I ran into the man who owned my house two-families-prior (so, the people who lived in the house before the people I bought it from). He was in from out of town with his family (if I recall, they live in Florida now) and approached me while I was gardening in my front yard to tell me the house was looking nice (score). In the short 15 minutes that he was around, I learned volumes about the history of the property, repairs that were made, and events that took place. He even shared details about the initials written on the garage ceiling, the children’s handprints in the cement by the gate in the backyard, and the awkward inset shelf off the dining room.
That awkward shelf.
When I purchased the house, I puzzled about why there’d be a open built-in shelf on the backside of the fireplace that opened to the kitchen and dining room. I was also curious about why a 4-plug outlet had been installed in it. Long story short, after a chimney fire damaged the kitchen in the 90′s, part of the house was gutted and rebuilt; the wife of this man decided she wanted a place for her radio so she could plug it in but keep it off the counter, and so I was left with that strange shelf. (Full Disclosure: this is the house the first day I viewed it. Property shown is that of the sellers.)
Even more unlikely an encounter than meeting random old owners, I tripped over a square cabinet door one trash-day morning while I was walking Cody. I carried it home with the thought that it would be a perfect fit in that awkward shelf – and it was. It went up smoothly, and was cleaned up with a coat of white paint and a dainty yellow flower knob from Anthropologie.
But the paint and cute knob have been a facade. The built-in has been a dumping ground for random home decor, art, and gardening stuff. And once I emptied it out to organize a bit, I realized it looked like this (Full Disclosure: It looks very dirty because I had tossed lots of random rocks in there. Beach rocks are dirty.)
And so, I just got around to cleaning it up and making it a prettier space. I chose light blue satin (because I had leftovers on hand from when I painted Cody’s room). And I tapped into my plain white paint for the bottom of the shelf and the trim; what a difference a coat of paint will do.
Next on the to-do list is to create a small shelf to go within (I’m thinking about reusing some of the lumber left over from that basement demo that I wrote about all last week). Stay tuned!
It’s beyond my basic understanding how retailers can charge so much for holiday decor only to knock it down to 90% off in January. And I like to think I’m business-minded – I get mark-ups and mark-downs and tis-the-season-to-buy-fancy-ribbon-and-fancy-wrapping-paper. But they’re not fooling me over the holiday season, which is why I demonstrate moderately hoarder-ish tendencies when I find a deal that I can’t pass up in early January; my family makes fun of me a bit when I rattle off my list of good deals (list price versus sale price) but really – I’m proud to gush about my good buys. Anyhoo…
I stumbled upon the Sears clearance section on Monday, and now am the proud owner of 9 spools of ribbon and 1 new pack of 100 ornament hooks. Total savings? $57.80 off the manufacturer’s pricing. Cha-ching!
Hi. Pete chiming in here. She stumbled upon the clearance section because I was at Sears getting a Craftsman C3 Impact Driver Kit. It’s Sa-weet! If you’re still using a “normal” cordless screwdriver STOP NOW and go get an impact driver. Your life will change. It pounds on the screws as it spins, hence the “impact”, so it does a lot of the work for you. And it’s fast and powerful.
My new stash looks like this. I’ve got so much tulle ribbon that I could sew tutu’s for a flock of ballerinas (or Barbie dolls).
Each spool you see was priced at $6.99. And each is 25-ft long. And I chose colors that I can make use of all year round, and colors that will work with my own house palette (the grays and golds and purples and that’s a pink spool, not red). After discounts, each roll cost .67 cents. Yes, really. My total purchase (yes, for ALL of that) was $6.30. Less than the cost of one single spool of ribbon, full-price.