Archive for the ‘pet friendly’ Category

Entryway Bling

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Posted by Rebecca, April 5th, 2011

This weekend, we ran into Target to pick up a card. We have a running joke that every time we set foot in Target, it will cost us $40. As usual, we didn’t get just a card.

We were zooming past the furniture section when Mike suddenly came to a screeching halt and headed down an aisle. He spotted a small desk, just 34 inches wide. We’ve been searching for an entryway table for ages, but our entryway wall is only 36 inches wide and most consoles are 48 inches. We figured we’d build our own since our chair rail adventures have made us more confident in our cutting abilities. But this desk? It was just too perfect to let it slide by. It was the right size, had a single drawer (which I ideally wanted but probably wouldn’t build into a homemade one), it was dark wood, simple and classy. I always envisioned a parsons style desk there, though I toyed with the idea of going more rustic to contrast with the molding boxes we will be adding. For $99, we decided to snatch it up and end our search.

We started putting it together the minute we got home.

It was simple and would have taken 15 minutes or so, but we’re constantly battling a small pack of lions whenever we attempt to be productive.

Seriously, whenever we try to do anything new we get a series of looks that say “what’s that!”, “mine??”, “I want!”, “for me??” I’m surprised Macky doesn’t know how to use tools by now.

But finally, it was together, complete with an accessory that complements the dark wood and the light molding.

We debated changing out the hardware on the drawer, but I actually like the handle that came with it!

Oh and while we were leaving Target, I mentioned how I’d like a not-so-simple lamp to put on it, since the desk was fairly basic. Mike recommended we go to HomeGoods since we were right near it, so we made a stop there before we came home and picked up this lamp.

(The cord has since been hidden so it’s not visible from the door :))

I just fell in love with the intricate design of it and how it has an artistic, vase-like quality all on its own.

I also love the large scale of this lamp. At first I was afraid it would be too large, but the table is small and understated, so I felt like we needed a LAMP, not just a lamp. The metal aspect of it was appealing since it is inevitable that this lamp will be knocked over by a cat during some portion of it’s life with us. Therefore, glass lamp bases are unrealistic and downright dangerous in this casa.  The shade is currently a dark gray, but we want to change it to a white one. Though the gray doesn’t look awful, I think a white one would really look great against the darker walls

Now I will be in search of a round mirror to put on this wall and maybe some storage ottoman(s) to put underneath the desk. Oh, we also primed the lower half of the walls this weekend and finished up our caulking, so we are all ready to semi-gloss the lower half of the walls soon! 🙂

On a Magic Carpet Ride

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Posted by Rebecca, March 1st, 2011

I mentioned last week that Mike and I were headed to Ikea over the weekend for some extra storage. I also had another mission in mind- an area rug. You were all very helpful in my past office area rug plea, but after painting the stripes, I decided I no longer wanted a patterned rug. This was one of the reasons why I started this blog, to chronicle the adventures of me changing my mind and rooms evolving 🙂 I just thought it would be a little much to have a large graphic rug with such dramatic walls. I remembered that when I went to Ikea looking for a patterned rug, there was a perfect color green solid rug. So my main reason for going to Ikea Friday night? To pick up that rug.

When we finally made it down to the rug section (who am I kidding, Mike and I go to Ikea so often that we fly through the upstairs in about 15 minutes!), I spotted the rug and ran over. It was marked as “last chance” and the only size left was the larger one, which was nearly 7’x10′. Right before we left, I measured out a 5’x7′ area and figured that would be a good size. I was fairly certain this large one would be too big, but it was a low-pile and the perfect color. Oh and it was $199. Seriously Ikea, every other rug you have is like $19.99, yet I manage to find a $200 rug?! The price scared me and the size scared me, but what scared me even more? The fact that it was “last chance”. Our dining room furniture was last chance and I wanted it for months. When we finally went to pick it up, we ended up on a wild goose chase to Brooklyn to find our table. “Last chance” brings back awful memories for us, so we decided to pick it up and if it was too big or we had buyer’s remorse, we could always return it.

So now we’re carting around a nearly 10ft rug when we once again walk by the Mongstad mirror I’ve wanted for years.

I have just been waiting for this thing to magically disappear, since every time we go and decide not to buy it, I feel like I’m playing with fire. We have an SUV now and we figured our desktops are 80 inches long and they fit, so maybe this would too? We measured the Mongstad and it was only 75 inches long with packaging!!! Score! Let’s bring that home too! Here we are with our carts of oversized purchases, that’s Mike in front of me…

We also got some doors for our Expedit bookcase, 2 white planters for the porch in the spring and some more storage boxes. We waited on line for.ev.er. Really we walked through the store and picked up all of this loot faster than this line moved.  We paid for our stuff and headed out to the car…

We put down the seats and start to slide the mirror in… it doesn’t fit. Wait wait! We can move our seats up a little! So we do. And it’s still sticking out of the back of the car. It’s about 25 degrees and windy, so I really don’t want to drive with my rear door open. Plus we couldn’t figure out where the heck to tie it down. We realized at this point that we are morons. The desks are much more narrow than this mirror and we were able to put them diagonally and push them up on our center console a bit. No such luck with this giant mirror. So we figure we’ll move our seats aaaall the way up just to get the mirror in and once we get the rear door closed, we can push them back a bit.

So Mike pushes the driver’s side seat up and I push the mirror in and close the rear door. I get to the front of the car and I see Mike, completely smooshed against the steering wheel, as if he is driving a clown car. I couldn’t hold it in, I doubled over with laughter. I asked him if he wanted me to drive and he said no, he just wanted to get out of the parking lot before someone saw him. I also tried to take his picture to insert here and he told me that he was suffering enough and did not need the moment documented on my blog for all eternity. I respected his wishes and will attempt to show you the ridiculousness of this situation with a picture of my own knees…

My knees are normally no where near the front of the car. I actually had to reach back to reach the cup holder. We laughed the entire way home and hoped that no one would stop next to us at red lights because we looked that ridiculous. I believe my seat was actually angled forward because by the time we got home, my back was killing me.

But I got my giant mirror finally!!!! 😀

On Saturday Mike cut holes in the office wall to hide the TV wires, but the power cord we had was too short so he had to order a longer one. I’ll take pictures of the much cleaner looking TV when the last wire is hidden! But we did install these guys…

We planned to go with white doors but when I saw these glossy dark gray ones, I couldn’t resist! Mike also drilled some holes in the backs of these to hide the Mac Mini and the battery chargers to our Shark Stick Vacs (every pet owner needs one!)….

So far I’ve only stuck a few things on this bookcase since I knew Mike would have to move it again this week once the new wire arrived.

Saturday night we rolled out our giant rug. Upon first roll, it was ginormous and I was nervous. We had to wiggle it under Mike’s desk since his computer was already hooked up, so we didn’t get that immediate feeling of the size. But once we rolled it out? It’s perfect! Macky obviously agrees!

He seriously did this about 2 seconds after we let him back in the room after rolling out the rug. He should be an Ikea spokesman…and yes he’s playing with a roll of frog tape, sign him up to sell that too! 🙂

Here’s a room shot from Sunday morning.

At least now the price doesn’t seem so outrageous for such a large rug! Really, I think any smaller would have looked funny and once we get chairs in there they will roll right to the back edge of the rug on either end. Speaking of chairs, we did stick to one plan

We picked up 2 of these chairs I first spotted in Staples back in November. They were actually even cheaper than the “sale” price back then and we got them for $99!! The boxes were stacked on the floor in a display, so we were able to judge the size and thought they’d fit in the car. We almost had a repeat of Friday night, but thankfully we got them in…

We still have to put them together, but we’re almost there!

For those of you wondering what these fabric samples I posted yesterday were for?

Curtain panels and possibly covering some of the storage bins we have. I want something with some white, gray and green in it to bring everything together so I’m working on a solution 🙂

One last time for that Macky video!!

Isn’t he adorable?? 🙂

Paint Color Trial Run

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Posted by Rebecca, February 1st, 2011

Okay so I told you last week that I had pretty much decided on the Oatlands Subtle Taupe for our master and the Smoked Oyster (Valspar rendition) for the sitting room. When we had most of our downstairs painted before we moved in, we chose three Benjamin Moore colors- Wedgewood Gray for the kitchen/family room, Waynesboro Taupe for the living/dining room and 2 shades lighter than Waynesboro Taupe, Himalayan Trek for the entryway. The Wedgewood Gray was more blue than we had wanted and the Himalayan Trek was a little too gray. Since the entryway is two stories and we had to hire someone to paint it, we knew changing it wasn’t an option. I do like it though, it’s just not what I had pictured.

While we’re on the topic, I’ve been meaning to do a ‘how I choose paint colors’ post since I started this blog. Outside of the blog, it is probably the #1 question I am asked. I’ve gone paint shopping or have visit quite a few people’s homes to help them choose colors, though they don’t always listen to me or they end up not painting at all! I know this is a very poor business model, I won’t be quitting my day job for this one. But the moral of the story is, I don’t think anyone has a fool proof method of choosing paint. It is all a bunch of trial and error that depends on so many variables. Our Wedgewood Gray is a little blue because we overestimated the amount of light the room would get and went one shade darker than we were going to go. But it’s okay, because it’s still pretty close to what we wanted. In fact, I was watching HGTV a few nights ago and commented that I liked a wall color on one of the shows. Mike pointed out that it was our exact family room color, as evidenced by the fact that the TV is mounted on the wall color itself for a side by side comparison. Whoops. But we seem to get the blue/gray feel we were going for more at night than during the day.

So for the bedroom, we decided to take the extra step and pick up some testers. We headed to Lowe’s and paid $2 and change for these things…

Then I pulled out my brush and got to painting! And can I tell you, even a little dabble felt great. I cannot wait to actually paint. I added the two new colors to the old failed Waynesboro Taupe trial area

The big giant light one is the Oatlands Subtle Taupe.  The top dark one is the ruled out Waynesboro Taupe and the bottom one is the Valspar Smoked Oyster. Not having enough evidence, I added the Oatlands to another wall…

And the Smoked Oyster to the sitting room (where it would go)…

(Please ignore the cats’ scratching post and playhouse. Yes that is a Crate and Barrel box and they love it…)

The verdict? Love the lighter Oatlands, but the Smoked Oyster is too purple. Which is ironic because the Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster IS purple but this Valspar one looks more brown on the swatch.

The Smoked Oyster on the right is the one on the sitting room wall, doesn’t it look completely different??

For a second opinion, I called upon my always present sidekick, Macky.

“HmMmMM!”

“No like!!”

I’m going to try one more option, Olympic’s slightly more gray versions of these colors. I like the Oatlands Subtle Taupe, but I get nervous when trying to do two different shades between different brands/swatches. I’ve made that mistake before and though they may look like they go well together, it’s tricky to match the undertones. Plus, I want to use Olympic paint regardless, without a doubt. I asked the worker at Lowe’s to color match the Valspar color to Olympic and she told me they couldn’t. I’m pretty sure she was lying. But we might as well try the pre-existing Olympic colors first. The no VOC aspect is huge to us since a) the room is our bedroom and I’d rather not sleep on the couch for a week while the stench leaves b) it’s winter and we can’t open any windows while painting and c) Macky has seizures and we try to keep him away from any and all possible triggers- chemicals being one. We had our downstairs areas painted long before we moved in and in the spring, so we dodged that bullet. But from now on, I’m sticking to no VOC, and I’m thankful Olympic has provided an easily accessible and affordable option!

Back to the drawing board!

House’s first Christmas tree

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Posted by Rebecca, December 20th, 2010

Yesterday we finally assembled our first fake tree, our house’s first tree and our first tree as a married couple.  We decided to get a 9 foot tree and put it in our entryway.  I had my fears but so far, everything has worked out beyond wonderfully.

Once again, I’ll try to let the pictures (and Macky) tell the story of our new tree 🙂

The first smack

“OooH pretty lights!”

How gorgeous is he??

Not even decorated and already a preferred nap spot. +1 for fake tree!

My 4 year old beloved Target ornaments…

…Mixed with new Walmart aqua & green ornaments= new color scheme

Darwin modeling the tree while it’s in progress

Macky’s turn

Ornament tying assistant

My old tree topper, which is secured with a stick and a rubberband, since apparently fake trees have flimsy tops. -1 for fake tree!

Tada! I couldn’t fit the whole tree in a picture without opening the front door. It was cold.

A little staircase decoration

Simple, but I like it

View from the formal living room

View from above

View from below!

Tug of war

The tree won despite the fact that Macky’s nail got stuck in the ornament.  Says a lot for how I curled up each branch tip so the ornament wouldn’t come off!

Trying again.

Trying a new angle

Admiring momma’s hard work?

Surrendering.  For now.

I think I ended up putting nearly 200 ornaments on this big guy. I would have liked a wooden garland, since I love the star one I used on my fireplace. But since we decided to go with a large tree just this week, I couldn’t find any on the fly. I would love some dark wooden beads to make it a little more rustic.  For now, it’s simple, as my trees normally are, and we love it.  Cats included 🙂

Some tips for having a tree with cats around:

1. Make sure your tree is sturdy. We did a shake test before buying ours and the base may actually be heavier than that of a real tree.  Because of that, we didn’t feel like we had to tie it to the railing like we originally mentioned doing. We did put a rubber, no-slip mat under the base because we thought a towel would make the tree slide if they played under it.

2. Don’t buy an expensive tree skirt. I actually don’t like mine very much, but the cats think it’s a blanket. Anything you don’t want anyone sleeping on? Don’t buy it.

3. Watch out for dangers for little paws. I use the ornament ties instead of hooks and shatterproof ornaments.  I actually would have liked plastic ornaments just to be safe.  I want to make sure I don’t get any cut paws around here!

4. Don’t hang ornaments too low.  I’ve said this before and people automatically assume I have a half naked tree.  Scroll up for clarification. I don’t put any ornaments below the line of the first branches.  This is so that when the cats walk under it, they’re not walking into dangley things that they are going to be tempted to smack.

5. Secure your ornaments! This is perhaps the most important. With our real trees, I used to push the ornaments a few inches back on the branches, so they weren’t easily knocked off.  This year with our fake tree, the branches are bendable so after I put an ornament on, I curled up the tip of the branch so that the ornament couldn’t slide off.  This is why Macky couldn’t pull of that one ornament in the above picture 🙂

6. Use common sense.  This is like baby proofing. A tree that tips when something small walks into it? Bad.  Sharp objects? Bad. Tinsel? Bad on so many levels.

And see that? I think you can have a beautiful tree while having animals around. I followed all of my own rules and my tree doesn’t look so awful now does it? 😉

ps- if you have a real tree, make sure the kitties can’t drink the water or you don’t use any chemicals in the water if they can access it!

which is better: real or fake?

5 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, December 13th, 2010

One of the reasons why I started this gig is to clear my head of all of the ideas floating around up there.  Mike compares my thoughts to a hamster running on its little wheel… I just keep going and going.  I lay in bed and I’m thinking “weeeell what if we do printed curtains!” then I’m eating dinner and I’m randomly like “I’ll spray paint that frame!” Everyday I’m obsessed with something in the house, sometimes I have more than one obsession.  Today it was family room curtains and… Christmas trees.

Yes it is mid-December and we don’t have a tree.  I guess I didn’t realize that the blog world starts linking up their Christmas posts in November.  In my head, I penciled in this past weekend for decorating and tree getting.  Then it rained all day Sunday 🙁  I also have a final exam on Thursday which is like a giant elephant on my back.  Once that is over, it will feel like Christmas and like I can enjoy myself.

I am a real tree person.  It’s not even necessarily the smell, it’s just the cats love it and well, it’s all I’ve ever really known.  Cleaning up needles comes with Christmas and anything otherwise seems… unnatural.  But today, more than before, I felt compelled to get a fake tree.  Not just because of the time issues I have, but because of our entryway.

The entryway was a requirement on our house hunting list.  I’ve always wanted a beautiful staircase to wrap with garland.  I also thought it would be pretty awesome to put a ginormous tree here.

One of my concerns with a fake tree is, of course, the cats.  Macky is a terror and will more than likely eat/climb said tree.  We always used a big, solid tree base for our real tree, so that he couldn’t knock it over.  My dad actually took a standard tree stand and poured concrete around it for their cats.  True story.  So my family has pretty much cat-proofed the real tree.  But fake ones? I have no clue.  Mike had the brilliant suggestion that we could use thin twine to tie the tree to the spindles so if Macky at least attempted a jump, the tree would be anchored.  Pretty smart, if I do say so myself, since my suggestion was sticking sandbags on the bottom….

We shopped around a bit tonight and we just don’t know enough about them.  We know we want around a 10 foot tree and many of them are on sale already. What do we look for in a fake tree?  Which do you think is more environmentally friendly, chopping down a biodegradable tree each year or reusing a plastic tree? Humpf.

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