Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back in Business

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I posted! That goes to show you how much longer things take than you think they will. It's not that we've done nothing in the last 11 months, just nothing that I've been motivated enough to sit down and blog about. However, I just started a full-time job and I have a bit more time at work for personal stuff than I did as a freelancer. Not a lot, but at least enough that I can write the occasional post. Everything in moderation, right?

We made a trek to Ohio over Memorial day weekend, and drove back some furniture that my Grandma gave us. My very favorite new addition to our household is this sideboard that we've repurposed into a bar.

My Grandpa's parents bought this in the 1930's, and it has been a fixture in my grandparents' house since I can remember. My very dear Grandpa passed away last year, so it means so much to me that it is now in our house. We planted this dogwood for him in our front yard, and we call it Charlie. I'm so excited to watch it grow.

We bought it to complement our oddly-shaped-cute-little front yard that Chuck slaved away on last fall. It looked a lot better before this summer's drought, and the subsequent watering ban.

I was initially really bummed about the watering ban, b/c we had just paid for and planted a bunch of perennials that were just getting started. However, crafty Chuck rigged this up to our A/C condensation tube, as an environmentally responsible way to water all of the plants in the yard. It fills up every day and a half, and cost about $20 to make.

More function than fashion, but it certainly serves its purpose. He also made one in the back that connects to our dehumidifier in the basement, and drains outside into a bucket on the back patio. So it's a little more labor intensive than the hose, but we've got more water than we ever need. And it's free! That being said, somehow, our water bill has gone up. Please explain this to me.

The one big project we finally did do (did do?) was to remodel our sunroom, which was very very exciting. This is how it originally looked when we moved in:

Revamping was actually a 2 step process, that we began sometime ago. We started out envisioning a cottage style sun porch, and we were almost there. Our last big thing was to install the big whitewashed plank floors a la the decadent pages of Cottage Living . So we painted the walls a pale green, I made little cottage curtains with fabric from my $1/yd fabric plac, and we started researching how to create and install the floors. This is how it was shaping up:

This was my 2nd attempt at pale green walls, and as much as I love the color, it just doesn't seem to work on walls. Maybe it's the shades I choose? Truthfully, I had chosen the colors to complement the red-headed step child of all of our furniture - my prized 60's chaise lounge covered in chartreuse crushed velvet.

That would be me on the chaise. It's another nostalgic family piece that I LOVE and Chuck HATES. My other Grandfather was a wood worker, and in the early 1970's, he found this on the side of the road, fixed it up and reupholstered it with the aforementioned fabric. Aside from minimal wear and tear, it looks exactly the same as when this picture was taken, and I convinced my dad to hand it over to me when I lived in LA. I've had it in 4 different houses, and it has never really fit anywhere. So essentially, I designed the sunroom to give my beloved chaise a home. However, during one of our house pow-wows, Chuck and I both agreed that the sunroom wasn't really turning out how we wanted it to. After minimal brainstorming, we decided to funk it up a bit and move completely away from the style of our house - instead, creating a little homage to our years in LA. With terracotta on our minds, we rushed to Floor and Decor, and found the perfect tile - on Super-Sale, nonetheless!!

Chuck's brother Scott helped us install the floor, and even brought his own tile saw to do the job. He's been a tremendous amount of help on many of our projects, and we owe him huge!

Chuck wouldn't let me go full-on Frida Kahlo with the decorating scheme, so we decided on a neutral cream for the walls, and some mexican-inspired accent colors. We bought some sunroom-esque furniture at Ikea, with the intent of customizing it by (me) sewing new covers for the cushions. I found some upholstery fabric for the chairs at my $1/yd store, so the cushions should cost about $6 in fabric and probably around 60 hours of my labor. (I estimated the savings on the fabric for just the 2 chairs to be upwards of $100 which makes me very very happy - I still haven't found the fabric I want to use for the couch). I set about making a half-size sample cushion, as this was my first foray into box cushions with piping. It took me a whole day.

Yeah, it's a little lopsided, but I figured out what I did wrong. This was 6 months ago, and I haven't even started on the big ones. Sigh.

One day,while shooting a Georgia Lottery commercial in the breakroom of one, I discovered the FABULOUS Value City . I spent half of my day sneaking out of the shoot to shop, and came across the blinds we wanted at $15 a piece (regularly $40+), so I snapped those up. One of the pieces of furniture that we got from my Grandma was a pie-safe with a punched tin front, which has a mexican flair, so we put that in there. And lastly, we bought some plants and a woven ottoman/side table from C&B with wedding gift juice, and here we are:

We still have some more decorating to do. I have to make the chair cushions, and still need to find fabric to make the couch cushions (the $1/yd place is a closeout store, and didn't have enough of the striped fabric for everything). Chuck is going to make a fountain. We want to order some 4x4 hand painted mexican tiles to use as accents in a few places. And we have our eye on a Frida Kahlo reproduction that would fit perfectly on the wall by the window.

All of this will happen once the money tree starts blooming.

But right now, we have our sights set on some BIG renovation projects, which brings me to up-to-date.

Last weekend we went to our friends' wonderful lake house in Charlotte, which they remodeled over the course of 18 months. Looking at their before and after pics got us fired up, so we've started 2 big projects at once - our backyard and master bathroom. A guy is coming to clear and grade the back yard on Saturday, and we begin demo for the master bath at the same time. We hope to be done within 6 weeks time. Pics and details to follow!!!


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

Six weeks?!? Are you guys freakin nuts?

At 6:19 AM, Blogger freakgirl said...


The sunroom is gorgeous. Where is the chaise, though?

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

The chaise got kicked out of the sunroom when we changed the color scheme. So we stuck it in my office, sticking out into the doorway (the only way it fit) and I kept slamming my shins on it. Currently, it's upside down on the day bed covered with all the stuff we had to move to demo the bathroom. I'm going to try to find a place for it in the guest room once the walls are back up, but if that doesn't work, I guess it has to go to the attic:(

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

And BTW, hi Freakgirl! How are ya?

At 11:32 AM, Blogger freakgirl said...

I'm fine! I want the chaise! :D

When ya'll are done (in six weeks), please come up and help us organize our garage, plant a nicer garden, and come up with some color schemes for the living room and our bedroom. And then implement them.


At 2:54 PM, Blogger Emilie said...

We would love to come to the house of Freak and Geek and mix it up!

I tried to find a pic of the chaise in it's entirety, but all the ones I have seem to only show the top part. As soon as we unearth it from the pile-o-stuff, I'll post a pic. Now we're going to have to renovate the attic to accommodate it!


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