May 28, 2010

G-Vegas, Baby!

Can't wait to play in Greenville this weekend!
I'm making a quick pilgrimage to check out some architectural salvage stores (which Columbia is completely devoid of), say hey to some friends - hopefully over lunch at Brick Street (YUM!), drive by my old house for the umpteenth time (pure torture), and remind myself to bloom where I'm planted (shout out to Levans there).
Brick Street Cafe kicks booty. Go eat there.

May 22, 2010

Liz, Liz, how does your garden grow?

Very well, thanks for asking. A status report on our first foray into home gardening is certainly in order.

Remember what it looked like to begin with? This humble little 4x8 box of cedar filled with glorious dirt? (Taken just before Easter)
Well, check him out now!
He is teaming with herbs, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce (still!) and eggplant (finally). This pic was taken almost 2 weeks ago (first week in May) so its exploded even more now.

I expect red tomatoes sometime this week and desperately need to make pesto to use up my crazy basil.

Are you growing anything?

Almost able to eat outside...

Well we are getting closer to being able to eat outside. Now we can at least sit but we'll have to eat off our laps because we haven't built the table yet.

An 8 seater was the way to go for sure. We used our current retro chairs and side tables to lay out an imaginary 6 seater and 8 and the patio needs a table to seat 8. YAY!

I started searching for some metal chairs that were fun, a touch mod but classic at the same time. Ebay had some great options but the best deal I could find were "used" from a restaurant supply house that had, as the customer rep said, "surface rust". Immediate PASS. Let me tell you - patio furniture is expensive! Especially if you want something of quality that will last you more than a few years. If you are in the market for outdoor furniture you for sure need to check out restaurant supply - most places will sell to the public as well.

Then I found these beauties, shock of all shocks at Pier 1! Lets just say I haven't shopped at Pier 1 since Freshman year of college for a papisan chair.
So cute huh? A little country, a touch mid century and made of durable powder coated iron and BONUS... On sale! I went to check them out today at our local Pier 1 and they are great, not spindly, not too small, not too big... just right! Plus I managed to hit just at the right time - on sale but still enough at the local distribution center so I could order 8 without having to drive around to all the pier 1s all over South Carolina. So, eight will be ready to pick up next week. YIPEE!!!

We've refined the "look" of the Farm Table we'll be building as well.
Just like this. I even love the navy touch on the leg.

So wish us luck, we'll probably start building this week and it will probably be a mix of several of the plans from knock off wood. UPDATED: Eric will probably start building tonight he's so excited! He just texted me, "Get me some lumber woman".

Pretty soon we'll be saying Bon Apetit! (Just in time for the armpit of SC to really heat up).

May 21, 2010

Oh so much better

See that hole in the ceiling above? That is where this fugly thing used to be.
But with a little TLC (aka a wipe down with wet paper towel), painters tape and a little black spray paint...
It looks so pottery barn.

SEE?? So much better!
You can do this at home too. Turn any old 80's brass fixture into a gem. Just be sure to clean off all the dust and dirt, tape off all the electrical components including the place where the bulbs go (I made a little paper sleeve for the "candle" part) and the top of the wires. You might want to use "Krylon" type spray paint that will stick to anything. Another great tip - if you are painting something spherical or in my case something I wanted to cover top, bottom and all sides - hang it up. I hung my chandelier from the tree and it made it so much easier.

PS - you get a sneak peak of the FINAL COLOR (and I mean final - 4th paint job is the charm) in the dining room.

PPS - I really need to paint the ceiling after looking at these pictures.

May 20, 2010

Dreaming of outdoor dining

Now that we have the beast down as seen here, we've turned our eyes to our VERY bare and VERY large patio in the back.
Sorry this is not the best picture and it is def not representative of the size. Its probably close to (actually it IS - I just went outside and measured it) 22x16. Massive I tell you, massive. The dilemma here is that I don't want a piddly 4 seat table, which would look ridiculous. Nor do I want a table and side "conversation area". If we are outside entertaining, its usually over dinner or at least drinks and the conversation is so much better over a table.

SO... I'm envisioning a big table - at least a six seater but I am contemplating enough room for 8. Now that I type the number 8 that seems a little big but it would be ideal for larger parties and once one of the kids in our family has kids on either side we'll need more than six. hmmm... Guess I'll just have to measure it out and see how big an eight seater would truly be functionally as well as visually. Any thoughts?

Turning my attention to how I want it to look has been a bit of a conundrum too. Eric and I strike a balance of style in our house between cottage/country (me) and more modern (him). Compromise is the name of the game but I do have to admit our joint tastes have merged into this fab eclectic style that I LOVE!!
I love these images of eclectic al fresco dining options and am finally developing an idea of how I want our space to look. A little bit farm and a little bit sleek. Imagine mod chairs surrounding an oversize and drool-worthy distressed farm table. Something like these:

And then picture it surrounded by some aluminum silver chairs like these:

What do you think? Totally inconceivable? or totally fab?

May 15, 2010

I have a very nice husband....

because he hears... "Honey, can you build me a ____________" or "Honey, today, let's [insert major DIY project here]."

This morning I not only said, "Honey, can we rip out our 1950's closet (and half the plaster at the same time), install a closet organizing system, and take down the sliding closet doors and then install double doors where the sliding doors used to be? AND can we do it TODAY?"

to which he said YES.

I also said, "Don't you think our kitchen needs a kitchen island? I think I need a kitchen island. Honey, can you build me a kitchen island?"

To which he also said... YES!

So here's the inspiration - it needs to be little, like 2'x2'. Now, I admit this small amount of square footage does not seem entirely worth it BUT, visually the kitchen truly does need something there in the middle of the "U" shape. The kitchen also needs a little pop of color. AND a little extra work space would be nice.

So, to recap - it must be: visually light, vintage inspired (maybe turned legs), open storage and butcher block top.

Thank you honey!

Sarah Lust

I have a serious design crush. On Sarah Richardson's houses. Seriously, I am alone on this? Why does HGTV put her FABULOUS show on Saturday nights at 8:30pm??? Why? Why not every night of the week? and one more question - Why can't she do my house?

Aren't these stairs so stinkin' cute?

I think I love her design so much - especially this season where she makes over the Farm House - because its whimsical, a little bit country, a tad eclectic and very family friendly.

Anyways, back to toiling on the house - today the DIY gods have not been kind to Eric and I. More on that later when i am done throwing hammers.

Check out Sarah's House on HGTV for more eye candy.

May 14, 2010

Marathon Weekend Update

I managed to check off A LOT of the projects on the Marathon Home Improvement Weekend list.
First up: Repainting the front door. It was this lovely sage green color but I wanted a more classic appearance. Enter the gloss black paint. The project took about a half day but only because I allowed for plenty of drying time between coats.
Prep work - I polished the original brass door knocker from the 50's too - so much betterAfter coat #1.
TAAA DAAA!!! So much better.

Money Money Money...

You have got to check out this Women's Daily Photo Essay on the evolution of households & budgets from the 1950's to today.

Hopefully we are on the path away from McMansions and living above our means.

May 11, 2010

Orange + Blue = LOVE

I am loving orange & blue rooms!

Here is a little inspiration for you.

This beautiful bedroom is my inspiration for our guest bedroom - I am having a difficult time finding such a beautiful quilt so I think I am going to make one - wish me luck!!!

May 8, 2010

Marathon Home Improvement Weekend

LOVE this succulent wreath spotted at the Columbia Plant & Flower Festival a couple of weekends ago. I have a very green thumb, but I always kill succulents. I am itching to use the color palette though- so fresh!

On tap this weekend...

Finish stripping the 80's wallpaper in the master bath
patch the walls in the master bath
hang the bead board wallpaper in the master bath
then paint that and the trim in the master bath
chop down the loquat tree in the backyard
paint the front door
fresh caulk in the hall bath
organize and finish the craft room
paint the dining room chandelier
hem the dining room curtain panels
clean the house
have some great friends over for dinner on Sunday night

Think I've bitten off more than I can chew? Me too.

What are you up to this weekend?

May 4, 2010

The one about the hutch

I'm back to share some deets on our first foray into furniture building.

Necessity is definitely the mother of invention and we NEEDED some storage and display space in our dining room. Lets just say I have a affinity for serving dishes and silverware. Can you blame a girl? Insert Knock Off Wood, a fab blog that shares FREE furniture plans for pieces inspired by pricey places like Pottery Barn, West Elm and more. Seriously, Ana does amazing work and has plans for everything from storage, outdoor pieces, kids and even beds! Click here to see thumbnails of all the things you can make.

We chose this dresser-esque buffet and display shelf top - sort of hutch-like for our needs.

We followed the shopping list, cut the wood and started building... pretty soon we had this:

Thank you Mrs. M for the Jawhorse - we literally couldn't have done it without this! Then, not too long later (as in 2 days of 4 hours each work) we had this... drawers y'all!

Then the next weekend we built the hutch part and sanded those babies like CRAZY! We painted both with a coat of primer and a nice fun color - I'll be posting some finished pictures soon.

It was super easy and cost a total of about $125! Try buying a new piece of furniture for that!

BONUS: Now I know Eric and I can build ANYTHING which means we probably will... what are you going to build?
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