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How cute are these? June 28, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, design, moving, new house.
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Now that my house is all painted, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do (or have done, and choose colors) in a rental, I apparently want what I can’t have and have been strangely interested in pendant lights lately. Go figure.

These caught my eye:

I can’t decide if I like the yellow or the turquoise best….

(via Remodelista)


Update: cleaning things up June 17, 2010

Posted by Emily in moving, new house, The Purge 2010.
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I’ve been sort of MIA in life lately, consumed with cleaning at my new house and getting everything prepped for living – and for the painters. It’s going well – we are almost done cleaning walls, we vacuumed and RugDoctored like mad and did my loveseats with the upholstery attachment while we were at it. The water that emerged looked like Coca-Cola. We’ve gone through 2 or 3 boxes of Magic Erasers at this point. And, thanks to my organizing class, I now have a cleaning closet where I can find just what I’m looking for. Here’s the before and after, plus a few more photos from the process.

(blurry) Before:

And after:

Went to wipe the dust off the light switch and discovered another wall color. I guess they had an oven fire at some point.

Stove was more than a little greasy,

but looks like a brand new appliance.

Here are some more “before” photos. Some things currently on the radar/in progress/getting dealt with include:

tub surround (getting regrouted this week)

blinds (soaked in tub overnight, then sprayed with hose outside and wiped down with 409-style cleaner):

(sticky) kitchen floor and cupboards:

The power of the Magic Eraser (before-right and after-left). The color isn’t quite this bad, but close:

side of fridge, before (has also been Magic Erasered into oblivion since this photo was taken):

this entire teapot used to be that dark brown color on the base (this one is thanks to steel wool pads):

My roommate has been powering through so much cleaning while I’m at work, and I’m trying to do what I can when I get home from work, which has led me to drill holes for closet rods after midnight, scrub walls until the wee hours, and generally flit from one project to the next like someone on speed. But I have also been doing some baking, so hey – progress all around.

More “afters” coming soon!

down the (white) rabbit hole May 19, 2010

Posted by Emily in colors, design, moving, new house, Spain.
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I have this weird thing about making decisions. I would consider myself fairly decisive, but when it comes to buying things, or making random commitments, I like to know that I’m making the right decision via process of elimination. I research. I read comments online. I stew a little. I ask most of the people I know for their opinions, even if it’s sometimes just to clear up in my head that I was right all along. I may be capable of decisiveness, but I am very rarely impulsive, especially with big purchases.

And so I’m trying to figure out the right paint colors for my new house. This process is inexplicably exciting for me, as it’s something I’ve been dying to be able to do for a long time. But now that it’s here, I want to be sure. If the paint goes up and ends up looking yucky, we’re probably going to be stuck with it, since I doubt we’ll be able to pay for it twice. (even once is a little overwhelming)

I have made up my mind that I want light gray walls in the living room and dining room, with white trim. Seems so simple, right?

Well, then I started reading about “the right white” and all my confidence went to hell. I read all 94 comments on this post. (RIP, Decorno) Read through Apartment Therapy’s take on white paint. Then their tips on choosing paint colors. Then read through Colour Me Happy’s take on paint choices (and have to agree with the starkness of the cinnamon color against the bright white – arg.) While I was there I also read her post “What everyone should know about gray” (because I really don’t want to screw that up, too. Gray is tricky.)

Then there’s the eggshell/semi-gloss/flat/who knows what else question. Semi gloss for the trim seems to be the consensus. But ceiling? Walls? Everyone has a different opinion, and everyone seems to feel very right.

I know I read even more musings on whites (not to mention the section in the book I bought), but I closed those browser tabs in a moment of feeling a bit out of control. I came to realize that most of my normal life/purchasing choices are highly governed by budget, which is an issue here, but not SO much since all of these cost the same or can be color matched. And generally there’s a finite number of choices – you go to Target, see 10 stereos, and you choose one.

But goodness, there are a million colors of paint! And don’t even get me started on how many freaking whites Benjamin Moore carries, not even counting the million other companies!

But somewhere along the way, I pretty much decided to paint my bedroom Benjamin Moore’s “Quiet Moments” (or its color-matched equivalent, depending on my budget at that point.) This felt like a huge victory. Every time I see it, I like it. And I even like the name, which seems to have strange emotional pull (yet another reason why BM’s “Mayonnaise” is not my white).

(photo via design*sponge, clearly. I love her Sneak Peeks and find them hugely inspirational [and laid out better than Apartment Therapy house tours].)

Does anyone have any paint choosing tips? Know the perfect white? Have a color in their house that they just love?

I seem to like yellow kitchens, but that’s a whole other issue. We don’t want day-glo. But we also don’t want weird Easter pastels. It can easily look dingy, the opposite of what you want in a kitchen. Colors, I love you but you treat me badly. At least when I’m trying to decide which of you to put on my walls.

I’m a winner! May 10, 2010

Posted by Emily in books, design, moving, things that make me smile.
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Stopped into a local design store the other day on my way back from lunch. Was on the hunt for rugs as the carpet is pretty shot at my new house, and after seeing this post on Design*Sponge but realizing that all of the lovely rugs under $100 were actually doormat sized from Anthropologie. That’s one steep doormat. I foolishly thought that this shop’s gambler’s sale on housewares and accessories would include rugs, but I was mistaken. I looked through some of their Dash and Albert rugs, of course gravitating to this more expensive wool option:

On the way out (into the rain), I put my name on a slip of paper and dropped it in a vase for a drawing – I always sign up for those sorts of things (I am my mother’s daughter). Got an email last week that I won this book:

Some of the rooms are a bit too basic for me, but there are some interesting tips. The timing couldn’t be better! Plus, winning is fun.

Choosing colors May 4, 2010

Posted by Emily in moving.
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Since there’s some chance of being able to paint the walls of my new house (something that no rental has previously allowed), and since I’m about to save a fair amount on rent from what I was planning, I finally justified buying this book I’ve wanted, but totally not needed, for a while. Can I mention again how much I love palettes?

I’m sort of thinking Horizon (or another light grayish color, or maybe a greige) for the living room, with white trim. Thoughts? Anything I should know about painting?

(also, I figured that if I’m going to be linking to Amazon, might as well become an Associate. Doubt I’ll ever make any money off of it, but I figure, why not? If you were to decide that you, too, were in desperate need of this book, and bought it via the photo link, I’d get some small sum in return. Eventually. If I reach 10 or 15 bucks. Just full disclosure.)

On the move May 2, 2010

Posted by Emily in Missoula, moving, The Purge 2010.
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It’s that time of year again, time to think about leases ending and moving one more time. As my couple of loyal readers may recall, I started asking a lot of these same questions this time last year. Namely,

-why are places so expensive here when wages are so low?

-how can the listing say an apartment is close to two things on opposite sides of town?

-how can people, in good conscience, rent hellholes like these?

After a whole lot of frantic Craig’s List refreshing and a bit of driving, slowly and stalker-like, through neighborhoods I like, hoping to see For Rent signs, I was starting to have my doubts. And then last week happened.

After lots of misses, I finally saw an apartment on Craig’s List that I thought might work. I emailed them back right away. Scheduled a showing. Asked for the application, so I could have it all ready to go. At the showing, I tried to ignore the other people also checking the place out. I wandered around, looking into every closet, checking out every nook, trying to envision my furniture, my art, and myself in the space. And despite the low ceilings and the funky closet spaces, I thought I could make it work. The place had more charm than anything else I’d seen, by a long shot. I thought I could make it mine. And that alone was worth the extra couple hundred bucks I’d probably spend every month. I handed over my completed application and crossed my fingers.

The next morning, I get an apologetic email from the owners. They’ve decided to put the house on the market, so the two tenants (upstairs and downstairs) would have to be ready for showings, the lease would now be month to month, but they’d dropped the price a bit. I thought about it for a little while, because by this point I had decided that this was the place for me, but with strangers wandering through and constant uncertainty that this might be the month they kick me out, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I don’t want to move and attempt to feel settled, only to be politely asked to leave.

Going back to the beginning was a big letdown. The same five places are listed over and over on CL, some with “one day special!!!!!” as part of the title, two or three times a week. Ugh. Mobile homes starting to look like more of an option?

And then another opportunity quickly presented itself, one I hadn’t really considered – having a roommate. I was ready to live alone (was ready last year…), to get over the roommate thing, especially semi-random roommates. But then the roommates of a friend who lives just off campus decided they were ready to move. She didn’t want to leave the house, where she’d lived for five years. So she asked if I’d be interested. It’s a 3 bedroom house, but it would be cheaper with just the two of us than the apartment would have been for me to live alone. Plus, people willing to rent out basement rooms are often total weirdos, let’s be honest. It has a yard with a picnic table and a tree with a hammock. I can actually plant things directly in the ground and not in an ever-growing number of pots. We think we might even be able to paint.

And so after deciding, over lunch, that we were both at a point in our lives where the college house scene – lots of posters and sheets covering crappy couches – was no longer our scene, we decided to take on a project and move in together.

I had so made up my mind to be done with roommates, but I came to see that a lot of the things I didn’t want to repeat were with roommates I didn’t know very well, or who didn’t communicate openly. Moving into a house, versus an apartment, but with a roommate felt like a lateral change at first. But now I’m excited. A bit of space to breathe and decorate and settle in is exactly what I was looking for. I’m excited to clean this place up and make it mine. Well, ours. And that’s cool too.

My organization class also starts next week, so May is going to be busy. I’ll try to post here about some of the upcoming changes  – exciting, spring, fresh changes.

My move may not be quite this artful:

(video via Renee Anne, via Desire to Inspire)