Sunday, February 27, 2011

De Ja Vu

I don't know if it's the Home Depot trips, the masks or the general feel of the house but we're back in renovation mode and this time, it's the kitchen that had to go.

Saturday morning, the (pink) dumpster arrived around 8 and just like that, our plans were becoming a reality. Of course, we still haven't finalized our kitchen design or decided where the bathroom is going to go or even ordered any tiles/ cabinets but the day still came and the kitchen was still to be destroyed. So while I went up to PA to celebrate my beautiful sister, the mommy to be, Ryan had a few friends over and created our "open" floor plan.

Here are some before pictures and the reason we are now cut off from the first floor of our house.

The only cabinets in the entire kitchen.

This is the wall that connects to the bathroom.

Our "pantry" even though I can't fit normal sized pantry items in there.

Our huge bathroom that separates our kitchen from our great room. Kitchen is to the left. 
Day 1: Demo day (Ryan bought a sledge hammer for this sole event)

Getting ready to knock down the wall.

The bathroom is now gone.

Open floor plan? Yes, please!
Sunday morning, Monkey and I came back to DC nice and early so we could help with the action. Day two was more concentrated on getting the floor up. We found a newspaper in the floor and the date was April 17, 1920, kind of cool, right? And even back then, there was an article about losing weight. Ha, ha.

View from the front of the house looking in.

Ryan taking up the old floor.

You can see right through to the basement, awesome.

Clark aka our right hand man
So we're two days in, living on the second floor and I/ Ryan washed our first set of dishes in the bathtub, sweet. Ryan also mentioned to me that he thinks we should re-do the upstairs bathroom while we have the house under construction. Can you imagine no place to cook and no place to shower? We really are camping!

Down sizing

Thursday we started getting the house ready for the weekend which basically meant condensing our 1,400 square foot house in to a 700 square foot second floor. We had to get quite creative.  The master bedroom is staying as is, we decided we need one room that's our safe haven.

Master Bedroom
Our second bedroom, which was the office slash Ryan's dressing room, became our office slash family room slash Ryan's dressing room slash Monkey's room.

Office area

Living area

Dressing area
And that is not a big room.

The third bedroom is our guest room slash kitchen slash Caley's room.

We also now have a fridge in there.

The queen sized bed (that our awesome friend Emily gave us) is to the left.
The room off of our third bedroom is where we put all of our boxes and things from downstairs. Anything that remained downstairs is now completely covered with plastic.  As Ryan said, "The next few weeks are going to be very intimate." And they most certainly would.

All this for an open floor plan, sigh.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And so it begins....

Ryan picked up the permits last night for the dumpster and posted them outside our house. It's official, come Saturday, we will no longer have a kitchen (yikes!). Ryan has been designing and re-designing the plans for some time now so it's scary exciting that it's finally happening. We also just finished picking out all of our appliances which I am VERY excited about. You might remember that the microwave and dishwasher have been sitting in our family room for quite some time now but next Sunday we're ordering the fridge and oven. Look at these beauties...

GE Profile 30-Inch Freestanding Double Oven Range (Color: Stainless)
A double oven. I'm in love :)
GE Profile 30-Inch, 1.7 Cu. Ft. Capacity Over-the-Range Microwave Oven (Color: Stainless)
A microwave + a convection oven = perfection.

GE Profile 22.2 Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator (Color: Stainless Steel) ENERGY STAR
French doors? Yes, please!
GE Profile 24" Built-In Dishwasher (Color: Stainless Steel) ENERGY STAR
I'm dreaming of my first dinner party where all the dishes can go in this beauty.
Now, we just need a kitchen to put them in :)

Tonight, we're moving our family room up in to the office. I'll post pictures of the mess result. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

So, it's been a crazy few weeks. I was in Philly all week last week for a conference so between that and our friend from college visiting last weekend, I chose fun over productivity. Good choice :). We figure we have to really buckle down considering the dumpster is rented for our kitchen demo starting on Saturday so we might as well enjoy our last weekend of "freedom" and we did. In between our plans I did, however, make one purchase (hint it's in the title of the post)...

Friday I ventured out to Home Goods because I really wanted to get a mirror for over our bed. There are a few other big purchases I want to make for our bedroom but this was my first priority. I searched the store high and low and finally find a gold framed circular mirror that I really liked. I'm about to buy it and a very interesting mirror catches my eye and it has all the colors of our bedroom in it. Score. I put it in my cart and wheel it around trying to decide if I like it. I text it to my sister with a "Cool or tacky?" question and when she doesn't answer, I buy it.
Cool or tacky?
I trek it home and when I put it my bedroom I hate it. Like, seriously, HATE it. Everything was wrong, it was entirely too busy, had too many colors and just looked horrible. I can not emphasize this enough. I felt completely defeated (partly because I just really hate driving out to Virgina on the weekend and now I was going to have to to return it.) So, on Monday, I trek back to Virginia to return it. I get to Home Goods and to my surprise there are two other mirrors that I like (note: of course the one I originally liked was no where to be found) so I send a text to Ryan, "Right or Left?".
Clearly I can't be in charge of these big decisions at this point.
He calls me and tells me how hideous he thinks the one to the left is and that I should pick the one to the right. Done. So I trek home, again, and have Ryan put it up and wallah, it's a beauty.

Now I just need some new blinds, curtains, pillows and some color!
Here's the before and after shots.



Ryan: "Should we move it lower?"
Me: "No, why would we do that?"
Ryan: "So you can see yourself in it."
Me: "Um, no. It's not that kind of mirror."

You like? I'm thinking I want my accent color to be yellow so be prepared for some fun yellow pieces jumping in to the picture!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Looking at other people's bedrooms, makes me want to finish mine. I love these curtains AND they're no sew.

From Casa Greer
I already wanted a sunburst mirror over my bed and this just makes me want it more. I want a bigger one for our bedroom... 

Love those throw pillows.
I also love this dresser (don't worry, Ryan, I won't paint my dresser but I might paint yours...)

I think I might like the yellow more than the green...
On another note, I'm meeting with Tony Hoffer tonight. Is it sad how excited I am? Ryan thinks he's entirely too expensive but I don't think you can put a price on good photography slash I've been obsessed with him for way too many years :) 

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a sickness...

Do you ever see pictures on a blog and just feel the complete and utter desire to tackle the project on your own? Clearly, I do.

I'm still talking about the headboard I want need to make.

tufted headboard final
Picture from Centsational Girl
 I'm also aching to put together a daybed for our office.

Aubrey made that back board (from Aubrey + Lindsey's Little House Blog).
And  my latest obsession? This dresser. Of course, we already have too many dressers (since my tall one wouldn't fit in the master bedroom so it's in the guest room and Ryan's dresser is in the office), but wouldn't it make an awesome addition to any room? She just painted a goodwill dresser green. Swoon.

Emily A. Clark's Design Blog
Maybe I need a bigger house? Just kidding, Ryan :) Or just a smaller to-do list... 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

Since I still have to send my contract in and I don't want to download any of my own pictures right now, here's a picture of our venue via my favorite photographer, Tony Hoffer.

Of course this picture was taken during the winter and not mid summer, but you get the point :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Black Hole

"We're only going to look at kitchens. You realize it's a black hole, right?"- Ryan, referring to our trip to see Ikea cabinets.

So, after one wrong turn, we got to Ikea last night around 8:30pm (the store closes at 9). Boy is that store massive. After navigating ourselves around the store for awhile, we finally found the kitchens. There were so many options and we had so very little time (as the Ikea voice kept reminding us).

There were kitchens set up with the dark wood that I had originally been sold on...

And still really like.

To some semi- dark options that I'm beginning to like...

Kitchen Cabinets
This might be a little too light.

To white, which I like in theory....

I fall in love with subway tiles all over again every time I see them...

To black, which I never even considered...

Black is just not my thing.
And the decisions begin....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mark your Calendars...

Because, we have a date! 

Ryan wasn't with me to see the place so I took lots of pictures. I'll give you a sneak peak later.

Outside ceremony ... check!
Ballroom/ Farmhouse ... check!
Chandeliers ... double, check!

Only 550 days to go...

Friday, February 4, 2011


Ryan has been very busy reading up on our kitchen renovation. I would have a picture for you but he deleted the picture I took the other night because it wasn't a manly enough book (these are his words, not mind). Little does he know how everything to do with a kitchen renovation is manly. Meanwhile, while Ryan has been reading up on demolition/rebuilding/plumbing, I have been scoring the Internet for kitchen ideas.  I already knew I wanted dark cabinets that matched the floors in the family room. I also knew I wanted green subway tiles (I don't know exactly when that obsession started but it seems to be here to stay). I'm also thinking that I want beige granite and beige tiles but we haven't picked anything out yet. We also still need to purchase our stove and fridge... and the list goes on (and kind of stresses me out as I type it).

Subway tiles? Yes, please! Dark cabinets with light granite and tiles? Double yes, please!

I love this curtain, I will be making it for my kitchen. Don't you worry.
Same kitchen, different view. I'm in love.
We've been a little stressed out trying to find good granite, cabinet and tile people before we start demolition so, when we were invited to a cocktail party hosted by our Realtor's company, Mandy & David at Hounshell Real Estate, we knew it would be a good opportunity. Boy were we right. Not only did we get to meet up with our awesome Realtor, Robert Crawford, we also got to meet two guys that do house renovations as their full time job. They were nice enough to let us pick their brains (and by us, I mean Ryan) and we came out with some really great ideas as well as some contacts. One of the things we've been hearing about across the board is Ikea cabinets, who knew?

So, we're two weeks from D-day aka demolition day and we're finally making some progress. Are you as excited as I am?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

As promised....

I've finally uploaded some pictures from my camera. Here's a picture of the new media cabinet in our house. Isn't it lovely? Great Craigslist find, if I do say so myself.

Such an improvement...
Our family room is looking like a family room... for now. We're in the middle of planning the kitchen renovation where we will be moving all of our wordly possessions upstairs to hide them from the dust. Sweet.
Family Room (ignore the boxes)
Dining Area
And here's our new baby rug.

Things are coming together quite nicely. It's been a busy week with... life, so we haven't had much time to get projects done in the house (minus the usual unpacking and cleaning, can you believe I'm still unpacking?). This weekend will pretty much be a wash since I'm heading to PA to (hopefully) choose our wedding venue and go to my girl friend's bridal shower. We do plan on being ultra productive next week with the house though... Painting the office grey is a top priority on my list. Don't you worry.

On a side note, I've heard back from 3 out of the 4 grad schools I applied to and got in to all three... but, of course, the one I want to go to isn't offering me any money and is double (almost triple) the price of the other two who are giving me money. How obnoxious. I actually emailed them today asking them why they're so expensive... sigh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Style my ladies

Speaking of grey, guess what I'm thinking for wedding colors? Yep, you thought right, grey. Well, not just grey, grey with lavenders and greens. My BFF/ bridesmaid sent me this wedding after I had already fallen in love with the idea of hydrangeas and I was sold.

And since the wedding is (next) August, I'm hoping the grey won't wash anyone out/ you have 18 months to get tan, ladies ; )
Image #128966
Sea Studio - Photography
This is exactly what I want my centerpieces to look like, well maybe a little shorter.
Image #128983
Sea Studio - Photography
I also love this style bridesmaid dress... and since I don't really want to wear a strapless dress, I won't be putting my ladies in strapless dresses (Elena, you can thank me now).

When I asked Ryan what he thought of grey, green and purple he said "that's a lot of colors for one room" (which, actually it isn't but he would never understand) but when I told him I was talking about the wedding and not the guest room he responded with, "the wedding is your thing, I don't even see colors." So, once again, grey it is!


This weekend was crazy. If there is one thing that I've noticed since we bought the house is that those lazy Saturdays or Sundays do not exist anymore.  Even TV watching can't be done alone, I'm either looking for design ideas, wedding ideas or searching for my next Craigslist find (yes, I'm addicted). I can honestly say I'm never bored. So this weekend was clearly no different but it was successful, oh yes, it was successful.

Although I really love my new duvet cover, I knew our room needed something more to pull it together. I had been searching for quilts thinking that a colored quilt might do just that but I couldn't find any that I loved. So Friday night I decided that we should head to Home Goods and try and find a carpet. I figured the next best thing to color on the bed was color on the floor, right? So, after work, Ryan and I headed out to Home Goods... in Virginia... during rush hour. It was great (sense the sarcasm). Besides the ungodly amount of traffic, the ride out there actually wasn't too bad and when we got to  Home Goods, Ryan had a conference call so I had a few minutes to spend in my haven alone. Of course, once the call was over, Ryan was back in the store to keep me on track. I had brought color swatches from our walls, the comforter, our furniture and the color I thought I wanted to incorporate (red). We went through a few rugs and found three that we liked. Two were beige with flowers and one was red with paisleys. Although I didn't really want a flowered rug (since our duvet is so modern), the colors were right and we thought it would brighten up the room, so we bought one of the beige rugs (guesstimating on size). After somehow managing to fit a 7'x9' rug in the mini, we had our new rug to bring home. We got it home and laid it out (this was not an easy task since it had to go under our *very heavy* bed) and it was horrible. It was glaringly obvious that the design and colors were all wrong. I hated it. There was no way. So, we rolled back up the carpet and drank some wine. Sigh.

Saturday I already knew I had to treck to Virginia to drop off some of my old crap things for Junior League and turn in some paperwork at Pottery Barn so I just added Home Goods to my list. I decided to buy the red paisley rug (note: I had spent about 2 hours searching rugs online after our first failure and could not find one that I loved) so it was a pretty quick trip at Home Goods (minus the 40 minute line). Fast forward 3+ hours of driving in the hell hole that is the Virginia suburbs on the weekend and I brought home our new rug. We laid it down and immediately I knew that it was perfect. The colors went perfectly and I loved the contrast of the comforter against the rug.
You like? (Ignore the uncovered box spring that has started to drive me insane.)
I'll post some more pictures later so you can see how well the walls go with the rug but it sure is a beauty (minus the ten pound hair ball on it) : )

A match made in heaven; well actually between Dwell Studio and Home Goods but that's besides the point.