Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We're Trashy

Ou nightly walk is a highly anticipated activity for the girls, they start getting excited well in advance and by the time we're ready to leash up they're doing mad laps around the house.

But when they really flip out is on the evening walk the day before bulky trash pick-up.  We always anticipate that these walks will take at least 50% longer because there's SO much to do.  Noses are to the ground and there is work to be done.  Piles of stuff formerly relegated to attics and basements are suddenly sitting on the curb and it just blows their minds.  I usually walk along and marvel and how much junk there is in the world.

Well last night was different, we passed the usual heaps of grubby clutter but we also happened upon this...

It's a Bernhardt leather chair and it was sitting out on the curb a few streets over from us.  We took the dogs home then went back to get it, when we brought it in they were in disbelief that they actually got to have something in their house from the trash piles.  Enthusiastic sniffing ensued and after they were done I tackled it with my Dyson, some white vinegar, and some febreze.  

Honestly it's not exactly surprising it was someone's trash-- it has a big slit in the arm that the pillow is covering and the leather is in bad shape in some spots, but it's nothing a few strategic textiles can't take care of.   

We are planning to get a leather chair for the living room as we're definitely in need of more seating, but it just hasn't been a priority yet.  While I'm not in favor of filling our house with junk while we wait for the real deals I can make an exception for a comfortable, nice-ish leather chair that we got for minimal effort and zero dollars. 

The wingback structure and nailhead trim probably aren't things I'd gravitate towards if I had my pick, but it's fun to see something outside my normal taste in the house.  Lots of fun.  

I told Shep she should get in a more flattering position for these photos and she told me to quit being such a stage mom. 

The layout of the living room is a bit awkward for furniture placement because although it's a generous sized room it has a lot of doors and entries-- the front entry, french doors out to the backyard, an opening to the dining room, and an opening to the hallway.

Our long term furniture plans are a big U-shaped sectional that will wrap around one side of the room with a chair/ottoman or chaise to go in front of the mantle.  I like the sectional we have now, but the fact that it's armless doesn't make it the most comfortable for lounging and it's really not big enough for us plus 2 dogs. 

Birdie alone can take up a good chunk of sectional real estate.   

While our curbside find won't be in it for the long haul, in the words of Cousin Eddie, "it's a good quality item" at least for now.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

TBT: Student Living {Part 2}

Well I wish I had something shiny and new for the house to write about, but I don't.  Some unexpected but necessary expenses have come up, a trip to the vet, a new windshield, you get the idea.  Isn't it the worst when life gets in the way of sideboards and rugs?

I've been especially nostalgic for Boston lately so I thought I'd share a tour of our second apartment that we lived in while up there, you can see our first apartment here.

But first a few scenes from last spring of the HBS campus in bloom:

We moved into this apartment in April 2013, the spring of Matt's first year at business school.  It was a more central Cambridge location-- walkable to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Harvard and Central Square, much closer to campus, and pet friendly so we jumped on it when it became available.  Like our first apartment it was owned by Harvard University Housing.  The building was constructed in 1887 and is three stories with one apartment on each level all of which are about 800 square feet.  Downright palatial for student living.

This apartment had great natural light and tall ceilings in the entryway/living room.  

The photos below are not good, these are iPhone pics, but they're what I've got. 

Living room with our table in the windows, it was so fun to eat meals at that table and look out onto the street below.  It was a pretty busy street and I liked the hustle and bustle.

View from the table to the street below.

The fire on the TV was a mainstay during the winter months.  Which was mostly all months.  

Sometimes Shep just had to hide from the cold. 

Down the hallway from the living room was the bedroom, our queen bed was a snug fit.

Moving on down the hallway was the kitchen, bathroom, and second bedroom.  

That stackable washer/dryer in the middle of the kitchen was my absolute favorite feature.  It was so rare to find an apartment with in-unit laundry and after having gone without it in our previous apartment I will never take laundry for granted again. Even now my washer/dryer is in the basement and I don't think twice about hauling laundry up and down.

And how about that green linoleum floor, are you drooling yet?

The linoleum might not be your thing but let's take a second to appreciate those beautiful thick baseboards.  Looks like they did some things right in 1887.  

Guess what the door in the photo below is?  The bathroom.  Yep, the bathroom was in the kitchen.  As someone who really really really values clean that was a struggle. Character building you might say.

But at least it had generous counter space.

Here's a photo from a day when I baked something and for some reason really styled it up and took pictures of it.  I think I had just gotten my camera in anticipation of our safari and was practicing?  Turns out wild animals don't let you arrange them the way eggs and lemons do. 

We didn't have a guest bed so we put this couch in the second bedroom for guests to sleep on.  This room was also used for the printer, the linen closet, my dresser, the laundry hamper, really it was just a catch all.

                                             Christmas in the apartment

This is a sombering photo, it was taken the day the city was on lock down while police searched for the marathon suspects.  I took this in the middle of the day when we ran Shep outside for a bathroom break.  On any other day there would have been lots of traffic and people jogging along the river, but it was empty. 

This was our last walk to Harvard Yard shortly before we moved out of the apartment.  You wouldn't know it from my outerwear that this photo was taken in May. 

And while we're on the subject of New England, here we are eating lobster in Rhode Island.  

I want to end with this because can I just say how much I appreciate the screen printed ivy on the construction fencing?  It made me smile every time I walked passed it.  Brilliant.    
01 09 10