Husband and Wife at Home: March Madness

When we moved into our house last June we hit the ground running with paint, more paint, furniture and art. We were pretty eager to break out of the confines of renting and make our new house our new home. In fact, within the first few months we had painted all but two rooms (including hallways) in the house. As of now, we’ve painted all but one.

But before we get to that, let’s show you this:

This was our master bedroom as it was listed before we bought the house. Nothing fancy – just your typical St. Paul half-story upstairs. (We got a real kick out of looking back at the photos of our house from the listing. Sure, the guy selling the house was a bachelor. But would it have killed him to at least straighten up the bed a little bit before photo time?)

For the last nine months, our bedroom really didn’t look much different from that original photo. Although we did replace the old, smelly carpet (which did make a substantial difference) we pretty much just bought a dresser and set up a bed frame and called it good. When guests came over it was easy to close the door to the upstairs and say, “there isn’t much to see up there.” But this winter we finally got sick of walking upstairs to the barren wasteland that was our boudior. March Madness 2011 was then official for Basketball and the Bedroom. So it seems fitting that on the night of the NCAA final, I introduce our new and improved bedroom:

Ahh, that feels better, doesn’t it?

The rundown of our process is best-suited for another post. And by no means is this room complete. Next up: curtains, a chair for the desk, colorful knobs on the dresser, and I have *big* plans for a white-framed gallery wall around the corner from the desk (and even bigger plans for how Stedman is going to hang everything whilst perched upon those stairs).

For now I’ll give you the item-by-item rundown in the form of a conversation I had with my dad after I sent him a few photos of our latest project:

Dad: Where’d you get the dresser?

Me: Ikea (purchased shortly after moving in)

Dad: Where’d you get the duvet cover?

Me: Target, $19.99 on sale (Yep, really)

Dad: What about the nightstands?

Me: Homegoods, $59.99 each

Dad: And the lamps?

Me: Homegoods, $59.99 each

Dad: The desk?

Me: Target, $75 on sale

Dad: And how about that TV?

Me: 1992.


Add in a fresh coat of paint (about $40) and our March Madness Bedroom-a-thon total comes in at just under $375 (we don’t count our nearly year-old dresser in the total). And of course, the relief I feel walking up the stairs to our new, Omigod look what we did upstairs! oasis, instead of our, Omigod please don’t go up there! embarrassment is priceless. (Although I’m sure Ross put that feeling somewhere on the Excel spreadsheet budget, too.)


{This is part two in a little series called Husband and Wife at Home. Check out the first post here.}


Husband & Wife At Home: Our Favorite Place

Summer flew by, as it always does.  On September 23 we will officially enter fall.

Although fall is one of my favorite seasons (what other season boasts a holiday where a cat ears or a bed sheet over your head solicits free. candy. with just a knock at the front door)  it also brings on a bit of anxiety.  It can be difficult for me to enjoy fall when old man winter is right around the corner rubbing his frigid, bony hands together and maniacally muahahaha-ing in my general direction.  These are the things that haunt my dreams.

Thankfully our new house has softened the impending blow a little. Slightly cooler temperatures mean Ross and I can now fully enjoy our new favorite place in the house, our front porch.  This past Sunday was not only the most freakishly beautiful day I’ve seen in ages, but also the perfect chance to spend some time relaxing in our sun-filled haven.

Before and afters usually showcase some horrifying display of I can’t believe they bought this place turned Martha Stewart masterpiece. But this isn’t that kind of a before and after.  Ross and I aren’t exactly what you call “handy”  – unless you mean handing someone else the tools or cash to do the job.  However, we’ve done a few things here and there to start making the place our own.  So without further ado, I present you HWML’s first installment of:  Husband & Wife At Home.

I have only one “before” shot of the front porch.  And if you’re like us, the “before” doesn’t scream help! so much as it screams I want to go to there. The previous owners really knew what they were doing out here and created a major selling point for the home.



We kept the wall color because it felt relaxing, but decided to change up the seating areas to accommodate a table and chair set for semi-al fresco dining.  The table and chairs were my grandparents’ and came over to the house from our condo.  Some new cushions, spray paint and several numb fingers later, we had this:

We added breezy white curtains from here to filter a bit of light and, most importantly, make me feel like I’m in the parachute hanger scene from Pearl Harbor.


On the opposite side of the porch is a built-in bookcase, which we painted white and filled with antiques and pretty much anything else that fit into our color scheme.

We purchased a neutral cover for a couch we already owned and Ross has occupied it ever since.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve sat on it yet.  And knowing me, if I did sit on it, I’d have a glass of red wine in my hand.  And the terror in Ross’ eyes whilst waiting for me to spill would cancel out any chance I have to relax on it.


When I brought home that fan Ross said, Awesome! Does it work? to which I replied, Sure does. Its job is to sit there and look pretty.


{This is part one in a little series called Husband and Wife at Home. Check out the second post here.}