Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Modernizing our Main Spaces

Labor Day weekend 2016 began our biggest renovation project to date.  It took a solid three months and it is still not 100% completed, but we are enjoying it already.  The makeover included half of our main living spaces!  Our family room, powder room and laundry room improved in functionality and aesthetics.  Today I am going to focus on the family room. 

Before pictures: 
Too much clutter and too much red against the neutral everything.  Goals - expose hardwood floor, removed faux beams, replace painted paneling with drywall.  Add lighting and more elegant details.

Demo Day One - carpet removed.  The floor is GORGEOUS - white oak with peg details.  Why did we wait 8 years to do this?  Also removed ceiling beams and tore out paneling.

Once the paneling was down we discovered a niche in the wall underneath the stairway landing.  We decided to create a built in entertainment center and to hang our television above it.  My husband did a wonderful job wiring all of the components into this niche.  He also ran wires for surround sound and for speakers on the back porch!  Right now we are waiting for our doors to be built by a local cabinet maker.  They will be made of oak and stained dark to match the floor and mantle.  They will have a oil rubbed bronze, stamped metal insert so that remote controls can operate through the doors.  I'll be sure to add pictures when the doors and trim details are completed.

Six LED recessed lights on dimmer switches were added along with this Kichler ceiling fan from Lowes.  This fan is modern, beautiful and very functional.  The twisting blades really create a nice breeze and it is excellent for bringing the heat from the fireplace down from the ceiling.

Drywall is installed, mudded and sanded.  At this dusty point we were ready to be DONE.  Such a mess to live through.  Additionally our son became mobile and was ready to explore.  He had enough with being confined to the front living room and his bedroom.  Let the painting begin!


Clary Sage by Sherwin Williams is the color I chose for the walls.  It is a very calming, interesting color.  Sometimes it looks gray, green, and even bluish- green depending on the lighting.  This picture below is right after the walls were painted and before the floors were refinished.

Floor Detail (before being refinished)

Floors are refinished and floor moldings, door trim and crown molding is installed.  All trim is painted in semi-gloss Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.  Very nice creamy white color.  We chose thicker trim in an attempt to add more character into our colonial.  My husband did an excellent job on the trim.  So great that I already have visions for other rooms on the main level. 

The TV is on a swivel mount so we can rotate it toward the couch for movies.

Basically we moved in furniture, celebrated our sons first birthday, went on a business trip and here we are busy with the holiday season!  Next step is decorating and making it cozy. 

Someday when our four kiddos are bigger we may need more seats with a beautiful sectional sofa like this upholstered two-piece 99" sofa from Arhaus , but for now we moved the two golden loveseat couches from this room into our formal living room and brought in this taupe color, full size couch.  Free, fresh look with our own furniture!  The rolled arms on this couch match the new recliner(s).  The leather recliner shown has a match on order and should be delivered soon (10 weeks is a long time to wait for a new chair).  It will be worth the wait.  The leather is super soft to touch and the nail head details are what won me over.  The ottoman was purchased at Homegoods.  A perfect solution since it coordinates with the recliners and my husband wanted a vintage looking trunk in front of the couch.  This has the look we were after, but soft edges for our toddler.  It also provides plenty of storage for toys!  The shag rug from Costco is very soft and comfortable. 

Window Treatments:
Can you believe these curtains?  They match the wall color PERFECTLY.  These are very nice, quality curtain panels from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They have hidden tabs in the back, but I chose to suspend them from curtain rings to give them a few inches of additional length.  These wooden rods were brought back from the original room.  I am super happy with how these curtains add a soft, elegant look to the room.

Finishing Touches:
We plan to decorate this room in a Detroit theme.  It will come together soon.  Stay tuned for the details.  Be sure to stop back to see the powder room & laundry/mudroom updates, too.  You won't want to miss it!

Relaxing and blogging by the first fire of the season

My dream two piece sectional:

Mirror on the Front Porch

Decorating my front porch seasonally is a lot of fun!  This year I added a mirror.  It reflects the entire porch and adds a whole new dimension to the boring brick wall.  This mirror was a curbside find.  The stained finish had a water spot on it so I sanded it down and spray painted it black.  It probably took ten minutes total.  I like that it looks like a craftsman window & coordinates with the black distressed bench.

This wooden chair was another curbside find.  It started out half white and half red.  When I got my hands on it, I painted it bubblegum pink for my daughter's room.  Now that we are reworking her room into a tween space, the pink is out (literally out the front door!)  Inspired by the doormat and by the green and teal in this pretty flowerpot, I painted it "Crocodile Smile" - a free sample of Valspar paint that I had.  I like how it turned out, I just would like more contrast.  My hope is to someday replace the grey vertical siding with stacked stone.  Stay tuned (lots of other projects to finish first)

Isn't this little Scare Crow cute?!  My daughter paid $1 for him at a neighbors garage sale.

  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Nautical Nursery - Ahoy It's a BOY!

Last Fall, our family was blessed with the birth of the sweetest little boy - Ethan Gregory.  It has been so much fun transforming this little nursery for him.  It took me six months to finish decorating it and another four months to blog about it!  The room started out as a toy room.  His three big sisters reluctantly moved their toys into their bedrooms to make space.  This room evolved from pink and green to a nautical navy, grey and cream, 100% boy bedroom.  Climb aboard with me and check out the details:

The giant E initial on the door welcomes you in and strongly hints at the nautical theme.  The large wooden letter is from Hobby Lobby.  A local map is attached with rubber cement and mod podge on top to seal it.  The navy and white stripe detail is scrapbook paper with rope trim glued onto each side.  The 3-dimensional anchor is made of cardboard and spray painted red.  The same rope trim is tied on.  The circle on the bottom is a nautical compass rose with rope edging.  E's sisters have initials on their bedroom doors depicting their bedroom themes too.  A, O, & E (looks like oversized apartment addresses)

In this transformation, the walls, carpet, Ikea book shelves, chalkboard, and curtain rods stayed the same.  New chevron curtains were on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I bought four panels.  Two for the window and two to replace the closet door.  More on that later.  For the window, I purchased blackout liners at Lowes.  I didn't even know about this product until I checked into it.  They help to block out light and insulate the window.  These liners simply hook onto the top of the curtains.  Much easier and more effective than sewing in liners!  Chair and ottoman from Target, pillow Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Above:  Wooden anchor - Kohl's, Frame - custom made by my dad - Winter sailboat picture snapped while in Chicago on vacation, Lighthouse - antique store 

Below:  Ikea light (temporary until we install ceiling light fixture), Globe - thrift store find, Lanterns - antique store finds, Ship wheel - Hobby Lobby clearance

This little drum table was found in our basement under a heavy tablecloth when we moved into this house.  The legs were wobbly and the top had water damage.  I repaired the table as best as I could.  For the finish I mixed a few different colors of paint that I already had to create this orange-red color.  To distress it, I used a dark grey glaze.  For the tabletop I cut a map into a circle and placed it under a piece of glass.  The map is not glued down. I like how the paint brings out the details & it also coordinates well with the crib and armoire, which are walnut.

The tied back curtain below is on the closet in place of the door.  The door didn't have room to swing out because of the large furniture in a small space.  The rope tie back is from Bed, Bath and Beyond and the nautical cleat is from Ace Hardware.  Rope hooks on driftwood are from Marshall's/Homegoods.

Triple sailboat picture frames were another antique store find.  I have it hanging over a hose knob (more exciting than hanging it on a nail).  Picture frame above the hooks is also attached with a nautical cleat. 

Armoire holds a lot of little clothes & doubles as a changing table. Great for a small space!   


The chalkboard was painted onto the wall with white paint bordering it.  The anchor hooks were the first nautical thing I bought for this room.  I found them at an eclectic little shop in New Orleans while on vacation.  I was so excited about them!  Fast forward to now and they sell the same hooks at Kohl's, go figure!  The oar is from Marshall's/Homegoods, picture frames from Kohl's (still need to add my favorite pictures).

Combining jute rope from Home Depot, hot glue and an inexpensive wall clock from Dollar General results in a nice textured addition.

Since there was leftover rope, I decided to use a little more along with a lot more hot glue sticks to transform the boring porcelain lamp.   

Here is the spot where lots of naps and growing take place.  The anchor crib sheet is from Babies R Us, dust ruffle from Buy Buy Baby and the striped quilt is from T.J Maxx. Wooden Anchor wall hanging is from Hobby Lobby.  I went there to buy craft supplies to make something similar and decided that this was perfect and purchased it.

Daddy says, "if that room gets any more nautical, it will sink".  I consider that a success!

 This joyful lil' captain knows his role and he sure has this whole family wrapped around his chubby little fingers.  He is easy to love!