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Contest Archives - Go Haus Go - A DIY and Design Blog by Emily May

Wrapping Up The Old House

By | Covington House | 5 Comments

There’s an opportunity to win $10,000 from BLACK+DECKER at the bottom of this post! This project is largely inspired by them and their new “Your Big Finish” campaign. This movement celebrates getting those little projects out of the way. 

The old house (it feels so weird calling it that!) is still on the market. Understandably, showings crawled to a stand still as soon as the holidays arrived. We don’t expect it to pick back up until January. We’re using this downtime to continue to improve the house and get it even more show-ready. And yea, I’ll use any excuse to spend a few more hours over there any day. It’s still my baby!

One of the things on our list is re-installing the master bedroom door. We removed the door a very long time ago, when the room was first used as a living room, and it never got replaced. Now that it’s the main bedroom, I’m sure it looked a little odd to buyers that the door was missing. Aaron popped a couple of blood vessels getting this huge, solid wood door back on but we have success!

Wrapping Up the Old House

Here’s a fun picture of the living room in honor of #throwbackthursday. Check out that sweet stack of DVDs in the corner! Such fancy.

Living Room for Contest

I could go even further back, to the era of the super embarrassing pumpkin-orange overstuffed sectional. But I won’t. Because what you put on the Internet stays there forever.

ANYWAYS, it feels great to have the door finally re-installed. It’s a big project… one of those that bothers you in the back of your mind until it’s completed. Below is another one. Remember when I finished the bathroom back in February? But never finished installing the wallpaper? And then a super fancy pants photographer from Better Homes & Gardens discovered said missing wallpaper? Well I finally got that fixed too. It feels so good to have it done!

Wrapping Up the Old House

ANYWAYS, there’s something that feels so good about finishing projects. Especially for this house. To leave it better than I found it I guess. I partnered with BLACK+DECKER because their Your Big Finish campaign is all about finally, finally finishing those projects you’ve been leaving to the side. And I am so on board with that.

Now it’s your turn to show off a completed project you had been putting off. Do it. I promise— marking it off the list will feel so good. As for motivation, $10,000 sounds pretty good to me!

For this “Your Big Finish” campaign, there are Weekly Prizes, at approximately $439.91 per prize, and one Grand Prize of $10,000. The Weekly Prizes include one of each of the following:

BLACK+DECKER prize package comprised of one (1) of each of the following:
• BDCDE120C 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver with AutoSense™
• BDEMS600 Mouse Sander
• BDCS40BI 4V MAX* Lithium Pivot Screwdriver
• BDCDCMT120 Matrix 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver
• LCS1020 20V MAX* Chainsaw
• BDCMTRS Matrix Reciprocating Saw Attachment
• BDCMTI Matrix Impact Driver Attachment

To enter, visit the Your Big Finish campaign landing page, and enter your First Name, Last Initial, Email, City, State, Phone and upload a photo of yourself and your completed project. The contest ends December 28th, 2014.

xo,

emily

p/s: A big shout out to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring this post!

Vote For My Small Cool Home

By | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

If you don’t want to read and just want to vote, here is my contest entry page. You “favorite” it to vote for it. (Thank you. SO. MUCH.)

Small Cool is an annual contest on Apartment Therapy that celebrates small spaces. It’s been going on for 10 years and I’ve participated in 2011, 2012 (got close with 4th place), took a break in 2013 to get married and am back in action for the 2014 edition.

2014 Small Cool Contest Entry

Click to see the full entry on ApartmentTherapy.com

Guys, I actually have a chance at winning my division this year. I am in first place and have been for about a week. I have been holding off talking it here because schilling for votes is right up there with painting cabinets for me—awkward and painful. *takes deep breath and keeps typing*

I am honest when I say I am indifferent about the prize (I don’t really have any room for new furniture…) but what I do care about is getting some recognition for my kick-ass minuscule (relatively speaking) house. My house, which stood vacant and disgusting for a decade, may now be winning an Internet contest. I think that would be an awesome 100th birthday gift for my 1914 home. Although I’m guessing my house doesn’t know what the Internet is…

I need your help to keep me at #1. You have to register to vote but I promise it’s 2 or 3 clicks and then done. Here is my contest entry page where you can “favorite” it aka vote for it.

I’ve learned a thing or two in my third year of competition. I thought it would be fun to look back at previous years’ entries. Dear house, you’ve come a long way. (And I think we can go further together, just don’t tell Aaron I said that.)

Bedroom – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, this was still the living room. I don’t own any of the furniture in this room anymore. The sofa, now in a grey tweed cover, lives with my sister in Illinois.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012, it became the bedroom. This was prior to Aaron officially moving in so I’m still rocking the mattress-on-the-floor look. This layout is essentially how it is today. I actually like that dresser on the right better than what we have going on now. There’s a big chair there currently but while it works just great, I like the symmetry of the double dresser more.

2012 Contest Entry

And I’ve shared this photo a million times but here is where this room is today. This bed is actually broken at the moment so Aaron and I sleep squished to the left, because the right side is collapsed. I may or may not have used this bed as a step stool / jump landing one too many times. Classy!

2014 Contest Entry

Living Room – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, the space planning side of my brain was obviously on vacation because this space was made into a weird sitting room / front room of some sorts.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012 it became the living room, which is what it is today. This is where my painting-black-walls-back-to-white experience began. I still find black here or there. And this is a different angle. The bedroom is to the right, the kitchen (you can see the wallpaper poking out) to the left.

2012 Contest Entry

And here is the living room today. The pillows have since changed and the brass peacock is on top of the bookcase, but you get the idea.

2014 Contest Entry

If you want to dig deeper, here are the full 2011, 2012 and 2014 entries.

So yea, PLEASE go “favorite” my 2014 entry over on ApartmentTherapy.com. My house and I are SO APPRECIATIVE. Do it for the house!!!

(But seriously, thank you.)

xo,

emily

p/s: I am totally aware that for this year, the person with the most votes does not necessarily win (the top 5 in each divison go to a judge’s choice to select a finalist) but I don’t have any control over that so I’m just erasing it from my memory for the time being. :)

Living small.

By | Random | 14 Comments

The AT Small Cool contest is a wrap. I cannot believe how well I did. I ended up in fourth place (out of 24 entries in my division) with 533 votes. I have a strong feeling that had a lot to do with you. And I am so grateful. Really, REALLY grateful. (For context, I received 300ish votes last year and ended in 11th place.)

I participate in this contest to connect with people like me. People who love to live small. People who don’t bat an eyelash at a single room acting as an office/bedroom/closet/kids room/craft room/storage room.

Emily Snuffer

1st Place - Small Division - Chezerbey

Will I always live small? I’m not sure. Do I think I could live in my 900 square foot home for quite a long time, despite how my family might grow? Absolutely. For one thing, my mortgage is $816/month. That’s it – and that includes escrow for insurance, property taxes, etc. It’s crazy cheap. And it’s hard to walk away from hella cheap, especially if it belongs to a space you are so connected with. When I have kids, I’ve got some cozy corners in my house with their name on them. Not whole rooms. Kids are tiny, they don’t need big rooms! Maybe a big drawer. KIDDING! (No, I’m not anywhere near having kids, but I do get the, “Will you look for something bigger if you have kids?” question a lot.)

Emily Snuffer

2nd Place - Small Division - Ryan's Perfect Blank Canvas

Here’s something else – a small house forces me to avoid clutter. Clutter in a large house looks like an episode of Hoarders in a small house. It’s just too much. So I shop with intention (sometimes) and buy only the stuff I really, really love (sometimes). But seriously, on a good day, there is no clutter.

My basement on the other hand is a home decor nightmare. Chairs, poufs, lamps, rugs, oh my. I am planning to sell a lot of it via Craigslist. I’ll let you know via a post if I do.

Emily Snuffer

3rd Place - Small Division - Lisa's Not Everything's Bigger in Texas

They (and by “they” I mean the mysterious source behind all those inspiration quotes) say you should strive to collect moments not things. And you know what? I’m really, really bad at that. I like things. Things can be purchased instantly while moments take planning. I’ve been known to pick a handbag over a trip. But I did manage to get the moments vs. things right when it comes to my house. My small house and its small payment allows me to go on big-to-me road trips (even if it’s just Florida!), save a chunk of change and DIY my little heart out. It’s a size I can actually handle in a smart way. So, out of all the times I’ve passed up a moment to buy whatever something I was craving that week, I somehow got it right when it came to my house. I didn’t go big.

Ooo, one last thing. Less cleaning. This is a big one for me as I am a clean freak. As in, freak out if dust is showing on my baseboards freak. I just get overwhelmed. I cannot imagine having anything bigger to keep up with, especially due to the hours I work. And then of course there are things like smaller heating bills, smaller lawns, blah blah blah. Those matter, too!

Emily Snuffer

4th Place - Small Division - ME!!!

I guess I’m just trying to explain why I choose to live the way I do. And it’s not like my house is THAT small, especially compared to the 300 square foot homes in the contest. It’s just that it’s not the norm, and when anything is a little weird, you tend to get a lot of questions and confused looks.

Emily Snuffer

5th Place - Small Division - Adam's Afternoon Light

And of course, there are huge downsides to living small. Hosting family events and bigger gatherings is almost impossible. Guests often sleep on the sofa or an air mattress. Spending some quiet time in another room to get some work done just isn’t possible in close quarters. And I’m sure there is more.

What about you? Do you live small? Have you downsized or upsized recently? Why and what to?

Did I mention I love you guys? Like whoa.

xo,emily

p/s: I voted for the awesome Dan Kanter (of Manhattan Nest fame) in the finals. You should, too (It’s Daniel’s Amazing Bones)

 

 

2011 vs. 2012

By | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

My house has been selected to participate in Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool 2012 contest. Wahoo! Anyone with a house under 1000 square feet can enter and then the editors at Apartment Therapy pick entries to compete in the actual contest. My house is at 900 square feet which puts me in the Small division. I love this contest because the people I connected with via the contest last year are those that I remain close with to this day. It’s a little community of small-but-mighty homes and I love that. Please go voteif you have a chance.You will have to register (it’s quick) to vote but I would SO appreciate it.

Because I participated in this same contest last year, I thought it would be fun to see how the 2011 entry photos compare to the 2012 entry photos.

LIVING ROOM (CURRENT BEDROOM)

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

You can read more about the living room-turned-bedroom here.

KITCHEN

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

To read more about the table switch (from high top to low faux Tulip table) go here.

I also have a story about that rug. It’s a new addition to the kitchen. I’ll share soon.

FRONT ROOM (CURRENT LIVING ROOM)

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

To see how I went from black to white (and from front room to living room), go here.

Apologies for switching up the angle on you but I don’t have a new-ish photo of the chalkboard wall! It’s still there though!

BATHROOM

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

God, that first photo sucked so bad. It’s so yellow. My secret to now getting this bathroom to appear as white as it really is despite terrible yellow lighting is the Light Scoop.

2ND BEDROOM / FUTURE OFFICE

Emily Snuffer

I don’t have a “Now” photo for this one because it’s currently empty (ok, there’s just a bunch of crap in there and the same dresser) because I moved everything in to the new bedroom (first picture).

Consider this room (which I’ve never painted EVER despite other rooms being on their 4th color)
totally under construction and obviously the next project.

So that’s it! Have you noticed that I just move things around a lot (even just pillows and rugs) versus buying new? For some reason it still feels the same as getting something new and the bonus is no cost to me. All the switcheroo-ing appeals to my cheap side.

p/s: I am considering switching from M-W-F posts to every day. Has anyone else upped their posting frequency and has advice for me? The increased commitment makes me nervous. I’ll let you know what I end up deciding but I have so much to share and my current schedule keeps things at a snail’s pace.

p/p/s: I’ve updated the haus tour page, including rooms I barely show on the blog like the laundry room. Check it out.

p/p/p/s: I’m trying to act chill but deep down I am uber stoked I got accepted back in to the contest. It was a nail-biting, week-long waiting period to see if I made it. Oh, and Chezerbey is in my category. I wouldn’t be mad if you voted for them at all because COME ON. Have you SEEN their place?

Want to go to Paris?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

One of my favorite blogs, Oh Happy Day, is giving away a 7-day vacation to Paris! Anyone can win, so I wanted to pass it along to my blog readers.

The submission instructions have multiple steps, so read closely! Click the image below to get started.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day

Image credit: Oh Happy Day

And, while you’re on Jordan’s blog, take a look around! Her content focuses on more party ideas and crafting, versus home design, but she’s gifted in all categories! She’s the first person I turn to if I’m on the hook for party planning.

-emily

psssst….if you win the Paris trip, bring me with you!

All of the “before” pics.

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This past Saturday, April 23, marked the 3-year anniversary of me being a homeowner. April 23, 2008 was my closing day with the bank. I was a single, naive, just-turned-24-year old and I thought I had it all figured out. I’m not sure why I even decided to be a homeowner – it wasn’t about the “numbers” or that I needed a place to settle down. At the time, it was all about attaining that feeling of independence. What’s more independent than a single, young, professional woman buying real estate in a state she’s never lived? I also had a few “pushers” like Louise from work who purchased a house young, and from my perspective, it worked out great for her. Honestly, it was 80% an impulse buy, which defines most of my life decisions (ask to see some of my tattoos, for example).

I think I had $700 to my name when I decided to make an offer on my house, most of which was used for a good faith payment, an appraisal and some lawyer fees. It is scary to recall that – I was such a dope. The City of Covington (Housing Authority) put the down payment on my house for me, for which I’ve always been so thankful, as a part of their Community Development program. See, they want people like me to move in and help make things a little nicer and attractive to other interested buyers, and they’re willing to “show you the money” in the form of a small grant to achieve that situation. I’m not sure if the city still has the program, but it was great. I really could not have done it without the City of Covington. They even provided me with a “closing coach” whom I met with prior to the closing date and helped me navigate the process and read any warning signs. (If anyone needs information on the program, I am happy to help and provide info.) And then of course because my house was purchased in the correct time frame, I also got the big fancy “first time home buyer” check from the government, which I am happy to say I still have in the bank (a miracle in itself).

I guess in 300+ words what I’m trying to say is I really, really like being a homeowner and overall, it has worked out pretty well for me. It has forced me to learn things I otherwise would not have bothered with (like how to correctly clean a dryer vent, or how to attach things to plaster vs. dry wall) and most importantly, it has allowed me to be creative. Before, I would paint a wall black (I used to live in these horrid apartments out in Eastgate where I decorated my bedroom with black walls, pink comforter and a John Cena poster… swear) and then 12 months later the situation would change and I’d have to prime the walls for the next renter. And by I, I mean my Dad would come do it while I was at work… I am so thankful for him and Kilz.

I will stop yapping. Here is what my house looked like in those first few days of home ownership – it was so vanilla at the time. It was a blank slate and it had that good mix of old home (built in 1914) features with the finish of a builder home. Most of the other homes I toured (22 to be exact) had that Picasso effect (analogy stolen from Clueless) – beautiful from far away but a big ‘ole mess up close. And yes, I did have the feeling that this one was “the one.”

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Living Room… now the “White Room”:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Bathroom:

Emily Snuffer

Bedroom:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Kitchen, looking from “Black Room” to back door:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Laundry Room:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Eventually, these will go under the “Tour My House” page on my blog, next to the “progress” photos to show you the evolution of each space. Honestly, it’s fun to document even for my own memory.

Also, if you’re dying to see some “afters” you could either browse my other pages OR head to ApartmentTherapy.com and vote for my house. The contest is still on and my photos are here. Update: the contest is over! But you can still click to see the pics. I did pretty well for my first contest.

– emily

Update: Yes, City of Covington’s Community Development Department still has the program, thanks to funds continued to be provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). To learn more, go to MakeCovingtonHome.com. While you’re on the site, check out the Covington homes they’ve recently rehabbed / reconstructed. Jeremy Wallace is my hero (and also the one who helped me get funds for my home).

Pictures entered (update: I’m in!).

By | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Update: I made it into the first round. Holy crap. Check out my page on ApartmentTherapy.com here. Please vote for me. I think voting is open until early May. (I promise I won’t turn into one of those super annoyingpersistent people begging asking for votes.)

Apartment Therapy’s Annual Small Cool 2011 contest call for entries ended today. For those of you unfamiliar with the contest, ApartmentTherapy.com (one of the best resources for interior design solutions, in my opinion) holds a national contest every year to celebrate the smallest, coolest homes and apartments. And by small, they have to be under 1000 square feet. Mine is only 900 sf so I figured I would give it a go. The contest calls for 5 photos as well as a floor plan of your home. My home would qualify for the Small category (there is also “Teeny-Tiny,” “Tiny,” etc.) since it is under 1000 sf but over 800 sf.

I must say entering the contest was a little premature considering the bathroom was not done, the bedroom hasn’t been touched and the black room is still having growing pains but what the hell, there’s no harm in trying right?

Here are the photos I entered. I should have done some behind the scene shots, because trust me, my house wasn’t as clean as these pictures lead you to believe. What you can’t see are the dirty clothes, dog toys, dusty sideboards, Ikea packaging remains and horrid ceiling fans. Ah, photo magic. Stay tuned after the photos – I’ll list some advantages and disadvantages of my entry and my thoughts on how it stacks up to the competition.

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Let’s start with the negative and end with the positive:

Disadvantages:

  • Chevron rug in living room – everyone on the planet has one of those rugs, including several of the homes in my division
  • Everything’s still rough around the edges – lighting is missing (in kitchen and in black room)
  • It looks like no one lives there because of the starkness of the surfaces (I tried to fix that with the awesomely-placed book (sigh) in the living room)
  • Lack of interesting furniture and furniture overall – I’m working on it but it’s a slow process because I want lovely, timeless pieces (read: not Ikea) for chairs and side tables but that stuff takes time and resources
Advantages:
  • The style of my home is unique to the group – most are lofts or newer homes
  • The “Small” group overall is underrepresented (a house or apartment under 1000 sf but over 800 sf is unique in general) meaning I have a better chance
  • I’ve got that rockin’ chalk wall (which has yet to make an appearance in the contest, which surprises me)
  • I live in Kentucky (most of the homes are from Brooklyn, East Coast, West Coast or International… maybe they are yearning for a Midwestern representation..right? RIGHT?)
I have no clue if I’ll even be picked to be posted or how I’ll know when that happens. On the flip side, I did get some pretty neat pictures of my home out of the deal. If you’re looking for my floor plan, it’s on the “Tour My Home” page at the top of this blog, which I’ve also been working on. You haven’t even seen some of my space yet!
Enjoy. Now I am off to Cirque du Soleil thanks to my good friend Lyndsey. I wonder if I’ll bawl my eyes out like I did at Beatles Love Show (which I tried to hide from my client who was attending with me). Sigh…

Dog distracted.

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

One of my favorite blogs, Desire to Inspire, is doing a “dogs on furniture” post and I want to give Suge or Biggie (whichever one behaves) some time to shine. More importantly, Aaron scored these yellow chairs at a TV shoot (creative people always get the perks in the advertising world) and I’m not sure if they’re just prop chairs or kinda-old, but who cares, they make me jump with excitement every time they sneak into a photo. Therefore, they deserve a little blog love as well.

Since there is high chihuahua presence happening on the Desire to Inspire blog already, I decided to give Suge a chance first (sorry Biggie). It took about 30 photos to get these few. I teased him with a toy to get him to behave, but the outcome and the string of pics are pretty entertaining.

Here is where we started, with Suge being a little more patient with me as I swung his favorite (read: mangled) zebra toy behind the lens:

Emily Snuffer

Pretty cute, huh? I tried this location for awhile, but it was getting hard to hide Aaron’s bike, a mountain of crap in the kitchen and the fact I still don’t have curtains on the other window (long story) in the black room. Next location please!

Now the Desire to Inspire post asks specifically for no close-ups, but were they considering Suge’s adorable mug when writing that? Are you groaning yet?

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

He behaved for me in the the one above (sorta, he’s distracted because he hears Aaron’s car), but that didn’t last long…

Emily Snuffer

And then, Suge was over it. What a diva. So my “photo shoot” looked like this for the next 15 minutes:

Emily Snuffer

I almost called it a wrap until my next model showed up camera-ready (you might have to look closely to find him):

Emily Snuffer

Biggie had his moment to shine, but was also distracted by the annoying kids urban happenings outside.

Emily Snuffer

I have to pick one to send in, but at this point, I’m just happy to have some nice photos of my two little doggies. Hopefully I’ll show up on Desire to Inspire!

One thing I have to mention before I go – have you noticed that long pillow on top of the mantle in the white room? It’s not there because I think it looks cool. It’s there because that pillow is Suge’s girlfriend which he trys to hump into submission anytime it’s around. So the mantle is it’s non-permanent perch, until Suge gets the snip-snip next month, to keep it safe and pretty. Lovely, huh?

Update: I sent in two pictures (#1 and #3 per everyone’s feedback) and here’s the reply I got last night from Kim (one of the creators) at Design to Inspire: “OMG what awesome photos!!! Thank you Emily!!!!!!!!.” Her response made my day! Cool!