Thursday, December 30, 2010

Woman cave is done

Behold, my very own TV and reading room!  Nothing but vampire and romance movies are playing in here!  I'm totally kidding.  Mostly.
The bookcases are complete, and I couldn't be more in love.  They aren't perfect, but that's ok.  I love that we did most of the work ourselves, and it doesn't look like donkey doo. 
This room has been a long time coming.  We've had it painted since March, oy! 
I'm so happy with the dark brown paint!  I was worried it would be too dark, but the light is perfect in here.  The shade is Glidden 'Bark', but I think you have to ask for it now.
I have the cable box stuck underneath the dresser.  Unless you're standing against the bookcases taking a picture of the tv, you don't see it.  I'm also happy with the cord cover I installed under the tv.  In person, it's quite unnoticeable.  Note: the dresser has to be a little off-center so the heat vent by the door isn't blocked.  WAH WAH.
Do you remember my awesome Goodwill mirror from waaaay back?  It looks mighty pretty with a few coats of white glossy paint. 
The light fixture is this one from Overstock.  I love it!!
The teal 'Kira' rug was picked up at Crate and Barrel last Christmas on clearance.  It's been sitting in a spare room for 12 months.  It was worth the storage time.  You can find a similar rug there now, called the Baxter
The french doors that lead out to the porch have been dressed with white Ikea curtains and bamboo panels for privacy. 
And of course, the crystal pendant completes the desk nook.
The couch is Rowe's Dorset model, I was able to order it with the fabric I wanted, and they also let you choose fabric (I chose funky!) for toss pillows.  It was a good deal, but I'm not thrilled with the wrinkly seat cushions.  I'm wondering if I should complain or just let it go....
My chairs were found on Craigslist awhile ago, and will eventually be recovered.  For now, the burnt orange seats look pretty nice with my couch pillows, go figure! 
Now I just need an ottoman to prop my feet on.  So, do you think it looks better than it did when we moved in?
Boozie Susie, I swear!!!  Maroon trim??  I hate you. 
I guess I showed her how it's done. 
And the whopping cost for this makeover:
Bookcases and trim (materials and labor) - approx. $2100
Rowe sofa - $825 (plus $70 for Scotchguard) = $895
Samsung 42" Plasma - $475
Crate and Barrel rug (6x9) - $440
Overstock light - $130
Pier 1 bamboo panels - $110
Pier 1 pillows on couch - $60
Cane chairs - $50
Loft double curtain rod - $45
Dresser - $42
IKEA curtains - $30
Pier 1 set of two frames - $25
Goodwill mirror - $25
Cord cover - $20
CSN crystal pendant - $12
Faux fur 'rug' on couch from Hobby Lobby - $10
Various accessories that I've collected over the last year, let's say about $100 for all. 
Yeah, pardon me while I go throw up.  No, really...I have to keep in mind that there was construction involved, and that major expense added to big-ticket items like the tv, rug, and sofa added up to about 4k.  I still think it's a pretty good total considering the one bid we got for building the entire bookcase unit and finishing it was $3650.  Feel free to make me feel better!!!  Or make fun of me, whatever floats your boat.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CSN Review

So, remember last month when I said that I was going to review a pendant light from CSN?  Well, review.  Let's start with the basics.  This light came about a week after I ordered it, so that was sweet.  I only had to pay $12 due to the generous gift from CSN! 
This is the box.  Do not be fooled, contrary to the 'Easy Lite' reference you see here, this light was NOT easy to install.
The instructions were pitiful, the cord was about 10 feet long and needed to be cut and stripped more than once, and more than half of the crystals were wrapped like this:
The plus is that the crystals are all real glass, and beautiful.  The minus is that they are held on with these tiny little wire loops that have a tendency of stretching out and not meeting up anymore.  I had to spend some real time making sure they were tight.  The company includes extra crystals to customize the length of the light - longer and shorter ones. 
As you can imagine, the canopy part is super heavy.  And unfortunately, the entire crystal canopy needs to be removed in order to put in the bulb.  I didn't realize this until after I had everything assembled.  Apparently, I am not the brightest bulb....oh, yeah!  Awesome pun for you!  Anyway, I was quite pissed to take it down again to install a bulb.
Regardless of the annoying install, I LOVE this light.  I may be ticked off every time I have to change the bulb, but as long as I have a blanket placed underneath the fixture to catch any 'suicidal crystals', it's not that bad.  And believe me, a blanket saved a few already. 
The inside of the recessed area was just painted flat white to make it 'disappear,' and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  Despite the issues, I would definitely buy this again because it is so perfect for my room.   
Do you agree it was worth the hassle?  Next up is my completed room!  For real!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Great reads

Did everyone survive the Christmas madness?  I sure hope that your eggnog hangover isn't too bad.  Just wanted to let you all know that fellow blogger Jennifer at Rambling Renovators has featured my little old blog in the first installment of her end of year 'Great Reads' post.  Isn't that sweet?  Pop over there and check out her favorites!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to me

First of all, Merry Christmas to you all!  Is it wrong to post about house stuff on Christmas?  I hope not, because I'm going to.  A couple weeks ago, I got myself the best Christmas present.  I hired my talented cousin Randy Reblin to finish the baseboard and crown molding on our long-awaited built-in bookcase.  Before he worked his magic, it looked like this:
We didn't have the proper tools to continue our crown and base trim and have them look nice.  For one thing, we couldn't find the same molding profile anywhere.  My cousin has a carpentery business and he is AMAZING with trim. On one happy Wednesday, this is what I came home from work to see!
Check this out!
Randy and his helper matched it up perfectly.
I was so excited that I immediately started getting my BIN primer mixed up.
And here it is all painted!
The last thing we needed to do is finish the rough edge of the 'countertop' piece.  It had been cut down, and the cut end was not very pretty.  
We just used these 3/4 inch square pieces for the finishing edge. 
Here is is all attached.  I like that it is both finished-looking, and adds a little extra shelf space. 
Everything is primed, painted, and set up.  Next week I will finally show the finished 'woman cave'!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My House is Christmasy

Here is what I managed to throw together for Christmas decor this year.  Yeah, it looks almost exactly like last year.  Sue me for not being that creative or making any crafts.  

I put one of our old window sashes on the piano for a makeshift xmas card and stocking holder.  I think I may keep it there after the holidays, too.  It's slightly crazy.  It looks much better in person. 
I love how the candle lights up this silvery tree.  I like to stare at it during stupid tv commercials.  When I'm not blogging, of course.   
Our tree is pre-lit, and one strand of lights blinks on and off.  It is maddening.  It's actually a problem with a bulb socket, I may do a post later on about the trials and tribulations of trying to fix it.  But don't hold your breath. 
And here is how it looks while the strand is out.  I'm sure you are fascinated. 
I need to give a close-up to the ridiculous Pier 1 pickle that I won from the lovely Lindsay.  It really is a scream!  Too bad my red hoodie got reflected in the ornament....
I went a little 'crazy' and added some teal ribbon to the banister this year.  And snowflakes.  I'm such a Christmas ninja.
Now all we need is some Baileys and movies on demand.  Who's with me??

**I just realized the only part of the living room that didn't get 'Christmased' is our fireplace mantle.  Yeah, I'm totally backwards.**

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ratcheting ReadyWrench Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for your funny comments about your furniture-building exploits, it made for a great read! picked comment seven, which means Corey is the lucky winner!

And if any of you would like to pick up your very own wrench, snap it up here

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ratcheting ReadyWrench Review

Last month a representative from Black and Decker emailed me and asked if I would like to review their new Ratcheting ReadyWrench.  How could I say no?  With all the stuff we do around here, an extra hand tool is always welcome!  As soon as I got the box, I opened it and then struggled like an idiot to get the thing out of the package. 
Eventually we were able to put our heads together and figure out that the yellow thingy is just holding the wrench in the package and is not, in fact, part of the wrench (insert me yelling "Oh crap, don't break that yellow piece!") and was fine to remove.  Duh.  SO, here it is all out of the package - first hurdle passed!  DIY geniuses here, I tell ya. 
The idea behind this baby is that you have 16 different sizes of sockets, 8 metric on one end and 8 standard on the other.  They spin around until you find the perfect size.  The ratcheting function allows you to keep moving without lifting it up.  I decided to try it out on our dining chair bolts, which probably hadn't been tightened up for awhile. 
I spun the end around until I found the correct size, and went to town.  The only thing I found to be troublesome is that the wrench can slip off the bolt if you aren't holding it just right, and the socket wheel has the ability to move a little while you're working.   
But the ratcheting action was mighty nice considering the awkward position of this bolt...I would give this handly little tool four stars out of five.  And thanks to Black and Decker, you all have a chance to win a wrench of your own!  
1. To enter, leave a comment telling me about a holiday toy or furniture assembly horror story!  Or, something else "wrenchy."
2. Please make sure your email is either in your comment or on your *public* blogger profile/blog - if I can't find your email, I have to pick another winner.   
3. Giveaway closes Monday at midnight, I will pick a winner using on Tuesday -Good luck!

Please note - Black and Decker provided the Ratcheting ReadyWrench without cost for my review.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogger meetup

A couple weeks ago I had a fun opportunity to meet up with blogger Kim of EF eDesigns.  Kim has just recently decided to discontinue the blog updates on the site for her design company, but still is continuing to blog on her own personal site.  This little get-together came about because she did a post about possibly re-staining or painting a vintage desk chair she had found on CL for $25!
I asked her to let me bring over some Howard's Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax to see how it looks before doing all that work to refinish it.  We had a great night with wine, Howard products, and her adorable pup!
And here is the chair after a couple coats of the good stuff.  Doesn't it look shiny?
And here is Kim, who looks like Nicole Kidman.  She doesn't see it, but I'm convinced! 
I hear she's going to give an update on the chair on her blog soon, I really hope the Howard products were tough enough to save her some work.  So...does anyone else want to get together for furniture restoration and booze?  I'm game!