7th House on the Left

THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!

posted by Ashley  /  12 Comments

…dog toys, that is. If you’re a dog owner like us, you probably have dog toys strewn around the house. Bentley likes to scatter his toys around the house (most commonly up and down the hallway and hidden in the couch cushions), but he always seems to know where each one is – especially when it comes to his tennis ball, Kraft Ruff Parmesan toy, and Rufus (his BFF). If I say, “Go get Rufus!”, he scampers as fast as he can, slipping and sliding on the hardwood floors as he goes, and promptly returns proudly wagging his tail with Rufus in his mouth.

dog toys

You may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was on the hunt for accessories at an antique mall in the area (read that post here). I was also looking out for a vintage crate to use as a toy box for our little ball of energetic, toy-loving fur. I found a lot of crates, but they were all much to large for our 10-pound dog.

Last week, a friend of mine was driving down from northern Virginia and stopped at an antique store on her way back into town. While she was there, she found a small, vintage crate that she thought would be perfect for Bentley. She gave me a call and asked if I wanted her to pick it up for me and I, without hesitation, said, “Yes!” After all, if it ended up being too big (or to small) for Bentley’s toys, I could always find another use for it. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many vintage crates around the house.

It was perfect! Exactly what I was looking for and the perfect size for his small toy collection. Dfusefinitely worth the $15.

The side of the crate has a partial label that says “…aum’s Horse and Stock Company”. Some of the label has come off over time, but the rest of it is pretty secure, despite what it looks like in the photos. After doing some investigative Googling, I found that it is actually a vintage advertising veterinary box from Baum’s Castorine Co. of Syracuse, New York and once held 10 pounds of food. What kind of food, I’m not really sure – though I assume it was for some sort of farm livestock. The company was founded in 1879, so there’s no telling how old this thing is!

I love the “rusticness” (Hey… dictionary.com says it’s a word!) of the wood. Even though the crate is small, it makes me even more anxious to find a piece of reclaimed wood for the mantle we have planned for over the fire place (read more about our thoughts on that here) and  that coffee table I wish we would have snapped up!

FYI For some reason the floors look more red than they actually are in person in the above and below photos. I think it’s the light bulbs in the living room. Ugh! Moving on… Bentley is a big fan of the new addition as well. It’s the perfect size for him at 6″ high, 11″ wide, and  7.5″ deep. He can get toys in and out (Yes, he actually puts toys “away” from time to time!) without choking himself in the process.

Speaking of “vintagesness” (That one’s not even on dictionary.com), the other day, I ended up going back to the antique mall to buy the brass bunny I stalked in this post. Our backyard seems to be the local hangout for the neighborhood rabbits, so it’s going to make a fun conversation piece.

Our new little buddy is solid brass and I was able to snatch him up for only $12. (Thanks for not running out and buying him before I got back to the antique mall!) Like all of the accessories in the house, he’ll probably end up a few places before finding the perfect final spot. But for now, he’s hanging out on the table behind the couch.

How about your house? Are the dog toys taking over? Does your dog have a particularly favorite toy like Bentley?

Oh yeah! Tonight’s the night… the season fanalie of HGTV’s Design Star. Have you been watching this season? Who do you think will walk away with their own show? Meg or Karl?

BACK TO SCHOOL

posted by Ashley  /  3 Comments

Today, we have a fun feature post to share with you. Krista over at KJ and Co asked us to be a part of Bloggers Back to School where we would round up our favorite school supplies if we were heading back to school this season. With Greg being a geek and me being obsessed with office supplies (and secretly wishing I were in 8th grade again to have an excuse to stock up on Paul Frank notebooks and Sharpies), we had to say yes!

bloggers back to school

Click on over and check out our must-haves-if-we-were-going-back-to-school items (His + Her Favorite Things style) here.

Also be sure to check out some of our other blogging friends’ Bloggers Back to School features on KJ and Co. like Dana from House*Tweaking (see her back to school must haves here), Andrea from Decorating Cents (check out her round up here), and many more.

How about you? If you were going back to school, what would be your back to school must haves?

SIMPLE STORAGE UPGRADES

posted by Ashley  /  28 Comments

Our laundry room still has a way to go before we get to the point where we “love” it. So far, all we’ve done in this room is paint the walls and replace the light fixtures…

And in the “laundry nook”…

We have plenty of hopes and wishes for this area of the house… like replacing the tile, purchasing a front-load washer and dryer and installing a countertop above them, taking out the temporary bookcase (which is from our apartment’s pantry/laundry room) and replacing it with something more functional, hanging a pendent light in front of the window, window treatments…. and all of that doesn’t even include the half bath!

Those to-do’s will come in due time, but for now, we’re working with what we’ve got. And that includes the awkward shelf over the dryer. Over the past few months since the above “progress” photo was taken, it has been turning into a messy “catch all” of sorts. This is better explained with a photo:

No matter how neat and tidy you try to be, you always have that one catch-all shelf or drawer in your house. The thing that’s been bothering me the most (aside from the general disorganization), was the plethora of dog treat bags. We give Bentley one every time he comes in from “using the restroom”, so they need to be accessible. Before I get to my ultra simple solution, though, remember when I mentioned this mud room in the new Ikea catalog?

red and blue laundry room

Well, I still can’t decide if I love the red/aqua combination for our laundry room. Something about it is so “I Love Lucy” (which I love) and then on the other hand, it may not blend with the rest of the house either. I can be so indecisive sometimes! So, to test the waters, I ended up buying a $2 canning jar and spray painting the lid apple red.

apple red spray paint

I really love this particular shade (which by the way is Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch in Apple Red)! It’s very cheery, bright, and has a slight 50′s flair to it. I thought this would be a quiet way to introduce red into the room. And if I end up changing my mind (again!), it can easily be painted another color.

A few coats of spray paint and some drying time later, we now have a new and much improved treat storage system:

Since I was in the “prettification” mood, I also found this small $2 tin bucket at Target and thought it would be perfect to corral the small odds and ends on the shelf.

It’s not an extravagant 10-step DIY project or anything, but it’s an ultra-simple solution to a small problem. It’s little upgrades like this that can make an otherwise messy shelf much easier on the eyes.

Since we’re on the topic of laundry (sort of), I’ve been wanting to trade in the detergent and try out a more “natural-ish” option. I’ve heard great things about making your own (my aunt does it all the time) and the Trader Joe’s brand detergent. Any other suggestions?