Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ceiling Medallions and Chandeliers

DIY projects are not foreign to us.  We've done plenty, most in our previous home.  There are a few things we've tackled that were pretty intimidating.  But this one?  This one takes the cake.

It all started back at our old house when I told the mister that the dining room chandelier was going to be a reserve item.  I was taking that baby with me.  I had grand hang it in our new dining room along with a certain ceiling medallion.  The fixture in our new dining room was dinky, and I felt like our chandelier would fill the space better.  Not to mention, chandeliers are $$$$, so taking it with us was thrifty!

Taking it down and packing it was no small feat.

But hanging it annnnd a ceiling medallion goes down as our hardest DIY to date.  Maybe because chandeliers are heavy. Probably because our 95 year old ceiling isn't 100% level.  But most likely because both of us are perfectionists.

When it was all said and done though, we were both very happy with the results....

And now if anyone needs a tutorial on how to hang a ceiling medallion, I'm your girl.  Or you could get the gist from this short Flipagram......

I swear I helped!  Somebody had to stop and take pictures every once in awhile.........

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Crazy Plant Lady

I've become a little obsessed with plants lately (even though my track record isn't the best).

I blame Instagram and Pinterest.

Images of eclectic, bohemian-esque rooms with greenery everywhere are suddenly speaking to me. It's probably because I'm changing up the vibe in this house.  It might be because this house has such great natural light.

I could also use the excuse that I have a difficult-to-style living room.

This room is huge.  It really has two different sitting areas in one large rectangular space.  It's tricky.  Soooo plants to the rescue.

My first purchase......a fiddle leaf fig from a local nursery.........

Not a cheap plant.  Especially if you're good at killing them.

Anyway, as you walk into this monstrous room, straight ahead is a large wall.  That large wall is home to our TV stand.  The only outlet is about three feet away from where the TV has to be (because of the configuration of this room).  Two huge cords hang from that outlet to the TV.

I was dying to cover those cords. But another piece of furniture just didn't make sense there.

That's when I decided I would try a plant grouping next to the entertainment center!  This would cover the cords and help fill that open space.  I bought two more plants and thought putting them in baskets would add texture.  I thrifted the outer baskets and found the middle basket at Target......

Mission accomplished!?

When I open my front door now, I'm greeted with greenery instead of a blank wall with a string of cords.  It makes me happy.

What would make me even happier?

Keeping my fiddle leaf alive.....

Give me alllll the advice you've got, people.

My fiddle leaf is begging you.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Vintage Rug Dreams

Have you ever scared a FedEx driver by doing a little jig on the porch as he walked up your steps with an extra exciting delivery? It's possible that happened here a few months ago when my vintage Turkish rug was delivered.

Yes.  Months ago.  And I'm just now showing it off?  Yep.  For a great reason.  I could not find a rug pad in this town that I deemed good enough for this antique baby of mine.  And without a rug pad, the rug was bunching and shifting a lot.  So I rolled it up and put it away until recently......

More on the rug......when we got our new furniture, I knew I wanted a rug to anchor the space.  I knew I wanted a vintage kilim. And after lots of online searching, I found the perfect one via the Turkish Rug Man!  I loved the design and colors, and of course, it was just the right size!

But, like I said, it wasn't staying in place on slick hardwood floors without a rug pad, since vintage kilims are thinner than rugs tend to be nowadays.  So the day it was delivered, I went to - no joke - FIVE STORES in town to look for a rug pad.  All I found in each store was a pressed plastic pad, which I'd had no luck with in the past.  Which tend to smell a little chemical-esque. Which I feared would damage the rug and possibly, the hardwoods too, which are original to our house!

There was no way I was putting a plastic pad under this vintage dream of mine.

Enter the Rug Pad Corner who completely saved the day!  They make pads that are 100% chemical and glue free.  This meant, no strange smell coming from the pad.  It also meant that my rug and floors would not be damaged.  Annnnd they are made in the USA!

They had a few to choose from that would work with hardwoods floors.  I decided to go with one called the Ultra Premium. The Ultra Premium rug pad is everything I'd hoped for.  First of all, when I opened the package, there was no scent to the pad at all!  No chemical smell whatsoever.  Next, the pad flattened out immediately!  I didn't have to wait to throw the rug on top! The felt side went against the rug and held it in place.......

Since vintage rugs tend to have odd dimensions, another feature I love, is that they are made and cut to be custom to your rug! They cut mine to be just a tad smaller than my rug, meaning no pad peeks out!

During the short time I actually left the rug out - pre-pad - my rug would shift a lot, especially with my rambunctious pups. Once the pad was underneath, my rug has not budged an inch.  It would also bunch up under the coffee table before.  Now there is no bunching, since the felt seems to adhere to the rug, and the rubber side grips to my hardwoods nicely......

The pad also adds a little depth to my pretty thin rug!  It's about 1/3" thick, which is the perfect amount of cushion underfoot!

To say I'm happy with this pad is an understatement.  For any future rugs I purchase, vintage or not, I will definitely be using a pad from the Rug Pad Corner.  And you should too!  Use the code REVIEW15 for 15% off your purchase!

Good thing I wasn't home when the rug pad was delivered.  I would have scared the UPS driver too!  I was so excited about finally getting put the rug down for good, I might have tackled him!

*I received this rug pad in exchange for an honest review via the Rug Pad Corner!*

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Backyard

With summer only NINE school days away, the backyard has been getting all of our attention!  I wish I'd taken before photos! We've done so much that I didn't think to document......

  • A huge brush pile had been left behind, so we took a trip to the yard waste center.  
  • We've also gotten familiar with the city dump, since we had to take a huge trash pile that was left behind.  
  • Then there's the pea gravel that covers about half the green space.  We are slowly hauling that off.  
  • Lastly, two raised garden beds took up a huge portion of yard near the house, so we removed that in order to eventually add a patio area.

It's starting to feel like a blank canvas!  

We did stage a sitting area up by our sun porch.  I've always dreamed of hanging string lights, so that was my first addition to the backyard......

My second addition was for our sun porch!  We found a vintage table and chair set on Craigslist for that space......

Nothing a fresh coat of paint can't fix.

So finished or not, I'm ready to have some backyard gatherings!  Some lazy summer nights under the string lights.  A little fire in the chiminea.

And, of course, food!  Always food.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Blogging for Books

Recently I discovered the site Blogging For Books via a local friend's blog.  She received a popular book for free in exchange for an honest review on her blog!  Uhhhh, SIGN ME UP!

When you sign up, you get to select one book, which they send you, free of charge.  Your job is to read it and write up a post!

I selected Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.

The title spoke to me.  Not only because of the feng shui part, but the "clear your clutter" part too.  It IS the year of the purge around here.  So I thought it would bring my curiosity of the art of feng shui and my decluttering game together.  Feng shui has always interested me.  I really didn't know much about it, but was ready to learn more.

I'll be honest.  I didn't learn much about feng shui the way I was hoping to.  I was hoping I'd learn the art of staging a home based on the principles of FS while keeping it clutter-free, but instead it focused on figuring out the "why" behind clutter in many areas of life (even emotional clutter) and the negative way clutter can impact your life.

I knew feng shui was sort of out-there.  Based on energies and spirituality.  Some of that I can get behind.  Some I cannot.  The notion that a home has "imprints" of previous tenants that can negatively or positively effect your home life is one I am not sure I can subscribe to.

Another area that the book really focused on was identifying clutter areas.  I guess people can really struggle with that.  To me, clutter is obvious.  So the large section devoted to that topic was, for me, unnecessary.

Overall, I felt like out of the three parts this book is divided into, Part 1 was the only part I really enjoyed.  Chapter 8 included diagrams of the part of feng shui I was interested in, how a home is divided into zones and how those zones can impact different aspects of your life.  It just didn't go deep enough.  I was left wanting more out of this section of the book.

In the end, I couldn't go into a room and stage it, clutter-free, using feng shui.  Which is what I'd been expecting to learn.

Nonetheless, it was an easy read.  It did make me think about "why" I hang on to things.  And it did make me eye roll more than once.

Now I can look forward to selecting another book though!  Maybe I'll shoot for fiction.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for review.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Front Door Makeover

From day one I have always had major heart eyes for the exterior of our home.  I like the green and ivory color scheme.  The porch is an absolute dream.

But it needed something to amp up the curb appeal.

Enter a simple and cheap project:  painting the front door.

It was a dark green ~ with a missing storm door and large stand alone mailbox......

It needed a punch of something.  We weren't sure what, so we were off to Lowe's for a million paint samples.......

I tried three different blues in shades of navy (or so I thought), two different reds, and a terra cotta that turned pink.

The second red, Heirloom Red by Valspar, was the winner......

We ended up selling the huge stand alone mailbox in my booth (HA!!!) and replaced it with one I had thrifted for $2.98.  We spray painted it to match the shutters.  We also added a custom storm door, which was not cheap, but truly worth every penny.

I love the light it lets in during the day.  And the pups love their new lookout.........

And what's a newly vamped front door without a fun doormat?

Or concrete planters.......

I knew I wanted two of these exact planters.  I scoured Springfield looking for them.  No luck.  Until I remembered a statuary place north of town.  And BINGO!  

So a few ferns by the door and mandavillas in planters and we have curb appeal......

To me, anyway.

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Check out Instagram for a peek at our backyard!  
Hint....two words:  STRING LIGHTS!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

1921 Craftsman Update

We have slowly but surely started on some projects around here!  And while we are not done with any particular room, progress is being made!

Since we bought a new sofa and chair, it only made sense to paint the living room first.

The mister repainted all the dirty (already white) trim with a high gloss white.  For the walls we went with a soft gray (Valspar's Silver Leaf).  Oh my goodness, what a difference some paint can make on the whole feel of a space.

Here is a before and after all in one shot.  On the left of the trim is the before, a butter color, and on the right, a very messy dining room table (#reallifeyo) and the new gray......

It feels so clean now!  And brighter!  That butter color was getting me down.

The fireplace got a makeover too.  It went from ivory to high gloss white.......

I am still dying over the update.  So much better!  So fresh looking!  So bright!

(Eventually we plan to recover my vintage sofa, get a different rug, and update the light fixture.)

The last thing we did was get new curtains!  I wanted to keep with the fresh, clean feeling, so I went with "Cool White" cotton curtains from JCPenney.  The new brushed nickel rods are from there too.....

This room has great natural light, and I feel like these curtains are in keeping with the fresh, bright feel.  Even when it's raining outside.

*   *   *   *

So there you have it!  The 1921 Craftsman is slowing taking shape!  Next up, some adventures in amping up the curb appeal!

And if you can't wait to see what that is, check out my Instagram, where I've already shared that little update!

*Affiliate links for curtains/rods present within post*