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Around Here

27 Jan

Remember a few months ago when I talked about renovating our linen closet? Really, how silly is it that we renovated a linen closet? But we did. We enclosed a weird vent, covered the existing washer/dryer hookups with a removable cover, and finally added shelves.








There’s a bit of trim that needs to be added, which you can see in the bottom left in the photo above. We’ll get that added eventually, but for now it’s done. And more importantly, it’s functional!

I also got around to adding some curtains to the guest room.


They are Ikea Ritva curtains. I purchased 2 panels, cut them in half, added a seam to the cut edge, and hemmed them. A lot of work, but I wasn’t interested in paying $100 for 4 full panels. They do close completely and cover the window should guests want to close them.

A while ago, I shared a picture of this cute little black table we received from family.


It was in really rough shape. I used wood filler on the top to smooth out the gouges. After a good sanding, I primed and painted, and here it is now.


Pretty cute, right? I used Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I was going for more charcoal/black (which is what the swatch appears to be in the store and in my google image research), but I’m pleased with the green tone. Given the rest of my house, this isn’t a big surprise! It will live in this corner of the new office. Perfect fit!

Speaking of the office, my updates on the bookshelf progress stopped mostly because the actual progress did too. We got them to a decent place in time for Christmas and then life  got in the way. Here is how they stand now.



Since my last update, we added the trim and backing to the shelves. We planned on leaving the backs open to the wall, but because the walls aren’t plum, there were huge gaps between the back of the shelves and the wall. Adding the backing helps disguise the issue. Obviously, it would have been far better to add these from the get go. Adding them so late in the game resulted in a lot of extra work and a lot of extra curse words.

Steve has started working on constructing the doors for the bottom of the bookcases, I’d guess he’s about halfway done with them. Between his work schedule and other commitments though, it will probably be months before they are completely finished.

This weekend I got started on recovering the chair for the office. I purchased it for $20 from Goodwill 3 years ago.



And now:





I got an itch to get this started, so I started stripping the fabric on Saturday. Doing this in the guest bedroom was probably not the best decision, but the chair won’t fit down the basement stairs (they are only 30 inches wide), and hauling it outside to the rear basement entry didn’t sound like any fun at all.  I still haven’t picked a new fabric, so I need to get on that!

Happy Monday, and thanks for checking in!

Christmas Preparations

16 Dec

The halls are decked:


The dining table is nearly complete:

refinished dining table


table leaf

A carpet remnant has been purchased for the hallway:

rug remnant


remnant close up

The dining chairs have been reupholstered:

reupholstered chair

And a Christmas table centerpiece has been assembled:

centerpiece arrangement


But all of the preparations for Christmas feel very insignificant today. This year more than ever, I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with the people I love the most. I hope you’re all able to enjoy the same!

Quick Update

21 Aug

Hi Friends! I’m heading out of town for a few days to stay with my sister and her fam in their cute apartment in Brooklyn. Plans include excessive play time with my nephew, teaching him how to say “Auntie Kate”, eating big fat NYC bagels, hitting up the farmers market, and a long run in Prospect Park among other fun activities I can’t wait for.

I hate to leave this space blank for so long, so I thought I’d pop in with a small update on a few (of the many and endless) projects we’re in the middle of…

Like staining the dining table!

Here she is with two coats of stain on (we used Minwax’s Dark Walnut – mostly because we had it on hand). We’ll likely put on a couple more coats before we’re through.

And here’s a peek at the pantry I mentioned we’re working on.

Yes, stripes. Just like the coat closet. Nothing new here. I have a disease that requires all of my closets to match. You’ll be seeing these again in the linen closet too at some point. But then I’m done with the stripes. I sent a picture to my sister and she politely responded with “that’s a lot of work for a pantry.” Indeed.

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Dining Room (Re) Redo

7 Aug

Since last February, we’ve been slowly making changes in our dining room. It started innocently enough when I came across this table at Goodwill for $50.

You may remember that we already had a perfectly fine dining table. And chairs and curtains and wall art and all the other makings of a complete room. But I had never really been happy with the dining chairs we had, so when I spotted these chairs at a consignment shop I knew they would be coming home with me. Thankfully I was able to sell the existing chairs on craigslist and covered the cost of the new chairs.

And things kind of snow balled from there. Soon enough I was tracking down new fabrics and switching out the wall art.

Amazing how that happens, right? I’m just glad I still love the wall color (Ben Moore Camouflage). I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many coats of paint I put on those walls before settling on this.

But the room is finally starting to come together … again. Steve’s been working hard to refinish the Goodwill table little by little as he has time. I’m typically really involved in projects around the house, but I’m happy to leave the dirty job of sanding to him. And as of this weekend, we’re much closer to the staining phase. Here’s one of the pedestal legs in sanding central (the basement). You can see the top sitting on a table in the background.

When the table is done, the room will be (mostly) ready for it. Before I show you the progress, let’s take a moment to appreciate where it started.

That’s vinyl wall paper y’all.

And here’s the first redo:

And today:

There were only 7 of the new chairs available, so I bought 2 of these Ikea Henriksdal armchairs to add to the ends of the table should we need to add the leaf and seat 8.

As you can see, I still need to reupholster the chair seats. I’m also going to make some skirted slip covers for the seats. Probably like the picture below from here.

I would say it’s nice to have the room back together again, but here’s what it looks like currently:

You’re looking at the contents of my pantry here (clearly I have no shame). After a large grocery haul last week I decided our pantry needed to be re painted and organized right that very second. More on that project later!

Crossing Off the To-Dos

27 Feb

How about a dining table update? So glad Steve likes refinishing furniture because I lack the patience for this process.

I’m told the top is mostly stripped at this point. He’s started working on the pedestal legs, too. The feet are in pretty rough shape, so we’re getting rid of the raised detail in an effort to smooth over the damaged parts. Steve’s planning on using a router to take the detail off, but I guess he got impatient and started at ’em with a chisel.

It will probably be a few more weeks until it’s ready for a new coat of stain.

I’ve been busying myself with smaller projects that have been on my To-Do forever. Like recaulking the line between the beadboard kitchen backsplash and the counters. I was getting kind of tired of looking at this:

An afternoon later, it was looking much better.

I also filled the seams between the bottom of the cabinets and the corbels we added. I caulked the seam after they were installed nearly 2 years ago, but the thin line was always visible. I slathered on some wood putty –

sanded it down and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It will never be perfect because it wasn’t installed at a perfect angle (oops), but it’s a marked improvement.

I also (finally) painted under the cabinets and did some touch up painting in the second bathroom. Not exciting projects, but man it feels nice to cross these off the to-do list!

In the midst of these projects, we celebrated our nephew’s first birthday this past Saturday.

How has a full year passed since I first met this sweet boy?

Someone didn’t get the stripes memo this year.

We had such a fun time celebrating with family and watching him poke at his smash cake.

I also made a much anticipated purchase last night. My very own Sodastream.

My sparkle water addiction just got 100 times more fun!

New Home Buys

18 Feb

Well, now that we have internet again (apparently the cable wires running to the house can go bad?), check out my finds on a recent shopping trip to a few Atlanta antique stores and markets.

I thought this basket was too sweet to pass up.

It sits behind the couch and makes the perfect home for remote controls. For $15 it was a no brainer.

I also found this mirror marked down to $13.50.

With a fresh coat of paint, I think it will be lovely in the guest room above a dresser one day.

I also stopped into a furniture consignment shop, and I swear these queen anne dining chairs found me.

They are far from perfect condition, but you don’t buy second hand furniture for the pristine finish. We picked up 7 of these for $330 total. We cleaned them with Murphy’s Oil and waxed them with SC Johnson Paste Wax for wood. I’ll recover the seats (I took them out to clean the frames) then make short pleated skirts to update them a bit. I’m keeping the chairs wood because the table will be wood and the storage pieces in the room will be painted. I think it will make for a nice balance between wood and painted furniture.

Our new dining table seats 8. Since only 7 chairs were available, I’ll put 6 around the table and purchase 2 of these from Ikea.

On the rare occasions we have 8 people over, we’ll pull these up to the table. Otherwise they’ll sit in 2 corners of the room. The 7th wood chair will sit in front of a secretary desk we have that will one day live in the guest room (when we have an actual guest room meant for guests … not storage).

Speaking of the new dining table …

Steve started stripping the finish off the leaf last weekend.

Can’t wait to see it done!

Thrift Store Score

9 Feb

On my way home from work last night I decided to take a detour to Goodwill. I was there a week or so ago and saw a gorgeous silver platter for $18. Come on, Goodwill. $18? I’ve purchased furniture there for less than that. I was hoping it would still be there and marked down to something a little more reasonable (gosh I sound cheap). It was gone, but I did see this:

An 8 seater, double pedestal dining table. For $50. Solid wood.

It’s mine.

My in-laws have a double pedestal dining table that is so lovely, and I’ve always wanted one of my own.  This table needs some serious work, but that’s okay! We have a bit of experience when it comes to refinishing furniture.

Like this craigslist apothecary cabinet.

And our current dining table (left in the basement by the previous owners).

We’ll get around to refinishing the new table soon enough. The old one will be put aside until we enclose our screened in porch. The table will make for a nice casual dining space out there one day.