Sunday, January 29, 2012

Get busy living or get busy dining

  I realized I haven't posted any pictures of the house since we've gotten settled in and started decorating. I am very pleased with the progress so far, and feel like the bulk of the major projects are done. Now it's just tying up the odds and ends, and of course the long term projects that will be done when funds allow. The first room that we completed is also a room that we use the least; go figure. When we were house hunting our dream house had to have 2 living rooms. The family room would be used for the television and decorated more contemporary, with the furniture we already had. The formal living room would be the room I would have fun with and decorate more period appropriately plus use it to show off my vintage finds.

 Here's the formal living room photo from the real estate listing

  Since our family has a rather sizable record collection we also wanted the formal living room to house the records and for entertaining during our frequent "record parties".  We've had a few get-togethers so far, but of course everyone ends up in the family room, kitchen, or patio and the formal living room gets neglected. This will all change next weekend, however, when we have our official housewarming party! It's a 1950's sock-hop theme and we're going to have a DJ booth set up and dance floor ready for all our friends to break out their twist and mash-potato skills.

 The dining room photo from the real estate listing

   While a formal living room wasn't on my 'must have' list, it was a bonus. Since we moved in only a few weeks before Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law would be visiting the house for the first time, it certainly came in handy. The dining room still has a wallpaper mural in fantastic shape (with the exception of some paint splatter around the edges from the previous owner's clumsy painting skills), which I love a little more each day.

 This photo is again from the real estate listing. I've discovered I'm not very good at taking "before" photos, I always dive into a project and don't ever think about taking photos until I'm half way into it!

  The living room and dining room were originally painted seafoam blue, which not only included the walls but also the baseboards, door and window trim, as well as the banisters. While the color wasn't horrible, it had seen better days so we had our painting work cut out for us. The pinch pleat curtains were in rough shape with small holes, stains, and massive amounts of spider webs. After bringing them to the dry cleaners and being told they would cost $50 each to clean, I hit up the nearby JC Penney and found nearly the exact same curtains on clearance for half the cost of cleaning the old ones . (Now if only someone can help me figure out how traverse rods work! I've somehow gotten them to look okay, although they don't always open or close all the way.) So without further ado I present to you our new and improved living room...

  You may recognize the lamps from one of my previous posts; I'm so happy with them in their new homes. I originally wanted a vintage couch for this room but after scouring craigslist and local shops for several weeks without luck, I opted for the Corona sofa from Macy's instead. I really wanted the green couch but since I had already painted the walls green I wasn't so sure. Then I had a brilliant thought: grasscloth! My parents have grasscloth in the home I grew up in and I always liked it, so I knew I had to have it in my house too. The art above the record player was done by my very talented friend Trish at Tigerbee Arts. (She also has an Etsy shop.)
  We still have some work to do in this room; as you may of noticed for a "record room" there are very few records. That's because the area under the starburst clock will be the future home of our ultra spiffy record cabinet, which also happens to cost a pretty penny so it's one of those 'down the line' projects. I'd also like to build a smaller version to house 45's that will go between the windows.

  As for the dining room, I totally lucked out. Several days after we had an accepted contract on our house a china cabinet came into a local vintage shop that I had to have. Then only a week before Thanksgiving my persistent Craigslist stalking paid off with a Burke Tulip table and chair set! I have been drooling over tulip tables for years.. I still can't believe I own one.

My Mother-in-law bought me a large Tickled Pink china set for a housewarming gift, how great is that?

   I completely love how these rooms turned out. The best part is I've already had several friends tell me that it reminds them of their grandparents house. I take that as a compliment; it puts a smile on my face to know I'm doing something right!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Search

  Happy new year ya'll, I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season! Now that they are over I'm hoping I can get around to blogging more often. I check my favorite blogs constantly waiting for new posts and then never update my own; I know, I am a total hypocrite! But I just finished my latest project and thought I would take a minute to share.

  I've been looking for a new light fixture for the ceiling of our hallway for ages now. I picked up one from Ikea a month or so ago, and even though I loved the way it looked, it hung way too low due to our 8 foot ceilings. Anyone over 6 feet tall risked hitting their noggin on it, and since I have several tall friends it had to go.

  Finding a replacement wasn't as easy as it sounded. I scoured the web, ReStore, Craigslist, and big box stores for a light that was small enough for a hallway, short enough to hug tight to the ceiling but still with a mid-century flare to fit in with our decor. I was about to settle on a mediocre, expensive fixture I found online... and then my local vintage store came through for me when no one else could!

   It wasn't perfect, but boy did it have potential! I fell in love with the stars, and I couldn't wait to see them lit up! We decided to take the risk and pick it up for $25 even though it needed rewiring, painting and was missing the mounting hardware. After a trip to Lowe's we picked up all the supplies we needed to restore it for around $30. We used a wire brush to chip off the rust and old paint and then used Rustoleum spray paint to restore it to the original white. The wiring was simple enough, so we didn't even need to pay someone to rewire it for us. All it took was a simple wiring kit from the hardware store.  With a few hours of work we had it looking great! The mounting was by far the hardest part. We found the supplies easily enough, but it turned out to be one of those projects that seems simple in your head but executing it somehow turns into a chore and takes 20 times longer than it should (I've come to find this is the case with pretty much EVERY home improvement task we take on!).

  Here it is all painted up and ready for it's big debut.

  And here it is lit up! Isn't it majestic? The stars are beautiful and it fits in perfectly in our hallway. I'm sure everyone will have a hard time believing it's not original to the house.

   Do any of you have any new projects you've been working on? Or projects planned for the upcoming year? Our list is about a mile long of things we hope to get accomplished this year, but we are slowly chipping away at them one by one.