Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dropping money like it's hot!

We bought our house almost 2 years ago.  Can you believe that?  Two years this July 24th!  With all our focus on improving the basic structure of the house, we've put very little time or money into furniture, decorations or big tool purchases in the house.

With the exception of a closet maid cube organizer I bought the week we bought the house, an ikea poang chair and small things like the four $5 Target floor lamps (replaced with our ceiling lights - whoo-hoo!) I haven't really put much into making our house a home.

Now that the end of is sort-of, kind-of, in sight... and our finances are more stable (thanks car fire!), I'm starting to look more towards filling the house with the furniture and tools we want.

So... onto some of our recent "big" purchases.

This sideboard seemed to find me.  My mom and I had gone shopping for maternity clothes.  So, we hit up outlet stores in Kittery, Maine. So naturally I came home with two t-shirts, some shoes for the kids... and this:

End of story.

Um... not.  So we happened upon a Crate and Barrel outlet store and perused some of the furniture.  It is really not often I'm actually drawn to any particular style, but I really liked this one a lot, despite the fact it was missing a door. Outlet store, you know.

It was marked $284 ($300 with tax), which seemed a little steep for our budget ($100 - $200).  Especially since we would have to get a replacement door, which was going to cost us who knows how much. I had been looking on Craigslist and not much was lower than $200, even used. And nothing I'd seen on Craigslist had been anything close to what I liked.

Still, if I could talk her down to $200 it would have been an easy decision... but she said that this was the lowest it would actually go before they donate it... and it wouldn't be marked down again.  After looking it over in detail and calling Jon (who surprised me with immediate agreement), we decided to go for it.  It was solid (heavy) wood, with lots of storage and had soft close hinges.  Pretty much what I was planning on building, but 5x better.  And after building some furniture already, I knew that I wouldn't even be able to get half the quality materials for that cost.  So, even if more than we wanted to spend right now, it was a deal we couldn't miss.

Odd enough, my Mom had taken the second row of seats in her van for a camping trip earlier that week and we could take it home on the spot.  Once their delivery guys loaded it into the van we were off with our very heavy, but super awesome purchase.

Have you noticed the emphasis on heavy yet?  Well, it was so heavy that we had to leave it in my Mom's car for the night until we could get three friends to help to bring it in the next day.  Once we were all done making our friends wish they never met us, it was in our house!

Up until we got it in the house and unwrapped, Jon hadn't really seen it.  Surprisingly, he really likes the style too.  It's more modern than our usual taste, but we figure if we hate it in a few years, or it doesn't wear well, we can put on a second top, to pull away from the boxy look. 

Oh, I should link it up.  It's the Big Sur Sideboard in Charcoal, and it retails at... $1899.  Ouch.  You can certainly see the quality in it though, so the price isn't bad... for those who have the budget for it.

 We're lovin it!  The heartwood corners are really eye-catching.

 It's got two shelves and drawer on each side.  All ready to be filled with stuff!

And... I have to admit, we had my Mom's white plastic folding table in our dinig room since Easter, collecting mountains of clutter.  Only picture I have with is is from one of our homeschooling photos, but you can see it in the back.  Classy, huh?

So, while it makes our dining room look way more grown up than ever, there is a downside...  Now our other stuff looks worse :)

I added some more photo frames... still to be filled with photos (not shown below) so that's helped a bit with the sparse decor.  And our kitchen table was already due for a replacement (we really want one with a leaf or two), so now that's moved up on our priority list slightly.

 Next up on our big purchases list.... is our new lazy-boy chair.

Okay.  We found it on the roadside, for free, in front of our house.  It's not as bad as it sounds though. It was actually at our neighbors' garage sale for $20, the day earlier... where we got some high quality kid stuff.  We live on the corner, so when our neighbors dump their "free stuff", we see it right away.  We knew it wasn't outside for long, and it came from $400k house... so the likelihood of coming with bad bugs was really low.

Still, we knew they had pets, and this chair, though vacuumed, was covered in hair/dander.  And I'm allergic to cats and dogs.

Between me, Jon and my mom, this thing was completely cleaned out. In no particular order, it was vacuumed at least ten times, beaten with a bat and some scrap wood, covered in baking soda, steamed washed a few times, leaf blown, completely covered with a lint roller at least 3 times and hand washed.  Again and again.

The first phase was mostly aimed getting rid of hair.  The second was aimed at bringing the dander to the surface and getting it off of the chair.  The final was getting rid of any odor or bacteria.

There might have been more we did that I don't even remember, as we were each giving our own independent approaches to it.  At first I couldn't be within 3 feet of the chair without allergies, but after a few weeks outside, I was able to sit in it no problem.

Such awesome timing.   Feels like Godsend, as I really needed a chair to sleep in when I have heartburn, and rest in when my body hurts.  So far it's been amazing.

Moving on... not so much furniture, but much needed... we finally got my own miter saw!  I decided on getting a 10" sliding saw, instead of one like the 12" stationary one I was borrowing from my parents (and very used to).  Looking at pros and cons, it seemed like the best type of saw for woodworking (and some construction).

I went to stores and tried some out, looked online, read reviews, and finally I decided on the craftsman compact miter saw.  It sells for about $230.  Once I saw it in person, I knew it was the one I wanted.  (Be aware though, the similar one that is not compact is lower quality... I wouldn't recommend it). So far I've used it about a month, and I love it.

Welcome home, Craftsman, welcome home.

Last, but not least...  I bought a battery powered finish nailer. This 16 Gauge Ryobi, in fact.  I'm getting sort of big with this pregnancy, and I was having a really hard time getting some of the trim up.  And we have a fair amount to put up still.  More than a few hormonal tears were shed one afternoon (hitting my thumb twice didn't help) and I could see I had just a few more weeks left before standing up and nailing wood to the wall would be nearly impossible.  So, I decided to spend the evening looking at finish nailers, to see if it was even feasible to get now.

I've wanted one pretty much since I heard of them, but it really is a luxury item that we couldn't afford. At $220 (with battery/charger), I decided it was worth taking a big bite out of my allowance (instead of our normal accounts) to get myself it now, instead of waiting years. I'm actually really glad I did.  While it's not perfect, it is a really nice tool to have around.  Plus, without anything but a battery, I know I will be using it more frequently than I would a compressed air nailer in the future.

(stock photo)
So... that's about it.  I know we'll have more furniture purchases soon, as we're wrapping up Eve's room, and she still has almost no furniture.  Plus, we need to evict Isaac out of his crib for the baby and get one of our kids (TBD) a new bed.

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