Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes! Home Update

Hi all!  How was everyone's holidays?  I'm ready to start the new year with a looooooong overdue update.  Time to document what has been happening around here since December!


First, we received our new dining chairs via the Groupon dealio.

We got 2 Baxton chairs in the set.  They're covered with faux dark brown leather and have comfortable cushioning.  They are a little cheap feeling when you sit in them: the wooden legs are hollow, making the chair lightweight, and the seat's back feels a little flimsy.  But, they do the job and look and feel nice, and $94 total for the two chairs is still a great price.  They're keepers.

Dining Room:

Just for fun, this is what our dining room looked like approx. a month ago - curtain-less (& curtain rod-less), and no head chairs at the table.

...and now:

Curtains really help make a room feel more finished, don't they?  I made these curtains for a total of $6.  I'm very happy with how they turned out!  *sigh of relief*

close-up of the curtain material
I'd still like to add a block of gray material to the bottoms of the curtains to help ground the room a bit.  I need help though - I can't decide yet if I'd like the curtains to be touching the floor, or just above the floor (thus the two different heights you see in the pix below, lol).  I'd appreciate anyone who wants to offer their 2 cents about which looks better.

slightly shorter or slightly longer...?  which one which one....


Little-by-little as our budget allows we're making the house we're in feel more like a home.  Though furniture is still escaping us for now, I've been scouting craigslist on a weekly basis, and am on the lookout for a good console table for the entryway.  Here's a pic to give an idea of what I'm going for (I want to arrange the pix on the wall similar to this too):

A "before" pic from the week we moved in:

Presently: it's not much of a change, but the mat does still make it feel a bit more home-y.

The mat and wet-shoe tray were scored from the Christmas Tree Shop for a total of $8 (woot!)

This guy guards the entrance to the gardens of Brookgreen, SC that we visited last spring.  I don't know why, but I was drawn to him.  Maybe it's his stoic gaze, or that I simply find lions to be beautiful creatures.  He now graces our wall and guards our entryway.  I hope to have more framed art to add around him soon so he won't be so lonely.


This was our stark bathroom when we first moved in (though the shower liner was an improvement from the first day, heh).


Since then I've been finding things from our mood board to make this room happen.  Presently, this is what our bathroom looks like:

A lot more welcoming, right?  Thanks to Black Friday, we scored new towels to replace our (literally) threadbare set, and the shaggy mat ($12).

For the pitcher I used a 50% off coupon at AC Moore to get it for $3.50, then filled it with flowers I already had.

Lastly needed for the bathroom is a curtain for the lone window - I have the material and dimensions all taken; I just need to take the time to sit down and sew it!

Le Stove:

Here's the electric stove that came with the rental home we're in.  It was old but a fairly nice stove (for an electric, that is - I'm a fan of gas stoves and their instant heat).  I got easily annoyed whenever using a green energy and/or smooth glass top stove when we were house-sitting or vacationing last summer because of the wait time for them to even start heating up.  Thus this stove was very tolerable when I found it heated up relatively well in comparison.

Then our landlord, who was converting things to natural gas in the house (a natural gas hot water tank was already installed before we moved in) asked if we'd consider a gas stove in the kitchen.  We couldn't nod our heads any faster in an emphatic "yes!".

Two weeks before Christmas, our new addition to the family came in all its glory:

I feel absolutely spoiled giddy with this stove!  The stove I used in our old apartment was 40+ years old and had a window-less oven (let alone have a feature like an oven light).  Every time I wanted to check on something in that oven, I'd have to fully open the door and pull out the rack to look, letting out all the heat.
THIS little beauty not only has a window, and an oven light, but also a convection oven, and the bottom rack pulls out with the oven door.  I flippin' LOVE it.

Living Room - Bookshelves:

This is our living room not long after we'd moved in.  The bookshelves are to the right in the pic.

As also shown in this post, here they are after being moved into the garage and de-shelved for painting:

I was no fan of the fake wood-grain and black edges on these flakeboard bookcases.  Wanting to go with a crisp, fresh look, I decided to match them to the white trim in the living room and ran with it.  I found a can of white paint for $8, which was paid for with a giftcard I had, so total cost of the project was to the tune of $0.  My kind of tune. 

The shelf to the far left is the only one not yet painted - quite the difference!
Unfortunately as I painted them, the holes in the sides of the cases from where the shelf pegs went really showed when painted white.  It looked terrible.  Luckily we had some beadboard leftover from another project, so Karl fashioned a few cutouts for the sides and bottoms.  I liked how the beadboard added a nice texture and a more finished look, so in retrospect those holes were actually a good thing.

Painted and in its new home by the fireplace.
...a quick revisit to the "before" picture:

Here they are now!

Much better looking, and in a much more practical location in the room!  We'd originally intended to keep the bookshelves against the far wall, but this arrangement is an improvement, dontcha think?  I'm still tossing around the idea of making simple hinged doors for them so we can "hide" all of the media in them.  We'll see.  I'm also wanting to slowly-but-surely get nicer things to display on the in-wall shelves, as what's there now is stuff we didn't know what to do with during the first week we moved in and threw up there.  Something tells me I'm going to be at a lot of yardsales this spring....  

p.s. - Y'all like our leftover "shrine" on the mantle from the LOTR trilogy party we had earlier in
December?  ;)  We've left it up there because we haven't found anything else to take the place of the items, so "it is what it is" for now, hehe.

Oh, and subsequently our bookshelves made us finally move the TV stand to the middle of the wall, as we'd planned it.  Muchos better.

aannnnnd...no couch yet...  grrrrrrr.  We've been having issues with the manufacturer (Klaussner) since it was ordered for us over 2 months ago (it was supposed to be in our possession a month ago).  The lady who ordered for us says they now have a firm date by the 25th of this month it will ship. Ugh. At this rate we may have to start all over again with couch shopping, which I'll talk about in another post, but either way, it'll be a few more weeks until we own a couch.  *thuds head against nearby wall*

Despite the couch setback, lots of small (and good) changes!  We've made progress, some even unexpected like the stove, which is encouraging despite the couch-less-ness.  Once the couch arrives, I think things will start to roll a bit more in the furniture department once we have the couch for a point of reference.

It'll be interesting to see what changes take place over this new year and how our new home takes shape!

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