Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Transformation

What do you think that is? Do you think it's hard wood? Well, it's tile. Tile engineered to look and feel like hard wood. In this instance, reclaimed hickory. Originally, we had set out to tear out the carpet in our formal dining room and master bedroom and replace it with reclaimed hickory floors.  When I started talking to installers they looked at me like I was crazy. Uh, you have two dogs and a very active 4 year old boy and you want to do what? Oh, and by the way it's $16 a square foot including install. Aside from the fact it was out of our budget, I also quickly caught onto the reasons WHY installer after installer was telling me NOT to install reclaimed hickory. Then, one night we were strolling through Home Depot and found this....Marazzi Montagna Weathered Brown tile. I couldn't, we, couldn't believe this was tile. At $2.49 a square foot + installation, we could afford this, it would stand up against our dogs and son and it truly looks and feels amazing. So after some additional research to make sure this was definitely the one we wanted to live with, we bought the tile and the installation all through Home Depot. And, the whole process was truly incredible......

At every step of the way we were informed of what was going on, from the measurement phase, to payment, to product delivery to install, everything was a well-oiled machine. Every step was completely aligned. Originally, I wanted to help a small business so I actually hadn't planned to purchase through Home Depot, but surprisingly, Home Depot contracts with local small businesses. In our case, the day the installers were to arrive, I received an email with the installers' names, bios, licenses, past referrals, etc. It was very professional. We had been told the job would take three full-days. These installers were kicking ass and actually completed our job in only two. Their handiwork was completely pristine and careful. Additionally, once the installers were finished, there was a lot of unused product (tile, grout, etc.). I figured we'd just have to keep. They told us on the contrary. We actually were able to return nearly $700 of unused product to Home Depot without any problems. I would definitely go through Home Depot again for another project. Now we just get to sit home and enjoy!!! Take a peek....

Install in the formal dining room. I love the contrasting look between the travertine and the wood tile.

So, we never had a rug in this room, but you bet I ran out to Pottery Barn and bought a 9 x 12 for this room. This is it. And, it was on sale. And, it was in-stock so I didn't have to pay shipping. I love the finished look. It's literally right out of my imagination. 

Into our bedroom...

We decided to keep carpet in our closet and keep the travertine in the bathroom. I didn't photograph it, but it's another great contrast between transitions.

I really had a bug up my butt to have wood in the bedroom, but this satisfies the desire more than sufficiently. I do need to buy a rug for the master, but we're still looking at new furniture for the seating area so I'm not going to rush to buy anything until the vision forms in my head. Right now, it hasn't. And, if there's anything I've learned in my 35 years it's not to rush design. Don't buy ANYTHING unless you can proclaim that is it!!!!

Now for the great room....You might recall, our home was a model home. For an extra $5,000 we got every piece of furniture, chotchkie and appliance that was in our home. Because we had made that investment, I hadn't yet bought any new furniture. I felt like it was irresponsible. Until now. This year marks the sixth year we've been in our home and I felt it was time for something new. I had really liked the idea of a leather sectional. Not sure why. It popped in my head one day, and I couldn't let it go. We looked everywhere for a leather sectional and nothing was right. They either weren't big enough, not the right leather, looked cheap. You name it, I found something wrong with it. So we kept on. One day for shits and giggles we went in to Restoration Hardware to check out its leather sectionals. Wouldn't you know it? I found one that met every criteria. This one. It was also the price of a new fuel efficient car. Well, I guess we won't be getting this. We returned home with our leather sectional still a figment of my imagination. I went to get the mail, and in it, was a class action reward. To Restoration Hardware. I'm dead serious. This all happened in the same day. It was a 33 percent off reward up to $10,000! What the hell? With this, and some future saving, we could actually get the couch. We were going to take the plunge. A few weeks later, we went to buy the couch. The salesgirl asked us if we could wait until May 6. I said, yes, why? Well, if you wait until May 6, you get another 20 percent off because we are going to have our spring sale. Oh my god. What? You mean we will get 55 percent off???? Yeah, pretty much! So, we got a couch and a coffee table. This one. All in our budget. I could hardly wait for it to arrive and then it did....and I thought I made a major mistake....See below....

Have you ever had anything delivered from Restoration Hardware??? God knows we certainly hadn't, but what an experience. The delivery men literally wear white gloves. Toto, I don't think we're at Ikea anymore. In fact, the delivery is known as white-glove delivery. They pieced our sectional together, brought in the table and my expression took me by surprise. It wasn't joy. It was terror. Had I gone too big? Does this look awful? First world problem panic struck me. I found myself asking the delivery men if they thought the couch looked good. I'm embarrassed by this now. They assured me it looked great. After they left, I ran to finish the look with a rug I'd had my eye on. I needed to accessorize this situation. It needed help. It was NOT quite right. So, I went back to Pottery Barn and got a 5 x 8 rug. Unfortunately I can't find it online, but it too was also on sale and in-stock so again, avoided shipping charges! We needed some pillows too. We needed texture. So I also picked up three of these Moroccan Wedding Pillows and four these basket weave pillows.  Okay, the vision was started to come together, and now I'm LOVING the look. I've walked in for the last week and still can't believe this is my living room! I'm living a dream! 

Another view...

We kept the side table, and white chairs from our original furniture. I loved being able to use those pieces with the sectional and coffee table. And, since the side table had always been hidden, we never had a chance to display it's beautiful iron work, but the way in which we have it now really makes it a central piece of the great room. 

The pillows...

This table is heavy! Thank God there's wheels on it or we'd never be able to move it. 

A close-up of the hardware on the table, and of the rug for that matter. I just love the juxtaposition of the industrial table and leather against the more feminine rug, pillows and candle. 

I was able to repurpose the candles, holders and basket. I just love the way everything turned out! 

And that's all she wrote folks. Welcome to my living room for the next at least 10 years. Smiley face.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Stopped and Felt the Flowers

About two weeks ago, one of my most favorite celebrity SWMs, Vicki Gunvalson, instagrammed about her new, Claire Flowers heels. I was intrigued. Vicki mentioned in the post how much she liked them. Hmmmm. I must know more. So, I went to Claire Flowers and learned Claire Flowers was an actual person, a business woman, who used to be a busy executive with a hectic travel schedule who destroyed her heels. Heels that got stuck in grates and scratched the leather, tips that would run down and fall off exposing the nail head, bottoms with no traction causing her to slip on slick hotel surfaces, throbbing feet at the end of the work day due to absolutely no cushion, trashed heel back leather due to constant rubbing against the floor mat when driving - all this contributed to her frustration. Isn't business travel grand? Um, Claire Flowers and I seemed to be kindred spirits! Check to all of the above. I watched a news segment, did some more research and took the plunge and bought the pair you see at $195. I am hooked. I can't wait to buy my next pair. The shoes are the epitome of quality craftsmanship. Claire Flowers not only nailed it with her fashionable, yet functionable design for the businesswoman on the go, but she innovatively found solutions to really annoying problems like the heel back leather destruction and heel tip breakage. Brilliant! And, truth be told, these shoes at $195 are a far better value than the Christian Louboutins I have. These shoes are built to stand up to any horrific business trip from hell. The CLs, not so much. Definitely check out Claire Flowers. Besides, look at this adorable packaging? Who wouldn't want to receive this package in the mail?