condo progress take two – media center

The condo is a continual work in progress. You can view the first installment of our condo here, you certainly don’t want to miss out on the hospital green walls and cobalt blue pendant lights.

But…as with everything, you have to celebrate the little victories. Our most recent addition is our media center.

Although we vowed to choose quality over quantity, desperation got the best of us and we caved – or rather our pocketbook did. After the Hubbs vowed to never ever assemble another piece of IKEA furniture, he wound up spending last Saturday flipping through the pictorial illustrations of the odd little IKEA men instruction book. You all know what I’m talking about.

It gets me every time.

ikea_instructions

We opted out of saving up for a West Elm/CB2/Crate and Barrel media center, and chose the higher rode – instant gratification in the form of IKEA BESTA TV storage combination. I can’t find the exact product online (perhaps because there’s like a zillion possible combinations) but here’s a couple of examples:

20134_besta_PE371738

besta-tv-storage-combination__0183463_PE334494_S4We ended up purchasing the 2 cabinet system option, 2 doors, glass top, and 6 modern chrome legs, for a grand total of [$140]. With that price, it’s really hard to beat.

The white gloss finish and modern chrome legs tie in the modern lines of the couch while balancing our rustic, industrial table and traditional nailhead linen chairs.

[PROGRESS] – not yet styled but here’s an ideaProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Along the way I found this lovely beauty at Crate and Barrel – Willa Raven side chair originally [$149] but purchased the floor model for just [$49]. It’s seen better days, but with a few minor scuffs the hubbs says it has added “character.” #soomature

willa-raven-side-chair

I actually quite like the black, country style in contrast to the mod glossy white cabinet. I plan to do a little DIY dip dye style and paint the lower half of the legs gold, and add a sheepskin rug for texture and cozy appeal, like this:

DIY dip dyed table chasing shiny objects

DIY dip dyed table chasing shiny objects

sheepskin draped chair via the little room of style

sheepskin draped chair via the little room of style

As for our media center, I love a good IKEA hack and am thinking of adding either overlays or leather pulls for a custom finish. Here is my amazing inspo:

via my overlays

via my overlays

via sugar & cloth

via sugar & cloth

Oh the possibilities.

Now that I have the bones of my media cove carved out, I can’t wait to finish it. Just a few DIY projects, some artwork, a garden stool or accent table and I’m good to go. I might even purchase another system to create added vertical storage and some height.

DIY media center projects to follow!

soapstone board [$10]

I literally love a good find. I thrive off of it. Specifically when the quality far surpasses the price.

My favorite not so secret store, where 9 times out of ten I can count on stylish, affordable home decor pieces – can you guess? Marshalls. Sure, sometimes it’s hit and miss, other times the shelves house cheesy decor, but with a little patience and some digging, look at what you can uncover.

On my most recent shopping trip, which was originally for a housewarming gift, I of course found an item I could not live without.

Meet my soapstone board.

Original price [$45]. I paid [$10]. Totally worth it.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_3164Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSince Michael and I love entertaining, I justified the need in order to be the perfect host/hostess. Really, you can use it for every entertainment need:

  • meats and cheese platter
  • fruits and veggies board
  • sushi
  • chocolate
  • wine and bottle holder

Other than the obvious, it’s also versatile for a home decor piece. Use it as a tray to showcase your jewelry, display your favorite glassware, use it in a vignette grouped with other frames or art pieces.

Can you tell I absolutely love this soapstone board?

Best of all (besides the price) it’s such a pretty marbled gray with green crystal like accents. The perfect thing to hide my ugly laminate kitchen countertops.

personal shopping – it’s all in the details

I had the chance to go on a personal shopping adventure with a good friend to help pick out a few accents for her modern apartment.

She already has amazing taste and great style sense (think feminine A-line dresses, chiffon draped blouses, classic skinnies, oodles of statement necklaces…basically an understated Anthropologie).

On our shopping adventure I introduced her to one of my favorites – the Issaquah Gilman Gallery. Here you can find trinkets and treasures galore, most of which are modestly priced depending on the vendor. I firmly believe in creating a home that incorporates a mix of styles to create a sense of cohesion and the feeling that a space is collected rather than decorated. Every space needs a vintage piece – whether it’s a gilded frame, English bone china tea cup, or grandma’s hand me down serving platter.

Just a few collaboratively chosen antique picks and < $100 later (not too shabby!), we found the right accents to add a vintage feminine vibe to her mod apartment. (Not pictured – hanging, glass pendant light).

gold mirror trio [$15]

mirrors

1920’s window panel [$39] a total steal.window

gilded French frame [$10] – this frame originally had a French etoile print, but I recommended nixing it and using the empty frame to showcase a cool monogram.frameDon’t you just love antique stores? It’s all about the treasure hunt. You never know what unexpected trinkets you will stumble upon.

kitchen|redecorate

I’m currently working on a kitchen and family room redecorating project for my friend Ruth. She already has impeccable taste and knows what she likes, my job is to help bring her design aesthetic to life with the right furniture and accessories, and style the space.

{DESIGN PREMISE}

style: glam, modern, traditional, rustic

palette: white, gray, black, metallics

function: create a glamorous, grownup, entertaining space that’s simultaneously kid-friendly and can withstand two growing boys.

I’m still in the process of designing a mood board for her family room, but check out the fabulous kitchen inspiration:

kitchen | redecorate

kitchen | redecorate

Next stop shopping! More to come…

let there be light [&] chic black trim.

In my previous condo progress post, I created a laundry list of items that still need to be done, which you can view here.

There’s still more work ahead, but i’ll refrain from boring you with the entirety. Here are the upcoming, less expensive projects that we will tackle.

Next up – baseboards and lighting.

  1. replace dining light
  2. replace track lighting
  3. paint trim and baseboards
  4. paint window ledges

{INSPIRATION}

baseboard & lighting mood board

As much as my love affair with white continues, I’ve been toying with the idea of painting my french doors black. Don’t you just love the striking contrast? So chic.

via Elle Decor

via Elle Decor

via nice*room tumblr

via nice*room tumblr

Now for the lighting. I have this dreadful track lighting straight from the ’90s and a cheapo rice paper lantern over the dining room table. The hubbs refers to it as the ‘dorm’ light. Dire need of help.

track and pendant lighting

track and pendant lighting

The above options in my mood board are from the Young House Love line at Shades of Light, Lamps Plus and Lighting Direct. We don’t have a huge budget and since I love a good bargain, these alternate lighting possibilities meet my criteria.

I’m leaning toward option 3 for the dining room because of the modern appeal, which will balance my rustic dining table, mid-century bench, mixed woods, and traditional nailhead chairs.

Young House Love Metal Strap Drum Pendant

Young House Love Metal Strap Drum Pendant

Still debating on the track lighting for the hall/entry and kitchen. I have a love|hate relationship with track lighting, but need plenty of light to illuminate the otherwise poorly lit area.

Lighting Direct has adequate and reasonable options that I’m considering.

1a - Nuvo Lighting k349

1a – Nuvo Lighting k349

2a - Nuvo Lighting k322

2a – Nuvo Lighting k322

3a - Globe Electric - 58528-92

3a – Globe Electric – 58528-92

How do you feel about black trim and white walls? Yay or nay on the track lighting? Would love your opinions, so go ahead and cast your votes.

condo – before & progress

Post holiday decorating always leaves me a bit blue. Yes, January is about new beginnings and renewal (not to mention broken diet/gym/yoga/spin you name it resolutions), but is it so bad to say that January may be my least favorite month? #sorrynotsorry

I digress.

Our condo is a continual work in progress and with the holidays long gone, our space is feeling a bit empty. I’m really embracing the minimalist, industrial, Scandinavian look – literally. Empty corners, bare walls, white space, a makeshift media center Costco card table, which a friend dubbed as “industrial” – hey, I’ll take it.

It’s still missing some texture, layers and accents, but I’m trying to enjoy the process. And save money along the way – decorating, home improvement projects, and the likes can sure empty your pockets.

When we first moved in, our condo looked like this. Please excuse the poor quality pictures, view at your own risk! 🙂

{BEFORE} The pictures speak for themselves, but our lovely 600 sq. ft condo came equipped with all the fancy fixins’ –

  • hospital green walls
  • cobalt blue pendant lights
  • track lighting
  • seashell-esque wall scones
  • wiry oatmeal carpet
  • vinyl tile floor
kitchen

kitchen

hall/entry

hall/entry

main room

main room

main room

main room

bathroom

bathroom

bathroom

bathroom

vinyl floor

vinyl floor

{PROGRESS} keep in mind it’s still in the early early stages, but at least the green is gone!

Here are a few of the changes we’ve made so far –

  • white white white – helps to maximize the space and provides a blank canvas to showcase my eclectic palette
  • Edison pendant lights – the clear frame allows the eye to move seamlessly across the space, which is important in small spaces
  • bu-bye weird seashell sconces, helloo lovely modern lighting
  • brand spankin’ new toilet
  • new laminate floors in a gray weathered finish – a nice contrast to my gray-toned white paint. I carried it on throughout the entire space to avoid breaking up the already small space.
  • new baseboards and door casings – good moulding adds architectural interest and a finished, updated look
hallway/entry

hallway/entry

pendant lights

pendant lights

main room

main room

main area

main area

dining room

dining room

main area

main area

hallway/entry

hallway/entry

makeshift bar

makeshift bar

dresser

dresser

{TO DO}

  • replace track lighting (yuck)
  • new dining room light
  • paint – baseboards, casings, fireplace, french doors, closet…(ok I lied, our closet is still that dreadful green)
  • new appliances $$$ – break my piggy bank this is on hold, but I can dream of my stackable Samsung washer/dryer
  • patio – deck resurfaced/stained, a good cleaning, seating area
  • redo configuration of laundry room and organize
  • laminate overlays for kitchen and bathroom
  • replace countertops
  • finish bathroom

I tire just contemplating the endless to-do’s, but it’s good to remember to take your time and enjoy the process. Don’t buy things you don’t absolutely love or else you wind up spending more in the long run. I firmly believe in regularly editing different areas of your living space. Step back and curate the details along the way – is the seating configured in a way that encourages conversation? Are both shelves absolutely necessary or redundant? Do you still love that piece of furniture you’ve had since college and is it functional in your present lifestyle?

Hopefully this will motivate me to knock off a few of those tasks within the upcoming weeks…okay, months. Until then, I hope I can provide you some encouragement based on real life living/redesigning/decorating. It’s not always pretty or HGTV perfect, but always remember to enjoy the process.

More pictures to come!

eat. dine. stay awhile.

Michael and I enjoy entertaining, hosting dinner parties, and hanging out with good company in our cozy abode. This is why I’ve agonized over our dining room table and, more specifically, the seating options.

A few dilemmas I faced – maximizing our space by providing just enough seating, choosing comfortable seats that make people want to stay awhile, budgetbudgetbudget, and purchasing beautiful, durable pieces with a mid-century, classic, rustic feel.

I’ve been inspired by all the lovely mismatched, mod podge of dining chairs and benches frequenting Pinterest.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Coco & Kelley

via Daily Dream Decor

via Daily Dream Decor

After two trips to Pier 1, two Craigslist adventures, and only one trip each to World Market and then West Elm, I finally had some success. On a brief side note: major props to the hubbs for loading/unloading chairs, assembling benches – all with a good dose of patience.

Option 1: Jackson Metal Tub Chair from World Market [$119.99 ea]

IMG_1874

Although I love the industrial style, the metal tub chairs looked disproportionate to my already purchased linen, nailhead chairs. They sure looked pretty, but also weren’t the comfiest.

Option 2: Ronan Dining Chair from Pier 1 [$139.95]

IMG_1879

Old habits die hard. I naturally went for these cottagey chairs. Great construction, but ultimately too coastal for the look I was going for. Nixed that option and finally decided on a bench as the best option.

Option 3: winner winner chicken dinner! Vonnegut/Kraft bench from West Elm [$159.99] {please admire the uber ridiculous price! #sharethelove}

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.42.59 PM

By having a bench instead of two sets of chairs, it takes up minimal space and doesn’t obstruct the view.

The linen, nailhead upholstered chairs pictured above were purchased NIB from Craigslist at [$300] for both. Dining room table is the Jackson Rectangular Table from World Market at [$329.99].

Alternative seating options that I’m still coveting are the infamous King Louis XIV ghost chairs or the classic wishbone chairs. Both of these are perfect for small spaces since they add little visual weight.

Kartell-Louis-Ghost-Chairs

202_sphoto_1_1365832502

I just love these timeless pieces and clean lines, but the hubbs isn’t a huge fan. Poor me, I guess I can’t complain too much, maybe one day perhaps?