Sunday, March 31, 2013

Penny-Pinching Paint

Let’s talk paint. 

One of the first things I knew I needed to do when I bought this house was paint just about every room (and touch up paint in the one room that had a decent color).  So I’ve been dreaming with color swatches for the last few months.  Deciding on a color scheme was not that difficult.  I love corals, pinks, ocean blues, and beiges (think more golden beige, not the drab “greige” that has become so popular all of a sudden).

My mother already had a color swatch booklet from Sherwin Williams that I started flipping through.  While they had great whites for trim and the perfect gold-tinged beige, I could not find the vibrant yet soft shades of coral and ocean blue that I was looking for.  And this was such a pity because Sherwin Williams was running a sale for 30 percent off total purchase. 

One day I decided to go into Benjamin Moore and check out their swatches.  I described the colors I needed and they immediately directed me to the perfect shades.

“Are you having any specials?” I asked hopefully.

“Nope,” the salesman quickly responded. 


Then my mother (who has become my partner in crime in many of my home improvement/shopping escapades) whispered, “Take the swatches and see if Sherwin Williams can match the color.”


And you know what?  They had the exact same colors in their data base, saving me over $50. 

So what can we learn here?  Paint is expensive, especially when you’re needing  several gallons, so check out the major brands to see who is having a sale (you can find this information by looking on their website).  Once you find a sale, gather up your dream swatches, regardless of brand, and have them match the paint.

And feel no shame.  When you’re a new homeowner and you’re broke, you have to be resourceful.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Slightly Ambitious Tinkerings

After my last post, life got extremely crazy very quickly.  I am a teacher at a local high school and I took on the task of directing the senior class play.  This required hours of extra work each week, leaving me frazzled, exhausted, and very behind on housecleaning.  Not to mention poor Piper, who had to be saved from her kennel each day by my mother after work.  To top it all off, I became very sick during February, so when I was home, I did not do much beyond lie on my couch and watch Mad Men (I cannot wait for the new season!).

In the last two weeks, however, I have made some accomplishments on the home front.  I found the dining room set of my dreams: rustic, southern, and quality.  One beautiful Saturday afternoon, my mother and I stumbled upon this beauty while meandering through a local consignment shop:

I knew it was exactly what I was looking for, and it was much less expensive than anything I had found online or in stores.  The solid pine table was a measly $150, while the chairs were $295 for all six.   So for those of you who are “ballin’ on a budget” like me, check out your local consignment and antique shops.  While that type of shopping can be hit or miss, you never know when you are going to happen upon a true treasure.

I also managed to (get someone to) hang curtains in the living room.


My pilot boyfriend, Micah, found himself with a free Sunday last weekend, so I quickly gave him a few “honey do” tasks.  He did not seem to mind too much—after all, it did involve a cool power tool.  Check out this manly shot I caught:

Between the windows I also added a painting that I purchased last summer while in Boston and Cambridge, MA.  I was exploring Harvard’s campus when I came across a painter selling his work.  I purchased this painting of trees from him for just $10 and had a nice conversation with him about his art.  He even signed the back of it for me.  When I got back, I had it framed, which cost seven times what I paid for the painting itself, but was well worth it for an original piece of art.

 While I have not had time to be very ambitious with my house in the last month, I have grown to really love my home.  This place has suddenly turned into my safe haven.  It is my place of calm at the end of a hectic day, and I know that once I close my garage door, I am okay.