Budget? What Budget?

You may have seen the orange “Vote for Me: Remodel, Blog & Win” button on the right sidebar – appropriately placed under the heading of “Shameless self promotion.” Its a contest sponsored by Remodel My Space that’s ending soon and the prize is a cool 5k! The votes cast by clicking on that banner go towards the “peoples choice award” which is 1k, (not too shabby either) but the 5k grand prize is awarded by a panel of judges based on several criteria.

I post about it here not to encourage you to vote for me (though I’m not discouraging you either!) but because I thought their judging criteria gave me some really good insight into the different areas that make a home blog useful. Looking at their list, the only criterion I think I’ve skimped on is:

“Did you describe your budget, how you stuck to it, how you got creative with it, where you saved money?”

Perhaps the following picture will illustrate WHY that is the case:

renovation receipts

Renovation Receipts. Like my filing system??

The fact is we never really set a budget per se…its not one of our strong points. We knew there were certain things that HAD to be done (new roof) and many things we WANTED to be done (new kitchen etc) but we kind of just loosely figured out how much those would cost and just forged ahead until the money ran out, (which is pretty much right about now.)

I have a very rough idea of what the major expenses were:

New Roof: $5600
Kitchen Appliances: $3100
Kitchen Floor: $900
Kitchen Cabinets: $600
Kitchen Countertops, Sink & Faucet: $3600
Refinishing the Hardwood Floors: $2600
Tree Removal misc. yard: $500

Total: $16,900.

But none of that takes into account the mountain of said receipts lurking in the pantry corner, (the majority of which are from Home Depot) or my craigslist, Ikea and Ebay habit. So I’m figuring that number could easily go up to $25k or so, particularly taking into account the labor charges of the handyman guy we had help us a lot in the beginning which has got to be at least 4k or so.

I’m not sure if this information is useful to anyone or not, but I guess if you see the photo gallery of our before and after pictures you can get some idea what a makeover budget of 16k-25k will buy you.. new roof, new kitchen, new floors and a whole lot of antique furniture that needs to be painted ;)

And now onto the decorating portion of today’s post…

I’m stopping at Ikea today after work and want to pick up the white curtains for behind the couch and also some curtains for the dining room. I’m torn if I should use the same bleached white Lenda curtains in the dining room as in the living room or if I should get the “natural” colored ones. Here’s a little mockup of the options:

which Ikea Lenda curtains?

Keep in mind that this room gets a TON of natural light – maybe double what the living room gets, so both will look much more luminous and sheer than in the mockup. I also should mention that you can’t see it in the pic above, but my Ikea Roger dining room chairs have padded tan seats:

Ikea Roger dining room chair
I really like the crispness of the white and the continuity with the living room, but I love the warmth of the off white and that it matches the chairs… Plus the natural looks a little bit like the colors in the picture I love from yesterday:

Well, not really. Their wall color is more aqua than mine and kinda goes better with the tan…

So what do you think? White or Natural?

PS: Yes, I’m going to hang them myself. As my favorite comment from yesterday’s post said: “Better holes in your walls than holes in your marriage! ”
Also should mention that as of last night, Jeff was speaking to me only on an “as necessary” basis. But this morning he did kiss me goodbye before leaving for work, so I guess that’s progress ;)

17 Responses to “Budget? What Budget?”

  1. White, definitely white. Off-white will just look dirty. Keep the continuity and freshness. And you will want to change the seats (eventually) on the chairs. In fact, if they are easy to re-do, you can re-cover them several times. I have similiar chairs and one of my joys is spending practically nothing on fabric and getting “new” chairs.

    Glad things are slowly returning to normal.

  2. Did you the consider the blue curtains, formerly in the living room? They might bring nice color and a little sheen to the dining room. Otherwise, I agree with Alana—white. Otherwise, natural… ;) (Two traits we have in common: Indecision and Perfectionism! I explain the indecision as just liking too many of my choices. The perfectionism is in my genes.)

    Just read your post about moldings (I think I was following the thread to find out what color grey is in your dining room) and I love the moldings in both rooms—it makes everything look crisp and finished!

  3. Hmmm, 1 vote for white!

    Jane, I originally bought the blue curtains for the dining room but later realized I wanted more of a contrast – hence their migration to the living room.

    Thanks for the comment about the moldings. They do make the rooms look better, even if the living room ones are upside down! PS, don’t know if you found it, but the dining room color is Benjamin Moore Arctic Gray.

  4. i vote for off white!!! i think the white will be harder to keep clean and impeccable… and i also like that it is kinda the color of the chairs… hahahaha! i think we will make it harder for you to decide!!!

    i have an idea to get jeff back to normal… seduce him!!!! it really works ;)!!!

  5. Maybe you could find a white on white stripe where one of the whites is off white and the other stripe white. That way they will go with the chairs and still have continuity with the other room. Or a white curtain with an off-white border around it, or off-white tie backs with white curtains. Photoshop some off white stripes in to the white (if you don’t mind stripes) and see what you think.

  6. You could always go with a totally different color, maybe curtains that are a color similar to your sofa–that would look good with the colors you have going in the dining room. Or I was thinking a shade darker than the walls (but I think you said you wanted more contrast than that).

  7. Have you learned nothing from my Fiance’s cakes? Get thee to a bakery and buy Jeff a cake!! Oh, and I like the tan curtains.

    Which Ikea are you hitting? I’m racking my brain – Long Island? Elizabeth? Is there another one that I am not aware of!?!?!? I want to get a new desk for the bedroom but Long Island is a nightmare during the summer and Jersey is too far.

  8. I would also worry that the “natural” color would look dingy. Is the white a bright, bright white? Or a soft white? Hmmm…

  9. Leigh, I actually did have gold-ish colored curtains in this room at one point from Target, but they were too short so I just returned them.. I could order the longer ones online but then I sort of got caught up in the white craze!

    Iloveupsate, wow, I know something you don’t know? that’s a first! Ikea Paramus. Its where route 4 and route 17 intersect. closer to my “westchester-ee” home and much less crowded (and WAY better other stores around it – homegoods, crate & barrel etc) so you can knock off more shopping at once!

    Dulcie, I think it would fall more in the bright white category..?

  10. Just found your blog!
    love what you’ve done so far!
    I love the natural shade….it all blends in beautifully!!!
    will definetely be back!

  11. I’m in a “buying freeze” but thought you might like this…


  12. Just found your blog (I tagged At Home At Home, and she tagged you…). What a great blog. I just love it. We have a home with great bones (like yours) that just needs love, but there is so much to do. Your blog is such an inspiration. Looks like we just need to jump in and do it! I even have a chandelier almost exactly like yours sitting in a box in the basement. Time to bring it up.

    Your place is looking fab!

  13. I wish we could vote (for the contest) more than once! I love your filing system. It is very similar to mine. Also, on the second voting matter, I vote for white.

  14. I like the crisp white curtains. It goes better with the all white trim. I love that you put the costs of the remodels on your blog. I’ll be referring people to your blog for ideas (I specialize in interior redesign). Please feel free to get some ideas from my blog at http://www.mystagedlife.com or website at http://www.stagedmakeovers.com
    Thanks for the help!

  15. […] shopping expedition with stops at Ikea, West Elm and Crate & Barrel.   At Ikea I got both the white AND  natural color curtain for the dining room (what, you actually expected me to be decisive?) and red ones for the office. […]

  16. Is there a way to vote without registering on the site? You definitely get my vote for fav reno blog but I can’t stand the thought of more spam.

  17. Mrs. Limestone, ugh, I didn’t realize you had to provide your email address :(

    Lainy, I LOVE your blog too! I didn’t realize at Home at Home tagged me cause she didn’t post here, but I was already tagged not so long ago: http://www.becoming-home.com/2.....en-tagged/

    Definitely bring up that chandelier, can’t wait to see it!

Leave a Reply