Friday, June 28, 2013

Back Home

I just arrived home last night from a fun, busy ten day trip catching up with family and friends.  After a few days in NYC with Mel & co., including the Alt conference at Martha Stewart's fabulous world (-takeover) headquarters, I flew down to North Carolina for a visit with my family in the Blue Ridge mountains.  After living overseas for so many years, which made any trip home a major production, I can't tell you how fun it is to be able to squeeze in a few non jet lagged days with family just for fun!  To me it still feels like a luxury.  

The best part about a trip like this, is that even though I had such a wonderful time and loved every minute of being away, I was still so happy just to be home.  Pulling up to our little house that we've spent so much time and energy and manual labor making our own, I couldn't have been happier.

And that's the way it should be.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Decor on a budget

The Rev. and I are thrilled to be in more space, but I will admit the space is a little daunting. We have a small budget and need to pack in a lot of bang for our buck with any new furniture we buy. A few places I have been checking out have been Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Restoration Hardware.  I found some fantastic side tables, a few decor items, and some treats for the kids. I love a bargain!

I found this desk at Urban Outfitter for only 49.95 with free shipping.

I love these side tables from Urban Outfitters, too!

And I have already begun repainting a few pieces to spruce up the place. We move on Monday, and I can't wait for you to see how it all turns out!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ballard Designs Outlet: Worth the Trip

Since Mel and her family are moving next week into their new apartment, of course we've been brainstorming and dreaming about all of the fabulous things she'll do with the space.  This apartment is absolutely gorgeous, full of pretty details and decadently spacious; you actually feel like you're in a house in there, not a New York apartment!  

With all of this new space, Mel will need a few more key pieces of furniture (like the couch we've been hunting for), so I've been keeping an eye out for some possible deals for her.  One great option that's available to me is the Ballard Designs outlet store, which sells the same furniture with a slightly reduced selection at their location in Ohio just an hour and a half away from home.  Their prices are usually about half the regular Ballard amount, and often they promote sales on top of that!  

They don't offer a website showing their prices or the inventory (which changes every week), so I called and asked for some info on how much a few of my favorite picks would cost. Here are some of my choices from this week's sale options:

The pretty glass Emmeline 6 Light Chandelier normally runs $699 but is $240 at the outlet this week.

They also had the Emmeline Wall Sconce, normally $250, but at the outlet they're $112 each.

Ballard's Louis XVI chairs sell for anywhere between $329 to $519, depending on what upholstery you choose.  At the outlet they receive and resell any returned upholstered pieces, so you never know what they'll have in stock at any given moment.  Even a bunch of mismatched fabrics would be worth taking home at this price: $164 a pop.

If you could score a pair of these gorgeous Marissa chairs-- in just about any fabric-- you'd be the big winner!  Normally starting at $679 to $994, at the outlet they're going for $407. 

The Louis Upholstered Bed is on special this week at the outlet for $600, a serious reduction from it's lowest catalog price of $1699.  

When I called the outlet store to check on these prices I didn't have the heart to ask the poor saleswoman to check on the thirty things I'd like to have, so I narrowed my requests down to those few above:)  But if I'd had the courage (or insensitivity?) to press on with more, I would have asked about these, too:

I love the Grayson Upholstered Bench, especially in this gorgeous pale acqua!  I might have to call back about this one...

I have a real weakness for Bergere chairs, and these pretty ones are no exception.  Two would be even better ;)

I would love to see the Hollis rug in person, since it seems like the color would be gorgeous.

We bought our Valentino Rug at the outlet store and LOVE it.

These Macau chairs are calling my name!  They would add a crisp, graphic-yet-chinoiserie element to a more traditional dining room, and I love the version with arms as a chic desk chair.

Some of the larger, bulkier items would be a challenge to ship (freight, maybe?), but if Mel decides she wants something I might just have to take a trip to Ohio!  And treat myself with a little take-home, naturally :)



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creative Arts Camp & More

Our week began with a BANG-- Creative Arts Camp began yesterday. We are in the full swing of crafting, playing, and learning about Jonah and the Whale. This week is full of interaction, including the belly of a whale and much more. Here is what our week is shaping up to look like.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Martha Stewart & Liza

Hello Friday! We are so pleased to have made it to the end of this week. Our household has been busy with visitors, moving, and ALTNYC, a blogger conference hosted by Martha Stewart.
Here is what our week looked like.

What more could you want? A day with Liza, Martha, Tracy Stewart, and all sorts of other fabulous bloggers.

Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Upstairs Hallway: Before & After

One of the first things we did with this house when we bought it was rip out the beige carpet going up the stairs and covering the whole second floor.  Once it was out, I spent hours pulling out old tacks and carpet staples and prepping the old beat up pine floors to be painted (plan B when everyone said they weren't in good enough condition to refinish).  After priming, painting and adding two coats of polyurethane, I was nearly finished!  But, typical, I got distracted by other projects and took my sweet time getting back to the finishing touches: installing the shoe molding.

This little strip of molding helps to smooth the transition between base molding and the floorboards and covers any gaps.  And we definitely have gaps, so for this old house it's particularly helpful.  Since most of the upstairs needs shoe molding or quarter round, I decided to take it one room at a time-- don't want to get overwhelmed!-- and start with the hallway.

As I move on to the guest room and Lindsay's room I'll post a how-to.  In the meantime, check out the before & afters (and remember how much you loved that carpet;))!

Floors painted, but no quarter round-- check out that gap!  And the splintering wood on the base molding...

And after:



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lighting in the Casa

Since we are moving rather quickly, I had to make quick decisions on light fixtures.  You know lighting can be everything in a room, so this was quite challenging since we are moving fast. I looked around and landed with Restoration Hardware. They are having a lighting sale, and there you just cannot go wrong. 

Here are a few of our choices thus far......

I am also on the hunt for a chandelier, and I am trying to decide do we go modern or classic? What do you think????

Mil Besos,


Monday, June 17, 2013

Choosing an Affordable Sofa: Shopping Vicariously Through Mel:)

Mel has been busy making a thousand quick decisions for their new, amazing apartment, from paint colors to layout to furniture, and I can't wait to see the finished product!!  No matter what kind of move you're making, the decisions surrounding relocation can easily become overwhelming, so when Mel mentioned she'd be open to some suggestions on where to find a new couch, I was more than happy to help.  

 Because it's such an important focal point and feature of a room, buying a sofa can be an intimidating task.  The fact that it's often one of your bigger ticket investments also bumps up the deer-in-headlights factor.  Since she has plenty on her mind right now, I jumped at the chance to find Mel some great options for affordable sofas.  Her main parameters included a neutral fabric (which leaves decorating around the couch wide open), the right length to fit the space (in this case something between 77" and 84" wide), and with a single cushion...

And the best part is, all of these sofas you're about to see came in at under $1,700! 

Mel found this handsome sofa at West Elm, but she wanted a few other options to give her a choice for the final decision. 

This sofa comes in either an 82 inch length or 92 inches, and it's slipcovered, which makes it easier to clean:

This guy is one of my long time favorites, and it's perfect if you're looking for a feminine contrast to other more heavily upholstered pieces.

This sofa from Ballard Designs looks a lot like the one from West Elm, but it's a bit longer at 84":

If space is tight and you do need a smaller sofa, this one has the tufting and the clean lines of the one Mel found, but it's insanely cheap at only $599 (for a sofa that's ridiculous) !  

If only this awesome Chesterfield didn't come with two cushions… Still, I love this look so much I might be willing to make an exception... just this once:

If you're looking for a petite rolled arm tufted sofa, this is a particularly pretty one, especially with those gorgeous legs:

Here is Pottery Barn's version of the same look, with a remarkably competitive price:

If you'd rather have a sleeker, more modern look, check this one out from CB2:

I love, love the nailhead trim and pretty shape of this couch from Crate & Barrel:

I can't wait to see which one she chooses!



Friday, June 14, 2013

A few repairs......

Our new place is fabulous but in need of a little love. Here are a few fixes we will need to address in the coming weeks.

Until then, check out these fabulous cabinets......

BTW, I threw a little fiesta in the space last week as we said good-bye to our friends, Jim and Diane.

Mil Besos & Happy Weekend

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