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Archive for the ‘home updates’ Category

Sorry for my absence lately – we have been busy painting! Yup, more painting. We are finally working on our two spare bedrooms and making them into nice guest rooms where friends and family will actually want to stay and feel comfortable…not to mention they’ll finally be rooms we will want to look at instead of close the door on!

The room we’re currently working on is the middle bedroom, otherwise known as the second bedroom. It was purple walls and purple ceiling – so gross. (My computer is being funny so soon I will be able to hopefully show you the before of this room) We have painted the ceiling, the walls are finished…sans crown molding that my dad and I will be installing – he just found that out last night :)…and now we’re working on the molding and doors!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so you can see progress as it happens instead of waiting for updates here!

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I guess the real title of this post should be Fireplace Update but since our living room is focused around our fireplace, it is really an update on our living room. This weekend, I came across the photos of our house on the day we moved in and couldn’t believe what our living room and fireplace used to look like!

On the left, our fireplace on June 25, 2010 (closing day). On the right, our fireplace this weekend (October 2012). What a difference, right? I love how much bigger this room feels with the white brick and lower/bigger mantel. For a recap on what we did here, check out this post.

Before you say it, I’ll say it first – I realize I still have the summer decorations on the mantel. I’m not sure I’ll have time to decorate for fall this year so this might stay like this until its time for stockings and garlands. I feel like such a rebel without my pumpkins!

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So, I should tell you. I get bored easily…especially with small projects that don’t take long to complete! Our living room ottoman is no exception.

This is what our ottoman looks like now. There isn’t anything wrong with it, just kind of blah for me. Our couches blend into it (a completely different story – I’m SO ready for new ones) and I want something fun and new.

Side note – Carl really does like to lounge on this but he really got excited when I was taking pictures for the original makeover post two years ago. (Picture quality can’t be guaranteed since this was long ago)

This is what the ottoman used to look like. Conner’s parents were finished using it and let us take it over when we moved. It works so much better than the coffee table we had already however, the outdoors theme was not what we were going for so we got permission to do whatever we wanted to it.

I have been searching high and low for the perfect fabric and finally found it on the Tonic Living website this week (one of my favorite go-to fabric sites!). This grey stripe is exactly what I had in mind and was even pictured next to the cross section fabric – our living room curtains – so of course, I had to buy it! It couldn’t be more perfect and I can’t wait to give our ottoman a (second) makeover.

I was in no way paid to say any of this – I just really love Tonic Living and their fabrics!

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Our hallway bar cabinet houses our extra and special glasses. Our everyday glasses are in the kitchen but this is the perfect spot for those glasses we use when company is over! It was once a desk nook but we have turned it into a nook for entertaining.

This is where we started two years ago and where we are now. I am so glad I took a ton of pictures the day we closed! It is really fun to look back and see what we were attracted to and how we’ve made it our own. The green room was their dining room that we turned into our second living room. I still love our navy spray painted bar cart!

With the help of Conner’s dad, we easily ripped out the desk. It was a pretty quick process and didn’t damage the wall except for a small spot – very lucky. You can see how the floor polish didn’t make it to this spot when the brick was laid. Luckily we ripped those out so you can’t see it anymore!

Once the wood floors were finished, we painted the walls and the cabinet. Originally, I wanted to replace the doors completely and change it up (remember when I couldn’t make up my mind and needed your help?) but then I realized it was easier to just paint the doors and put on new hardware. Give Conner props – he painted them on his own when I was at a fundraiser!

Since you would still be able to see inside, I wanted to jazz up that space as well. I gathered these supplies, looked at this tutorial and got to work.

I measured the inside of each shelf and cut the cardboard down to size. Unfortunately the shelves are not removable so painting them and measuring them for this to fit was not the easiest. Luckily, the glasses were going to cover most of it and the doors will be closed so it is not perfect by any means! I think in some spots, I just ripped away the cardboard when it wouldn’t cut…definitely not a straight line on these panels!

As I finished each section, I placed (read = shoved) the fabric-wrapped panel into the back of the cabinet. It really confused Conner when I was painting the inside and only painted the shelves and sides. This step was his “Oprah aha-moment.” So funny when you can see something in your head but can’t explain it until it happens. I was loving it already and couldn’t wait to finish!

The next update was hardware. The old stuff was not pretty. It was total 80’s and needed a little upgrade into the modern era. These euro bar pulls from myknobs.com were just the right touch. I made sure to find something that fit in our original holes and sure enough – they fit like a glove!

At first, I couldn’t stand the metal on the glass but once the new hardware was on, it instantly made the metal brighter and shinier! I love it now. It works perfectly with the chrome pulls.

Once the hardware was on, it was time to brighten up the inside and highlight our pretty glasses. There are 4 LED lights in these shelves and they work perfectly! Each has an on/off button and once on, automatically shut off after 30 minutes. I put two on the top shelf to reflect down and the other two are on the wall on the left side to shine across. They simply stick to the side with adhesive and twist apart for easy battery replacement. Love! (And no, I don’t paint the inside of my cabinet doors. The secret’s out!)

I love how the lights reflect in the glassware and highlight the fun fabric in the back. I wanted to make sure the greens and blues we have in the rest of the house flowed into here and this was the perfect way to do that! I don’t have a link to this fabric – I actually found it at a local fabric store. Let me know if you are local and want to know where!

Here is one last look at our before and after. In total, we spent $100 for this project, which is more than I wanted to spend but the lights took up most of that amount and were totally worth it (they were $14/each – whoa, mama!).

Next up in this space? Some wine storage next to Conner’s kegerator!

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Remember this post about needing help with our bar cabinet? Well, we’ve come a long way since then! The walls are painted, the moldings are freshly white and the cabinet itself has gotten some paint and a fun update inside! We still need pulls (those have been ordered) but everything else is finished and it looks great! So much better and brighter for this small space. I’ll do a full recap post once the pulls are in but I wanted to show you something funny…

This was the first picture I took. I thought after my one photography class I was doing better so I started with this. Normally, I would have thought that this was fine and just done some editing on my computer. It was after work and the light was coming in weird from the windows, pretty hard to get good light since this is a hallway, so I had the overhead light on. But I remembered Emily’s recent photography post that said no lamps and no overhead lights in photos…so I kept trying settings to see if maybe my camera could do more work for me instead of the computer…

This was several attempts later. SO much better, right? I didn’t edit either of those photos, just resized them for the blog. Both photos were using the same ISO and f-stop but for this photo, I lowered the shutter speed way down so more natural light would come in. Crazy, right? I turned off all of the lights so this was just from the sunlight coming in from the window in the next room. Obviously there are bad shadows, etc but it is a huge improvement over the first photo!

If you’re a serious photographer you probably think I’m still missing some things besides just the shadows, which I know I am, but I think I’m coming along. I’m taking a photography course at our church for the next several months so I’m excited to learn even more and make my photos even better. I don’t like seeing bad photos on other people’s sites so why would I do that to myself?

Here’s one quick little (unedited photo) peek inside the cabinet – new paint and fabric lined back walls! We love it. Conner did the painting and I did the fabric in the only way I know how – at 9 p.m. the night before people were coming over. Procrastination at its finest!

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This weekend I spruced up our lampshade that sits on the bar in the breakfast nook. This was a quick and easy project that started after I repainted our kitchen walls (yes, the same walls I painted less than two years ago…more on that later).

I LOVE how it turned out. Chevron, of course, in navy this time and it pops off of the green curtains so perfectly! The grey walls make a world of difference to me as well. Here is how I did this project that took about 30 minutes…

When we moved the furniture back in and started hanging things on the wall again, I realized the lampshade was blending into the cork mirror way too much for my taste and it needed a quick little update.

These are the supplies you’ll need: lampshade, fabric (I cut off part of a large piece of fabric I already had, I think it was about 1/2 yard), scissors and hot glue gun. I used the Premier Prints ZigZag Twill Blue off of Fabric.com. It was only $7.48/yard but less than that for this project since I only needed half of that amount – score!

For me, the first step was to remove the old fabric that I had used. While I do love this fabric, it was a little too blah for a small corner that needed some pep and pizzazz. The navy chevron is much better!

To start, cut the fabric into four section for each of the four sides of the shade. If you try to just roll the shade on the fabric, it won’t be straight so it is better to use four sections and glue each individually.

You’ll end up with four sections just like this. Two for the large sides and two for the small sides.

I worked with the two large side pieces first. I placed the shade on the big piece and cut off any massive excess so there wouldn’t be an extra-large seam glued on the inside of the shade.

To make a nice edge without any sewing, I folded a small seam and glued it using a thin bead of hot glue. I folded it again so that the inside of the first fold was tucked under again and all you could see was the first, nice seam. This was then folded over the lip of the shade and glued on the inside with again, a thin bead of hot glue.

Once one side was glued, I moved to the other side and followed the same instructions: fold, glue, fold, glue, fold and glue. The only problem with this side of the lamp are the metal spokes where the lightbulb goes.

All you have to do is cut a little ‘v’ in the fabric to fold on either side of the metal piece and it will fit perfectly without flapping up and over the side of the shade.

The corners are a little trickier but by folding and tucking them into the corner, you should be able to get the look you want. For me, there is no right or wrong, it just has to look right to you. None of my corners are the same (oh, the horror!) but I think it looks just fine!

For the side pieces, I wanted a clean look so I glued the edges down and made a nice seam on all sides. This big piece attached to the side of the shade with hot glue. The bonus of this technique is that it covers up the edges from the large side pieces that had already been attached.

And when you’re finished, you’ll have a beautiful and ‘new’ lampshade! I love how this looks and finally stands out from the cork mirror behind it.

The angled chevron works for me against these traditional, big patterned drapes. I love the contrast between the two of them!

Here is a final look at the before and after of our kitchen lampshade. Let me know if you try something similar – I would love to see a picture!

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If you recognize the lyrics from that song, then you win the prize! Sorry I haven’t posted in a whole, this is what I’ve been up to…

20120620-195000.jpgJealous? Paint can, ladder, paint brush and my hallway ceiling, walls and trim…once I finish this room we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Now if only I could find my motivation to finish!

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