Monthly Archives: March 2007

Don’t Do This

I’m not sure if I will put this under SU&SW since it isn’t happening to us, but we’ve heard about it happening to someone that we know, so I figure I’d share and hopefully spare someone some heartache.

If you are interested in an 8 burner La Cornue range and a Sub Zero Pro 48 fridge, tell your contractor this up front.  Don’t let the poor guy quote you a price on appliances only to be upset when you want $75,000 worth of appliances, but a budget of 1/5 that.  It is bad news for everyone.


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Filed under Planning

Pottery Barn vs. Restoration Hardware

Holly and I went out the other night for some retail therapy for her. My retail therapy comes when we buy a TV, but for now, we went to Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware for lighting, fixtures and some furniture that we are going to need. Talk about two totally different experiences.

In both cases, we spent considerable time on their respective websites and perusing their catalogs so that we would be well prepared when we got to the stores. In both cases, we made a list of what we wanted, the price (lowest of course) and part number. It was our goal to go into the stores, find an associate give that person the list, have them write up our order and get out of dodge in time to grab dinner.

Let me caveat this whole post by saying that I hate going to the mall. I’d rather do almost anything than go to some overly crowded cavalcade of stores to watch people buy stuff that they can’t afford. It is almost as depressing as being in a casino without the buffet, free cocktails or show girls. Pulling into the parking lot alone starts a migraine for me.

First stop, Pottery Barn. I love Williams Sonoma, the parent company of Pottery Barn. We recently had to buy a new espresso maker and I went to WS due to their amazing lifetime warranty on all appliances. The staff was helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. I haven’t purchased too much from PB in my lifetime, but I expected much of the same. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. While the staff was nice, they were clearly trained by the Keystone Cops. They didn’t quite get it. There were problems with pricing, catalog versus stores versus special order versus internet orders. There was a sign in the front that stated if you spent over ‘X’ number of dollars, you could get discounts. We were spending well over ‘X’ and pretty disappointed to learn that our discount was that they would knock off 2 points on shipping. Wow, thanks for saving me all of 1% of my purchase. I realize that retail isn’t the highest margin business, but damn, 1%??? Come on guys. Show me a little love. I hope that a bad write up on this blog is worth it.

After 45 minutes of trying to figure out our order, we realized that our baby sitter window was closing rapidly. I ran over to Restoration with my list in hand. They also had a store versus catalog versus special order issue, however, they understood what was going on and I clearly wasn’t the first person to come in with a list. Rather than going point by point, they ran down the list and highlighted 2 items that they had in the store and brought them out to me. Cross those off the list. Secondly, they took me over to a terminal and we quickly ordered all of the items that weren’t in the store. ‘Oh great news, a bunch of this stuff is on sale.” said our associate. Finally, they opened another browser window and stumped me. It was the special order section and I needed Holly to help guide me on decoration ideas. I’m not great with colors and down cushions versus standard cushions.

I literally sat in Restoration and played chess on my phone for almost 30 minutes before Holly came in. I had already been in the store for about 30 minutes, so figure a good hour and 45 minutes in Pottery Barn. Ugh. Holly came in, made a couple of decisions. They added up our totals and sent us on our way. BTW, nothing is more painful than spending a whole bunch of money on things and leaving the store with house numbers and a towel rack. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it to dinner, but we recognize that we had unrealistic expectations in the first place.

Here is where things go sideways a bit. I suppose that we should have expected this, but when you buy a bunch of things, once in a while things are going to get screwed up in shipping. We’ve been really luck thus far, but we haven’t really ordered too much until the past week or so. We just started to get stuff in the mail and in two cases, we’ve received things in the wrong color. Not the end of the world, but a hassle. The reason we’ve ordered early is that we want to prepare for when things like this happen. Again, it’s good to be ahead of the curve.

Hardly the worst thing to happen. It should look great when they are installed.


Filed under Shopping

Scott’s House – 1 Year Later

From this:



To this:

1 Year

Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of Scott’s House. Since it is also the end of the quarter and I’m in sales, it is going to be hard for me to post so you’re getting the anniversry post a day early. W00T!!!

I can’t believe that it has been a year since we officially started this project. I’d like to say that it feels like just yesterday, but it feels more like a lifetime. Between being in the apartment and Holly getting sick, we are all ready to move back in. The good news is that we are almost finished and the house looks great.

Most importantly, thank you very much to everyone who reads this blog. Extra special thanks to the good people at for driving so much traffic to the site.  I hope that it is educational and enjoyable for all of you.

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Filed under General Thoughts

Home Depot vs. Restoration Hardware

Anyone that has been reading this blog for any amount of time understands that we have champagne taste on a beer budget. I’m pretty cheap. Holly has been pretty cheap. We are at the point now, where we are bragging to our friends about how little over budget we are on this project. We are less than 2% over budget at this point.

One line item that wasn’t included in our contract by Craig was for accessories and non-recessed lighting. These are things like sconces, ceiling lamps, fans, towel racks, knobs, etc. He doesn’t provide a budget because each buyers tastes are different and, as I’m finding, it is pretty easy to spend a few thousand dollars on a gnarly, ugly chandelier. So he leaves that line blank. Well, what to my surprise when I started looking at things like towel racks, toilet paper holders and stuff like that. Did you know that you can spend over $100 on a toilet paper holder? To H-E double hockey stick with that. It isn’t gold or internet ready or anything. It just holds TP.

With our champagne taste comes our love of Restoration Hardware. As those of you familiar with this store, you know that it isn’t the cheapest place on the planet when it comes to buying the above mentioned items. So I needed to put on my El-Cheapo attitude and beg and plead to at least go look at Home Expo, Home Depot’s clean version of their Orange nightmare. While it wasn’t a complete score, we did manage to pick up a few things at Expo that were more or less equivalent to Restoration and save ourselves about $600 in the process. So without further ado, here is the first Home Depot vs. Restoration Hardware comparisons.

Item # 1: Outdoor Lighting

We needed 7 sconces for the exterior of the house. Holly found some really nice ones at Restoration. They were $150 each. The ones that we found at Expo were $100. Can you spot which is which?



Item #2: Cabinet Knobs

Again, the ones at Restoration were really nice, but they were $7.50 a piece. The ones at Home Expo were $2.99. We needed 33 knobs. You can do the math on this one. It was a huge savings. The pictures kind of give away which is which.



I guess the pictures are a dead give away which are which, thus making my 3rd and final challenge a piece of cake.

Item # 3: Drawer Pulls

Since I kind of gave it away above, here is what the drawer pull that we ended up getting looked like

The cost each at Restoration was $13. The cost at Home Expo was $5. We need 18 pulls.

We got hooks too. 2 for the bathroom. $22 each at Restoration. $2.50 each at Expo. I’ve spent a lot of money on stupid things in my time, but if you pay $22 for a hook, you’ve been taken.

Finally, shopping for knobs & pulls (anything frankly) at Home Expo is akin to getting dental work. Their websites are also amazingly terrible for such a retail giant. In looking for my pictures tonight, I found Knobs4Less. Their selection is pretty nice.

If you curious about Question #1, letter A is the one that we got at Home Expo. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any interior lighting at Expo that we were just in love with, so we are off to Restoration tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Filed under Shopping

Sweet – Scott’s House – Fast Growing Blog on WordPress

I logged on tonight only to see that Scott’s House was ranked on Friday as one of the fastest growing blogs on

This is actually the 3rd or 4th time that I’ve been listed, but it is still really, really cool to see this.

I wasn’t the fastest growing site, but I was ranked #67 putting me right between other fast growing sites like DesignCreatology, which I’m pretty excited to learn about because they have Pshop tutorials and BamaSecs, a University of Alabama (I assume) site about their thriving ultimate frisbee squad.

In any case, thanks so much for checking out my site.

Photo by BobNL.

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Filed under Funny Things

My Blue Mantel

Well, we purchased our mantel the other day.  Actually, it is this one here to the right, however, we got it in a very dark, heavily distressed blue with a nice little gold leaf trim.  Holly found it on

The people at are great and they offer a wonderful warranty if you aren’t buying your mantel in blue.  We are actually pretty stoked that we got the first blue mantel.  Our rep told me that she never sold one and that it was the talk of the office, so we are a bit nervous.

I’m sure that it will be fine.  Some of the furniture that Holly has picked out has a ton of color in it, so I’m sure that it will meld in.

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Filed under Shopping

Stilt Walking is Rad

I think that stilt walking is pretty cool. When I see these guys, I think of that episode of the X-Files where the drywall guy was killing people, but showing up in their pictures before hand.   I know, it’s dorky, but these guys are amazing in their agility and skill to do their jobs, step over and around things and get the job done.   As you can see, taping is done and the mudding is coming along.

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Filed under Construction