house updates

April 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s almost been a year since we bought our house. Craziness!!!

We worked really hard all last summer to make the house more ours, but when wedding planning kicked in full force in October we really lost steam and it was a few months before we could muster up the energy to work on fixing the house again.

The first project we tackled in 2011 was our bedroom. It was nasty. The same boring beige as the rest of the house was before we painted the teal and gray in the living room, dining room, and hallway. I don’t have any before pics with our stuff in it, but here’s what it was when we bought the house.

clearly not our stuff.

I don’t have any pics of the new blinds in that room, but they are now gorgeous dark wood plantation blinds that match the dark stain of all of our furniture. So pretty. We painted the walls a nice middle gray color and after deliberation took out the closet doors (that you can’t see in that pic). They were ugly and cheap and didn’t really work right. Not to mention that with sliding doors, you can only get into half of the closet at a time.

So we were left with a closet without doors. What to do? Young House Love to the rescue! We decided to add in a curtain to soften up the space and add a pop of pattern into the room. The color scheme of the room is now gray, white, black and yellow, as seen here in the final pics of the curtains (sorry for the phone pics. All I had.)

Like I said, please excuse picture quality. I love the round, black-and-white pattern. It looks so wrought iron-esque. Our duvet, which I don’t have pics of sadly, is similar to the lamp — mostly black with a few quilted white stripes. Once I get the decorative pillow situation figured out and hang art behind the bed, I will reveal! How’s that for a tease. Anyway, I am really in love with the curtains and they are so much easier to use than the stupid doors. To hang them we used a simple shower curtain rod that screws into the walls for more stability. All it took was about an hour (and of course my wonderful mom’s sewing expertise!) and we had a lovely feature that adds a boutique hotel vibe to our room.

The next big change we’ve made is to the horrible light fixtures that we inherited. I can’t lament over these enough. We affectionately referred to the two we had as “the lantern” and “scarface.” The lantern was hanging in our dining room and seriously looked like it belonged in a New England beach shanty. When the light was on, it cast these really weird shadows on the walls and was just all around ugly. Scarface was this horrible product of the 80s, a brass and acrylic (no, not even glass) nightmare. It was blindingly bright when turned on and had NOTHING redeeming about it. This is what it looked like.

I’ll wait for you to finish shuddering.

After searching for modern fixtures that fit in our (meager) budget, we settled on two replacements that really fit the spaces better and match the look and feel we are going for. Up first, the lantern.

These were also taken pre-blinds I guess. The airiness of the fixture is great since that room is not very big and the lantern was really overpowering. It has made a huge difference in the feel of them room, even with the old farmhouse style table and chairs (hopefully to be updated shortly as well).

The biggest change is Scarface’s replacement. I don’t have a picture of it hanging because really that is just grotesque. Here’s the new look!

I have pretty much been obsessed with the artichoke light…forever. It was once thing I immediately knew I wanted to change in our house and I’m so glad we stuck to it. It’s Mid-Century Modern to the max! It looks really amazing against the gray of the entryway and shines the perfect amount of light when lit, unlike the blinding force of the scar. One thing that was at first daunting is that you have to build it yourself. All those littleĀ  white leaves (?) come flat and you have to fold them and piece them together. I honestly felt like I was in school again! It turned out great and it makes us smile everyday!

So there are the main changes we’ve made. Little projects can and do make a big difference while you’re saving up for the big endeavors (like a lower level remodel…) A last little bit of fun I had this weekend…decorating with flowers and Fiesta!

Like the new sidetable? I got it for free (!) and spray painted the bamboo bright yellow. Love the shape and how the new color really makes it un-Grandma-y!

Does anyone else have some fun and small Spring home projects to share?

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kt + e’s cincinnati: lunken bike trail

April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s no secret E and I like to ride our bikes. A lot. I mean, we’re planning several 100-mile rides this summer. You don’t do that unless you are crazy dedicated. Or just plain crazy.

Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up one day and ride 100 miles without some pretty serious consequences. Aka, soreness. In some bad places. One really has to train for such an endeavor, putting in at least an hour long ride after work a few days a week and then some long distance rides on the weekends. Cincinnati is not a great place for cyclists. We’re not like Portland or parts of North Carolina where you can ride easily to and from work or to the store. It’s especially difficult if you are afraid of riding on the road. You know, with cars.

I am afraid.

So we end up doing all of our rides on the Little Miami Bike Trail, which is awesome since you can ride from Newtown (about a 10 minute drive from our house) all the way up to Xenia (65 miles on the trail). But, it is boring. You are in the woods. The whole time pretty much. Flat trail and woods is pretty much all you see. Well, and people who don’t know how to ride their bikes or like to walk in huge groups crowding the trail or like to stop in the middle…but that’s a post for another day. After awhile, I just need something different.

Yesterday I brought my bike to work, which is conveniently enough, down the street from Lunken Airport and its surrounding trail. It’s 5 miles around, which I figured meant I could go around 3 times and with the distance to and from my office would be an hour’s ride. Well. Parts were flooded. People let their dogs run free. There are very skinny parts. And bumpy parts.

And I had to go on the road. The horror! I think two cars passed me.

Trust me, I was not bored.

But I was not happy.

This trail is awesome for running. It’s mostly flat and has different views on the way around. But it is too crowded for cycling if you want to maintain any kind of speed. A leisurely ride on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Awesome. An athletic training ride? Not so.

Maybe I had a bad experience. Maybe you will tell me that you used to ride there all the time and thought it was great and wonderful and the most perfect bike trail in the world. Maybe I will try again.

But probably not. Guess I’m going back to boring for awhile!

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