November 8, 2012

The BIG News!

Last week I mentioned some big changes, remember? Well............

We're having a BABY!
Yep, the Murphy household will be expanding by one next May. What does this mean for our house? First, it has defintely lit a fire under our butts to finish up the projects we've been working on for the last few years. We understand there is no way that we'll be drywalling or caullking with a newborn. Of course one of our spare bedrooms is becoming a nursery (my room was sacraficed) and we are actually going to switch our guest room around (more on that later). Our first goal is to get our master bedroom and bathroom completely finished by Thanksgiving. That might be pushing it, but Brian is working really hard...and I am supervising :)

November 6, 2012

The New Retaining Wall

Although this is not exactly DIY, we did work very hard on our new retaining wall and actually did our fair share of physical labor. When we bought our house, we asked the seller for some money towards fixing the retaining wall at the base of the driveway:

Yea. It was scary and dangerous and it was holding up a portion of our house, deck and well, most of the front yard. But as the story always goes, we never really got around to fixing it until four years later. Honestly, it was giving Brian so much anxiety when he thought about what would happen if it fell, that we decided to bite the bullet and get it fixed.
Of course we initially thought of doing it ourselves, but between equipment rental and the time that it would take one man to complete the job...we decided to hire a landscaper. The total cost was $2,000 and we were able to save several hundred dollars by offering to take the old timbers to the dump ourselves, which I don't exactly recommend.

That was 4,000 pounds of rotted wood...with giant nails. It was hard, but two trips later we cleared it out and felt good about our savings.

Here are some shots of the retaining wall being built:

And here is the grand finale:

Here is a side-by-side before and after:

In the end, sometimes it's better (and safer) to hire the professionals!

Highway Robbery

I was perusing the PB website today for some ideas for our bathroom (more updates on that later) and what do I see?

And how much does it cost? $350.00!! Does anyone remember my project:

Okay, so Pottery Barn's version doesn't have Gorilla Glue seeping out from under the rope...but still, $350? For what?

October 25, 2012

Master Bathroom: The Ideas

I learned something recently: I hate bathrooms. They just don't 'do' it for me. I've never walked into one and said 'ooooo, look at that tile' or 'man, I love that faucet'. So, when Brian practically forced me into our master bathroom remodel...I was not exactly happy. The goal was to spend very little money and attempt to make it look nice. Have you ever tried that with a bathroom? doesn' work.

The first we knew we wanted was beadboard wainscoting. My dream was to have our towels hanging on hooks like this:

Sadly, very few tiles exists that actually look good with beadboard. Most of the Pinterest ideas showed hardwoods (which is what we have downstairs), but that wasn't an option for our heavily-trafficked master bathroom. And which tile looks amazing? The expensive one, of course. Check out this dreamboat of a bathroom:

You had me at 'marble hex tile'. There was no other tile that Brian and I both loved as much as this Carrera White Marble Hex. The small tile was so antique-ish, the grayish color gradient had so much depth and it looked like the beadboard and the floor were long lost lovers (okay, maybe a little over the top). This past weekend we stopped at Floor & Decor Warehouse and took home a 12x12 of this tile...just to 'see'. We just knew the second we put it on our floor and we decided that this could be one thing we actually splurge on in our home. (I mean, we have used couches for chrissakes).
So back to the beadboard. I want to go high on the wall and have some more 'upscale' details. Like an extra-tall baseboard:
A nice ledge on the this:
(both from here)

 Here, my friends, is where the ideas end. We do know that we want to do chrome fixtures and keep and repaint our existing vanity. This weekend we are finishing up the demolition and I will certainly be back on Monday with some more updates.

October 18, 2012

Back on Track (and a finished coffee table)!

Yes, I know...I've been gone forever. I do have a good excuse: my little blog zip drive with all  my edited photos went missing. The sheer volume of organized photos and folders was enough to make a grown woman cry. Then life happened and our house-remolding-drive took a backseat for the summer.
As always, life comes along and gives you a kick in the ass. Some big changes are coming to Casa Murphy and we'll talk about them next week, but they involve switching out the guest room for a music room (what?!) and finishing up the long avoided bathrooms.
In the meantime, I am super happy to share our (finally) finished Goodwill coffee table. Remember him? We stripped it, sanded it and then finally stained it. We bought new knobs and new screws. Aside from the process taking 100 was all fairly easy. One thing we learned - if you are going to insist on using wood filler (ahem) make sure it's compatible with your stain. Brian insisted on filling a few nail holes that the stripper had eaten away and once we stained over the wood was not looking good. He just ran the stain over those few spots several more times and then we decided we didn't really care. Here it is in your living room:

The 'styling' (or lack thereof) is only temporary - I really can't decide what I want to put on there and, to be honest, between the speakers, record player and 100+ just seems crowded. So for now I grabbed a book on what else? Abandoned structures. I think I need a support group.


June 17, 2012

Catching Up!

This is going to be a photo-heavy've been warned. I realized the weekends have been flying by and random furniture pictures have been collecting on my iPhone, which can only mean that it's time to over-share!

First up is our trip to New York two weekends ago for my cousin's wedding.

Have I told you how much I hate Laguardia Airport? You would think with the high amount of taxes NYS accrues, they would be able to give it a makeover or something? Maybe I'm just spoiled by Hartsfield Jackson...

First stop was NYC to visit my mom at work and check out the terrace. How would you like to see this everyday?

Then it was back upstate. How cute are my parent's rabbits?

Check out my mom's roses - they are gorgeous:

Remember I talked about my mom's creativity here? Well, keep in mind that she can barely use the internet, so no Pinterest and no blogs...but how Pin-worthy is this?

Yes, its the wine press that I so badly wanted to steal, but how I can be mad when it looks so good in their garden?

On Friday we got to spend some really good quality time with my best friend Dawn and her kids Ryan and Hunter (my godson!)

Friday night we grabbed some dinner on the waterfront with Dawn and then stayed for some drinks and music. Get this? The band playing was a country can't even make that up.

And what is a trip home without stopping at the ReStore? Even though the inventory was very thin, I found a few cool pieces. Check out this hutch - the lines are so modern and it was sixty five dollars!!

This one isn't exactly my style, but it was so pretty:

The following weekend, Brian and decided to go kayaking in Tennessee. Copperhill is just over the Georgia border and we found a super cheap kayak rental place.

The river is called Toccoa in GA and Ocoee when it runs through TN. We saw an otter, a dead river snake and a lot of rednecks. :)

On an unrelated note, the Euro Cup is currently going on...make sure you cheer for the right team!

June 14, 2012

Craigslist Find: Wicker Set

If I haven't already shared, our backyard is ground zero for mosquito breeding. I am very's BAD. To make things even more interesting, I seem to be allergic to Southern mosquitoes. All my life up north, I got the occasional bug bite with no major issues...then I move to Georgia and every time I get bitten, my skin swells, itches and then turns into this huge, bruise-y circle. It looks like something between leprosy and spousal abuse.

Needless to say, our back deck (when we had one) did not get the most use from me in the summer months and the whole time we had been ignoring our beautiful front porch:

I have a love for front porches, probably because I grew up with this (that was my bridal shower setup):

As kids, this was our 'base' during manhunt and the 'precinct' in Cops and Robbers (yes, I was the dispatcher). It was the place for parties, BBQ's and almost every summer family dinner. This made me realize that I wanted something like that in our house. Unfortunately, our front porch was currently inhabited by way too many spiders and several wasps nests. Lucky for us, we just inherited a power-washer from our in-laws! So after a good power-wash I started the hunt for some patio furniture.

Where did I start? Craigslist of course. Let me tell you, wicker is expensive. I really never expected it to have such a high resale value. So, when I stumbled on all this for $125, I did a double-take:

One phone call later and I was on the way to pick these babies up. I can't remember the final price, but I think we got down to $110. Brian and I just round it down to one hundred, since we describe it as 'the best one hundred dollars we ever spent'. Now, let me just warn everyone of one downfall of Craigslist. Doesn't every piece in the picture above look to be the same color? Well, in real life they were not.

The two chairs sort of match and the little side table doesn't match anything. The table has been rained on since living on our porch, so it's gotten stained. Hopefully we can take the power-washer to these guys soon. All in all, we are really happy with the set and we use it all the time!

Oh, the cushions are from HomeGoods and only $30 for the pair! That is a great price for cushions - you would be amazed at how expensive those things can get. Want to see the view from the other side?

Stayed tuned for another Craigslist Find - Tampa edition. My sister-in-laws scored an amazing patio table!

June 11, 2012

Master Bedroom Paint?

When you've taken such a long blogging you just ignore it in your next post? Do you try and make an excuse?

Yes, I've been absent as of late. The house progress has shifted to non-blogworthy things like water main repair and gutter replacement. Trust me, no one wants photos of that. Oh, you do want photos?

Behold our new gutter! We added it onto the house because the drainage in that corner was a serious issue. The pipe will be buried once we get the retaining wall rebuilt...and then its time to attempt to plant something that won't die.

You want to see that retaining wall? Shield your eyes... 

This eyesore is the structure that is currently holding up half our front yard, the side of the deck and our beloved Dogwood tree. And no, our yard does not currently look like that - this picture was from the day we bought the house. We've ignored the wall as long as we could...because let's face it, who wants to spend a few thousand dollars on something so boring? Finally, we've saved up and decided to get it professionally 'done', which should happen in a few weeks.

Wasn't this post was supposed to be about paint...

Ages ago (October 2011, according to this post), I started to gather some ideas of what I wanted to do in our master bedroom. From the beginning, I had been in love with Benjamin Moore's Saybrook Sage. I even went out and bought one of those teeny little sample bottle (that they have stopped selling - gasp!). Sadly, once I got home and slapped a few strokes on the wall, the color just wasn't 'doing' it for me. Today I took reinforcements (my co-worker, Sarah) to the BM and mulled over several more options. So what happened? We both loved Saybrook Sage. Again. Obviously, the universe was trying to tell me something, so I decided to splurge $8.00 and buy the small tester pint. Stay tuned to see how two coats will look and in the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to get Brian to let me paint on a Monday night...

May 2, 2012

Craigslist Find: The Florida Edition

When my sister-in-laws (remember their house here) sent me their own amazing 'Craiglist Find', I just had to share. They were in the market for a console/side table and these beauties appeared for only $20 each! How could they resist?

What makes them ever better? They are file cabinets in disguise. How freaking cool is that? Here is what they had to say:
"We were looking for some filing drawers to keep organized with various paperwork but we didn't want the typical stale, office looking type of drawers."


I'm jealous - I know you probably are too! The sweetest thing is what they sent at the bottom of the email:

"Thanks for reminding us to reawaken our relationship with Craig's List!"

Awww, thanks guys :)