Monday, November 19, 2012

The Noteworthiest Transformation of 2012

And I'm not speaking of

Boy Jordge


less masculine Jordan

Kind of our fault on the first shot because we put Jordan in distinctly boyish pajamas, but in our defense it was a posterity thing. Those were Sean's when he was an infant and we were being sappy and comparing photos of the two of them with their same jams. Who Wore It Better and all that. Anyway, my dad still currently calls Jordan "the prettiest little boy I've ever seen." I think he's teasing me about our name choice. And working on a self-image complex for Jordan. What else are grandpas for?

But no, I'm not even talking about Jordan's journey from "put me in a ruffle dress and glue a bow on my scalp and I shall still elicit 'he's precious' and 'what a sweet little guy' comments" to "put me in a ruffle dress and clip some of my wisps in a barrette and I shall elicit the safe, diplomatic 'oh, how old?' and 'that one's a cutie' comments." I'm talking about The Great Dining Room Project.

Sean and I were extremely fortunate that acquaintances of ours were getting rid of significant items right around the time we got married. Our couch, refrigerator, patio set AND dining room table were all given us for f-r-e-e-e which of course saved us buco bucks. The down side to that money saving arrangement is you don't get to choose your possessions and thus are unable to express your super sophisticated decor taste that you got from Better Homes and Gardens.

After two years o' marriage and one child production under my belt, I felt I deserved to choose a new platform on which to serve and participate in meals. SO here is dining room before shot:

 And after a peek around Craigslist resulting in a freaking score you get the dining room after shot:

BH&G divulged that if you position a mirror where it would reflect light the room would appear longer. It sounded like a wives' tale to me. I did it anyway because I thought the mirror might look better over there, and because I was craving adventure in my life. The first thing my sister said when she popped by was, "Wow, the room looks a lot bigger!" The table is a foot longer than our previous one so...Better Homes strikes again! You crafty b's.

Sean was leery of this table when he saw the listing (I think the picnic-style threw him off), but it really was so affordable and looked so sturdy that he caved to my will. He has been obliged to eat his apprehension. Now that the mirror elongates, the sultry smell of linseed oil sealant saturates, and some homey succulents cap off, Sean admits to being quite pleased with our new dining room.

Ever since Sean and I got married - and even before really, because I shared an apartment with my sister and cousin - I have been holding off, holding off, holding off on making big purchases. On trying to spruce up. On infusing my taste. My logic is "this is a temporary living situation, you don't need to invest your effort and time and money." Here's my new advice: don't do this. Don't hold off. Sean and I don't know how long we'll be here. We don't know when we'll take The Big Leap that is home ownership. I've recently decided that I didn't want to wait to make our living quarters feel more like a home, especially since Sean and I have already started our family. I want Jordan to love this place, temporary though it may be. It is her first home.  But she's already knocked her head pretty smartly on the table's corner so their relationship is not off to the best start. They've got time.

If you're in a similar situation and you've been thinking the way I used to - stop it I tell you. We've only had this table a couple days and it has vastly improved my attitude toward our little abode. Make that pint-sized apartment your own. It's fun, really.

Items of Note:

Jordan's Fantastic High Chair: is also a rocking horse and a child's table. It's flippin' awesome. It was a gift from Sean's lovely parents. It's Amish-made so I have every confidence it will withstand the apocalypse or ten children, whichever comes first.

Mirror: Target, from a few years ago.

Table Runner: Etsy. This shop has almost any color you could want of this print, plus tons of other prints and solids options. The owner, Tanya, is super nice. It does take a couple weeks to arrive so if you ever consider ordering, leave yourself some time.

Galvanized Bucket: JL Designs advertised a fire sale on Instagram to purge their old warehouse in Santa Ana. I picked up a few of these suckers for $2 apiece. But I've seen completely adequate galvanized buckets at Michael's and Home Depot, so if you really want one get your bottom over to one of those.

Succulents: oh come on, you can get these anywhere. But mine were Home Depot'd.

And finally, My Kickass Table: Craigslist. The listing is for an Adirondack patio set, but don't be fooled. They make those too but the table is listed in the pics on your right. If you're in Ventura County or even a neighboring county, I totally recommend these guys. It's a father and son that make them by hand. Old school carpentry, pretty bomb. They'll either simply seal the table with linseed oil at no charge, or add whatever stain you like for $60 extra. Table, benches, stain and delivery set us back $320, and I'm totally ok with that. We'll have this for a long time.

This has been "How to Improve Your Quality of Life in One Easy Purchase." Stay tuned. Our old couch is next to die.


  1. I loooove it!!! And I LOVE the Chevron table runner. Between you and Marie, I am totally inspired to make our little poor-mans-apartment a little cuter.

    Love you!

  2. I love it! Thanks for the "go for it" encouragement; I'm constantly wavering between holding off or making the effort to spruce things up now.

    1. Just do it! Especially with things like a table, that you know you'll have for awhile. I'm still not sold on painting our apartment cuz we can't take that with us :)
      I promise you'll get so much satisfaction from fixing up. Instant mood changer

  3. Dude. I literally, actually, for real GASPED when I scrolled down. It's like something out of a friggin' Pinterest photo shoot! Epic cuteness. You done good, girl.

  4. 'you crafty b's'. you make me laugh! i love it and can't wait to see it!