June 29, 2010

Eva v. Rabies

I remembered this story because once again Pete and I are working on fixing up the college rental.

This is my account from two years- so let us just flash back to 2008…..

I'm almost done tearing out the carpet upstairs and am taking one of my final trips to the dumpster that is across the parking lot for the disposal. Since it is summer the complex is empty except for maybe one or two random cars. I’m almost at the dumpster... when I hear this rusting and movement come from behind it. Since I was caught off guard- I scream!

Oh phew, it's just a groundhog.

Except the groundhog stand still and just stares at me. He doesn't run away. He just keeps staring. I’m no forest ranger but even I know that is highly unusual.

Then the groundhog charges right at me! I scream (again), throw the carpet down onto the ground and run all the way back across the parking lot feeling like a tool. I'm being chased by a groundhog- something that is 15lbs is chasing me screaming across a empty parking lot.

The groundhog stops chasing me long enough to wrestle with the dropped carpet. He’s straight up attacking the carpet, tossing it up in the air and all that jazz. It's pretty funny so I call Pete down to check him out. We’re standing outside watching, remarking to each other how nuts this looks, when the little demon stops with carpet turns and starts to stare at us. He stares. He stares. He runs right at us! Halfway accross the parking lot, he stops to stare at us some more. We're still laughing because this is really weird.

Then the shit head charges right at us! It was like dumb and dumber with the two of us trying to get through the door and inside at the same time. We seriously slammed the door right in his face!

He starts to freak out and scratches at the door! Even with the door securely closed and the bolt lock thrown the door is moving. For about five minutes he's pacing up and down in front of our door scratching and attacking trying to get in.

After it quiets down Pete sticks his out the window downstairs to see if he's still out there, when a pair of giant teeth come right up from nowhere trying to eat Pete’s face. My reflexes have never worked faster and I swear I almost slammed the window down on Pete's head.

At this point we’re being kept hostage by a groundhog. We call the cops to get animal control out, ‘cause something is wrong with this guy and eventually we do want to leave.

It takes the cop about five minutes to get there. In the mean time the groundhog has tried to climb UP the front porch to get to us ( we watched from the top floor window), attempted to climb a bush to get to us and has started digging a hole on the side of the house. The thing is surprisingly determined to get at us inside the house.

The cop needs to have a visual on the animal before animal control will come out. You could tell the cop thought this was a total BS call when he got there. We told him- from the upstairs window-, this isn’t a joke and that the groundhog was out there and he is dangerousThe cop believed us when he got charged a few times! Thank goodness for his tall cop boots and night stick… The cop was even taking video on his cell as prove that this was really a legit call!

Eventually animal control came and she got him. He made a break for freedom and came very close to almost escaping into the woods. Once he was locked away we could leave the house again. On the scene the animal control officer told us that it was likely he was “dehydrated” and that was the reason behind the erratic behavior. Um, I’ve been dehydrated before and I’m pretty sure I’ve never tried to eat someone’s face off because of it.

Three days later animal control calls to make sure we didn’t have any contact with the groundhog.

The groundhog (duh) had rabies.

Moral of the story- I no longer think groundhogs are cute and now have a dumpster complex.

The end.

June 28, 2010

Foundation and Rental!

Old foundation V. New Foundation

There is a clear winner here and it isn't the photo on top...

This weekend we spent a considerable amount of time working on the college rental. (I'm actually a little out of it today from being so exuasted and from the 105 temps around here) I spent a good part of my day steam cleaning smoke residue off of walls and a windowsill... The old tenants have all graduated college and moved out and our new ones move in ten days from now. Before they can move in though, we have to pass a notoriously tough rental inspection by the town on Tuesday. Last time we were failed for dented siding on the back of the townhouse. Fingers crossed we pass, as it would be nice to just put the hard work behind us and turn our full attention to the Wee house garage for the summer. We're headed back tonight to bust out another couple hours worth of work, to hopefully finish everything up before the inspection.

Thank you iced coffee and cold Red Bull.

June 25, 2010

Garage - Blocks Laid and Slab Poured

One week. That's how long this took for our Contractor Tony and his crew to turn it from a nasty little crappy slab of concrete to a legit foundation for a four car garage. I better not get used to the speed of how this got done, because it is going to take us much longer to get the rest of this man cave extraordinaire garage done. We're going to be recruiting a lot labor this summer to help the project roll along to the finish line, but it still won't compare to hiring a pro!

The foundation is done and the block has been laid down! We decided to go with two doors instead of one large one. No real reason for opting for that choice, just personal preference. All the ground has been filled in and graded to be flat.

That dirt area off to the side is our eventual car port. We decided to not concrete that area, opting to save money by keeping it as dirt now and only put in the foundation for the support posts on the side. Eventually we'll put down something there, whatever driveway material we end up using!

My super awesome favorite car in the entire world is staring wistfully at the garage. Unfortunately with 205k miles on a 10 year old car that has its original clutch I'm (sadly) pretty doubtful that the Solara will ever get parked inside the garage. I love my car. and my car is going downhill fast. There will be many tears shed when my car ends up going to that big parking lot in the sky.

And the slab has been poured!! Unfortunately we were at work when it got poured, so no fun hand prints or "P&E 2010" got placed in the wet concrete. Slight bummer, cause I wanted to do that. My Dad is coming down tomorrow to give it a professional eyeball once over before we sign over the final payment. Fingers crossed it passes his uber critical eye.

June 23, 2010

Garage Foundation!

We're a pretty handy DIY couple when it comes to all the renovations around the houses. Jumping in head first to a crusty old house without any real construction experience was very much trial-by-fire for us! In fact, we've only outsourced about a handful of the countless improvements over the years to contractors. Preferring to tackle them ourselves because well, we really couldn't afford to pay a contractor to do everything for us. The total bill would have cost us more than the house itself!

One of things on our million mile to-do list we decided that was going to be up to the pros was the foundation for the garage. In no way, shape or form did either of us feel like spending turning the garage foundation into a DIY job. Sometimes calling on the pro is the right thing to do! I'm not messing around and deluding myself that my masonry skillZ are where they need to be to act as a foundation for a garage! Maybe I could do a dog house foundation.

So after putting out a request on Service Magic and asking around we got three contractors to call us back. They all ended up in the same range of each other, which was frustrating because it was still a few thousand over what we estimated. In the end, we went with the guy who was a personal recommendation from another landlord in our college rental complex. Figured that this guy, being the owner of a property management and real estate firm knew who the good contractors are.

Last week the work gets started as expected. There are some bumps along the way, but all stuff that my Dad said is pretty standard and nothing that is really derailing the process.

After the first day of the masons on the job, we drove over to check out the work and drop off the deposit check. I was shocked at how much could get done in a DAY! JEEZ. Man, I thought I was a hard-ish worker but there is nothing like having a crew that knows what they are doing.

I'm not going to lie, as much as I love the satisfaction of DIY work, there is something very decadent about hiring a Pro to really accomplish something. Like eating a delicious full fat ice cream sundae. With Fudge topping.

First evening -
They pulled up the cracked and crumbling old slab that was there. Which wasn't usable in the least because it was about an 1-2" thick and crumbling apart. All the ground got regraded, dug and leveled. The footings were put in the ground, waiting for inspection before the block could be laid!
And we passed!

Up next- laying of the block!

June 22, 2010

Inspiration House

I have a problem.

I am- without a doubt-completely obsessed with houses.

Especially housed that look like the one we're currently trying to fix up. Which might be why when I saw this beauty down in Lewes, DE while walking around eating ice cream, I just had to stand in the road and take a picture for my inspiration file. Just like a creepy stalker or would be burglar. {Both of which I am not}

A note to the owners, I love your house.
I love the sweet front porch that has touches of the original Victorian era charm, which balances out the square lines of the windows and shutters. The metal roof is perfect for down the shore, it must be a loud yet relaxing sound when it rains. I would curl up with a cup of coffee in a squishy chair and enjoy all the summer storms just listening away. I adore the wee little attic window and its wee little shutters at the very top of the house. The colors! Perfectly played contemporary colors that scream traditional beach house, a darker bold gray pairs perfectly with the black and white trim and a pop of red as the door.

Sigh. Someday maybe someone will take pictures of our house from the street to use as inspiration for themselves.

June 16, 2010

Eva Rug(s)

Not about a toupee.

I get irrationally excited when something has the same name as Moi. So I present to you the following rugs that are named Eva.

Ballard Designs

Pottery Barn

I'm not sure which one I actually like better! The fun Ballard rug pops with its unexpected orange, but I love the classic style of the Pottery Barn rug. Not buying either, but it was fun to see what is out there that has my name attached to it.

And then I found this thing via a quick google search. Not a fan.

Shown in Multi

June 14, 2010

Garage Starts Tomorrow!!

Remember last summer where all I did was talking about tearing down our old crappy shed over at the wee house to make room for our new garage? And there was also yammering on about showings... Well. This summer is going to be a little different over here at the fourth door! For one, the house will be going off of the market soon so that mean no showings to whine about. Second- our concrete contractors have broken ground today!! Which means that starting tomorrow they are going to be digging the footing for our new garage foundation! Holy crap.

Over a years worth of thought, design and prep work all starts to come to culmination tomorrow. My awesome carpenter father is going to take a trip down to meet with concrete guy and check to make sure everything is looking like it will run smoothly. There is no other person who'd I want having my back on a construction job than my dad. With over 30 years experience in the construction business my dad has handled every type of job and is a perfectionist pro when it comes to his expectation on job sites.

Cough and cough

Like so many of you, I'm just really proud of my dad.

And since I said I wouldn't blog without a picture during June- here is a picture of my dad and I on my wedding day. And his timberland work boots :D So classic.

June 13, 2010

Second Chance Revisted!

Guess who headed down an hour south to spend her Saturday sweating in a series of warehouses? If you guessed that Pete and I hit up Second Chance in Baltimore again, you'd be right. We wanted to check out their lumber situation, since we're going to be in need of a million 2x4's once the garage gets started. Plus it is always a fun trip to just poke around a little bit. Even if in the process of poking around that means you sweat off a pound or two.

They didn't have any lumber that was going to suit our needs, so we walked away empty handed ultimately.

I got lost in the door selection of the warehouses. Look at all them! All the fantastic treasures that were among the piles and piles of doors. We're definitely coming back once we have an actual need for some more doors.

This one was a favorite, I loved the glass insert space and the wee mail slot!

Adorable factory cart! They had plenty and we really wanted to get one but alas they were out of our current budget. Maybe next time!

June 11, 2010

Out with the old (Furniture)

After the failed house sale it was our mission to overhaul our house a little bit. We had very clear ideas about what we needed and wanted to do. Certain things needed to get done to help get our organization get whipped into shape and take away some of our frustrations of the house’s short comings. Plus we really wanted to replace some items that had got taken out and moved to the beach house this spring.

Here was what we took out and moved over to the beach house:

Our bed! I hated-loathed-despised our bed. It was a cheap piece of junk that was broken, looked worn and the cat used as a scratching post. I shouldn’t talk too much crap on the bed, because now it is living a second lease on life as the master bed at the beach house. I must admit, it looks quite nice there and can handle the abuse it might get during the rental season. If the bed doesn’t survive a particularly tough rental season, no tears will be shed here.

My long dresser, a large 8 drawer one that had tons of storage and also came as part of that bedroom set mistake. You can see it in the above picture. The top however, had unfortunately come into extended contact with a bit of newspaper. And now newsprint is permanently transferred to the dresser top. Other problems on the dresser include part of the veneer is peeling up, a knob that fell off and the particle board that is sagging on the inside. This piece of furniture has also found a new life at the beach house as well. Much to my surprise it looks pretty nice in the room. I guess anything was better than what we had there before.

Our sectional sofa bed TV room couch, an Ikea one that was purchased for half the retail price off of craigslist two years ago. It was brand new and was used to stage a house. We were thrilled to find it and put it to great use as our tv watching couch. Then sleeper couch at the beach house DIED. The Ikea couch is great for the beach house in that it breaks up into sections. Carrying up parts of a couch up three flights of stairs instead of a whole sofa bed is so much easier!

All those things might seem like small, simple items. But we had no idea how much those changes have impacted our lives in the house! The bed leaving meant that everything that was stored underneath had to find new home. Mostly shoes and wedding memorabilia that got displaced. Then, as a flash back to being a teenager, we had to put the mattress and box spring directly on the floor because the bed frame was part of the overall bed.

What up multi-tasking picture that features the dresser, bed and a few of my under bed storage containers!

I had to move our crappy old and small guest room dresser into the master bedroom as a temporary storage solution. Unfortunately it doesn’t even begin to hold half of what my old dresser did. But it is better than using a floor pile system, which was what I was doing prior to moving the dresser into our room.

The couch was the easiest move and temporary solution. We just took our couch out of the living room and moved it into the TV room. It’s a big comfy leather couch that is perfect for lounging on. However, now the living room looks rather bare with just a lone love seat hanging about in such a large room.

We've been working toward remedying all the missing items for about a month now, and it has been harder than expected. Especially since we are on a budget but want to get items that will work for the long run. I think we've manged to do some pretty smart and wallet friendly fixes to our house hold dilemmas. You'll see them soon enough as we're STILL trying to get the house back together. Thankfully we're almost there. I should have some pictures and updates to share on these new items soon!

{My June blog goal was to make sure all my posts have pictures. You guys have suffered through more than enough ramble-y wordy pictureless posts in the last few months}

June 10, 2010

The Sofa That Wasn't...

It is an often true fact of life that you find something that you love exactly when you aren't looking for it. Or at least I've found that is rings true for my life quite frequently. I could list countless examples of the moments that have caught me off guard and that touched my life quite deeply.

This isn't one of those deep moments.

It's about a couch.

A really awesome couch but still just a couch none the less.

Let me take you back a few weeks. Pete and I have found ourselves out in Lancaster, PA at the Pottery Barn Outlet. We're searching for lots of stuff, but our main goal was to find a dresser. Must. Find. Dresser. Need. One. Now was our mindset. I'll spare you the suspense and jump right to the end here. We didn't get a dresser.

Pottery Barn was having a 20% off the lowest price of any upholstered furniture deal that day, so we checked out the chairs, ottomans, the random upholstered bed frame and then the couches. Which is when I saw it. The couch. Calling my name with its cheeky-yet-sophisticated yellow color. As I walked over there I started to take notice of the details, high rolled arms that were equal with the back of the couch, nail head trim, one long single cushion on the bottom and a stack of pillows on the back of the seat. I'm a sucker for nail head trim on furniture, just call it my decor kryptonite.

So I sat in the couch and it was like sitting on a cloud. A glorious "Harvest Yellow" cloud. Then I laid down on the couch and my inner monologue went something like this:

" Oh my I'm comfy. Yes this will do nicely. I can see myself taking many rainy Sunday afternoon naps on here. And this high arm will provide excellent back support as I read through the Harry Potter series again. Oh, and I can definitely sleep here on those nights when Pete is snoring super loud. I wonder how much it is, because I'll totally eat only oatmeal for a month to make this couch happen."

(not THE couch, but another Harvest Yellow PB sofa)

Which when I opened my eyes, sat up and saw the price tag. My dream couch fell right in that gray range with the extra discounted percent off. The gray range is when you can afford it, but the cost is still a hefty chunk of money. But you know the item is still a "good deal" but again, it isn't like the item is so deeply discounted that could be snagged it with pocket change.

Pete came over and I professed my deep undying love for the couch to him. How it would be perfect and I would sit on it every day. And that is was so much nicer than the broken leather love seat we currently had taking up space in the living room. Sure there might have been some scuff marks on the seat, but one of my housewife specialties is getting stains out of everything.

We came very close to grabbing a sales associate and telling them "We'll take it!", but then Pete pointed out the deal breaker. The size of the couch. With the high arms that come up to the back, there was NO WAY we'd be able to get the couch in the house. We already have a lot of trouble with the couches that we currently have. To fit them through the door frames much tilting and correct angling is very important. Every time we do move them into a new home, we're convinced that they aren't going to fit through the doors.
There is just not a door nor window that we'd be able to get my wonderful couch through to fit into our current house.

Talk about crushing defeat. Foiled once again by the fact that everyone and everything was a lot smaller in the 1800's.

The next day I decided to check on the Pottery Barn website to get all the specs on the couch and to see what it retailed for. I could start saving up for a brand new one to put in the Wee house, when the time came to move in.

Giant disappointment # 2.

The couch was not currently on the PB website. Which I could only infer means they do not make it anymore. So now I feel like my only shot at this couch is the one in the outlet, but I didn't even know its name. Then with the magic of the internet I found the mythical couch through the Sofa Finder tool on the PB website. Where they show a picture of the sofa along with its name! Why Hello Oxford Sofa.
A quick Google search revealed the following description of the Oxford Sofa
Classic shelter-back styling makes this eco-friendly sofa a design standout. Bronzed nail head trim accentuates its handsome silhouette, while scatter back pillows soften the look and can be rearranged for comfort. 86" wide x 40" deep x 36" high

This is the email that I sent to Pete

" So, I’m all sorts of excited. Remember that dreamy sofa I fell in love with at the Pottery Barn outlet? But we didn’t know if it would fit in the doors. And we didn’t have a way to get it home. Then it was missing from the Pottery Barn Website! Which means it was out of production. Sad sad Eva face.

I’m on the Pottery Barn website and see the sofa on the “couch finder” tool. However, it is still missing from the website. A few minutes of Google search later and I found its twin! Hopefully. Check out the Tailor Sofa on Crate and Barrels website!

Here is the link for the readers- it goes to the "Tailor Sofa" by Crate and Barrel. I haven't seen the Tailor in person, so no idea if is as dreamy as the Oxford was. Just the knowledge that I can maybe eventually end up with this sofa is great. Especially with my close-ish proximity to the Crate and Barrel Outlet, I might be able to stalk down a great deal!

Lately I'm turning into a C&B groupie!

See, I told you this isn't a crazy deep moment of discovery.

June 8, 2010

Raised Garden Bed update!

Remember last week were I had my first unsupervised experience with a power tool and built my super simple raised garden bed? Well I'm happy to report that the garden is trucking along and I'm working on filling it will all sorts of plants that produce organic deliciousness. Mainly plants of the tomatoes and basil variety. I'm trying to master growing a few plants before I branch out into more veggies.

Last you saw the garden it was a cedar box with the grass below torn up and a diy paper weed barrier down. A garden only really works if there is dirt and plants in it. A quick trip to Lowe's provided me with three 1.5 c ft bags of organic soil, three larger tomato plants, two pots of basil, two small rosemary bushes and 12 Petunia plants for some more color in the front flower garden. Total bill, $48.

The next morning I got to work on figuring out how to fill the garden with dirt. I was reaching the limits of my budget but really needed to mix the baged dirt with native soil. My friend was having great success with using mushroom dirt from a local nursery but I didn't have the time to get there if I wanted to get the garden done that morning. First I contemplated taking a little stroll to the near by field to borrow their dirt. Then I remembered my way in back backyard. Which is full of free dirt for me, provided I did the digging! We never ever go way back there, plus I knew that the old owners used to use that area as their veggie garden, so I was hopeful that the dirt was going to be really rich. Also, New Jersey does have GREAT soil. I mean, we were at one time The Garden State, before we became The Oil and Petro Refinery State...

First attempted shovel full, I dug into an ant hill. So I moved locations and then inspected each shovel full as it went into the wheelbarrow. About an hour of sweaty dirt digging later and I had enough to mix with the bagged dirt. I commenced with the planting at the point using all the tips I could ever remember my dad teaching me. Such as, did you know that you should plant a lot of the tomato plant underground? That's how they establish a good root system because the roots grow out of the stem.

I would like to get a few more basil pots to plant along the front of this side. We both love basil and I'd like to get the plants full enough to try out a few pesto recipes this summer. Looks like we're not the only ones with plans to nom on the basil. Stupid friggen' slugs! I'll have to get the crappy beer from the back of the fridge and set a few beer traps around to catch the slimy buggers.

Last year I planted one mint plant and all summer had nothing more than three straggly looking stalks. Holy wow the mint took off this year! It has spread like gangbusters in its little space under the crepe myrtle and is about as tall as my knee. Mint will send out creepers which spread very fast and it can be very invasive, so be sure if you do plant mint to have it in a contained area. My mint was choking out the lemon thyme plant I had down in the little garden as well.

See this poor half dead guy? I pulled him out and transplanted him to the front garden since he was being choked out by the mint. I don't have much hope he'll rebound this year, but maybe next spring he'll come back to life. It happened with the other half dead thyme I planted as a last ditch effort, so maybe I'll get lucky twice.

I picked red mounding petunias this year to add color to the front gardens. Last year I did so well with them, they grew amazingly and lasted so late in the season.Fingers crossed to have a repeat performance like that again this summer.

Edited to Add: I got this great tip from a reader and wanted to pass it along to anyone who might be looking to fill a new garden with dirt. Crossing my fingers that my backyard dirt will be mostly weed free next year.

I HIGHLY recommend filling the bed with the square foot gardening mix. Just google square foot gardening and you'll find lots of info. It's a little pricier upfront, but last year I did my gardens with the SFG mix and my friend got topsoil delivered. This year her beds were wall-to-wall weeds, and mine just had one or two weeds that I was able to pull out easily in a few seconds.

June 6, 2010

Steamy Sunday

The above is not only a nod to the year I was born, but just happens to be the current temperature of our downstairs. At 10 am. I say downstairs because it must be a good 1,000 degrees hotter upstairs since hot air rises and all that jazz. And the upstairs is precisely where I have to work today, since we're trying to get everything back to organized around here.

No central air, as it didn't come standard with 1850's Colonial farm houses. We never felt like shelling out the boku bucks to get duct work ran and a unit installed. During heat waves and the summer we make do with our two window units, multiple fans and lots of ice water. I'm much more adapt at dealing without A/C than Pete is because I grew up in a house without it, and frankly I largely prefer to not have air conditioning on. It just feels weird to me sometimes.

Am I lounging outside in the shady with a frosty glass of lemonade (margarita) ? No. I'm steam cleaning the office corner that the cat has mistakenly took for her litter box ( multiple times). Steam cleaning. To say that I'm sweating is an understatement. I'm positively GLOWING.

One large cup of ice coffee has already been consumed.

June 4, 2010

More dining room options

I made up the following boards to help me figure out this dining room seating confusion. I think the problems is, and this is very true with the rest of my life, is that I really LIKE a lot of the options. They would all fit great and give the house different feels. I just can't figure out which one I like best. Or which one I'll still be mostly happy with in a few years. I am such a Gemini. Always indecisive. In case you forgot- here is our dining room

Option 1-
Target rug, Chairs we already own, CB2 Contact stools
Dining Room- View 1

Or the same option, without rug:
Dining Room- View 3

Option 2: Dash and Albert Rug, Ikea Parsons Chair with linen slipcover, matching C&B Pacifica bench

Dining Room View 2

Or with a different rug:

Living Room View 4

I'm also liking the following...

Sheffield Side Chair - Dining Chairs - Kitchen And Dining Room Furniture - Furniture | HomeDecorators.com
The painted look is fresh, and I think the curves of the chair would play off the heavy table well.

Side Chair. 18"H seat;

Scroll 48.25"H Pendant - Pendant Lighting - Lighting | HomeDecorators.com

Metal chairs, very unexpected. Bonus, cat can not use these as a scratching post.

June 3, 2010

Dining Room Chairs...

Once the table got all settled in our dining room all the places where we could buy chairs popped into our heads.

Local thrift store- out of the question. I’ve yet to find a local thrift store that is worth visiting on a regular basis.

Target? Out of our price range and for most options we’d have to order sight unseen.

Pottery Barn outlet? Possibly, but that is almost two hours from our house and we might not find anything. Or the wrong amount of things ( ie- one perfect chair only in stock)

Ikea? We both work a cool (less than with no traffic) 20 minutes from TWO Ikeas. ( I feel spoiled, as there is a third just over an hour away as well) Good contender.

Home Goods? Definitely worth checking out, there are a few within a reasonable distance away.

Home Goods got scoped out first. Almost immediately we found a beige mirco-suede parsons chair that seemed like it would fit the bill. The chair was a go until we sat on the chair. Despite being really comfy, the chair felt cheap. And even with my small and light frame I felt like it was unsteady while sitting on it. Boo. I don’t want to pay $70 a chair for crap.

Upon further exploration around the store came a dark wood frame chairs that had leather seats We sat in them. We liked them, although not as comfortable as the other ones, but much better construction. I felt like I wasn’t in danger of busting the chair at any moment. Still wasn’t thrilled about paying $70 a chair, but after doing some research it seems like that is a pretty good price to pay for chairs! (Who knew they were so much money?!) The chairs found their way into our SUV and later, into our home. Here they are with the table.

We had some time between our evening plans and decided to squeeze in a quick stop at Ikea to see what they had to offer in the chair department. This is when the chair conundrum started. I found the Henriksdal chair, which was comfy, nicely made, and fit the upholstered look I really wanted. Even the chair cover I liked was on sale, which made the chair the exact same cost as the ones that were currently chilling in the back of our SUV. Here is an example of the Ikea chair, except we'd get the one with dark legs.

However, Pete wasn’t sold on the chairs. Admittedly they weren’t as well constructed as the wood/leather ones. Plus, he is worried about how well the upholstering will hold up with use. Especially when we do have a dinner party (which happens once a never)or with children at the table. I pointed out that we’ll be able to wash the slip covers or buy new ones. And that we’re years away from having to worry about children ruining the chairs.

We're also slowly searching around, more like keeping our eyes open, for a bench for one side of the table. I like how benches add more seating and uncrowd the table and the line of sight. Crate and Barrel does have a matching Pacifica bench, but the retail price is $399.

Way way out of our comfort level of spending. Especially when the table was only $449! Maybe I'll stalk down the outlet more this summer for the bench, but unless I come across it on great sale the Crate and Barrel Pacifica bench is going to be a no-go. I'm also eyeballing these CB2 stools. Five year old me would spend hours on them spinning around.

So now I don’t know what to do. I’m caught between the more practical choice that we do already own, but I’m not even sure if I like the chairs with the table. I think I would grow to like them more? Or, the chairs could get returned and we pick up the Ikea ones. Which I do like better, but seem more “delicate”. (If that makes any sense…) Should I just go chairless and wait to find something that fits EVERY criteria? Affordable, well made, upholstered and mutually agreed upon with the Husband?