Thursday, February 28, 2013

Out with the Old...

 ...or rather just down to the basement.

I don't really have much to report... I'm still trying to recover from last week's horrible sickness. I have lots of projects/things that I need to work on but it's been difficult to get much done with being sick. We did however have a wonderful friend stop by today to help move the old couch into the basement! We've only been rockin' two couches for about a month now. Not really ideal in our small house. Now that that half of the living room is freed up, I can finally paint that half and we can start switching out the rest of the old living room furniture.

Hopefully there will be some slightly more thrilling posts starting next week besides me going on and on about the same Eames Foundation print....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mat. Frame. Hang.

I have finally started to feel better... After a week of some pretty serious sickness with the case of a nameless illness where the doctor pretty much said to suck it up, I ventured outside on Saturday. We had a birthday party to attend for our nephew and made sure we left with enough time to run a couple errands on the way. We made a stop at Dick Blick to see if they had the mat I found online. And I found it! While it cost a little bit more in store, I didn't have to pay for shipping and they actually have a discount for students and teachers that you can sign up for if you happen to fall in one of those categories. I bought the mat hoping it would just work, as going the custom route would have cost more than the almost $6 I spent on the pre-cut one.

The print sits so much better within this mat!

And the whole thing looks even better on the wall!

 I feel like this photo makes it look a little weird, but it does look good. I promise. I think it looks even better at night too, the lamp puts off light in just the right way to emphasize the 250 in the print. I will have to work on getting a decent shot of that.

I think that one very small section of  the living room can be labeled as "done." Done belongs in quotes because, really when is a room ever done...? It is always evolving along with us. If your room isn't changing along with you, you're probably not living.

Night shot.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Frame for Eames.

The other day, I got Bill to pick up a matching frame to put in the new Eames Foundation print in. I've been sick all week and haven't really ventured outside besides to the doctor. We made sure it was the same frame color and similar style. I picked out the best / closest frame for the size. The print is 18" wide by 12" tall. The frame we ended up getting is 20" wide by 16" tall with a mat with an opening of 14" by 11" from Target.

Holding it up to it's future new home on the wall looks fantastic -- it won't be on that black wall but the small wall in grey behind the yellow chairs. 

The only issue is that mat. While the printed portion is exactly 14" wide, the height is strange. I am not feeling the weirdness going on. If the print was taller so that the mat could hit the top edge and the bottom was still as is, I could probably work with that. If I move the print up so that happens, the edge of the paper ends up showing and it's off balanced too.

 I think what I'm going to have to do is make a run over to Michael's or Dick Blick and have mat custom cut for it. I would do it myself, but then I won't get that great bevel and It's likely that I wouldn't do so awesome...

I think I found a pre-cut one at Dick's that might actually work... Crecent Pre-Cut Mat in 16" x 20" size. I'm going to check it out with the husband and see what he thinks. Maybe we can run over and see if they actually have it instead of waiting for it to ship. Plus it's next door to West Elm...

Friday, February 22, 2013

We will be...

...totally jammin' out once we get a new needle for the record player. Bill ordered a few Lana Del Rey albums on vinyl. Love her. We've been rockin' out to the mp3s for quite some time now and Bill finally decided we needed it on vinyl now that the living room is sort of coming along and the record player is slated to make it's move in there any day now. So, we have the new Paradise album, as well as a fancy white Born to Die - The Remix EP. The regular Born to Die album is on it's way. So, besides looking fantastic in here, it's going to sound fantastic as well.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's here!

The Eames print I ordered arrived yesterday! I also looks like at 4 prints are still available! If you're interested, I would order one soon.

Now I just need a find a frame that hopefully matches the ones I got for the other living room prints. I have been waiting for this to arrive to get one. While the site says the print is 18" x 12", I wanted to measure it to see how big of a mat opening I would want/need.

Update: 2.27.2013
Check out the Eames Foundation print at its finest framed and hung up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Short Update.

I didn't get much done around the house this weekend. I played in a volleyball tournament on Saturday at the University of Minnesota that benefited a local non-profit and we won 1st place! Woohoo! Due to all of the high fiving and interaction, I caught a bug. So, Sunday was spent on laundry and that's about it.

Bill and I did get to discussing my recent internet 'window shopping.' We decided to wait on the rug, but agreed we would go for something more bold than what we have historically picked out when we finally get to that point. I think we're both more concerned with getting old furniture into the basement and finishing up painting first, which is not going very fast. We are also both leaning towards the antique gold curtain/drapery rod from Lowe's. We plan on trying to get over to Lowe's in the very near future to check them out in person before we go with anything. Bill's second place choice is the Oversized Metal Rod from West Elm. I have a feeling that one will for sure end up in our bedroom in the near future. West Elm is less of an adventure for us and is in an area we frequent, while there are about 8 Home Depots and Menard's locations between here and the nearest Lowe's, so we don't end up there too often unless we are looking for something specific there.

And that's all for now...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Window Shopping: Rugs...

Rugs are rugs. They're expensive. There is a TON of choices.

Our living room rug is in a state of sadness. I've always stuck with basic and simple. In the past, for large rugs, we've only purchased what are essentially large carpet remnants from Menard's with finished edges. The one in the living room right now is 6 feet x 9 feet, off-white and cost about $30 if I remember correctly.

Today in my blogs feed, one popped up titled Rugs, Revealed from Retro Ranch Reno. There I read about the same sort of hesitations I have about rugs, but that the rugs that came from Rugs USA were better than expected. I saw the link for Rugs USA and I thought it might be worth it to take a look. Low & behold they were having a 50% off sale. I thought that this could be the perfect opportunity to buy a new rug. But then there are only about a million options and on top of that, half of the ones I like are sold out.

I want something with some color, but nothing crazy. I am open to pattern, but again, nothing too crazy.

Rugs USA Quinta Meridian Black Rug

Rugs USA Venice Shaggy White Rug

Rugs USA Chalet Herringbone Flatwoven Grey Rug

Rugs USA Textures Handmade Wool Cable White Rug

Rugs USA Homespun Chevron Charcoal Rug

Rugs USA Homespun Chevron Charcoal Rug
I think I'm just confused now... The shaggy rug is essentially what we have now and it's safe. I think my favorite is between  the herringbone one and the cable one. I really like the chunkiness & texture of the cable one. The herringbone is nice because I think it would be bringing in an sight color and pattern but it's not too bold. At the same time, I am worried about overwhelming the room in grey. Choices, choices. The the chevron type ones, but I'm worried it's a trend that's about to die and I will hate it after awhile.

Any preferences out there?  Everything I like is very similar I guess, so you would think this would be easy... Maybe I should look at what they have in gold/yellow colors...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid Century Curtain/Drapery Rods.

Our living room curtain/drapery rods came with our house. I do not like them, never have. At the same time, I have not hated them or been bothered enough to swap them out... until now. While I've been patching funky wall spots and painting, I thought now would be the perfect time to swap them out because I would also like to move the rods higher up. That way I can FINALLY hem my curtains.

That is what I have been staring at for almost 4 years now. The color actually isn't too bad with the walls and new wall color. 

I think what bothers me the most is the window trim. Before we bought the house, the previous owners ran to the fantastic Home Depot down the road and bought those kits for fancy trim. They bought fancy trim that does not go with the house at all... I hate it so much. Adding that to my list of to do's right now.

This is the beautiful-ness we moved in to...

Aren't you jealous? That curtain (or rather those curtains, as there are two windows) got ripped down as soon as I unboxed the old ones from our apartment and they went into the Goodwill donations box. But back to the present...

Changing out curtain/drapery rods means actually finding something, picking out something. This leads me to what is considered mid century in terms of window hardware? I tried out Google. While the internet is a vast and wonderful wealth of information, it can way too broad. I am not the best at refining my key words, but it really got me no where. So, I went back to basics. I whipped out one of my favorites, Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes [Amazon] and looked through all of the 'pretty' pictures. That was of no help either. I only found naked windows and vertical blinds (scream of horror).

Then I decided to take a look in my Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book from the 60's. I figured there could at least be some semi accurate things in there... They have an entire section on "Window Fashions."

I found most curtains were either inside the window or up high at the ceiling. Additionally there was an abundance of valances, shades, and blinds. There was almost always two layers of curtains, a heavy drape and a shear. I'm set on my curtain but have been thinking about a shear as well. Anyways, the whole purpose of looking, or trying to look, was to check out the hardware and that wasn't really visible or shown... So, I'm still back to where I started.

I'm not really sure where to go with this. I am thinking maybe simple and go with my gut.

But then we get to finishes. All of our doors have horrible shiny brass hardware, which we plan to address at some point. As we've been fixing and replacing things of the house, we've been moving most things over to the brushed nickel / stainless steel look. We also have an arc lamp in the living room that has that same finish.

West Elm has a couple of options that I like that keep it simple.

West ElmOversized Metal Rod, Pin Window Hardware Collection, Industrial Pipe Rods, & French Rods
The Oversized Metal Rod is simple and it's available in a double option as well. The Pin Window Hardware is nice and small, less of a "HEY, look at me!" The Industrial Pipe Rods are awesome but I don't know that they 'fit.' I have seen an interesting pin floating around pinterest that involves a bungee cord to create a second rod. The French Rods could be great to be more of the not seen type. Too many options.

But.... A lot of mid century furniture has brass/bronze accents. Our cute yellow chairs have tiny little feet, but it's there. We also have that fantastic Martha Stewart mirror that's labeled as antique gold. We even have an awesome sunburst clock that has the brass/bronze in it, but these things are old (except the mirror), so that it doesn't have that shiny, new look. I did come across this one...

Lowe's  |  BCL Drapery Antique Gold Metal Double Curtain Rod
Or maybe something a little more 'ornate' like this one...

Lowe's  |  BCL Drapery Antique Gold Metal Double Curtain Rod
I believe these are also both available in single rod options as well.

I could always go to a black finish, which is available in all of those West Elm options and I'm sure I can find the above Lowe's options in black as well... An then there is wood. Wood could work too, but then I have to worry about the color and the fact that wood isn't usually adjustable in the length department.

Lowe's  |  allen + roth Antique Black Wood Metal Single Curtain Rod
The above could be interesting, but I'm thinking that looks more country...

Someone... anyone.... please help! Any suggestions out there? Would any of the above options work? Or do you have a completely different idea that's a lot better?

Update: 3.6.2013
I think I found the one! Read about it here.

Update: 5.29.2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Metal Antique Gold Framed Mirror.

A while back, while I came across the Martha Stewart Living Wales 30 in. x 30 in. Metal Antique Gold Framed Mirror at Home Depot online. I immediately ran out and bought it for the future living room. I knew that once I got to the point of it being hung in our living room, it would be perfect.

After a long time propped up in our basement on the floor, it's finally hung up. It looks fantastic! I think it might look better than I imagined it would. The style is very fitting and no one would ever guess that it came from Martha Stewart's line at Home Depot. 

Don't look too hard or you'll be able to see just how messy my living room really is right now.

 If you've been looking for the real deal out there and are having a tough time, I would definitely suggest checking this out. For it's size and price, it's a great alternative to something vintage.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wall Mounting.

I have wanted to wall mount our living room television for quite some time. With the impending arrival of the new couch, Bill, the husband, took the leap and finally ordered one. The day it arrived was the day before the couch was supposed to arrive. Bill wanted to get it up and the new Lane Credenza situated underneath so that part of the room was taken care of, at least in terms of furniture. We got it put up that night with wires ran through the wall and everything.

The entire time, all I could think or say was "can't this wait until I've painted?" Which has put as at this point...

I have a feeling it's going to be awhile before the painting is completely done in this room. These photos also remind me how rough my floors look...

Yay for no more cords hanging out of the TV and no more giant TV stand thing!

Our goal was to purchase a credenza, buffet, or sideboard piece of furniture that could house the components. It's been clearly established that that massive receiver (1) will not fit, no matter what. I guess I can live with it where it is. In approximately 4 months, there will hopefully be no more DirecTV (2) box. Our plan is to phase out the whole cable / satellite thing. With most everything available online now, it seems pointless to pay a ton of money a month for the whole 4 channels we watch regularly. That leaves us with the PS3 (3), Apple TV (4), and a Wii. If all goes according to plan, by the end of this year we will have a family room that would be home at least one of those things. So, now, in case that does not happen or plans change and/or for the time being, we have two options...

Option 1: Drill a hopefully VERY small hole in the back of the door portion of the credenza for cords to go through, so that all of those things aren't laying out. This was our original plan. I sort of hate the idea of making a irreversible hole through something like this. We've done this before in the past but our last piece under the television was a free Ikea sideboard that someone had put out for free in the last apartment we lived in just out of college. So, we didn't really feel bad about making all the holes we needed to.

Option 2: Due to the fact that the receiver will never in it's lifetime be able to fit in there, we have been throwing around the idea of using one of those fancy remotes that has magic abilities to go through walls and what not. We have a strange closet that shares a wall with the living room. If we ran power, which wouldn't be very hard to do, up through and into it, we could put in outlets to house those things. I guess now that I'm writing it all out, this would only work with the receiver, satellite box, and the Apple TV. Those other things require remotes that probably wouldn't work. This option requires the previously mentioned electrical work, which isn't too bad. But a remote that makes this option possible is over $300.

I'm just having some reservations about making holes and fairly certain this is going to get put off for quite some time for that exact reason. Anyone out there put a hole into a piece of furniture and regretted it later? Any helpful suggestions?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cutest Dog Model.

While taking photos for a few things recently... Behr stopped his doggie antics and posed for a few shots on the new couch.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cylinder Plant Pot With Stand

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I stumbled across the Case Study Cylinder Plant Pot With Stand.

They are available in two sizes: Small & Large
They come in either white or charcoal and if you look around their site, they also have the stand portion available in metal instead of the wood.

They are fantastic! And I want one! Or more like three... I think that I need to get my living room finished to see if something like this will fit in. I have a feeling it will and I will be rocking at least one of these in the future.

I really like the use of wood and ceramic. It goes along well with the lamp I have that is walnut and ceramic, as well as the ceramic pots that are home to my succulent plants.

These are from the Modernica website and they have a TON of fantastically wonderful things for sale! Go check it out...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Framing New Prints.

The new prints I ordered arrived a couple days ago... They look fantastic! I bought them on Etsy from seller Thedor, who was super speedy at getting them in the mail.

Above are two of the three we ordered. I can definitely tell you that my photos do not do them justice. Anyways, I got them all framed up and decided to share...

I just used some frames from Target, their Threshold line -- 11x14 frame with a mat that has an 8x10 opening.

You may wonder what else there could possibly be to framing... well, in Minnesota, our humidity level changes. A lot. Like a ton throughout the year. So, having less moisture in the air dries things out, especially in the winter, so prints and photos tend to slide down. In college, I was introduced to linen tape during the course on how to properly cut your own mat and mount. Ok, it was not really called that, but it's where I learned and it works well. And, it's super easy. You can purchase linen tape at most art supply stores, like Dick Blick. I think this is their most basic... it's what I have. You really only need a small piece per print. I used about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch squares.

Obviously, you need to pull you frame apart. 

Pull out the fancy fake print they lovingly put in there for you to admire at the store. I then just plop the print down in there and center it up by eye. Using my thumbs to hold the print in place, I lift it up. On prints like this, if you're somewhere bright, you can see through it and make sure it's straight and centered. You can't do this with photographs because light does not pass through them. I also tend to carefully flip it over in my direction while still holding the print in place with my thumbs to see what it looks like. If I'm having a bad day, I just hold it up for my husband to double check...

After, all you need to do is dampen the linen tape - the side with the adhesive. I usually just lick it with a stamp... Don't get it too wet though, you don't want to damage the print or photo. I usually put most of the tape on the mat because that's unimportant and easy to replace in case something happens.

Throw that frame back together and viola. Beautiful.

One of the best purchases I've made lately is the Minwax Food Finish Stain Marker. Thing fixes everything... But it works great for little dings on frames or furniture. I just put a little bit on, let it sit a few seconds so it can soak in a little and wipe off. Just follow the directions on the back. 

Two frames had a small spot each that I found once we had gotten them home. It was easy to  just use this to fix it quick then to return them.

Now, I just need to fix up my wall from the old 'art', paint, and hang these babies up.