Office/Guest Room Rearranging

Continuing from the Office Closet Storage Post, the entire room had to be re-arranged.

This is how it looked empty and moving in.

I don’t have a before photo of the re-arranging but you can see that the bed is where the chaise was and Robert’s desk is on the left.

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You can see how full and packed it was.

We found out we were getting a renter as we were finishing up the closet.

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So I knew we had to change the room around because it was just so crowded.

I also knew for a while that I was going to have to sell my wonderful desk. ūüė¶ It was just too big for the condo and I knew that I needed to get a smaller desk.

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I bought the large desk for $550 (including tax etc.) and I sold it for $300. Which is about half, but since we were going to have a renter we would more than make up what I bought it for.

I bought this smaller desk a few weeks ago for $50.

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The legs were a bit wobbly but I thought I would be able to glue it or something.

Fun story, I finally put it together a week after I got it (since we were re-arranging it was easier to leave it taken down), and I hated it…

It’s really pretty. It just isn’t for me. So I sold it for $40. Which is $10 less than I got it for but it was worth it for the experience.

It’s actually for the better right now since we have a renter for the next 1-4 months and it gives more room in the office/guest room.

Here is what it looks like now.

 

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We have gotten rid of some books, completely re-arranged the room, bought a dresser, (soon a mirror and a clothes hanger), and new bedding.

I was searching high and low (I went to 12 thrift stores in 2 days) for a duvet cover of any size I could cut down. (Post coming soon).

Also, the dresser post coming soon as well.

Office Closet Storage Organization

I have been going crazy with our guest room/office/storage room. We couldn’t figure out what to do with the room, how to organize it, or even where to start.

In the typical Kate way, I decided I wanted to get a closet organizer so I did a little research, went out that day and got the whole closet organization system.

The ones I had found on Storables and other websites were around $600 for what I needed.

I found this one at Home Depot (including the second shelving unit shown in below pictures) for about $350 including the drawers.

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This is from Home Depot

I knew I wanted more shelving than garment racks because I knew the room was more storage/office and less guest room.

Here is the transition from junk closet to organized closet.

I wanted nice cream storage boxes. I HATED all the ones I found in 5+ stores and online.

They were either all wicker or all V shaped rather than square.

Both of these are from Amazon 1 and 2.

I finally went to Loews and found these:

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They also had 2 other matching ones in different sized. Lowes.

Here is the photo of it all together.

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It is so much cleaner and organized now.

“New” Nightstand and Where I Put The Old One

I got this table and I thought it would be a side table in the living room.

Instead we thought it would match better as a bedside table for Robert.

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It was nice but there was no drawer or anything like that so it wasn’t the best option. But it was better than what we had. Not because the nightstand was bad but because it wasn’t antique.

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And we all know how much I like antiques. So this one is currently up for sale on OfferUp.

While I was looking around Goodwill I saw this. It matches all the rest of my furniture with dovetail corners and the same handle for the drawer.

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I did leave it for a minute but who am I kidding, I loved it and had to have it. It was only $15.

So I got it and put it in my car, proud of my new antique find.

I did want it to go in front of the sliding door in the living room but then I thought Robert would like this one as his nightstand better.

I think it looks great in the room and it really looks a lot better than the other one. We have moved the old one to the living room and it looks much better. ūüôā

Christmas Decorating

Since it is my first year as a full fledged adult, you know, making your own dentist appointments, having your own car insurance under your name, owning a home, having insane amounts of bills. You know, adulting.

Anyway…since it is my first year as a full fledged adult I wanted to decorate and organize my Christmas decorations precisely how I want it rather than getting ornaments I kinda like and will donate later.

We went out to buy a tree. But I refused to pay $80 for a 6 foot tree. So Robert found out that Lowes had trees for $43. So much better. And it fit in the car!

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We wanted a tall (6 feet) and fairly thin. We got it in the car no problem.

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I think it fits perfectly in the condo.

My grandmother has a tradition of putting up her Christmas Village every year the day after Thanksgiving. I decided I wanted a Christmas Village of my own but I didn’t have room for such large houses. So I found a fairly mini village.

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We also had cocoa during decorating.

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Robert had to make strings for our bulbs that didn’t already have string (we have regular string now but didn’t at the time). But the cat though differently.

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I love my stocking (Robert’s is on the way.) And the beautiful flowers in the tree.

And everything together!

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We also did gingerbread houses!

And our completed houses! Mine left, Robert’s right

I really like how it turned out.

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas decorations tour!

Buying MORE Furniture

So…..

I bought more furniture.

2 side tables, 4 chairs, and a headboard and footboard to be exact.

How does it all fit in the house you ask? Well, I sell some and move others.

But! In my defense, we did need the 4 dining chairs even though those were not what I was initially buying furniture for.

The company Antique or Unique is a online company who purchases antique and vintage wood furniture from individual parties and sells it online. This way he keeps his overhead low.

Which is exactly why I follow him on Facebook. So, on Saturday I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I found this:

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It was $50 and I had to have it. I asked Robert and he said yes so we drove 45 minutes one way.

It was the 1940’s mahogany with the same drawer pull as my coffee table and everything else in my house.

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See, it matches.

I had decided it would replace the leather insert side table in the living room.

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While I was looking at the drop-leaf table I saw this one right near it for $45.

14900511_1313417458700182_7393737900334074766_nAnd it matched even better. So I decided to get both and Robert would have the drop-leaf table as his new nightstand.

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I told Robert on the drive there I could only get 2 things which is one more than we originally were going to the warehouse for. Unless we find dining chairs, then I could get 4 of those also.

So as we were checking out. I saw the chairs in the back and asked how much each one was. I was thinking also $30 or $40. BUT! He said all of his chairs were $15 each. I excused myself and went over to them.

We got 4.

They don’t have any cushion or upholstery (post coming later) so we are going to get fabric soon.

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The small pumpkin is for the cat.

I ended up with exactly what Robert and I agreed on me being allowed to get. Though really, I would have gotten more if I saw more things I liked.

While we were there I saw a twin mahogany headboard and footboard for $125. Which I wanted to replace the brass one I had previously. (Free with the bed.)

 

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Not very pretty since everything else I have is mahogany. But I had actually seen the exact same one (actually there were 2) at a thrift store where I live for $50. So the next day I went over and promptly bought it.

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I think it looks beautiful. Full twin bed post coming later.

I love everything. All of it for $250 including the upholstery fabric and supplies. ūüôā

 

Why Split Level Homes Are So Popular

This wonderful home features 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and just
Split Level House

During the 50s-70s split level houses were built everywhere. But why? They aren’t pretty or very functional (now at least), so why?

First, what is a split level house?

  • A “Split Level” is actually what I refer to as a “Tri-Level” house.
  • Roughly speaking a tri-level is where you walk into a main space such as the living room and/or¬†kitchen then the bedrooms up a half a flight of stairs and the den down a half a flight of stairs.
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Entering in a living room and can go up or down. Tri Level
  • A “Split Entry” is what we (meaning Real Estate Agents) really mean when we say “Split Level.” These are where you walk into a “foyer” and have a choice to go up or down a half level.
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By “foyer” I mean no space to walk. Split Level

Now onto why they were so popular.

They were first designed in the 30’s in Chicago but gained popularity in 50’s and 60’s. Realtor explains that “With more families moving to the suburbs after World War II, many wanted a house that was a bit grander than the modest bungalows veterans purchased with G.I. Bill funds.”

One of the reasons it was more affordable than 2 story homes was because split level homes are built with the same footprint as a ranch style home. It makes split-levels significantly cheaper to build since they can also be built on smaller lots.

It was originally designed on slopping land like much of Seattle since it was cheaper to build and had less excavation.

What people liked about the houses was obviously the bang for their buck as well as the separation of living spaces for the changing family lifestyle.

What people¬†didn’t like was the small cramped entry, the lack of storage, and (often) no master bathroom.

In real estate they are generally cheaper since they were cheaper to build and they are less desirable than other layouts and are often outdated.

As an agent, I have never had a buyer say “I am looking for a split level, that’s my dream home.” However, I show split level homes to many of my clients since they are many times the¬†majority¬†of homes on the market in their price range.

Do you like the split level floorplan?

Here is more info:

Built-ins Are Not What You Think

We think of built in bookshelves and cabinetry as a luxury or opulent since they are typically in very old and often grand homes. ¬†Why aren’t they built now?¬†And¬†are they really opulent?

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Built-in Cabinets

In this modern day and age it is quite expensive to commission a carpenter to install solid wood or mahogany  bookshelves and cabinets. Why? Because skilled trades such as that are becoming obsolete and are being replaced with either automation or easier building projects.

One of the other major reasons it isn’t done anymore is because the materials needed like mahogany or¬†cherry are much more expensive to purchase.

And any homes with these built-ins preexisting are already expensive since they are so old and typically near the cities.

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In a 1912 Craftsman in Portland, OR

So, to answer the question, Yes. Built-ins are expensive for many reasons and therefore opulent, grand, and luxurious these days.

But, what about when these homes were first built in the early 1900s?

These homes and subsequently their built-ins were made for the working class, not the upper class.

Why? Because buying furniture was expensive and difficult to move when the owners relocated. So, the less furniture they had to buy and take with them the cheaper it was.

During the early 1900s when there was a great influx of people to America and specifically the Pacific Northwest contractors and builders realized that when they made these smaller bungalow and Craftsman homes (popular at the time) they needed to include built-in furniture to accommodate the working class.

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This Built-in Buffet is beautiful.

If you are interested in learning more about old houses and styles wait for a future post of mine or check out this book , Classic Houses Of Seattle.

What do you think of built-ins? I find them exquisite and full of history and stories.