Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Living Room Set Up = More Heat

So we did it, we made the switch that I talked about last week. I took our beloved, extra sofa out and threw it in our sunroom, which makes it look so much better out there.
Then I took my grandpa's old chair from our dining room and moved it to where the sofa was. It doesn't allow two adults to lay down and watch a movie on their own sofa, but it does allow for the heat to radiate through our living room once again. Mission accomplished without spending any money at all. You're welcome, husband. :)


Monday, October 28, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Regent Square

Just when I was thinking I wasn't going to have a house to share today, this one pops on the market. It's technically in Wilkinsburg, but it falls in the "Regent Square" category. A little FYI: half of Regent Square is Swissvale, and the other half Wilkinsburg- this is important when it comes to property tax and you'll always want to know what the house's reassessed value is. Wilkinsburg has a higher tax rate, so you're going to want that assessment to be lower!
Anyways, it isn't often you can find a house for sale and read the entire back-story on its renovation so this was a real treat for me. You can click here to see the details this couple went through to bring this house up to its glory.
Here are some pictures I took off houzz.com to share. This is 403 Biddle Ave.  a 2 bd/1.5 bath house listed for $220,000. As you'll see, everything is brand-spanking-new. Fun, right?
Contemporary Dining Room by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
Love the vintage Herman Miller cafe set- it works great with the industrial look they're going for. 
Contemporary Kitchen by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
If you've been reading my blog at all, you'll know that I love kitchens that are unique and not so cookie-cutter-esque. The use of different mediums (concrete, tile, wood, stainless) is great. Not everything has to match in order to look cohesive and this is a great example of that. I think I'd personally need a pop of color in there though. Maybe one of those fun, colorful stove ranges made to look retro?

Contemporary Bathroom by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
The tile work in this bathroom is exquisite and clean- just the way you'd want a bathroom to look! 
Contemporary Bedroom by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
The master- sparse, but I love how they use color in the dresser and bedding to do the "talking". 
Contemporary Family Room by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
I was kind of bummed to see this house had only two bedrooms, until I realized the 3rd floor was one big space that could easily double as a huge master suite. That's what I'd do at least. Apparently they use this attic as a family room, and a cool one at that, but if you needed the extra bedroom, it's definitely possible here. 
Traditional Exterior by Pittsburgh Photographers Jason Snyder
I was driving by today on my way to Frick park with T, and it looked even brighter and cuter in person. The door was painted a vibrant yellow, instead of the burgundy color in the pic. I'm so curious if the owners are moving on to another project, and if so, where?
The area of Regent Square is and has been "expanding" into Wilkinsburg, and I've seen the property values of this area go up over the last few years. It's definitely a fabulous location, on a quiet street, and there's a great little neighborhood cafe right down the road. Love neighborhood coffee houses! Did you know that's almost what we were going to do before opening up the furniture shop? Maybe someday I'll combine both loves...
Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Winterizing My Living Room

Is anyone else as sad about the approaching season as I am? With the inevitable cold weather moving in, we have to "winterize" our living room by taking one of our sofas out. It sits in front of the radiator and when deciding between heat or a seat, I'll take the heat. Bye-bye tufted sofa, see you next year.

 I'm kicking myself now for not buying these Arthur Moser chairs at a local thrift store. At the time, I had no where to put them, but now a pair would fit so perfectly in front of my radiator without blocking the heat flow. They'd look fabulous if I painted the arms/legs with a bright, contrasting color. And that price- $24.99. Oh, that price! But that page has turned, and now I'm on the lookout for another pair of something.
At least for the time being, the living room will look way less cluttered- which is great for showings (our house is still on the market, after all). And this whole thing has forced us to clean up this three seasons room where the sofa will hibernate for the rest of the season.

I've hung on to this sofa, in the first place, in hopes of someday having it reupholstered. I've been dreaming of something like this...
via
A girl can dream, right? Now back to reorganizing my living room...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Monroeville

Yay, it's Monday! Did I just combine "yay" and "Monday" in one sentence? Yes, I did... because it's Real Estate Monday, and that makes it much more fun. I picked a house in Monroeville because I like its simplicity. Seriously, why can't I find a house like this in the city? Three bedrooms, two baths, one big great room with a kitchen that overlooks it, a connected garage, a mudroom, beautiful windows- it's so simple, yet who needs anything more really? I wish I didn't dislike living in the suburbs as much as I do because you can't beat this price!
Here's 2423 Saunders Station Rd.


Wouldn't it be gorgeous to replace the carpet and tile with some beautiful hardwood and wrap the island with a marble like this?
Why, hello dream kitchen!
via

Honestly, the layout of this kitchen is so similar to my inspiration photo up there...it wouldn't take much at all to recreate that look! 

And this mud room would make a great little office.

Not the best pic of what I believe is the master since it has an en suite attached,
 but hey at least it has its own bathroom. 


I love that the Realtor provided a floor plan, too. That really allows me to get a better idea of the flow. 
My parents are in town this week and we're off to look at a few multi-units tomorrow. The house we put an offer on last month sadly did not pass its inspection [insert big sad face]. It had some major issues we didn't see beforehand and just couldn't afford to fix. So moving on... I think it'd be fun to have my parents live so close (part of the time, they live in FL full time) and thus the search for a multi-unit. We'll see how it goes.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Bloomfield

I know I've picked a remodeled home in Bloomfield before, so hopefully you don't mind while I highlight another one. This is most likely a flip as it was bought back in 2011 for $70,000. Now on the market two years* later  for $229,000 is 4513 Torley St.
*For those of you who might be interested in flipping a home, it pays to wait at least a year so your profit is not taxed as a short term capital gain. It's even better if you're living in your home while renovating and live there for at least two years, then you can make up to $250,000 or $500,000 if married and not pay capital gains tax. We learned this on our last house.
Bloomfield seems to be experiencing a great surge in remodels. The homes are a little frumpy looking on the outside and they scream Pittsburgh in the 1950's to me, but once remodeled I find them to be quite charming. They have very little yards, so if you're seeking suburbia this is not the place for you. But if you like walking down the street and having a bunch of restaurants at your disposal then this is the perfect local at a fraction of the cost of, let's say Shadyside. Here are the pictures.
Unassuming, I know, but it has a fresh paint job, and a garage in the back. 

This appears to be one large great room/dining room combo that leads right into the kitchen.
My favorite kind of layout.

Not a bad redo for a kitchen, eh? 

I like how much light this place gets, even though it's smack in between two other houses.

What a cool feature to keep on display as you walk down into your FINISHED basement. 

How nice to have a bonus room/man cave. 

This might be the only non-scary basement bathroom in Pittsburgh. 
 Happy Monday, friends!



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ombre Walls

You have to admit ombre is pretty neat. I've often tried this with furniture, i.e. painting drawers a hair darker with each descending drawer, but I've never tried it on a larger scale like a wall. This tutorial shows you step by step. I'd be a bit tempted to make it a little more dramatic by making the top shade a bit lighter, but this is totally playing into my whole mint color obsession. Also, instead of buying multiple different colors on the color scale like she did {which is fine}, I bet you could save money by simply buying the darker color and adding white paint to lighten it. If you're mixing your own colors this way, just be sure to make enough to cover the whole area you're painting (or measure your ratio) otherwise you may never be able to mix the same color again. 

source


Monday, October 7, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Highland Park

I'm back...and so is Real Estate Monday. If you missed yesterday's post, I talked about putting an offer in on a house in Homestead. While I'm not going to show you that house quite yet (give it time, we're still contingent) I will show you its twin in Highland Park. Now here is a classic example of the Pittsburgh housing market where the price for the same exact house can range from $25k to $500k depending on its location. I was scrolling through houses on my zillow app to find "inspiration" and to convince myself that this new house is just a diamond in the rough, and could someday be just as grand as some of these expensive homes. I couldn't believe my eyes when I literally came across the same house- the floor plan, the extensive wood paneling, the molding, the fireplaces. The only exception being condition. The house we're buying is in dire need of repair, has shag carpeting throughout, barely a working kitchen, dropped ceilings, one dirty, little bathroom, etc. Point being it's a long way off from looking like this house, but the bones are there. Trust me.
So here's the inspiration house at 6018 Grafton St. Highland Park, Pa 15206, listed for a whopping $499,000! It's located back by the farmhouse playground. If you have kids, this charming playground is a dream nestled back at the end of a street with very little traffic.
I miss having an entry way this big, and to actually have a place to put your keys, mail, etc. 



My favorite part of this house, and the one we're buying is this back stairwell in the kitchen. How quaint! 


What a gorgeous bathroom! The only thing I'd do different is some black paint up above the tile, then the marble subway tile would really pop! 






Sunday, October 6, 2013

Slice of Humble Pie?

 We're back from our long family vacation. My husband and I packed our bags and picked up an rv in D.C., drove it down to Florida, went to the Magic Kingdom, then jumped on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas with my parents. We realized when we do vacations, we do them BIG. And typically I need a vacation from my vacation when I get home. Anybody else feelin' me?
Our "campsite" in Hilton Head. 




The classic family pic-
my daughter looks like she's had too much to drink,
and my dad hasn't found his sea legs yet. 
What's even more crazy is that right before we left, we put a contingent offer in on a house in Homestead. Contingent meaning based on the sale of our current house. So the night before leaving, I scurried around cleaning our house the best I could, found some spare keys for a lock box, signed all the papers necessary and left my Realtor to list our house while we were gone.
Negotiating deals is neither easy nor fun while away, and this is our second time doing this (we were out of the country when we sold our last house). While I was gone, the house was listed and we had a few showings. Meanwhile, it never occurred to me to check the pictures listed online until I got home and got wind of someone saying it looked "cluttered". Ouch, really?
Curious, I checked out the pictures and realized both the home office (man cave), and our back storage room have posted pictures of all.our.crap. Now I know the world's not ending, and I'm seriously not usually this dramatic (ask my family, I'm the calm and collected one, I swear), but I just couldn't have this. I'm the one telling people to take down those pictures of cluttered rooms. Yes, we all have them, but we don't need to see them...yadda yadda yadda. So I quickly called my Realtor, begged her to take the incriminating pictures off till I had time to properly clean them, and promptly got to reorganizing. Insert piece of humble pie into my mouth now.
Anyways, we had a successful showing yesterday while I was at the I made it market at the Waterfront (hope they make an offer!). Here are some pics I got of that event in case you missed it, and I'll try to get the inventory tabs updated with everything new soon.


p.s. if you've made it this far (thanks, I know it's a long post) check back tomorrow for the continuation of Real Estate Monday. 

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