Friday, August 28, 2015

House Stuff

Well, first let me give you the sad update for our dream house. We got an estimate back from our contractor, which was totally reasonable and exciting. BUT! In the time it took us to figure this out, the owner had put up a sign in his yard (unbeknownst to us-or our realtor) "for sale by owner" UGH!!
Of course the house went under contract 8 HOURS after he put the sign up [because the house is FREAKING AWESOME!] So that is where we are. Which is no where! Wha-waaaaaaa
You know what though? I had fun dreaming and imagining about this house for a month, so there is that. You have to dream right?!
The fact that the house went for about $100k over our pre-construction budget (price for land and unfinished house) made it a little bit easier to swallow. Like I said, it was fun while it lasted.
We will still be keeping our eyes open for a slightly bigger house with a yard, but there is no rush.
In an attempt to help me focus on the good of my current house, (and get me excited about it again) I bought a few things.
First! Wallpaper! Back when I showed you my plan for little 1/2 bath redo, I was ready to pull the trigger on this wallpaper from Lowes.
Well, wouldn't you know, it is now discontinued. Ha! It makes me laugh that it takes me so long to make desicions and then this. Oh well. New plan.
I actually stumbled upon another wallpaper at Serena and Lily last week. I immediately liked the design. It's simple. Like, so simple that I could draw it myself if I just painted my walls navy. BUT! The price was so good, I couldn't pass it up. Yes, I made a quick design decision [which almost never happens].
Also, Im afraid painting over my half stenciled wall will leave a texture from the design, so wallpaper is really the best way to go. AND I have been wanting to use wallpaper for years. Did you notice the price? $20/roll reduced from $88! After searching for so long for a wallpaper, I was beginning to think it would be impossible to wallpaper my tiny bath for under $300! My four rolls arrived the other day and it's even better in person. $80 for FOUR rolls!! That is unheard of...if you like the design, there are four other color ways, so check it out! I think it's a really cool graphic design for little investment.
I'm hoping my sweet 'can-do-anything' mommy will help me to install it the next time she is here, as I am a wallpaper rookie. (Also, I can't seem to get things done without her)
Another quick satisfying project I am looking forward to completing is painting my stairwell. It is tall and BORING. Also those sconces need to go.
I love these wide stripes from Honey We're Home.
I am also loving these different sizes...doesn't that look great?! (couldn't find source)
And then there is this. just half black and white.. (again no source)
Now my walls are a light gray, not white, and I dont wan't to repaint it because it connects to all of the 1st floor, but I know it will still look great with black. Which one do you guys like best?
While the kids were in school last week, I wandered (because that is what I do with my free time) into the new Anthropologie at Ponce City Market (have you guys been there yet? So cool!) I love Anthropologie's home decor, and their store displays are always so inspiring. There was a basket of knobs on sale for $2.95/each with an extra 20% off.
Immediately I thought these Clandon knobs would be great for our kitchen refresh project (that has not been started yet)
I know I want brass hardware, and this is actually the shape I was looking for. The brass/iron mix on these is unique, although I may try to do something to the iron side because they have a little reddish tint. As you can see below though, that seems to be a coating that scrapes right off. Hopefully I can get down to a more black colored iron, which would be a great contrast to the shiny brass.
Still $45 for 18 cabinet pulls is a steal, so I HAD to purchase them [even if I wasn't 100% that I would use them].
The other thing that I am trying to procure...
...from Asheville Craigslist (thanks Fenella!) is this vintage Turkish runner for the kitchen. I love having a rug in the kitchen. It's 3x7 feet long and would be just enough dark to my white cabinets. (when they get painted)
I ordered some of this Braemore Jamil Natural velvet fabric too.
I have been loving it for a while but wasn't sure what for...I am still not sure, but maybe if it is in front of me I can decide. I'm waffling between making a removable cover for my kids snack table ottoman or for the awesome parsons chair that I FOUND ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! You saw this right?
Ally, a fellow blogger in Atlanta has a set of two of these that she had recovered in the same fabric. (incidentaly, she also inspired the geode wallpaper that I waited to o long to buy- I can't let that happen with this fabric) Aren't these unbelievable??
Right? RIGHT?? Ok folks, that is all. Have you done anything exciting to your house lately?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Curb Appeal : A New [Craigslisted] Front Door

Living in a historic neighborhood, I am constantly reminded of how much character a front door adds to your home. And then I pull up to our house. Waa-waaa
Ok...this is an old picture, like 2 years old, and the fact that my plants aren't in full swing does make a HUGE difference. (Plants are everything!) But it also allows you to focus on the bad. The door and the small sconce.
We never did like our this door. Just another touch of boring from the builders. It was dark brown when we moved in. Dark brown with an army green house...what were they thinking? Black paint was applied, which was an improvement, but we still knew we would change it one day.
I guess it's not the style I dislike so much. This door could be fine on other houses. For example, my parents have it on theirs, and they have a matching palladium window in front with rounded shutters. It looks cute. But on our house it looks generic, especially when driving around our neighborhood and seeing all the gorgeous old doors.
I saw this on CL and although it has the same shape window [as our current door] at the top, it has SOOOOO much more character. Solid wood, stained glass, brass knocker and kickplate and the aged bronze handle. I think they were asking $100! Of course I would have painted it, and I could do without that middle carving detail, but I think it would've added a lot to our curb appeal. It had character! It's not cookie cutter.
I really like a door with windows to bring in as much light as possible. I was inspired by this one (above) that I saw at The Painted House and what do you know? Not too long after seeing it, this one popped up on CL for $90.
Of course I knew immediately that this could be the perfect door...if we could cut those wood panels out. Ernesto had mentioned that our accountant had done this to his door, so he called to ask him directions. His response was "bring it over, I have all the tools and will help you do it." Yes!
So one Thursday they got to work. Here is a mid process pic after using a router to cut out the panels.
And with all 6 panels out....
A heavy duty sander took the gray paint right off and a day later, we had a clean door ready for glass and paint/stain.
At this point Ernesto put the new door up to make sure it fit correctly in the existing frame. A little sanding was needed in a few spots, but otherwise an easy fit. I was so excited by the amount of light coming into our living room.
Our dilemma then was color. The inside we decided to leave wood, but we had to pick a stain.
I thought we should get a walnut stain. In my mind walnut is the color of midcentury dressers that I love, like this Broyhill Brasilia dresser.
I WILL have this beauty in the future, by the way. I'm on a serious hunt! (Mom, if you ever see this while you are thrifting, please don't hesitate to get it for me!)
Anywho, I bought a "light walnut" stain by Varathane and it was way to red for my liking. Shown here on the right.
Ernesto brought home a mahogany (shown on left), which, when put against this walnut, I liked much better. With that being said, I was not so sure once I saw a coat applied liberally with a brush.
It was DARK! The color is nice, but much darker than I wanted.
I was scared to tell Ernesto that we may need to try a different stain. He has put in a lot of time on this door. BUT he said the same thing...too dark! He sanded it down pretty easily and I headed to Lowes and brought home this "special walnut" stain.
BINGO! This stain had that mcm color I was looking for. As most of you know, I am still new to introducing wood into my home, and there aren't a lot of colors that I'm crazy about at this point.
We applied 2 coats of the stain -this time using a cloth (instead of the brush)- we were able to control the color a little more this way. Ernesto finished this side up with two coats of a satin finish poly and it was good to go.
We decided to paint the outside of the door, so we can pick and switch colors as much as we like. We are planning to paint the exterior of our house, if not this fall, for sure in the spring. In the mean time though, we needed to pick a color for the door that looks nice with the army green color of the house.
Color options for the exterior is a whole other blog post. It's going to be a tough decision because I like light and dark. White is in our top 3 choices, but I have had this picture saved for a while. It looks so fresh and pretty. 

There are several other gray houses on our street though, so I may have to save this color scheme for our [future] beach house.  I do like the look of the Ben Moore Paint on the door called Robin's Nest, however, it is more on the blue side than mint. On the BM website though, it does read green, right?
Oh well,  it was a little more saturated than I wanted anyway. One more sample I picked (but can't remember the name) was light enough, but still on the blue side. A few days later, I picked up a sample of Behr's Jade Mist and this one seemed like the right shade. (Very close to the color my dresser at the front door entry)
Here are the three colors painted on a canvas. It isn't a huge difference, but can you see how the top [front] color is the more minty color and the others blue?
I bought a quart of Behr's exterior semi-gloss (paint + primer in one) in Jade Mist and Ernesto applied 2 coats with a roller.
Whew! Next was the glass and hardware. We were referred to Dixie Glass Hoppers in Decatur, and they were super nice and helpful. They had many many glass designs, however all of them cannot be tempered, which is what is needed for a door [so it won't shatter]. Ernesto wanted to go with clear glass, but I thought something that could blur the view a bit would be good, because I do not want a curtain or shade on the door.
We agreed on something that had a little blur, but when it came in [bigger sheets] I wasn't loving it. I didn't remember it looking like this. It reminded me of a patio table top.
Dixie Glass Hoppers said they wanted us to love our glass, so if we didn't like it we could bring it back. (not normally their policy) We decided to give it a try before reordering, and it looks much betting IN the door.
I think we are going to keep it. Once in the door and with light shining through it, it doesn't seem so 'patio table' anymore. Unfortunately, one of the six glass panels was not exactly the correct size and wouldn't fit. Ernesto even sanded the door a little with hopes of squeezing it in. Of course, glass doesn't really squeeze and the piece shattered.
So! Needless to say, we aren't ready to reveal the "before and after" pics yet.  Plus, there are still a few other details.
I am pretty set on this brass handle from Lowes and we will be attaching the brass kick plate back in place.
We aren't stopping with the front door. (curb appeal!) New house numbers, a new (but probably vintage) doorbell, and Im really loving this light fixture (above), but may continue searching for a more economical version. (Sorry RH, I will eventually need three of those lights!)
This awesome cement/gold planter from Target will be hung on the right, above the doorbell.
I also need to majorly trim my garden down for some curb appeal. I usually give up gardening once it hits 90, and it has been for the last couple months, so needless to say, my beautiful garden is not looking its best.
Stay tuned for the final pics coming once our new glass order comes in!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Staycation: Glamping in a Yurt!

When Ernesto asked me, "what do you have going on next week?" I said my usual "nothing."
"ok, well, don't plan anything. I am planning something special. You have no idea!"
He is a man after my heart....because NO ONE loves surprises more than me. (except maybe Mateo)

On the way home from school that day I asked Mateo where he thought papi was taking us, and he said "maybe camping."

Monday night he left to do some shopping and I went to bed. "Be ready to leave around 10am tomorrow morning, we have a couple hours to drive" he said before he left.
Tuesday morning came and I was beginning to think Mateo was right about us going camping. Ernesto was making salsa and I saw him put a kitchen knife into a rubbermaid tub. Hmmmm.. The fact that the weather forecasted rain all week had me a little worried, but it had crossed my mind, that MAYBE he had rented a YURT.

At 10:30am, the truck looked like this and we were off. I didn't lift a finger besides packing some clothes.
We were heading east and for a second I thought, are we going to Stone Mountain? I hope not, they don't have yurts there. As we approached the park entrance, Ernesto moved into lane further from the entrance, but in true NESTER style, weaved over at the last second and we both busted up laughing.
Ok, no yurt. Oh well. As if on que, the rain started.
We stopped at the check-in and Ernesto said we had a little time to kill before we could "set up."
We took a cruise through the campground and I was soooooooo pleased when I saw three of these right on the water.
YURTS!! Yes! We didn't have to sleep in a tent in the rain!! What a good surprise. I had no idea that Stone Mountain Park had Yurts. I guess they just opened/built them this past Spring.
We have been up Stone Mountain several times over the years. It's a pretty steep climb and takes about 30 minutes. It's a great workout. I really think the boys could handle it, however, with the looming clouds, we opted for the tram that reaches the top in a few minutes. The boys were excited.
Once up there the kids had a blast running around and splashing in the big puddles.
Although very cloudy, it was beautiful up there. We could just barely see downtown.
The boys were supposedly "tired" and all took a nap. Look at Marcelo's mouth, he is actually making snoring noises.
Of course everyone perked up really quickly when we got the keys to our YURT.
Our spacious, clean, rustic, and DRY yurt. We had never been inside one before, and we were so impressed. Look how awesome it is!!
These guys could not believe there were bunkbeds in our huge tent. They probably climbed up and down the ladder 1 million times (roughly) in 3 days.
They packed their suitcases themselves, and turns out they had a full train set and a bunch of Legos to play with. They bunkbeds were still the best 'toy' though.
Outside the yurt they found plenty to do too. For example, moving rocks.
Feeding ducks. I guess the they were just waiting for us. We Just needed to walk to the edge of the water and they flocked from across the lake.
Ok, the bread may have helped, but I think they really liked us. They didn't forget us the next day either and made their way up the hill to our picnic table. One guy just stuck around hoping for any crumbs.
We were happy that we were so close to home. In the morning we sat outside and thought, we could be any where, just look at our view.
My stacation planner of a husband really did an excellent job. cooked over the fire, while water boiled for our Starbucks instant coffee.
Papi even brought surprise Spiderman fishing poles for the boys and they were a huge hit.
Marcelo had more fun playing with the worms, but it didn't take Mateo long to get the hang of casting the line in the water. And despite this next picture, there was no patient waiting for the fish to bite.
It was cast it out and reel it in fast. Cast it out, immediately reel it in. Repeat.
We were the only ones fishing. As a matter of fact, the campground was pretty much a ghost town now that school is back in, but we didn't mind.
We spent some time each day at the pool, which was very clean and refreshing. We had that to ourselves too.
At night, Ernesto started the fire and we ate chicken (that he had marinated), beans, raw veges and smores.
Look how cozy our yurt looks. And it was. I can't wait to go back in cooler weather. Anyone want to join us in late September??????
One of the nights it did start raining at 5pm and continued for hours. Around 8pm I had to break out my ipad for a movie. I know, I know, but we were GLAMPING ok? AND if you know my active boys, you will understand!
They were out by 930 and then Ernesto was able to get a roaring fire going. He and I sat outside for a couple hours just talking. Talking around the campfire. It was pretty great.
The next morning we ate smores for breakfast (along with papaya and quesadillas!) because the boys missed them the night before. We fished one last time and headed to the pool for a quick dip before driving home. Our 25 minute ride home. We are going to have to plan more Staycations!! That was just too easy. And wonderful! Did I mention that I love my husband? Thanks for the little getaway mi amor!


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