Monday, October 12, 2015

The new house LIVING ROOM / Before and After

Our Living Room / before and after. These before and after posts I have coming for you have been a long time coming. Renovating always takes longer then you think it will am I right?? If you've been there you know. 
When we first moved into our house the living room had great bones, high ceilings and amazing paneling. BUT the paneling was painted brown which made the ceilings feel lower and everything felt tight. We lightened up the walls with my favorite whitesh color and immediately it felt so much bigger. 

Our TV is on the wall out of the right of the above picture for optimal sit in front of the fire and watch football seating. The white chair is a swivel so its great for conversation or tv watching. Luke claimed the grey chair as his and I take the couch :-)
I painted every other stair riser light grey for some interest and to draw your eye up.
I have loved trying to use most of the pieces from our old house and add in a few new pieces like the rug, floor lamps and accessories. Stay tuned for a post with sources and details!

See all posts with our new house here

Friday, October 2, 2015

Life Update

 I know its been a while since I've been around here but renovating a house with one year old twins takes up more time than you would think (hah!). I've decided to do a life update and then follow that up with a renovation update next week. We are finally close to crossing the finish line, we have been working on that last 10% which seems to take so long (painting, trim work, clean up). Anyhow, onto a life update.
Fall has been amazing in Greenville. We love this city and exploring it with the girls has been so fun. The twins turned 1 at the end of July and lots of happy tears and snuggles happened that day. With all the drama of the past year with their early birth and two month NICU stay (see their birth story here), seeing them healthy and starting to walk (!!!) makes me so grateful for every day. I think that is one of the gifts that hard time gave me, perspective. Nothing really matters besides those you love does it?
We've explored around downtown a lot and the twins are big fans of Spill the Beans ice cream. 
 First donuts for their birthday. Big hit! And these tink and key miracle baby teeshirts which are my favorite. 
 Luke and I snuck to our favorite lake for our first weekend away since the twins were born and it was much needed. I slept 12 hours a night it was amazing. 

 Playtime :-)
 The twins are great at helping us with computer work. 
And one of the best things about being back up in the upstate is Clemson football. I'm not brave enough to take two one year olds to a football game yet but I'm sure its in their near future. I'll be back next week with a renovation update, probably full of way too many pictures. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bamboo blind source / crazy affordable and basically custom

 I've been trying to work on this post for a week now but we lost our computer charger and didn't find it till over the weekend, hashtag blogger problems. But you guys, I have found the best source for bamboo blinds that are super inexpensive and basically custom. DAY MADE RIGHT? 
Let me back up. In our new house we needed blinds for at least 10 windows of various sizes including a couple of 16" width windows and super large windows as well. That is almost impossible to find in stores that isn't custom, aka expensive. I looked everywhere. Trust me, I did the research so you didn't have to. This gave me a headache for weeks. 
This was the look I wanted. Light and tortisehell and custom and cheap. Too much to ask? I know that Jenny from Little Green Notebook got hers at Lowes and they were custom cut and I think around $100 a window but that was way too steep for me when I had 10 windows to do. You do the math, ouch. 
Well I searched and I searched and BAM, in comes Overstock. Available in any size and cheap. But lots of options and you can't tell anything from the stock pictures. So I ordered a lot of different ones and the winner is MANDALIN BAMBOO SHADES that come in 54" (link) and 74"(link) lengths and widths from 16" to 74". We paid about $25 to $35 a window! Slow clap here.  Very well made, and I ordered 10 shades and crossed my fingers on the measurements and every single one fit. WIN. (see bottom of post for other ones I ordered but didn't look good in person)

Our bedroom has this wall of french doors and windows and the blinds fit perfectly. Here they are down and up so you can see they still let in a lot of light during the day but still provide privacy. At night you can see through them though, and we knew that. I wanted the light to come through so chose not to line them knowing we would do curtains for privacy at night. But do know that going into it. Here is a great tutorial if you want to blackout line the shades yourself though!

So you can see the girls room we already have panels up so I can pull the panels at night for them but it still lets in daylight during the day with privacy. 
 IMPORTANT. I found the perfect mandalin bamboo after lots of searching and lots of ordering and returning. Here is what I learned.

1. Home Depot
Has great options but their shades are available only in select widths, normally every other inch like 23" and 25" but no 24". That didn't work for us because of the weird widths.

2. Overstock.
Mandalin bamboo is NOT green or brown but that perfect tortoiseshell.
I also ordered Tuscan bamboo which came in SO brown and heavy. Not very much variation at all in the color and felt way to blah and I felt like I need variation to add some interest to a whole wall of blinds. 
Rustique Bamboo came in GREEN. like WHOA thats green. 

So there you go! Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them in the comments! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Renovation and Life update

 Is there anything cuter then a baby in a life vest bigger then them? The girls took their first of many boat rides last weekend and LOVED it. They did not however like the life vests. 
Life lately has been lots of ups with some downs. The twins are doing amazing and nearing their 1st birthday with blows my mind. (brb I'm just going to go cry at how fast they are growing up.) They are crawling and pulling up like crazy, getting close to walking! I'm planning them a party and getting thoroughly stressed out by the perfect pinterest parties which show me I am way behind in planning and I should be willing to DIY gorgeous details for months in preparation. I'm going for low key.
 Its such a busy time with them made busier by the fact our house was in NO WAY baby proofed when they started crawling. Luke had to travel for work and I got super stressed about it. They say moving is one of the most stressful things ever and I agree. Throw in a renovation and twins to the mix and I did not handle it very well. So we all packed up and stayed with my parents for a few weeks for help with the girls and some time for Luke to run over to work over at the new house and baby proof. Thank goodness for grandparents, where would we be without them??! 
We are back in the house now and thinking we are almost done with the reno, (fingers crossed) when we found out we have a plumbing issue which is going to be a lot of money and may mean we need to leave the house while it gets fixed. 
So to recap. Twins, good. Reno, stressful. Never moving again. I know these are small problems to have and when I look back on everything we are gone through in the past year with the NICU and preemies I realize how small the renovation is and how grateful I am for our health. But I will still be very glad when this renovation is over. 
I always want to be honest on the blog and admit when I'm not handling things well or can't see the big picture. Its such a good reminder when you get through something and look back read about it and see God's faithfulness. 
My cousin found these chairs at a yard sale for so cheap and then I begged her to give them to me because they would look great in my dining room. She luckily didn't have a spot for them so she passed them on. (YES) The old finish was rusting and the seats were in bad shape so we gave them a spray paint makeover and inhaled way too much spray paint in the process. But they do look great in the dining room now. (See Heather I was right. All that begging paid off) 

Thumbs up in my book. 
Hashtag real life. We painted the lower cabinets and half the walls in our kitchen over a month ago and have been living with just primed upper cabinets since then. Luke stayed up last night after the girls bedtime and painted. That man is my hero. Maybe now I can have outlet covers so the girls don't try to stick their fingers in the sockets?! Its the little things people. 
I'm working on a post with how we paint cabinets. I've painted quite a few kitchen cabinets in my day and I think we have got a pretty good process. No streaks, great finish. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rug Pads

So I've always been picky about rug pads, which is kinda a weird thing to be picky about I guess. I like the good ones, the ones that don't disintegrate and actually make your rug feel so much softer. I've had some stick to my hardwood floors before so I'm always scared its going to ruin my floors. A couple of months ago we bought the jute rug from RugsUSA for the girls new room we needed a rug pad.  We were spending so much money in the kitchen I really wanted to save so I decided to see if the rug would work without a rug pad. Bad idea. It slipped all over the place when you walked on it. 
Well then RugPadUSA just happened to email me about doing a review of a rug pad and I was all the stars have aligned. It was going in the girls room so I was excited that they have the Eco-cushion non-slip pad. I wasn't worried about a chemical smell and it provides a really soft cushion for when the girls tumble. They cut it down to fit under my rug which was a more unusual size and it was easy to put down. Thumbs up in my book! 

RugPadUSA gifted me with a rug pad in exchange for a review which I was really excited about. No more slipping rugs here. 
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