Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What, or rather Whoooo is in for fall

Owls seem to be everywhere this fall season. From the department store to your door, here are some ways to bring this trend into your fall decor.

If you want to keep it close, here are a few owls you can wear:

Coach has this cute owl keyfob ($38)

Kate spade has a snazzy owl coin purse ($125), and a cool purse ($425):Marc Jacobs has a great owl pendant for fall ($98):

But, what's in it for home decor?

Go Big:

This guy will surely add some interest to your entry way (modernpoverty.com, $95):

Or, add this table lamp to your space (1stdibs.com)

Just for fun:

Add some whimsy with these sheets from potterybarn kids ($14+):

It's easy to get hooked by this owl pillow (Orvis, $49):

Small and Simple:

Grab a ceramic white owl pitcher from urban outfitters for $18. Drop $28 at Anthropologie for the cutest sake pot you have ever seen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

DC Rowhouse: Your Way

Since I'm heading into the time where the projects are in a holding pattern, I'm looking for ideas of where to head with the DC Rowhouse. So, what would you like to see:
I'd like to see more
Decorating Ideas
Renovating Ideas
Quick DIY Projects
More DC related
Eco-friendly home ideas
pollcode.com free polls

Go ahead, tell me what you think! It's anonymous. . . I swear!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The votes are in

It seems 45% of those who voted (a low, low amount of readers by the way - seriously? you can vote without me knowing who you are. . .its OK) think wreaths are OK on the outside door of the house. But, 20% of you still shun them all together. I am still on the fence.

Either way, it's time to start some fall landscaping at DC Rowhouse. But, before we begin that, the painting needs to be finished in the kitchen.

So, hows the kitchen going you ask? Well, it going great! I love the overall look and have begun to feel comfortable using all the appliances. LOVE the ice maker. Wouldn't give that up. Though, I wish there was an ice maker that made perfectly square glam ice. No dice on that one (no pun intended).

Now, the stainless surface of the appliances does get finger marks pretty regularly. But, hey, it just gets you to clean more. And, same goes for the white cabinets, any little mark shows. Again, more cleaning there.

But overall, the new kitchen was worth every painstaking moment of renovating.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wreaths? Yeah or Neh?

This weekend (the first time I have been home on a weekend in 6 weeks!) I got to experience the joy of strolling though Target. Solo. Which meant I could ooh and ahh over all the fall stuff and Halloween candy. I saw this wreath:

and I thought: that would look mighty nice on my front door. But, a wreath? Really? I am all for a fresh wreath around Christmas, but a faux cattail wreath? I don't know. Then, what? Would I have to get a special box for it? I walked away... but I still kinda want it.

What's your opinion?

What's the deal with fall wreaths?
They're great! Love em!
Only on the outside door!
Eh...some are nice
Are you kidding? A wreath? What's next potpourri in a glass cat bowl on the coffee table?
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cat Blogging: Dylan on a diet

We have two cats here at DC Rowhouse. Dylan and Nina. Let me introduce you.

Nina is a gray and white house cat, she likes canned tuna, sinks . . .

and baskets:

Then, there's Dylan. He is a black and white house cat. He likes head rubs, garbage bags of clothes:

And, food . . . especially if it belongs to someone else:

Ah, Dylan . . . he's a portly fella. He weighs in at a whopping 24.5 lbs. That's not a typo. TWENTY FOUR (and a half) POUNDS! He's like a dog. Not even a small dog. Nina, weighs 9 lbs. or less. Here they are in a basket together:

Precious, right? They're in love. Well, you can see one of them has an advantage as far as size. Sometimes Dylan likes to use Nina as his pillow (as you can see in this fuzzy photo):

So, what to do. It's diet time. His goal is to lose about 8-9 pounds. Let me tell you, he is not looking forward to it. He stuck up his nose at the "special" food for days (alright, maybe hours). . . until that pesky hunger of his got the better of him. Can he do it? Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Scene of the crime

Here are the photos of the fence the day the thief stole our lawnmower:

The best part is how "they" stacked the wood to one side. We haven't mowed the lawn since. This weekend it'll be time to get a new lawnmower. I'm sure that will be anything but enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Terms of a Contract

Talking with another couple about their house renovation they expressed concern over their contractor and how he has too much of their money and has not been working diligently. While that has happened to me, I certainly have experience on things going wrong with someone working in your home.

Here are some of my tips for setting a contract for home repair/renovation/improvement/etc:

Have each item to be done written on a separate line so everything you discussed is in the contract
I've had a "contract" given to me that says something like "600 feet of flooring to be resurfaced". That doesn't cut it. You need exactly what it to be done explicitly spelled out. So, in the case of the floors being redone you would need to write out the number or square feet, the stain to be used, number of coats of finish, and any other extras like the quarter round etc. This way both of you know exactly how the job will go.

Create a time line (it can be flexible and given a few days/weeks cushion time)
This is a little tricky. But, you want something in there saying it will take X number of days or weeks. You can add a line saying "any additions to the project will extend the length of time to complete" to make sure that you have some wiggly room. But, the idea is that you and the person you hire know when the project should be completed.

Draw a diagram if the work involves building
For our kitchen, I included the diagrams I made using the IKEA software. This shows exactly where all the cabinets needed to go. But, for the fireplace reframing I included pictures of what we wanted it to look like as well as some dimensions. Since you probably won't be hanging around every second while they are working, it helps to have a reference point.

Manage your money
Typically, I do a 1/4 of the total price to start, 1/4 when it's halfway done, 1/4 when it's 3/4 done and I give the last 1/4 after I have done thorough inspection of the project. The exception to this rule is if you need to buy the materials. But, make sure the materials are delivered to your home and stay in your home. This way, if the contractor walks off the job - you still have the items you paid for.

What are your tips for writing a contract?

Monday, September 14, 2009

My New Obsession: the zigzag rug

I saw this picture from Domino Magazine:

Too many thoughts came at once and my brain was on overload. This is not my typical style. But, I love it. And, by "love it", I mean I have an unhealthy over-googling obsession with it. I love the white linens, the ruffles on the curtains, the wallpaper, the teal accents, and the rug. Oh, the rug.

I believe that is a Madeline Weinrib rug. You can see it here. Apparently, her lovely rugs are really expensive. So, I will not be getting one. But, I would like something like it.

West Elm has a similar rug:

But, it doesn't have the navy/white flare I need.

Le sigh.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where did the summer go?

I know September started last week, but I was in denial. Since we were headed to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for the weekend it still seemed like summer. But, the day after labor day. . . that means summer is over.

We got home last night and my first thought was, "we have to mow this scraggly lawn". But, alas, since our mower was stolen, that will have to wait.

The end of summer is bringing about all the projects yet to be done that the summer sun makes it too hot for. Plantings, painting, and outside work are all on my list. . .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When should you get the look for less?

Here is the Metropolitan Console Table from Potterybarn ($299):

And, here is the Markor Sofa Table from Ikea ($149):

Same look for half the price. However, the finish is a little different. The Potterybarn table has a much better finish to it and probably holds up a little better in the end. So, is this something where you should buy the "splurge" version of?
Since we are taking about $300 and not $3,000, which item would you buy? Do you think the IKEA table would make it more "disposable" and perhaps not last as long (maybe because you paid less you'd think of it as something to get rid of easier and replace it faster when redecorating)?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall 2009: Things I love

It seems like it went from summer to fall overnight. This morning in DC it was barely over 60 degrees. Hello September! The only notification of fall's arrival is the stacks of catalogues spilling over my mailbox. How I adore them. There is nothing quite like the fall glossies. Yes, spring and summer and OK, but fall is the big winner here. New trends, new styles, all the velvets and the leathers and the textures. Here are some items I am loving for fall:

From Crate and Barrel:

Turner Barstool

Tempo Pillows

From Potterybarn:

Bird Pillow

Oversized Wine Bottles

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many