Craigslist Tips

Craigslist has been an amazing resource for flea-market junkies like me and Jill. When it started, it provided this whole new world for vintage seekers to hunt, negotiate, and score their perfect next treasure. You’ve seen lots of examples from Jill of items she’s found through Craigslist and spruced up to fit her home. She seriously has a knack for it. I was a bit leery of it at first, just because I’d read stories of burglaries or people taking advantage of those buying or selling. However, last year I decided to give it a whirl, and now it’s definitely a go-to resource for our family. I’ve also had luck selling a few things, which makes it even better!

After taking baby steps and talking to pro’s, like Jill, there are a few tips for buying and selling on Craigslist that I’ve learned along the way:

  • Make sure you’re photography is helping sell the item. It amazes me that people post coffee tables with trash all over them, or a chair with clothes all over the floor in the background. C’mon, put a little effort into it people! Those of us buying online are so visual, so anything you can do to “stage” your piece will help sell it. Clean up your item for sale and take a photo of it in a room as you would recommend using it if you can. If not, try to at least make sure the photo is bright enough that potential buyers can really see it. Too often, people take a photo in their garage or basement on their phone, and it’s really difficult to see the full potential of the piece.

 

  • Give all the dimensions and product information you have. This is something I didn’t really think about at first. I posted my first items for sale and forgot to even measure them. The first questions I was always asked was, “what are the dimensions?” So, after that, I decided to give every measurement I could, the brand name, the exact color, and anything else I thought was pertinent for a potential buyer. That helped cut down on the email questions I received that never turned into sales.

 

  • Be willing to negotiate. You have to understand that people shopping on Craigslist are looking for a deal. Part of the fun is negotiating a price that makes the buyer feel like their hunting paid off. So, start your price a tad higher than your bottom line – that way, you have some wiggle room. If you aren’t willing to alter the price at all, type “price is firm” in your description. But what’s the fun in that?

 

  • Keep yourself safe. If you’re a buyer, have the seller meet you in a public parking lot if possible. Do the same as the seller. Or, if you have to go to the seller’s house, ask them to bring the piece outside for you to view it. As the seller, you should do that as well for your buyer. Email is great for initial discussions, but talk with the person over the phone as well to understand why they’re interested. And try to have someone else with you if you can.

 

Here are a couple of my favorite Middle Redefined Craigslist finds.

Jill’s fabulous media console re-do.

Before Media Console

Before Media Console

 

Media Console After

Media Console After – middleredefined.com

And my pendant lights.

Craigslist Pendant Lights

Craigslist Pendant Lights

 

New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs - Middle Redefined

New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs – Middle Redefined

Hope this inspires you to give Craigslist a whirl if you haven’t already! It takes some serious time to weed through everything. But when you find that perfect treasure, it’s all worth it!

 

 

Little Laundry “Lift”

Recently, we gave our little laundry room a little “lift”.  All inspired by these photos – where space is limited and having a shelf to fold / organize  / hang laundry was a must…

ok – the above photo is a bit unrealistic with all the accessories in the laundry room – but I had to share because it was really darn pretty…just not realistic right now for my life – maybe someday.

Now here is my newly “up-lifted” laundry room.  (sorry for the poor photo quality – taken on my phone)

www.middleredefined.com - Laundry Room "Lift"

http://www.middleredefined.com – Laundry Room “Lift”

www.middleredefined.com - Laundry Room Lift

http://www.middleredefined.com – Laundry Room Lift

Big thanks for the mister for building the shelf – huge help while managing the piles and piles of laundry we have these days.  Doesn’t help that I felt the need to change Jonah four times the other day.  He has so many cute 0-3 month clothes and I think wearing them at least once is a must.

OR I will just keep him naked wrapped up in this snuggly blanket…

www.middleredefined.com http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Big thanks for Erica, Trent and Kingston for the most PERFECT baby gift ever.

Soft + Neutral colors + Monogrammed = LOVE.

Guest Post: Brianne’s Flea Market Finds

One of our friends, Brianne, also has an addiction to the West Bottoms Flea Market. So for today’s guest post, we asked her to share her favorite finds and how she’s used them in her home. As you can see, she’s so creative and has a knack for accessorizing. Jill and I are thrilled to be able to share her post with you because we know you’ll be inspired. Hope you enjoy today’s post, written by Brianne herself – thanks Brianne!

About two and a half years ago I was watching The Nate Berkus Show (RIP, unless you count the reruns on Oprah’s network, which I don’t.)  There was a lady on that was showing how she repurposed furniture and she mentioned having a store in Kansas City called Good JuJu.  She mentioned it being in the West Bottoms, which I only knew as the location of the haunted houses and a cool backdrop for urban style family photos.  A quick Google search showed me that her store was amongst others in the Bottoms, all of which were only open the first weekend of every month which was called Warehouse Weekend.  I hit the next sale to check it out for myself and have missed very few weekends over the years.
Just to show you all that the West Bottoms have to offer, I thought I’d share some of my favorite scores!  All store’s vendors replenish stock throughout the weekend.  Many of my earlier purchases came from Good JuJu.  I purchased this buffet from a vendor there.  She then painted it for me the color I needed.  I love the clean lines and all of the storage it provides.

Refinished Grey Hutch

Refinished Grey Hutch

This turquoise mirror is also one of my Good JuJu finds.

Little Girl's Room

Little Girl’s Room

 

I custom ordered this bookshelf from a store called Bottoms Up Antique Market.  Bottoms Up has over 60 vendors and four floors.  The vendor had one bookshelf on the floor but could also make them the dimensions you need and with the metal finish you’d like.

Metal Shelf Accessorized

Metal Shelf Accessorized

The tar-stained wood was from a chicken barn and was unfinished, but after living with it for a while I decided to stain it.  The darker look just felt more like me and now I love it even more!

Rustic Stain

Rustic Stain

This milk crate came from a shop called Nook and Cranny.  I love the milk company’s name on the front.  I cleaned it up and filled it with some of my husband’s favorite adult bottles since we don’t have space in our home for an actual bar.  Father’s Day gift success!

Milk Crate

Milk Crate

 

My most recent purchase was this amazing gold ornate mirror at this month’s sale.  I literally walked/ran to it when I saw it from the doorway of the second floor at Bella Patina because I was so worried that someone else was seeing it at the same time I was.  It was seriously large Marge and although I had no idea where I was going to put it, I knew I had to have it and would figure it out.

Antique Mirror

Antique Mirror

My favorite store by far for antique & vintage shopping in the West Bottoms is Restoration Emporium.  Much of my smaller decorative items have come from here.  From mason jar soap dispensers to décor for every season and holiday, it has everything and is always our first stop.  I came across these vintage bug prints and knew they’d be perfect for my son Rowan’s camp-themed room.  I purchased the wood-grained finish frames from Ikea and hung them above his art table. If you only have time to visit one store in the West Bottoms, Restoration Emporium is a can’t miss.

Little Boy's Room

Little Boy’s Room

Thanks for checking out some of my favorite flea market finds! Hope they’ve inspired you to do some exploring and rethinking for your own home!

 

Extend a Curtain Using Fabric Glue

So, in addition to adding a fun new locker to my son’s room this weekend, I also added a bit of length to his curtain using fabric glue. Kingston has a really long window in his bedroom, and it has a rounded top. When we moved in, that rounded space was filled with a fan-type window covering. It worked just fine for covering the window, but it let a ton of light in – not to mention it was absolutely caked with dust and honestly just didn’t really make sense to me. So, I decided to extend his curtains and get rid of the weird fan thing. My only problem was that I don’t know how to sew, and I didn’t have a ton of time (the whole project only took me an hour and a half).

Kingston's Curtain Before

Kingston’s Curtain Before

I got some fabric glue and plain white material out and got to work. When I started the project, I realized that applying the fabric glue directly to the fabric from the bottle was not the right method. The glue was way too noticeable – as you can see here, – so I decided to apply it more sparingly with a paint brush that I stole from Kingston’s art supplies. Thank you Kingston.

Fabric Glue to Extend Curtain

Fabric Glue to Extend Curtain

I measured the extra length I needed, and the width of the curtain. Then I decided how much extra I needed for the edging. Once I started cutting and gluing, it actually felt a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Extending a curtain using fabric glue

Extending a curtain using fabric glue

And the end result was totally worth it. The longer curtain just fills that wall and window so much better. And when we close it, the material keeps his room dark so much better. Don’t look too closely at the edging though, because you can see some of the glue through the material. If I had used thicker and/or darker fabric, you wouldn’t have been able to see it nearly as much.It’s not incredibly noticeable, so for a cheap fix to a little problem, it’s worth the imperfection.

Kingston's Curtain After

Kingston’s Curtain After

 

Extending a Curtain with Fabric Glue - www.middleredefined.com Extending a Curtain with Fabric Glue – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Do you have a curtain that could be extended?

On Friday, I’ll show the rest of his room and the other personalized touches. Have a great rest of your week!

Settee Staged

I’m finally done painting my bedroom walls white. And I have my settee all set up in the sitting room part of my bedroom. Before I go on, can I just say that the whole “sitting room” part of a master bedroom is a complete waste of space and not sure why anyone needs one. Except that it gave me a great excuse to buy a settee!!! So here it is ready for “sitting.”

I talked about getting it through Overstock in this post. And then I showed you some of my fun accessories in this post. Now, I got it all set up, moved my side tables and lamps next to it because they fit really nicely there, and then I was ready to hang artwork.

Sitting Room Staged - www.middleredefined.com

Sitting Room Staged – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

 

[caption id="attachment_1205" align="alignleft" width="600"]Sitting Room Update Sitting Room Update

 

The piece in the top left is the first piece of art that my husband and I bought when we first got married. We always dreamed of having a boat, so we thought this was a great way to dream – we still don’t have a boat. The photo to the right of that is me in my wedding dress. The art on the bottom left is a pencil sketch my sister-in-law gave us as a gift. It’s a drawing of our son from a photo my mother-in-law took. The last one is also a pencil sketch representing my husband and baby boy laying down together with just their feet showing. I love each and every one of these pieces, so I wanted to display them in a somewhat symmetrical collage above the settee.

Sitting Room Art

Sitting Room Art

 

Beyond just setting up the settee, I was also able to paint an old mirror I had mint this weekend. It’s so fun against the white walls.

 

 

Mint Mirror

Mint Mirror

 

This should be the last preview I share before the entire room is done. I have a new bed coming soon, and our bathroom has a few more touchups before it’s finally done. I won’t have it finished until August because the next two weeks are full of work travel and then our family Summer vacation. I’m definitely ready for it to all be completed!! Let me know what you think!!

Make Your Own Magnetic Chalkboard

For years my mother-in-law had this sad little corkboard hanging off the side of her fridge loaded with receipts, invitations, baby announcements, etc. The only reason she had that was because she had filled her entire fridge up with photos, so that stuff had no where to go. So for Christmas last year, I made her a framed magnetic chalkboard so she could at least replace the corkboard hanging from a string.

I searched blogs to find out how to make one, and of course, blogs came through! On Less than Perfect Life of Bliss, blogger Julie talks about the best way to make a magnetic chalkboard (click here for step by step directions). My first step was to find an inexpensive frame, so where did I go? The West Bottoms Flea Market of course! They have tons of cheap frames without the glass or back, which was exactly what I needed. I got mine for $8 and gave it a nice coat of black glossy spray paint.

Julie recommended a specific kind of sheet metal, but I wasn’t able to find it at my local Lowe’s, so I just had someone point me in the direction of pre-cut sheet metal. I found some magnets in the store to test and make sure that what I was buying was magnetic. My husband cut it to fit the frame, and I sprayed chalkboard paint all over the front of it. Since it was an open frame, I wanted to make the back sturdy, so we got some inexpensive craft wood from Michaels and used clear tape on the seam – we’re really professional.

Back of Magnetic Chalkboard

Back of Magnetic Chalkboard

Then I found some hardware at Michaels that secured everything into the frame.

Hardware for Magnetic Chalkboard

Hardware for Magnetic Chalkboard

For the magnets, I bought the standard round magnets that you can find at any craft store. To make them pretty, I bought some round, designed stickers that are supposed to be used to seal envelopes. I say they work pretty well as magnet decoration!

Magnets

Magnets

My mother-in-law loves her magnetic chalkboard – at least she tells me she does. And I want to make one for our kitchen but just haven’t had a chance yet. Hope you find the time to create one for your home! They’re such a fun addition to your kitchen, kids room, or office.

Making a Magnetic Chalkboard - Middle Redefined

Making a Magnetic Chalkboard – Middle Redefined

 

Magnetic Chalkboard DIY - www.middleredefined.com Magnetic Chalkboard DIY – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! Jill and I will be taking the next two days off for some R&R with our families, so we won’t be updating the blog until next week. Stay safe and cheers to a fun-filled long weekend!

 

 

Young House Love – Kitchen Remodel

One of the blogs I go to often for inspiration is Young House Love. This couple is now in their third house and have completely DIY-ed each house they’ve lived in from the inside out. In fact, they’re so creative, they’ve published a book and are sought out as DIY experts. For anyone remodeling or decorating on a budget, they are a must-have resource.

I was checking out their site this week to get some inspiration for our friend Molly’s house. As I mentioned recently, she and her family just moved into a new home and Jill and I get to help them decorate! The first task on our list is their kitchen/family room area. This space is just a bit dated, with lots of honey oak, so they’re wanting to brighten everything up with whites and grays. Jill is an expert with transforming a kitchen, so be sure to check out her post here.

And on Young House Love’s site, they show their amazing transformation as well that we think could be great inspiration for Molly’s kitchen.

Here’s their kitchen before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

And after…isn’t it fabulous?

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot

The other side before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

It’s crazy how just a bit of white paint and some new, fixtures can make a space feel completely different.

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot 2

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot 2

Finally, one more angle.

Young House Love - Breakfast Area Before Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area Before Shot

Can’t believe this is even the same space!

Young House Love - Breakfast Area After Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area After Shot

While Molly’s family won’t be needing to do this much of an overhaul, this kitchen re-do provides some ideas for us to get started with. Do you love Young House Love as much as I do?

 

 

DIY Curtain Panels

So one day I was walking around Target looking for all the other things I could pile up in my cart that I didn’t really need, and I came across a shower curtain on clearance. I was drawn to it because I loved the Aztec-y pattern and rusty orange color. In my second guest room, I have some throw pillows that have a paisley pattern of blue, orange, red, and pink. I decided to pick it up and figure out how to make some curtain panels out of it for that room.

DIY Curtain - Middle Redefined

DIY Curtain – Middle Redefined

All I had to do was cut the shower curtain in half to make two panels (shower curtains work really well for this because they’re really wide). Then, my mom sewed up the sides and connected some cream fabric to the end to extend it – you could easily do this with fabric glue. And finally, we got curtain hooks for the top and an inexpensive rod.

DIY Window Panels from Shower Curtain

DIY Window Panels from Shower Curtain

The shower curtain was only $12.99, and I love how it fits into the room! So the next time you’re looking for extra randoms at Target that you can’t live without, walk by the home clearance section and you might find something perfect for your next DIY project!

Master Redesign Progress

We have made progress on our master bedroom/bath update! So excited to share photos with you! The last time we talked, my bathroom looked like this – carpet overload.

Tile Choices

Tile Choices

Now the floor looks like this.

New Bathroom Tile

New Bathroom Tile

We love, love, love the new tile. It has so much personality!

Master Bathroom Updated

Master Bathroom Updated

Our contractors did a great job on the woodwork around the tub. I just need to paint it the same cream color as the rest of the woodwork now.

Master Bathroom Updated

Master Bathroom Updated

The next step is picking out new paint for the wall. I know you’re probably saying, “But Erica, what’s wrong with the color that’s there right now?” Well, for one thing it’s flat paint, so all the stains that are there right now are impossible to get out (NOT a flat paint fan). And the other reason is I pretty much have white on tan on beige right now, and that’s just not really how I roll. I want a paint that helps tie in the new colors I’m bringing into the space, so I need something that’s a bit cooler in hue.

Wall Color Samples

Wall Color Samples

So I decided to go for something in the mint family and got some paint samples on the wall.

Alas, these are a bit too much for the space (the three on the wall are the three paint chips you see on the left) so I’m going to go with one of the lighter shades on the right. Just need to get those samples this weekend and test them out as well.

 

Paint Chips for Master Bath

Paint Chips for Master Bath

 

AND I also finally got some accessories for our bedroom! The corral throw and pillow are from Steinmart, and so are the gray vases. The other mint/corral items are from Anthropologie. I heart the way they look with my black and white striped quilt.

Mint and Corral Accessories - Middle Redefined

Mint and Corral Accessories – Middle Redefined

 

Mint and Corral Love

Mint and Corral Love

More fun to be had this weekend! I’m going to have time to finish painting our bedroom white. There are several items still on the list, but it feels so good to have the bathroom flooring done. What do you think?

Face Lift – Exterior Finishes

When we moved into our house two years ago, the exterior was very plain. The paint on the house and the trim were pretty much the same color, and there wasn’t anything that created much interest in the architecture. So we (mostly meaning I) got to work planning ways to spruce things up.

First up was a new paint job. Gray on the main part of the house and a cream trim brightened everything up a bit. Then as luck would have it, our ugly garage doors broke, so we got new “cottage-style” ones. Here’s the before and after – sorry the quality is so bad.

House Update

House Update

Next up, a new front door. I got this one from Home Depot for about $300, and I love it! I have had several people from the neighborhood ask me if I live at the house with the cute new front door. Of course, I have to ask them to repeat that in front of my husband because he thought the old door with dents in it was just fine.

New Front Door

New Front Door

I also had a co-worker make us some custom shutters. I do work for a construction company, so that comes in quite handy sometimes. When we had our house painted, the shutters and the door got a fresh coat of black paint. I have to say that I love driving up to the house each day. The face lift made a world of difference to the exterior of our house.

More Custom Shutters

More Custom Shutters

Custom Shutters

Custom Shutters

 

And finally, we needed some plants for the small front porch. Remember how Jill said yesterday that she has sort of a black thumb? Um…I would have to put myself right there with her. I adore swirly evergreens, and they seemed low maintenance enough even for me. Well, this one only lasted a year.

Dead Swirly Evergreen

Dead Swirly Evergreen

The ones I planted last year were in pots that just kept falling over whenever we had a big storm. So I replanted them last night in these larger square ones. Hopefully that will help keep them alive longer.

Front Door View - www.middleredefined.com

Front Door View – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

I had some help from little hands – he was looking for dinosaur fossils.

[caption id="attachment_796" align="alignleft" width="768"]My helper My helper

What sort of exterior face lifts have you done to your house?

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