Living room tour

So, here is my living room, at least the bits I want you to see ;). I somewhat restyled the mantle and put what books and knick knacks I have on the shelves. For the future, I’d like to address the windows. I also would like a mirror for the mantle, put the art on the walls, and get a credenza for the wall behind the couch. And paint the walls white, get 18 billion plants, and install quarter rounds. Whew..so much to do.

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I’m really not a fan of random stacks of books and magazines here and there but I didn’t know what to do with my Real Simple collection. What if I want to reference one for a recipe? The fiddle leaf is siting in what used to be my magazine holder. Perhaps when my recycling bin is delivered, I’ll just get rid of them.

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The Perfectly Imperfect Home is my decorating bible. You can see I’ve tagged my favorite pages. Ha. And no home would be completely without Dorothy Rodgers’ (that’s my name!) book of disgusting 1960s fish mold recipes (and decorating tips)!

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Again with the book stacks but where do you put all your coffee table and decorating magazines that you don’t want on your coffee table? This little vignette is currently operating as my “drop the keys/purse” bowl area. Just don’t plan on listening to any records, okay?

I’m not loving the book shelves but they’re shallow and short I really don’t know what do to! Hardly any of my books would stand upright. And I don’t have enough knickknacks to fill in the spaces. I suppose I got nothing but time to collect…

Sometimes I like the space and others I don’t. Maybe if the yellow chairs were blue like in my plan. If only I have oodles of money….I’ve definitely made the room a lot smaller seeming than it is but placing the sofa where I did, but I wanted to leave a clear pathway from the front door to the rest of the house. I like the coziness and intimacy the smaller seating area provides.

…I just noticed that acrylic polar bear isn’t supposed to be on the mantle. Oops!! Haha.

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Baby’s room/ 1st nursery design

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First client! Okay, this isn’t a paying gig but my friend just found out she’s having a girl and asked me to help decorate the nursery. Woo, my first “job”! Now, I do not have children, but I do think the room should be comfortable and engaging.

She said her color scheme was hot pink (or a mix of pinks), navy blue, and gray (not specific about what gray). She also said she’d most likely paint the walls gray so here I showed a light gray.

She has an antique dresser with a round mirror and the rocker she was rocked in. Of course, I don’t know the state of these pieces. She said the dresser is pretty beat up and wishes to paint it gray. “Should I paint all the furniture gray?” NOOOOO!!! I don’t think so. I think matching furniture looks like you bought it at the big box Rent a Room store. Tacky. You don’t want that. I didn’t search for an image of a rocker since I don’t know what hers looks like. So just imagine a rocker in there somewhere.

The chaise, imagine that full of patterned pillows. I’m not a fan of monograms but you know people with babies love ’em! So I threw in a gray one. No idea what her name will be but fabric letters are always cute! Put them on a shelf with other baby knick knacks. Also, mama will need a place to sit, so I thought the chaise was a pretty/fun option. Friend is a girly girl ๐Ÿ™‚

This particular crib is one of those convertible deals, which I think is pretty clever. One bed =baby-big kid! Just needs the correct bedding colors (ie not green!)

Oh, isn’t that mobile the cutest! I love lambs for babies. That’s from Etsy. Everything not listed below was just grabbed off google images to quickly fill the room to show her what could be.

Lastly, on the wall that isn’t pictured could be the changing table!

Target: ย Shag Rug / Convertible Crib / Pink Chaise / Pink Lamp / Blue Drapes

Minted: Rose / Stripes

I think it’s cute and pretty and engaging with the right pictures and toys but I haven’t heard back. Now, if it were my baby you know I’d put a million plants in there. Ha! Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Patio Progress

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It’s hard to make heads or tails out of this dirty green mess, but I dug out a good chunk of the patio yesterday. It is an odd mix of bricks and cinderblocks. I think there may haveย been some thought put into it. There appears to be a pattern. I’ll know more once all the ivy is cleared.

I have to tell you, 2 weeks of battling the English ivy, the Air Potato and this one other type of vine has made me sooooo frustrated. I found myself screaming to the treetops last night “You will not win!” I’m determined to clear away every last bit of the tangled mess! Who planted that stuff! I mean REALLY! Idiots. I hope it just blew over or a bird pooped out some seeds because it is so invasive that I cannot imagine anyone intentionally putting it in their flower beds.

I lost a few ferns in the clearing process ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but got out a lot of the strangling vines and dead leaves. I’ll probably end of getting rid of this monkey grass too. The rose bush isn’t looking too hot. I don’t know if it will recover? I hope so! Part of me wants to get rid of all of it! Make way for pretty new ferns, hydrangeas, and rosemary. A clean slate, you know?? I also managed to pull up a good bit of the old path lighting. I don’t understand where the power came from. Did it plug into the garage outlet? Haven’t found that yet. Luckily all the wires are dead.

I found some sort of shoe string loosely tied at the base of the rosebush that my hedge trimmers couldn’t cut through. Bizarre. I’m no gardener. Was that to help it grow upright? It’s growing willy nilly right now.

The pillows from Pier 1 should arrive this week. I went ahead and ordered the rug! After digging around out there I thought 5 x 8 is way too big so I ordered 4 x 6. I suppose I could have built it out but I don’t care to invest in this patio any further than new plants. I’m already buying quarter rounds for the interior! I found the exact same Safavieh Patio rug on Overstock for $30 cheaper than Target ($62 vs $90)! Thanks OS! ๐Ÿ™‚

Patio Dreams

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So, here’s my patio plan as of now. I ordered this Threshold bistro set from Target (currently on sale!) and it is arriving TODAY! Yippee! I don’t know about light colored rugs in the back yard but I think this one is beautiful and it’s only $154 (5 x8). It is also from Target. I’m about to order 2 of the pillows because I love the stitching and they’re on sale $9.98 from $35! From Pier 1. Deal!

Of course, no patio would be complete without citronella, in a pretty filigree votiveย from Terrain (this is probably the cheapest thing on the site: $8) rosemary to help ward off the mosquitos, and lights strung up in the trees ($13 for 10 at Home Depot).

Woo, I’m excited! Of course, plants will be everywhere! I deposited this little mockup on the overgrown picture of the yard. Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

Running here and there and everywhere!

I was watching an Emily Henderson clip about scale. This person had a chesterfield and she put a massive cabinet behind it. I had thought of putting a piano behind my sofa. But I don’t know. That would add height and cozify the room. The wall behind there is pretty dang bare. I do plan to get a mirror for the mantle and transfer the art to the wall. Discussed with my mom the possibility of a console table back there. You know, a place to drop your keys and what not? All this requires $$ I don’t have at present (I’m vacationing soon).

I do know I need (ahem, WANT) a runner.

runnersThis Target one is my first choice but it’s $200 so no. I wanted something graphic to mirror my rug. I like the black diamond Safavieh best, plus it is the closest match to the Target option. For a grand total of $85! That’s more like it! I’m not too wild about middle option, not sure why it’s even up here….! I suppose because it has the correct shapes and the the black. It actually might be okay. $95.99.

On the other end of the expensive side, we have the Moroccan rug at $185.I love these and have always wanted one but as a runner, wouldn’t this get filthy right away? Such a light color? NIX.

Lastly, at $124 I do like this rug with the diamond within a diamond pattern but nothing beats the $85 price of choice #2.

I almost want to snatch it up right now but 1. overstock always has sales. Maybe it’ll go cheaper! 2. I just bought patio furniture (More on that later). So I’m all spent on house stuff this pay check. ย I mean, I got quarter rounds, a new rug, patio furniture…….yea….enough!

Such a mystery

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I want to know everything about this house! But the internet holds mostly 0 answers. Thanks to google maps I did learn that there were these stupid path lights down the walkway. That explains why I was ripping up wiring. There’s currently wire dangling in the yard because I was afraid to cut it. I keep finding old lights EVERYWHERE in the yard. In the bushes and all along the back where they had the patio. They loved those things.

I wonder what happened that they lost their home to foreclosure? I wonder who they were? What were their jobs? Their hobbies? Did they have children? I’ve found 3-4 baseballs and a football in all the weeds and brush I’ve cleared away. In 2008 when this google map image was taken, it appears the home was well kept. In 2012 when the car came back through, it doesn’t look as happy. Iย know that 2013-2014 it sat empty, overgrown. My neighbor told me before that it was a Section 8 rental. So maybe that was in 2012. So sometime between 2008 and 2012 this family lost their home. So sad.

I wonder about the original family in 1935. What were their hobbies? This area used to be bumpin, with Eastlake park just a few blocks away with a giant lake and amusement park rides and a swimming pool. Trains every 45 minutes into the city. Concerts with big brass bands. Restaurants and shopping along the avenues. And a huge college which later moved and took with it the energy and commerce. And that was in the 50s. Isn’t it sad when neighborhoods die, racist white people flee, urbay decay creeps in, property values decline, crime rises, poverty rises….. but all that is changing for Eastlake, Birmingham, AL. So they tell me. Well, here I am to witness it all in this little house!

I really wanted to go behind the house but the google car must not have gone down the alley. Thanks a lot google car. I wish I could see how they used to have the back yard set up. GOSH WHY DON’T WE HAVE TIME TRAVEL!

Bathroom thoughts

I’ve never had to think about a bathroom before with an apartment. To be honest, I’ve never even bought a shower curtain. I know! For shame! There are so many options out there that I never bothered. I just get a $1 liner at the Dollar Tree and call it a day! Isn’t that terrible?

I’m not in love with this curtain by any means, but thought it might be nice with my current brain vision. The bathroom is currently all blah beige. It was once sky blue. The tile is blue and white. I’m not sure if it’s original to the house. Usually I thought older tile was smaller and more ornate that what is here? I’ll have to take a picture. The original medicine cabinet is in place along with a built in cabinet (for towels I would assume). These and the trim are painted white.

I don’t know the proper name for the trim that divides the room, I know chair rail isn’t correct, but the room is divided by wall, trim, and tile wall. So, I thought, paint everything above the tile/trim white. And everything below the trim (the tile) a bright emerald green! Does that make sense?

Someone has outfitted the space with one of those prefab sinks. I will paint that white too to match the medicine cabinet and put on new hardware. Here’s the thing…I don’t really want to tell my rental company about that part. I mean, I’m helping the space right?! Some poopoo brown thing in the middle of the room doesn’t go. A white thing in the middle of the room will blend better, yes? What’s the worst they can do? Keep my deposit.

There is no toilet paper holder on the wall. There are painted over brackets but the mechanism itself isn’t there. So those need to be removed. I got this cheapo stand up toilet holder at wal-mart. Should I bother getting the matching towel ring? Currently, there is a silver in place? There is no towel rod. That would be helpful to install. I’ve been draping mine over the door. That’s not exactly the aesthetic you want!

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Stained Glass curtainย / Towel Ringย / Uggo Sinkย / Caricature Knobsย / Another thoughtย for shower curtain

Of course, I want plants EVERYWHERE.

Weekend recap

I feel like I achieved nothing yet I am so tired from all that I did do.

My top priority this paycheck was getting those quarter rounds! When I got to Home Depot I was disappointed to discover the base moulding I picked out online wasn’t instore. And my goodness is it pricey! $35 for hardwood pieces and $20 for laminate. A piece! A PIECE. I mean, I guess you’d pay $35 a piece if you were a homeowner but I’m just renting this b. I don’t have that sort of money to throw at something I don’t own.

But I also couldn’t go the $4 white laminate quarter round route. I mean, that stuff is so tacky. I’m sure it looks fine in a modern house when you paint it and blend it in with your base boards but my house is from the 30s and I want to do it right as best I can. I still like the wooden look over the white look so I went with the $11 Oak Gunstock hardwood quarter rounds. Now, the only problem is I only purchased 5 pieces so far, didn’t get a miter box yet, AND turns out, the oak gunstock is a tad too dark. Or so I think. Don’t you want it to blend into the floor?

But what a difference!

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Here is it without the quarter round. Scary, dirty, and gross.

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Cue music from the heavens! Doesn’t it feel so warm and inviting and safe and cozy now! Instant makeover!IMG_7180Here’s where I think the color is too dark. Cross grain I think it could be okay, but running with the grain like here, I think too dark? Right? Thoughts?

So now I just have to figure out the right color and go to town getting the measurements and gluing them in. Yay!

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Also, on Saturday I attacked this overgrown jungle of weeds in my backyard. The previous Saturday was move in day (hey, I’ve been here a week!) and mom and I poked around back there to discover a large fern and lots of old pathway lights. But since it’s so overgrown we couldn’t figure out why the pathway lights were there.

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Well, what do know, there’s a little patio back there! I think it’s going to be super cute if I can ever dig it out all the way! Currently the patio itself is COVERED in ivy. I guess I’ll just spray Round Up all over it. I do think ivy is pretty but I’d like a clean surface to place furniture and an outdoor rug. Not to mention even footing. You know how sneaky vines can be. They like to grab hold and trip you up! Sneaky beasts.

Since it was so overgrown before, I didn’t know there was a little stone ledge back there either. With the trees (visible from the front yard) on top. The trees act as a nice privacy fence. Also found a rose bush, a flower pot with a lily (maybe + ANTS) and a large rock), plus a hosta and a canna, and lots of decorative monkey grass. Air potato plants were choking the trees and all the surrounding bushes and have wrapped themselves so tightly around the poor rose bush. That’s going to take some time to unravel.

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The evil air potato or this other website says Bindweed. Whatever it is its a goner!ย  3 of these bushy ones are rooted in the ground…prepare to die! How do they get from the ground to the tree tops?

I don’t know if the little stand alone garage I have has a working outlet (hope so) but if it does, I’m going to string lights up in the trees. Won’t that be so nice!!

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Here you can see what I cleared out. The fern and rose bush are somewhat free now. Lots of dead leaves to get out now. They’re EVERYWHERE.

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Here’s the little cinder block patio someone built. You’d never have known it was there!
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The wall! And look, a giant rock.pot

I’m really excited about the possibilities back here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kitchen paint

So, I did a little bit of research into the steel cabinets. Pretty big deal in the 1940s post World War II. Sold in white until the 50-60s when dual tone became popular. I think…I might could try it! I mean, I hate those formica counter tops but I have to deal with what’s there. Maybe the’ll look better with pretty yellow.

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Youngstown kitchens from here.

If you recall, the dreaded black disaster. Which has been spray painted on the outside and only part of the way inside. Really great job there, whoever! Backs were left white.

kitchenI didn’t find any hardware similar to the images at HomeDepot.com. I don’t know if those bottom cabinetย pulls are original? I doubt the top cabinet pulls are?

colors

Here’s an assortment of colors the St. Charles brand came in. The first of it’s kind in 1948. How interesting! I thought it was later than that. Also, how extremely helpful to know just what colors are appropriate to choose from to restore to semi-original look! ๐Ÿ™‚