The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

We have been slowly redecorating and upgrading our townhouse over the past few months. I was really excited when we started the process. The idea of designing a bathroom and kitchen sounded like fun.  Being able to choose our own lighting, cabinetry, flooring, paint colors, fixtures…awesome. I have never liked our kitchen. Laminate counter top is not my friend. Neither are ugly back splashes.

As it turns out it's not even remotely fun. It completely stresses me out. It may just be that I am intimidated by all of the options. Does that ever happen to you? That happens to me almost every time I walk into the craft store. There are so many cool and crafty things that I can't make a single decision (and usually walk out empty handed). The problem compounds when the decisions I am making are a) permanent and b) expensive changes to our home.

The past week was a good one. We finally found a contractor that we like and trust. We have had terrible luck finding a reliable company that wasn't trying to gouge us. They are taking care of the wiring projects, replacing the kitchen and bathroom back splashes, plumbing and wiring up a chandelier. Things are finally starting to happen. I like that.

All of the upgrades we are making are green upgrades. While they tend to be a bit more expensive, they really aren't that much more expensive. And I'll tell you a little secret. We bought a Direct Buy membership last year and it has more than paid for itself. Direct Buy is very much like Costco. You must be a member to shop there, but the prices you pay for merchandise are significantly less than retail. If you own a home and plan on doing any sort of improvement project or want to buy new furniture (or window treatments) then it is absolutely worth the membership fee.

There is one significance annoyance when buying through Direct Buy. I won't lie to you. The showroom is a room full of catalogs. You look through the catalogs (or their website) to find the items you want then place your order. There are no physical products to touch and feel. Normally that isn't a problem for me, but that doesn't work when you want to buy a sofa, you know? There is no way I am buying furniture without first sitting on it. Also, you must place your order at Direct Buy and most items you have to pick up at Direct Buy. They don't deliver.

I personally love being able to search the Direct Buy website for products. There is no way that Zoë would sit patiently at Direct Buy as I flipped through stacks of catalogs, so being able to browse on my laptop at all hours of the day is a huge plus for me. Then again, I run into the "to many options" problem. Last week I looked at 5,000 chandeliers. I kid you not. Five thousand. Why? Because I am a little OCD. I had to look at every single chandelier. I kept thinking, "What if the perfect chandelier is on the next page?" Five thousand chandeliers later I found ours..

chandelier The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

That is the good chandelier. (Ours has cream candles that look slightly melted). It also happens to be less than half the price of the chandelier I was eying at Restoration Hardware. You can't beat that. Now for the ugly. This is just a teeny tiny selection of the hideous chandeliers I found. No offense to any rooster-loving blog readers.

uglychandeliers The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

Would you like to see some more ugly? Actually, I categorize this with bad and ugly. Ugh. This is the couch that Kelly loves. If I had let him, he would have bought this yesterday at Lazy Boy without a moments hesitation. (The sofa version)

gibson 3 The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

Is that not the most hideous sofa you have ever seen? Yes, it is comfortable. Kelly said it was the most comfortable sofa he has ever sat on. In his entire life. Frankly, I don't care. It is the ugliest sofa I have ever seen in my life. If we ever have a media room then he can have it. Until then, no flipping way. Instead we bought this beauty.

benjaminsofa 2 The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

Thomasville was having a great sale last weekend (rebate and no sales tax) so we took the plunge and went leather. We have been very hesitant to buy leather anything because of our cats, but Thomasville has a leather protection package that covers cat scratches. You can't beat that. It pains me to pay retail for furniture (especially now that I know how much the markup actually is) but like I said, there is no way we were going to buy furniture without sitting on it.

Tomorrow the new counter tops are being installed (in Thunder) in the kitchen and master bathroom.  Wednesday the bathroom back splash is being installed. We still have not decided on a back splash for the kitchen. I have brought home endless tile/slate/glass samples are we simply cannot find anything we like. I also need to order the bamboo flooring tomorrow (in Java) which will hopefully be installed next week in the kitchen and dining room. Things are finally moving along. We have been planning and talking about this for so long that it is nice to see some progress. Now if I could just decide on paint colors for the kitchen and living room…

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