A lil porch appeal

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I have become addicted to green.  Seriously. All shades although the brighter the better. And I really love the shades named after food like lime or  pistachio. The color is popping up everywhere in our house, indoors and outdoors. I will give you peeks into the coveted hue’s appearance in da haven later but for now, here is a peak at this year’s porch which has been kissed by the green bug:

I decided to add plenty of pops of green (note my coffee cup which I forgot was in the shot has green detailing as well:) as well as try my hand at being a green thumb again…through container gardening. Ya’ll know my yard had no respect for me. Sorry the pics suck but I am using my phone camera.  Anywho…this is a big switch from last year’s porch:

which was pretty blah except for the sheers which I loved and am thinking of doing again this year. It was too simple: tension rods and $5 sheers from IKEA. Although, I think this year, I will use some of those velcro dots thingamajiggas to hold the sheers in place at the bottom because the caught H-E-double hockey sticks during strong winds and thunderstorms.  The front part of the porch also looks very different as I did a cool pallet garden this year.

RPCWUI (Removing Popcorn Ceilings While Under the Influence)

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So…..I got the grand idea to remove the popcorn ceiling in my kids’ bathroom today. I do not know where the idea came from or why I felt I was adequately prepared for such a task (I wasn’t) but I tackled it anyway. Actually, the ceiling made the decision for me since a frisbee size patch had already fallen on the heads of bathing children. My initial intent was to make an assessment of all of the stuff I needed to do in the bathroom when I did decide to redo it. That turned into me removing the ceiling. Go damn figure. Anyway, I neglected to take a before picture so I took one of the identical ceiling in the downstairs bathroom whose popcorn days are also numbered.

Let me insert a disclaimer here. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR CEILING FOLLOWING MY HAPHAZARD PROCESS. I.E. – do not listen to ish I say. Simply be motivated to get started on a project that you have left lingering. Get some get-up-and-go and get things to poppin’. Get it? Popcorn ceiling….popping??? Hahaha! CORNy. Hahaha. I did it again. I digress.

Here’s what I used:
1. A spray bottle that I found under the sink. I think my youngest daughter used it for one of her weaves.
2. A putty scraper.
3. A bottle of Riesling.

Please note all the ceiling crap on the floor in this picture. I figured since the bathroom is hella small and the tub is designed to be filled, then everything would just fall in the tub and I would then get the shop vac and clean-up would be a breeze.  And the sad thing is, I was sober when I thought that fraggernaggle bull up. Sheesh.

The process went a little something like this….spray, sip, scrape. Spray, sip, scrape. Sometimes, I mixed it up for variety. Sip, spray, scrape. I continued until popcorn begone. And after a few hours and one bottle later…voila! The hot mess (but popcorn free!) ceiling pictured below.

Actually, from all online accounts, I did a pretty good job. Very few gouges and I only fell off my chair once. I did learn a few things however and it would be remiss of me not to share:
1. Cover everything in plastic like the folks who know better tell you.
2. Do not drink wine during home improvement. Margaritas are more appropriate.
3. Do your research. I didn’t find out until after the fact that my popcorn could have had asbestos as many older cribs built before 1979 do. Thankfully, my house was built in the mid-80’s. God takes care of fools and babies. ‘Nuff said. I will keep you posted on my bathroom redo. Next stop, sanding and preparing the ceiling for paint and repainting the walls. I haven’t quite decided on colors but I am thinking artichoke and black. Please share your thoughts.

Mr. Bench

I needed a bench. Not just any bench, pray tell. But an impression leaving, cushy to the tushy, eclectic yet simple, and oh yeah, cheap bench. You know your girl likes style for the low low. I looked far and wide for my bench. I perused my most trusted websites, scoured my most beloved furniture stores. I saw upholstered benches with lovely shantung silks and priceless linens, wooden benches made of the most exquisite species of tree, modern metal benches, buttery leather benches. I loved many of them but alas, their price tags detested me. Where oh where was my bench? See, this bench was going in the most important of places. It was going in the (insert dramatic pause here) living room. I finally had a house where I could have my very own living room, or zen den, as I lovingly like to call it. We were fortunate enough in our previous house to have a house at all, let alone a separate room I could put all my “good” stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong. My kids and the dog pretty much have run of the house. I wanted just one smidgen of square footage just for me…and my uber cool grown up guests. It was where I would hang art and sip Riesling…talk about the affairs of the world and spiritual growth.  And finally, I had one. But what I didn’t have was a bench. It was the last thing I needed- well, at the time it was. Now, I realize I need a larger area rug (thinking jute or seagrass) to pull things together. And some dark hardood floors which I have always found oh so elegant. And maybe some more lighting to really make the art pop. And those popcorn ceilings definitely have to go. I digress. The bench.

As I mentioned, I found a few benches I would’ve loved to have. However, my personal economics didn’t agree. I begged and begged my wallet but no dice. It wasn’t happening. I will post some of the benches that I adored. So I did what I always do. I pouted for a minute or two and then I grabbed my stingy wallet and headed to the flea market and thrift stores. I ended up scoring at the NC State flea market which was my first stop. I had found some awesome modern chairs there a few months back that were now gracing my living room. The coffee table caught one of my four eyes as I was leaving, off to hit up a few thrift stores. There he was. Looking all lonely and bereft because all his other furniture friends had left. I saw him and knew that he could possibly be my bench. Actually, that is a lie. I actually saw the table in front of him and knew that HE could be my bench. He had clean lines, enviable grain. And an ugly price that the owner was not willing to negotiate much. But my eventual bench, hiding behind my first choice, peeked his head out and TADA! Our eyes met and I knew he was the one for me. He wasn’t that good looking…chipped white and blue paint mottled his frame. But he was strong. And he was $25. SOLD.

I brought him home and promptly put him the garage and forgot about him. There he languished while I went on with the whole business of living and doing important things. I eventually had someone hang my new white wood blinds in the living room and that’s when it dawned on me that I needed a bench. And not just any bench, I tell ya. Just as I was getting revved up to deliver my bench soliloquy, I remembered my table -supposed-to-be-bench-by now in the garage. OH YEAH!!! I pulled him out, my faithful ugly bench, and went about the business of finding him his pretty. Now his pretty needed to be less than $100 bucks and since I already spent $25 on him, that left me with $75 smackeroos. I remembered that I had some leftover blue velvet faburc from my last rescue, a vintage couch that someone actually gave me because they were going to throw it away. I had my upholsterer make a tufted cushion that fit the dimensions of my bench.  I literally went into the upholsterer and asked how much cushion could I get for $75 – for those of you who saw Chris Rock in CB4, you will understand. I repainted the legs and all the parts that were going to show with a fresh coat of white that I found in my garage and was thus free and voila! A bench is born. I knew my bench had it in him all the time. Ahem. Bench breakdown:

Coffee table bench – $25

Fabric for cushion – FREE (leftover from previous project)

White paint – FREE (Leftover from…wait, whose paint was that???)

Cushion Reupholstery – $75

                   Grand total = $100

Hello my fellow design stars!!!

This is my first official post as the Haven Maven. Those of you who know me know what a thrill I get from interior design. This blog will chronicle my experiences as I work diligently to turn my house into a home. Of course, I will be doing all of this for as little as possible. Some would say cheaply – I prefer on the low, low. I welcome all comments, feedback, and suggestions. Show me what you have accomplished to make your haven heavenly. I will also share some links to some of my fave finds and stores. I call this “Things that make you go mmmm….” Ha ha. I crack me up.  Now, I am new at this so bear with me folks if my pictures come out jacked up or my videos are tad bit shaky. And please forgive my typos. Smooches!!!