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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rug Fail.

If it feels like the home progress is a bit slow around here, it's not just you.  That has been the way it has been for the month of August.  And the biggest contributor to our slow movement is that we just got back from the great state of Alaska! Yes, August home progress was put on hold so that we could prep and go on our 10-day Alaskan vacay!

But we are back and it's full steam ahead in rooms like the bedroom, bathroom, and hallway.  YAY! Not only that but big changes are coming to the blog this fall.  I will fill you all in on more of those details as they materialize! But get excited! 

Also, more to come about our Alaskan Vacation!

But first....

"Good things come to those who wait."

That's what my mom always taught me.  And I have found that to be true my whole life... until now. :)

Last spring I talked to you all about buying a rug for the dining room.
I continued to look, not committing to anything except the idea that it had to be navy and white striped and it had to be indoor/outdoor.

And then I found the oxford stripe indoor/outdoor rug on sale at Pottery Barn.

The price was right (I got it for a good deal less than it's listed for now).  The indoor/outdoor was right.  The navy and white stripe was right.  So I pounced and ordered it.  It was back-ordered and I was told it would show up anywhere between August and October - this was May when I ordered it.

Good things come to those who wait, right?  So I waited.  

And then one day, in early August, the rug arrived!

hmmmm.... something is just not right.

"Let's just live with it for a week.  Maybe our eyes just need to adjust to having a rug there."

So we waited some more.  

But the more we waited, the more certain I was that the rug was going back. 
1. Turns out an 8x10 rug is too big for the space.
2. It doesn't lay flat well at all - too wrinkly.  To be fair, it may get better with time but I still think it would look a bit messy with the vertical stripes (I thought they were going to be horizontal).  
3. The material is different than what I expected and I don't feel that it would be a good fit for a dining room.

The material is said to be made of recycled plastic and reversible for double wear.  Those things sound like a good thing and like they would be easy to clean.  No.  It feels more like a thick and textured canvas - not super scrubbable.  The material grabs dirt and holds on tight.  Even when it had only been down a week the dirt did not come off of it easily.  And it showed crumbs like mad.  The navy highlighted it and the white didn't hide it.  So long story short, I knew I would hate this rug.  So it went back.

I could see this rug maybe being better suited for a playroom or a bedroom but certainly not around food. 

And now?  Well I think we are settled on doing without a rug for this space.  At least for now.  It think it may just be easier.

And we also have some fun ideas for the chairs in the dining room too! Then we'll put our big stamp of approval on that room and call it DONE! Woot!

Things are moving ahead in some other rooms too (i.e. the hallway and the bedroom and the bathroom) and I cannot wait to show you all!

Don't miss a beat.  
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest Blogger: Mary Shows Us Her Attic

Howdy, y'all! 

My name is Mary and I blog about fixing up our 1939 Cape Cod over at Lemon Grove Blog. Big thanks to Laura for having me over today to guest post. 

Since we're in the middle of our own kitchen renovation over here, when I spotted Laura's kitchen on the her blog recently, I fell pretty hard for that gorgeously finished room! :) I had the best intentions of sharing our kitchen renovation with everyone, but since we're still wrapping up the finishing touches on that room, I thought I'd share one of my favorite renovations from our last home - turning our attic into a Master Suite! When we moved in, our attic was a semi-finished space, but the finishes were really craptastic. What can I say, pink carpet just isn't my jam. 
Attic Conversion
Since the room as is was really bad, we knew we'd want to gut everything completely. After adding insulation, adding plumbing for a bath and putting all new finishes down in the room, we had this! 

Master Suite in Attic 

Remember that empty wall from when you walked in before? We decided to optimize the space a bit better and add some built-in closets for extra storage. 

 Board and Batten Trim on Closet 

Along the other wall, we installed a long built-in bench with lots of cabinets for additional stashing locales. When you've got a 1940's home, you've got to get creative with storage for sure! 

Adding Built-in to Knee Wall 

I love how the little sitting area turned out. It was one of the cat's favorite hangouts :) 

Built-in Knee Wall 

To add some extra interest, we decided to install a board and batten accent wall behind our bed. It's one of my favorite ways to inexpensively add character to a space (the entire project only cost us $20!)

Master Suite in Attic 

Last, we also added a small half-bath to this room. We figured it would be good for resale to have a bathroom on this level, which proved to be very true when it came time to sell. 

Installing Toilet against knee wall 

I love how the herringbone subway tile floor turned out. I've already replicated the look in our laundry room in our current house I love it so much! 

Herringbone Tile Floor 

This room was small, but it had just enough space for a vanity and toilet! I guess that's all you need, right?! :) 

 White Granite Vanity 

We're now busy renovating our 1939 Cape Cod in North Carolina and loving (almost) every minute of it. Follow along with the fun! 

Thanks for coming over today Mary and sharing about this beautiful reno!!

I love love love attic renovations! Especially ones where they are converted into entire master suites!! Michael and I look forward to the day when we can convert our own attic into usable space! 

Lets play the favorites game! I love the smart use of space in the knee wall of the room -the built in closets! But I also love the finishes of the bathroom - the board and batten in there is so cute! What about you?  What do you love?

Don't forget to head on over to Mary's blog and continue to follow along on her own renovation journey.  


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

River Livin'

There's a lifestyle that comes along with living on a river.  A way of life that makes you pause and take it all in.  The crickets chirping outside the window.  The turtles that sun themselves on the driveway.  The way the wind reveals itself as it blows across the tall grass.  It constantly is changing outside, and our favorite place to be is watching it all happen.

So when you accept this type of lifestyle, you have to know that it's going to start affecting your priorities and ways you make decisions.

For instance: You might say, "who needs a new bed when you can buy a couple of kayaks!"

My mom called me out on it.  Last week when she was reading the blog post about how we are still sleeping in a full size bed, she said "you won't buy yourselves a larger bed because of more important expenses?  More important expenses, like kayaks!?"

Short answer:  "Well... yeah!"

This has been the first summer where Michael and I have been able to enjoy living in our home.  Last summer was all about the renovation.  We were here as many nights as we could manage, demo-ing, cleaning, sanding, painting, all of it.  So one year later, now that we are living here, we are getting a glimpse of why we went to all that work for this home.

And the answer might look something like this.

This summer we are discovering what river livin' is all about.  And we are soaking it in.

Ever since we bought our home, we had talked about buying kayaks.  Knowing you can spend a boat-load (pun intended) of money on fancy kayaks, we weren't committing to a plan for when that purchase would happen.  What we did decide on was about how much we were willing to spend.  And this last 4th of July, the price looked right and so did the kayaks.  Menards had a great rebate on some recreational kayaks that we just couldn't pass up.

We were very excited to take the plunge especially since some of our best friends already own a pair of kayaks and knew there would be fun times ahead with them.

And fun times ahead there were.

One Sunday, we kayaked down to the Dam, then down the Mill Race, and made our way downtown to our favorite ice cream place.

.... once we made it past a very low bridge.

 But we made it under (just barely) and were pretty thrilled about it!
Chief Ice Cream ahead!!

But this summer hasn't just been about the kayaks.  Its also been about the bonfires.  If you needed just one reason to live out in the country, I think bonfires would be that reason.

  And if that's not enough of a reason...  here's s'mores. 
We've had countless bonfires this summer and I'm sure there are more to come.  It really doesn't matter the occasion - time with our small group, the 4th of July, time with friends from out of town.  If we have the wood, the time, the weather, the people, and some Woodchuck Hard Cider, we've got ourselves a party!

Oh and sparklers are fun too.

A couple weekends ago we made another river livin' decision that contradicted our need for a new bed.

We bought a canoe.
 We're out of control.  But its so much fun!

We decided that we wanted to have the ability to be able to take friends and family out with us on the river and in order to do that we thought a canoe would be a great option.  Compared to kayaks, canoes are a bit easier to paddle, ours can fit 3 people, and it has room for a cooler or a dog or whatever else we'd like to hall around.

Our friends Bekah and Karl came to visit and got to enjoy the river livin' lifestyle first hand. 

So much fun.
Wanna go too?  Come on over friends! And lets head to the river. 

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Guest Blogging at Lemon Grove Blog

Hi there my awesome peeps!

I am dropping in real quick today to let you know I am a guest blogger over on my girl Mary's blog today.

Exterior Before

She writes over at Lemon Grove Blog.  We are definitely like minded ladies - With a love for thrifting, diy, and white kitchen cabinets.  Here and her hubby are even renovating a cape cod just like us! Head on over there and check it out.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Country Charm - A Dreamy Local Listing

Gasp!! Oooh myyy Gosh! My dream home is for sale y'all.

Of course, I live in my dream home (or what will be our dream home when we finish renovating), but if there was a house that might convince me to ever move, this would be that home.  I thought it would be fun to share with you the home that my mom and I have ogled for years now.  It just popped up on the market and I about fell off my seat when I was scrolling through the local real estate website and saw it listed there.  And I knew that I had to share it with all of you.  Lets take a look.

Charm for days, right? The cobblestone work on the exterior is enough to stop my heart. 

The listing states that the home was built in 1850 and is almost 4,000 square feet.
And when you walk up on the wide porch you can see a little closer view of that amazing stonework.

How about you and I sit out there and chat over a cup of coffee! Whether we own in it or not, I'm game.  I'm sure the owners would understand... who could blame us for wanting to sit a spell on such a idyllic porch. 

Entering the front door you see a beautiful open staircase and what I believe is a beadboard ceiling. 

Then you see this:
I mean. Just. What?  So stunning.  I can picture an old American flag over the fireplace, some gingham throw pillows and the book shelf filled with old books and antiques.  Simple Americana Elegance.

For such an old home, I was surprised to see such an open flow in the layout.

I wonder what is under all that carpet?  I would bet money there's hardwood floors.  Lemme at 'em!

The kitchen is a bit outdated but with some wallpaper removal, new appliances, and a coat of paint to the cabinets, it wouldn't take much to update the space.  For the cabinets I think I would paint the lowers grey and the uppers white.  And how'bout that adorable little island?  Can I paint it blue?.. then again, maybe after the perimeter cabinets were painted, the island would be perfect left stained.  Soapstone for the coutnertops and a farmhouse sink, I think!  The floor? Depending on the condition, I think you could make them work. 

Again with the openness - so surprising in such an old home - although this part of the house is clearly an addition.  The kitchen and eating area open up to this casual little living room.  The painted fireplace (love the color) with the exposed stone wall behind it? Perfection.  

Then right past the eating nook, it looks like there is a screened in porch with views of the beautiful property.

There is also a mudroom that I'd love to see more of.  And I think I'd repaint it yellow... or a soft green.  Or maybe cream.

The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths.

Check out this bathroom with more exposed stone!
I would totally de-wallpaper the room, repaint the trim, and then add a white planked wall.  Farmhouse-y light, mirror, and sink too for sure! Similar to this one that I had pinned earlier this week. 

Now.  As if this house wasn't awesome enough, the outside continues to be just amazing.  Starting with this gorgeous barn.

And that little gazebo?  Stop.

The listing says that on the second floor of the barn is a full basketball court.  What in the world!?  How awesome is that!!...not that I would use it much (organized sports, not really my thang), but to have kids on a property like that would just be amazing!

The property is 4.89 acres and just beautiful!
Charm.  All day long.

And of course it has a pond, with fountain.  Because why not? 

And an adorable little potting shed too. 

Want it?  It can be yours for $379,000!  For more information and more pictures you can check out the listing here.  Just promise me that, when you buy it, I can come over and see it!.. and maybe stay forever.

What's your favorite part?  The exterior of the home with the adorable stonework was it for me.  It wouldn't even matter what the inside looked like.  And that barn. oh. that. barn.

Dreamy Local Listing: I think this would be a fun little reoccurring post.  I already have a dreamy local listing lined up for the future.  So stay tuned!

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