Thursday, March 31, 2011

All hail King George

Probably the hardest part about me not having a job is not having as much discretionary income for all the decor items I'm dying to purchase.  Since I'm at home during the day, and since reading decorating blogs is my newest vice, I spend even more time imagining the possibilities for my home than I used to.

Today this gorgeous guy crossed my path.  Isn't he handsome?  (I started to type "she" and "beautiful" but then I remembered the name of the chair and didn't want to offend his highness.)

Safavieh's "King George Armchair"
I've been making do with a couple armless chairs from World Market that I purchased very cheaply about a year ago as a temporary solution for the living room.  

Living room looking toward front windows
 I like the chairs okay, but I bought them with the intention of moving them into other rooms once I found the right chairs for our living room.  The nice things about the temporary chairs is that they bring a pop of color, and we now have two places to sit where we had just one messy slipcovered chair before.  But they just don't take up enough visual space in the living room and they're not the kind of chairs you can sink down into and get comfy.  Plus, I think they make the space look too "sweet" and I'd like to bring more of an eclectic and sophisticated feel.  Yes, I realize the table and accessories are playing up to the "sweetness" as well.  They are only temporary also.

But back to my friend King George (the chair, not the monarch).  I've been looking for the right living room chairs since we moved here three years ago, but since our four fuzzy friends tend to choose the most inconvenient places to hack up a hairball every now and then (sorry if that grosses you out, but it's reality with pets), we have to be careful about what colors and fabrics we choose for upholstery that has horizontal surfaces.  Therefore, linen, which is my absolute favorite, has to be relegated to vertical places like a headboard (which I did purchase recently -- pics to come soon).

I spotted King George today at One Kings Lane.  If you aren't familiar with OKL, you've got to join.  It's basically a daily online sample sale, where designer brands and products are sold at insider-only prices for a very limited time.  When you sign up, you receive a daily email at 11am ET with the link to the offerings for the day.  Quantities are limited, so the best stuff goes quickly.  OKL items are all home related, including rugs, furniture, lighting, accessories and more.  For instance, a chair that usually retails for $900 might sell for $450, or a rug that's usually $400 might sell for $150.  If you're going to check One Kings Lane out, please use my link here.

Again, I digress.  When I received my OKL email today, I saw that furniture was one of the categories being sold today, and I spotted King George right away.  He and his twin immediately went into his cart.  I love, love, love the charcoal color, the shape, and the nailhead trim, which I am obsessed about right now.  But seeing as though I'm not bringing any income in at the moment, I thought I better get the purchase approved by The Mr. since he's paying the bills.  Of course he was on a conference call at the time and conveniently left his cell phone on the kitchen counter at home this morning, so I had to wait until his call was over before I could complete my purchase.  I was freaking out because once you put something in your online cart, it's only reserved for you for 15 minutes before it goes back to the general OKL population.  I had to trick the system a couple times by pressing the checkout button and the back button to start my clock over until Jason was available to talk.

Surprisingly, he was welcoming to the idea of King George.  Not surprisingly, he reminded me that now is not a good time to make a large purchase since we just made a larger purchase last week (see below) and since we don't have a handle on what our new income versus bills ratio will be.

My new ride
Darn my husband.  He is so rational, especially about money.  I'm very rational too, but "Bad Hollie" speaks louder than "Good Hollie" when it comes to making fun purchases.  As Jason outlined the reasons why I should not buy King George at this time, I could feel myself losing more and more of my grip on him (the chair, not the husband).  I wanted to stomp my feet and shake my fists and use my best whiny little girl voice and yell, "But I WANT him!"  Luckily "Good Hollie" held me back.  After we ended the call, I felt defeated but I hope that I will meet King George again someday.  I curtsey to you, your highness.

What do YOU think about King George?  Or what items are you just dying to purchase that you've been holding back (or, ahem, held back) on?  Do share.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Under construction

I've spent much of today and yesterday giving my new blog a makeover.  There are so many nice bloggers out there who share tips and tricks for us newbies.  Some of the tips are easy, and some require working with the HTML code, which has been a bit trickier.  If only I had a spouse who could help me with that.  Oh, I do.  Now I just have to convince him.

I also downloaded Picasa today and am in the very early stages of learning how to use it to edit photos and graphics.  Fun stuff.

My banner (the header at the top of the page) has improved since Monday, but it still needs work.  Unfortunately my time has run out for today so I will have to leave things "under construction" for now.

One thing I did fix today is that anyone can post a comment.  Thanks, Sabrina, for letting me know you couldn't.  It was a default setting that I had to adjust.  So now anyone can post away!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buffet turned DIY bathroom vanity

Remember the buffet I saw on Craigslist yesterday? Someone made a bathroom vanity out of one just like it. Awesome. I so want to do this, but I don't have a spot in my house. Get more info about the vanity at Miss Mustard Seed's blog.

For anyone in the Louisville area who may be interested in doing this project, the buffet is still posted today on Craigslist. Go for it!

Tips for your home from a photo stylist

Check out this cool stop animation video from photo stylist Annette Joseph about organizing a bookshelf. Me likey. You likey? Thanks to Becky at the Design Public blog for sharing and for tipping me off to Annette's blog! Last week Annette posted a series sharing her styling tips that we can use to decorate our own homes. Start with lesson one here.

My favorite lesson was about vignettes. Annette says to gather all the accessories you have around your house into one place to see what you have, and to see what fits into categories. She suggests setting up vignettes with similar items together.

I happen to have a little obsession with coral (faux, so as not to hurt our ocean friends) and beachy stuff. My goal for decorating is classy, but "theme decorating" can become tacky if one isn't careful. People have told me my beachiness is not overpowering, but I still worry.

I gathered some of my coral and beachy accessories together and created this quick vignette on a shelving unit in my living room. (The shelving unit itself may be changing color soon, but that's a separate project on my list of things to do!)

I actually like it better in person than on camera, but maybe that's because my camera skills are lacking. I have a nice camera, but don't know how to use all the settings, and I know even less about using photo editing software afterward. Yes, those things are on the to-do list, which is ever-growing.

Okay, give Annette's tips a try at home and let me know if you have any "photo-ready" spaces to share!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh, Craigslist, how you tease me

I am just dying to do more furniture painting. The problem is that I don't know if I'm good at it yet. I was checking out good ol' Craigslist this morning, looking for some paintable pieces with good bones and came across this. Yes, please.

The lister named it "Grandmother's buffet." Priced at $200 --not bad. But seeing as though I haven't proven myself yet with my dream to buy, paint/refinish and resell furniture, and seeing as though I have no income, and seeing as though I'd have to borrow a truck, I think I better pass. Or should I?

And so it begins

Today is the start of a new chapter of my life. For those of you who don't know, I left Junior Achievement. It was just time for me to move on to something else. What is the "else," you ask? Right now, I'm leaving that open. I'm not the kind of person who jumps right from one job to another -- I like to take time off to do miscellaneous things and decide what I want to do next. Last week was officially my first week off. But it was spring break week for Zachary, and Jason took the week off as well, so last week didn't really count. Now that they are back to school and work, this is really my first week of freedom. And what's the first thing I decided to do? Start a blog.

Last night I had a hard time sleeping. This is unusual for me, but my head was just spinning with ideas about projects I could do. That's what I get for reading lots of decorating blogs right before bed, I guess.

Unfortunately I tend to have lots of project ideas in my head (or on lists -- I love making lists) and I even start several projects, but I have a hard time completing one (or two) projects before I start another one (or two or ten). Just ask Jason -- it drives him nuts.

I don't want to squander my new-found freedom, though. Yes, I'll find plenty of time to watch TV. Folding laundry? Yep, can watch TV while I do that. Cleaning? Yep -- even a TV to watch while cleaning the bathroom. But I don't want my goal each day to be how many hours of recordings I can knock off our DVR. I want to actually get things done, so I can feel a sense of accomplishment with myself. Oh, and it will keep Jason off my back too. :)

What will I do today, on my first day of freedom? I think I'll start making my list.
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