Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An Alarming Situation

A couple of weeks ago my sister spent the weekend with me at the Doll House. Friday night, the first night of her visit, I awoke to someone pounding on my front door.

It was so frightening; I had no idea who it was. Nervously, I crept into the living room. I peeked out the window and saw two police officers standing outside.  My heart raced.

I opened the door and greeted the two officers. A female officer asked to come inside and look around. Apparently, someone had broken into my next-door neighbor’s house and after my neighbor approached them, they left and ran towards my house.

The fear I felt in that moment was unlike anything I’d experienced before. My hands shook as I unlocked the door to my backyard. The officers looked in the shed and combed through the bushes. Nothing.

They told me the intruder broke through the glass on my neighbor’s back door. He walked into their living room and sat down in their recliner. The elderly woman who lives next door to me asked him what he was doing in her home. He didn’t answer. As she began to call the police, the intruder left her house.

She was okay. He didn’t steal anything. He didn’t even say a word. But the fact that someone came into her home, while she was sleeping, was enough to make me regret buying the doll house.

In my four years of living alone, I have never felt more vulnerable. I realized that he could have easily broken through the glass on my backdoor.

What would’ve I done?

How would I defend myself?

I was terrified.

Later, I found out that the incident was a misunderstanding. The intruder was intoxicated and had mistaken the house for his brother’s place. He was looking for a place to sleep and when the doors were locked, he broke in. He offered to pay for the broken window and apologized for the trouble he caused.

Although I’m relieved to hear of the outcome, I’m still scared at night. Every time someone knocks at my door, my heart skips a beat. For days after the incident (before I knew about the misunderstanding) I was scared to take a bath. I was scared to go to sleep. I kept a knife in my end table. I was obsessive about checking the locks (I still am).

After two sleepless nights, I decided that I needed an alarm system.
 
I called several places and eventually found a company that worked with my budget.
 
 
The alarm has brought me a great sense of security. (no pun intended! hehe!)


The yard sign alone makes me feel so much safer!


However, I’m still a little jittery.

Last night someone pulled into my driveway. They got out of their car and walked around the side of my house. I could hear two men talking. About the time I was dialing the police, they left.

I’m starting to feel ridiculous.

I jump out of my skin every time I hear a strange noise or the doorbell rings.

This fear is so new to me; it’s something I struggle with every day.

Before buying the house, I knew my independence would be tested.

I love my house and I don’t regret buying it one bit, I just hope this test ends soon!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PB Inspired Gallery Wall

Last week, I mentioned my Pottery Barn catalog hording collection. It's really out of control but I can't help myself. I love everything about their brand. Their traditional rooms are effortlessly classic and elegant. I swoon over almost every. single. thing. in their store.

So imagine my delight (about 6 months ago...before I found the doll house), when I came across a mind blowing sale. ALL of their display frames were marked down...dirt cheap.

They were re-decorating the area behind their register and all of the current decorations had to go. I went home with 6 wood gallery frames.  The most I paid for one was $16 (the oversized 18 x 18 mat  in the espresso stain).

Which was a steal because it is currently priced online for $50.

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At the time, I had no idea what I would do with the frames but I couldn't resist the ridiculously low price tag.

Fast forward several months...

It took me a while to figure out where to hang my beloved frame collection. I kept going back and forth between my bedroom, the hallway and the guest bedroom.

It wasn't until I saw this picture (below), that I decided to hang them in the living room.

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See the frames in the background? I loved the way they filled up the space between the windows.

24 hours later...I recreated the look in my home:




I still need to find pictures to go inside the frames but I'm really happy with how it turned out! They look perfect in front of the dining room. The white mats and dark trim really complement the colors of the table.

I still can't get over my luck in finding these beauties. I smile every time I walk by!

If you follow me on Instagram (@orrbrittney), you saw my little trick for creating the gallery wall. If you missed it click here!

What about you? Have you ever walked into a mind blowing sale at your favorite store? ...I'm pretty sure it's the next best thing to Christmas!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pottery Barn Inspired Rug (under $100 bucks!)

I've been saving Pottery Barn catalogs for years! I probably have 20 catalogs in my magazine file. Each catalog has marked pages filled with notes & stars by the things I love. Unfortunately, I don't have the budget to completely outfit my home in PB...so I've been using their catalog as an inspiration.

The doll house is covered in dark wood flooring (which I love). However, paired with my dark leather couch things seem very...well, dark!

Ever since the moment I moved in, I've been on the hunt for the perfect area rug. I wanted something that would brighten up the living room but would also stand the test of time.

Inspired by Pottery Barn, I was convinced I needed a jute rug. I loved the neutral color palette and texture of the jute. It has a slight costal vibe without seeming too nautical.

I saw these pictures in the PB catalog and used them as inspiration.




After several weeks of searching for the perfect jute rug, I began to feel apprehensive. I discovered a few flaws that concerned me.

First, jute isn't very comfortable on your (bare) feet. I want my living room to be beautiful and functional. A scratchy rug isn't going to be very cozy on a winter night by the fire place.

Second, jute sheds. The last thing I want is a shedding rug.

So I switched gears and went back to my catalogs.

I found a few pictures of rugs that had the same color palette as the jute but were a little more practical for everyday use.




I began searching for carpets that had the two toned effect (you can really see what I'm talking about in the first picture). I loved the darker boarder around the rug. I looked at places like Target, Home Depot and Lowes.

Imagine my surprise when I found an identical rug at Lowes for $98 bucks! Oh, and I had a "moving" coupon so I got 10% off. My total came to about $88. It couldn't be more perfect!

Here is the 8X10 Pottery Barn rug (which was priced at $549)


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and the 8X10 Lowes rug (a whopping $461 LESS than PB)

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I'm so happy with my new rug. It really brightens up the house and it reminds me of the beautiful rooms from my catalogs!


Oh and see the gallery wall in the photo above? I'll be posting on that soon!



I'm not sure what to do about the fire place...it's a little too white for my taste. I'm thinking about painting the bricks a darker color or getting something like this to go in front.


Also, I'm not crazy about my couch pillows and I'm getting a new coffee table ASAP.

It's a work in progress my friends...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

*Note, all "inspiration" images were found here!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let's get caught up!

A lot has happened around the doll house in the last couple of weeks…

I painted my guest bathroom. Here is the before:


Here’s the after:


I used this tutorial, it was a lot easier than I expected!

My kitchen table got a face lift. I painted it white to match the crown molding (shout out to my dear friend Corey for helping me out). It looks better than I could’ve imagined! Before, the table was a yellowish color. Now, It looks sunning in my dining room. The dark table top really brings out the wood flooring.



I turned 25 last week…I had a housewarming/birthday party with my friends. It was so much fun having people over! I’ve lived in an apartment for the last 4 or 5 years and I’ve never been able to host that many people. I can’t wait to throw another dinner at the doll house. I’m already planning my Halloween party!



I spent the majority of my birthday shopping for the doll house. I’m so excited about the area rug I got a Lowes. I will be posting about it soon! In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of it in my living room:


Last weekend my sister took me to The Swon Brother’s concert. It was such a fabulous night. If you watched The Voice, you know they are from Oklahoma. Colton and Courtney (my sister) went to school together.



It was truly one of the best concerts I’ve been to. At one point in the night, they took song requests from the audience. It was amazing to watch them play in such an intimate atmosphere. I snuck a little video of them performing a Garth Brook’s song. Listen to the words closely:



As you can see, things have been really busy.

Moving into August, I’m ready to say goodbye to summer. I can’t help but get a little excited when I see all of the school supplies on display. I am anxiously awaiting cooler weather and cozy clothing. Fall is right around the corner!

I hope you’ve had a marvelous July! Stick around! I promise to be a better blogger this month!