Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Whoo hoo!  I'm officially done with grad school for two weeks... Until the summer session, which will be my last class of the program and is still unbelievable to me!

I've already decided that I must read Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants, over break while I have the time.


My love for this woman knows no bounds.  And as if I need to prove to anyone that she is the funniest woman person alive, check out her prayer for her daughter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chairs, round two

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Jeff & I finally finished all of our painting projects, did a ton of work out in the yard, and spent Easter Sunday with both of our families.  It was a perfect mix of productivity and rest!

I'm also happy to report that I found a set of chairs for our sunroom!  After searching some of my favorite consignment shops and Craigslist, I found this pair at South End Exchange.

I swoon every time I see them... And my favorite little $12 elephant table fits perfectly too.  Now just a few more details, and I'll be ready to share how it all came together!

Psst... I also have to admit that these chairs were slightly out of budget, but I loved them so much that my sweet hubby (uncharacteristically) gave me a budget extension.  He originally told me that we couldn't get them, then surprised me this weekend by waking up one morning and asking, 'so when should we go get your chairs?'  I'm the luckiest... Thanks Jeff!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cane-back Chairs

We've finally settled on a room arrangement for the sunroom.  Fortunately, Jeff insisted that we use our current furniture to layout the ideas I had for room set-up.  I say fortunately because every idea I had (floating a sofa or two love seats facing each other) made the room feel too small or too crowded with furniture. 

After a week of brainstorming, asking for different opinions and moving furniture, I think we finally have a winner!  And now it's on to my favorite part... shopping!

I fell in love with these vintage French cane-back chairs on eBay... But unfortunately the $600 chairs ($450 price plus $150 estimated shipping) is far out of the budget. 

I keep looking at them, hoping that somehow the price will magically drop by hundreds of dollars and they can come live with me.  Or that Jeff will tell me he was just joking about not winning any money in Vegas, and he bought them for me as a graduation gift.  I can dream, right?


I was pretty excited when Amy's post on upcoming home to-do's included repainting their living room and hallway.  Remember a while back when Jeff (and my mom) thought I had totally lost it, because I was ready to repaint our house again?  Good to know I'm not the only one who likes to switch things up in the paint department!

Well, it is almost a done deal.  I grabbed my paintbrush and changed things up around the house.  Like I've mentioned before, I've been moving towards keeping things simple, uncluttered, and clean... And I feel like the new wall color for our kitchen, living room, and hallway makes me feel all of those things!

The color is Horizon by Benjamin Moore and is a great neutral for the house.  It looks light gray during the day, but definitely much more blue at night.  It makes me swoon.  It makes the house feel much bigger and brighter.  And it is a definite overall improvement.

On a second note, I kind of did this as a sneaky wife activity.  Jeff never told me not to do it... He just said he thought it was a bad idea and 'unnecessary.'  So I surprised him & went for it while he was in Vegas... And am happy to report that he likes it!  Or at the very least doesn't dislike it.  I'll take that as a win!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday's Facts

Jeff & I are heading to Ikea after work on Wednesday to check out their desk offerings.  But interestingly enough, my need for a desk at home will drastically decrease in the next few weeks... why?

Because I am presenting my final graduate project (my capstone project) tonight!  So that ::shriek:: of excitement you hear at about 9:30 pm this evening will be me!

We have been working on our projects, among a few other deliverables, throughout the semester.  And tonight we present them to a panel of faculty, fellow students, and really anyone else who is interested. 

{images via}

Then we submit our final projects at the end of this week, have 2 more weeks of other classes (theory for me)... And graduate on May 6th!

Although I'll still have 1 more class to finish up this summer, I cannot believe I am just weeks away from graduating!  The last 3 years have flown by, and I am nervous, excited, sad...

But for the moment, mostly feeling lots of butterflies about this presentation!  Wish me luck!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Deciding on Desks

It's finally time (well, almost time) to move furniture into the sunroom!  By the end of this week, all the paint touch-ups and trim work should be finished!  And Jeff & I are already discussing our desk options.

I knew I wanted something 'open' that wouldn't take up a lot of visual space... So I've been gravitating towards sawhorse desks.  Originally, I planned to buy Ikea legs and add a cool old door or shutters with a piece of glass over the top.  Jeff wasn't too enthusiastic about the glass top, so on to Plan B (oh marriage compromise!)

Here are the current front-runners, within our small budget of course...

Or, the most cost-effective option, pairing either of these Ikea legs with a birch table top...

For some reason, I'm leaning towards a birch/ light wood finish with several of these options... What do you think?  Is the light wood too bleh?  The Ikea options also come in a white lacquer finish, but not sure if it would be over-kill with white walls in the room?

Feel free to pipe in with your two cents... Hoping to pick out our desk this weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Two Nights of Grout

Wednesday night was grout night.  Jeff and Amy's husband Ray (once again!) teamed up to work on the floor.  They had all the grout done pretty quickly, and then it was time to clean (& that's where yours truly came in).

Apparently, you grout the tiles (which is quite messy), then go back with a damp sponge and wipe up the floor.  And repeat.  And repeat... Wiping with a clean, damp sponge until the grout (and eventual 'haze' that's left behind) is gone.

Easy right?  Ray headed home after two rounds of cleaning, and we were all convinced that it was maybe a few more rounds, and we'd be done in time to watch Modern Family.

Fast forward over two hours later... And we were still cleaning.  With a light haze still on the tiles (and slight grumpiness from both of us), we called it a night about 11 pm.

Fortunately, we were able to clean off the remaining 'haze' last night with sponges that have the scrubber side (and yes, that is the technical name).  And we are so happy with how the floors came out!

Jeff is planning to seal the tile tonight and hopefully put up the last of the trim this weekend... We're finally closing in on the finish!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One More...

I couldn't resist sharing one more project as we go about 'sprucing up' the house for spring and rearranging a little with the sunroom addition.

After much back-and-forth, I decided not to go the DIY route with an upholstered ottoman coffee table (like Jenny did)  But leave this one to the professionals!

Now I'm super excited to get it back in a few weeks.  Especially since I picked out the most swoon-worthy fabric. ever. 

It's a gorgeous peacock blue velvet... And I could not be happier with how it picks up the gradient shades of blue in our living room throw pillows (fabric at top of photo).

Hoping the end result will be similar to this...

But in a size appropriate for a small-scale living room... And in peacock blue, of course (I'm just a little obsessed).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sneak Peak

We have a ton of little projects around the house right now, and I just can't help but share a 'sneak peak' into the goings-on in the Whittaker household....

Repainting rooms:

Thrifting furniture:

Painting furniture:

Rearranging rooms:

And building furniture:

On a similar note, although we disagree over my love to continually completely redo tweak the rooms in our house, I am so thankful to have such a supportive husband!  For the most part, he puts up with my requests to install new towel racks, pick up or move in thrift store purchases, hang pictures, and move furniture outside so I can paint (or repaint) it... Oh, and add on a sunroom

Whoever said 'patience is a virtue' must have been referring to my home project ideas... Thank you, Jeff!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunroom Tile: Check!

This weekend we made major sunroom progress... Our floors went in!  Friday night, Jeff and I headed to Lowe's to purchase the tile and other materials.  We had gone back & forth so many time on what to do with the floors in this room.  Surprisingly, after pricing out several options (including stained concrete and cork), tile ended up being the most cost-effective.

So Saturday morning, Jeff went to work.  A huge thank you to Amy's husband for coming over bright & early and helping lay tile!  The floor was a little bumpy and uneven in spots, so it was time-consuming to lay the tiles straight and flat... But the guys did such a great job!  And another huge thank you to Jeff's dad and brother for cutting tiles and helping out over the entire weekend!

With our small crew of free labor, the floor was almost finished by Saturday afternoon.  A few more pieces on Sunday, and the floor was down!

And, because I owe you a few other updates, the door trim is also done and columns are finished...

{even Ellie's doggie door got a little trim}

Up next:  Installing the shoe mold, painting all the trim, touch up paint on the walls, and grout & seal the tile!  Fingers crossed that we finish up by next weekend... making it almost exactly 5 months from when we started!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend DIY Fun

We have some big DIY plans for this weekend, like most others recently.  I've been behind on the sunroom updates, but we've been working away!  The ceiling and walls are primed & painted, most of the trim is in place, the columns are complete, and we're picking up the tile for our floors tonight.

I can't wait to share some more pictures next week!  I keep telling Jeff that I'm submitting him to host an HGTV make-over show after this project.

And much to Jeff's dismay, I've been investing in a few other projects around the house too... Like picking up fabric for my own skirted table, scouring Craigslist, and painting.

Some of my inspiration for the weekend...

{images via}

Happy Weekend!