Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ikea Mirror Tiles and Bedspread Swap in the Den

Something just didn’t look right. The den in our new condo has been driving me crazy. I tried to make it in to another monk’s room, like the one we had on Capitol Hill. But this room is larger, and has no windows. It also has the living room carpet and chair that didn’t match the black and white bedspread, along with the clothes rack/bench from the hallway. A new bedspread just didn’t look right either. I thought about hanging curtains to create an illusion of a window but decided against it. So trying to lighten the space up was a priority. One way to do that is with mirrors. I put several Ikea mirror tiles up when we first moved in, but that wasn’t enough. So I added a few more a few weeks later. It was better but still not good enough. Then it dawned on me to cover the entire back wall with the mirror tiles. We picked them up last week and it made a huge difference. We also added a spider wall sculpture to add a touch of whimsy. When all was said and done, the black and white Restoration Hardware bedspread and pillow were resurrected. It just looked better - more serene and clean. The red one looked really out of place for our neutral style. But the stripes of the bedspread were placed horizontal rather than vertical to break up the long vertical lines of the carpet. I’d still like to switch out the kitchen wall art with the red border wall art hanging there now - but my husband likes it the way it is. The room definitely looks better - one can’t expect much when you’re using pieces from the old house.  Having a reflection from the foyer really helps. I just wish I could add a bit of natural light. In the ideal situation the room should have a desk with file cabinets and a Murphy bed option. But that will have to wait. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

AT&T International Call Nightmare - I Knew It Would Take More Than One Try

Why does everything take more than one try to get the problem resolved? Last month my husband made two phone calls to France. Unfortunately we forgot we didn’t have an international calling plan for our AT&T mobile service. We no longer have a desk phone so it never was a problem before. And he rarely makes overseas phone calls anymore. So when we got notified that we had a $250 plus international charge the following day, I had a chat with Andy to resolve the payment. It was agreed that if we added the $15 international plan, he would eliminate the horrendous charge. We could also delete the plan within two days. So much for that. Three weeks later I got the AT&T bill and it was for over $500!! So I started a chat with Nataly and sent her the documented text of the conversation I had with Andy. I had a feeling I would need it. After reviewing the text, she said she would delete the charge so our bill ended up being the typical amount plus the $15. Of course, when the account was updated I lost my chat with Nataly. So I started another one with John to make sure the account was actually verified. It was, but it didn’t help with my overall frustration level. I should just know better that nothing ever gets taken care of in one try. Our big problem now is to decide if we want to continue with the $15 plan, go with the $5 plan with additional charges by the minute, or just make sure we add one of those options before a call is made. We just don’t make that many overseas calls anymore. But boy were we reminded of it when we did. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tyson’s Corner Mall, Goodwill, Target & McD’s

It’s hot again, and humid. So rather than take our morning walk in the park, we drove over to Tyson’s Corner Center to get in a bit of exercise. I wanted to pick up a bath mat at Macy’s anyway, but they didn’t have any. The mat we have now must be about 8 years old and looks it! After 2.4 miles of walk in air conditioning, we needed to drop off a couple of things at the Goodwill. A ride to the Falls Church/Annandale center was next on the list. It was a quick stop there so I searched for the nearest Target and found one just a half mile away. So we ventured to Target to pick up the bath mat and an extra shower curtain liner. Before we left we thought we would just have breakfast at home but decided an egg McMuffin and hash browns would be an easy pick up before we got home just before noon. We accomplished everything we wanted to including trying to see if the old bath mat could get cleaned in the washing machine. It wasn’t worth the effort because the old mat is still grungy. Maybe this time we need to follow directions and hang it up after every use - or just be lazy and get a new one in another eight years. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Pillows and Feathers

I suppose you could say ours is a fairly neutral interior except for the Persian carpets and some of the wall art. The carpets are one thing I will not change out because of where my husband is from. It’s just a part of our overall decorating theme. So the rest of the furniture and accessories have to be fairly quiet to tone down the more colorful rugs. The last couple of weeks we have been rearranging pillows. I hate the pillows that are made to match the Ethan Allen sofa. What makes it worse is when the feathers keep sticking you and they end up all over the place. So we decided to unzip those covers and get rid of all the loose irritating feathers, cover the inside pillow with another layer of pillow covers we no longer like, and put the original cover back on top of that. You would have thought we killed two chickens or geese with the bag we filled of feathers. In the mean time there are a couple of very old Restoration Hardware pillows that I love, but the outside covers are beginning to show their wear. So we switched a couple of those out and they are really neutral and to my husband’s liking. It seems every time we “go bold” with prints vs. neutrals we are sorry we did. We still have the original Ethan Allen pillow we picked out so long ago when we lived in the Midwest. It was to become the beginning of a long and lasting relationship with our favorite designer who ended up helping us redo the whole house. I learned a few things from Glenn, but could never live up to his standards. When he put prints together, they looked so much better than ours. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

An Ikea Adventure

I needed to pick up a few more packages of mirror tiles at Ikea. The den in our new condo was still lacking something. Without windows it is a pretty bleak place and one way to lighten it up is with mirrors. I already had twenty mirror tiles on the back wall but it could do with another bunch around the perimeter. So we set our sights for the Ikea store in College Park Maryland. And since it was lunch time, we thought we would stop at the cafe and check out the fare. We ended up with Swedish meatballs and salmon. We once went to a Swedish restaurant by the University of Chicago - and had Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. I dare say we probably wouldn’t return any time soon - for lunch. Afterwards we walked the store and got in a few steps in the huge place. There we some interesting showrooms of 250 and 500 square foot homes - like our tiny condos on Capitol Hill. It’s amazing what you can live in if it’s set up right. After finding our mirror tiles we made our way to the check out line wandering through the huge warehouse. Everyone who worked there was very pleasant and eager to be of help. The drive home was a royal pain on a Friday afternoon. All in all it was a great adventure! 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Woolrich Sheridan Comforter Set

Our “monk’s room” isn’t looking as good as it did in our Capitol Hill condo. Our converted Virginia den doesn’t have windows and is larger than the big closet that housed the rollaway twin bed. It was essentially a black and white room, so the bedspread didn’t look quite right with the additional chair, small living room carpet, and artwork. So I’ve been looking for a replacement that might add a pop of color. I found a Woolrich comforter that arrived last week. It has a bedskirt, throw pillow and sham. The idea seemed good, but now I think it may be too busy for the space and I am surprised that my husband likes it. The black and white blanket had a matching long pillow that looked quite nice. Now I’m conflicted and not sure if I should switch it out - again. Technically what this room calls for is a desk, file cabinet and Murphy bed. But we aren’t in any hurry to change it up. So in the meantime I think I’ll add a few more mirror tiles to help increase the light in the room and fill in the back wall. Maybe that will help?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ginkgo Gardens Giant Spider

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the den since we moved to our new condo in Virginia almost four months ago. I now think a small desk with a Murphy bed would be best. But until anything permanent happens, I just basically tried to replicate the “monk’s room” of our Capitol Hill condo. But it didn’t feel quite the same and the bedspread didn’t match the small rug from the living room - the colors are different. It’s kind of dark in the room because there are no windows. It also serves as a coat rack and storage space for umbrellas and our walking shoes. I did add the IKEA tile mirrors to the far wall to “brighten it up.” The bedspread was finally switched out to something that “goes” more with the rug and the wall art that has a red mat. We removed the lucite computer stand to free up space. But something was missing. We didn’t need another piece of art/painting. But we could use a bit of whimsy. So Ginkgo Gardens came to mind because we would be driving by DC for lunch. It’s our go to place for anything garden or metal work related. As soon as we walked in the door my husband spotted the perfect sculpture piece - a huge spider. Neither one of us cares for insects, but this metal/rock piece fit the bill. It was the perfect size for the space. It’s certainly not something I would have put in our 1890’s condo, but in this new 2019 space it wouldn’t be taken seriously. The room still isn’t quite right, but the spider brings it to life.