Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And on the 103rd Day, We Said, "Let There Be Light!"

It's been 103 days since we stepped foot in The Blooming House and we have finally tackled a number of lighting issues. Of course we haven't been sitting in the dark, but we replaced fixtures that looked like they crawled out of a creepy, abandoned, haunted hospital, the 1800s, and well, the last one only worked when you hit it with a bat. So, with that said, let me recap. We replaced the fluorescent overhead lighting in the laundry room, installed a beautiful chandelier in the foyer and setup a new motion detector spotlight in the backyard.

I'm not about to blog about a bunch of non-forgiving fluorescent lights in the depths of our house, but what I would like to share with you is what Tommy describes as "Pièce de résistance." I myself had to google this silly, sounding phrase, but I do agree as it has become my favorite piece in the house so far!

This is the pendant that was hanging in our foyer. 1800's right? Or atleast it hasn't been cleaned since then.

Tommy and I struggled with our replacement chandelier for so long and I think that's one of the main reasons why I love it so much now that its working so beautifully. The electrical wiring was a bit of an experience and we purchased the new fixture without any electrical hardware since it was more of a shade than the full fixture. We decided to attempt to make our own electrical setup so that it hung just the way we wanted, flush to the ceiling and not hanging down since it would be too low for our taller visitors. (I have no idea why we thought it would be as easy as just plugging something in and voila!)

In the end the final product was exactly how we wanted it, but it took a couple trips to Menard's Lighting Department and have a few workers scratch their heads at our ideas, but we finally got it!

Here is the dark and rusty hole that we were working with.
Here Tommy is buried in capiz glass. 

 And here she is! Our new capiz chandelier that we found at World Market back in Wisconsin... since they took all of our Minnesota store locations away. 

She was very reasonably priced, given the luxury look we think it gives off on a "flashlight budget". Also please ignore the dingy looking walls in the background, I'm still working on removing the glue from the wallpaper. Once we settle on a color, we think it's going to be "fabulous," well, I'd say that, not Tommy. He thinks it looks "awesome." (Oh, and if you work for World Market Inc., and you're reading this BRING IT BACK to MN!)

With all the other lights off, it makes all these really interesting shadows on the ceiling and walls. 

When you open and close the front door you might just get a subtle chime or two since all the pieces are dangling on what looks to be a fishing line, hanging from a circular grid. It would have been way cooler if I tried to make this whole fixture myself, and if you're crafty, I really think it could be done! But like I said we struggled so much for some reason with it, that we love our store bought fixture. And that is that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Lesson to be Learned

Just the other day, our wonderful lady neighbor over the fence (aka "Miss Jones," the one with the beautiful pond) and I were doing what seems to be our daily check-in with The Blooming House. I discovered something very new and intriguing about them. The two of us ladies were chirping away about how "patches of our grass won't grow", or "the front tree wasn't trimmed properly by the other one's fiance and now it's a sad excuse for a bonsai tree." Ya know, yadda, yadda, yadda. And when the topic of how this early Spring weather has brought on the need of early lawn mowing, I mentioned that as a new homeowner a lawn mower has been added to our ever-growing "dreading-to-buy list." She immediately replied with "Oh you can just borrow ours?"

This was a very kind and unexpected gesture, since the only thing we have to offer to them at this point is an old, pre-existing fence that they have to look at which we have every intent to tear down at some point. But this is what she followed with that shocked me. She continued on by saying "We bought it together with our other next door neighbor, so we share it." Again, as a new homeowner this is totally new to me, and maybe most of you "experienced homies" lets say,  are thinking "So what? We share (fill in the blank here) with our neighbors!" But I was really blown away by this!

For one thing, it says a lot about our neighborhood that we're finding out daily. But to me, it also says that our neighbors can appreciate saving a little here and there just as much as we'd like to on our house projects as newbies. Not only do they share their house hold items, (and we're not talking about an egg here or a cup of sugar there) but they also have shared their helpful tips and tricks to us. Just the other day "Miss Jones" leaned over and taught me that if I trim back on our new little infant of a crab-apple tree (planted before we moved into The Blooming House) that it will come back bigger and fuller the next time around. Never knew, but now I do! And she was pointing out what plants we had growing along our house which I can proudly identify them as Lilly of the Valley and two Bleeding Hearts, one white, one red, thanks to Miss Jones! I just love this little network of people enjoying their homes and the neighbors that surround it.

This side of our house is blooming quite nicely and what's even better is I haven't touched it! But at least I know what all that flourishing green stuff is with the help of a friendly lady neighbor.

So getting back to the subject, here was my thought for this post. After that little sharing session of going in on the cost of yard equipment and passing along house-hold tips, I wanted to be able to pass on something valuable to others that I found very helpful in cutting cost without holding anyone back from something that they enjoy. And as a top interest of mine, I found a site that provides a "Look 4 Less" section for interior decorating. I have to warn you, bc if you already own the (fill in the blank/expensive designer or high end retail store name item here) you might become a bit astounded at what you paid for when there's a clone of it out there for far less!

This lovely site is called "DecorPad" (click and I will show you the magic)

Some of you (whoever is out there following this silly blog) may have noticed that we included this site in our "What Keeps Us Blooming" links already, but I really want to stress the amazing concept that the "Look for Less" tab provides. For those of you who have not experienced "the magic" that people submit to this site as they discover the huge savings, please do your credit card a favor and check it out immediately. Your spouses will thank me. Home Interior Shopping 101: Class dismissed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They're Here! They're HERE!

Okay, so we're fully aware that our kitchen appliances have been delivered some time ago, but THEY'RE  HERE!!! We've been busy balancing wedding planning and creating a home with a side of normalcy here and there, but we're back and they're here. In fact they, meaning our brand new shiny appliances (if you haven't caught onto our obsession by now) arrived the beginning of this month. And do they know how to arrive to the party!

Our boys from Warner Stellian arrived in a Pepto-Bismol pink delivery truck aka "The Pink Panther". This big beauty rolled up to The Blooming House, accessorized with a Susan G. Komen logo to match. I don't get the connection between appliances and breast cancer, but they don't need a reason and its another reason why I love Warner Stellian. What a great way to raise awareness, a giant pink delivery truck with two delivery men. Works for me! And just as I'm getting side-tracked on the topic, have I pointed out how easily we get sidetracked at The Blooming House.

Tommy and I have thought this post out thoroughly (all of 30 seconds, as you can see) and Tommy has firmly decided not to show the new gear until the final kitchen makeover reveal. I'm fine by this decision as our new gas range is still unplugged and in the center of the kitchen. So I leave you with this little trivia question:

How many Greenbergs does it take to install a dishwasher?

It was a great day. And as an actual blog update since we have received a fan request for a Blooming House post... (thank you Liz for caring!) We are proud to announce that some new elements will be installed soon. We have our gas guy coming on Friday to convert from electric to, well, gas and our granite guy coming tomorrow to map our counter tops. Stay tuned!