Dining Room {Then & Now}

May 16, 2015

Just the other day I was going through tons of photos from when Gracie was a baby and I almost cringed at what this house looked like seven years ago! When they say a space evolves with time that could not be more accurate with our home!! Seven years ago when we purchased this home we gutted it and started over with a blank slate.... Lord if only I had Pinterest back then and if only I actually knew what the heck I was doing!
Tomorrow I will start our little kitchen renovation. I say "little" because, for one, I am doing it myself and two, I'm doing it on a very tight budget which means not everything will get done in a week or two or even in two months...Ok, lets face it, it could very well take a year!!
 All I know is that I have a plan and I'm sticking to it!!
Today I thought I would give you a little idea of what our dining room & entry looked like just about three years ago. It's still a work in progress but for sure has evolved with time and Thank the Lord for that!!
I struggled with this wall for years. I thought about painting it with chalk paint, removing the pine boards, buying a large hutch to hide the wall... The list can go on and on. Then one day I decided to just brighten up the whole space. I started with the railings. I was so tired of all the dark stained wood that I just painted everything white. Best thing I ever did!! This room is so much more bright and airy, not stuffy and cold... I painted the pine wall a little over a year ago and I am never looking back!!
This room is still not complete. I am still deciding on what type of open shelving I want on the forever empty wall on the other side of this room. I need to switch out the dinning chairs... I love them, but I'm over them if you know what I mean!! And I've had a tiny issue picking out window treatments. I honestly don't like anything on the windows personally, but they do make a space look complete and gives it an over all cozy feeling.  Please don't judge the before photos, this was way before I had any clue what my style was.... This whole change took literally years of pulling out magazine clippings and thousands of pins later and it's still not 100% where I would love it to be, but I am pretty proud of how the room has evolved in the past two years.




Everyone always asks me "How did you do it?" And all I can say is that I just find inspiration everywhere and document it. I can't tell you how many photos I have from magazines that I have torn out and keep posted in my office. Pinterest, HGTV and following numerous blogs is for sure how I found my style and what I love. I have also learned that it's ok to make up your own rules when decorating your space. When you use what you love it's just a matter of placing things where they look and function best.
Now it's off to Home Depot for paint... Those kitchen cabinets aren't going to paint themselves!!
Have an amazing weekend!!

Antique Mantel {Before & After}

May 8, 2015

There's no better feeling in the world than completing a project that was conceived in your brain and finally brought to life. This is exactly how I feel about this gorgeous antique mantel I found on a Facebook tag sale page almost a year ago! From the moment I saw it I knew exactly what I was going to do with her and exactly where her permanent home would be inside our home...
Here is the picture of her from the tag sale site on Facebook.

I immediately fell in love with the detail and of course that adorable shelf!
I actually didn't mind the condition it was in either, but when I brought her home I felt she needed some TLC... So like a good new mommy to antiques, I put her in a safe place in the basement until I found time to get to transforming her into a magnetic chalkboard for the awkward large wall between our kitchen and living room. Up until a few days ago that wall was empty for a good three years.... I just could not commit to putting just anything there and I knew exactly what I wanted on that wall and this mantel was going to make that happen!!
I spent most of the winter sanding down all the old stain off the mantel and the later half of the winter trying to decide if I wanted to keep it all natural or give her a nice paint job.... I literally thought about this for a good four months... Don't judge LOL! Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and gorgeous weather, I got the itch to just do what I had to do. I painted a large piece of galvanized sheet metal I purchased off Amazon exactly one week after I picked up the mantel and attached it to the mantel with little picture hanging nails. I knew I wanted it to be a chalkboard (of course) but I also wanted to be able to use the magnetic scrabble pieces I had from another project...
Now here's the funny part of it all. I had finally made up my mind that I was going to keep the mantel all natural and just use a little of the Lime Wax I used on Gracie's dresser.... This is were the "oops" happened. I wiped on some of the Lime Wax and OMG. My gorgeous pine mantel was pink. Yes, my friends it was pink... So in a big fat panic, I decided to just paint over it with some Pure White, Anne Sloan chalk paint and then distress it a bit.... Well, now "oops" #2 was, I ran out of paint.... With my heart racing at 6pm on a Saturday night, I ran into the basement to see what color paint samples I had.... I was certain I had some kind of white paint in the house, but all I had on hand at that moment was a sample of Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.... So like a mad woman I ran outside and started to paint over the white with the Gray Owl.... I let the paint dry over night and began distressing early Sunday morning and all I kept saying to myself was "Thank God for that Lime Wax!!". Had I not taken a chance with the Lime wax, I would have just stayed in my comfort zone and kept the mantel all natural with no "Wow" factor... It would have totally just blended and it would have been just another thing on the wall....
But now that "thing" on the wall is absolutely perfect and I just love the way it looks and how much life it brings to our space...
I will warn you, I took a lot of photos. This really is my first project that I took my time with and did exactly what I wanted to do with it....

 I have been waiting to have a unique piece like this in our home for a long time.... I love that it is so versatile and that I can display sentimental pieces from my children for all the world to see.... This piece will be a staple in our home for a very long time... Did I mention its screwed into the wall?? So, yes... a very long time.
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Hello White {Living Room Update}

May 2, 2015

Hi friends!!
I can't even believe it's May already!! Where in the world did April go?
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been hard at work picking a "white" paint color for our living room.... The actually painting was the easy, picking the color....not so much.
Here is what the living room walls looked like before.
And here is what they look like all freshly painted.

In case your wondering, I hated this color at first....
I originally had five "white" paint colors I had planned on using.
They were all by Benjamin Moore.... Linen White, Decorators White, Horizon, Gray Owl (at half tint) and White Whisp. Then I went to Home Depot and began looking at Glidden paint samples and I fell in love with Dove White. So I purchased a sample and put it on the wall and thought "Perfect!!".... Then as I began painting it looked really blue to me.... Wasn't loving it at first and I was going to repaint it, but its growing on me... If the walls weren't so high I most likely would have followed through on repainting, but it is growing on me and I love that it's so clean, crisp and bright in here.... I have a few more d├ęcor items to purchase for the walls and I then I will post some more photos....
What do you think? To blue?? Be honest!!