Swedish Obsession

When we lived in Michigan, we were 15 minutes away from an IKEA. The things we take for granted mi amigos, the things we take for granted. See – now the closest IKEA is 2+ hours away. Did I still convince Jay that it was a good idea for us to cart our booties there last weekend? Why yes! Yes I did 😀

I had a specific checklist of baby room items I wanted and there was an added bonus. It was the spend more money than you should, and EAT FOR FREE day at IKEA! Never heard of it? Well those tricky little Swedish marketers came up with the idea that if they could persuade you to spend $100 or more on home furnishings, that you could eat all the swedish food your heart desired. To a knocked up women and a man that puts over a hundred miles a week on the open road burning calories on his bicycle – this sounded like a splendid way to spend a Saturday.

And so … off we went … on our Saturday adventure, where this happened.

Eat for Free at IKEA day

Yep, that’s food for just the two of us, well the three of us, if you’re getting technical. I think Jay likes to pretend he’s growing a baby too, since his spread out paced mine by a few sides.

I’ve gotta say, between the food (oh, the food!) and the splendid array of wonderment that lay before my eyes, this was one fun IKEA trip.

Best IKEA Furniture

My favorite item – BY FAR – was this little sofa that was just way too chic for it’s own good. And by it’s own good, I mean mine, because I’ve obviously got to make it mine.

IKEA Stocksund Sofa

As much as I lovey dove IKEA, I’m not usually a furniture shopper there, since the swedish lines are a bit more modern than I typically jam with. I’ve got a house chock full of their baskets and picture frames, but this sofa man, that really stopped my heart a beating for a quick second.

It’s even got a matching ottoman, to boot! Want, neeeed, must haveee ittt allll.

IKEA Stocksund Ottoman

They’ve actually got an entire collection (of armchair and sofas) so you better bet I’m saving my simolians to buy one of those beauties down the line.

Here are some of my favorite new picks I spotted on our most recent trip. I can’t wait to show you what we picked out for the nursery! (we’ve even got a paint color up in there!)

Best Things From IKEA

Stocksund Sofa // Dorthy Pillow // Pjas Basket // Himalayamix Plants // Graslok Planter // Stocksund Ottoman // Ryssby Table // Magga Basket // Ribba Picture Frame

Farmer Jack

First off, can I start off by saying that I love the fall. Like want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner can’t get my fill – bring. it. on. Something about 70 degrees and sunshine down here is just too much for me to take some days. Perfection.

So, adding to the list of things this lady finds perfect – y’all – check out this farmhouse table Jay built. Disclaimer – online it said this plan would take you 8-12 hours, it took us like 8-12 days. Now it really wasn’t that hard, it was just tedious. And had lots of steps. And my husband liked it a little too much – ya know – like he would go out there and tinker for an entire evening and I would be all like, awesome!! so, it’s ready for stain tomorrow, right? And he’d be all, well actually no, I cut a board and sanded it. What can I say, the man found some peace and solitude out in the garage and now he’s a bonafide table maker. Our neighbors even stopped by and asked Jay to make them one!! Ha ha (that went right to his ego)…

DIY Farmhouse Table

This table, makes this wifey, very happy. See, we’ve been sorta slumming it in the dining room category. We, eeerr I, made an executive decision that the old table just wasn’t working in the space so I went and sold it on craigslist. I figured, sell the table, pay for the supplies on the next one, right?

DIY Farmhouse Table

The thing that makes me the happiest about this table is that we can sit six people at it! That’s legit entertaining category right there, y’all!

Up close, it’s got a super nice, subtle stain on it. After some failed attempts, we landed up going with minwax golden oak.

Golden Oak Minwax Stain

It’s the stain we used on the floors in our first house and ever since, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for it.

Now the arrangement is nestled to the right of the room (as you look at it from the kitchen) so the chandelier needs some … reconfiguring. I’m also thinking it needs some spray can action.

Moving Chanelier

I got super excited about styling up this room so I decided to add in a few more accessories.

I’ve actually been having some fun rearranging our living room (more on that later this week), so I grabbed the bamboo chairs we had in there previously and added them to either side of the doorway. Lil’ cuties.

IKAT Pillows

We’re also artless in this corner of the house, so I grabbed some of our dollar finds from thrift stores up in the mitten and popped them right in.

It’s a lady, and a pig. I may or may not have made up a song to accompany these two fine fellas for serenading every time I pass them 😀

Folk Artwork

So overall, we’re chalking up this DIY as a big fat win. I’ll have a play by play post on building the table up soon!

Here’s another close up shot of the beauty to feast your eyeballs on in the mean time. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be doing some crazy hair waving head banging. It’s feels good to be back in the dining room business.

Farmhouse Table

Lamp Looker

If I had to break down the numbers on the doors we use most often in this abode it would be:

Front Door: 3%
Kitchen Door: 12%
Side Door: Whatevers left percent, aka A LOT.

We’ve been working to trouble shoot that little area of ours, things like adding our armoire for storage and, well I guess that’s pretty much all we’ve done to date 😀 He he, got over ambitious there for a second thinking we were all speedy Gonzales round here.

Coat Storage At Door

Another thing we’ve been wanting to update around our entry, is our lighting situation.

Which currently looks like, this:

Lamp on Floor

See our Living Room is sans overhead light. Being that the house is circa 1939, I guess we should be pretty happy this is the only room that is missing this crucial detail.

I’ve been wanting to get our Living Room more livable, so I’m currently sleuthing around for a nice, tall, floor lamp to position right behind the chair as you walk in (since that’s the switch we reach for when you walk in the door).

Here’s my shopping list, so far!

Adesso Floor Lamp

Adesso Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Now, in my heart of hearts, I’m just dying to find something similar on my good friend the list. I mean – srrriously, who wants to drop $200 on a lamp? Not this lady.

But if there is one thing I’m realizing about pregnant Mary, it’s that she likes to knock out the list even more than non-pregnant Mary. Truth be told, didn’t know that was possible. This women wants things done, and she wants them down now. #BlessingandaCurse

For now, we’ve decided to at least move a foot in the right direction, by popping in the lamps in a new home.

Olive Green Sofa

Better, right?

My next game plan is to add in some artwork, above the sofa. Perhaps build a sofa table for behind the couch as well (eventually) and get rid of the side tables? They’re feeling a smidge too traditional for me these days.

Artwork Behind Sofa

We also added in our friend Helmut (Jay’s brain child there), who faithfully watches over our door. Good egg. Along with Bully Bull to hold onto our keys.

Artwork By Door

Who’s the Boss

A few weeks ago, I had Jay bring up the last of the boxes from our basement and I was delighted to find all our artwork in mystery box #1. Between all our moving around and life re-configuring, I think I forgot that I own artwork – a decent amount of it actually. Remember how I lamented that our house was feeling sorta non-homey, well I thought our artwork hanging would be a good place to start to get things feeling a bit more cozy and lived in.

When you walked into the office before, it was feeling a bit bare. In need of some wall adorning, wouldn’t you agree?

How to Decorate Office

So I mixed and matched and tried to find the prints that would look best – but everything I found felt too empty in the room, like it just wasn’t taking up enough wall space.

I finally found a grouping of (6) botanicals, which we had in our dinging room in the last house.

Dining_Room_Botanical_Art_Collage

I loved the idea of grouping (4) on each side – alas if you do the math, that leaves me two short … bummer dude.

But THEN, I remembered that I had two more, that we had in our loo in the last house. Remember these guys?

Botanical Art Work in Bathroom

So I crossed my fingers and headed over to Michaels, where we purchased the initial (6) frames. It was a generic(ish) white frame, but I obviously needed it to match exactly if I was going to group everything together.

And yaknowwhat?? They had the frames and they were only $5.99 each! Huzzaah!! Now that’s what I call a success 🙂

Inexpensive Frame Locations

While Jay was getting the tools he would need to pop up the prints, I took a quick second to arrange them so he could just grab each one and put it up.

Arranging Artwork

Although the room definitely still needs some accessorizing, I think the artwork definitely helps to make things look a bit more finished.

If I could actually keep fiddle leaf fig trees alive, one would look splendid in the corner of the office, no? 😉

Office Artwork

And another shot of the space, to the right of the computer and desk.

Botanical Art

Since we already had the art and most of the frames on hand, our total cost was around $13, which makes this little momma one happy camper 🙂

One more before:

Decorating Office

and after!

Botanical Art in Office

Blinded

Jay and I went for an evening walk the other night and we were chatting about where the house is, and where we’d like it to be. Being the planner I am, this naturally led me to start thinking that we have 29 weeks to go until our little monkey is here, as well. I know the house doesn’t have to be perfect by then, but I do want it to feel like home. I want it to feel homey and like home and be cozy and comfy and ready for a miniature human.

Our Living Room, for instance – it feels like a pass through room right now. Not cozy and not homey.

For a quick second it looked nice and cozy, but then I started making executive decisions like getting rid of rugs and selling chairs. Once we get a rug back in here, I do like the idea of going back to something cozy, like this.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

So in the name of getting this room back in action, I made a little bucket list of things I’d like to see.

  • Window Treatments (bamboo blinds and curtains)
  • Rug (large, at least 10×14)
  • Artwork
  • Additional seating to fill in side of room
  • New coffee table option(s)

Since I love me some JCPenney roman shades, and I found a stellar steal of a deal, I decided to jump on the first part, of the first bullet. Window treatments.

Bamboo Roman Shades

They’re cordless, just like the one’s we popped in our bedroom, but bamboo instead of linen. I wanted to add some texture to the room and later, once I pinch a few more pennies, we’ll add in some drapes, too. Swanky.

Just like our lest roman shade extravaganza, we had to retrofit the windows a wee bit to make the shades fit. Old house problems.

Modifying Window for Shades

We just notched out the sides of the windows (since you can’t see it at all, once the window treatments are in). Ugly before you get the shades in for sure though!

Removing Part of Window Sill

Here is a side profile of the shade, so you can see how the panel was able to just slide in to the little divet that Jay made. Perfect fit.

Installing Bamboo Blinds

All the windows in our living room are pretty large, this was the smallest side window. It ate up Jay there pretty quick. 😉

The blinds are a bit lighter than we thought they’d be and I’m not crazy sauce about the wood bar along the bottom (which is what you pull to adjust them, since they’re cordless), but overall, I do like them for the price!

JCPenney Bamboo Blind

Here are a few shots of the shades after they’re up and installed. It’s nice to have something in the windows (finally). This is a side angle shot of the smaller window.

JCPenney Roman Shade

For the two larger flanking windows, we’ll eventually pop in some pinch pleat drapes to swank things up a bit and soften the walls some more.

Cordless Roman Shade

In the name of adding a bit of character to our walls, we also picked up this beastly dude at HomeGoods. We do live in Bull City, after all! Since I’m a serial key loser, it helps to have a designated spot where we pop these.

Bull Key Holder

Oh, and so y’all can see the travesty that is our fiddle leaf fig plant, this is all that remains. I think it might be dead. 😉

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

When in Rome

You know when you find something that fits the bill in the most perfect way, and it’s, like, a steal of a deal to boot. Is there anything better? Folks, I’ve gotta share that JCP, as in JCPenney has the best roman shades known to man. And they’re cheap, y’all. So, so cheap.

Truth be told, we’ve been buying blinds from penneys since our first house, and although I was impressed with the price on our first set from them, the quality didn’t bowl me over. I mean – it was absolutely fine – just not custom quality or anything like that. And for the twenty bucks a pop we spent – you can’t really lay much blame there, right? Here are some of the bamboo shades we had in house numero uno.

Lenda Curtains

Our second house actually had custom blinds installed in all the windows on move-in day, and even though the style wasn’t my favorite, the quality was solid, so we didn’t even think about replacing them.

Enter our current house, with – not a single functional window treatment on a single window – and let’s just say we were back in the business of window shade shopping. 😉

For the vast majority of the house, we’ve settled on these guys.

JCPenny Roman Shade Classy, understated, super easy to use and starting at $30 a pop, I couldn’t resist! Plus, I can tell you that after comparing these to our custom shades in the last house – that the quality is nearly identical. Sa-weetness.

Low and behold, since our house was built in 1939, and has not a single standard window size (that should be fun when we got to replace them), we had to get creative after our new window treatments arrived.

Remember this guy, that we used for our little door detail demo?

Using a Dremmel

Our $20 tool came in for the win again, this time to notch out a small piece of the window frame so that we could get our abnormally shaped windows some shades.

Installing Roman Shades

Once we took a small section out of the window, we were able to slide those babies right on in. After a few screws, we had some fine looking window covers.
White Sheets on Bed

The roman shades have the nicest folds in them when they’re open, and they’re blackout shades, so when they’re down the room is quite dark.

JCPenney Roman Shade

Now, if you look closely at our windows you’d notice that they’re not quite there yet. This room was a creamy dream when we moved in (aka not white trim), and I guess the pictures tell the story on how far we’ve gotten on that front 😉

Cordless Roman Shade

One of these weekends, it’s going to happen!

Since these shades are cordless, they’ve also got a handy little handle/cover that you place over the fabric, to keep them from getting soiled by dirty paws as you grab them to bring the shade down at night.

Roman Shades from JCP

To keep our costs more manageable, we’re doing one room at a time. For under $100 though, I’m pretty pumped to have some chic window shades in our bedroom. Heck, I’m pretty happy to have any window treatments in our room!

Door Detailing

When we moved into our house, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I knew I’d want to change. Ok, I pretty much wanted to change everything – true, true. This change in particular I thought we’d be making a bit further down the line, but as we started removing the wallpaper in our hallway, my noggin started to think that perhaps it would be easier if we tackled this guy in the here and now. At least that’s the justification I gave Jay 😉

Whenever you buy a house that’s almost 100 years old, there are bound to be a few items that got pieced together over time. Our trim, was no exception.

See how the trim in this room…

Tufted Living Room Chair

Is different than the trim in this room?

Window Trim in Old House

Driving me batty people, seriously batty. Blame it all on the laundry room renovation, but I started to get some high hopes for the trim in our little hallway upstairs. I figured since we already had to remove the doorway surround to widen the opening and fit in the new washer and dryer, why not spruce things up in this corridor and add some nice, new trim?

With the look below as my general inspiration, we set out to fanca-fy this joint.

Craftsman Style Trim

Did I mention we intended to do it on the cheap, too 🙂 Like less than $12 a door cheap? Yep, that’s how I roll people.

Before we could get to reconstructing things though, we had some more demo to do. Namely, the base board trim had to get cut into a bit to make room for the new, bulkier door trim we’d be adding. After trying to remove the trim with a chisel and well, failing, Jay scooted his booty over to Harbor Freight to grab this $20 ninja tool that was perfect for the job.

Removing Floor Trim

Remember how I mentioned this trim job would be on the cheap? Enter in MDF. Our paintable, wood-like friend.

After trying a few different sizes around the door frame, we opted to make the main pieces of trim going up the sides of the door 3.5″ wide. It felt just chunky enough.

How to Add Custom Trim to Door Speaking of chunky, we also decided to go with 3/4 inch MDF, which simulated the look of wood trim much better than a thinner piece would have.

Here it is, post install and before paint.

Adding Custom Trim to Door

Looks rather unfinished, ey? Not going to lie. I kinda started to freak out a bit in my head at this point. I mean, did I really just remove wood trim and put up that? (Questions sanity). But at this point, we were pretty committed to seeing the project out – and spoiler alert – it looks awesome, you guys.

After we installed the mdf, we had to add some trim to the top of the door, to give it a more polished look. After the first coat of paint, door numero uno was looking better, but not quite there yet. We realized we’d need one final trim piece along the bottom edge of our header piece.

Adding Custom trim on Doors

In all honesty, we we’re kinda winging it on this project. We knew the general look we wanted, but picked our dimensions for each piece after popping it up on the wall, and seeing how it looked next to our other sections of trim.

In the end we came up with the combination below.

  • 3.5″ Trim for the Side
  • 6″ Header (for top)
  • 1 3/4 inch Crown for the top (very top piece)
  • 3/4 inch flat piece, for the base trim

With said above configuration, things were looking like this.

DIY Craftsman Style Door

Yep, still got those pink walls. Yep, they’re still making me want to pull my hair out.

After two coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White trim paint (which is what we have throughout the house) the hallway looked like this.

Adding Trim Detail Around Door

(Note: all the doors are the same height, there are some eye tricks going on with the vantage point in the photo above that make it look like they’re not)

Before our new trim, the hallway looked like this, so even with the pink walls, I consider the new look an improvement. 😉

Trim on Door

I plan on retrofitting a few more spots in our house, slowly but surely, over to this updated trim look. My man and I do have one final point of contention though.

He says don’t wrap the bottom piece, I say wrap away – just like the top crown piece. Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about.

Custom Door Molding

What do you guys think? Wrap, or no wrap?

End of Summer | Flash Sale!

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Whether you’re thinking big with a full bathroom renovation.

Bathroom

Or you want to add some details with new lighting …

Lemon Grove Interiors

Or you just want to add some style to your living space …

Lemon Grove Interiors | Flash Sale

I’d love to work with you to make your home a space you absolutely love coming home to! Packages starting as low as $17.50 per room, with the discount. Get em’ while their hot by typing FLASH30 at checkout. Promotion ends August 2nd.

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! 😀

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

 

Officer Mary

Can I get a what, what for little nooks in your house that you’re able to convert into your very own tiny home office. Srrriously, you guys, I’m completely smitten with the concept of having my own space to stretch out to get my work on. Not to mention, it’s pretty nice to not have our computer chilling on our dinner table, like we had in the apartment. Well, doesn’t take much to improve off that situation, anyway. 😉

So this is what the room looked like pre-movin.

Small Home Office

The room is 6×9, which in my mind, is just the right size for a desk and a few extra accessories. The location of the room is a bit different, too, since you actually have to cut through our extra bedroom upstairs to get to it. Here’s the layout to help refresh your memory.  Second Floor Layout Since I knew that I’d be more or less, using the office right after move-in, I moved painting this room to the top of the priority list along with the Master Bedroom painting. We went with a nice, calm gray tone that reads bluish green in the right light, and pure gray as the sun starts to fade. The color is Montpelier Madison White by Valspar.

Valspar Montpelier Madison White

I love how it looks against the refinished floors. So nice along with the nice, crisp painted trim.

montpelier_madison_white

This is my view from my desk these days. It’s in dire need of some accessorizing (artwork!), but for now, things are certainly feeling much more settled than when I was working off of the Dining Room table in the apartment.

Bamboo Office Desk

Right now, I’ve unearthed a few things from the boxes to add some organization in here. Our campaign drawer that was in the basement before is working great as office storage and a printer stand.

Campaign_Drawer_in_Office

I snagged the lamp from our old entry way to use for some supplemental lighting in here, too. That little storage container next to it is for all my pens and pencils – got it at the good will for .25. Zinggggg.

Seashell_Lamp

Now I’m on to picking out more exciting things, like a rug! I tried to re-purpose the one we had in our entry in the last house, but as you can see, it’s a wee bit small.

Picking_The_Right_Size_Rug

Here are a few of my top contenders! Tell me, which one floats your boat?

Best Office Rugs

Sisal Rug // Jute Rug // Blue + Gray Rug // Ivory Rug