Flip My Chair

Do you know what I find great joy from? Making some dolla billz AND trading out for something more my jam at the same time. See, we’ve had quite a bit of spending excess amounts of money lately (like, oh THIS), so when I saw a capitalist opportunity to snag a few extra simoleans, I was on it like sugar on a cider mill donut. Remember my steal of a deal craigslist chairs? The ones I paid $550 for, for (3). Well truth be told, I wasn’t loving them in the new space. The color was a bit off, and they felt a bit too short for the room, too.

Tufted Living Room Chair

So I decided to flip the chairs and see if I couldn’t snag myself enough profit to accessorize the room just a bit. As luck would have it, I was able to get $900 for those three chairs. Yep, that’s a net gain of $450, if you’re doing the math. $450 worth of pure awesomeness, in my book. Now, the chairs retailed for $800 each, so in all honesty, I really don’t feel that bad about what we sold them for, since ya know, that’s $2,400 worth of chair for $900 bucks.

Added bonus for mauh, I just happened to spot exactly the right chairs for the space at TJMaxx for $250. TWO FIFTY! And do you know what, they’re actually more comfortable than the $800 chairs we had before. Awwww snap! Here’s a look at these beauties up close.

Tufted Wingback Chair

The two things I really didn’t like about the chairs we had before were the color (too gray) and the height (too short). These chairs check off both of those boxes for me as I vastly prefer both the color, which is a soft linen shade and the height.

Another thing that makes me smile is that these exact chairs retail online for nearly $600. WOOT.

Raven Chair

You can see how much taller they are than the ones before in this shot.

Tufted Wingback Chairs

I actually had hoped to show y’all our ginormous rug we purchased from our extra cash in the chair swap, too. Chalk it up to us have insanely bad luck with deliveries as of late, but this new guy had a huge black smudge along the cloth perimeter. The good news is that Home Decorators (where we purchased it from) have been absolute rockstars about the whole thing, so hopefully we’ll have a replacement for it very soon!

Fixing Damaged Natural Fiber Rug

Until then, I have another (much smaller) update for you guys. See something peaking out from my final new chair snapshot?

Tufted Linen Chair

I really never knew that a $20 plant could make my heart so dang happy. For those of you not aware of the blogosphere obsession with these things, that is a fiddle leaf fig tree aka Mary’s favorite thing. Other than warm white bread with butter smothered all over it, cause let’s be honest, is there anything better than that?

Where to Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Last time Jay and I were at Home Depot I did a legit stop in my tracks with a quick pivot and possessive arm flailing to indicate to any other passer bye that this final little fiddle leaf fig. Oh it was mine. And Lordy, am I loving our new green leafed addition.

I searched for a bit before I found this $5 HomeGoods basket, and deemed it the perfect little container for this beaut.

Inexpensive Locations for Baskets

Overall, we’re pretty happy to have some new chairs that fit the space better, all while putting a few extra dollars back in our pockets. Anyone else a craigslist flipper out there? I’m a serial offender over here. ;)

 

Another Day, Another $900

You guys – I can’t even tell you how hard this post is to write. We had something awful happen to us and I wanted to treat these next few words as one big fat public service announcement to make sure no one suffers the same fate as us.

Remember this beautiful washer?

Samsung Front Loading Washer and Dryer

The one that I said we were super excited about installing in our upstairs laundry room? Well, late Thursday night, with my family anticipated to get down here from Michigan the afternoon the next day, and our Living Room looking like this (picture below), we were motivated to go out, buy an appliance dolly ($100…) and move our appliances to their forever homes.

Appliances in Living Room

So we moved the oven, no problem, lickedy splickedy, took under a minute to hoist the thing gently up onto it’s side and into the kitchen. Done. We kinda looked at each other and said, well that was easy!

And perhaps it was a false sense of confidence that inspired us to tackle the washing machine – up the stairs – next. The oven went so easy, we had “stair climbers” on the dolly, we had the two of us to handle it, we thought we were good. We were so, so wrong.

When we got it up the stairs, we noticed one side was a little bent – I told Jay it was fine, as long as it was just aesthetic, no one would see that once this guy was installed (since it was on the side). As we looked closer though, we noticed that the machine itself was actually buckled a bit. Rut row.

And that’s when tragedy struck. After some additional investigation, we found that the inside plastic basin, the one that holds the water, was cracked. Like seriously cracked.

Breaking Washing Machine Basin

We both kind of looked at each other, dumbfounded as to how this could have happened. Once we had a second to reassess the situation, we realized that the unit must have been damaged from moving it from the control panel, along it’s back. This section of the appliance, it appears, is much more sensitive than the metal sides of the unit.

When Jay was downstairs, cleaning up the Styrofoam later that evening, he spotted plastic pieces in our living room, which meant that 1) the unit was somehow damaged during delivery and/or 2) The initial effort of hoisting the unit back (which was done extremely gently …) was too much weight alone, and the plastic internal tub popped just from that.

Looking back on the photos of the unit downstairs, you can actually see some of the buckling, which was present before we even moved it up the stairs, so we’re confident that damage occurred during delivery, as well. Sigh. No fun.

Damaged Washer

A few other facts, leading to a question mark on when this guy actually bit the dust include that all of our appliances were actually moved 3-times to different trucks before they got to our home. On our scheduled delivery date, the appliance delivery man said he couldn’t fit down our street (?) (which I find odd, since Lowe’s brought a semi down the street to deliver our fridge), so he’d have to reschedule for later the following week with a pick-up truck. Lots of moving around with fragile appliances = disaster, apparently.

Long story short, instead of resting in the laundry room, this beast is resting in our bedroom – completely broken. Along with our hearts. And our wallets.

Breaking Washing Machine

Insult to injury, we need to open up the doorway even more to get these units into the laundry room. So demo days are not behind us.

Closet Door Opening

To say we’re depressed about this, well, there couldn’t be truer words. Basically, we’re now in a position where our $800 washer is now worth nothing. Like – nothing. Plus, ya know, there’s the entire not having a laundry room – we were SO looking forward to having one functioning space in this house.

Did I mention our Kitchen currently looks like this?

Martha Stewart Kitchen

The Sell household has seen better days, this is certain.

The part that kind of boggles our minds about it, is there was absolutely no indication on the unit that we should not lift it up from the back end. Our oven, for instance, has this notification in like three spots. ONLY LIFT FROM SIDES.

How to Move Large Appliance

We looked for a similar notation on the washer, but when we didn’t see anything, we kind of shrugged and figured it would be alright. For one thing, it’s the way the delivery men brought in the unit (not so tenderly, may I add) and for another, we were dealing with a pretty tight spot once we got up the steps, so we figured it would be best to position it the slimmest way possible to ease that transition.

At the end of the day, by all appearances we will be out around $900 to buy a new unit. We got it on sale the first time, through an online retailer, that was quite frankly a nightmare. If we would have bit the bullet earlier and just paid for the unit at Home Depot, we would have had free delivery – which covers up to (3) flights of stairs. Now that’s what I’m talking about. My game plan was to head over to Home Depot and find a sympathetic set of arms to weep in, to see if they could help me out on the pricing at all – but ya know, turns out they just kinda shrugged their shoulders.

With all that being said, we did have a rather wonderful thing happen though when Jay was chatting with a co-worker that mentioned we may have protection under our credit card. Turns out, we do (!) Jay called and explained the situation, and Chase indicated up to $500 in damages would be covered under a large purchase clause they have. Basically, since there is ambiguity to when the damages happened, Chase is willing to cover at minimum $500 and up to the entire purchase price, if they can pin negligence on the company we purchased it from (during the delivery). How sa-weet is that?

The $500 refund clause (more info, here) actually protects against damages whenever they’ve occurred, so that is a huge, HUGE relief to us as it appears we’ll at least be reimbursed for that portion of our expenditure.

Damage Protection on Chase Credit Card

So y’all – my main take away’s from this tragic event are as follows:

1) Pay a bit more to buy your appliance through a company that will deliver it for you. The online retailer we purchased from was deceiving, because although it said “delivery” was included, they were adamant that they would just bring it inside the threshold of our door – no further. Home Depot on the other had, will bring it up 3-flights of stairs, and hook it up, at no charge.

2) Never, ever, under any circumstances, should you put the unit on it’s back (i.e. control panel). As I mentioned, before we even brought this up a single step, the inside basin had broke – since we found bits of the plastic down in our living room. The delivery crew also brought it in on it’s back – big no no.

3) Make big purchases with a credit card when you can. This provides an extra level of protection if you get stuck in a crappy situation like we did

In the mean time, what’s a girl to do when she just can’t wash those jeans fast enough? Why, hit up the clearance rack at Target, of course!

Shopping Target Clearance

Shopping. A quick distraction when I feel like bawling my eyes out. Any other sad stories of appliances slapping you in the face? Help me feel better, tell me your tale!

New here? Follow along with the fun!

      

Puddleduck Paper | Giveaway!

I’ve gotta tell you, browsing online these days makes me wish I’d stumbled across some shops before I tied the knot with the Mr. 5-years ago. There are SO many gorgeous options out there today that are as beautiful as can be! Puddleduck Paper Co. is one of my new favorite finds that carries lots of wonderful custom invitation suites, but also lots of fun (and beautiful!) art work for your home and office.

So if you’re planning a wedding, and in need of sweet invites.

Navy Wedding Invitation

Or custom bridesmaid cards .

Bridesmaid Card

Or if you’re hitched and single and ready to mingle, and just want to stock up on some stylish office art …

Work Hard

Then you are going to LOVE her shop! 

One lucky winner will win a $25 gift card to her shop, and anyone can snag 10% off by typing in the coupon code “LEMONGROVE” at checkout.

Win:  a $25 Gift Card to Puddleduck Paper Company
When: Today, July 22nd – midnight on Tuesday, July 29th
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Counting Sheep as We Sleep

You know what makes me happy? Paying way less for something than I was supposed to. Ya know, like these chairs, or this couch. It just makes me feel like I spotted a $20 bill hanging out on the pavement. So when Jay and I were on the hunt for a new bed for our guest room, it made me extra happy when I found a sleep number (aka mucho dinero bed) for all of $100. And get this, the inflatable mattress had never been used. Shhhhwweeeettt! :D

We were motivated to get our rear’s in gear when we found out my family would be coming down to the land of the pines in mid-July. When we started to do the math, we realized we’d be coming up a few beds short, which inspired us to bite the bullet and add a bed to our sleeping arrangement menu of options. After some sleuthing on craigslist, we came home with this. A mattress, in a box.

Sleep Number Bed Price

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but my engineer of a husband was pretty sure he could figure it out. Back in the day, when I used to work at the Sunglass Hut at the mall (hated that job) I remember there was a swanky little mattress boutique next door, called Select Comfort. So when I spotted a never used twin on craigslist for $100, I put on my detective pants and started sleuthing, to see what it’s value would be if we bought it new. Bam. Y’all see that? That’s a 6 with two digits after it which = way more than the $100 we were about to part with.

Sleep Number Bed Price

So sleep number beds are super nifty in the fact that their air filled, so you can customize them to be firm, or soft, based on yo preference. Our guests are sleeping in style, people. Once we filled up the mattress, we realized something was still missing along the sides. The bed seemed a wee small, no?

Sleep Number Bed

Which was when we spotted the last part of our little mattress puzzle, these foam doo-hickeys that go along the side, like so. After you add the pillow top pad over the top, you’ve got yourself one fancy bed!

Assembling a Sleep Number Bed

Another added bonus, since this bed is right up against the wall, is that the air mattress component of it makes it really easy to lift the bed to the side as your making it since it’s so much lighter!

Speaking of making the bed, I had fun pulling a few items out of our packed storage inventory to make our bed feel a bit more guest ready. I love how the $3 blankets I snagged from the Goodwill look – everything looks so nice and cozy now!

Buying_Linens_From_Thrift_Store

While I was at it, I added some pillows from the last house to the mix as well.

Pillows from Homegoods

Speaking of HomeGoods … we might as well deem that place the land of baskets – since I scored this ginormous (and beautiful!) basket there this weekend for $24.99. For that size, that is down right criminal. It’s large enough that it’s perfect for end of bed storage and extra blankets.

Large_Basket_For_Foot_Of_Bed

But you know, as good as it feels to have this room more done, and ready for one of my sisters to slumber in, I’ve gotta be straight with you. If you pivot 90 degrees to the right, this is your view. Ha!

Guest Room After Moving

So let’s just pivot on back to the left y’all and enjoy what is done. Little steps, we’re getting closer!

Twin Bed in Guest Room

 

Restoring My Faith in Humanity

You guys, truth be told, I’ve had a rough week. If it wasn’t one thing, it most certainly was the next. From small setbacks, to big, I’ve been feeling down and frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. I’ve just been dealing with people, that aren’t nice people, and it made me morph into a version of myself that I wasn’t proud to be. The apartment community we just moved away from has been awful to deal with, and really just trying to throw us under the boat in ways that I’m just really not use to. Although we paid every single month on time, they failed to mention (at any point) that we need to offer a 30-day written notice of intent to vacate, and when we didn’t – they hit us with a $650 fee. Ouch. They’ve been down right villains about it, and it’s pretty evident that they’re pretty accustomed to being scummy, and taking advantage of people just for the sake of it (oh, and making a buck). What bothered me about it more than anything, is their predatory procedures were inconvenient for us, but for most of the people living in that apartment community, being hit with an unanticipated $650 fee would be devastating. Like pretty close to their month’s salary (it was NOT a fancy place…) Now that is so wrong, so so wrong in my book. Needless to say, after a week full of disappointments with our renovations (kitchen’s behind 4-weeks, laundry room didn’t pass inspection) – their awful demeanor just had me questioning – ya know – like where’s the love people.

But little things this week, have helped to restore my faith. Little things like my Dad calling, just to tell me how mad he was that the apartment community would do that. Or the Father in our neighborhood I passed on my walk home from work this week, tenderly teaching his little one to ride a bike. And the adolescent girl I saw, lifting up her hand to help an elderly woman get off the bus and step over a puddle on the street.

There was one website I stumbled upon this week, that was so incredibly beautiful, I had to share. Humans of New York. It’s humanity at it’s core and it’s moving in ways that are difficult to articulate. Here’s a small sample of it’s beauty. I hope you enjoy these excerpts as much as I did.

PRIDE

Humans of New York

“At the end of my senior year, I took some advanced level entry exams from Cambridge University. They are very difficult and very important. When the exam scores came in, my friend called me and told me that the principal was looking for me. My father was sitting next to me. He saw my face and asked me what was wrong. ‘I think I did very poorly,’ I told him. ‘Because the principal is looking for me.’ He told me that he would come to her office with me to support me. When we got there, there was a huge line of students waiting to get their scores, but the principal called me in. She told me I was one of three students in the school to get all A’s. My father was so nervous when I came out, and when I told him, he hugged me so hard that I could tell he was trying not to cry. He was so happy, he took all the money out of his wallet, handed it to the security guard, and told him to pass it out to everyone in line. It was the happiest moment of my life.”

WORK ETHIC

Humans of New York

“I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago— just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care.”

CELEBRATING YOUR BEST ATTRIBUTES

Humans of New York

“He won the Best Legs Competition on our cruise ship.”

BELIEVING IN OTHERS

Humans of New York

“I went to work with a fever one day, and I was trying to pull out a screw when the crowbar dislodged and hit me across the face. Two days later, I started to see a pink spray behind my right eye. They tried many surgeries, but over two months, my vision slowly faded to nothing until I was completely blind in the eye. My balance was ruined. I felt dizzy. I could barely walk. I spent $16,000 on surgeries, and then the hospital sued me for $40,000, even though they failed to save my eye. I was so sad and angry at myself, that I did nothing for a year and a half. I lost my house, my car, everything. Then one day, my friend said to me that he had an important job for me to do. And it was a very small job, but he gave me $1,000. He knew I wouldn’t take charity, so this was his way of giving me charity— overpaying me for a job. That was the way he was— Atilla Tetik is his name, from Long Island. And even though the $1,000 was a big help, seeing that I could finish a job made me feel powerful. And I immediately started working again.”

LOVE

Humans of New York

“When I told my mom that I was going to rehab, she was about to catch a flight to her 40th High School Reunion. I told her: ‘I guess you won’t be bragging about me to your friends.’ She said: ‘Actually, I’ve never been prouder of you.’”

SACRIFICE

Humans of New York

“I tell them: ‘Don’t think about money. Let Grandpa think about money. Just think about your education.’”

SLOWING DOWN

People_In_Central_Park

“One time I was taking him and a friend to the park, and his friend had a slight walking problem. I didn’t even notice it, so I was walking pretty fast. He ran up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered: ‘Dad, will you please slow down?’ I’ll never forget that.”

SEEING THE WORLD AROUND US

Humans of New York

“We’re the Eco Adventure Club! Everyday we go on an adventure to learn about plants and animals in the city. Today is our eleventh adventure. We’ve been to Prospect Park, the Botanical Gardens, and today we’re learning to use maps on the High Line. We’re even growing our own garden. Everybody say Raaassstttaaaffaaarriii!”

I seriously LOVE this website. It’s my new facebook/twitter obsession. If you found these stories as heartwarming as I did, you can follow along with Humans of New York on twitter, facebook, or their blog! Happy Friday everyone – here’s to next week being better than the last! Let’s all go out and do one random act of kindness today, just to make this world a bit better of a place.

My Boil over Oil

Holy pancakes. Y’all, oil heating, what theeeeee heecck? So, I’ve got one of those “What they didn’t tell you about being a home owner moments” coming right up for you. Our house has an oil heater, turns out, that’s bad. Now, normally in the South, we wouldn’t even be thinking about heating our house until like December, but truth be told, we put the cart in front of the horse again and got ourselves into a bit of a pickle. I’m (quasi) happy to report that Jay is totally to blame for this incident and that I had nothing to do with it :D Yes, I do take some pleasure in that.

See, it all started when Jay decided he wanted a gas range. To his credit, it’s a beauty of a gas range. ;) Here’s a sneak diddly peak at what landed on our doorstep on Tuesday!

GE Cafe Dual Fuel

We kinda both agreed that we knew we’d want to convert everything over sooner or later, so we figured it would be a good investment to run some gas lines through the house. The good news, if we connected either a water heater or a furnace to said gas line from the utility, then they would run it to our house for free! Picture us nodding along like Ed the hyena at this point. Sounds good, right? So we proceed, and have the gas company come on out and install this bad boy for us. Here’s a photo of the furnace/water heater combo we had before.

Old Oil Burning Fireplace

The catchy catch (noted above) is that we have to install a furnace or water heater. Now, we knew we wanted to replace both of these things. We’d heard that both are quite a bit more expensive to run (oil vs. gas for the furnace, and electric vs. gas for the water heater). It wasn’t until we started doing our research though that we realized how expense they’d be to run. Specifically, this chunk of love oil burning furnace.

Oil Burning Furnace

Y’all, cover your children’s ears, because what I’m about to tell you is down right ugly. After sleuthing around a bit, we found out that the cost to heat our house for the winter, was going to be close to $1,500. We called a local oil company that services the triangle, and they indicated we’d be looking at a rate of $4.49 per gallon, and that we’d most likely need 400 gallons to get us through winter. If you pull out your calculators, you’d see that’s over $1,700. For just our heat. For just the winter.

You guys, we came from Michigan last year and our entire YEAR of heating and cooling and all our other electric things – like total utility bills for the year – was less than that. Like significantly. (We averaged just over $100 a month for the entire year) And it was -40 one day last winter – NEGATIVE FORTY, people! So, after I was done choking on my spit post telephone call from the sweet old lady at the oil company – I looked at Jay and said, son, we’ve gotta DO something about this!

Here in lies the conundrum. We got this news at a time when we were not planning on replacing the furnace. We knew we had to replace either the furnace *or* the water heater, but turns out due to a perfect trifecta of a “traditional” style water heater (i.e. tanked) not working with the existing furnace (since it can’t be vented via the chimney, since the furnace already vents through there and there isn’t room for both), we either had to proceed with an ultra efficient, ultra expensive, tankless water heater or we had to bite the bullet and spring for a furnace. Since along with running the gas line in the interior of the house the tankless water heater would cost us $3,500, we decided it would be prudent to convert the furnace first and put in a less expensive tanked heater later.

So I started shopping around, and we had (3) different HVAC companies come out to tell us about our options. Here’s what they said:

  • $5,500 for 90% efficient furnace, and gas line run
  • $4,600 for 92% efficient furnace, and gas line run
  • $5,800 for 95% efficient furnace, no gas line run

In the end, we landed up going with the least expensive option, at which at $4,600 was a pretty hard pill to swallow. Keep in mind, we were not planning on this expense whatsoever, so needless to say, it was a bit of a shock to the system. Lucky for us a few of our other expenses have been coming in under budget, so that gave us some extra dough to tackle this beast. As a point of comparison – we paid under $2,000 last year for a 95% efficient furnace in Michigan – so we were a bit surprised by the pricing down here in NC. I may or may have not cried in a corner. We’re like – wait – I thought cost of living was supposed to be lower in the South. FALSE. That is false.

Here is our new furnace, all shiny and well, ginormous. Not sure what the deal is with the space ranger vent off to the side. Apparently it’s necessary. Thank goodness this monstrosity is in our basement and not upstairs, y’all.

Converting from Oil to Gas

Bingo. Bango. Bongo. I’m personally a big fan of this hunka chunka metal, because although it cost me more money than I personally feel should be godly possible, it’s also going to save me a cool grand this winter. And the next one, and the next one. Once we sat down and did the math, we knew it was a no brainer, even though it was a heart breaker.

Compared to our old place, this guy’s venting system is super small and tight against the siding, too – which is great. You can barely notice it from the outside. See how it’s totally streamlined with the siding out there?

Furnace Venting out Side

It’s a little cumbersome on the inside, but some of the other options were way, way worse, so in the end, we’re pretty happy with how it turned out. This is a close up shot of the venting that’s outside.

Side Vent Furnace

In addition to installing the furnace, a sizable chunk of our expenses was for the gas line installation as well. Although it was pricey, it’s going to be so nice to have a gas range in this house (not to mention a gas water heater and furnace). Added bonus, since we already had the 220 line installed through there (the last oven was electric), we were able to get a dual fuel oven, which is supposed to be optimal for both baking and stove top cooking. Swanky.

Now that we’ve converted over the furnace though, we do still need to save our pennies to give the electric water heater the boot. Right now, this guy is nearly half of our electric bill each month, so it would be nice to minimize that expense in the future. See the energy usage chart? You want that arrow on the far left, not the far right.

Electric Water Heater

I really can’t recommend the company that came out enough (not paid or perked in any way to say it!). They’re Carolina Heating and Cooling, if you live in the area, and they were awesome about talking through our options with us. Added bonus, the guy gave us a quote right on the spot when he came, where we had to chase the other (2) companies down with tons of phone calls and emails. Do you want my money or not people, carrumba.

And a week after our furnace was installed, do you know what I got in the mail? A plant. From the furnace dudes. WHAT? I mean, talk about Southern Hospitality. Color me impressed.

Indoor Plants

Anyone else install a furnace in the middle of July? :D Although it was a chunk-o-change, we’re super happy that come winter, we won’t have to worry about the astronomical cost of paying for oil for the old furnace!

 

Back to My Usual Antics

It feels like everything in this house right now is kind of outside of our control. Our kitchen – delayed 4-weeks (post on THAT next week). Our laundry room – didn’t pass inspection (plumber is back today to finish it up). Our chimney – it’s leaking to the tune of a big old puddle in our living room when we walked in from a long day tonight. So needless to say, when I could reach for a creature comfort that I knew would work, and I knew would look glorious with a capital G – you guys – I went for it.

I thought about being adventurous, but then I crawled back to that warm and familiar place. Herringbone tile. Yep, iiiittt’s baaaccckkk!!

Marble Floor in Laundry Room

Yes, I love this stuff. Testament from our last house, here.

Herringbone_Tile_Subway_Pattern

and here.

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

What can I say. If the shoe fits, I’m going to wear it.

I mean, for a quick second, I thought about being all crazy and switching it up - I even went out and bought the tile. But once we had our plumbing in, and I got a true view of how small our actual footprint for flooring would be, I knew the 6×18 inch tile was just going to be way too big for the space.

Leonia Silver Tile

So, back to Home Depot we went, and out I came with my favorite marble to date. Added bonus, it’s just over $5 a square foot. For marble subway tile. Holla!!

Jay nixed the traditional herringbone style (vertical orientation, like our kitchen backsplash), since he belly ached at me it was too hard. And since it’s our laundry room, and I like this style almost as much, I said okey dokee! With my help, we were able to get this installation done in about an hour.

Here is a close up of how the pattern turned out.

Marble Herringbone Subway Tile

Like I mentioned above, this particular marble subway tile is a steal of a deal at $5.69 per square foot, which was another reason that we decided to jump for this when we did. There are some trade-offs with the cheap route on this one – a decent amount of the tiles were really not my jam (discolored).

In our case, we decided the best work around was to buy a few extra containers of the tile and consider this sunk cost for getting this great of a deal on a marble tile. Lucky for us, we also overbought, so we were able to return a few containers after the install was complete, as well.

Believe it or not, we only had to tile 15 square feet of space in the laundry room, so our total out of pocket cost was under $90 for the flooring. You’ll notice that the plumbing is quite a bit higher over on the left than I thought it would be, so we’ve got some big plans for building a base around that to cover it up, and to build a nice built-in bookcase for storage along that wall.

Adding Laundry on Second Floor

In addition to snagging a steal of a a deal on the tile, we also got quite a discount on our washer/dryer unit, too. Although still pretty darn expensive (IMO), we knocked a few hundred off the price by doing some online sleuthing prior to committing. Sad story, a week later they were $100 less than we paid online, but ya know, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Samsung Front Loading Washer and Dryer

Since I’ve never met a marble tile I didn’t like, I thought it would also be fun to do a round-up of some of my favorites in my search, too! Enjoy :D

Best Marble Floor Options

Greecian White // Greecian White Basketweave // Greecian White Hexagon // Greecian White Subway

Pick a Peanut | Giveaway

When I was putting our Laundry Room mood board together, I fell pretty hard for some art work from Peanut Oak Prints on etsy. Lucky for all of you, if you liked that artwork as much as I did, today is your chance to win!

Peanut Oak Prints is offering any (1) 11×17 print from their shop. Their are tons to choose from, including my Laundry Room fav.

Collage

Ready to win your loot? Enter below:

Win:  (1) 11×17 print 
When: Today, July 15th – midnight on Tuesday, July 22nd
Winner: Announced on this post, next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Queen Bee

At least I’m feeling like yooouurr rulleer, now that’s I’ve some crown in this town. Along with wainscoting, I think you can add crown to my favorite things with the impact it has on a room. Like, not crappy in a snappy. :D Snicker. I’m on a roll, people.

One thing is for sure, when we moved into the house a few weeks back, I knew that their, faux crown – shall we say – would not be staying. It was pretty sad and pitiful up close. Here’s a shot of it in our Dining Room, post paint.

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint_Color

It was teeny weeny. Now in my dream of all dreams, my crown is like a foot. A massive chunk of heaven just chilling up there next to the ceiling. Alas, small wrinkle. My husband hates cutting large crown. When we installed super large crown molding in the last house above the cabinets, it took him like an hour to make each cut. Knowing that we had the entire house ahead of us for install, I opted to meet him half way on this one, and pick something a bit smaller than I’d normally go for.

Added bonus. Since this crown was more Jay’s jam, I was even able to convince him to spring for all of it once, which saved us close to $50 with reduced contractor bulk pricing. Huzza!! This is the trim we got, which averaged out to .93 a linear foot with the discount (not shabby).

Purchasing Crown in Bulk

Since most of the pieces we were installing were quite long, Jay did need my help for most of the project to hold the trim while he was installing and cutting, so although one person could do it, I would say it’s a 2-person job in all honesty.

My first call to duty was to pre-paint all the pieces, since we thought it would be a lot easier to just touch up the pieces of trim, vs. painting the entire piece once it was up.

Installing Crown Molding

Even though Jay petitioned for a smaller piece, it turns out this crown was actually still too big for his miter saw – whomp, whomp. But we found a work around and to make things easier, Jay decided to install a small piece of wood on either side of the miter saw, since this raised the fence and enabled him to support the crown against something flat as he cut it (allowing for a straight cut).

How to Cut Crown

My job with the cutting was to stand on either end and hold the piece, so it didn’t waiver too much. Hard stuff, people, hard stuff.

Once we got the crown back inside, we determined the best plan of attack was to nail it in along the bottom, and then come back right along the top, as close to the ceiling as possible. In the living room, we tried nailing it in right in the middle, and found that this kinda gashed the wood a bit, since it didn’t have anything to sink into. It would blow out the section we were in, and create a little crater there of nothingness. It also made a mess all over the floor. Trial and error.

How to Install Crown Molding

You can see the big difference crown made on the corner here in our Dining Room. On the far right, there’s the mini stuff from before and the rest of the shot panning to the left has the new stuff. Much, much better. The last stuff was so small, we were actually able to installing the new piece right over it in most rooms!

Installing Crown

Here’s a close up of the crown in the guest room after the install but before caulk. (Caulk cures all – it’s my number one home renovation motto).

How to Install Crown

See what I mean – same corner, after caulk, pre-paint.

Caulking Crown

Now that we have the crown up, I can definitely tell a difference when I enter the rooms. Call me greedy though, I have plans down the road to potentially snaze things up a bit by adding a small piece of trim down below, and painting the rest. Like this. Here is an example via pinterest.

Faux Crown Molding

Here are some before and after pictures, too!

Of the Living Room.

Living Room Before

After. (Sneaky peak at some new furniture, too!)

Crown Molding in Living Room

The Guest Room, before.

Guest Room Before

And after crown. Still needs some paint touch up though.

Adding Crown To Bedroom

And the Dining Room, before.

Dining Room Before

For this room, I’m just going to show ya a corner, since that chandelier makes it darn impossible to get a good shot of the space otherwise. :) Yum. Don’t you just want to eat it up? Well it’s definitely better than what we had before – that’s for sure!

Crown in Dining Room

Wall(pain)er

True story. The other day someone came to our house to buy something off of craigslist, and do you know what they said? They said they liked our wallpaper in the foyer. Wait, let me say that again. That they liked our wallpaper in the foyer. Now it’s a good thing that Jay was the one assisting them, since ya know, I think I would have snort laughed at them, and that might have been considered rude.

Yes, this wallpaper.

Blue and White Wallpaper

Now, this wallpaper gives me nightmares. The dang stuff creeps me out. It’s like old fashioned people dressed in blue are staring at me all the time. I just couldn’t handle it. So this weekend, I smiled nicely at Jay, handed him a scrapper and said, son – let’s get to gettin.

Lucky for us (although tedious) this stuff slides right off like butta (MUCH easier than our last round of removal).

Like full sheets. The top layer practically came off in sheets just pulling it off with our bare hands.

Removing Wallpaper

Side note – have you guys been to Savannah? Jay and I came to the conclusion that the pink hue underneath all this wallpaper reminded us a lot of the Old Pink House in Savannah. Truth. This also gave me the creeps, since you know, that’s haunted and all.

Old Pink Walls

Our general system is that Jay would come through and remove the top sheet of wallpaper, while I would spray everything down underneath, and come back through to scrap off the sublayer and glue beneath. This, turns out, was quite messy.

Removing Wallpaper on Steps

Once I had gone through and scraped off everything that I could reach, it was Jay’s turn to get the higher spots throughout the house. Tag teamin’ it.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Now, we knew there was probably a reason why this entire space was wallpapered (including the ceiling in the upstairs hallway) so although it wasn’t a pleasant discovery, I can’t say we were surprised to find some serious crack action happening on our walls. Since the basement issue wasn’t dealt with for quite a while, and it seems like the previous owners opted to cover things up vs. deal with them (wallpapering vs. fixing the basement), there are some settlement cracks in the house that we’ve had to work around as we go from room to room. That’s how the cookie crumbles when you buy a 1939 home though.

Cracking Wall in Old House

Now that the blue and white nightmare is down, I’m starting to get some ideas of what I’d like to do with the space. Chalk it up to all the cracks, but I’m thinking that I might add some more wallpaper! ;) Something a bit more subtle though, perhaps like the grass cloth wallpaper shot I’ve got below, with wainscoting down below (like the master).

Grasscloth Wallpaper

And although this really doesn’t look like progress, we’re pretty darn happy to have our hallway looking like this these days.

Removing Wallpaper on Steps

Instead of this.

Blue and White Wallpaper

The orange tabby, meanwhile, just wants to fit in as many naps as possible. :) Jay, turns out, was happy to join him post wallpaper removal.

Cat Nap