Sunday, January 10, 2010


I confess, given the name of my blog, this post title makes me laugh. Not LOL, mind you, but an in-my-head chuckle.

Lately, I've been nesting. Pretty hard-core, get the house in shape, nesting. And I'm not pregnant. I think it's just that we've been living in "transition" since the fall of 2007, when we bought the first of two big old houses in need of work. The first one had been seriously neglected, and we undertook to fix or replace (mostly replace) the systems of the house (heating, cooling, electrical, etc.). We realized, though, that the scope of it was beyond us ... and by that, I mean WAY beyond us. So we sold it and bought another big house that needed work. This one hadn't been "let go" like the last one, but I would say it had been "lived hard in", if that makes sense. Some of the woodwork is beat up, there were broken windows, no hot water knob in the bathtub, a tile missing in the bath/shower, a hole in the kitchen floor that had been awkwardly (and not permanently) patched, a patchwork kitchen, etc. However, it was a lot cheaper (a LOT), and, despite all the work it needed, more move-in-ready than the last one.

And we like it so much better. Seriously. We love this place.

For just over two years, we've been working on our houses, thinking we'd wait to "decorate" until things were a little more settled. It seems clear, now, that we're not going to have all projects done, or feel settled, for a long time. So now I'm trying to make it as cozy and homey as I can, with what we have, or with what I can acquire cheaply. Or both.

My first goal in Project Coziness is the foyer (or "reception hall" as it's called on the blueprints). Right now, there's an Oriental runner in there that's totally wrong for the space. (It's 30"x81" in a 12'x12' room.) There are two tables, one awkwardly displaced by Christmas tree #2, which really should come down tomorrow, and the other awkwardly displaced by Christmas tree #1, which should, well, really come down tomorrow. And there's a weird light fixture that we don't like and don't think is original to the house and think should be replaced. (And I'm the queen of run-ons tonight.)

Project Coziness: Foyer
I'd like to include-
  • a soft rug (not sisal, preferably wool) that is more appropriately sized for the space

Maybe a traditional Arts & Crafts-y one like the one at left, maybe not.

  • a chandelier, either appropriate for a 1910-ish Arts and Crafts style four-square, or something funky/modern
  • a pulpit. Weird, I know, but I'm married to a former pastor, and the daughter of an Anglican priest. Some friends of ours have a beautiful old oak pulpit that they no longer have room for, and they offered it to us. I have visions of standing in it and preaching to my husband.
  • A chair, or maybe just a place to sit while taking off shoes?
I'd like to do this for under $300. I'm thinking that should be pretty hard to do. A rug alone would cost more than that, so I'll have to be creative/hit up Goodwill/surf Craigslist/check garage sales. I'm open to suggestions.


Kimberly said...

Annie, my in-laws made an ottoman fairly similar to the one you like using pre-cut wood, foam, a staplpe gun and some cloth. It took like 2 hours, was 6-8 years ago and looks great! I can ask if they still have the pattern if you want? (They're out of town for a week, but I can ask after that).

Kimberly said...

Oh, and you have to buy the screw in leg things, but you can find those pretty cheap.

Allison Terry said...

Annie, It looks like such a pretty space! Do y'all have a good TJMaxx/Home Goods close to you? You can find nice rugs for pretty good deals. Believe it or not, but Lowe's can actually have some nice rugs, too, and occasionally they will have clearance rugs or rugs that people returned on sale for not much. We have several chairs that were garage sale finds in bad shape or with ugly fabric, but if you can find someone cheap to recover them, you can wind up with a great chair for not much $$. Oh, and Lowe's will sometimes mark down light fixtures, too. I pretty much stalk the Lowe's clearance racks. :) Good luck! I think it looks beautiful already!

Allison Terry said...

I should be "Allison Webb," not "Allison Terry." Don't tell John! Ha! :)

Megan said...

I love the green rug!
Don't forget to look at Menards (we found our rugs there on sale!) And Big Lots--sometimes you can score really big there.
Also that brown rug is at target, but I am guessing you already knew that

Paige Feldhauser said...

the pulpit comment made me laugh. (not like "in my head chuckle" like LOL) I love your house and I've found a favorite blog. (yours!) I'm also very nearly inspired to have my own blog.. almost. : ) I'll look forward to reading any new posts you have.