Thursday, November 21, 2013

Give Thanks

With Thanksgiving just a week away, I thought I would share a fun update we made to our kitchen. I'm still a sucker for chalkboards anywhere in a house, so after I made the chalkboard below for our friends' dessert table at their engagement party (Treat Yo Self!), I figured this was the perfect size and canvas for our new kitchen addition.
Oh and I also want to make note that I've made true on my promise to hold out on Christmas décor until after Thanksgiving! Although... I am listening to holiday music pretty consistently. 
Above: We had some leftover wood from our cabinets so I sprayed the board with chalkboard paint and then painted a gold border inset about an inch.  
Although the gold worked perfectly for the party, I wanted more of a blank slate for our house- so I painted over it with some chalkboard paint I bought at Michael's. FYI: Chalkboard Paint provides a much better (and smoother) outcome than Chalkboard Spray Paint.

It provides a nice little reminder every morning before work.
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Looking forward to posting about some Christmas décor soon. Enjoy your turkey!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Laying on Some Coral: The Guest Room Desk

When it comes to redoing the guest room, I've been wanting to keep it fun and not too stuffy. If you remember here, we painted the old baby blue walls a deep navy which was definitely out of the ordinary for this house, but I've come to love it more every day (as much as you can love painted walls).
One of my favorite color combinations is navy and coral. In fact, coral is probably one of my favorite colors in general. Off the top of my head , I can think of about 5 dresses of this same hue hanging in my closet at this very moment. So, it wasn't a surprise when I finally chose this color combo. 
Not only is the guest room for our friends and families who visit, but when I do work from home (and not working on my laptop.... on the couch... while watching Ellen) it's nice to have a desk to get some things done.
We started off with this beautiful thing...
And then layered it with primer:
And then started slapping on some of this beautiful coral paint!
It's not the perfect furniture paint job, but it's a far cry from what it was before. I'm still trying to figure out some hardware, but here it is against the navy walls...

Here's a quick Before and After...
Once I get the hardware on it, I'll upload another for the FINAL Before and After. (You would think that would be the easy part... but it's not!)


Speaking of hardware, I picked these up and they may be an option.
But I'm also liking the look of these pocket pulls- Martha Stewart Line from Home Depot. They would also cover the 2 screw holes that we had to patch on each drawer.

We shall see!
Stick around to find out.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Mantel is (Finally) Up!

I can tell you (in my mere 2 month experience) that the one bad good thing about having a blog is that you're accountable for what you post (it's part of the reason that I started this thing). Last week, I mentioned here that I would be giving you all an update this week on the Built-in/Mantel situation that we have going on. Well, I like to stay true to my word so we FINALLY got the mantel up earlier this week. I'll admit- sometimes projects lose steam. We come home from work and the last thing we feel like doing is nailing/painting/sanding. However, we're always glad when we pick ourselves up off the couch and git-er-done. Productivity always feels good.
We're one step closer to completing this project and I'm liking the results so far!
Here's the mantel I've been blabbing about....

 I'm dreaming of a Christmas mantel....
Here is where we started:

Drilled some holes to find the studs... apparently the studs were not spaced evenly AT ALL... hence the amount of puncture wounds. Oops! (Whoever eventually buys this house from us is going to be very confused!)

One thing I didn't think about (but Nathan did of course) was that the wall was inset so we needed to install a board for the mantel to attach to in order for it to overlap the bookcase trim. Duh! (Did that make sense?). We could have custom cut the moulding in order for it to butt against the existing trim, but this was a simple solution. It wasn't a part of my original plan, but it works. I'm not complaining.

Once the board was set, we added the cantilevers and the mantel top.

 The moulding was then added.
 Spackle, caulk, and paint finished off the look.
Having a blog also makes you stare at every detail...
Looks like we need to touch up on that corner. 

My handy husband pulled electric up to the mantel so I can have power access. (He HATES exposed cords so that pet peeve really worked in my favor). Can't wait to plug in some garland!
There ya have it! One step closer to completion. I refuse to style any of my bookcases until it's complete.... so I literally have piles of books, frames, and vases just sitting on my floor collecting dust- It's killing me! I do it to myself though.... it's all about motivation!
Can't wait to get a start on the lower cabinets!  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Everyone Needs a Last Minute Pumpkin

Whether you've been decorating for fall since early September (guilty) or just now getting out the pumpkins, everyone could always use a last minute décor DIY. Yes-  I said everyone!
This was one of quickest holiday projects I have done. All you need is a foam pumpkin, spray paint (color of your choice), and some brass fasteners or thumbtacks.
I picked up a box of  the small carvable pumpkins at the Dollar tree. Dollar tree = Cheap. Dollar tree = Awesome.
Then I spray painted a few coats....
Next up- the brass fasteners. I was originally looking for some gold thumbtacks, but couldn't find them in the store (or I was just too lazy to look in another aisle).  I found these brass fasteners and figured they would work just as well.
So then I just pushed the fasteners into the sides to create my gold and white polka dot studded pumpkin. Easy is an understatement. I think it would look great on a flat black painted pumpkin as well... or whatever color you choose!
I paired it with this miniature gold owl that I found in the fall décor section of Walmart.  
I also wanted to keep my autumn décor bright and fresh in the kitchen, so grouping it with white pieces and adding some texture was a no brainer. I have no shame that those are fake flowers... Who can seriously afford real flowers all the time?
Also, the white bowl above is one of my favorite flea market finds from Somerset. It's so versatile (and nice to look at).
One of my favorite looks is natural texture and white finishes- I've had these wicker orbs for years.
How many pictures can I take of this tiny area on my kitchen counter? More I tell ya.
I think I'm officially done with fall decorations... Going to try to hold out until Thanksgiving before I start on Christmas. But let's be real- that's not going to happen!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bathroom Plans for the 'Meantime'....

These past few weeks have been just a little busy, so we haven't been able to make as much progress on the house as we were planning. Honestly, it's been kind of nice to take a break from projects because sometimes you just need to refuel- am I right? However, I'm planning to have a Built In-Mantel-Conglomeration update next week so I guess we should be getting back to work... 

In the meantime, I thought I would give you a little update on some bathroom plans. I should rephrase that... it's our 'bathroom in the meantime' plans.

Our current bathroom is less than desirable. As most of you are aware from here, I inherited a college house bathroom the moment we got married. It's functional... but not at all beautiful. Not only that, but it took me a while to get over the funk of moving into a house that used to shelter college boys. I think it was a year before I was finally comfortable using it....and that is no exaggeration.
Anytime people ask, we've told them that our bathroom is next on our list of things to tackle. I'll get into the current bathroom details later on, but we really want to do a massive overhaul (plumbing changes, new vanity, installing a tub- all the works!) but then life happens. It seems like the moment we decide to go forward something pops up that prevents us from breaking out the sledgehammer or we have a Dave Ramsey moment and realize that a bathroom overhaul is not necessary RIGHT NOW. And I'm OK with that- because like I said our bathroom IS functional, but I'm still really needing a change. I'm willing to hold out on a new bathroom for a year or so if we can do a mini makeover to hold us over. I'm well aware that the power of paint can do wonders and for once I would like to NOT be embarrassed when guests come over and use our bathroom.
Since it's only a 'mini-makeover' I wanted to do something a little different... a mix of rustic/modern with a touch of industrial. It's actually the opposite of my DREAM bathroom of white, crisp, and clean, but a style I'm really drawn to. Just one of many DREAM bathroom examples can be seen below:
I'm sure you all remember that I love some touches of rustic from this post and I thought it could be fun to do something a little different before I do break out the sledgehammer and fulfill my vision of my 'white spa' bath. If I'm going to do my dreamy bathroom one day, I'm going to go all out so this temporary solution just gives me an excuse to try something a little different. It's more fun this way anyway!
After looking at countless images of inspiration, I put a design board together a few weekends ago. Let's be honest, even the design board is a stretch since it includes some high dollar items, but it helps put my vision together. I'm wanting to try to stay under $200.00 for the temporary fix so I'll be keeping my receipts to see if I can meet the challenge. Lots of DIY ahead!
Yes- you do see a chair and table for the bathroom. The room is actually really large since we removed an old (and gross) clawfoot tub, so putting some extra furniture in there is not out of the question to balance it out (and cozy it up).
Below are some of my inspiration pictures.
Is it odd that this bathroom reminds me of my wedding colors?

but you can see the touches of industrial and rustic throughout.  

And my favorite blog ever- Emily A Clark shows her dark walls and yes- furniture in the bathroom. Love how that side table cozies things up and makes the room more interesting.
What do you think- do you like the dark for a bathroom? And the rustic/modern look? I can't wait to break out some supplies and paint all of the college boy out of that bathroom! Can't believe it's taken this long!