Thursday, May 15, 2014

F.Y.F Building A Home - Part 1

WE DID IT! WE MOVED IN TOGETHER!...And it was a very pleasant and not awful experience, somehow! After catching on to a "moving company's" Living Social scheme ( BE CAREFUL GUYS!) Wes and I moved everything with the help of my forever amazing best friend Clay and were done by the afternoon. Since niether Wes nor I barely owned anything our name, we had to start from scratch and decided to slowly buy things ahead of time so that we wouldn't have to spend a ton all at once when we actually moved. We also talked about what we each wanted our home to feel like in three words, which I think really helped guide us to what is becoming a very gender balanced home. He said, comfortable, warm and open. Mine were eclectic, cozy, with pops of color.  OK great, we can work with that. It was very important to me that our home felt like us, not me or just him, so I made that a priority and considered his tastes whenever I shopped for anything. This idea of buying a little at a time worked out well for us. The list of all the items we needed was very long and intimidating. But enough thrift shopping, craigslisting, estate and flea markets and need us not forget amazing internet sales, that list soon became crossed off like crazy! Everything listed above are things we have purchased (or very similar to what we bought) for our living room, dining room, and part of the kitchen so you can get an idea of how we are building our home together. I will post actual photos once it gets to a "I want to pin this on Pinterest" state. We are still in the nesting phase and probably need to argue about what art should go on the wall first ;)

*This pair of faux Eames inspired White Accent Chairs we got for a steal. When buying something on Overstock, keep your eye on it for a week or more. I was pretty amazed at how much the price changed on a daily basis. I told Wes I wanted these chairs and he didn't want to spend a ton. When I asked how much "a ton" was and we bargained down to 75 each.....If I could find them for that cheap then we could get them. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Overstock also sends a bunch of coupons which REALLY helps with furniture. So I snagged them both for $164.00 (82 each) BUT with the 12% coupon they sent to my email, it took off 20 bucks, making them 72 each! WIN! They are now situated at the ends of my next item....

* OUR HANDMADE DINING ROOM TABLE AND BENCH!!!! Guys. Wes killed it on this. With the help of a friend with a lot of tools, he custom made us this pine dining room table and bench from scratch! We are talking cutting, sanding, nailing, drilling, more sanding, staining, coating, EVERYTHING. The one listed above was the closest I could find to what it looks like. I had the hair pins legs made locally from a guy on etsy for way cheaper than other places I was looking online. I asked him to paint them white and he did it at no extra cost. We decided to stain it a deep honey color to warm up the dining room but still be lighter than our wood floor. I LOVE IT SO MUCH and more so because Wes made it and it will last for years to come. I will probably post photos of the dining room first.

* The orange chairs- Planning on scoring some of these hopefully this weekend to complete our dining room set on the other side of our bench. This part is still a work in progress but I've got my eye out!

*On to a new(ish) obsession: VINTAGE PYREX. I always loved my old roommate, Megan's Pyrex that she found on the streets of Berkley....for perfect condition! SIGH! And have since been on the hunt for other patterns to create our own little collection. To be honest, this is solely a me thing. Wes could not give two shits about what vintage casserole dish I find, but I love the challenge. And when I find a great piece for 3 bucks at a thrift store, its like finding hidden treasure, a secret no know else noticed! Its a cheap new collecting hobby and I'm not going to go extreme. I figure I can collect and sell on ebay to other enthusiasts. The two I'm focusing on is the Butterfly Gold print and Friendship print, but I am open to scavenging all kinds MUAHAHAHA! They add awesome pops of color when displayed together. Can't wait to do that!

*I have for years been obsessed with globes and knew somehow I would end up with a globe lamp. So Wes and I have been collecting a few vintage globes where we can get them cheap to display on our fireplace. We also thought they symbolize us since both of us tend to travel for work a ton and plan on traveling the world together. Estate sales and surprisingly,Target, obviously not vintage there, allowed us to accomplish this for under 15 bucks each and an esty purchase was the only one I splurged on ( 30 dollars cause it was covered in constellations!!!!). The best find was a floor globe lamp that was a little dented but works great that I got for 35 bucks at a thrift store. It adds such nice light and great character to a room.

* The TV console I spotted on craigslist and Wes and I went up to check it out at Cyclic Vintage. The owner is really great and cut us deal since he was getting a bunch of stuff in the shop later that day. Apparently its from a furniture company in New York that is known for much more gaudy elaborate pieces. I keep imagining some new guy coming in there with some fresh ideas in the early to mid 60's and tried to shake things up with this record player table....well looks like they went with it for a year or two and went back to their previous style. Ha! It fits perfect in a little corner next to the fireplace where one of the only appropriate place to hold our TV.

* There isn't any overhead lighting in our living room or bedroom, which I am not a big fan of so we have to get creative. Also, lights are EXPENSIVE, SHEESH! After much craigslisting around LA we were feeling pretty defeated.....and dark. Then the other day, Wes won this lamp in an auction on Ebay for 80 bucks while I've been gone and now we just need to find a lamp shade like the one above for it. I think this one will be a great addition to the living room and feels very gender neutral. I find most lamps are very feminine. Maybe its the bright pops of color and the curvy shapes of most lamps I see. Why do I think of lamp shades as a feminine item? Weird but I do.

* Now I get to talk about these amazing chairs! I found these with my roommates while we were waiting for brunch near Abbott Kinney and took a walk and found Venice Vintage Paradise. The pair of them were just sitting there in pretty good condition. There were a few small cuts in the vinyl of one of the chairs and they were pretty dirty from being outside it seems, but nothing some cleaning couldn't fix to look great. Because of that I got both of them for 320, which seems pricey....but wait. I went home, scrubbed them clean and did some research. I couldn't find anything on where the chairs came from. Then a few weeks later, as if by fate, a friend of mine PINNED OUR EXACT CHAIRS on pinterest which lead me to discovering they were special chairs! They are Scoop Chairs made by the Carter Bros and when in good condition can go for 500-900 EACH on Ebay....yeah that was an amazing feeling. Knowing you scored something for way cheaper than its worth. That feeling is what creates shopping addictions....I tell you what....they are the best accent to our living room and they are not in perfect condition yet but Im at a stage where not perfect but pretty damn good works just fine.

*SUCCULENTS!!!! Im obsessed! ( as is everyone else....could they be the new mason jar?!) I can't kill them and they are so pretty and come in such a great variety. I took a  thrifted lone pyrex bowl, this set of thrifted teacup and a few hanging glass globes. Then I spent an evening with Clay planting them. They are Jess friendly plants and I can't wait to buy more and fill them around the house! Definitely the most fun and least stressful little project so far. If you are feeling creative and want to add some life to your home, I suggest this. Also great if you are on the road a lot like Wes and I. Less watering = Less guilt.

*We are going to make these honeycomb shelves when I get back this weekend! I've been wanting some forever and after this trip I now have the perfect items to display there.....

* MOLD-A-RAMA figurines became a recent interest since Wes and I visited the Lincoln Zoo with friends in December and discovered the green gorilla. I loved the vintage look of the crazy Mold-A-Rama machine and looked it up to discover that they got big after being debuted in the 1964 world fair and then were placed at many tourist attractions, museums and monuments across the country! Now there are only a handful left and I happened to be going on a 3 week work trip where I would be in some main places where many still exist and are functional. I now have gathered quite the collection for us, maybe too much.... and I think it will be really fun to switch them up and display different ones. You can check out remaining locations here.

*Wes really wanted a recliner. I, on the other hand, did all. Men love them, women hate them. They are big, ugly and overstuffed. But guys love them cause they are big, comfy and overstuffed. But I told him, that there has GOT to be some sort of compromise....I just don't know how or what. While I was filming an episode of my last show in Lansing, Michigan I went to a thrift store with some down time to look for pyrex and discovered something even better. THE COMPROMISE. When I found it I got really excited cause it looked like a mid-century recliner with completely gorgeous original blue and teal tweed fabric for only .....19.95?!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING?! It was too good to be true! I found the tag and looked up on my iPhone to see what type of chair this was....Ummmmmm k. Well, it seems I just found an almost perfect condition Adrian Persall Kroehler recliner that is worth 1,000....for 20 bucks. My hands started shaking. I NEEDED this chair....but how the hell was I going to get it back to LA? I sent Wes pictures and he approved. So I bought it and as I was back in the office talking about how I needed to pick up my treasure at Goodwill and get it to LA without it costing hundreds, my amazing line producer offered to put it in our crew semi truck that would be taking all the gear back to LA at the end of the week when we wrapped. What a gem. Problem solved and it cost me 15 bucks for the bubble wrap I bought to protect it. BAM! I have no idea how I got it to fit in my Chevy Aveo when it did arrive but Wes LOVES it and this was the pure example that even when you have different tastes you can find a compromise that works for both of you!

* While moving a few weeks ago we stopped at goodwill to drop off stuff and spotted an amazing pair of steer horns, who would get rid of that?! Thing was, it didn't have a price on it yet so we had to wait it out and hope we got to it before another person did. Let's just say that Wes was strategic and nabbed it for us for 10 bucks. We just painted the tips a rusty orange and are going to mount it above, you guessed it, the fireplace! This is one of those small masculine pieces that helps balance the room.

* Last but not least, the big purchase of the entire apartment....the couch. I have not owned a couch since I graduated college. The couch I did have was one that was passed down to me from my parents that was from 1989. I knew after Wes and I talked that we needed a couch that was 1) Big enough for him to lay out on 2) Comfy and not too girly.3) Something we could keep for a long time. I thought that a mid century modern looking tan leather couch would be the perfect fit for us, but now how to get THE ONE without spending 3 grand?  I spent over 2 months looking online for something that was affordable with that description, but basically it was impossible to find any sort of tan leather stylish couch that was under 1700. UGH. Then one I had on my short list on Overstock went on sale and I remembered a stupid email they sent me that had a stupid coupon in it....wait a minute, that stupid coupon will take off 150 bucks! Needless to say I got our couch for way less than it worth and it's because of those annoying emails that websites send you everyday. Go figure. It was still more than what our original budget was but after some talk we decided that we could get a couch for less that would work and be fine for under a grand, OR we could spend a little bit more than that and get the EXACT couch we dreamed of. So we went for it.  I was kind of nervous to buy a couch we never sat on, but I took a chance and now we have couch that we love that completely fits what we wanted.

PHEW. Longest post ever? Yep.

Tips I gathered from the internet that have helped me not go overboard and keep in mind when decorating a home with your new loved one and to keep a balanced home:

Wood and Leather are very masculine

Bright colors and patterns and fabric are more feminine most of the time.

Pick three things each to describe what you want your home to be so you can work to find a compromise.

Agree on a style or look: Wes and I decided to lean toward a more mid century with slight modern style if we could, because it seemed 1) Classic 2) Doesn't seem to to be a trend but a dependable look for years 3) Clean but interesting lines that didn't seem too masculine or feminine. I think he also just really loves me and let me get my way with this stuff cause I'm really into it. Ha.

Find projects you can both do to contribute to the look of the home. Together and individually. We have tons of little projects planned. Each one will help the place become more and and more....US. And that's the best thing. Because Wes and I didn't really own anything between us, everything we bought is considered by both of us and it is OURS, not his or mine.

Can't wait to get home and start nesting! I have more to share but I'll give a break til maybe a few weeks from now!

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