Thrifting

It’s been one of those weeks.

Nothing major. Just the kind of week that sometimes bubbles up when you have a big, full life and a happy, active family. We’ve experienced a lot of transition in a short amount of time. In addition to our move, I started my new job, which means I’ll travel more but am also home more. We’re all trying to figure out the rhythm of life – and draw some physical and virtual boundaries – when Mom offices at home. The kids transitioned to their new school/preschool classrooms, which has been awesome.  But with a new school year and new mixes of classmates, a few social issues have come up for them which has required a little extra parenting. On top of that, this week handed us a nice trifecta of weird-but-gross kid stuff – a skin infection, head lice, and strep throat. Charlie celebrated a birthday, which meant treats & planning for 3 different occasions – including his very first slumber party. And Joe was out of town for a conference, which meant I was on my own for most of this fun.

Small things in the scheme of things. Wonderful things in the scheme of things. But I’m not gonna lie…by Friday night, I was exhausted.

And yesterday, I was more than ready for a little solitude and was craving a creative outlet, so I decided to head to the Kansas City West Bottoms all by myself for some vintage treasure hunting.

(For those of you who aren’t from the KC area – the West Bottoms is a historic district in the river bottoms. The first weekend of each month, stores open up with all sorts of art and vintage/antique/repurposed treasures. It’s worth checking out, but I digress…)

In addition to sort of selfishly just wanting a day to be alone and think and create, I also had some clear objectives. I know I’ve mentioned before that I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up this summer. I sort of went all KonMari* when we moved – we sold or donated a LOT of stuff. So less stuff + bigger house = all sorts of empty spaces that I’ve been contemplating. And as of Friday, we still hadn’t hung a single thing on the walls (tht has since changed) and the empty-ness and the high ceilings was getting to me. It was feeling a little less like “home” and a little more like a gymnasium.

Plus, stuff in the West Bottoms is old, so it’s cheap. And cheap is good when you’re raising 3 little boys and trying to renovate a home on a budget.

So I was on a mission. Maybe it was just good luck.  Maybe it was because I knew exactly what I was looking for. Or maybe the Universe just knew I was in desperate need of a win.  But I can say with confidence – Mission Accomplished!

Here are a few of my favorite finds (as always, you can click on a pic to enlarge)…

The first thing I stumbled upon was this great mid-century chair at Hello Sailor. I’d been looking for a small-ish chair to put on my side of the bed in place of a bedside table. I’d been looking at some similar style chairs online, but couldn’t find one that was quite right. The upholstery on this one coordinates with our wall color, and the wood tone matches our bedroom set almost perfectly. And it’s a legit Goldlocke chair, with a seal and all.

Lest you think I’m some sort of savvy vintage shopper, I didn’t know this chair was a “Goldlocke” until after I bought it and the saleswoman pointed it out to me..then I had to Google it.

Next, also at Hello Sailor, I found this pair of high-back velvet tufted Broyhill chairs. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted them and was sort of hemming and hawing about them. Until I asked the vendor how much she wanted for them and she told me $40 FOR THE PAIR. Sold!

img_8923Who is this dirty-faced child and where is his mother?

I’m thinking these will “live” in the entry. Joe and I have had quite the debate about our old piano (that’s a post for another day), but ultimately I think he’s going to win and the piano will find a home in our entry, across from the bar, with these chairs on each side.

Sort of a 1920s piano bar vibe…can you picture it?

Next up…I think I found my home decor spirit animal at Bella Patina.  I’ve been following Nova Engle (@green.nova) on Instagram for awhile, and finally got a chance to shop her booth this weekend. I snagged a couple of cool basket vases filled with greenery.

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But even better, I purchased some Nova Engle’s original art  – a pair of abstract green & black canvases.  Those found a home on the curved wall in the dining room along with another West Bottoms find – a vintage green leather chair from Top Hat Mercantile.

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I also grabbed a couple of smaller accessories. Keeping with my obsessed-with-green theme, I found a fun (and super-cheap) piece of pottery at Top Hat Mercantile (right next to the green chair).  For now, it has a home on the dining room buffet, underneath the gallery wall we created with framed wallpaper scraps from the house before demo.

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And last but not least…a $9 bowl of wooden fruit. I have no idea where I’m going to put it, but for now it’s on the side table in the living room, next to the sectional.

img_8944There’s that little boy again. His Mom finally cleaned him up.

img_8958I have no idea why I love it, but I love it.

 

And now our house feels just a bit more like our home.

 

*In short, the KonMari method involves holding each of your belongings -literally holding it…or hugging it – and deciding whether to keep it or not based on how it makes you feel.  If it “sparks joy” you keep it. If not, you get rid of it.  Joe has teased me quite a bit about this, and I will admit I did not literally hold or hug everything  I own, but the general principal is a pretty good one. Surround yourself with things you love. And I will admit that I feel much more clear-headed without all that “stuff” everywhere…and my house is a lot easier to clean, too!

 

 

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Unpacked

As moving week/weekend winds down, I’m kind of feeling all the feels. 

We still have a long way to go…but it feels pretty surreal to be (almost) unpacked and finally living in the space we dreamed about for over 2 years. 

My body is tired, but my heart is filled with gratitude for the friends and family who watched the boys during moving week, all the folks who have already brought food & wine & friendship to our new space, and – most of all – for my husband who has an uncanny knack for seeing hope and possibility everywhere…even an abandoned old house in the middle of northwest Missouri. 

Cheers to new beginnings, friends!

Floors, part 3

The downstairs floors are finished.

We deliberated over a color for days, but ultimately went with Dark Walnut. It’s perfect.

We’re moving in next week, people.


Shedding a little light on the subject…

The moment I knew we needed help from a designer was the moment we started trying to put together a lighting plan. Not only did we have to think about how much light we wanted/needed, but also where we wanted lights placed, switch placements, dimmers…and fixtures. I actually sort of enjoy the design side of things and I don’t think I have a horrible eye, so I probably could have problem-solved a room or two on my own. But an entire house was just too much. And lights in a house felt a little bit like shoes for an outfit…it seems like a small detail, but can make or break the whole thing.

Sadly, there really weren’t any cool, save-able fixtures in the house when we bought it. And the electrical had to be completely redone. We were starting completely from scratch.

So lighting was one of the first things our designer, Erin McKenna, jumped in to help with. And let me tell you, she was a lifesaver. I’ve posted several posts and pics with our light fixtures, but haven’t ever done a specific post about lights yet. And lately it seems I’ve had a lot of folks asking questions about our lighting (especially the chandeliers you can now see from the street). So here is a round-up of all the fixtures (with links) we chose for the house, expertly installed by our awesome electrician, Owen of Minutemen Services.

Entry

This French beaded chandelier is probably the most “period” style fixture in the house. In fact, many folks who have seen it have asked if it were original. I was a little unsure of this one initially – it’s a little bit “traditional” for me. I tend to gravitate more toward industrial and/or modern design. But I love the look in the entry and the burnished brass is perfect.

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Over the bar, we have a crystal flush mount fixture. We also used this same fixture in the downstairs bath. It fits perfectly, and I love how it reflects flecks of light. I’m thinking about replacing the basic bulbs with pink or another color just to add something fun. We’ll add crystal knobs to the bar to mimic the crystal in the fixture.

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Dining Room

We chose a pair of crystal chandeliers (which match the flushmount lights under the bar and in the downstairs bath) for the dining area. The table will be centered underneath them. I love the drama of the two and how the light reflects, especially when it’s dark. We’ve got these on a dimmer, which will will be a fun way to control the “mood” of the space.

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Kitchen

The globe chandelier was definitely a more industrial, non-traditional choice for the kitchen. Joe was a little on the fence about this one at first, but I think it’s grown on him. I love it (industrial!) and think it will be even more perfect once we’ve got our tile done and appliances installed…next week (sneak peek of the kitchen tile & trim in the second pic)!

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Bathrooms

Starting with the downstairs bath…this is a small, full bath but we wanted it to have a sort of old-world, powder room feel. The ceiling light is the same crystal flush mount that is over the bar, and we mounted a brushed brass single tube sconce on the brick wall (this will be next to a mirror hung over a pedestal sink).

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The boys’ bathroom has pretty simple fixtures. We chose a chrome double tube sconce hung horizontally over the mirror, and a simple schoolhouse light on the ceiling. Because these are in the boys’ bath, they are pretty cheap and I can’t even remember where we ended up getting them…probably Wayfair or Houzz.

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In the master bath, our original plan (as pictured) was 3 double tube sconces, with 2 mirrored medicine cabinets centered over the sinks. As I’ve already posted, we didn’t get the cabinets and countertops designed properly for that (totally our fault), so the center sconce will go and there will be one large mirror between the two that are left. The ceiling fixture is silver with seashell-like glass circles.

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Upstairs hall

One of my favorite light fixtures in the house is the “explosion” chandelier in the upstairs landing. This will be my primary office space and a general work/reading area for the family. We’ll probably follow the style of this light with a little more mod decor in that area.

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In the hallway, we just did a couple of simple single sconces with linen shades. Right now, only one has a shade on it because the other will get smacked with the attic door…and that’s still in fairly regular use at this point.

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Master bedroom

Last but not least…the master bedroom. We mostly did recessed lighting in that space, but we did install a pair of brushed brass swing-arm sconces. The bed will be in the window, so these lights will serve as bedside lamps. These are actually a knock-off of the more expensive fixture our designer suggested, and I sort of hate the shades (but plan on replacing them…maybe with black linen).

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If you’re wondering about the boys’ bedrooms and the downstairs bedroom/playroom, they just get basic ceiling fans with light kits. Those were backordered and just came in, so no pictures. But they’re not that exciting anyway.

Trim work is wrapping up and tile is being laid right now. Next week, it’s plumbing fixtures, cabinet hardware installation, and clean-up in preparation for hardwood floors refinishing the week after.

We’re almost there…

Floors, part 1

There are a lot of things we haven’t been able to save in this house, but we’ve always tried to repair and restore rather than replace.

When we bought the house and pulled up the carpet, we thought the downstairs hardwood floors could be saved. But then we learned just how dry and brittle they were…and that there was no subfloor underneath them. In the dining room, the floors started to break in some spots, and we had to cut some holes in them to do the basement work.

So we realized we’d have to replace the dining room floors…

And then we realized we’d have to replace the living room floors, too…

But we thought the entry floors could be saved…until we found out that there were hundreds of nails that had been driven into them over the years – probably to silence squeaky boards. Driving the nails down deeper split the boards…pulling the nails up split the boards…

So we realized we’d have to replace the floors in the entry and downstairs bedroom/gameroom, too.

So that’s how we ended up with all new oak hardwood floors downstairs.*

It wasn’t exactly what we had planned, but they sure are gonna be pretty.

*This is the unfinished hardwood flooring. It will be stained to match the woodwork and mimic the old hardwoods. The stairs and upstairs hardwoods will stay original and be refinished.

Paint preview 

The sun is finally shining at the Off Center Revival!


Almost two weeks of rain slowed down the drywall process a bit (the mud was SLOOOOOW to dry) but, overall, things are moving along.

With walls finished, the interior painting has begun…

And let me tell you, this house is taking a LOT of paint.

Sherwin Williams has basically been my second home lately. I’m not sure if they’re sick of me or just happy to see dollar signs when I walk in the door (I lost count of paint & primer purchases at about the 50 gallon mark…).

So far, they’ve sprayed all the primer and have painted all the ceilings and most of the brick that will be painted. Today, they starting spraying/rolling the walls. Here’s a little sneak peak of where things were this afternoon.

Living room and dining rooms ceilings and walls are the same color – a light gray/greige. Although you can’t see it here, I really like the way it looks against the wood trim.

Dining room looking into the kitchen. Paint is still wet so looks a little streaky.

The kitchen walls are a creamy white. I sort of love the rustic-y vibe of the brick with just two coats, so I think we’ll keep it like this. Is rustic-y a word?

Downstairs bathroom, which is notoriously difficult to photograph. Here you can see the exposed brick against the smoky gray walls and ceiling, Once we have the marble-look tile on the wall and brass fixtures, this tiny bathroom may end up being my favorite room.

The boys’ bathroom with more rustic-y painted brick. The shower enclosure will be trimmed out with white subway tile.

Master bedroom. The ceiling is a sandy linen color, the brick will remain exposed, and this wall will be a dark slate blue-gray.

I don’t want to jinx us, but things should really start moving along in the next few weeks. Painters should be done (or nearly done) by Monday. The trim carpenter has started his work, and early next week the cabinets will be set, light fixtures installed, and dining room floor laid. And we have another crew working on the outside, painting the garage and fixing some gutter issues. Front porch and trim work should begin in the next week or two.

Stay tuned!

WALLS!

YOU! GUYS!

WE HAVE WALLS!!!!!!!


KITCHEN WALLS!

 


DINING ROOM WALLS!

 


ENTRY WALLS!

 


LIVING ROOM WALLS!

 


SHOWER WALLS!

 


BEDROOM WALLS!

 


BAR WALLS!

 


THEY EVEN PUT WALLS ON THE CEILING!