good things come to those who drive back and forth

April 8 2014

About a month ago, my mom was here for 10 days. It was amazing. I had been working 70hr weeks at work and (although my vacation came at sort of a chaotic time) having my mom here for such a long time was just what I needed.

I don’t know how your moms are, but whenever we get together we get things done. I had definitely been neglecting our house, unpacking, cooking, general housekeeping, and instead had been working and sleeping and showering and eating. It was bad. The dining room/living room still had several boxes and that is really the last thing you want to see when you first walk in the house. Talk about a ball of stress.

My mom is one to set goals and kick me in the pants (figuratively) when I need it. So every morning she would say “Today we are going to ______.” That blank could be as daunting as “unpack all of these boxes” to “get our nails done”. Either way there was something in that blank.

photo 3

Clearly, Geoffrey is very concerned about the mess. And funnily enough, this is the only photo I have of the mess.

I had been struggling with finding an entry table narrow enough to fit between the window sill and the wall (below the mirror), and tall enough to not look like a nightstand shoved in the corner.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.18.29 PM

I was tired of searching for “the one” and instead decided to just find something around the house that would work until I found exactly what I was looking for. Enter this little bookshelf that had been holding some extra sweaters in our bedroom.

IMG_9895It was a perfect fit. Derek actually made this in high school. I’m not crazy about the finish (neither is he) but he said I could paint it or restain it if I wanted so I think it’s the perfect in between.

After unpacking the remaining boxes (and finding a home for everything), we decided to reward ourselves with a trip to West Elm Outlet. Because. Priorities.

We were in search of several items for the house: nightstands with ample storage, new living room side tables, an entry table, kitchen pendant lighting, living room lamps, a bed frame, and a mirror for the bathroom. There were a few items that caught my eye but nothing was really right. Until we went to the rug section. Everything was marked way down with an additional 30% off, and while I wasn’t really in the market for a rug, who could pass up such a deal?

I found this 8′x10′ jute rug marked down from $350 to $112, and with an additional 30% off came down to only $78. For an 8′x10′ jute? Unreal.



But I didn’t need it. So we kept looking.

I was kind of obsessed with this console for under the TV. Nice and leggy.


They had my favorite pendants marked down to $14 a pop, so I’ll have to keep them in mind when it comes time to renovating the rest of the kitchen.


I l-o-v-e-d this little gem for our utility room (currently Geoffrey’s room, eventually a future mud room), but it was still like $600 and a little beat up. No thanks!


I kind of loved these little tripod lamps for the living room. They were an extra 30% off, but the shades ended up costing more than the actual lamp. What the.


In the back corner there was this pile of bed. The price tag said $450, which I knew this same bed currently retails for $1800 so obviously I freaked out. I asked the sales person what it’s story was and he informed me that it was missing a piece. I asked if I could buy it anyway and he said no. I asked if I could just buy the headboard and he said no. He said they would probably just throw it away if the piece never comes in. So clearly I’ll be camping out at the dumpsters of the outlets all spring. What is wrong with people? I have money that I will give you, and you won’t take it? Whatever.


Needless to say we left empty handed.

The next day we started on our next goal, and about halfway through realized that we both kept talking about that rug. So we dropped everything and drove back to the outlet. This is a 45min drive each way, so clearly we are crazy.

There is no way to call ahead and be like “hey do you have xyz?” because 1. they clearly don’t care about selling things, and 2. they have too much stuff to know, so we made the journey on a whim with our fingers crossed that no one had scooped up such a steal of a deal.

Upon arriving, we sprinted back to the rug section and looked exactly where we had left it. No rug. Okay maybe they put it back. We searched for at least an hour. Nothing. So we thought, why don’t we look around and see if maybe someone shoved it somewhere, or if they are using it as a display. Stranger things have happened. We were about to give up when we headed over to the Pottery Barn side and saw a jute rug under a Pottery Barn living room scene they had setup. I peeled up one corner of the rug to find the tag, and saw that it was my rug. I ripped that tag off and held it like it was the Golden freaking Ticket.

We had noticed that there were several new items back on the West Elm side so we decided to have a look-sie before checking out. I had the Golden Ticket so that rug was MINE. While perusing I found this side table marked down from $299 to $199 with an additional 50% off and not a single scratch or dent (which is a miracle). It didn’t have a mate, but the sales guy told me they come in all the time so I figured I’d drive back and forth every day until I found it ..what?

Or plan B. I pay full price for the second one since I got such a deal on the first one and then they even out. We shall see.

After collecting all of our tags, we headed to the register and then around back to claim our treasure.


I had initially planned on using the rug in our bedroom, but it looked a little blah with our colorless palette in there. My mom suggested swapping out the living room rug and putting it in our bedroom instead since I thought the living room was looking a little busy.
photo 1

Geoffrey agreed.

The chevron was just adding to the chaos. So after rearranging all of the furniture the jute rug in the living room was definitely a win.


¬†Especially with the new side table. So much fresher, don’t you think? Rupert likes it.

In the end I bought two pieces that retailed for $650 for under $180. I’d say it was a pretty successful second trip. So the moral of the story is, if you’ll drive 1.5hours for something, then it is probably meant to be. That is how Derek and I got our start anyway ;)


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2 thoughts on “good things come to those who drive back and forth

  1. Tamara

    Love that industrial coat/storage rack too! But $600 is pricy. Wonder if you could create something like that with pipe fitting and butcher block counter top? The house is shaping up. Promise we’ll hit that outlet when I get there. It’s getting closer.


    Catharine Reply:

    I know, it’s so perfect! Maybe it will go down in price ;) Or most likely, we will just DIY something.. you know us so well! And of course we will definitely hit the outlets together!


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