Thursday, June 27, 2013

(three) 5x8 rugs for $65 each

Short & Sweet Post:
I've have had these three rugs since the Sq. Hill shop and it's time to unload. I bought them new at an auction and they've only been used in the store. They're 100% wool and I have the shedding to prove it! So here they are, each 5'x8', and each only $65 (cheaper than what I paid)! I'll take this post down when they're gone.
Brown/Green/Beige Striped

Grey/Green Striped

Black/Orange/Fuschia/White Striped

Monday, June 24, 2013

Real Estate Monday: West Homestead

Hey guys and gals, welcome back to Real Estate Monday. Only in Pittsburgh can you find a $450,000 mansion next to a $176,000 house that can equally be called a mansion to some. Both are on the market, and we're going to look at both of them side by side. I made my husband drive past them Saturday night on the way home from the movies at the Waterfront. If you're not familiar with the Waterfront, or Homestead, the borough it sits in, you can click here for a quick historical synopsis. Basically, it was home to one of the largest steel mill plants in the world. Now it's home to Sandcastle, lots of major retail stores, and a Lowes movie theater. Plus, you can bike the Great Allegheny Passage trail and it only take about 45 minutes to get to the Point downtown. We did this for our 5th wedding anniversary and stayed at a hotel in the South Side Works...such a blast!
With all that fun at your finger tips, West Homestead, though rough in some parts, has a ton of potential.
Here's house #1 the Bryce-Mesta Mansion. The original owners were the founders of Mesta Machine Co.- an old steel company located below the hill on the banks of the Monongahela.
Among this 10 bedroom 5 and a half bath house is a home theater, a ballroom, and of course, a panic room. It looks like it needs quite a bit of renovations, but I think this would make an incredible bed n' breakfast. Here are a couple pictures I took from the listing page. The rest of the pictures show the inside ripped down to the studs and completely rewired. I'm guessing the new owner needs to finish the drywall?

And house #2 is directly next door to the left. It sits on 2.5 acres and looks every bit as regal as the first, but in different ways. Just look at the gorgeous barn-like door at the bottom of the main steps.

While the decorating is a little too frou-frou for my taste, it looks like it's been meticulously well-kept. For a 6 bedroom, 3 bathroom house on this much land, I can't imagine getting more bang for your buck anywhere else. As for the location, it's up a gigantic hill, then thankfully a level street that has about four or five other grand houses on it as well. It's pretty industrial around there, but I certainly like how close it is to all the fun.
Happy Monday, thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Clever (& easy) Re-Purposed Bedroom Furniture Ideas

I've been seeing a lot of cute ideas lately for re-purposing some everyday, ordinary bedroom items. We have some great (and inexpensive) pieces in the shop just begging to be redone and enjoyed again. So here we go:
Buy a regular headboard & footboard (we have two full sized ones, and one twin) and re-imagine it into something like this:
source & directions
or a welcome sign like this: 

 Buy a desk like this:

And turn it into a one-of-a-kind vanity like this:
source & directions

 Buy a vanity like this:

And turn it into a fun bench like this:
source & directions
Did that get your imagination going? Hope so... there's plenty more where this came from. Next post is how we turned an old sewing table into a bathroom vanity, part of our small bathroom renovation

Monday, June 17, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Greentree

Today (or rather this evening) we'll be looking at a house located a short distance from the city, nestled towards the end of a cul-de-sac in Greentree. It's a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house currently listed at $249.9k. I've got to give this house an A for both curb appeal and for staging. It's clean, de-cluttered, and I feel like the decor highlights the character of the house. I love both galley style kitchens, and big ones with islands in the middle- this kitchen has somehow meshed both styles and it's beautiful. Take a look below, or click here for the listing on Zillow with more photos.

Gorgeous landscaping!  
Can you see that huge farm sink? I love it. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Black Bath

I've finally started redoing our upstairs bathroom. And what color did I chose? You guessed it- black! Most people's jaws drop when I tell them this, and I have to admit the reaction never gets old. But seriously, it's pretty dramatic. And that's exactly what my little space needed. Here's my inspiration pic from Martha Stewart's website.
Thankfully my bathroom already had the bottom half painted bright white (unfortunately, it used to be pretty subway tile that the previous owners plastered over). I love this deep pewter grey color they used, and while I went more black, the end result was very similar and I'm pretty pleased. The paint I chose is Francesca by Martha Stewart, and I got it in an eggshell finish so it'd be a little matted. It's funny, T and I have been nicknaming her toy frog "Francesca", so when I saw this paint color, I was like, "oh how perfect".
Here are some embarrassing before photos. I'm almost too ashamed to show you so don't judge. It's so small that I can barely capture it, but you get the idea.

And here is the result so far.
I didn't want this bathroom to have a cookie-cutter feel. Part of achieving this meant having different metals for my fixtures. Gone are the days when everything needs to match. 

 My husband thought I was crazy for spray painting the chrome, over-the-toilet rack gold. I had these gold-framed  pictures from my shop in mind to tie it all together.
 I bought some hot pink towels like the inspiration photo, but toned it down with some soft blue-green ones. 
 I simply replaced the old shades on the sconces with these sleek, white ones from Home Depot. Cheap and easy fix. No wiring is always better. Plus, I really like the brass against the black. 

Even the radiator got a paint job. Dove Tail white is a fresh white with grey undertones so you don't get that yellowed white look. 

I even painted the ceiling. I wanted to give the appearance of a larger room and by painting the ceiling the same color as the wall the eye just keeps going up. 
So far the only costs of this renovation is paint. The real cost is going to come in the form of new glass doors. A move I believe will be well worth the $900 (thank you awkward bathroom for needing custom shower doors). I've lived with a shower curtain that doesn't quite slide on an old shower door track for 2 and a 1/2 years too long, and I can hardly wait. 
 Also, we're contemplating using this old Singer sewing machine as a vanity with this granite vessel bowl. I like the idea of such a unique vanity, and throwing some wood in there might add a little touch of coziness. I'm not totally digging the grey bowl on top though... maybe too bulky? What do you think?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Regent Square Condo

Let's take a peek at the cutest, little condo in Pittsburgh. Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but this is a really good example of how proper staging can sell a place. If I were single, or if it were just me and my husband, this place would be perfect. It's on the back end of Regent Square, so only a short walk to coffee shops and bars, a bike ride to Sq. Hill or Shadyside, and a quick bus ride to the city. It's only $79,000 and it's completely redone. I mean completely. Take a look at the pictures I grabbed off the listing website, or click here for more info. Anyone seen this in person? I'd love to know.

Love the grey. And all the mid century modern decor. 

That's a gorgeous Master. 

Look at the bamboo floors, the bamboo arms on the chair, and the brass end table. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

June Clearance Sale

Hello summer clearance sale...half the church is now 40% off. 
I don't know if I've ever fully explained this, but our church space is filled with half my stuff (items I buy, refurbish, resell) and half Jerome's stuff. Who's Jerome, you might ask? Perhaps he'll let me take a picture someday. But for now, he's the man behind the curtain. More specifically, an avocado-green, velour curtain from the 70's.  His specialty is all things mid century modern- and he's good at it. So much so, that he has a key, comes in the middle of the night, and brings lots of little goodies (much like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, only with furniture). To make it easy to remember whose is whose, I gave him half the church. Which in turn makes it easy on me to not have to worry about replenishing furniture all. the. time. 
With that explanation, the entire right half will be 40% off the original price. Even new stuff I just brought in- all 40% off for the rest of the month. So take a look at the inventory page. I will try to mark the sale prices of all my furniture in red. Let's go summer sale shopping, shall we? 

p.s. for those of you who love Yankee candles ( I do), they're having their semi-annual sale with 50-75% off almost all their inventory. Love it. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Switching a Dining Room & Living Room Space

If you joined me this past Monday where I revealed my own house, you saw that I switched my floor plan around. When we bought our house, the floor plan looked like this:
Please excuse my crude drawing! 
When we walked through the house the first time, I didn't even know the dining room had a huge picture window because the previous homeowners covered it with a huge china cabinet. Realistically there was no wall in the dining room to place a cabinet without either covering a window or blocking a walkway. Personally, I'd rather nix the china cabinet in lieu of blocking out that precious sunlight.
The living room lay out proves no less difficult when arranging the furniture. There are four doorways, a radiator, a fireplace, and a built-in bookcase to work around. When we first moved in, we stuck with the existing floor plan, and just used the back playroom as a cozy t.v. room. Here are some pictures below when we were moving in.
Back T.V. Room

Dining Room

Looking at the dining room from the kitchen

Living room

Clearly our furniture was too big for the space

Look at all those lamps on the mantle- clearly still getting settled in at this point. 
Our house looked like this for about 6 months until I finally convinced my husband that it would be so much more convenient to switch the two rooms. Here was my case: 1. The kitchen and the living room are the two main hubs of the house, why not connect the two? 2. When our daughter started getting mobile, how would I see her if she was all the way in the living room? 3. The dining room was actually a better fit for a couch and a t.v.. Whereas, the living room didn't really have a true t.v. wall, nor the space to fit more than a couch without blocking the radiator. I won, we switched the rooms, and haven't looked back since. Yes, it takes slightly longer to walk through the living room to the dining room with our food, but let's be honest, we eat dinner at the table maybe once a week. I do confess, I miss the way our old dining room looked. There was something cool about it. But I won't give up the function and convenience in this case. And since we finally got a t.v. in our living room, the back room became the coolest man cave/office my husband could ever ask for.
Now, the only reason I'm highlighting this whole switch-a-roo is since I'm listing the house soon- my question is should I switch it back so people don't get confused or thrown off? Or do you think people will understand, and be flexible enough to imagine their own use of the floor plan? I'm curious to see what you think.

Thanks for your input! Here are some quick shots of what the said living spaces look like today.

Straight view from my kitchen


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