Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter Indeed

I hope everyone had a wonderful and refreshing Easter weekend. We took advantage of Saturday's spring weather with an Easter egg hunt in our backyard. Taliila loved hunting for eggs, and blowing up balloons from her Easter basket.

Playing limbo today at church

Now for a piece actually having to do with my business. Remember this guy?
Well now it looks like this:
I actually mixed this color till I achieved the look I was going for. 

Drawers lined with fun wallpaper. 
I give you Rustic Modern
 I just so happen to have a smaller version of this that looks almost exactly the same and I'd be more than happy to paint it if someone would like a nightstand to match.
Tune in tomorrow for Real Estate Monday! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Introduction

Some of you have asked how the heck we found the church that we bought in the middle of Wilkinsburg. Really it's just a matter of camping on some realty sites, like zillow, until I see something that peeks my interest.  The church was a foreclosure (the second foreclosure we've purchased, the first being our old house in Edgewood), so I knew we had to act fast.
It's not all rainbows and butterflies. Owning a foreclosure comes with a lot of risks. In both cases, we knew nothing about the previous history of the building. And in both cases, we've had to drop a significant amount of cash, sweat, and tears (yes, tears!) to get them up and running. But in the end, when it's all come together and you have something you've made into your own with your own two hands, it feels really, really good.
I'm kind of addicted. Unfortunately, I don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep buying all the properties I see. So what's the next best thing? Sharing them with you, of course. Every Monday I'm going to highlight a different house that I find interesting. For the most part, they'll probably be somewhat concentrated to the east end of Pittsburgh. Sorry, it's what I know best, and you gotta write what you know, but I'll throw a curve ball in there somewhere, don't you worry.
Today, I'm going to start with a little house down the street from me in Forest Hills. My mom and I happened to be on a walk the day they were having an open house. Having already seen it online, I, of course, wanted to see it in person. I really liked this house for a few reasons:
1. They have a studio apartment under the garage with a separate entrance. It has a kitchenette, it's own heating, and a half bath. Unfortunately, you'd have to add a shower to rent it out, but I LOVE that it has rental income potential.
2. The living room is HUGE. How many Pittsburgh homes actually have a decent size living room? I can probably count them on my right hand. You can seriously have a couch, a love seat and two chairs, easily in this room. Plus, there's a beautiful window seat and built-ins.
3. The kitchen is adorable. It doesn't look like a cookie-cutter new kitchen. They took some short cuts to update it- i.e. granite tiles, instead of granite, white appliances, etc. But honestly, I'm a little sick of seeing the same look in every kitchen, and I found this one very refreshing. And they have a cedar ceiling with sky lights. That's a bonus in my book! Plus, a half bath off of a hall way, not right into the kitchen. You know what else is off that hallway? A greenhouse. The surprises never seem to end. I'd probably be sitting in that green house on a day like today.
4. A master suite. It's small, but as someone who currently shares a bathroom with the rest of the guests that stay at my house, I'd take a small bedroom with a connected, private bathroom any day. How much living do you actually do in your bedroom, anyways?
5. A dining room with a killer table that seems to be included with the house, and some more built-ins (albeit, dated, but always up-datable!) Seriously, storage is not an issue in this house. Which happens to be a huge factor in our house. I hate not having a place for a broom or vacuum.
 You can see its listing and pictures here, but here a couple pictures I took, that they didn't. I hope you enjoyed my first Real Estate Monday posting. I certainly enjoy looking for them! Stay tuned for next week's.
The outside: a breezeway connects the garage to the house

The  semi-finished basement or man cave: I'd love to paint these built-ins a fun color! 

The attic bedroom: awesome kids bedroom, only con is that you access it through the third bedroom closet. My solution would be to make the third bedroom either an office, nursery, or walk-in closet, and just use the attic room as your third bedroom instead.

The sunny four seasons room enjoys a beautiful view and a serious garden below. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Flea Market Flip

Has anyone seen this show? We just got cable and I'm kind of obsessed with HGTV. Three years ago, we made the decision to go cable free, and I knew this would be what I missed the most!  It's like I'm catching up on three years of lost time. A little bit of House Hunters here, some other rehab shows there, and it sadly turns into hours of my life sucked into this world I haven't known in a while. It's quite sad, really, now that I'm typing it. But seriously Flea Market Flip, that's right up my alley. Maybe I should just pack up a truck and head out to the New York Flea Market come spring. Looks like a good time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Small Bathroom Reno

It's spring time- well almost. And that not only means spring cleaning, but also spring sprucing in our house! We have two bathrooms in our house, but rest assured they are the smallest, most underwhelming bathrooms you've ever seen. Seriously, I'm talking brush your teeth while you're on the pot kind of small. So we're tackling them one at a time.
The first one to get a makeover is our downstairs bathroom. I chose this one to go first because it needs the least amount of work, and it's the one our guests see first. I'm not even going to give you step by step directions, because I'm clearly not a professional tiler, but it was a fairly easy process hanging these guys:

Here's what I was working with: 
premixed grout and adhesive = perfect for small jobs

I took a day to repaint the bathroom. Here's a before shot from when we bought our house 2 1/2 yrs ago. Not bad, but since then it's gotten dirtier and dirtier, and that white look is not so white anymore. Anybody else have this problem? Plus the shower door broke, so we had to replace it with a curtain. Bummer. 

 And here's the after:
Found the  starburst mirror at a flea market

Our homemade curtain rod = a steel pipe

The subway tile was a dramatic success! 

The grey color makes it feel so much warmer (and it hides dirt so much better)! 

All in all, it took a few days, about $100, and some elbow grease. Not bad for a quick fix. And I'm no longer embarrassed to have our guests use our bathroom. That's a bonus! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Old Business Card Dilemma Solved

Since we moved I haven't known what to do with the thousands of unused business cards I had with our old address.  I didn't want to throw them out. I'm in the business of re-purposing things, so surely I can come up with a valid way of reusing these guys.
{Insert brilliant idea here}
Back in December, I went on etsy and found a company that sold self-inking stamps. I bought this stamp for my husband's landscaping business so he wouldn't have to write his return address over and over again when sending out bills. 
I was so pleased with it that I also bought a different one for my mom and grandmother in-law for Christmas gifts. I'm clearly a sucker for stamps. So it didn't take long for me to conjure up another excuse to buy one. 
It just so happens to work out perfectly if I stamp the back side of my old card with my new address, then cut off half the card with the old address. I get a whole new look- they're cute and square-shaped, and best of all, I don't have to waste paper! As an added bonus, I can leave some uncut and use those as price tags. That gets an A+ in my book any day. What do you think? Too puny for a business card? Or simply perfect? 

p.s. I in no way get paid for endorsing this guy's stamp business. I just happen to like it a lot. Plus he's located a street over from where I grew up in Florida. It's a small world after all. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Keeping Up.

Hi folks. I've been trying to diligently post on our facebook page when we're already at the shop. That way you can swing in without making an appointment. If you haven't liked us on facebook already, you can do so, and our status updates should show up on your newsfeed. Here's what it looks like. Just one more way to keep up with the fun at ReDesigNation. Thanks for all your support!

And if you're not on facebook, you can email or call the old fashioned way, and I'll be happy to set up a time for you to come visit.
1675 Laketon Road
Wilkinsburg, Pa 15221


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