The 50s Ranch House – Office and Hallway, Currently

office currently

So, not a whole lot has changed since last time I showed this room, but I have added a couple of things to warm up the space a bit.  The shelving unit, one of the (several) spare Expedit units from Ikea we had in the basement found a home in here and adds a lot of nice storage.  Those baskets were an impulse buy from Ross that I just had to have ($10 for the pair!) and the milk crates are left over from our wedding. I like having them to toss odds and ends inside as it somewhat organizes the chaos. (And yes, that’s dogfood in the top right – this room is where Frank eats, but I removed his dog bowl for the pictures.  :) )

office currently | all sorts of pretty

Also, the rug instantly added life to this room and comfort for my dog who used to sit on the bare wood while I worked on the computer (poor guy!).  I bought these at Scott Antiques Market here in Atlanta for a really good deal.  It’s a true vintage persian, handmade in Iraq and a decent size (5×8′ish).  I think I got it for $300, which sounds like a lot, but after rug shopping for a while, I realized that’s a great price.  Rugs are expensive!  And the cheap ones are, well….cheap.  I love this rug.

office currently | all sorts of pretty

office currently | all sorts of pretty

I’ve been trying to keep clutter to a minimum and have only added a small calendar and mini art print, along with a cup of pens and scissors on my desk.  I am having a bit of hesitation hanging anything in this room since nails don’t patch as easily in wood panelling.  Or maybe it’s a fear of commitment; either way, I realize I need some art on these walls!  It feels good when it’s this clean though (but let’s be real, it’s never this clean :) ).

Oh, also, that feather bunting was actually a business card I got at Alt Summit from Little Retreats.  I loved it so much that I hung it up in the corner.

office currently | all sorts of pretty

When I bought the rug for my office, I also bought the runner for the hallway.  Our dog has a phobia of shiny floors – wood especially.  (I know, such a strange thing to be scared of, but he’s always been this way.)  Before we got these rugs, he would psych himself out anytime he needed to go in to or leave our bedroom, which is just on the other side.  We  had a rug in our bedroom, and one under the dining table, but nothing between the two.  He was a nervous wreck crossing that long of a shiny-floor stretch and would sometimes freeze halfway and whimper like he didn’t know how to keep going.  It was so sad!  Getting these two rugs was pretty important, not just for looks or for our bare feet, but for Frankie’s well-being too.  He’s happy as can be now that he has rugs close together that he can walk on.  He doesn’t even mind the wood floors if he only has one or two steps between carpets (he’s so weird…).

hallway currently | all sorts of pretty

This is a better view of the rug in the hallway.  It might be one of my favorites in the whole house.  I love the colors and the pattern.  It’s handmade so it’s not exactly straight, but that’s part of the charm in my opinion.

We chose that ginormous mirror for a couple of reasons.  It’s really the only place we could fit a full length mirror in our house and I figured if we were going to put a mirror there, we might as well fill the whole space and make it feel really intentional.  This one came from Ikea (it’s the HOVET).  Makes the hallway feel bigger too.
hallway currently | all sorts of pretty

A closer look and a sneak peek into the newly finished bathroom!hallway currently | all sorts of prettyThe hallway makes a kind of L-shape, with the other end leading into the living room.  I‘ve only hung this one picture so far, but it’s a good one.  :)

hallway currently | all sorts of pretty

One really important thing about having area rugs when you have wood floors is the pad you put underneath it.  It’s like wearing the right kind of underwear with an important outfit; the wrong under garments can ruin the whole thing.  Our wood floors were refinished right before we bought the house and it’s really important to us to keep them looking nice as long as we can.  Also, spending a good amount of money on the rugs makes us want to keep them in good shape for as long as possible as well.  Rug pads protect both the floor and the rug, and keep the rug from slipping (which Frank did quite a lot of before we got the pads – poor buddy, he has it rough in this house!).

hallway currently

Rug Pad USA reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in using their rug pads, since they have eco friendly options and a lot of different types of pads.  I said sure since I had just gotten these two rugs but hadn’t gotten around to putting pads underneath them yet.  They were kind enough to send me two custom sized pads for me to use (one Eco-Cushion and one Eco-Solid) since these handmade rugs were not standard sizes.  But the great part is, they didn’t custom cut it for me just to be nice, they will custom cut any rug pad for no additional charge.  I love that!  In the past, I ordered a rug pad from Amazon and spent about an hour with a box cutter trying to saw through the thick material – and paid the same amount that I would have had I ordered a custom sized one through Rug Pad USA!  The cheaper ones on the market typically have a lot of fillers and chemicals in them, but Rug Pad USA only sources their materials from manufacturers they trust and continually receive green certification from companies like the Carpet and Rug Institute and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  I like that!  Such a silly thing to talk about, but in all those pretty homes on Pinterest, no one ever talks about what’s happening under the carpet.  It’s important!

I have to say, these rugs haven’t budged an inch since we put them down a few weeks ago, and they’re more comfortable to walk on since they’re padded too.  I love them.

What do you think?  Do you like my new rugs and the progress?  Are you just dying for me to hang artwork up on the walls?  I know, I know…

PS – Rug Pad USA is giving All Sorts of Pretty readers 15% off!    Use the code “pr15off” at checkout.


Ironies

Julie Kuberski print

One of life’s great ironies is that we resist what makes us stronger.

So true, isn’t it?  Why do we try so hard to stay in our comfort zone when just outside that bubble is something that could make us so happy or better or stronger?

Julie Kuberski print

A silly example: I posted this picture this morning asking, “Why do I ever stop working out?  How do I forget how awesome it makes everything else?”.  It’s so true though!  I love exercising, I love the way it makes me feel, I love how productive and energetic I am the rest of the day, and I feel like everything else in life just seems to kind of flow a little bit better when I’m in the habit of working out 3-5 days week .  Eating healthier is easier too.  So why have I struggled to keep a consistent habit going for the past….year?!?!  I’m driving myself crazy.

Julie Kuberski print

But yesterday I downloaded this app that may be the best alarm clock ever so hopefully I can get back in the habit of exercising first thing  in the morning again.  You have to shake it vigorously, like a cocktail shaker, for a few minutes to turn it off.  It’s a workout in itself.  And once you’ve got your blood pumping, the idea is that you’re now so awake that it would be really difficult to go back to sleep. This morning, I was so terrified of it that I woke up way early, got out of bed and dressed so that I could cancel the alarm before it went off.  Here’s hoping this new strategy works long term!

Julie Kuberski print

Isn’t this art print by Julie Kuberski pretty?  Julie has been a long time reader and I discovered her work after a comment she left here on the blog a long time ago.  We worked together to make this art print after I read the quote on Instagram a while back.  Julie does great hand lettering so I thought she would do a great job turning the words in to something beautiful on paper.

Julie Kuberski print

Julie Kuberski print

Julie has an Etsy shop where this print is available.  Thanks, Julie!

What do you think?  Do you think it’s true that we resist what makes us stronger?  Or are you some awesome go-getter that charges through any and all obstacles?  Because if you are…tell me your secrets!!  :)

 


Weekend Pretties

all sorts of pretty

all sorts of pretty

all sorts of pretty

all sorts of pretty

Spring really showed off this week, much to my delight.  Our neighborhood has just exploded with color and I’m loving it.  Thanks for all of your sweet comments on our kitchen renovation.  It feels good to finally show it off.  I will be posting pictures of my office and hallway on Monday and I’m hoping to share pictures of the bathroom next week too.  It’s just tricky because I don’t have a wide angle lens so it’s difficult to photograph the small space.  Trying to work that out though!

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Parker has put his foot down and refuses to do anymore work around the house for at least two weeks, so I may join him in the protest and just relax.  He was out of town all week and just got back so I’m looking forward to catching up on cuddles and episodes of Portlandia when we’re not enjoying the gorgeous weather outside.  Also!  Mad Men.  I just started watching that show and although it took a while to really get into it, I’m hooked.  Now I see what all the fuss is about.

Here are some fun links I found this week.  Have a great weekend!

Famous places from above (#11 might be my favorite).

A  teen’s brilliant plan to save the government $400 million.

In search of: 1970s sitcom single moms.

This house stopped me in my tracks.  Maybe at my next house I’ll paint all the trim black.

Unlikely friends.

So cute: DIY felt planter box for kids.

I’m tired of girls hating their bodies.

Dogs in photo booths!

NPR pulled a great April Fool’s Day prank.

I loved my wedding dress, but this one makes me wish I could go back and wear it instead.

Flower Petals exploding like volcanos.  Amazing.

Candid portraits of sleeping parents-to-be.

Love this photograph of a dancer posing like a lily.

1993 was the best year for movies.

And this is too cute not to share.  French bulldog puppy unsuccessfully  protests bedtime.


The 50s Ranch House – Our Completed Kitchen!

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

This is our kitchen! It’s all done!  Do you remember what it looked like last time I showed pictures?  Take a look here for a walk down memory lane (and this is where we started when we first bought the house – oy vey!).

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

I’m really happy with the way it all turned out.  We had originally planned on putting up shelves all around the kitchen, on all the walls, but once we had been living here a while we decided to only put shelves up on the back wall for a couple of reasons.  For one, we had gotten used to not having any storage above the counters and realized we didn’t actually need the space as much as we had once thought.  Living with less, that’s been our theme (and it’s felt so good!).  Secondly, we really felt like it would keep the kitchen feeling more open if we kept the other walls bare.  And that open feeling was very important to us.

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

The floating shelves were a bit of an “issue.”  Our first contractor wouldn’t do what I wanted.  He insisted that I HAD to have decorative brackets that would be seen and I had to have a lot of them.  This “floating” business was nonsense.  (“But it’s all over Pinterest!!” I said.  He stood his ground.)  In a weak moment, I gave in, spent $200 on decorative brackets, painted them, and decided I would just have to settle.  Later when I fired him (for other reasons), I realized that he was just stubborn and didn’t want to listen to me and decided I was gonna get my floating shelves, come hell or high water.  So, tossing out $200 worth of un-returnable brackets because they had been painted, we bought different brackets.  Ones that could be totally hidden in the drywall and shelf itself.  And hired someone else that got my vision.

I didn’t document exactly what we did, but I can try to explain it for anyone else who’s curious.  I bought 10″ corner braces like these, had the guys cut away the drywall at the studs and screw the braces directly on the studs.  Then, for the shelves which are 12″ deep by 1.5″ thick solid wood, I had them trace on the shelf where the bracket would go, then use a router and route out a depth of about .25″ so the bracket would be flush with the shelf.  Once everything was screwed in on both the wall and the shelf, we plastered over the stud/bracket with drywall compound, and did the same on the shelf with wood putty.  Slap a coat of paint on both, and bam.  Floating shelves.  This tutorial helped me understand how to do the wall part and we just figured out the shelf part ourselves.  I am SO glad I got these floating shelves in the end, even if I had to wait a while.  Even losing the $200 was worth it.
our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

The shelves are decorative, yes, but it does store items I use quite frequently.  All the jars have dry goods I use a lot, like beans, rice, dried fruit, nuts, oatmeal, etc.  And my mixing bowls are there too.  Everything else I can’t reach without hopping up on the counter, so that’s all pretty stuff that I won’t be getting down much.
our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

I love how open the kitchen is to the rest of the house.  When I’m cooking, Parker can be pretty much anywhere in the house and I can still talk to him.  And when guests come over, they sit at the bar while I prep food.  We can even have a group in the living room and I can still be a part of the conversation.our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

Just a note about the Whirlpool White Ice appliances we have: we love them.  The fridge and freezer are really spacious, the stove top is solid and has five burners, the oven has a rapid preheat option which comes in really handy and the dishwasher holds more than any other dishwasher I’ve ever seen.  For the water dispenser in the front of the fridge, you can choose how much water to fill your glass and walk away while it fills.  That’s nice, we use it all the time.  We would buy these again in a heartbeat.  Also, I like that they’re white, but they don’t have that texture that most white appliances have.  It’s smooth like plexi or something.  The only thing I don’t like about them is that I feel like I have to push the buttons (er, non-buttons) really hard sometimes.
our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

It was important to me that I display my jadeite and vintage blue mason jars.  I started collecting them for our wedding (one of those jadeite cake stands held our wedding cake!) and they still hold sentimental value to me.  I have (lots) of other treasures that didn’t make the cut this round, but I plan on switching things out and moving pieces around as my mood changes and I get tired of looking at the same things.
our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of PrettyI had regrets about the insulator lights that I first hung from the very beginning (here’s a closeup of what they looked like), so I finally just took them down and built these instead.  I found this tutorial online and went about ordering parts to piece together to make my own.  They were so cheap and easy – like $20 a piece or less and a couple hours to put all together.  I like these so, so much better.  They blend a lot better and go with the light fixture hanging over the dining table.  The silver dipped Edison bulbs I bought on amazon (these are them).

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of PrettyThe countertops were a bit of a trial and error situation.  I bought some stain that you just brush or roll on and it had horrible streaks and brush marks.  I did two coats before realizing I couldn’t save it.  In a fit of rage and frustration, I strapped on a face mask and got to sanding it all down to the bare wood at 10:00 one night.  (Tip: if this ever happens to you, have a shop vac so you can vaccum down every single possible surface because there was dust every.where. I’m still finding saw dust actually.)  Anyway, I bought a much better stain, Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut, that you brush on thick, let it sit, then wipe it all away.  No brush strokes, just gorgeous, saturated color.  One coat and it was perfect.  We sealed it with some polyurethane (about 5 coats) and now they are durable and I don’t worry too much about them getting messed up with water or food.

our completed kitchen! | All Sorts of Pretty

So do I have anything that I would change if I could go back from the beginning?  A couple of things, maybe.  Nothing huge that bothers me, but the floor wasn’t installed perfectly for one.  My tile guy that did my bathroom did such a better job and I wish I had known about him rather than just trusting my contractor at the time.  Also, I think I would choose slightly different tile for both the floor and backsplash.  Floor & Decor (where I bought our tile) has the best prices in town, but the coloring is a little off what I wish it was.  It’s much cooler than the “Dover White” from Sherwin Williams that I painted the whole house so it clashes a bit.  It’s not so bad that I’m gonna be painting the whole house anytime soon, but it’s something I notice.  Also, I would use just a plain white hex tile on the floor rather than the black flower pattern.  But I still like it!  Just sayingif I could do it all over again.

So what do you think?  I have to say, it feels SO GOOD to have a completed kitchen, where everything has a place, and I don’t have to explain to people when they come over “Oh, it’s not done yet we still have to do this, this, and that…”.  It took us a while to get totally finished (almost 6 months!) but it’s done.  Yay!

In case anyone is interested, here are the sources for what you see: Cabinets: Ikea with Adel off white doors  | Countertops: Ikea | Sink: Ikea | Faucet: Overstock | Cabinet Hardware: Home Depot cup pulls & knobs (I think that’s right, they look more black in person) | Appliances: Whirlpool Gold White Ice collection | Shelves: custom (thanks, Dad!) | Pendant Lights: DIY (this tutorial) | Canisters on bottom shelves: Hobby Lobby and Target | Jadeite, cake stands, vintage scale, and blue jars: thrifted | Calendar: Rifle Paper Co. | Subway Tile and Hex Tile both from Floor & Decor | Counter Stools: Overstock

UPDATE: I thought it would be helpful to anyone wanting to undertake a similar renovation to see how much this kitchen cost us.  We saved a lot of money buying everything from Ikea, Home Depot, and Overstock, and only “splurged” (if you can even call it that) on appliances.  Although I wanted Big Chill appliances that would have cost as much as the entire renovation, so I guess you could say we saved a ton of money there too!  Here’s the rough breakdown:

  • Demolition, including removal of wall: $900
  • Cabinets: $2,000
  • Countertops: $700
  • Installation of cabinets, countertops, appliances, and can lighting: $900
  • Floor tile installation: $1,000
  • Backsplash tile installation: $1,000
  • Shelving installation: $300
  • Hardware, lighting, tile, miscellaneous: $1,000
  • Appliances: $3,000
  • Total Cost: $10,800

Thunderstorms on a Monday

We had thunderstorms – delicious, gloomy, wrap-me-up-in-a-blanket, kind of thunderstorms all day today and the sun never peeked out, not even once.  And when those kinds of perfect storms happen on a Monday, and you have the luxury of getting to pretend like it’s Sunday on repeat, you do that.  Because why not?  So that’s what I did.  Made breakfast and coffee, then another cup of coffee (decaf these days, so it’s not like it matters), opened the windows, and hunkered down with my iPad reading through the archives of my favorite blog right now, House Inhabit.  Jessica’s blog embodies all of my California dreams and makes me wish we had up and moved out west last summer like Parker and I talked about.  Ah well, living vicariously through her blog will have to suffice (and truly, I do love living in Atlanta, no complaints here).  Something about the juxtaposition of listening to the rain outside and reading about/seeing gorgeous pictures of sunshiny southern California was so good.  Made me appreciate the spring showers in the present and helped me look forward to the hot summer in the future.  She has three wild and adorable little boys too, which of course makes me wish for a group of unruly, dirty, and rambunctious boys of my own one day to keep me on my toes (and then I realize the camera can’t possibly capture the trials she must go through every day so maybe my wishes needn’t be so urgent). :)

Also, now that Frank is 11 and can’t hear very well at this stage in his life, I can FINALLY enjoy thunderstorms without a scared, shaking, neurotic 75 lb dog climbing all over me, desperately seeking safety from the sky that is surely falling.  When really big thunder claps came and shook the whole house, he would look up, a little confused as to what that was, and find his seat between the sofa and coffee table, staying out of the way of whatever “that” was.  What he couldn’t hear didn’t harm him.  It’s bittersweet; one day I will really miss comforting him during those storms, when he so truly believes that the world is ending.  But for years I‘ve wished for some peace to just enjoy them.  So today that’s what I did.

My biggest accomplishments today were finally putting away the mountain of laundry that I had been steathily neglecting for days (and days…) and making it out for a matinee viewing of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I have to admit, was the first Wes Anderson film I’ve ever seen (I KNOW, take away my blogger card, I’m a fraud).  The photography, the set design, the costumes – everything was so beautiful and I can certainly understand why Wes Anderson has such a following.  ButI fell asleep about halfway through.  I fall asleep in a lot of movies though, so I’m not suggesting the movie was boring (butit kind of was in parts).  I just really shouldn’t be allowed to spend $10 on a movie when chances are good that I might not see the whole thing.  Oh well.

Tomorrow I get back to work, vowing to get the basement in order and do some touch up work on the doors I installed last week.  But tonight, I’m going to stretch out this lazy day a bit more and pretend it’s still Sunday.

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