Little updates, a free fence, and a chair

While we’ve slowed down on the major improvements to our house, readers, we’re diligently working on the little touches.  In the last few weeks, we’ve gussied up a few rooms and it’s totally worth sharing in one post.

We’ve added some artwork to the walls in our bathroom, which so far is the only room in the house that is “done” in terms of our Phase 1 stuff.  We’re not interested in changing out the flooring or the awful wall tile and the bathtub until that whole room gets gutted, so these last few additions are going to have to tide us over for now.

The initial wall art purchase was this happy little fellow.  Dan surprised me with this one day.

Lobster printThe lobster was originally hung over the toilet in the bathroom when he was the only game in town, but then we spotted these lovely prints during one of Dan’s characteristic used book hunts at Second Look Books downtown.  They were quirky and cheap, and they perfectly compliment our bathroom theme.

Monster wall prints Filling up the space above the toiletOur shower curtain came first, and it’s been waiting patiently for some undersea monster friends for, like a whole year.

Kraken shower curtainThe next update has no picture, but let me tell you about it.  We bought a new mattress!  I had a truly awful muscle spasm in my neck and shoulder about a month ago, and Dan swears it was caused by our terrible, squeaking, sagging, 8 year old mattress.  I didn’t need much convincing, so we went shopping for a mattress as soon as my two RMT appointments set me right again.

I initially pushed for us to go to Sleep Country, because their radio ads have brainwashed me, and why would I buy a mattress anywhere else?  We cruised around the store for about half an hour, and chatted with the man there while we tried out mattresses, but anything we sat on was a minimum of $1,000 and it was just too rich for our blood.  In my head, I kind of figured we’d be looking at spending a grand on a mattress, but I didn’t want to actually do it, and we weren’t prepared to spend that kind of money yet.

I had mentioned mattress shopping to my boss, and she said she always had luck with Sears, and they often threw in extras or waived the delivery fee.  We went to Sears right after our experience at Sleep Country, and it was night and day different.  The range of prices for mattresses at Sear was much better; it wasn’t all starting at $1,000 and going up from there (who is spending $5,000 on a mattress?!).  The woman who helped us was awesome.  She was very straight forward, answered all of our questions, and showed us mattresses that were within the realm of what we wanted to spend.  She didn’t rush us or seem annoyed when we went back and forth between our top two choices.  Dan ended up signing up for a Sears credit card that night in order to save the delivery fee (which would have been $75 in-town), and now we have a Sears card for future large appliance purchases.  We also saved some cash by not buying the boxspring because our Ikea bed frame uses wooden slats to support the mattress.  All in all, we got ourselves a mattress on sale, didn’t pay for delivery, and spent a whole $550.  We got their Kinsdown line, the Jasper, if you’re curious.  And I’m pumped that now we have an actual queen sized mattress instead of the terrible queen-length but double-width monstrosity that was a hand-me-down from my sister.  Side note: Tammy, that is in no way a standard size.

We placed our old mattress on the curb on garbage night, carefully wrapped up in the heavy plastic that our new mattress came in, and within 15 minutes, someone had picked it up off the curb and taken it home.  Weird.  And gross.

In backyard news, we got a pleasant surprise last month when our behind-the-house neighbours approached Dan while he was cutting the grass to tell us they were replacing the cruddy chainlink fence at the back of our yard with a nice new wooden fence.  Yippee!  If this was their awkward way of asking for us to go halfsies on the fence, it certainly didn’t come across that way, so we let them do their thing and now we have a beautiful wooden fence blocking out the view of the neighbours.  They took their sweet time putting it up, which meant that Oscar had to be tied up with his string in the yard for about a month, each and every time he wanted to go outside, but it’s done now.

FREE.I also totally would not pay for half of this project when they left us with some unsightly gaps where an Oscar can easily squeeze through.

Gap behind fenceWe’ve done a little creative patching with leftover lattice from our fence, and a random board that was left by the old owners.  Eventually we’ll nicely cover the gap or plant a tree or a bush or something.  But for now, FREE FENCE!

And to round things out inside, we finally have a reading chair in the office.

Office reading cornerWe just picked up the chair today, from our favourite furniture shop Next Time Around.  We saw this chair months ago in the store when it was $450, and thought long and hard about spending that much on a chair and decided against it.  The style and the colour and the texture and everything about it was perfect, but we knew we could find something similar for a lot less, so we walked away.  On our most recent Ikea trip, we were looking forward to picking up their new wingback chair for $300, but were disappointed when the GIANT box for it would in no way fit in Dan’s car, so we walked away from that one too.  On a quick pop into Next Time Around today, I was surprised to see the chair still sitting there, and now it was also marked down to 50% off.  The way the store works is that items come in on consignment or whatever, and each price tag has the soon-to-be discounted prices already on it.  So when an item doesn’t sell after a month, the price drops down to the next one on the tag, and then it happens again, and then I don’t even know what happens when it gets to the last price on the tag.  On this particular day, they had marked down a number of things in the store with red discount tags.  It was a perfect shopping moment.  I have never been so lucky in all of my shopping years to get something I desperately wanted at such a discount.  We came back to the store later today to pick it up, and it’s already nestled in to our office with a good book and a place to put up its feet.

The foot stool and skull side table have been in our house for the last month or so.  We bought them on the same weekend we were deeply disappointed at Ikea, because we knew we would eventually need a foot stool for our future reading chair, and a cute place to set down your book.  Both the stool and the side table (which is also a stool if you want to get technical) came from Urban Barn.  I love them all.  This little nook is still missing a rug and a lamp, but the chair was the most important find.  Now I am happy.


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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