rust-oleum REFUND

Slight progress on the kitchen cabinet end: rust-oleum will refund your $$$ if you aren’t happy with the result…  Getting the $150ish back is nice, but having to spend another 40ish hours on cabinets = not ideal.

Cabinet progress:

The bonus of an unfinished basement is that it is semi-barn like.  We paint (well, Matt paints), store, etc. all in our boxy basement.

The timeline for the cabinets has been pushed back, ahem, several times because Matt is busy learning about “drugs of the day” and other anesthesia things, but I am hoping they will be finished in the next week or so.

We also invested in “soft-close” hinges.  Matt is stoked about this:

Last, but not least, I’m plotting the next decor move for our living room.  I am inspired by clashing color.  Here is a link to a color scheme that I love (the decor is amazing):
clashing color scheme

I would never have put this together… but I started thinking about brightening up our living room and have a few ideas that involve either a bright mustard or teal + an old window.  The bright mustard may win.

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light it UP–porch finds

We LOVE our front porch.  But, the tricky part is how to furnish a long, rather large rectangle?  When we bought the house (one year ago this weekend!), the porch looked like this:

It had POTENTIAL, but was dirty and a home to 102 spiders.  EWW!!  
The first night we slept in this house, we were tired.  We had spent the day cleaning the inside of our new house and starting to unpack.  We then had to finish cleaning our old condo–which was put off so we were still cleaning at 11:00 p.m.  Finally at 11:50 p.m., we came HOME to our new house, I put my key in the front door, and a giant spider fell on my arm.  NOT good.  I think I cried.
Needless to say, at 6:00 a.m. the next morning, we were up and SCRUBBING the porch–I couldn’t sleep because of the unknown “creepy” guests that were likely in our house…
After scrubbing and red cedar stain (plus landscaping and lots of pruning), our porch looked like this last summer:
It was cozy and we enjoyed it!!!  BUT this summer, we decided to add a few things:
I love lanterns. They add to nighttime porch sitting… I found this beauty at World Market for only $25.00 because it had a small crack in the back!! SCORE. Secret: Lanterns crack anyway.  My full-price lantern from Pottery Barn cracked days after I had it home.
We also added the RED stool (another World Market find).  The stool works as an EXTRA seat or a side table for drinks and snacks:

So this is our porch summer 2013:

We are pretty excited about the transformation:

Come sit with us!!!

TASTE of a weekend.

Here’s to a NORMAL weekend.  A weekend where Matt was home, we hung out with friends, and checked out Taste of Ann Arbor:

Taste of Ann Arbor is a food-filled festivity where many local Ann Arbor restaurants put up booths and serve delicious mini-portions for a certain number of 50 cent tickets (check it out here: taste of Ann Arbor).  Although Matt and I aren’t “foodies” as the article suggests, it was fun, social, and tasty.   Especially the fish tacos from The Black Pearl (and I’m normally anti-fish taco).

One of the best things about our small house is its location.  We were able to WALK downtown Ann Arbor for the foodie-festival with a group of friends.

We also stumbled across a “doggie” boutique on the walk back to our house in Kerrytown–Dogma Catmantoo (here’s a link: http://dogmacatmantoo.com/)  It’s a great little store filled with fun pet items.  Stella-bear is now sporting a new Bella Bean Couture collar:

She knows she looks extra cute (and desperately needs a haircut):

FREE fixes

How do you make a small house “work” for entertaining? I’ve blogged about this in the past (see link: prior Wixson house layouts), but never felt that we had quite the right setup.

The past two months we scoped out the options, which include:

1. Hire Contractor to tear out wall between living room and third bedroom on main level;
2. Hire Contractor to finish big room in basement; and
3. Put in a double-sided fireplace between living room and third bedroom on main level

BUT all three options were lots of $$$ and there was no guarantee we would get the same amount of $$$ back when we sell the house–someday.

Needless to say, I was disappointed.  I really wanted our house to be a place friends and family gathered, celebrated, and spent quality time with one another in a welcoming setting; not feeling squished, for instance.

Then, there was a suggestion from a good friend’s mom, who just happens to be an interior decorator– “it’s free to move furniture.” So we started MOVING (she also drew some helpful diagrams).

We ended up with this:

And it’s GREAT.  Thanks, Linda!!!
Last night was our new setup debut.  We ended up having 19 friends come and go and it was a blast.  
The third bedroom is a work in progress–I’ll blog about that later.  But here’s an update on the cabinets:
We decided on a GRAY white color: “gray owl” (Matt loves referring to this as “growl”).  We used ACE Hardware’s cabinet paint, which is a latex paint, but works like an oil paint in terms of hardening. I wanted a color that worked with, but was a bit edgier than, our Kingsport Gray and Elmira White:
This project reinforced that my painting skills are rated at: “0”.  But Matt is an awesome painter and now our cabinet boxes are DONE:

And the cabinet doors will hopefully be done by this Monday.  To anyone thinking about painting/redoing their cabinets, straight up painting the cabinets with ACE Hardware’s paint is easier and cheaper than Rust-oleum.  You simply de-gloss or sand down the cabinets, paint two coats, and you’re DONE.

Believe me, we’ve tried both.