wonderfully made: January 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New addition to the family

I posted a teaser on my five on Friday last week about a chair we had purchased for our living room. All three of the chairs were definitely contenders, but if I'm being honest, I had my eye on one from the start. 

I thought this chair was fun and would offer a good pattern into our otherwise pretty solid home. The price was right, and I liked the casters too, but I wondered if it would go out of style. I could see a cute orange pillow or brightly colored and patterned pillow plopped down to make it the perfect reading spot. Mark, however, didn't love the girlish pattern so much.

I was at West Elm last weekend and stumbled upon this desk chair. It was smaller than the two other contenders, but I LOVED the grey chevron (duh) and natural wood legs. I sent this picture to Mark and he agreed! Neither of us agreed on the price, though, which was about $75 more than the other two, for a much smaller chair. Plus, I've had West Elm dining chairs before and they didn't last long. Also, I can't really bring myself to add any more grey to my living room!

So, there was only one left standing:

We have a LOT of Ikea furniture in our home. I understand the stigma that it holds; that it is for cheap college students and will fall apart easily and quickly. However, we have bought a lot of our pieces knowing what use we want out of them and being incredibly pleased with how they perform. This chair was well priced and seems well made, and it just happened to be the look that I wanted. It feels classic with a hint of modern, clean lines.

We've had a nook in our living room since we moved in that was just BEGGING for a chair. It has bugged me having people over and only having our couch to offer as seating, which makes for awkward moments since everyone is facing one direction (normal for some, awkward for me). After some Christmas money came in and I had a lot of free time on my hands, I went for it and single-handedly maneuvered, purchased, and loaded the chair into my car from Ikea. Yes, I was that girl in the parking lot un-boxing a giant chair and shoving it into my car. By myself. If only I had taken pictures of that!

Here's our chair in it's new home:

It's definitely a red-orange and matches almost perfectly to the window nook in our kitchen. My photos read more red, but it has more of an orange tint than it's letting on. :)

And just for you Ikea-haters, here are some images that prove how great design and great price can mix and produce something beautiful:

(and I thought I loved stripes!)

Also, which deer pillow is better? You be the judge!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Art collection

This image is floating around Pinterest lately and I just really liked the uniqueness of it and thought it would work really well in our bedroom. I posted some DIY art here that I had done for the bedroom, but I wanted to make it a little more personal and less abstract (plus I'm constantly changing things around here) so I kept this Pinterest image in my mind for a change to come.

I stood in the frame aisle at Target for about 15 minutes trying to decide how mad Mark would be if I spent over $50 on five photo frames (specifically for this project) and ended up deciding it wasn't worth it. I walked out with two frames on sale for $10.48 each, thinking I would buy them in phases so as not to overwhelm my husband. :)

Of course, once I got home I was chomping at the bit to change out the art above our bed, so I improvised. I ended up repurposing the chalkboard hanger that I need to move anyway (it still said "Let it Snow") and found some left over tulle to complete the project. Check it out:

I like to think it's my own original spin on the Pinterest fad. I like it so far! 

I also got around to finally ordering a frame for a print I bought for Mark about 3 years ago. It's a map of Canada with typographic details for each province. Kind of cool, we think! It lives at the end of our hallway now. 

We aren't super fancy or cultured but we like having meaningful art around here! What about you, what do you collect?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday: 2014 vol. 2

It's another Friday! Go link up with April for Five on Friday, and read my five for the week below!


I purchased one of these chairs last weekend for the living room... Which one do you think it was?

Check back next week for the answer!


My parents are coming into town tomorrow for dinner and a little visit (they live about an hour away so we try to plan visits every month or so but usually see them more than that). Like most things in my life, the visit is centered around food. This time we are going to Frankie's, a tex-mex place my dad has been talking about since we moved here. His work buddy has family that lives in the area and they have shared suggestions. Frankie's is in the same shopping center as Shady's, the cute burger place I blogged about here a while ago. Can't wait to see what my parents think of it!


Today my friend Emily takes off for LONDON via Istanbul! Go over here to her blog and wish her safe travels and good luck across the pond! I've urged her to blog WAY more while she is living over there so throw in a word or two for me. 

Also, I'll be accepting donations for our future trip to visit her so just email me for details. ;)


My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and while I typically don't think much of it, this year I keep coming across things that I'd love to have! Mark has gotten tired of my subtle texts, but here are a few things I've hinted at...

Mark has bought me my last two Vera Bradley makeup bags and I really like them! They end up wearing out after awhile and I'm well overdue.

I've been really into shoes lately and I totally swoon over these! Aren't they magical!??

I just about died over this purse when I found a look-a-like at Francesca's...I asked for one for Christmas but didn't get it so now I've moved on to the real deal. Still loving Emerald Green!

I think it's about time for me to upgrade from my iPhone pics to a real camera. I've had my thoughts on a DSLR for a while and I'm starting to really think I need one! I told Mark to buy used and maybe go halvesies with a family member, but we will see...:)

I love my necklaces from J Crew and this one is so pretty! 

...and I almost bought these myself the other day when they were having a sale, but I resisted. LOVE!!!


This was today:

...and this is the weekend forecast. I feel like God is just giving us a sign (in the form of warmer weather) that we better make good use of this weekend! It's back to work and heavy coats on Monday!

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So, how should I make the weekend productive? What are you guys doing?

Whatever it is, have a happy weekend! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bookshelf diaries

Bookshelves are underrated.

Built-in bookshelves, especially.

Just look at how a well-styled bookshelf gives the room (and it's owner) a defined personality:

I can only hope to one day own a home with built-in bookshelves, but for now, I have to start small. I did so a couple weekends ago by purchasing this bookshelf from Ikea. I had seen this Pin previously and had similar ideas for my new purchase:

I'm not convinced (and neither is hubby) that we should spray paint it, although that is what drew me to the original inspiration. What do you think?

Here's where we are so far:

Obviously, I need more books!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The husband's domain

I've got to brag on my husband Mark for just a bit here on this part of the Internet. I was feeling sick this weekend and was basically worthless on Saturday and Sunday. He went out and did his usual rounds on the disc golf course with no complaints from me (rare, ask him!), but then he came home and cleaned the whole house and the garage, all unprompted. 

He does love a clean house and garage, so I can't say I'm THAT surprised, but he did such a good job! Since I've shown you every other corner of our house, here is our garage:

We are very much a 'park our cars in the garage' kind of people. I grew up that way and tend to like having everything tucked nicely inside the walls of my house instead of leaving the cars in the street or in the driveway. It looks less cluttered and after you've been through a 15 minute baseball-sized hailstorm, you know how useful a garage can be! That being said, we also store a LOT of stuff in our garage.

Thank GOD Mark drives a Mini Cooper, because otherwise we would have to get a storage shed. Look at all of this stuff we store in front of his car!

(the black trash bag is about 1/4 of a bale of hay we bought in the Fall for Motley's dog house. A little goes a LONG way so we are storing it that way until we use it all up!)

Our awesome previous owners left this utility rack and we have used it since day one. Mark has already collected a bunch of tools in the past 6 months!

They also left this wall mounted bike rack on the right side of the photo, holding up the ladder. Unfortunately it doesn't really work with our bikes, but it's perfect for the ladder!

That plywood is going to be put up in our attic across the beams so we can get more storage and walking space up there. It was lovingly saved from our kitchen remodel :)

We searched long and hard for a bike rack solution that would work until I stumbled upon this pulley system at the Container Store. I bought them at two different occasions to make sure that we liked them, and they were about $20 each. They were a little pricier than what we wanted to spend, but they meet our needs perfectly and it was worth it to us to get those out of the way. They hang right over the hood of Mark's car when he pulls in so we never have to worry about ducking around them when walking around. 

Behind the bikes is a shelving unit that Mark just picked up from his dad last week and his peg board that he bought within weeks of moving in. OCD, much?

He and I both like how organized this makes the tools that we use on a regular basis. Plus it wouldn't be the same without the Arsenal flag. ;)

We also have this great work and storage bench plus the Elfa shelving that the previous owners left. I have no idea what we would have done without it when we moved in, it has solved SO many storage needs for us!

Lastly, we have our 'laundry area'. I would LOVE a designated laundry room, but the cards just weren't in our favor for this house. This solution has worked fine for us but I'd love to jazz up the area a little more to make it more functional, cleaner, and prettier. I've seen tons of ideas on Pinterest but most include installing a work surface on top of the W/D but those are for machines where the buttons are on the face of the unit instead of how ours are. Oh well, I'll figure out something down the line!

What does your garage look like? Do you prefer to park inside it or use it as storage?

Also, has anyone out there ever painted their garage floor? Ours was painted in the past and could use some touch up. Thanks for any advice!