A Tour Through Blogland

I seriously get the biggest kick out of other blogs reaching out to me to collaborate and to feature my humble little abode. Heidi, over at Kruse’s Workshop, reached out to me a few weeks back and asked if I’d be willing to be featured in a little tour through blogland, which is a fun way for readers to mix and mingle and see all the amazing renovations happening out there on the interwebs.

This is Heidi’s sweet house. You know I’m a total sucker for a tree lined street, so her little bungalow had me at hello.

Kruses Workshop

Heidi and her husband are renovating rockstars. As soon as I read up on her wall removing ways, I knew we were kindred spirits 😀

This is a shot of her beautiful kitchen, which she renovated on a dime. Like $200. Bam.

Kruses Workshop Kitchen

Seriously, stop by her blog to see all the amazing renovations and her cozy, comfy home. It’s legitimately delicious 😀

Kruses Workshop Dining

Y’all know my house for the most part, but to continue to tour, here are a few snapshots of what our home has evolved to over the past 4+ months of us living here.

Our kitchen has definitely come the farthest. Although we’re not done in here yet, per-say, this room is so. much. better. There are cabinets, there are counters, there’s a floor! Believe it or not, that’s progress!! Ha!

GE Cafe Oven Review

In the most improved category, we’ve also got the hallway. This little entry into our abode. It was a bit – well – busy, when we moved in. 😉

These days it’s been classed up a bit with some fancy pants wainscoting and a fresh coat of sparkly paint.

Revere Pewter in Entry

But enough about me and more about … Sarah!

This lady seriously has one of favorite homes in the blogosphere. Many of you have already virtually met Sarah with 702 Park Project – but y’all seriously need to scope out her house if you haven’t yet.

I’m seriously crazy inspired by this women’s vision to breath new life into a gorgeous (huge!) old house, right here in NC.

702 Park Project

Best part – this house has been in Sarah’s husband’s family, and they serendipitously landed up buying it after it went into foreclosure via an owner in between. Whoa. Cool beans, yo.

Check out this banister. Yummy.

Foyer Dark Banister

They’ve been hard at work restoring this home into it’s original beautiful state and every detail is absolutely perfect.

Subway Tile Bathtub

You can follow along with Sarah’s journey, here.

Laundry Living | Guest Post

Y’all know how crazy I am about Zillow (ahem, house hunting addict) so when Jennifer approached me about putting together a guest post for you guys, I was down! This isn’t a sponsored post, I just thought it would be fun for y’all to get some tips and tricks from the masters of real estate themselves. Here she is!

The laundry room isn’t exactly a favorite space among homeowners, and it sometimes lacks the interior style reflected in other areas of the home. Perhaps the laundry room goes ignored because it’s less frequented by guests. Or, owners might be hesitant to incorporate fixtures and accessories vulnerable to spills. Luckily, practical equipment and designs exist to create efficient, fashionable laundry spaces.

To create useful and beautiful laundry rooms, consider the following five tips.

1. Add Workspace

Laundry Counter
Source: Stephen Alexander Homes

Sorting clothes, pretreating stains and folding clean laundry is difficult without proper counter space. Small laundry rooms benefit from freestanding tables and carts that easily move out of the way, while larger laundry rooms can incorporate built-in cabinets with accompanying counter space. Add freestanding countertops above front loading washer/dryer sets as a budget-friendly solution.

2. Create Storage

Laundry Storage
Source: Zillow

Most homeowners use the laundry room for more than just washing and drying clothes. Laundry rooms are home to batteries, tools and linens, depending on available square footage and storage. Designate different baskets or containers for extra towels and sheets, home improvement accessories and household products. Make sure to label each bin for easy access. Laundry rooms appear brighter and more inviting when organized, and homeowners won’t have to struggle searching for what they need.

3. Replace Machines

Energy-efficient appliances are more common in homes on the market today than in the past. For current homeowners, replacing old washers and dryers is a great way to save money on energy and water costs. For sellers, new appliances always attract potential homebuyers looking for modernized abodes. More advanced models even have steam-cleaning options and other features to best care for delicate clothing items. Stackable sets work better for small closets since they free up floor space for storage units. Front-load machines are preferable as tops provide folding and sorting spaces, and owners don’t have to move garments aside when opening or closing appliances. Plan laundry layouts based on personal routine and available square footage. For instance, stacked machines are best for tight spaces and second-story laundry rooms are ideal when most bedrooms are upstairs. Choose the best-fitting models and styles accordingly.

4. Upgrade Flooring

Laundry Floor

Source: Sue Adler Team

Laundry floors must be highly durable, water and stain resistant and easy to maintain. Further, homeowners should steer away from floors with slippery finishes, especially since laundry areas tend to get wet and accidents might occur. At the same time, opt for a stylish finish that matches the rest of the home’s décor. Vinyl is an inexpensive option for homeowners on tight budgets, and ceramic tile is known to be an extremely appropriate option for laundry spaces due to its ability to resist harsh chemicals and water damage. Sealed brick is a rustic option sure to withstand everyday damage. Although aesthetically pleasing, genuine hardwood floors are susceptible to water stains and permanent warping. Limit hardwood floors to living spaces and bedrooms without plumbing access.

5. Repaint and Decorate

Laundry Decor

Source: Zillow Digs

A fresh coat of paint can illuminate even the darkest spaces. Consider bright, clean colors for the laundry room walls, such as pastels or neutrals. Don’t be afraid to go bold with eclectic, modern or contemporary design. Hang artwork or window treatments to complete the space. Although primarily utilitarian, the laundry room is a part of the home and should be a reflection of personal taste. With a pleasant room to work in, homeowners might even be inclined to wash clothing more frequently!

We all have to do the laundry, so why not make it a more pleasant experience? Remember to do ample research before completing any large home improvement project, and talk to professionals about plumbing and electrical connections to avoid do-it-yourself damage.

   

A Nurse and a Nerd | Guest Blogger!

You guys are in for a treat today! Laura over at A Nurse and A Nerd is telling all y’all about her a-mazing kitchen reno. It’s quite the before and after! Here’s Laura, to give you the deets!

Hi there everyone!

My name is Laura!  I blog on a little place on the web called A Nurse and A Nerd.  I work as a nurse by night and a home renovator/blogger by day.

Back in May of 2013, my husband and I bought this.

Our circa 1975 cape cod that was screaming to be loved… and demolished. So we started out with a huge Phase 1 renovation that took us down to the studs and back again.  Why would we do such a thing?  Well because we are crazy!… and because this house was perfectly situated with a panoramic view of the river and directly next to my family’s apple orchard and farm.  It’s been an adventure to say the least, but after 6 months of renovations we moved in and have been settling in for the past 7 months.

Mary was kind enough to invite me over here to Lemon Grove to share with you our kitchen renovation.

Here is the kitchen on the day we closed on our home.

Let’s go on a 360 tour – clockwise.

It was a bit dark and a bit dingy – with a great big layer of grease all over everything to top it all off.  Not really our style.

So we gutted everything.  And knocked down the walls that were closing in the kitchen.

We removed the exterior door, the soffit, the linoleum and all the drywall.

And now?  Well I’d say we’ve made a least a mild improvement.

I’m a simple, timeless, country cottage kind of girl.  So that’s what we went for.  White inset perimeter cabinets.  Black beadboard island.

On the island we used a white quartz that has a cararra marble look.  Its called Bianco Carrara Quartz.

And on the parameter we used a granite called Silver Wave.  I love that it grounds the white cabinets.  Plus the busy pattern hides a lot of messes while I’m baking cookies for my cookie monster husband.

I love the timeless simplicity of subway tile, so that is what we used as the backsplash – not to mention I found the tile for about $20 total at the Habitat ReStore!

The farmhouse sink is Kohler. It’s super special to me.  You can read about that here.

One of the other favorite parts of my kitchen are my copper lights.  They just are the icing to my cake.  The cherry on top.  The chocolate syrup on my sundae.   

Newsflash: I like sweets.…And I also like my copper lights.

The counter stools are IKEA. And I love how they pop next to the black island.

We absolutely love our kitchen.  The biggest thing we love about it?  The openness. The opportunity to entertain and be in on the action. We’re big extroverts.  So the idea of keeping everything open and flowing was our #1 priority in our kitchen renovation.

We just finished painting and sprucing up our living room and currently have our eyes on the bedroom.  I hope you stop by and see the progress we make!

Thanks again to Mary for inviting me over and thanks to you all for taking a tour around!

Guest Post | Haggling 101

I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Sarah, over at 702 Park Project. This girl has got some mad taste, and is currently in the process of fixing up a gorgeous old home here in NC! I fell in love with her home renovation virtually, and I’ve asked her to swing by the blog to bestow some of her tips and tricks to all of you! Enjoy!

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Hi there, I’m Sarah from 702 Park Project! My husband and I have been restoring our 1902 house in NC for the past 18 months and I’m so happy to have a fellow renovation-lover like Mary so close now! What she has done with more than just a single home is nothing short of incredible!

I love to shop second hand at thrift stores, antique shops, auction houses, yard sales, and estate sales for our home as well as my online shops. So today I’d like to share with you some tips on one of my favorite parts of the shopping experience: haggling! I feel like sometimes haggling gets a bad rap, but in many cases it is actually expected, and it can be lots of fun.

haggling

1. Room for negotiating is almost always factored into the price. Unless the price says “Firm” there is a little wiggle room. Most of the antique shops that I visit automatically give you a 10% discount, sometimes without you even having to ask.

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2. Group things together. Sellers are more likely to give you a better deal if you are buying more from them.

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3. Bring cash. Sellers would always rather deal in cash than credit cards and checks, and will often give a discount for paying with cash.

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4. Revisit. If you see something you love but just aren’t willing to pay the high price, test your luck and wait it out. If you go back later, say in a few weeks or even months, and the piece is still there, bring it up to the seller. Mention that you’ve seen it there for a while and offer a lower price. Sellers are usually motivated to sell older items to make room for new finds.

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5. Ask this question: “Is that your best price?” I’ve gotten a great deal on many pieces just by asking this question. Sometimes it leads to an awkward silence, but just be patient and wait for the answer. You might be surprised!

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6. Be willing to walk away. If the seller can’t get the item into your price range, leave it. I have walked away disappointed plenty of times, but time and time again I quickly learn that there will be others like it.

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7. This one is just a personal belief, but I don’t like to haggle at charitable stores like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. To me, it just feels wrong.

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The most important part of vintage shopping? Have fun! If you’re like me, you’ll quickly find that haggling is not only an exciting game, it’s addicting!

You can follow my complete home restoration starting here. Thanks again for having me, Mary! :)