Monday, February 27, 2012

Josephine Chair and a Candle of the Month

When it rains it pours at our house! Our little Mungkee is on the mend, despite the set back of developing a tumor in one of his front paws. It must be uncomfortable for him because he has a distinctive limp, but the vet says there isn't much for us to do to help it at this stage. But I've not only been caring for a mildly handicapped dog, since Wren came down with a very upsetting stomach flu last night at 2 am. I am writing on empty tonight (or running, I guess but I'm too lazy to hit the backspace button) because it has been not stop laundry and mopping up since then. Mom's who've been here know how unglamorous my day was. Those who haven't please say a prayer of thanks tonight!

I would most definitely rather be sick myself than feeling helpless watching her feel so miserable.

Before this minor set back happened at 2 am, I was having one amazing day! I had a fun day of auctioning with 2 of my Aunts and I am certain that I purchased one of my best auctions finds EVER.

We were laughing and enjoying ourselves when the auctioneer moved on to a chair and ottoman set. I hadn't seen it sitting there from the back of the room, but once they lifted it up I saw that it was a cute little set covered in identical linen to our new headboard.
Not ONE person wanted this little set and when I threw my paddle up at $45 it was mine ALL MINE!

I nearly had a spasm of excitement as I flipped over the ottoman and saw the label!

Thank God for Iphones because I found the chair online immediately and discovered that my $45 chair and ottoman retail for $1500... and to think not ONE other person even liked it enough to bid at that price? Crazy people, hey!

I have to shed a tear of sadness for the poor soul who will learn their $1500, brand new chair sold for such a measly sum. But then I will scream from the mountain tops with happiness that I scored such a cool find for and insane price. I think it will reside in our office for a little while until I can decide how to potentially incorporate it into our bedroom or some future project.

Only a few bucks less than our favorite new chair, this Voluspa candle is my LOOOOONG overdue Candle of the Month (click on the tag at the bottom of this post for my past picks!). I used a holiday gift card from Anthro to bring it home a couple weeks back. It retails for $38 at Anthro (may be cheaper at other retailers or online), and it is a pretty good value even at that price because this little jar offers 100 hours of burn time which is easily one of the highest I've seen. I've had it going non stop and it is only 1/3 used. The scent is called French Cade Lavender but I would describe it as a musky, masculine take on lavender. It is almost parfume-like and the scent is very neutral. I don't think it is as potent as some other Voluspa candles I've loved but the scent is soft and does travel around the house nicely when lit.

Plus, I love the jar and will easily find something to use if for once the candle is long gone~

What candles have you been loving??

Friday, February 24, 2012

Put a Hex on me

One remnant from our old kitchen was really a thorn in my side for the last few months; this dirty old lamp. The problem was that I really didn't see anything I thought a) suited the kitchen, and b) matched or somewhat coordinated with our hanging pendant over the peninsula.

I had thought about the hexagonal pendants from Restoration Hardware because they were the same aged bronze (nearly black) finish while most others that appealed to me had chrome finishes, and I liked their neat lines, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on the price.

But a few weeks ago I was out shopping with a girl friend when we found this box in a corner at HomeSense. It was a perfect replica, and the price was insanely good at $79 so I thought I would bring it home to see how I liked it in person.

Being the sweet guy he is, Sean held it up while I debated on how I felt. But without any other contenders on the horizon we decided to go ahead and give it a chance. After living with it a few weeks I can honestly say that it is the perfect fit for our fun/industrial vibe. I still need to track down a cool filament bulb, but I just had to share!

It is a perfect match in color to the light fixture only feet away, which was my biggest concern.

It is strange that I hadn't even thought about it before, but it actually makes so much sense visually because the room is hexagonal, so the light fixture (and antique table) really play up the odd shape really well.

Now I just need to finish these darn slipcovers!!

What do you think, crazy, cool or undecided?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm back from outer space

When I say I have been sucked into a whirl wind I am almost serious. It all began nearly two weeks ago when we were heading up to bed one evening and after handing our beloved MungKee a piece of cheese he started choking (or so we thought), stopped breathing and about 2 minutes after the ordeal began, all while Sean and I were performing CPR (ok, Sean was and I was hysterically freaking out) we declared him dead. Hardly able to see or function through our grief he gave a small twitch a minute or two later and we started back up with the CPR, frantically trying our best to bring him back.

More than luck was on our side that night and our little fighter eventually came around again. We later learned that while he may have choked slightly on small piece of cheese, what he mostly suffered was actually a seizure followed by either a heart attack or something like it. I am about to take him in to the vet again for more follow up but without an MRI all the testing has concluded that it was most likely exposure to some sort of toxin (they determined this through elevated enzyme levels in his blood). We are hopeful that it isn't something terminal like a brain tumor or pancreatis, but as of now we are just monitoring him and giving him a LOT OF LOVE. To say it put our busy lives in perspective is the understatement of the year!

So I am sorry to leave you all hanging on our last Paint Perfection class, but duty called and I had to answer.

You may remember a post I did back in November about following our dreams and living life to it's fullest. It is my goal for 2012 to make some of my biggest ambitions a reality. I didn't go too far into detail and I am not entirely ready to disclose the specifics but after our reality check with MungKee I put myself into full throttle to make this reality real! Let's just say that my makeovers are going to a whole new level, and there promises to be some good blog content in the coming months~

I think I have life back under control and stabilized again, so I am excited to be back In the Fun Lane!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let's chat stools~

I have been wanting to share our new stools (thanks for the reminder in the last post Dawn!!), but I've been waiting for the partner for our stool. I think I mentioned that we were eyeing the Restoration Hardware stools but found the $315 price tag (plus shipping) a tad high (I now see they are on sale for $255). So while these look nearly identical, they aren't from restoration hardware.

I debated on whether to post about our experience with the stools because I hate being a debbie downer, but at the end of the day I really REALLY want to save someone else the same trouble we had. A few months ago I saw these stools at a local boutique called Urbane. They were priced at $250 each so I decided that after the holidays we would order them and save ourselves about $200.

We went in on January 2 and asked if we could order the stools but the sales associate told me that they were now $500 each. YIKES!! And to top if off they looked completely different to me. She was positive that there were no stools at $250 and even after I pointed out all the differences in the photos they emailed me she hesitated on pulling up any sort of pricing. Eventually she admitted they were different and that I could order the original ones I liked for $250 each. We paid and she told me she would call me a week later with details on when they would arrive.

3 weeks later I finally call them asking for an update and learn that there was one waiting for me at the warehouse the entire time. Thanks for letting me know! They had no idea when the next one would arrive...

2 weeks later I get a call asking if I was told what happened to my other stool. Ummm, no you were supposed to tell me what was going on, remember? Well it turns out that it arrived but was somehow crushed by a fork lift. But don't worry, they would rush order a new one. One week later I still hadn't heard when the new one would arrive so I called back and was told that this manufacturer doesn't ship until the truck is completely full so I would have to wait until more customers placed orders. Hello, that doesn't sound like a rush order to me?! I pointed out that it didn't seem too rushed based on that info and I kind of wanted to know when I could expect the other stool. I debated on just cancelling the order and returning the first stool to instead get the RH ones when somehow later that day a stool magically turns up and they brought it over... hmmmm.

Anyways, I have both the stools now and while I love them I probably would have just paid the extra money and ordered the RH version since I have had nothing but amazing service there. Lesson learned!

I think I will order another just because I feel like 2 isn't quite enough but 4 would be overwhelming for that ledge.

Sean loves that he can lower his seat while Wren and I like our stools higher!

Finally all the little touches of dark/black metal are making sense as everything comes together.

It's funny because this whole kitchen process seemed to be just one big fight from the cabinets to not shipping our tap and now these stools. The only companies I've worked with that I've had nothing but rave reviews for are Urban Granite who did our marble counters, Restoration Hardware who helped with the light and Tile Town who we ordered our subway tile with.

Biggest lesson I've learned? You have to be really vocal to get what you want! Patiently waiting doesn't get you much, and sadly the thorn in the sides are usually the ones who get the fastest/best response.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Family Room shuffle

I am not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but I have a major love of milk. Totally random, but I drink a jug by myself every 2 or 3 days. So it funny that I never noticed my love of it creeping into my design style, specially in the family room (aside from the fact that milk is awfully white and so is our house!).

Milk crate? today it is a fire wood holder.

It has been a major evolution over the last 3 or 4 months as the kitchen finished up, but even on a dark, dreary winter day like this I can easily call this room my favorite.

It is a strange mix of formal and polished with fun and shabby. One thing not so polished? the silver tray. I have a love of tarnished silver (I'm sure my grandma and mom would cringe at the idea of walking past a tarnished item day after day).

There's my love of milk again!

Looking into the kitchen/sun room. I think subconsciously I have blocked out the amount of time and work I put into the ceiling. It was such a nightmare, from the priming of every piece, to the dry wall and plaster crumbling in my hair and eyes as we installed it... a labour of love is a major understatement!

Just some proof that we do have a toddler running around here! I could probably up my basket/toy organizing game but this will do for now.

Easily the most awkward area is this little spot behind the couch. It was hard to locate a sofa table so this little sideboard worked out well as the perfect storage spot. Some old baskets were recent auction finds and infuse some texture and warmth to the room.

More baskets piled by the TV often hold borrowed library movies and books.

I scored this fun folding table on clearance at HomeSense for $20. It is a little small for the corner but I am on the hunt for a cool lamp that will add some substance and ground it a little.

Looking into the kitchen. I am SOOOOO happy that we didn't color match the wood floors to a trim for the ledge. It was super duper cheap to do white trim and also makes the step noticeable from the kitchen so people don't trip or fall. I didn't realize dark floors were so dangerous until we had 3 different people fall there!

If you are just stopping by for the first time or haven't had a chance to see what the original room looked like be sure to check it out by clicking here.

And I will be updating the "semi-finished Family Room" link under our renos tab soon with these photos and all the details on the transformation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The king and I

The second week of January was freakin cold. COLD, so I appreciated a smaller bed, cuddling close to keep warm with Sean. But by the third week it was mild again and we decided that it was time to take the plunge on something we had been discussing for about a year now: switching to a king mattress.

The funny thing is we did things just a smidge backwards because we bought a headboard before we committed to a mattress. It was one of those things that prompt you to make the jump to King because it was too good to be true!

I was shopping at HomeSense at the very start of January and saw a beautiful headboard there, only one, in a king and lacking a price tag. I knew it looked familiar so I went home, did some googling and low and behold I realized it was either an exact replica, or perhaps a cast off Warner headboard from Restoration Hardware (I realize it is not normal to remember things like that, specially if you aren't in the market for a bed, but I'm weird like that).

My first reaction was to drag Sean down there the very same night, but on closer inspection we discovered a rip in the material so I sadly left it. I resigned myself to the fact that I would either have to get creative on another headboard project or just splurge on the real deal. Then my mom called me one afternoon saying she saw another one at a different store and put it on hold for us! So just couple weeks ago we made another trip to finally seal the deal on our King sized upgrade. The second headboard was in perfect condition, still wrapped even, and boasted a price of $500. Not the cheapest headboard out there, but it saved me about $1600 on the Restoration Hardware SALE price once you include shipping and tax!

Of course it has caused a trickle down effect and now I am looking for some snazzy new shams, ideally something with a little texture.

And I am also working on a new side table for Sean's side of the bed. Our last mattress was a plushy pillow top that gave Sean back aches for days, so it was extremely high and needed a tall side table. Now it looks a little high with this bed and the light glares in your eyes at night from that angle so it's time to go lower.

The sand linen is the perfect hit of texture and color next to our muted grey paisley wallpaper.

I LOVE the nickel nail head detail all down along the frame. It adds a fresh feel to the linen.

As usual my wheels are turning and plans are being hatched for what else to add/subtract in here.

One thing I am desperate to subtract is the obvious cords for the TV and I can't wait to add a few extra hits of bling on the new nightstand.

For the commenters asking about the duvet, I bought a Cal King duvet and cover, but the bed is just a standard king so I am not sure if that has anything to do with the extra hang over. But I REALLY think someone would make a killing selling oversized king duvets and covers for those of us who like lots of over hang. It might even save a few marriages in the process on those cold nights when blanket real estate is a major point of contention!
So, I think I have to admit defeat on last weeks Paint Perfection post. I have a stellar write up on distressing and sealing, but alas, the photos I spent hours taking are longgggg gone *a lone tear falls down my cheek*

I was hoping to have all the photos replaced by now, but it probably won't happen until tomorrow so we'll reschedule for this Friday. THANKS again for all your patience and for holding out for our conclusion.

Wren and I are just about to walk out the door to take a drive out to my Grandparent's farm as life seems to be moving at a hectic pace since February walked in the door, but when we get home tonight I have a fun post lined up with a couple of the changes have been transpiring here are Casa WhiteBerry!

A little sampling of what we'll be chatting about? Our recent move to a king sized bed, some new kitchen furniture and the family room evolution. Wow, that seems like a lot! Maybe I'll break it up into a couple posts.

And in just a few weeks I look forward to sharing a new project I will be working on that is on a whole new scale than I'm used to!
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