Every once in a great while some amazing product comes along and shoots me with cupid’s arrow. Swiffer duster pads (they grab every dust particle instead of pushing ’em around). The Diva jeans by Old Navy (I swear they’re better than Sevens- I own three pairs). Life cereal (is there crack in there?). And now there’s a new product to shower with affection: Method Holiday Aroma Soy Candles. Love, love, love the streamlined curves. Worship, worship, worship the yummy peppermint vanilla and cinnamon bark scents. Adore, adore, adore the fact that they’re made from eco-friendly (and health-friendly) soy. So don’t walk, run to the nearest Target and snatch up as many as you can. At
I’m still not used to the weather here in Richmond. Growing up in Jersey and living in New York for 6 years taught me that come September, mother nature means business. Up North, it routinely dropped from the high 90s in August to the low 50s in September, and I hardly ever got to beak out my shiny new fall jacket before I needed my big down winter one. Well Richmond is a completely different ballgame. Averaging 0.00 inches of snow accumulation every winter, it’s a much more mild climate and snow shovels are optional. And we have four full seasons here! I’m still adjusting to the 74 degree fall weather (Thursday’s forecast) in November.
John and I completed a huge task this weekend- painting the living room (the largest room of the house) a neutral tan (Glidden’s Sand White) from a pale green. It looks much better with that big doorway leading into our kitchen and our new dining set, huh? Now we can cook, eat, entertain, and relax in one big open space as opposed to being in three separate rooms. Plus turning the living room into a living and dining area freed up the dining room which we turned into a third bedroom- a totally valuable addition to our home. And after all that rolling and edging, we were dying to do something entertaining and non-labor intensive.
This morning we excitedly met with our Certified Kitchen Designer to finalize the plans for our cabinets and countertops. We’re super psyched to post pics of all the materials we’ve chosen (KraftMaid cabinets, Stonemark Granite countertops, etc) so stay tuned for that fun stuff. In the meantime, we’re having a moment of indecisiveness about the backsplash. One easy option is to continue our granite a few inches up the wall to act as a backsplash and then keep the rest of the area under the top cabinets a semi-gloss paint. This option really appeals to us because we would be able to easily change the paint color should our kitchen need a fun update down
Here’s that washer & dryer update that you’ve all been asking for. Yesterday our fab front loading washer & dryer (which ended up being floor models due to Lowe’s SELLING THE ONES WE ALREADY PURCHASED!) arrived in near perfect condition. In fact, the dryer is flawless and the washer has only a tiny scratch on the top that you’d need a magnifying glass to locate. So all in all, we’re actually thrilled that Lowe’s messed up and sold our new models since the floor models are just as nice (and ended up saving us another 150 bucks, bringing our total discount on the washer and dryer to $500- amazing!). In fact, they told us we
It is mind-boggling that Target has not even been mentioned thus far into our blogging experience. It is our home away from home (along with Lowe’s) and has provided us with many a piece of furniture that we adore. In fact, our Thomas O Brien media console, two leather storage ottomans, dining table, Magnavox flat panel TV and gorge Victoria Hagan end tables all hail from Tarjay (the French pronunciation is tres chic, non?). And last night we made out like bandits again. We returned home with a swank leather Parsons chair for my desk ($99), a stainless steel floor lamp ($29) for our light deprived den, and this ironstone serving platter ($9) along with
It’s time to lower the gavel- er, hammer- in judgment of each of the three specialists that we’ve worked with so far. Here are the cold hard facts: WHO: Danny Parker, Contractor WHAT: kitchen demo, widened two doorways, closed doorway to dining room (to make it a third bedroom), said he’d also widen brick doorway but backed out. – 3 day project became a 2.5 day project due to incompletion – super affordable ($900!) but he hired two kids to do all the work – his young crew worked nice long 8am to 7pm days – didn’t show up or return phone calls for follow-up job WHO: Richard Southworth, Mason WHAT: brought in to widen
Remember how our contractor (Danny Parker) fell off the face of the Earth? Well, yesterday while he was still MIA, I asked one of my fab floor guys if he thought trying to match the original hardwood floor was possible, since widening that doorway would require a couple of new floorboards among the 50 year old existing planks. And we’ve learned to question Parker’s anything’s-possible attitude after that brick doorway wasn’t actually possible for his guys. Fab-floor-guy said that he NEVER recommends trying to retro-match 50-year-old wood flooring and explained that the wood lightens and yellows over time from layers of polyeurethane and exposure to the sun. He was positive that an attempt to match
…can my contractor be? Danny Parker, my up-until-yesterday-pretty-good-contractor must be sittin in a tree, cause he’s M-I-S-S-I-N-G. He said he would be here late Friday or early Monday and now it’s Tuesday and I haven’t heard a peep. I’ve called him 3 times in the past 48 hours and just got voicemail every time. Thankfully I haven’t paid him for the outstanding work so I’ll only be out some time (and not money) if he continues to be the invisible man. I guess I’ll have to stare at my sad little taped off doorway indefinitely. At least my floor guys are here making some noise and some progress. Happy Little Update: We never ended up
“Not funny.” That’s what I said when a tree branch across the street fell and took out our power yesterday, a mere two minutes before Richard-the-mason and his crew arrived. Luckily, widening a brick wall is mostly manual work – and chipping out bricks and cinder blocks isn’t contingent upon electricity. When the power hummed back on about an hour later, the crew hardly noticed (picture me jumping for joy in the background while they continued to chip and hammer away). By the end of the day, the brick doorway was finally widened to a glorious 5 foot opening…and the house didn’t fall down in the process! Check out the end result of a project
The verdict is in: our house is a mess. And we have to admit that we sometimes yearn for the old days when shelves housed decorative items like photos and vases instead of cereal boxes and light bulbs. In clearing out our entire kitchen for the renovation we’ve been forced to find creative places for all the stuff that we used to have crammed into cabinets. I don’t know if you have paused to think about how many things you have in your kitchen cabinets and drawers, but IT’S A HECK OF A LOT OF STUFF. So when John suggested we clear off our pretty decorative Ikea shelves and use them as a makeshift pantry,
HOODWINKED! As in, we did the hoodwinking. After months of having our eye on a stainless steel chimney hood for above the stove in our new kitchen, the $1579 price tag was still hard to swallow. And then something that can only be described as a miracle happened. We found one for $350. It turns out that a high-end European brand wanted to break into the US market, so they offered their swank chimney hood exclusively to Home Depot at a staggering $350 price. Home Depot gladly accepted and within weeks it had sold out. But not before we snagged one! And get this- according to the salesman, the company is so known for its
Ok, so we’ve been passive aggressively looking for the perfect light fixture to hang over the dining room table in our big dining/living room to better delineate the dining area. After repeatedly searching ebay, patrolling google, and leafing through a few dozen catalogs, I finally struck gold when I thought to hit up the CB2 website. Not only did they have a clean, classic light fixture, it was as easy on my wallet as it was on my eyes. After checking out options in the $200 to $400 range all morning, the $49 price tag almost knocked me off my chair. Needless to say, I wasted no time ordering it from the comfort of my