We Put Baby in a Corner

This baby, that is:new house 002Ok, hold the phone while I back up a bit… This particular corner of the house is what we lovingly call the “foyer”, even though it’s a tiny triangular sliver of linoleum as you come through the front door. For some time it was completely open and empty, but I had dreams of adding some sort of storage/ bench contraption that was triangularly shaped so it could be tucked into that corner. Maybe something like this, but corner-y (photo taken from Grace Lee Cottage)…

I liked the idea of having storage, a place to sit to put on shoes, maybe a few hooks, etc. Whatever we ended up with had to fit into that corner though, so the door could open all the way. Let me fast forward and just tell you that we immediately nixed the “we’ll build something custom-made ourselves” plan when I found a gem at the Restore. We’re frequent fliers there and every so often we strike gold…new 148At first glance, it looked like a neat piece- half closed storage, half open display space. But WAIT, there’s more… check out the profile:new 149Perfectly shaped to fit right into a corner! new house 002We weren’t really diggin’ the honey wood tones, so it got a crisp coat of white paint to match the door and balusters. Much better.gallery wall 028Oh, and some new hardware- courtesy of Home Depot.corner cabinet 005As for the inside, the bottom is convenient for storing shoes that we kick off as we come in the door. Every so often, we clean it out and start a fresh “collection”. corner cabinet 001The top is a melting pot of form and function. The bottom shelf holds a bowl for keys (this has really helped the WHERE-ARE-MY-KEYS-??? issues that come up as we’re racing out the door) and other odds and ends- pool passes, the key to the mailbox, etc. The second and third shelves are just for show- I switch things up in there every so often.Truth be told, I’d like to do a better job with this. This is prime display real estate that gets a little boring because not much attention has been paid to it. However, now that it’s public knowledge on the blog, I’ll probably feel more accountable to keep it decent looking and up to date with the seasons.corner cabinet 009

And those lights? They  are battery operated puck lights from Lowes. They stick right to the bottom of each shelf and really help to illuminate what’s going on in there at night… otherwise it can get kind of shadowy. I’ve been meaning to paint the sides white so that they don’t look so intrusive when you’re looking into the cabinet straight on. Someday…

So, there’s the story of the corner shelf. Yet another spot in our house that had never gotten any air time on the blog until now… hooray! Have a great day, everyone.





Thrill of the Week: We Found a (well, another) Bench!

Remember way back when we chatted about our hopes and dreams for the backyard in this post? Well, we have officially found another piece to the “seating for at least 10 people” puzzle! Check her out:Bench

I know, I know- exciting. What’s even more exciting than the bench itself is the story behind it. So, I’ll start at the beginning. When we got our first bench, then the table, and finally four black chairs, each piece was purchased with the goal of a multi-functional backyard patio space in mind. We wanted things that could function on their own (aka. be dragged to different spots of the patio for seating here and there), but also come together to form a complete dining set. And the overall goal- to be able to seat as many bodies at one time as possible, should the occasion arrise. Our transformer table helps with that, as it has the capabilities to seat as little as 4 people…Applaro Drop Leaf TableOr as many as 10 (maybe 11 or 12 if we really squeeeeeeeze)…

Applaro Drop Leaf Table

So we figured that our goal would be to slowly accumulate seating for at least ten people around the table, that could also function as seating that could be pulled out and used elsewhere. Here is the rough sketch that we came up with to create a wish lists of sorts for the remaining pieces we’d need to reach ten:Furniture SketchThe shaded in parts represent what we already had. We pictured pulling the garden bench/loveseat up to the table on one of the long sides and sticking a black chair on each of the four sides of the removable table “wings”. That just leaves something on the other long side of the table and two somethings for each end. Enter the additional bench idea.

Applaro Bench

Although we could have gone back to Ikea and picked up an identical one to the one we already had (pictured above), we decided that something a bit more compact and a bit less cumbersome would be better suited for our space. After all, when the full table is not in use, we like to keep it all the way against the fence and ideally, we’d get a bench that could fit completely underneath the table when not being sat on. Maybe like a long piano bench or something of the sort?Bench

After striking out in a number of thrift stores, I did a quick search on the Ikea website to see if our existing Applaro set (of which we now owned two pieces) came with any benches in that style. They didApplaro bench

… but not in white. Yes, we could have gotten the natural wood bench, stripped, painted it white, and resealed it for outdoor use, but spending $60 on a brand new piece just to change it completely didn’t sit right with me. And quite frankly, the $60 price tag seemed a bit much for a bench anyway. Darn. Dead end number… oh, I’ve lost count.

Here’s where the happy ending comes in. Some time ago, my friend (we’ll call her Ally) and I were out one Saturday, hitting as many yard sales as we could find. Just as we were warming up, we rounded a bend in the road and found this:mega yard sale

An entire church parking lot FULL of yard sales! Holy treasure-hunting, batman. Yeah, Ally and I went nuts. About halfway around the circle ‘o sales, I noticed this almost-exactly-as-I-had-pictured-it bench at one woman’s stand.BenchNo price tag and after asking what she was selling it for ($6-seriously?!) and doing a bit of negotiating (down to $5- every dollar counts!), it was mine! The hunt finally comes to an end! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Ally walked away with a pair of awesome end tables for her new (and very first!!) apartment… for a total of $5. It was a good day. And the icing on the cake? Successfully cramming two end tables and a bench (oh, and a few shirts and puzzles that we also snagged) into the back of my Hyundai Sonata. Score.

car label

Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was set it up outside with the other furniture to see how she fairs.Bench

Success! Now, it’s a bit too long to tuck underneath, but for $5 I’m not complaining. If it really gets to be an issue, we’ll just take a couple of inches off both ends to make it tuck-in-able. The other question on the table, er bench, is… color! We’re tossing around a few options (paint it white, paint it light teal/blue, etc.), but one thing is for sure- we want it to be outdoor proof so that it can live on the patio permanently. As for potential colors, stain, etc. I think we’ll hold off and let the ideas simmer for a bit before jumping to a decision. For now, we’re enjoying the extra seating we get out of having another bench around!Bench

And for the rest of our patio to-do list, well here is an updated version:

  • Find and purchase bench
  • Purchase table with lots of potential seating
  • Find and purchase seating for at least 8 more people (we already have the bench that can be pulled up to the table to seat 2) Almost there!
  • Purchase a grill
  • Purchase an umbrella
  • Build a mini-patio under the bench
  • DIY solution for hiding the air conditioner and misc. garden supplies
  • Weed and plant new flowers in garden bed
  • Edge garden bed 
  • Weed brick patio
  • Figure out a way to better camouflage Christmas lights
  • DIY a birdhouse and hang
  •  Figure out how to plant a mini veggie/herb garden
  • Decide on plants to fill hanging baskets and empty pots
  • DIY or purchase accent pillows for seating

Still a ways to go, but progress is in the air! And actually, this whole week is a week of backyard updates and reveals, so stay tuned for more of those list items we’ll get to cross off!Bench

See ya tomorrow,


Thrill of the Week: Snailed It

I am more excited by our newest family member than maybe I should be… let me introduce you to one of my latest thrifting finds:snail

The other weekend, I stopped in 2nd Avenue (one of the local second-hand stores) to take a quick look around because it was one of their sale days (every Sunday and Monday, they have certain items discounted!!). Much to my delight, I walked out with a small bundle of treasures and they were all “sale items”! Hooray! The other beauty of the day was that the majority of my purchases were things that we had been on the lookout for. Our new friend, however, was a happy accident. And even happier: everything with a purple tag was 1/3 off, so Mr. Snail only cost me about $1.30. Cheers.snailMaybe it’s the warm, sunny days or maybe I’ve caught the spring fever, but this little guy delighted me to no end and I knew that I could calm the crazy splatter paint with a few quick coats of white spray paint. If you haven’t noticed, this is becoming a trend… we buy something that is almost perfect and make it into exactly what we want by breaking out the ‘ole can ‘o spray paint. 

Here’s Snaily, mid-makeover:snail

I couldn’t figure out how to situate him while his underside dried, but a simple garden hook did the trick!snail

And the finished product:snail

Mr. Snail now lives… well, wherever we need/want him to! What I mean by this is that we move him around. He started on the floating shelves in the kitchen…snail moved to the coffee table…snail and is currently perched in the midst of our May Mantel (details on that project to come!).snailHooray for multi-functional pieces.

Any spring-y creatures making appearances on your shelves this season? Do tell.