Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bedroom DIY Gallery Wall

Creating a gallery wall is obviously not hard.  I also know that many others have already shared "tutorials" on the best way to do it.  I think the beauty of the actual gallery wall is how different everyone's can be.  I decided I would share with you the one I created for our master bedroom.  It's centered around pictures of Zach and I (obviously). 
      First of all, for having 3 thrift stores in my town you would THINK I could some decent vintage frames.  Nope! I looked, and looked, and looked for a long time.  I finally gave up and tried to get creative.  I tried to find frames with the most extravagant molding or best shape.  I could only finally a couple of these that were in decent shape.  So many frames are actually made of plastic now.  Then I just happened to stop in to Micheal's and found some plain wood frames.  They had a pretty cool shape.  I proceeded to paint those, but I still only had about 4 frames.  On this trip to Micheal's I also found another little treasure for the wall.  I found large letters "R" and "Z" and figured I could make something with them.  I ended up being able to make a pretty cute (I think) plaque with our initials.  I finished up the wall with a couple of frames I had and some cool decorative frames from Hobby Lobby. 
       Of course nothing was the same color so I spent a lot of time spray painting everything white.  I have finally finished the wall though.  Hooray! 

Painting the frames

      And for the big reveal ......

I eventually want to add more frames and accessories for the wall, but am waiting to figure out what size the furniture placed on this wall will be.  I'm hoping to find a horizontal dresser to refinish to place below.  Hopefully I will be successful!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Buying a New Build: Pros and Cons

            I was originally thinking that I could make two lists of pros and cons for buying a brand new model home.  As I started to make the lists I realized that many of the cons were half pros and the pros could also be cons, it all depends on your perspective.  Overall, Zach and I are completely happy with our decision, but in the rest of this post I'll help you make the decision if you want to take the plunge and buy a new build!
Zach decided it was easier to build a wheel barrow than buy one :)

One of the many trips we have made to the hardware store

        One of the best things about buying a new house is that no one else has lived in it!  I  love the history of older homes, but a new home comes with nothing to replace initially.   The turn-key house per say.  We definitely weren't looking for a turn-key home, but decided that with the house finished we could focus on adding our own touches and building furniture to add character.   We did do an inspection before closing the deal, but it kind of was a waste of money because barely anything was found.  The inspector spent much of the time showing us where things were in the home (water shut offs, special types of outlets, and water heater business).  At least we got a discount on it :)   And to top all of this, our builder also gave a one year home warranty on the home.   We have found some things that needed to be fixed since moving in, and it's very nice to be able to call up the builder and allow them to fix it. :) 

         Energy efficiency is a definite financial benefit.  The bathrooms have low flow shower heads and low water use toilets.  The appliances are all brand new.  The water heater and furnace are upgraded and energy efficient.  There is a clear difference in our bills at our new home in comparison with the town-home we were previously renting that was built in 2003.   One thing that comes along with the new roof, energy efficient windows, proper insulation, and new electrical, is a GREAT discount on the homeowner's insurance policy. The discount is nice to help ease us into making our mortgage payments!       

             The house was amazing when we first looked at it; fluffy new carpet, shiny granite counter tops, and gleaming wood floors.  These great features did make us look over a few details that ended up costing quite a bit.  The first thing we noticed was that items we really needed such as window treatments, toilet paper holders, extra outlets in garage, and towel rod holders were not there.  All of these things did add up in the beginning of moving in.  It made the moving process a bit more costly than we would have liked, but it did leave us with some opportunity to pick and choose what we wanted. Like I said, it depends on your perspective.      
            Another huge project we didn't expect was the lawn and landscaping.   A newly sodded lawn (is that a word?) is a lot of work!    We were lucky that the sod had been laid in the fall and had been taken care of by the builder for awhile.  The builder gave us an entire booklet on how to take care of the sod.  Our yard is still very uneven because the sod took seed before we got a chance to level the ground underneath, but hopefully we will get to fixing that someday!  I'm also being very challenged by trying to figure out how to landscape.  The small amount of landscaping/gardening I have done has been limited to helping my dad when I was younger.  That being said, landscaping is still a challenge for me.  I'm trying to come up with something that looks different than all of the neighbors, but that seems to be where my inspiration is coming from.  Wish me luck, so far I have killed all the flowers I have planted so it can only go up!  At least our tree is still alive.........