Friday, February 25, 2011

Decor Dilemma

So the eggplant sofa is officially on Craigslist... Now just keep your fingers crossed that it sells!  Hubs & I made a deal that if it sells, I can get something else for the sunroom (if it doesn't, it obvs stays) 

I decided that even if we did cut the skirt off, it would still be too formal (and purple!) for how I envision the final space.  And it goes along with my new 'if you don't love it, get rid of it' motto.

I need some help sorting out my vision from here though...

Plan A:
The Inspiration:

Possible Furnishings:

{Ikea Karlstad}

Plan B:
The Inspiration:
{via Lonny}

Possible Furnishings:


So the question is: How 'sunroom-themed' should the room be decorated? Or should we decorate it just like an extra living space?

I'm kind of in love with the Craigslist (vintage!) bamboo couch, and for the cost-savings I could easily try sewing some off-white pillow covers for it... But I just don't know if I'll eventually wish it was decorated like a 'regular' room... Thoughts?

Take a vote in our poll on the right side of the blog... Help me decide, before another couch is purchased & then listed on Craigslist (just kidding, Jeff!)

Weeknight Demo

If I haven't mentioned it before, my husband really plans before we start a project... He considers the budget, timing, return on investment, placement of potential furniture... You name it, we discuss it.

But once Jeff gets started, we are off... Exhibit A:

{view from sunroom looking into kitchen}

{laundry room window removal}

Just a typical weeknight... Coming home from work and ripping out windows & walls in the Whittaker house...

{view from dining area into sunroom}

{view from kitchen}

Now that its nice and open, we're reconsidering the pocket doors.  This weekend will be the test, since no pocket doors & a doggie door means that Ellie has the run-of-the-house all the time! 

I tried to very nicely explain to her this morning that she should be good, so that I can keep the rooms open to each other... Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow we'll be priming, finalizing our choice for flooring & maybe even taking down a little more of that wall.  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Uncluttered Living

I recently stumbled upon The Nesting Place and a post on how to cure thrift shopping disease.

This is pretty timely stuff for me... When Sarah came over last week, she pointed out that I have four lamps in my living room.  Four.  I also have three end tables, a coffee table, a TV console, and a sofa table.

{evidence of how much I love tables}

Which would be fine... If the room wasn't roughly 18x11.  Let's not even get into the china cabinet (that yes, holds china) in the bedroom.

Moral of the story:  We have too much stuff. 

The first step is admission, right?  So my resolution for the spring is to unpack this house... And send everything I don't love (or need) right out the door.  Can't wait to share along the way!

Psst... A certain eggplant couch is currently listed on Craigslist...  baby steps.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Painted Floors?

I've always loved this skirted console table.  And I just noticed that the floors beneath it are painted {cue wheels turning in my mind}

{source unknown}

Camila at Effortless Style (my new blog obsession) successfully painted her kitchen floor.  And I wonder if it could help us with our multiple flooring-types dilemma...

Thoughts?  Anyone out there tried it? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four Walls

Jeff has finished so much work on the sunroom recently!  Last weekend, he finished the molding around the windows...

And finished hanging all of the drywall...

And while I was out of town, he finished off the drywall with joint compound (mud).  It's hard to believe that this week we'll be removing the wall between the kitchen & sunroom, and then priming the room for paint over the weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Making the Cut

Hope that ya'll had a great weekend!  I headed to Raleigh to see some of my oldest friends (we calculated that we've known each other since middle school... so an average of 15 years!) and to celebrate the first one of us to be expecting a baby!  I was so lucky to also spend Sunday afternoon with my college roommate, Lindsey (who is less than two weeks from her due date!)

We all talked babies. A lot. 

But... Our current project is the sunroom, and before I left to talk babies for the weekend, Sarah came over to talk decorating.

We pondered removing the skirt from the eggplant sofa when it moves into the sunroom... To give it a less formal look.  As a quick recap, this couch started in our living room, then moved to the office & was slipcovered... And will make it's final move into the sunroom.

I'm in the mood to start cutting away, especially once I found this amazing 'after' on Centsational Girl.  My only hesitation is whether or not the sofa needs the skirt to balance out the heaviness of the arms and pillows...

You have to use your imagination a little here (and ignore the burlap sample)... I really keep going back & forth on this one.  Any thoughts?

Friday, February 18, 2011

In Place

Happy Friday!  We finally found a location for our new-to-us chairs... And so I thought I'd share a quick living room update.

As a reminder, we've had this horrible older dual-recliner since we've been married (a souvenir from the hubby's bachelor days):

And we literally just swapped it out for the leather chairs...

Turns out that the only way to make them work in our smaller living area is to place them right next to each other.  Ideally, I'd like to have enough room to put a little table between them, but I'm definitely loving the improvement from the recliner!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My heart skipped a beat when I found this leather couch on Craigslist, currently listed for $900:

Why?  Because I think it's doppelganger lives at Anthropologie for $6,000:

Tufting, rounded arms & nail head trim?  Check, check, check...

While we Whittakers have reached our couch quota, I'm not above begging one of you to consider a purchase.  It would make a nice addition, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inspiration Heartburn

In case you haven't noticed, my mind is going a million miles a minute with design ideas... Once again.  I find a lot of comfort in reading other blogs and about other husbands who don't understand the constant tweaking (or sometimes just total redesign).

My inspiration over the past few weeks...





...equals my husband's heartburn.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yea or Nay?

I've been considering this pair of chairs on Craigslist for a week or so now... And am starting to take it as a sign that they're still listed.

Obviously in need of a re-upholstery job (including getting rid of that skirt)... But for about $42 each, I think I could swing the extra cost.

Plus the shape reminds me of this stunner...

I think I'd split the pair and put one in each of our bedrooms... What do you think?  Should I go for it this weekend?

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Electric

I know, I know... I've been behind in posting our sunroom progress!  Things have been moving right along over the past few weeks.  And since it's Valentine's Day, don't mind my gushing about how hubby is talented/ amazing/ skilled/ hardworking...  He has done such a great job on this project and devoted tons of weekend and after-work hours... Who doesn't love a handyman?

As a quick recap, last weekend was running electrical and running a gas line for our little corner heater.

In other words, almost two entire days of crawling around under the house... where Jeff also found a leaky pipe that required a few extra hours of repair time.  A huge thank-you (once again) to my father-in-law for fearlessly tackling our crawlspace along side Jeff. 

When they were finally out from under the house, the exterior lights were also installed... One on the deck-side of the sunroom, and one by the driveway-side entrance.

Next up?  Window trim, insulation, and drywall!

Pure Goodness

It was like a Valentine's Day gift from the blog universe... I literally just posted my rant & rave about coming up short in my search for a campaign chest.  Then I hit the thrift stores this weekend and...

Hello gorgeous!  Well, actually not so gorgeous now... But just oozing with potential!  Currently living in our kitchen, the hubby said to me at dinner last night:  "You do such a good job making the house look nice, but can you remind me why you bought that ugly dresser?"  Clearly, he is asking for a post on campaign dresser inspiration...

This piece was actually being used to store items in a thrift shop and didn't even have a price on it... So I asked the owner if she would consider selling it, then talked her down $15 from the original price!

I also picked up this lamp at the Sleepy Poet, on sale for $30!

I originally planned to paint it a fun color, but I am completely re-thinking that now.  I kind of like the gold and aqua accents... What do you think?

Definitely a fun weekend for finds!  Cannot wait to get started on that campaign chest...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good Advice

We finally found a great arrangement to include our new (large) leather chairs in the living room!  Jeff & I dragged furniture around, measured, and considered multiple options for two days...

Then my mama came over last night, and in literally 15 minutes had the furniture arranged perfectly (which coincidentally wasn't really that different from what we had with the recliner).

{before... with the dual recliner}

We should send this woman into politics... She can set you straight and give great advice like nobody's business.  I don't make decisions without her.  Seriously.

For example, I've been searching consignment shops and thrift stores high and low for the perfect oriental rug to overlay on our sisal in the living room.  I found a show-stopper, but it was unfortunately too small when we got it home (so back it went).

Then last week, I found one that looked perfect in the store and was definitely the right size... It had red's, navy's, and light blue's... Just the combination I was looking for!

I brought it home, put it in the room... And it just didn't do it for me.  It felt too dark.  So I called my mama.

And she told me:  Everything you get for your home should make you happy, every time you look at it.

See what I mean about the great advice?  It is so easy for me to be swayed by a sale, great price, or impulse-buying... But at the end of the day, our three-bedroom ranch doesn't have the room for things that make me feel so-so.

The rug went back to the store... To find a home with someone who feels ecstatic when they see it.  And I am keeping that solid mama advice in mind as I continue to find pieces that I absolutely love.  And looking is the most fun part anyway!

P.S. - Hallelujah!  I found the camera cords and will have non-iPhone picture updates from the living room and sunroom next week.  Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Chairs are Here!

Happy Wednesday!  Sorry for the little break... I turned in part one of my Capstone course deliverables last night (my portfolio).  Very exciting!  But needless to say, it has been taking up all of my time recently.

In more exciting news, I came home from class to find that my hubby had picked up our new living rooms chairs!  What?  You don't remember way back, when we scored these two leather chairs for free?  Well, they've been patiently waiting in my in-law's basement... And it was a total (very welcome) surprise to see them in our living room!

The only problem?  They are so much bigger in our little ranch than they seemed at my in-law's house!  So I need your help... Right now we have them arranged side-by-side, so that one blocks the fireplace corner.  That means you have to walk through the middle of the chairs to come into the living room (the old dual recliner blocked the middle section, and you walked by the fireplace to come in).

It also means that our end table is pushed back against the wall now, and one of the chairs is situated somewhat behind one side of the sofa...

Thoughts?  Obviously this isn't set up (you can see the old recliner in these pictures, currently living in the middle of the room), but does it look too cramped?

We're going to try to live with them for a few days to see how we feel...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fever of 103

Yes folks, I am referencing my current baby fever!  My oh my, how the past few weeks have been busy... I celebrated my college roommate's baby shower with friends... And then had to browse around Etsy for cute baby items...

Then we found out that our dear friends Ray & Amy are expecting!  And now the news that my blog friend Caroline & her husband are having their own bundle of joy!

And, as if that didn't have me bursting with happiness & baby-induced giddiness, I found out yesterday that my sweet friend Christine & her husband are due on their 3-year wedding anniversary in August (how wonderful is that?!)

So, for all the mommas-to-be...

{all images via}

Some lovely weekend inspiration... And TONS of love & congratulations!  Also, be sure to check out ohdeedoh for more swoon-worthy nurseries & children's rooms!

P.S. - You can witness my last bout of the fever (about a year ago) here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Rant & Rave...

To the person who snagged the FREE campaign chest off Craigslist before me... I hope you stub your toe on it...

I'm just kidding (kind of)... But I do find campaign furniture to be incredibly elusive.  I have been searching for a full-size dresser or small chest (like the free one from this week) for literally the past 6 months!

I have emailed 3 different Craigslist finds, only to have the item already sold each time... So tell me, how do I find one of these puppies?!  In blog land, it seems like everyone has found one (at a great price too)...

Bryn found this dresser on Craigslist for $50

Jessie also found her dresser on Craigslist... with matching nightstands! (check out the 'after' too)

And there's Jenny's amazing campaign dresser find (also CL) for $60

And now Mr. Goodwill Hunting has done an entire round-up post on all the bloggers with campaign dressers and chests... Including his own find.

I don't know if I can take it anymore... Oh and if you help me find one, I will love you more than my husband forever.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Say Hello to my Little Friend

Over the weekend, Sarah and I hit some of our favorite thrifting spots... Tons of ideas and inspiration (which makes me happy), but only one purchase (which makes the hubs happy).

This little elephant came home with me for the grand total of $12!

He is in need of a coat of bright-colored paint, but I think he'll look incredible by the chairs planned for our sunroom addition.  He reminds me of these guys...



Then, of course, I had to do a quick browse around the internet...

At William-Sonoma Home for $160:

And at Inspired Living for $169...

Can't wait to get our little elephant table all cleaned up... Now to decide on the color!