Archive | July, 2011

exterior light fixtures – again

30 Jul

Internet shopping lesson #596 learned – be sure to actually check the dimensions for items ordered online. Why you ask? Because items may be smaller than they appear. MUCH smaller. I was SO excited to have found THE lights to flank our entry into the house – one to go on the modern slat wall we are building and another to go across from it hooked up to an existing hookup where there is currently no fixture.

Here is how I was imagining it would look, but with the lights in chrome and not gold:

The box arrived on my front porch and I was so excited to open it. However, the box seemed small. Hmmm, I thought there must only be one light in there, the other must be coming. But oh no, to my dismay when I opened the box I realized there were two smaller boxes inside to house even tinier lights. Literally each light was about the size of my hand. I told Mike our mini lights had come in. Wah wah wah. I really should have taken a photo – but I was so horrified I just packed them back up and went online to see how I could return them. $8 in return shipping later, a 25% restocking fee, plus a loss of the original shipping fees means we are out almost $40 and have nothing to show for it. So, lesson learned…when ordering items online in the future check the measurements!

we have a wall!

29 Jul

Wow, what a lot of work this project has been – and we aren’t done yet! But we’re SOOOO happy to be done with the major build part of the project! My glass half full mentality had me thinking that this project would take maybe 2 weekends and done. Oh no, that was not the case, our time so far has been allocated like so:

First full weekend – demo and cleanup on day 1, getting the wood, unloading, setting up, and building frame for wall and installation of frame on day 2
A few weekday evenings and the next Saturday – Starting to paint three sides of the wood and starting install
The last two full weekends – Continuing painting three sides of the rest of the wood (me) while Mike installed it, puttying and sanding, and painting the backside of the wall

So, it has been a lot of work, and a LOT of sweat. Ugh, it’s hot. We are so tired of working outside…but all we have left to do is finish puttying the holes and paint the front of the wall. It’s totally been worth it though, we LOVE how it is turning out. And for a cost of about $600 for doing it ourselves, as opposed to what would probably be $2-3k or more if we had hired it out, we saved a ton of cash by DIYing it. However, it is definitely a project that required some pretty good construction know how (a la Mike) as well as tools. My handy husband is awesome!

And, even better news – we were approved for a small home improvement loan to redo the siding and paint on our house! So…we are getting a complete makeover of the outside of our house (well, sans landscaping) and we are so excited about it. Once we change the paint colors, and with the addition of the wall, it will look like a completely different house. And right now the slightly off white paint really doesn’t make sense with the house colors as they are now, but I hope it will look amazing once the house is resided and repainted. And that will be another major thing checked off our very long list of home improvements!

Here is the backside of the wall finished (pre paint)

And after 2 coats of primer/paint

My handy husband working on the last part of the wall – see those Agaves? They are pointy and mean if they getcha.

construction done!

So, that is where we are at with our patio redo! I hope by the end of the weekend to finish puttying, sanding, and painting! So all that will be left to do on the wall itself is add the light fixture and house numbers. See upcoming post about our light fixture dilemma!

prettying up the dog feeding area

27 Jul

I don’t know about you guys, but the dog food and water bowls have always been a source of design distress for me…here we have this new pretty kitchen (essentially my dream kitchen) and then we have the pretty ugly plastic turquoise mat with cheap stainless steel dog food and water bowls sitting on top.


So, for months I have been wanting to “pretty up” and modernize that area so it sort of looks like it is meant to be in our kitchen…but really can’t afford the awesome but pricey modern dog feeders like this one from etsy ($130)

This one is not as cool, but a lot more affordable at $39.95, but still not really doing it for me:

So, I decided to start by getting some more modern dog food and water bowls. However, it seems a premium is added when it is labeled as a “dog” food or water bowl. So then I thought, who says they actually have to be dog food bowls? Why can’t they eat from human bowls? Enter these bowls from West Elm – perfect size and shape, easy to clean, simple and modern:

And at $14.99 for a set of 4, the price can’t be beat.

However, I also needed something to set them on to catch any spills which are surely to happen from my messy, water spilling pups. The turquoise tray worked for a while but I really didn’t like the black plastic edging or the general look, and also the large size. Then, shopping in IKEA once more I spotted their section of trays and this cute little blue tray with white dots seemed perfect(IKEA BARBAR tray $5.99):

And at only $5.99 the price was just perfect…and it’s small footprint meant it would still catch spills but wouldn’t take up too much visual or actual space on the back wall of our kitchen, where we keep the dog food and water.

Also, contemplated this super cute gray and white tray, it would be perfect for holding just 1 water and food bowl.

All in all, for less than $20 I’m really happy with this new more modern pet feeding area. I’d still love to afford the cool walnut raised dog feeding system, but that may be a little down the road.



mid century modern DIY budget wall art

25 Jul

Having spent most of our excess funds on renovating our home (in particular the main level of our home which includes the kitchen, main living, dining, office, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms) our master bedroom has been particularly neglected. Browsing websites one afternoon over a year ago led me to this website for the US patent office where you can search for and download patent drawings and information. After an afternoon spent on the website I had downloaded several cool midcentury designer patents and kept them in my potential wall art folder on my computer. Fast forward to this fall, I finally got around to getting a few of my favorites printed (an Eames chair, a Warren Platner sofa, Adrian Pearsall sofa, and a Globe chair)…once they got back from the printer they sat in the envelope for months…

Finally, a recent trip to IKEA proved fruitful, where I found the perfect frames. The IKEA Odby frames. I LOVE, LOVE the clean modern look of the frames and especially the rounded corners on both the frame itself and the matting. There was just one problem – the 8×10 opening size was too small to fit the oddly shaped prints (sized about 10×13) and the 11×14 also wasn’t quite right. So, I improvised – I found some half priced gray poster board at Hobby Lobby and cut it to fit the mats, and then used double sided tape to adhere the prints to the posterboard. Then, I centered the boards with the mats.


the unmounted prints

The white, gray and yellow scheme goes perfectly with our master bedroom, which is where we decided to hang them.








And there you have it! Mid century modern wall art for just the cost of the printing and the frames.

the actual brady bunch house

23 Jul

Came across this article about the Brady Bunch House on Apartment Therapy the other day and thought it was cool, considering it is the namesake of our little blog 🙂

Growing up I LOVED watching The Brady Bunch, and I wanted to live in their house. I thought it was the COOLEST. So, when Mike and I fell in love with this house, we immediately both naturally started calling it our Brady Bunch House, especially pre-remodel. The kitchen especially, with the Spanish style arches and railings, plus the paint colors, the floating staircase going downstairs, and our groovy master bath including the built in stone planter (which we love) were all so very Brady Bunch. We’ve modernized the house A LOT, but we still think parts of it hearken back to The Brady Bunch Days…

Here is a pic of the actual Brady Bunch House now, apparently it was on the market for $1million plus a couple years ago…

And here are some fun pics of the actual Brady Bunch house way back when. Makes me want to watch a few old episodes. Are they still on?





And here are a few pics of our house pre-remodel that I think totally hearken back to Brady Bunch times…






Couldn’t you just imagine the Brady clan running around our house back in the day?!

cupcake smash!

22 Jul

I just had to share a couple pics of Zoey from this afternoon having her birthday cupcake! We let her at it, and boy did she attack it! And if you’re in Austin (or visiting) you must get some sweet treats at Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, it’s the BEST.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, amazing little girl Zoey

22 Jul

I cannot believe it has been a year since she was born, it’s cliche but it feels like yesterday. This photo is from her first happy birthday serenade (first of many I am sure) in Denver last week at a cute diner. Today I will devote my entire day to her – playing with her and having fun and making her giggle (because that sound is one of my favorite sounds in the world).

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