Sunday, 6 November 2011

New Blog...

To go with the new house we will be building:
Little Bright Spot 2.0
I hope you'll drop by!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Mumford & Sons

Thanks to sean, who is much more savvy with the Craigslist, we saw them last minute and they were, as somebody commented on my old blog post about them, "magnificent."  They were down-to-earth, incredibly talented and they put on a wonderful show.  Although they did compliment the Asheville Civic Center a lot... which was bizarre because it is basically an overgrown high school gymnasium... bizarre but endearing.  I'm just glad they came here before the Fox Theater in Atlanta.  Jack and I were completely bowled over and so excited to see them continue to develop... we want to buy their shiny new album (legally) whenever it comes out and commit the opening chords to heart.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

This house will make your head explode

This apartment therapy tour was so full of eclectic goodness.
I love it when you're reminded of a dream that has faded, and for a moment you remember what it was that sparked your imagination about it.  This house is like that.  I remember in college when I would drive past the fraternity houses on Milledge and imagine what it might be like to inhabit a faded southern mansion, taking out all the neon beer signs and boys' grossness and filling it with vintage finds and color.  Here it is.  I'm now sure that my house will not really be anything like this, but it's a beautiful dream, right?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

On Not Buying a House

As the title implies, we didn't buy the house.  This is not easy to say and even more difficult to accept on an emotional level.  You see, I kind of fell in love with the little house--or at least with what I thought we could make of it--and the future we could have inhabiting it.  When we were going into the process, however, Jack and I had a sort of unspoken agreement.  It had to hinge on the budget, a delicate balance of numbers Jack is very good at... and I... not so much.  So when we had estimate after estimate inching our budget way over what we felt comfortable spending, we had to make a really difficult decision.  Rather, Jack had to say there wasn't a decision and I had to come to terms with that.  He was right, of course.  The numbers were way over both our budget and the resale value.  It would have been grueling work besides.  Not only restoring windows (which I was not-so-secretly looking forward to), but digging out a crawlspace and removing the aforementioned carpet-patterned vinyl.  A lot of it would have been soul-sucking drudgery.  While the results might have made me happy, they weren't worth losing money (on top of hours of drudgery) for.  The term "emotional rollercoaster" has never been more real to me.  If I had written this post at any point in the past week, it would have been at some extreme high or low or on the stomach-churning in between.  So I've waited until things with were on an even keel and our offer on the little house was really past-tense to write this.  Strangely enough, we seem to be renewing our search with extra vigor and open eyes.  We have truly learned so much and we wish the little house (that isn't, and will never be, ours) all the best.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Today I Made a Kitchen

If only on Ikea's Kitchen Planner.  It was still gratifying.  It can be done!  A kitchen fits, amply, into a 10'x10' box.  In other news, I've been meeting with contractors and handymen to get estimates.  It's so interesting to talk about the variety of approaches and possibilities.  As of now, I have only good things to say.  Everyone seems very professional and knowledgable as well as being tolerant of my whims and DIY aspirations.  I find myself getting carried away more with each meeting.  I have to remind myself that the purpose of these estimates is to determine whether we will be able to close on the house AND do it justice afterwards. 

So here's what I made today:
 To my surprise, I found the Ikea tool was pretty easy to work with.  Just save often is my only advice, along with saving, exiting and opening again when things stop spinning around and showing the green border.  You'll know when that happens.  Actually, I would recommend this tool for planning and conceptualizing any space.  So here it is: symmetry, gas, French-door fridge and all.  The only big thing we're planning on modifying is knocking through that wall to the left below, beyond which is the dining room.  We might add a counter or something fancy like that.  Also, a couple of those neat, globe-y pendants that I will pretend not to know the name of.  Who is on a first name basis with Ikea products anyway?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Crushing on Alexandra ANGLE Interiors

When I saw the below on Remodelista, I clicked over and went through the firm's entire portfolio.  Just incredible.  I felt my chest was aching a little, just from looking at all the creativity and the way the projects make iconic pieces look designed solely for that particular project.

 The depth of the portfolio is incredible, yet, despite different styles, there's a clear edge and inhabitability to all the space.  This is the first time I've had an actual crush on a firm's design work... but what about love?  Let's just say the guesthouse above has my heart, but I might be having a summer fling with this place on Fire Island:

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Story of Some Furniture

that came to live with us.  Specifically: an office chair, a desk, rolling side table, two lamps, and an occasional table.  They were sad and very moderately priced.  We wanted to make them happy so that they could give back to us by providing storage and light, primarily.  Also we wanted to transform them just for the joy (or heck) of it.    Before I mislead you... this is more of a fractured fairy tale.  

How do some people refinish wood so well? That's my question, because I clearly don't.  The chair was first.  To cut a long story short, I mangled the Don Draper of office chairs.  Bad.  I stripped (with Eco gel!) and sanded, and huffed and puffed and Danish waxed.  I think where I really went wrong was in assuming that my skills would be superior enough to pull off a natural finish.  In reality the nature that shines through is pretty defaced.  I thought I was sanding with the grain.  Whatever.

The results thus far have been discouraging enough for me to lose all momentum.  This means that my front porch is covered with an assortment of thrifted furniture.  It all looks exactly the way it did when I brought it home, except for the chair.  I have a naked chair on my porch for all the world to see.  It's embarrassing.  I finally picked myself up and drove back to the hardware store, spent an obscene amount of money on supplies and plan on getting back to Don Draper tomorrow with some fresh sandpaper (not to mention Minwax stain and some (water based!) poly.  Yes; I do realize that calling it "poly" makes me sound like a wise, old furniture-refinishing guru, but I feel I deserve at least this much.  Let me call it poly, much as I refer to perfume as "EDT" or "EDP" (despite the fact that I own three bottles of "juice" and my sister says it makes me sound like a sales associate who has been at Sephora too long).  Sometimes it's about the length of the journey and not the destination.  If I had to make a motivational poster to illustrate this point at the moment, you would see a naked, old chair in all it's roughed up glory, vinyl flapping in the breeze, waiting for the process that ends in poly.