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I know what you’re thinking… shouldn’t this be a spring update? It is March, after all. Well, according to Facebook, my friends from Cowlitz County have been experiencing snow over the weekend. And, because this recap really is about what happened at the homestead since the last update, I thought it was only appropriate to refer to it as the official winter update.

Truth be told, a majority of the nesting efforts were focused on the living room… that place, if you remember, which was featured last as having lots of brown and white furniture, lots and lots of white walls, some college art, three framed pictures and a federal mixing bowl. I think you’ll agree that it looks quite a bit filled in..

The Fireplace

The Console Table

The Console Table Area

And The Landing Zone

And The Landing Zone

Now, if you’re naturally skeptical like I am, you may be wondering, “J, how in the world did $100/month get you a significantly more fully furnished living room?” Well, organized crime aside (kidding… seriously), my life took a pretty significant U-turn last October when I:

  • took a new job (I now work here!)
  • (sadly) gave my notice at my old job
  • had my unused vacation paid out, and
  • just so happened to notice that Target had a 30% (yes, 30%) off home sale going on.

I had already been eyeing Target’s Manhattan Living Room Collection but had resolved to pinch my pennies and possibly sneak in some requests over Christmas. The surprise of receiving my vacation payout led me to the resolution that a couple non-budgeted purchases were ok though so I ended up ordering the console table above as well as (get ready for it):

The Corner Media Stand

So, yes, sweet HBH readers, I have now joined the 20th (not 21st) century since I have a tube (and comically, really heavy) TV and the sexy DVD/VCR combination player that got me through my college, sorority years at WSU. Oh The OC and Sex and the City, how I miss you…

Now, a brief tangent regarding ordering furniture online and self assembly:

When I was buying the corner media stand, it did not fare particularly well on the customer reviews. Of the thirteen people who ordered it, a majority mentioned that pieces either arrived broken, cracked, or scuffed. I kept this in mind until my Papa came up to the homestead to help me assemble my newly acquired, flat packed furniture. Sure enough, as we opened up the heavy media stand box and inspected the pieces, I found that one of the drawer pieces was severely cracked. My dad looked at me with raised eyebrows and wondered if we should take it back to the store. Knowing that this piece was online only, however, I resolved to fix it like any clueless, single girl would… with clear packing tape. A couple of rounds or clear plastic tape and the explanation that no one would see it led us to forage on. Two hours and seriously 100 mini screws later, my dad and I looked like we were playing Twister as we coaxed the remaining screw into the shattered piece (which just happened to be the piece that the drawer track was attached to). As we drilled in, the piece creaked and I let go causing the entire piece to fall back. Ironically, the anti-tip leg gave way leaving my dad and I staring at each other, speechless. “You’re right, Dad, we should just take it back.” Forty five minutes later, we were leaving the Northgate Target with a new order number in and the humble apologies of the Target customer representative. Not only was she able to give me the sale price again (which, if we’re being honest would be expected) but she also refunded my shipping for the original order, gave me free shipping on the second order, and then I still got a $20 gift card for my troubles.

So, the HBH moral of the story is this:

  1. Pay attention to customer reviews.
  2. Don’t try to make a piece of wood usable by reinforcing it with clear, plastic tape.
  3. Always take your Dad’s advice, the first time.
  4. And shop at Target. Because it really is a great customer-oriented company. (PS: there will be a lot of Target love in this post which came unsolicited in accordance with HBH’s terms)

But back to the living room and the furniture which was successfully put together (thanks Dad and Kirsten!)… here’s a couple of notes about some of my favorite things:

As you may remember from last month, the mirror was conquered by some Theta girls (and a Theta husband too!) for my birthday which led to some practical styling:

  1. The federal mixing bowl was moved to the base of the fireplace where it resides by some practical fireplace tools and holds the ever-important matches.
  2. In this wet, cold winter, the IKEA PJAS Basket is the perfect place for girl-friendly fire logs and wet Seattle Times to hang out.
  3. While I cherish the picture of K and I at Lincoln Park, I am in love with the wine bottle votive holder which I got at my friend’s baby shower as a party favor in January! Of all the colors of wine bottles to receive, I was completely giddy with my luck of getting a yellow bottle! (What’s that? You’re interested in cutting your own wine bottles to make vases or votive covers? Check out Centsational Girl’s tutorial here – and tell me how it goes!)

Speaking of yellow, I love how the color of the votive holder ties in with the art on the mantle which just so happens to tie in with:

The console table set up.

I’m happy to say that the old, $10 stand lamp, which was also a college-decor standard, was replaced with Pottery Barn’s Eva Colored Glass Lamp in Amber (thanks Mom and Dad for the oh-so-generous birthday gift!). These, paired along with several of my favorite Penguin Clothbound Classics and another find at my friend Sally’s, Etsy store, make up one of my favorite parts of the homestead. Now, if I can just find some items to fill in those empty compartments…

Finally, the last of the homestead update brings us to what I lovingly (and frankly) refer to as the landing zone.

Symmetry was restored to the furniture situation due to me edging my way miraculously onto Santa’s good girl list. The lamp (from (surprise, surprise) Target), in my opinion really ties the corner together. Thank you, Jesus, for style-saavy friends (Dianna!) and G-Chat. And now, let’s talk about the pillows.

Oh the pillows… a literal six month project finally climaxed due to THE GREAT SNOWPOCALYPSE. With an inexplicable combination of Bridesmaids then Mars Hill Church’s Ruth series playing on continuous loop, I was able to snip, pin and sew my way to potentially too-many throw pillows. Admittedly, there were a couple of moments when I asked if had over feminized my living room as I attached piping and created ruffles. Nah…

With all of this said, I’m excited for this to segue into the announcement of the next month (or so’s) HBH content:

We’ll start (next week) with a brief, economical discussion regarding throw pillows and then jump into the details of how those bold and brash snugglers pictured above came to be. Honestly, I had a blast making them and will do my best to break down the construction in clear, coherent language. In the meanwhile, you should locate your sewing machine, talk to your roommates about your pillow hopes and dreams, and stay tuned. It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks!

Your turn!

What was your favorite homestead accomplishment over the last few months?