Reattaching the Carpet

This is somewhat of a side post to the built-in bookshelves series. It all started with a few fateful words yesterday morning when Jim called to say he was leaving work early. I casually said, "Why don't you swing by Rental Works on the way home and pick-up a carpet knee kicker so we can reinstall the carpet?" Of course, he did. One of the many reasons why I love him.

You  may remember that we had to pull back the carpet (and removed the baseboard) in our playroom to properly install the built-in bookshelves. We had originally planned to have the carpet reinstalled by the same company that installed the carpet last year, but when the price quote came in at $250 to reinstall 10 feet of carpet edge, we started to explore other options. In the end, we decided to give the installation a try. How hard could it be?

Jim said he may need a knee replacement, or at least a handful of ibuprofen every night for the next week!

When we installed the bookshelves, we pulled back only the minimum amount of carpet so we would not have to reinstall the whole room. You can see the carpet pulled back in this picture.

First, we watched a couple of videos online. We liked the This Old House video particularly. The kicker is an absolute necessity about $11.00 for a 24 hour rental. We probably should have rented a trimmer as well because that might have made it a bit easier. Live and learn.

First, Jim reinstalled the tack strip to within an inch or so of the baseboard. Fortunately we were able to reuse the original tack strips saving us a little more money. The carpet padding was then trimmed up against the edge of the tack strip. 

Then we started by trimming back the carpet to within 2-3 inches of where we thought the carpet would lay down flat. Then we started trimming it back further, little by little so we wouldn't over trim which is the biggest risk here.

But, the carpet wouldn't catch the tacks. Jim quickly figured out that the carpet backing was hitting the baseboard, thus stopping it from catching the tacks. So, we trimmed a little more. At this point, we started using our Cutco kitchen sheers instead of a sheetrock knife to cut tiny strips of carpet. Those scissors are amazing and can cut ANYTHING. (They also have free sharpening for life which we may need to take advantage of soon.) Worked like a charm but if we did it again, we would rent the trimmer tool.

A little more knee-kicking, a wee bit of swearing, and more trimming and we were in business.

Jim requested that I put in a picture of him using the knee kicker since he may be maimed for life.

The result is worth it though!

Way better than $250 for professional installation, although we both agreed we would NEVER do a whole room since this took about 3 hours.

Have you ever saved a bunch of moolah by taking a risk and doing something new instead of hiring a professional? Did it pay off?


Built-in Bookcases (Update 7)

A quick update on our basement built-in bookcase building progress. (How's that for some alliteration!?!) Jim finished painting the unit the other night and it looks amazing. He has all of the shelves built and about half are primed. We'll spend this weekend finishing up painting the shelves and touching up painting the walls and the main unit. Perhaps most exciting is that Jim mounted the new television which we purchased in the Amazon Cyber Monday sale.  Woohoo!

So, here are the latest pictures.

Handy Hubby hard at work fitting shelves.
 An embarrassing glimpse of our toy problems!  Things look so much worse since I sold the old shelves on Craigslist. 

Hopefully by this time next week, we'll be putting the room back together.  

Have a great long weekend!


Monogrammed Boudoir Pillow

I probably should have done this post on Monday for Valentine's Day instead of a boring Thursday but oh well. I started this impromptu master bedroom redecorating series so I might as well finish it up (for now) with a little spotlight on our boudoir pillow which I got just before Christmas. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and ordered right away. 

I ordered it from A Needle Pulling Thread (a local mom-run business which I LOVE). It was only $30 including the pillow form so a total steal. I also got my family room pillows from them which I love (you can see my actual "M" pillows on their website). Of course this has made me rethink my other pillows on the bed. I only really like the square center pillow but the others are not my favorites. I think I need more symmetry so yet another project for the bedroom!

Just FYI - A Needle Pulling Thread haven't perked me or paid me for this post.  I do love their work and their prices, and I love supporting local mom-owned businesses!


Those pesky bedroom lamps - VOTE NOW!

Note: If you are tired of hearing about my bedroom lamps, stop reading now!

After I looked back at yesterday's post, I realized that I committed a serious blog FAIL by not posting a really good pictures of the dresser with the lamps.  So, I retook a couple of pictures -

Yes, I know the mirror is hung too low. That will be remedied shortly.

Now, here's what the dresser looks like with one lamp. I kind of like it but might take some getting used to (not a bad thing).
Now, here's your chance to vote!

Can't wait to see what you say!


Lots and Lots of Lamps

I've had these lamps for about a month but have been reluctant to post about them because I cannot decide how I really feel about them in my room.  Honestly, I love the two new lamps on my dresser and they give great light.  The problem is now I have 2 pairs of matching lamps in the room and I feel like that's confusing or overwhelming or something. Maybe it just feels like the Doublemint twins are living in my house. What do you think? I could easily just move one of the lamps from my dresser to another room (like the living room which could use a lamp).  I have some make-over ideas for the mirror.  I really need a large mirror because I use it every day but I think this one may need a change.
The metal tray is from Marshalls - I could not pass it up.  Yes, another tray!

Here's the picture where you can get an idea for the "doublemint effect"!  I couldn't really get a good one with both sets of lamps but this gives you theidea. 

Here is what my dresser looked like before which I don't think I have every posted here before. Yikes.
Jim's dresser is another story entirely.  I am on the hunt for a new dresser for him and his current dresser will be reused in Alex's big boy room next year. I got him that tray for Christmas because his STUFF needed to be contained. It's a miracle!
What do you think of my lamp issue?  Keep both, neither, or one?


Master Bedroom Change-Up - Before & After

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I can't say we really celebrate V-day any more. I bought the kids one little gift each, but Jim and I don't even exchange cards every year!  A bit sad actually but Jim just had his birthday and my birthday is in April so it's just too much stuff. I would rather show our love all year long honestly, but a holiday about love is a good reminder of how lucky we are.

Over the weekend, I realized that I haven't yet posted good pictures of our master bedroom with the new curtains.  I put the curtains up last fall but barely got a picture taken before our Thanksgiving company arrived. So, here are the "after" pictures. 

As a reminder, here was what the room looked like with the old curtains.  Believe me - the curtains looked better in pictures than in person. 

Of course, no room in my house is really done so this is the "undone, unseen" corner of our bedroom. I finally broke Jim the news that I want another built-in there.  He didn't hyperventilate so that was a good first sign.

Stay tuned for more changes!

What projects were you working on this weekend?


Is it sad to love appliances?

Not when it's a new LG front load washer and dryer and you have 2 kids and a husband who wears t-shirts and jeans to the office and plays with sawdust at night.  Until Wednesday, here's what we had -
They are about 7 years old.  Nothing wrong with them except that they are not efficient, fairly small (even at the time we bought them), and make a racket whenever they are on.  When we did the addition, we decided to save some much needed money and keep these instead of replacing them.  Our original laundry room was in the basement (of course) so moving it upstairs felt like a huge improvement all on its own. 

So, we were planning on keeping these for a few more years until I got serious washer jealousy when we were visiting my parents over Christmas.  They got a new LG stackable washer and dryer last year and of course I loved it.  So, I started doing research and I liked the LGs.  They have a slightly smaller footprint than the Samsung (my second choice) and we needed the space as you can see from the size of the laundry room above.  But, I was still waiting for a good sale.  January was pretty much sale-free.  I guess it's TV time, not sale time.  I was watching Best Buy and Home Depot mostly, since Lowes doesn't seem to sell LG.  The price was always 10% off but that didn't seem like a good enough deal to jump on it.

Then last week, Best Buy sent around a nice little coupon book for RewardZone Silver members (we are members because of our TV and fridge purchases during our reno).  Wouldn't you know... a 30% off coupon for LG washers and dryers!!!  Holy moly.  I had to stop myself from jumping in the car right then and there!

Last weekend we finally went and ordered them.  That was a bit of a process because they only had one (very nice) sales person in the appliance area so it took about 30 minutes longer than it should have.  And the original dryer model I wanted was discontinued. Phew...

They were delivered on Wednesday and we had scheduled the dryer installation for Thursday.  The delivery guy was doubtful that we would be able to fit both. I told him that clearly he doesn't know us very well. He chuckled (but clearly thought I was crazy). Fortunately, we came to our senses and realized we do the installation ourselves. 

So, Wednesday night, Jim got out his wrench collection and went to town on the installation. The dryer went in without a hitch thanks to the new gas line kit and dryer vent.  I wish we could push the dryer back another 3 inches but maybe we can figure that out some other time.  Next we did the washer which is a story in and of itself.  We were able to carefully push it into the room and then turn it 90 degrees.  It barely fit but we made it.  Then we had to figure out how to get the metal overflow pan under it (essential for second floor laundries).  That's a whole story unto itself but we did it and we opened a bottle of wine after because we were so proud.
Jim hooked up all of the hoses and then voila! I started doing laundry immediately.  Notice the laundry on the floor!

No more appliance envy.  I know Jim is relieved.

And, the winner of this month's CSN $35 giveaway is....nape!  Congratulations!


Valentine's Day Decor

http://houseography.blogspot.com/2011/02/living-room-art-and-csn-giveaway.htmlI finally got around to decorating for Valentine's Day. I really didn't much although I wanted to do more. If I had more time, I would have dug through the Christmas decorations for red stuff that I could repurpose but I didn't. Oh well. Maybe next year.

I really don't have too many decorations, and most of the stuff I used is stuff I use for lots of different things - not just holidays. I also focused my minimal decorating to the spaces where the kids spend the most time - the family room and kitchen.  So, here's my mantel in the family room.

I wish I could claim that I made this garland but I got it at Marshall's last year! I am sure some crafty person with more free time than I have could easily DIY this. It's adorable though!

I also did a little table decoration which the hubby keeps eating! My mom sent the heart in a sweet Valentine's package for the kids this week. Thanks Mom for not including any more candy!
I may post a linky party tomorrow for late bloomer Valentine's Day decorators.  I saw a few link-ups in late January but I did not have my act in gear, and I'm thinking others may have been in the same boat!

p.s.  The CSN Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 pm. ET.  Enter here!


Nightstand Makeover for a Little Girl - FINALLY

Finally, FINALLY I found the time to redo the nightstand in Elizabeth's room. After writing my last post (here), I decided I had to do it or I never would and she would be a teenager in a blink of an eye.  Here's the room and the nightstand before (in the middle of a snowstorm a couple of weeks back thus the dark picture) -
The nightstand was a hand-me-down from my grandparents.  It's a really good quality piece - solid oak and it is HEAVY.  No particle board here. There was nothing wrong with it and the finish was in good condition - just not what I wanted in Elizabeth's room.

First, I removed the hardware. Then, I primed the whole thing and filled the double drawer pull holes because this needed new hardware (although I considered spray-painting the hardware).
After a good sanding, I painted the whole thing pink.  I didn't take a picture of this stage because as soon as it was done, I knew it needed more...

I actually bought the hardware from Target on clearance a while back. I think it was five dollars for a package of four clear plastic knobs. We had all of the paint. I mixed the color with the leftover red (Benjamin Moore Raspberry Truffle) from Alex's room and a little of the white trim paint (Duron Toque White) we had laying around. I think the color works because it is different enough from the walls so that it doesn't compete but it's really close to the colors in her quilt and duvet and pillows.  The strip seems to mimic the quilt pattern which really ties the nightstand to the bed.

In the end, the nightstand set me back about $5 total. I'm sure my grandmother would love its rejuvenation!

Today, I'm linking to Primitive and Proper, Coastal Charm, Thrifty Decor Chick, and Domestically Speaking.

Like this post? Vote for me here!


Built-in Bookshelves (Update 6A)

One quick late night post to make-up for this morning's totally lame post.  That didn't really count as an update so this is Update 6A. My hand is completely cramped up from painting so it's amazing that I can even type. As Jim said last night (after doing some painting) that this is the biggest thing we have built by far and he is so right.  We were really hoping to have everything done and reassembled by Friday but that is looking impossible at this point.  I want our playroom back!!! 

So, here's a fun picture of Jim wearing his coveralls from the early '90s when he was in the Navy working as an aircraft mechanic on carrier. I'm fairly certain it was his favorite job ever. Before I knew him thankfully!  He would like everyone to know that they still fit.

 And a few pictures of the bookshelves fully primed and in the process of being painted.
 The large rectangle is for our new television.  I cannot wait to start doing my work-outs down there instead of in the family room.
I need to go to bed now so I can do more painting tomorrow night. Jim started building the shelves and the process is going quickly so hopefully we'll be priming and painting those before the weekend.  We'll give everything a few days to cure before putting our junk all over it.  So close!!

Built-in Bookshelves (Update 6)

We are really getting near the end.  Jim worked his butt off this weekend and it really shows!  So, here's where are now.  All trimmed, holes fills, and primed.  Paint going on very soon.  Hope to be mostly done by the end of the week!

Sorry for the lame-o, picture-less update!  I want to keep you in the loop so if you plan a project like this you'll know the time it takes to make the whole thing work - while we both do our day jobs as well!  I'll try to post a few pictures tonight. 


Living Room Art and a CSN GIVEAWAY!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Our was busy and we made lots of progress on our built-ins.  I'll have an update post in the next day or two so stay tuned.  Last week I updated you on our new living room furniture - we love it.  I need to figure out some art issues in there, and I stole some pillows from other rooms for now.  If you are having similar accessory and wall decor issues, check out the CSN giveaway below!

Here's what I have going on right now.

First over the fireplace, I have this pastel original which I LOVE and is not going anywhere.  Fun story about how we came to own this one.  Not too long after we moved into the house, I first saw this piece at a local cafe where they have a rotating display of local artists.  (Cassatt's on Lee Highway for those who are local).  I loved and admired it on several visits after that.  Then, it rotated out and I kept thinking about it, but I remembered the artist's name, Cynthia Gilmour so I found her information online and I called her.  She still had the piece and it was still for sale.  I think I paid about $300 framed... for an original pastel work of art.  Yes please.  I picked it up from her at the cafe a week later.  I was elated and it was perfect over our living room fireplace and still is. 

Across the room, I have this piece which I bought an annual Boardwalk art show in Ocean City, New Jersey (where we vacation every summer).  I still really like it although I'm not sure this will continue to be its permanent home.  We'll see though.

This is a little map print that we bought on our honeymoon in Bermuda.  I like it but I am fairly certain it's going to move on out of here and maybe head upstairs to the guest room.  With a new mat, it could work in our room too.  So, I'll need something new for this corner... but this whole corner is going to get a little make-over stay tuned on that front. 

What better way to start a Monday, than with a CSN Stores Giveaway! What's so awesome about CSN Stores?  200+ online stores where you can find pretty much anything.  Personally, I'll be checking out their wall art and decor over the next few days for art and throw pillows for my newly redesigned living room, and one piece left in the dining room (over the bar in case you're curious).  Fortunately for you, CSN is giving one lucky HOUSEography reader a $35 credit towards anything in ANY of their stores!

Here's how to enter! 

  1. First entry - you must be a HOUSEography follower!  Let me know how you follow HOUSEography.
  2. For extra entries (please leave a comment for each one of these that you do):
- Become a Facebook follower (or let me know if you already are) - click here

- Tweet about this giveaway
- Post about this giveaway on your Facebook wall or fan page 

- Vote for HOUSEography on Picket Fence Blogs by clicking here (just click the link and you're done - the easiest online voting you can ever do!)

Rules:  You must be at least 18 years old and have a US or Canadian mailing address.  Drawing will be made using random.org.  All entries must be posted by Thursday, February 10th at 11:59 p.m.

Good luck!


On the shopping list...

It's Friday... well, almost.  It has been a long week.  I have several things on my shopping list for this weekend but not sure I'll get any of them done.  In the mean time, I'm also thinking about new bar stools from the kitchen island.  I really HATE the stools that are there - the style, the swiveling, and the size.  Just all wrong for what I want in there.  We moved them to the basement for Jim's party last weekend and everything felt so much lighter.  So, I think I need something smaller scale and that doesn't swivel.  Other than that, I am at a total loss for which direction I want to go in.  I am scouring Craigslist daily but haven't stumbled on the right thing but I'm not losing hope just yet.

So, here are some options I'm considering (yes, I'm all over the place on this one!):
Overstock - $89 for the pair
Ebay - $255 for the pair
Ebay - $200 for the pairs

Bar Stool Super Center - $249 each
See?  Told you I was all over the place on this!  I was kind of hoping that someone will just show up with stools like with the console table!!!

I really do like the backless options (black wood or stainless) but will the kids have problems sitting on them?  I like that people can sit on them easily and face the kitchen or the family (and the TV) without having to swivel or pull them out or anything.  

Do you have backless bar stools?  Do your kids have any issues with them?