New Living Room for $2,000 or less!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Over 4 years together, and Steve and I were still rocking a mish-mosh of living room furniture that didn't fit our space or style.

With an oversized squishy brown couch, bulky black furniture and a tired green rug that our pets had, err, "broken in" far too many times (take that however you will), we needed a change. And, Steve wanted to have a chic, modern space that he could meet clients in.

So here's what we started'll see our space is rather limited.

View from the front door:

View from the kitchen:

See what I mean? Absolutely no personal style was present in that room.

After a LOT of perusing furniture online that fit our aesthetics and budget, we bought everything in one fell swoop! It was out with the old and in with the new on the same day, as Brown Elephant picked up all of our old furniture in the morning and CB2 delivered the new stuff in the afternoon. (Note: we considered trying to sell the old stuff on Craigslist, but since we itemize our taxes, it made more sense just to write off the donation.)

New view from the front door:

We completely flipped the room around! Where the couch used to be, we left the space open and really maximized the area.

New view from the kitchen:

We opted to put the TV on a side wall rather than directly across from our new couch. While not as convenient, it worked better in our space and you can still see it from anywhere in the room.

Also, this set up gives Charlie room to play! He loves the hopscotch rug. No really, he does. He takes his bone and races over to the rug to toss it on the hopscotch board.

View from the windows:

See where our new couch landed? Where the TV used to be. It's modern, minimal and is much more proportional for the space compared to our old couch. Plus, it's actually a day bed, so the top lifts off from the bottom and creates a king size bed, perfect for guests!

Also, notice the awesome canvases hanging of Steve's work? Love them. (And don't mind the bright lights...Steve was playing around with off camera flash.)

So that's it in a nutshell. A clean, modern and minimal space featuring shades of orange, gray and blue. Oh, and I mentioned we did this on a budget, right?! So here's our breakdown...

CB2: Hopscotch Rug
-$199 (4x6 rug)
-We couldn't find a rug we liked better!

CB2: Lubi Daybed
-$799 (they've changed the colors now; we bought it in orange)
-Really comfortable if you don't mind a couch w/o a back!

CB2: Slick White Media Console
-$349 (not on their web site anymore)
-Has enough storage, but is still a minimal design

IKEA: Expedit Bookcase in white
-We previously had the larger version, but downsized to this. Great for storage.

IKEA: Lack Side Tables in white
-We would like to replace these with something better, but they work for right now

Circle M Bedding: @ Pillow, % Pillow, & Pillow
-I saw these on a designer web site for $50+, but found them cheaper on this site.
-Love the pops of color and unique design.

With tax and shipping and minus a $100 gift card we received for our wedding, we spent $1,523.66 at CB2. IKEA came in at $85.97 and the pillows from Circle M were $121.92 (including shipping). Our grand total? $1,731.55 for a brand new living room!

We also had fabulous consultation from Kristin of Bien Living, who gave us some great ideas for accent pieces we would still like to incorporate. She also gave us piece of mind that our color palette worked well together! Her design services are should really check them out. Thank you, Kristin!

After everything was in place, we were soooo happy with our decisions! The room feels bigger, and we hope that everyone who visits our place will leave with a sense of who we are and what our style is.

Does your decor reflect your personal style, or is your home in need of a face lift?!

Shoes in the Nude...Color!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hi, it's me! Here for some hit-and-run blogging. I have a million posts I want to do, but time keeps on escaping me and I never get the pictures off of my camera to actually blog. Boo. Don't worry, you'll hear from me plenty this winter, once wedding season has died down.

Amidst the craziness, I've been trying really hard to refine my style, buying clothes that are a little more professional/stylish/pulled together. At least, I hope so. (If you see me on a regular basis and you're reading this, please feel free to tell me if I've made absolutely no progress on my look. I won't get mad, I promise! But I will make you go shopping with me.)

I've become simply obsessed with nude peep toe pumps! Seriously, ob-sessed. So I started searching for the perfect nude pump, and quickly found out important lessons.

Lesson #1: there is no "nude" option in the color list. You can go "tan" or "khaki" but you definitely can't go "nude."

Lesson #2: the colors vary across the board. Some are more blush, some lean toward tan, and some have a yellow hue. Decisions, decisions.

Lesson #3: as with (almost) any shoe, the more you spend, the better they get and the more options you have. Since I'm a shoe buyer on a budget, my options are rather limited. But at every budget point, there's a shoe for you.

Option #1: A bit of a splurge

This Daniblack "Jacky" is absolutely adorable! I love the scalloped detail and I feel like the cone-shaped heel will provide for great walkability. The color is very sweet - while not the shade I was looking for, I'd snap these up in a heartbeat. If they weren't, umm, $134. Moving on.

Option #2: Super splurge

Love, love, love the Stewart Weitzman "Avignon." I feel like I just saw Bethenny Frankel on RHWNY in a pair just like this and I swooned. The platform is amazing and the contrasting heel color actually doesn't bother me. What does bother me about this sweet little pair? For starters, the 4 1/4" heel doesn't fly when you have to walk to and from the train, and the $325 price tag definitely doesn't fly with my bank account.

Option #3: Budget (but better?!)


Floating back down to reality, I present my budget pick. This Enzo Angiolini "Maylie" is a pretty sweet deal - more of the "nude" color I was shooting for, while simple and sophisticated with a 3 1/2" heel. Or, if you're not impressed with the nude, this style comes in a million other great colors (bold pops of yellow, blue and pink...I'm thinking perfect for a wedding). Oh, and the price tag? A sweet $58.95.

What shoe has caught your eye for the summer season?

I want my cake, please!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I could not have asked for better eye candy at my wedding than my AWESOME cake. It lived up 110% to the picture in my head of what my cake would look like. Don't believe me?

I think my reaction says it all. Next to Steve, the cake was the best thing I laid eyes on all day. And smelled, for that matter. The scent of sugar wafting off of the cake was enough to make you swoon.

As our 1-year anniversary in September gets closer and closer, I keep on thinking about devouring our anniversary tier. Rather than freezing the top layer of our cake, The Sugar Syndicate offers a mini-anniversary tier in one of the flavors you had at your wedding.

I had assumed that Steve and I would playfully bicker about what flavor to get (me: chocolate cake with white chocolate peppermint ganache; him: white cake with mango curd and strawberries). We'd go back and forth on our decision until one of us caved.

Unfortunately, our biggest problem is not what flavor to get, but not getting any flavor at all! I just learned last week that The Sugar Syndicate has closed their doors...big sad face! The owner, Cathay Rayhill, does simply exquisite work and I'm very hopeful that she's moving on to bigger and better things.

However being a selfish newlywed, I'm SO SAD that I won't be getting my anniversary tier. I was looking forward to that being a big part of our 1-year celebration, and even though having or not having cake won't define our anniversary one way or another, I think it would have made it extra special.

What would you do in this situation...find a bakery to recreate a mini-tier in your wedding flavors (or, umm, have them make 2 so that you and your husband can each have the flavor of your choice)? Re-create the cake yourself? Or, say screw it and order a slice of cake when you go out to dinner on your anniversary?