Friday, January 29, 2016

A Reading Room for the Kids

One of the first things we noticed that was a bit quirky as we walked thru our home for the the first time was this room that looked like it had no purpose. It may have just served as a small room or hallway for the original owners but we are not sure since the house wasn't staged when we came to look at it
There are 2 leads to the playroom and the other to the nursery.  

Here is what this room originally looked like before its makeover.
  Gah...I am so thankful they at least took down most of the wallpaper in this house before we moved in!

I was stumped for a while thinking about what to make of this room because I had no idea why it was put here. If you ask me, it would have been best served as a small bathroom, but that was no where in our budget to do so we had to get creative.
My original plan with this space was to create a homework area for our kids. I had envisioned some built in desks by the window and a wall of books to the opposite side. Well, once this room started coming together, I decided to nix the built in desks and just use what we already had. Thus, the space became what we now call the "reading room."  We also house the kids' Lego's and an alphabet wall in here. I think it all works perfectly!

Here is the room now after a little bit of paint and organizing.

My favorite thing about this room is the wall filled with books! We had one in our last house and I knew I wanted to repeat it again in this house.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I went with a BOLD paint color for the walls. Maybe it's not so much of a bold wall color to most people but since I prefer a more neutral palate, I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and this room was the perfect place to try out something new. The walls were painted in BM Bunker Hill Green and I HIGHLY recommend this color. It is a very handsome color (if you can call a paint color that!) and I think it would also would work nicely in a home office as well.

This room is almost finished...the only things that are missing are a chair rail to separate the top half of the wall color from the bottom half and changing out the older light fixture in here (not pictured for a reason) for something more fun and modern.

Well, here's to hoping our kiddos actually use this room as it's name now implies. ;)

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Question (and others like it) I Get Asked A Lot

Two questions that I get asked a lot from people is #1. How do I keep my house clean with 3 kids (2 who love to run around and one who will be doing so in the near future) AND #2. How do I have time to decorate? (this one makes me laugh a little). 

It seems that every time we have people over, whether through play dates, Bible study, or late afternoon dinners, someone always makes a comment along the lines of "How can you get all 'this' done with 3 young kids?" I know that the people asking that question mean well and are not judging me...or at least I think that's the case! Anyways, I wanted to address that question and others similar to it here.

#1. I'm not always working on projects around the house.
I still laugh at the fact that just because my blog is mostly about house decor, some people think that all I do is just sit at home and decorate. I don't have time for that nor do I want to have time to do just that! If an idea strikes and it's something I want to do on my own, I just do it. Usually that happens either once a week or a few times a week. Most of us have a hobby of some sort that we do a couple times a week. Decorating just happens to be one of mine. :)

#2. I actually do love to clean...OK, maybe LOVE is a bit of a strong word, but I do like it to an extent! I really like to vacuum (laugh all you want) and I don't mind picking up toys (although my girls are old enough they actually do help out in this area). But hear me out, I'm not vacuuming every day and I don't clean my house as often as I should (I will shamefully admit that). I do have a set limit as to how messy our house gets and am not one to leave things piled up for days because it actually bothers me. A little OCD I guess, but I really don't like clutter.

#3. I don't keep a set schedule.
Whenever the mood strikes or I have an idea I want to try, if I can't make time for it during the day, I jot it down in a notebook and save it for later. The same goes with my blogging. I'm never like, "Tuesdays and Fridays are my days to blog" for example. If there is time to sit down during the week (usually a weeknight) to blog, then I do. I just write about whatever comes to mind. The next day, I just hit a button that says "Publish" and my blog post is up- that's the easy part.

#4. I try to keep it simple.
There are some very talented bloggers out there who can blog just about anything and they are very good at it. From cooking, cleaning, decorating, painting, etc. they seem to do it all. I don't really fit into that category, so I just stick to mainly talking about projects/decorating. It's really a great way for me to use my creativity and try new things so I keep it simple by just blogging about that.

#5. My house isn't as clean as you think. ;)
So this one has been talked about before and I have heard so many bloggers talk about this same thing too- our homes aren't as clean as you think. Just because I take a picture of, say my family room, and you don't see any toys in that picture, doesn't mean the toys aren't there or nearby. Take this picture for example:

What you don't see are my two daughters playing down by the couch with a BUNCH of toys that they brought down from the playroom and my son's bouncy seat next to the coffee table. However, because of the angle that I took this picture, all of that was hidden. But it was all there, I promise. ;) And I'm sure every blogger with kids would tell you the same thing- you can play a lot of camera tricks, if you will, to hide things like toys and sometimes children. ;) 

#6. I do play with my kids.
I actually do love playing with my kids. Whether that is pretend play indoors or being outside, I want to participate. Just recently, we had several snow days, so we didn't get to go out too much. We had to get creative, so one of the things I suggested to my older girls is that we build a big tent in our room. They loved the idea and so we just went for it and used lots of blankets and pillows to make one! Sure the room was messy for a while, but that was only temporary and we had fun!!

 And don't mind the fact that my girls have bathing suits on when I just said it was snowing outside!! I can't seem to keep them out of those things no matter what the weather is like outside. At least it was warm indoors, right?!

Again, if someone wants to write about decorating don't assume that is all that they care to do nor assume that means their house is perfect. Just because you read a blog about decorating or DIY projects, doesn't mean the person behind the blog doesn't enjoy doing other things. For example, I enjoy going out to parks and running errands (this is true) with my kids, but I just don't always blog about it. I'm in no ways perfect, believe me, but I am thankful I can rely on a Creator who is!

Friday, January 22, 2016

It Was Only A Matter of Time!

 You may or may not have noticed that there was a little change to our family room. It was only a matter of time before this change took place! Can anyone guess what's different about this picture?

I decided to go ahead and paint the double doors in the family room! Surprise! But, if you know me at all, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
I chose to paint these doors with the same color that I chose for our front door a few months back. The color is Ashwood Moss by Benjamin Moore and it has proven to be this nice rich gray that varies a bit depending on the light. It does have a blue undertone to it which is hardly noticeable to most people. I knew I didn't want to go too dark or too light and this color fits the bill and pairs nicely with our decor.

In our last home, I painted our interior doors a beautiful color called Porpoise by Sherwin Williams. I had always thought that color was a bit too light for our doors and so that is why I chose to go with a darker interior door color here. The original color on the doors when we bought this house was brown (painted in such a way to make it look like a wood door). I first painted them white but that made the whole area disappear a little bit and I wanted to highlight the doors and the view to outside, not hide it

Eventually, I am thinking of using this color on some of the other doors in our home...still deciding on exactly which ones will get painted with this color. Dare I say that I'm even thinking of painting the closet doors to my son's room in a rich dark green color? Bold, I know! But after all, it is just paint so if I decide it doesn't work out it can be repainted...that's just what I keep telling myself anyways. ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Writing Desk Refinished

A few months back, I posted a picture to my FB page about a writing desk that I made over with primer and paint. Our computer has been having some issues so I couldn't find a great photo of what the desk use to look like before it was painted and after I painted it the first time. Here is the only picture I's a little blury.

Basically, it was your basic wood-tone dresser, a little orange-y in color, with some scratches that needed to be fixed. 
My first time around, I painted the desk in a white that I had on hand. It wasn't awful but I didn't love it. Trying to sell it was a bit difficult as well. So I decided to repaint it and had an interested buyer right away!

I loved the way it turned out the second time around. Even my husband said he liked it better and I agree! It turned out better than expected with the new color scheme.

The second go-around, I wanted the brush strokes to be noticeably visible, so I used several different shades of gray that I already had and also mixed in a little bit of water to one of the mixtures. Then I put 2 coats of a poly-acrylic on the top to seal everything and give it a bit of a shine.

The hardware is original to the piece. It really worked with the new color.

It sold to a very kind young woman who needed a desk to stash "all of her stuff." :)
I hope she really comes to enjoy the desk and the work that went into it.

It was also fun to get back into refinishing furniture pieces. Ever since I started building the sofa tables and the buffet tables, I haven't had much time to commit to shopping around for thrifted pieces to redo. So it was really nice to be able to get this thing done and sold to a happy home!

Have a great week everyone and stay warm!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Get the Look


We all know that Pottery Barn is a pretty popular store to shop and has a look that many people want try to have in their home. And I get it, their pieces are classic, timeless, and beautiful. However, it also comes as no surprise that their items are very costly- so most of us mimic the Pottery Barn look by getting pieces that look similar without the big price tag.
Well, now they have apparently come out with a new line called "The Collected Home." The price tag is still high but the pieces are interesting and not what you would typically think when you think Pottery Barn!

Poppy Botanical Print Shower Curtain

They have a variety of items to choose from in their bath collection and home furnishings decor as well. 


They even have a "collected look" lighting section with some unique pieces.

Marina Round Pendant  

 Explosion Chandelier I really LOVE this picture! The dark walls, wood tones, and gold touches- it's stunning!

 To be honest, these pieces don't even look like your typical Pottery Barn items...and I'm sure that was intentional. Don't you think a few of their pieces look like something you could get from Target or IKEA? (and for a lot less)?
Again, I love Pottery Barn, but the prices are so high that we don't actually own anything from them- but we do have some things that "look" like came from a Pottery Barn store (at least I think so). :)
Now that they have this new look in stores, and the fact that you can create a similar look at home, it makes me wonder if they are going in a different direction as a store. Although, I'm sure they will always sell their signature pieces!

Anyways, do you own any Pottery Barn items or are you the kind of person (like me) who just likes having the "Pottery Barn look" in your home without the big price tag (because it is possible to get a similar look for less!).

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Now and Then

The title of today's post is "Now and Then"...and no, I'm not talking about the movie from 1994 (although that was a pretty good movie!) Today's post is just a quick look-back at some of the before photos of our home and the after photos of what our home looks like today.
It is not uncommon for decorating blogs to share before and after photos of different rooms in a home. But what I have noticed, and sometimes it bugs me a little, is the before photo is taken from a completely different angle than the after it can be hard to tell what the overall transformation of a room was. I did my best to take pictures of the same angle in the "after" so you can get a better sense of the changes some of these rooms went through over time.

So here we go!!
In my last post, which you can read about here, I started with a photo of the family room. Here is that photo:

Here is the family room today:

What we did:
*Replaced the old green carpet for a new neutral one
*Painted trim and walls (upper is BM Gray Owl and lower is SW Alabaster
*Recovered and added a valance over the double doors
*Painted ceiling fan white to give it a classic look
*Arranged furniture in a way to maximize seating and create better flow

Then I showed an older photo of the kitchen next:

Lots of orange wood tone, green counters, and yellow appliances

And here is that space today:
What we did:
*Painted cabinets BM Sea Haze
*Painted walls BM Gray Owl and trim SW Alabaster
*Painted counter tops and kitchen island 
*Painted fridge with chalkboard paint (hey, it's better than the yellow!)
*Added a thrift store round table and chairs
*Replaced ceiling fan over island with a brushed nickel light fixture
*Added a thrift store light over kitchen eating area

Off of the kitchen is the dining room and here is what it use to look like:

Here is that space now:

What we did:
*Painted trim in SW Alabaster
*Painted upper walls SW Intellectual Gray
*Added beadboard wallpaper (from Lowe's) to lower half of walls
*Changed out the curtains and blinds and added simple drapes (from IKEA)
*Decorated with our buffet table and thrifted chairs
*Painted and glazed the original chandelier

Next, I shared this photo:

Here is how this area looks today:
 What we did:
*Painted the oak rails 
*Painted the trim and walls
*Added beadboard wallpaper to lower half of walls
*Did some updates to the living room

 The nursery is next on the list:

And here is what it looks like now:
What we did:
*Rearranged furniture
*Changed out the valance and blinds
*Added a large oriental style rug

And the reading room:

 Here is what we did:
*Added rain gutter bookshelves (something we did in our last home)
*Made a bench and seat cover for extra storage and books

And now for the stairs:

 What we did:
*Painted walls (that was a fun task!) Credit to my man for getting those tall walls!
*Painted door with BM Ashwood Moss
*Added canvas photos and mirror
*Replaced light fixture by door with an updated lamp shade
*Added a gray and white trellis rug

Looking back at all of this and seeing the progress really does feel great! We worked on everything little by little and took it one day at a time, and it paid off in the long run! Of course, there is always more to do and some rooms that have barely been touched...but hopefully that will happen all in the good span of time. Hope you will stick around to see more changes along the way!

Monday, January 4, 2016

First Post of the New Year

Like the title states, this is my first post of the new year- 2016!
I said it in my last post and I'll say it again, I can't believe another new year is upon us. And how is it that it is already the 5th of January?! Doesn't it seem like yesterday it was Christmas?? 

As I was thinking about what to write for my first post in the new year (a lot of pressure, I know), I came upon some pictures of our current home when we first moved in just a little over a year ago. I wanted to re-post some of them again because I have already forgotten what things looked like around here since the move. My husband and I have been able to make some changes with the house, some big and some small, and are very pleased at how things have been coming along so far. It's really, really starting to feel like our home and not someone else's and it was fun to look back on some of the older photos of the place and compare them to how things look now. 

First up, the family room!

To recap, we have since replaced the green carpet, painted the trim and the walls, painted the fan white (yes, you read that correctly!) and rearranged some furniture around. The only major cost in this room was replacing the carpet for a cleaner/updated one. Everything else was updated with paint pretty much.

Next up is the glorious kitchen.
(It really looks like a hoarders house with all the boxes and stuff piled onto the counters- just ignore all that). These photos were literally taken right after we moved in, obviously. ;)

And yes, we still own that lovely fridge and stove...when we can save a little bit more, we would like to update those as well. The current ones you see pictured are about 25 years old... and no, I am not making that up! 

For this area, I painted the cabinets, island, trim, and walls. I also painted the fridge, of course. 
We replaced the ceiling fan with a light fixture and also replaced the 80's table light with a Restore light fixture. We also added a thrift store table and chairs that I was able to refinish.

The dining room is next up on the tour!
There weren't any major changes to this space, just small ones that made a big impact.
The walls and trim were painted. I added bead board wallpaper to the bottom half of the walls (that stuff is pretty awesome and
We traded the older curtains and blinds for some simple white curtains.
I was able to paint the chandelier- there was nothing wrong with it and I thought it looked pretty in here, so it just got updated with some paint and glaze.
And of course, we added our signature buffet table in here as well as an IKEA storage piece for coffee.

 The rails on our stairs were painted and so was some of the trim.

The next room (pictured below) is now the nursery
We were able to remove the window valance and added curtains. Originally, I wanted to keep the valance, but because of the shape, it was just really hard to recover.
This room hasn't been painted yet. I'm still decided on whether or not to do that. Haven't found a paint color that would work in here yet- but the original wall color works for now.

Next to the nursery is this little room that is now the reading room that houses all the kiddos' books (it's pictured below).
We added some rain gutter shelves to the wall opposite the window and also took down the valance in here. The girl's lemonade stand got moved up here and we also added a storage bench we made to keep books and art supplies.
That's pretty much it for this space!

I threw this picture in here because my daughter was walking her doll up the stairs and thought that was so cute! Just looking at this picture reminds me of how much she has grown in the past year!!

And this last room is the office. Wallpaper is still up and no real attempts have been made to remove it. :) That would be a project to tackle for another day- far, far away in the future! 
The valance has been taken down and a desk has been moved into here...but that is about it! 
The room has a door and stays closed most of the time (mainly so I don't have to stare at the ducks and stripes when I walk by)
Hoping to type up a post soon with more "before and after" photos. That way you can see the changes that we have made since the move.
Overall, I'm happy with what we have been able to accomplish since moving into this house. Can't wait to see what kind of things we can get done this year! 
Here's to another good year!!