shower style

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Posted by Rebecca, July 22nd, 2010

I threw my sister-in-law a baby shower this past Saturday.  I have a little niece on the way, so she requested a pink and brown theme.  I did not want to just pick up those horrid decorations from the party store, so I had to do a little thinking as to how to pull this off.  I have never been in charge of shower design and I have definitely never thrown a baby shower!  I had some ideas in mind, but the execution happened on a whim and with some prayer.

shower1I bought these inexpensive vases (in 2 heights) at Michael’s and wrapped them in various ribbon from Walmart.  I taped the ribbon on since I planned to give them to guests to take home afterwards.  The stuffed lion is from Home Goods.  This display was on the corner of the bar and the mirrored version (with stuffed giraffe) was on the opposite corner.  I forgot my camera that day and am limited to the pictures I snapped with my iPhone to send my husband.

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There were 4 rectangular tables which I covered with brown plastic table cloths from Party City (they were a whole $2!).  I then put either a hot pink or light pink “runner” made with another plastic table cloth that was folded (or not completely unfolded).  I knew I wanted this look and it was so incredibly easy to get.  I feared I would have to trim table cloths, so I bought a few extras.

For the flowers I followed a simple rule: either all one bloom or all one color.  I also made sure all of the leaves were removed from the stem and that the blooms sat just nicely above the rim.  I don’t like filler flowers, mixed bouquets, or long stems… but that’s just my personal taste.  I used some shorter vases also from Michael’s, wrapped in a single strand of ribbon and alternated between hot pink flowers on the pale pink runners and light pink flowers on the hot pink runners.  My flower philosophy goes something like this… I am no botanist, I don’t know what 75% of them are named, but I know what looks good.  The hot pink/white baby’s breath things I have never seen before, but I loved.  They really looked great paired with the light pink daisies.  All of the flowers came from the “build your own bouquet” section of my local supermarket.  They were 3 bouquets for $10.

shower4Overall I was very happy with how everything turned out, despite the fact that I have no photos of the gift table.  The caterer even contributed these adorable menu signs for the buffet….

shower5I gave most of the vases to guests at the end of the shower, but the lower ones would be a great storage solution for a little girl’s hair accessories, jewelry, etc…especially with some fun ribbon attached!

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the house still stands…

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Posted by Rebecca, July 9th, 2010

We have been chaotic the past few months and I haven’t had a chance to post anything we’ve done. I’m hoping to get this thing up and running for good very soon!

One of my posting hurdles is that we have yet to find our memory card readers in the packed-last-minute boxes. What good is a house transformation blog with no pictures?! I hope to dig them out shortly..or succumb and buy new ones.

Anywho, most of my time the next two weeks will be consumed with throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law. Pictures of that will be coming, but
for now I’ll share this awesome nursery I saw while browsing for shower games at thebump.com. They’re having a nursery decor contest and this entry immediately caught my eye…

drsuessroom

There are more pictures here…..http://www.thebump.com/contests/Our-Real-Nursery/story/153540/dr-seuss-nursery-for-charlie

It is just so unbelievably original, something no one else will ever have and most importantly, it’s fun! Sure everyone these days wants the classy, well designed baby’s room, but I think the black and white polka dots give the right amount of style. Theme rooms can sometimes be anything but stylish, but this one strikes a perfect balance of trendy and kid friendly.

Oh and I almost forgot my favorite part! The characters were hand painted by a family member, which I consider to be priceless. No mass produced item can capture the creativity and love that goes into making artwork. More about that at a later date!

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lil background: part 2

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Posted by Rebecca, March 29th, 2010

Once we got through choosing the exterior options of our home, we were sent to the design center for the interior.  This place was ginormous.  There wasn’t even a hole dug for our home yet, and the model we previously walked through had been sold, so it’s safe to say we had no clue what we were doing.  Plus our wedding was less than 3 months away, so we were up to our necks in those choices.  In fact, since we were short on time off, we did our floral/table design for the wedding, then shot over to the design center for our house options all in one single day.  Yes we are crazy and that is why I got a case of the shingles shortly after…TMI.

Anywho, we arrived at the design center to hear that they did not have our appointment in their book.  Read above blurb about limited time off.  So the “design” person we were supposed to work with had another couple in our time slot.  There was nothing they could do for us that day, but told us we could work on our own.  And with that, we chose almost all of our options that day, without any help, decoding the crazy builder price sheet.  It took us more than 3 hours.

We had remodeled our condo a little less than 2 years before and we were really pleased with how our it turned out.  We had awesome Pergo flooring, which was not too brown, not too cherry, in about a 3.5 inch wide plank with beveled edges.  Apparently they don’t make it anymore…

condo floor 2We also added a wide baseboard, which we loved.  I always wanted dark wood cabinets, but with the dark floor and the lack of windows in our condo kitchen, we went with white….

IMG_0098I apologize in advance for the quality of some of these pictures, they were taken from my husband’s iPhone right before we handed over the keys to our condo.  We are currently trying to get the pictures our realtor took of the place when it was actually decorated.  Here’s the part of the other side with the stainless appliances we also added…

IMG_0099So we definitely had ideas in mind.  I wanted a very similar floor, and with my desire to keep the place light and airy, we decided to go with the ‘antique’ colored cabinets, which are slightly less white than the…white ones.  For hardwoods, it was much, much harder.  First of all, the pricing list may as well have been in Spanish, so we had no clue what anything cost the first time around.  Second, of the hundreds of flooring samples, I wasn’t in love with a single one.  They just were not rustic enough for me.  That being said, once we found out the pricing, we decided to go with the least expensive option, in the darkest color and widest plank available.  Which was the Bruce oak floor in Cherry, 3 1/4 inch plank….

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The other options, some of which are shown in the top pic, were a little too 1970s looking for me.  They weren’t a modern brown, more of a Brady Bunch brown.  I previously did not like cherry, but it was the darkest option they had in that price range.  So I sucked it up this time.  The countertop sample shown above with our cabinets is Corian in Bethany.  Corian came standard in our kitchen, and there were only two beige options, so that choice was cake.

We rounded out our design center visit with some basic carpeting choices…

IMG_0698This one was pretty simple as well.  The carpet on the right of the wood is a standard choice.  The colors we had to choose from were that, pink, blue or WHITE.  There were millions of carpet choices, but only 4 which were not upgrades.  Since I had a budget, I think it is the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen.  But not beautiful enough to put downstairs, which we upgraded to the berber one pictured on the left…

Then we chose this master bath cabinet and tile, the latter which blew the bathroom budget but I had to have it….

IMG_0714We also stuck with the stainless appliances that we loved before.

Flash forward 7 or so months when we finally got to see how everything we chose worked out…(note: the house had yet to be cleaned in the following pre-closing pictures, the random dust and crap around is not ours)

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We are very, very happy with the way the hardwood floors turned out.  Ecstatic even. They are no where near as red as I thought they would be and have a great variation in color which I love.  In fact, we are very, very happy with the way every one of our choices turned out, even that standard upstairs carpet that I thought was gold.  It’s actually quite nicer than I thought!

Our closing is on Tuesday.  After 10 long months, we will finally have a home again.  We’re painting within the week, as well as doing some other small projects, so expect many more pictures as we make our house a home!

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shopping trip of the week

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Posted by Rebecca, March 18th, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while, but that’s okay because I also haven’t told anyone about this yet!  We’ve been working a little bit on the design and direction of the site.  But I’m back!!

I spent this past weekend at what is becoming one of my favorite stores: Ikea.  Ikea used to be known more for their quirky items, swedish meatballs, generally low (meaning in height)  and cheap (meaning in price) furniture.  But recently it seems that Ikea has been able to distinguish between cheap and inexpensive design, with even their furniture stepping up it’s game recently.  Every time I go there, and we’ve been going at least once a month, I manage to find some treasure that I didn’t discover the last time I was there.  This visit was unplanned and we didn’t expect to find anything, as we were just there about 2 weeks before.  We went mainly to accompany my brother and sister-in-law and hang out with the nephew.

Our first find was these Merete curtains in brown for an affordable $39.99.

ikea curtainsThey are the perfect taupe-ish color we are looking to paint our living/dining room area.  Window treatments for an entire house are a biiiig expense, so we were happy to find something reasonable that perfectly matched the style, color and vibe we wanted in our dining room.  Plus they are a nice, heavy material that my curtain climbing cat will not be able to pull.  After thinking about it, we want to pick up another pair for the opposite window in the living room.

My beef with Ikea curtains is that, out of convenience, you have to hem the bottom with their iron-on hemming strips.  We already own these Ikea Stockholm Blad curtains from our condo, which I still love.

ikea leaf curtainsI had to perform an Ikea hack of sorts on these.  First the opening for the curtain rod, that top part that looks unattractively scrunchy, was too small for our chunky rod.  I hand sewed some tabs onto the back so that our rod would fit and bypass the opening.  I also used the iron-on hemming strip on the bottom, only to have my cat pull it out in a week.  Since I didn’t have a sewing machine, I brought them to a tailor who permanently hemmed them, and also machine sewed the tabs I made.  Luckily the Merete curtains have oversized metal eyelets at the top to avoid the curtain rod issue and looks so much neater.  And I have since gotten a sewing machine (thanks mom!)

My other great find was these Dinera dinnerware sets…

ikea dinnerware beige
ikea plates

These are listed on the Ikea website for $14.99 for 6 place settings.  We picked up the brown and the beige to mix and match.  The funny thing about these ridiculously inexpensive plates is that we registered for a Calvin Klein set which exactly resembles this.  One (that is 1) place setting of the CK version was $49.99- on sale.  We registered for 12 and only got a few.  So we were able to pick up 12 place settings of this Ikea version for a whopping $30!!  Here is the CK version in the beige….

calvin klein platesYes, they matched right down to the color choices.  The only difference was that the Ikea sets did not include mugs, but who really uses them when entertaining? Our guests prefer booze.

Until next time, Ikea!

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helping the environment

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Posted by Rebecca, February 22nd, 2010

After watching this series of videos on the Pacific Garbage Patch, I am feeling guilty for being a selfish human being more than ever.  I had already planned on reducing the massive amount of water bottles we drink from by investing in a fridge with a water dispenser, but part of me still feels horrible for buying a new home and displacing my backyard neighbor that I met today…

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So after we saw 3 of these guys hanging out in our yard, we headed to Lowe’s.  As we were strolling the kitchen setups to price out above mentioned fridge, a countertop caught my eye.  Since we had just decided earlier in the day that we were impressed with our builder grade master bath countertop, I wasn’t even paying attention to any countertops.  I love finding things this way, just buying things I absolutely love.  I never buy something just because I need it.  We once ate off a folding table for 2 years because we couldn’t find a table we loved…

Anyway, I assumed this countertop with a slight sparkle to it was granite.  I was extremely impressed to see that it was made of 75% recycled content.  It was a part of the Eco by Cosentino line, which is made of recycled porcelain, mirror, glass and stone scraps.  It is bounded by a corn based resin.

The husband and I were just talking today about the allure of granite.  Our kitchen came standard with Corian countertops, and I think they look great, though at one time I assumed we’d eventually switch to granite.  We also had an upgraded cultured marble vanity top in our condo which our realtor mistakenly thought was granite.  If the functionality is the same and it looks just as good, why are so many people stuck on the word granite?  I would much rather help the environment and have something unique.  Here’s hoping this sample will go with our master tile!

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