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Posts Tagged ‘Secondhand’

Sometimes days end differently than you expect them to, and I had one of those days on Sunday. I went to sleep in a totally different place than where I woke up; it was crazy. And obviously, this means I rearranged our bedroom.

Here are a couple of pictures of our bedroom from March 2011:

It hadn’t changed much at all since then, except we swapped out the floor lamp for a different one.

Hadn’t changed much… until Sunday, that is. We hadn’t been thinking about rearranging things in there at all, but I was standing in our bedroom, trying for the 17th time to come up with a solution for our one minuscule closet so that my clothes could move back in with Andrew’s. While we were in Boston last weekend, Bailey mentioned that one of her friends had used some Ikea wardrobes, which ended up looking really nice. So I was thinking about where in the bedroom we could put a wardrobe, and every placement seemed oh-so-wrong.

This floorplanner.com layout may help you visualize it:

I wouldn’t want to put a wardrobe in front of either window, of course, and I felt that swapping one in for the dressers would make it seem like there was a hulking nightclub bouncer crowding us as soon as we walked through the bedroom door. Didn’t seem that relaxing. Looking at this image, I guess it seems like we could put a wardrobe where our bench was and put the bench at the foot of the bed, but for some reason this floorplan LOOKS a lot more spacious than it FEELS, even though I double-checked my measurements. That is to say, the bench at the foot of the bed made that thoroughfare way too cramped. I know because I tried it once.

At this point, I was still standing in the bedroom, getting more frustrated about this whole clothing-storage dilemma, when I realized that we hadn’t ever really entertained the idea of the bed on a different wall. We had dismissed that idea on move-in day and never looked back.

Et voila.

The new floorplan:

I was even inspired to hang this mirror that I’ve had for at least a year:

Another angle:

When Andrew came in from doing leaves, he said it seemed like “it should have always been this way,” which of course, delighted me, but I think Widget is the biggest fan of the new furniture arrangement, because now he can hop on and off the bed at will, using the bench as a step-stool.

So the wardrobe, if and when we have one, would take the place of the Malm dresser that has the capiz mirror above it. I’m liking this idea; gotta cram more storage into this room somehow. Speaking of storage, did I mention that the bench is a STORAGE bench? It’s our teeny-tiny linen closet, where I keep the extra set of sheets for our bed. It’s from JCPenney. Oh, what the heck, here’s a whole source list to round out the post:

  • duvet cover and pillow shams: Restoration Hardware
  • duvet: Overstock.com
  • sheets and pillowcases: Macy’s (Lauren Ralph Lauren)
  • euro pillows: Macy’s (Martha Stewart)
  • bedskirt: Ralph Lauren outlet
  • bench: JCPenney
  • rug, dressers, nightstands, curtains, set of three flower pictures, black frame: Ikea
  • curtain hardware: Bed Bath & Beyond (I think!)
  • bedside lamps: Macy’s
  • capiz mirror: Homegoods
  • piggy bank: Target
  • ampersand: Restoration Hardware
  • silver flower pot and peace lily: gifts from neighbors
  • small silver jar with lid, floor lamp: gifts from my mom (found secondhand)
  • capiz frame: Marshall’s
  • decorative silver bowl: Macy’s (Michael Aram)
  • oil-rubbed bronze door hardware: Lowe’s

ONE more thing. I can’t resist sharing a vintage shot of this bedroom, from when we first moved in (aw).

Oh, Malm dressers. You’ve been with us through so much.

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STUFF. Blech. Stuff stresses me out. In my perfect world, our house would look like this:

Monochromatic and uncluttered to the extreme. Unfortunately, it’s not really a realistic ideal since Andrew and I sometimes like to do things like watch TV or read or surf the Internet. And we have a dog that requires stuff. And life in general just takes stuff.

I’m not exactly Type A, so organization is a constant struggle. Luckily, I was recently in the land of stuff: my parents’ house, where stuff goes to die. Normally, all that stuff just makes me anxious, but a stack of six baskets – abandoned by my sister – struck me as a possible solution for an empty… hole?… in our TV stand.

I put a few books and a decorative bowl in the bottom left quadrant, but the fourth and final one sat empty for the past two months. I wanted something white or light-colored to put in there, to lessen the black-hole qualities of the unit. And then those white baskets winked at me, and here we are today:

Light and bright? Yes. Clutter control? Oh heck yes. Widget’s toys have a new home.

And of course, that basket had friends.

These couldn’t be a better fit; I think this is what they call “fate.” There’s good stuff in these two baskets. Junk food for Widget:

Junk food for my brain:

How about those Twilight kids, eh? So scandalous.

So that’s three of the six. The other three moved into the multi-purpose closet in our living room. It’s our coat closet/pantry/catch-all storage space.

Those doors need a makeover, and that trim needs painting. At least the inside has begun it’s transformation from a jumbled mess to a semi-sensical…mess.

Reusable shopping bags shoved in there, then that pink bag is full of cleaning rags and there’s some other cleaning supplies shoved back there. Next shelf up is for games and my yoga mat and light weights. Here’s where one of the baskets came in handy to wrangle cards and Catch Phrase.

The other shelves are taken by our toaster oven and random foods, spices and oils.

Then I used the remaining two baskets to corral our hats and gloves: one’s for Andrew, and one’s for me. At some point, I’ll get around to making little labels or something for them so it’s easy to grab the right one.

While we’re talking about contained storage, check out this little box I picked up from Marshall’s for about three bucks

It’s kind of Hermes-esque, right? Ha! I wish. I use it to store my hair ties.

There you have it; that’s how we’re trying to deal with all the stuff life necessitates. As mentioned, organization is ever a work-in-progress for me, so any tips are more than welcome! Send ’em my way. Oh, and Stephanie – if you’re reading this, can I have these baskets? Thanks! Love you!

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Here’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed the past two springs. Right around March or April (depending on the weather, I guess), I start to see these signs pop up everywhere:

image from here

Some of you may know that my mom and her sisters LOVE yard sales. Growing up, I tried to participate as little as possible.

Then, our neighbors had a moving sale, and I offered them $20 for this granite-topped kitchen cart:

The granite and the wood-tone don’t go with anything else in our house, but hey, the kitchen’s a complete disaster anyway, and the cart adds a lot of function: a drawer and two shelves for extra storage, a bit of extra countertop work space, and a place to hang dish towels.

So I guess I’m kind of a convert, but nothing crazy. On Saturday, Emily and I drove around to some yard sales (we started with ones that were posted on craigslist, but really, from my limited experience, it seems like the best ones are always the ones we stumble across from following those handwritten signs). Emily is my bargain-hunting buddy; she was with me when I found my Goodwill table too. She never buys anything though. Weird.

Aside from some books, here’s what I got:

$5 cast iron Christmas tree stand. They were asking $6, but I don’t know if you know this about me – I drive a hard bargain. For the past two Christmases, I’ve told Andrew that once the holidays are over, we’re going to buy a deeply-discounted tree stand so we can get a live tree the next year. And two Christmases in a row, I have done exactly not that. But 2012 – the year of the live Christmas tree!

The only other thing worth noting were these glass ornaments that I got for 25 cents. They were asking 50 cents. Again: hard. bargain.

They are the type that allow you to jazz them up, either by popping off the top and shoving something inside or by decorating the outside. I might try to do this snazzy glitter trick I saw on pinterest:

image from here

Stayed tuned for that happening. Most likely around June 2014.

Does anyone else out there buy used stuff? There were a few things I passed on, like a $3 set of little Pampered Chef nesting glass bowls with lids and a $10 three-tiered shelf with baskets. I couldn’t think of an immediate use for either, so I think that’s a good rule of thumb. Andrew and I are a little bit stuff-averse, so the less useless junk we have around, the better.

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Who’s that beyond Andrew’s knees?

It’s Widge!  Lounging on his new-used bed/floor pillow that susiemommy found secondhand.  A new pillowcase is definitely in order, but I’m thrilled he’s actually taken to the cushion.  I thought it’d be too tall for him and make him roll right back to the floor, but no.  He’s tamed it.

We’ve had Widget a week and a half, and he’s already got three beds.

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… or Katie toward Goodwill?

My friend Emily and I decided to swing by the Super Goodwill after our company picnic on Friday.  I wasn’t expecting to find anything, when I bumped into tall, dark, and handsome:

Hello, lover.  I’m grooving on the open lattice on the sides (would you call that “lattice”?) and the two shelves.

Also, please allow me to direct your attention to the height of this end table.  That bad boy measures a whopping 26″ tall, which is perfect for that chair-arm height shown above.  Our two other side tables in the living room are way too short to really be functional by these sofas (one’s 23.5″ and the other’s a shade under 20″), so if you place a glass of wine on them, you really need to half-climb over the chair arms to retrieve it.

The other great thing?  The price.

Twenty dollars, and nary a scratch on the thing.  It must have been my lucky Goodwill day because I also found a hardcover copy of Tina Fey’s Bossypants for $2.50.

Emily got two pairs of pants and the stinkeye from some woman who thought Emily stole her purse (she didn’t).

Anyone else find any secondhand treasures lately?

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Wolfpack of Three

Meet Widget:

He is the nine-and-a-half-pound chi-mix that became a part of our family yesterday morning (adopted through D.C.-based Lucky Dog Animal Rescue).  What we know about him so far:

  • He’s about two years old.
  • He rides well in the car for at least an hour.
  • While riding in the car, he wants to be in a lap at all times, and if the driver’s lap is the only one available, safety be damned!
  • He doesn’t talk much except when he spots deer or another dog from the screened-in porch and when he’s killing his toys.
  • He really likes meals, treats, and walks (no surprises there).
  • He SEEMS pretty well housebroken.  No accidents yet, other than peeing on one of the PetSmart displays.
  • I can’t stop shopping for him.

We’re pretty sure he’s liking his new home so far and pretty sure he thinks he’s the boss.  He’s cute and sweet, but we’re trying to be firm with him anyway.

I think he thinks that couch is his.

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