Friday, August 31, 2012


Thanks for all your input on the nightstand!
I picked the second one too!   I'll let you know which one my sister ends up getting.

There were a couple of rooms that was not featured on the AT House Tour.
One of them is the laundry room.

This is how it looked like when we first saw the house...
{The right door leads to the side yard and basketball court.  To the left of the sink is the garage door}

{One thing I like about our house is the abundance of storage space!}

And here it is now...

We painted the cabinets light blue and the walls white.
We also replaced the washer and dryer(it was getting moldy and smelly!  Gross!)
So we opted for a top loading one.

The chandelier is from the Elkhorn flea market.
I made the window treatment using Crystal Lake Lacquer fabric

The white knobs are from World Market.

{to the right of this door is a closet}

Here again is the before...

And after...

Oh, the power of paint!

Enjoy the long weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I got an email from my younger sister yesterday asking for help in choosing a nightstand for her master bedroom.
I thought I'd ask you, my design- savvy readers, for your opinion.

Choice #1


Choice #2

and to help you decide, here's a picture of the room...
(it is going to replace the white nightstand)

Both are good.
I have my preference though.  Can you guess which one?

Which one do you like better?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Here it is!
Our house on Apartment Therapy.
Check it out here.

I still can't believe it!
I am so overwhelmed by all of your nice comments!
Thanks everyone and thanks again, Carolyn!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Back in June, I got an email from Carolyn Purnell, one of the contributing writers at Apartment Therapy.  

She recently started following my blog and was wondering if I would be interested in letting her conduct a house tour.
I couldn't believe it!  Me?  Our house?!!  Apartment Therapy?!
Without even thinking about it,  I said yes!
Our house is no way close to done, but I wasn't going to pass up such a great opportunity.
It was an honor to be asked.

I always wondered how the process went.
Carolyn's email summarizes it...

Hi Charmaine,

I'm a contributing writer at Apartment Therapy, and I recently started following your blog. I love your style, and I was wondering if you would be interested in letting me conduct a house tour. The process is pretty simple: I send you a questionnaire to fill out, and then one day I come over to your place for an hour or two to take photos and chat. I live in Chicago, but I have been wanting to make it Milwaukee-ward sometime this summer, so maybe we could coordinate something for July or early August. 

Please let me know if you're interested, and either way, keep up the awesome blogging/ designing!

Best regards, 

A few days later, she sent me the questionnaire and we decided on a time and date.
August 4th, at 10 am.

Carolyn and her other half, Ed, came.  As soon as they got here, she started taking photos.
We chatted in between.  It was pretty casual and a fun experience....

(the above photos were taken by my sister-in-law)

Thanks again, Carolyn (and Ed), for driving all the way to Milwaukee and taking your time to feature our home.

You guys are so sweet!

Can't wait to see our home through the eyes of Carolyn.

Apartment Therapy is posting it TOMORROW!!!

I'll link to it as soon as it's live.

Let me know what you guys think!
Be nice! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012


Did I tell you that I enrolled myself in Sheffield's School of  Interior Design?  I am pretty excited and nervous about it.
This is a 180 degree turn for me.  I majored in Pharmacy in college and went to Medical school after that.  I met Mark there.  We were actually in the same class.  Right after I took the board exam, I flew to NY where Mark is from, and got married and had kids.
I never really practiced Medicine though.  I tried, but my heart's not into it anymore. I don't think it ever was.
I know you guys might think I'm crazy but I have no regrets.  

 I am really passionate about interior design and this is what I love doing. I am lucky that Mark is very supportive of this.

I've gotten the first two units in the mail, but I haven't really had the chance to read them yet.
School starts in about a week for the kids... AND for ME!
Can't wait!

Anyway,  this made me want to have my own office space.  I'm sharing one right now with Mark(his man cave) and there's just not enough room for the both of us.

There's really no where for me to go.... but the basement. 

Here's my plan...

my office

Some of these I already own: the tulip chair, lucite chandelier and a parsons table that I am going to tweak.
I am still waiting to hear back from the seller about the bergere chairs.

What do you think?

Have a great weekend everyone!
Come back on  Monday and I am going to reveal the special news that I've been keeping from you for the last two months!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I am in love with this office!

I just can't get enough pink and orange! The bergere chair and rug definitely make the space, don't you think?

I've been wanting to try my hand at upholstery and I think I may have found the perfect piece(s)...

Plus this fabric...

My chair obsession continues!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I've never seen this kind before...

Plycraft Eames-style lounger with built in footrest.

I'd take this over a La-Z-boy any day!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hi guys! I'm Kat from Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees and I'm excited to be here today to share some of my Craigslist finds with you. Man, where do I start? Craigslist has been such a blessing in our lives...seriously. It's one of the first places I check (Goodwill/thrift stores also) if I need something. Really anything. We've gotten so many things for such a good deal off of Craigslist. And today I'm going to show you just a sampling. Over two years ago, my husband Mitch and I (along with our two boys, Ryder and Bryce) decided to renovate our small two-bedroom rancher instead of having to move into a larger house. We started with finishing our basement then moved up into the main living area. So while drawing up a floor plan, which included knocking out the wall connecting our kitchen and garage, we decided to update our kitchen while everything else was going to be a giant mess for a while. Why not, right? So the search for "stuff" began. We hopped on Craigslist and I'm pretty sure our first purchase ever was this kitchen island, cook top, and oven. We were going to buy the seller's old kitchen cabinets but then found a local Mennonite man who custom made our cabinets for an amazing price. Back to the island/appliances--these were brand new and we paid a fraction of what they retailed for. I believe the island and oven came to $900 (which included the soapstone countertop) while the cook top (which was currently selling at our local appliance store for $1,500) was only a mere $300. We had our cabinetmaker build the bookshelf on the end (the part that's topped with butcherblock) and paint the island black (it was originally off white but I wanted something to contrast the other cabinets). I LOVE my kitchen island! It's so nice to be cooking away while either watching the boys fighting playing in the living room, or gazing out those windows into the farm lands across the street.

You can see more of our kitchen here. It's still not completely done, but it's getting there!
One of my favorite (who am I kidding--they're ALL my favorite!) CL finds was a pair of matching golden yellow lamps. I have a lot of neutral colors going on in the living room so this punch of yellow really brightens things up:) Plus I love their chubby ginger jar shape.

I got a pair of them for $10 as well as those nesting tables and a matching coffee table for $50 (I probably overpaid for them, but I really wanted a set of nesting tables for this specific spot.)
Next up: rugs. So far I've gotten four rugs off CL. Here's a pic of one of them. (Excuse the unfinished surroundings--this will be our dining room once it's all said and done.) This rug cost me $35 and I believe is an antique. I have a sisal type rug that will be going in our bedroom, another antique one that will be in our bathroom, and I have another CL one layered over a sisal one in our family room. Craigslist is the perfect place to pic up rugs!
Oh and did ya notice those chairs up there? Another CL find--they're solid/heavy wood chairs (that were made in Pittsburgh--love that detail!) that I got for $40. That's right--six chairs for $40. 
If you haven't already noticed, we have about 27 different ongoing projects at our house. Here's the scoop--we're renovating to make room for a new addition to our family (come November) so Mitch and I will be moving out into what used to be the garage, our two boys will be moving into our current bedroom, and the baby will be moving into Ryder's current room. That's a lot of moving! So I'm collecting things for pretty much every room in our house. I really wanted a pair of antique beds for the boys' room and wouldn't ya know, I found a beautiful pair on CL for $100. Since scoring these, I've not been able to find a pair of any kind of bed for this cheap...
So those are waiting in our family room to make their appearance someday in the boys' room.
We've also scored some free stuff via CL. We were looking around for some barn wood to be used in our stairwell (yet another construction zone!) and found a barn not far from us being torn down and the owner was giving away the wood. Here it is installed on our stairwell ceiling.
During that same trip, Mitch noticed these antique barn door hardware pieces. He cut them out of a seen-better-days door for me. I have a project in mind for these guys!
And he also nabbed this huge piece of slate that we're going to make into a giant chalkboard for our dining room. 
So there ya go--just a sampling of some of the awesome finds we've scored on Craigslist. I'm a firm believer in WAITING for what you want. And that's what's been so fun for us. Yes, our renovation is taking over two years to complete, but it wouldn't be "us" without these finds. Be patient, search, and deals are waiting to be had! And what a character-filled home you could have! Stop on by Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees to stay up-to-date on our latest project(s!). Thanks, Charmaine, for letting me share today:)

 Congratulations on Baby # 3, Kat!  You are one super talented mom!   Good luck with everything!
Your kitchen island looks great and I can't believe you got that rug for $35!   I also love the nesting tables and the pair of antique beds. I can't wait to see what you do!

Thanks for sharing your great finds with us, Kat!

Now go check out her blog.  While you're there, check out Ryder's room before she turns it back to a nursery. It is adorable!

Do you want to participate in the Craigslist Monday series?  Email me here.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Hi,  I'm Charmaine.  And I'm a chairaholic.
Yup, got the chairs!  I'm glad I did.

My problem now is where to put them...

Breakfast nook? 
 I wish I have one or two more though.  And yes, I moved the settee from the family room here.   

The office...
It is actually Mark's "man cave" and he likes the chairs here too!

 The Living Room...
Hmmm.  Not bad, not bad at all.

My daughter's room...
It's funny.  As soon as my daughter saw the chairs, she asked if she could have one of them in her room.

I am also considering the dining room...
{too monochromatic?  I think I need a rug here too.}

and the family room...
{one on each side of the dresser}

What a problem to have, right?
Which room gets your vote?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Remember this pink tufted chair from Pieces?
It sold for $1400!
Apparently it is very rare and unique.

Well, I found its long lost brothers...

Aaaghh! I die.

There is a catch though.  "The bases need welding in two easy areas".
What do you guys think?  Shall I get them?
Any experience or advice on re-welding chrome chairs?

Monday, August 13, 2012


Happy Monday!  Glad to be sharing my Craigslist Stalking Adventures here on My BF Craig today.  I fashion myself pretty Craigslist savvy.  So much in fact I've been documenting what I've dubbed my own personal "recycle renaissance" on my blog, SuperChyc, highlighting my CL sales that I've used to fund my CL purchases to redesign my entire house. 

Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite scores.  

I found this 72" nine drawer dresser.  I paid $100 for it but I probably could've negotiated it down to $50.  You learn over time.  But it's in great condition and huge so it was a fair deal in my book.

I painted it purple and used it as an entertainment center for a while.  I've relocated it for another purpose recently.

I scored this settee for $45.

Total steal in my book.  Admittedly, the painted dated fabric is hideous.  But check out these lookalikes...

Can you see the potential now?

I picked up this coffee table for $25.

Looks small, huh?  It is 4 feet long.  Its huge and heavy and awesome.

I painted it and it now looks like this...

I picked up these chairs a few months ago. 

 I still have yet to reupholster them but I have narrowed the fabric down and hope to start this project soon.

I paid $200 for the set but they are such a rare find, I had to have them.  

I picked up this slightly damaged chair for 25 clams...

It was black when I bought it.  I painted it gold and reupholstered the seat with some emerald flamestitch  fabric...

...and cut out the damaged caning.

My last share today is my all time fav (for now).  

When I first ran across them, I had one of those moments.  You know, the one where you feel like you are seeing something too good to be true.   Someone had posted these two chests on CL for $25.  Total, not each.

They were dirty, full of mouse droppings and had been used in the garage.

So I cleaned them up, removed the 7' long top and had some new ones cut at Lowes.
Painted them a bright fuchsia and voila!

I love Craigslist.  It's a great way to keep well made vintage pieces of furniture out of the landfills and there's no limit to what you can do to a piece.  Once you refinish your finds, you will truly have a custom piece of furniture.  It's a great way to showcase your individual style in your home.  In a more affordable way.

Check me out if you want to see more of my Craigslist finds and furniture refinishing.

Thanks for inviting me to share, Charmaine!!

I couldn't agree more, Kim!  Thanks for sharing your awesome finds!!!  It's hard to pick a favorite. I love them all!

Now check out Kim's blog.

Do you have any craigslist finds you want to share?  Email me to be featured in the weekly Craigslist Monday series. Here.


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