Decorating for fall and Mr. Jinx....

Since it is time to decorate for fall and Halloween I thought I would take a minute and formally introduce one of my “rescues.” Mr. Jinx…

All fall decors should include a black cat…right?

I shared pictures of him last year at Christmas…black cats are super tough to photograph. When I look at pictures of him I understand why black is a “slimming” color…he is WAAAAY bigger than this picture reveals. The kids say he is fat…I argue he is just big boned and really fluffy.

Half the time his little fangs are showing…he can’t help it…he has big fangs. Kinda scary looking but super cute when he is stretched out on his back asleep with his little fangs and tongue sticking out…

I have more than a few pictures of him on my Iphone!


Funny story about how I acquired this kitty. He hung around the apartments for months…I knew he wasn’t a feral kitty because he was super friendly. He would rub against your legs and then roll over for a tummy rub. He loves to have his tummy rubbed!

One day I was sitting in my car talking with my manager and mentioned that we should probably take him to the shelter since he was a super friendly and beautiful kitty and someone would certainly adopt him. About that time he jumped in my car and made himself at home on my shoulder.

What was I to do?

Naturally I couldn’t bring him straight home since I didn’t know what I would be exposing my other cats to…so I took him to my vet and had him tested for all kitty diseases. Clean. My vet thought he was about 2 years old and because of his size probably a Maine Coon.

I told the vet to neuter him and give him shots.

At that point I had a small fortune invested in this cat…so I couldn’t very well take him to the shelter.

What was I to do?

Brian was NOT happy that I brought home another cat…

So I told Brian we would foster him. I promptly named him Mr. Jinx…because, well, he’s black…and black cats are suppose to be jinxed right?

This was two weeks before Christmas so with the whole family and their dogs here and all the chaos that goes with the holidays, Mr. Jinx’s nerves kicked in.

Another visit to the vet, a few nights stay, a staggering vet bill…now I REALLY had a small fortune invested in this cat.

What was I to do?

I couldn’t very well just GIVE him away…right?

Brian was still not happy there was another cat in the house (seriously, I only have four…that isn’t TOO many, right?)

But after the holidays, calm was restored and Mr. Jinx settled in…and promptly fell as madly in love with me as I was with him.

Two years later we are still “fostering” him…truth be told, you would have to pry this cat out of my cold, dead hands.

EVERYONE loves Mr. Jinx…even the dogs. He is the coolest, most chill cat I have ever owned…and while Molly was a tough cat to top, he ranks right up there with one of the best cats EVER!

Even Brian has fallen in love with this kitty!

What was he to do…lol!

DECORATING FOR FALL!

It is really tough for me to break out the fall decor when it is still in the 90s every day. But it’s my rule…the week before we leave for our annual trip to Colorado, I decorate for fall.

HOPEFULLY, when we get home it will be a bit cooler. Rarely. Usually I have to put the jeans and Ugg boots back in the depths of the closet for a few more weeks. But the decorating is done and I can sit back and enjoy my favorite time of the year!

Not much changes from year to year…a few years ago I painted these little pumpkins and changed up the window decor…

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Refurbished pumpkins, deer antlers, fall picks…nothing fancy! Still like this little vignette so it won’t change this year!

A few weeks ago I changed out the dining room light fixture

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I love the new fixture and I love even more that I can still add the fall garland!

I’ve added a few new elements to the den mantel…a tall vase and new candle sticks….

…but the garland and Mr. Owl are still the focal points. The same but different!

The entry…usually void of much because I still haven’t “decorated” it after it’s little makeover…but it’s a great place to infuse a little fall decor…

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The seasonal box I featured here…still one of my favorite super simple projects!

I changed out a few pillows and throws….

Even grandmother’s chair got a little pop of fall…

Every year I find pieces of garland, wreaths and picks at the bottom of my storage tubs…I just scatter them here and there for little touches of fall!

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Again, little changes, but I love it all the same!

So many don’t decorate for fall because of the cost of buying “stuff.” As I have mentioned before, I usually hit the home decor stores at the end of the season (which seems to be before Halloween these days) and pick up a few things here and there for pennies on the dollar! You may not get to enjoy it for a long time this year, but you will get to enjoy it for years to come!

This is also one reason I strongly recommend sticking with “traditional” vs. “fad” seasonal decor. As much as you might love those teal pumpkin pillows and chevron throws, I promise you won’t love them in a few short years.

I actually bought teal pumpkin pillows this year…

….knowing that I will tire of them quickly. No biggy…they have good forms I know I can reuse in the future!

There is no harm in spending a little money on the latest “fads” but be selective and thrifty. Create small vignettes with the latest trends but don’t blow your entire seasonal budget on it! And check out the blogs and Pinterest…there are thousands of nifty ideas for inexpensive seasonal projects that take little time, effort or money!

Fall may not be “in the air” just yet, but it is certainly “in the house.” Maybe this year it will actually feel like fall outside when we get home!

A new bar top and Wayfair light fixture...

As I mentioned here, change is tough for me...which is why these things haven't changed much in 19 years.

I painted the dining room light years ago (antique bronze to black)...as much as I really didn't love the actual fixture, I loved what I could do with it during the holidays....

One year I removed the little shades and I liked that a bit better, but I still wasn't digging the light fixture itself.

Just too ornate and "heavy."

But I could never find one that would allow me to decorate it for the seasons...until I did!

(As you can see, I still have the Drexel buffet...love the piece...just not the color...waiting on "inspiration.")

The install was super simple...here I share how to install a new light fixture!

Not a huge fan of the Edison bulbs, but I think those can easily be changed out...eventually. For now I can live with them knowing that come fall (right around the corner...yea!) and Christmas, I can still decorate the fixture!

I think it is more of a "farmhouse" look but the nickel accents tie in with the more "modern style" brushed nickel bar lights. So it works for me....

Which brings me to the bar top....

...it wasn't totally offensive, but in my quest to go "light and bright" in my kitchen without painting all my kitchen cabinets, I impulsively ordered a white quartz top.

Truth is, I wasn't really loving it after it was installed. Just too "stark" and soooo white! 

I painted the little support corbels the same color as the trim...more "white." (They were originally black but since I didn't damage them when I removed the old top I just primed them and painted them with the trim paint...BM Swiss Coffee.)

This is what we refer to in the design world as "OMGosh what have I done" moments.

I decided what was really bugging me was the dingy old bar stool seats. They had certainly seen their better days. The bar stools are 18 years old and I still love the style dearly...heavy iron and super sturdy...but the "grey tweed" upholstery just didn't cut it any more!

Choosing fabrics is something I really struggle with...but I know I LOVE the fabric I used on this little chair makeover

Light and bright with just a touch of grey! So I ran out and bought enough fabric to recover the bar stool seats. About 1 1/2 yards for four seat cushions. If you don't know how to figure for fabric, take your measurements with you and they will help you figure it...just make sure you add 2" on each side! (Or better yet, just take a seat with you!)

Pay CLOSE attention to the direction of the fabric. This fabric doesn't APPEAR to have a "right or wrong" way, but it does. I put a pin in the top of each piece so I would know which way to lay the fabric on the seats!

Reupholstering chair seats is a super easy DIY project...probably one of the simplest DIY projects one can tackle! And this easy little project is an excellent way to make a pretty dramatic change in any room without breaking the bank or dragging out the sewing machine! There are thousands of great tutorials online...so again, do your research and find one that makes sense to you and use it!

In this case I had no desire to paint the stools...I like the black iron...but if you want to paint a dining chair or stool, do it after you have removed the seats but BEFORE reattach them. Again, super simple project! Use the KSTP method (kilz, sand, tack, paint...here is a pretty good paint tutorial.)

I removed the seat cushions! In this case, 4 little screws! I also scrubbed down the stools...pretty nasty after 18 years of use!

Then it was just a matter of wrapping the seats with the new fabric...I didn't even remove the old fabric or bother with applying a new underside....and reattaching them.

I guess that might be an issue if you are laying on the floor looking up at the underside.

Here I do share a few helpful tips on upholstering...pretty much applies to the simplest project!

While I had the camera out I played around with a few different "centerpieces" for the bar with knick-knacks I had on hand...

But honestly, with mischievous cats who insist on knocking everything off the bar, we are better off leaving it clutter free! Same with the dining table...too many broken vases and scattered flowers!

A few relatively minor decor changes that made a subtle but significant difference! 

A proper guest room...

I have three empty bedrooms upstairs. Three empty rooms that my heart still feels are "the kid's" rooms. Truthfully, Mitchell hasn't lived in his room in 12 years. Matt has moved home on a few occasions since he graduated, but he just bought a home. Katie is still in college 15 minutes down the road, but she has made it clear that she has no intention of moving home...she will graduate next year and I have no doubt she will set out to set the world on fire.

So while my heart feels those are "the kid's" rooms, I know in my head that it is time.

Time to paint over the big "fail whale" in Katie's room.

(In case you are wondering, those are the photo albums...for the three youngest...I know, I have issues!)

Time to replace the baseball paddle fan in Matt's room. 

Time to purge a few more things in Mitchell's room.

I've made small changes to each room over the years...Katie's room is now our "home gym." But honestly, throwing a weight bench and elliptical machine in a room doesn't really make it a "home gym." 

I have boxed up MOST of Mitchell's plaques, framed certificates and trophies...but it is still "his" room.

Matt took much of his furniture when he moved into his new home, but he left his junior high jersey and his high school diploma and senior picture, so I immediately rearranged the few pieces of furniture (a bed and chest) and put his personal momentos back on the wall. 

But it is time to make some serious changes...and as always I found the little push I needed and a bit of inspiration on another website. J. Cathell ...a site that showed up on my "Bloglovin'" feed. I also found this tutorial at Today's Creative Life that outlined a few essential "must haves" in a proper guest room.

And this super handy checklist here...a great list to make sure I have all the bases covered if I want to create the perfect guest room.

I don't intend to put the bath items in the bedroom...the bathroom is rarely used so I just need to make sure it is organized, clean and stocked with "guest necessities." 

Inspiration...the first step to making a plan for any project, big or small. 

The room featured on the Jess's site is a tad "over the top" for our needs. Truthfully we don't have a lot of guests...the kids come home for the "momdatory" holidays and occasionally my uncle will come for a visit.

Inspiration none-the-less...and a push to get the ball rolling.

A plan...right now the plan is in my head and relatively simple. 

This week I tackled the first step in "the plan." Since Mitchell's room was the most recent makeover, little will change in there. I boxed up a few more things...VHS movies, books, etc. It will still function as a guest room but it will be a room where I can still display the important stuff like diplomas and such.

Katie's room will still be our "home gym" but it needed to be purged and neutralized...in other words, it was time to paint over the fail whale.

Since it is our "home gym" we think we MIGHT eventually move all the diplomas, framed jerseys and trophy's into that room. It has the largest tv so it is also ideal for the grandkid's game room when they visit.

The paint in Matt's room is not bad, but I want to eventually coordinate all the colors in the three rooms. I painted Mitchell's room BM Rivere Pewter but I wanted to go a tad lighter in Katie and Matt's rooms...so the plan was to paint them SW Nuance...the same color I painted my master bedroom. It appears to be a shade lighter than the Revere Pewter. (As you can see, I managed to get Katie's room painted but after two days of painting and purging, I decided Matt's room will just have to wait!) The trim in Katie's room was the original trim color so it was a tad "yellower" than the Swiss Coffee I have used in the rest of the house...so that was painted as well. 

Brian replaced the baseball paddle fan in Matt's room...not a huge deal.

I wasn't thrilled with the amount of light the new fixture put off. I moved a little wicker side table from Mitchell's room and the lamp from Katie's room and I think guests will have sufficient light!

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A major "purge fest" in all three rooms...boxed up the keepsakes that will go in the attic and filled four boxes to donate. I made sure the bathroom was free of expired products and used toothbrushes. I gathered up all the spare blankets and pillows and stacked them in the closet.

Purging, paint and a paddle fan. Seems like a small step but those things made the biggest mess, the biggest impact and set the tone for the rest of the plan.

Eventually I want to paint the walls and change the bed frame in the Matt's room (the REAL guest room). I want to replace the chest of drawers with a nice dresser. Eventually incorporate all the little things Jess featured in her guest room makeover...a comfy rug, a chair or bench, new curtains and wall decor, a charging outlet, a cute wifi passcode sign, a jar with little guest necessities, a luggage rack, nice alarm clock and all the little homey nick-nacks that make a guest room comfortable and inviting. 

Truth is the most important elements of any guest room is that it is clean and clutter-free and has a comfortable bed and bedding....I can check that off my list of "things-to-do." The rest of the checklist will come with time and patience.

Thank goodness we are not expecting over night guest anytime soon!

 

 

Entry and stairway makeover reveal....

I started my entry way makeover here when I shared the "demo" of the coat closet! I did not realize this "weekend" project would drag out for TWO MONTHS....but that is pretty much the speed I work at around here these days!

Time flies when you are having fun! 

I had intended to post this project last week but Brian had to have shoulder surgery so his care has taken up a bit of my time. (Someone explain to me why a 53 year old man feels the need to bench press 275 pounds...even if he can!) 

Truthfully, it is not fun to demo and construct in a house you are living in. I put up plastic when I did the major sanding on the sheetrock...

... but there always seems to be a little spot here and a little spot there that needs just a little bit of sanding...before you know it it looks like a dust storm has blown through your house! 

Truth be told, this "makeover" actually started YEARS ago when I removed all the carpet from my stairs and put down oak treads and risers. I knew the day would come when I would not want to haul a vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs (that day is here!) so I wanted hardwood stairs!

My house had the typical "rough construction" stairs with pine treads and risers, covered in carpet...you can kind of see how they were constructed, and what I discovered when I pulled the carpet, in this picture....

It really was not that difficult to install new treads and risers. The biggest "hum" was finding that the 2 x 12 tread (the horizontal board you step on) lipped over the riser (the vertical board facing each step) by 1/4". To solve for that, I just applied strips of 1/4" board to the bottom of each riser and then faced them with new oak boards, cut to fit. Most home improvement stores carry prefab oak treads. I cut each to the width I needed, stained and sealed them, applied construction mastic and then nailed them into place. I applied one final coat of poly after I had installed them. Obviously I did a good job, since it took me TWO HOURS just to remove TWO of the stinking things! 

Since I was installing new travertine tile in the entry, I decided now was the time to also make some changes to the newel post and bottom steps. 

As with EVERY project, the first thing I did was "find my inspiration."  That was not difficult since I knew from the minute I laid eyes on Cassidy's stairs on Remodelaholics.com that this was what I wanted....

One of the things I really love about her staircase are the colors...the stain and the paint. Sadly THAT little detail is going to have to wait at my house. My staircase was stained to match the living room floors, which are going to be here a tad longer ...and while it isn't "technically" honey-oak, the "butterscotch oak" isn't really my cup of tea these days. But again, it is going to have to wait for now...the thought of taping and staining and painting everything right now is more than my brain can process! 

This is one of the important keys to remodeling any space...identifying what you can do (physically and financially) NOW to enhance the space...and patience! I knew I wanted the "openness" of the bottom two steps and a larger newel post. Those are things I needed to do before I installed the %$(@# travertine tile (Honestly, don't ask how much it cost. I have NEVER in my life paid THAT much for tile, but I wanted it and it is a small space...so I splurged!)

While I had intended to post a "tutorial" on this project, I realized it is like many home improvements...a puzzle that will probably differ depending on how your home was constructed and what materials were used.

So let's start at the beginning...what WAS there.

A tight entryway that required us to lift anything over 28" wide over the newel post!

A coat closet that was NEVER used and was basically just a dumping ground for anything and everything! Hardwood flooring...NOT a material one should use by an entry door. Over time wet feet will do a real number on it!

An anemic newel post that pretty much screamed 1999!

So were does one begin a sizable project like this? Again, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

So the first thing I did was demo the coat closet and remove the smaller built in bookcase...gut wrenching details here.

After the closet was gone I had to deal with moving electrical wires...a major chore for me and I would honestly suggest most call a professional. My electrical professional is my son-in-law, but since they live 2 1/2 hours away, this is another project he talked me through over the phone! After all the electrical was moved and I could move around in the space without whacking my head on dangling switch boxes, I removed the existing baseboards and hardwood flooring. 

Easy right? Um, no! First I had to mark and cut a line with my skill saw where the new flooring would meet the existing hardwood. Dust storm number one! Then I had to scrape up all the old flooring and mastic...seriously, I think you could safely attach wings to a plane with that glue! 

Next, I tackled the sheetrock repair and texture...hence the tarp to prevent a MAJOR dust storm! 

Since I was basically "patching" the sheetrock where I had removed the closet walls, I used this process! I can not stress enough how easy sheetrock repair can be if you follow these steps. Since the area I needed to texture was much larger than just a little patch, I used a "sheetrock hopper" to blow texture on the walls. I actually had a painter friend come over and help me with this step since he is a master at using the hopper and could "blend" the old with the new seamlessly! 

Then paint! I can't say it enough...there is a huge plus to knowing the exact formula for your paint. Someday soon I really want to repaint my downstairs....someday! Again, can't wrap my brain around that chore! But knowing exactly what I painted the walls with 8 years ago allowed me to paint the new patched areas and blend it with the "old." 

After the walls were repaired, textured and painted, it was time to tackle the BIG project...the staircase. That had to be done before the new tile could be installed because I was moving the existing newel post that sat at the bottom of the stairs and extending the bottom step, which changed the layout of the flooring. 

The first challenge...matching the existing stain color (as much as I dislike it!)  David, at our local Sherwin Williams, usually does a bang up job of matching existing stain. He did an AWESOME job on my kitchen stain! This time even he struggled. I think the biggest problem is that the original clear coat is poly...and poly "ambers" over time, which deepens the color. I ended up using David's "match" mixed with a premixed stain and final got a decent match. I stained and sealed all the pieces before installing!

The next big head-scratcher for me was figuring the exact angle and method to cut the existing bannister, trim and bottom rails without removing it all. After much hymning and hawing and measuring and drawing, I drug out every power tool in my arsenal and made the cuts! And did a little sanding to get a good tight fit! MAJOR dust storm!

I also had to build a new "base" for the wider bottom step. As I said, it's a "puzzle" and sometimes you just have to measure, figure, plan and execute as you go...when you are meshing new with old it can be a little more challenging than starting from scratch! 

Again, I could post a long drawn out tutorial...but honestly Google and youtube are all you need. You will find much better videos and tutorials than I could ever provide.

And this is pretty much how it sat for another week. Why...because the old adage "measure twice, cut once" only works when your brain computes properly at least once...if it computes improperly BOTH times, you will cut your special order materials wrong and have to wait on them after you reorder them! 

As soon as my special REorders came in and I was able to finish up the two steps and newel post, I installed my travertine tile. Then...it sat...AGAIN!

Why...well because I couldn't decide whether I wanted to add a little trim detail. I contemplated shiplap...maybe a decorative wainscoting...or maybe board and batten.

In the end, I went with the board and batten. I'm not totally swooning over it, but it is a nice little touch (again, find a GOOD tutorial if you plan on adding this...there are hundreds of great ones out there in blogland!)

Soooo....drumroll......get ready for a lot of pictures!

Okay...you may notice that other than a funky rug and the little walnut table, there isn't any "froo-froo" yet. As I have said before, I don't decorate for poops and giggles..."stuff" has to have some meaning or be something I truly love...and so far I haven't found either for this space!

Eventually I also want to change/add lighting... I'll know it when I see it!

I seriously love the travertine tile. I laid it in a "brick pattern." It is a 12x24 tile so I staggered it 8-16-24". I also sealed it both before grout and after, which in my opinion, is a must for travertine! 

I still need to put one more coat of poly on the bottom two steps and the newel post but I am waiting until Matt is gone for a few days so I don't have to worry about anyone going upstairs!

HUGE difference!

While I was making a few entry changes, I thought it was about time to order a new rug for the living room. The old one was only two years old, but with the addition of the new living room chair and post-Cleo-puppy, it was time! I decided to go with simple and neutral this time! 

Aside from the wall paint I want to change, and the "butterscotch oak" I would like to restain, and the new hardwood floors I want to install and the new lighting I think would look good in the entry, I'm pretty darn happy with the changes. 

One upside to the "dust storms" this project created was it forced me to "purge" ALL my bookcases, even the ones in the den and my room....dust goes EVERYWHERE when you project! I had to pull all the books to clean so I decided it was time to get rid of 30 years of collecting! I saved two collections of my favorite authors (most notably my autographed John Grisham collection...thank you Matt!) and a few of my favorite books, but over 150 hardback books will soon be finding a new home...right now they are packed in egg boxes in my dining room! Now most of my shelves are scantly decorated with antique books, framed photos and a few family heirlooms!

Ahhhhh....room to breathe.....

 

 

Just another week in paradise....

Me: I lost my truck key but I have the VIN number and need a new one cut.

Dealer Dude: Okay, the key is $177.

Me: I expected it to be pretty pricey.

Dealer Dude: After we cut the key you will have to bring the truck in so we can program it.

Me: Will the key start the truck?

Dealer Dude: No

Me: Then how do I get the truck here to program the key?

Dealer Dude: You will have to have it towed in.

Me: So I have pay to have it TOWED? 

Dealer Dude: Yes, and there will be a $60 charge to program it.

Me: So I have to pay $177 for the key, the cost to tow the truck AND $60 to program it.

Dealer Dude: Yes

Me: (Not something I want to admit saying on my blog.)

Suffice it to say, I had no transportation Wednesday and sat around waiting on Waste Management to call me back to see if MAYBE I inadvertently dropped my keys in the recycle bin that was picked up first thing in the morning. I finally conceded and called a guy to come to my home and cut a new key. Fortunately, I decided to take one more walk around the yard. And there they were...on the brick ledge right where I had laid them. A day of frustration !

I would also like to add that while I have always prided myself in keeping a clean house, I pray no one ever looks under the furniture. N.A.S.T.Y!

My life.

On the upside, I made good progress on my entry. And just for the sake of healing time, I am grateful the travertine tile and new stair treads will not be in until next week! 

Sheetrock repair is done and all the paint is done. The switches may have to wait until Thanksgiving when my SIL comes...makes my brain hurt just looking at all those wires!

I am still debating whether I will just put down new trim or if I want to go all out and add wainscoting or board and batten. I can't decided and since it is the last thing to be done, I think I will wait until the new flooring is down and the stairway is reconstructed before I decide on trim and lighting.

I have finished several pieces lately, and even managed to remember to take a few before AND after pictures...so I will share those in the next few weeks. Until then, I am going to enjoy a weekend with ALL my babies....Sarah is coming in for her birthday and Mitchell is headed home for a short visit! 

Updating a little chandelier...

I am almost embarrassed to admit where I got this ugly little brass chandelier....

Out of the back of a strangers pick up truck at the dump. Seriously...I was paying out at the local dump and this guy drove up in a truck loaded with trash. Sitting on top was this light fixture. So I asked him if I could have it...and he said SURE! 

Geez...I have become one of "those" people who dig through other people's trash! Crazy cat lady, annoying coupon lady...and now this...(shaking head in disgust)

Whatever...I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do with it but I knew it could be "updated" if I could just find the right inspiration. I knew I was going to paint the dated brass, so I decided to start there until I could figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the fixture!

Originally I primed it with metal primer, then started painting it with plain ole' off white spray paint. (Remember, when you aren't sure what to do with something, take it to "base neutral.")

And that is when a little DIY project turned into a total disaster. Yes, it happens. Even to me. Even though I shook the spray paint can per the instructions, it still started spraying all "clumpy." I don't know how to describe it, but rather than a nice smooth finish, it was all grainy and rough....AAAAGGGGGHHHHH! 

Made me so mad I tossed the fixture in the back of the garage and said "SCREW IT." (Yes, I curse at innate objects!) I knew I was going to have to completely sand it down and considering the "ornateness" of it, I knew it would be a royal pain. My "vision" was just a heap of "mess." 

Then I saw this on Pinterest...

Andrea at  "Personally Andrea" took a plain ole' chandelier and dolled it up a bit by using jute twine to wrap the ugly little plastic tubes. 

Hum....just the "inspiration" I needed to dig the "ruined" chandelier out of the back of the garage and give it another shot! 

I sanded down the "grainy" finish, reprimed where needed and then painted it in my current favorite teal spray paint! (This time I shook the crud out of the can AND test sprayed it!) 

Covering the ugly plastic tubes is super easy. Andrea used tape, but I used hot glue. I ran a little line of hot glue along the tube as I wrapped it in the jute twine.

WORD OF WARNING!!! Hot glue is HOT...and the plastic sleeves are a tad flimsy so use the glue sparingly or you will actually melt the little tube which will make it impossible to slip back onto the light. (Lesson learned the hard way...fortunately Lowe's sells replacement socket covers for under $3 a pair!)  

I think painting the fixture in black or oil-rubbed bronze would have made it a little more "formal." But I was going for "fun" and "hip" and a little more casual! 

I liked the look so well I decided to do the same to my dining room fixture using the plastic covers I purchased at Lowes!

I found some glittery gold fabric/paper kinda looking stuff at the craft store that I am going to use to cover new socket covers for the Christmas holiday!  I will share that later when I do my Christmas decorating! 

Don't turn your nose up at the dated brass fixtures...as I have shared many times fixtures, lamps and fans are super simple to update with a little paint.

And of course a little inspiration! Thanks Andrea! 

The kitchen makeover reveal!

It is time for the big KITCHEN REVEAL!!!

First, I had to wait on the maple trim...then I decided to wait on the new doors and glass!

I had not intended to start decorating for fall before "the big reveal." My plan for this week was to do the glass doors Tuesday, take pictures of the kitchen and get ready for Matt's birthday celebration Wednesday (he turns 26 Saturday!), post the reveal Thursday morning and then get most of the fall decor up and get my hair and nails done ...AND LEAVE FOR COLORADO FRIDAY!!! Yippeee!

One hitch...I got a call Tuesday morning that the glass wasn't on the delivery truck so it wasn't going to be in until Thursday...well that just threw a wrench in my whole week. So Tuesday I started working on my fall decor. Tuesday afternoon, the glass place called and said they "found" my glass and it was ready. Sooooo....short story long, the "reveal" pictures are going to have smatterings of fall! 

I think I have mentioned before that I have a bad case of "Pinterest envy" when it comes to kitchens. 

Tipsaholic recently featured some beautiful kitchen pantry/storage ideas. I love the painted kitchens and all the open shelving but the one thing I noticed about EVERY picture, whether featuring beautiful glass containers or pull out drawers, was the ORGANIZATION of every item and space.

For me, the key to a great kitchen (or any space for that matter) is making sure everything is organized and functional for MY needs! And of course aesthetically appealing, but unless it is organized and functional, I am wasting my time making it pretty!

While I love all the neat pull-outs and storage inspiration, I think the first thing you need to do BEFORE you start any kitchen remodel is get every drawer and cabinet purged and organized and see what you have, what you need and what space you can rework, organize or add to make your kitchen function for YOU! Plan, plan, plan!

Here is a post on purging and organizing your kitchen drawers! A super simple little project but it has made a big difference in my ability to find stuff I need!

My goal in "resetting" my kitchen was to make it more functional for my purposes.....and of course, change things up a bit aesthetically so I am not tempted to take a paint brush to these beautiful cabinets 

I basically had a "standard" (and small) kitchen layout.

I do love stained wood and as drawn as I am to painted cabinets, I knew the day would come in the future when I would regret painting mine. My stain color (Paprika Cherry on Maple) isn't totally offensive and fairly "timeless" if that is possible, unlike my daughter's kitchen which had "pickled oak," a stain my dad and I were putting in houses in the 1990s!! I did not discourage her in the least when they decided to paint their cabinets. 

For those who believe "white is classic and will never go out of style" obviously don't remember the "honey oak" trend of the 90s..."oak is classic and will never go out of style!" EVERYTHING goes out of style...eventually! Which is why we are all painting honey oak cabinets!

Earlier this year I made an offer on a smaller house with a smaller yard in a subdivision I would love to live in. The house was basically a "gut job" and the new kitchen I designed had NO upper cabinets...none! I wanted lots of windows, maybe a few open shelves, tons of base cabinets with drawers and a big island.

But that deal didn't work out and I don't have the "footprint" to build a kitchen even remotely close to what I would have put in that house. Right now I don't have the funds (or energy) to make major changes and I can't bring myself to change out appliances that aren't totally offensive and work perfectly fine! 

What to do, what to do!? I wanted some changes, but I didn't want to do something I might regret down the road.

This is one of those times when I had to "work with whatcha got" and make changes that would give me a few elements I crave, without spending a ton of money or eating out for 2 months while the kitchen is in complete disarray. In the end I probably spend under $800 (doing the work myself!) and I think we ate out two nights! Keep in mind that the three doors cost around $200 and special order maple trim can be costly. The changes I made would be A LOT cheaper if you use stock trim and don't add new doors!

If you aren't in a position to spend a lot of money on major changes and upgrades but you love the concept of open shelving and more storage, these few changes might just be the answer!

I did not paint my cabinets but I was making changes that required a few pieces of new maple trim the color of the existing. THAT is a Herculian task and one I would advise you do BEFORE you start moving things around...unless you have stock wood like oak or poplar, or intend to paint the cabinets! My kitchen cabinets are 16 years old and honestly even if I knew who, what, and where the odds that they would have trim pieces to match after all these years are pretty slim. I tried finding stock trim that came close, but none was close enough. There are cabinet manufacturers that will do "color matches" but unfortunately they won't do it for a few pieces of trim.

As I have mentioned before, most manufactured cabinets and furniture have a stain and finish that is sprayed on...so matching an existing finish can be pretty difficult! Thank you David, at Sherwin Williams in Springdale...most amazing color match EVER! I honestly can not tell the difference between the original and the new! I took a door and a few samples of the new trim and he matched it right up...amazing!

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish in this little "makeover." First, I knew I wanted open shelving. That is one element I am always drawn to in my quest for "inspiration." (Here I talk about finding your inspiration for ANY project!)

I wanted to "pop up" a few of my cabinets and open a few up for display. In the post featuring my laundry room, I tell you exactly how to "pop up" existing cabinets.

Moving the dish cabinet, spice cabinet and the two cabinets on either side of the refrigerator allowed me to add the open shelving beneath them. 

Here you can see a step by step tutorial for constructing three different types of floating shelves!

The frame to the left is just foam board with scanned copied of my grandmother's old recipe cards tacked to it! The boys always gripe about my "shallow" bowls so I pulled a couple Philbe Fire King bowls I had in my booth and then ordered small matching custard cups I found on Ebay for dips and such! 

My spices, along with my cooking and serving spoons, are now at my finger tips!

I love all the different glass jars! I painted my old knife block a pretty teal just to freshen it up a bit! I love refinishing and repurposing old cutting boards...this one is perfect for holding recipe cards!

This is now my "baking corner." I added the antique fan for comfort...you can see how easy it was to rewire this 80 year old fan here and bring it back to life! 

I choose not to pop the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. I know some would, but I have 9' ceilings and to do so would have looked funny and made the cabinets completely unusable. 

One thing I really love are the stainless and glass vent hoods. I really dislike the big hulking, over the range microwaves. The truth is, I don't have the real estate for a counter model, so for now I will stick with the big hulking over the range microwave!  Poo. 

I removed the doors on two of the cabinets and painted the interiors. After looking at them for a few weeks, I decided I did not like that open look even with all the "pretties," so I ordered new maple doors, stained them and added reeded glass inserts...like my laundry room door! (LOVE!)

I get the "openness"  without the cabinets looking "unfinished." There is a chance I may eventually do this with the doors on both sides of the refrigerator!

I did add some under counter lighting above the pasta shelf and the "baking" shelf. 

I wired into the existing under counter lighting and ran the wires between the cabinets and across the top of the cabinet above the refrigerator that was covered by a shelf. Now all the under counter lighting can be turned on with a flip of the switch that was added when we did the original lighting! 

I added glass jars here and there to hold tea, baking stuff, beans, and pasta. I love the Anchor Hocking Heritage jars for flour and white sugar but they don't have sealed lids which is necessary for brown sugar. (That was one great thing about reworking and organizing my pantry...I was able to designate one cabinet and shelf area specifically for baking stuff.) 

I found sealed jars similar to the Anchor Hocking Heritage jars, as well as jars tall enough for spaghetti and linguini at TJ Maxx! I ended up with a variety of jar styles I picked up at TJ Maxx, flea markets and Oneida online.... and I like the different looks! 

While I think the matchy-matchy boxes and storage bins are super cute in pantries, I prefer to actually SEE what I have...so I organized my pantry and cabinets so that like items are together and I am able to see what I have and what I need at a glance!

The upper shelves were a great addition...mostly so I can now openly display my cookbooks and a tiny bit of my china (I have 6 sets!) and also a few little decorative do-dads. 

The old coffee grinder is one I have had in my booth for MONTHS...probably because it is missing a piece of the top...but it looks pretty neat on the shelf with the big gold B I picked up at the flea market, a fall berry wreath (I also have a boxwood, but the berry wreath is a new fall find this year) and an old chopping board I turned into a little "chalkboard." 

This shelf had to be removable for one special reason! "Lord ?" He is stored away in the attic for the time being, but he has to have a special place when I decorate for Christmas and he would be too large for the space if the shelf could not be removed. So I painted the shelf bracing the same color as the wall and the shelf can easily be removed when it is time to display him!

 

As you can see, my kitchen is pretty "traditional." With furniture, I tend to lean more towards the clean lines of "modern/mid century" now but as with everything in my house, my kitchen is more of a mix of traditional, modern, and "farm house." Eclectic, to say the least. That seems to be the "style" I am most comfortable with...not too much of any one style, but a broad mix of everything!

A toss of this, a pinch of that, a smidge of whatever strikes my fancy!

One of the great things about being "eclectic" in your decorating style is you can pick up anything without worrying about whether it fits in with the "style" of the room. Whether it is modern, traditional, transitional or farm house...if I like it, I can usually make it work!

The biggest improvement for me is the addition of the open shelves and my ability to reorganize a few spaces to make the over-all kitchen a tad more functional and organized. 

And that my friends should be the PRIMARY goal for any "makeover." Because let's be honest...if the piece or space isn't functional and organized, all the pretty it the world isn't going to cut it!

First and foremost, make your space or piece functional and organized. THEN make it pretty!

BTW, as much as I debated painting the fireplace wall when I remodeled my den I am SO glad I didn't...it is perfect for the holiday seasons...fall AND Christmas.... and I can't imagine it any other color!

Friday we head out for our annual train/zipline/fishing/Aspens adventure! I am soooo ready. Matt will be here holding down the fort and when I get home, fall will be in full swing...regardless of the temperatures! 

A marvelous mid century lamp!

Week three of waiting on the trim for the kitchen. Now I think I may just wait until I get the new doors with glass inserts installed before I do a full reveal...at the rate I am going with the trim, the doors will be here about the same time! Curses...

SOOOOO, in the meantime, I want to share a darling little lamp I picked up at an auction for next to nothing. I probably would have paid a little more for it since I knew the minute I saw it, I wanted it. 

Why you ask? Let's be honest, it wasn't much to behold in it's "before" state. But what 50-60 year old piece ever really is! That is the great thing about learning to DIY anything...you can always take a $1 find and give it a good little makeover.

What drew me to this piece originally was the style. TOTALLY different than anything I had ever seen and definitely leaning towards the "mid century" style. My true love. I tried to find one similar...I Googled "mid century wood brass lamp"...."walnut brass lamp"..."atomic lamp." I found a few "similar" but nothing close enough to consider a hit. 

Less the dreaded "oops," this little lamp didn't take a lot of work. I stripped the wood with the 1/2 acetone-1/2 lacquer thinner...that took all of about 5 minutes! I taped off the wood, cord and the sockets, gave the old copper base, finial and sockets a coat of metal primer, light sanding with steel wool, tack cloth, and a couple of coats of gold metallic spray paint! (The "oops" was my impatience which resulted in the need to completely strip the base and reprime and paint the entire thing!) 

Did you know you can easily paint brass...yep...just prime it with metal primer and then paint it any color you want. Have an old brass lamp your mom gave you or you picked up at the thrift store. PAINT IT!!!!

I am slowly coming to terms with gold metallic accents and honestly, I'm kind of digging it! I even painted some ceramic pumpkins with gold metallic for my fall decor!

After the paint dried I applied a couple of coats of tung oil finish to the wood. New lamp shade from Hobby Lobby (40% off...yeah!!!!) and it is ready for another lifetime of use!!!

What is that blue "dish" you asked? I found it in one of the cabinets when I was purging my kitchen...a true gem! (My son would have been 12 when he made this!)

As I mentioned here, I think it is important to decorate with things you love and with things your children have created!

Fortunately, the wiring and sockets were in great shape, but seriously no biggy if an old lamp needs a little rewiring. Here I created a new light fixture out of industrial-type fans, but the general steps for rewiring a lamp would pretty much be the same!

If you are tired of your old boring lamp, paddle fan, or light fixture, check out these posts for just about any lighting project. Fairly simple projects that help you update ANY fixture or "lighten" a room without breaking the bank...because let's be honest...brand new lamps, light fixtures and paddle fans can be expensive. 

Installing a new light fixture

New outdoor lighting

Painting designs on light or lamp shades

Painting light fixtures and paddle fans

Adding under counter lighting to the kitchen

 

Painting a brass lamp

Rewiring a fan or appliance

There are so many ways to change and update lighting! And super simple! Give it a shot...again, what's the worst that can happen. You still hate it and you still won't get more than a couple of bucks at a garage sale for it! 

Also...a quick reminder! I have mentioned before that if you aren't sure what to do with something, take it down to "base neutral." In my case I have a garage full of projects I haven't decided what to do with yet. But I know one thing for certain...it all has to be repaired, primed and sanded. So yesterday, that is exactly what I did with a wood stool, 2 chests, 1 dresser, a ratan shelf, a few frame shelves and a set of ratan chairs. THIS is "base nuetral".....

Now that it is all prepped and ready for a new look, I am ready whenever the "creative bug" hits!!! If a piece of furniture has got a bad case of the "uglies" and you just don't know what to do with it, just remove the hardware, prime it, sand it, and eventually inspiration will come! 

THREE different Floating shelf tutorials...

I am going to wait to do a full reveal on my kitchen "reset." I call it a "reset" because I didn't paint the exterior of the cabinets or get new flooring or counters...just moved cabinets around, removed a few doors, painted the inside of a few cabinets, added some under-counter lighting and added shelving. So while it is a major change, and looks and functions MUCH better, it isn't a full-blown makeover.

Today I am going to share a tutorial on floating shelves. Actually THREE different tutorials!

The first thing I had to do was figure out which cabinets I wanted to "pop up" and where I wanted open shelving. That was what all the planning and measuring and drawing has been all about for the last few months. After I decided on the "configuration" of the cabinetry, I moved the cabinets that needed to be moved (see a tutorial on doing that hereand decided what "stuff" I wanted on each shelf...that is an important part of the plan because you don't want to plan on storing a 10" tall Anchor Hocking jar on a shelf that, in the end, only has 9" clearance!

The problem with adding floating shelves to any room is the need to plan for the weight of the items it will hold and whether or not there are studs to anchor the support.

In my kitchen, I had four areas I wanted to add floating shelves. I didn't want brackets, so the "support" for each shelf was a huge issue. In the end, I had to construct and anchor three different types of shelving to give me the clean look of floating shelves!

The first area was the hardest only because it was the longest span and will hold all my dishes. When I weighed my dishes they came to SIXTY FOUR POUNDS!!!! Just for plates, bowls and salad plates....that didn't account for cups, glasses or condiment bowls! Course then it dawned on me that I really didn't NEED to display ALL my dishes so I pulled out 8 place settings and stored the rest above the pantry! Not a great place to store something you use every day, but perfect for things you only need a few times a year! I actually have MORE of these dishes in my hall pantry...they are Pier One Bianca ironstone and they don't make it any more...so I stock up every time I find them on Ebay or Etsy!

The two shelves were still going to hold a lot of weight and I knew I needed something sturdier than a pre-build floating shelf you buy at Lowe's. 

The wiring is from my under counter lighting that was attached to the cabinet! Notice the black piece of electrical tape on the switch so someone didn't accidentally flip that switch!!

I found a tutorial online for floating shelves using metal brackets attached to the studs by cutting out the sheetrock. God help me, I did not save the link! Since I knew what I needed to do, I didn't need to refer back to the tutorial! Hopefully my tutorial will give you the information you need!

My plan was to attach L brackets directly to the studs and then conceal them with sheetrock and the construction of the shelf! 

The first thing I did was locate the two studs with a stud-finder. I marked the location, used my L brackets to "trace" out the area I needed to cut out and then cut out the sheetrock. 

You can use a Dremel with a cutting blade but I didn't want to blow dust all over the place. I just cut it out with a utility knife and chisel.

After cutting out the opening, I set the L brackets directly on the studs, made sure it was level between the brackets by laying a 24" level across the two, predrilled the holes for the screws and then attached them to the studs using heavy duty wood screws...3/8" bolts will work as well!!! 

You may notice that the brackets are set 1/4" above the top of the tile...that is because the underside of the shelf will be 1/4" plywood and I want to be able to slip it on top of the tile. Someday I MIGHT change my backsplash and I want to be able to remove the tile without messing with the shelving!

After the brackets were attached, I used sheetrock mud to fill in the holes...right over the bracket attached to the studs. You could "patch" the area like I showed you here, or you can just fill them with mud. As the mud dries, it will crack, and you may have to sand and refill it 2-3 times...no biggy....I had a lot of stuff going on over several days so I wasn't in a hurry!

After the mud dried, I sanded it well, sprayed it with texture (again, this tutorial shows you how to do that) and then painted it (AGAIN, this is where having leftover touchup paint is SO important...unless you are repainting the entire wall!)

Here is the downside to doing tutorials...I don't always take the pictures I should take! Sooooooo......try to follow me here. The shelf was pretty much constructed the same way the shelves adjacent to the refrigerator were...so you can see pictures of the construction later in this post!

I cut, primed, sanded and put one coat of paint on all the shelving components before I put them together...that way, once it was all constructed all I had to do was caulk, putty the holes and give it one final coat of paint! (I used oil based paint on the shelves...maybe overkill but I know it will hold up!)

I used 3/8" plywood for the top of the shelf...I cut it (and the 1/4" ply for the underside) the size I wanted the shelf, LESS the 1/2" for the strips of wood used to face the front and both sides (Example, if you want your shelf to be 8" deep and 30" wide, you would cut your plywood 7 1/2" x 29"). I glued and nailed 1/2" plywood strips to the underside of the 3/8" top to create a "channel" for the electrical cord for the under counter lighting and for the bracket. I laid the 3/8" plywood across the two brackets and attached the top to the L bracket with #10-3/8" screws and then glued and nailed 1/4" plywood to the underside. So all in all, the thickness of each shelf was 1 1/8" thick (3/8" top + 1/2" inside strips + 1/4" underside = 1 1/8" thick.)

I wanted to reinstall my under counter lighting to the bottom shelf so I measured for it's placement and drilled holes for the electrical wiring in the underside (1/4" plywood) of the bottom shelf and ran the wiring between the "channels" and through the holes before I attached the bottom to the top of the shelf. KNOW WHERE YOUR ELECTRICAL WIRING IS so you don't put a nail through it when you are nailing the underside to the top!

I capped the edges off with 1/2" boards...1/2 x 2" (actually 1/2" x 1 1/2") for the top shelf with no light and 1/2 x 3" (actually 1/2" x 2 1/2") for the bottom shelf so the light fixture would not show when it was installed. Caulked, puttied and gave them one final coat of paint!

A huge advantage to constructing your own support or frame is you can make the shelves any depth you want...I actually made the bottom shelf a little deeper than the top shelf.

The spice corner was a tad easier. Since the items on those shelves were pretty light weight I used premade floating shelves. The only adjustment was the width of the shelves. The smallest premade floating shelf I could find was 18" but my space was only 15". The upside is the metal bracket the shelf slips on to was only 15" wide, so I was able to cut the actual shelf down...1 1/2" off each side, and still use the metal bracket! I painted those to match the dish shelf and installed them per the directions. (Yes, you can easily paint pre-made floating shelves...you aren't limited to white or black!)

The two 15" shelves on either side of the refrigerator were another "challenge" and constructed completely different because one side had NO studs in the 15" span and the other side only had ONE stud. Curses.

Not a biggy. Sometimes you just have to get creative!!! 

I built a "skeleton" for each shelf using 1x2 material (actually 3/4" x 1 1/2") I didn't want to make the skeleton too terribly heavy but since only one side of each shelf could be attached to the adjacent cabinet, I decided to beef up the "free floating" side with a 2x2" (actually 1 1/2" x 1 1/2") I used oak on the side that attaches to the wall since it is a "harder" wood! The rest is poplar since it is a little bit lighter! Make sure when you "design" your skeleton that you account for the 1/2" "facing" that will go on the front and sides. For example, my space was 15" wide x 14" deep...since I was "facing" the shelves with 1/2" material on the front and one side, I made my skeleton 14 1/2" x 13 1/2". Sometimes it helps to actually draw it out with the measurements!

I glued each joint, tacked them with a trim nailer and then counter sunk screws...just to make it all nice and sturdy!

If you don't have a special "counter sink" screw bit, you can always cheat like I do...first, predrill the hole using a small bit (1/16th ish bit!)...

...then use a bit that is a tad larger than your screw head and drill on top of the small bit hole, maybe 1/8" deep...then just put your screw in!

It is important to predrill holes because the wood WILL split if you do not!

After constructing the "skeleton" for the shelf, I placed it on the wall, leveled it, then predrilled 4 holes through the skeleton into the sheetrock. 

Notice I tacked a piece of 1/4" plywood to the bottom of the skeleton so I could maintain enough space to slip the 1/4" plywood underside on after the skeleton and top were installed!

After pre-drilling the holes through the skeleton and into the wall, I removed the shelf and inserted "self-screwing" sheetrock anchors into the wall... the package says they hold 80 pounds each...I'm hoping four will do the job since there is no stud in this area!!!

I used the screws that came with the self-drilling drywall anchors to secure the skeleton to the wall. I added washers on the left shelf since it didn't have a stud in the wall to attach to.... just for good measure!

Litty inspected my work every step of the way!!!!

 The right side had one stud to anchor to, so I used two self-drilling drywall anchors (no washers this time) and two sheetrock screws into the stud. For good measure I used my nail gun to nail from the inside of the skeleton into the adjoining cabinet (making sure it was level from back to front!)...again, probably overkill!

After the skeletons for the shelves were securely anchored, I used 1/2" plywood for the top and 1/4"  for the underside. Glue and a few trim nails. The thickness of the shelf is 1/2" top + 1 1/2" skeleton + 1/4" underside = 2 1/4"... so I used 1/2" x 3" boards (again, actually 2 1/2") for the front and sides (all pre-primed and 1 coat of paint). Caulk, putty, paint!

Three different construction methods...this is one of those times when one shoe WILL NOT fit all and you really have to get creative! 

This may all seem like a daunting task...and I may make it seem easy. But even for me, it is not. You really have to think, and draw, and measure and plan. And be willing to throw your hands up and start over when something doesn't work the way you thought it would! THAT is what DIY is all about.

You may have noticed that since I popped up the cabinets, you can actually see the underside now...that will not do! And that is one of the pieces of "trim" I am waiting on to finish things up...1/8" maple ply that will cover the underside of the cabinets. I had David at Sherwin Williams do a stain match and he did an AWESOME job...so as soon as the trim and skins come in and I get them stained and installed, I will do a full reveal! 

In the end...I have exactly what I want...open shelving in my kitchen and when I reveal the entire kitchen you will see how this all ties together. At least for now you know that you are not limited to the measly little 10 pound limit of a pre-built floating shelf! You CAN build a floating shelf that will hold more weight, anywhere you want! 

The den makeover reveal...

Honestly, on the surface it doesn't look like much of a reveal.

I had plans...BIG plans. New couch and rug, paint, new flooring, fireplace makeover...teal, greys, whites. 

I found my inspiration, made a plan and started the plan.

When it was all said and done, it really doesn't look like I have changed much. My back and checking account say otherwise!!!!

Two huge projects did get completed. I painted and refaced the fireplace with travertine tile...

....and installed new wood flooring!

A little TIP for wood or laminate flooring. This is an "engineered wood flooring" you glue down. The transition pieces for this flooring were about $50 for a 6' stick, and I need three pieces! I went to Lowes and found unfinished transition pieces for around $15 a stick and stained them to match the flooring. Much cheaper! When I did my master bedroom floors in laminate, I did the same with the existing transition pieces...just gel stained them to match the new flooring!

Those two projects alone made a world of difference!

I did what I always do when looking for the perfect paint color ...I painted two samples on the wall and looked at it...for weeks.

But when it came right down to it, even with the new flooring, I really love the original color. This is my "fall room." Fall is my favorite time of the year and I just love the colors associated with the season...burnt reds, oranges, yellows, etc! 

So off to Sherwin Williams I went to see if they could mix a 15 year old color. God bless 'em...they mixed it right up. I painted over the "test patches" and gave the entire wall a fresh coat of the same exact original color.

I did infuse a few splashes of "teal" here and there. It all started with these little birdies I picked up at Midtown several months ago...

I THOUGHT I would like this table in teal...

Boy was I wrong....I really disliked it so when I cleared out the furniture to install the flooring, it went straight to the garage for another makeover...

I originally painted these candle sticks teal...nope, not happening. So again, back to the garage for a second makeover. 

I did paint this lamp a soft "teal." 

It's not really "my style" but it is different and I like that. And the shade is actually brass with a black exterior. I got a great deal on it at a design studio auction. It had the original $450 price tag on it. A little pricey even for a heavy brass lamp...but for my $15 bid it was worth it! Believe it or not, you can paint brass!! A little metal primer and a little spray paint!

After dinner with my super awesome girlfriends, we made our usual TJMaxx run! I found these awesome pillows and decided they will look perfect on the grey couch I want to eventually get for this room...eventually...someday.

Not sure they are "all that" on the old yellow couch, but they will inspire me to eventually "transition" this room into the vision I had in the beginning...greys, teal, whites. For now, I will leave the original pillows...they have a little bit of teal in them...just for the sake of the ratty old couch!

Not all "makeovers" happen over night. Sometimes, you have to take your time and do what your back and budget allow. 

So yes, I still want to buy a new couch...and a new rug...a few new club chairs. 

In time. For now, I will just enjoy the new floors and the "new" fireplace!

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