Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fav Lamps

Now that our living room is free of our giant Cal King bed, we were able to arrange furniture and get the TV mostly set up. A while back, we bought a Tiffany style Arts & Crafts floor lamp, and after arranging the furniture yesterday we realized the one floor lamp doesn't give off enough light for the big room (there are no built-in lights). I decided the best additional lighting option would be to get the matching table lamp. While at Lowe's last night, I picked it up! The lamps are an amazing deal for what you get. My favorite feature is the 4 watt candelabra bulb in the center of the stands. When the other bulbs are turned off, it gives off a beautiful low-light glow. We also have both lamps on dimmers (one of David's obsessions). They are available at Lowe's in-store and at Lowe'

Moving on up....Master Bedroom done (well, mostly)

The master bedroom is painted and we moved our bed upstairs last night. NO MORE SLEEPING IN THE LIVING ROOM! WHOO HOO!

Master Bedroom: BEFORE

Master Bedroom: AFTER
(sans the window treatments that will be put up this weekend)

Master Window Treatments...Mastered

After days and days of research, online searches and shopping, I have managed to find a window treatment solution for the two windows in the master bedroom. We wanted a double-drape set-up with a light-blocking thick outer curtain, and a sheer white inner curtain. Since the windows are set far apart from each other, we needed a panel for each window and individual drapery hardware for each window. For the outer curtain, our specifications included a 'look' that would work all year round, fit with the 'cool' color theme and coordinate with the green on the walls, not white (David's request), blocked all the light and added insulation. I looked at 'affordable' drapes all over town including Pier 1, Bed Bath & Beyond and Fred Meyer. I was incredibly disappointed in what I found as far as colors, quality and length (we needed a longer-than-standard 91-96" length).

So, I headed to Pottery Barn where I knew I would find some good options. I was pretty set on linen or cotton drapes, but after I saw the DIVINE texture and softness of Pottery Barn's velvet, I HAD to have it. They didn't have the exact drapes I needed the store, but I was able to order them from in 96" length and in Pewter, a beautiful silver color that will look perfect with light green walls and add richness to the cool color theme. The drapes are currently on sale for $129/panel (down from $149/panel) and I had an additional 10% off coupon making them $116 each. Totally worth it for drapes you'll use every day and stare at as you drift off into sleep and wake up each morning.
They arrive this Friday and I cannot wait to install them! Here's a preview:
The next (seemingly easy) difficult task was to find drapery hardware. The hardware had to match our oil-rubbed bronze window hardware and switch plates, have widely spaced screws on the mounting bracket to support the weight of the velvet drapes, be a double rod set, and not be ugly. Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have beautiful hardware sets, but at $159 and $219 respectively per set (and we need 2 sets), they cost more than the drape panels! That's where I draw the line. I ended up finding the winner at Lowe's. Made by Allen + Roth, it's the double rod Meridian Bronze Drapery Set and was on sale for $39.97 (down from $50ish). I used another 10% off coupon so they only cost $35.97 each! This is an incredible price for good quality hardware and it makes up for the drape cost. :)
I originally wanted a very Arts & Crafts, square finial style, but this was the only style available in the double rod set from Lowe's, and I think it will work just fine! I was a little nervous about how 'swirly' the mounting brackets look, but when it's installed on the wall with rods and curtains (thanks Lowe's for your excellent displays) you don't notice the swirl, just looks like nice hardware.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Historical Fun Facts: Part II + A Fire

We've had our fireplace gear (grate, screen and tools all for $63!) for a while now just waiting for the right night to make a fire. And last night was the night! It wasn't particularly cold, but we were particularly tired from a weekend full of wedding festivities (congrats Paul and Stacey!) and decided a cozy fire sounded.....perfect.

Dave chopped some wood we found left under our porch and set up the fire. It seems the flu hadn't been opened in QUITE a while, when Dave pulled the chain he heard rattling noises followed by a few bangs and then a half rotted piece of bird whizzed by his face and plopped onto the logs. Yummy.
From the light of the fire, we noticed there was a stamp on one of the bricks inside the fireplace that we'd never seen before. I did some research and can't seem to find any reference to the specific 'N. Clay Co' from our stamp, but found info on the Portland Clay Co. established in 1892. They made a bad-ass brick back in the day.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Garage Plans Are Taking Shape

Our garage plans are in the early stages still, but we have decided to do a garage attached to the house. As we progressed with the detached garage concept, it created many issues including dead space between the house and garage, losing more space on the south side of the garage for a garden area and it would have required moving our current retaining wall in order to get a car into the far south bay. The attached garage will be slightly more complicated to build (specifically the wall that butts up against the house will require more attention) but much simpler overall when you factor in the problems it doesn't create.

I never thought I could be so excited about four walls being built, but I cannot wait until this project is done. A garage to park my car in and a roof deck to park by butt on. Life will be good.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prep, Paint and Panic. Not necessarily in that order.

Tip: Don't remove door knob and backplate hardware, place that door hardware outside the room, leave the rest of the hardware installed in the door and then decide painting the corner of that room would be much easier if that door were closed.....This can result in initial panic realizing you are locked in a small, second story room with no way down to the ground level and no cell phone. Then, in a McGiver moment, you spot the oscillating pedestal fan in the corner. You realize you can unplug it, bend the two metal pieces from the plug until they touch, line up and insert this perfectly sized item into the hardware and turn.....genius. Crisis averted. My tip to you is Fan plug = door knob in a pinch. You thought my tip was not to get locked in rooms, huh?! Fat chance, locking yourself in rooms is totally cool.

We are continuing prep and prime work in the guest room. In the mean time, we have finished the walls in the master bedroom. All that's left is to paint the trim and windows. Here's a sneak preview:

A Model Remodel

I am getting ahead of myself because our kitchen remodel won't happen until next year, but it's never to early to start planning. (And I need to distract myself from the painting that is STILL continuing--I, alone, have put in 23 hours of painting in the last 5 days and we're not even half way done.)

After looking through tons of magazines I've come up with a general idea of what I want, and what will realistically fit into our budget (which hasn't been nailed down yet). Here's what I have come up with:

- New appliances (stainless steel or white)
- Remove tile on the floor and refinish the original hard wood floors
- Paint the existing cabinets white (possibly get new doors)
- New counter tops. I like contrast, so with white cabinets I want a darker counter top. I'm not picky about the counter top material, but we don't want to spend a TON of benjis on it.
- Replace existing hardware on the cabinets with (oil rubbed bronze) drawer pulls (old-fashioned style to match the pantry) and round knobs
- Remove the partial wall above the island and make the island all one height while keeping seating for three on one side
- Keeping with our 'warm' color theme downstairs, I imagined the kitchen and living room to be a very warm white or light yellowish color with the ultra white trim
- White subway tile back splash

Having not seen this all combined in one place before, I was pretty confidant all these elements would look great. Then, a moment of glorious gloriousness occurred as I was looking through the Spring 2009 Better Homes & Garden's Before & After magazine. I turned to page 66 and there, staring me right in the face, was MY kitchen. Everything I had envisioned all put together!! I'm still in shock that someone else already thought of my brilliant ideas. I guess there is room in the world for two fantastic kitchens. If it ain't broke...don't fix it. This will be the model for our kitchen remodel.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Paint Colors...CHECK!

Our overall paint theme is cool colors upstairs and warm colors downstairs. But for now we're just focusing on the upstairs. I wanted a color that would compliment our newly resurfaced and very orangeish Douglas Fir floors, and a color that we wouldn't be sick of after a few months. To add increased contrast and interest to the spaces, I wanted a lighter shade of a color in the bedrooms and a darker shade of the same color in the hallway and stair area.

I fell in love with two particular green colors from Restoration Hardware and could not find anything I liked better. However, I did find prices that I liked better. After doing some research and meeting with our local paint expert, DJ (thanks DJ!), we decided to go with Valspar Ultra Premium paint sold at Lowe's. I had samples of Valspar paint mixed to match my colors from Restoration Hardware and was happy to find the match was DEAD ON when I did a test painting on some old wood. Because we live on a busier street and are expecting to have higher than average dust on the walls, we decide to go with a Satin finish a slight sheen to it and will hold up to cleaning better than your typical Eggshell wall paint finish.

We decided the trim, baseboards and windows will all be painted in Valspar's Ultra White in a semi-gloss finish to help the subtle green colors pop as much as possible.

Here's the color for the bedrooms:
(Matched to Restoration Hardware's Eucalyptus)

Here's the color for the staircase and landing hallway:
(Matched to Restoration Hardware's Sycamore Green)

We have one coat on the master wall so far and it looks even more fabulous on the walls than I had imagined. I'll be posing pics soon!

The Devil is in the Details

As paint progress and window rehab continues on the second floor (more updates on that soon), we've been searching high and low for switch plates, ceiling fans, bedroom lights, hallway lights, door hardware, house numbers, a mailbox and various missing window hardware...that ALL coordinates! Not an easy task by any means, but I feel confidant that we've found a fantastic combo platter of the above items that will take our house to the next level.

We found some great deals that saved us a bundle, and we also splurged on a few key items. We want to keep as much of these details historically accurate (with an Arts & Crafts spin) while fueling my fire for all things in an oil rubbed bronze finish. Drum roll please...

Bedroom schoolhouse light from (saved, $52)
Don't even get me started on Rejuvenation's prices for lights like this.

Hunter Low-Profile ceiling fans from Home Depot (in-store) with 'schoolhouse' light kits (saved, approx $65 per fan)
Due to our low ceiling height, we decided on a very simple low-profile flush-mount style ceiling fan in white. The oil bronzed versions of these fans are beautiful, but very dark and lower the visual height of the ceiling considerably. The white fans almost disappear into the ceilings, so this will be the only hardware item NOT in the oil rubbed bronze finish. However, in the guest bedroom there will be a ceiling fan AND a second light fixture (shown above). This was a big reason we decided on the schoolhouse light shade style. Not only is it historically accurate, but it's available in both standard light fixtures and as a light kit for the ceiling fan so all can coordinate.

Upstairs Hallway Landing fixture from (splurged, $196)
This image isn't the oil rubbed bronze finish like we ordered, but you can get the style idea. I LOVE this fixture.

Front Door Hardware from Lowe's (saved & splurged, $138)
Splurged because we could have gone with simple knob hardware we used on the side door (below) for $55. Saved because the similar hardware sets at Rejuvenation are $260-$550.

Side Door Hardware from Lowe's (saved, $55)

Replacement sash window locks from Home Depot (in-store), (saved, $2.95 each)
At you can expect to pay $18 per lock.

Replacement window sash lifts from (saved, $4.29 each)
The 'old' window sash lift was 1 5/8" wide while most today are 2" wide so finding this item is stores is not easy. Since we are matching the originals, I wanted to get the correct size. Rejuvenation sells a set of these sash lifts for $14. Since we only need 3, was a much better deal and is a great resource for reasonably priced reproduction parts.

Switch Plates from (saved, $3.99 each) carries this metal switch plate that has the same oil rubbed bronze look as all our other hardware. Priced from $3.99 per switch plate this is a FANTASTIC deal as most other sources were $10-$30 per switch plate for the oil rubbed bronze versions. They carry ANY configuration of plate you can imagine, including dimmer knobs. Love this site!

House Numbers from (saved and splurged, $12.95 each)
Standard house numbers can be found for $4 each, but many Arts & Crafts style numbers go for up to $24.95 each. We really like the combination of the numbers in our address in this particular style so at $12.95 per number it was a happy medium.

Arts & Crafts style mailbox from (saved, $44.95 with 5% AAA discount)
Similar mailboxes from Rejuvenation start at $139.

Front Porch light from (splurged, $159 on sale)

The only thing left to find is interior door hardware. Since we'll most likely have to replace the doors upstairs, we're waiting on this until we finish painting and look into getting new doors. I can't wait to see how it all looks together!!!