Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Shop Craigslist

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've seen some of my recent craigslist finds.  I've had quite a few people comment things like "I don't ever find anything like that." "Where are you getting this stuff?" "What search words are you using?"  So I thought I would take today to answer just that.

My favorite rug find thus far: a 8 1/2' x 11 1/2' 1920's Sarouk.  I payed $400, but I know that's a total steal.  

Truth be told, I've had reservations about sharing some of this.  I was a little hesitant to share because I'm a little selfish.  I want all of the great things!  But, let's face it - I don't have the money or the room for all of the great things, and my husband will thank you for buying some of the great things so I don't.  My number one tip for craigslist searching is (sorry for those of you who use this too) the "set alert" button.

The set alert button is your new best friend if you are wanting to find something specific.  I just stumbled across this feature a few months ago and it is pretty genius.  After you've put in search word(s) and hit enter, those clickable words under the search bar show up.  Click on them.

From here, you'll need to sign in or create a log-in.

And then it will take you to a page with all of your alerts for maintenance purposes.  Now, wait for the magic aka timesuck.  Depending on the vagueness of your alert (rug vs. 8x10 oriental rug), you'll start getting emails a few times a day to a few times a week.  Most of it will be stuff you're not interested in, but that only makes the pretty things pop off the page.

This 8'x10' isn't antique, but the colors are so rich and at $150, I couldn't pass it up.  

I've bought 4 rugs off of craigslist in the last month or so.  Our new house is almost all hardwoods, and I knew I couldn't afford new.  Some of you wondered what I looked for.  To be honest, I just had a "rug" alert and tried to keep an eye out for colors that I liked and/or a size I needed.  Craigslist pictures are the most deceiving - I've had some things turn out to look much more beautiful in person and others left me wanting more.

I got this 8 1/2' x 11 1/2' for $60.  I didnt know where it would go when I bought it, but I couldn't pass up the price.  

But if you think it might be good and the price is right you must act fast.  Get in touch with the seller and ask to see it in person.  And, of course, think safely.  Leave the kids at home, try to go with someone or meet in a public spot, and let a loved one know exactly when and where you're meeting, calling them when you're finished.  Always negotiate.  Don't pay full price unless you know it's a really insane deal.  I usually start off with "is this the best price you can do?" and I only take the amount of cash with me that I'd be willing to pay.

This Capel is only a 6x9, but it's an inch thick and the softest thing I've ever stepped foot on.  The unique pattern and $80 price tag were a no brainer.  

So, what am I searching for now?  A marble coffee table, to be specific.  I did have "coffee table" in my alerts, but the overflow of particleboard, oak colored monstrosities was just too much for me.

What are you looking for on craigslist these days?  Any other craigslist tips?


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trends for 2015

We've been busy filling, caulking and sanding in hopes to paint the dining room this weekend.  I know once we get the paint on the walls it will all start to come together.  Other than prepping, we've spent most of the week tending to sick children, but I wanted to pop in and let you know about something fun I was included in.

Julia from Chris loves Julia reached out to me with some simple questions regarding our home and the new year. Not only was I honored to be asked, the lineup I was included in is incredible. From Jenny to Kristin to Daniel - so many talented people I admire gave their two cents about trends in the new year. So go check it out and come back to tell me what you'll be adding and getting rid of this year?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dining Room Progress: Adding Detail and Choosing Paint

This last Saturday myself, my husband and my father-in-law spent about 10 solid hours hanging moulding in the dining room.  Let me rephrase that, they hung trim while I played laborer.  I glued, fetched and assisted in any way possible to try and make things run smoothly and also for the chance to learn.  I love to learn new things - how to do something or simply how something works, and my father-in-law likes to explain, so he was happy to appease me Micah just wanted to work.  

Last week I showed you the ceilings scrapped and told you we were having someone come in to float them.  Tim did an incredible job, and we couldn't be happier with the results.  He also floated out the bottom of the walls where the old chair and framing had been.  The outcome is perfection. If you need drywall or mudding I can't recommend him enough!

It can be tricky to figure out the placement of your moulding, so I recommend not rushing it.  We used a chalk line and marked out where we thought we wanted everything about a month ago. Some people say you want to try and have as many of the same size frames as possible, but I prefer to look at each wall individually and do what looks most esthetically pleasing for that wall. We settled on 4" spacing between all the moulding and only veered from that in a few areas (mainly door frames).

This wall had a long return vent that I thought we were stuck with, but it turns out you can patch up down the middle and just have 2 separate vents for the return.  Still not beautiful, but a much better alternative to interrupting the frames.

And remember those weird step-ups in the bay windows?  We'll we've raised the one in the dining room up to sit right under the windows, making a nice little window seat.

Micah was able to use the same sheet of plywood and frame in the area underneath.  He cut out a lid and we'll add some hardware for extra entertaining storage.

We'll need to drywall and add some moulding to finish it off, but I'm much happier with the use of space now.

And we've decided on a color.  Well, I had decided long ago, but we've decided how to get to that color.  I've known for a while now that I wanted to paint this space Farrow & Ball's Black Blue.  I love the depth the shade has - the inky blue leans black but has the warmth of a deep navy.  The sample was rich and the coverage was incredible.  But it has some downsides for me: like its $95 a gallon price tag and the fact that it ships from another country.

We're going to spray the room because all of the trim and walls will go the same color.  I knew I couldn't mess around with getting the right amount of paint if I had to order it online.  Along with the paint being expensive, shipping wasn't cheap either.  I wasn't convinced that any other paint could provide the depth this paint did, but Micah took it to Sherwin Williams to be color matched, and I have to's dead on.

So for $60 a gallon less and the chance to drive to a store for more, we're going with Sherwin Williams.  I've had an affection for Farrow & Ball for quite some time now, but I can't take the chance of coming up short or pay that much for a space this big.  Now, to decide on a finish.  My heart says flat, but my head says "Are you crazy? A flat that dark will show everything!"

Do you have any experience with dark, flat paints?  Any advice or recommendations?  


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bye Bye Blue + The Netflix of Art

While the plan is to take one room at a time in our new home, there was one space that we just couldn't wait on that long.

This blue had to go, like yesterday.  It's not that I don't like the color (there really isn't a color I don't like) but there was just way too much of it.  I wanted the space to feel light and fresh, and without a specific color in mind I chose to do a shade of white for now.

I went with Benjamin Moore's Simply White because it's clean but has a little bit of warmth to it.
This room isn't even on the list of "to tackle"s yet, but I don't want to make the same mistake we did in our last house: putting off the master until the very end.  So, other than painting the walls (the trim desperately needs it and the white walls make that even more apparent), I pulled some bedding out of boxes and added a few things to the mantle.
Micah has been asking when I was going to start hanging art around the house.  This might not be the best answer, but I don't really see the point in hanging much yet.  For me, art usually feels like a finisher, and we're not to that point in any space yet.  And I'm ok with that, but I don't think he is. So I put up this beautiful abstract.  It's a little small for the mantle, but luckily I can simply send it back and trade it for something different.

Have you heard of Easely?  It's kind of like Netflix for art.  You basically rent art by the month and you can swap it out at any time - they pay the shipping both ways.  The first 6 months of rental goes as credit towards purchase, so if you love a piece you can keep it forever and not have to pay for it all upfront.  Every limited edition canvas comes with a hammer and nail inside the box - it really couldn't be easier.

Clockwise: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

While there is loads of beautiful art, the abstracts they've curated are some of my favorites.  There is so much color and texture, I'd love to bring each one of these pieces home.  Use code makerista at checkout for 2 free months of art!  

Have you ever painted a space white just for a fresh start?  

*This post is in collaboration with Easely.