Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Parts of My House That I Do Not Like

OK. So that title does sound a bit negative, but I promise this post has a positive spin! 

I'm here to let you in on the parts of my house that I just do. not. like. I'll venture to say that nobody is completely happy with their home. You may have inherited a college house with college furniture (there is literally a Led Zeppelin bar stool in our kitchen- can I just please GET IT TOGETHER and cover that thing?) or the couch you are sitting on is 30 years old and smells of your great aunt Helen or you're living in what feels like the most #basic apartment ever... For most people there are parts of your home that just make you want to curl up in a ball and cry. And while there are many spaces in my house I do LOVE-  below are some of the parts in my home that I would like to chuck to the curb and start completely over.  

+ The Astroturf front porch. Yes, I said Astroturf. My 85 year old neighbor has it as well and while we both agree it's comfortable on the feet, I could personally do without. However, the stuff is GLUED down and I don't think it's coming up in the next 20 years. We're just living with it and trying to find anything that complements what I would best describe as a "neon grass green with touches of a Hi-Glo tint".

+ My big bulky beige monster of a couch. Nathan bought this at the beginning of the house renovation because he needed a couch. It was probably a bad sign when the furniture salesman referred to the giant thing as a "Video Gamer Couch". That's all that needed to be said for Nathan and it was out the door with a "SOLD" tag. I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. I'm not going to lie... it IS the most comfortable couch in the world, but it's really hard to work with design wise. Exhibit A below.

+ Our guest room. Remember when we painted our guest room navy? (which I do still like) and then I painted the desk coral? Well that coral desk actually smells and is STILL tacky. I don't know if it was a bad batch of paint or we did something wrong. But I'm over the desk and over the trendy color scheme. At this point, I'm just holding out until it becomes Max's big boy room and I'm storing a bunch of junk in there in the meantime. 

+ My dining room chairs. OK this one started out as a big dislike, but they have actually grown on me and I intend to keep them a little longer... maybe eventually have them recovered? These chairs are AT LEAST 25 years old (from my aunt and uncle). I sat on them when I was like 4 and I still sit on them and I am 29. #Math

+ My kitchen floor. While it's a perfectly good kitchen floor, I wish I would have put more thought into this one. This was one of the FIRST decisions we made and we literally just bought the cheapest tile at Lowes. We didn't have the money for an entire first floor of hardwood  (and we didn't know what kind of hardwood we wanted) so we decided to go with tile for the kitchen. There are no plans to do anything with this floor, but sometimes I wish we would have done something different.

+ My entire unfinished basement/laundry room/prison toilet situation. Enough said.

Yeah there isn't going to be a picture of this one.  

I'm sure I could come up with more, but those are the main ones that basically make me want to pull my hair out. But here's the positive spin...  not only have these things made me realize what I want to avoid in a future home, but it's causing me to work with what I have. Hopefully this encourages you to do the same and to not be so discouraged with your own home.  Maybe I'll  come back with some posts about how to  work with these so called problem areas. #RealLifeHouseProbs

This post is not intended to come off ungrateful. I am blessed to call this my home and to have a roof over my head, but it's here to remind myself that there will always be aspects of my home that aren't all that great- but you just have to embrace them anyway and make the best of things... yes even Astroturf. 

Did someone say free Putt-Putt?


Friday, September 18, 2015

The South House Files + 9.18.15

Here with another round of The South House Files. I'm having fun with this- now if only I could blog a little more about my actual house...

+ I'm sure we are all familiar with Nate Berkus. If you are not, please get acquainted. He's only been around for like 15 years. #ThanksOprah. Architectural Digest is showing off his new Manhattan remodel. Although some aspects are over the top for me (like that shower- woah cross eyed), I think it's generally awesome. But my favorite part of the whole feature is scrutinizing each space for the little details-  like the paintings and prints he chooses to hang with minimalistic framing and the touches of greenery in every room... And I can't fail to mention the solarium style windows in that kitchen.

Original Source here

+ Yes Emily Henderson was featured in last week's files, but I thoroughly enjoyed her "fall" living room makeover with Good Housekeeping. She really honed it in with some warmth and texture after removing a lot the blue and turquoise hues that were previously in the space. Basically- my recipe for a dream room. I want those camel leather chairs for my den STAT.

Original Source here

+ I have followed Clare Brody on Instagram for a while, but to my dismay I realized she wasn't in my blog feed. Tragic. I finally added her and checked out her archives. I love her IKEA Billy bookshelf install and styling. She also lives in a RENTAL, but she has really made it her own.

It's becoming clear to me that I need a camel leather chair...

Original Source here

+ I cannot seem to get in the mood for fall. The dip in temps the past week helped a little- which even prompted me to make a Friday night trip to Hobby Lobby. However, I left uninspired with one faux squash and some paint pens. Not sure what I have planned for that squash, but apparently I felt it was a necessary buy. Who knows. Anyway- if you are like me and just not in the mood but do have good intentions to get into the Autumn spirit- check out this post of past fall projects from Thistlewood Farms- it almost inspires me to break out some pumpkins. Almost.

Original Source here

+ If you do not watch The Goldbergs, you should. It is by far my favorite show on television. I don't know if it's because it takes me back to the actual 80s/90s while sitting with my dad eating popcorn watching the Cosby Show, but I think it's just a good ol wholesome and hilarious show that I would like the TV world to have more of. The season premiere is September 23rd. I will be watching it LIVE (no cable here) with my popcorn and La Croix in tow.

 Bev- The Original 'Smother'

Here is a great comparison of the real life Goldbergs vs the TV Goldbergs... did you know Bev on the show wears some of the ACTUAL 80s clothes from the real Beverly Goldberg? Mind blown. Also- a post about her TOP 10 fashions from seasons past. 

Have a great weekend. I'm going to attempt to be productive on the home-front! Wish me luck!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Rug That I'm Returning...

This post was originally going to be titled "We Found THE Rug!" or "Hey Look at Our New Rug!"... or something catchy like "Rug Love in Our Den"- you get what I'm saying. But I come to bare bad news and tell you that this rug just isn't gonna cut it. Please hold back your tears.

Let's backtrack.... I mentioned in last Friday's post (The South House Files) that I took advantage of the 80% off Labor Day event via Rugs USA. The rug buy was a quick decision considering the sale, but going by the picture, I thought I would really like it and it was definitely the style I have been leaning towards. I also couldn't pass up this major sale for such a good quality 8' x 10' rug. I thought it was worth the risk knowing I could still return within 14 days.


So it arrived last Friday- the size was perfect... the quality is excellent... it's SO comfortable... and I really loved the pattern and style... BUT it was green- a very muddy green at that. I knew I couldn't rely on the picture online because they're just never accurate, but I wasn't expecting the green that I saw. I was anticipating more of an ivory center with a green tint.

I feel like the rug is darker in person... the pictures show it to be a little lighter actually.

Before making the decision to ditch, I decided to live with it for a several days. There were moments when I was like "This is it- I DO love it. I can work with the muddy green" but then I would realize what I was saying and think "You're stupid. You just paid a lot of money for a rug and you don't even like it. Don't settle. You are overthinking this. This should not be so difficult. Please just leave the room and shut the door". So after more than a few of those moments, I have decided this rug isn't right for the room. Don't get me wrong- It really is a great rug- the pattern is awesome in my opinion- and while I do love the color green, I do not want this muddy green in my den and it would have dictated ALL of my design decisions. So back to Rugs USA it goes.

I think this was a good lesson on not settling for something just because you clicked "Purchase". I'm not going to stick with this rug for the sake of "progress" or a new blog post ... even if that means this room may not be done until 2017.  I'd rather take my time and find what I really want than to go forward feeling all "blah" about it all. And I have learned that muddy green is very blah to me....

Honestly, this is pretty typical of my process... lots of trial and error involved. Hope this post can encourage you to not be discouraged if you make the wrong, expensive purchase. You gotta go with your gut and it will eventually lead you to a space that you love. Let's hope that's the case in this situation anyway.

By the way... if there is one thing I AM certain about... it's that the black and gold around the fireplace has GOT TO GO. Can't handle it.


Friday, September 11, 2015

The South House Files + 9.11.15

This short week has proven to be rather unproductive on the home-front, but that doesn't mean I didn't have time to check out some good finds on the internets from the past few days. Of course. 
+ Traci from Beneath My Heart has a relatively easy way to "fake" a painted wood floor by using plywood. If you like the look of painted wood flooring (it's popping up all over the place), but too afraid to commit to covering up the real deal (that would be me), this could be a great trial project for you. Would be curious to see how it holds up, but it's pretty nonetheless.
 Original Source Here
 + I was oddly fascinated with this lengthy post about Emily Henderson and her publishing team choosing a cover for her new design book. I may have been sucked down this rabbit hole because Emily Henderson always proves to be a hilarious writer, or I am just thoroughly entertained by staring at side by side pictures with very subtle styling differences. I don't believe that time was spent in vain.


+ 11 Biggest Design Pet Peeves of Professional Designers. I'm sure I've hit every one of these.


+ This is an example of how I want my Den to feel. If you notice- the designer, Kate Driver, kept the existing couch and chair from before and still turned this RENTAL into a warm but fresh space that is perfectly casual and comfortable to me. (FYI those ottomans are pretty affordable from Overstock) It's also making me rethink my too cool "greige" in the den… always go with your gut... and my gut usually says warm.
Original Source Here
 + Speaking of den, I utilized the 80% off Rugs USA Labor Day deal this past weekend (There are still some rugs that are 70% off last I checked). I pulled the trigger on one (ahhh the pressure of a good deal), but the more I think about it I'm getting nervous it may not be right for the room. We shall see. If it proves to be a good selection, I'll share. If it isn't, I still may share. Fingers Crossed.  


+ "The Struggle is Real. But His Grace is Stronger". Amen.
Original Source Here
Here's to hoping next week is more productive than the last. Happy Weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The South House Files + 9.4.15

I'm going to start trying (key work being TRY) a weeklyish post about some of my favorite blogs, articles, and inspiration images I've found on the internets. I LOVE when bloggers do a weekly round-up of their own finds as I've gotten loads of inspiration that I never would have otherwise come across. So, hopefully this will do the same- and if not it will at least allow me to file away the discoveries for myself.

I'm calling it ...

Here goes it....
+ My favorite designer, Lauren Liess, just bought a new house. While I'm irrationally sad she had to sell her last one (considering I don't actually know her in real life), the mere thought of being able to follow her new house updates over the next year makes me irrationally happy.
+ In related Lauren Liess news, I just pre-ordered my Christmas present- her new book. Just doing what I can to make the holiday shopping easier on my husband...
+ Another approach to a gallery wall- and a how Martha Stewart is a forever classic. This photo is from a Martha book from the mid 90s!
Original Source here

+ THIS. The #ModernFarmhouseProject by House of Jade Interiors is pretty amazing.  The simple styling of the bookshelves and the oversized kitchen pendants are probably my favorite. Check out their website or use the hashtag above on Insta.

Random observation- Has anyone else noticed that Utah designers are really really good?

Original Source here
Original Source here
Recognize that Ballard Designs Hadley pendant? Because I sure do!

Original Source here
+ New Instagram feed to follow! @CortiniDesign. I enjoy pretty pictures of neutral spaces. This one provides.


+ And finally- say goodbye to your money. A Chicago Target may soon be serving cocktails while you shop. That's a #MomsNightOut that I can get behind.

Have a great long weekend!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Den Progress: Paint, Carpet, and a Steal of a Couch

Stopping in with a little update on our addition. I'm impressed with myself- 2 posts in a week with another planned for Friday. Pick your jaw up off the floor.

If you want to get up to speed, you can see our fabulous Before pictures of our addition here.
Where were we? One of the first items of business for this room was painting those really awful brown walls. It was a very bad color that we inherited and it needed to go. We decided to go with a greige from Sherwin Williams (I forgot the name but it did have "Greige" in it so hope that helps…). The color definitely comes off more gray in the room. I think the "greige" tones prevent it from leaning more cool. I think I like it, but my final opinion will come when I get the rest of the room in order.

I'm not going to pretend this room isn't already full of toys- so I saved myself the time of removing them and "neatly piled" them for your viewing pleasure....
Here's a few Before and Afters...

Please note the Afters are Unedited. I currently don't have time to edit "progress" pictures.


The next step was replacing the badly stained carpet.  We went to Home Depot searching for a remnant (we had luck doing that for our guest room), but came up with nothing. So that meant we needed to order. Honestly- I just wanted something durable, light, and neutral- so after hours of comparing samples we went with the more affordable in-stock Home Depot line. Wouldn't you know it- after hours of deciphering we got home and realized it was the SAME EXACT carpet that we put in our guest room. I guess that means that I like it? We'll go with that.  
I like carpet- I do. When most of your first floor is either hard wood or tile- I think it's nice to have somewhere soft to sprawl out on. Picture me sprawling.
And the latest update that I'm really excited about is our new couch. We bought it secondhand- but you wouldn't know it. It was hardly sat upon due to it being used for staging purposes in a home. I knew we couldn't splurge on an expensive couch, so when I saw this posted on Facebook I jumped! I also like the color- its light and neutral and warm. As for the comfy factor- husband has approved it. It's not as comfy as our giant monstrosity in our living room, but it's working. Having somewhere to sit already makes a world of difference in the room.
I threw some throw pillows and fabric on it to get an idea of the look- but I'm actually leaning in a different direction in my 'scheme'...

This corner seems promising to me...
Now you may be like- wow you have a single couch floating in the room- that's great but what else? Well, our plan is to get 2 chairs to go opposite the couch and also add an ottoman/coffee table situation in the center. I want this room to be uber Baby proof- no sharp corners- so soft furntiure for everyone!

Once I get the basics, I'll be focusing on adding some color and pattern. I think my biggest challenge will be finding a perfect yet affordable rug (The current was just thrown in there to prevent baby crumbs and spills). I have found tons of rugs that I love, but they are all SO expensive. It's hard to justify an expensive rug purchase, but they can really make the room- especially our currently VERY neutral- but much improved already den.

I'll be back with some follow up posts about plans for our fireplace, lighting, those beams, and where I'm leading as far as colors/textures for the room!

Thanks for stopping by!