Whew! Who is already knee-deep in summer projects? We had a flat-bed load from Lowes delivered on Sunday which means work is happening around here. It’s made me realize how much I need to hurry up and post the progress we’ve already made so I can tell you what’s going on now. One of these days I’ll hopefully get the house tour static page updated too.

On that note, after much stalling I present to you the progress in the dining room. When we moved in we started with cream walls and no dining furniture.

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We quickly started collecting furniture. The hutch and chairs are from Craigslist. The table is a freebie from a friend who rescued it for us when some people he was helping move were going to toss it. It’s a little smaller than I would like in the long run but for right now it’s awesome and eventually I’ll probably put it outside when we have extra change for a permanent dining table, you know in like a decade when we finish our other projects. I plan to do a dark walnut stain on it and then a gray wash but it keeps getting pushed down the priority list.

We painted Behr “Grass Cloth” on the top half of the walls and Behr “Ultra Pure White” on the bottom.  The curtains are my go-to favorite white curtains from Ikea. They’re cheap, opaque, and will look nice in pretty much any room until we have extra money for fancy schmancy curtains.
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Then the chairs got a makeover.

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The painting was a yard sale find from one of our awesome neighbors. I was originally skeptical about it (I’m not really a big flowery person), but I realized it actually is a great size for our wall space and ties in really well with the grey/yellow/green/teal scheme so for $15 I decided to go with it. I have a DIY artwork planned for the other side of the window but it is on the back burner for now.

Eventually I’d like to do a damask stencil on the top half of the wall and add more molding to the bottom half to fancify it up but for now I’m just enjoying having a family dinner table!

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Bon Appetit!

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, our niece Tiffany recently moved to Virginia to live with us. I may or may not have been pinning ideas to a Pinterest Board titled “Teen Bedroom” non-stop day and night from the moment I found out because I was so excited to get to decorate a “fun” room. Her only requests were that it include animal print and bright colors.  After looking through dozens of inspiration pictures and taking a trip down the paint aisle at Lowes, she decided on bright pink (Valspar “First Kiss”), green (Valspar “Parakeet Green”), lavender (Valspar “Berries Galore”) and teal for her color scheme.

Paint Samples from Lowes

Montana thought she should have the bedroom with the sun roof (sky light) which luckily we had already painted the same Behr Sateen Gray as we have in the master bedroom. I haven’t shown you that room yet though since we hadn’t done anything else other than paint it.  If you recall, the room was painted with beautiful green sponge paint when we first moved in.

Bedroom Before

Gorgeous, right?

Here’s the finished room now.

IMG_0073 bed dresser curtains bedroom desk curtains bedroom

The last few months we’ve been busy collecting items from craigslist, yard sales and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and making them shine.  This is going to be a long post so you’ve been warned!

The headboard we scored for a cool $15 at the ReStore and it just needed a coat of paint and a 1.5 yards of Nu-Suede fabric.  We didn’t realize until we had the headboard home that it was sized for a queen and not a full so we had to do a little improv on the legs and attached a 12 inch section of 1 x 12 pine.

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Montana and I built the storage platform portion of her bed based on Pottery Barn’s Stratton Bed frame from plans on Ana White’s Blog for roughly $100 worth of lumber. The pottery barn bed is $999 for a full size. Yikes!  If you haven’t checked out Ana’s Blog she has plans for pretty much anything you want to build. Most of it patterned after Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc. I wanted to make sure Tiff had plenty of room for storage, mainly so it would be easier for her to keep her room clean, but especially since she’s a huge book hoarder! The chevron storage bins are from Lowes.

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The bedding was really the only place we “splurged” mostly because we already had a free queen sized comforter we’d gotten from a friend, so only needed a duvet, not a traditional “bed in a bag” comforter set. Also I really wanted something that was going to be easily washable and hold up.  After looking through a bazillion pins on pinterest Tiff chose the PB Teen “Big Dot Matelasse Duvet” in pool. The sheets are the PB Teen “Dottie Sheet Set” in black and when I’m too tired to get to the laundry… she has the Xhilaration Zebra Sheet Set. Surprisingly enough we looked around online for the black polka dot sheets and couldn’t find them anywhere. I thought polka dots were supposed to be big this year!? What’s with that? The monogrammed sham is also PB Teen and coordinates with the duvet.  The throw pillows are Xhilaration Sequin Decorative Pillow – Zebra and a Threshold pillow from Target.

bedroom pillows

The desk was another ReStore steal we found for $40…and its Drexel Heritage so its super sturdy. (My apologies if you are offended by painting over quality furniture. My mom said she heard the desk crying while it was being painted.  I think it’s just happy to be saved and loved.)  The desk chair is from Walmart.

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Desk and bulletin BoardThe dresser was a $25 yard sale find and we reused the handles that came on it.

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The nightstand is a $19 craigslist find that was a little banged up but just needed a fresh coat of white to cover up its bruises.  (Yes… there’s literally nothing I won’t paint.)  The shelves and brackets are all from IKEA (Ekby Osten ShelvesEkby Mans Bracket, Ekby Stodis Pink Brackets). I just love the bubble brackets. They’re so fun!  Lamps are both from Target. (Xhilaration Zebra Print Lamp) and the mirror is from Marshalls. (She said it reminded her of the TV show Once Upon a Time.)

I made the curtains with material from fabric.com. The grommets were super easy to use and seem nice and sturdy.

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Trying to make the pink sign I TOTALLY FAILED the first time. Oh, it was badddd. Apparently painting words free hand is not a strength of mine. Luckily my older sister is a former school teacher and super crafty and she bailed me out by sending me a link to a blog post from The House that Built Us on Subway Art. All you need to do is:

  1. Paint your canvas and let it dry.
  2. Print your words on a LASER printer and figure out where you want to put them.
  3. Paint modge podge all over your canvas and on your words and rub your words onto the canvas so they are nice and stuck.
  4. Wait and wait while it dries, overnight is best.
  5. Then spritz your canvas and words with water and rub the paper GENTLY with a sponge, towel or your finger.

I underestimated the amount of spritzing and rubbing I’d have to do. Lets just say this took a few hours and I was wishing I would have just made an image in photoshop and had it printed on a canvas. 🙂 It looks pretty cool now though.

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All the other printed artwork are things that I found on pinterest and tweaked a little in photoshop to make it match the color scheme of the room. The chore chart was also a little fun photoshop project.

teen bedroom artwork

Finally the doors are painted with Valspar chalkboard paint.

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Whew. Time to relax!!!!!!!

 

 

 

I’m a bad blogger. We’ve actually done quite a few projects around Stoneybrooke in the past few months but I am constantly having an inner debate between waiting to post until “the final reveal” so as to not spoil the surprise of the end look, and posting piece by piece as we work at the pace of real life.  Since there are still a few more details to take care of before I post a photo of the dining room progress overall, I thought I’d show you the update to our dining room chairs. This is one of the easiest, albeit time-consuming projects ever.
Dining Chairs Before Green White Black Gray Grey

I picked up these bad boys on Craiglist for $5 a pop (that’s right… 8 chairs for $40!!!)  I was pretty stoked to say the least.  They had been sitting out in the rain for a few days before we picked them up so the screws and brackets were a little rusty and the clear coat was peeling up, but that wasn’t a big deal to me since were planning to take them apart.  Here’s a little play-by-play of the excitement.

Step 1: Remove the Nasty

Removing the old fabric and crusty foam was a long process. I recommend you do this step while catching up on your overloaded DVR with a bottle of wine.  I started pulling out each and every one of the old staples on the first couple of seats, but gave up after 2 seats. Some of the plywood was not in great condition because of water damage and pulling out the staples was pulling the plywood apart. Because I don’t plan on keeping these chairs forever, just for a few years until we’re done doing major updates to house and have more room in the budget for furniture, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the chairs being PERFECT.  You don’t see that side of the chair anyway so it’s not a huge deal. If you’re a perfectionist, then have at it… and then come over and do some of my projects for me! *hehe*

table-with-wood-cushions

I used my palm sander on the chairs as much as possible and then did some hand sanding for areas that were hard to get to.  I hate sanding as much, if not more than the next person, so I mainly did the sanding to get the flaky water damaged spots on the wood removed.  Then I used a deglosser on the rest of the wood to soften up the remaining varnish so the new paint would stick.

Step 2: Prime!

This is one of those time where I thought I should probably prime, decided to skip it because of the time crunch I was under, and totally regret it! Always go with what your gut tells you.

Step 3: Paint

I really, really, really wanted to spray paint these chairs, again because of the time crunch, but couldn’t find a color available in a spray that would whisper sweet nothings to me. So, I sucked it up and enlisted slave labor my friends to help.  We did two coats of Valspar Signature Interior Paint/Primer in “High Speed Steel,” waiting a full 24 hours before putting on the second coat. I haven’t used Valspar before but it had good coverage and drying time.  Because its been pretty cold around here and our only time was in the evenings, we had to paint in the basement.  This was not so much a problem for the Valspar since it’s a low VOC paint, but Montana was pretty sure I was going to kill us all when I did the clear coat down there. We’re all living still… just with a few less brain cells.

Dining Chairs Painted Gray Grey

Step 4: Protective Coat

For the top coat I used my favorite Polycrylic by Minewax, that comes either in a spray can or different sized cans for rolling/brushing.  I opted to splurge a little and buy the spray.  I was able to do 2 coats on 8 chairs with only a can and a half so I think it was well worth the few extra dollars to save easily 5 hours of painting time.  This was when I realized not priming (even though my paint had primer in it) was a mistake because some of the red was showing through.  After a few minutes of pouting and self loathing I decided that the lack of perfection on the chairs actually made them look more rustic which is kind of what I was going for anyway.  I was originally going to do two colors of paint on the chairs and rough up the edges to show the second color but the lack of time made me stick with one color.

minewax polycrylic

Step 5: Reupholstering Cushions

Supes easy.  Cut fabric and lay flat, set foam on top of fabric, set wood seat on top of foam, staple. Boom your done!

Ha. To quote Cher Horowitz, As if. Insert cursing the day the electric stapler was invented every few staples as it gets stuck and you have to completely unassemble the stapler to get the stuck staple out. Repeat x100. Step 5A: Go to hardware store and buy an old-fashioned non-electric heavy-duty stapler. (We haven’t done this step yet).  *If anyone has had an electric stapler that they actually like, please comment away.  We bought 2 staplers and they were both HORRIBLE even though they were $50! Not cool!

We used 2″ foam so that they’re nice and cushy and won’t be completely flat after a few years of use.

Green Eco Friendly Cushion Foam

For the fabric I chose a toile from Hancock Fabric which I got for 50% off at the Labor Day sale. Score!

My main tip for stapling is that when you start, staple first in the middle and push the cushion down a bit. If you don’t push the cushion down, then when you flip them right side up, the edge on the foam will be very square.  After you staple the first side, staple the opposite edge before the adjacent edges while making sure you pull the fabric tight. Wait to staple the corner sections until all the sides are done and tuck the fabric under itself like you’re wrapping a present. I gave myself an extra inch of fabric more than I needed to help me pull it tight. You can cut off the extra fabric when you’re done stapling.

how to reupholster dining cushions

I also decided to use a waterproofing spray on the cushions when we were done since the fabric I used was white. Hopefully it helps with spills, If not, I bought an extra yard or so of fabric so I can recover them if necessary.

Step 6: Reassemble chairs and brush your shoulders off. You so fancy.

Dining Chairs After Green White Black Gray Grey

 

And now for the Before and After…

Dining Chairs Before After Green White Black Gray Grey

Hopefully soon we’ll have our table refinished and then I can do a proper “progress” shoot of the dining room. Until then…

 

 

We’ve been getting busy in the bedroom.  Busy painting and decorating!  No need to advert your eyes!

I’m one of those people that can’t sit still and relax if there’s a mess in front of me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I still drive Montana nuts on occasion with my need to be constantly moving around cleaning up “when we just spent hours cleaning.”  Likewise, if I’m in a messy or haphazardly thrown together bedroom, I have a hard time falling asleep because it stresses me out.  I’m sure there’s a study out there on sleep patterns and aesthetics of a room, but here’s a fact according to Anne. FACT: People sleep better in pretty places.  Also, more sleep –>happier Anne, and as every husband knows… Happy Wife, Happy Life!

A while back, while discussing my idea of having a desk in the sitting room attached to our master bedroom, my hair stylist said “Your bedroom should be for sleep or *smooching* and nothing else.”  (Censored for the children.)  I think there’s definitely something to that so I’ve kept it in mind while planning out the style for the master bedroom.   As you know from my previous post on Picking Paint Colors, we decided to go with Gray (Silver Sateen in Behr Premium Plus Ultra) for the bedrooms, and in the master chose teal as our “pop” of color.  Here’s some photos found on my beloved pinterest that I used for inspiration. (Sources listed below)

Inspiration bedrooms in shades of gray{Source: top left – houzz, top right Designer Unknown – Live the Henry,

bottom left – houzz, bottom right – high fashion home}

Just as a reminder this is basically what we started with and collected within a few weeks the move. bedroom before update shades of gray teal

before update bedroom shades of gray teal

bedroom before update shades of gray teal closet bathroom

Now after a coat of paint on the walls, painting the campaign dresser, a new bed, and some accessories, the room has made significant strides into feeling “pretty” and calm!

shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp
shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp
shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp

shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp

hallway door laundry shoot shades of gray bedroom makeover update teal

The campaign dresser ended up being thankfully a fairly quick and cheap makeover. I mixed together a bunch of paint samples that we had used to try to pick the gray and teal, and the only thing we had to purchase was some new drawer slides, an extra can of Minewax Polycrylic for the protective coat, and a can of Rustoleum Satin Nickel Spray Paint for the hardware.

We also used the same Satin Nickel spray paint to give a fresh look to our ceiling fan. Unfortunately, while ceiling fans aren’t glamorous, they’re kind of a necessity here in the summer. Our house is usually about 10 degrees hotter on the second floor than the main level and again about 10-15 degrees cooler in the basement.  So… the fans are staying. Oh well. 🙂

spray paint ceiling fan update bedroom shades of gray satin nickel birch

Future Projects or Purchases we’re already planning for the bedroom include:

  • building custom closet built-ins
  • closing up the wall where there is a window behind the headboard
  • replacing the window on the wall to the side of the bed with a double window (We already hung double wide curtains to plan ahead)
  • Stencil one or all of the walls with “Endless Moorish Circles
  • Buy a Rug
  • Maybe Mirrors for behind the nightstand lamps?
  • Figure out art for the walls
Most of these will be waiting a while so the rest of the house can catch up to “progress” from “before.”
What do you think?!
(Source List for Our Bedroom Makeover Progress: Mirrored Nightstand from Marshalls, Lamps from Home Goods, OMVÄXLANDE Tray from Ikea, picture frames from Home Goods, Ampersand Bedding from Bed, Bath and BeyondSkyline Furniture Tufted Wingback King Bed from Lowes (also available on Amazon), Teal Vase from Home Goods, Alarm Clock from Marshalls (few years old), Mirrored Kleenex Box from Home Goods, MERETE Curtains in “Bleached” from Ikea )

 

 

This is a tale of a girl whose longings for a campaign dresser were fulfilled one Saturday when she got out of bed before noon. This post could also be titled “The Early Girl gets the Dresser.” Dang-it.

A few weekends ago, Montana and I decided to sell a bunch of furniture that didn’t fit and check out the Restore and some yard sales. Ever since some AWESOME friends moved into a smaller place and gifted us their treadmill (best day ever) I had been trying to use it fairly regularly. I’m pretty bad at self motivating though. What I am good at is collecting a huge selection of DVR’d shows that I have trouble finding time to watch. When we first moved in, we put a TV in the basement on a TV stand that had previously been in our condo living room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see it over the top of the treadmill so it needed to go on the wall. The TV stand was also in too nice of condition for the basement where some weights might accidentally scratch or dent it.  Somehow I can’t find a picture of it from either our old condo or the basement. Blogger fail!

We also decided to sell a really nice desk that the previous owners left but for which we just didn’t have a need. We plan to do built-ins for our office eventually but in the meantime the office is packed with bookcases and a desk we already had in the condo.

desk

Luckily both the desk and the TV stand sold quickly and for close to asking price giving us $275 in cash to use for furniture that we needed!

Our Saturday morning started with a quick trip to a yard sale right around the corner and we scored! This solid wood dresser and mirror set became ours for $29! Sure, it’s an ugly tone but nothing a little paint can’t fix.

The mirror immediately went above our fireplace mantel. I’m not sure it’ll stay there long-term but it works for now. Yes… that ceiling fan is hideous.

A few miles of our house, we have this magical land of forgotten treasures known as the Habitat for Humanity Restore. MAGICAL I TELL YOU! Basically, the Restore is Craigslist in a warehouse where volunteers take donations from contractors, businesses and individuals and then sell everything at a huge discount off retail. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Win-Win! Sometimes they have aisles full of gorgeous marble tile or pedestal sinks. Other days they have nothing awesome at all, which only adds to the thrill… you never know whatcha gonna get! You can usually count on them to have a few complete sets of kitchen cabinet, lots of doors, some random furniture and old sofas that need to be reupholstered. The vast majority of stuff is used but every once in a while you find things like $400 lighting fixtures with the tag still on for $50. Hoollaaahh.

This fine Saturday they had the mother-load. I could have filled a Uhaul with everything I wanted. But… I exercised self-restraint and stayed within my $275.  Here’s a sampling of what I was strong enough to walk away from that day.

Restore Loot

Ok moment of truth. I wanted that sewing table BADDDDDDD but someone scooped it. This place is competitive!

Enter the campaign dresser.

If you’re a decor blog lover or a pinterest lover, then you know that campaign furniture is BIG right now. Now, I’m the last person to be trendy (honestly, even my mom has told me that I’m frumpy) but I have been dying for a campaign dresser. Montana thought I was crazy because I wouldn’t leave it unattended in the store unless he promised to stand by it and not let anyone touch it.  In the picture it actually looks like it’s in much better shape than reality.  The drawer rails were shot. It had probably 20-year-old plastic cracked drawer liners stuck inside, pieces falling off… but IT WAS MINE! All for a cool $40 thankyouverymuch! (Random sidebar: maybe I am obsessed with them because they’re called “campaign” and deep down I feel nostalgic about past campaigns I’ve worked on? Do I need a shrink?)

Then I found this cherry buffet in great condition.

I’m going to call it a buffet, but to be honest I’m not sure how its meant to be used. I don’t usually like bare wood other than in really dark rich tones, but this is going to stay as it is. It was marked at $125 but I negotiated it down to $75 by also buying…

…this hideous chair also for $75. (It was also marked at $125 originally). A friend of mine that I showed the chair to and shared my plan to reupholster it begged me to let her buy it for $150 so she could keep the chair as it was. Please feel free to comment and tell her how hideous it is in its current state. 🙂 Now $75 seems like a lot for chair that needs to be reupholstered, but its super comfortable and even still had the original tag on it from Pier 1. I looked at their site and most chairs in this style go for around $375 so I think even with the work I’ll have to put into it that it’ll be worth it in the end. I’ve already picked out fabric which I scored on clearances during Labor Day sales.

Of course all this new loot means our house is filled back up with projects, as if we didn’t have enough to do.

What’s your favorite second-hand deal you’ve purchased? Any secret tips for finding great stuff? What’s your preference between Craiglist, Yard Sales, or Thrift Stores?

Won’t you come in?

Montana and I looked at houses online for about a year before we finally bought our house. About a month out we drove around neighborhoods a couple of weekends in a row and scoped out around 30 homes before finally picking a handful we wanted to tour with our agent. When we walked in our stoneybrooke house we immediately felt at home. The layout on the main level was a huge part of that as it has such a great natural flow.

When you walk through the front door, the kitchen is directly ahead.

I love the kitchen because its spacious, open to the family room (living room? seriously who can tell the difference between those two!) and has enough cupboards for all my dishes.

Things I’m not so much a fan of about the kitchen are that the cabinets are mostly laminate other than the doors,

the sink is ridiculously shallow so water gets everywhere when you wash larger dishes,

…and the counters are tile which are very hard to clean.  Also, the kitchen is painted this loooooveelyy rag rolled salmon. Ahh. Unfortunately the previous owners were quite the fans of rag rolling. It’s all over the upstairs too.

Directly right of the kitchen is the family room. I’m so so so excited that we don’t have to tear down a wall to have an open kitchen!!!! The kitchen always seems like the place where people gather at parties so it’s nice to have the living room as a kind of overfill spot. The living room will be Ben’s (the bun buns) area since he LOVES the carpet and it’s something we could tell he missed when we lived in the condo. At the condo he didn’t run around and play so much because he HATED the hardwood floors. Ben’s been exploring the main floor a lot since we moved in.

The family room has a door leading to the car port which got some immediate love when we moved in. Introducing our new Schlage locks!

Connected to the family room and to the right of the front door is the office! How cool is that! Did I mention how this house is SO much more than we hoped for?! Right now Montana’s desk is in there but the sellers left us two desks. One of the desks David is using in his room and the other we have in our room upstairs. Montana’s been dragging his chair up and down the stairs so he can study in quiet and not keep me up. We really need to get another office chair but one thing at a time!

Between the front door and the office is a powder room and Samson’s eating area. We had Samson’s food and water a few places for the first couple weeks we were here but settled on this hallway.  This nook is a just big enough space, it’s on the tile, and its out-of-the-way of where we’ll usually be walking. We had to get him an oversized place mat because Samson could beat any toddler in a messiest eater contest. Guaranteed.

Got to love those hollywood lights. Haha. Oh well…

To the left of the front door is our living room. We’re using all the furniture we had before for now until we get more settled on colors.

The only thing “new” in that room is the TV stand which I found on craiglist last week for $75! So exciting! Our old TV stand was only 46” long which was fine for our 40” TV, but we got a second TV earlier this year that is 60” and is WAY too big for our old TV stand. The “new” TV stand had doors in front of where we have the verizon box and the PS3 and 3 drawers but we removed them to make shelves. We’ll have to clean it up a little more still and I’m considering painting it eventually or maybe just staining it darker.   It’s in pretty good shape though for now so it’s not something that needs to get done right away.

Our dining room is still pretty bare but has our AWESOMEST (yes that is a word) Craigslist find ever. Someone posted this Ethan Allen China Hutch for only $150!!!!! AMAZING considering that similar sets go for $4-$6 thousand there! Yes, it’s from the 80’s but I think it’s gorgeous. This also might get painted but I haven’t decided yet. Part of me feels too bad because it’s in such good condition.

 

Well that’s it! There’s been lots going on around here so I haven’t been able to post as often as I hoped but maybe things will calm down soon? Yeah, probably not.

Who’s found something awesome on Craigslist lately?

****I looked up the difference between family and living room on Wikipedia and had to switch them around in my post. I had them backwards!