Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finally starting to have fun buying stuff for the house!

Sometimes when I walk through the door, I feel like we just moved in.  The lack of furniture, pictures, decorations, etc. makes it looks like we are either squatters or we just bought the house that week!  It's been a fast year though since we've moved in, and through my husband's diligent budgeting and savings, we are starting to put things together.  I posted before about the island/counter tops etc, that's still in process, I'm just waiting to hear back from the fabricators for a installation date, I bought our back splash (over budget) and we purchased a chandelier (under budget) and bar stools (also under budget).  I still can't find for the life of me a sideboard/buffet that I like that's $700 or less, I'm planning a trip to Bordman OH to check out the furniture stores there, surprisingly, there isn't much in Pittsburgh.  Levin's sucks, everything is about 90% western PA 90's style (no offense! it's just the way things are here, people are very slowly warming up to the cottage chic/industrial cool vibe). And Value City just has nothing, and I'm really looking for a solid hardwood piece, so I'm going to also check out the used furniture stores and see if I can't find something I can paint!

Here's the bar stools/counter stools we bought from Restoration Hardware (I looove this store but can't afford most things in it, but these babies were only about $159.00 each after tax and delivery which is good for a bar stool, and it's solid wood) We bought 4 counter stools for the new island and 3 bar for the overhang into the morning room.  The color is called "burnt oak" which will look nice against the dark floors and cabinets and not be too harsh of a contrast.

Here's our chandelier, which my husband actually picked out!  He loved it, which I was afraid he wasn't going to!  I can't wait to see it in person, it's being delivered Friday, it was an overstock.com find and I had a coupon!  It was very affordable and has that Restoration Hardware vibe, but the chrome finish gives it a more modern glam look and less visual weight.

And here is our back splash, it's just a simple honed marble brick pattern, but I'm going to do a dove grey grout to give it some contrast!  I can't wait to see it all together and to post pics!  I really think after it's all done, our kitchen will be unique and look more custom, and I did it for less than I would have if we had gone with Ryan's optional upgrades.  Still wishing I could have gone with white cabinets though... sigh... maybe someday

Monday, July 14, 2014

The island is coming along... and things are starting to get done!

Well folks, it's been a year, can't believe it!  We just got back from a trip to Jamaica to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary and we also have our island installed... well, semi installed!  Just the cabinet bases and the electric are completed, we also bought our sink and faucet, and the quartz is now on order, they just did the template last week!  We totally forgot to order our sink too before we left for vacation, so we had to buy our sink online while in Jamaica! lol, never thought I'd be shopping for home improvement items while relaxing on a beach!  I have a pic of the island so far (the doors are missing from the middle cabinet) and HOLY CRAP, this this is HUGE!!!!  I guess I didn't realize how big 8ft was... well, go big or go home!  We also bought our Amish table which will be in mid August, all hand crafted and solid wood, I'm hoping it will become a family heirloom that we can pass on for generations to come!

Here's our giant island!  Still needs the trim and doors on and the back piece, oh and the counter top!

Here's the sink and faucet, we got he sink on Overstock, it's the same as the one on HD's site but we got it on sale + a 10% coupon, so we saved 75 bucks!

And just for fun, here's some pics from our trip to Secrets, Montego Bay, Jamaica!

And one more, because I feel bad I've left my hubby out of all the pics!

Monday, May 12, 2014

We bought an island!

The island purchase is complete!  We now have to wait 4 weeks for the special order and then we can have a contractor install the new 8ft x 3ft island!  I'm so excited for all that work space, AND for the pot drawers!!  We also went to home depot to check out their quartz selection and they came back with a phenomenal price... $4,600 and NO TAX!  That's for all new quartz counters, the color is called Cortina but looks like Carrera marble, it is simply stunning with our espresso cabinets and dark floors, it really will brighten things up!  We haven't bought the counters yet though since we wanted to get a few more quotes, I don't think anyone can beat that price though for quartz but I'm a littler leery of going through HD, I've read some bad reviews... anyone use HD for counters or other projects where they send out subs??  I'm just worried that by saving money we're sacrificing quality...

Here is a sample of the Cortina quartz along with some paint color options (the darker is for the morning room and the lighter is the main living/kitchen).

I am also looking for zero radius sinks and the industrial commercial pull down sprayer faucets.  I also need a backsplash and lighting!  So much to get!  I'm so hesitant on buying these things online though, I know with lighting I can find great deals, but I need to see it in person, I hate shipping that stuff back and forth, not to mention the expense of the shipping!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

10 month inspection

So yesterday was our 10 month inspection, and honestly, I felt like I barely had anything on my list.  I only had 2 rooms with any nails pops, the RH service rep said that our side of the street, the lots are pretty much solid bedrock underneath, so many people didn't have many pops or cracks because the settling is so minimal, so that made me happy to know we are on super solid ground!

The main issue I had was with the yard, and our service rep, Matt (who was awesome btw!) he said he was already out at out lot and discusses with the PM what needed done, there was no hesitation that they will come in, re-grade, re-seed and add a drain too to help with the water accumulation in our yard.  It will be done within the next 2-3 weeks, so we shall see if they keep their promise!  I told them I don't want any rock soil, and he assured it's screened topsoil when they come back to do the yard work after the 10 months, so I will hold him to his word!

Other than a few floor squeaks and a few settling cracks, we have been very pleased with our Ryan Home, now, if they can only sell the empty lot next to us!  That this will NOT sell!  I think it's cursed....

On another positive note, it's going to be freaking HOT this week, FINALLY!  This Pittsburgh winter has been rough, it did test the limits of our furnace and insulation, both of which we were very pleased with, our house stayed nice and toasted, but our skin suffered, and nose bleeds every morning!  Not to mention our poor hardwood contracting, but they are all back to normal now that the humidity levels are rising!  Hopefully we won't see another winter like that EVER again!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Long over due post, it's been almost a year since we closed!

How time flies!  Sorry I haven't posted, but I really haven't had anything "post worthy" however, that will soon change.  We are finally at the point where we can start on projects, and buying new furniture.  We are doing 1 room per month, and next month is the kitchen!!!  I'm soooo excited, we are putting in an 8 ft. island quartz or granite counters (haven't decided yet) new pendents over the island, new zero radius sink, back splash... phew!  I didn't like RH's granite or the shape of the island, so the one we are putting in is just a big straight rectangle that will fit 4 LARGE counter height chairs and will become out main eating/gathering place in the kitchen.  Our total budget for the kitchen is $7,500.00, which i think is great considering how much the RH's island and granite and back splash would have been, not to mention I would have been settling for something that I wasn't totally in love with.  I was also happy to find that 84 Lumber sells Timberlake cabinets so I was able to match my Scottsdale Maple Espresso exactly!

Here is a pic of what I want the counters to look like, it's a quartz that looks like marble, but i'm not 100% sold on the grey, I feel it may limit me to only use cooler colors, so I'm still on the fence!

We have also completed a small project, repainting/re-covering my husband's granny's dining room chairs.  These will initially be for the morning room.  We are going to get a custom made farm house table from the Amish furniture place by us and these will serve as the chairs until we can afford to purchase new ones, then they will migrate into the formal dining room and I will get a white table to go with them.  It took sooo much longer that I though, about 12 hours total to do 6 chairs.  I used chalk paint from Home Depot (not chalk board, but CHALK paint!) and it's great, it really gives that vintage cottage feel and NO SANDING NEEDED!  These chairs were a paint though with all the little nooks and creases!  I'm happy though how they turned out, all in all, it was about 65 bucks to repaint and re-do the chair covers, not a bad deal!

Here is the before...

Here is the after!

In other news, we have our 10 month (more like 11 month) scheduled for May 5th, so I will report back on how that goes!  Mostly just little fixes, and our dishwasher NEVER DRIES! UGH!  Anyone else have the problem?  GE is coming out that day too to take a look, hopefully we can get a new one, I hear that model has numerous complaints online about not drying the dishes.  Our yard sucks too, it's HORRIBLE, so many sunken in spots, giant tree roots, rocks... there is a huge "bowl" in the back yard, nothing will grow there and it's a swamp!  Our side yard barely has grass, it's just rocks and dirt pretty much!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy fall y'all!

My first DIY decorating project for the house :)  It required 1 wire wreath, 1 spool of burlap ribbon (which I used my 40% off coupon at Michaels) and 2 bunches of flowers that were 60% off, I think they were 1/69 each steam.  The total project cost me just under 10 bucks!  I love the way it turned out, ti's rustic and simple yet a touch elegant, I can't wait to do one for Christmas!  I'm thinking of doing some lace and burgundy poinsettias...

We also got our blinds installed this morning from HD, we went with the 2 1/2" home-decorators premium white blinds in every window, I'm glad we went one step up from the home-decorators regular blinds, the valance is much nicer and the wider slats look more rich.  I will be posting pics of that tonight!  I really haven't done anything yet with the inside of the house as far as furniture or decorating, so that's why you haven't seen any posts from me!  I did refinish our old kitchen table though, just some spray paint, it looks more acceptable now... we will be getting our morning room set in January, then next will be the island and the granite!  I'm also glad we didn't get the granite through RH, because it's WAYYYYYYY OVER PRICED omg, they sell the SAME stuff with installation at a local company, installed it's only $38 sq ft installed and a typical 10x10 kitchen is only 35 sq ft so that's only $1,330.00 for St. Cecelia, baltic brown, tan brown, uba tuba.. etc (for those in Pittsburgh, we are going to go with Quality Granite Outlet http://www.qgoutlet.com)

We are going to get a custom built Amish island put in, nice solid wood, then do matching granite to tie it into the builder grade timberlake cabinets... which btw, I almost can't wait until they get old and my husband allows me to paint them white with chalk paint!  I hate how they look so dirty all the time and the nicks and chips that happen out of nowhere!  I should have said let's spring for the white ALL WOOD ones, yes it was a few grand more, but it would have been only a few bucks more a month, and considering we are slapping on an etra $500 a month to the principal to pay it off in 17 years or less, I don't think it would have made a difference!  Anyways, hopefully by the end of January I will have some fun decorating project to do in the kitchen and morning room!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Help to save the cuddly kitties and puppies!

Normally, I'm not a fan of donating to charities... I know that sounds horrible right!  Mostly because I know the administrative costs are astronomical with the larger charities, but this particular one is close to my heart because I LOVE KITTIES!!  It's no surprise, all of my fellow RH bloggers have probably met my lovely snuggle buddy Mr. Tickles.  Well, Mr. Tickles has feline asthma... and it scared me that my little cuddle kitty could die from this!  Then I thought, what about all the other kitties out there suffering from asthma that don't have loving moms or dads to take care of them and get them the medicine they need to live!

So, I'm running the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay with a group of friends who are passionate about animals and our goal is to raise $500 as a team to help support our local Animal Rescue League through Paws Over Pittsburgh.  Even $1 will help!  Click on my widget on the side of my blog to donate! Below is the story...

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center wrote -
Welcome to Paws Over Pittsburgh, the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center's page for the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.  We're thrilled that you have decided to step beyond yourself and include the well-being of domestic and wild animals as part of your overall training plan.  By choosing to partner with the Animal Rescue League, you will be an advocate of our mission to educate people, as well as care for and restore animals to good homes.  In return, we will partner with your training through opportunities to meet and exercise with like-minded friends, receive fun prizes for your advocacy milestones, and encourage your desire to Run for their Rescue!  

Here are some of the ways we'll use the funds you raise:
  • $30 will cover the cost of micro-chipping a cat or dog.
  • $50 will provide low-cost spay/neuter services to a family who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
  • $100 will provide behavioral training for an animal to help her find a new home more quickly.
  • $1,000 will cover the total care for an animal that stays in our shelter for one month.

- See more at: http://www.crowdrise.com/pawsoverpgh2014/fundraiser/rachaelromanus#sthash.ML8DhH2E.dpuf