Category Archives: Our Second Home

Dining Room Dreaming

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break!  Between being busy with work & holiday festivities, I not only took a break from blogging, but we ended up putting the entire house on hold for the past month.  Now that all the holiday craziness is over though, we’re excited to be back at it and making progress.

When we first bought the house, I had hoped to finish majority of the kitchen by Christmas, but our month hiatus put a damper on those dreams.  Now Noel thinks we’ll be able to finish by February (he wants to finish before the Olympics so we can watch them on our big TV in the living room), but honestly I’d be shocked if that happens.  I’ll keep hoping it does though because I am ready for a kitchen again.

Today we actually aren’t going to talk about the kitchen though, we’re going to focus on furniture.  Dining room furniture in particular.  And as you probably remember, when I last updated you guys on the dining room, we had just bought our dining room table.


Since then, we also purchased a rug for the space too (although it hasn’t arrived yet).

Homespun Moraccan Blue Gray Rug

With those two big items down, the only main pieces that remained were the chairs and the light fixture.

Now before we started buying furniture, I did a complete budget breakdown, allocating how much I could spend on each item for the house.  I highly suggest doing so if you’re purchasing a lot of furniture too, because otherwise it’s easy to get carried away and not realize just how much you’re spending.

For the chairs, we had allocated $100 per chair (and if you’ve been in the market for new chairs recently, you know just how impossible that is).  Everything that was the style I was looking for was easily $200+, and I didn’t want to go buy some cheap Ikea chair that would get all wobbly by summer.  I wanted an upholstered look, which isn’t something I could easily thrift and refinish either (because all that detailed tufting work is harrrrrrd to do).

Well, I ended up finding near perfect chairs at Target (the Brookline for those of you that were wondering), that came in at $89 per chair.


I waited for months and months for them to go on sale (even though they were in our budget, I’m all for saving as much as possible, and I know Target does a good job of rotating sales through their home furnishings).  However, during those months, I started to second guess my decision (which is so unlike me).  Because we opted for a dark rug, I thought we should maybe instead go with the lighter version of these same chairs.


I knew the light colored ones would pull out the light pattern in the rug, but I worried they wouldn’t have enough contrast with our light table.  On the contrary, because both the rug and the darker chairs were gray, I worried the two grays would be just off enough to make the colors clash.  So I did what any normal crazy person would do and ordered them both once they went on sale.  Thankfully Target has the best return policy ever, so I knew returning the ones I didn’t want would be no big deal, and then I could compare the colors myself.

Well, everything was all hunkydory until I was reading up on Bower Power Blog the other day.  And lo and behold guess what I found – the Brookline Chairs paired with reclaimed wood table.  And suffice it to say, I didn’t love it.


Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it looks bad at all.  I love the table and I love the chairs, I just don’t like how the chairs block so much of the table’s beautiful details.  Don’t quite understand what I’m talking about?  Check out the chairs she had before.


Voila!  See how their lower profiles and minimal design allow you to really see the beauty of the table?  Yeah, now I’m kind of torn as to what to do.  I’m contemplating using a larger upholstered chair on each end of the table, with lower chairs along each side.  I love the look of benches (like in the image from Z Gallerie below), but I hate their functionality (they’re such a pain to get on/off of if multiple people are sitting there), so we definitely won’t go the bench route.


Perhaps we’ll pair a large upholstered chair on each end with Tolix-inspired chairs along each side?


Or I could go the mix & match route I’ve considered for so long…


One step forward, two steps back. Which route would you take? Leave a comment and let me know!

Go Bold or Go Home.

I think I’m going to start calling this house the surprise house, because there have been so many things that have genuinely surprised me since we’ve moved in.  And no, I’m not talking about bad surprises.  I’m talking about good surprises.  Like Noel’s reaction the first time he walked into this house.  Or Noel loving so many things (like the table or the bed) that I never would have dreamed he’d like.  I’m starting to sense a common theme…maybe I should revise the name to “The House Where Noel Likes Things I Thought He Wouldn’t.” 

The reason I bring this up is because Noel surprised me once again.  The weekend after Thanksgiving, we were doing some furniture shopping, when we stumbled upon this beauty, the Tailor Sofa, at Crate & Barrel.  Thinking it was far too classic for Noel’s taste, I was floored when he saw the couch and exclaimed “this couch is awesome!”  I don’t know if it’s the bright color or what, but for some reason, he was oddly excited about this couch.

tailor-sofa (3)

And don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining in the slightest.  I love the couch.  The clean, classic lines with a little bit of a modern flair, that’s exactly the look that I’m going for in our house.  But Noel liking it?  So strange.

tailor-sofa (1)

Anyways, we almost bought it that weekend, but decided to wait a little bit (since our main level is still a construction zone).  Plus, I wasn’t 100% sold on it, because to tell you the truth, I was a little uneasy about the color.  I adore the actual color itself, but the entire couch being that color?  That’s kind of scary.

tailor-sofa (2)

Normally, my style is to keep it really simple and neutral with the big pieces, and then to add in pops of color in things you can easily change (like curtains, pillows, and accessories).  So if we were to go bold with the couch, it would definitely be out of my comfort zone.  But 90% of the time, when I push the boundaries of my comfort zone, that’s when awesome things happen, and I end up being OBSESSED with the room.  And let’s be real, how gorgeous are the rooms above?  Umm…very.

So, what do you think I should do, take a risk and go bold, or play it safe and stick with neutrals?  After all, it does come in gray…

tailor-sofa (4)

I guess we shall see where we end up.  Which route would you take?

Two Months In

A few weeks ago, I was playing with the new flash Noel bought me for my camera, when I came across videos I took of our townhouse on the day we moved out.  The way those videos documented details I would have otherwise forgotten, made me realize I need to start taking more videos.  So I went and bombarded Noel (which he was really  happy about as you’ll soon see – seriously, SUCH a sassypants) to get his thoughts at that very moment on the progress we’re making. After drilling him with question after question, he turned the tables on me to get my take on our life as of late.

There are so many different emotions we go through during each different stage of the renovation, so it was fun to stop and actually document it while we were in the thick of it.  I’m going to try do it again once drywall starts going up, and then once cabinets are in, and I can guarantee you, after appliances are in place, you’ll see nothing but smiles on our faces.

For now though, you’re stuck with the somewhat frustrated, slightly overwhelmed, but mainly giggly versions of us.  So if you have nothing better to do with the next 10 minutes of your life, sit back and enjoy the show.

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