Posted by Andie on August 26, 2015
Hey all! Andie here. Please pardon my absence on Room to Talk lately (Although most of you probably didn't even notice I was gone because Kerry is so awesome! Isn't he great?!) The past few months have been insane. We did something crazy and wild and scary and awesome. My husband and I packed up everything we own and moved our little family across the country! Eeek! I still can't believe it's real. We will be living in Washington D.C. for the next couple of years while my husband attends graduate school here! It's been a wonderful and difficult transition, but we are loving this opportunity and hope to make the very most of this unique experience. Now that we're pretty settled into our new life & routine, I'm going to get back into weighing in here on Room to Talk with a new East Coast living perspective.
Okay, so today I'd like to discuss one of the hottest design trends of 2015: free standing bathtubs. Humor me for a moment. I feel like there are two kinds of people in this world. People who are totally into taking baths, and people who balk at the thought alone. Am I right? Personally, I'd probably rather rip out my eyelashes (okay that might be a tad bit of an exageration) than spend 30 minutes soaking in a tub. I don't find it relaxing, I get way too hot and start feeling like I'm going to pass out, and I'm sicked out at the thought of stewing in my own juices. Can somebody please help me understand the draw?!
With all that being said, I am kind of obsessed with these beautiful free standing tubs I'm seeing everywhere these days! They are so pretty, and feminine and lovely! Is breaking up with my shower for a tub purely based on 'cuteness' shallow? (Pun intended!) Really though, they might not be super practical, but you can't argue with the fact that they are gorgeous!
via apartment therapy
via apartment therapy
via lonny mag
via lonny mag
via lonny mag
What are your thoughts on the free standing bathtub trend?
Like it? Hate it? Love it?
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|Kerry(4 days ago)||Reply|
Hey Ericka, my wife and I started remodeling our kitchen recently and we chose an acrylic farm style sink over a porcelain or granite one just to save some bucks. We have had it for about 6 months and I was worried about a few things: staining, heat resistance, and feeling cheap. While it doesn't have the sound of a porcelain one it definitely has held up to dishes being left in over night and the subsequent scrubbing as well as hot pans and pots right off the stove. This has to be worse abuse than a bathtub would take so my guess with a tub is as long as you don't think it looks or feels cheap it's probably a great option and on top of that acrylic doesn't get near as cold as porcelain so you don't have to worry about freezing your back off the second you sit in it!
|Ericka(5 days ago)||Reply|
I am currently looking at free standing tubs and am so happy that they have come down in price so much! However I think it's because so many of them are now acrylic. Have you had any comments regarding whether people are happy with how the acrylic versus the porcelain look, feel and hold up to daily wear and tear? Any advice would be great!!
|Eden(6 days ago)||Reply|
Even if I didn't love the way the freestanding tubs look, the thought of cleaning one makes my heart sing. Currently, I have to stretch and reach across my tub at awkward angles to try and get everything clean. With a freestanding tub, I can just walk around and not have to feel the stretch and stress on my poor body. Plus, on top of that, they're gorgeous.
|Kerry(6 days ago)||Reply|
It's awesome having you back Andie!!! You know, I have some friends in Santa Cruz who have a free standing tub on their back deck and man, I am jealous! Love this post!
Posted by Kerry on August 21, 2015
I really love checking in on our social media pages, especially Instagram. It's cool seeing how much fun people have in RC Willey and also how cool their rooms look when they bring home that special piece. I did a quick Instagram roundup today and I think you will enjoy the pics as much as I did. If you are on Instagram please share your home with us, whether it's a piece you already bought from RC Willey or a piece you want to buy from RC Willey! At the end of the day we are all better off getting ideas from each other and many of you are top-notch designers. Just use the hashtag #myrcwilleyhome and we will all be able to see your home, your way!
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Posted by Kerry on August 20, 2015
Hi, my name is Kerry and I have a drainage problem. It has taken me 4 months to admit this problem but I am ready to come clean and take care of it. Essentially one side of my house doesn't have decent irrigation which has led to a sideyard that looks like a forclosed home in a Mad Max movie. Luckily it's small, and we have a tall fence so the only people who have to look at it is my family, but it's time we take care of the issue and beautify the yard in the process! So, I am starting to take advantage of the cooler August nights and I am grading the land and installing a dry creek bed. As I have mentioned before, my wife and I are slowly xeriscaping our yard. As things need to come out, we replace them with water-wise plants and landscaping and this dry creek bed will eliminate about 150 ft of land that would have needed watering. I think we have settled on something like these designs from Bear Creek Landscaping, Wooly Blue & Hawks Landscape Inc.
Now, I'm going to need a few things. Before you start a project like this make sure you call 811 and get your yard staked for underground utilities. This way you don't blow up a gas line or fry yourself on an electrical cable or even worse, knock out your underground DSL line. Then how would you read the Room to Talk blog?!!?!? Once your yard is safely staked it's time to dig. You can do this a number of ways. Hire people. Rent a trencher or tiller. Or just be a complete sadist like me and start digging with an old shovel you bought at a yard sale. Here's the 45 second version of what is going to take me weeks!
So I called American Stone, a local landscape rock provider, and I got the following cost estimations. For a 4'x25' dry creek bed I am going to need the following:
- 1 ton of 1" river cobble (nice round river rocks) $120/ton
- 1 ton of 3/8" gravel (I'm going with Montana rainbow) $200/ton
- How ever many I want of 6" & 12" river cobble $5-$10/piece
- Quartzite Boulders $25-$30/piece
- 2' long flag stones for stepping stones $20-$30/piece
- Landscape fabric $25
So material-wise I'm looking at about $500-$600. This is just me, a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Your costs will obviosuly vary by size and design style. Once the dry creek bed is complete, I will still need a hundred or two for mulch and plants but I won't do any of that until next spring. If any of you have done this project and have tips for me or the RC Willey community, please share in the comments below! And if I ever finish this project I will be sure to share photos with you.
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Posted by Kerry on July 21, 2015
Refrigerators are cool. (Great joke Dad) But seriously, there are some cool neat features in today's new refrigerators. One of those features that I stumbled upon today is LG's Door in Door technology. This is a feature where you can store your most common or everyday products in a special section of the door such as: sodas, condiments or snacks and access them easily at the touch of a button. Besides looking totally awesome, this feature helps you to reduce cold air loss by up to 47% resulting in a more consistent temperature and lower energy consumption. This may not be something you ever thought you needed but if you are about to buy a refrigerator why not? Fridges last so long and you use them so much you might as well have one with all the bells and whistles!
The great news is we have a wide selection of LG Door in Door refrigerators included in our current coupon book sale! Just choose the one you are interested in and add it to your cart to see what the final price will be.
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Posted by RC Willey Community on July 17, 2015
Today's guest post is from Laurie, a senior admin assistant at RC Willey. Laurie works directly with the upholstery buyers and has a unique style that is alive in every aspect of her home, including a hand-painted wall of her favorite places in Italy that she personally designed. I wanted to showcase Laurie's home to help give the rest of us inspiration and highlight the definition of "Your Home, Your Way." We would love to see pictures of your home and what makes it uniquely yours. Post a pic on Facebook or Instagram with @rcwilley #yourhomeyourway and help the rest of us get new ideas for our spaces. Who knows, we might even highlight it on the Room to Talk blog!
Laurie said: "Brown was the new beige and gray is the new brown? However the saying goes, gray is a neutral that cannot be ignored! I bought a gray velvet sofa from RC Willey that I absolutely LOVE. I paired it with blue, yellow and silver. It is the perfect gray that allows all of the different colors in my living room to shine! I couldn’t be happier with the end result."
Laurie covered her walls with photos from her travels. I love the matting & frames and especially the placement she chose.
Laurie purchased a print of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat and cut it into 3 pieces and had it framed. It's little touches like this that make an awesome statement.
Laurie reupholstered her grandparent's dining chairs with some bold fabric which ties in her artwork, paint, and furnishings. Reupholstering dining chairs is a simple project that most people could do in an afternoon with minimal tools. I hope you enjoyed this small peek into a very unique home. Thanks to Laurie for sharing it with us and we hope you share your home with us on Facebook or Instagram! It's always fun seeing one item leave the store and how that piece integrates with your master plan.
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Posted by Kerry on July 15, 2015
Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impact. If you are getting tired of your sofa or sectional but they are still in good condition, add a pop of color with some throw pillows! RC Willey has a large variety of throw pillows to match any decor and I have chosen a few dozen of my favorite here. The beauty of a throw pillow is you can add seasonal style to your living room or tie in bold accents like a rugs or art! And if you get tired of a throw pilow, you can always use it to punch up a guest bed or side chair. Click on any of the individual items below for more details and visit an RC Willey near you to see even more of our massive inventory!
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Posted by Kerry on July 14, 2015
A fire pit is the outdoor version of a television. It's entertaining & warm but unlike a tv it generates conversation and memories. If you want to really get to know your friends or family, set up a nice evening fire with good food and drinks and let the fire do its magic. And s'mores...mmmmm...a treat so good it's named after wanting some more of it. It's weird we don't eat these more often.
Today I want to show you some options for a backyard fire pit as well as 3 gourmet s'mores recipes. You have to have a good fire for s'mores and sitting around your gas grill or a big candle doesn't do this time honored tradition justice. For the budget concious or those who want a portable firepit for camping, we have the Camp Chef compact firepit. It comes with 2 roasting sticks for hot dogs or marshmallows and a convenient carrying case.
The Crosley Wildlife Clay fire pit is definitely my style. If you like a kitchy outdoors theme with your s'mores, this powder-coated steel fire pit will suit you well with cutouts of bears, deer and other wildlife. With the added mesh screen, you don't have to worry about flying embers in your backyard.
For a more traditional and classy decor we have the Crosley Copper Bowl fire pit. Throw a few good logs in this baby, kick back on your patio furniture and watch the night clouds float by.
Of course we have fire pits of all sizes and budgets here at RC Willey and many are a part of our current coupon sale, so click the link below to browse and find your perfect backyard fire pit.
We all know how to throw a Hershey bar and marshmallow on a graham cracker, and frankly those are perfect in my mind but maybe you want to impress the inlaws or give your kids something fun to make. Or maybe you are having a fancy baby shower or anniversary party and want to bump everything up a notch. Whatever it is, you will love these 3 gourmet s'mores recipes.
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Posted by Kerry on July 13, 2015
I love tv. I love sitting down on a comfy couch with some Oreos and milk and melting into the cushions and I love watching a movie with my family while we comment, cheer & laugh. Back in 2008, when it was just my wife and I, we tried our first attempt at cutting the (cable) cord. It was a clunky experience - we had high speed internet and we ran Hulu through a pc connected to our living room tv. It took a lot of setup with extra cables, keyboard and mouse, and after a few months we decided it wasn’t perfect yet, so we went back to cable. But when our daughter was born 2 years ago and our tv viewing dropped to almost nothing we realized that we could cut the cord and save a ton of money in the process.
Thanks to Hulu+, Netflix, HBO NOW, Showtime Anytime, Amazon Prime, and a host of other streaming networks, you aren’t giving up anything by getting rid of your mega 400-channel cable package. I know one major fault in the cord cutting up until now was the fact that sports fans didn’t have a solid option to see their teams and that’s where a new service called Sling TV from Dish Network comes into play. Sling TV is a streaming service that doesn’t require a satellite dish and for $20 a month gives you access to major cable channels including ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, AMC, A&E, History, TNT, HGTV, IFC & Disney. So if your love for Property Brothers was your excuse for keeping cable or the fact that you named your children after your favorite team’s mascot, now’s your chance to save a few bucks on your monthly bill.
So let’s look and see how much you will be saving by cutting the cord. I had a midlevel cable package, high-speed internet, HBO, and two digital cable boxes. This cost me $120/mo + our Netflix subscription ($7.99/mo) for a total of $1536 per year. Your package may be higher or lower. Our current setup saves us $900 per year!
We pay $30/mo for high speed DSL, $7.99/mo for Netflix, and $15/mo for HBO NOW for a total bill of $636 per year. This is a 59% savings from our previous cable bill. We have a digital HDTV antenna that pulls in local channels in 1080p. This gives us live access to the major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC) plus PBS and a few local signals. The two monthly subscriptions we pay for are Netflix and HBO NOW. We have access to a ton of shows, movies & documentaries, and since we only watch 1-2 hours of programming per day we never catch up to what’s out there. We are probably a few months to a year behind on major shows, so if staying current with what’s new is a priority, you might want to buy a HULU+ subscription ($7.99/mo). There are plenty of options for kids on most of these services, so our daughter is more than happy. We also enjoy free apps like YouTube and PBS kids.
Now, the hardest thing for a new cord cutter to get used to is the lack of channel surfing. You can still browse through some menus and see if something looks good but I remember the early days of looking at these massive catalogs and not knowing where to start or what I wanted to commit to. After a few months you get used to it.
What do you need to stream television and cut the cord? First of all you need high-speed internet. Depending on where you live will affect what your local cable or DSL company calls “High Speed” but to get the best experience out of streaming you will want at least 10mbps down and preferably 15mbps down or higher. The one thing you don’t want to do is constantly battle with your streaming service as it pauses or buffers due to slow connection speeds. So if you live in a place where high speed internet is hard to come by you might want to stick with cable or satellite, or if you currently have slower internet at home, spend some of the money you will be saving by not paying for cable tv and get a faster internet connection.
Next up you need something to stream with. If you have a laptop or iPad then you just need to download an app or visit a website. If you want to watch on your older big screen tv then there are a variety of dvd players, Roku, or AppleTV that offer streaming apps. If you are in the market for a new television make sure you purchase a Smart TV. These tvs have all your favorite apps built in and many even feature a button on the remote for Netflix or Hulu+. And since many of these new Smart TVs are 4K, check out this other article I wrote that tells you how to watch the best 4K content.
Usually with technology you have to pay more money for a better experience but this is not one of those times. Now you can save a boatload of cash and handpick the channels you and your family will enjoy and by the end of year one you will literally have saved enough money to buy a new Smart TV. So, if you have been on the fence at all about cutting the cord I can tell you from personal experience that we are going on year two and are not looking back.
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Posted by Kerry on July 6, 2015
If you are looking for a new television then you’ve probably heard someone mention 4K or UHD. Most of us don’t keep up with the latest digital trends but when we are about to buy something as exciting as a new television we want to know how one 55” flatscreen tv can cost $499 and another brand’s 55” can cost $2499. There are many features and specs that make up price but one of the most important is resolution, and the latest technology is 4K UHD.
What is 4K UHD?
UHD or Ultra High Definition is the latest standard in high def television. UHD simply means more pixels (2160p) than the previous standard HDTV (1080p). As with all new technologies, there was a race to naming rights and 4K & UHD are interchangeable names. So if you see a tv that says 4K or UHD or 4K UHD, odds are they are all saying the same thing - this is the latest ultra high definition technology.
What are pixels & why do they matter?
Simply put, the more pixels you have the better. Pixels are the tiny little elements on a screen that when combined can create a picture. The more pixels on a screen the higher resolution and the higher resolution the more clarity there is in an image. Imagine trying to create a picture with 4 colored squares vs 1000 colored squares. Odds are no one would know what you were trying to create with 4 colored squares but with 1000 there’s a good chance people could tell what you were trying to draw, and if you doubled that amount there would be even greater detail & clarity in your image.
So how does 4K UHD compare to my 1080p television?
With 4x the pixels, 4K UHD has twice the resolution of your 1080p HDTV. This means smoother lines and increased detail in the picture quality. Of course these tvs offer upscaling (they digitally boost an HDTV signal to a 4K signal) but your best results will occur with real 4K content. Also, to fully appreciate this upgrade make sure you are sitting within 4’-8’ of the television to get the best view of the increased detail.
Where do I watch 4K content?
There are numerous ways to enjoy 4K content and more and more avenues will be opening up in the future.
The Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player comes preloaded with 50 movies and documentaries and also allows you to rent 4K movies or purchase and store them to the built in 1TB hard drive. This media player works with non-SONY UHD televisions as well.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone shoots video in brilliant 4K resolution. Pair your phone to your television and stream home videos for the whole family to enjoy.
The new GoPro Hero4 shoots ultra high definition 4K video of all your crazy adventures in life. Instead of making everyone hover around a computer watching that time you decided to jump your bike into a kiddie pool, now everyone can gather in the living room and laugh at you and all your glory.
Netflix 4K - Right now if you buy a Samsung smart tv (7100 series or greater) you get a free year of Netflix Ultra HD with 4K streaming! What an awesome way to experience your new television.
You can also use your smart tv’s apps like Amazon Instant Video or YouTube to get 4K content and many cable providers are launching their 4K streaming services as well.
I hope this helps answer some of your simpler questions about 4K UHD televisions and content. If you have any more specific questions please ask one of our experts in the electronics department at any RC Willey.
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Posted by Kerry on June 30, 2015
We bought a very eclectic house. It seems like the previous owner did a lot of the design and construction himself which is one reason we fell in love with it - it's very personal. One of the features he added was a 500 sq. ft. heated greenhouse. I love gardening and while I am yet to go full nursery in the greenhouse, we have found this space to be one of our favorite hangouts (when the temperature allows.) Our greenhouse is mainly a ping pong/playroom for rainy days and the winter months, but it's definitely in our plan to make it more of an indoor/outdoor living room and the hub of our backyard entertaining. The great thing about greenhouses are the price/functionality. We sell a variety of sizes and styles here at RC Willey, and for the price you just can't beat the extra space. Your greenhouse could be part planting shed and part artist studio. It could be a personal reading nook for the spring or fall months. It could be an outdoor dining room as well as a planting shed. The possibilities are endless and you can extend your planting season through the winter months with the proper setup. Take a look at these 10 beautiful greenhouses and let me know in the comments if you have a special use for your greenhouse.
Here's a beautiful working greenhouse for the traditionalist. (source)
This industrial greenhouse is a great place to kick back with some friends or read a good book. (source)
This English-style greenhouse in Massachusetts seems like a lovely place to have a cup of tea. (source)
Here's another example of a greenhouse with beautiful plants and nice places to kick back and relax. (source)
This homeowner has a portable hot tub and a few plants in their outdoor greenhouse. You can purchase this greenhouse and many more from RC Willey.
This greenhouse is a great way to enjoy eating outdoors and shield yourself from bugs! (source)
It looks like this homeowner plans on using their greenhouse to populate their new landscape! (source)
Here's another great example of outdoor dining in a greenhouse. I love the addition of the chandelier! (source)
Here's a beautiful potting shed greenhouse for a talented gardener. (source)
Last but not least, we have a greenhouse turned office in San Francisco. (source) With this view I don't know how he gets any work done! Once again, if you have a greenhouse tell us about it! And if you think this would be a fun addition to your backyard, take a moment and browse our selection of inexpensive DIY greenhouses!
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|Kerry(1 month ago)||Reply|
Me too! Thanks for your comment!
|shirley m. (2 months ago)||Reply|
i love the idea of setting up a dining table in a greenhouse! Thanks!
|Cecilia(2 months ago)||Reply|
I don't know what I will do with one, but I have just made it No. 1 on my "WANT, TO DO" list. Lovely! All I have to do is get one up. This is perfect.