Thursday, March 5, 2015

Size Matters and Second Guessing

I showed you the furnishings in the dining room on Monday, but I left one thing out.  One thing that's not quite right.

A few months ago I posted a photo on Instagram of a buffet I had found thrifting at a ridiculously high price.  I mean, for what it is the price was fair (it's an Ello), but not for finding it at a thrift store in Independence, Missouri.  I was talking with my friend, Laura, about it as we were finishing up her living room and she really wanted to see it. The store was down the road from her, so we hopped in the car and went to take a peak.  Laura is the queen of bargaining.  She can get a good deal on anything.  She saw what I saw in the piece and asked how much I would be willing to pay for it (definitely not the $950 on the pricetag).

We were a week out from moving into the house, I had no idea where I'd put it, but I knew I wanted that sideboard.  Within minutes Laura had them talked down to $150 and we were out the door with it.  It sat in my parent's entry for the week - don't bring that up in front of my dad.  It's been living in the wood paneled room since we moved in, but when we had secured the dining room color, I loved the idea of bringing this piece in.

The color is unusual, and I think it looks so pretty against the dark navy.  They compliment each other, and the flash of the brass and colored glass in the more moody space is a nice mix. 

But, it's too small.  It needs to be about two feet longer.  The mural and the table just overpower it.

The old me would have stuck a pair of chairs on either side and called it good, but I'm trying to be more intentional with this home and get things right the first time.  This piece could be beautiful in Milly's room as a dresser or my workspace to hold fabric, so it's versatility doesn't make me regret the purchase.  For now it will stay put to hold entertaining pieces, but I've got my eyes open for the perfect buffet.

Along with a buffet, the table needs captains chairs.  I have the chairs, but I have yet to pull the trigger on the fabric to reupholster them.  From day one I've told myself Jamil, but I'm having second thoughts.  I want this room to feel intimate and moody, and I fear that the animal print mixed with the rug will end up looking playful.  Second thoughts.  Design seems to be full of them if you let it. So for now we'll move on to another space, and I'll wait patiently for the right things to reveal themselves in here.  While I'm not wanting this space to lean playful, the space we're tackling now needs to be just that.

I'll be back next week with some sneak peeks.


Monday, March 2, 2015

The Dining Room: Layering, a GIF + a Giveaway

In case you missed the dining room progress to this point, you can find it here + here.  

Today I'm laying the foundation of the room.  Let's start with the rug.  I found this 1920's Sarouk on craigslist about a month ago.  The pictures online didn't do it justice, but I could tell the colors were incredible: moody and saturated - perfect for the feel of the dining room and to hide any spills or crumbs it would encounter.

The rug has certainly seen some wear over it's almost 100 years, but using it under a table hides a lot of that.  I actually like that it looks it's age, I think it adds so much character to the space and the wear allowed me to get a look I loved for a fraction of the cost.

Because the rug is a bit fragile, I knew I needed a pad to help prolong it's life and keep the floor underneath protected.  It's a thinner rug, so the right kind of pad would also help to thicken it up a bit and keep it in place.  Enter Rug Pad USA.  They offer an incredible amount of options, all at a high quality.  Most of their pads are eco-friendly, made in the USA and come with a 20 year warranty i.e. won't break down like most rug pads do.  The rug is an unusual size and the sides aren't exactly straight, so the fact that they offer pads in tons of sizes (custom too) was important. 

To layer in the room, first the pad went down. 

Followed by the rug.

Then the table.  This Baker was a housewarming gift from my in-laws.  If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll remember that the chandelier was something I bought last fall while planning to build a home.  The day I picked up the chandelier I fell in love with this table a few booths down.  When we bought this house my mother-in-law went back to the warehouse and it was still there!  I love how long it is; it comfortably fits 8 but could fit 10.  It's very traditional but still feels clean.

Since planning to build a colonial, I've had Windsor chairs on the brain.  I had my eye on Serena & Lily and Crate and Barrel's versions, but both were pricey and based on reviews, not that comfortable.  So when I found these on Overstock and saw good ratings I jumped at the price.  The black feels modern against the table and really brings out the navy in the walls and ceiling.

I've got a bit to go before the room feels "finished" but I'm really pleased with where things are at right now.  The space feels moody and rich but is family friendly - we eat dinner in here every night (when I actually cook).  I took my time to find each element, and the patience feels likes it's paying off.  

Would you like a chance to protect your rug and floor?  Visit Rug Pad USA and comment below or email me - themakerista(at)gmail(dot)com - for your chance to win an 8x10 rug pad from them!

*This post is sponsored by Rug Pad USA.  Thank you for supporting the partners that make The Makerista possible.  Entrants must be 18 years of age and US residents.  Contest is open until Friday March 6th at 11:59 PM.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chill Out.

When we first moved into this house I told myself we'd focus on one room at a time.  We'd renovate one space, and I'd find the pieces to fill it as we worked on that space.  Sounds reasonable right? Well, when you're shopping on a budget and often for thrifted items: wrong.

I tend to be a bit anxious.  Ok, a lot anxious.  And easily overwhelmed.  The idea of not touching a room until we've fully committed to it was in hopes to calm these two traits of mine, but throughout this process I've realized it's just not reasonable.  I can't help what I find along the way that might be a good fit in another area of the house, and when you find something at a thrift store, you don't have the luxury of a few days to think it over. 

But more than my dilemma of buying things I don't need yet is the dilemma of not finding the things I do need.  The dining room has many of the key pieces in place, (I look forward to sharing those next week) but the reality is it's missing a few of the finishing touches.  It's been frustrating, but I try to remind myself that decorating is a process.  It takes time, and often the best spaces are never really finished.  

In pondering these thoughts, I was reminded of some of my favorite, stylish women in this blog world.  While many blogs will give you a room makeover in a few weeks, these women take their time.  They are patient and selective, they are discipled and discerning, and they collect the most beautiful things while putting together some of the most incredible spaces.  They design for the long haul, not what they think is the next great thing to hit the internet.  

If you have a minute, you must check out Angela (The Painted House), Whitney (The Avarice), Ally (From the Right Bank) and Christina (Full House).  Unfortuately for us, many of them do not blog on a set schedule, but be sure to follow them on Instagram for plenty of eye candy.  They are incredibly talented, and inspire me with every single post!

I stepped away from searching today and put together this little vignette in my closet (mostly with items I've found while looking for things to complete the dining room).  The black and white print can be found here, the box is from Homegoods, but everything else was thrifted.  I figured the only place I could get away with a $2 topless statue in a house of inquisitive little ones is in the one place I seem to have some solace.  No, not the bathroom - what is that about kids?

It felt good to do some styling - to take a moment to create instead of hunt.  So, as we make our way through renovating this house, hopefully I'll learn to chill out when it comes to the decor and just enjoy every step of the process.  Fully finished or not, I love our dining room 100 times more now than I did before, and I'm sure I will feel the same with every room that gets popcorn scraped and walls treated.  


Monday, February 23, 2015

Recently Thrifted Finds

While I love finding my own treasures, I get so much joy out of seeing what other people are able to come across.  And I love the stories of the pieces and how my friends found them.  Do you enjoy that too?  I hope so.  I thought I'd share with you some of the finds I've come across since living in our new home.  

Please keep in mind that things are merely a hodgepodge right now.  We're trying to work on one room at a time, so until I get to a space, you're going to see a mix of pieces from our old home and things I've collected along the way to make the space functional, not necessarily beautiful.  

One of the hazards of thrifting is finding pieces that you don't need (quite yet, anyway).  These side tables would be one of those.  There's a furniture consignment store near us that mainly sells things that have been used in model homes.  A lot of it isn't great, but once in a while there are some really lovely, quality pieces.  I came across this set of end tables a few months ago, and I couldn't stop thinking about them. 

The burl walnut wood was the first thing I noticed and then I turned them over to see the Drexel Heritage stamp.  The condition is excellent and I later found them selling for way, way more then I paid for mine.  I love the rich traditionalism they will bring to any space they end up in.  

This cocktail table was a steal at $40 off craigslist.  It's in near perfect condition too...a small cigarette burn on the top, but I like to think there's some great story to that, and it's easily covered up by accessories.  I wasn't totally jazzed by it, but the lines are clean and the length is perfect for the couch I found.  

Ok, try to overlook the oyster-colored, quilted fabric to be reupholstered at a later date and look at the lines of the piece.  This thing is 9' long and such a great sofa for entertaining.  Along with that, it was made right here in Kansas City (still has the original tags) so that feels special.  

The wood detailing around the arms is what sold me, and the right fabric will make that detail even better.  I don't think this couch and coffee table will live in this room (too much wood going on) but for now it works as a place to hang out when guests are over.  And the kids love to run across the length of the couch: to them it feels like miles, I'm sure.  

I found the long couch and this little red velvet one in an ad on craigslist.  They were both available from different vendors at the same warehouse down in the West Bottoms, so I got a deal for buying both of them.  The red one is planned for the playroom renovation and is living in there for now.  

I was thrilled to find it, but a word of warning - when you buy something in a dark warehouse make sure you go with to pick it up.  I went down to see it and the fabric appeared to be in good condition. I made an offer over the phone, and my husband picked it up for me.  Once he had brought it home in the natural light I noticed how dingy it was.  I am positive it's silk velvet (it's so soft) and while I've done all I can to make sure it's germ-free, it's still discolored in a lot of areas.  I've read you're not supposed to use a steamer on silk velvet, can anyone attest to that?  I tried the method of using soap suds to clean it, but that didn't yield any great results.  

Regardless, I would have bought the sofa, I just would have offered less.  I knew I wanted a red sofa and those don't come up around here very often.  It's a vintage Ethan Allen so the quality is there. And to be honest, being in the kids room, I like that I'm not worried about what they'll get on it.  I'd love to take off the skirt and put some new legs on it down the road.  

I picked up the little marble and brass stand while we were still in the cabin for $10 at Red Racks. It's small, but has been a little workhorse, as it works beautifully almost anywhere.  It seems to move from living area to living area right now, but would be perfect with some towels stacked on it in the bathroom or nice with a plant in the bedroom.  

Oh, and I can't forget this rug I found for $35 at a flea market.  I instagrammed it quite some time ago, but since it wasn't a craigslist find I haven't shared it on the blog yet.  The fringe is silk and the colors are so interesting.  

So, tell me, have you found some great things lately?  And any tips for cleaning the red couch?