Better than a mattress on the floor

We finally moved into the house last Friday. I believe I got to the house at about 5am. I then waited for my parents to get there while my husband drove back to the city to wait for the movers. I tried, valiantly, to sleep on the floor upstairs while I waited but my cat wasn’t having it. She spent the next two hours howling at me and trying to shake the doors open. I should have taken that as a sign. Moving? Not fun. Hard. Very hard. Some day soon I’ll be able to talk about the layers upon layers of contact paper that I removed from the kitchen, but today is not that day. Instead, I’ll talk about the bedroom.

For the first two nights we were here, we slept on a mattress on the floor downstairs. You’d think it wouldn’t be all that cozy, but I guess when you’re that tired you can sleep anywhere. We finally ended up making our first trip to Ikea (we would make many, many, SO many more in the next week — thanks for not telling us WHAT PIECES WE REALLY NEEDED, IKEA!). Anyway, I was very pleased to see that they had the Malm bed in the elusive black-brown color. That’s what I had wanted originally (it’s option 4, but not in that color), but I’d heard that it was near impossible to find in that color anymore. If you found it, you were lucky. Luck was with us that day, because there it was! By the way, explaining Ikea to the uninitiated is next to impossible. No matter how much I had tried to brace my mother for the Ikea experience, nothing could have prepared her. I thought she would just drop dead when we entered the warehouse at the end. Even though I had warned her about how long it can take to make your way through, she kept repeating “how do we get out of here?”

After many days of putting together Ikea bedroom furniture (I think my husband could enter an Ikea-building contest. He built a drawer in 4 minutes — I timed him) we were able to make the leap from the mattress on the floor, to a mattress in an actual bed frame. Well, after a few more trips back to Ikea. If you ever buy an Ikea bed, be warned — you need a midbeam (they call it a hammar) and a slatted bed (if it’s a platform bed). Now, maybe this is something your average person knows? I wouldn’t think so, though, judging by the amount of glassy-eyed people crowded around the midbeams in the warehouse when I finally went back for it. I’ll skip over the part where I insisted that we should also use the box spring resulting in our struggling to get it through our archways and up the stairs for over an hour, realizing it looked ridiculous and that all our pushing and prodding had basically rendered it useless anyway and then consequently destroying it with a saw and hammer before bringing it back down and out to the trash pile. It’s something I’d really rather forget, frankly.

So, here it is with the bed and one of the dressers. I really can’t stand the way the blue wall color shows up in my pictures. It’s actually a much softer blue than this, but the images show it as being quite bright:
bedroomempty.JPG

As you can see, we have absolutely nothing on the walls yet. We don’t even have our new blinds up, but there are only so many hours in the day and this is a start. The little light is one of two pretty lantern lights that we got at Ikea. They’re kind of similar to these as far as the glow they give off. You can’t tell by my ultra-bright pic, sadly. In reality, there’s actually very little light in the room right now — just two of these little lights.
The color of the walls is probably closer to the blue on the left side of the window here:
bedroomempty2.JPG

The bedding is from CB2 and has a similar vibe to the one I loved from Greener Grass Design. It’s very cozy. My cat finds it irresistible.

April 10, 2007 at 5:14 am 8 comments

You’ll want it to look perfect, but it ain’t

We closed on the house on Friday afternoon and started painting on Saturday morning. Our plan was to paint two rooms — our bedroom and the office. As we started up the stairs that morning my husband said “I think if we have time, we should just go ahead and paint the living room.” “Yeah, totally” I agreed. How wonderfully naive we both were.

Turns out, painting? Lots of work. And lots of time. And by the time you get to the 2nd night of painting, you’re dizzy from paint fumes and pretty much willing to sell your firstborn just to have someone finish the whole thing for you. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

My husband’s mother and stepdad (Eve and Keith) came up to help us paint. His stepdad has done a lot of painting and was able to tell us what we needed to buy at Home Depot. And we bought a LOT of stuff. You can see some of our supplies here (probably about a quarter of what we actually bought), including the wet vac my husband’s mom bought because she could no longer deal with the dust around the radiators:
paintsupplies.JPG

Once we got started, Keith schooled us on the basics: washing the walls, filling the cracks, sanding the dried crack filler, taping, cutting in, etc. Being that I was mostly imagining myself rolling away at the walls all day, this was quite an education. Finally, they let me at the walls and I was very pleased:
paintingbedroom

It was during this initial rolling that Keith uttered the phrase that would get us through the rest of the weekend: “You’ll want it to look perfect, but it ain’t.” I think I repeated that to myself 20 times during the office painting alone.

An full 24 hours later and the bedroom was finally done. Well, except for the doors which we removed and will paint sometime next weekend.

Before:
DSCN1230.JPG

After:
bedroomafter.JPG

By the way, it’s kind of amazing that people just don’t bother removing the switch plates before painting, considering how easy it is. There was green paint all over those plates. Strange. Did I mention that there is a ceiling fan in every single room of the house? Including the bathroom? Yeah.

Next was the office. Eve and Keith left us alone for the office and who could blame them? Let’s face it, painting two rooms in one weekend is a bit like participating in some cruel experiment.

The office was a huge challenge. The walls were a mess and the ceiling was even worse. I think my husband spent 2 hours just filling cracks. There was also a wallpaper border at the top that was insanely difficult to remove. My triceps got the best workout ever while I was chipping away at that wallpaper. After all that, we did put primer on this room because of all the imperfections. Here’s the husband “cutting in”:
cuttingin.JPG

Before:
officebefore

After:
officegrey.JPG

Here’s the blackboard wall that’s going in the office. This is with only one coat (it takes four hours to dry between coats) so you can still see the primer and the pink peaking through:
blackboard.JPG

There was just no way to finish this room. Not without jumping out the window anyway. So, we still have the trim to do, the doors, and another coat on the blackboard wall. But still, I’m pretty happy with the results in both rooms. Plus, I have a MUCH better idea of what goes into painting a room and will certainly never plan to do two rooms in one weekend ever again.

March 27, 2007 at 11:08 am 1 comment

Freaking

I’ve been horrible with posting this week, but we’re closing on the house on Friday and I’ve been spending most of my free time:

1.Worrying about what checks I need to bring to the close

2.Collecting boxes

3.Cutting my finger on said boxes while breaking them down

4.Generally freaking out

I actually did order a duvet cover from CB2 and I’m curious to see if I like it with the blue walls in our bedroom or not. It’s the Lumimarja duvet:
LumimarjaBeddingAV

It’s grey and taupe, but I feel like it will look nice with the blue, especially if we add some deep blue throw pillows on there to bring out the colors.

March 22, 2007 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

Lighting Novice

Lighting novice is putting it mildly. My husband and I have cared so little about the lighting in our NYC apartment that I’m sitting here right now typing this post under some of the most hideous yellowish overhead lighting imaginable. I refuse to let that happen in our new house. We’re going to get lamps, I promise. But, we’re also interested in installing recessed lighting in the living room. The problem? We have no idea how to do it. I mean, that’s okay, we can follow the instructions in our new handy dandy Home Depot book. But, our new living room has a ceiling with no overhead lighting at all. It’s a fully finished ceiling. This may seem like a completely asinine question to anyone who has ever done…well, ANY home improvement work at all, but I don’t get it. If you want to install recessed lighting in a room with no overhead lighting, how on earth do you know where to make the holes?

I know this must be a stupid question, I just know it. But, I’m not too proud to ask it.

March 19, 2007 at 6:08 am Leave a comment

Project 2: The Writing’s on the…

I’ve mentioned that we’re going to paint both the bedroom and my husband’s office before we actually move in. I think we’re set on the bedroom paint (although, what to do with the ceiling? white? a few shades lighter than the walls? Oh, the pressure!) and now I think we’re set on the office paints.

We’re going to go with shaker gray for 3 walls. (Pic taken from the Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer.)
shaker gray

Then, on the 4th wall, we’re going to do an entire wall of chalkboard paint.
chalkboard paint

The chalkboard wall was my idea and it took a little convincing. I mostly just thought it would be really cool. I’ll admit, I would have LOVED to have had a chalkboard wall when I was a kid. But, I also think it will come in useful for my husband because he’s always in there with his little notebooks writing down whatever the heck he needs to take notes on for his online gaming. Now he could just write it on the wall! Here’s hoping he actually enjoys doing that or else we’ll end up with me going in there and filling the walls with silly (and badly drawn) pictures, and writing “Kate is #1” all over the place.

March 13, 2007 at 7:12 am 2 comments

Real Accessories Have Curves

I love my furniture to be all clean lines and angles, but I love curves and rounded shapes in accessories. Here are two that I really love, both via Outblush.

I get so many magazines each month that I’m forever throwing out one or another as quickly as possible in order to keep from drowning in them. My husband, however, likes to keep his magazines around for a while (FOREVER if I’d let him.) I think this might be a nice addition to his future office. Just imagine it filled with PC Gamers and the occasional Men’s Health:

umbra-mela-magazine-rack

Then, these. I love these! I’ve certainly never thought about buying a birdhouse, but I’d totally hang these all over my backyard. They’re adorable. They’re like the VW bugs of birdhouses!

j_schatz_egg_bird_house

Seriously. Go look at all the different colors at the bottom of the page. Irresistible.

From that same site, though, I’m somewhat disturbed by the “Buff Humpty”. Creepy.

March 8, 2007 at 8:41 am Leave a comment

Trip to the Door Store

I still really disapprove of the name of this place. I didn’t see a SINGLE door for sale in there.

So, we checked out both beds that I had mentioned before — the solid and basic and the tranquility bed.

Neither one of us really cared for this one. Nothing offensive or displeasing about it, but it just didn’t do it for either of us.

You know, we actually did like the look of the Tranquility bed. I was a bit concerned about the drawers, but they were barely noticeable. I think I was picturing something like the bunk beds I remember my boy cousins having when I was a little kid, but the bed was pretty clean and not at all 8-year old boyish. I wasn’t really sure about the quality though. The one we were looking at had quite a few scratches and just generally looked beat up. I left feeling undecided.

We’re starting to reconsider (or, at least, I am) the lighter colored Ikea platform bed. I saw a version of it in a picture at Apartment Therapy (Jennie’s Retreat) and have been swayed a bit. The color looked really nice against her light pink walls and I’m thinking it might look just as nice against a light blue wall. Plus, there’s just something about the dark frame color against blue that is starting to seem a little overdone to me. It could be, though, that I’ve just been spending WAY too much time looking at bedrooms online.

March 6, 2007 at 9:41 pm 1 comment

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