Thursday, March 02, 2006

We're back!

Apologies for the lag in posting. I jetted off to Ohio for a long weekend, while Chuck slaved away at putting up the missing ceiling and wall in the bathroom. And he has since been applying the multiple coats of mud necessary for proper drywall installation. Not very exciting stuff. BIG PROPS to our good friends Justin and Big John who respectively were an integral part of the wall & ceiling replacement. The ceiling, apparently, was quite a bear to put up. And the wall, a comedy of errors. I'll let Chuck tell you about that. With life getting in the way of renovation progress for the last 2 weeks, we're hoping to make great strides this weekend in putting the bathroom back together. Upcoming projects: cutting and installing the bead board for the bottom half of the wall, painting the wall and molding, installing a new tile floor (complete with a luxurious radiant heating mat that we are going to attempt to put in ourselves). And then bringing in the tub, toilet & sink. We scored a gently used Kohler pedestal sink on Craigslist, for a fraction of its retail price. The dog was already ours.

Craigslist has become our local Home Shopping Network. Chuck is on it daily, emailing me links to things we don't ever need, but thinks we should buy because they are such a good deal. After suffering through photo after photo of fugly armchairs, bedside tables that nowhere near coordinate with our current furniture, and the occasional free puppy, I asked him to please stop the madness and cool it on Craigslist for a while. Fortunately he didn't listen to me, because he found our recent acquisition which we are verrrrry excited about. Backstory: We have been coveting a lovely set of dining room table and chairs from Crate & Barrel. Which we now refer to only as Basque. Description: "Hand-hewn in oversized proportions, this table has the heft and character of a European farmhouse antique...The rich amber finish is waxed to a soft sheen." mmmm. We went so far as to register for them, hoping that a rich uncle that neither of us has ever met would drop ship them to our house. Really, it was to get the 10% off after our wedding, when we have the opportunity to fill our registry. Pipe dreams, because after buying a house and a wedding, who can afford a table and chair set from Crate and Barrel? But we love them:

So anyhoo, we have been keenly searching for a comparable, yet affordable replacement, like they do in the budget decorating magazines that I hoard. Chuck eschewed my idea to build a table base outfitted with a top made of hardwood flooring. I swear that's how the Basque table looked if you broke it down. He thought it would look atrocious and hassled me mercilessly about it, but I still insist that I'm onto something. Although admittedly, I might be going a little over the top with the DIY thing. Can't afford it? We'll build it! Right. Moving on, I was in Target a couple weeks ago and found some chairs that were, believe it or not, incredibly similar to the hefty and super solid Crate and Barrel chairs. They are part of Target's new Global Bazaar line, and were on sale for 30% off of an already great price.

But alas, we had no table. I happened to mention the chairs to Chuck, who of course had been stalking Craigslist, and he quickly accessed the picture of a wonderful handmade pine farm table that was listed at an ebay store, conveniently located in our neighborhood (check out The Drop Station). We went to take a look at it, and though it was a lighter color, it was a dead ringer for our C&B table. And cost 1/3 of the real thing. It is huge, so we taped together some newspapers to see how it would fit in our dining room.

Perfect. So we snapped it up and hauled ass to Target to get our chairs, which we discovered to now be marked down to 50% off. And of course, they only had 2 left. We called another store that was 4 miles away, who said they had 8 in stock, but couldn't guarantee they would be there when we got there. As most of the ladies would probably back me up, this would have been worthy of a police escort. We made it there in under 15, figuring that even with a speeding ticket we would be getting a good deal. Fortunately no ticket and the chairs were there, so now we have our table that seats 8 comfortably and 10 in a pinch. For a percentage of what the good folks at Crate and Barrel were charging. We just need to stain the table to match the teak finish of the chairs. Which requires more stripping. blecch.