Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Room Challenge Week 4: Making the Bed with Custom Monograms

I'm going to be one of the many who start their posts wondering how we are more than halfway through this One Room Challenge thing.

 I was on a business trip last week and didn't get to post an update, so I'm going to throw a whole bunch into this entry. Last time, I got our guest room cleaned and painted. I also bought a rug at Tuesday Morning.

My trick for getting rugs on the floor over their rug pads is to tape the pads down with painter's tape. The pad stays put while the rug is shifted and then the tape comes up pretty quickly.

My next purchase was a bed. I found myself looking at beds that were almost exactly like our gorgeous king bed by Vanguard, but custom upholstery would take too long. Then I remembered a bed I had always liked seeing in the Ballard Designs catalog, the Claudette bed. It was too whimsical for my own bedroom, but I loved the idea of using it in a guest room.

 The guest room is tiny, so was relieved to see that the Claudette bed has a headboard-only option.

I debated the color for a day or so, even searching other blogs for mentions of Ballard and Claudette to see other rooms that might have the bed in them.  White would be very pretty, but I worried that it wouldn't really work with the rest of the house, where I have a lot of traditional wood and upholstery.

With a 15% off coupon for Ballard, I placed my order and was delighted when I saw that the shipment was just an hour away in Richmond a couple days later. It took a couple weeks for the headboard to make it to our house due to a strange system at the shipper where they couldn't change the phone number they were calling to confirm the delivery (it's a long story, but I'm so glad we finally got the package!).

Here she is on our back sun porch after we peeled back all the layers of packaging:

The little bird is my favorite part!

 As soon as the headboard was in, I ran to a local furniture store call Grand where I knew there was a huge mattress section. Grand is known for giving you a bottle of Coke on the way in the door and having very good service. They also carried Shiffman mattresses, which are handmade mattresses that are made pretty close to where I grew up in New Jersey.

When I got to Grand, I was told that they no longer carries Shiffman, but the salesperson had plenty of other options. He started with two mattresses that he said were most popular for guest rooms. Without trying any other beds, they were fine, but when I asked to try something a little nicer, he took me to the main part of the department to try a mattress he would have suggested if I was looking for my own bed. His point was that guest room beds only get slept in once in a while and don't have to be as nice as the beds in other bedrooms. I imagine that our most regular guests will be our mothers and our friends, so I wanted that mattress to be as good as the beds they'd be sleeping on at home. A nice bonus was that an anniversary sale was going on, so we got a discount that covered the cost of a bed frame and deliver was free.

Grand is a pretty small, regional chain and the mattress was in a warehouse about 45 minutes away. They had it in our house three days later and it was set up in a matter of minutes.

At this point, I was relieved that even if nothing got done, my first house guest (my mother) was going to sleep in a bed.

 I already had a duvet cover and one sham from Pottery Barn. I quickly ordered a second sham and a bedskirt on ebay because, as we all know, Pottery Barn moves on to new designs in the span of about six weeks. One purchase, the bedskirt, was perfect. The other, the sham, was not. The envelope I got has a throw pillow cover in it, not a pillow sham. I wrote to the seller and she said that she would "allow" the return "just this once." I was too busy to dwell on how silly that was, so threw the pillow form back in the mail and am waiting for my refund. The next purchase was some Peacock Alley sheets from Tuesday morning along with a mattress cover.

I do embroidery work and monogramming linens is one of my favorite types of projects. Like so many others who do this kind of work, I rarely have time to embroider my own items, but I really wanted to do something in the guest room. I decided to do a monogram with a floral wreath around it on each pillowcase. First, I pulled together threads that would work with the pattern of the duvet cover and shams.

I wanted to use as many colors from the pattern as possible in my embroidery, so the floral wreath was the perfect design. I was able to use all six thread colors and give one of the blues the most prominent place in the middle of the design.

After a frenzied search for a quilt or coverlet for the bed, I found a beautiful one in a peacock blue color at West Elm. It was only about $65, which had me a little worried about the quality, but it was exactly what I wanted. It reminded me of my Restoration Hardware coverlets.

I'm not going to share a big picture just yet. I hope to have nightstands and drapes next week and the room will be ready for some photos!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pretty Lighting for a Foyer

I have a thing for pretty light fixtures. Back when I was in the condo, there wasn't room for extra stuff, but I managed to get a pretty chandelier in the bathroom, a cool fixture over the dining table, and some good lamps in the bedroom and living room. Since moving into the house, I've been very good about curbing my lighting appetite splurged a little bit and have only bought a chandelier for the dining room, one for the foyer, two lamps for the living room on sale at Folly Home Furnishings here in Charlottesville (I haven't shared them yet), and some lights for the soon-to-be-redone bathroom

The foyer has been bothering me and I haven't even gotten the ceiling fixture hung yet. I really think some lamps would look nice on either side of the sideboard I bought at Green Front Furniture a couple months ago.

The pink lamps I meant for the living room were on the sideboard for a while, but they blended in a bit too much and were too large. I was able to borrow an interesting gold lamp one day from a lighting store called Timberlake Lighting and while I loved the lamp, it wasn't right for the space. It went back to the store the next day.

While in Pottery Barn one night, I saw an interesting lamp that I thought could work, but as soon as I saw the award placement of the electrical cord, I moved on.

So I started doing some online shopping and found a slew of possibilities. It's so hard for me to shop for lighting online, though. Even with measurements, it's hard to tell how substantial the lamps will be.

With my mother's visit around the corner, I decided to move some lamps from another room and consider the room "done for now." I bought these Restoration Hardware lamps years the days when the store was painted Silver Sage and every blogger was painting their spaces that color. Anyone remember? I loved RH back then

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A New Look for Bed, Bath, and Beyond?

I've been scrambling to get our guest room ready and made a quick stop at a Bed, Bath, & Beyond in Fairfax county last night to look at curtain rods. The first half of the store looked just like the BB&B we have in Charlottesville. The far side of the store was completely different, though. BB&B has really stepped things up when it comes to their bedding section. The walls of packages are still there, but the area feels much more open and the displays are lovely. If the ceilings were lower, it could be mistaken for the linen section of a nice department store!

On top of that, the brands carried by this BB&B were a bit nicer than the ones I've seen at our local store. I saw Frette (probably a lower line just for the store), Kate Spade, Barbara Barry (my local store has one style, this one had several), and Beekman 1802. I didn't know the Beekman Boys had branched out into bedding! I used to watch the cutest TV show about them on Planet Green.

Even the fixtures are a step up from the ones I am used to. 

I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for other locations? Is there local BB&B like this one?
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Kate Spade Lighting and Furniture Collections

High Point Market is when home furnishing companies debut their new collections and this fall, the Kate Spade collaborations with EJ Victor (furniture), Visual Comfort (lighting), Jaipur (rugs), and Kravat (fabric) have gotten so much attention.

Today, I'm sharing images of the new Kate Spade collections. Sixty items are already for sale on the Kate Spade website. All 325 pieces will be available this spring.

What do you think? I'm especially enamored with the lighting collection, but the furniture is beautiful, too!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

The $2 Million House Gets an Update

Back in September, I shared images from the MLS listing for a house I drive by on the way to work every day. The house was originally listed for $2.5 million and the price had dropped to $2.25 million. I didn't think the images did the house any justice and many of you agreed in your comments!

I thought that changing the paint, proper staging, and professional photography could help the house a lot. The bathrooms and kitchen did not seem like ones that went in a house with the asking price. The neighborhood is nice, but the house is right on the street and about a block away from student apartment buildings and fraternity houses.

Well, the listing has been updated! The construction equipment is gone and some of the rooms are staged. The photography is professional (though some of the original images are still on the listing, too). Unfortunately, the colors haven't changed and the bathrooms still bother me. Still, the new images are a huge improvement!

The garage is still gray while the house is painted beige. I don't understand why they don't match.

I feel like it's begging for shutters.

If it were mine, I'd repaint every surface. The dark colors feel dated to me.

No big changes in the kitchen.

The stove has six burners, so why does this space feel so small?

Is the hand shower unit mounted at the ceiling with a step under it? So to get it down to use, you have to get on top of the step?

I want to move all of the showerheads. And extend the tile. And change the tile.

That showerhead looks right to me.

The screen is supposed to be mounted on the wall, right?

Where did this bathroom's floor come from? It looks like the vinyl we had in the condo when we moved in.

Maybe I'm being tough, but when I look at homes with similar prices in the area, I see some lovely places. I think this house has so much potential.
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