Archive for July 2010

guest room photo wall

as soon as i painted the guest room a dark blue, i knew i wanted to hang up a line of photos in white frames to help break up the dark color. the room gets so much natural light that the dark color really isn't a problem during the day, but at night it does start to look a little cave like. i have been planning on buying the frames from ikea and even had them in my cart during our last trip. since i wanted at least 5 of them, the price was quickly adding up (as it often does at ikea) and i couldn't justify the extra $$ at the time. so i never got them.

while at homegoods last friday we spotted a few of these in the sale area:

they had 3 of one style, and 2 of another, but they were approx. the same size and looked very similar. the black frames were really scratched and had paint chipping off of them, but that didn't really matter to me. a couple were $5, and a few were $7. in total they were less than $30 for all 5. once we purchased them we realized that the mattes were actually ivory, not white. we looked at hobby lobby to try to find pre-cut white mattes but they were out. so instead we bought a 79 cent bottle of white acrylic paint and just painted the mattes white - problem solved. for the actual frames, we gave them all a light sanding to remove the chipped paint and smooth a few scratches. but after we primed them and then painted with a high gloss white spray paint, you really do not notice any of the imperfections.


now you can see the pictures from the hallway and i think that it makes the room seem that much more inviting.


we decided to fill the frames with some of our favorite travel photos.


i love what they do for the room, and i love how the white frames and mattes look against the dark walls.


we also have a few other changes that we're making to this room, so stay tuned. the guest room has always been one of my favorite rooms in our house, and these changes are just making me like it even more. maybe we should just use it as our room instead...


weekend projects

my mom and brother drove out to stl last wednesday to visit us for the week. we had a great time going to a baseball game, the art museum, doing some shopping, and eating a lot of good food! i love the restaurant choices in stl! they left this morning and we miss them already. mom and ad - hope you enjoyed your visit!

so on to the project part - for some reason my family always wants to work on some "project" when they come visit. i guess we're not entertaining enough on our own :-) i had a couple of smaller projects that i've been wanting to work on, so we headed out to homegoods to see what we could come up with. well, one trip to homegoods resulted in a few projects... and also half a day of going to thrift stores. the bad news is that now our house is a mess again because we started working on several different things and nothing is really finished. the good news is that now i have something to blog about!

here's the before of the first project:
this room + a few clearance picture frames + a can of spray paint
i still need to take an after photo, so i'll leave you with that for now.

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lumber liquidators?

question for all of you out there in blog land - has anyone had any experience with prefinished hardwood flooring from lumber liquidators? mike and i stopped by the store over last weekend to check out their flooring options and found a floor that we really liked. we are looking for a mid-tone brown oak floor, in 2 1/4" width. we are trying to stay as true as possible to the existing damaged floor and kind of match what is on the second floor of our house. we took home a sample and i actually think the finish on it might be more durable than the bruce sample we already had (i tried to scratch both with a key and thought the bruce sample was much easier to scratch).

here is the link to the floor, it is casa de colour - lono oak finish. i can find all sorts of reviews about lumber liquidators as a company and they are mostly not good. but honestly, i don't really care about their customer service as much as i care about the quality of the product. and i can't find anything (good or bad) about the quality of the product. i will say that the person who helped us at the store was very nice and helpful, he also knew a lot about the different types of floors and the installation.

a big thing to keep in mind is the cost - we need almost 700 sq ft to do the entire first floor of the house and since we still have some other big/expensive projects left to do, we really need this one to come in as low as possible. but we also don't want to sacrifice quality just for cost, we do have two large dogs that will be running all over this floor so it needs to be durable. finding that balance is difficult sometimes.

let me know if you all have any recommendations!


oh yeah

i passed my 3rd ARE - only 4 more to go.

i'm over studying and taking tests. i'm ready to be done. i want to have free time so i can work on the house again :-)



yesterday i went to lowes to buy a few flowers. i, of course, walked away with a few flowers, plus 6 different knobs to try out on the buffet.
i'm leaning towards this gray color for the paint, so i tried to keep that in mind while looking at the knobs.
starting at the top, we'll call this options a and b
c and d
and e and f.

i'm liking options a, c, and d. mike doesn't like c, but i'll still keep it in the running.

it's raining here today so the plans of studying by the pool are out. i still need to study, but contemplating hardware options and trying to make a final decision on paint color seems like a lot more fun.


i'll take 2 please

the hinge sconce from cb2 - and I'd almost given up hope in finding sconces for our bedroom. this one is perfect - love the shape and the black color! now i just need to find some room in the budget...


say it isn't so!

i love love love mad men. it's one of my top favorite shows. ever. i have been counting down the premiere since the last episode last season. joan is back!

so tonight i turn on the tv and get a pop up message from at&t - they are having a dispute with amc and might be dropping that channel next week! what?? only weeks away from the premiere? not cool at&t, not cool at all....


ARE number 3

i took my 3rd architectural registration exam yesterday morning. this one was programming, planning, and practice. i had heard that there was some overlap of information on the construction documents and the ppp exams so i only gave myself 3 weeks between them.

i thought the ppp exam was... interesting. i have absolutely no idea how i did. like the last exam, the graphics portion seem straight forward and more of a test of following directions and using their strange drafting program. and finishing on time. i think i did ok, unless i made some giant error that i don't know about. the multiple choice questions were all over the place. i felt that most of them had several answers that could have been considered correct, so it was just a matter of picking the one that was the most correct. i don't know how i did with that. there were only a few questions that i had no idea on. for the most part, i feel like i would have done the same on the exam even if i didn't study. the questions were more general and really not that specific to the information that i had studied. this exam has the highest failing rate though, so that's not comforting...

guess i'll see how i did in a few weeks when i get the letter in the mail!

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