Category Archives: Furniture

Road Trippin’

After I got the news that I was laid off, I did something that people who just lost their job shouldn’t do…I bought a new iMac. To give a back story, I’ve been coveting one for years and have been pushing it off and making excuses on why I can’t/shouldn’t get one. Why now? We had already planned on getting one later this year since I would need one to create all the paper goods for the wedding, and since I was freshly out of job, I could at least try and get some freelance work to help out. Adam is fortunate enough to work for a really great company that gives reimbursements on new computers (up to $500) so there was the savings there. Combine that with his student discount? I’d be silly not to take advantage of these savings.

So, why am I writing about road tripping? Well this beautiful, wonderful machine needed a home. While we plan on having an office down the road, that room is currently holding all of our wood floors that we can’t install yet. In the mean time, I set up shop at the small café table we have in the kitchen. While it was working fine, I really needed a space of my own and needing a desk. What else do I have going on a Thursday afternoon besides updating my resume and looking at jobs all day? Go to IKEA!

So, last Thursday, my fellow unemployed friend Kate (check out her cooking blog over here) hopped into the Honda CR-V and made our way to Stoughton. I haven’t been to IKEA for a few years and was actually really excited! What’s great about not going on a weekend…zero crowds. Kate and I could take our time and not deal with all kinds of people. It also allowed me to take pictures without having people photobomb!

Enjoy the many pics I took with some light commentary. Hopefully some will inspire you!

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I just loved the polka dotted bed spread. And that is the same light fixture that Young House Love has in the master bedroom. It’s awesome in person.

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I loved the lines of this chair and while it looks great in black, it would be so nice in a bright, punchy color and a fun fabric cushion.

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While it’s a simple light, I think it would look great over an island. And for $30 you could easily get two for $60. A steal if you ask me.

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This was desk option #1. It was great because it folded down and the price was right at $30.  The downside was that I wasn’t comfortable having my beauty of a computer sitting on something that could eventually fold down on its own.

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While the streamline cabinets and bar aren’t necessarily my thing, it would look great in an awesome mod-home with clean lines. Plus the sixties are making a comeback à la Mad Men.

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I flocked to this rug. I LOVE the bold pattern and it came in a variety of colors. Would be awesome in any room.

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I loved how this had a 60s vibe, but I think it looks so much fun, and those chairs were super comfy.

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I just thought this pattern was fun! Would love to pair it with a coral-ly orange.

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IKEA is known for this type of bookcase, called “the billy”. It’s been featured on a bunch of IKEA hack blogs out there, but I thought that this was a great idea to punch up any bookcase. It’s a way to update a back of a traditional bookcase on a budget. You could use colorful wallpaper, paint, stencils, and even regular paper. You could also do the same technique behind floating shelves. The possibilities are endless!

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This kitchen was AWESOME. It had so much cabinet space that I don’t even think I could fill it all (which is probably a lie, I totally could). While it’s too large for our current kitchen layout, I took away a lot of inspiration for what I do want down the line. I love how it incorporates cabinets with and without glass, open shelving, and the oversized lights over the island.

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This would be so cute filled with different herbs and spices for the summer time!

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This is the chair I ended up purchasing for my desk. I thought the price was right at $30 and it’s much cuter than a traditional desk chair.

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They had great curtains and fabric to choose from! Light patterns to bold colorful ones, it would be fun to mix and match.

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Moving onto rugs, I thought this was a fun pattern. It also came in blue! One of my friends (and fellow bloggers) actually purchased this rug for her new office in her and her husband’s new house! We tend to have the same aesthetic, so I wasn’t surprised to find something like this in her house 🙂

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This is something I’d really like to buy down the line. It’s a simple (and cheap!) runner that would look AWESOME as a runner down our stairs. It’s something I want to tackle at some point, but will most likely wait a bit until demo upstairs is more under control.

So, after all that? I did come home with a great desk that fits the space just right. For $35, I bought one of their tops and 4 legs, and put it together. It’s working out beautifully and I couldn’t be happier. What do you think?

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What’s great about IKEA is that they have items that are relatively inexpensive, but look fab, but the quality isn’t always there. Do you think it’s a waste to purchase temporary/trendy items or save your pennies for top notch quality and hope that you like it for more than a couple of years?

Consider this a brain dump.

I can’t believe that I haven’t updated since MARCH! That’s completely uncalled for and I can hear Adam shaming me now. It’s scary to look back and see the first picture that I have up there has snow in it. Unacceptable.

So, consider this a brain dump for the past 2+ months of what we’ve been up too. And let me apologize for the quality of my pictures. I’m using my iPhone and one of these days, I’ll get a proper camera. Someday.

April brought us some exciting and not so exciting things. First up, exciting:
Look at those amps. The POWER!

Gorgeous isn’t it? Who knew I’d be so happy to see an electrical panel go up in our house. Thanks to Gibbions Electric who came in for one days work and upgraded us from a 100 amp panel to 200 amps. What does that mean for us? Well, whenever we get to the kitchen, we’ll be able to have things like, oh, a dishwasher on it’s own circuit and get the second floor off of just one breaker. And no. You didn’t read that wrong. Our ENTIRE second floor is on one breaker. That’s going to change. Someday!

And now the not so exciting news:
We were able to get some estimates on our chimney, since we demoed a section of the guestroom revealing it to be in not that great of shape. We called a bunch of places and they came and gave us the bad news. While the chimney itself wasn’t horrible…we couldn’t get a liner. Come to find out, when our house was built 100 years ago, they built the chimney around the center beam of the house. So the beam literally runs right through it, and as a quick fix, the previous owners built up the inside with bricks so the beam would be “protected” (I use that term loosely) from the gases of the furnace and water heater. We called in a structural engineer to take a look at everything and he told us that 1. Our house was made the cheapest way possible (thanks) 2. We’re missing some supports (awesome) 3. You can remove the section of the beam that’s in the chimney, but we’ve got a add a bunch of lolly columns to help out with you know, holding up the house. One other option? Getting a direct venting furnace (thanks for that suggestion Dad!) Our furnace is ancient and if we did this, then we could circumvent the issue completely…just costs a fortune! So, we’re putting that on hold for awhile.

And things that I thought were amazing:
May was pretty productive for us. We went to one of our favorite places in the world…BRIMFIELD! Seriously. It’s like Christmas for us and it happens 3 times a year! I won’t speak too much about it because I could go on and on about it, but what I love about it is how much inspiration I get from there. And Adam and I have come to a conclusion of what our “style” is when it comes to decorating. I’ll dub it refurbished-industrial. We really dig things that have metal and wood mixed together, so like tables, shelving, chairs. Love it. What did we get? Some awesome stuff:


Hello Beautiful. A gorgeous Mission Style rocker that I got for $200, original ask of $275.

Our new coffee table! An 1875ish took trunk that has removable/slideable compartments inside. See? Got it for a steal at $250…originally $350!

And these little loves I’ve been eying forever. And will most likely continue grabbing ones that look cool. I’m very jealous of Adam’s letters…they kick mine in the butt.

Oh and we did a project! Very overdue. Have I ever mentioned that we had a handicap ramp out our backdoor? No? Welp, we did…for almost two years. The previous owner was wheelchair bound and it took up a lot of our prime backyard real estate. It had to go. Adam demoed it and said that it was the most well built thing he’s come across during our time here. That doesn’t say much! So once the ramp was gone, it was stair building time. We built the stringers from scratch, broke up some concrete, built a new landing pad with bricks we had found around the house, and stairs that are solid. We couldn’t be happier with how they turned out and it’s so much roomier. We absolutely love it, even if it is temporary (that’s another story for another time). Enjoy these lovely pics!

Green with Envy

I’m going to start off by saying YAY! It’s March! But saying booo to the disgusting snowstorm we had last week. Boston didn’t see much (maybe 1-2 inches which is now gone) but I do know someone who enjoyed the snow on our morning walk:


So, what am I green with envy about? Look what I started last weekend:


Yup. I couldn’t wait to slap some paint on that beauty, but before I did, I had to do some clean up work.

If you remember from my last post I mentioned that I had used Dap wood filler to help fill in the holes from what I believe to be a caned seat. The filler worked great. I just took some general purpose sand paper and made it flush with the wood, and viola! Good as new. I did notice that the filler wasn’t flush in a couple of the holes, so I just used a small spatula and put some more in there. While that was curing, I decided to tackle the seat. It was looking very sad.

Initially I was planning on just taking off this old, dusty fabric and using the existing base and just putting my new foam and fabric on it. But once I took it off, I knew I had to create a new one.

Thankfully, we had a good sized piece of thick plywood to use so I didn’t have to run out to Home Depot. I just used the old one to make a template and started cutting away with the jigsaw.

Now, this took me about 20 minutes to do. Don’t judge. It’s not that I couldn’t follow the template, but I’m about 99.9% sure that I was using a dull blade and I didn’t want to run out and get a new one. I cut above the line to give myself some wiggle room when it came to fitting in the seat. I’d rather have it be too big then too small, so I always have the option to sand/trim it down so it would fit. Which is what I ended up doing for the next half hour.


But once that was done, it fit like a good pair of skinny jeans on a fat day.

Now that was taken care of, I was finally able to get my paint on. I went with BEHR Ultra Lemon Grass in semi gloss that I picked up at Home Depot a while back. I really wanted something that had a nice pop of color and something out of my norm. I tend to always steer towards the blue/turquoise/teal families, and with this, I wanted to have a little fun. But don’t worry, the fabric I chose still has those elements with it.

I went with a paint that also had primer in it to save some time. I didn’t know what kind of coverage I’d be getting and I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. The first coat went on and I realized that it would definitely need more then just one as you can see the wood right through it. Second coat coming up this weekend or maybe even during the week…if I feel like it. Hopefully the next post, you’ll see some progress!

Have you ever worked on refinishing a piece of furniture? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received for painting furniture? I know I could use some advice…painting the spindles has been a challenge and right now I’m using a brush to apply the paint, but am thinking of using a small roller to do the second. Any suggestions?

Projects are a happenin’

First off, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog. I could say that it’s because life got in the way (which is kind of true) but honestly, it’s hard working/staring/being creative on a monitor all day and then come home and write witty happenings of what we’ve been up to. Adam’s been on my case to update (and *cough, cough* he’s right) and I had a stranger who read my blog tell me that I’m one hell of a writer. Talk about motivation! So, what have we been up to recently? A bunch of things.

The project I’m going to focus on for this post is a first for me. In December Adam found one hell of a chair on Craigslist for a bargain ($50!) and we drove down to the South Shore to check it out. It’s from the ’50s, solid wood and has a great MIT engineering emblem on the back. Absolutely perfect for our future office. We met with John and he took us to this amazing barn that had so many good items in it, I could hardly contain my excitement! I don’t know if I’ve been watching way too many American Pickers episodes but while I was listening to John tell us the story behind the chair, my eyes kept wandering to all the goodies that were hidden within this barn! I happened to spot something Adam and I had been coveting for awhile, a drafting table! We’ve been on the search for one to use as our office desk, but they’ve been in the $500+ range. Out of our budget. I also spotted a couple of other things, one of them being a great, rustic chair. I asked if John was willing to bundle the three items and he agreed to sell all three items (the drafting table and the 2 chairs) for $150! Solid. Deal.

So, we packed up the honda and trekked back up to Boston. After taking my lovely chair out into the light of day, it kind of looked like this:
It needs some serious lovin’.
Told ya.

So I busted out my new orbital sander (thanks Uncle Rick and Aunt Mary!) and sanded her down, because I know deep down, she’s a beaut.
And after about 30 minutes of sanding, this is what it looked like:
Nice backside.

I then brought the chair inside, because I had a lot of holes to fill. I think it had so many holes because it used to be a caned chair which at some point got replaced by a cushion and fabric. All I used to fill the holes was some DAP plastic wood filler. This stuff is amazing, but seriously smells, so make sure if you use it, to do it in a well ventilated area, and wear a mask because it’s really potent. With this kind of filler, I’ll be able to sand it, stain it and paint it. So, I just took a putty knife and started filling a lot of holes.
I’ve got to let this dry out (and find some time!) to sand down the filler and pray that it helps out this poor, poor chair. I’ve picked out an amazing paint color and a great fabric to go with it. I can’t wait to see it done! I just hope the chair holds up so people can actually sit in it!

Have you ever tackled a restoration project? This is my first, so any tips I will gladly take!