Friday, November 29, 2013

Flash Sale Friday: Deck the Halls for the Holidays

It's time for another...


Each week, I will be featuring some of the week's best picks from my favorite Flash Sale sites and creating a room inspiration board for all of you to enjoy!  If you have a room that needs decorating and you are looking for some inspiration, feel free to email me what you are looking for, and I'll see what I can come up with for you, and you will be featured in a future Flash Sale Friday post!

If you would like to become a member to one of the sites featured in this Flash Sale Friday post, feel free to create an account from the links I have provided below.

Fab

A little late on posting today, but I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you were able to celebrate with family and friends. Now that Thanksgiving is over, and the leftovers are eaten, it's finally time to start thinking about December holidays. I'm a purist when it comes to celebrating holidays - "one at a time" is my motto.  With Thanksgiving being late this year, especially compared to last year, December is right around the corner, and Christmas (our December holiday of choice) is less than a month away, so you better get out all of your holiday decorations and start decking the halls!

1. First Snow and Believe Print via One Kings Lane  2. Golden Pear Decor via Joss & Main  3. Metal Star Wall Decoration via One Kings Lane  4. Flying Red Reindeer Decor via One Kings Lane  5. Pre-Lit 7' Clear Spruce Christmas Tree via Wayfair  6. Tis the Season Canvas via One Kings Lane  7. Winward Eucalyptus Magnolia Leaf Garland via MyHabit  8. Snowflake Ornament via Gilt  9. Letter "R" Ornament via Gilt  10. Arctic Penguin Ornament via Gilt  11. Birch Round Pinecone Tray via Gilt  12. 12-Piece Glass Ornament Set in Gold via Wayfair  13. Pinecone Ornament via Gilt  14. Set of 3 Twinkle Tree Decor via Joss & Main  15. Small Puff Star Ornament via Gilt  16. Fallow Deer Antler Mount via One Kings Lane  17. Red Christmas Tree Stand via Fab  18. Leaf Sprays in Gold via Rue La La  19. Plug-Free White 49' Rope Lights via Fab  20. Poinsettia in Planter via One Kings Lane  21. Bauble Garland in Multicolor via Fab  22. Nkuku Bimala Antique Brass Lantern via Hautelook  23. Right Facing Owl via Gilt  24. Small Finland Pine Wreath via Gilt

I love all the little ornaments that are out there on the sites this week! That little penguin is a must-have, and that owl?! How adorable would that look sitting on a bookshelf or on your fireplace mantle?! He is just so cute!  

I hope you all find some inspiration for your home for the holidays! Looking forward to decorating this year, although it will be different than most years. More on that to come soon! 

Please Note: All of the images in this post have been used with permission. Images were not modified or altered to fit in this inspiration board. Flash Sale invitation links may provide me with rewards if items are purchased by a new member.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dining Room Chairs and Swatches

Rugs have been pushed aside, ladies and gentlemen - and been replaced by Craigslist.  I hinted towards this last week, however, it has gotten much, much worse in the last few days.  It has come to a point where I now have over 45 alerts set for different search terms, and in addition to that, I have nine different Craigslist search tabs open on my Chrome browser.  I have been stalking that site at least once per hour, and have been finding some amazing things.

This weekend, Dylan and I went to visit my grandparents, and on our way down, stopped to take a look at some chairs, which we ended up buying.  These two chairs, the IKEA Borje chairs, are on my shopping list for our dining room, so I was so excited to see that these were the color that I wanted.


The seller said that they had only been used two or three times, and they are in excellent condition, so I totally believe her.  We bought them for $40 combined, tucked them away in the backseat of my car, and left her home with a smile on our faces! I mean, how can you not smile after getting such perfect chairs at a great price?! Each chair new from IKEA is $49, so getting two for less than the price of one was incredible!!

So, getting these chairs brings me to the next part of the plan - recovering the seats. I mentioned last week when I talked about the Klobo Loveseat that I wanted to recover both in a patterned fabric so that it ties the living and dining areas in together.  However, I was kind of worried that some of the patterns of fabric would clash and be too busy with the pattern on the rug - and boy was I right.  I didn't realize how busy some of those swatches ended up being, so I am very glad that I ordered them.

I laid all of the swatches out on the Klobo Loveseat, which is already in the living/dining room so using the natural light from the large picture window in that space, I was immediately able to eliminate some of the fabrics because they weren't the right color I was looking for.  You can kind of see the difference in the color of the fabrics compared to the paint swatch, which is the one that I have bordered in black, but trust me when I say that some of the colors that look like they match in this picture were totally off, like the one right above the paint swatch. Wow, was that an awful clash!

On the Arms: Premier Prints Small Dandelion Turquoise/White and Premier Prints Circles True Turquoise (Discontinued) 
On the Seat Back - Bottom Row: Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Sticks Pacific

I wasn't able to test these out with the rug that I bought, because I actually exchanged the 8'x10' for the 9'x12', and haven't removed the new one from the packaging.  As you can see, there is just too much stuff in the room right now to be able to open it up, so I used my iPad to show the rug pattern with the fabric.  Turns out that the rug is a lot busier than I thought it would be, so we have actually decided to do two different fabrics.  And surprisingly, even though we chose a pattern and a solid, we will be using the pattern on the seats of the chairs!  



I love the chevron pattern above, and even though Dylan is not a big fan, he said he could deal with it in small quantities. Plus, this Premier Prints fabric isn't in-your-face chevron, like some of the other ones are, so I think that worked in my favor with getting him to agree to it!  The second fabric swatch is to die for. Seriously.  It's a turquoise velour, made by Covington, and it is the softest fabric I have ever felt. It's even softer than the Minky fabric that is so popular for baby blankets.  As soon as I touched this fabric, I wanted to lay on it, and knew that I had to have it.  Luckily for me, the color in the velour and the chevron is almost exactly the same, so Dylan suggested that we do the print on the chairs, since the angle in the chevron pattern matches slightly with the rug, and then we use the velour on the Klobo Loveseat.

Sold!

So, that's the plan. I have purchased the fabric and I am waiting for it to arrive.  I can't wait to get to work in recovering the chairs and the loveseat - and don't worry, I'll be posting a DIY so that you too can recover your IKEA furniture!

Have you ever recovered a piece of IKEA furniture? What problems did you come across in your process?  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Flash Sale Friday: Chic Beachy Living/Dining Room

It's time for another...


Each week, I will be featuring some of the week's best picks from my favorite Flash Sale sites and creating a room inspiration board for all of you to enjoy!  If you have a room that needs decorating and you are looking for some inspiration, feel free to email me what you are looking for, and I'll see what I can come up with for you, and you will be featured in a future Flash Sale Friday post!

If you would like to become a member to one of the sites featured in this Flash Sale Friday post, feel free to create an account from the links I have provided below.

Fab

Light furniture and natural wood tones really help to bring a beachy feel to a living space.  This combination living and dining room has just that feel, with the white and natural fabrics, the seashell detail in the lamp, and the natural wood dining table, which is absolutely beautiful.  The dark blue color lends itself to the depths of the ocean and the paint color, Sherwin Williams Composed is the perfect shade of a light teal for the walls of your home.  All of the natural elements of the space really help to make the room stylish while also bringing in warmth and comfort.  

1. Comfy Left-Facing Sectional in White via One Kings Lane  2. Canyon Square Coffee Table via One Kings Lane  3. Franklin Mirror via Rue La La  4. Toya Throw via Joss & Main  5. Dotty Ottoman in Natural via One Kings Lane  6. Mathis Rug in Blue and Ivory via One Kings Lane  7. Leah Table Lamps via Joss & Main  8. Zuo Haight Ashbury Distressed Natural Table via Hautelook  9. Zuo Pacific Heights Beige Armchair via Hautelook  10. Alexia Side Chair via Joss & Main  11. Viscor Writing Desk via Joss & Main  12. Rustic 4-Door Tall Sideboard via One Kings Lane  13. Boheme Collection Braided Jute Pouf in Natural via MyHabit  14. Hollis Jute Rug via Joss & Main  15. Obi Teak Coffee Table via Joss & Main

How comfortable does this room look?  If I had a home on the beach or on the water, I would be all about this style.  But, you must be brave when it comes to having light colored upholstery.  What do you think of this room? Is it your style? What's your favorite piece on the room board?

Please Note: All of the images in this post have been used with permission. Images were not modified or altered to fit in this inspiration board. Flash Sale invitation links may provide me with rewards if items are purchased by a new member.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Epic IKEA Shopping List

I told you earlier this week that I was going to be taking an epic trip to IKEA to purchase some furniture and accessories for our house.  I have been making a spreadsheet of all the purchases we will be needing to make in the next few months, and for each room, there is at least one thing from IKEA.  I figured that I would give you a tour of all of the things that I have on my IKEA shopping list, and how they will be used in our home.  

Our first stop is the Family Room, which I know I have already explained most of it to you, but just for the sake of keeping everything together in one place, I will include here again.


So, as far as the IKEA items go, from this room, you'll see the most obvious piece, the Expedit, which will be our TV stand.  I will be getting it in the High-Gloss White color, and I will be hacking it to add four or five Capita Legs so that it sits just a little higher up off the floor.



The next piece you see in the design plan above is the coffee table, which is part of the Vittsjo Nesting Tables Set. I haven't decided what I will use the taller table for yet, but that can always go in a different room if it turns out there isn't enough space in this room.  Also part of the same collection is the Vittsjo Tall Shelving Unit, which actually isn't pictured above in the design plan, but it will go next to the television and the Expedit.  



And what you may not have noticed in the background of the design plan are the white Merete curtains for the windows.  I love that they are grommet curtains that I can use with the DIY curtain rods I have made out of electrical conduit.  


The Family Room design plan shows two lamps, one table and one floor, but those have since been removed from the actual plan - I just didn't update the visual I made in Photoshop.  

The next room is the small bedroom, which will be my Craft Room. I haven't previously shared my design plan for this room, so this will be the first chance you get to seeing how I am hoping it will turn out. I will make a full design plan though, because there are some other really cool items that I will be adding to the space, including my new library card catalog!

The first thing for the space is the Morum rug. It's a flat-weave rug that I am thinking will vacuum really well, which is important since there will be fabric scraps and thread clippings likely falling onto the floor.  


The next thing that I will be getting for this room will be opposite of the rug - the Fuga ceiling light. Currently, the space has one of those old globe lights that has probably been in place since the house was built, so I am really looking forward to switching this light out. I think it's the perfect mix of modern with functional, since the spotlights can be pointed wherever they are needed. 


Dylan and I used to have one of these Linnmon/Adils tables in the last apartment we had together, and it held up really well considering we were using it for food prep. So I put two of these tables on my shopping list, hoping that I am able to put them together in the center of the room to give me enough space to spread out large pieces of fabric.  


A while back, I shared the design plan for the Guest Bedroom, but like the Family Room, I wanted to include the IKEA items in this post.  There aren't too many for this room, because I have since removed the two nightstands and all the lamps in the room, and I already have the bureau, and the IKEA chair has been replaced by one that belonged to my grandmother before she passed away earlier this year.  


So, that only leaves us with two items from IKEA for this space: the Hampen Rug and the Werna Curtains.  I really love the green rug and hope that despite its small size, it will really help to bring some comfort into the space without overloading the room on the green color.  The curtains though, are dark, so I'm hoping that they will help to block the light when we have guests staying over, while at the same time, bringing some dimension to the room with that pop of dark color along the wall.  



The Living/Dining Room doesn't have a full design plan at this point.  I've been really struggling with it, since we have two functions planned - a Dining Room and a Living Room.  I have been debating building our table, but I'm not sure if that cost will be worth it in the end. I have to price out some wood from a lumber yard, because the types offered from the hardware stores are too soft to build a sturdy table.  If I don't end up building the table as planned, I will likely be purchasing the Stornas table from IKEA, which is made of solid wood.  To go along with the table, regardless of if it's built or bought, I will be purchasing ten of the Borje chairs in the Brown finish and the Gobo White seats.



I also thought that some white Lack shelves would look good along one of the walls to show off some of the little chotchkies that we have.  And then on the other side of the table, I was thinking of some sort of sideboard, and I have fallen in love with The IKEA Bjursta Sideboard.  However, I am having a really hard time justifying the price tag, especially since this isn't one of IKEA's solid wood pieces.



There is only one piece for the Master Bedroom that we will be purchasing, and that is this Expedit Workstation so that we can setup our office in our bedroom. With it being as big as it is, we will have more than enough space to set up an office area, especially since the futon currently in our bedroom will be moving to the craft room for additional guest sleeping when necessary.  


Aside from these bigger items, we will be purchasing some decor items, like picture frames, vases, and fake flowers, and some succulents and actual plants and the cute little tabletop Socker greenhouse you see below.  The venue that we got married at, the Roger Williams Botanical Center, has a few of these plants in the greenhouses, so I thought that this would be the perfect way to remind us of the absolutely beautiful wedding day that we had.  




So, that concludes the bulk of my IKEA shopping list. To make sure that I don't bore you, I didn't include too many of the little things that we will be getting, like some additional accessories for my craft room and some sets of sheets for the guest bedroom and the futon.

But, that's my list! What do you think? What are your favorite pieces above? What about the pieces you have in your home - which are your favorites? Any suggestions on must-have items from IKEA?


All images except the Family Room and Guest Bedroom Design Plans courtesy of IKEA.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Craigslist Is My Best Frenemy

I introduced you to my new love last week - my library card catalog.  I found that piece on Craigslist, after almost a year of searching for the perfect piece in my price range.

Since then, I have been obsessed with Craigslist, checking almost hourly (and I'm not really kidding) for things on my IKEA shopping list that I can get at a steal and save not only money, but space in my vehicle when I take my epic shopping trip (more on that shopping trip later).  I have started wanting more and more items that I find, which is why Craigslist is currently both my best friend and my enemy.  It's essentially screaming at me to spend money on awesome pieces for the house, but I really need to be careful and make sure that the items are actually great deals and items that we need rather than want.

Rhode Island is situated between two IKEA stores, one in New Haven, CT and the other in Stoughton, MA.  With as many colleges and universities as there are in New England, IKEA furniture is perfect for students as well as young professionals starting out in their first place.  There are easily hundreds of new Craigslist postings per day of just IKEA pieces.  I have been searching through all of these listings for items that may be on my shopping list and for items that I want but wouldn't necessarily need or pay full price for.  I've even gone so far as to set up alerts that notify me whenever a new item matching my search criteria is posted.

Anyways, last week, after coming back with my card catalog, I started looking for some seating for in front of the fireplace in the Living/Dining Room.  We plan on having a large dining table that can seat ten on top of the 9x12 rug that I purchased, and then in front of the fireplace, we want some additional seating that will allow us to relax and enjoy a fire, if we ever get the chimney inspected and cleaned.  I was originally looking for two matching chairs that we could put a small table in between, but everything I was finding was going to cost over $300 after refinishing and recovering.  I was looking for something much less expensive, and I ended up finding the perfect thing.


Enter the Klobo. The Klobo is a discontinued IKEA Loveseat similar to the Klippan series that is currently available.  It's a really low profile couch that will allow the heat from the fireplace to spread throughout the room and for us to be able to see the fire from sitting at the dining table.  It is only a loveseat, so it will fit only two people, or maybe three really small people, but it's still better than nothing. Plus, the price.

I only paid $75 for this.  Really.  And it's original list price was somewhere around $150.  It's in near perfect condition, despite it having a natural/off-white canvas fabric.  There are only a few dirt marks on the front side of the loveseat, and those could probably be washed out with some spot remover, but I'm not sure if that's going to bother me right now, because I am almost 100% sure that I'm going to recover it.




And speaking of recovering it, I put a couple of throw pillows that I found in the prefect colors for the room on it, and then took a few pieces of fabric out of my stash that I could potentially recover the Klobo with.



Premier Prints Circles True Turquoise (Discontinued) and Premier Prints Small Dandelion Turquoise/White 

I also just ordered a bunch more swatches from Fabric.com to see if I can find one that I like and that won't be too overwhelming in pattern. I'd like the pattern to be able to be used on the seat cushions for the dining table chairs too, since I don't want the space to have too many different patterns.  Plus, I need to make sure that the pattern I choose doesn't clash too much with the rug that will be going under the dining room table.



I can't wait for them to come in so I can see which will look best with the rug and the other furniture I have planned for the space.  Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with Craigslist?  What kinds of finds have you drooling and pulling out your wallet? Which swatch do you love the most right now?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flash Sale Friday: Funky Furniture

It's time for another...


Each week, I will be featuring some of the week's best picks from my favorite Flash Sale sites and creating a room inspiration board for all of you to enjoy!  If you have a room that needs decorating and you are looking for some inspiration, feel free to email me what you are looking for, and I'll see what I can come up with for you, and you will be featured in a future Flash Sale Friday post!

If you would like to become a member to one of the sites featured in this Flash Sale Friday post, feel free to create an account from the links I have provided below.

Fab

There are so many different types of furniture, and some of the most fun ones are the ones that aren't traditionally shaped.   From round chairs to stacked bureaus, this week's Flash Sale Friday is full of funky furniture.  These non-traditional pieces could really help you spruce up your space and add in some pizazz.  

1. Triangular Side Table in Walnut via One Kings Lane  2. Ward Orange Leather Chair via Beyond the Rack  3. Modern Lodge Merus Stool via Joss & Main  4. Barrowden Cabinet via Joss & Main  5. ARRe Design Capital Chair in Green via Fab  6. Swedish Biedermeier Chairs via One Kings Lane  7. Zuo Era Lasso Shell Chair via Joss & Main  8. Red Dodo via Fab  9. Clara End Table via Joss & Main  10. Javier 6-Shelf Bookcase in Cappuccino via Joss & Main  11. Miri Orange Plastic Mid-Century Modern Rocking Chair via Hautelook  12. Black Adjustable Gelato Bar Table via 55 Downing Street  13. Beat Blue with Black Frame Futon via Fab  14. Large White Puppy via Fab  15. Control Brand Yellow Felt Chair via Hautelook  16. Control Brand Black Hoop Chair via Hautelook  17. LCP Chaise Lounge in Light Blue via Fab  18. Newbury Console Table in Red Cocoa via Wayfair

I just love the way these pieces can bring in some fun to what could be a dull space.  Between the colors and the shapes of he furniture, these pieces could look great in a recreational space or a kids room.  


Please Note: All of the images in this post have been used with permission. Images were not modified or altered to fit in this inspiration board. Flash Sale invitation links may provide me with rewards if items are purchased by a new member.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Move Out Cleaning Tips

One of the most time-consuming task of moving, besides packing, is cleaning.  Whether you are renting or selling, you will need to clean up your empty space before handing over the keys to the new occupants.  Breaking up the cleaning across multiple days makes it much less boring and chore-like, so here are some tips on how to clean up your space when moving out. 


Cleaning Basics - 

For cleaning, Hydrogen Peroxide or White Vinegar will be your best friend - it can be used on practically everything and is very effective.  Using microfiber cloths will help in your cleaning, as they leave little dust and can be rinsed in the sink, and ultimately washed in the washing machine instead of thrown out and replaced by another paper towel.

Take advantage of space and time. Choose one or two rooms in your house that you do not use on a daily basis, like a spare bedroom or a dining room, and when you have a box packed, put it in that space. Keeping all of your packed items in one location will help you be organized and keep most of your house in working order and not overwhelmed with boxes and out-of-place furniture.  Once you have emptied and finished cleaning a room, close the door and don't go in it again so that you are sure that it is as clean as possible for your move-out.

Break up your cleaning across multiple days, especially since it will take you some time to pack up and get your belongings out of the space.  For example, put some cleaner/bleach in the toilets and let them sit for about a half hour while you go clean something else. Multi-tasking will really help you get things done quicker.  And if there is someone else helping, split up the work.  Work in different spaces so you aren't crowding each other, and set goals or make it a competition so that you have motivation to work harder and faster.

Once you have started packing items that you don't use very much, consolidate your other items into one space. For example, if you have packed up some extra kitchen utensils and appliances, move the rest of your kitchen items to different drawers and cabinets so you can begin wiping down the inside of the empty cabinets.  If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, try to make it a point to use only one bathroom the week of your move, that way you can clean one of the bathrooms fully, taking one less thing off your final list.


Whole House -

Clean the things that have the least likelihood of getting dirty while you are moving out. Wiping down windowsills, moulding, baseboards, and washing the windows are things that can be done a few days or even a week or so in advance. If you have pets that push their noses up against specific windows or the doors, save those for closer to move out so you don't have to clean them a second time.  Dust off light fixtures and replace all of the non-working light bulbs.  

Sweep and vacuum all floors, but make sure that you leave the carpet shampooing and floor mopping for the very end, as you don't want to walk over your newly washed carpets or floors.

If you have a washing machine and a dryer, run a hot water cycle in the washer with some white vinegar to get rid of any smells and soap residue.  Vacuum out the dryer vent and wipe up any laundry detergent spills in the laundry area.

Wipe down the tops of cabinets, baseboards, and door frames, and sweep and vacuum out any fireplaces that you may have.  Patch the holes in the walls and give them a day for the plaster to dry that way you can then paint over it with some touch-up paint.


Kitchen - 

Go through the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry to get rid of items that you will not be using before your move.  Pantry items can be packed in a box and be transported to your next home, however, refrigerated and freezer items may not be transportable if the distance you are moving is too great.  Decide what items you want to keep, and give away unopened foods that you do not want to keep.  For those items that you will be getting rid of, dump the food or liquid into your garbage disposal or into a trash bag, and then rinse and recycle the containers.

Don't use the self-cleaning option on the oven - it never works well, it smells, and it makes your space very very hot since it heats the over to over 500 degrees.  A Brillo-pad or a tough scrub brush will be much better and faster for you.  Remove the stove-top grates and range hood vent, and soak in soap and hot water to remove dust, and grease build-up. 

Remove all of the shelves in your refrigerator to wash them, and don't forget to empty out the ice maker as well.  When you leave, be sure to set your refrigerator and the freezer to the least cold option so as not to waste additional power and over-freeze the unit.  

Run your garbage disposal with a half of a lemon to remove any food debris and smell that may be remaining.  


Bathroom - 

Clean the inside and the outside of the toilet using some sort of bleach solution. Clean the countertops and the sink, wash the mirror down, and wash out the shower and/or the bathtub.  Snake the drains to remove any hair and soap residue and then pour a cleaner down the drains to take care of any potential clogs further down the pipes.

Remove the ventilation fan from the ceiling, and rinse the cover under hot water to remove the dust and build-up.  


Garage - 

Sweep out the garage, if you have one, making sure that you get all of the cobwebs in the corners. Make sure that the garage door opener is working and the light bulb is not out.  

If there are any wet oil spots on the floor of the garage, treat them with sawdust or cat litter, and then scrub them with dawn dish soap.  


Exterior - 

If you are responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of your property, be sure to cut the grass one last time before you move out, and rake the clippings or leaves that may be in the yard.  Sweep the walkways and the driveway, and any porch or deck that you have.  

If you have animals that use your backyard, make sure you pick up all of their toys and "waste" so that the backyard is clean and can be used by the new occupant.  


While some of the things on this list may need to happen during your last day at the property, a lot of these items can be accomplished during the few weeks before you move. To help with making sure you get everything you need to done in a timely manner, you may want to consider making yourself a cleaning calendar so that you stay on top of the tasks and you don't overwhelm yourself with the amount of work that needs to be done on top of packing and unpacking.

Good luck with your move!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And It's Mine, Mine, Mine

I've finally found it!

And 5 points to Gryffindor if you can name the movie that the title of this post comes from!

Yesterday, you may have noticed this little gem on both my Instagram feed and the Rhody Life Facebook page.


I drove all the way from Rhode Island to the Connecticut/New York border to pick up my lovely.

And if you can't tell from the picture as to what this is, here's the full shot!


Isn't it beautiful?!?!?! Please ignore the paint swatches on the wall and the absolutely terrible picture quality - my real camera battery was dead and this was taken with only two hallway lights and no day light since it's dark at 5pm now.  


I can't believe that I found myself a library card catalog! I have been looking for one of these at a reasonable price for almost a year now.  I've driven to probably 10 different antique stores, in addition to emailing every library in Rhode Island (yes, seriously), and stalking Craigslist on a daily basis. I've seen plenty of these card catalogs pop up online, but they are either not the style that I was looking for, or the seller was asking over $750!  I paid way way less than that, even talking the seller down from his asking price, which is one of the benefits of buying items from Craigslist.

The piece isn't in perfect condition, but I knew that for the price that I wanted, that it wouldn't be perfect.  The wood veneer on one of the sides is missing a few pieces and is peeling, but that will just take some glue and replacement veneer to fix.  Also, one of the pulls is pinched closed, so I'll have to unbend that, and the shelves are a little wobbly.


I haven't quite figured out if I want to stain it a different color or if I should paint it.  Part of me thinks that this piece is so sacred that I should just clean it up as much as I can, but the other part of me wants to make it so colorful and fun, since I'm going to be using it in my craft room, holding all of my thread spools, my knitting needles, craft paints, and all those other fun things I use.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration pictures of what I'd like to do with the piece.

Image via DesignSponge

Image via Red Hen Home


What are your thoughts? Restain the card catalog? Paint it? Stain it dark or light? One color paint, or multiple?

Too many options!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Flash Sale Friday: Patterns Make it Pop

It's time for another...


Each week, I will be featuring some of the week's best picks from my favorite Flash Sale sites and creating a room inspiration board for all of you to enjoy!  If you have a room that needs decorating and you are looking for some inspiration, feel free to email me what you are looking for, and I'll see what I can come up with for you, and you will be featured in a future Flash Sale Friday post!

If you would like to become a member to one of the sites featured in this Flash Sale Friday post, feel free to create an account from the links I have provided below.

Fab

I have a HUGE obsession with pattern and I want it everywhere in my house. From chevron, which for some reason D hates, to quatrefoil and trellis, there are so many different patterned pieces that I want to put in my home.  

1.  Coral High Abstract Giclee Silkscreened Wall Art via 55 Downing Street  2. Mum Blue-Gray Upholstered Bench via 55 Downing Street  3. Safavieh Allen Pillows via Gilt  4. Zebra Cube in Black and White via One Kings Lane  5. Sutton Rug in Black via Joss & Main  6. Yala Rug in Teal via Joss & Main  7. Atlantic Hand-Tufted Rug via Gilt  8.  Winter Days Table in White via MyHabit  9. Edna Yellow Chevron Ottoman via 55 Downing Street  10.  Callista Rug via Joss & Main  11. ZigZag Curtain in Corn via Joss & Main  12.  Dimensions Rug via Joss & Main  13.  Botanical Garden Square Wall Art Print via 55 Downing Street  14.  Lillian Steel Square Down Throw Pillow via 55 Downing Street  15.  Aisha Bench via Joss & Main  16.  Bukara Green Square Down Throw Pillow via 55 Downing Street  17. Lauri Cocktail Table in Gold via One Kings Lane  18. Thora Rug in Teal via One Kings Lane  19. Safavieh Emily Pillows via Gilt  20. York Curtain Set in Silver via Joss & Main  21.  Durban Black Mosaic Wall Mirror via 55 Downing Street  22. Upholstered Towers Headboard via Ideeli  23.  Ifran Rug in Black via Joss & Main  24. Suzani Curtain via Joss & Main  25. Safavieh Lacie Pillows via Gilt  26. Whit and Alex Floral Stamp Duvet Set via Rue La La  27. Clinton Room Divider via Joss & Main  28.  Alwar Quilt via Joss & Main  29.  Grace Chest via Joss & Main  30. Safavieh Gray Dylan Pillows via Gilt  31. Majestic Vertical Stripe Round Pet Bed in Navy Blue via MyHabit  32. Upholstered Eddy Headboard via Ideeli  33. Nesting Tables Set via Rue La La  34. Alicia Pendant via Joss & Main  35. Pacific Realm Table Lamp via One Kings Lane  36.  Lorelai Chest via Joss & Main  37.  Marina Rug via Joss & Main  38.  Bartlett Doormat via Joss & Main  39. Three-Piece Hadley Book Box Set via Joss & Main  40. Davis Chair in Tangerine via One Kings Lane 

Can you even pick a favorite item from this Flash Sale Friday? I really can't, especially with there being so many rugs. You all know my obsession with rugs...we won't go there.

But seriously? What's your favorite pattern? Which piece are you dying to pull out your credit card for?


Please Note: All of the images in this post have been used with permission. Images were not modified or altered to fit in this inspiration board. Flash Sale invitation links may provide me with rewards if items are purchased by a new member.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The 203K Mortgage Process

A 203K Mortgage allows for renovations to be done to the property without cash coming out of your pocket.  Since your lender is technically paying for the renovations, they will require a lot of additional paperwork to verify that the work will be completed by trusted and experienced contractors.

Once you have determined if a 203K Mortgage is right for you, you will need to speak with your lender to determine what steps need to be completed before you can close on the purchase of your new home.


203K Consultant

To begin, the bank will provide you with a list of 203K Consultants in your area.  The 203K Consultant will help you determine what work can and cannot be done to your property, in addition to helping you with the disbursal of payment to the contractors and inspection pre- and post-renovation.  You will select a consultant from this list, and he or she will work with you throughout the duration of renovations to your property.  The Consultant fee may be due at the beginning of this process, however, if you have paid out of pocket for this expense, you will be reimbursed at the time of closing, as this fee should be included in with your mortgage payments.


203K Inspection

Once you have chosen a 203K Consultant, he or she will inspect your home for the items that you wish to have changed.  You may want to take advantage of the findings from your original home inspection and have some of those items fixed in your renovations.  Your Consultant will either approve or disapprove the items that you have on your list, and give you the clear to begin finding contractors to complete the work.


Contractors

Depending on the amount of work that you are having done to the property, you may be required by the bank to hire a general contractor to supervise the work and gather the necessary information from your sub-contractors.  You may also choose not to have a general contractor and to act as one yourself, but this will require you to not only gather all of the information from your sub-contractors, but also to be responsible for the disbursal of money when the individual jobs have been completed.

If you choose to hire a general contractor to oversee the renovations on your property, he or she may be responsible for finding sub-contractors that specialize in the areas that you need.  If your general contractor is unaware of other contractors, you may need to help in getting recommendations from friends, family, or the internet.


Forms

In addition to the general mortgage forms that you will need to sign, there will be specialized forms specifically referencing the 203K Mortgage that will need your signature.  Some of these forms, such as the Borrower Acquisition Form, are just general knowledge agreement forms, whereas others, like the Consultant Package, will be specific to the renovations you wish to have done on your property.

Once the sub-contractors have been chosen, they will be required to provide you with completed forms that you will get from your lender:

Homeowner-Contractor Agreement - This form will be signed by you and the contractor, and will act as a written agreement stating that the contractor agrees to begin and complete the work within six months of the close date on the property.

Contractor Resume - This form has contact information for the contractor that you have chosen, including most-recent work completed and references from past customers, as well as supplier contact information.

W-9 - This is a typical W-9 form for tax purposes so that the bank can verify that the contractor is legitimate.

License and Insurance - The bank will require a copy of the contractor's license and verification that they have insurance for the work they perform.  

Complete Estimate - The 203K Contractor will require a line-item list of all of the work that will be completed by the contractor, including the prices of all supplies and labor, and a total project cost.  The total cost of all sub-contractor projects must be less than the amount of money you have been pre-approved for minus the sale price of the property.

Permit Form - The bank will require that you, the general contractor, or the sub-contractors gather the appropriate building permits from your city or town.  Copies of these permits will need to be provided to the bank, in addition to hanging these in your home, in a spot visible from the exterior of the property.


Submission to Lender and Consultant

Once all of the information has been received from the general contractor or sub-contractors that you have hired, you will submit all of the information to your lender.  The Complete Estimates will be given to your 203K Consultant, who will put them all together into a Consultant Construction Package and submit it to the bank.


Closing

In addition to all of the typical mortgage paperwork that you will be signing at your closing, you will also be signing 203K paperwork.

Once you have closed on your property, work must be started within 30 days and finished within 6 months of the close date.


Contractor Work and Payment

Once the contractors have finished their work, the 203K Consultant must come back to the property to inspect the work and verify that it has been completed and is now in working order.  At this point, the 203K Consultant will write up a "draw sheet", which is the paperwork that will eventually disburse payment for the contractor.  You can have as little as one or as many as five draws done during your renovations, but it is suggested that you wait until you have more than one contractor done with their work to have the first draw done, as it will be easier for the consultant and the bank to do fewer draws.

Once the inspection is complete, the consultant will submit the draw sheets to the mortgage lender and the funds will be disbursed via check.  If you are using a general contractor for your job, the check will be made out to the general contractor and you, so it will need to be signed over to one party before a personal check is written to each sub-contractor.  If no general contractor is in the picture, the check will be made out to you and you will need to write a personal check to each sub-contractor.

If you have decided to do more than one draw over the duration of your renovations, only 90% of the full amount owed to the contractors is released.  The remaining 10% of the balance due to the contractors is held until all of the work on the property is completed.  This is information that you should provide to your contractors prior to hiring them for the work - some companies or business owners may not be able to afford to have some of the balance withheld for longer than the duration of their project.

When all of your sub-contractors have finished their work, the 203K Consultant will visit the property to complete his or her final inspection report and write up the final draw.  The same process as above will then happen, however, if you did multiple draws throughout the renovations, the remaining 10% balance for each contractor will be included in the disbursal check.


203K Completion

After the sub-contractors have been paid for the work they performed on your property, you will receive a 203K Loan Completion Letter from your mortgage lender stating that the 203K portion of your loan has been completed.  This letter should be filed with the rest of your mortgage paperwork.

At this time, you will also receive evaluation forms for both the 203K Mortgage process and the Administrators that have worked with you in filing your paperwork with your lender.



The 203K Mortgage process sounds very complicated, but please don't let this lengthy explanation deter you from going this route.  The 203K Mortgage is well worth the ability to renovate your property from the start without needing to use a great deal of money from your savings or your emergency fund.  Plus, with a deadline of 6 months from the close date, you are guaranteed that the renovations won't be half done and stay that way for years on end!
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