Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something Old, Something New

Today was momentous for me. I did something I haven't done in almost 11 years. I bought a "new" car. Can you believe I've been driving the same car for over 10 years? It was really quite an ordeal for me, although I didn't let on much. For some reason, I felt a tug on the old heart strings and wanted to shed a tear as I handed over the keys to my old, but good Pathfinder.

Not many people drive a car for that long. It was my first car that was totally loaded. I can remember feeling like I had arrived when I drove off the lot with it. It was also the first car we bought after getting married (my first time buying a car ever!) and it's been a workhorse. When I first got it, I never pictured having to pack five of us into four seats! That was sans kids. Now, almost eleven years later, the time had come to invest in some serious preventative maintenance that wasn't going to be cheap. Add to it that I desperately needed that third row of seats, my parents offered to trade us their much newer/bigger SUV that was no longer being used (and sell mine)....and the time came to say goodbye to ol' faithful.

In nearly eleven years, that car had never had the first problem. I didn't care that it was old and dated. It was still in great shape and I hadn't had a car payment in years. That alone is worth it's weight in gold! It never left me hanging on the side of the road (except when I ran over a nail and blew the tire). I trusted it completely and it still drives like a champ. It was nothing short of amazing how much stuff I'd managed to fit into and haul in that thing! Sofas, tables, mattresses, etc. On one move, I drove 6.5 hours with it packed to capacity with barely enough room left for me, the dog, and one kid in a car seat. She never failed me, though.

I felt like the biggest traitor today as I watched my dad drive off with it. But... after a lot of prayer, I knew it was time to say goodbye. Maybe someone will buy her that loves her as much as I did. I never dreamed there would come a day that I would have a hard time getting rid of a thirteen year old car! Must mean I'm getting old. Bummer! Oh, wait...they don't say that they?! Like I said, I must be getting old.


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There is nothing like beadboard to bring charm, detailing, and casualness to a space. I love the stuff! I spent today installing beadboard wallpaper, one of my all-time favorite decorating tools, under our foyer chair rail.  I've wanted to put it everywhere since I first discovered it. My favorite way to use it is to paint it a crisp white paired with a muted wall color. In the foyer, though I've tried a different approach. I'm trying the color ON the beadboard paired with a soft creamy yellow on the walls. I'll share the during photos below. But first, take a look at these images and see why I don't see how you can ever go wrong with beadboard! (Unless otherwise stated, all images are from Nantucket Beadboard Company .)

Beadboard on walls and cabinet fronts. 

Below chair rails and just a shade darker than walls.
Soft white beadboard on the walls paired with dark stained floors - gorgeous!

Set inside wainscoting panels.
via Future Domestic Goddess Blog

In the bathroom below a chair rail painted the same color as the walls.

Here's some color applied to the beadboard walls and paired with crisp white trim and accents.
via Pottery Barn

Crisp white wainscoting paired with painted walls. Gives a very clean feeling.

Used as a kitchen backsplash. I did this in my last house and it really adds charm to the kitchen.

Added to kitchen cabinets (this could be done very easily with beadboard wallpaper!).

On the walls again in a little reading nook. Love this space!

On doors and inside bunk recesses instead of main walls. Becomes more of an accent this way.

The upstairs of that stair image shown before. Below chair rails. This is one of my favorite uses.
What do you do, though, if you're a girl without or uncomfortable with power tools? Two options are available: hire someone to put it in for you (Seriously? Isn't this blog about DIY and inspiring you to try new things? This is not that hard to learn.) or use beadboard wallpaper. Now, there are some wallpapers out there that just look cheesy. There is only one that I've found so far that I think looks like the real deal.  It's Graham and Brown's Paintable Wallpaper in Beadboard:

via Graham and Brown

via Graham and Brown

This is what it looks like unpainted up close.
via Graham and Brown
The great thing about this stuff is it's paintable, easy to hang, supposedly easy to remove (I've never wanted to take it down), and there's little waste. There's no pattern to line up and match, either. All you need is a level to get your first line drawn vertically, then line it up and go! It isn't pre-pasted, but truthfully, I prefer unpasted wallpaper. That way you don't have such a mess when hanging it. There is one major drawback to using it, though. It tears pretty easy if punctured or scratched. It's not the best option in heavy traffic areas. I started to hang it in our hallways but then thought better with three boys and a dog. It's gotta be the tough real stuff in there. But, I figured I could get away with it in the foyer because I keep enough furniture in front of it to protect it. Truth be told, I think the cost would be about the same for the sheet's of beadboard, but not the real deal tongue and grove stuff.

All installed but not painted.

I love some white beadboard, but I"m trying something new by painting it. It's not the norm to paint the chair rail and wainscoting a different color from the trim, but I'm experimenting. I'm loving this combination of the chair rail color (The five gallon bucket I found on the oops shelf - awesome color!) with the current creamy wall color. The beadboard is going the same color. Very cozy and soothing, but I need to live with it being different from the trim a while to determine how I like breaking up the consistency. The good thing is, if I don't like it, I can always paint it back white. 

See my new wall vignette? Recognize the plates? They never made it to the booth:)
Now, to get the final details finished up for a finished reveal of dining room and foyer!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Funny Short Story

My two older boys came home today with report cards. The first ones of the year. I got so excited when I opened them up and saw both had made all A's that I exclaimed, "I'm so proud of you! You both made straight A's!" To which my middle guy grinned proudly, thought for a moment, then... in all seriousness, looked at me and asked,

"What does it mean if you make crooked A's?"

(Laughter truely is the best medicine!)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday's Treasures

It's been a bit since I had a good day "treasure hunting". Mainly because I haven't been looking much. Truth be told, I got so discouraged with how little I was getting done during soccer season that I almost hung it all up. In fact, I've been doing some serious praying about whether or not I was to keep my booth.  I'm realizing today that I don't think I can give it up, though. I love treasure hunting and finding diamonds in the rough to give a makeover to. Second to raising kids, it's been one of the most rewarding things I've done in a long time.

I went out today just to get some cold weather veggies for the garden, but wouldn't you know that seed store just happened to be right around the corner from one of my favorite haunts?! So, of course I had to peek in and see if any treasures were to be had.

Guess what? I found some goodn's! Then I proceeded to nearly break my back trying to get them out of the car when I got home. I don't wait on help very well! Honestly, I continue to be amazed that God protects me from my own stupidity like he does. If his love was based on intelligence or goodness, I'd be a lost cause:)

Anyhoo, wanna see what I found?

This beauty immediately grabbed me and screamed, "Take me home!" Of course, I had to oblige. I mean, look at the curves on her!

Isn't this demilune table gorgeous?! I gotta admit...I'm tempted to keep it and put it in my foyer.
At least until I can find a Sheraton style buffet. It would fit perfectly!

Someone had started to redo this piece and has already done the hard work for me. All the sanding except for removing that black mystery glob has been done! Wha-hoo!

How great is the hidden drawer?!

Next, I saw this ANCIENT old sewing table sitting there looking so sad, I felt sorry for her. Truth be told, I broke one of my own "rules" by buying a way. I never buy something I'm not sure I can salvage and she's pretty far gone....but she has a redeeming quality. See those legs? Those  are gorgeous and even if I can't salvage the top part, the legs could be reused as a table base. They are actually quite modern looking if you look at the geometric quality of them! That piece is what nearly broke my back. I just about dropped her as I tried to slide her out of the car. Those legs are cast iron and heavy as lead!

I honestly don't know if this wood cabinet top is salvageable until I try. It'll be a bit like putting a puzzle back together (if all the pieces are there!).

Look at those awesome cast iron legs! Tell me they wouldn't look fantastic on a table.

The cabinet was empty, but the pulleys all work like they were freshly oiled and cleaned. Amazing!

This side piece snapped when I nearly dropped it. It made me a little sick,
but the main reason I bought this was for the legs. Besides, it was better for that to snap than my back! Ugh!

The other items were smaller, but one was particulary exciting. I found a small box of Johnson Brothers Ironstone! I dug through it and managed to find four bowls that were in good shape (a little crazing), the rest were plates that had a big cracks (sigh...). But, I did get four bowls to take to the booth, as well as a stack of very old books to tie with twine and sell.

Honestly, until I started reading all you other bloggers out there, I didn't know anything about ironstone.

I still don't know much other than I love it's simplicity and I've started my own little collection. 

Last, but not least, I found this Pottery Barn ginormous pin board (39"x60") for myself. Actually, for the boys. They've needed somewhere to display their art and this will work perfectly in the hallway outside their bedrooms. They keep wanting to tape it to my walls (!!!!) so I was thrilled to get this for....(ready?)...only $2! Can you believe that? I looked it up on-line and I think it would retail for around $150-$250. There wasn't a price on it, so I ask one of the guys there. He went to the back to find out. When he came back out and told me, I stared and asked if he was an idiot! (Take it and run!) He confirmed and I immediately told him to put it in my stash. I still can't believe that price.

I managed to put that mark on it when trying to get that sewing table out of the car.  It should come off though.

My day so far in a nutshell. Now I gotta go clean up/organize our garage (aka my workshop/storage room) to make room for the new pieces before hubby gets home and is completely overwhelmed by my mess out there! Nothing gets my blood flowing like a good day of treasure hunting:)

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Monday, October 24, 2011

New Rug Choice

Well, after making you wait an eternity, I'm finally going to show the rug I chose. Ready?

There has been another change in this photo of the foyer. Can you find it? Look at the before photo below.

Foyer before rug and with a white door (oops! I gave it away!).
Surprised? I've got a feeling you figured it was the other one because I originally was going with a blue and green palette, which I am still using, just in a much more muted way. The course was changed slightly when I realized I didn't have enough of the fabric I'd planned everything around. It went more muted and earthy when I found this rug that I loved for $50 (75% off at the outlet!!) and realized how well it tied in to the family room's existing colors.

These colors appear a slightly little more brilliant on screen than in person.  It has a little more
of a faded appearance in real life. The rusty orange isn't quite as pronounced as it appears here, either.

This photo portrays the colors a little more accurately.

I'll admit, at first I was just sure it was going to be the blue and green rug. But when I laid it down, suddenly the green became way too gray. More of a putty color. It's a gorgeous rug, but it was just not the right shade to go with all the other more yellow based greens throughout the adjoining spaces.

My second option for a rug.

So, I laid the other one out and it was an instant...."Perfect!" The colors are more earthy and just tie in so well with everything else already in the adjoining spaces. Heaven knows that I can't afford to replace all the furniture, drapes, and accessories... so whatever I do has to tie in with them. On top of it all, I know a certain Scotty Dog that has a fondness for soft rugs and jet black hair! The brown tinted black border ties in with all my black accessories (i.e. dog hair) the newly painted front door. See? I told you I've been busy (more on that later)!

This has been the hardest room I've done by far due to a couple of things. I had to tie in everything with adjoining open concept rooms and deal with eleven foot ceilings - which means hanging drapes and painting are NOT easy for little ol' me! Because this room is really becoming more my office and workspace, it's also meant I was very picky about what I wanted surrounding me the majority of my day. Things can get a little stressful at times, so I wanted a color scheme that made me relax. Yet I battled with my desire for color. Add to all that a squeaky tight budget and time schedule, knowledge that I had to get it right for me as well as resale potential, and I nearly threw my hands up in frustration! (Sometime in the not too distant future we'd like to sell this place to build our dream home and I DO NOT want to redo this room.)

I'm taking some risks and experimenting with this redo...stepping out of my comfort zone. Although I'm neutralizing, I'm going a little darker in some places than I normally would. For instance, the front door was painted black/brown instead of white - on the inside. Change is good and fun (if you aren't the spouse who has to watch and wonder when - if ever - it'll end), but that doesn't mean it's easy!

p.s. I'm skipping the mood board today as I've not taken a new photo this week to share!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Dining Room Paint Colors

O.k. want a hint as to which rug I chose for the foyer (aka. part of my dining room)? I'm gonna share the paint colors for the room, but I'm going to leave you guess just a wee bit longer as to where I put them.

I had already painted my ceiling blue.

My blue ceilings right after finishing them.

Another shot. Just a faint hint of blue with a touch of green in it.

My ceiling color was another custom mix similar to Behr's Cumulus.

I ended up going a totally different direction from where I'd planned on going due to fabric shortage and the new rug choice. Fortunately, the blue ceiling works well with the colors and is just a nice accent. At first I contemplated repainting it, but I love blue ceilings. It ties the room in with the rest of the colors throughout the house. I have tied it in with a few accent pieces within the room and really like it all together. goal with this room was to neutralize. But, neutral doesn't mean boring or just white. The great thing about the colors I chose is I could use any rug, drapery, upholstery or accent color I want. Imagine wood instead of paint. Anything coordinates with wood! Hopefully, that means when I'm tired of this color scheme, I can just switch those items out without repainting. It's a very soothing, warm, neutral and restful color palette.

So what did I do? Here's my paint colors.

A custom mix  of warm white similar to Sherwin Williams Dover White:

A warm tan/beige color that I found a five gallon bucket of on the oops shelf for $20 (!) at Lowe's:

Color is similar to Believable Buff - 2nd from top of card.
And a warm brown that I used in my master bathroom and love. I had leftovers so I didn't have to by more:

Behr's South Kingston - a warm, green toned brown.
Now, which rug do you think I picked? I'll share that maybe tomorrow as a quick post:)

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Slipcovers

Did you think I'd forgotten about the dining room redo? Trust me, I've done anything BUT forget about it. I've been one really busy girl. So busy in fact, I've not had time to document all the changes that have been going on in that room! So, today I thought I'd start catching you up by sharing the slipcovers I made for four of the eight chairs still in their original 10 year old upholstery.

My dining chairs in their original state.

With three boys, I need to have at least three chairs covered in something they couldn't ruin [easily]. I started to go with all white slipcovers like I've used in the past (gotta love bleach!), but I've had this fabric on a shelf now for a long time begging me to use it. It's a busy chevron basket weave pattern that could hide a world of sins. So, after a hot wash and dry to get any shrinking over with, out came the sewing machine. A ton of pinning, cutting, seam ripping, etc. later, they were finally done. There's a tutorial about half way finished on them, but I've held back on sharing it. They were not easy to make without a pattern (not that I ever use patterns!).

What do you think?

My upholstered chairs have now become my "seagrass" dining chairs:)

The hard part was getting the back and bottom pieces to connect and hang smoothly! I think I spent
a few hours on a couple of them that I had some trouble with. Others went smooth first try. Go figure!

I may do a modified version for the tutorial where the back and bottom are two separate pieces.  I originally intended for these to be separate pieces so that they could be taken off individually to wash. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric to allow for that.

This is great fabric, but can't find more of it. It's a Mill Creek design. If you see it somewhere, please let me know! I've noticed I tend to always gravitate to Swavelle/Mill Creek fabric patterns. So many of the designs and colors they use are right up my alley, but they do one thing that drives me batty. They don't always print the name of the fabric pattern on the selvage, which makes for a nightmare hunting down more of it if you tend to buy off the remnant shelves!

I've only done four chairs (wanted to do six but didn't have enough of this fabric) because I want to mix it up in there. I am currently debating even slip covering the others or reupholstering them. I'm trying to think long term because I'm still set on making or buying a big farm table. When I do, then I'll sell that table and possibly the chairs. I don't want to make them so taste specific that I can't get rid of them when the time comes. Not that I couldn't reupholster them again, but I'd rather spend my little bit of free time on other things:)

Have a great weekend!

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