Monday, February 22, 2010

House Before and After-The Dining Room

Week, mmmm, lost count. Well, anyway "H" week and I am going to show you some of the rooms in my house. We haven' t done major construction, but I'm sure you won't be surprised how far a little paint and staging will go.

This week I have chosen to feature the first room you come to when you walk through my front door---the dining room. It is a really large room with access to the screened in porch (the flow of this house is fantastic, great for large gatherings).
Here is how the house looked on the day we moved in:

Before I get on with the reveal, I need to mention that you won't get many upclose and personal pictures, because a couple of the projects in this room are reserved for letters to come. I will point them out, but that's all you get!!

I painted the room Bosc Pear by Sherwin Williams and added the roman shades. My old house was predominately red, yellow and green so when I found this fabric with a blue background I was excited. Hubby likes blue, so it made me feel more like I was including him in the decor of the house (small steps people, small steps).

This is the room where "Scarlett" resides. You can read about her transformation here.

On the wall above the buffet are the shelves I talked about here, with the offending white spots gone. On the shelves I have propped and hung my hand-made silhouettes as well as some silver pieces that I like. Except now that I see these pictures I am thinking the shelves are STILL too high
(don't tell hubby, I'll see what I can do to fix it first!!)

I also have a lovely antique secretary I got at an auction (it was quite a bit more than my usual $2-$3, but so worth it.) on the opposite wall.

To the side of the desk are some pencil drawings of my three kiddos that I absolutely love.
Finally, I have the piano wall with some of my favorite finds from Peddler's Mall (you can see them more up close here.

Again, here is the dining room on Halloween (the day we moved in)

And here it is today, third week in February:

I do still have a few more things I would like to do (new light fixture, rework the secretary wall) but she's come a long way in a few months. Later in the week I'll be showing you the downstairs den.

I also wanted to thank those of you who are following me. Sorry this week has been a little light. My school is hosting the district Governor's Cup this weekend, plus I have night class 2 nights. Anyway, enough of my pity party...come back for more before and afters!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gussied Up

It's still "G" week...I wanted to show you some easy ways to "gussy up" some everyday, boring objects.

My two girls have plain old pull down shades in their rooms. Yes, there are tons of cute options to replace the shades out there, but I was going for CHEAP because I have a million other things I would rather spend the money on.

For those of you who are keeping up (aka know your ABC's), next week is "H" week and I am going to do some of my house before and afters. So please come back and see what I've been up to for the past 4 months (we moved into this house on Halloween).

Anyway, back to the shades. I decided just to embellish them with simple things. Oldest daughter got simple ribbon hot glued to the bottoms of the shades.

This is definately a "do as I say and not as I do" moment. Not only am I a teacher, I also have a degree in Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and I had to take a whole course on electrical safety. I am sure this breaks all kinds of electrical safety rules. But it was much easier to do it this way then to set down the blasted glue gun every second.

Youngest daughter has a polka dot "themed" room so when I found these round mirrors at Walmart, I knew they would be perfect. For this embellishment, I did take the shades down so I could place the mirrors where I wanted them before I glued them down. I let her add the flower stickers later.

Finally, I had some posters/prints/whatevers hubby bought at an auction (I turned my head and he started bidding on random stuff...note to self, keep my eye on him more closely).
Anyway, I found some picture frames I wasn't really using, but they were, well BORING.

I had some bead/ribbon/trim stuff that I decided to try to hot glue onto the frames to give them more dimension. After that, I spray painted them oil rubbed bronze and I like the way they turned out.

Simple solutions, easy on the pocketbook.

I am all about the details, I have some ideas for this area:
Remember Truvy's Beauty Shop? You can read a little more about it here.

And I can't wait to share it with you.

Keep coming challenge me to be more creative.

I'm linking up, come see:
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Friday, February 19, 2010

Breaking Away...For Just a Moment

"Patience stands in the doorway, where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment."

God beckons, I finally sit. And I don't know why I am surprised when he speaks so personally to me. When I do allow myself to experience such communication, I can't help but share it. What do YOU need patience for today. May this beautiful door be a reminder to you to wait and take in the whole picture before you act. I personally needed this visual reminder today.

Have a great day!

P.S. Thanks to the best friends ever for the loving "kick in the pants" this morning!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Granny Smith to Grass to GOOD GRIEF!

It's "G" week and I thought about you guys ALL DAY Saturday. My title describes, in a nutshell, how my Saturday went.

I don't even know where to start with this blog, it could be huge, so I am going to give you just a small bit of information.

My master bedroom used to be a beauty shop. I'm not kidding. It makes me think of Truvy's shop in Steel Magnolias. I have a hair washing sink about 8 feet from my bed. I have to walk past it to get to the bathroom. It is not even a little bit cute. Look at would you feel?

When we bought the house we had, and still have, grand plans to renovate. I already have the fabric and the inspiration chair. But that is probably going to cost big bucks, so it may take a little while to get to it.

I decided to make the most of what I have, sink and all, so I painted my master bedroom this weekend. All in all it actually took me about 3 days. SERIOUSLY. When I say I thought about you guys all day, I mean it because I spent 12 HOURS on Saturday painting my bedroom.

First, in my defense, it is a pretty large room, it's a beauty shop for crying out loud. BUT, I am a pretty good painter. I can paint without taping off and with little to no drips (unless of course I am in hour 10!!) SO for me to spend more than 3 hours on a room, it is a bad thing.

I also learned the lesson of lighting and paint color. I painted my room at my old house "Rye Grass" and it looked so nice with my red toile. It was just a little darker than a Granny Smith apple. I painted that in this room and it looked like 1980's mint green. Not to mention the fact that the walls are covered in ugly textured paneling and I always use satin sheen paint.
So I had 1/2 a room painted with mint green, shining paint showing me every nook and cranny of my paneling (not something I was hoping to accentuate.)

Look at that! I was about to go insane. I don't know if it was the paneling, the paint or the painter.

So, I went a shade darker on the paint chip plus flat finish and starting painting. The nooks and crannies were almost the death of me. THREE COATS OF PAINT (not even counting the two coats of mint green.) Now it is more like grass green. But! I am done (besides the trim) and I DO like it. I am going to reveal it all to you in a later post. I have to keep you coming back!

For me this was a lesson in making do. Yeah, I could have lived with it like this:

until we were ready to gut the downstairs. But it is amazing what a few hours, (okay maybe more then a few) a little paint and some accessories can do for a beauty shop!
What area are you putting off because you are too intimidated?
Don't be the person who lives in something they don't love just because they think they have to "gut it all" in order to achieve any sense of beauty.

Literally, just a little paint and a little accessorizing and here is a small sneak peek:

I still have a ton of stuff yet to do in there. Some of the things include:

  • adding a large shelf on the wall by the door
  • repainting and add some detail to the "beauty shop" section of the room
  • installing new light fixtures
  • reupolstering a chest
  • painting my silver lamps
  • hanging plates and other art on the walls
  • installing bamboo shades
  • accesorizing the "surfaces"

I am hoping to get most of this done by "M" week (that is 3 weeks by the way) so check back and see if I make my deadline!

Here's who I'm going to play with:


"Show me the Progress" over at Serenity Now

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

F is for Finial

F is for finials, AND, I think I have the McLinky thing figured out. SO F can also mean fellowship! I would love for you to join me on this one!

I love me some finials. The very first ones I ever got my mom gave me for Christmas. They are ginormous and I LOVE them! Everyone (well usually men) makes fun of them because they look so - well worn. Actually, they were marked down at a furniture store because a window leaked on them! Mother Nature gave me a little love, cause I think they are fab that way.

The ones I am talking about are the matching ones. They are as long as my arm ( I don't have a tape measure handy so that is a little over 2 feet tall). The smaller one in front I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby last year.

I am so drawn to finials, I could put them everywhere! I found this at my favorite thrift/antique store and made a few modifications to it:

I Gorilla glued the lid on and then painted it white. I think it still needs a little glazing love, but it is pretty cute.

Here are some red finials that I found at the same store: (I LOVE red, have I told you that??)

Here is a Christmas finial that I got 1/2 price last year:

yeah, blurry picture, I had to crop it. but see the little finial with the elf on top. That's it and it's pretty cute.

And my recent favorite thing (even though I haven't found a home for it yet-this vingette was created on the fly for the sake of a picture) is this little gem:

Actually, it is not even close to little. It is a little over 2 feet tall and yes I found it at the same antique/thrift store for $15. It was one of those moments when I saw it, loved it and knew it must be mine. That is how it works at a thrift/antique store. If you like it, get it. If you are scared, read my fear blog HERE and get over yourself. If you love it, you will probably always be able to find a place for it.

Anywhoo...I loved it, I've told you that right? Then...I got a Ballard Designs catalog last week and look what I also loved:

image from Ballard Designs

It is 29" tall (mine is very close, where is my tape measure?) and the price is $99. WHATUSAY? For real? You should have heard the conversation in my head (okay, maybe it wasn't exactly in my head, I probably said everything out loud, you already know I'm crazy)

Me: Man, I love that! That would look so great on my hearth, table, island...

Other Me: What a minute, didn't I get something like that from Peddler's Mall?

Me: Yeah, I think so.

Other Me: I didn't pay, what is the price? $99, holy cow!

Me: I had no idea how cool I was!

Isn't it fun when you find out you are trendy and didn't even know it!?

Here are a few of the details of my $15 gem:

Now the fun begins...
I'm going to try to give some of you an opportunity to link up and show off some of your stuff.
My main rule is that is has to involve the letter "F." You can stick with the "finial" theme or link up something else. Now I will say, I am pretty flexible about the letter "F" if you can incorporate "F" into your title then I am good with it. Some ideas could be furniture, funny, finished, frenzy, etc. I don't have a button (no clue how to do that) so if you would just add a link and a shout out to me in your post somewhere so others can come see I would be grateful.

I think you all know the official rules:

1) Create a link to your post, not your blog home page.
2) Add a link in your original post back to the party so others can find it.
3) Your project must somehow involve the letter "F"

Let's give it a shot. The link will be open til Sunday night-cause that is when "F" week ends. If it goes well, maybe I can do another one for "G" week! Wanna play?
Well, I am off to play somewhere else...Join me at Tatertots and Jello

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fear is a Four Letter Word!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha

(If you can name that quote, you definitely grew up in the 80's)

Okay, okay I won't keep you suspense. It is the "theme music" from the Friday the 13th movies.
I'm dedicating this blog to my best friend for 27 years , Kim. I had planned to write a blog about fear, but a conversation via text message with her last night sealed the deal. So here we go, week #6 is "F" week and the first blog is dedicated to FEAR!

I have some sweet friends who compliment my home when they come visit and friends who ask my opinion on decorating from time to time. My answer is almost always, if you love it, get it. If you are buying it just because it is trendy, don't wouldn't waste your money. If you are buying it because you love it then you will probably love it for a long time and will always find a place for it in your home.

Warning, this blog is going to be lengthy, I feel pretty passionate about this.

I LOVE toile, especially red toile. I have LOVED toile for a very, very long time--like 10 years-I even loved it before you could buy everything and its brother in toile. I waited for a couple years to redo my bedroom using my favorite red toile. Yes, I was nervous about it. Big fabric commitment. Couple hundred dollars worth (I did find it on the $6.98/yard table at Hancock's, I took that as a sign). But here we are 7 years later and I still love it.

Now, I know you are thinking, "yeah it is easy to be brave about a small accessory. But then I get it home and get all stressed about where to put it." (sound familiar Kim?) I'll tell you like I told my BFF, as long as it doesn't involve having to glue it down, just give it a try and if it doesn't work out try again.

Just don't make me recite the Try Again poem I learned in 3rd grade, because I'll do it, ask my kids.

I have already told you about my entertainment center mistake. Have I told you about the time I ordered a rug and then cried because it wasn't right at all? (Luckily I was able to return it). Needless to say, I, too have a fear of making decorating decisions. I live with fabric swatches and paint chips for like a month before I commit. It is especially hard for me to decide where to hang things. I always end up wishing I had hung something else in that space. I did find 3M adhesive strips to hang pictures with. (They are very similar to the command hooks) These have helped me "live with" some pictures before I made the committment.

When I can't "try it before I drive the nail," (or have my hubby drive the nail) here is what happens many times at my house:

Those white spots are VERY LARGE holes because those shelves require anchors to hold them in place. Look at those ten. large. spots. and then know that I changed my mind TWO MORE TIMES about where those shelves could go. Pitiful I tell you. Here's how the conversation between me and hubby goes:

Me (from the offending room): Ummmm, Honee-e-e-e-y? Could you come here?

Hubby: (with hesitation and a reluctant smirk): What is it sweetie?

Much of the rest of the conversation is done through non-verbal communication...

Me: (Head cocked to the side, nervous smile, looking past hubby to the offending wall-no words spoken)

Hubby: (Looks around like he is clueless--he's not, he is just playing along) You like the shelves? (or picture or clock or 100 pound stone statue he had to get 10 people to help him hang-well, I'm not really a statue kind of girl, but you get the idea)

Me: (wrinking nose, ever-so-slightly shaking head from side to side)

Hubby: (speaking like he is shocked and a little irritated) You want me to move those AGAIN?

Me: (ever so quietly) please?

Then hubby looks at me and smiles and says, "Okay, but I want to go on record that this is not my fault!"

(He is really a sweetie and very patient with me and my indecision. He has stopped asking about the various pictures propped against walls and fabric and paint swatches taped to them. God definitely knew what he was doing when he put us together.)

I have decided that if a decorating problem can be solved with a can of paint or a little fabric, I am not going to stress over it (no matter how much money I spent on it). I am a Southern Living at Home consultant and over the years I have acquired some items that weren't really my style. In the past (really just a few months ago) I would have thought "I can't paint this, do I know how much this costs? Yes, I do know how much it costs. There's no way I am going to ruin it with paint"

Yes I know the second sign of losing your mind is answering when you talk to yourself. I'm okay with it. I'm content in my craziness, I blame it on 3 kids and 2 dogs.

But, I finally decided it is RIDICULOUS to keep them in a bin waiting for my next show (which I rarely do anymore-no time) I should be enjoying them for crying outloud. So, here is one of a pair of candlesticks that I somehow acquired. I did not like the color, it faded right into my wall color. Totally boring.

I wanted some white candlesticks so instead of paying even $1 for a "new to me" one, I brought these babies out of the box and sprayed them like there is no tomorrow. Now, I love them!

Aren't they cute on my Valentine's mantle?

How about this tray? Great lines and detail. Rusty brown color. Really the color is not bad, but it just blends right into my countertop.

Another shot of white spray paint and the details pop right out.

I was stalking, I mean reading, the Nester's blog today and I saw this picture of her lovely home:

Yeah, I know. Go visit her and get all jealous too. It's okay, I do it all the time. Anyway, aside from loving it all (especially that couch) look over to the far right. See the black picture frames? Yeah? Okay look at that blue triangle shaped sconce on the wall below one of the frames. I don't know this for sure (cause I haven't gotten to be her friend yet) but that looks incredibly similar to this Southern Living at Home "Sassy Wall Sconce"

I have one of those! I do love red, but I have alot of it in my house. Here I am preaching to you about fear and I NEVER THOUGHT TO PAINT IT! See we all have so much to learn! I may have to break out some spray paint (as soon as I can find where I packed that sconce!)

And yes, I do inspect every detail of people's homes when I see pictures of them.

Remember, I am a "Tom the peeper" just not a climb into the bushes kind, more like the drive by kind.

Oooh, I thought of another one. I had a guy come help with some small renovations in my kitchen. One of the items was to enlarge my kitchen island. He added a larger top, beadboard and some great legs.

He (and especially I) was thrilled with the results. Then I made the mistake of telling him I was going to paint it red. He tried to hide it, but I could tell he thought I was crazy (the carry on my own conversation kind of crazy). There was a moment, I'll be honest, that I got a little nervous. What if I ruin it? But I pressed on and opened my favorite red color (Martha Stewart's Hollyhock) and put the brush to the island. It is fab. Even my kitchen guy was impressed. I wanted to get all gangsta on him and say "Yeah, take that kitchen man!" But I just simply said thanks and then complimented his work.

You'll have to live with this picture for a few more weeks. I'm not showing the rest until "I" week. (You think of another idea for "I" and I'll reconsider, it's a tough letter!)

I'll also tell you when you have those moments of victory--hang onto them. File them in your memory so when the fear creeps in you can remind yourself that you have been successful before. You can and will be successful again. Even Thomas Edison failed many times before he finally invented the lightbulb! I am so wanting to recite my poem...I'll spare you the misery, this time (wah-ah-ah-ah-ah)

I'm off to do some more stalking, rats, I mean reading!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha


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