Thrifting

Since I have had quite a bit of time on my hands, but not loads of money to entertain myself, I have been thrifting my way through the Detroit metro.  I have gone to all the thrift stores with in a 20 mile radius, and I have had soooo much fun.  I guess I love the thrill of finding treasures and even more with my new house to fill.  So here are a few of my favorite ‘treasures’ that I found:

This vase was marked as $6 which I thought was a steal for something that I did not have to alter (I think it is from Target originally), but when I got to the front it was 50%.  Wahooo!  I did not realize that all the decorative items were 50% I would have bought sooo much more if I had known while I was browsing, but the baby was getting fussy by the time I was checking out.

This frame I bought for $1, because it had the 1/2 off sticker color of the week.  It says on the back that it was handmade from driftwood.  It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it is pretty dinged up, so I am going to paint it when I have time.  I have been eyeing these frames from Pottery Barn Kids:

I think that with some paint this frame could look very similar, the problem is that I forgot to pack paint brushes and painters tape.  Also, I have resolved to not buy things that I know I have at our other house so I will just have to wait until Sunday when my things are being moved into our new house!

This was my first thrifting purchase here.  I could not resist, although now I am working through some ideas for Gab’s room and it doesn’t fit the color scheme.  I know I can put it in the play room in the basement.  It is so cute I almost don’t want to use it as a cubby/shelf because then the turtle will be hidden.

While I am on finds for Gabs, here are things I found while sort-of-thrifting:

It was more like dumpster diving.  I was out walking the dog and I saw these in another apartment’s trash.  First I wondered whether they were really throwing these away, and then the next time I walked the dog I decided that since they were still there it was a sign.  So I grabbed them and went running to my apartment (I know I looked so creepy).  They were covered in fur and a little bit stained, but nothing that a little vacuuming and cleaning didn’t undo.  Besides these I also found this:

It also had all the bins that fit on it.  One dowel was missing and another one was broken, but that is a really easy fix once we get in the house.  I’m thinking of putting this downstairs in our new basement playroom.  Anyway if this was your garage, I swear I am not crazy.  I just thought that I could use it.

Have any of you gone dumpster diving?

Pillows

I have had quite a bit of free time lately and no house to work on, so I have been making pillows galore.  The first one I made, I saw in blue at Kohl’s and love the idea for the design.  I was thinking of making it in a mustard color, but when I got to Joann’s I found a very limited selection of felt, so I choose the dark red felt.

In the end I loved the pattern, but was not all that happy with the color.  I think I might give this one to my mom and try again in a different color.  (Please excuse the backgrounds, that was the best I could do in my corporate housing.)

This pillow I used my Martha Stewart stencil.  I bought yellow fabric, stenciled the pattern and then once it was completely dry I stitched it together, leaving a one inch border.  I thought the yellow was a little bright at first, but with all the white it really toned it down.  I even, don’t mind where my stenciling was a little faint, gives it character!

I saw something really similar at the pottery barn outlet, but it was $20 for the pillow cover (I know it was not even that expensive) but I refuse to buy pillows.  I made this pillow for $4 with everything.  I have been buying all my inserts at Goodwill; I buy an old, ugly pillows, wash it and cover it.  The fabric I found in the remnants bin at Joann’s for $2 and the button was $1. I made the pillow, envelope style, with minimal sewing.  I like the end result, although I have no idea where I will use it.

I also saw a pillow similar to this at the pottery barn outlet and decided to make it.  This one was not quite as cheap, around $7.  I got a 1/2 a yard of linen fabric and it was barely enough, I had to get creative with some of the fabric pieces I cut in order to make them fit.  Also, I love these buttons, they are real wood and sooo cute ($1.25, Joann’s).

Here are all the pillows together.  Now, I just need to find places for them in the new house!

Anyone else feel bad about buying pillows, even when they are affordable?

Family Room Transformation

There was one room in my house that I dreaded painting, because it was just so much surface area.  That would be my family room, it was humongous.  It was the size of the three bedrooms plus the hall combine, also with built-ins, deep windows, and lots and lots of trim.  I started this project shortly after finding out that I was pregnant (getting no VOC paint, paint from Lowes) and did not finish until almost a year and a half later.  In the end the process was significantly accelerated due to the the home sale.   I really did have a lot more intricate plan for this room, but since I had to finish and in a staging way, it got done really fast!  Even with all that, after everything I really did like the result.

Here is a before picture (again sorry for the poor quality before pictures, note to self in new house take good before pictures):

and here is the two year later after:

I painted the built-ins, and Hubs installed a TV above the fireplace.  (Don’t worry about the heat, we have never used the fireplace)  Also we had gotten new carpets, almost right after we moved in.  I think the previous owner had a couple of dogs and it had a yucky doggie smell.  I really had wanted to put some dark bamboo blinds in the room, but in the time, money crunch we had to just go with standard aluminum white blinds.  I painted this focal wall with a chocolate brown and the rest of the walls I used the same neutral color that I had used in the kitchen, since one of the walls is continuous.

here is another before from the other direction:

And the after:

I really like the look of the bookshelves and it wasn’t even my idea.  Hubs thought of it as a way to use the awkward space behind the sectional.  The bookshelves are from target and we paid $87 a piece for them, actually a Christmas present from my parents.  (I have good ideas for these in our new house.)  I am not really a fan of the matchy, matchy pillows on the couch matching my ‘fun chair’ but hubs was in a decorating mood and ordered them on the internet.

Here is a picture of the bar area.  You can see where my 9 squares project went.  Sorry about the dog crate in the background, I’m so used to seeing it I forgot to take it out. My original plane was to paint the bar and update the countertop, but there was no time, and the good thing is that you cannot see the bar when you walk down the stairs.

Overall I am soo happy that I finally finished, but a little sad that I did not do it sooner, we only enjoyed the finished project for about a week.  Although thanks to all my blog reading I have finally perfected the painted transition between two colors. Yahhhh!

Has anyone else been forced to finish projects faster due to selling a house?

TDC Before and After

Bathroom Update

I know I have been gone for awhile, but everything got really crazy all at once!  For a couple of weeks in the beginning of March we went to visit Hub’s family and introduce Gabs in Colombia.  It was so wonderful and oh so warm!

There is my sleeping beauty taking a name on Hubs at the resort.

Then when hubs checked his messages back in the states, he had one from a company in the Detroit metro offering him a position at their company.  Long story short (and lots of craziness in between) in 4 weeks we put the house on the market, moved into corporate housing, found a new house, and have a closing date in two weeks.  That would be the reason there are no posts for such a long time.  We had mixed feelings about our departure, it was sad to leave our house, our jobs, our friends and family, but also nice to have fresh start and lots of new oppurtunities.  We left the house that we have put soooo much work into, but on the upside we are buying a much nicer, newer and way larger house.

One thing the move did was force me to finish all my house projects.  I found that it was much easier to make house decisions thinking about it as staging instead our home decor.  One of the rooms that went from just some ideas to finished in less than a week was our upstairs bathroom.  Do you remember what it looked like before?

It is a very long, thin room, and very difficult to photograph.  This is from the entrance and here is a picture of the vanity:

I tore the border down, which was really not difficult at all.  I think that all the moisture from steam in the bathroom had really helped loosen it up, because by far it was the easiest border to remove in the whole house. Then I removed all the cabinet doors and drawers, painted them and the cabinet backs, plus the trim.  I ended up painting the vanity a dark brown instead of my usual white because I did not want to change the white counter-top.  Then I painted the room a very neutral color and here is the final result:

I covered the eighties style shower doors with a blue shower curtain from Kohl’s and finally installed the bamboo shade.

You can see the painted vanity a little bit in this picture.  I didn’t change the light or the mirror, but I did install a new towel rack.  Actually I got a really good deal on that one, $10 at TJ Maxx. If I was going to stay in this house I would have put a picture above the towel rack, but since it was just for staging purposes, I left it free.  A buyer can imagine their own picture there.

This is a little better picture of the Brown painted vanity.  I used the same hardware that I had used around the house except in brushed nickel.  I was so pleased with this look, I am thinking about doing this to a few of the builder grade vanities in our new house.

Have any of you tried to paint a vanity a different color?  Did you like the result?

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