Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Garage Update: Getting Bids

There is a steady stream of contractors rotating through our door these days. Have I mentioned I'm beyond ready to break ground on this project already? We have some bids back and are waiting for more to come in. Having said that, we've now entered the phase where we freak out because (so far) the contractors think our garage will cost a lot more than we anticipated. Seems a few think it will cost TWICE as much as we expected. The garage plot has, indeed, thickened. We try to laugh it off but mostly our blood pressure rises higher and higher. Hopefully there is more good news on the way when the remaining bids come in.

Until then, I dream of a beautiful outdoor patio space of my very own...
photos from

Friday, January 15, 2010

Factory Sale at Rejuvenation

Today marks the start of Rejuvenation's Factory Sale! I love their products but can rarely bring myself to pay their prices. When I arrived at the store this morning (with the rest of the mob) there were great deals to be had. They had an abundance of lighting hardware in all finishes and a whole rack of a personal fav of mine, their signature painted schoolhouse light shades. They also had some killer pedestal sinks and claw-foot tubs. If only we had a bathroom that could fit a beautiful claw-foot tub *sigh*. To boot, lots of rugs and furniture where also on sale.
Alas, we are in between major remodel projects right now and I didn't need anything from the sale. I did pick up a few keys (a recently developed obsession) from the salvage section to start off my vintage key collection. I might even have to get one of these just for good measure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Loving: Jessica Helgerson Design

By far my favorite interior designer right now is Jessica Helgerson (she is a local for you Stumptown dwellers out there). I am blown away by everything that she does and would absolutely die to have her do just one room in my house! Her lines are clean, her use of color is perfection and her sense of style is an understated chic that just screams my name. And the kicker? She specializes in environmentally sustainable design. Do you think she would work for an IOU?

Here's a few of of her rooms that are inspiring me right now:

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8 - Jessica Helgerson; 4 & 6 - Lincoln Barber Photography

Is she fantastic or what? If you have a favorite designer I'd love to know about them. You can never have too many design ideas

Pantry Update: The Light

The poor, sad pantry hasn't been touched since we moved in and most notably the light in the space was lacking. See for yourself (cob web and all):
During my recent vintage outing I picked up an old pendant light with the pantry in mind. I touched up the paint, swapped out the chain (painted to match), fixed the frame so the beveled glass inserts stayed in place and painted a basic ceiling plate to match.
David used his handy electrician skills and voilaa pretty new light! I like that an outdoorish lamp-post style light is brought indoors and that the clear glass allows light to reach all the nooks and crannies of the pantry.
Now all the pantry needs is new paint, a window and a major organization overhaul (using my new jars). Baby steps...

Monday, January 11, 2010

DIY Resolution #1: Roman Shade

I'm no Martha, but sometimes I pretend I to be.

A variety of greenery provides privacy in our master bathroom throughout most of the year but come Winter, a few neighbors can probably see more than they bargained for. Enter the need for a Roman Shade. I wanted the shade to have a sheer quality without compromising privacy, an organic quality to the pattern sans anything that felt cookie-cutter, white on white, a little sheen and of course, sized appropriately to fit the window of interest. As you may have guessed, I didn't find it. So, I decided to make my own.

I'll spare a detailed write up of the process and just post a photo montage. If you're interested in making a shade, just let me know via comment and I'd be happy to forward links of the sources I used.

In a nutshell:The finished product:
And here is the shade in all its gloryfiltering a beautiful glow of morning light. You can see the Winter chill in the air...Total Cost = $24.95
Breakdown: pulley hardware $3.95, cord 79¢, cord rings 30¢, dowels $1.26, Velcro $1.99, backing fabric (muslin) $2.25, shade fabric $11.42, ceiling fan pull (adapted as the cord pull) $2.99

Not too shabby for a custom shade that I absolutely love. This DIY resolution of mine might turn into an obsession. I like getting exactly what I want!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vintage Allure

It started with a mishap that landed David's SUV (and us) in Sellwood with a broken drivers side windshield wiper transmission during a (seemingly endless) rain storm. After an amazing meal, a cab ride, a lift from a friend and a good nights sleep, I found myself back in Sellwood (sans rain) to drop David off at the car. He was eager to get it home and try out the DIY repair he'd researched. I, on the other hand, was enjoying being out and about so I decided to pay a visit to the Stars Antique Mall (a popular Sellwood destination). I was prepared to find a store full of old things that smelled bad and cost a lot, but I ventured in anyway.

Needless to say, It was love at first sight. I found so many inspiring objects and ideas I could hardly contain myself. I got to a point more than once where my arms were so full of items I had to do a front counter drop-off and go back for more. I was practically skipping through the aisles by the end of the first building knowing there was an entire second building yet to go!

All of a sudden everything old was new again and seemed a perfect fit for my circa 1911 house. Most surprising of all, the price tags were incredibly reasonable. I got items with vintage character for much less than I could have bought them new. With a little doctoring up, vintage is so vogue!! My finds were all items for the butler's pantry which is currently a much-neglected spot in our home. And they are...

An old-school lamp style pendant light (that needs some TLC) for only $20!
A collection of large canning jars, small canning jars and a token milk jug. All of which will be used to organize the pantry shelves. (More on that when I actually do the re-org.) And, of course, a few token jars to put pretty flowers in this summer.

I like to think that some of these jars may have graced the shelves of my home 80 years ago and are now finding their way back home. *smiling sigh*

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year Blog Buddies!

2010 marks the year our home turns 99. And boy do we have have plans for the year! Our house to-do list includes a new 2.5 car garage with rooftop deck, a kitchen remodel, new paint and floor resurfacing on the main level, a master bath remodel and possibly finishing the basement. It's shaping up to be a year full of drastic home improvement projects and I can't wait to share the adventure with you all.

We have a few projects nearing completion that will be popping up on this blog very soon including our HVAC system replacement (horror) story and the master bedroom patch-up after the wall tear-down. I have a plethora of decorating ideas and mucho renovation inspiration from some serious time spent browsing blogs over the holidays. I can't wait to get started!

That said, my New Years Resolution is to take the DIY decor bull by the horns and I'm excited to report the follow through already began at the precise moment this fabulous damask fabric materialized (no pun intended) in front of me. I knew I could not leave the store without it and 6 yards later, I will soon have the perfect DIY curtains in my stairway landing (after months of searching online for a killer curtain at a reasonable price to avail)! Wish me luck. :)