Out With The Old, In With The Old

What do you do with something you inherit, but don’t really want? Either you try and get your sibling to take it or you re-create it into something you love.

Such was with the old dining room furniture that belonged to my grandmother and was deposited in our home when my parents left Denver. My Bobie (Yiddish for grandmother) had lovely furniture. But let’s face it –  it looked like my Bobie’s lovely furniture.

When we moved last Spring and I gave most everything to anyone walking by,  I suggested to my husband that we keep two of the dining room pieces and try and make them into something we could use to keep my Bobie’s spirit alive in our home – she loved people and her dining room was always filled with the sound of family (I have wonderful memories of sitting in her dining room with my cousins and of the smoked whitefish and lox spreads during Connecticut visits).

My intention with my dining room is to create a space that is colorful and comfy (still waiting to get the curtains hung and buffet lights back from the shade maker – final pic to come). We don’t have an eat in kitchen that fits more than 3, so this room takes on a special meaning. It’s where friends will gather and help us make our house a home.

So, imagine my excitement when my talented painter, Matt, stained and burned the china cabinet to reflect a transitional theme. With a new coat of stain, you can see the old wood burnish through. Now we have Bobie’s china displayed and easily accessible. I am sincerely trying to use what I have and if I don’t love it, I am passing it on. It is said that using your good china, wearing your best underwear everyday and drinking good wine if you are going to drink, are ways to add quality to one’s life.

If you have it, use it. If not, lose it.

As I set the table for casual dinner with friends, I will raise one of my Bobie’s crystal goblets filled with Diet Coke and toast the lady who would have encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to with her furniture. She was all about being who she was and dressing with a skip in her step. I think she would have loved the fuchsia inside that brings out the fuchsia in her china. She always added an accessory or color to her outfit.

Here’s to loving what I have. And to those who give me much to love.

How do you MindFULLY use what you have? Let us know!

Design on a Dime

One of our favorite HGTV shows is Design on a Dime. It shows you the $5,000 version of a room and the $500 version.  I am always seeking ways to create what I see in magazines, shop windows and movies. Stimulating as this creative style can be, it can also border on crazy making. At least that’s how it felt while I was trying to re-create a “tile rug” we had seen in the Denver Design Center for our master bath.

When we bought the house, the Master bath was silly. While not very big, it was also impractical. It had this one green pedestal sink that looked like it landed. The owners tried to convince us it was worth something. And well, you know that saying…

The bathroom also had a toilet in the middle of the wall, hunter green tile and three little glass shelves.

The first thing we did was create space for a water closet and figured out how to fit a double vanity. Then we focused on what it would look like. How could we live with a small space and make it feel fun? On a visit to the Denver Design Center, we fell in love with a “tile rug” concept embedded on the showroom floor and budgeted for a small splurge.

Then reality hit. Did you know that when you like a tile, you wait a few days for them to tell you what it costs? After you scrape yourself off the floor, cause who knew tile could be so expensive, you then wait while they let you know when it will be in stock. (I thought they had it in the back room. Silly me, it was on their showroom floor, wouldn’t it be easy to get?)  The tile rug we liked consisted of three different kinds of tile. After two and a half weeks of back and forth on how much we needed, the cost, etc. we got word that the center tile was “discontinued.” Really? Ya couldn’t have told me that two weeks ago when I asked about it? Not one to take no for an answer, I literally spent a week online trying to find it somewhere else. I was obsessed. I ended up at the same supply vendor that the Design Center was talking to and got the same answer. There were 5 sheets of it in a warehouse in CT. We needed 8.

OK, think…how about if we change the dimensions and use more of the circle surround tile? Great idea! Same scenario. Cost, time, etc only to find that the circle tile was in Turkey and would take 12 weeks to get here, if it was on time. Really? Why not tell me that in the beginning?  We needed it in 4.

So, after I had a Customer Service meltdown (a common reaction throughout this journey), we let it go and set about making our own version. I scoured the web for tile options and landed at the Floor and Décor outlet on line, where I found a circle tile for 1/3 the price of the Turkish circles. We went to Dahl to find a reasonable insert (again 1/3 the price) and the sale section of Capco to find the slate surround (they practically paid me to take it). Same concept as the Designer rug, different execution.

Friday they laid it and we love it! It not only looks good, it feels good and will be a symbol for me everyday – when I look at it, it will remind me of what a little creativity and hard work can produce. We actually ended up creating something that worked even better than what disappointed us earlier.

Now, why don’t they make that concept into a TV show?

 How do you MindFULLY find ways to Design on a Dime? Let us know?