Transitioning to Adulthood

I’m almost 30 now people and staring the decision in the face of how old is too old to call myself a Daring “Young” Mom. Despite what Dan says about it being a state of mind, I really feel that there is a limit and this blog’s days are numbered.

penneyThis month I took one step closer towards adulthood thanks to the folks at JCPenney and it’s got me contemplating my mortality. I have real actual curtains on my windows and non-Corel dishes on my table and I just feel so grown up! (The dishes pictured to the right are the ones I would have chosen if I were a little more brave. Way cute, eh?)

With the launch of their new Linden Street line, JCPenney and BlogHer gave several bloggers $500 to spend on anything from the collection in return for an honest review of the products. I like free things and I love redecorating so I was really excited to sign up.

The line is very classy with sort of a budget Pottery Barn feel, although when I say budget, I’m not talking Wal-Mart prices. It’s just cheaper than Pottery Barn, which I guess isn’t hard. With our gift card code in hand, Dan and I looked through everything they had to offer and although a $300 black and white print of depression-era kids laughing in a movie theatre would make a great addition to any home, we decided to be a little more practical and buy dishes and curtains.

penney7For the 7 years we’ve been married, we’ve used Corel dishes that were a gift from my lovely mother, accompanied by their friends, Corel dishes I got for practically free at a garage sale a couple of years back. They are lightweight, nearly unbreakable and crazily mismatched. We’ve loved them but that ever-growing adult part of my brain has longed for classic white porcelain for years. I shop for it online sometimes when I’m bored and have even stacked it in my cart at various retail outlets more than once, always putting it back because I wasn’t ready to commit. I want something that will match any table setting or holiday décor, something versatile enough to withstand my eclectic taste.

So we chose the Basic White Round Dinnerware and it really is gorgeous. It’s classic and elegant and will match anything I can throw at it. The trouble is, I can’t throw anything at it. It’s really super break/chipable. I guess I was expecting quality porcelain dinnerware at bargain prices. What I got was bargain porcelain at bargain prices. A couple of the pieces came misshapen and a couple of them chipped the first time we ran them through the dishwasher. A little disappointing.
The good news is that the JCPenney store employees were really helpful and we were able to do a return of one of the place settings we purchased, the setting containing the most troublesome pieces. And the stuff looks great as long as we’re REALLY REALLY careful with it.
What we’re really excited about are the curtains and hardware we bought for our front room windows. We love the warm rich color of the Suede Blackout Panels we bought. They are gorgeous, well made and machine washable and hopefully thick enough to help with our heating bills next winter. They give the whole living room the feel of a cozy den and were really simple to put up ourselves. (Also notice in this “after” picture that our bottom two bookshelves became magically tidier once the new curtains were installed.)
I was impressed with how beautiful the rods and rings were and the detail work on the little knobs is lovely. penney1The rods were way easier to install than those we’ve bought previously from Target and Fred Meyer. The rings are backordered for months online but I couldn’t wait to hang up the curtains so I went and purchased them in the store where they had plenty and plan to return the online order when it finally comes in. When I went into the store to buy the rings and return the defective dishes I got to see more of the line close up and I have to say I’m impressed with it and a couple of the other JCPenney home lines. Chris Madden’s line is similarly beautiful and had an even broader selection to choose from.

penney4I was pleasantly surprised because in the past JCPenney was not a place I would look for classy home décor. Now they’re definitely on my list of places to check out when I want to take another step towards grownup home furnishing. I would suggest going in to an actual store if possible so you can get a feel for what you’re buying in advance, although they’re really good with returns so it’s probably okay to take your chances.

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