The year of paint, and beyond

When I emptied out the living room back in February and started working on the living room ceiling I didn’t realize it would be a declaration that 2014 was the year of paint.

I painted the living room, dining room and hallway.

And the office.

Also the kitchen.

Then the guest room.

And the master bedroom.

I haven’t even shown you the paint in the master bath and hall closet yet.

The walls and ceilings weren’t the only makeovers.

2 new chairs were painted – yes with wall paint – as well as 2 outdoor tables. The fireplace mantle got a fresh coat of paint as did the tiles. I also stained home built shelves for the bathroom and a shelf in the living room but that doesn’t exactly count. I also spray painted an old mirror and some new lamps if spray painting counts.

So it probably won’t surprise you that I recently pulled out the brushes and cans again.

I’ll share that project soon.

If 2014 was the year of paint – as I declare it so – what will 2015 bring?

Well, in terms of bigger furniture planning, I’d like to replace my bar high table with a shorter one. While it’s served me well for 6 years, I’m looking for something more comfortable that I can makeover or possibly DIY.

Don’t look at me like that, I have power tools!

And since yanking my old headboard from the master bedroom has left me with a mattress up against the wall, I’d like to build a new bed frame so I can get my queen mattress off the metal railings. Again, served me well but time for something more sturdy, perhaps with storage?

Again, I’m considering a DIY if I can make some room in the garage for the build.

But I think the biggest project of 2015 will be tackling some exterior projects.

#1 on my list is new gutters. I know, I know, I’ve been talking about this forever and every winter I remember why it should have been done in the summer.

Replacing – at minimum – the length of gutters and downspouts along the side yard will enable me to start the next outdoor project: paint.

It’s like 2014 all over again!

Only this time I’ll be painting the exterior which is a daunting task.

Just the idea of buying that much paint is giving me fits so, just like every other project, I’m going to take it slow and work in sections. It may be a few months before I can begin painting on dry, warmer weekends so I have plenty of time to price shop the paint, gather supplies and replace damaged wood panels.

While this is not nearly as fun as picking out paint for the office or setting up the new guest room furniture I know it’s critical to a) improve the value of the house and b) keep out the elements so we don’t have bigger problems later.

My reach, omg if we could swing it that would be fantastic, goal is to replace the windows throughout the house, although the estimates are around $3,000 and it would mean losing my garden window which I irrationally love in the kitchen.

That pricing doesn’t include the sliding glass door in the master bedroom but if I could exchange that for something new for less than $1,000 I might just put that on the wish list too.

Right now I’m torn between beautiful glass french doors:

french doors

or a Dutch door so I could let in the pups or fresh air


Or a more solid door because between the dogs and rain the glass gets filthy way too quickly and then I could take down the 5′ of dark brown curtains and hang more pictures and… do you see why I have such a hard time making decisions? So many options!

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree

in my house this year. And here’s the story about why.

Right about the time I was deciding if it was worth the effort to move the arm chair and haul home a tree during the “storm of the decade” and try to get it straight in a stand by myself and keep the dogs from peeing on it and decorate the whole thing for 3 weeks worth of enjoyment…

…I accidentally bought a sofa instead.

And instead of having 2 sofas and a Christmas tree to contend with this month I decided the $40 and 3 hours saved could just go to the sofa.

Since I know some people are impatient, here she is in all her glory:

photo (1)

Now, let me tell you all about my self justifications for buying this on a whim.

Much of my furniture was dirt cheap. In the master bedroom I have a free bed frame and side chair, nightstands that were $25 and a dresser from the “as-is” clearance at Ikea. And the woven foot chest was a clearance find from Target.

The guest room has a mattress and headboard that was free (from my grandparents), a foot chest that was a gift from mom and dad, a desk (also from mom and dad), a free side chair and an Ikea bookshelf I bought 3 years ago.


The office? Well, the desk and matching bookshelf came from my grandparents. I bought the Ikea bookshelf last year as well as the new chair and file cabinet on clearance at Staples (actually, I don’t think I’ve shown you those yet. It’s on the to do list.).

The living room had the sofa from my parents as well as a dresser they gave me to renovate, 2 arm chairs that were free and a $20 foot stool.

There are 3 Ikea bookshelves in the kitchen that I bought well over 8 years ago and got the kitchen table at a going out of business sale.

I don’t buy expensive furniture.

But I’ve known for awhile that I wanted a new couch – not just because the older one was purple.

2014 - living room wide shote

It was made by Ethan Allan so it’s incredibly well made, even if my Mom bought it sometime around 2000. It just wasn’t my style.

It wasn’t big enough.

It was just too low to easily get out of if you’re over 40.

I have an abnormal affection for the chaise.

And I draw the line at Ikea chairs. In my experience they’re just not comfortable and nice enough.

Enter Zulily.

Aka the website I need to block.

Because I was just browsing for gift ideas for my father when I saw it.


It was longer, it had a chaise, it was microfiber (aka easy to clean) and it was deliverable before Christmas.

Did I mention it was $350? Delivered. As in $10 shipping is my favorite thing.

So I clicked buy before I could think too hard but after I measured and on Tuesday UPS delivered 2 GIANT boxes from Sofab on my front door step, while I was gone, in the pouring rain.

The good news is that only the box was damaged by the rain – so no box forts for me – and the sofa was relatively easy to put together.

I plan on reviewing the whole “assemble a couch yourself” process because I found it much harder than the videos would lead you to believe.

Plus I need to do a little bit of surgery. Details on that when we’re done.

But for now I’m loving it. I will be changing up the shelf behind the couch soon so it’s the right depth – that might be my January “I need to build something” project. But the wood won’t go to waste, I’ve already decided where it’s going to be installed. Hint: garage.

I’ll be back with more pictures soon, but first the couch needs to be scotch guarded.

Summer Recap 2014 : Part 4 the Master Bedroom

part 1 the kitchen herepart 2 the living room here & part 3 the guest room here.

It’s a little embarrassing how far past summer this post is happening but I contend that getting a room that you use nightly clean and dog free for photos is damn near impossible. Hence the delays.

2014 was the year of paint. It started with the ceiling in the living room, then the walls, dining room, hallway, kitchen, office, and guest room.

And, this summer I painted my master bedroom too, even thought I just finished it in 2012 in this post.


When I remodeled this room back in the summer of 2012  it went from boring 2-toned beige to Red, Red Wine. I loved the contrast! I picked up more black frames for the gallery wall and turned a duvet cover into curtains for the closet.

But… it wasn’t quite right with the new style I’m going for around the whole house so out came the primer. And the ladder. At least this time I didn’t have to worry about the ceiling and even got to paint over a few of the spots on the ceiling.

I didn’t even move the furniture out this time, just worked around the room moving furniture away from the wall and prepping as I went. The biggest time suck was scrubbing the mud spots off the walls thanks to the dogs.

I tested out 3 paint samples in true Goldilocks fashion. First one was too white, second too yellow and third was just right. I was working to find a hue to tie in with this fabric I bought and shared a few months back on Instagram:

photo 1

I got it a few months back at a thrift store for $2.50 and it was just enough to make a few pillows. But since I liked the pattern so much I was able to find it at Jo-Ann’s online and get 2 yards when it went on sale for 50% off. It still wasn’t cheap but I am very happy with it.

More fabric was needed because I wanted to create a really cool canopy like this one:

canopy inspiration

canopy inspiration here

and getting 5-6 yards of the better fabric would be cost prohibitive. Instead I looked for a coordinating fabric and found it in a pair of sheets! I found these on Amazon for $21 shipped:

sheetsThe sheets are King sized which gave me enough clearance for the seams. The 2 pillow cases included stayed intact for the bed.

Once I had the canopy sewn (tutorial coming soon) and the paint selected, Raffia Cream, I started on the room in earnest.

It took about a week working nights and a few hours when the light was good to finish, but eventually the walls were done and dry.

I re-hung a few pictures, the mirror and the canopy, which was an adventure, and raised up the light that I kept hitting my head on.

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You might notice the headboard is gone and that wasn’t planned. However, the electrical piece stopped working and it was taking up too much space if it wasn’t useful. I may look for a replacement or make something but that’s a project for next year.

The slipcovered leather chair is still on the left and I added a power strip with chargers for my iPhone and iPad.

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To the right of the bed is a chest with bags and backpacks.

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The nightstands got painted black a few weeks back and hold a bunch of random little things.

The dresser is in roughly the same spot and is temporarily holding the new TV which should be mounted on the wall sometime… soonish.

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Spinning round to the closet you’ll notice I replaced the curtains, this time with a queen sized sheet that I hemmed. It was all of $2.50 from a thrift store so I don’t feel so bad about cutting it up (although it was really nice!).

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And I’ve added another bracket for the wire curtain set up from Ikea to keep it from sagging in the middle so badly.

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Overall I’m loving the room and the increased space at the foot of the bed. The closet got a mini makeover too but I’ll share that in another post once I finish clearing out some clothes.

Now that this room is “done” in this incarnation but I make no promises.

p.s. the dogs were none too happy I’d banned them while photographing for this post. They took it out on each other by wrestling all over the bed. 

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Revolving Door House Decor

Do you ever feel like your home is never “done”? I’m not talking about doing and re-doing a project just to have blog content, but continually making adjustments to elements around the house.

Here’s a few of the projects I’ve been working on lately:

New Foot Stool Fabric

While I really liked the navy chevron fabric, it got dirty pretty quickly and a few small tears were just making it look sloppy. I resisted changing the fabric because I still had nightmares about all those staples.

Finally I got the courage to tackle it and replaced the fabric with an outdoor teal and white striped print I picked up during an end of summer sale.

The padding was still insufficient (even after using a twin sized egg crate, bag of poly fill and batting) so I picked up another bag of thicker batting and used it along the edges.

It looks much cleaner now:



and I know that Wilson likes the extra padding:

Wilson on footstool

More canvas prints

Jo-Anns had a great half price sale on canvases so I bought 3 more for the 4″ square Instagram prints that I ordered. I got the new canvases finished so I’ll have a tutorial on that soon. Trying to get the collage in the dining room looking nice is another challenge entirely.

Swapping out pictures in the living room

I set up these prints when I finished the living room but have been looking for two replacement photos. After my trip to the Atlanta Aquarium, I selected two of my favorites to frame.

Here they are now:

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While I love the one on the right with the orange, I’d like to move the one on the let to the bathroom. So I’m looking for a new frame and print. See? Always changing!

And in the hallway

I’ve been moving around pics, framing a few more and am always on the lookout for more prints to frame.

Here’s the view from the living room:

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and the far end:

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A bath robe hook

I’m really beginning to hate towel rods for drying bath towels so I decided to try out these hooks from Home Depot. I took a spare piece of 8″ common that I used when making the living room shelf and stained it walnut to match the shelves. Then I added 3 hooks and screwed it into the wall (after painting the bathroom walls – more on that soon!).

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p.s. ignore the trim, I’m still working on painting and touch ups around the room!

Doggie bed switch

Jackson and the boys also got a new bed when I found this one for just $20. After I found Wilson standing on the kitchen counters one morning, I moved the wingback chair away from the countertop and put the dog bed in place.

jackson on bed

The large round bed is now tucked into the office closet and the dogs take turns napping while I work and the smaller square bed (which is ages old) is in the garage for Jackson to use when I have company.

Fall Decor

Finally, I added a few things to the living room mantle to celebrate fall. I swapped out the flowers for new ones, picked up some white pumpkins and a couple of candles and then pulled out the pumpkins from my craft stash.

Thanksgiving decor

They look really good lit up at night but I’m too lazy to light them up just for blog pictures:

Thanksgiving 2And all that Fall decor is now down since Christmas is on the horizon and I finally got some Christmas spirit. I might do a holiday post later but for now I’m find just enjoying it myself.

I didn’t mention a few other big changes in the living room but I’ll have more on that soon!