head diy Design Fanatic: April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Decorating Turning Point

Hey everyone!

I hope you had a nice Easter with your family and/or friends. 
If you've been stopping by regularly, you know we're right in the middle of a messy project over at the mountain cottage. I'm sure you've been in the middle of a project when it seems like it's been going on forever and ever, and there's no end in sight.
We're at a turning point at the mountain cottage and things are going to start looking pretty. 

The bed Mr. DIY built for the downstairs bedroom is in the painting stage...

I've actually been sleeping on a real mattress, instead of an air mattress...

We bought some Expedit bookcases for the closet and now I can unpack my suitcase...

I found some linens and a big fluffy down like comforter, plus some really comfy pillows...

and today, I found a cute store nearby that sells vintage furniture and I bought a few things for the downstairs bedroom. 

Woo hoo!

Just in case you're in the Charlotte area, you can visit the cute little vintage store called Kiki's Kottage in downtown Pineville, North Carolina. It just opened up last month. I found it by scouring the furniture section of the Charlotte Craigslist. (I've been know to spend a little time on there)

Took a few pics  of the inside of the store to share and will tell you what I found at the end...

It's a good thing that the mountain cottage is a teeny tiny house since the budget is pretty small for furniture and accessories. It's pretty overwhelming to have to purchase everything for a whole house, even if it's a teeny tiny one.

Been looking for a big basket for the living room to hold some  cuddly throws to keep us warm on those cold days and nights in the Fall and Winter. I haven't been able to find a basket I liked, but this rustic looking wooden box with rope handles might be a great alternative. I'm pretty sure Mr. DIY can make one of these with some of the leftover wood from some other projects. I think some industrial wheels might look good on it, as well. 

Here's another cute little decorated room at the shop. I might have purchased something in this pic. 

I am resisting the temptation to purchase lamps  before the major pieces of furniture get put in the rooms. LOVE that lamp! (Especially the finish)

The shop had a couple of great ladders on display. 
I've been looking for a ladder for either the downstairs bathroom, the upstairs bedroom or the living room. 
This one was a little large for our teeny tiny mountain cottage. 

I ended up getting this fabulous ladder. Not sure which room it will go in, but it's going to look great in one of them. 

Here's the little beauty I got! It's going in the downstairs bedroom and will either hold clothes or a little tv. Depends on whether or not we can get another little tall and slim dresser in the room. 
Kiki's Kottage

Kiki's Kottage

Can't wait to get these two beauties up to the mountain cottage and see how they look in the space. 

Head on over to my Mountain Cottage board on Pinterest to see more of my inspiration for our teeny tiny house. 
Hope you're having a great day!!!


You can see more beautiful furniture on Kiki's Kottage Facebook Page

ps. Just so you know, Kiki's Cottage did not compensate me in any way...I just love sharing cute little shops with y'all. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter Breakfast Table

Our Breakfast Table needed a little dressing up since Spring has sprung and Easter will be here soon, so I found the Easter bin in the basement and put a few things out.
Don't know about you, but it's almost like Christmas getting into bins with pretty things in it that you haven't seen in a year!

I found this cute bunny at HomeGoods last year and thought it would look good on the pedestal bowl in the center of the table. 

Green and pink and blue set against a white tablecloth  us perfect for Easter...

...as is our wedding china Artois by Limoge. The flatware is a previous every day pattern and the glasses are my favorite vintage glasses by Anchor Hocking.

I set a flameless tea lite inside the silver votives I found at Target at Christmas, then placed the almost clear Easter egg on top so that the light would shine through.

The  faux green grass was one of the items found in the Easter storage bin.

Now all I need is a springy bouquet of fresh flowers for the silver champagne bucket underneath the herb boxes. 

We're staying home for the next two weekends, so we'll be working on a short "honey do" list. I'm hoping to do a couple of pretty projects included on that list, as well as doing more planting in the garden. 

As for Easter, Mr. DIY will be making our traditional beef tenderloin for dinner. One question we always bring up at this time of year is how did ham for Easter come about when Jesus had lamb for Passover and Jewish people didn't (some still don't) eat  pork? 
Anyone know the answer?
Anyway, what do you traditionally have for Easter dinner? (if you celebrate Easter) 

Would love to know!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Definitely Not A DIY Project

The drive up to your house is not something you really want to spend money on,

especially a lot of money,

the kind of $$$ that could be used for remodeling a small kitchen, or a really nice bathroom.

Money that could be spent on pretty linens, a dining room table and comfy sofa and some nice chairs to sit on. 
You get the idea.
But, we had to do something, because it was difficult to get up to the top without risking your life (I know I'm being a little dramatic)

But, I would always pray right before Mr. DIY gunned it at the bottom of the hill, so he would make it all the way to the top.
Here's the driveway before the new gravel, but after some grading:

We either needed to get a 4 wheel drive or fix the driveway, or both.
Every time it would rain it would wash more of the driveway away...
and the ruts in the driveway would get bigger..
and the ditches on the sides of the driveway would get wider...
and the driveway would get narrower...
and I would pray harder.

One rainy day we couldn't get up the driveway.
Oh, that was fun...We carried all of our supplies up the hill....300 ft long and 60 feet up.
Ya know we're not getting any younger, but we did it.
We decided that we're


We went back and forth about what to do. We called several companies out to give us estimates.
We were undecided about doing asphalt or concrete or just gravel.
Asphalt was going to be $12,000 to $15,000. 
Umm, that was a no go.

We considered doing this ourselves, with a friend who did concrete, but it would be at least a week long of hard work or more. With a long list of reno work inside the house, we couldn't afford the time to do it ourselves. Another thing that concerned me was that the driveway was in serious need of grading so that when it rained, the water would be diverted away from it and
 we don't have experience in grading a driveway using big earth moving equipment
on a steep hill
in the mountains.

We decided it wasn't a diy project.
So, with concrete and asphalt out for now, we called a few more companies to give us quotes for grading and gravel.
We didn't go with the lowest bid, we went with the guy who we thought would do a good job, 
and who would show up.

Several trees were removed  and two drainage tubes were taken out and the ditches filled in. The galvanized tubes were filled with dirt. 
Could be the reason why they weren't working. (note sarcasm)

I was soooo happy to see Matthew from Trax Grading show up. 
On time. When he said he would. : )

The driveway was smoothed out before putting the new drainage ditch in.

It looked better already.

I think it took 3 days of grading , then once it was done a gravel truck came by the next day and dumped 3 truckloads of gravel.
After that, the big bulldozer was used to compress  the gravel.  

So we're loving our newly graded driveway...
View from the top of the driveway looking down toward the street...
Yes, that is a tree down near the driveway...it was across the driveway when we arrived yesterday and had to cut off the top so we could get by.

Here's the side turn around. We have plenty of parking for guests!

Here's how the driveway looks from just above the gate looking up... I never knew gravel could look so purdy. 
driveway grading, gravel driveway, steep gravel driveway

Our new drainage ditch will drain the water underneath the driveway, instead of on top of it. 

In another week or so, Matthew is going to come back and spray on a grass seed mixture on the dirt and ditch. It's going to be even prettier once it all grows in. 

So glad the driveway is driveable and graded properly. And, we're so glad that we hired Matthew from Trax Grading and did not take it on as another DIY project. Sometimes, you just have to leave it to the professionals.

Hope you're having a great weekend!


ps. I was not compensated in any way from Matthew or from Trax Grading.