Hey, I Need A Little Help Over Here!

March 24, 2011 08:08 by ehouston

After a long search for new rugs to replace a badly aging den cover up…


(No matter how bad I want it to work, we really just are not a cream rug sort of family.)


and a too small formal living room carpet….


(You might remember this 5’ X 7’ number from my old office space at the Nashville, TN house.  It is waaaay to small for this 11’ X 14’ room.)

Last week, I came across a couple of deals that I could not pass up.  The first replacement was one I had admired about a month ago while perusing Lowe’s in-stock rug and carpet selection.  It was around $300 bones and since I was really in love with this rug, I figured I would save the $300 and put it toward what I really wanted. 

Pageant Rug

Pageant Rug from Home Decorator’s Collection

(Even if I had to live with matted texture, constant coffee spills from The Mister and ground in crackers (and God knows what else) from the Little Guy.)  But, the $1,499.00 price tag and the August, 2011 in-stock date seemed like an eternity of saving and waiting.  I decided that I could always come back to the Pageant Rug down the line and, who knows, maybe it would be on sale by then!  Wishful thinking I suppose.  In the meantime, I scored this little $300.00 number off the rack at Lowe’s last week for …wait for it…$117.00!  Yeah, you read that right!



Now, it’s a synthetic and it’s not all starry, retro and atomic looking like the dream rug.  However, it is bigger than what we had, pretty darn plush and the leafy silhouettes in varying shades of brown will hopefully hide whatever My Boys have to offer.   If not, I won’t cry over the price when I have to eventually toss it out, right?  It just so happened that on the same day I noticed another interesting carpet remnant that I had to bring home and try out. 

And, we now arrive at the place where your help is needed.  I want some opinions on whether this works or if I should stop being so cheap and get something better.  I replaced the small rug in the formal living room that we have been using as a stand-in with this $83.00 find:



The fun swirly vine and flower pattern is Berber within a regular plush background, and had me excited the moment I spied it at the back of the stack.  It’s pretty simple, but interesting all the same.  The issue I am having is with the color.  It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but sometimes it looks really aqua blue and other times sort of steely blue.   Soon, hopefully, I plan to paint the walls of this room a shade or two lighter from the blue-gray I used in the dining room, which is located right through the opening opposite of where I am standing while taking these pics.  As you can see the furniture in this space has been covered in fabrics that are in shades of deep blue, so I had always envisioned a dark gray carpet in here.  I don’t hate this rug, but I am just on the fence about whether it is right or not.  Please let me know your thoughts because I am worried that I like it more for the price than the aesthetics. 

Give me your thoughts, ideas, insight….but, please remember this room is not finished yet, so don’t judge it all too harshly.  ;o)  We will get there sooner or later!

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY–Dining Room Lighting

December 1, 2010 09:13 by ehouston

So, we have ended up here again…


Although we really loved the IKEA light that I put up about a month ago, it just felt to big.  No matter how much it had grown on us, we had to admit it seemed to be pushing the limits of the space. 


Plus, a week after purchasing the PS Maskros ceiling light I found out that IKEA had just come out with a smaller version.  Open palm, hand to forehead and in the words of Homer Simpson, DOH!  So, I disassembled the beast and drove up to Woodbridge, VA to make the exchange.  I guess they measure things a different way in Sweden because the smaller version was supposed to be 22 inches as opposed to the 32 incher that we had already tried out, but it looked itty bitty.  So small, in fact, that you would really need two or three to have any kind of impact in our dining room.  They also did not have the other new fixture I had seen online, the PS Vava

IKEA PS VÄVA Pendant lamp natural Diameter: 21 " Height: 8 " Cord length: 5 ' 11 "  Diameter: 53 cm Height: 19.5 cm Cord length: 1.8 m

We looked all over, but could not find it.  So, with our stomachs full of meatballs and lingonberry jam we hung our heads and left the store in a bit of a huff.   I was SOOO disappointed!

Despite the lighting let down this shopping trip was not a total bust.  My mom came along for her maiden voyage to IKEA, so that in itself was  a lot of fun.  She also helped Santa out and bought the Little Guy the DUKTIG mini kitchen as an early Christmas gift.

DUKTIG Mini-kitchen  Width: 28 3/8 " Depth: 15 3/4 " Height: 22 7/8 "  Width: 72 cm Depth: 40 cm Height: 58 cm

He has already learned that he can remove the sink and then throw things down into the cupboard below.  Things like, real food out of our pantry, or the telephone, or the remote control to the TV.  It’s always a scavenger hunt with a 15 month toddler running around this joint!  At least for the time being I can pretty much guess where he is keeping his booty.

I was also thrilled to score the fabric (KAJSASTINA) for our bedroom window treatments. 

KAJSASTINA Fabric gray/white Width: 59 "  Width: 150 cm

On our last adventure to IKEA I was almost in tears to find out that they did not even have enough fabric for one window, let alone two and a hall pass-thru curtain.  I was so afraid that they were not going to get any more since they had a bunch of stuff marked “Last Chance”.  Luckily this time they had plenty and I was able to check this item off my “Stuff We Need” list.  Although the bedroom DIY project is a long way from even being started I have yet to find any other window treatment fabric that I really like and that The Mister likes too.  Also it was only $6.99 per yard, so you can’t beat that!  Well, you can…it was another early Christmas gift from my wonderful Mommasita!

Okay, so back to the issue at hand, the dining room lighting.  We decided to go for the Bel Air Lighting 6-light Chrome Traditional Chandelier from Lowe’s and I hope to install it soon. 

Bel Air Lighting 6-Light Chrome Traditional Chandelier

I started taking the pieces out of the box yesterday, but realized it might be to heavy for me to put up all alone.  I am thinking I better wait until The Mister can help me out this weekend.  As soon as we get the light installed I will post some shots to find out what you guys think.  It’s definitely not as whimsical or fun as I would have liked, but it is a little more modern. 

Did you guys have any shopping adventures, good or bad, over the holiday weekend?

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY–The Dining Room Lighting Debate Continues

November 16, 2010 09:19 by ehouston

I thought I had it all worked out.  I was determined to add a bit of whimsy into our stuffy and traditional space even though my head told me that it would be a tear out for resale.  Since I have only owned one other home and decorated the entire thing with the next buyer always in mind I had decided to make this second home a place that showed more of our personal taste.  I figure that since we aren’t planning any major remodels (no tearing down walls or gutting of any bathrooms or even the kitchen) it seemed fine to add decorative elements that could easily be changed or painted over, seeing as how the cost would be much lower.  That way we can have our traditional colonial home on the outside with a fun wink on the inside.  So far I have done very little to change the look of any of the interior, aside from the nursery and the dining room, but the ideas keep piling up.  Hopefully the new year will bring more opportunity for décor change- YEAH!  (We have a guest bathroom that is just screaming out for hideous wallpaper removal!)

As you may remember with the dining room makeover-in-progress one of our “undone” items was the glorious chandelier.


(It really doesn’t matter how pretty the wall color turned out or how fresh the new curtains look when you have this thing hanging in the center of the room.)

I had been searching for a replacement from the moment we moved in, only to find that everything I liked was a total budget buster.  Not to mention that most of the lighting I am drawn to is sort of odd and different.  Again, something that we would probably have to remove for resale, but not necessarily something that will fit in the next home.  Rather than going through the hassle of having to move or sell a fixture, I then attempted to tame things down a notch and look for more traditional pieces with a modern twist.  Again, I ran into a problem with cost, but more than that I ran into issues with color.  It seemed liked every traditional-with-a-modern-twist fixture I came across had shades in off-white or cream and the room calls for bright white.  The other issue was metal finishes in burnished copper, antiqued bronze, rusty metal.  All very nice, but not the look I really wanted for this space.  I gave up on the search for a while and then resumed it recently after entering Lowe’s and seeing this:

Bel Air Lighting 5-Light Polished Chrome Contemporary Chandelier

Bel Air Lighting 5 Light Polished Chrome Contemporary Chandelier (Very original name, right?)

This particular light seemed a bit to fancy, but was so fun I have to admit I have looked at it several times since first spotting it.  The $159.00 price tag makes it a winner as well.

Bel Air Lighting 6-Light Chrome Traditional Chandelier

Bel Air Lighting 6-light Chrome Traditional Chandelier  (Gosh!  These names!  Where do they come up with them?)

I am still strongly considering this one because it’s simple, yet it plays to the castle theme that The Mister would love to over indulge throughout our home.  This way I could please him and keep the faux exposed brick walls and turrets at bay.  Plus, it’s still under the $200.00 mark at $189.00.

Now, this last one I found while looking through and I have to say I like it a lot too. 

Portfolio 5-Light  Brushed Nickel Chandelier

Portfolio 5-light Brushed Nickel Chandelier   It’s the simplest of the three and I think it falls into the realm of “classic”…maybe?

Well, with all these simple chandeliers in mind I still had my heart set on something different.  Something fun and a little bit crazy.  One of those décor elements that you might gasp at with the first glance and think, “ooh, that’s just wrong”, only to later decide it’s just right.  I actually did just that after the installation was complete and I am still debating the new dining room light.


(Sorry for the terrible pics.  We have not had much sun at all lately.)

It’s the PS Maskros ceiling light from IKEA.  And, it’s only $89.00 bucks a pop!  Woot to the Budget!!

IKEA PS MASKROS Pendant lamp  Diameter: 32 " Cord length: 71 "  Diameter: 80 cm Cord length: 180 cm

The only downside is that it only holds one 75 watt bulb, so we aren’t getting a lot of overhead light from this guy.  However, I do plan to bring in a side piece of furniture to act as a bar and it will also hold a lamp or two.  In addition, I am considering adding sconces to the far end of the room to help out with the lack of light in here.  The other thing is the enormous size of the sphere.  I laughed when I put this together because I had thought the old brass chandy was SO BIG, but this thing is 32 inches in diameter!  I think the fact that it’s a perfect sphere makes it seem even larger.  So, at this point I am undecided about keeping the light and may end up going back to one of my other, simple design choices.


(I do love the play of pattern on the ceiling!)

Unfortunately, I just recently came across this light while looking through and I am torn all over again!  AHAHAHAHAAAAHHHHHH!!!

IKEA PS VÄVA Pendant lamp natural Diameter: 21

PS Vava  Bee-uty-full!

Now, I just need to make a decision and then get to work on the awful table.

Kitsch Krafts

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In Case You Are Wondering Why I Have Been MIA….

June 7, 2010 02:44 by ehouston

This is what has been occupying my time almost nonstop since the beginning of May:


Yep, the wallpaper steamer didn’t work to my benefit.  Actually, I take that back.  It worked so well that it took down the wallpaper, the paint behind it and the top layer of the drywall within about 15 seconds.  I stopped after destroying one section of wall (you can see part of it in the far left of the second photo above.  Despite the really bad damage taking down the wallpaper caused I have been able to patch these spots with drywall compound, sand them down and cover everything with a couple of coats of oil-based, odorless Kilz primer.  It’s already looking like a new place and I am chomping at the bit to get the final colors up on the walls.  I think one more coat of primer is warranted to be sure that lovely border stays hidden forever and then I will be on to round two of painting.  Seems like this one week wallpaper removal and painting project has taken on a life of its own and wants to grow into a month long endeavor.  I have been slightly depressed about the length of time this has taken, but I have learned some lessons for future redecorating projects for other wallpapered rooms in my home.  I think I will skip the removal and go straight for the heavy duty primer.  I have always been told painting over wallpaper can be disastrous, but in this case I think I would have saved about two weeks time and I still would have had a nice looking paint job.  Oh well, you live, you learn, right?

Now, for my next big decisions…paint color and curtains.  I had been planning some light shades of blue gray to play off the darker shades of blue gray I was going to paint in the adjoining formal living room.  However, the dining room is almost twice as big as the living room and it gets a LOT more light.  Plus, the furniture in that room is all blue (I don’t know what I was thinking!).  So, I have decided to flip my plans and use the darker colors in the larger space.  I want the rooms throughout our home to glide seamlessly into each other with pops of color here and there, but I don’t want just a neutral white or beige background.  Although I like that look, I really want to have some color on the walls.  Over the years I have found that I lean toward shades of blue, green and gray with all different shades of stained wood thrown in the mix.  So, I am sticking with this color pallet throughout the house.  I also love a hit of bright red once in a while and that will definitely show up here and there as well.  Right now, though I need to get two colors picked out for the dining room because I hope to have them on the walls before the end of the week.  Here are the shades I am considering right now…(at least until the next trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot!):

Set #1- Woodlawn Silver Brook & La Fonda Villa Fountain (The middle colors)


These are from Lowe’s Valspar line and they are also both National Historic Trust colors.  They are definitely more blue/turquoise than gray.

Set #2 – Antique Silver & French Grey


These are from Home Depot’s Glidden line and have a little less turquoise in them.  They also both have more of a gray look to them when holding them up in the room.  Go figure!?!

What do you guys think?  Of course the lighter color would be above the chair rail and the darker color below.  Oh yeah, and I am planning to paint the chair rail along with the bottom color so it sort of fades away.  I love the moldings in our home, but I’m not wild about this chair rail.  The rest of the trim and moldings in the room will be high gloss white.

I would love to hear your opinion, and I know some of you definitely have one!  So, let it rip…

Kitsch Krafts

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