Reader Shout Out: Rug Shrugs

One of the best aspects to starting a blog is all the fellow bloggers you meet with similar interests. Blogging gives you the opportunity to build a little network that’s useful when you need feedback on, say – your living room rug?

We’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” Wendy through cyber space and this little lady just finished up a f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c living room decor adventure. Here’s how she started. Cute pup right?

She’s (Wendy, not the pup) ripped up the carpet to make way for beautiful new wood floors and has added lots of fun accessories and pops of color throughout the room.  We have to admit that we are both absolutely green with curtain envy. Look at those guys!

In all her decorating success, Wendy is still a bit hung up on the all-important rug decision. She’s considering a Chevron style, something like this, which we think could be awesome.

Wendy asked our opinion on the rug dilemma and we each came up with a suggestion.

Chad: Our living room rug from World Market. Seriously, I pick ours.

Amy: Yellow could really make some of her awesome pillows stand out. I would try the Andalusia rug from West Elm.

No matter what Wendy chooses we know that it will look great, she seems to have a knack for decorating and doesn’t need our two cents. We just hope she sends pictures after deciding what to do.

Have you got a design decision to make and want some feedback from amateurs? Opinions are free around here so send your pics our way! Want to check out another reader’s awesome room makeover, click here. View this reader’s personally perfect living room here.

Wendy’s Photos: A Southern Accent; Rug Photos: West Elm

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Reader Shout Out | 1 Comment

A Love/Hate Relationship

Not Chad and I, I’m talking about me and curtains.  We’ve put up drapes in the past only to have them leave our rooms too dark and heavy, we’ve put up shears in the past that just looked too airy and cheap.  That was during our pre-blog days, so we don’t have any of the fugly pics but trust us it was bad.

Our recent success with roman shades in the kitchen has given us a little boost of curtain confidence that will come in handy in decorating our guest bedroom.

All of the windows in our home have white wooden blinds on them that we loved when moving in. I’m slowly getting over them, but am not going to be silly and take them all down. They provide great privacy and aren’t cheap – we just need to dress them up a bit inside. Plus, drapes will really give our room a finished look if we can get them right this time.

In keeping with our inspiration photo, we picked up four faux silk smoky blue curtain panels from Target awhile back. They were living in the closet, waiting for our kitchen projects to be finished up before we moved on to other rooms.  Today was supposed to be their day to shine.

Instead, they are wrapped up and heading back to Target. It really is sad.

So how did this all go down? Well we unpackaged one panel, slipped it onto the curtain rod and walked it up the ladder to decide where to place the mounting hardware on the wall according to the width of our panel.  You see, part of our past curtain dilemmas was that we were hanging the curtains literally in front of the window, blocking all the light – rather than mounting the rod in a way that allowed the curtain panels to frame the window and not block it. Lesson learned.

Anyhoo, so we are checking out the width of the curtain when I look down and realize that my 84” long panels are too short. D’oh!  They would be a perfect length if we wanted to hang our curtain rod right above the window frame, but we want to hang it about 8 inches higher, to split the space between the window and ceiling.   Doing this will make the room seem a little grander – a plus in a guest bedroom. This will also keep our curtains from lopping over our protruding blinds in a funny way.  See what I mean?

The game time decision?  Take ‘em back. If we are going to take the time to do it, we might as well be happy with the results. I am crazy enough to be disappointed every time I walk in that room if the curtains are not right where they should have been. It’s a sickness I know.

Of course a quick trip to showed us that they do in fact make longer versions of our panels – yea! However, they only sell them online – boo!

We hate waiting, but decided it’s worth the shipping time and extra thirty beans to get exactly what we want.  The free shipping code I found at this website, helped make the decision a lot easier too.

In 7-10 business days we should have the new curtains in our hot little hands. In the meantime we can return our shorties to the store and spray paint our black IKEA curtain rods a bronzy gold. We had decided to skip that step to just get the curtains up – well, the curtain gods are now punishing us for our laziness. No excuses now.

Posted in Guest Bedroom | Leave a comment

My Excaliber 1964 Stratocaster

It will be mine. Oh yes…

What? You don’t see the resemblence? Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about? Here’s a little hint:

This Bone Sunburst Mirror from Ballard Designs is 269 bucks but makes my little heart sing. Here’s hoping it goes on sale – soon.

P.S. Our weekly feature on Durham Magazine is up! Check it out here.

Posted in Feeling Inspired | Leave a comment

By The Numbers: Our Kitchen Updates

We’ve gotten lots of questions from readers about our new kitchen, especially since it’s debut on Apartment Therapy. One of the most common questions has been “how much did it all cost?” So grab your measuring tape and your calculators ’cause here we go.





Stainless Steel Refrigerator, Gas Range, Dishwasher and Microhood: $ 1,550 ($2,400 minus the $450 we recouped by selling our old appliances on Craigslist and $400 in Mail in Rebates)

Installation of Dishwasher and New Gas Line for Range: $ 400

Butcher Block Counters:  $ 470 ($365 for 2 counters from IKEA, $30 for new corded drill, $45 drill bits, saw blade, caulk and sandpaper, $30 for Waterlox sealant and supplies)

Plumbing: $325 ($170 faucet, $130 sink, $25 for PVC pipe, plumbers putty and a new disposal ring)

Tile Backsplash: $ 50 ($35 subway tiles and $15 in supplies)

Crown Molding: $200 (including $30 nail gun rental)

Cabinet Hardware: $17

Paint and Supplies: $35

Light Fixtures: $120 ($35 for each pendant light and $25 for each track light)

Window Coverings: $142 (3 Bamboo Shades at $28 each and one for $58)

Desk Area: $85 ($48 desk, $7 mirror and $30 lamp)

Miscellaneous Décor: $75 (rug, photo frames, thrift store accents)

Grand Total: $ 3,469 (honestly, we’d round up to $3,500 just to account for that run to Lowes for an extra tube of caulk,etc.)

It took a little over four months to finish up all our projects.  Spreading them all out over that time saved us a lot of money on labor, allowed us to shop around for great deals and to pay cash for everything – no plastic allowed. Plus, we’ve developed a good base of tools which cut down the extra expense for items like caulk guns, putty knives, saws, etc.

Sure there were things we could have done with more money like rip out the cabinets, knock down the wall to the dining room, reconfigure the whole kitchen to allow us to buy a bigger refrigerator and build an island, or bring in hardwood floors.  Instead, we moved a lot of decorative items in from other areas of our home and worked within the existing flooring and cabinets – and saved big dollars in the end. Plus we love the result – staying true to the casa.

But enough about our cocina. What have you guys been up to? Any thrifty DIY-ers out there tackling the world one room at a time?

Photo: Sesame Street

Posted in By The Numbers, Kitchen Updates, La Casa | 2 Comments

Featured: Apartment Therapy

That’s right. Apartment Therapy. As in, we get a million hits a day Apartment Therapy.

We love to check out AT for unique home inspiration, products and even kitchen and baby products. Yes baby products – we have friends with bambinos.

Just for fun we shot them a link to our blog over the weekend and, (cue that Carlton dance) they featured our kitchen on their website Monday morning! Check it out:

They mention Chad’s name three times in the post and only call him “Brad” one of those times – so we’ll take it!

We’re not the only Durham-ites featured on the site. Check out Liz’s beautiful casa here, and this awesome Tobacco Warehouse turned condo here.  There is even a pink and purple Durham house featured here.

Got a great room, home or project to share with us? Brad and I and all ears.

Posted in Featured In, Kitchen Updates | 8 Comments

Reader Shout Out: Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno

Okay, so a friend of ours from Texas, Brandi (half the brains behind MMBB) didn’t know she was a TH reader until we asked if we could give her living room a shout out right here on the ol’ bloggity blog. We’re sure she’s taken a gander since we asked, so without further ado, our latest reader shout-out.

You should check out Brandi’s blog too, she writes it with her graphic designer sister and it’s pretty swanky in an, “I just came back from the beach and threw my things down in a fabulous fashion” kind of way.  And you know we can’t help but love the name Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno. Must be a Texas thing.

Check out how awesome this calendar is that she’s working on. P.S. We are now officially shopping for our own Eames chair. Love it.

Here is her inspiration. As much as we love our little homemade paper calendar, we might have to try this out too.

 Thanks for letting us crash your living room Brandi! I hope that lots of our readers crash your blog too!

Do you guys have a great room that you love and that just screams “you”?  Give us a shout so that we can return the favor.

Photos: Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno

Posted in Reader Shout Out | 1 Comment

Goodbye Paisley

Now that the cocina is all wrapped up, we’ve moved our attention to one of our two guest bedrooms.  A few months ago we spotted a colorful image from Better Homes and Gardens that has become the inspiration for our blank slate. Need a refresher? Check out that post here.

Our first step to add some big color to the room was our DIY upholstered headboard. Unfortunately our bedding didn’t exactly match – okay so it didn’t match at all.

Luckily there were no tears shed over shedding our five year old purple paisley sheets from Wal-Mart.  Lucy ate the matching comforter last year anyways, which led us to pick up a basic white number from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Flash forward to today and it’s bright white all over.

Nothing too fancy but definitely a start. We plan to add some punchy pillows to add even more color, something on the wall and of course some accessories on the table beside the bed which was just relocated from our master bedroom (more on that soon).

Anybody else out there sprucing things up in the new year? Anybody have a dog that will eat anything? Want to see what else Lucy’s eaten? Check out a post about that here.

Posted in Guest Bedroom, La Casa | 1 Comment