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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Flor Tiles Make a Mod Runner

Robin's Egg Blue with Brown Stripe, by Flor

When we walled off the old front room of the cottage to add a bedroom, it created a long, narrow hallway that needed a runner. We looked at a lot of rugs but the patterns tended to be heavy and traditional, many of them Persian style that wouldn't suit this little beach cottage. 

I found these tiles from FLOR and we connected eight of them to create a long runner for under $100.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cushions on a Budget

Sunbrella cushions -  Restoration Hardware sale

Once I realized the custom cushions were out of my budget, I started to scour the web for a better deal. It turns out it's a good time of the year to buy outdoor furniture -- all those end of summer clearance sales.

I found what I am looking for at Restoration Hardware's clearance sale. Each sectional's worth of cushions is marked down to just $446. So two sets will be $892 -- that's $3,000 less than the custom cushions I priced. And the sunbrella fabric and white piping are no extra cost.

I took the dimension of the cushions to Dan and asked if he could build the sectional seating to fit the cushions rather than the other way around. He said it's a bit like putting the cart before the horse, but he was game to try. To figure out the height we tried sitting on different outdoor chairs to see which was the most comfortable.

Best of all? Under the seats will be hidden storage for things like boogie boards, umbrellas, sea shoes -- all that beach clutter we seem to be tripping over all the time. (I'm claiming the other storage bench for paint cans. It's so much easier than lugging them up and down from the attic every time I have a project.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Custom Cushions Blow Budget

Custom cushions were out of my price range - but this cute little tote was not!

The first place I went to price custom cushions for the front porch sectionals was a local shop: Wm. J. Mills, renown for its pristine boating upholstery. I've always been attracted to this little shop, with its navy awnings and white piping -- so nautical.

The sales staff was very helpful, but I soon realized I was going to be totally priced out. Given the dimensions, the seat cushions would run about $150 a piece and the smaller, back cushions about $100.

I quickly did the math.

The two L-shaped sectionals Dan was building for us were almost identical, except the corner of the lefthand sectional was going to be a built-in table -- to better fill out that side of the porch, which was about 24" longer than the right side. All told we'd need 23 cusions, 11 seats and 12 backs. That's $2,850. And the sunbrella fabric and piping I wanted would be extra. Mill's gave me a quote of about $4,000 for everything (and the sales woman explained how oil prices drive up the cost of foam batting).

So Mill's was out, sadly. But I bought myself a cute little tote while I was there. ;)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cottage Paint Color: Ice Blue

Choosing paint color for the beach cottage hallway was challenging. The porch and hallway are where visitors form their first impressions, so we knew we wanted it to be a light color that reflects the colors in nature surrounding the cottage - colors of the sky and sea.