Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dining Room update!

If you have been following along lately, you know I have been in the process of changing my home over to cool tones.
Let's get right to it!
Here is the dining room before with the black wallpaper:
I loved that wallpaper. But it was time for a change.
So now:
As you can see below the walls were a little busy, especially with the accessories added.
Now it is just calmer and my pieces actually show up better.
And the newly chalk-painted corner cabinet really stands out more as well!
I will be tweaking the accessories soon! For now I want to live with the new paint for a while though.

Have any of you ever made such a drastic change in your home?
It took me a while to commit, but I am so glad I did!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quick Update!

Hello friends. I just wanted to post a quick one on my latest, spur-of-the-moment update!
I got a lot of questions on my FaceBook post when I said I was doing this.
If you've read my bio or know me you know my love for older homes. But I live in a 7 year old builder home
(which I still love) but it just lacks some of the character of a older home. I am trying to add details
to make our home look a little more custom and detailed.
My home has a mixture of mostly shiny brass and some silver door knobs. I love the look of the
oil-rubbed bronze knobs though. Of course after pricing out all three levels of my house I decided I would live
with what I have! But then after seeing multiple other blogs on spray-painting door knobs I was intrigued!
And then I went on a staging appointment for a friend/neighbor/client and saw that SHE had sprayed all
her knobs. That was IT for me! Her home just looked SO much nicer with those knobs!
After much research, I decided which combo of wash, sand, prime, paint I wanted to try. The idea of
doing ALL my knobs at one time was a little daunting so I am just starting with the main level.
I took the knobs off and lightly sanded them with a 330 grit block. I skipped the "wash first" step some
recommend. I have to dust them all off after I sanded anyway!
I pushed the knobs and screws into some foam I happened to just acquired (I hope that new
slow cooker does not have to be returned for any reason! They may question the now black foam!)
The screws are there to the right in the photo. I also decided to skip priming. Crossing my fingers that that
was NOT a mistake. Let us remind ourselves of the fact that I am a instant gratification kid of gal!
Anyway, it was a nice hot, sunny day the day I did this. I did about 5 light - LIGHT I said! - coats of oil-rubbed
bronze letting them dry about 15 minutes in between. I then let them dry outside for the rest of the day
(although overnight on the bathroom and pantry knobs that will get used frequently).

All dry! Now. Don't screw up your nice handy work at this point! I wrapped my knob with a washcloth
while I put the screws in. The screws are at a weird angle and one of my knobs got scratched by my screwdriver
when I was reinstalling it. Learn from my mistake people!
They just look so much nicer! And I know they keep saying brass is coming back in. I. Don't. Care!
These look so much nicer to me. What do you think?
I will get to the hinges (the ones that show anyway!) maybe soon. I am just going to purchase the little latch
plates since those only cost about $1.00 each. I figure those will scuff up from wear and tear if I don't.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Taking my home from warm to cool!

OK folks. This is a BIG one! I took a huge plunge and decided to transform my house from warm tones
to cool tones. Crazy. I really don't know what got into me (Pinterest). I wasn't even really planning a big
re-decoratng project, just some tweaking here and there. It all started with new couches and just
snowballed into a life of its own - isn't that always the way?!
So this was a two-fold issue because first I had to explain to the hubs that we were re-decorating. For no reason.
Every other time new decor has appeared it was because we moved. So I had to tell explain to him that you don't
just move in, decorate and then live with that decor for the next 40 years. Yes. I know. I laughed too!
The second issue - which relates to the first - was how to do this affordably! I mean, the man can only take so much!
All my our homes have been warm colors. So this was new for me AND for him. I ended up pretty much
re-painting the whole main level - the family room, hallways and dining room.
Today I am going to show you the family room though. So, (drumrolls) without further ado,
lets peek at the before again - nice cozy gold tones...
And now. The after!
Wow, right?! I am loving it. Mindbogglingly different! Those are the new Pottery Barn Comfort couches
I agonized over investing in. And the curtains are new (paid for with the rewards I got back for using a
Pottery Barn credit card to buy the couches!). Everything else is pretty much the same. So the wall color
was the big change. I love the black trim with the blue. Everything really pops so nicely.
The color I used is Ben Moore Palladian Blue (xoxo). Let me take you the rest of the way around the room...
Sorry about the photos - it is so hard to get a good shot with those big windows. The mantle is going to get tweaked
soon. I am adding some shells and beachy touches for summer! And yes. I left those dog beds in these shots.
I am not sugar-coating this room by cleaning up everything before I take pictures! Don't take it personally!
I also left that big floor pillow in that burgundy chair to disguise it.
There is usually a small armchair in this corner. If you follow me on FaceBook you know that I took the two chairs
from this room to be recovered. I LOVE the fabric I picked and can't wait to see them when they are done!
It is hard to see but that is grasscloth wallpaper on the ceiling. I love that it works even better in the room now
than it did before! And you get a glimpse of the painted hallway (that was a darker shade of gold before too) and the
dining room that had the black wallpaper before! I'll post on that separately.
And back around to the couches (and another dog bed!)
I still need to figure out what I am doing about that burgundy chair. It is throwing the whole mojo of the room off.
But that is my son's favorite spot. I may slipcover it. I'm just not sure yet. I'm sure it will come to me soon though!

So that is the tour. I hope you love it as much as I do. The hubs is coming around. At first he wasn't loving it but now
he says it is growing on him. I think it just felt "different" for a few days. I know it did for me. I still need to do some fine tuning and change some accessories but all in all I am ecstatic! Feels like a whole new house!

Thanks for visiting! I will show you the dining room soon!

Linking up at:
Coastal Charm
Cedarhill Ranch
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Savvy Southern Style
City Farmhouse
DIY By Design
From My Front Porch To Yours
The Shabby Creek Cottage
No Minimalist Here
Jennifer Rizzo
French Country Cottage

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Backyard Oasis!

Ahhhh... my backyard!

I just love to work, relax and play in my backyard! For a very long time we did not venture off on a family vacation.
With twins with autism the relaxation factor just did not seem like it would really be there! So I decided years ago
I wanted my backyard to feel like a resort! So I could stay-cation every day!
Join me for a little tour!
Here is the view down the side of the house as you walk to the backyard from the driveway. I have lots of
blooming shrubs and flowers. 2 Camilla bushes right there by the side door stairs bloom very early in the spring.
Then there are the Columbines and Woodruff with some varigated Liriope thrown in. Everything has to be
deer proof in our neighborhood. Like REALLY deer proof! Our deer are hard core and have even eaten
my holly bushes before! I have a gorgeous big hydrangea next and them my fabulous fushia Rhody!
Here they are in full bloom! So gorg'!
Here's a closeup of the Columbines with the white Woodruff blooming behind them.
And now turning the corner to the patio - that's the Rhody at the end of its bloom time. 
(and my neighbor's house looming on the hill behind me!)
The dining area where so many of our fun nights with friends takes place.
And another overflow seating area...
 The patio is surrounded by beautiful red Crape Myrtles! I love all the red - reminds me of vacations in Mexico!
 The bed up against the house is filled with all sorts of different flowering plants. And some fun little statues too!
 My purple Spiderwort is one of my favorite flowers.
They close up in the evening and go to sleep and then open back up in the day!
 This is my lone Lupine. I bought it and 2 other in the clearance center at one of the local nuseries. I had no idea what it was (besides cheap!). Only this one survived 3 years later. I love it!
I have a LOT of flower pots all around the patio that I fill with all kinds of colorful plants. Over the years I have
figured out what the deer will avoid. It was a sad process of trial and error. There were many casualties!

 And I have a lot of ornamental grasses since the deer HATE those (thank goodness!)
 I love my Goldenrain Tree. This is a great tropical looking tree that has four season interest. It blooms with clusters of blossoms in summer, then gets these fun pods -  and then the pods turn red in fall.
But my favorite spot by far, is right here under the gazebo.
The hubs and I take a LOT of naps under here. The chairs are sooooo comfy. It is my favorite place to read
or just listen to music or have a drink with the hubs or friends.
There are a LOT of renditions of this photo throughout the summer!
Hope you enjoyed the little tour! And all the photos!