Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Furniture on a budget?

I realize I have been a terrible blogger over the last two years, but I was mostly focused on being pregnant and having a baby.  So now that he's 9 months old - and I've mastered this whole mom thing I guess I can start posting to my blog again.  As an update, we sold our house in just one day!  We already found a cute three bedroom apartment in Evanston and move in about a month.  Pretty crazy - life is moving very fast these days.

I'm already trying to lay out furniture in my new place and frustrating my husband with conversation upon conversation of where will we fit the TV cabinet?  or do you think the Baker's rack will look good in the kitchen?

The place is quite a bit bigger than our condo - thank goodness!  This means I need to purchase some new furniture, but babies are expensive so I'm trying to be budget conscious.  So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite budget friendly shopping spots.

This awesome website provides links to local resale, consignment, small custom furniture makers and furniture refinishing shops.  You can search by product type (i.e. dining table) or simply browse the selections of each store.  It's like antiquing from your couch -so much more relaxing than traipsing from store to store.

One of my favorite stores listed on Furnishly is Millionaire Rejects, which offers cast off designer home goods at GREAT prices.  I also really liked Rustic Elements, which is a small custom furniture maker that creates beautiful dining room tables and chairs.

Over Sized Tables

Another one of my favorite resale shops is Barrington Resale.  You can also find the majority of their inventory online (although prices aren't shown).  I bought the banquette in my dining room from here for just $200.  I then painted it white and added doors at the bottom for a custom storage piece. I currently have my eye on a couple of the trunks and dressers featured on their website (so I call dibs).

Broadway Antiques (http://bamchicago.com/)doesn't exactly fit my current budget, but I LOVE their selection of mid-century modern antiques.  These are the REAL deal and would be classic investment pieces.  Again, the majority of their furniture inventory is available for viewing online.  I'm obsessed with the Edward Wormley caned armchairs featured on their website, but $1,200 is certainly no bargain.

I suppose I should stop fantasizing about all the furniture I want to buy, and focus instead on getting our house all packed up!

Monday, May 5, 2014

For Sale

We've decided to list our place for sale.  So in order to do so, we ended up getting professional photos taken.  I've long been berated for never posting pics of the finished kitchen - so here you go blog friends!

And if you know of anyone looking for a 2 BR condo in Lakeview - tell them to email me!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

We are almost done!

And I'm so glad because I think if the renovations had gone on for much longer Andrew would have moved into a hotel. He was so over living in a disaster zone! I guess I'm used to it - in my life every home I've ever lived in has been gutted and rehabbed. You see, my parents are addicted to renovations. 9 years ago my Mom came home from work one day and announced - "I found it!". She said she found the perfect house and the best part about it, she convinced my Dad, is that we won't have to do a thing to it - its perfect just as it is. Well after new windows, a new roof, a new kitchen, new bathrooms, and a relandscaped backyard the house is now actually perfect. Lest you think my Mom duped my Dad into buying a house that was far from perfect, this wasn't his first rodeo. My parents have renovated every home they've ever lived in, excluding the home my Dad designed and built himself (kinda just like one big renovation).

I was actually born into a renovation, because shortly after my birth, my parents decided to gut their entire house including the kitchen and bathrooms! I've slept on a concrete floor in a sleeping bag due to the fact that the carpeting wasn't yet installed. And I'm familiar with the many different shades of white as my parents tried and tested every possible one. You would think after painting every home we ever lived in off white they would have arrived on the perfect shade, however each time we ended up examining dozens of paint swatches and once the painter had to repaint an entire room because it just wasn't quite right.

Lest you think I'm being cruel to my wonderful parents, I have to confess that I too am addicted to home renovations. Poor Andrew had no idea what he was in for, but after all new windows, new HVAC, a new bathroom, new kitchen, and 18 different shades of beige he's coming to realize I have a problem. However I think now that the kitchen is nearly complete we are finally done with this house. If I'm anything like my parents though - we'll move again in about 3 years and start it all over again. Poor guy!

I don't want to rob all my readers of the joys of the big reveal, so until everything is completely done in the kitchen I'm going to show just a few tidbits.

The Cabinets after they first went in...

Our new Penninsula

I'm feeling so much more organized and together now that the kitchen is basically functional. All that's left to do is install the pendant lights (FYI we decided on the Celeste) and the backsplash. Once its all done I promise to post complete pics! After this, I'm going to have to come up with some other renovation projects. If you have any ideas let me know.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cabinets are going in!

Cannot wait to show you photos, but the cabinets are going in as we speak! They don't have any doors, but I'm already OBSESSED! I'll post some in progress pics later tonight.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Kitchen Reno Continues

This weekend was incredibly busy. Our drywall contractor arrived at 8 am Saturday morning to begin drywalling. There was a lot of patching to do due to our electrical changes and we also decided to cover up a window which you can see in the left corner of this image. The window looked out on our back patio which is dark and dreary and nothing nice to look at. Rather than incur the cost to remove the window, we decided to simply cover it with drywall.

Our kitchen before

The Window wall after being covered with drywall

We purchased a vinyl window shade and adhered it to the inside of the window. This way, when you look at the window from the outside it will look like a normal window with the shades drawn. The drywall installers then placed studs within the window frame as well as some insulation, topping it all off with drywall. They did a wonderful job and worked so hard! Our cabinet installer will come on Wednesday to install the cabinets. Slowly, but surely we are making progress!

Andrew and I spent the majority of the weekend picking out paint colors. A long time ago I purchased Benjamin Moore Paint deck which has proved invaluable. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, however I always seem to come back to the Historic Colors as they are classic and gorgeous.

For our living room and hallway we chose: Manchester Tan or Benjamin Moore HC-81. It's a cool light beige.

For our kitchen we chose: Revere Pewter or Benjamin Moore HC-172.

For our bedroom we chose: Grant Beige or Benjamin Moore HC-83.

Although Benjamin Moore recommends using their paints for their colors, both Home Depot or Lowes can match their colors. Lowes carries Valspar, and our painter friend Trevor recommends their signature paint and primer in one paint, which costs $15 less than a gallon of Benjamin Moore. We painted the kitchen tonight and the paint worked well and covered great.

Friday, October 29, 2010


So my friend Kelli brought up a good point. Its hard to pick a pendant when you don't know the other finishes in the kitchen, most importantly the hardware. So below are pictures of the handles and knobs we picked for the cabinets. Andrew and I are probably going to have to install these ourselves which will be interesting.

G.W. Aldeen

You may not know this about me, but cabinet hardware holds a special place in my heart. Not just because its the "jewelry" of home design, but because my great-grandfather started one of the largest American hardware companies. Its called Amerock, and I've made it a rule to use their hardware exclusively! My Great-Grandfather G.W. Aldeen immigrated to the states directly from Sweden. He possessed a creative and inventive mind and after working at a door and lock company, him and his brother Reuben started their own company. It is believed to be the first company dedicated completely to making cabinet hardware. Amerock was founded in the fall of 1929, just mere months before the great stockmarket crash of '29, however despite in spite of this the company had great success. The company was sold in the '70's and is currently owned by the same parent company that owns Rubbermaid. It's always astounding to me that my Great-Grandfather came to America with only $25 in his pocket and was able to learn English and start an extremely successful company in his lifetime. Should it interest you, you can read more about Amerock here.

Below are pictures of the hardware I chose:

Drawer pulls

Cabinet Knobs

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Need your help!

I cannot decide which pendant lights to hang over the penninsula. We are going for a "transitional" look which combines both traditional and contemporary elements. I'm thinking a satin nickel or polished nickel finish would work best. Here are the options I'm currently considering. Give me your vote!

The Kenroy Pendant

The Savoy Pendant

Celeste Pendant