simple is beautiful

The Black Bathroom - An Update

Friday, October 22, 2010

 My schedule has been a bit hectic as of late, but alas, a moment to order a shower curtain.  Nothing fancy, just an extra long one from Target in white.  So many of you have asked about the black bathroom so I thought I would share the inspiration board that I made to stay focused.

And here is a peek at the actual bathroom.  Hopefully soon I will be sharing the rest.

I hope that each and every one of you has a wonderful weekend.  We are starting our weekend off with home made pizzas and family.  Then we are off to Chapel Hill for a swim meet.  So happy to be with family again after a couple of weekends away.

How I Transformed My Family Room

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Those of you who know me personally know that my family has been through some recent struggles.  My husband and I started a hardware and lighting business several years ago before the economy took a nosedive.  For a while, things were good.  Fast forward a year or two and things became not so good.  Anyway, moving forward, my husband after many months of looking, found a job and we are beginning to dig out of our hole, one shovelful at a time.  Can I just say that I am thankful to have a husband who is a wonderful role model to our boys and who never gave up no matter how hard it was at times.

With all the changes that have taken place in our living room, you would think that finances were not an issue.  I am about to share with you how I made these changes without spending a dime.  This is not say that I owe anyone an explanation on how I spend money, but if this helps one person devise a plan for their home who feels that they can't afford it, then my time will be well spent with writing this post.  That said, grab some coffee, then come right back.

There was a time when my living room looked like this.  Not entirely awful, but not quite what I envisioned either.  As I have mentioned before, the scale of the sofa was wrong for the space and the ottoman looked like a blob.  Too many solid darks and not enough brightness and pattern.

I came up with a plan to sell the ottoman and sofa, and depending on what I could get out of them, I would then decide my plan for how to replace them.  Our local news paper has a deal allowing you to list items valued under $1000 for free.  Each week if the item hasn't sold, you can re-up the ad.  I did this and the ottoman sold the first week for $100.  Sweet.  Timing is everything.  Thanks to Erica, I found an ottoman at Walmart that had been marked down to $49.  This leaves me money to recover it with and room to purchase a pillow or three.  I know that many of you wouldn't step foot in Walmart let alone order furniture online, but I did.  Walmart offers  "site to store" which translates to free shipping to your local store.  I will say that the service I recieved at our local Walmart exceeded my expectations.  The employees were courteous, timely, and a nice man carried my package to my car and loaded it for me.  
Here she is with new fabric and a coat of glossy paint black.
The next week the sofa sold for $450.  Yippee.  The Ektorp from Ikea was our first choice and the $399 price tag made it even better.  Is this a sofa that will last a lifetime?  No, but honestly, the thought of 20 years worth of dead skin cells and cheese-it dust gives me the willies.  We purchased the white slip cover which is machine washable.  The Ektorp comes with lots of color options.  We wanted the washable option, but may revisit this at a later time.  Also, many of you have asked me to post about the Ektorp.  I plan to do so once the slip cover has been washed because I want to share with you everything I know.

Fast forward to now and here is what we have.  An ottoman that has air around it in a neutral pattern that adds interest to the room.  A sofa that is lighter and brighter with appropriate scale for the space.
Pillows that add a playful dose of color and reflect the turquoise that is also found on our front door and  accessories.  Mom made the throw and we adore it.  Also, the throw breaks up the sameness of the wing chairs a bit.

There you have it...the free re-do.

Amy Butler pillows - Etsy, Idari Shop
Chevron Pillow - Etsy, Nena Von
Pillow insert for Chevron pillow - Crate and Barrel
Sofa - Ikea
Ottoman - Walmart
Greek Key ottoman fabric - 1502 (High Point, NC)
Tree of Life pillow - Marshalls

 Other links relating to the room:
The curtains here and here

D.C. 3-Day Re-Cap Slideshow

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wow.  Where to begin.  To say last weekend was amazing is an understatement.  It was a weekend filled with so many moments that I can't even begin to put it all in writing.

Even though the walk itself was challenging, there was inspiration around every corner.  Families came out to cheer us on as did girl scout troops, cheerleaders, employees, restaurant patrons, fire departments, and survivors.  There were children holding signs that said thank you for helping my mommy.  The weekend was filled with equal parts of tears and laughter and I could not have been surrounded by better people.

After three days of walking, the event concluded with a ceremony on the monument lawn.  The survivors are wearing pink shirts and the rest of us are wearing white.  As tradition has it, the survivors enter the ceremony and the walkers raise a shoe.  As a side note, the sea of pink raised 5.3 million in the D.C. walk.  

Because there are so many pictures, I created a sideshow.  I hope you like it.

In the slide show you will see:
  • A man who carried a sign every step of the way in memory of his mother
  • Brother's in tu-tus volunteering for their mother who is a stage 4 survivor
  • A group photo with Leonard Pitts (one of the girls in our group reads his column religiously)
  • An 80+ year old man "Blista Mista"walking for his daughter
  • Mothers reuniting with their children
  • Countless volunteers who blew my mind with their enthusiasm and kindness
  • Ginormous pink bra via Georgetown Cupcake
  • Port-a-johns :)
  • Lots of pink

My team mate, Susan has written a very nice re-cap on her blog if you would like to read more about the weekend.

    I'm Back

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    I'm back from an amazing weekend.  Thanks for all of your support - it means the world to me.  I won't be doing any blogging today, just recovering and picking up the pieces of a home left to three guys for the weekend.

    Have a great day!

    The Walk Starts Today

    Friday, October 8, 2010

     Decor Pad

     By the time you read this post, I will be taking the first few steps of a journey that actually began last spring.  A group of friends and I are walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure which is a 60 mile walk that begins in Washington, D.C.  Each night we sleep in a tent in a new location on our route.  One thing is certain, this is going to be an adventure.

    We each had to raise $2300 in order to walk and there were times when I didn't think I would reach this goal.  Several of you reached out and made a donation.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  I could not do this without your help.

    My friend Stephanie, our group leader said it best:

     "I truly believe that the research dollars that were raised the last time I did a 3-day kept my mom alive much longer than we expected.  Those extra years gave our daughters precious memories of their Nana.  I knew at the time and I know now that we were all fortunate to have that time as a family.  We were given the priceless gift from ladies just like you.  Now you are giving that gift of time to countless husbands, moms, daughters, sisters, brothers, grandmas, children, and friends.  Your sacrifice will make a difference in many lives.  You are my heroes!"

    We made shirts to wear during the walk.  The shirts are made up of names that have been given to us from friends.  The names in bold are in memory of.  We want others to see these names and to think about the people whose lived have been changed forever by breast cancer.  Since I began training for this walk, I have added two of my friend's names to the list.  They are both young mothers.  

    You can read more about our team here, here, and here.

    My blogging friend Caron from Everything Coastal is hoping to increase cancer awareness.  Caron is donating 15% of the the sales of each cute little mermaid pillow sold in October.

    The Bamboo Desk Chair

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    House of Turquoise

    Decor Pad


    Decor Pad

    Nate Berkus & Anne Coyle

    Decor Pad

    I have been on the lookout for a bamboo or bentwood chair to use as a desk chair.  This one keeps popping up on Craigslist.  A little more bent than bamboo, but for $25, with a little paint and new fabric, this could be a fun little chair.  Do you agree?

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