Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home


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Textile Addict

I’ve bought 18 rugs since we moved into this house.  EIGHTEEN.  If that’s not bad enough, in the last two weeks I’ve purchased four for the same room.  FOUR.

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And this white “dipped” basket, because how sweet is that?  At least I can safely say that three of these rugs are going back to the store.   I just had to figure out which one to keep!

I know.  I KNOW.  It’s a sickness.

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Choices, choices.  Any guesses to which one found a home in our laundry room?

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Sorry for the blur.  I chose the blue stripes because deep blue plays so well with the maple cabinetry in this room and the neighboring hall.  Plus it’s reversible — it has narrow blue stripes on one side and wide blue stripes on the other.  I liked that it gives us options! Slowly but surely, folks.  We are inching toward progress. (Also, sneak peek at the half bathroom there.  We did some minor updates in there when the new floors went in — details to come in a future post!)

Kirk really likes the blue Moroccan rug under the kitchen table.  I’m still on the fence — it feels a bit busy in there to me with all those table/chair legs going on — but we’re trying it out for a couple days.  What says you?  Like it?

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Oh, and I found a Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (aka Snake Plant) at Home Depot for $9 last weekend.  This is not it’s final resting spot — it’s a bit too big for the table top, but I looove that pot.  It’s got a neat wave pattern on the outside and a pretty sky blue painted on the inside.  $12 at Home Goods!

As for my Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree … it’s not doing so hot.

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They’re known for being extremely finicky and just bringing it home from the nursery and repotting it threw it for a loop.  This photo was taken a couple days ago, it’s now about to drop a number of leaves near the base, but the higher leaves seem to be recovering ok.  At least they are pointed toward the ceiling instead of the floor these days so I’m taking that as a good sign.

Fingers crossed!

 

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I Love Me Some Maple

Maple syrup.  Maple glazed donuts.  Fiery red Japanese Maples in the fall.  I love them all, but perhaps none as much as I love our new maple quarter round!

Holy cow, how ecstatic am I to have this over and done with?!   I sent this photo to my mom and she texted back, “What? What am a looking at??”  Which means we scored big time.

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For those of you that are just joining in, when we had our flooring replaced (you can read about our flooring materials here and the installation here), the installers mistakenly encased the cabinetry in thick 1/2″ white quarter round.  I went back to the store and was able to negotiate for them to come back out and fix it free of charge (you can read about that here).

Anyway, for the last few weeks, the white quarter round in our kitchen has stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was the first thing I (or anyone) saw when they walked into the room.  Yes, it was that bad.  So for my mom to not notice the quarter round means we’ve successfully remedied the problem!  Yippie!

Without further ado, here are a few before and after photos for you.

BEFORE with the white quarter round:

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And AFTER it was replaced with matching maple quarter round:

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BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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So. Much. Better.

Truth be told, we’re not quite out of the woods yet.  The installers are going to need to come back for a fourth time because they neglected to replace this section in the hallway and no one (ahem, his name starts with an “H” and ends with “usband”) noticed until they had left.  I was at work or you can be damn sure I would have called them on it.  :)

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I swear, that blasted white stripe will be the death of me.  Good news though, guys!  I think we’re buying a new refrigerator tomorrow.  So very exciting!! 

UPDATED to add: We bought a shiny white fridge! Check it out. :)


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Who’s Got Green Thumbs?

Not this girl.

After all, I am the same girl that’s had a planter full of silk flowers in her entryway for the better part of a year.  You can read about that here if you are so inclined.  I should also mention that this post is not about that as I currently don’t have even the beginnings of a plan to rectify that dusty, dismal situation.  (Anyone care to clean 10 cubic feet of 15 year old bark out of this thing for me?  Seven silk plants, one silk tree, and an unknown number of lost toddler toys included.)

But you know what I do have?  A Fiddle Leaf Fig tree!   I’m so in love with it!  I love their big shiny leaves and their twisty, braided trunks.  And I love my $24 Home Goods pot, too.  That little pop of yellow makes me smile every time.

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Don’t mind the mess!

I’ve been searching for something for this corner for months!  And this tree fits so perfectly!  Unfortunately, it can’t stay here.  Fiddle Leaf’s needs more sun that this little corner of doom can provide (we have a shockingly dark entryway considering how much light filters into the neighboring rooms).   I’ll probably end up moving it to the living room, but perhaps I can find a shade seeking tree to take its place.  Any suggestions?

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My mom came over this past weekend and helped me pot it.  She’s quite the gardener–her yard is so lovely.  And my dad is a landscape architect.  What on Earth happened to me??  I despise working in the yard, and I have never had a desire for indoor plants.  Until recently.

At some point I noticed a trend in nearly every design photo I coveted.  Plants!  The majority of my favorites had Fiddle Leaf Figs (you can view my Houzz Ideabook here, it’s chock full of them — and ok, there are some ideas for the planter in there, too!).  I’d also like to pick up a Mother In Law’s Tongue plant.  I think they’re pretty neat looking — especially in modern spaces.

Fiddle Leaf Figs are finicky so I know I have my work cut out for me, but I’ve done a lot of research and from what I can tell, those that tend to leave their trees be seem to have the healthiest plants.  I can certainly get on board with that. But if it makes you feel better, I did start small in my leap into horticulture.  Several weeks ago I bought this little succulent from Home Depot.  He’s still alive, see?

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He sits next to our kitchen sink, happily enjoying his own little micro-climate.  I know there’s no comparison between a succulent and a tree, but … go big or go home, right?


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Mustering Motivation

As I think I mentioned, the flooring we had installed in the kitchen really took it out of me.  I know we didn’t DIY the actual install, so I almost feel like a ninny for complaining about how immensely messy, disruptive, and stressful the whole process was, but that’s the truth of it.  It sucked.  And the fact that it didn’t immediately look amazing didn’t help me rebound well.  The quarter round debacle just made my ‘exhausted’ state further devolve into ‘disheartened’ … and no one likes a whiner so I didn’t post about it much.

But it’s been three weeks — our new maple quarter round has been delivered and is patiently awaiting installation (a week from today!) and, overall, the kitchen is beginning to look really great.  So, in an attempt to rekindle some motivation I’m thinking of tackling a smaller room.  You know, one that will be relatively easy to spruce, won’t cost much, and will give a big pay off for just a little effort.

With all of that in mind, I’ve chosen our laundry room.

As a refresher, here’s what the laundry room was looking like before the flooring went in.   Well, pretty close.  The yellow chair moved the den a while ago and the “art” on the wall fell down about a week after I tacked it up there.  No big loss there.  I staged this place for Logan to use as a little play area, but that never really caught on, so…there’s that.

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And below is what it’s looking like now.  Yup, a blank slate.  (We did spruce up that half bath a bit when we put it back together though — I owe you an update!)

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Still have a couple of these bad boys though:

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YIKES!

Here are the things our laundry room has going for it:

  • It’s huge (like 7’x14′ kind of huge)
  • It’s got shiny new floors
  • I’ve already done the paint prep-work (I spackled cracks and even primed a wall or two several months back)
  • It’s got great light
  • It’s got decent WHITE appliances (you know how much I despise the bisque!)

 

So if it’s so great, what’s the problem, right?  Well, here’s what it’s lacking:

  • Seating
  • Shoe/coat/purse storage (the top of the dryer does NOT count!)
  • Non-hideous, non-salmon colored, non-pom-pomed  window treatments
  • Color!
  • Originality!!

So I’ve been perusing Houzz, Pinterest, and my local Home Goods and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Clear it out.  The laundry room has become a catchall for not only our everyday clutter, but for items that ought to be donated or Craigslisted.  It looks like an antique furniture showroom in there — and not a high-end one!  And those roller blinds have got to goooooo (I’ll probably replace them with non-descript white roller blinds like we did in the master bathroom for now).

Add a fun patterned rug.  I actually picked up two 5×7 Moroccan flatweave rugs for $60 each at Home Goods.  I couldn’t determine which one I liked better in the store so I bought them both home so I could see them in the space.

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I still cant decide though.  They both look pretty bad with those yellow/peach walls so I think I need to paint the walls and baseboards before revisiting the rugs.  Most people have voted for the blue one, but we already have a lot of blue going on and I’d like to mix it up a little.  That said, the orange one doesn’t look as great against the cabinets as the blue rug (which is why we have so much blue already — it looks awesome against the maple).  I know several of you will simply be glad it’s not chevron so I’m already winning here. ;)

Paint a fun accent wall.  I’ve been going a little Pinterest happy with this one.   I love some of these feature walls (looking at the patterns, not necessarily the colors).

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I’d probably paint the wall that backs to the hallway so you wouldn’t really see the pattern unless you were in the room.  I think it would be a fun way to inject a little personality into the space.  Something tone-on-tone would probably be tame enough to not compete with the rug.

Create seating.  I’ve made my hunt for a tandem mid-century bench pretty public on the blog, but I’ve been coming up empty handed.  They are all too long, too expensive, too far to ship.  One of these would be phenomenal…

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…but for now, I’ve purchased a bench with shoe storage from Ikea that semi fits the bill.  At least it serves a dual purpose and gets all our shoes out of the way.  By the way, anyone recognize the rug above?  A nearly identical one is now placed in front of our kitchen sink.  I <3 me some Home Goods, baby!

Provide storage/organization options:  So we’ve got the bench with shoe storage, but I’m still trying to figure out a place for coats and bags.   These DIY coat hangers are pretty cute.  The hangers are from Ikea and are dirt cheap.

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A Hang-It-All (or two) would also be awesome, but far more expensive — even for the knock offs.  It would probably be too much with everything else going on in there anyway.  Sometimes I get a little over excited.

 

In the end, I stumbled on these guys at Ikea and decided to go with it.  The Bastis hooks sell for $2.99 and I originally picked them up for Logan’s room but they might live in our laundry room for a while.  Who doesn’t need a few more butts in their life? IMG_4175

Storage bins would also be fantastic.  I’m currently using a giant, yellow, honeycomb planter that has yet to house a plant (you can spy it here).  It has all our hats and teeny tiny two-year-old coats shoved in it.  I saw these over at the Land of Nod.  Some are overtly kid-approved, but others (like the scallops or the blue and grey ones) are really cute.  At $36 each they are too rich for my blood though — I’ll need to keep a lookout at Home Goods for something similar.

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So that’s my plan.  Wish me luck!


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The Quarter Round Saga

Well, we gave it a couple weeks and we still hate the new quarter round in our kitchen.  Ok, I still hate it — I’m married to the most kick back person alive when it comes to home décor and he could really care less!  So last week I called The Home Depot to discuss my concerns.  I quite literally told them, “I hate my quarter round!!!” with my eyes bugging out like a crazy person.  Note: this is why I called instead of going in.  You get no where with customer service reps when you’re acting like crazy person — I should know, I used to be one.

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If you remember, Home Depot removed 1/2″ quarter round and ordered 3/4″ quarter round to replace it.  Prior to our install date I reviewed our order a thousand times, but didn’t catch this because I erroneously thought all quarter round was the same size.  I was lucky though: despite the fact that I signed off on the thicker QR, there was a footnote on the quote saying that the store was to discuss my material options with me, which they failed to do.  This oversight not only left me to believe we were replacing the existing with like-materials (we previously had dark brown 3″ rubber base molding in the kitchen area which while, not great, at least blended in nicely — you can see it here), but it also left me with a leg to stand on when I went back to ever-so-sweetly ask that they cover the cost to fix it.

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We’re basically using HD’s oversight as an opportunity to upgrade from white painted molding to hardwood molding (in maple to match the cabinetry) at the base of the cabinets.  How awful does the white molding look against the darker wood?  In a word: terrible.  While we eventually learned they were installing white quarter round there (you know, when our materials were dropped off and there was no maple to be seen) we had been assured by several sources that it was commonplace to match the molding to the floors and not the cabinets.  Well, that may be so, but it looks bad — really, really bad — in our case.  It has to go.

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Despite these hiccups, I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed with Home Depot’s customer service on the back end of our installation.  While our measure and ordering processes were an absolute bear with more holes than swiss cheese (I had to helicopter the entire process, and it still didn’t turn out well) they’ve been incredibly helpful in trying to right the wrongs.  I was immediately put in touch with the store manager who worked in tandem with the department manager to set things straight.  When I showed them these pictures, they immediately understood.  I think their exactly words were, “Ooooh, honey! Essh…yeah…that looks baaaad!” while making a face as if they’d just swallowed a bug.  You know, pretty much the same reaction that I had.

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Sigh.  The beige fridge is baaa-ack.  We’re in the market for a new one.  By the way, why are counter-depth refrigerators more expensive than full size ones?  They’re smaller for crying out loud!

So, long story short, we can’t remove the QR entirely or even have it replaced with a smaller profile throughout — although that would have been ideal — because we can’t be certain that the gap the installers left between the tile and the wall is small enough to be completely covered by a narrower base molding, let alone caulk.  However, we are able to replace the white QR around the base of the cabinets with 3/4″ coordinating wood trim so that it won’t stick out like a sore thumb anymore.  Score!

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This nook will get interesting.  The molding to the right will be maple, the molding on the back wall will stay white (along with the wall once it finally gets painted!), and I’ll probably paint the molding at the bottom of the navy wall to match the paneling as I’d done previously.  Hopefully, that will help the moldings “disappear” instead of looking busy and mis-matchy — we’ll see.

We already had the installer come back once to remedy a few issues — namely they forgot to install a threshold at the door to the garage and they accidentally encased the door jamb to the laundry room in quarter round so that we couldn’t shut the door.  Whoops!  But now they will be coming out for a third time to pull up the white QR from the cabinets in the kitchen and at the base of the cabinets in the hall and replace them with a lovely, matching maple hardwood.  We’re going to be besties by the end of this!

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Let’s get to the best part.  The total cost to tear out the ugly molding and replace it with maple?  $103.  What? I told you I asked nicely. :)

Basically, The Home Depot is eating the cost of the reinstall and the 39 linear feet of white base molding that we’re tearing out.  All we have to pay is the difference in cost between the white molding and the hardwood.  Essentially, we’re paying no more than we would have if we’d installed the hardwood from the get go.  I was expecting to split the cost with them since I’d signed off on the initial order, so not having to pay anything extra is really nice.

The maple is a special order which will take about three weeks to come in, but I’ll be sure to update with photos when it’s installed!

***EDIT***
We got the white quarter round replaced with matching maple hardwood and it looks amazing.  Check it out here!