7th House on the Left


posted by Ashley  /  16 Comments

Custom framing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the process. So many choices. So many decisions. When Michaels asked us to test drive their custom framing service, I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. The more I thought about it, the more I was intrigued, and we ultimately decided to give it a go.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Keeping in mind that Michaels can frame pretty much anything (including guitars, jerseys, quilts, etc), we racked our brains for a few days trying to narrow down what to have framed. We didn’t have any vintage guitars or quilts on hand, so we thought it would be fun to have our prized vintage gas station number framed. For over a year, I’ve been noticing a ton of old red gas station numbers at our local flea markets and antique malls. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a number 7 for what seems like forever and found a plethora of 3’s, 2’s and 6’s but no 7’s. About six months ago, I finally found a 7. It was $20 – which was about 75% more that what all of the other numbers were marked – but that was okay because it was exactly what I’d been looking for. Finally. Since then, Greg and I’ve been wondering what to do with it.  We couldn’t necessarily frame it because that’s not really your standard frame size.

Next, we had this box of post cards that had been sitting around for almost two years. My mom gave them to me as a part of my birthday present, and the moment I saw them, I thought they would make great wall art. I envisioned them being hung in a grid of 6 or 9. Since the postcards are 4×6, with a tiny white border around the edge, and we wanted a slightly larger than average mat (at least larger than the other 4×6 frames we’d seen). That made them perfect specimens for custom framing.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

When I arrived at the store for my custom framing appointment, I met my framing expert, Kate – who by the way is a very talented illustrator (I so wish I could draw). I showed her what I had to frame and the style I was going for (simple/timeless/modern-ish).

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

To start off, Kate took a photo of the metal number using a digital camera on an arm that hangs over the table – or what I refer to as the “handy dandy sky cam”. The photo was immediately uploaded to the computer where she loaded it into the in-store Frame Visualizer. By the way, the consultants put on the white gloves to protect the artwork they’re working with, which is a very nice touch, if you’re working with something that’s easily damaged or discolored.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Michael’s has tons and tons and tons of mat options. 480 to be exact. They also have different textures, finishes and details to choose from. For both of my framing projects, we decided to go with a simple white, classic mat.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Now for the frame. Oh my goodness. So. Many. Frames. Luckily, I wasn’t too overwhelmed because we already had an idea of what we wanted for this piece. Since we’re thinking about hanging this in the kitchen (or at least near the kitchen), we wanted a dark frame to stand out amongst the white cabinetry. I showed Kate a photo of the space we were thinking about hanging it and she agreed – a simple black frame was the way to go.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Each frame option has a “grade”, and each piece of artwork graded based on its dimensions. The grade of the frame has to be the same or greater than the grade of the artwork, or the frame won’t work. At first, I was thinking more along the lines of a small, thin frame (like the one on the far leftt of the counter), but since the frame’s grade was a lot lower than the grade of the gas station number, we had to upgrade to a beefier frame.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since the width of the frame was smaller than the width of the red number, everything actually balanced out perfectly. As far as the mat, Kate and I both thought it would look really cool to mount the number on the mat rather than having the number surrounding the mat like traditional matting. I’m so excited to see the results of this! Now, on to the next framing project…

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The box of post cards came with 100 book covers. Before coming for the consultation, I narrowed it down to 9 cards. Once I laid them all out on the counter, I thought that 6 framed cards might look a bit less cluttered, so I narrowed them down to six. Once I settled on the six we were going to have framed, Kate took each one, measured the artwork and took a photo of it using the handy dandy “sky cam”.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once again, we went with the simple black frame – but this time around, using the smaller one. As for the mat, Kate suggested we do a double white mat. It brings more depth to the simple design of the framed piece as a whole and overall, gives it more “oomph”.

The entire consultation took about 45 minutes to an hour. It really didn’t even seem like that long because, honestly, it was a lot of fun. Not at all as tedious or laborious as I expected. Before I left the store, Kate gave me a paper for each frame (7 total) that included the overall dimensions of each frame and the style frame and mat we used. This will definitely come in handy when we decide to have more pieces framed in the future. The turnaround time for our frames (and most framing projects) is two weeks. We should probably be getting them sometime next week, and I can’t wait to see them!

Out of curiosity, I asked Kate about the largest piece they’ve ever framed. She told me about a guy who is trying to make his own custom-sized projector screen. He’s having a wooden frame made at a local lumberyard, bringing the frame to Michaels and having them stretch a blank canvas over it. Did I mention this “frame” is gigantic? She said it covered both framing tables then some. Now, that’s a big project.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com


posted by Ashley  /  7 Comments

While we were in LA for vacation, we stopped into Restoration Hardware on Beverly Blvd. We’ve always been big RH fans, so stopping by the flagship store was definitely on our to do list. Okay, well, more on my to do list than Greg’s… but he was a good trooper.

As we walked up to the store, the first thing we saw was the outdoor furniture “showroom” courtyard. Basically, this consisted of lots of ultra comfy and delicious outdoor furniture, mini white lights, candles, soft music and outdoor chandeliers that couldn’t even fit through the front door of our house. In other words, breathtakingly gorgeous. Needless to say, it was what I call, “an Instagram moment”…

Instagram: 7thHouseBlog

I know. Who wouldn’t want to host a party in a space like this!? With all of the fuss over the few photos I posted on Instagram, I thought I’d put together a little post of the photos I snapped as we walked through the store. Keep in mind these are just iPhone photos and therefore, do not do it justice. Whatsoever.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Talk about an amazing movie room, right?!

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I’ve been seeing these chairs online and in the catalogue for some time and always wondered if they were comfortable. I can tell now tell you, yeah, they are very, very comfortable.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I love these chairs paired with the mirrors, lighting and side tables. The candles on the side tables are battery-powered but look so real – more real than any other battery-powered candle I’ve seen before. Find them here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I’ve had a thing for Chesterfield sofas lately. Seeing this giant, luxurious, deep version made me fall in love more. I also love the grain sack pillows over in the corner of the sofa. Find them here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

If I could pick out any bed for our bedroom, I’m pretty sure this one would be it (we have so many projects going on right now, I can’t even start thinking about the master yet). I love the clean lines, reclaimed wood frame and the nailhead finishes. Uhh, makes my heart happy. Find the bed here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

A more modern side of RH. I’m really digging the moss centerpiece on the coffee table. They don’t sell it – it was just for staging – but I’m sure it would be relatively easy to DIY something similar.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Doesn’t that look like a comfy bed to curl up in with a good book? The columns make the area feel so palatial and full of character. I also love the gallery wall in a grid pattern over the bed.

RH Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

This room was filled with bunches and bunches of fresh white flowers. I’m a total sucker for white flowers, so this room was especially swoon-worthy. I really like how they built the hanging shelving unit from rustic wood planks and chains. I also like the numbered tin buckets. Very clever!

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Last but not least, my favorite room in the store, the “Tea Room”. It’s filled with canisters of tea, books and magazines and, of course, comfy furniture and how about those birdcage chandeliers?! I also love the staircase and how the artwork goes all the way up towards the ceiling to take the eye upward.


posted by Ashley  /  20 Comments

Over the weekend, we made the hour and a half trek up 95-North to Ikea and as promised, I’m back to share.

Anyone who has been to an Ikea knows that the sea of shelving and good prices can be a tad overwhelming and a whole lot of awesome all at the same time. We invited my mother-in-law to come along because she’d never had the Ikea experience before. Like I was my first Ikea trip, she couldn’t get over the good prices and even scored a few things for her kitchen along the way.

Before we went upstairs to the Showroom, we stopped by the Ikea Family kiosk to pick up our membership card. With the membership card, you can get special prices on certain items each month as well as special discounts at the restaurant. We joined online earlier that morning, so all we had to do was type in our email address, password and out popped our nifty orange membership card.

Heading up to the Showroom, the first room that jumped out to me was this light and airy living/dining room. I liked the medium wood toned furniture and the feminine touches throughout (like the chandeliers over the dining table and the light gray and pink curtains). I also liked the wicker chairs at the head of the dining room table. Ordinarily I wouldn’t think of adding wicker to a dining room, but there’s something about the “relaxed elegance” of it that’s growing on me.

Things at Ikea were abnormally busy this weekend (which is why I don’t have that many Showroom photos)! In all of our Ikea shopping trips, I don’t know if we’ve ever seen it that busy. I kept having the urge to straighten pillows and accessories before taking a photo, but with so many people (and an abnormal number of toddlers!), it was pretty much impossible and I had to let my semi-OCD-ness go.

Though my spirits were lifted when I noticed Mary Poppins playing in one of the sample living rooms. Yes, classic Disney movies melt all of your problems away. It’s true.

I love this small chest of drawers (only $149!). It would work great in a small foyer (like ours) or wide hallway and look really spiffy spruced up with some interesting hardware.

After going through the Showroom, we stopped by the restaurant for some dinner. When we go to Ikea, we normally break up the trip in four parts: Showroom (furniture-testing and inspiration-getting), Restaurant (eating and list-checking) the Marketplace (shopping and, well, more shopping) and then finally the Warehouse (box-collecting and money-spending). It’s always nice to through lunch or dinner in the middle of the fun to be able to soak in the Showroom madness and regroup before the serious shopping begins in the Marketplace. After all, my mother-in-law had to have the legendary Ikea meatballs on her first-ever Ikea trip. It’s a must.

Along the dividing wall where we ate were these wooden boxes filled with three “crazy-haired” (as Greg calls them) faux plants. It made me wonder how a longer version would look hanging on the wall in the carport where we’re thinking of a vertical garden. After all, I am a plant assassin so it might be a good idea to just get faux ones. They aren’t going to be in direct sunlight and we therefore wouldn’t have to worry about melting, so it’s something to think about.

Coming out of the restaurant was the Ikea Family section where they have items marked down for members. Being a notebook fanatic, I couldn’t resist these little cute notebooks! They had fun modern designs (one with flowers and the other owls), so I “had to” pick up two for $1.49 a piece ($1 off the regular price).

Moving on the Marketplace! When I saw this huge stack of white ceramic coffee cups, I immediately thought they would look so cool with painted gold dots on the outside – kind of like the Kate Spade Twirl bottles. It’s almost like Greg could read my mind because he just looked at me like, “Please, we have so many other projects going on at the moment. Keep walking”. Husbands.

I loved the color combo of these tea towels. I could totally see this in a room… Mustard yellow, teal, pops of purple and then gray to ground everything. It would make a great color combo for girl nursery or even a teen girl’s bedroom.

There were so many great finds in the market place, that I felt like I was snapping a photo every five steps. We also liked this gray and white low pile rug (for $19!) and these work lamps. I like the silver, but you could always spray paint it a high-gloss crazy color, like chartreuse! I’ve been on a chartreuse kick these days.

I’ve always been a sucker for gallery frames and sometimes it’s hard to find good-priced “non-cheap-looking” ones but this large Ribba frame is one of those. Coming in at just $24.99, it measured at 28″x40″. I wish we had a photo to put in it or this baby would have been in our cart for sure. Speaking of our cart, this is what it looked like before heading to check out…

We went home with 4 fax plants, 3 white metal shallow shelves, 2 spiral notebooks, 3 white ceramic pots (now that I’m home, I wish I would have gotten more!), a magnetic knife rack (that’s not going to be used for knives), and two packs of magnetic containers. Oh, and the reason we came to Ikea in the first place…

Six 74″ floating shelves to go above Greg’s desk (which we talked about here). We’re going to have to cut them down to the exact length of his desk, but we’re super excited about getting them up on the wall. We’re putting them up tonight and will be back Wednesday to chat all about it.

As I said on Instagram… We came. We saw. We conquered. All in all, the Ikea trip was a success and definitely worth the 1.5 hour drive. It was fun to show my mother-in-law around the gigantic store and check the new catalog items. We even managed to score a few things for the house in the process. Did anyone else make an Ikea trip over the weekend? Get anything cool?

I totally forgot to snag a photo of the outside, so I snagged the first photo from here.