Lonely Home = House Updates

My husband just returned from a six-week tour, and boy, am I glad to have him back. I didn’t mention this before because I try not to advertise being home alone, but he was out guitar teching and running monitors for our good friends Manchester Orchestra. It was such an amazing opportunity for him and really exciting for both of us, but I have to admit, it was rough for me to spend so much time without my husband. I really, really missed him, and I was just so BORED.

To keep myself distracted (and to take advantage of being completely in charge), I made just a few updates to the house. It cheered me up substantially, and luckily, Brad approves of all the changes. Want to see?

Colorful living room with gold, blue and fuchsia accents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The changes might not be super obvious, so for reference, here’s what our living room looked like last fall:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room with framed maps

Some day, we’re going to hide those cables hanging from the TV. I swear.

I finally bit the bullet and picked up the mango wood box frame coffee table I’ve been eyeing at West Elm. I’ve been hoarding gift cards since 2012 (literally) and stalking the table to see if it would go on sale. Finally, there was a 15% off sale for Memorial Day, so I went for it. I picked it up at the store, carried the box inside, and built the thing all by myself. So proud!

Living room with abstract art, West Elm box frame coffee table and Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

You may have noticed that I chose not to keep the overdyed rug I got from Rugs USA. In case you haven’t been keeping up with this saga, here’s the summary: I ordered this rug during a sale, but when it arrived, it was very clearly this rug. I called customer service, and I was informed that Rugs USA’s policy does not allow exchanges – even in the event of company error. Despite the fact that I was sent the wrong product, it was on me to photograph the rug I received, file a formal report, wait for a return shipping label to be emailed to me, and then package and ship back the rug. In the meantime, the company would not be able to send me the correct item. I would need to wait for my return to be processed, and then I would be issued a refund. With said refund, I could decide whether to re-order the original product. What if the rug was no longer available? What if it was no longer on sale? Too bad, they said. I was told on the phone originally that Rugs USA would set up a UPS pickup. When I received my shipping label, I asked about the pickup, and I was told that this wasn’t possible.

Honestly, the whole thing was absolute nonsense. I know a lot of people have been thrilled with their purchases from Rugs USA, and the sales are great, but this company could not care less about their customers. If you get the right rug and you like it, fantastic. If not: Lord help you. Once I started Googling, I found countless examples of other customers who had gone through a similar experience and vowed never to shop at Rugs USA again. I’m joining their numbers. I opted not to re-order the fuchsia rug, and instead, I bought the rug I’d wanted all along: the Lalita rug from Lulu and Georgia. I’d passed on it originally because it was a little bit more expensive, but now that I have it, I can see that it was worth every penny.

Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug and West Elm box frame coffee table - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The quality is beautiful, and the colors are crazy-vibrant.

Close-up of Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The 5’3″x7’6″ is obviously a bit on the small side for our living room, but there was no chance I could afford anything bigger (and I think the color would probably be overpowering in a larger size), so once we ditch our wall-to-wall carpeting, I’ll probably layer it over an 8×10 jute rug. By the way, I know the rug is supposed to go underneath the front legs of the sofa, but have you ever tried to lift a sofa and simultaneously move a rug all by yourself? It ain’t easy, my friends. I’ll have to get Brad to help later.

Colorful living room and dining room via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Did you notice the new woven yellow tray? It’s Nate Berkus for Target, and they only have it in pink and green on the website now, but I’m sure they still have the yellow one in stores. The plastic coral one that used to be there wasn’t jiving with the rug, and I’m trying to bring in some more natural textures, anyway. I love it!

I already posted about our new Moroccan end table (also made of mango wood, like the coffee table) from TJ Maxx and the vintage gold mini-cabinet from DuPre’s, but I feel that they deserve better quality photos.

Moroccan mango end table from TJ Maxx - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m not so sure about the shade of orange on that coral lamp anymore. There’s plenty of orange in the new rug, but it’s a bit lighter and brighter. I might need to tape off the base and give the orange part a coat of spray paint. Maybe in a pale yellow?

Our mini-cabinet is currently hanging out by the front door. It looks a little odd, now, but I think it’ll be better when the living room and hallway aren’t separated by different types of floor.

Colorful living room with Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Vintage gold brass cabinet - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t mind the mess in my hallway that you can see in the reflection. Yes, I move things out of sight and throw them on the floor when I’m taking pictures. You do the same thing – I know it!

I didn’t change much in the dining room, but I did take the sheepskins off our ghost chairs for summer and bring in a lot of plants from our deck. They looked beautiful out there, but I wanted to have a little more control over the amount of watering the succulents got.

Blue and fuchsia dining room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Gray and gold Ikea Rast hacks with succulents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m a little embarrassed that I forgot to move the paper towel under my succulent bowl before I took this picture. I also haven’t re-glued one of the brass corners that fell off our Rast dressers. Oopsies.

So anyway, that’s about it. I’m really starting to love our downstairs, but I still can’t wait to replace our shlubby old sofa and get some hardwoods in there. Can you picture it?! It’s almost there!

Have you made any late-spring updates to your home? Tell me about ‘em!

DIY Abstract Art: Just the Beginning

Remember back in December, when I said I was going to try making my own abstract art with acrylics and then never mentioned it again? Well, I actually did follow through on that. I’ve been trying a lot, in fact. I’m not very good at it, but at least I enjoy acrylics more than watercolors. And they come in such pretty colors!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Painting Supplies

It took me at least 10 tries before I came up with something I was willing to hang. I finally gave in and threw up these two before a big party we hosted a few weeks ago, along with some framed marbled paper and two small prints I bought on a recent trip to Charleston. My “paintings” are on the top left and bottom right. I’m totally self-conscious about posting them on the internet, so please don’t make fun of me.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY Abstract Art in the Dining Room

I like the ombre one in the top left a lot. The colors are pretty, and a kindergartener could have done it, which makes me feel less silly about hanging it on my wall, for some reason.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY Ombre Abstract Art

Also, I painted the edges gold, and you know me – any gold inclusion makes me happy as a clam. Even if it is kind of sloppy.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY Ombre Abstract Art with Gold Sides

I’m a little iffier about the other painting.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful DIY Abstract Art

I was going for a look like this by Parima Studio, but I only had one big flat brush, so it ended up looking kind of blocky. The more I look at it, the more I see puzzle pieces.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY Colorful Abstract Art

I may want to go over it and add some spots with a smaller flat brush (I have several now!), but I’m afraid I’ll make it worse.

Since I hung those, I’ve done a few more DIY art projects. (You may have seen a sneak peek if you follow me on Instagram – @stephsfisher!) I’m hoping to post about those soon!

Anyone else been attempting DIY art lately? How did yours come out?

Gray and Gold Rast Hack

WHOA. I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since my last post! I’ll be honest: We’ve finally reached the point where we can’t really justify spending any more money on stuff for the house. Consequently, I have nothing new and don’t have much to post about (though I do still need to finish the house tour). BUT – I did recently finish a furniture DIY that’s been a long time coming.

I’ll just dive right in and show you:
Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hack - Painted dark gray with brass hardware

Over a year after purchasing two Ikea Rast dressers, I finally got around to painting them!

Let’s go back to the beginning. I got the idea for this project from Design Manifest. This was my inspiration:

This is what the Rasts looked like when I first purchased them, of course:

I spray-painted the toe kicks gold immediately while the dressers were still in multiple pieces. Then, Brad put them together for me, and I brought them into the foyer to use for storage while they were waiting to be completed. Remember?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hack - before painting

For whatever reason, though, I never ended up painting them. And once we moved into our new house, they came along, still unfinished. Here’s a peek at how they looked on Thanksgiving:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hast - before painting

I didn’t get motivated until right before we decided to host a Super Bowl party. It was the first time most of our friends would see our new home, and I wanted it to look good. So, I gathered my supplies: Kilz spray primer; a foam roller; and Sherwin Williams ProClassic paint in Satin, color-matched to Benjamin Moore’s Ashland Slate (the same color as our kitchen cabinets and guest room walls).

I already had all the hardware: Antique brass decorative corners from Hardware World, and brass ring pulls from Lee Valley (43mm x 51mm burnished bronze, to be specific). The decorative corners had to be glued on – I used a Krazy Glue pen – so my plan was to lacquer the dressers before anything permanent happened. Unfortunately, spray lacquer can only be used in temperatures above 55 degrees, and that wasn’t going to happen before the party. So, I just put the hardware on anyway, because I am the most impatient person on the planet.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hack - Painted dark gray with brass hardware

When I do get around to lacquering these and have to tape off the decorative corners, I know I’m going to be cursing myself. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hack - Painted dark gray with brass hardware

I’m actually glad I didn’t paint these until we got here, because I love that they’re the same color as the kitchen cabinets. It ties the two rooms together without being too matchy.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ikea Rast dresser hack - Painted dark gray with brass hardware

There was just one snafu in this process: My gold toe kicks got kicked to the curb. Somehow, they got really dirty and stained and dark and gross over the course of the year. I could have re-painted them, but that would have required either taking them apart or taping them off, and I was just in too much in a hurry. Instead, I primed right over the dirty gold. They look nice for now, but I think I might like to goldify the toe kicks by hand at a later date. Maybe with high-quality acrylic? Or gold leaf? I just don’t know!

So, what do you think of my Rasts? Worth the wait? Should I goldify the toe kicks, or leave them gray?

     

Thanksgiving in the New House

When we first signed up to run a half on Thanksgiving Day, we figured we’d be spending the rest of the day eating Boston Market by ourselves. Luckily, Brad’s parents came to visit and helped us with the shopping, prepping and cooking, and even though we celebrated a day late, we ended up having our first real Thanksgiving in our new house.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving table with floral china and gold

I was thrilled to finally have a chance to use the china and flatware from our wedding registry. It’s seriously been sitting in our cabinet a year and a half without being used at all, and that ain’t right. I mean, look how pretty it is!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Floral china

I believe this is the first time I’ve shared a picture of our new dining room furniture, too. Voila!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving table

We had the table custom-made by Bassett. I’d had my heart set on rustic reclaimed wood, but we just couldn’t find a reasonably-priced one that we liked. This one has two leaves, so it can seat up to eight people (or maybe 10 – we haven’t tried yet), and it has a protective finish, and the dark wood does match our other furniture better. It’s for the best, really. We got the ghost chairs from Amazon, and I LOVE THEM. They are SO much more comfortable and sturdy than I thought they’d be – especially with the Ikea sheepskins.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving table with ghost chairs and sheepskins

I picked up the linen runner and napkins from Crate & Barrel, literally three days before Thanksgiving, because I am excellent at planning ahead.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving table with ghost chairs and floral china

The silver tray and the salt and pepper shakers are Michael Aram from our wedding registry. I love them.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Michael Aram salt and pepper shakers

You can tell I did a really good job ironing the runner.

Anyway, preparing the meal was a two-day team effort. Brad’s parents got us a new grill as an early Christmas gift, and Brad was massively excited to grill the turkey on it.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Brad grilling the turkey

I had no idea you could grill a turkey, but it came out amazing, so um, I guess you can.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Brad carving the turkey

The stuffing came from this recipe, and it was delicious. We piled it onto our giant platter (another last minute Crate & Barrel purchase) along with the turkey.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving turkey platter

We also made bacon-wrapped green beans, using this recipe. We made ours on a broiling rack instead of letting them cook in the bacon grease, and I think they suffered for it. But the bacon part was good!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Bacon-wrapped Green Beans

The sauteed carrots with lemon and marjoram came from this recipe, and I thought they were pretty dank. (Do people still say dank?)

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Sauteed carrots with lemon and marjoram

The corn pudding and potatoes were both from family recipes.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Corn pudding and Chee Chee Potatoes

I was given permission to share the recipe for the corn pudding – which was SERIOUSLY INSANELY GOOD – so I’ll put that in another post if y’all are interested!

All this plus cranberry sauce (canned, duh) and gravy (jarred, duh) made for a pretty full table.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Thanksgiving table with food

And of course, we finished it off with apple pie, which Brad and his mom made from scratch, and blueberry pie, which I made from a box found in the freezer section. Yuuuup.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Apple and blueberry pies

It’s not Thanksgiving until you’ve Instagrammed a picture of your plate. Here’s mine!

Glitter and Goat-Cheese - Instagram Thanksgiving plate

We polled the table on what was the best dish, and while not everyone voted officially, I think the corn pudding may have won.

What was the best dish at your Thanksgiving table?

     

House Tour: The Dining and Living Rooms

The house tour continues!

Directly off the kitchen is the dining room. No more eat-in kitchen for us, but we’ll live. We found that when we had both (in our first place, which was huge but WAY too far from downtown), we never used the dining room. So, this dining room will hopefully do double-duty.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Dining room and kitchen

You’ve already seen quite a bit of my dining room inspiration, so I’ll just move right along. You should know, however, that the vertical blinds have already been taken down and burned. PHEW. (OK – we didn’t really burn them, but I wanted to!)

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Dining room

While we’re gaining a dining room, we’re losing our foyer and “sitting room,” so we have plenty of furniture to stuff into this room. In addition to our new dining set, which will seat eight with both leaves in the table, we’ve got to fit a china cabinet, a sideboard, a console table, and two Ikea Rast dressers. It’s going to be a challenge.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Dining room from living room

The living room is next to the dining room (and also accessible from the entryway).

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room from dining room

It has three windows, and a gas fireplace(!!!).

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room

For some reason, I have very few photos of the living room, but these two pictures I took of the couches for Craigslist do give a better idea of where the living room connects to the front door/entryway.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room couches

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room wall
(Incidentally, does anyone in the Atlanta area want to buy these couches and matching ottoman? They haven’t sold yet, and they need to GO!)

Our current living room is about the same size, but has more wallspace, so I wasn’t sure how we were going to fit everything. To get a better idea, I measured the walls and our furniture, and used FloorPlanner.com to create a rough layout.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - FloorPlanner.com - Floor plan of living room and dining room

Glitter and Goat Cheese - FloorPlanner.com - 3-D Living room and dining room

We’re keeping our current furniture for now, but I can’t wait to replace our dingy beige couches with something charcoal and velvet. My goal is for the living room to feel comfortable, but stylish. Fashionable AND functional. I don’t want anything fussy or formal, and I want people to walk in and feel at home.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Warm living room via Marcus Design
Karen‘s home via Marcus Design

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Jennifer Margolin's home via Glitter Guide
Jennifer Margolin‘s home via Glitter Guide

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Erika Brechtel's home via Glitter Guide
Erika Brechtel‘s home via Glitter Guide

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Victoria Webster's home via Marcus Design
Victoria Webster’s home via Marcus Design

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room via Savvy Home Blog
Via Savvy Home

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Lauren Seeman's home via Small Shop
Lauren Seeman’s home via Small Shop

While I was collecting these, I noticed that almost all of them have several things in common: Neutral-colored walls; neutral-colored, comfortable-looking couches; pops of color via accessories, textiles and art; brass/gold accents; and fur/sheepskin pieces. I have most of these covered already, and will definitely be introducing more. I have to squeeze in a gold spray-painted Vittsjo hack (like this one) somewhere!

So, them’s the plans for the dining and living rooms. And that’s the entire first floor of our house! It’s not super-spacious, but it’s cozy, and we love it.

Got any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!