I don't even recognize myself anymore...

See how thin and beautiful the LCD tv is?  *swoon*

We ended up moving the previous master bedroom TV into the guest room.  

My goal this weekend is to find a new chair for the planning area and knobs/pulls for the kitchen.  I really would love a (Faux) leather Parson's chair in the planning area, but Handy Hubby has already expressed his desires for a traditional 'computer chair' with wheels and back support and all that other ugly stuff.  Want to take bets on who wins?  

This is the planning area.  Where I happen to be blogging from right now.  

See that leg space?  These thick thighs don't fit into that 2'' of space.  I've been dragging our kitchen chairs into here to work on the computer and it never fails that my right leg goes numb and my back hurts from leaning all the way over to type.  

Knobs and Pulls are going to be a much needed upgrade in our kitchen.  I feel like pulling on the cabinets with my hands is going to make them dirty and age too quickly.  

My only real question is if the knobs should be stainless like the appliances?

Or oil rubbed bronze like all of the fixtures in the house?

Thoughts on the pulls?  Color?  Style?  Opinions are welcome (and honestly, needed)!!