First comes the bed, then comes bedding…

You may have noticed that even though we’ve wrapped up the big bathroom renovation of 2011, we are by no means done with all of the housework for the year.  Does it ever stop – really?!?  Our master bedroom is kind of in a “transitional” period right now.  After all of the hoopla of the master bathroom renovation and associated dust, dirt passing through our master bedroom every single day with some kind of tool or bucket of grout, etc the bedroom is feeling a little tired and DEFINITELY ready for a 2011 and beyond makeover.  So first came furniture…

….and then came bedding!

Quite a difference!  I have literally been searching for bedding for something like a year and a half – back when we switched up the color palette to a more soothing blue and taupe-y scheme – and I finally found something that both Dr. J and I could agree on from Overstock.com!  In fact, I believe they are still selling it, so you can click here if it’s up your alley!  This bedding fit our need for something that was more colorful and contemporary.  It also fit the bill for something that felt both feminine AND masculine – a near impossibility, lemme tell ya!  I was also looking for something in the blue/green color range, which was ALSO a difficult find.  And since I’m SUPER lazy, it also helped that it came with reversible shams and a few accent pillows that are making me rethink the whole soothing blue color scheme.  Hrmm….

Notice anything else?

We *finally* got nighstands!!  And the best part is that they actually are the same height as the bed, which is a huge improvement over what we had before.

And the source on those nightstands?  God bless JCPenney.com.  Though I admit we had to buy three of them and return one because the first one we got had a nice big crack in the front drawer, but it literally took a day or two, so no big deal!  I love how light and bright it feels even though it’s so much bigger than our previous nightstand (which didn’t match!).  And since it’s “mirror”, it automatically reads as a neutral so it really could go with any piece of furniture because it will always match!  How cool is that?  Oh, and here’s the other one just for kicks:

Pretty cool, huh??  So here is where we are now:

  • New nightstands.  Hopefully something shiny!
  • A new mirror
  • New bedding – ideally something with a little bit more color
  • Paint!  That wall paint is starting to feel a little too muddy to me.
  • Curtains
  • Accessories
  • Furniture re-arranging??  We’re talking about moving the current tall boy to the opposite corner, but it’s still up in the air
  • Get rid of our old “tallboy” dresser – it’s still sitting in the left corner which you can sorta see in this picture.  It’s totally empty, it just needs a new home:

It’s progress, but we still have to paint.  Paint….urg….this could take us awhile.  Ideally, I want a lighter color so that our furniture will pop against the walls.  But the lightest colors on the bedding are creams and I just don’t know that I could do a creamy-beige bedroom.  The room was originally “builder’s buttercream” as I liked to call it back when we moved in:

Wouldn’t it just be kinda silly if we went back to that??  God, I hated that color anyway – blech!  Ok, bad idea, bad idea!  If I could go with something more blue-y and/or gray or maybe even a very pale aqua, then I think I could be okay with that.  I’ve even considered taking the original color that we painted this room (Olympic’s Stone Gray, I believe) and just upping the white tint for a lighter version of the same color.  But I’m seriously SO OVER TAUPE!  I’ve really got to start looking around…

Bathroom? What bathroom?!

We’ve been busting @$$ on our bathroom now for 3 months and I’ve been so busy with bathroom-ing, working and hosting out-of-towners (7 out of the previous 10 weeks – and people wonder why we have a dedicated guest room??) that I honestly have completely forgotten to update you on some of the other things we’ve been working on.  See, when I got frustrated or overwhelmed with the bathroom (which still isn’t completely finished – yet), I’d focus on other things like, say, the dining room, the Room of Requirement or our Living Room.  In most cases, they weren’t massive changes, but I thought now would be a good time to update the Nickel Tour page with more up-to-date pics.  Since I actually don’t have paint, caulk, grout or thinset stuck in my hair now is a good time to actually clean up the house a bit and take some pics!

Living Room

One of our big changes in this room actually happened last fall and was F-R-E-E.  But we’ve made one other major change in here which really brought it all together.  Basically we a) changed around the furniture layout (FREE) and b) bought a rug from Pottery Barn for a super duper clearance!  I bought the rug back in March sometime and told you all about it here, but then that pesky bathroom kept getting in the way of my reporting and blogging!  It has a nice big pattern and is loop pile (almost feels like berber), which means stains, footprints, etc all kind of vanish – meaning, when you spill red wine….which never happens around here….it’s not such a big deal to clean it up!  Not that I’m inviting your lush-ass to my house to spill red wine.  Don’t get your hopes up.  We don’t live in THAT kind of house.  Actually, I don’t let red wine drinkers in the family room.  White wine?  Hit it up!  Beer!  Belly up!  Red wine and spaghetti sauce?  Get your ass in the dining room where you belong.

Our new rug!

We’re still playing around with furniture layout in this room.  But this is what we’ve settled on for now.

The room is such an odd shape and then I have this ridiculously long wall here that just confuses me with what to do with it.  I’ve never been happy with this wall of mirrors – it was just a cheap solution until we could afford something grander/larger:

Oh, how I can't stand super long walls!! The possibilities are endless!

I’ve thought about doing something similar to our upstairs landing like so…

Check out the photo collage on the right

….but I can’t really decide.  Oh, and then there’s that pesky bathroom that keeps getting in the way (link to pesky bathroom).  Sooner or later I’ll get around to switching it up.  Or I might not….that’s how we roll around here people.  But back to the family room – do you notice how light and pretty the family room is?  And then the kitchen in the background just kind of sucks the life out of the rest of the room?

Urg….how I would love to have a white kitchen.  No, really….a white kitchen!  Cream…don’t care…anything but what we have…

The Front Door

Ok, don’t get me started on our front door.  Before we moved in, the previous owners kicked in the door, so the outside (and inside) is just in crap shape.  Add to it the fact that we still haven’t changed out the brassy sherriff’s locks and our whole door is really ready for a makeover, which we’d love to tackle sometime this summer if we have time.  But in order for us to do that, we need to take the door down, sand it down, do some repair work and then put it back up.  But as lovely as it sounds to have no front door for a few days while we’re working on the door, we thought a better alternative would be to get a storm door and call it a day:

I took this picture forEVER ago - look at how cloudy it is...

…of course it also serves a functional purpose once the door is refinished and pretty, which is to say that it will protect the door from water damage and warping down the line.  Oh, and it gives Maggie something fun to look out of :-).  It’s like her personal TV set.

Room of Requirement

You’ve seen the pics from awhile ago, but we still didn’t have an end table, we hadn’t hung artwork and we still had our old ginormous TV.  So here are the FINAL pics to our makeover.

…and I must say, I LOVE this room!  It’s so much fun to hang out in.  We play the husband plays a lot of video games up here (especially lately since Portal 2 came out – yum!).  And even though we don’t have Cable up here, we do have access to our XBox live account, which is attached to our TV downstairs, so if we want to watch recorded cable shows, we can easily do that up here.  We’ve even had a few four person sessions of Rock Band and I’m so glad we got the two green ottoman stools because we can just move those around the room for the drummer and the singer.  It’s awesome!  And although we haven’t yet needed to use it as a sleeper, we likely will at some point in time, so it’s so great that we have an extra sleeping space when we need it, a reading room AND a fun media room.

So there ya have it!  A couple of updates on some rooms (and not rooms).  These are the projects we’ve been tackling behind-the-scenes since the bathroom has essentially taken over our lives!  But it finally feels like the end is near when it comes to the bathroom (oh, it’s still not completely done, m’friends!), but now that it’s completely functional, we feel like the “urgency” aspect has kind of been removed thank goodness!

Pillow Mania

I’m a big wimp when it comes to pillows.  There, I said it!  I am the world’s biggest wuss when it comes to patterns and paisleys.  Well….let’s just leave the paisley out of this conversation.  Paisley is still a little hugover from her mid-90s over-indulgant bender…But our family room could seriously use a dose of pattern and color (a project I’ve been meaning to tackle since before we moved into this house).  Enter Home Goods, two graphic patterned pillows, and just the right injection of blue and green which this room has been craving for quite some time!

Aren’t they just adorable?!  And they’re filled with down and not that synthetic poly fill stuff, so they just feel so cushy and amazing and expensive, even though they were only 20 bucks a pop!  Loves, loves, luuuuuuuuurves them!  Now if only we could do something about that bland Pottery Barn rug….hrmmm…..more on that later…

HomeGoods Homebound

Okay, OKAY!  We’ve been busy, doing a little bit of travel, having house guests, and just generally trying to take it easy now that summer finally made it to the Pacific Northwest!  However, I did want to share a few items that came home with me since I was swooning hardcore for some great finds at Home Goods!  Fortunately for you, I actually did bring a few treasures home and wanted to share them with you!  I even made my very first Etsy purchase (more on that later!).

I couldn’t resist!  She was so pretty and her coloring said, “Take me home!  I promise I won’t shed!”  But seriously, I just had to have this stool to pair right next to my Dolce Lounge chair from Tar-jay.  And she’s so convenient for plopping a drink, a book, or (*sigh*) a remote.  We’ve been needing a little some’n some’n to buddy up with this chair and when I saw this at HomeGoods, I knew she would be ours.  And at $59.99, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it!  And while I initially considered painting her white, I actually really like the additional texture it brings to this room, so she’s going to stay her shimmery creamy self until I decide that hot pink is the new ‘it’ color (might be tomorrow, ya never know!).  Stay tuned…

So I mentioned Etsy earlier.  Etsy is a website that is basically like a giant online craft fair.  Anybody who makes their own crafts (be it pillows, quilts, glassware, art, etc.) can log on, create a store and sell their wares to the masses.  I’ve been hearing about it for awhile now online and I haven’t really had the opportunity to take advantage of it (that whole house reno-ing thing, ya know).  So I thought I’d give it a try and look at what I found:

They are actually from a store on Etsy called Word Garden. Go give her some love because she creates some truly beautiful pieces!  The small lumbar pillow is made from a natural fabric with French words and sayings and I love the whimsical texture it brings to our space.  It’s really all about having fun and being playful and what could be more playful (or vintage feeling?) than some word art?  I also purchased from her this lovely crowned pillow, which I’ve put on Dr. J’s “Man Chair”.  Every man needs one and this is his….complete with a crown.  He loves me, he does ;-).

And while I was out, I thought I’d get myself some Hydrangeas…because they are in absolute abundance this time of year in the Pacific Northwest and they’re just too pretty to ignore!

So there ya have it!  Just a few little odds and ends that I’ve been picking up here and there and everywhere to keep things feelin’ fresh and inviting while all of this renovating is going on!  But what about you?!  Anything else going on in everybody’s world that makes you feel better about a renovation taking over your life?

Fun Finds: Home Goods strikes again!

So I’m sure we all know the glories of Home Goods, no?  I’m a total addict and there really is no better place to find exactly what you were looking for – even if you didn’t know you were looking for it.  I stopped by there recently on my way home from work without a plan (always a good idea when you go there!) and I ran across a bunch of cute things that I had to stop myself from purchasing (we do have to buy groceries, after all!).  However, I did have to buy a few things….it’ll be fun to guess which ones.  So I thought I’d share a few things with you that totally melted my butter.  Alas, I forgot to bring my *real* camera, so these are just a few iPhone photos:

These garden stools are all the rage these days and can be found at Pottery Barn , Ballard Designs, Wal-Mart, Target, and even PierOne (all the links are to *their* versions of a garden stool).  And if you have a spare $160 plus shipping and handling then they can all be yours, too!  Except for Pier One’s, which is so hideous it might actually be worth spending the $80 and spray-painting it a color of your choosing.  But this one above at HomeGoods is only $59 *and* has just the right amount of shimmer and glamour to any space.  Whoo to the hoo!  If you raise Whoo to the power of hoo, would it be Whoo Hooed?  *crickets*…..moving on….

How cute!  These globes were just calling my name!  Funny story – my mom saw a larger version of these globes (the blue ones are made of lapsis, black onyx, and mother-of-pearl) years ago for several thousand dollars at a jewelery store.  A couple months after that she happened to be in China and saw the same thing for less than half of the American price.  After a mid-night phone call to my father she subsequently purchased and dragged said globe all the way home from China.  And by “drag” I mean literally “dragged” – she couldn’t check it and so this 30 pound behemoth was her “pet” the entire 24 hour journey home through customs, through security, etc.  Fast forward 10 years and these smaller versions are only $20 apiece and ripe for the taking!  Now you can say you have your own little world… 🙂

Aren’t these just the cutest vases?  I love the texture and pop of color and that they just bring the right amount of interest, and mystery to a space (What’s inside???  Who knows?!?!)!  The great thing about these is that they could *easily* be spray painted to the your color and/or take all three home and paint them the same color and voila!  Instant matched set!  Me encanta!  That’s Spanish for I love!!!!

I heart this mirrored box!  I’ve become super aware of reflective surfaces lately and, as a result, I’ve decided that mirrors are my new best friend.  It’s like the perfect “neutral”.  Hey, no painting needed because it will automatically go with any decor.  It’s also so glam and Hollywood Regency chic.  And couldn’t we all use a little more Hollywood in our homes….?  Without the drama….??  Lindsay Lohans need not apply…

Hooray for springy greens and the trays they rode in on!  This would be such a cute tray to cart your drinks to/fro the kitchen on a hot summery day (oh, how we are hoping for those sometime soon in the Pacific NW!) or even sitting atop a coffee table to corral knick-knacks to create a punch of “happy”.  Throw in a vase of bright pink flowers and voila!  Spring-y-ness for a HomeGoods price!

This whimsical metal sign had me at hello!  Perhaps it’s because we’re doing our very own Laundry Room Makeover, but I absolutely love the antique-y cheekiness of this sign!  Hang it in your laundry room for a wee bit of playful decor, your kids’ room for a friendly reminder or, if you’re lucky, a fun little surprise in a walk-in closet…

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned wingback?!  They’re great, but this mod take on a theme is just too cute for words!  I could see two of these chairs flanking just about any fireplace and/or sofa you might throw its way for a fun take on an old classic!  Throw on a couple of happy pillows and you’re good to go!  If only I had the space….

I threw in this chair mostly for my family’s amusement.  My Grandma used to have the same exact spinny chairs as a holdover from the Eisenhower days that she reupholstered to the point of ad nauseum.  When we moved her out of her home a few years ago, these were up for grabs and, you guessed it!  None of us gobbled them up!  I guess it’s just a great reminder that what’s old is new again….and again….and again….

In the same vein as the vases above, this lamp really had me swooning.  Texture and (surprise!) it’s white!  It will go with just about any color scheme and I love the super mod drum shade that’s attached.  You could also spray paint this beauty or do a fancier painting technique like the one that we detailed a few months back.  Now if I only I had space for another lamp….hrmm…..

So there ya have it!  A little swooning at HomeGoods.  Be prepared when you go to spend more than you’d like, love more than you want, and expect the unexpected!