We close on our house next week (pray for us) and before we move in, we’re getting the majority of the interior of the house painted. The current owners have little kids so the walls are either marred beyond comprehension or painted pepto pink/frog green or a mixture of both.
I’ve spent the past several weeks legitimately freaking out over paint choices for the house.
Who KNEW there were about 85 different types of white, blue, green, etc. etc. to choose from? I immediately went to Pinterest for inspiration, knowing that I would immediately gravitate towards the whites, whiter whites and soft whites for basically everything in our house. I have a fear of color that is well documented.
The problem was, once I started finding what I liked and asking for feedback and actually GETTING SOME feedback, I could.not.handle.it.
I needed to chill out, start to back off (a little) and listen. And I’m not good at that. But I got some great advice and I think we’re going with some pretty colors.
For the den/sunroom, hall, and master bedroom, we’re doing Swiss Coffee. Here’s my inspiration from Hanna Seabrook’s home on Glitter Guide:
Soft, warm white. Ahhh. We’re doing 50/50 swiss coffee and white on the ceilings to give it a gradual change while we wait to get moulding in the bedrooms.
For the kitchen and for all of the house interior trim, we went with Decorator’s White. A sure winner used time and time again.
So for our “man room” I thought we’d go dark dark blue or dark dark green. John was not having that so I went back to the drawing board and found BM “Salisbury Green” and fell in love. Here it is again in Charlotte Moss’ office:
I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
Now for the guest room, I knew we would be doing a bright white Chinese Chippendale headboard, some palm frond pillows and some white nightstands so I wanted to go with a preppy faded pastel—like those cushions you see in the ladies lounge of a country club that have been in the window for a little too long and are starting to get bleached out. I ultimately went with BM “Palest Pistachio” which I haven’t really been able to find a picture of other than a sample:
(Number 2 on the board above.)
Nothing too dramatic here, but I prefer drama in small doses (pillows, blankets) rather than large statements. I’ll be sure to share pictures in the coming weeks!
Things I Never Thought I'd Care About: Flushmounts
Well this whole house buying process is revealing all sorts of weird obsessions and things I never thought I’d care about. Like flushmount lighting. We are moving into a 1960s ranch house with LOW ceilings. Which means a) it tends to be dark and b) big chandeliers aren’t an option.
We have a long hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms that currently has a pretty awful semi-flush light fixture that has GOT TO GO. Seriously, if the contractor can’t get in there early enough, I may risk electric shock just to rip it out of the ceiling.
I’ve been on the hunt for good looking flushmounts and to my dismay, most of the ones I found that were halfway decent were $300++. Nope. Not happening. After some feverous Pinterest searching, leading me down one rabbit hole after another, I found a new-to-me site: Ellen Lighting & Hardware based in Texas. It’s a minority/woman-owned business (woop woop) and they have some dealz and stealz.
Here are some pretty light fixtures I’m considering for our hall from Ellen Lighting:
I’ve signed up for their mailing list for a coupon code post-Thanksgiving and Christmas so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a discount. Again, not sure why I care so much…just don’t judge me. Too much.
Retailers are already offering great discounts in preparation for the biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season. I’ll continue to update the list for Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals but for now, here’s what I’ve compiled—most of them, you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home:
Get those mouse cursors ready to shop until you drop this week.
Kitchen ideas- aka champagne dreams on a 2-buck chuck budget
We lucked out with a pretty great kitchen in our new place. Windows, lots of natural light, and an open floor plan. While the granite color isn’t really something I would pick out myself, it is still granite and already paid for…so it is staying.
Here’s what we’re working with:
Basically once we put in an offer, I started thinking about updates for the kitchen first. Why? Because I think of the kitchen as the core of the home-it’s the natural spot where your guests linger, where you spend most of your time, etc. Plus, in our case, it is one of the first rooms you see when you get inside.
So, I started gathering inspiration pics like these:
Erin Gates’ classic kitchen
This last picture just GETS ME. Dream. Kitchen. Unfortunately, after some Googling I figured out that just the pendants cost $1200…each.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
But, clearly there is a pattern here- round pendants with hints of brass + French bistro-inspired bar stools.
I found these cute barstools at Serena & Lily in black and white and promptly stole/found a 15% off coupon code. I plan on holding out until the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals to attempt to order a pair when I can get the best deal possible and combine it with my 15% off coupon.
I’ve loved these small Hicks pendants for a long time. Horchow was offering 30% off, but I wanted to contact Circa Lighting and see if they would honor the discount + free shipping so I contacted them and sure enough- discount honored! We’ll be hanging 2 of these in place of the current pendants.
In addition to repainting the kitchen, we are getting a contractor to put in a herringbone backsplash throughout the lower parts of the kitchen. Typically, this costs about $9 per square foot, so when you’re dealing with a small kitchen it really isn’t a huge expense. Of course, I know one can lay these themselves but let’s not even go there- I can’t even sew a button on a shirt, let alone LAY TILE.
Eventually, I’d also like to replace the current hardware on the cabinets with some brushed brass knobs and pulls like those pictured above to pull in the brass touch of the pendants. These are the lower-end pulls that cost around $3-$6 per piece.
Cabinets will stay white and in the coming years, I’m sure we’ll update appliances to stainless. For now, they are staying put. They function and work just fine and I need to prioritize. Ugh.
What am I missing? What did you think made the biggest impact on any kitchen updates that you’ve done?
Your front door is the first impression people have of your home. It sets the tone for what they can expect when they walk in and see the rest of your house. Traditional? Eclectic? Farmhouse modern (because that’s a thing now)?
In a move that will surprise no one, I’m definitely leaning towards the more traditional for our home. Given that we’re working with a white brick ranch with black shutters, I kind of think the tone has been set for us—and definitely fits our style.
So, what goes into an entrance? You have:
Your door (color, any “jewelry” for the door, etc.)
Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
Not going to lie, those lanterns alone cost more than the light fixtures I’m looking at for our ENTIRE HOME so we can just ignore that. But the overall look here is crisp, tailored, and welcoming. Here are some of my thoughts for our entry:
Francie has gotten a lot of frantic phone calls amidst this house buying period. Heavy sighs, more than a few tears, and a handful of panic attacks. She’s going to get a really good Christmas present in like…March after we finish paying closing costs, etc. for this damn place.
It’s time to get ready for the move-out and sell some stuff! Jessie and I will be hosting a yard sale with some of our items mixed in with a few other ladies from around town. Pieces will be priced to SELL! Art, furniture, fabric, etc. you name it! Cash or check only. See below for more deets!
Sunday, November 17
Starting at 10 a.m.
Address: 4513 Wilkes St. Raleigh, NC
We’ll post pics to get you pumped throughout next week. Hope to see you there!!
Can you and loafers do a holiday gift guide again and maybe include a list of thing you want to receive and a list of things you want to give? This'll be my first xmas with a new guy and he's very much like loafers (I've even gotten him to start following).
Thank you for the note! We will get working on this right away. I love gift guides!
Well technically we put the offer on the house about three weeks ago, but since then it has been one hell of a rollercoaster in these parts. I’ve waffled between pinning like a madwoman out of excitement to dry heaving over the thought of our savings essentially evaporating on closing day. Basically, I’ve learned that I’m not exactly “good” with change.
Flash back a few weeks ago, Oct. 19 to be exact. John and I agreed to go take a look at a place with our realtor, but only after we talked at length about how we were going to wait until after the holidays to get serious about putting an offer on a house, we wanted more time, loved the flexibility of being renters, etc.
Driving through the neighborhood on a pretty fall Saturday, my main thought was when I could eat lunch because I was starving. Then we pulled up to a cute white brick ranch with black shutters and I got excited. John blurted out “We want this house” two seconds into the home. Well, at least one of us is good with change.
I didn’t sleep that weekend after we put in the offer. We were on LITERAL PINS AND NEEDLES PEOPLE. Lots of phone calls, lots of sweating (me), lots of swearing (John), lots of drinking to cope (both) and then we finally got the good news late Sunday evening—a little over 24 hours after we put in the initial offer. Little did I know that was just the beginning. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say it has been a stressful few weeks in our household. And I won’t even get into picking out paint colors.
So…now it is real. We are closing in December and probably moving in after Christmas after we get some work done to the house. I still feel a little bit like throwing up, but like the kind of throwing up you do when you’re really excited…? Is that a thing? Here’s a pic:
A cute little spot to call home for a bit.
And you know what a house means?
A CORGI PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t freaking wait. Please forgive me if this blog turns into a crappy PowerPoint layout of rooms/paint colors/light fixtures….but I promise I’ll still put in some fun gifs every once in awhile.
Okay so slow news week around these parts..I’m going to be talking to you about cleaning supplies today. But I feel the need to share because this stuff is SO good. What am I talking about? Mrs. Meyers Lavender. I discovered this stuff after spending the weekend at a mutual friend’s home—I walked in and immediately thought she must have a candle burning because the house smelled so good. Not so! She had just wiped down her counters using the Mrs. Meyers Lavender spray. It isn’t perfume-y and definitely not too sweet. Clearly, I had to order every piece of the product line on Amazon Prime. Below are some of the pieces en route to my house. Very reasonably priced, too!
I know dainty gold jewelry is in, but I love me some chunky jewels. Case in point, this amazing and different Harlow necklace by a new-to-me designer Lionette. Kinda like Dannijo, but with fewer zeroes on the price tag.
I think the mix of metals and colors makes the necklace very versatile and with the right blouse, could even be work appropriate! It’s never too soon to start a Christmas wish list….right?
"As Terry Sanford said in that speech fifty years ago, "North Carolina is not going to be left behind." He was right then and he’s right today. North Carolina is better than this. We must turn this around and move forward. As North Carolinians have seen and experienced this year, the alternative is unacceptable."
Our guest room is in sad shape. It primarily contains furniture cast-offs that we don’t want in any other room, a random desk that takes up way too much space and a bunch of other odds and ends.
When you have someone stay with you, you want them to feel comfortable, at ease and well, a little spoiled. I have plans to update our guest room (on a budget) to make our guests feel the love when they stay at Casa Hardin. Here are some ideas:
Picking up this preppy little headboard from Craigslist this week to add some chinoiserie flare.
I love an all-white bed, and it is actually pretty practical for a guest room. This scallop duvet and sham set is only $70 from Overstock and I think it is pretty precious. Throwing in either a kantha quilt or boho lumbar pillow would give a nice bit of contrast:
One of the big trends this Fall/Winter has been the black moto jacket.
I really like this look—edgy without trying too hard. I’ve started my search for the perfect moto jacket and here are some of my faves so far:
My clear favorite: Madewell’s perfect leather jacket. Great cut, not too many crazy details and the leather looks pretty damn rich. However, at $495, this is probably not going to happen.
Zara has their own real leather version, at a much more modest price of $240.
Here’s one from Asos, on sale for just $160. My only beef with it (ha, get it..beef/leather..sorry) is that the bottom looks a little ruffly and it comes up really short in the back. Not sure about this one.
I like the idea of getting a real leather jacket due to durability over time, but there is something tempting about these faux-look-very-real-but-way-less options like:
You can see better photos of this Blank NYC jacket on Shopbop’s site. It is pretty awesome for $124 and Jessie has great things to say about it and the brand.
This faux leather option from Zara is probably my fave in this category..but I’m a little concerned there may be a bit too much going on between the quilting and the zippers. Or is it just enough? What are your thoughts?
Let me just say that wearing these Eaton trousers to work makes me feel like a BOSS. The black checked pattern reminds me of one of my dad’s suits from back in the day, but the comfy fit with slight stretch is all modern. Before you balk at the price tag, I got these for 30% and had a $25 rewards card. But I would splurge for a second pair that’s how good they are.
John and I have been devouring The Mind of a Chef Season One on Netflix. It features David Chang, the restaurateur behind the Momofuku Restaurant Group and is a big ass deal. Here’s how PBS describes the series: "From tamales to bubble and squeak, South Carolina to Senegal, Long Island to London, and frogging to high tea, The Mind of a Chef, the James Beard Award winning public television series, returns to combine travel, cooking, history, science, and humor into an extraordinary journey that peers inside the processes and explores what drives and inspires the culinary vision of some of the country’s most innovative chefs."
Need a cheap pick-me-up? Check out these chapsticks from Maybelline at your local grocery store or drug store. Slight touch of color and super moisturizing.
This has been a post. I promise more original content SOON.
Hey friends- Sorry my blogging hasn’t been quite up to par. Wanted to send you a few quick highlights from the week thus far and say hello.
I don’t get paid enough to deal with 13 hour work days and passive aggressive emails. Result: Lots of Sauvignon Blanc was imbibed.
Okay, we get it. You’re at Fashion Week, everyone on Instagram. Can we please move past the blurry runway shots that you’re using to prove that YOU WERE THERE WHEN and get back to pretty food and coffee shots?
Speaking of fashion, this girl is WERKING a really good look:
Midi skirt AND leather jacket with simple red nails. #nailedit #thankgodthereisnotacroptopinsight
Saw this photo and it made me drool/gave me an instant idea for a dinner party:
What you’re seeing here is crostini with honey, blue cheese and peaches #gamechanger
Looking forward to being at home for the first time in three weekends and squeezing in time with some fun friends tonight and tomorrow! And seeing three houses on Saturday!
1. Check calendar on Sunday, see there is a mandatory 8 a.m. in-person meeting
2. Surprising no one, I get to the meeting about 10 minutes late (to my defense, I suffered a mini bout of food poisoning last night.) See judge-y new boss of my boss make exaggerated move to check his watch when I walk in.
3. Boss tells me to send apology email to said judge-y boss guy for being late.
Well I wish that could have been my reaction…but considering I want to stay employed I wrote the “sorry for being late” note and acted appropriately ashamed.
Who the FUCK schedules 8 a.m. meetings on a Monday? Sorry. But that is just not okay.
I saw this post on the EveryGirl today and just had to share. As a female in a corporate environment, I find it extremely intimidating when negotiating salary, benefits and promotions. As in I don’t do it. But these tips/tactics are straightforward and best of all—FEASIBLE! Go forth and conquer. Those Shopbop wishlist items aren’t going to buy themselves.
CREATE YOUR SILVER PLATTER
You cannot just walk into your boss’s office and ask for more money. You have to show him or her why you deserve it. Make a list of all the benefits you bring to the company. If you are in business, make a list of all the benefits clients receive from working with you. Add everything you can think of to your silver platter–the amount of business revenue you currently bring or will bring the company, the quality of your work, the positive energy you bring to the office, etc. Women tend to underplay our value in the workplace big time, but this is your time to brag, so don’t forget anything. You want to be able to clearly articulate why you deserve more money.
GET SUPER CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE ASKING FOR
Create a list of your must-haves and a list of terms you would be flexible with. And once you have your list of must-haves, make sure you ask for something above and beyond it. For example, let’s say you’re negotiating a new job’s salary, and your must-have is another $5,000 over the salary you’re being offered. When you go in to negotiate, ask for $10,000 more. That way, you’ll begin the negotiation process at a higher amount, knowing you’re willing to take anything at $5,000 or above.
CREATE A PLAN OF ATTACK
When you’re asking for a raise, higher fees or a higher starting salary, create a plan of attack. Know as many details as possible—who will be involved in the discussion, when it will take place, what you’re asking for, and why you’re asking for it. The “why” part is often overlooked, but it’s especially important. When you know the why—i.e., “I’m worth this amount based on my experience and knowledge,” or “I need that much more to reach my financial goals for the year”–you’ll feel more confident asking for what you want. Also, make sure you do your research to see what competitive salaries or prices are in your location and industry. The more you plan, the better equipped you will be for the negotiation process.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The best way to get better at something is to practice, and this goes for negotiation, as well. The more you practice, the easier it will become. I suggest you practice asking for things in your everyday life first; then, when you’re ready to ask for a raise, higher fees, etc., practice those negotiation conversations with a friend who can role-play the situation with you and give you honest feedback. And make sure you’re open to receiving constructive criticism and willing to work on improving any areas of weakness.
GO IN LIKE A BADASS
On the day of the negotiation, do whatever you need to do to feel your best. For me, that means working out, dancing, reading my list of achievements to give me that added burst of confidence seeing what I’ve already accomplished, and talking to the people in my life who are my biggest cheerleaders. Remember: It’s normal to be nervous, but you also want to make sure you feel your most confident on the day of the negotiation. Then go in, do your best, and let the rest work itself out from there.