the new house, stage 1 (and a $100 Amex card giveaway from Bagster!)

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I think that remodeling is a little bit like childbirth- because you only see the beautiful result of your toils, you forget what it took to get there.

From the middle of the mess, I am here with a reminder that remodeling is WORK. Lots of hours of work. Not that fun work. And TONS of demolition. In fact, we’ve mostly been tearing things apart so far. Isn’t it funny how long it takes just to get back to ground zero?

This is what we’ve been working on-

1. Tearing out the old (very green) kitchen.

2. Taking out the wall between the kitchen an the living room.

3. Tearing out the old fireplace (to expose the original fireplace).

4. Chipping out the tile in the kitchen and the master.

5. Tearing down the ceiling on the entire first floor (it was covered in those little foam ceiling tiles? Yuck!).

6. Removing layers of old flooring in the breakfast nook.

7. Chipping away the plaster from the main wall in the living room (to expose the brick).

8. Ripping out all of the old carpet (and plucking out the demon-carpet-staples that held that stuff in place).

9. Sanding the orange-y oak wood floors.

10. Removing the old drywall in the kitchen, part of the living room, and breakfast nook.

I need more synonyms for ‘removing,’ that’s for sure.

We’ve filled five (yes, FIVE) Bagsters with bricks, plaster, old drywall, old flooring, carpet pad, unsalvage-able insulation and other debris. The funny thing about those five Bagsters is that when they originally offered to let me try their dumpster-in-a-bag earlier this summer, I thought I was going to use it to clean out my craft room.

Fast forward a few months and these giant, super sturdy trash removal “Bagsters” have been a huge bonus during our demo. The biggest perk is that we haven’t had to rent a dumpster (which 1- Requires a permit in Denver, 2- Won’t fit in our front yard without tearing up our landscaping, and 3- Won’t fit in back because our alley is too narrow). We’ve done a TON of demo and can’t believe it’s all fit in five Bagsters (for more info, visit Bagster’s site, their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter).

Which brings me to the best news of today- you get to benefit from our house demo without having to pluck one single carpet staple. Yep, Bagster is giving one lucky kojo reader a $100 Amex gift card to spend on whatever your little heart desires!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment answering this question-

What is your dream source for home decor (or leave me your whole list of faves)?

*US residents only. Giveaway ends on October 20th at midnight.




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  1. I love the flash sale sites- One Kings Lane for example. But, I never order anything ’cause what if I hate it and I can’t take it back???

  2. Dream source: thrifting or second hand stores. Ours are sadly crowded with junky stuff around my neck of the woods, but through blogs, I see beautiful pieces pulled from flea markets and thrift stores all the time. And wool sweaters. Middle Georgians don’t have much use for wool sweaters and seem to hang on to their good stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€ You never know when you might need it again. haha

  3. I’d have to say Antrhopologie and Restoration Hardware. Too bad I can’t afford much from either! That Amex gift card would sure be helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I found lots of great things via ebay…including most of the light fixtures in our home. One of my favorite sellers had several great kicheler light fixters, brand new in box, for a fraction of the regular price.

  5. your new house is going to be soooo awesome!!! i’m a little disappointed the foam tiles are going…they are making a comeback, just you wait ๐Ÿ˜‰ and i’m sorry, did you say BRICK WALL in the living room?? that. is. amahzing!! cannot wait to see this process!!

  6. can’t wait to see this house come together. maybe dave and i can arrange child care and come help ya’ll with some of that demo sometime soon? and my dream source for home decor? kirstin gentry, hands down. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I do love Ballard Design…and am so impressed with all your work. We’ve been amazed at how long it is taking to fix up our new place and it really didn’t need that much work!

  8. I’m a Crate & Barrel fan at heart. As a born and raised Chicagoan, I fell in love with C&B on Michigan Avenue. Thanks!

  9. I really love Target because it is right nearby and carries up to date accessories! I also love Home Goods because I feel like I am getting a “find”!

  10. My dream source for home decor is Target. Gosh, I love their stuff! I recently redid my bedroom with a London theme, and I found some neat framed prints there. I’m going to pair one that’s a picture of a bulldog with the Union Jack in the background with a framed photograph of Winston Churchill. I think it will look great together!

  11. Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, antique stores… The list could go on and on! I have champagne tastes on a beer budget.

  12. I already have one of my dream sources! It’s my mother-in-law and sister’s in-law. They all have excellent taste and are very creative. My husband’s pretty good too when he has time!
    Otherwise, I love browsing blogs, decorating magazines and going into stores like Ikea, Ethan Allen, small boutique and resale shops too.

  13. I love Luminaire showrooms – (in Miami and Chicago) for beautiful modern and mostly Italian designs. Their website is not as inspirational and alas, I cannot afford anything they sell anyway.

  14. Many days I dream of handing someone a blog post from House of Turquoise and saying, “Make this for me to live in.”

  15. i love the inspiration found in pottery barn, restoration hardware, crate and barrel… but realistically i only end up buying from world market, target, homegoods, ikea, urban outfitters, flea markets, and garage sales ๐Ÿ™‚ anthropologie, of course, is the one store i walk into that just transforms my mood; i am constantly drawn to their drinking glasses and hardware each time i visit

  16. Man that’s a tough one! I drool over the Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware catalogues but probably Crate & Barrel the most.

  17. Pinterest for that one day when I will have enough money to buy a house in Hawaii (where I live) and remodel to my heart’s content!

  18. I’ll admit it. I’m a thrift store junky. Those and Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I love to take old, unloved junk and make it awesome! I also like TJ Maxx for baskets and organizational stuff. Though of course, for just straight up inspiration, pinterest can’t be beat!

  19. I would have to say love looking at ideas at pottery barn. Usually end up buying fabric at places like Calico Corners and using the fabric for decorating. Target and Home Goods are also fun to pick up items for the home.

  20. I really like pottery barn but most of the shopping for our home is from our families houses! When they are getting new things we’ve been so fortunate to get their ” old” stuff. Thankfully they have great taste!

  21. Favorite source has always been garage sales and thrift stores! I find all kinds of name brand items but waaaaayyy less! Ross and TJ Max are good too.

    Lots of work done!! You are going to so enjoy your home when it is all through! You will have to have an open house so all of us in Colorado can come see it in person!

    bee blessed

  22. If I could buy all of the things I had to buy from Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrell and then thrift those things that I didn’t have to buy, that would be a dream come true! I love to create things, but some things are better to buy. Or if you just can’t find them thrifted….but as we are talking about “dream sources” then everything would be a perfect mix of thrifted and new. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. My “style” is rather loosely described as craftsman//traditional/eclectic! I quilt, so I love displaying my own handiwork, but I love checking out where others go for great finds. And the clerk in the paint department at Home Depot loves to see me coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. When I am redoing my house, it seems that Home Depot was my dream source. For decor, I opted for JoAnn Fabrics and Walmart.

  25. i love anything from the Paris St. Market…too bad I have to wait another 6 months before the flea market returns!

  26. Hmm…I love walking around World Market for inspiration and just recently because of your blog got inspired by that Knotty Bed spread! Now I have to shop Ikea for some king size bed sheets to do that project!

    So I’d go to Ikea and World Market to redecorate our room!

  27. Lowe’s … we love it! Did our kitchen renovation 4 yrs ago, cut our budget way down that way. We shared with them our budget, they listened and most of the time gave us discount. Also online .. I searched getting our faucet and cabinet hardwares online and got them almost half from local stores.

  28. I love unique vintage-y pieces, but since we’ve been on the grad student budget for so long, family hand-me-downs & Ikea have been our staples. I can’t wait to see how awesome your house turns out!

  29. Hmmm… I think I could do some pretty decent damage with stops at Ikea, Anthropology, and Target! We’re in the midst of some remodeling too… I feel your pain ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I just started reading your blog and I really enjoy it! I would love to re-do my whole house from Ballard Designs…I also enjoy digging around Goodwill and resale shoppes.

  31. I LOVE Pottery Barn, but my budget doesn’t! The end result is Ikea–cute stuff and great prices. It’s a win-win!

  32. I’m a big fan of small local shops and flea markets – both offer something unique. For basics I like Home Goods and Target.

  33. we’ve been in this house since 05 and have replaced the roof & water softener. expensive things that aren’t “fun. we live in a 1905 house that was refinished but needs paint, carpets ripped up, floors sanded, new kitchen counters…i could go on! yeah $100 wouldn’t even be a drop in the bucket but alas…it’s fun to dream!

  34. I’d love to travel to Paris and Morocco to visit flea markets and bring home endless amounts of stuff. Sigh …

    Back to the real world. I love Pier 1, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Ikea, and thrift stores!

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