Friday, April 29, 2016

Balcony Reveal!

We finally have a reveal! Our big priorities as of late have been our outdoor spaces. We lucked out the past few weeks with gorgeous, 80 degree days, but *of course* this weekend is......gross. We won't let some Fall weather get us out of our summer groove, though! 

6 months ago our balcony looked like this....

We added some beautiful solar lights from Amazon, and I zip-tied a reed fence from Home Depot to the railing. These additions ran us only about $30 total. We tried to focus on inexpensive, heavy hitting updates. 

After searching and searching for an affordable outdoor rug, I settled on an outdoor mat - again, from Amazon. After only 2 days and about $35 we were able to add this colorful addition to our little slice of paradise. 

We knew we wanted some plants outside, so Amazon again was our go to for rail planters that we filled with beautiful hostas from Home Depot. They will grow much bigger, and will provide some dense foliage for us to cuddle up to as we sip coffee in the morning. 

Thanks to amazing friends, we had an IKEA giftcard that came in handy to get a $50 patio set. Can you believe that?! Two chairs AND a table. IKEA is the BEST!! We also grabbed a few small decorative items to pull the whole space together - including the cutest little bromeliad! 

After all was said and done, we are pleased to reveal that our balcony now looks like this: 

It's so cozy and bright and provides JUST the right amount of privacy. Arthur was concerned about feeling claustrophobic, but we realized that the reed fence is mostly a visual barrier. Sound and air still flow through with ease, which gives you all the benefit of being closed in without actually being barricaded. It is wonderful! 

That's all for now, but we are hoping to show off some BIG updates on the deck later in the weekend. That is, if we can get off the couch amidst this rainy, drizzly, soggy, cold weather. 

Happy Friday! 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

IKEA PAX Master closet

The Master closet was the first project we did when we moved in. We opted to leave out the typical wire shelves that come standard. Aesthetically they are ugly and functionally they can be frustrating to maximize capacity because the brackets interfere with hanging. 

We went to Ikea and worked at their PAX workstation. Our closet is not very big - only about 5x7- so our goal was to provide as much hanging space as physically possible. 

IKEA PAX is AMAZING. Everything can be customized, from the different size shells to the possibility for adding glass or solid sliding doors to adding in jewelry pull outs, specialty pant hanging slots, and/or shoe racks. It was overwhelming, but in a way that gives you a lot of space for creativity and possibility. 

On my side we did two racks of hanging and 2 small drawers, plus another shell with two racks of hanging and one large drawer. Arthur's side has one drawer in the middle of the larger shell and one in the bottom on his smaller shell. 

For looks (and function) we added an oversized mirror (also IKEA) and a small foot stool. 

We then changed out the ugly standard light: 

and added this funky beauty, for only about $30

Here is the complete finished product, from an empty room, to a customized walk-in, all thanks to IKEA! 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Springing into 2016!

It's has admittedly been quite a while since we blogged; it's been a whirlwind of visitors, out of town trips, long nights at work and I'm-never-leaving-the-couch type hibernation since the New Year. But now that Spring is 'springing', we are feeling energized and motivated to start making this house a home. 

First and foremost BIG shoutout to our friends and family who provided us with gift cards, furniture, decorations, candles, etc. to help us get settled in. We were truly spoiled this past holiday season and our home is better for it! 

Ok, now here we go!!

Kitchen and dining right after the new year:

Kitchen and dining now: 

"What is the purpose of those shelves?", you may be wondering to yourself. To which I reply, "An herb garden of course!".

 I am in the process of starting some seedlings so we can have herbs indoors year round. We will also transplant a few sprouts to the balcony planters that will be revealed to you at a later time. So far, we have dill, thyme, rosemary, lavender, two types of basil, chamomile, cilantro, oregano  and calendula. 

We have even started using a kitchen compost to put our kitchen scraps to good use. 

We're experiencing a bit of a cold snap right now, but soon this organic material will line our outdoor planters and provide a nutrient boost. Three cheers for urban gardening 🎉

Next up we have the living room. We are so thankful a family friend was able to make us an ottoman table that matches our floors. We love the contrast! 

We've been prepping the dining/kitchen balcony space for Spring and investing in fun outdoor things. Arthurs latest toy is his new grill! 

We have been grilling. up. a. STORM. I even made Arthur grill up pizza yesterday in 35 degree rain. Not sorry! 

                    Grilled avocado 

                       Grilled bananas 

            Arthur's first grilled filet! 

            Grilled pizza! Life changing.

I've also added a bamboo reed privacy screen so our view is not the house behind us. 

The fourth floor/ terrace room is a work in progress. We still need another 1-2 bookshelves and Arthur and I keep going back and forth on putting another TV up here or leaving it as a technology free space (you can guess which camp I'm in haha). For now, it's a great space to work out and/or read a book!

Which leads us tooooo....

The Terrace! Thanks to a Sams Club error we were able to score this AMAZING furniture from my mom & dad. We sat up here on Christmas and it was so peaceful. We'll be making major updates to this space over summer, so stay tuned! 

Next up we have the Master (heavily influenced by the one and only IKEA). Arthur surprised me with the vanity table for my birthday, and even installed fancy dressing room lights along the sides. IKEA (and Arthur) are the best! 

The guest Master has come along and is actually our old (incredibly comfy!) bed. We installed our old living room tv on here across from the bed for lazy viewing ☺️.

Now back downstairs ...
This entryway was a labor of love that took Mom & I HOURS to complete. Don't ask us why, we have no idea. 

Our most recently completed project was organizing the garage. It was a disaster, and we wanted space to put a fridge and one day an outdoor mudroom. Arthurs workbench fits perfectly next to our Costco overflow shelf 😋. 

Our biggest project has been......entertaining (to say the least). We are working on creating a white board and batten accent wall in the laundry room, surrounded by the other 3 gray walls. 

This was the laundry room when we were first in the dreaming phase...

Then we moved on to the actual doing...

 After we put the boards up we filled the sides and sanded everything down. We've been struggling with some corners  and with some of the corner filler we used. It's taken us TWO. WHOLE. MONTHS to get to the point of priming. Coat one turned out better than we anticipated! 

We still have another coat or two of primer to do before we get to the white paint. Then the gray walls will come along! Slowly (very) but surely! Hopefully it doesn't take us another month and a half to finish this part haha. 

On a leisurely note we have taken some time to explore the local parks and attractions. Now that we are Marylanders for good, we think it important to be aware of everything this state has to offer! We've gone on runs and hikes through local parks that are only 5-10 minutes away.... the Chesapeake only 35 mins away...

All and all, we love it here. We love our home and we love our accessibility to downtown DC, downtown Annapolis, local parks and beachfronts. We are going to try and post on here bi-monthly to give family and friends updates on how things are transforming over the summer. 

Until then, peace, love, and -as our wifi network says- "Namaste!" from the Goldins. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Pantry

In an effort to make the house more 'our own', we opted to leave out the wire shelving in the pantry. We intended to do a fancy pantry system with solid shelves, but when the time came we decided that - right now- that project is a bit more labor intensive than we can handle. Also, we were told that solid shelves can be harder to clean, because you have to take everything off of it to wipe it down. 

So, off to Lowe's we went. 

We ended up purchasing Rubbermaid tightmesh shelving and had it cut to the width of our pantry. We were happy to find brackets that fit snug to the shelf, so we don't lose any space with low hanging shelf mounts. 

We struggled to find a stud for our top piece, so Arthur spent the better part of the night drilling his way through metal in order to create additional holes that aligned with the stud. 

At first we thought it would take no time at all...

But after about an hour in, Arthur took off his sweatshirt - and that's how I knew he was on a mission

After nearly two hours of drilling, I even got on on the action! 

This experience pretty much taught me I'm a natural carpenter. Success!

After we drilled the uprights in we fought with the actual shelves. The way the mounts fit onto the brackets is a little odd, and definitely took two people to align, push, pop, and prod the shelves into the brackets before mounting them. 

Four hours later we finally had a pantry! Our best friend IKEA provided us with great food storage containers for about $3-6 each. 

We also picked up some baskets from IKEA as well.



-relatively inexpensive. This whole system cost about $130
-customizable. You can get the shelves cut however long or short you want them based on the look you are going for 
-adaptable. We can move these current shelves around with ease. We just pop them out and move down/up then pop back in. We can always add more, if necessary, with ease 
-it's wire, so any crumbs will fall straight to the ground for sweep up ease

- took 4 hours (mostly because of our stud situation) 
- the brackets pop up a bit through the wire, which makes food/containers a little crooked when placed in certain spots 
- it's wire, which isn't the most aethestically pleasing 
- it took FOUR HOURS 
- scratched up walls. Tip: cut shelves at least 2 inches shorter than the width of the pantry. We cut it the exact length and therefore had some shoddy rough edges put divots in the wall 
- takes 2 people 
- not sure if, at the end, we have any more space than people who kept the original wiring in.