Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy and kitchen decissions

I'm so blessed to tell you that our area was spared from encountering disaster. It was so scary to see the reports on TV, knowing this huge storm was approaching. By eight o'clock the power went out on Monday. We all huddled together in one bedroom with air mattresses, looking out the window and then tried to sleep.
It sounded terrible, by sunset we noticed that the storm appeared to not have been so bad for us. We had no way of checking what the rest of the county/state had been up too. I knew that my family in Germany would be very worried about us. Our phone, email and cellphone didn't work.
Our power finally came back on at 6:00 p.m. last night and it was devastating to watch the local news and see how much worse it had been for other people who lived so close to us.
My father in Germany had been frantic not knowing how we were and he was so glad to hear we were ok. His friends drove him crazy watching the news in Europe, calling him and asking him if we were ok.

What a vacation for my mom. She hasn't been at our house in 2 years and now this. She is so glad it didn't happen when she is supposed to fly home next week.

My heart goes out to everybody that wasn't as lucky as us and I pray for them.


After all this, I'm so glad that I can share and continue my last post with you.
I'm so blessed to have nothing else to complain about then my kitchen.

So here it is:

I have been wanting new counter tops for ever. I hate the fake 80s marble laminate.

So now, how much should we invest in this house? If it would be THAT PERFECT DREAM house I would splurge on white marble counter tops. I love that classic look! But since I want to do this on a budget, I'm considering DIY concrete counters and have been reading up about them.

Everything I do in our house, I must count in flights! Flights to Germany. My sofa splurge last year was 2 flights home during prime travel season. Marble or granite would be 5 flights home during prime not an option. Sigh!

Another problem is the way our kitchen was built. The person who planned the electrical outlets must have been retarded. Seriously! An outlet right next to the sink??? What on earth would you want to plug in there?
I'd love to chop the wall in half and have somebody relocate the outlets, so we can have one large open counter.

dangerous outlet by the kitchen sink
Can you relocate them somewhere?

cutting kitchen wall in half
So I have to decide to chop or not to chop. Concrete DIY counters or not? Or maybe quartz?

And how about the stupid cabinets that the builder didn't want to run all the way to the top? Hate it!
I tried to camouflage it by putting a milk glass and ceramic collection on top, to make it look like it was supposed to be like this.

white kitchen with milk glass and chevron rug
And yes, stainless steel appliances would look better, I know.

What do you think? To chop or not to chop?
What counter tops do you want or have?

Do tell!

Happy Halloween und guten Tag.

Monday, October 29, 2012

House Tour - Dining Room and Kitchen

How was your weekend? We were at our neighbor's annual neighborhood Halloween party this Saturday. And the rest of the weekend we prepared for the arrival of hurricane Sandy. Lets see what this storm will bring and yes I am very worried. I'm hoping and praying that there won't be a flooded basement again. That the roof shingles and large trees behind our house will be fine as well. Everything from our yard was stuffed into the garage. The kids were crying because the Halloween decorations are gone. And I'm aggravated at the people who do not get prepared and leave their things int the yard. I don't want their junk blowing into my windows.

With all this going on, I thought that I would share some more of my house with you.

So here are some more photo of our dining room:
glass dining table with wicker chairs and cellula chandelier
I've mentioned this before, I bought the glass table at an auction for $25 and the oil painting for $60. The chandelier is a replica of the very expensive Cellula Chandelier which I got for 80 Euros in Germany. And the antler is from my childhood playhouse in Germany.
cellula chandelier

buffet vignette

ocean dune oil painting

Bombay buffet in dark wood finish

This is my kitchen and I have some issues with it that I'll complain about in my next post! There is a bunch of stuff that I can't stand and I have some decisions to make.

white kitchen with milk glass
yellow Jonathan Adler inspired horse head
This is the horse head that I just bought at HomeGoods. It reminds me of Jonathan Adler. Love him!

milk glass collection in kitchen

white cardboard safari deer head, white milk glass, white kitchen
ballard design grey chevron rug in kitchen
Above my tiny wrought iron and marble kitchen table (which I bought at an auction for $60) is a cast iron metal from an antique Bavarian mold that was made in my home town from 1818.
large 1818 Bavarian wrought iron medallion

I collected some milk glass and pottery from HomeGoods for the top of the kitchen cabinets.

yellow and grey kitchen vignette, yellow and grey cutting board

Come back on Wednesday to hear me complain about my kitchen, ok? I hope that my kitchen will be the only thing that I have to complain about and that the storm will leave our house intact. Wish us the best and I'm praying for everybody else in the east coast.

Tschüss and good luck,

Friday, October 26, 2012

DIY room-divider

Hi everybody! I can't believe that my mom's visit is almost half over already. We've been shopping and helping out at school. It sure is nice to have her around, but as for projects, I haven't been getting anything done.

And that's why I decided to finally write a post about my living room room-divider today that I built several years ago, pre-blogging times! A lot of people have asked me about it. I wanted one because my staircase, aka the black hole, is next to my sofa and it's just not cozy at all sitting next to a black hole.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about. This is the room divider:

DIY room divider tutorial

After measuring and deciding what size I wanted per panel, I bought some 2x2s at the lumber yard and cut them to size. Each panel is 21 1/4" x 75 1/4" and I wanted 3 panels.

The middle short pieces are 18 1/4" and the side pieces are 75 1/4"

I used screws to put the pieces together from the sides and you can use some angles for the inside of the panel frames to keep it all together. Don't ever forget to pre-drill when you use screws or your wood will split.

How to built a fabric paneled room divider
I used the screws from the side and the angles (not on the drawing) in the inside of the frame.

Please forgive me for my childish and unprofessional drawings, but that's all I got! No photos to document the DIY process, sorry!

I covered the frames with quilt batting, which I  stapled to the sides.Then I covered the panels with Ikea Stockholm Blad curtains that I had.

Everything was stapled with a hand stapler. Seriously, I should have invested in a power stapler for this project. My hands had blisters!

I have been searching and searching for another fabric for the other side of the divider but NOTHING! I really don't know who the buyer is for our local Joann's fabric but let me say this out loud: the person stinks! Most people are already sick of the Chevron overload everywhere and this stupid store still carries zero, NULL, nada, no chevron. That's how horrible our local fabric store is. It's sad!!! There, I said it and I hope somebody is listening.
But even on my NYC fabric search trip I found nothing. Maybe I should just paint my own again. Or I've been thinking about making my own on, do I love this website. There are so many possibilities.   (Since this post, I have found a solution for the other side: OMBRE, click here to see the other side of the divider)

I finished off the edges of the panels where I stapled the fabric with a thick brown satin ribbon (like this one) from the craft store which can be attached with fabric glue or iron on seam tape. Mine isn't attached yet because I'm still hoping for that other side to finally get some pretty fabric. And I used simple hinges from the hardware store to connect all three panels together.

hinges and ribbon to finish room divider
You can see the ribbon under the hinges.

I'm really happy with it and I get asked all the time where I bought it.

Has anybody come across some pretty fabrics that would look nice on my room divider?
Well, let me know!

I wish you all a great weekend! Talk to you on Monday und guten Tag!

DIY Show Off
Furniture Feature Fridays

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where is my armchair?

I really want a new armchair for our living room. The pretty one that you can see in my house tour photos is too uncomfortable. I want one that is so comfortable, that you don't want to get up. A snuggly, cozy and beautiful chair.

I first wanted to purchase a cheap one from Craigslist and then try myself at reupholstering it but my cats are making me rethink this option. My old male (slightly retarded and territorial) cat is not trust- worthy. If he won't like the smell, he will pee on it. Since I don't know who owned the chair before me and what kind of pets they had, I have to scrap that idea and buy a brand new chair. (And NO, I won't get rid of my cats, I love them and they are our family members)

So I have been looking around at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Overstock, Home Decorators, Ikea and some local furniture places.

Here are some chairs that I like:

Overstock Sussex Classic Dark-Gray Linen Club Chair
Overstock Sussex Classic Dark-Gray Linen Club Chair for $389.09
(What's with the 9 cents?)
My mom said that the above Overstock chair looked like an antique potty chair. I guess what makes it look a little off are the legs. They don't really match and some classic legs would look much better. The back looks a little too straight as well.

West Elm Victor Chair
West Elm Victor Chair for $799

Home Decorators Collins Wing Back Chair
Home Decorators Collins Wing Back Chair for $499

Ikea Strandmon Chair
Ikea Strandmon Chair for $279

Home Decorators Gordon Tufted Chair
Home Decorators Gordon Tufted Chair for $589

Home Decorators Moore Wing Back Chair
Home Decorators Moore Wing Back Chair for $549
Doesn't look too comfortable!
On my way to the Philly Airport on Monday to pick up my mom, I had to stop at Ikea... I have a really, really hard time passing that place without stopping. And? And? Guess what? I was so excited to see that they had the Strandmon for sale. FINALLY! They don't even have it on their website yet. I had to get it. Even though I had to risk stuffing my car to the max with suitcases, the chair and some other cool Ikea stuff.  For me that eliminates the shipping nonsense and not being able to sit in a chair and see if it's comfortable and if the grey wouldn't match, I could return it. The price is great too!

So here is my new armchair!
I LOVE IT! I might still change it up a bit but it's the perfect shade of grey. (You know I love my shades of grey ;) Haha!

grey Ikea Strandmon chair with Overstock's Poolside Grey/Bone Indoor Outdoor Rug (8' x 11'2)

Click here to see my DIY painted curtains.
grey Strandmon chair and deer pillowa
Maybe change the legs up a bit???
Ikea Strandmon chair, grey horizontal striped curtains, Overstock indoor/outdoor area rug

Me likey likey? You likey too?

Talk to you on Friday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Scores!

It's Monday and I'm very excited. My mom will hopefully arrive safely this afternoon and OMG I got sooo lucky over the weekend. Sorry not "the lucky" you are thinking! I'm talking furniture ;)

I mentioned on Friday that I have been coffee table obsessed and just when I was ready to cave in and splurge...what do you know! I have seriously been looking for 2 years on craigslist and every time I found one, it was either too far away or we were on vacation. The hubby was unable to score an opium table for me when I was in Germany. Somebody had posted one with matching side tables (I hate sets by the way) while I was gone for $30. What a steal and somebody else got it. I was upset for months.

Opium Coffee Table
image via smartshopbuy

Wouldn't an opium table like this look beautiful in my living room? And a wooden coffee table would be a little bit more durable then my second choice.

Well, I was able to score my second choice and that for only $25, I can't complain! Hey, I can't even get a pedicure or great new shoes for that price.

I'm so excited. I've been doing a happy dance all weekend.

Haha, the only stupid thing is that I have to take new pictures of our living room "house tour page".

Here are some photos and I'm so not upset about the opium table anymore!

cheap chrome and brass coffee table for $25
Thank you to everybody for not buying this beautiful coffee table since August!

I'm in LOVE with this table.

brass and chrome coffee table

coffee table vingette with brass, chrome and orchid

brass, chrome and glass coffee table vingette

Macy's Claudia Sofa and brass and chrome coffee table

grey smoked glass coffee table

chrome and brass coffee table with grey glass

candle coffee table vingette
Have you seen this yellow tea light holder pop up everywhere in my photos? Well it's because I love it!
I can't stop moving it around
I first wanted to strip the fake brass off the accents on the table but I will leave it. Surprisingly I like the gold.

And my second score was another set of matching mirrors. This time they weren't free like my last set (which you can see here). I paid $50 for both. And since I have a mirror addiction, I had to have them. I have so many mirrors that I'm not even using and can't part with any of them. I'm a lamp, rug and mirror hoarder.

I was thinking about using them as vanity mirrors. Unfortunately I don't have a double vanity, bummer! But maybe I can use one in my powder room and another in my master bathroom. Maybe I'll have double vanities in our next home (if it ever happens). I'm thinking about painting them in coral, red or another fun color. Lets see. I'm not sure what color I will paint my powder room yet.

two matching craigslist mirrors bargains

So, how was your weekend? Did you find anything great?

I'm off to pick up my mom from airport soon.

I'm planning on spending lots of quality time with her, so lets hope I'm still able to blog 3 times a week.
If not, cut me some slack (wink wink) ok?

Talk to you on Wednesday und guten Tag.

Friday, October 19, 2012

House Tour - Living Room

It's Friday!
And I'm excited because my mom is coming to visit us on Monday.
Two years ago was her last visit (I miss my family so much) and I'm so happy that her health allowed her to come this year for Halloween. She loves to come and see the kids have fun on Halloween night. It is something truly American and the imitations in Germany don't do it justice.
My mom had an aneurysm in her head which was the reason for her not being able to come. It was a very scary time and after having it coiled in the hospital I pray that she is able to move on now.

On a lighter note, I wanted to continue with my house tour.
Today I have some photos of our (work in progress) living room. I'm still trying to improve my photography and the lighting isn't what I would like it to be in every picture. I'm really trying to get better at this.

fireplace with ZGallerie union jack rug, silhouettes and oilpainting

Grey and neutral living room with horizontal striped curtains
For 2 years now I have been checking Craigslist daily to find a new coffee table. I'm so determined to find a deal. I was so angry when somebody posted the perfect table while I was in Germany...
go figure. I will have to blog about this next time. And like I said in my last house tour post: p
eople tell me all the time that I should place the Union Jack rug the other way, but there is an air vent on the floor which makes it impossible. I could stage it for the picture because nobody would ever know but I don't feel like pretending. That's just the way it is and I'm fine with it.
Macy's leather Claudia sofa with grey overstock area rug
I do miss our old fussy wool area rug that I moved to the attic for a while,
but this indoor/outdoor rug is so much easier to clean.
ikea  TV cabinet with secretary desk and Louis Ghost chair
You can see a post about my desk project here and my curtains here.

pocket watch collection and secretary desk, louis ghost chair
I love old pocket watches which I keep on top of my desk. 
I have my grandfather's and great-grandfather's pocket watch. 
The watch in the front was my wedding gift from me for my husband.
I had it engraved with the phrase:
"When you love someone all your saved up wishes start coming out." (Elizabeth Bowen)
grey overstock rug, grey chevron ballard design rug, secretary desk

antique 1930 brass and wood carved jewelry box
This old treasure was my grandmother's engagement present from my grandfather in 1930. 
I think it is such a beautiful piece. 

white Expedit Ikea book shelves
This Ikea Expedit book case houses some kids toys, kids books and some of my books and magazines. It's not beautifully staged because it is a very functional shelve and gets used a lot.
I don't want the kids to feel like they can't touch it.
DIY room divider
My favorite large painted cuckoo clock. I love it! Click here to read more.
DIY room divider
One of my earlier projects is this DIY room divider. I still have to write a post about it.  I placed it next to the couch to close off the stair case a little. It feels cozier this way. Who wants to sit next to a black hole? I have been looking for a fabric for the reverse side of it but haven't found anything affordable that matches. I even took a trip to NYC but didn't find anything. I like the idea of being able to turn it around and try out a different feel once in a while. And guess what? I keep a little hand vacuum hidden behind it that I can use to clean the steps with.
room divider, claudia sofa

white cuckoo clock, claudia sofa, Ikea TV stand, secretary desk, louis ghost chair

silhouettes and orchids
And I LOVE orchids. I can't get enough of them. Click here if you want to see my silhouette projects.
I have to still share more of my dining room, kitchen and basement with you.
I wish you all a great weekend.

Talk to you on Monday.