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Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

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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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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I finally finished another project for our dining room! Each time I mark another item off of my to-do list for this room, I get so excited about being that much closer to a finished, complete room. Hopefully soon I will be able to show you the true before and after pictures of the whole room!

There are many tutorials on how to re-upholster a chair seat, but this is how I do it. I hope you find it informative and easy to follow!

Remember the fabric I showed you? I love it and am so happy with how much better it makes our chairs look. The best part of this project is that it is cheap and easy so when I’m tired of this fabric, I can easily change it out. I ordered 2.5 yards for this project, but only needed 1.25. I love having leftover fabric to use when I want!

Here are the supplies I used: a flathead screwdriver to take the seat off of the chair, a compressor with staple gun attached (thanks mom!), extra staples, batting and fabric (not pictured). If you don’t have an air compressor, a regular staple gun will work just fine! The ones attached to an air compressor just make it faster and easier to do this project.

To begin, remove the seats from the chairs using a screwdriver.

A little background on our dining room table and chairs: the leather on these seats is original to this set and while beautiful in its own right, blends into the wood and I needed a little more pizzazz for our dining room. When my parents gave me this dining room set, the only conditions were that I couldn’t paint the wood and I couldn’t remove the leather. It was my great-great uncle’s and was given to my parents as a wedding gift. When we moved to this house, my mom used it as the perfect opportunity to give it to us so she could get a larger table and more chairs for their house. We were happy to help her!

Next, cut out a square of fabric and batting making sure there is enough on each side to wrap around and staple to the back of the seat.

Starting on one side, staple the batting and fabric to the back of the seat. It is easiest to do one staple per side so if the fabric isn’t sitting right for you, you only have to take one staple out as opposed to five or six. As you move around the seat, make sure the batting and fabric are pulled tight but not stretching the fabric too thin. You don’t want the fabric to gape and move but don’t want it to look like it might rip apart from being too tight.

The corners are a little tricky at first, but if you play around with the fabric enough, you can get them to lay the way you want. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this, it just depends on how you want it to look. I used two small folds to get the fabric to lay as flat as possible and put a staple in the corner where all of the folds met.

Here is a look at the original chair and the updated chair. It only took several minutes to do each chair and seeing these two next to each other made me very happy with the decision to give them a little update.

I love how these turned out! The extra color and pattern helps pep up the first room you see in our house. All it took was about 30 minutes to complete this project. No paint, no sanding, no nothing – easy peasy and a perfect weeknight project to keep me motivated on my quest to get this room finished!

Isn’t it crazy to see how this room and the chairs used to look? Very blah and beige. Obviously knocking down the wall and putting wood floors down helped but a lighter color paint and adding color to the chair seats helps so much!

This room is really coming together – finally! I love how light and bright and fun it feels.

Still left on the to-do list? Re-upholster Conner’s grandmother’s chairs, find something to hang on the wall above the buffet, move the chandelier (the light box is not centered on the ceiling so we need to get an electrician out to fix this – why you would install something off-center I’ll never know) and paint/accessorize my grandmother’s curio cabinet that she gave us. Do you have the problem of a never-ending to-do list? Every time I finish one project, three more are added!

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