Posts Tagged 'CB2'

Tackling the porch

Since moving into our new abode in April 2014, one thing has remained constant: the front porch has been used as a storage space. And it’s been totally embarrassing. On Saturday morning, it looked like this:


Not pretty.


Yep, there were still moving boxes out there. And very icky carpeting. So, my task, which I chose to accept because I assigned it to myself, was to make the porch a usable, reasonable-looking space in one day’s time. And without spending any money (at least at this point, but I am coming for you, boob light number ten!). And by using as many of the materials found on the porch as possible in order to minimize having to move things into the basement. And to be unsentimental in tossing things that have been out there for more than a year and a half and out of use. Also, there were about 700 pictures out on the porch that needed to get up on the walls. A lot of them were things purchased or framed or gifted (or a combo of these) long ago that aren’t really my taste anymore (see: Renaissance art), but are perfectly decent pieces of artwork and deserve to have some wall space. At least for now. So, with all of that in mind, it was: ready, set, makeover!

The first order of business was to fix that God-forsaken nasty carpet situation. What on Earth was going on with that? It needed to be covered STAT. I realized that I was holding on to those carpet squares that had never quite worked out for us the first go round. In fact, you can see them in a pile in the picture above. I didn’t have any of the sticky stuff left to put the tiles together, but I wondered if I could just kinda place them together and hope for the best. About two seconds after having that thought, though, I realized that while we may not own the official sticky stuff, we surely had duct tape and that should work for this type of project, right? Why not?


Mollybear had to be talked into the checkerboard pattern, but once on board, she did a great job jumping on the tiles to secure the tape in place. I ended up a little bit short tile-wise, but I had decided I wanted to layer the space with another rug anyway (remember, minimize moving things into the basement!) so I put this yellow number up against the wall to cover the few inches of icky carpet that the tiles weren’t able to reach.


This is a chair that we bought in Richmond that I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to sell on Craigslist, but I’m now happy has ended up still in our house. That little blue blanket on the arm is covering a puncture wound inflicted by one dog or another (not Gracie, I’m sure) and is actually Bear’s first stroller blanket and I’m not too keen to get rid of it. Two Wisconsin Film Fest pictures are poorly framed and hung too close together on the wall, but look here, folks. There are things on the wall! Let’s remember the point of this project, ok? Getting things off the floor and onto the walls! IMG_1195[1]

Looking from the other direction shows the firewood bin that we bought at the antique store between dogs. It made for a fun toy bin (I painted it) for about two seconds before Gertie and then Phoebe showed up. For now, it is housing a printer and a bunch of paper and other miscellaneous-crap-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-but-is-stored-nicely-in-that-chevron-bin.


This is my grandma’s one-thousand pound vanity. Some of the drawers are a colossal pain to open. I have moved this thing way way WAY too many times. Maybe M-Bear will want it someday. For the foreseeable future, though, it’s going to be in this corner of the porch, housing some cords in that lower left-hand drawer and some sandwich cutters in interesting shapes in the upper right (note to Kate: if you forget where those cut-outs are, you put them right there).

It’s not going to win me a show on HGTV, but I’m pretty psyched that the porch is cleaned out and the space is usable and the carpet is covered. Phew.


And now, about that boob light…



Sideboard savior!

The sideboard is here and it has solved all of my problems! Ok, not really. But I do love it. As usual, I’m kicking myself for not taking a before shot of the space, but just picture it more chaotic. And then the sideboard came and it looked like this for a bit:


Like that new bookcase against the wall? Me too! [Oh, that was awkward. Did you say, “Yes!”? I thought I heard a “Yes!” Moving on…] You’re wondering about that big silver and black thing on the wall, I can tell. It’s a fireplace of sorts. We had it in the condo and when we moved, we stuck it there. It’s from Overstock and it takes three gel fuel containers and it looks like a fireplace. Kinda. I actually like it, but I don’t like the big black panel against the wall in this room that doesn’t get enough light as it is. So, it had to go. We moved the art that had been on the wall that now houses New Bookshelf Number Two (the one most visible in the above pic) and we are looking at this now:


Although I love love love hanging art in groups like this, I’ve come to realize I’m never going to get it right. One, I don’t have the patience required for it. Two, I don’t think I have the precise math skills for it. And three, our house is all crooked. So, even if I had it exactly right on the wall, the furniture isn’t going to be sitting perfectly straight on our uneven floors, so the art will inevitably look somewhat crooked. I’m just letting it go and enjoying it as it is. Do I sound convincing?

Stay tuned for kateandgracie’s first guest post! Coming soon.

Another checkmark!

I’ve been trying to figure out a rug solution for our front living room for months. I wanted something cheerful because it’s the first full room you really see when you walk in the house, and the first thing we see when we come down the stairs in the morning. I thought I wanted yellow, but I worried I was really overdoing the pops of yellow in the rest of the house and turning the house into a sunshine zone. I wanted something inexpensive for obvious reasons, but also because it’s my experience that we are a family that is somewhat abusive to our rugs. I don’t think it verges on criminal or anything, but we probably deserve a warning or two. And, with a puppy in our new future, I didn’t see us improving on that front any time soon. So, after looking at nearly every rug on Overstock, One King’s Lane, Joss & Main, Wayfair, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, CB2, Pottery Barn, etc., I was stumped. Then, I started looking at the Flor carpet tiles. I was intrigued, but did not love the pricing. Basically, if I loved a rug, it was somewhere north of $500. Most of the rugs I found that I liked, I was more tolerant of than truly into. I placed dozens of rugs in my online shopping carts over the months. I nearly pulled the trigger on several. Finally, though, it was the combo of a 15% off coupon, $4.95 flat fee shipping and a color that matched our pillows that led me to buy the carpet tiles from CB2. At $7.95 a pop, paired with the coupon, let me get an 8×10 rug for about $237. Hooray! You can imagine my excitement when I came home to the tiles last night and set out to put the rug together today! And then what happened? Oy vey. It’s not an ideal story.

First, I realized that somehow I ordered three more of the swoon color, and three fewer of the heather gray, tiles than I had intended. So, my pattern was going to be different than I had pictured. Second, the rug gripper that is sold to use with the carpet tiles is just not that great nor is it easy to use. In addition, I don’t think I ordered enough of the sticky gripper, but I didn’t see any amount recommended on CB2’s website. I’ll be ordering more.

Ok, so I started out by moving the furniture, vacuuming the floor and setting the tiles in the pattern I wanted (well, Plan B of the pattern I wanted). Then I flipped them over, cut the rug gripper and began to attach it to corners and other seams of the squares.


Here is a close-up of this fascinating process.


It was at about this point that I realized that I did not have enough rug gripper tape and I had to stop doling it out like it was growing on trees. As you can see from this next picture, the right side of the rug did not fare as well in Rug Gripper Wars.


You see all that yellow? All of that is called, in the rug gripper world – of which I am now an esteemed member – ‘liner’ and it needs to be removed. And this is a process that is, for lack of a better phrase, a total pain. At this point, I solicited AO’s help. I really shouldn’t be the one having all the fun. So, we set in to remove all of that liner and that’s what we did. Even if it meant taking off the rug gripper that I had just worked so hard to put down and secure in place. That liner had to be removed! Ok, so after that step was over, we realized we were now going to have to flip this rug over. I sort of thought we should do this in the same way one removes a band-aid: fast and without over-thinking it. It turns out, though, we just aren’t nearly fast enough. AO had barely raised his end to knee-height when the rug started to fall apart. So, we essentially needed to start over. We flipped most squares individually, though a foursome stayed sweetly together, and put it together with the rug part facing up. In the end, we got this number:


I’m pretty pleased. It was supposed to be just two stripes, but this isn’t too bad.


I was hoping the little T-bar design would be hidden by the couch, but I don’t really mind it. I assume it will make people ask (I hope only to themselves), “What on earth was she thinking?”


This view kinda makes a cool cross, or plus-sign design, in my opinion. My opinion that it’s cool. I think it’s probably undisputed that it is a cross or plus-sign.


And one more view for you to marinate on. Once we get rid of the house’s inappropriate, omnipresent beige, I really think we’ll all feel better about things.

Bonnets and bees

On a much lighter note, my bees are now out of my bonnet!  Well, mostly.  Well, mostly as far as the bedroom goes, I guess.  I mentioned a few posts ago that I woke up one morning, tried to move my bed, broke it, tossed it and was waiting the arrival of a new one from CB2.  I also mentioned that I decided that the new bed would require new nightstands and new lamps.  I mean, obviously.  New bed would not have been happy with nasty old nightstands and pretty lamps, but ones that wouldn’t have meshed with new bed.  After looking around online a bunch, I had settled on nightstands and lamps from CB2, as well.  And, of course new bedding.  I’ve discovered that some folks change their bedding seasonally, some not at all and then some are like me.  I like to fall in love with new bedding and keep it for a few years until I tire of it and then opt for something new that I fall in love with.  Usually I keep the old bedding in storage, but this time I just tossed it.  It was pretty ratty and I was severely annoyed by it.  Wasteful?  Yeah, maybe, but I have a one-bedroom condo a little over two miles from my work so I don’t think I break the top 100 in terms of environmental offenders even when I tossed out the old bedding.   If you remember, and especially if you don’t, this is how the bedroom looked before Operation New Bedroom began:

Old bedroom

The bed was particle board or something, as were the nightstands.  They had to go.  I had had enough.  This is what the bees led to:

New bedroom

It’s not radically different, I realize, but in a room with a layout like mine, the only way to go radical would be to, say, hang the bed from the ceiling or something.  I really like the new look — I think it looks clean and sleek.  While I would have preferred nightstands with a drawer, I was trying to save money.  The ones I liked best are $199 a piece, while these are $99 a piece and actually, I really like them.  I would choose them again.  I’ll pick up some cheap storage options from Target to place on the bottom shelf to hide things I would normally have in the drawer.  The bed is really low, which I actually like because I think it makes the room look bigger, calmer and is better for Gracie.  And it’s all about Gracie, of course. 

A word on CB2.  They are simply awesome.  Crate & Barrel and CB2 are the Nordstrom of the furniture world, as far as I’m concerned.  I originally had purchased these wonderful, sleek, nickel-based, touch-switch lamps that arrived last week.  While I absolutely loved the look, they didn’t work very well.  They would turn off on their own, not turn on at all at times, and flicker when they were on.  I emailed the company and they called me (!) suggesting I not use them.  They said they’d send new ones and I should send the old ones back in the boxes that would arrive with the new ones.  And they said to call them when I am ready to send them back because they will come pick them up (!).  Note: these are $50 lamps.  So, the new ones arrived on Saturday, but the same problems occurred.  So, I called them up — on Saturday — and after some voice prompting I heard, “We’re sorry, but all agents are busy.  The next available agent will answer your call in … 20 seconds.”  20 seconds.  On a Saturday.  I’m not even sure it took 20 seconds, but soon I was talking to a nice woman who couldn’t have been more helpful.  She seemed genuinely concerned about my problem (even exclaiming, ‘Oh dear!’) and said she would send UPS to pick up the  newer lamps on Monday and all I had to do was put them outside with a note on them saying, “For UPS.”  She said she would have the warehouse send me boxes for the older lamps (since they are out in the recycling bin) and when they arrived I should call back and they would again have UPS come and pick them up at my front door.  And then she placed the order for the lamps I chose instead — creamy white and awesome — and they arrived today!  I recommend CB2 (and Crate & Barrel) for everything.  EVERYTHING!  Even things they don’t sell.

December 2022

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