Oct 31, 2012

The Other Curtains

So after we found the curtains for the back living room, I was ready to have curtains in the front living room. Mostly because we decided to go ahead and hang the curtain rods while all the tools were still out. And well, it looked silly to have curtain rods without curtains. During Curtain Hunt 2012 we didn't find the white curtains I was looking for, but I figured we could just pick up the IKEA ones next time we were in Dallas.

Then I remembered...

When we had our house inspected there was a LOT of stuff in the shop. People were actually there getting ready to have an estate sale to get rid of most of the items in the shop. We actually bought a few things, and then they left a few treasures behind for us. I remembered the lady saying that 'the curtains for the house' were in the shop somewhere...

So I found them. Washed (and bleached) them. And guess what?

They were pretty much the exact curtains I was looking for. They do have a subtle plaid-ish pattern, but it's more of a texture than a pattern. And you can't see it at all when they are up on the wall.  So I figured we could at least keep those until we get to IKEA (or maybe forever...).

And I really, actually love them.

So here's how it went down.

It's pretty easy to hang curtains. I collected all of Kyle's tools and took a quick picture. So I could show you what we used.

You could maybe get by with just a drill, but we used the level and the tape measure to make sure everything was centered. I wanted to hang the curtains "high and wide" in the living room, because I heard it makes rooms look taller and allows more light to come in. Remember that we already have blinds in those windows so the curtains are really just for decoration in the living room.

The sliding glass door in the back living room is another story. There are no blinds on it, and at about 5 or 6 o'clock the back living room turns into a hot box if that window is not covered. I didn't end up hanging the curtains as high on the sliding class door as I did in the living room because I wanted the curtains to skim the floor as to cover the entire glass door. But I may end up raising them just an inch or two some day...

So we held up the curtain rod, and adjusted where we wanted it placed. In the back room we hung the curtains on the rod first to make sure we had the length just right. Marked where our brackets needed to go and then Kyle got to drilling. We wanted to make sure we hit studs when we screwed these guys in so we used a stud finder to locate the studs and adjusted the bracket placement accordingly. The curtain rod box included anchors for the screws in case there wasn't a stud, but especially for the back room we wanted it secure. With paneling in that room and the curtains being opened and closed every time someone came through the door, we's rather be safe than sorry.

Don't I have such a handsome handyman? :) Screws in, rods through, curtain ring clip on, finial screwed tight...

And there they are. Back Living room first...

Note we didn't have enough ring clips for the glass door, so the curtains sag a little bit. Don't worry, we're still on the hunt for more clips of the same color (Gun Metal from Target). No luck yet. But we used these from Walmart in the living room (they're not nearly as sturdy as the ones from Target, but can't find any more of those either).

And check out these white curtains.

You may notice the placement of the brackets. We have ring clips on both the inside and the outside of the brackets. Since these will stay open the majority of the time, I chose to place the bracket on a stud rather than on the outermost end of the rod. This means not all the rings will easily slide closed. But the rings in the middle offer enough curtain to close the window if needed. I just preferred them to look how I wanted 99% of the time, even if it means it looks a little off when they are closed 1% of the time. (Is that confusing?)

I kind of love it. I really love them. I love how the white curtains look so fresh in the living room, even though they are a little shorter... the replacements from IKEA will be just long enough. (Apparently I only took pictures of the small window, I'll have to take some of the big window soon, it got curtains too). And I love how in the back living room the light still comes through the non-black out curtains on the glass door. It gives that room less of a dungeon feel than with the black sheet on the wall.

Thanks to Kyle's mom. Without her we would surely not have any curtains... especially after we found nothing in the first, oh, 7 hours of shopping...

Can't wait to see those white curtains pop when I paint the living room... we'll see.

At least we've upgraded since last Halloween and maybe the trick-or-treaters won't be scared away this year. Although I only bought 71 pieces of candy this year, figuring I'd have plenty if the numbers are anything like last year ;)

Happy Halloween!

Oct 29, 2012

Curtain Hunt 2012

Although you didn't get to see them in the house tour, we have new curtains! Well, we have new and new-old curtains. But we do, after almost a year since I duct taped sheets to our living room windows, have curtains.

We couldn't have done it without Kyle's mom, Mrs. Janet. Well, maybe we could have, but we'd probably be sending our not-yet-existent children off to college before we had curtains without her. Let's just be real.

So Mrs. Janet came down to good 'ole East Texas for a visit and she was ready to work. Kyle's mom hadn't been down to our little home quite yet, and while Kyle's dad was away watching the Huskers play she headed down to see us.

She arrived on Friday night and was ready for a few projects. She had just left Kyle's sister's new place in Dallas and she was ready to hang curtains or paint something! Since I still hadn't chosen a color for the living room, we decided on curtains. And so began the Great Curtain Hunt of 2012.

Not kidding. It was kind of insane. See I have an idea in mind of what I'd like the inside of our home to look like. It's not like my room looked in college, it's not how our house looks now. It's kind of this fresh neutrals and whites with what I like to call "pops of color." Pretty much everything I pin on Pinterest.

We were looking for a large curtain to cover the back sliding glass door in the back living room, instead of the black bed sheet we had thumb-tacked up there.  We were also looking at more decorative than functional curtains for the living room, too. I knew what I wanted. For the sliding glass door I wanted a pattern, maybe something lighter so it didn't look like a stage curtain when closed, and something to keep the 5 o'clock sun from heating up the back living room. For the living room windows I found some curtains online at IKEA called "Vivian." They sell them in white for like $10 a pair, and come highly recommended by all those famous house bloggers! But they don't ship them online; we'd have to drive to an IKEA to get them.

So we started at Walmart. Not my favorite place for style, but the prices are good. I thought we may find something neutral there, but we left empty handed. I wasn't super impressed with the selection for someone going for a lighter feel. But, I guess, they did have sheer tulle curtains, but other than that it was thicker maroon shimmery heavy things.

Then to Target, which is a great place because I usually love their style. They had some curtains, nothing too impressive that was in stock or long enough or didn't have large grommets at the top. I prefer the rings and clips look.  But I did find the best shower curtain pattern. I actually was okay with using a shower curtain for our windows, because who would know right? But then it turns out shower curtains at Target are only 72 inches long and I needed something longer. I used the shower curtain as an example of the style I was looking for; you know so Kyle and his mom knew where I was going with all this.

Actually turns out though, they sell this pattern in actual window curtains in some other stores and online, and when looking for a picture of the shower curtain to show you, this was all I could find.

While at Target we did find curtain rods. I thought I was going to choose an oil rubbed bronze look, but the more I thought about it the more I loved this brushed nickel look. And it was on sale. We got three, two for the front living room and one big one for the sliding glass door. We bought some ring clips there too, but they didn't have as many as we needed.

We headed to Tyler's other Walmart and again left empty handed. Walmart was 0 for 2 at that point. And we headed home for the night.

Saturday we started the day hitting up the town's garage sales. Found a few fun items, like a stationary bike peddler, lol, then  we went curtain shopping again. We went back to Target, over to Bed Bath and Beyond, to Big Lots, and to the fabric store. We found nothing. Well, there was a designer special order fabric they had for $45 a yard that I loved! But I wasn't about to drop that kind of money on curtains.

I felt bad for Kyle and Mrs. Janet because I would say, "I'm looking for a fresh pattern, lighter colors, neutral, but with a pattern, but no flowers..." and they'd hold up something that actually met everything I requested but it was not what I was looking for at all. They should have stopped helping me and called me the curtain diva. But they were nice, lol.

Kyle was tired. I was tired. I'm sure Kyle's mom was tired. But we were right across the street from JC Penney. So we drug ourselves inside.

We walked to the curtain section and there they were right there hanging on the fake window display! I said, "Kyle I love these!" The perfect set. A natural shade of linen-type material with a worn navy print. Oooo. And they had plain curtains in the same fabric.

These are made my Linden Street. The floral pattern is called Madeline and you can find it online here. Please note that the only online reviewer of the curtains sounds like she could totally be me, but it actually isn't, kind of cracked me up. The plain panel is called Montego, and it really is the same exact fabric, just without the pattern and it's online here. But while at the store we checked in the bin and behind the secret display door and couldn't find the curtains on the shelf. Turns out the only ones they had were the display. I begged the lady to let me buy them off the display and she said, "well, I'm not supposed to. But I will." Yay! for rule-breakers... this time.

We got four panels, two patterned Madeline and two plain Montego so that we could break up the pattern when they hang closed; avoid that stage curtain look. We originally thought we wanted blackout curtains to keep all the sun out, but these are more sheer and they let great light in. The back living room no longer looks like a dungeon, and I could not have been happier. The black sheet hanging on the window could not be more gone.

And Kyle could not have been happier to get home and watch some football.

More pics and the odd story of the living room curtains to be told later this week. As for these curtains, I love them... they were well worth all the hunting, all 10 million hours of it. Right?

Oct 26, 2012

The Project List

So as I was writing up the house tour post, I realized that I have a lot of ideas, wishes, projects in mind for our house. I may not be the fanciest, and I may not have the best sense of style, but I do at least have ideas. Ideas and a little craftiness, lol. I'm not the best person at getting house projects finished. Again, remember how I have the fabric and all the supplies needed for the curtain over the kitchen sink? Yet still my neighbors have to stare at me while I scrub dishes late at night, oops. Anyway, I thought maybe making a little list of all the ideas/plans for the house would give me a little starting point.

I am a list-maker, I am a goal setter. So it seemed appropriate.

Disclaimer: We love our house. We love each charming thing about it, but there are some things that don't have to stay the same just because we bought the house that way... we're not that sentimental. Like the vertical blinds that were in the dining room, some things should probably go. The house is also lacking a bit of 'us' and our 'style' or whatever you want to call it. We're ready to paint and hang and put a little groove into things, lol. So I'm not complaining or wishing away the present, I just like to have a plan. And it's okay to dream a little too.

So here it is, the project list. I haven't really figured out what we can realistically get done in a year, so some are far off plans. Some are more expensive plans (you'll notice the $$$ marking) that we'll definatley have to save up for first.  See what you think, also let us know what you think, we're always open to some good ideas :)

Any way, here we go: The List

Living Room

 - Paint the walls
 - Hang curtains
 - Hang a gallery wall, or at least something on the walls
 - Mostly just decor items, painting, throw pillows and such (we'll call it style)
$$$ Plans:
 - Buy a new couch and love seat set (maybe after we have kids and they get food all over these...)
 - Get one of those flat tv sets and mount it on the wall, eliminating the need for the tv console.


Yes the kitchen screams "I'm from the sixties!!" but we've got a ton of storage space. It could use some updating, but this is the room that also screams "updating is going to be expensive!" So this may be last on our list.
 - Hang a curtain in the window over the sink (finally)
 - Better organization in the cabinet spaces
 - Replace the overhead light (it gives off more of a glow than actual light)
 - Paint the cabinets white, new hardware
$$$ Plans:
 - New countertops, new sink
 - New floor, or maybe we'll just keep the blue stone :)
 - New oven. We'll keep this one as long as it works, but our eyes are open for a deal on a newer one.

Dining Room

I actually love this little 'room.' It needs a little flavor, but the floor is connected to the kitchen and the paneling walls are connected to the back living room... so... like a younger sibling, it'll probably get whatever the others get.
 - Repaint, repair, and recover the table and chairs.
 - Paint the walls, maybe.
 - Revamp or repaint the light fixture. I love the shape.
 - Wall art, centerpiece, curtains, some kind of flair.
$$$ Plans:
 - Someday we would love a nice big table, but right now we're working with what we've got.

Back Living Room

Great space. The new curtains are sneaking in the picture here... but we'll have more pictures later. Before the curtains there was a black sheet hanging since the first night we moved in. I'm just now realizing that sheet was up for almost a year! Crazy!
 - Paint the walls, maybe.
 - Figure out the purpose of this room...

Hall Bathroom

This is the bathroom we use and the bathroom everyone uses, unless they go through the guest room to use our tiny bathroom in there. I think the peach tile with flower accents kind of says everything.
 - Paint the walls
 - Re-tile the floor, even just a better peel-and-stick tile.
 - Open up the towel closet for open shelving.
 - New light fixture
$$$ Plans:
 - Maybe someday re-tile the shower
 - Maybe someday replace the vanity?

Master Bedroom

We call it the master bedroom because it's ours and because it's the biggest. It's the master to us. It's also a mess, it's our 'hide everything' room, because we have guests so often that we have to keep that one clean. (Again, sorry for the picture...)
 - Clean it up.
 - Reorganize the closet/storage space.
 - Paint the walls.
 - Replace or repaint the ceiling fan.
 - Wall art, curtains, mostly we just want more purposeful space.

Guest Room

Right now it's a blank space, we had some wonderful friends staying with us for a while, so they had their stuff in there and it looked so cute. Now it's just back to the bare bones.
 - Paint the walls
 - Curtains
 - Replace or repaint the ceiling fan.
 - Repaint the furniture (the wooden stuff, not that gorgeous recently professionally refinished solid heavy  
    metal bed... can you tell I love it!)
 - Wall art, knick knacks, STYLE

Guest Bathroom

AKA the smallest bathroom ever. Kyle likes to joke that he could sit on the toilet with his feet in the shower and wash his hands at the same time. It's probably true. But we love having a second bathroom.
 - Paint
 - Replace the blinds with the new ones we have sitting in a box in the back living room.
 - Give it some small spaces style.
 - Rehang the piece of molding that's sitting next to the toilet.
 - Get a toilet paper holder...
$$$ Plans:
 - Figure out how to permanently fix the'bubble' in the shower, or get a new shower...

Laundry Room

[Still not yet pictured... still a crazy laundry dirty/clean mess.]

Our laundry room is on the back of what used to be the carport before they closed it in and made it a garage. We have some organization in here, but I think we could do better.
 - A little paint, a lot of love.
 - More organization of the laundry/cleaning items
 - Better storage of other household items
$$$ Plans:
 - Someday maybe a newer fancy washer and dryer set.
 - Or if we're dreaming... a deep freeze!


We're lucky to have a LOT of outdoor storage in the house, it's not air conditioned, but it's a LOT of storage. I'd like to use that storage space and therefore be able to use the garage more. It's a mess.
 - Clean the garage.
 - Decide if anything gets to stay in the garage for storage.

The Shop

(Old picture alert: can you tell by the dead grass?) We LOVE the shop. It's wonderful, it's insulated, it has gas/electric/water running to it. Storage space, workshop, and man cave all in one.
 - Reorganize to best use the space. Maybe move some items to the little shed.
 - Clear out the junk we don't want/need.
 - Maybe paint the outside... some of the paint is peeling a little.
 - Revamp some lanscape in front of it, make it looks less giant metal building-like.
The Little Shed

You can see it to the right of the picture... not the best picture, but I had to include it. It's valuable storage space. We don't use near enough of it. Maybe we'll paint the outside of it a cut color or something some day. We don't know yet...

The Outdoors

We've got a big yard. Pecan tree, apple tree, satsuma tree, garden, gazebo, mega side yard (for us with a push mower).
 - Revamp the front porch, give it some life or maybe even just flower for the empty beds.
 - Redo the walkway, or 4 paver pathway...
 - Grow some grass. Kill some weeds.
 - Prune the holly trees, pecan tree, crepe myrtle.
 - Tackle the dead vine remains on the old chicken coop. Replant new vines?
 - Landscaping... all around the house (at least dead bush removal).
$$$ Plans:
 - Make an outdoor living space out of the gazebo.
 - Maybe expand the driveway, maybe not.
 - Ooo, sprinkler system?

We've got a lot planned, or we've got a lot of wishes. The best part is that none of them are urgent repairs. None of need need to be tackled right now. It leaves time for saving, dreaming, deciding, and being actually quite content with our home as is.

...which I guess is why we didn't do much for the first year. Well, other than the blinds, which I LOVE by the way. Here's to fun projects down the road... what to tackle first?

Happy First Home-Owning Anniversary to Us! And Happy Friday to you!

Oct 24, 2012

The Hess House Tour

Along with celebrating the House-iversary, I figured a Hess House Tour was in order. After living in the house for an entire year, I realized you may only think we have 2 rooms in the entire house and a garden... according to the pictures on the blog.  Perfect time for a house tour, I think, because we have a few more rooms than two (but only a few, lol).

Room by room, we present the Hess House. The first pictures are from the very first time we saw the house and then the "now" pictures are what the house looks like now. There isn't a ton of change, mostly moving in our furniture and junk, really. Someday, someday we'll hang something on the walls.  I blame it on the thesis... which is over now so look out! Oh the potential...

You may notice that the first pictures of the bedroom, the guest bedroom, and the guest bathroom are not the greatest... turns out I never took pictures of them. I switched to video at that point in our tour with the Realtor and so I had to clip still images from the video for those pictures. Bad quality... maybe that's too complicated. Let's get on with things...

Without further ado, the Hess House:

Living Room

See that pretty brand new carpet and those freshly painted white-cream-beige walls! Funny how it looks both bigger and smaller than it does now all filled up.



There she is. Filled with all of our things. We're comfy there, we like the room. But we've got a few projects up our sleeves too. I'd like to make the color scheme a little lighter and brighter, maybe finally paint? ... and you have to see the new curtains which are actually on the walls right now, but didn't make the picture. Curtain pics will be coming with their very own post.


If you like wood, or wood paneling, you'll love the kitchen, lol. I actually do love our kitchen. Look at everything so shiny. The oven and microwave hadn't even been used yet they were so brand new... we cannot say the same for the wall oven, lol.



Our refrigerator takes up a little more space than I first imagined, but everything's pretty much the same. A little hint of us here and there, but really, same old, same old. The real magic happens when the cabonet doors are opened... oh the Fiestaware! Maybe we'll need open shelving some day, or glass doors... I do have many, many ideas...

Dining Room

So it's not actually a separate room, so I don't even have any before images, other than this one of the back living room... those vertical blinds... glad we took care of that.



I think it's charming, and we can pull in a few fold up chairs and seat eight... sort of. The table is up for a repair, repaint, and reupholster soon though :)

Back Living Room

We were stoked about this extra living space, the big back window/glass/door thing, and of course the vertical blinds. I mean who doesn't love a good combo of vertical blinds and wood paneling. :) But we do love the space. 



We're not quite sure what to do with this space yet. We love, love it and it's nice when we have people over to have more space. Especially with the day bed for sleep over guests... or laundry folding. Now it's the workout room, game room, room with the vibrating/massaging easy chair...  Sometimes we think about figuring out how to make a big doorway/opening in that wall to the living room, and sometimes we think about not doing that at all. Also, excuse the maroon and gold pillow color scheme, I made those when I went to college, I realize they match everything else I own. Don't judge me yet, I do have style, this is not it... you'll see... maybe...

Hall Bathroom

This is the "main bathroom." It's a good size, it's functional, it's clean. I think I saw the pink/peach tile and thought oooo time to re-tile, lol. Big mirror, good storage space, tub AND shower combo... and even one of those cool shower sprayer things. But notice there's no shower curtain rod...



Not much change. We've moved our stuff in and we did hang a shower curtain rod. Actually one of the first weeks we were in the house, maybe our first project in the house. Someday we'll tackle a little more in here.


This is the one we call the Master Bedroom. We knew that when we toured the house. See how Kyle loves it so much! It has 2 closets, 3 windows, and is the biggest bedroom. Every piece of paper we own on the house calls it the second bedroom or the guest bedroom... just because the other bedroom has it's own bathroom...



Sorry that's the only picture you get to see right now, we're still trying to get the bedroom clothing storage situation under control AKA it's a little messy!

The bedroom got a lot smaller when we put our King size bed in it! And really don't judge me yet on the colors, we've still got a long way to go in the looks department. But we do love the room! It has a fan, has beautiful light coming through the windows... and did I mention the blinds yet?? That was our second project on the house. The house came without curtains or window coverings (remember last Halloween?!), so we had to turn the lights off when we walked through the living room with our PJs on at night so no one could see us. We got those hung pretty quick. It's also our largest project to date on the house (can't believe I never posted those pictures...).

Guest Bedroom

And here's the guest bedroom. Pretty standard: two windows, one closet, a fan, and the smallest bathroom you've ever seen. It was a nice blank canvas when we moved in.


Not a lot of change here. We actually moved our furniture in and then moved it all out when we had some friends stay with us for a few months. They have great style and the room was super cute when they lived in there. Now we're back to the basics again. Really, lots of white... but we have ideas...

Guest Bathroom

We call this the smallest bathroom in the world, maybe it is. At least the smallest one that has a toilet, sink, and shower in it! I was pretty impressed. We don't think it's original to the home, maybe used to be a second closet? The drop ceilings, laminate wood flooring, and the pieced together shower kind of gave that one away...



Yep, no way around being in this picture. I thought about doing my hair and changing into a cute outfit or something... but this is my standard wardrobe, or jeans when it's cold. If I had more than two of this particular shirt I'd probably wear it even more often. Anyways, I also read that it's silly to turn your camera the way I did for portrait (with the grip down) that the real pros turn it with the grip up (so my hand would be on the top... so I'll have to work on that too I guess... anyway, back to the tour...

I tried to get the entire room into one picture... Nothing has really changed much at all in here. I re-caulked the shower last fall, but it's nothing fancy or anything. It really is a small bathroom, I couldn't really even photograph it well... so tiny. But we LOVE having 2 bathrooms.

Laundry Room

I don't have any before pictures of the laundry room, but I hated to leave it out. It's the best space in the world. It doesn't have air conditioning because it was once just a shop on the back of the carport before the carport became a garage. Now it's all closed in and it's great to not have to walk outside to do the laundry like in our rent house. There's a lot of storage space and room for sorting the laundry. I think it could have so much more organization, though, and a little more style of course.

[Okay so I went to take a picture of the laundry room and it's nutso... like more than a "five minute pick up and throw everything somewehere else for the picture" nutso. Some clothes are clean, some are dirty, they can't mix... so we'll add a picture later...forgive me.]


The house came with a lot of great storage buildings and yard space. We have a full-sized shop, a storage shed, a gazebo, a fenced in back yard, and a super large pecan tree. 


If I was in the tour, Kyle should be too... it's only fair, right? He'll never have to know...


Not much change really (Also I took that like the first day I got my camera before I knew what FOCUS was apparently...) We hung the front porch swing that came with the house, and well, we watered the grass. It's not all grass yet, we have plenty of weeds, but it's crazy to think that it's the same time of the year and our grass looks much, much GREENER now. We're a little proud of that, but other than the garden and the new plants and apple tree we haven't really done a lot with the 'landscaping.'

That's it, well most of it. I didn't take a picture of the garage yet because it really is a crazy mess in there. That's where we first put a lot of things when we moved in, and then we slowly moved everything into the house. I was out there the other day and found some great things that probably shouldn't be in the garage, they just got left. But I guess I didn't pick them up either...

Nothing from the back yard just yet because there are sticker weeds out there and I'm not taking the risk, lol... but I will soon. :)

There it is! We love our house! But we're planning on it looking quite a bit different for the next House-iversary, lol.

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