Thursday, September 23, 2010


I need your help.  I am divided and I can't decide.  I blame having to make this decision on the cat, Lexi, I am looking at you.  Do you remember this blog post, where I introduced you to my cute little nook and lovely blinds?  I loved those blinds, there were the top down bottom up style by Levolor so we could have a nice view of the trees and hide the parking lot by day and also didn't have to be a walk by aquarium by night.  Privacy with a view!  I got a pretty sweet discount on the blinds thanks to my friend Betsy but still spent a pretty $90 on them.  What's the plural of blinds? Do you saw blind if you are only talking about one window set? Or do you says blinds for one set and blindes for multiple? Focus!

Back to the issue and why I said " I loved them".  A few months after we hung the blinds, Lexi got on the table and leaned on the top of the blinds causing them to dent in the middle.  She is not a heavy cat by any means so I was able to undent it, although you could slightly tell the blinds weren't perfect anymore. Le sigh.  Knowing that I spent $90 on the blinds, I lived with the defect.  Well fast forward to this week and I come home to half the blinds on the floor. Sad face.  Lexi had gotten on the table again and chewed through the stings on one side.  The only fix was to tie an ugly knot, not going to fly for my type A, detail focused, neat freak personality.  Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to run out and buy another full priced Levolor top down cellular shade. So what is the solution??

I have been thinking about putting up bamboo blinds in the living room for a while. A la Young House Love style as seen here:

So I am thinking this is a good opportunity to hang matching bamboo blinds on all the windows downstairs.  I looked into ordering top down bottom up blinds from Levolor and was shocked by the $400 + price tag.  Lowes Hardware has the size and color that I like for a mere $40 however they aren't top down style.  It won't be a problem for the window and sliding door in the living room since I don't plan to put those down very often.  However, in the kitchen, I don't want to have the blinds closed all the time and miss out on the view and natural light but I also don't want to provide a 24 hour a day Truman show for my neighbors by keeping the blinds up all the time. 

I have come up with a solution, fear not!  But I have only visualized in my head and really can't make up my mind if it will look really nice or really silly.  So I am asking for your help and rather than try to explain my vision, I have created a helpful Photoshop depiction of it:

I am thinking of building a shelf like divider about two feet down from the top of the window.  Then attaching the new bamboo blinds to the divider.  That way I can still have the view and light from the top of the window but the privacy on the bottom and the savings of $400 beans in my pocket.  I think once the white glossy divider is up the tan window trim/frame will look gross, so I would get some metal paint and paint the trim that shows on the top.  Do you understand what I mean despite the messy Photoshop job?  

What do you think?  Do you think that will look good?  I plan to eventually replace the chairs with white fabric ones so they pop against the new bamboo blinds. This idea will also prevent Lexi from chewing on the strings or leaning on the blinds. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm a Doormat

Just trying to be clever in the title, not really a doormat, hehe.  Quick update then let's move on to the fun stuff: I won't be selling my condo!! yay!  Long story short, the market is over saturated with houses in my price range so I wouldn't be able to get a fair price for my little place.  So now that I am staying put, on to the fun stuff like continuing to make my home perfectly me!  As Sarah Richardson would say, "You can have the home of your dreams now."  Just a little bit in love with her!

Any who, back to the matter at hand... the doormat.  Those of you that know me, we'll pretty much if you are reading this blog you are either my friend or mom, hi mom!, so you know the story of what happen to my last doormat.  We won't go into those sad details today.  Today, we will discuss a new doormat and entry way! yay!  I would like to power wash my front landing and stairs and get a new doormat and possibly some potted plants?  I figure I can keep them alive if they are outdoors, right? maybe?  Also, now that I have the whole landing to myself (tehehe), small victory = 1 Janine, 0 he who may not be named ;), I figure I can expand my front door decor.  (It rhymes, deal with it.)

So here is what I am thinking:
One of the above doormats.  Which one do you like the best?  I like the second because it adds a pop of color and my front door is green but then I also like the second but it's timeless - you will never get tired of seeing it.  Help!?

Here are the pots I was thinking for the plants:

Do you have recommendations for what plants to put in them?  I was thinking just two pots, I do love decorating in groups of three but I think three pots would be too much.  Is it just me or does the word pot make everyone giggle?  hehe.  I like the look of the plants they have in the picture, add some more green to the boring deck?  I need something hardy, that won't easily die.  Also what will the pots look like in winter when the plan dies, should I get year around plants?  or just hide the plants in the winter and replace with a blow up, life sized snowman?

I also like the look of this planter below.  I think the added visual height would be really nice and that the straight lines would match almost too perfectly with the geometric mat above. Too much?

I  can't wait to hear your thoughts and start my front door beautification project! 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Moving on Up...

I write this post with mixed feelings as I have a Realtor coming to the condo this afternoon to list it for sale.  I know, it has barely been two short years in my cute condo but we have already out grown it.  And this move is not because I have updated every room of the condo and am looking for a new one to reno. haha. Definitely, not, although that will be fun.  This move is because of this one...
Craig and I adopted Abbey a year ago to this day and while she was 10 lbs when we brought her home, she is now a manly 65 lbs.  She loves to run and dig and really does need a fenced in backyard to do those things.  We also feel like such bad puppy parents when confining her to a crate for 8+ hours a day during the work week.  Although she is the main reason we would like to move to a single family home, there are others, like the joy of a garage and not having to carry 10 bags of groceries up a flight of stairs while it may be raining.  It will also be nice to have a third bedroom and not sharing walls with certain neighbors (you all know what I mean).  So that is the why, now on to the when, how, where, what...?

So after talking with the Realtor, it looks like the house will be listed as of Monday.  We are hoping that by pricing it aggressively and by all the updates I have done over the last two years, that we can get a quickish (word?) sale.  At the same time we hope to buy a single family home in the Cary/Apex area in the next two months.  It's going to be a whirlwind, that's for sure.

In getting the house market-ready, I have done a few more updates to the condo that I will be sharing over the week.  Those include painting all the kitchen cabinetry, doing quick easy updates to the second bathroom, and a built in closet unit in the second bedroom closet.  I also don't think I have ever posted about painting the second bedroom, so I will include before and afters for that room as well.  Excited yet?

As I said, there are mixed emotions because I have spent so much of my free time, money, and effort working on this condo that I hate to see it go to a buyer who might ask for more or not appreciate what it use to look like and that they are getting it for practically the same price I did two years ago.  (Sorry, long run on there - typing from the heart.)  But such is the market and a quick sale in this market is like cold hard cash in better times.  Can I post before pictures in all the rooms??

Then at the same time, I am beyond excited about the prospect of moving to a bigger home with a great backyard.  My first thought was, I want NEW! haha, I am tired of spending all my free time doing reno.  However, I just can't resist the temptation to get a great deal on an older home and use the extra cash to make it perfectly me! Plus with older houses you get sooo much more land... goes back to that girly in the picture above.  She would love it!!  Craig and I are trying not to jump the gun but are already addicted to searching and zillow.

Therefore, I am inviting you on our journey to find a new home to love.  Expect posts of prospective homes and please give us your feedback.  As current homeowners, everyone has their own perspectives that offer ah ha moments for those of us virgins to the single family home lifestyle.  Thanks again for reading! <3.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Dining Room Light Fixture

I knew before I even closed on my house that the dining room light fixture had to go.  Not even centered over the table, not even your grandma would like this style...
So, I can't tell you how the sorry little light lasted this long but it did until this past weekend.  For the longest time I had been lusting over an extravagant light from Crate and Barrel even so much as to ask for it for Christmas.  When I did in fact receive a nice gift card from Janet and my Dad for Christmas, I hurried my little (well bigger thanks to Christmas goodies) butt over to only to discover that they had raised the price another $30! Who does that?!?  So rather than fork over the moolah for the light I had been dreaming about for the past year and a half, I decided to look and see what else was on the market that wasn't so high maintenance and full of themselves!  Lucky in love, I stumbled upon this light from CB2: Eden Pendent Lamp.  At nearly 1/4th the price of the original and totally as cute, it was love at first sight! My gift card covered the entire purchase too - happy day!

The only problem was the light was a plug in not a hardwired to the ceiling mount type.  With a little help from my mom, we cut the cord (to my new baby... too far?) and attached the exposed wires to the existing ceiling electrical.  I reused the previous ceiling mount by painting it a glossy white to cover the hole in the ceiling.  In order to center the light over the table, an hook was installed in the ceiling and the light positioned in perfect place.  All in all, it took less than an hour and I wonder why I didn't do it sooner.

 What do you think? Stunning? 

 Who wants to come over for a dinner party??!  BYOD... Bring your own dinner... ;)