7th House on the Left


posted by Greg & Ashley  /  18 Comments

Time for another monthly installment of His + Her Favorite Things. This month, along with our favorite things, you’ll learn what I keep in my cookie jar Tardis, what vegetable changed Ashley’s skin color when she was 3 and what famous house she stopped by while in Connecticut. Oh, come on, you know you’re dying to find out ; ). Without further ado, our favorite things…

1. Roku 2 XD – While I’m definitely a big fan of my TiVo in the living room, I’ve recently been looking for a small set-top box for streaming movies and shows to the TV in the master bedroom. In there, we don’t really need a DVR, and something the size of a typical DVR/Blu-Ray player just isn’t a good fit. After a bit of research, I believe I’ve decided on the Roku 2 XD for the “it just works” factor. It does Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Amazon Video, and a lot more. It’s also been reviewed to be “rock solid” in the stability department and has a simple user interface.

2. Old Navy Light-Weight Hoodies – It’s officially fall, my favorite time of the year. That means I get to start wearing my favorite light-weight hoodies. Ashley got me one of these for our trip to Disney last December, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. And they have them in tall, for guys like me, so that’s a plus.

3. Tardis Cookie Jar – Ash picked up this Tardis for me a few weeks ago when we committed to doing the corner shelves in my office. Needless to say, as a Doctor Who fan, I was ecstatic. It’s technically a cookie jar, but I’m storing random things like extra earbuds and flash drives. It makes the signature Tardis sound when you close the lid or press the light on the top. We’re doing a lot in my office right now, but this is definitely one of my favorite recent additions.

4. Ikea Hackers – When we posted about my new shelves the other day, someone suggested that we submit the idea to Ikea Hackers. Having never been to the site before, I decided to jump over and take a look. I was pretty much mesmerized. They have tons of great ideas on how to make your Ikea purchases go the extra mile in style and utility. Check out this totally awesome frosted glass desk hack!

1. White Pumpkins – I love the look of white pumpkins. There’s something so “Martha Stewart” about them. At our local farmer’s market, they call them “Ghost Pumpkins” but I like to think of them as “Martha Pumpkins”. I especially like the mini Martha Pumpkins that are for about 50¢ each. I plan on getting a bunch of them to put in a pretty bowl for the sofa table.

2. Say Yes to Carrots Color Balm – Fact: When I was little, I ate carrots so often that I turned orange. Which might be why I like this lip product so much. I’m normally a no-color or super-low-color lip product kind of person. When I originally bought this, I thought this fell in the low-color category but it actually has a bit more color than I’m used to. But I like it! It’s super smooth and lasts for a good amount of time. But the main reason I like it is because of the fact that its made from carrots ; )

3. Spice Tin Candle In my book, nothing says “fall” like changing leaves, dropping temperatures and campfires. I love this candle because it reminds me of my birthday bonfires every year growing up. It smells like a campfire. Literally, it’s a campfire in a jar. My birthday is coming up next week, on Sunday, and even though we aren’t having a bonfire, this candle will make the house smell birthday-approved.

4. Claire Robinson + 5 Ingredient Fix – I’m normally not a fan of cooking shows because either they intimidate me to no end or because I’m always finding myself looking at the set details rather than what they’re cooking. But, I have found a friend in Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix. Not only do I think we’d be BFFs, but all of her recipes include no more than 5 ingredients and they’re so do-able for my simple-non-chef-like self. I also love her props, utensils and the kitchen itself (not sure if its a set or an actual kitchen). The overall show is vintage meets Anthropologie feel to it that I love. I also have her cookbook which has quickly turned into one of my all-time favorites. All in all, she’s my latest girl-crush.

5. Apolis Market Bag – I love having bags on hand for the farmers market and random errand running. I’ve been looking for a new one to keep in the utility room and I stumbled on this beauty. I love the simple design but mainly, I love this bag because it says “Westport, Connecticut” on the front. It reminds me of when I was 14 and we were driving from Richmond to Cape Cod, Mass to catch the boat to Nantucket. On our way there, we stopped in Westport, Connecticut just to see Martha Stewart’s house. Yes, I was a Martha fan even when I was 14! It was my mom’s doing. My mom and aunt jumped out of the car, ran up to her gate (which was very close to the front door), took the fastest photo ever, and jumped back in. We all still laugh about it to this day. Memories.

That wraps up this edition of His + Hers. Do you have any new favorites to share? How about any fun plans this weekend? We have some family coming in to stay with us tonight, then some more family coming in Saturday for a “Family Reunion Planning Session”. Saturday night, while Greg is working on a project for his 9 to 5, my cousin, Dana, and I are having a girls night in full of Pinterest-dessert-making and movie watching. Sunday afternoon, I’m wrapping up the weekend by shooting a senior portrait session – bringing Greg and Bentley along for the ride. Busy, busy!

As usual, we don’t work for any of these companies or were paid or gifted anything to mention any products/brands. We just have fun sharing our favorite things and use this as a fun way for you all to get to know us.

We’re back with another edition of Dead Ringer Deals! After tallying up all the responses from our 2nd Annual Reader Survey (Speaking of which, we were floored by the number of responses! Over 300! So thank you, thank you!), we found that you guys really dig this feature. Therefore, it’s here to stay. So, once again, here are a few “dead ringer deals” I’ve come across during my recent furniture browsing. Who doesn’t love a deal?! Or maybe a splurge? ; )

Look 1: Tanner Cube Table, Distressed Metal Cocktail Table (set of two) / Look 2: Eames Rocker, Vinnie White Cradle Rocker /  Look 3:  Striped Duvet + Shams / Striped Duvet Set (My cousin, Dana, texted me about this one! Crazy similar!)

Spy any good deals lately? Be sure to share them with the class!

Like Ashley posted on Monday, we spent last Saturday at our semi-local Ikea. Even though we ended up buying some other goods for the house (Who goes to Ikea and leaves with only the things on the list?), our main reason for making the 1.5-hour trip was to pick up six large floating shelves for my office. Since my office is going to have a bit of a modern bent to it, the clean lines and sharp contrast of the white floating shelves against the new dark grey walls is exactly what we want. So, here’s a picture of where we left off, after the new coat of paint:

We love the new wall color, but there’s no sense of height to the room, and the darker color is simply begging for something to balance it. Solution? Meet the wall of shelves:

Bam! Okay, so they’re still empty, but they completely change the look of the room. Everything has a more customized feel, which was really important to me when we went about figuring out what to do in this room. I didn’t want it to feel like we just went to Ikea and threw some furniture in the room. For any of you who were skeptical about the dark wall color, now you’ll see that the white and grey are starting to balance each other out a bit more. If you’re still not sold, we’ll be adding more color and contrast as we go on. The best part, though, is there’s tons of room up there for personal touches and pops of bold colors. I’m pretty much geeking out about the whole thing. I can’t wait for Ash and I to start filling them up. I’m definitely going to need her help–remember, she’s the creative one!

Here’s where we get to the boring part of the post — the “how we did it”. The first step was to measure how long we wanted the shelves. I made sure to leave a reasonable gap around the desk on all sides for cables, then took the measurement from the wall to the end of the desk. When we first started considering corner shelves around my desk, Ash couldn’t find the tape measure and ended up using a yard stick for the initial measurement. She was pretty sure that three of the 74″ Lack shelves and three of the 43″ were going to fit perfectly around the desk–no modifications necessary.  When we went to get a final measurement to take along with us to Ikea, it turned out that we actually needed six of the 74″ shelves and were going to have to cut them all down by a few inches.

Ikea LACK shelves

The morning after our Ikea trip, we measured (and triple-measured) the right length on each shelf, then used a square to make a nice, straight line across the end. Then we put a piece of blue painters tape along the edge and scored the pencil mark with a utility knife. Scoring the paint, combined with the tape kept the paint from chipping and ultimately gave us a nice, clean edge. Once the shelves were all measured, taped, and scored, we cut each shelf using a circular saw and a slow, steady hand. In retrospect, I suppose the “proper tool” for this job would have been a miter saw, but I don’t have a fully-stocked New Yankee Workshop just yet.

Once we had all the shelves cut to length, we brought them inside to start the hanging process. The first three shelves (to the right of the desk) were pretty easy. When it came to the shelves on the left side of the desk… this is where I’d like to say we’re experts at this sort of thing and it only took us about 15 minutes, but that didn’t happen. It took a pretty good amount of trial and error because we had to line up the left-hand shelves perfectly with the shelves on the right, and the walls aren’t completely straight. That being the case, when we used our “exact measurements”, the shelves weren’t perfectly square or level. So we did what any self-respecting DIY’er would do and “eyeballed it”, which led to about 6 unwanted holes in the wall. Luckily, the final placement of the shelves covered the holes, so we didn’t have to do any patching. But I still know they’re there. If I had this to do over, I’d have hung the first shelf bracket, then used a laser level to hang another bracket on the adjacent wall at the same height. Then, all there is to do is measure up from there.

As for the space between each shelf, we measured what we think will be one of the tallest things we have – which happens to be the Tardis Ash bought me last week. Reason number 4,302 I love her. Yep, it even lights up and makes the signature Tardis sound when you open and close the top. Coming in at just under 10.5″, we made sure to have 11.75″ clearance for each shelf.

We wanted the shelves to be able to hold whatever we decided to put on them. Even though we aren’t sure what’s going on them quite yet, we didn’t want to have to worry about the 18-pound weight limit. On top of that, on the other side of the walls are the hallway and foyer. Let’s say, for instance, we’re moving a piece of furniture down the hallway and we accidentally bump the wall pretty hard. We wouldn’t want the shelf falling down, taking everything on it along for the ride. With that in mind, we decided each shelf needed to be attached securely to at least two studs. The pre-drilled holes in the bracket didn’t line up perfectly with our studs, so we marked each stud, drilled holes straight through the bracket into the wall, then drove three-inch pan head screws through the new holes. We also used drywall anchors for the pre-drilled holes at the ends of the brackets. I’m pretty sure these shelves would last through (another) earthquake.

The shelves are now the cornerstone for the placement and design of everything else in the room. Now we can start filling them up, hanging guitars, and adorn the room with wall art. I’m really excited to get a brainstorming session happening with Ashley to figure out how we’re going to finish things up. In the mean time… we have some shelves to fill.