Saturday, August 31, 2013

The City: John K. King Used & Rare Books

So while Nick and I were finishing up our shopping at Eastern Market early this afternoon (spent less than $20 again by the way! WOO!) We decided to make a pit stop to a place that we've been meaning to visit since we moved down here. We drive past it almost every time we head into downtown Detroit, and have always meant to make time for a trip. 

John K. King Used and Rare Books
(you can check out their website here)

Finally today we figured we'd stop in and check it out. What we found was even more impressive than anything I could have imagined! Harper wasn't in the best mood for a leisurely stroll through all four floors (!!!) of books, so we only made it up to the second. 

This store was originally established in Dearborn, Michigan in 1965. It moved from there to the Michigan Theatre in 1971.  This location has been open since 1983, which is when John King purchased the four story abandoned factory building which is now home to an estimated 1 million books. 

When you walk in, you actually receive a directory. Essentially a map, with different categories of books and where they are located. It would be really beneficial if you were looking for something specific. However, because we were just taking a look around, we just decided to walk about and see what we could find on our own. 

Nick, of course, found the section dedicated to cookbooks. We thought it was pretty awesome that they even had "Vegetarian & Vegan" specifically on the sign. Gotta love it! 

I was wearing Harper in our front pack, so I didn't do too much actual looking. Just kind of bounced around trying to keep her from fussing too much. I did manage to snap quite a few pictures even with her flailing about on my chest.

 Nick also found the home improvement section. Even though you can find anything you need to know on good ol' Google now-a-days, it is still nice to have something tangible to turn to. 

Nick found this amazing kitchen remodeling book. It's full of lovely dated kitchen design ideas. Seriously, we were pretty impressed. 

I mean, really? This book explains why a lot of kitchens are being remodeled. (Also, down in the bottom corner of the book, there is totally a cabbage patch doll and it creeped me out while I was doing a little editing! Ha!)  

Of course we had to take a family photo, selfie-style.

I stood in the corner and took a picture straight down the aisle so that I could try and capture just how gigantic this place is. It is a vast sea of books. You can barely see the opposite wall in the photo above!

I'm excited about having such a great place to find old books for projects so close to home. Also, they have a selection of maps of Detroit that are dated around the 1800's. I can't wait to set up a time to go take a look at those. Pretty sure that there is a home for one in our future family room. 

It was definitely a great way to spend some time on a Saturday afternoon.

If you haven't been, you should definitely check it out.  

If you have visited, feel free to share your experience in the comments section!

XOX Sam 

Friday, August 30, 2013

YOLO! Colorhouse

I'm talking about the paint, of course. Haven't heard? 

"YOLO Colorhouse was born out of a need for healthier paint and better color. We like to think of ourselves as the “indie” paint company – we are dedicated to making paint that is better for us and the environment. We are dedicated to making beautiful color solutions simpler and we are dedicated to doing business in a more sustainable way."

Virginia Young and Janie Lowe (get it?) founded YOLO in 2005. 

Nick actually found this paint while creating our kitchen mood boards last week. While I wasn't super pumped when I heard the name, the fact that the paint has zero VOCs (or to sound more science-y, volatile organic compounds) got me a little excited. Then mix in the fact that they are a company committed to green practices? Sign me up! 
Choosing paint with low (or better yet NO) VOCs is an important thing to keep in mind when there will be kiddos running around, but for your own health as well. Many VOCs are known carcinogens.  "A typical bucket of paint contains chemicals, such as benzene, methylene chloride and others, that have been linked to cancer." The chemicals are released into the air not only while the paint is wet, but also for years after it dries. This puts you and your family at risk for other health problems such as allergies and asthma. 

YOLO has 128 beautiful colors to choose from on their website. You can also use their store locator to find a retailer near you. According to their website, for Michigan at least, you can purchase their colors online through Home Depot. 

I love their composition of the trend color palettes on their website!

Urban Farmer

Edge of Night

Rustic Modern

Natural Neutral 

Right now, my favorite would be a toss up between the last two. I love how the warmer white, it's really more of a beige, plays up against the distressed wood and sand tones. The 'Natural Neutral' has the deep charcoal grey that I'm thinking about for the living room couch but that greige color is a bit greener than I think I'd like, and, maybe, not quite blue enough. 

This whole choosing a house color palette has become a pretty daunting task. Especially for someone who has never been able to paint any of the rooms in my home (golly gee, thanks ex landlords!). 

Luckily we have yet to hear anything new back from our real estate agent or the lender, so we have quite a bit of time left. In the meantime, I'll continue to psych myself out about it, and try and read as much as I can.

We're pretty excited for the long weekend ahead! We'll be doing the weekly Eastern Market grocery trip and probably stopping by Belle Isle (maybe I'll even post about it). I had a cold last week, so, of course, Nick caught it too. So we'll probably just lay low for the most part and try to get our immune systems back in proper working order. 

Hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend! 

Oh, and do you have any tips on how you coordinated paint colors throughout your home?

XO Sam

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pinspiration: Kitchen Edition

We posted our kitchen mood boards last week, so I'll continue to ride on that same thought train and share some of the inspiration photos that helped create those mood boards.

We've been trying to find as many images as we can to draw our ideas from. We want to make sure that things will "work" the way that we imagine they will. Placement of the sinks, appliances, peninsula (maybe?), etc. So, it is nice to see what other people have done. Here are a few of the kitchens that I've been drooling over on my Pinterest board
source: here
P.S. Holy cow! Check out those BEFORE pictures! 

I love the pop of color on the peninsula! Nick and I have tossed around the idea of paining the seating side of the peninsula (if we choose to install one) a bold color. Probably a peacock turquoise.

source unknown

source: here
As you can see, I've done a pretty good job sticking to my original design idea of white cabinets, light countertop, and dark flooring. I try to look at different color schemes as well, to get some variety, but I always find myself going back to this one. It is just so bright and airy. Which I think is an important aspect for a room where we'll be spending a lot of time. 

Maybe when the time comes I'll go out on a limb a little bit and take a chance with some more bold colors?

Do you have a "safe" color scheme that you find yourself drawn to? 

XO Sam

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The City: Eastern Market

This post is a little off topic for the home design crowd, however, I want to show some highlights of the things that we do in our lives that revolve around this area. I want to do my part to help get rid of all those bad vibes surrounding the area and show you guys what we see this this beautiful city.

For those of you that live in the Metro Detroit area, this post will come as no surprise. But for everyone who isn't familiar with this area, I introduce to you:

Eastern Market

Nick and I are both all about putting our money back into the city, and we try and buy locally as often as possible. We're on a pretty crazy budget right now to save up for all the expenses that come with buying a house, so the fact that we can often get a good (oftentimes great!) deal is an added bonus. 

Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in all of the United States. It opens at 6am on Saturdays and doesn't close it's doors until 4PM. However, I wouldn't wait! You want to get there somewhat early to beat the crowds. Upwards of 40,000 people each week come out to pick up good quality produce (lots of which is locally grown without pesticides!) locally produces food products, gorgeous flowers and plants, and homemade jams and maple syrups.

We are often able to pick up all of the produce that we need for a weeks worth of dinners (plus lunch for Harper) for under $20. It is definitely worth the time it takes to look around and scope out the best deals. Don't just jump on the first bunch of broccoli or basket of potatoes that you see, because you might get down the line and notice better and bigger ones for a lower price!

I feel so lucky that we have this amazing public market available! I hope that I've encouraged you to check it out and maybe I'll see you next week. If so, introduce yourself!

XO Sam

Oh, and by the way, sorry for the low quality pictures. These were all taken on my cell because I completely forgot my camera at the house. Oops!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mood Board: Kitchen 1.0

Well, I said we were going to and we did! Hopefully they don't disappoint. 
Nick and I both made a mood board for our future kitchen that is going to need a complete renovation. Everything from the old tile floor with stained grout, to the terrible drop ceiling with fluorescent lights, yeah, it all has to go. 

Even though we're a long way off from being able to complete a complete renovation (it definitely isn't at the top of our list. revisit: #moldproblems) it is still fun for us to come up with design ideas for when we can afford it!

Here is what I have come up with so far...

Sam's Kitchen Mood Board

Sam's Kitchen Mood Board by sammywalton featuring IKEA

For details on items in my mood board click on this link

Like I've said, this is the very, very, utmost beginning stages of this kitchen redesign. However, we are already set on a few things. I would absolutely love a big white farmhouse sink, seriously, I'll never complain about doing dishes again once I get one of these bad boys! 

And here is Nick's...


To see the details on items in Nick's mood board, click here.

As you can see, we have pretty much agreed on every aspect of this room. It's fun to see what is important to each of us. Clearly, Nick is more concerned with the actual appliances. (Note: the cooktop, fridge, and oven!) He does the vast majority of the cooking, so it makes sense that those are his main concern. They're important to me too, obviously, but I also love shiny tiles. 

We have also agreed on a ECO countertop by Cosentino. It is made from 75% recycled materials, and even the water it is manufactured with is 94% reused. While we definitely aren't going with the most eco-conscious everything, we are absolutely going to try and make Earth friendly choices when possible. The flooring is another item that was chosen because its design and appearance appealed to us (and lets be honest, at $3.49/sq ft the price doesn't hurt!), but also because it is an eco friendly flooring option. The bark of the cork is harvested and peeled without destroying the tree. It grows back and can even be harvested again, pretty cool!

The general "theme" of the home is going to be pretty heavily industrial, but I definitely want to mix in lots of classic elements and crisp clean colors to keep the whole thing from feeling like a salvage warehouse. Nick and I both really like the exposed iron pipe furniture and accessories, which is super on trend right now. Plus, there are tons of DIY's floating around! Like this one for a plumbing pipe light fixture (shown in my mood board!) oooh, or this one for a coffee table! 

I'm sure that we'll have our fair share of compromises to come to once it actually comes time to start the renovation. In the meantime I'll bask in the happy glow of agreeing with my partner.

How do you come to design compromises with your significant other? 

XO Sam

Monday, August 19, 2013

Soon to Come...

I know I'm a little late in posting this, but Nick took a day off of work so he could spend some quality time with the family. 

So, I just wanted to stop by and say, "hi" and get you excited about our next post! Let me explain, Nick and I have been talking, and we've decided to start a little, uh, experiment. Really it will just be another platform where we can express our ideas and dump all of our inspirations.

We're each going to create a mood board (via Polyvore) for each room in the house. We have been discussing design options almost non-stop since we did our first walk through of the house and things have began to get a little muddled between our two separate brains!

We think this will be a nice way to show each other exactly what we're envisioning for each individual space, and how we can make those spaces work together as a whole. Plus, it'll show where our differences of opinion are, and hopefully help us come to compromises when necessary! *fingers crossed*

Because we are still so far out on any of the renovation processes (I mean, really, we haven't even had the lender accept our offer yet. YIKES! Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket!) I'm sure that things will change and evolve as we actually get into the house and start getting a real feel for the rooms on a day-to-day basis. Once we get an idea of what it's like to live in the house we'll have a much clearer idea of how we're going to utilize the space to the full potential.

But until then, we'll just continue to share all of our design dreams with you guys! 

Check back later this week to see our moods boards!

XO Sam

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pinspiration: Living Room Edition

Earlier today I posted a link to my Pinterest boards

If you checked them out, you probably noticed a few of my inspiration boards for the new house!(I've only been pinning to these boards for a few weeks now, so they're still a little empty. Bear with me for a bit while I continue to add to them!)

The main floor living room has windows looking out into the front of the house. It is connected to the main hallway with the main staircase and you can see into the breakfast nook.(Do you think I could have said "main" any more in that past sentence?) 

We're thinking that it will probably be used mostly for when people come for a visit, and possibly to lounge while dinner is cooking. We don't want to put a TV in this room, because I just hate it when I drive by a house and can see their TV through the front windows. No thanks! 

Not that we're fancy or anything, but I think we want it to be more of a "formal living room" maybe a little more "put together" than the basement family room? At least in my dreams that's how I picture it. Yeah, sometimes I dream about our new living room. 

Anyways! These are some of our current key inspiration pieces for this new space!

White Washed Fireplace
(Source unknown)

Benjamin Moore Paint Palette 

I'm really thinking that the whole vibe of the house is going to be pretty cool, calm, and collected. Maybe then my life will start to reflect that? Eh? Really though, we're just very drawn to the cooler tones, like blues, greys and some greens, rather than warm ones, like yellows, tans and reds. We don't have a master color palette, yet! But once it's been created I'll definitely share that as well!

XO Sam

If you want to watch my inspiration board continue to grow, check it out here

Hashtag Mold Problems

We had our home inspection done on Monday August 5th. Everything came back with relatively good results, except there seems to be a serious mold problem. A dangerous mold problem. Ugh! 

Thankfully the foundation is solid and this was the only major problem that surfaced.

We are really itching to get it remedied, but because it is a short sale we can't even get quotes for the repairs until the bank has accepted our offer. 

It's only been two weeks since we put our offer in, I think, and we're told it takes at least thirty days to hear back from the bank. 

This is only the beginning of a very, very long process.

There isn't going to be much to post about until we hear more from either the seller's lender, or our real estate agent. 

I'll be back later to share some of the inspiration that Nick and I have been accumulating via my Pinterest boards!

XO Sam

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gettin' Started

So, I'm new to this whole thing. 
I wanted to do a post where I can introduce myself, in case any one else ever reads this! 

I'm Sam! I'm a 20-something year old who really loves DIY projects and crafts! I also have general anxiety disorder and Bipolar II Disorder, but I'm learning to make the best of it. I channel a lot of my anxieties into craft projects, which helps a little. I'm a full time stay at home mom to my beautiful daughter, Harper, who is eight months old. She has completely changed my life and I really don't know where I would be without her. She is the reason I get out of bed some mornings. Partially because I love her dearly and don't ever want to let her down, and also because I can't just leave her in her crib. Just kidding...but seriously, I can't. You're most likely to find me jumping up and down in the Halloween isle of the craft store, or wielding a nail gun. 

My fiancĂ©'s name is Nick. He's just starting to get into some DIY projects because we're in the process of buying our first home in Detroit, Mi. You're most likely to find him in the kitchen, cooking up some awesome vegan food for our family. 

I'm passionate about home improvement, learning, sewing, painting, interior design and decorating, Halloween and Christmas, good coffee, and everything pumpkin or peppermint scented. 

I plan on using this blog to write about the home buying process, and hopefully keep track of all of our DIY projects and struggles along the way! 

We're a young family, just starting out, and things are going to have to be completed in "real time". Meaning, we have to save all our extra pennies before we can do any big projects. 

I'm really looking forward to learning everything I possibly can about home renovation on a small scale, so that in the future I can possibly do it on a much larger scale. Let's get started!

XO Sam