Tag Archives: Styling

Mt Rainier House Updates

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With all that’s going on with the Baltimore House, I’ve yet to really talk about the Mt. Rainier house. The picture of Neptune (above) probably sums up how I feel about everything regarding the Mt. Rainier house. It’s been a very nutty few months and not the most pleasant of experiences. Not long after we moved in, we had a house warming party. It was very well attended (thanks everyone who came!) but unfortunately our plumbing wasn’t up for the task of handling 50ish people and we had a major sewage back-up. We are STILL dealing with the aftermath (the back-up was at the end of May).

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We now have floors (mostly) in the one room, but we no longer have carpet in the upstairs hallway, still don’t have a half-bath and there’s a distinct lack of drywall in the bathroom. So much for a “move-in ready house”, huh Steven?

Before the great plumbing explosion of 2013, we had done a lot of work to the house, specifically to get it prepped for the party, but also because that’s just who we are.

We painted the bottom cabinets of the kitchen (I need to redo them, better and once I do, I’ll provide a tutorial) and wallpapered with this magnificent grasspaper floral wallpaper I had gotten from Graham & Brown for super cheap. Most people are probably cringing at the yellowy/green, but it’s so bright and happy and just perfect for that room.

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We did a lot of landscaping. We planted a garden in the front, added some flower boxes and hung some lights. We also planted a ton of fruit trees and built a better a chicken coop that hides them better.

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We hung art all throughout the house. Painted the hallway and dining room. And! We added this AMAZEBALLS mural from Anthropologie to the master:

photo (1) (Forgive the bed, I actually know how to make one).

The master bedroom is looking a little little kiddish what with the bright florals everywhere and the light colors, so I’ll eventually be changing that a bit, but our bedside tables and the like are in Baltimore right now, so it’s kind of moot at this point.

And that’s where the house was when we were doing things like this:

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But of course not too long after the plumbing fiasco, we had to evict our renters and spend the next month working during the day and renovating during the night.

I think it’s safe to say that not only were we annoyed by this, but so were our animals.

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Neptune stared at me like this for 10 minutes after three days in a row of being gone from 8am-midnight. I wish I was joking.

Things have also gotten decidedly wild around the Mt. Rainier house.

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Very wild.

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A little too wild.

We’ve already mowed the lawn and tonight I plan on weeding the front garden. So now, we only need to get the rest of the floor installed, redo the hall bath and install the upstairs floor.

Yay.

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Getting All Floral Up In Hurr

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Imagine you have $75 and a house that is about to go up for sale. Sure, you could spend that money on things like a few movie tickets to reward yourself for your hard work. Maybe even a beer or glass of wine. OR you could spend that money on lots of gorgeous flowers to make your house “pop”. As fresh flowers are very inviting, and lovely, it’s one of those real estate tips for selling your house quicker. Will it work? No clue. But it certainly looks and smells great.

There’s this myth that cut flowers are expensive. While some flowers are expensive, it’s just not true of all kinds, and many very beautiful flowers are inexpensive. Especially if you know where to go. Our go-to for super cheap flowers are Trader Joes and Costco (Costco has the added benefit of accepting returns on flowers — no joke). For staging our house we went to Trader Joes. We got a literal cart-full of flowers for $74. Mostly consisting of bunches of Hydrangeas, “summer” mixes (sunflowers, lilies, etc), delphinium and gladiolas.

I tried to do something a little different in each room. For the most part I tried to stick with “fun”, but in the case of the Hydrangeas bunches, it just says “classy”, so I stuck those in the classiest rooms. Like the dining room and the bathroom. Because that makes sense.

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This is said classy bunch of hydrangeas. I bunched these together to get the most consistent shape I could get. At first it was resembling Richard Simmon’s hair, both in shape and texture, but with some strategic snipping, I got it to look more uniform. The more simple arrangement is very simple and streamlined, which general equates to elegant. Because the vase is clear, I removed all of the leaves so that it does not look messy. Also, I think removing them extends the life of the flower, but that may be me just making things up.

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This explosion of yellow and purple eventually went into the office. Basically it’s all of the flowers I had left in a plant pot. I think that overly messy, hanging over the edges look is very fun, and since the colors are so primary, fun was a requirement.

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These are the flowers in the master bedroom. I took some of the gladiolas and their leaves, as well as the delphiniums to give the bouquet height and combined them with the “summer mix” that Trader Joes was selling. I think it works well in this room, especially combined with the abstract art. It’s fun without being totally crazy town.

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This is my favorite combo, so of course I put them in the bathroom (though to be fair, the larger arrangement is also in the picture of the office).

I love this part of the bathroom. So much.

I love this part of the bathroom. So much.

Oh the office. My favorite room in the house

Oh the office. My favorite room in the house

I love duochromatic (that’s not really a word) arrangements. Especially when it’s whites and pinks. I just think it’s so soft and feminine and looks very classy. The larger arragement is tall, and uses less greenery than any of the others. It was the first one I did, so I didn’t adhere to my “remove the leaves” rule, mostly because I had forgotten, but I think it still looks pretty good.

The smaller arrangement is just a hydrangea cut down so it sits in the planter/vase and fills the top. It’s a very simple arrangement that is cheap and looks good everytime. Especially when paired with larger arrangements, like the ones above and also in the dining room (That little planter gets around)

The dining room. So lovely and huge.

The dining room. So lovely and huge.

There are amazing florists out there, and many who are exceedingly talented at making flowers look like works of art. But for the average person, you don’t have to be amazingly gifted to make flowers look good. You just need to remember the following rules:

  • Bunches of the same flowers look great. For hydrangeas, peonies, etc (anything really full) they look best bunched together in a uniform fashion. In the case of tulips or any other tall gangly flower, it’s better if they’re messy and not overly full.
  • Vary the height on mixed bouquets. If you have a bunch of different flowers, it won’t look that great uniform. That’s why they often throw in sprigs of eucalyptus or baby’s breath. I like to put the height in the back and/or on the sides, and have it be a bit messy.
  • Don’t go overboard on the color. Mixed bouquets are beautiful, but you don’t need every color of the rainbow for it to look good. Often times sticking with variations of two or three colors (with one of them white) is what looks the best.
  • When in doubt, keep it simple. Often times the least elaborate arrangements are the most pretty.

As far as staging with flowers goes:

  • Flowers on the living room table, a dining room table, a desk or in the bedroom are always winners. I put some in the kitchen too, just to hide a few spots that didn’t look that great.
  • Don’t go overboard. Unless you live in a mansion or appropriately sized house, don’t stick a $500 4’ft tall arrangement in your space. It’s overwhelming.
  • Keep it classy. Having one or two really colorful arrangements is fine (especially for kids rooms), but don’t make it rainbow brite.
  • If they die, throw them away/compost them. Duh. Dead flowers smell and look gross. Plus according to my aunt, dead flowers are bad luck.
  • Use that crystal clear stuff so that your water doesn’t get gross too.

Also, get creative with the vases. We went more traditional this time, but I have been known to throw flowers into a pumpkin (though I would NOT suggest that for staging).

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Baskets, flower pots, etc all work well as vases. And if it’s something you already have on hand then even better! You just saved yourself a bunch of money.

As an aside, when staging you don’t necessarily need flowers. House plants also work and you can take them with you. In our case, we did both, but I’m just a plant person and will be taking them with us when the house sells. So that made sense for us. Whatever choice you go though, having something alive will (pardon the expression) liven up your space and making it feel more hospitable.

What’s your favorite flower? Mine are pink peonies but I do love me some Hydrangeas.

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Big News

Big News people! 32oh7 Designs is now offering affordable + accessible design services, to include both interior design and staging, to people near and far via the interwebs and in person! After much (very appreciated) encouragement from friends and family, I’ve decided to take this step and see where it takes me.

Because design is very important to me, and I think that it truly does improve the quality of someone’s life (when done correctly, of course), I wanted to price at a point that is accessibly to anyone, whether you have $50,000 to blow or you have $500 that you’ve saved for a long time. From a friend’s enthusiastic “you’re priced so reasonably!” I think I achieved that.

So please head over to the Design Services page to check it out. You can also view examples of my work in the Portfolio page which was also added today.

And from the bottom of my heart, thanks so much for everyone’s encouragement and very kind words! It’s meant so much!

P.S. I’ll still be blogging about how to design within a budget and other related things — You know for all of you with that DIY spirit.

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