Thursday, April 19

Paint...on a budget

I have wanted to paint our piano room since we moved in. I spend many hours a day there, I teach there, and I need it painted. Like now. But I couldn't decide on a color. It needs to exude relaxation and peace, at the same time be welcoming and inviting. Enter Restoration Hardware paint in Silver Sage, like this room below:

It's blue, it's green, it's gray...and it can hold it's own as a neutral. I love it. Our beautiful dark mahogany baby grand will look stunning next to this color. Normally it's $39 a gallon...yowza. I will need 2 gallons for the room, so I told myself to research some more. I called RH and it's on sale right now for $33, that's pretty good. Still not good enough.

Benjamin Moore makes a color that's a 95% match called Grey Wisp, according to a great website Color Charts that let's you search any color and find matches in other brands.

Shermin Williams makes a color very close called Comfort Gray. If you read this great great thread here you will see that a couple people actually have RH Silver Sage on their walls used SW Comfort Gray and despite the color charts looking different, it's an EXACT match. I believe that.

Quite honestly I don't trust the big boxes to get my color right. It's a delicate blend of blue, green and gray. Any more blue and I wouldn't like it, and more green and I would hate it. This color is really perfect for me.

Alright, now to price it out. BM and SW are still pricey (in my opinion). What I found out though, SW is starting a sale tomorrow 4/20/12 and paint is 40% off for 3 days. That's more my speed. High quality paint at very affordable prices. I'm heading over tomorrow morning to grab a couple gallons of their high end paint and get to the piano room painted!

 I'm so excited.

Tuesday, April 3

Goodwill Online Auction

There is something I have to tell you. It may not be a secret, but did you know Goodwill has an online auction? Yes, it's true. But here's the best can find almost ANYTHING. It's like having access to the best goodwill stores online. No, you can't get furniture unless a local goodwill is auctioning it off since those are pick up only. What you can get are the wonderful treasures we hope to find at our local goodwill but don't. I almost wish I hadn't discovered it, and I'm pretty sure my best friend is going to put the kibosh on my bidding wars, but for now I'm having fun getting treasures at a great price. Here are some examples!

This sweet nutcracker stands 10" tall and is made by the Erzgebirge company in Germany. I can not find this particular one listed on their website, but I scored this little guy for a great price that was miles away from the $75 it would be from the Erzgebirge company. I don't collect nutcrackers, but he's such a cheerful addition with his lovely yellow coloring. I think I'll leave him by the entry so he can keep an eye on things.

I love this balance scale. It's industrial but not too big that it overwhelms the space. It's made by the Welch company. Looks so much like this one from the 1920's...I just love it!early 1920's enameled black cast iron double pan balance scale

I found these music books, dated 1925, which
arrived via UPS yesterday. It's a collection called the International Library of Music for Home and Studio, Study Music in Four Books for pianoforte. Charles Dennee created this teaching series for students to progress through these books and learn technique and style. Dennee was a teacher in Boston and had been a member of the New England conservatory since 1883. These books are historical, useful, and I am excited to learn from a great teacher! He even signed his picture in the first book!

I've been looking for a globe, I think they are great decorative pieces but they also serve a purpose. I snagged this one happily for $8! It's made by the Replogle World Classic Series. The globe is textured so you can feel the mountain ranges. It also has all the explorers and their pictures. So fun!

The Goodwill Stores are actually very good at listing the details about the items. Most haven't been tested, but some have and they will list the specifics on whether it still works or not. They list any damage to the items so you know ahead of time what you're getting.

Here are my suggestions when looking at Goodwill Auction:

1. To look for something specific, use the Search option, it will save time.

2. Read EVERYTHING about the item. Once you click on a picture, scroll down to see more pictures and any details about the condition and measurements.

extra pictures so you can see all the details

You can see the details and measurements and any testing or condition issues.

3. Bid the most you're willing to pay for the item the first time. It's based on proxy bidding. If you are unfamiliar with this type of bidding, read about it here.

4. Use the personal shopper if you are waiting for something particular to show up at auction.

5. Make sure you get the estimated shipping and handling before bidding and add that on to your final cost. Everything I have received has been wrapped very carefully, so it makes sense for them to charge between $1-3 for each item purchased.

The website is

Happy bidding!!