March 13, 2013

Craigslist Find: Crate and Barrel TV Stand

Sometimes in life, things just magically come together and work out perfectly. Sometimes that happens with my beloved Craigslist. This is my story:
I have a daily CL search ritual every morning - checking first for items that we currently need in our house, but always searching "Pottery" and "Crate"...because let's face it, who doesn't want to own a cheap Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel piece of furniture? Well, this particular morning I came across a fifty five dollar C&B television/media console. 
I've never really done an entire post on our living room (just bits and pieces here and here), but we had the world's ugliest, most college-y TV stand known to man. It was black, particle-board, square with CD storage in the front. Yes, I said You can baaaarely see it in this 'before' photo below:
It was the one item in our living room that was keeping it from being 'done'. We had tried to find a replacement a while back, but our wish-list was too detailed and the perfect piece never appeared on Craigslist. Since canceling cable over a year ago, we've had an old laptop permanently living in the console and we needed to make sure that whatever we purchased was going to work with that. So...this CL piece was affordable, in good condition and 4 miles from my office. Even better? My friend let me use her Subaru Outback to transport this random purchase. The people selling it said they would be home around my lunch hour, so Sarah, Devon and I set off on our adventure to pick it up. The unit fit perfectly in the back of her car and, for the price, was in excellent condition (there were a few teeny, tiny scratches on the front that a stain pen could fix in seconds). Ready to see it in our living room?

How perfect does that fit? It matches our furniture/decor, it holds the laptop, DVD player and all our movies. I am practically obsessed with it. Brian and I have been coming home from work the past few days and just marveling at how (5 years later) our living room has finally come full circle.

We are also in the process of turning our downstairs guest room into a music room (more on that later), so the record player and crates of records have found a new home. I was finally able to use this old wine barrel (that was found in my grandparent's Queens basement almost 40 years ago) as a side table and we hung up a painting I scored for twenty dollars at an estate sale last month.

Ignore my feeble table-styling attempt - I need to find some smaller books and a candle-holder. The print is of the Old North Church in Boston and I loved the colors and style. I actually bought it without showing Brian first and turns out he loves it! The black frame is not my favorite, but it works for now and hopefully in the future I can either spray paint it brown or just get it re-framed.


March 7, 2013

Featured :: Megan's Ikea Hack! (Updated)

Lately the Murphy household has been conquering some big projects and the fun little DIY endeavors have fallen by the wayside. It will probably be a few more months before I can start working on 'fun' stuff again, but for now I can just share the fun stuff that my friends have been working on. Megan is almost done with her amazing Ikea hack and I had to show it off for her:
She started with Ikea's FÖRHÖJA kitchen cart, which looks like this before she got to work:
Used this stain:

She stained the top, painted the bottom white and still plans to add a metal bottle opener (and finish those wheels)....but check out how incredible this looks: (Megan said she did not do any sanding, but admits that it would have made things easier - especially where she painted white.)

I had no idea the birch would stain so well and I'm one second away from going to buy one, where could I put it? :)

March 4, 2013

We Painted the Nursery!

After three coats (I'll explain that later), the nursery is finally painted! Not only did we paint, but we also installed a new window, crown molding, quarter round and painted the closet (and installed a new shelf). Phew.
I know I mentioned the color we chose in this post....but even though everyone assured me it would be great, I was still convinced it was going to be too dark. I'll admit I went a little nutty (it's the pregnancy hormones, I swear) and I bought an entire gallon of Elephant Gray lightened 25%....just to see. I thought it was going to the answer I was looking for - and then it wasn't. So, we took the plunge and went with the original Elephant Gray. Brian painted the room while I was in NY for my baby shower, but he said it looked great and I loved it just from the pictures. The problem? We could still see the outline of every sample I had put on the wall underneath it!! We've used Benjamin Moore to paint our entire house and I swear that has never happened. The strangest part was that the lightest color was showing through also...which just did not make sense. It wasn't something you saw right away, but once we pointed it out to someone, they immediately saw it too. So what does this perfectionist couple do? We threw on another coat. Of course we had already gone through our entire gallon, so I went over to the BM store and explained what happened. The guy was as shocked as we were and offered to give us the mack-daddy Regal paint for the same price as the cheaper stuff! In another strange turn of events, Brian used the entire gallon to put on that third coat. All in all, we are sooooo happy we did that because the color is deep and rich and even more perfect that I imagined it. Sometimes it looks so the daylight it looks more gray. Ready to see??

I just love, love, love it. For now we've moved the Hemnes dresser into the room, which Brian insists is too big for the space, but I keep sticking to the functionality of the piece outweighing its size. Every nursery on the World Wide Web uses this dresser and I'm already addicted to how high it is; I was able to fold 100 little baby washclothes yesterday without bending over and hurting my back!
That box/cushion is the start of the Ikea Poang Rocker that I picked up this weekend and the crib is being picked up tonight and hopefully all these guys will be assembled by tomorrow. Stayed tuned for more updates!