Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dirt Cheap, but not cheap and dirty

Hello friends....I do consider you a friend if you are reading this! I would like to share the latest incarnation of two rooms in my home: the living room and bathroom. My last several posts have been about these two rooms. Today I went to Dirt Cheap and spent a lot of money ($33 whole dollars). If you don't know what Dirt Cheap is, it is a store that carries overstocked, damaged or returned items from Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Kohls, and many other stores. And their prices are, well, dirt cheap. Hence the name of the store. 13 of my dollars were spent on apparel (a dress for $3 and some sandals for $10). So, I spent 20 whole other dollars on home decor. Yay!

Let's begin with this find: I have no idea what it actually is.

This is my hallway light. It's pretty 90's. What would they look like together?

Like this! Pretty interesting huh? I think my husband will hate it (he hasn't seen it yet) or he may not even notice it until he reads the blog. Let's see what happens.

You'll remember my earlier searching for a rug post. Well, of course, I picked out one that is nothing like the ones I mentioned. But it was on sale! Actually, they were :) This beauty is another Lowes find. It is approximately 8' X 11' and is very accurately named the Pressed Leaves Rug. It retails for....drumroll please.....$385! I am too cheap for that! However, I noticed this week upon my usual browsing that they had the 5 X 8 version for a whopping $59 dollars. Originally I thought this rug would look great in the master bedroom. I bought two of them, brought them home and laid them out on the living room floor just to see what they would look like together (creating my own 8 x 10 ish rug).
Now, you either think I'm a crazy loser/lunatic or a genius, but this is what happened when I put them together: the patterns matched up....sort of. What I'm left with in the middle is sort of an ink blot effect. But for someone as crazy eclectic as me, I thought it looked pretty cool! But how do I keep them from separating?

The answer was easy. I simply flipped them over and consulted with the old redneck standby: my trusty duct tape! However, I quickly realized that we had purchased the cheap Walmart version of duct tape, which is gray and shiny, but does not have the rug melding stickiness needed. So I will have to get some gen-u-ine duct tape and redo this project. Until then the rugs are just smushed together awaiting their "permanent" union until a Walmart run takes place.

I also did a little shopping elsewhere today: my mom's house. I snagged the lamp base on the branch table and the cool damask lamp shades that I bought at Walmart when I still lived with Mom, like, 3 years ago. Dirt cheap finds pictured are....the pictures on the shelf. All of those frames were originally from Target for who knows how much. Together they all cost me....another drumroll please....$8. Whoop- deee- doo! And look, you can't even tell my rugs are smushed! As promised, with the new rug, here is the latest incarnation of our living room:

I also covered a couple of the couch pillows with some cream pillow covers I bought at Ikea last year and nixed all other pillows except the orange herringbone (Ross Dress for Less) and sunburst (Pier 1). You may even notice, I found my "C" and stuck in the frame (uh-oh it's a little crooked, but I will fix it). Now the wall is proudly monogrammed representing Brandon and Candi Rodgers. Hooray. In case you forgot what it looked like before, here's a few before shots for you:

Don't worry. The lovely rug is finding a new home somewhere else in the house.

Definitely not bad befores, but I'm more pleased with the afters.

And now, one last reveal: the bathroom. For this room, only one dirt cheap find was imposed: a new shower curtain that was $4.


And there you go! That's not even all I got! You'll have to wait until later to see the rest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sticky Situation

Since my husband and I moved into our house over a year ago, we have planned on replacing all flooring....ourselves. I love DIY projects. In fact I have a range of emotions throughout the process.

Planning: excitement
Preparation: anxiousness/excitement
When I first start: excitement
During: frustration/contemplation/excitement
Finished: amazed that I did it/soreness/excitement

Okay....maybe my emotions are not as varied as I thought. I am pretty much excited the whole time. That being said I would like to share my latest and greatest DIY adventure: The Bathroom Floor!

Here is the before shot. Isn't that flooring lovely? No....I didn't think so either. This is, quite obviously, a very taste specific sheet vinyl that happens to specifically not be my taste. While contemplating flooring options I thought to myself "I would love to put tile in here." However, this being a DIY adventure, I had to face the fact that I didn't really know how to work a tile saw nor did I want to get too grouty and messy. The next best thing: peel and stick vinyl tile! It took me a to decide which type and size to go with. I brought home about 15 different samples from Lowes and changed my mind a couple of times, but ultimately selected an 18 x18 Novalis tile in "Verde". Though the grout lines are, of course, fake, they actually look pretty good.

Let's talk prep. After watching several online tutorials and reading up I learned that I needed to degrease the floor, so I bought an eco-friendly degreaser (also from Lowes) that is low odor and safe to use. Some articles I read also suggested that I use an embossing leveler before I begin tiling over existing vinyl so that the old pattern doesn't telegraph through. Hmmmm....that sounded a little messy, so I decided to take my chances.

Here is a during shot. These tiles were super sticky! I cannot see them going anywhere, especially now that they are locked in place by the surrounding tiles. You can see my trusty utility knife. I did have to replace the blade once, but the tiles were very easy to cut! When it came to the tight spots around the toilet I ended up using a trick I read about on use paper templates to trace the cuts. I actually just used the paper backing that came off of some of the tiles. Super easy! Another great tip I learned from was to use that handy prybar to pry up the quarter round just enough to slip the tiles beneath it. After I'm done I can just tap the molding back down. It is easier and less expensive than replacing it!

Here you see where the bathroom floor meets the hall. I intend covering up the old parquet flooring with click and lock laminate which we have already installed in the bedrooms and looks great!Here is the finished floor. I did not take up the toilet to put the tile down. I cut the tile to fit around it. There are a few small gaps between the toilet and the floor that I will cover with caulk. I will also do this around the tub.

There you have it. For about $25 and 6 hours (thanks to all the toilet cuts :) I have a new bathroom floor. Yay!!!!! Stick around to see the entire bathroom before and after and room reveal!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I've Been Framed!

Please raise your hand if you have a T.V. mounted above your fireplace.Wow, you can really tell I'm a teacher from that last statement. I must miss being in the classroom too much :). Well, as I'm thinking up inspirations for the fireplace it occurred to me that my T.V. looks a little too....T.V. ish. I couldn't help but wonder if anyone out there thought that maybe theirs did too. How many ways are there to hide a T.V.? Too many, and most of them look too hard or expensive for me to pull off. However, I did find a clever disguise: TV frames!

This beauty is from Pottery Barn. This means that I'm not even going to look at how much it costs. I'm just going to gaze at it and figure out how to do it myself for cheap. Go ahead and scroll back up and just gaze at it. You know you want to.

I like the way that this one matches the console below it. It has a simple, modern shape, but is probably too modern for my space.

I rather enjoy looking at this white frame, especially since it looks like a work of art. The owner is playing a DVD of various paintings which change every few minutes, sort of like a digital picture frame. I love that idea! I can change my art as often as I like with the push of a button!

Ahhh....TV frames. Sophisticated, practical, stylish......easy? We shall see.

Fired Up!

On my continued search for Living Room inspiration I am looking for ideas to refurbish my existing fireplace. It has always been my plan to build some type of surround to add architectural detail as well as minimize the brick; however, I've begun to play with the idea of painting the brick as well as add some sort of paneling above the fireplace to really push the envelope.

This is a photo consultation from The Lettered Cottage website. It has everything I want, except brick.

This is from BHG fireplace before and afters. I love the idea of adding seating on both sides of the fireplace. I currently have two Ikea Cabinets there, but if I ever decided to create a built in, I could easily relocate them. (I also love the rug in this room--- so natural and simple!)
This one is perhaps the most similar to my current fireplace. I love the detailed molding. It actually looks like something I could do myself. I also love the black painted brick.
So many inspirations, so many much time. I hope I can get this one checked off my list soon!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cutting a Rug

In my last post, I mentioned that I may replace the area rug in the living room with something less....busy. I love the multicolored squares, don't get me wrong. But since buying it I have noticed that it constantly draws eyes to the floor and I would like people to look up and around the room. I have also learned that it is very difficult to accessorize, because everything competes with the rug. So, I think I would love the rug....just in another room.

That being said, I would like to pick out a new rug for the living room; a neutral one.

The rules:
I will not spend over 150 bucks (before tax)
It must be at least 10 ft long (width can vary)
It must be neutral/natural
I would like for it to be soft
It must be puppy friendly (meaning I can clean it know)
Egeby from Ikea- 149.00
Tarnby from Ikea: 149.00

Mohawk Home Apple Butter and Ivory Rug from Lowes: 148.00

The beef I have with the Ikea rugs is that I don't think they would be easy to clean know....happens. I have to admit my favorite is the first one from Lowes....and it is a whole dollar less than the others. But, it doesn't have as much texture. (Sigh....)
What do you think? Have you seen any awesome rugs out there? Share your wisdom!