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.

18 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous alison said...

wow. i am very, very proud. that was a triumphant and inspiring story. shall i display a picture of the photo-hanging contraption i just made for about $10, as opposed to the $100 pottery barn wanted for it? although i would probably pay the extra $90 to have avoided the work i put into it, as i am retarded and it took me about two weeks to get it right. also, it will probably fall down by tomorrow.

i am about to put our tv stand on craigslist. want first dibs? i bought it for $125 but since the listed crate and barrel price is $300, i thought i'd offer it for $200. but for you guys...$124.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

Absolutely! We are here to highlight all DIY decorating victories. Send me your picture and I'll post it. And then one of the crafty sites will promptly rip it off.

I'm sure Chuck will be emailing me a link to the picture of your TV stand on Craigslist shortly...

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

Ass.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

;)

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger freakgirl said...

Emilie, that was like the greatest story ever. You two were meant to have that table and chairs.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Emilie said...

The furniture gods were smiling on us that day. Is there anything more satisfying than a smokin' bargain?

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger freakgirl said...

Nope!

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

We don't have a dining room so I don't need a big dining table, but I would like a nice kitchen table. Our house is weird, so the eat-in area of our kitchen is also the foyer. Yes. Anyway, the table we are using right now is an unfinished pine table from Ikea to which I've stapled some cheap vinyl so we don't ruin the surface during everyday messery. We were using it as part of a big desk setup in our previous abode.

The point is I don't have a decent table and chairs, at least, not what I want. Last summer we looked a bit for a table and I'm glad we didn't get anything because I've decided from now on I'm not going to buy things just to have them but save up to buy pieces that I love and really want. Since my kitchen area isn't renovated yet, I'm not going to buy a thing until then so I can choose the piece that fits. So we are going to live with this ugly vinyl thingy, although I will go so far as to find another vinyl tablecloth that is more attractive in the meantime.

I hope we have a similar experience finding our table. I am developing very expensive taste yet our income isn't keeping up. ;)

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

My mother always categorized me as "champagne taste on a beer bottle budget" so I can totally relate. Do they have Craigslist where you live? I swear, if you don't mind buying used (which we obviously don't) it is the best bargain shopping ever! Most of the stuff people sell are nice things that they have outgrown or just don't have room for anymore. I'm sure there's plenty of crap too, but we've been really lucky. Um, except for an unfortunate treadmill incident that nearly led us into tossing it back through the seller's picture window. Had she not lived so far away, we would have done just that. Joan Yurish in West Hills, CA has it coming to her. All you have to do is say "Precor" to Chuck and his head will explode.

The last place we lived in LA, we had to use our sad little dining room as a guest bedroom, so I can relate on that front too!

I was looking for some vinyl type fabric to make seat cushions for outdoor chairs, and found this place that has really cool oilcloth. It might make neat tablecloths, b/c it's similar to vinyl but has better patterns than most vinyl tablecloths. http://www.cathkidston.com/ The only thing is, it's pretty expensive. You could probably get a better deal at a fabric store, if they sell it.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

There are things like Craigslist around here, and I have no problem with used things, in some cases I even prefer them. I don't want brand-new fancy for the kitchen, I want rustic or unfinished so at least I can put my own choice of stain on it, or whatever. When the time comes to look it's going to be really fun and really frustrating!

Great idea about fabric stores. I didn't even think about oilcloth. I thought I'd just buy a less-offensive cheap vinyl tablecloth. Ha ha.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Okay, I just spent an hour looking at Craigslist. A whole hour, slipped through my fingers like it was 5 minutes. Craigslist is like crack!

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

I'm tellin' you! Did you find anything good?

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Nah, but it was still fun! I'll be checking it a lot, I think. Just in case. :D

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Hey, are you guys going to renovate more stuff or what?

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Emilie said...

how bad do we suck? we have lots to share but seriously haven't had a spare second to even put the new pics on the computer to post. bless you for even checking back! we are in hell crunch time right now, and to boot, I'm in Fla on a job. I will try to post between now and the end of next week, when we will have officially moved in! And then I swear we will get on a schedule...

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous jill said...

Hi Emilie, I don't think we've met, but I'm an old friend of Chuck's from back in the dizzle. Anyway, just popping in to say that you guys are my heros. As hard as the work is, you must feel an enormous amount of satisfaction in this endeavor and for the rest of us, it's great fun seeing the progress. Also your account of it is really great reading. Keep it up and good luck!

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

Hi Jill! I told Chuck you posted a comment, and he said hello! He believes that we did meet ages ago at Brett & Stacy's wedding. I was one of Stacy's bridesmaids. Great to hear from you!

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger vinfam4 said...

Hey, dont feel bad about not getting the Basque furniture from Crate and Barrel. We obsessed over it for months, and finally actually ordered it, despite the extrordinarily high costs. Then when it arrived, the table top was completely damaged. The quality was TERRIBLE!!!

We also found out AFTER we ordered it that you are not supposed to clean it with anything but a damp cloth, and once a week you can use some Ivroy soap on it. Prior to placing the order, we were told we could clean it with murphys oil or lemon oil.

Needless to say, we ended up sending it back and have since found some unique chairs from World Market for $60 a piece, and are having someone make a nearly identical table for half the cost!

Thats the last thing we ever order from Crate and Barrel - what a mess!

 

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