Saturday, February 23, 2013

I've died and gone to furniture warehouse heaven

The selection on craigslist in and around my area is usually pretty disappointing, but I peruse it often anyway just to see if anything good pops up.  I've found a few great pieces, specifically this great mid-century dresser for my brother. 

I stumbled across a few listings from City Limits Bargain Shop in North Augusta that caught my eye.  My dad and I were going to be running errands in Augusta anyway so I thought it'd be worth a quick stop.

This sign greeted us when we pulled up.  We thought, well this will be interesting...  (FYI, apparently 'butt dust' is a dry meat rub for barbeque.)

The store was not very big inside and there was only a small selection of furniture.  Then the saleswoman said her husband could take us to the warehouse if we wanted to look at the rest.  I was game, so we trekked out back and I could not have been more pleasantly surprised.

Needless to say, I was in heaven!  It was awesome.  And for the most part the prices were very reasonable.  They especially had a large selection of dining chairs.  Sadly I didn't find a set that would work for me this time but this place is certainly going to stay on my radar.  I did, however, find some great casual/side chairs for myself and my brother.

A couple of weeks ago I'd stopped in to look at Bargain Hunters Antiques & Consignment, which was preparing for it's big grand opening the next day.  There was a beautiful desk that I knew my brother would like. It was priced more than what he would typically spend on an unplanned purchase, but I knew it was right up his alley so I texted him a picture on a whim.  By the time he'd texted me back to ask if they'd negotiate, I was already on my way back home.  I tried calling and emailing but got no answer.  We figured it just wasn't meant to be.   When I told him I was going to be near there he told me to check on the desk because, and I quote, "I need it in my life."  I was pleasantly surprised not only to find that it was still there, but the price had been dropped to what he'd originally wanted to offer.  Destiny, people.  Destiny.

I also got this pair of mid-century chairs for him at the first store for only $60.

These are the chairs I got for myself at City Limits. For now they're parked at my dining table and I actually really like how they look.  I'm still on the hunt for upholstered dining chairs, but I think these would make a great addition flanked on each end.  I'm excited to find a fun fabric to recover the seats, but I like the wood finish so I'm happy not to have to refinish it.  And it was only $20 for the pair!

Obviously, I love furniture shopping for myself, but there is something really special about finding a piece for someone else.  And my brother is even more particular than I am, so this really feels like a small victory!

Have you had good craigslist finds/failures?  Or stumbled upon an unassuming store that turned out to be a treasure trove?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Decisions, decisions

I'm horrible at making decisions.  Always have been and I know I always will be.  Big things, small things, you name it.  For example, when BFF and I make plans for dinner, we literally start trying to decide where we want to go days beforehand because if we wait until it's time to eat, we go hungry trying to figure out what we want. 

It's no different when it comes to decorating.  I love so many decorating styles, from using antique & vintage pieces to super modern minimalist, that it's sometimes hard to make the distinction between what I like and what I like for myself.  Thankfully I know enough about myself and my taste to know that I couldn't live in a space where everything felt fragile and museum-like or at the other end of the spectrum with everything all clean lines and no cute decor.  It's that darn sweet spot in the middle that seems like it should be so easy to find, but that's not always the case.  My goal is to strike a nice balance between old and new, eclectic but not crazy, complementary but not matching.

And this, my friends, is where pinterest comes into play.  I'm obsessed (and I know I'm not alone) and I really feel like it was made just for me.  I've always been a huge bookmark-er so I have lots of folders filled with links to furniture I like, images I don't want to forget, random websites with random information that I just know I'll have a use for some day, etc.  And that's all well and good, but when you're looking at a list of bookmarks, that's all it is: a list.  I'm very visual so I love that on pinterest everything can still be organized, but I can actually see everything. 

Obviously it's great for compiling pictures of beautiful spaces for inspiration for that 4000 square foot, perfectly maintained and decorated mansion I'll have some day. mBut let's be real, I know people like to make fun of it for its ridiculousness.  I mean, I do it myself.  Pinterest is pretty much out of control, but it actually can be helpful for us real people, too (hello yummy recipes and helpful tips on cleaning and organizing).  In some areas it also helps give me an idea of what I'm really drawn to that a list just can't.  Let's see, out of 70 pins on my "Kitchen" board I have 30 pictures of kitchens with white cabinets and carrera marble counters, 23 with painted cabinets (most of which are a putty olive green or gray), and only a handful with a wood stained finish.  Clearly we can get a feel for the look that I like.  I've always known that I've been drawn to the brightness of white cabinets and have really been into the colored cabinets in the last few years, but seeing so many similar pictures allows me to really pinpoint the look that I would want in my own kitchen (one day!) and to realize that a natural wood finish wouldn't be my top choice.


As for the pins I have for living spaces and bedrooms, I'm much more all over the map.  There are just so many components!  Couches, chairs, coffee tables, beds, dressers, side tables, etc.  And all the fabrics!  Oh the fabrics.  I appreciate the pictures I see of well-done glamorous spaces and would like to think I could be that fancy, but I'm not really a high glamor kind of girl.  I like a nice mix of polished and collected for my own space. 

Do you have a particular style or, like me, do you like a little bit of everything?  And if any of you are on pinterest let me know! 

[Pictures are linkedI tried my best to find direct links to the pictures, but you guys know how pinterest can be.  If not, it's linked to my pinterest boards.]

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Particularly Particular

As I’ve gotten older my interest in all things house + home has only intensified.  It’s also a lot of fun now that I have more opportunities, my own funds, and my own spaces to decorate.  I live by myself so I don't have to worry about taking anyone else's tastes or opinions into consideration.  Great, right?  Well, yes and no.  In the last few years it’s really highlighted just how picky I can be.  I had no idea!  [My bff said, "I could've told you that."  Gotta love her.]  I notice now that I really pick apart almost everything before I buy it because I want it to be just right.  I’m getting better at not buying something “just for now” while I continue to look for the piece I really want (but of course I still slip up every now and then).  I wish I’d learned this long ago.  I mean, I probably could’ve bought a new couch with the number of throw pillows I’ve gone through only to change my mind months later.  It’s a good thing for my budget, but I also get really frustrated sometimes because it’d be much easier if I wasn’t so particular.  

Here's a small sampling of some of the looks I've gone through:

All the pillows in the first two were found at TJ Maxx.  This last picture has contenders that are still in the running (and getting daily use).  The chevron pillows have been in the starting lineup since they arrived on my doorstep.  Not only do they look great with everything, but the fabric is really durable, yet not stiff, and has a very well done envelope back, which I prefer to zipper closures.  It's much easier to get the insert in and out and they don't feel like they're going to explode.  I found them through thislittlehome on etsy.  Etsy is where I buy all my pillow covers.  It really can't be beat.  You can find pretty much whatever pattern and color you need at all price points.  As for the colorful one in the middle, I really do love her but I just don't know that I love the parrots.  I keep flip-flopping.  My love for the colors has so far outweighed my distaste for the birds, though, because I can't bring myself to part with it (fyi, it was a score from a Pottery Barn online clearance sale sometime last year; $13.99 and free shipping!).  

Here's a sneak peak at what I have coming up for my new pillow palette.  I don't want to reveal everything yet because I'm waiting on two more which should be arriving soon.  I never thought I'd be excited to have a pink pillow in my living room, but I'm in love with it.

Sometimes when I decide I want or need something for my house, I know exactly what I want and it’s just a matter of finding it, and more often than not, finding it within my small budget.  With other pieces, though, I only know what I want when I see it.  I searched for a dresser for almost two years before I finally found one.  I didn’t go out shopping for a dresser that day because of course if you have a mission you’ll never find what you’re looking for.  On one particular "I'm-totally-going-to-find-my-dresser-today" shopping trip I came home with a dining table and a vintage record player/stereo cabinet for my brother.  Anyway, I was walking around one of my favorite antique stores when I rounded the corner and saw it...and I just knew.  It was love at first sight.  It may seem silly that it took two years, but I ended up with the absolute perfect piece that I’ll have forever (it’s an antique) and I still smile every time I walk by it.  It also meant that I didn’t waste money earlier on a stand-in dresser.   

It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed the name carved into the top.  It makes me love it even more!

With the dresser crossed off the list, my other long-term shopping has been for a new coffee table and dining chairs.  At this rate it looks like it’s going to take as long as the dresser,  if not longer.  For my coffee table I'm looking for a long ottoman or something metal.  I think this one from World Market is so pretty, but sadly I think it's too circle-y for my needs.  But the glass!  The gold!  The legs!

For the chairs, I've had a vision of upholstered ever since I purchased the table, so I know deciding on what type of chair isn't the problem.  The problem seems to be that I just don't want to shell out the money for them right now.  This are my latest obsession, also from World Market:

How pretty is this?  I love the curved shape and tufted back.  They're actually on sale right now, but even at half off I'm not in a position to spend over $500 on chairs that won't get much use right now because, let’s be honest, I eat all my meals at my coffee table anyway.  And if I need to sit at the dining table in the meantime I have some metal folding chairs on loan.  They're pretty much the same thing, right?

So are you as picky, er, particular as I am when shopping for things for your home? Do you tend to lean more towards the "this is good for now" philosophy or do you like to wait to find "the one"?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Routine

Call me crazy, but I love dreary Sundays.  It gives me a great excuse to curl up on the couch and today I'm able to catch up on "Suits" before the new season starts (all episodes from the first two seasons are on OnDemand!).  On Sundays I like to take time to go through all the design blogs I enjoy reading.  Because of my schedule, I don't have a lot of time in the evenings after work before I have to go to bed and do it all over again the next day (but it also means three day weekends, so it's cool).  This means that I don't get to check on most of them during the week.  I like that come Sunday I have a whole lotta good material to go through and pictures to drool over.  The particular site that I was checking out above is Kristen F. Davis and hers is one of my favorites.  She is an incredibly talented painter and also does amazing stencil work.  She makes her own, but unbelievably she free hands a lot of the designs she paints.  In terms of her own home, I really love her bedroom in particular, with its crsip, white bedding and beautiful pale turquoise walls.  


One of her most recent posts is actually about her bedroom transformation over the years.  I also love that she's not afraid of using dark paint colors.  She's done commercial spaces, too, so it's neat to see what she does in office and retail spaces compared to residential.

I wanted to give you a glimpse at the amazing talent you'll find on Kristen's blog.  I guarantee it's worth exploring her site to see all the pictures.

Here's a chinoiserie mural she did on a nursery wall.  I love that it doesn't pop out and distract from the rest of the room, but instead provides the perfect backdrop.  


The design on the walls on the next two is one of my favorites.  She's done it for several clients in different colors.  It's simple but makes a big impact.  



Did I  mention she's an incredible painter?  You can even commission her to do an original for your own space.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hello, my name is Robin and I’m obsessed with all things house + home

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by pretty buildings and pretty interiors.  I love anything having to do with either, and wherever I’d go, even just on short trips around town, I would stare and marvel at beautiful buildings I’d pass.  I loved at night when you could see in the windows to get a glimpse of the inside (don’t lie, you love it, too).  And while other kids were playing video games, I was dreaming up floor plans on one of several home design computer programs (seriously).  

I have a long and ever-growing list of house+home blogs bookmarked that I check on a weekly basis.  Some are diy, some are more luxurious by professional designers, but I love reading about and seeing the transformations and amazing spaces.  I love how a little pattern here or there or a new lampshade can totally transform a space.  John and Sherry’s younghouselove was the first one I found and really got into, and from there I would blog hop from links on each site to lots of other interesting sites and it’s given me a great variety to view each week.  If we’re being totally honest here, younghouselove is actually one of the daily stops in my internet routine.  I love the tone of their writing, like they’re just having a conversation with each reader like they would if it was in person.  I really love the projects they do and how approachable they make everything seem (although I don’t think I’m ready to build a deck quite yet).  And of course I love hearing about Clara and Burger, too.

I’m not aiming to go pro and I can’t guarantee that this will be an interesting or entertaining read to anyone but myself (although I hope it is!) but I wanted to create my own little space where I can share things that I find interesting or just pretty, awesome things I find for my own home, or even when I decide to take on a diy project.  And my fluffy cat Milo may or may not make an appearance from time to time as well.

awesome handmade robin courtesy of my talented sister